James A. "Jim" Leach was born October 15, 1942 in Davenport, Iowa. He received a B.A. in Political Science from Princeton University in 1964 and an M.A. in Soviet Politics from Johns Hopkins in 1966. He served on the staff of Representative Donald Rumsfeld from 1965 to 1966. Subsequently, he worked at the State Department, and the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. In 1976, he was first elected to the U.S. House. Through 2006, he represented Iowa's Second Congressional District IA-02. The Des Moines Register reported on May 18, 2006 that Leach is millionaire, the only Iowa Congressman with this distinction.
He was defeated for re-election by Democrat David Loebsack in the 2006 general election. Afterwards, he said "This is the happiest day of my life", and that "a burden has been lifted".
Leach was mentioned as the possible next president of the University of Iowa. Two of his colleagues, Earl Blumenauer and Jim Walsh suggested Leach for United States Ambassador to the United Nations. In the end, he became a visiting professor at Princeton University.
- At a public forum in North Liberty, IA, Leach stated that he voted against eliminating the Estate Tax; however, he actually voted for that bill (H.R. 1836, May 26, 2001). (Source: a letter to the editor from Hank Madden in the Cedar Rapids Gazette, Oct. 12, 2006).
Leach frequently votes with the right wing of his party, see LeachWatch for a complete list. Here are a few examples from 2006:
- against raising the minimum wage: HR2990, and many others
- prohibit Federal courts from hearing any case relating to the Pledge of Allegiance: HR2389
- against port security, rail security and chemical plant security
- for making the Patriot Act permanent: S2271
- In 1997, Leach withheld his vote for GOP candidate for Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, due to misgivings over pending ethics investigations. Leach instead voted for fomer Republican Minority Leader Robert Michel
- In that 1997 roll call for Speaker, Leach received the votes of fomer Reps. Tom Campbell (R-CA) and Michael Forbes (R-NY)
- Leach voted against the Iraq War.
- On October 20, 2003, Vice-President Richard Cheney spoke at a fund raiser for Jim Leach. Later, Leach said that Cheney and Rumsfeld were both "honorable men".
- Leach authored the anti-online gambling bill.
- Leach supports displaying the Ten Commandments on public property because of the "unique place" they have in American culture. He says that the founders "recognized that higher law". Source: "Leach defends Ten Commandments stance", by [[James Q. Lynch], Cedar Rapids Gazette, August 17, 2006, p.5B.
- Committee on International Relations (Chairman, Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs)
- Committee on Financial Services (Chairman Emeritus)
Election of 2006
Loebsack 107,097 51% Leach 101,386 49%