Friday, August 31, 2007

Congressman Jim Leach

One of the last honest Republicans no longer is an office holder.

This is the latest in my Friday series in which I try to find something positive about a Republican. It's hard work. And getting harder every day.

This week's selection, Jim Leach, no longer holds public office. But he represented the 2nd district of Iowa in the state's east central and southeast area for 30 years, from 1977 to 2007.

Here is an outline of his career:
  • Educated at Princeton University, Johns Hopkins University and the London School of Economics.
  • A foreign service officer with the Department of State; a member of the U.S. delegations to the Geneva Disarmament Conference and the United Nations General Assembly,
  • A business executive and director of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board before winning a House seat in the 1976 elections.
  • He favored abortion rights and gay rights.
  • He supports strong environmental measures.
  • He was the only House Republican to vote against the 2003 tax cut.
  • Leach was among the six House Republicans who voted, on 10-Oct-02, against authorizing the invasion of Iraq. Leach had been one of the few Republicans in Congress reluctant to support continued expansion of the US military role in Iraq.
  • After his defeat for reelection in 2006, his name floated as a potential replacement to John Bolton as Ambassador to the United Nations, with wide support from both sides of aisle. (However, Bush gave the nod to NeoCon Zalmay Khalilzad.)
  • Jim Leach is currently a visiting professor at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School.
But the real reason I am hoisting his name up to the marquee in my pages is that I suspect that he was the GOP Congressman who refused to play by Tom DeLay's and Karl Rove's rules with push-polling and like dirty tricks. I suspect he's the Republican 2006 candidate who was punished by being denied Republican resources, and lost because of it. I can't find the source, but that is my recollection.