Mark Pocan

From Ballotpedia
Revision as of 16:11, 16 July 2014 by Leslie Graves (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search
Mark Pocan
Pocan mark.jpg
U.S. House, Wisconsin, District 2
In office
January 3, 2013- Present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 2
PredecessorTammy Baldwin (D)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedNovember 6, 2012
Next primaryAugust 12, 2014
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$1,143,296
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Wisconsin State Assembly
Bachelor'sUniversity of Wisconsin, Madison, 1986
Date of birthAugust 14, 1964
Place of birthKenosha, WI
ProfessionOwner, Budget Signs and Specialties
Net worth$766,002
Office website
Campaign website
Mark Pocan (b. August 14, 1964, in Kenosha, WI) is a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the state of Wisconsin. Pocan represents the 2nd Congressional District of Wisconsin and was first elected to the House in 2012. He ran for re-election in 2014.

He was previously a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly, representing the 78th District from 1999 to 2013. He won election to the U.S. House to represent the 2nd Congressional District of Wisconsin in 2012.[1] Pocan also previously served on the Dane County Board of Supervisors from 1991-1996.

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Pocan is an average Democratic member of Congress, meaning he will vote with the Democratic Party on the majority of bills.


Pocan is the owner of Budget Signs and Specialties.

He is a member of a number of organizations, including 1000 Friends of Wisconsin, Action Wisconsin, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Clean Wisconsin, Colombia Support Network/Apartadó Sister City Organization, Midwest States Center, Painters and Allied Trades Union - American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) and Wisconsin Environmental Decade.[2]

In February 2012, the grassroots organization Democracy for America, founded by Howard Dean, named Pocan one of the top 10 progressive candidates in the 2012 U.S. House races.[3]

Committee assignments

U.S. House


Pocan serves on the following committees:[4][5]

Wisconsin State Assembly


In the 2011-2012 Wisconsin legislative session, Pocan served on these committees:


In the 2009-2010 legislative session, Pocan served on these committees:

Key votes

113th Congress


The second session of the 113th Congress enacted into law 224 out of the 3215 introduced bills (7 percent). Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 4.2 percent of introduced bills enacted into law in the second session.[6] For more information pertaining to Pocan's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[7]

National security

American response in Syria
See also: United States involvement in Syria

On August 29, 2013, more than 50 House Democrats signed a letter written by California Rep. Barbara Lee that called for a congressional resolution on strikes, and cautioned that the dire situation in Syria "should not draw us into an unwise war—especially without adhering to our constitutional requirements."[8][9] The letter also called on the Obama administration to work with the U.N. Security Council “to build international consensus” condemning the alleged use of chemical weapons. Pocan was one of the 50 Democrats in the House to sign the letter.[8][9]


Voted "No" Pocan voted against HR 1960 - the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014. The bill passed the House on June 14, 2013, with a vote of 315 - 108. Both parties were somewhat divided on the vote.[10]

DHS Appropriations

Voted "No" Pocan voted against HR 2217 - the DHS Appropriations Act (2014) Act of 2014. The bill passed the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 245 - 182 that was largely along party lines.[11]

Keystone Pipeline Amendment

Voted "Yes" Pocan voted for House Amendment 69, which would have amended HR 3 to "require that the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security, conduct a study of the vulnerabilities of the Keystone XL pipeline to a terrorist attack and certify that necessary protections have been put in place." The amendment failed on May 22, 2013, with a vote of 176 - 239 and was largely along party lines.[12]

CISPA (2013)

Voted "No" Pocan voted against HR 624 - the CISPA (2013). The bill passed the House on April 18, 2013, with a vote of 288 - 127. The bill would allow federal intelligence agencies to share cybersecurity intelligence and information with private entities and utilities. The bill was largely supported by Republicans, but divided the Democratic Party.[13]


Farm bill

Nay3.png On January 29, 2014, the U.S. House approved the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, H.R. 2642, known as the Farm Bill.[14] The bill passed by a vote of 251-166. The nearly 1,000-page bill provides for the reform and continuation of agricultural and other programs of the Department of Agriculture through 2018. The $1 trillion bill expanded crop insurance for farmers by $7 billion over the next decade and created new subsidies for rice and peanut growers that would kick in when prices drop.[15][16] However, cuts to the food stamp program cut an average of $90 per month for 1.7 million people in 15 states.[16] Pocan voted with 102 other Democratic representatives against the bill.

2014 Budget

Yea3.png On January 15, 2014, the Republican-run House approved H.R. 3547, a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government through September 30, 2014.[17][18] The House voted 359-67 for the 1,582 page bill, with 64 Republicans and three Democrats voting against the bill.[18] The omnibus package included 12 annual spending bills to fund federal operations.[19] It included a 1 percent increase in the paychecks of federal workers and military personnel, a $1 billion increase in Head Start funding for early childhood education, reduced funding to the Internal Revenue Service and the Environmental Protection Agency, and the protection of the Affordable Care Act from any drastic cuts. Pocan joined with the majority of the Democratic party and voted in favor of the bill.[17][18]

Government shutdown
See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Voted "No" On September 30, 2013, the House passed a final stopgap spending bill before the shutdown went into effect. The bill included a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate and would have also stripped the bill of federal subsidies for congressional members and staff. It passed through the House with a vote of 228-201.[20] At 1 a.m. on October 1, 2013, one hour after the shutdown officially began, the House voted to move forward with going to a conference. In short order, Sen. Harry Reid rejected the call to conference.[21] Pocan voted against the stopgap spending bill that would have delayed the individual mandate.[22]

Voted "Yes" The shutdown finally ended on October 16, 2013, when the House took a vote on HR 2775 after it was approved by the Senate. The bill to reopen the government lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funded the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies.[23] The House passed the legislation shortly after the Senate, by a vote of 285-144, with all 144 votes against the legislation coming from Republican members. Pocan voted for HR 2775.[24]


Morton Memos Prohibition

Voted "No" Pocan voted against House Amendment 136 - Prohibits the Enforcement of the Immigration Executive Order. The amendment was adopted by the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 224 - 201. The purpose of the amendment as stated on the official text is to "prohibit the use of funds to finalize, implement, administer, or enforce the Morton Memos." These memos would have granted administrative amnesty to certain illegal aliens residing in the United States.[25] The vote largely followed party lines.[26]


Healthcare Reform Rules

Voted "No" Pocan voted against House Amendment 450 - Requires Congressional Approval for Any Rules Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The amendment was adopted by the House on August 2, 2013, with a vote of 227-185. The amendment requires that all changes to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act be approved by Congress before taking effect. The vote was largely along party lines.[27]

Social issues

SNAP challenge
See also: United States Farm Bill 2013

In June 2013, more than two dozen House Democrats, including Pocan, took part in a SNAP challenge, feeding themselves for a week on the average benefit level of a SNAP recipient.[28] Participants agreed to eat all meals from a limited food budget comparable to that of a SNAP participant, approximately $1.50 per meal, or $4.50 a day.[29]


Voted "No" Pocan voted against HR 1797 - Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The resolution passed the House on June 18, 2013, with a vote of 228 - 196 that largely followed party lines. The purpose of the bill is to ban abortions that would take place 20 or more weeks after fertilization.[30]

Fast food worker strikes

In December 2013, Pocan tweeted his support for raising the minimum wage for fast food workers. He tweeted, "#MinimumWage in 1968 was $10.60 in 2013 dollars. Today it is $7.25. Past time we #raisethewage."[31]


On The Issues Vote Match

Pocan's Vote Match results from On The Issues.
See also: On The Issues Vote Match

On The Issues conducts a VoteMatch analysis of elected officials based on 20 issue areas. Rather than relying on incumbents to complete the quiz themselves, the VoteMatch analysis is conducted using voting records, statements to the media, debate transcripts or citations from books authored by or about the candidate. Based on the results of the quiz, Pocan is a Hard-Core Liberal. Pocan received a score of 88 percent on personal issues and 17 percent on economic issues.[32]

Note: We are working to resolve inaccuracies with this information. Thank you for your patience.

On The Issues organization logo.



See also: Wisconsin's 2nd Congressional District elections, 2014

Pocan ran in the 2014 election for the U.S. House to represent Wisconsin's 2nd District. Pocan sought the Democratic nomination in the primary. The general election took place November 4, 2014.


See Also: United States House of Representatives elections in Wisconsin, 2012

Pocan sought election to represent Wisconsin's 2nd District in the United States House of Representatives in 2012.[33] He defeated Kelda Helen Roys, Matt Silverman and Dennis Hall in the August 14 Democratic primary.[34] He defeated Republican Chad Lee in the general election.[35][36]

U.S. House, Wisconsin District 2 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngMark Pocan 67.9% 265,422
     Republican Chad Lee 31.9% 124,683
     Independent Joe Kopsick 0% 6
     Miscellaneous N/A 0.2% 787
Total Votes 390,898
Source: "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"
Wisconsin's 2nd Congressional District Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngMark Pocan 72.2% 43,091
Kelda Roys 21.9% 13,051
Matt Silverman 4% 2,359
Dennis Hall 1.9% 1,159
Total Votes 59,660


See also: Wisconsin State Assembly elections, 2010

Pocan was re-elected to Wisconsin State Assembly District 78. He was unopposed in the September 14, 2010, primary election and in the general election on November 2, 2010.[37]

Wisconsin State Assembly, District 78

Democratic primary (2010)

Candidates Votes Percent
Green check mark transparent.png Mark Pocan(D) 3,243 99.6%

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Pocan is available dating back to 2012. Based on available campaign finance records, Pocan raised a total of $1,143,296 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 5, 2013.[38]

Mark Pocan's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 US House (Wisconsin, District 2) Won $1,143,296
Grand Total Raised $1,143,296


Candidates for Congress were required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Pocan's reports.[39]


Breakdown of the source of Pocan's campaign funds before the 2012 election.

Pocan won re-election to the U.S. House in 2012. During that re-election cycle, Pocan's campaign committee raised a total of $1,143,420 and spent $1,087,264.[47]

Cost per vote

Pocan spent $4.10 per vote received in 2012.


In 2010, Pocan received $15,710 in campaign donations. The top contributors are listed below.[48]


The top 5 donors to Pocan's 2008 campaign were professional and labor organizations. Here are Pocan's top 5 donors:[49]

Donor Amount
Managed Health Services Insurance Corp $500
Northwestern Mutual Life $500
Sprinkler Fitters Local 183 $500
School Administrators Alliance $500
WI Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Assoc $500

Personal Gain Index

Congressional Personal Gain Index graphic.png
See also: Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress)

The Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress) is a four-part measurement that illustrates the extent to which members of the U.S. Congress have prospered during their tenure as public servants.
It consists of four different metrics pioneered by the Government Accountability Institute:

PGI: Net worth

See also: Changes in Net Worth of U.S. Senators and Representatives (Personal Gain Index) and Net worth of United States Senators and Representatives
Net Worth Metric graphic.png

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, Pocan's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $467,005 to $1,064,999. That averages to $766,002, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic House members in 2012 of $5,700,168.36. Pocan ranked as the 231st most wealthy representative in 2012.[50] Between 2011 and 2012, Pocan‘s calculated net worth[51] increased by an average of 30 percent per year. Between 2004 and 2012, the average annual percentage increase for a member of Congress was 15.4 percent.[52]

Mark Pocan Yearly Net Worth
YearAverage Net Worth
Growth from 2011 to 2012:30%
Average annual growth:30%[53]
Comparatively, the American citizen experienced a median yearly decline in net worth of -0.94%.[54]
The data used to calculate changes in net worth may include changes resulting from assets gained through marriage, inheritance, changes in family estates and/or trusts, changes in family business ownership and many other variables unrelated to a member's behavior in Congress.


Like-minded colleagues

The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.[55]

Pocan most often votes with:

Pocan least often votes with:

Voting with party


Mark Pocan voted with the Democratic Party 94.8% of the time, which ranked 90th among the 201 House Democratic members as of June 2013.[56]

Lifetime voting record

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Pocan missed 0 of 96 roll call votes from January 2013 to April 2013. This amounts to 0%, which is better than the median of 2.1% among current congressional representatives as of April 2013.[57]


Pocan married his partner, Phil, in 2006 in Canada. They reside in Madison.[58]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a google news search for the term "Mark + Pocan + Wisconsin + Congress"

All stories may not be relevant to this legislator due to the nature of the search engine.

Mark Pocan News Feed

  • Loading...

See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. Politico, "2012 House Race Results," accessed November 6, 2012
  2. Project Vote Smart, "Assemblyman Pocan"
  3. Huffington Post, "Democracy For America Names Top 10 Progressive House Candidates For 2012," accessed February 16, 2012
  4., "House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress," accessed March 3, 2013
  5. U.S. House of Representatives, "Committee assignments," accessed March 31, 2014
  6. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  7. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  8. 8.0 8.1 Office of Barbara Lee, "Lee Letter to President Obama," accessed September 2, 2013
  9. 9.0 9.1 Washington Post, "More than 50 House Democrats also want Syria strike resolution," accessed September 2, 2013
  10. Project Vote Smart, "HR 1960 - National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
  11. Project Vote Smart, "HR 2217 - DHS Appropriations Act (2014) Act of 2014 - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
  12. Project Vote Smart, "H Amdt 69 - Requires Threat Assessment of Pipeline Vulnerabilities to a Terrorist Attack - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
  13. Project Vote Smart, "HR 624 - CISPA (2013) - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
  14. Clerk of U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote 31: H.R. 2642," accessed February 12, 2014
  15. Politico, "House clears Farm Bill," accessed February 12, 2014
  16. 16.0 16.1 New York Times, "Senate passes long-stalled Farm Bill, with clear winners and losers," accessed February 12, 2014
  17. 17.0 17.1, "House passes compromise $1.1 trillion budget for 2014," accessed January 20, 2014
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote 21," accessed January 20, 2014
  19. Roll Call, "House passes $1.1 trillion omnibus," accessed January 20, 2014
  20. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  21. Buzzfeed, "Government Shutdown: How We Got Here," accessed October 1, 2013
  22. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  23. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  24. U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 550," accessed October 31, 2013
  25. The Library of Congress, "H.AMDT.136," accessed September 16, 2013
  26. Project Vote Smart, "H Amdt 136 - Prohibits the Enforcement of the Immigration Executive Order - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
  27. Project Vote Smart, "H Amdt 450 - Requires Congressional Approval for Any Rules Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
  28. U.S., "Full Member List of Congressional Snap Challenge," accessed September 25, 2013 (dead link)
  29. Feeding America, "Taking the SNAP Challenge," accessed September 25, 2013
  30. Project Vote Smart, "HR 1797 - Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
  31. Politico, "Pols back #FastFoodStrikes," accessed December 6, 2013
  32. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named ontheissues
  33. Wisconsin State Journal, "State Reps. Kelda Helen Roys, Mark Pocan to run for Congress," September 7, 2011
  34. AP, "Primary Results 2012," accessed May 30, 2013
  35. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "Candidates registered by office," accessed June 10, 2012
  36. WISN, "Primary Results"
  37. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "Official 2010 Primary election results," accessed April 25, 2014
  38. Open Secrets, "Career Fundraising for Mark Pocan," accessed April 5, 2013
  39. Federal Election Commission, "Pocan 2014 Summary reports," accessed July 25, 2013
  40. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed July 25, 2013
  41. Federal Election Commission, "July Quarterly," accessed July 25, 2013
  42. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed October 30, 2013
  43. Federal Election Commission, "Year-End Report," accessed February 19, 2014
  44. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed April 18, 2014
  45. Federal Election Commission, "July Quarterly," accessed October 24, 2014
  46. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed October 24, 2014
  47. Open Secrets, "Pocan Campaign Contributions," accessed February 26, 2013
  48. Follow the Money, "2010 contributions," accessed December 23, 2013
  49. Follow the Money "2008 Campaign Contributions"
  50. OpenSecrets, "Pocan, 2012," accessed January 14, 2014
  51. This figure represents the total percentage growth from either 2004 (if the member entered office in 2004 or earlier) or their first year in office (as noted in the chart below).
  52. This number was found by dividing each member's total net worth growth percentage by the number of years included in the calculation.
  53. This figure represents the total percentage growth divided by the number of years for which there are net worth figures for each member.
  54. This figure was calculated using median asset data from the Census Bureau. Please see the Congressional Net Worth data for Ballotpedia spreadsheet for more information on this calculation.
  55. OpenCongress, "Mark Pocan," accessed August 6, 2013
  56. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  57. GovTrack, "Pocan," accessed April 11, 2013
  58., "About," accessed January 3, 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Tammy Baldwin (D)
U.S. House of Representatives - Wisconsin, 2nd District
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Wisconsin State Assembly District 78
Succeeded by
Brett Hulsey (D)