Mike Ferguson

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Mike Ferguson served the 7th Congressional district of New Jersey from 2000-2008

Michael A. Ferguson, a Republican represented the Seventh District of New Jersey in the U. S. House of Representatives from 2000-2008 (map). He was the House Assistant Majority Whip. [1]

Record and controversies

General information about important bills and votes for can be found in Congresspedia's articles on legislation. You can add information you find on how Mike Ferguson voted by clicking the "[edit]" link to the right and typing it in. Remember to cite your sources!

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.

Iraq War

Ferguson voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 that started the Iraq War.[1]

For more information see the chart of U.S. House of Representatives votes on the Iraq War.

Environmental record

For more information on environmental legislation, see the Energy and Environment Policy Portal

FEC issues

In June 2003, after a three year dispute with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Congressman Ferguson was fined $210,000 [2] 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. [3]

Ferguson was also implicated in coordinating with the Council for Responsible Government to illegally spend money in the 2000 primary race against Tom Kean Jr.

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.

ARMPAC recipient

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.

Social Security

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." [4][5]

Digital Copyright

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.[2]

Main article: Digital Copyright


Michael Ferguson was born July 22, 1970, in Ridgewood, New Jersey [6] 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). [7][8][9]

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" [10] and coached basketball" (1992-1993) [11]. [12]

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" [13] on his campaign, Ferguson received 41% of the votes to Pallone's 57%. [14]

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." [15][16]

Congressional career

Ferguson was elected in November 2000 to his first term in office. [17]

"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." [18]

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." [19]

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) [20][21]. [22]

Previously, Ferguson worked "extensively" with Jersey City, NJ, Mayor Bret Schindler as director of Save Our Schoolchildren (1994) [23], "a New Jersey lobbying organization created to push a school voucher initiative," [24][25] 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) [26], "a national school reform advocacy group." He also served as Executive Director of the Catholic Campaign for America (1994-1997) [27], a "national lay Catholic public policy organization dealing with school reform, welfare reform, urban renewal and empowerment, and pro-family, anti-abortion issues." [28]

"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." [29]

2006 elections

In 2006, the Democrats nominated Linda Stender to face Ferguson in his November 2006 bid for reelection. Ferguson retained his seat. (See U.S. congressional elections in 2006)[3]

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

2008 Election

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. [4]

Committees and Affiliations

Committee assignments in the 110th Congress (2007-2008)

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

Wikipedia also has an article on Mike Ferguson. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.


DC Office:
214 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-5361
Fax: 202-225-9460
Web Email

District Office — Warren:
45 Mountain Boulevard
Building D, Suite 1
Warren, NJ 07059
Phone: 908-757-7835
Fax: 908-757-7841

Articles and resources


Video and Audio links

  • "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





Corresponding article on Wikipedia and Cause Caller. (If Cause Caller link does not work, pick from its list of senators and representatives.)

Current Office: U.S. House of Representatives
111th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

110th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
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
Congressional Career
First Elected to Current Office:
November 7, 2000
First Took Current Office:
January 3, 2001
Next Election:
Term Ends:
January 3, 2009
Freshman Member?
Previous Political Work?
None or Not Available
Other Party Membership:
District Offices:
1. 45 Mountain Boulevard, Building D, Suite 1, Warren, NJ 07059
Phone: 908-757-7835 / Fax: 908-757-7841

Campaign Contact:

Webform Email: / Email:

Campaign Offices:

Phone: / Fax:

Zip Code Affiliations:

Date of Birth: July 22, 1970

  1. Roll call vote, Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002.
  2. Digital Copyright: In Converging World, Congress Continues to Tinker with Copyright, Center for Public Integrity, June 25, 2007.
  3. "2006 Elections in New Jersey," Center for Responsive Politics.
  4. Jackie Kucinich, "Rep. Ferguson will not seek reelection," The Hill November 19, 2007.