- Mike Ross (politician)
Mike Ross Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arkansas's 4th district
Incumbent Assumed office
January 3, 2001
Preceded by Jay Dickey Arkansas State Senator In office
Personal details Born August 2, 1961
Political party Democratic Spouse(s) Holly Children Sydney, Alex Residence Prescott, Arkansas Alma mater University of Arkansas at Little Rock Occupation Former Small Business Owner Religion Methodist
Michael Avery “Mike” Ross (born August 2, 1961) is the U.S. Representative for Arkansas's 4th congressional district. He is a member of the Democratic Party. Ross is currently the dean of the Arkansas congressional delegation, or its most senior member. Ross stated on July 25, 2011, that he would not seek re-election to the House in 2012.
- 1 Early life, education and career
- 2 Arkansas State Senate
- 3 U.S. House of Representatives
- 4 Political positions
- 5 Political campaigns
- 6 Electoral history
- 7 ProPublica investigation
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Early life, education and career
Ross was born in Texarkana, Arkansas, the son of two public school educators, and he graduated high school in Hope, Arkansas. He was educated at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, working his way through college as a local radio announcer. Together with his wife, Ross owned and operated a small pharmacy in Prescott, Arkansas, which they sold in May 2007. The Ross family has two children and attend the First United Methodist Church of Prescott.
Ross also served as Chief of Staff to then-Lieutenant Governor Winston Bryant from 1985 to 1989.
Arkansas State Senate
In 1990, Ross was elected to the Arkansas State Senate becoming the legislature's youngest member at that time; he served for ten years until his election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2000.
U.S. House of Representatives
- Committee on Energy and Commerce
- NATO Parliamentary Assembly
- Congressional Delta Caucus (Co-Chair)
- Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus (Co-Chair)
- International Conservation Caucus
Ross is a Co-Chair of the fiscally conservative, Democratic Blue Dog Coalition, Co-Chair of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, President of the Mississippi Valley Flood Control Association and Vice President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.
Ross considered running for the position of Democratic Caucus Vice Chairman for the 110th Congress; however, he deferred to incumbent John Larson after Rahm Emanuel chose to run for caucus chair, which is the position for which Larson had been running.
The Blue Dogs and health care
On June 19, 2009, Ross made clear that he and a group of other fiscally conservative, moderate Democrats, known as the Blue Dog Coalition, were increasingly unhappy with the direction that health-care legislation was taking in the House. They claimed the health care reform bill was being written behind closed doors without their input and that the proposals being consider fall short in reducing costs and increasing efficiency, outlining only a fraction of what will be required to achieve a product that does not add to the deficit. Ross cited, among other things, provisions that major health-care companies also strongly oppose. Ross was the guest of honor at a special "health-care industry reception," one of at least seven fundraisers for the Arkansas lawmaker held by health-care companies or their lobbyists this year, according to publicly available invitations. According to Ross's Federal Election Commission Disclosure Report, which every candidate must file quarterly, eight percent (8%) of his total campaign contributions have come from the health care industry in the last election cycle (2007-8).
Ross was thrust into the national spotlight on July 21 when he and a group of seven Blue Dog Democrats on Energy & Commerce bucked their party's leaders and brought the committee mark up process of H.R. 3200, America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009, to a halt. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman postponed meeting publicly to discuss the health-care legislation to negotiate with the Blue Dogs, meeting privately with Ross and other members of the so-called Blue Dog Coalition, conservative Democrats who sit on the committee and could join Republicans and vote down a bill they don't like since the panel has 36 Democrats and 23 Republicans.
After days of back-to-back meetings and intense negotiations into the night, four of the seven Blue Dog Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, led by Ross, said they resolved their differences with Chairman Henry Waxman of California and were able to force House leadership to agree on several provisions, namely that the full House would not vote on the legislation until at least September so lawmakers would have time to read the bill and listen to constituents.
Other concessions won by Blue Dogs, which drew immediate opposition from liberals in the chamber, would shave about 10 percent from the health care overhaul's $1 trillion, 10-year price tag, in part by limiting subsidies to people who are not insured. The exemption for small businesses would be doubled so that only businesses with payrolls greater than $500,000 a year would be required to offer insurance or pay a tax equivalent to 8 percent of their payroll.
Because many Blue Dogs, especially Ross, had serious concerns about the bill's potential harmful affects on rural doctors and rural hospitals, the group forced House leadership to accept that the government would negotiate rates with health care providers instead of using Medicare rates in any so-called public option.
President Obama praised the efforts of the Blue Dog Coalition in a statement issued after the agreement was announced: “I'm especially grateful that so many members, including some Blue Dogs on the Energy and Commerce Committee, are working so hard to find common ground. Those efforts are extraordinarily constructive in strengthening this legislation and bringing down its cost,” the President said in a statement. However, some of the concessions to Ross set off a revolt among members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, who said they feared that the public insurance plan was being weakened. “We do not support this,” said Representative Lynn Woolsey, Democrat of California, co-chairwoman of the progressive caucus. "It’s a nonstarter." 
After Congress' August recess, Ross announced that he could not support a bill with a Public Option. In a letter to constituents, he claimed that "An overwhelming number of you oppose a government-run health insurance option, and it is your feedback that has led me to oppose the public option as well." However, a Research 2000 poll, commissioned by the left-leaning group Daily Kos, found that a majority of his district actually supported a Public Option. While a poll from the University of Arkansas only found support for the public option at 39 percent. Ross ultimately voted against the Health Care Reform bill that passed the House on November 7, 2009 In January 2011, Ross was one of 3 Democrats to vote with the unified Republican caucus for the repeal of the recent health care reform law.
In 2011, he co-sponsored HR 3, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. The bill contained an exception for "forcible rape," which opponents criticized as potentially excluding drug-facilitated rape, date rape, and other forms of rape. The bill also allowed an exception for minors who are victims of incest.
Ross won a narrow victory against incumbent Jay Dickey in 2000 by portraying himself as a moderate, like the political tendencies of his district. In contrast, Dickey was seen as a controversial conservative because of his comments on stem cell research and homosexuality. Ross was the only Democrat outside of California to defeat a Republican incumbent.
Ross easily defeated Dickey in a 2002 rematch, then ran unopposed in 2004. He picked up an easy victory in the 2006 election, defeating the similarly named Republican, real estate executive Joe Ross, 75 percent-25 percent.
Ross had no Republican opponent but did face Hot Springs lawyer and Green Party candidate Joshua Drake, who he beat with a decisive 87% of the vote.
Winning 58% of the vote, Ross handily defeated Republican nominee Beth Anne Rankin (40%) and Green Party nominee Josh Drake (2%). Ross was the only congressional representative of Arkansas's delegation seeking reelection in 2010 and now is the only House Democrat in the Arkansas Congressional Delegation.
2014 gubernatorial campaign
Ross is considered a potential gubernatorial nominee for the Democrats in 2014. Ross says his interests lie in Arkansas, not in national party politics, and that "it's no secret" that he'd want to help lead the state "at some point in the future." He says he does not know if that will be in 2014.
On July 25, 2011, Ross announced that he would retire from Congress at the end of 2012. As for possibly running for Governor of Arkansas in 2014, he said "Whether I run for Governor in 2014 is a decision I have not yet made and won't make until sometime after my term in this Congress ends. But I do know if I was re-elected to the U.S. Congress next year, my term in the Congress would overlap with the Governor's race. I believe it would be impossible to successfully run for Governor here at home, while effectively carrying out my congressional duties in Washington. 
Arkansas's 4th Congressional District House Election, 2000 Party Candidate Votes % ±% Democratic Mike Ross 108,143 50.97% Republican Jay Dickey* 104,017 49.03% Arkansas's 4th Congressional District House Election, 2002 Party Candidate Votes % ±% Democratic Mike Ross 119,633 60.56% +9.59% Republican Jay Dickey 77,904 39.44% -9.59% Arkansas's 4th Congressional District House Election, 2004 Party Candidate Votes % ±% Democratic Mike Ross 100.00% +39.44% Arkansas's 4th Congressional District House Election, 2006 Party Candidate Votes % ±% Democratic Mike Ross 128,236 74.73% -25.27% Republican Joe Ross 43,360 25.27% +25.27% Arkansas's 4th Congressional District House Election, 2008 Party Candidate Votes % ±% Democratic Mike Ross 203,178 86.17% +11.14% Green Joshua Drake 32,603 13.83% +13.83% Arkansas's 4th Congressional District House Election, 2010 Party Candidate Votes % ±% Democratic Mike Ross 102,479 57.53% -28.64% Republican Beth Anne Rankin 71,526 40.15% +40.15% Green Joshua Drake 4,129 2.32% -11.51%
On September 22, 2009, an investigative report co-published by a New York City-based group ProPublica and the The Politico reported that in 2007, Ross was paid $420,000 for the building and lot of his family pharmacy in Prescott, Arkansas by USA Drug, a Pine Bluff, Arkansas-based pharmacy chain. The property had been assessed in 2007 by the county at $263,000; an independent appraiser hired by ProPublica put the 2009 value of the property at $198,000, although it was well into an economic recession that began in 2008.
USA Drug also paid roughly $1.2 million for related assets of the property, such as stock, and paid roughly $100,000 for a non-compete agreement. As of the date of the report, Holly Ross remained the pharmacist at Holly's Health Mart under USA Drug.
Additionally, USA Drug owner Stephen L. LaFrance donated $2,300, the maximum contribution allowed, to Ross' campaign two weeks after the sale was made. In two previous elections, LaFrance had supported Ross' opponent Jay Dickey, a close friend of LaFrance.
Following up on the story, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported shortly thereafter on September 23 that, “Richard Jackson, a professor of pharmacy administration at Mercer University in Atlanta and an expert in evaluating the worth of pharmacies, said the price tag for the pharmacy’s assets was ‘well within the ballpark’ of what similar pharmacies in similar communities would bring.”
The same article continued saying that Jackson agreed that the keys for the buyer of a pharmacy are those assets — such as the inventory, the fixtures and the “good will” the business has established in the community, an intangible asset “with significant value especially in a rural area.”
It quoted Jackson as saying that the price the Rosses received for the pharmacy’s assets — between $500,000 and $1 million — is “very average” and that “there’s nothing unusual about that whatsoever. I value pharmacies every day, and most are going to fall within that range.” He also commented on the noncompete agreement – standard in pharmacy sales – saying that “people come to that pharmacy not because of the bricks and mortar, but because of the pharmacist. There is a distinct and significant value to that pharmacist being there.”
That same article continued saying, “Scott Pace of the Arkansas Pharmacists Association echoed Jackson, noting that the sale of any pharmacy’s assets would take into consideration a number of factors in addition to the value of the real estate. He provided data from the National Community Pharmacists Association showing that the average independent community pharmacy had $3.6 million in sales in calendar year 2007, with an average inventory of more than $298,000.” 
On September 25, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported that the only other pharmacy owner in Prescott — Ross’ former political and business rival — said the deal seemed fair. All Care pharmacy owner state Sen. Percy Malone was reported to say, “I would have bought it for that." In 1992, Malone and Ross ran a spirited Democratic primary campaign against each other for the state Senate, the Democrat Gazette reported. Malone said he “didn’t see anything out of line” in the price USA Drug paid and added that since there were only two drugstores in the town of 3,686 people, the price would likely be higher than the property’s assessed value.
The same article interviewed other pharmacy owners in Arkansas who have in recent years have had similar business transactions, such as David Smith who sold Central Pharmacy in Conway to Cardinal Health Care in 2006. Cardinal subsequently sold it to the Medicine Shoppe. Smith, who manages the pharmacy said that he received at least $50,000 in a noncompete agreement that stipulated that he couldn’t work for another pharmacy within five miles (8 km) for a threeyear period. Holly and Mike Ross received $110,000, but their noncompete agreement came with much more stringent terms. They agreed not to work for a competitor within 20 miles (32 km) for a period of 10 years. Smith said USA Drug “got an incredible deal." That’s because, Smith said, to a great extent a pharmacy’s value is tied up in the pharmacist himself. “The store revolves around the store owner or pharmacist,” he said. “That’s the face people trust.” To illustrate how important the noncompete agreement is, he said it was a “huge” deal that LaFrance hasn’t switched signs on the front of Holly’s Health Mart. “It’s a very shrewd move on his part to have retained that name,” he said.
The same article stated that it’s also common for a pharmacy chain to pay higher than assessed property values when acquiring land and buildings. Larger chains have paid premiums for land in smaller Arkansas towns in recent years it reported. For instance, Walgreen Co., the Illinois-based drug giant, purchased 2.8 acres (11,000 m2) and a building in Wynne in 2007 for $650,000. The current value of the land, according to the Cross County assessor’s office is $145,800. The same year, the chain bought an empty 1.3-acre (5,300 m2) plot in Newport for $560,000. In 2008, the Jackson County assessor pegged the land’s value at $35,900. And in 2008, according to Garland County records, Walgreen paid $990,000 for 1.8 acres (7,300 m2) and a building that was listed with a $282,650 value.
- ^ Millman, Joel and Katie Glueck. "Two Democrats Bow Out of Re-Election Bids," Wall Street Journal, July 26, 2011.
- ^ Mike Ross on the Issues
- ^ <Project Vote Smart
- ^ "House Dems strike leadership deal". November 9, 2006. http://www.hillnews.com/thehill/export/TheHill/News/Frontpage/110906/deal.html.
- ^ http://www.house.gov/melancon/BlueDogs/Press%20Releases/2009-%20Blue%20Dog%20Statement%20on%20HCR%20Legislation.pdf
- ^ Dan Eggen (July 31, 2009). "Industry Is Generous To Influential Bloc". Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/30/AR2009073004267.html.
- ^ "CANDIDATE (H0AR04038) SUMMARY REPORTS - 2007-2008 CYCLE". Query.nictusa.com. 2008-12-31. http://query.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/cancomsrs/?_08+H0AR04038. Retrieved 2010-07-11.
- ^ Perry Bacon Jr. (July 23, 2009). "Reform Stance Puts Spotlight on Blue Dog Democrats". Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/23/AR2009072303300.html.
- ^ "Latest AP - President-White House Headlines". CBS News. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/08/05/ap/preswho/main5217848.shtml. Retrieved 2010-07-11. [dead link]
- ^ [dead link]
- ^ Carolyn Lochhead (July 30, 2009). "Dem leaders, 'Blue Dogs' compromise". San Francisco Chronicle. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/07/30/MN1B1913B6.DTL.
- ^ "Obama welcomes healthcare compromise among Democrats". Forbes (Thompson Reuters). July 29, 2009. http://www.forbes.com/feeds/afx/2009/07/29/afx6716133.html.
- ^ Robert Pear and David M. Herszenhorn (July 29, 2009). "House Democrats End Impasse on Health Bill". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/30/us/politics/30health.html.
- ^ "Blue Dog Ross comes out against Public Option". Washington Post. September 8, 2009. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/capitol-briefing/2009/09/blue_dog_ross_comes_out_agains.html.
- ^ ", Blue Dog Ross comes out against Public Option". Washington Post. September 8, 2009. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/capitol-briefing/2009/09/blue_dog_ross_comes_out_agains.html.
- ^ . September 17, 2009. http://www.dailykos.com/statepoll/2009/9/17/AR/377.
- ^ . November 19, 2009. http://www.newsweek.com/id/224198/page/2.
- ^ . November 7, 2009. http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2009/roll887.xml.
- ^ http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2011/roll014.xml
- ^ a b Full text of House Resolution 3: No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act
- ^ "What is 'forcible rape' exactly?". The Washington Post. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpartisan/2011/02/what_is_forcible_rape_exactly.html.
- ^ Max Brantley (2010-01-05). "Jim Holt to make Senate race". Arkansas Times. http://www.arktimes.com/blogs/arkansasblog/2010/01/jim_holt_to_make_senate_race.aspx. Retrieved 2010-02-03. [dead link]
- ^ Associated Press (2010-11-04). "Ross hints he could run for Ark. governor in 2014, says he won't seek top congressional post". Associated Press. http://www.kspr.com/sns-ap-ar--ross-governor,0,7357145.story. Retrieved 2010-11-04.
- ^ http://talkbusiness.net/article/ROSS-WILL-NOT-SEEK-RE-ELECTION-IN-2012/2167/
- ^ http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/house-races/173233-rep-mike-ross-to-announce-political-future
- ^ a b Marcus Stern (September 22, 2009). "Rep. Mike Ross Raises Eyebrows With Healthy Haul". The Politico. http://www.propublica.org/article/arkansas-rep-sold-family-pharmacy-to-chain-with-stake-in-health-care-922.
- ^ "Rep. Mike Ross Responds to ProPublica-Politico Investigation of Pharmacy Sale". ProPublica. September 22, 2009. http://www.propublica.org/article/rep-mike-ross-responds-ro-propublica-politico-investigation-of-pharmacy-922.
- ^ "2007 sale on up and up, Ross says". Arkansas Democrat Gazette. September 23, 2009. http://www2.arkansasonline.com/news/2009/sep/23/2007-sale-and-ross-says-20090923/.
- ^ "Ross lays out details on sale of drugstore". Arkansas Democrat Gazette. September 25, 2009. http://www2.arkansasonline.com/news/2009/sep/25/ross-lays-out-details-sale-drugstore-20090925/?subscriber/national.
- Congressman Mike Ross official U.S. House site
- Congressman Mike Ross official campaign site
- Biography at WhoRunsGov.com at The Washington Post
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Voting record maintained by The Washington Post
- Biography, voting record, and interest group ratings at Project Vote Smart
- Congressional profile at GovTrack
- Congressional profile at OpenCongress
- Issue positions and quotes at On The Issues
- Financial information at OpenSecrets.org
- Staff salaries, trips and personal finance at LegiStorm.com
- Campaign finance reports and data at the Federal Election Commission
- Appearances on C-SPAN programs
- Profile at SourceWatch
United States House of Representatives Preceded by
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arkansas's 4th congressional district
Incumbent United States order of precedence Preceded by
United States Representatives by seniority
Arkansas's current delegation to the United States Congress Senators RepresentativesRick Crawford (R), Timothy Griffin (R), Steve Womack (R), Mike Ross (D) Other states'
delegationsAlabama • Alaska • Arizona • Arkansas • California • Colorado • Connecticut • Delaware • Florida • Georgia • Hawaii • Idaho • Illinois • Indiana • Iowa • Kansas • Kentucky • Louisiana • Maine • Maryland • Massachusetts • Michigan • Minnesota • Mississippi • Missouri • Montana • Nebraska • Nevada • New Hampshire • New Jersey • New Mexico • New York • North Carolina • North Dakota • Ohio • Oklahoma • Oregon • Pennsylvania • Rhode Island • South Carolina • South Dakota • Tennessee • Texas • Utah • Vermont • Virginia • Washington • West Virginia • Wisconsin • Wyoming
Non‑voting: American Samoa • District of Columbia • Guam • Northern Mariana Islands • Puerto Rico • U.S. Virgin Islands
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Mike MacKenzie (politician) — Mike MacKenzie (born 18 November 1958) is a Scottish National Party MSP for the Highlands and Islands region. Mike MacKenzie was born in Oban. His parents moved to Glasgow when he was very young and although he was brought up in the city he,… … Wikipedia
Mike Ross — Infobox Congressman name =Mike Ross date of birth= birth date and age|1961|08|2 place of birth= Texarkana, Arkansas alma mater=University of Arkansas at Little Rock residence=Prescott, Arkansas state = Arkansas district = 4th term start = January … Wikipedia
Lillian Ross (politician) — Lillian Ross (born in Hamilton, Ontario) is a former politician in Ontario, Canada. She was a Progressive Conservative member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1995 to 1999.Before entering politics, she was a chair of the Great Ride to… … Wikipedia
Ross (disambiguation) — Ross is the name of many places, persons and things:Places;United Kingdom * Ross, a historical area in Scotland ** The County of Ross, also known as Ross shire , and ** Ross and Cromarty, later administrative areas, which include most or all of… … Wikipedia
Mike Rogers (Michigan politician) — For the U.S. Representative from Alabama, see Mike D. Rogers. Michael J. Mike Rogers Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Michigan s 8th district … Wikipedia
Mike Gravel — United States Senator from Alaska In office January 3, 1969 – January 3, 1981 Preceded by Ernest Gr … Wikipedia
Mike Huckabee — speaking at the Republican Leadership Conference in 2011 44th Governor of Arkansas In office July 15, 1996 – January 8, 200 … Wikipedia
Mike Shoemaker — Member of the Ohio Senate from the 17th district In office February 5, 1997 December 31, 2002 Preceded by Jan Michael Long Succeeded by John Carey Member of the … Wikipedia
Mike May (Iowa politician) — Mike May Member of the Iowa House of Representatives from the 6th district Incumbent Assumed office 2004 Preceded by … Wikipedia
Mike Tobash — Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from the 125th district Incumbent Assumed office January 4, 2011 Preceded by Tim Seip Personal details … Wikipedia