Ferguson Adamant About Keeping DeLay’s Money

Newhouse News picked up again on Mike Ferguson’s refusal to return money he has received from Tom DeLay, the indicted former Republican Majority Leader of the House.

Ferguson has refused to refund $47,403 he received since 2000 from Americans for a Republican Majority, a political action committee tied to former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who has been indicted on money-laundering charges in Texas and whose former aide Michael Scanlon has pleaded guilty in the Jack Abramoff bribery scandal.

Asked if he would refund the DeLay funding, Ferguson said, “No, I’m not going to. Those contributions were appropriate.”

Ferguson appears to have some pretty loose rationale for determining what makes a contribution appropriate or not. 

The 2000 Congressional Primary Won’t Go Away

Crossposted from TotallyNJ.com

The Inside Edge has news that is just making my gol-darned day.

Michael Cino, who started a media firestorm that nearly ended Jon Corzine’s candidacy for U.S. Senate six years ago, is challenging Congressman Scott Garrett in the Republican primar. Cino, a onetime Democratic County Committeeman from Demarest and Chairman of the Columbus Coalition, made national news in 2000 by claiming that Corzine had offended Italian Americans with ethnic jokes about construction guys and cement shoes.

I first got to know Cino back in the 2000 Democratic primary election as part of Maryanne Connelly’s team.  After he was recorded threatening now-Governor Corzine on an answering machine with retribution from an astroturn organization Cino created, he was booted from the Connelly office.  He appeared a while later as a Republican.

So We Should Pay The Lowest?

Congressman Mike Ferguson on the President’s State of the Union:

“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.”

So the richest and best off American’s shouldn’t pay more in taxes?

It’s ALIVE – the Inaugural Blue Jersey Podcast

We’re very excited to announce that our first podcast is live and ready to download. If you’ve already subscribed to our feed through iTunes, it should download for you next time you start the program.

For this month’s podcast, we sat down with Congressman Rush Holt to hear his thoughts on the upcoming State of the Union, political blogging, NSA domestic spying, rising energy costs, the President’s upbringing (hint: it involved immersion in oil) and more.

On Medicare Part D: “I’m not going to accuse them of designing it to fail – although that thought has crossed my mind.”

Holt answers the question: “Where are the Democrats?” and shares his thoughts on how to regain a Congressional majority.

If you’re already subscribed to our feed, the podcast should download for you the next time you start up iTunes. If you have iTunes (free download) and haven’t yet subscribed, just click the button below to subscribe to our feed. Otherwise, you can access the mp3 file directly through this link.

Joe Tricarico Endorses Linda Stender for Congress

Cross posted from Dump Mike.

I received this statement from the Tricarico for Congress Campaign:

Last summer, I began my campaign for the 7th Congressional District seat held by Congressman Mike Ferguson. His radical opposition to a woman’s right to choose and ready support for the Bush administration’s failed Iraq policy were simply too much to take. Put simply, Rep. Ferguson has demonstrated he is too far out of the mainstream to represent the 7th district and I am determined to see him defeated in 2006.

To accomplish this task will require a unified effort by the Democratic Party. As such, I have decided to end my campaign and heartily endorse Assemblywoman Linda Stender for Congress. Over a two decade career as a Councilwoman, Mayor, Freeholder, and Assemblywoman she has proven she shares the values and ideals of the citizens of the 7th Congressional District. I will work hard over the next 11 months to insure a Democratic victory in the 7th.

Joe Tricarico has run a good, honest and energetic campaign.  His choice to put winning for the Democratic Party and defeating Mike Ferguson over his own ambition should be recognized and valued.  I am confident he will be a large part of a victory in the 7th District this fall.

Who Does Joe Tricarico Think He’s Kidding?

Being a supporter of Assemblywoman Linda Stender’s Congressional campaign, I know that I am going to be accused of being nitpicky on this one at best and biased at worst, but I just found the caption from the Campaign Events page on his website, which accompanies photos of Joe with Howard Dean, Frank Pallone, and Rush Holt to be silly at best and disingenous at worst.

The caption says the following:

November 5, 2005
Joe met with DNC Chairman Howard Dean, and Congressmen Rush Holt and Frank Pallone at a Corzine For Governor meeting in Franklin.

Anyone who was at this event knows that Dean, Pallone, and Holt spoke for a few minutes, shook hands, exchanged pleasantries, posed for photos, and then left for their next campaign stop.

Joe probably had as extensive a meeting with Howard Dean, Frank Pallone, and Rush Holt at the Franklin event as I did, only I didn’t bother to waste time posing for pictures.

I know that things like this are always part of campaign websites and most people don’t give them a second thought.

However, considering the reverence with which New Jersey progressives view Howard Dean, Frank Pallone, and Rush Holt, I would hope that most would be smart enough to not confuse photos and misleading captions with endorsements.

This is especially true when you consider the fact that Linda Stender was amongst a group of four New Jersey elected officials (Assemblymen Reed Gusciora, Pat Diegnan, and John Wisniewski being the others) who were the very first to endorse Howard Dean’s Presidential campaign, early in 2003.

Friday the 13 Cooks Up Bad News for Mike Ferguson

Charlie Cook runs one of the most reliable and believed in political newsletters, and is particularly famous for handicapping races.  His data is usually highly proprietary and campaigns pay a lot of money to get their hands on it.  When a candidate moves within Cook’s categories, it is a sign that something is changing and usually considered a big deal.

Mike Ferguson has been moved from being safe to being in play.  Since the February 18, 2005 House Summary Ferguson has been off Cook’s radar, but the Friday the 13th, 2006 House Summary he was put back into play.  It’s still in the Likely Republican column, but still not a slam dunk.

With some work from Blue 7th and our candidates, we can move him into to Lean Republican column, then into the Toss Up column, and finally into Retirement in January 2007.

Why? Because New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District is not necessarily as Republican as folks make it out.  NJ7 has a Cook Report Partisan Voting Index of just R+1 which means it voted for Bush one percent more than that country did as a whole.  Since Bush only got 51 percent, that means he got 52 percent in the NJ7.  Roll Call, the newspaper of Capitol Hill, reported in May 2002 that even in the newly redistricted NJ7 Al Gore won 51 percent of the vote. 

Voters here have demonstrated that they will vote for a Democrat when given an opportunity, and when given a choice.  Here at Dump Mike and the Blue 7th PAC it is our job to present the voters with enough information that they decide it is time to make a choice.

More Texas Shenanigans for Mike Ferguson

Mike Ferguson has received close to $200,000 from Tom DeLay and DeLay, Inc. over the seven years of his Congressional campaigning.  We’ve previously noted that almost $55,000 came directly from DeLay; another $132,000 from a fundraiser run by Congressman Tom DeLay, Acting House Majority Leader Roy Blunt and DeLay’s PAC executive Director Jim Ellis; $8,500 from partners of Alexander Strategies; and another $5,000 from ex –employees of DeLay. 

We also noted that after receiving all this money from the Texas congressman, Ferguson turned around and gave $27,000 for the 2004 election alone to Republicans running for Congress in Texas.

And today we found another $3,000 from Andrew “Drew” Maloney, a lobbyist for the Federalist Group and former chief of Staff to Tom DeLay.  But what makes this particular contribution really interesting is that there are allegations the contributions may have been made using taxpayers’ dollars.

Mike Ferguson Supports the Continuation of “Delay, Inc.”

Now that Mike Ferguson’s benefactor Tom DeLay has been forced from his leadership position as a result of invetsigations into his corrupt dealings in Texas and with Jack Abramoff, the Republican House delegation is forced to select new leadership.  They have an opportunity to turn away from the culture of corruption that has pervaded Washington DC for the past five years, or an opportunity to select the same kind of leadership and continue business as usual.

One of the House Republicans looking to permanently replace Tom DeLay as Majority Leader is Roy Blunt (R-MO), who is so tied in to the DeLay/Abramoff way of doing business that uber-conservative columnist George Will opposes his ascention:

Roy Blunt of Missouri, the man who was selected, not elected, to replace DeLay, is a champion of earmarks as a form of constituent service. If, as one member says, “the problem is not just DeLay but ‘DeLay Inc.’ ” Blunt is not the solution. So far — the field may expand — the choice for majority leader is between Blunt and John Boehner of Ohio. A salient fact: In 15 years in the House, Boehner has never put an earmark in an appropriations or transportation bill.

Of course, Congressman Mike Ferguson is so tied in to Delay Inc. that Ferguson recently announced his support for Blunt.  It’s about all we could expect.  When he was getting more money than any other member of Congress from Tom DeLay, Ferguson voted to ease ethics and Republican caucus rules to help DeLay stay in power.  Now that DeLay is out — he has contributed nothing to Ferguson since 2004 — Ferguson needs someone to fill the void.

Roy Blunt has already given Ferguson $5,000 for the 2006 election, as well as $10,000 for the 2004 election, $9,999 for the 2002 election, and $3,000 for the 2000 election

That’s a $27,999 windfall for Ferguson, and a vote for Roy Blunt for Majority Leader.

More Abramoff/DeLay Dirty Money For Mike Ferguson

Over the past month we have noted that much of Congressman Mike Ferguson’s campaign funds have come from corrupt and convicted felons who have been instrumental in creating the culture of corruption in Washington D.C.  As a result of pressure, Ferguson has given up contributions from conviced felons Jack Abramoff, Adam Kidan,  and Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, and casino boat company SunCruz Casinos.  To date he has refused to give up more than $54,000 from indicted former Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and $132,000 from a fundraiser organized by DeLay and his indicted employee Jim Ellis.

But that is by no means all.  Today it’s been reported that the Washington lobbying firm Alexander Strategy Group is closing its doors as a result of the recent guilty please of Abramoff and Kidan.  Two former top aides to DeLay — Ed Buckham and Tony Rudy — are the Senior Partners for Alexander Strategy, and have contributed money to Ferguson in each of the past three years and as recently as this fall.

Ed Buckham, Senior Partner
    $1000 6/23/2003
    $1000 8/5/2004
    $1000 10/31/2000

Tony Rudy, Senior Partner
    $2,000 3/31/2004
    $1,000 9/30/2005