Another interesting dynamic is how many key Social Security switch-hitters are also high on the list of cash recipients from Tom DeLay. Perhaps the best example is young Rep. Mike Ferguson (R) of New Jersey, the biggest DeLay money recipient in Congress, who clocked in at a cool $42,403.
On Social Security, 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.
When President Bush brought the Bamboozlepalooza Tour to his district on March 4th, Ferguson's spokesperson Abby Bird said "The congressman still has a lot of questions that he's looking to get answered about the plans and proposals that are being talked about to strengthen Social Security." Ferguson, she said, thought private accounts were "part of the solution," but not the whole answer.
Ferguson repaid DeLay when it came to the DeLay Rule since he not only apparently supported the Rule but he even went so far as to lie about it to his constituents. In a November 19th, 2004 to a constituent asking how he voted on the DeLay rule, Ferguson claimed that the House Republican Conference "unanimously approved" the DeLay Rule, which is of course false. If it was approved unanimously why do Chris Shays and a couple dozen others say they voted against it?
In the letter Ferguson also went on to repeat the DeLay talking points blaming DeLay's problems on a runaway prosecutor from Texas. The DeLay Rule was needed, he says, because "without the new rule, partisan or self-serving district attorney could threaten or disrupt committee chairman or elected leaders in the House."
Whether all of Ferguson's ridiculousness will weaken him in 2006 is hard to say. He won solidly in 2002 (58%) and 2004 (57%).