|This is a profile of a former U.S. Representative. (See the New Jersey portal for all incumbents, candidates and blogs.)|
Record and controversies
In 2007, Congress took up the reauthorization of the State Children's Health Insurance Program, which provides health care for about 6 million children and 670,000 adults from families who earn too much money qualify for Medicare but not enough to afford health insurance. Congressional Democrats and many Republicans tried to use the opportunity to dramatically expand the program but were opposed by President George W. Bush and other Republicans. In 2006, 5.4 million children were eligible but not enrolled in SCHIP or Medicaid and 9.4 million total children were uninsured.
Mike Ferguson voted for the first House bill, which passed along party lines. It would have added $47 billion over five years to the $25 billion cost of the program and added about 5 million people to the program, including children, some legal immigrants, pregnant women and adults aged 18 and 19. The bill was financed mainly by an increase in cigarette taxes.
House Democrats, with 45 Republicans, later compromised and passed a bill which expanded the plan by $35 billion and would have insured about 3.5 million more children from families generally making between 250% and 300% of the federal poverty line (about $51,000 to $62,000 for a family of four). Most non-pregnant, childless adults were excluded, as were most legal immigrants and all illegal immigrants. Mike Ferguson voted for the bill.
After President Bush vetoed the bill, Democratic leaders attempted to override the veto with the same bill but failed. Mike Ferguson voted for the bill.
House Democrats then attempted to override it with another bill, which gave into Republican demands for increased checks for citizenship, the quick phasing-out of adult coverage, a hard limit of 300% of the federal poverty level and funding for families that covered their children through private insurance instead. Republicans, angry that the vote was scheduled during massive fires in California, blocked the veto override. Mike Ferguson voted for the bill. For details on the bills and the debate, see the main State Children's Health Insurance Program page.
Ferguson voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 that started the Iraq War.
For more information on environmental legislation, see the Energy and Environment Policy Portal
In June 2003, after a three year dispute with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Congressman Ferguson was fined $210,000  for a loan which he made to his 2000 campaign of $525,000 from a trust established for the Congressman by his parents. The FEC found that this loan from the trust equated to a gift from his parents. According to Federal law, personal contributions from an individual to a candidate is capped at $25,000 per election cycle. Ferguson maintained that he did nothing wrong. The fine was the highest ever levied by the FEC on a congressional campaign. 
Most recently, Ferguson was named in a FEC finding against Freddie MAC and its lobbyist Mitchell Delt for throwing 85 illegal fundraisers that raised $1.7 million, or $20,000 per fundraiser. Ferguson was feted to two illegal fundraisers, in 2001 and 2002.
Ferguson is "the largest recipient of campaign cash" from former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay at "a whopping $54,403," according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) reports. In return, Mike Ferguson's leadership committee MIKEPAC donated $27,000 to Texas Republicans, 44 percent of its total 2004 contributions.
Ferguson is a "key Social Security switch-hitter" "high on the list of cash recipients" from DeLay. Political blogger Josh Marshall reported that "Ferguson is a first class bamboozler. He says his 'principles on Social Security are clear: he opposes privatizing Social Security.' On the other hand, he supports private accounts." 
Audio Broadcast Licensing Act of 2006
The Audio Broadcast Licensing Act of 2006, sponsored by Rep. Ferguson, sought to amend the Communications Act of 1934, thereby authorizing the FCC to mandate copy-prevention technology in digital and satellite audio receivers as well as download services in order to protect content owners from piracy. The idea of a flag was again revived with a broadcast flag provision in the comprehensive 2006 Telecom Reform bill (S. 2686) introduced by Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska). The bill included a provision aimed at amending the Communications Act of 1934, giving back authorization to the Federal Communications Commission to recreate broadcast flag rules to require that DTV tuners to include DRM. Opponents argued that these controls on innovation violated fair use rights of consumers by inhibiting home recording rights.
- Main article: Digital Copyright
Michael Ferguson was born July 22, 1970, in Ridgewood, New Jersey  to Thomas G. Ferguson and Roberta Chiaviello Ferguson (deceased). He attended high school at the Delbarton School in Morristown, NJ, and earned a B.A. in Government from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana (1992) and a Masters Degree in Public Policy (MPP), "with a specialization in education policy," from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. (1995). 
After his graduation from Notre Dame, Ferguson served "as an inner-city high school teacher" at Mount St. Michael Academy in the Bronx, New York, where he taught "10th grade history"  and coached basketball" (1992-1993) . 
Ferguson ran in 1998 as a "Republican nominee for Congress in adjacent 6th District in Monmouth and Middlesex counties," but lost to incumbent Congressman Frank Pallone. After spending "more than $1 million"  on his campaign, Ferguson received 41% of the votes to Pallone's 57%. 
In 2000, Rep. Bob Franks announced that he would leave the U.S. House of Representatives to run for the U.S. Senate in New Jersey's 6th District. Ferguson "subsequently relocated his residence prior to the 2000 election in order to run in the adjacent Seventh District." 
Ferguson was elected in November 2000 to his first term in office. 
"In the general election campaign, [Democrat Maryanne] Connelly sought to portray Ferguson as inexperienced, while he focused on character. The race quickly degenerated into a series of negative attacks in which Ferguson's campaign accused Connelly of calling him racist, and she accused Ferguson of flip-flopping on gun control and health care. But Ferguson's mix of views-he opposes abortion, supports school vouchers, and calls for the licensing and registration of all guns-won over enough voters." 
Ferguson had won the primary election "with 41% of vote over opponents including Thomas H. Kean, Jr., the son of former Governor Thomas H. Kean, and Assemblyman Joel Weingarten. He defeated Connelly by "a 50-47% margin in [a] bitterly contested race, one of 10 most expensive House races in 2000 election." 
Ferguson was the founder and president of Strategic Education Initiatives Inc., "an educational consulting firm, which worked with school reform and scholarship programs. Ferguson has also served as Adjunct Instructor of Political Science at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, New Jersey" (1997-2000) . 
Previously, Ferguson worked "extensively" with Jersey City, NJ, Mayor Bret Schindler as director of Save Our Schoolchildren (1994) , "a New Jersey lobbying organization created to push a school voucher initiative,"  and he "also worked closely on education issues" with William J. Bennett, President Ronald Reagan's Secretary of Education. He was the Executive Director of the Better Schools Foundation (1994) , "a national school reform advocacy group." He also served as Executive Director of the Catholic Campaign for America (1994-1997) , a "national lay Catholic public policy organization dealing with school reform, welfare reform, urban renewal and empowerment, and pro-family, anti-abortion issues." 
"Ferguson is active in numerous volunteer and charitable organizations such as the Knights of Columbus, the Epilepsy Foundation of New Jersey, Delbarton School, the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, and the National Italian-American Foundation and the Sierra Club." 
Money in politics
This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. <crpcontribdata>cid=N00000766&cycle=2006</crpcontribdata>
|Links to more campaign contribution information for Mike Ferguson
from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org site.
|Fundraising profile:||2006 election cycle||Career totals|
|Top contributors by organization/corporation:||2006 election cycle||Career totals|
|Top contributors by industry:||2006 election cycle||Career totals|
- Revolving door profile for Mike Ferguson from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org website.
- 2006 privately funded travel profile for Mike Ferguson from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org website.
- Personal finance profile for Mike Ferguson from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org website.
Ferguson announced on November 19, 2007 he was not running for re-election. In a statement released by Ferguson, he said he wished to spend more time with his family, including his four children:
My wife, Maureen, and I have four children, the oldest of whom is 9 years old... Since first being elected in 2000, I have strived to balance my responsibilities to my family and to my constituents."
Ferguson narrowly defeated Democratic challenger Linda Stender, retaining his seat by a percentage point. 
Committees and Affiliations
Committee assignments in the 110th Congress (2007-2008)
- House Committee on Energy and Commerce
- Subcommittee on Health
- Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
- Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet
Committee assignments in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)
- House Committee on Energy and Commerce
- Subcommittee on Commerce Trade and Consumer Protection
- Subcommittee on Health
- Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
- Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet
More Background Data
District Office — Warren:
45 Mountain Boulevard
Building D, Suite 1
Warren, NJ 07059
Articles and resources
- Official website.
- Campaign website.
- bioguide.congress.gov article on Mike Ferguson.
- Mike Ferguson, "On the Issues" website.
- DumpMike.com opposition website.
- NOT Mike Ferguson for Congress opposition website.
- Open Secrets - 2006 congressional races database
- "Westfield Leader On the Air," GoLeader.com. Scroll down for March 1, 2005, Phone Interview with Congressman Mike Ferguson on President Bush's upcoming March 4, 2005, visit to Westfield, NJ.
Related SourceWatch articles
Local blogs and discussion sites
- "Some facts on Mike Ferguson," Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, 2006.
- Rating in 109th Congress: Representative Mike Ferguson, Republican of New Jersey, District 7, Irregular Times.
- Elizabeth White, "Bush, Lawmakers Drop Cash Tied to Abramoff," Associated Press (NewsMax), January 7, 2006: In December 2005: "Rep. Mike Ferguson, R-N.J., $1,000 to the Center for Hope Hospice. Ferguson also donated $1,000 to the Children's Specialized Hospital Foundation in August 2005."
- "Jack Abramoff Lobbying and Political Contributions, 1999 - 2006," CapitalEye.org, January 12, 2006 (Updated).
- Raju Chebium, "Health Care Cost an Issue. State of Union concerns expressed in N.J.," Gannett New Jersey Group (Asbury Park Press), January 31, 2006: "Republicans, meanwhile, said Bush's tax cuts set right the sinking economy after Sept. 11 and extending them will help New Jerseyans even more. ... 'To ensure the economy continues to move forward and create new jobs, Congress must make permanent the tax cuts we've enacted in recent years,' said Rep. Mike Ferguson, R-N.J. 'In the 7th District, we enjoy one of the highest median household incomes in the nation — $90,103. But that also means we pay more in taxes.'"
- J. Scott Orr, "Iraq War Veterans Storm Onto the Campaign Trail," Newhouse News Service, February 7, 2006: Stephen Brozak, "a retired Marine lieutenant colonel, raised and spent about $800,000 on his losing race against Republican Rep. Mike Ferguson, who spent $2.8 million. ... 'The reality is that veterans have this experience and credibility on national security and the war, but you have to be able to get that message out,' Brozak said. 'You can get drowned out ... if there is overwhelming money on the other side.'"
- "Student loan 'reform' just increases debt," Gannett New Jersey Group (Courier News Online), February 12, 2006.
- "Ferguson's Ties To Lobbyist Cloud Position on Student Loans," DumpMike.com, February 20, 2006.
- "Billions for War But Not One Penny for Education," Blanton's and Asthon's, February 21, 2006. Ferguson "is not returning calls asking about his position on student loans. It isn't right for a representative to duck calls like that."
- "Republican Congressman Seeks To Kill Your Freedom To Listen To Music…," SoCalPundit.com, March 3, 2006: "Rep. Mike Ferguson (R-N.J.) has introduced a bill to cripple all digital radios. The Audio Broadcast Flag Licensing Act of 2006 (H.R. 4861) requires all digital radio makers to build their devices so that they only permit 'customary uses' of broadcasts. That means that no one ever gets to invent any new radio tech ever again unless the RIAA approves of it. Finally, it requires radio device makers to cripple their products to prohibit 'unauthorized copying' — which is a lot more broad than 'illegal copying.' As we’ve heard, the RIAA’s position is that no copying is implicitly authorized — they don’t even think you should be allowed to rip your CDs."
- Mike Premo, Press Release: "Ferguson Votes to Kill Congressional Action on Dubai Port Deal -- Again! Why doesn't he want Congressional oversight of this deal?" PoliticsNJ.com, March 9, 2006. re Dubai Ports World
- Alec Oveis, "NJ-7: Vulnerable Is As Vulnerable Does," The American Prospect, March 10, 2006.
- Joan Schell, "Ferguson's missteps outweigh achievements," Gannett New Jersey Group (Courier News Online), March 11, 2006.
- "U.S. Congressman Mike Ferguson (R-NJ) Will Tour Pharmos Facility," PRNewswire (Interest Alert!), March 17, 2006.
- Rick Klein, "Democrats see Northeast as ripe for picking. Hopefuls take aim at GOP House seats," Boston Globe, March 23, 2006.
- Donna De La Cruz, "National Dems targeting GOP Reps. Ferguson, Garrett in election," Associated Press (Bradenton Herald (FL)), April 3, 2006.
- "Dems again targeting Ferguson. Incumbent one of two N.J. reps on foes' list," Associated Press (Home News Tribune Online), April 3, 2006: Ferguson "is for school prayer and said he would support a constitutional amendment banning abortion."
- nathan, "Mike Ferguson Must Cut Ties to DeLay," MyDD, April 4, 2006.
- TPM Documents Collection: "Rep. Mike Ferguson's (R-NJ) Letter to His Constituents about the DeLay Rule, November 19, 2004," Talking Points Memo, Updated: April 4, 2006. "Rep. Mike Ferguson (R-NJ) wrote to his constituents to explain why he'd voted to change a House rule that would have required then-Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) to step down if indicted by Texas prosecutor Ronnie Earle."
- "Here is biographical information for the challengers and incumbents...," Associated Press (Aberdeen News (Maryland)), April 4, 2006.
- Editorial: "Notion of Rep. Ferguson as 'moderate' is a myth," NJ.com, April 6, 2006.
- The Auditor, "Dollars from DeLay," The Star-Ledger (LindaStenderforCongress.com), April 8, 2006: "Of the $92,621 in campaign funds DeLay has doled out to New Jersey congressmen over the years, nearly two-thirds went to Ferguson. His $57,403 take is far ahead of runner-up U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett (R-5th Dist.), who got $15,000."
- Giovanna Fabiano and Chad Weihraugh, "7th District candidates focus on Iraq, security. Dem Stender challenges GOP's Ferguson for seat," Gannett New Jersey Group (Courier News Online), April 15, 2006.
- Michael M. Shapiro, "The case against Mike Ferguson," The Daily Targum (Rutgers University), April 16, 2006; Devine Media Inc..
- nathan, "Congressman Admits Prefering Tax Cuts for Rich To Helping Poor," MyDD, April 19, 2006.
- Herb Jackson, "Ferguson and the FEC," The Bergen Record (NJ) (LindaStenderforCongress.com), April 19, 2006.
- Mike Premo, Press Release: "Ferguson Skips Medicare Part D Town Hall. He voted for it - why won't he talk about it?" PoliticsNJ.com, April 19, 2006.
- democraticavenger, "The Northeast House Strategy in 20 House seats," Daily Kos, April 25, 2006: "New Jersey 7th. Probably the best pick up chance in New Jersey can be found right here. It is an only 53% Bush district and just like in the 5th it is easy to portray the Incumbent as more extreme then the President. Democrats landed State-Assembly Woman Linda Stender. ... [Stender's] Cash on Hand 308,000 to Mike Ferguson 1,122,000."
- Rachel Kapochunas, "NJ 7: EMILY’s List Backing Gives Stender a Shot at Upset," CQPolitics.com, April 27, 2006.
- blue7thpac, "Mike Ferguson: Bought By Telecom?" BlueJersey.net, April 27, 2006.
- Laura Mansnerus, "It's Good to Be the Republican Incumbent," New York Times (LindaStendaforCongress.com), April 30, 2006.
- DavidNYC, "NJ-07: Not Mike Ferguson," SwingStateProject, May 1, 2006: "... the real Mike Ferguson has decided to scrub his website of any connection to George Bush (whose popularity in New Jersey is so low, it must now be measured in scientific notation)."
- "Mike Ferguson Can't Run Away From Bush," DumpMike.com, May 3, 2006.
- blue7thpac, "Mike Ferguson and the White House Avoidance Syndrome," BlueJersey.net, May 4, 2006.
- "Ferguson trying to put a price on Web," Gannett New Jersey Group (Courier News Online), May 4, 2006. re net neutrality
- blue7thpac, "Republican Policies Result in More Abortions," BlueJersey.net, May 5, 2006: Ferguson "opposes abortion, but he also opposes policies and legislation that would reduce the number of abortions in the United States and abroad." See "Call on Mike Ferguson To Help Prevent Abortions," DumpMike.com, April 5, 2006.
|Current Office: U.S. House of Representatives|
Ranking Member On:
Ranking Member On:
|Committees: House Committee on Energy and Commerce, House Committee on Energy and Commerce/Subcommittee on Health, House Committee on Energy and Commerce/Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, House Committee on Energy and Commerce/Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet|
|First Elected to Current Office:
November 7, 2000
|First Took Current Office:
January 3, 2001
January 3, 2009
|Previous Political Work?
None or Not Available
|Other Party Membership:|
|Zip Code Affiliations:|
Date of Birth: July 22, 1970
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