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Michael Capuano

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Michael Capuano
Michael Capuano.jpg
U.S. House, Massachusetts, District 7
In office
January 3, 1999-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 16
PredecessorEd Markey (D)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedNovember 1998
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$8,774,088
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Mayor, Somerville, MA
Somerville Board of Aldermen
High schoolSomerville High School (1969)
Bachelor'sDartmouth College (1973)
J.D.Boston College (1977)
Date of birthJanuary 9, 1952
Place of birthSomerville, MA
ProfessionAttorney, union leader
Net worth$1,414,512
Office website
Campaign website
Michael Capuano campaign logo
Michael Capuano (b. January 9, 1952, in Somerville, Massachusetts) is a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives representing Massachusetts' 7th congressional district. Capuano was first elected to the House in 1998 for Massachusetts' 8th congressional district but due to redistricting won re-election in district 7 on November 6, 2012. He is currently serving his eighth consecutive term. [1]

Capuano is set to run for re-election in Massachusetts' 7th congressional district in the general election on November 4, 2014.

Prior to his congressional carreer Capuano served on the Somerville Board of Aldermen, as the chief legal counsel for the Massachusetts General Court Joint Committee on Taxation as well as the mayor of Sommerville, Massachusetts. [2]

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


Born in Somerville, Massachusetts, Capuano attended Somerville High School and graduated in 1969. He then earned an A.B. degree from Dartmouth College in 1973 and in 1977 received a law degree from Boston College.


Just before finishing law school, Capuano was elected in 1976 to serve on the Somerville Board of Aldermen -- to the same seat once held by his father.[3]

  • In 1979, Capuano ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Somerville. He was once again defeated in a bid for the same position in 1981.[2]
  • From 1978 to 1984, Capuano was the chief legal counsel for the Massachusetts General Court Joint Committee on Taxation.[2]
  • Capuano was once again elected as an alderman in 1985, a position he held until 1989.[2]
  • In 1990 he was elected mayor of Somerville, serving until 1998[2]
  • Capuano was first elected to the U.S. House in 1998, a position he still holds today.[2]

Committee assignments

U.S. House


Capuano serves on the following committees:[4]


Capuano served on the following committees and subcommittees:[5]


American response in Syria

More than 100 House lawmakers signed a letter urging President Barack Obama to call Congress back into session if he planned to use military force in Syria.[6]

Rep. Scott Rigell wrote in the letter in August 2013, “engaging our military in Syria when no direct threat to the United States exists and without prior congressional authorization would violate the separation of powers that is clearly delineated in the Constitution.”[6][7]

The members of Congress believed that Obama should have asked Congress for permission before engaging in Libya. The letter asked, “If the use of 221 Tomahawk cruise missles, [sic] 704 Joint Direct Attack Munitions, and 42 Predator Hellfire missiles expended in Libya does not constitute ‘hostilities,’ what does?”[7]

The letter stated, “If you deem that military action in Syria is necessary, Congress can reconvene at your request. We stand ready to come back into session, consider the facts before us, and share the burden of decisions made regarding U.S. involvement in the quickly escalating Syrian conflict."[7]

A total of 98 Republicans signed the letter. Capuano was one of 18 Democratic members to sign the letter.[7]

Specific votes


According to his campaign website, Capuano is an "outspoken opponent" of the Iraq war. He voted against the Congressional Resolution to authorize the use of force and works to bring the troops home.[8]


Capuano voted against the PATRIOT Act as well as against the extension of the law.[8]

Some of the bills Capuano introduced in the 112th Congress include:

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" Capuano voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. He was 1 of 172 Democrats that voted in favor of the bill. The bill was passed in the House by a 257/167 vote on January 1, 2013.[9]

Campaign themes


On his campaign website, Capuano listed twelve issues. They are:[10]

  • Civil Liberties and Human Rights

Excerpt: "He believes we must remain a government of laws. The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts has honored him with their Champion of the Constitution award."

  • Economy

Excerpt: "Mike has been deeply involved in efforts to stabilize our nation's economy as a member of the House Committee on Financial Services."

  • Education

Excerpt: "Mike believes that the federal government should adequately fund education in our cities and towns, and that it honors its legislative mandates by providing requisite resources to meet them — including proper funding for students with disabilities."

  • Energy and the Environment

Excerpt:"Mike Capuano strongly believes that we must address climate change before it is too late."

  • Ethics

Excerpt: "Mike has worked to increase the transparency of government and accountability of elected officials, both as a Mayor and as a Member of Congress."

  • Health Care

Excerpt: "Mike has worked tirelessly to help Massachusetts retain its preeminence in health care education and innovation during his six terms in Congress."

  • Iraq and Afghanistan

Excerpt: "Mike voted against the Congressional Resolution authorizing the use of force in Iraq in October 2002; and has been an outspoken critic of that war. Mike remains gravely concerned about the conduct and the prospects of our operations in Afghanistan, and about the future of neighboring Pakistan."

  • Middle East

Excerpt: "Mike Capuano is deeply committed to the state of Israel, a staunch ally of the United States and a country that shares our democratic values."

  • Rights of Women

Excerpt: "Congressman Mike Capuano has always been an effective advocate for advancing women's rights, and sensitive to issues of concern to women."

  • Sudan

Excerpt: "In 2002 the Boston Anti-Slavery Group brought a victim of slavery from Sudan into Mike’s office. Upon hearing his story, Mike was compelled to act and brought a resolution condemning slavery in Sudan to the floor, where it passed unanimously on July 16, 2003."

  • Transportation

Excerpt: "As the only member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee from Massachusetts, Mike was instrumental in securing $3.658 billion in funding over 6 years during the last reauthorization for Massachusetts’s highways and bridges, and $1.576 billion over the same time period for transit projects. This investment in our critical infrastructure needs totaled $5.23 billion, and was a 25 percent increase over the previous multi-year transportation bill."

  • Veterans' Affairs

Excerpt: "Mike Capuano is an outspoken and passionate supporter of our country’s veterans and their families." [10]



See also: Massachusetts gubernatorial election, 2014

Capuano has been named as a potential Democratic candidate for Governor of Massachusetts in the 2014 election.[11][12]


See also: Redistricting in Massachusetts and United States House of Representatives elections in Massachusetts, 2012

Capuano ran for re-election in 2012. He has been redistricted and sought re-election in the 7th congressional district of Massachusetts.He faced no opposition in the Democratic primary. [13]

U.S. House, Massachusetts District 7 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngMichael Capuano Incumbent 73.9% 210,794
     Independent Karla Romero 14.4% 41,199
     N/A All Others 0.3% 843
     N/A Blank Votes 11.3% 32,298
Total Votes 285,134
Source: Massachusetts Secretary of State "Return of Votes"


Capuano was endorsed by the organizations below for the 2012 election.[14]

  • Boston Carmen's Union Local 589 of the Amalgamated Transit Union
  • American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts
  • Boston Teachers Union
  • Boston Metro Area Local 100 of American Postal Workers Union
  • Sierra Club of Massachusetts
  • Massachusetts AFL-CIO

Full history

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Capuano is available dating back to 2000. Based on available campaign finance records, Capuano raised a total of $8,774,088 during that time period. This information was last updated on May 16, 2013.[22]

Michael Capuano's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 U.S. House (Massachusetts, District 7) Won $909,487
2010 U.S. House (Massachusetts, District 8) Won $3,699,635
2008 U.S. House (Massachusetts, District 8) Won $1,087,336
2006 U.S. House (Massachusetts, District 8) Won $836,728
2004 U.S. House (Massachusetts, District 8) Won $839,302
2002 U.S. House (Massachusetts, District 8) Won $753,404
2000 U.S. House (Massachusetts, District 8) Won $648,196
Grand Total Raised $8,774,088


Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Capuano’s reports.[23]

Michael Capuano Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[24]April 11, 2013$482,483.02$42,825.00$(34,163.63)$491,144.39
July Quarterly[25]July 15, 2013$491,144.39$53,696.54$(66,265.78)$478,575.15
Running totals


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

Capuano won election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012. During that election cycle, Capuano's campaign committee raised a total of $909,487 and spent $595,432.[26]

Cost per vote

Capuano spent $2.82 per vote received in 2012.


Ideology and leadership

See also: GovTrack's Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership ranking

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Capuano is a "rank-and-file Democrat" as of June 25, 2013.[27]

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.[28]

Capuano most often votes with:

Capuano least often votes with:


Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Capuano is a "rank-and-file Democrat".[29]

National Journal vote ratings

See also: National Journal vote ratings

Each year, National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted, as compared to other members, in the previous year. More information about the analysis process can be found on the vote ratings page.


According to the data released in 2013, Capuano was ranked the 22nd most liberal representative during 2012.[30]


Capuano was 1 of 19 members of congress who ranked 1st in the liberal rankings in 2011.[31]

Voting with party

June 2013

Capuano voted with the Democratic Party 91.9% of the time, which ranked 132 among the 201 House Democratic members as of June 2013.[32]

Lifetime missed votes

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

According to the website GovTrack, Capuano missed 431 of 9,871 roll call votes from Jan 1999 to Mar 2013, which is 4.4% of votes during that period. This is worse than the median of 2.2% among the lifetime records of representatives currently serving.[33]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives


The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Capuano paid his congressional staff a total of $1,182,086 in 2011. He ranked 14th on the list of the highest paid Democratic representative staff salaries and ranked 17th overall of the highest paid representative staff salaries in 2011. Overall, Massachusetts ranked 2nd in average salary for representative staff. The average U.S. House of Representatives congressional staff was paid $954,912.20 in fiscal year 2011.[34]

Staff bonuses

According to an analysis by CNN, Capuano was one of nearly 25 percent of House members who gave their staff bonuses in 2012. Capuano's staff was given an apparent $69,100.00 in bonus money.[35]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, Capuano's net worth as of 2011 was estimated between $396,028 and $2,432,997. This averages to $1,414,512, which is a 12.08% increase since 2010. This is lower than the $5,107,874 average net worth for Democratic representatives in 2011.[36]


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, Capuano's net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $261,028 and $2,262,995. That averages to $1,262,011.50, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic representatives in 2010 of $4,465,875.[37]


Capuano and his wife Barbara have two children.

Recent news

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External links

Suggest a link


  1. Politico, "2012 Election Map, Massachusetts"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, "Michael Everett Capuano," Accessed September 1, 2011
  3. Joan Puglia for Ward 7, "PDS Questionnaire," August 8, 2011
  4., "House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress"
  5. Official House Website, "Committees and Caucuses," Accessed on August 31, 2011
  6. 6.0 6.1 Yahoo, "65 Lawmakers Ask Obama to Consult on Syria," accessed August 28, 2013
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Politico, "33 lawmakers: Congress must approve Syria action," accessed August 28, 2013
  8. 8.0 8.1 Mike Capuano Campaign site, "Bio," Accessed September 1, 2011
  9. U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," Accessed January 4, 2013.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Mike Capuano for Congress, "Issues," August 14, 2012
  11. Boston Globe, "Murray adds to the buzz over 2014 governor’s race," November 15, 2012
  12. The Phoenix, "The Gathering Storm," November 7, 2012
  13. Boston Herald, "Redistricting throws U.S. Reps. Keating, Lynch into likely faceoff," Accessed January 22, 2012
  14. Mike Capuano's Campaign Website, "Endorsements," Accessed October 4, 2012)
  15. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  16. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008," accessed March 28, 2013
  17. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2006," accessed March 28, 2013
  18. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2004," accessed March 28, 2013
  19. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 2002," accessed March 28, 2013
  20. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2000," accessed March 28, 2013
  21. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 3, 1998," accessed March 28, 2013
  22. Open Secrets, "Michael Capuano," Accessed May 16, 2013
  23. Federal Election Commission "Michael Capuano Summary Report," Accessed July 25, 2013
  24. Federal Election Commission "Michael Capuano April Quarterly," Accessed July 25, 2013
  25. Federal Election Commission "Michael Capuano July Quarterly," Accessed July 25, 2013
  26. Open Secrets, " 2012 Re-Election Cycle," Accessed February 15, 2013
  27. GovTrack, "Michael Capuano," Accessed June 25, 2013
  28. OpenCongress, "Michael Capuano," Accessed August 5, 2013
  29. GovTrack, "Capuano," Accessed May 23, 2012
  30. National Journal, "TABLE: House Liberal Scores by Issue Area," February 26, 2013
  31. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," February 23, 2012
  32. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  33. GovTrack, "Michael Capuano" Accessed April 2013
  34. LegiStorm, "Mike Capuano"
  35. CNN Politics, "Congressional bonuses in a time of cuts," accessed March 8, 2013
  36., "Capuano, (D-Mass), 2011"
  37., "Capuano, (D-Mass), 2010"
Political offices
Preceded by
Ed Markey
U.S. House of Representatives - Massachusetts District 7
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Joseph Kennedy II
U.S. House of Representatives - Massachusetts District 8
Succeeded by
Stephen Lynch