Michael C. Thompson
|U.S. Representative from California's 5th Congressional District|
From: January 3, 2013-present
|Successor||Incumbent (no successor)|
|U.S. Representative from California's 1st Congressional District|
From: January 3, 1999-January 3, 2013
Michael C. "Mike" Thompson, M.C. is the United States Representative for California's 5th congressional district and was the Representative for California's First congressional district in the 106th through 112th Congresses. Before that he was a California State Senator (1990-1998). He is a liberal Democrat and Roman Catholic who is pro-choice.
Early Life and Education
Thompson was born in St. Helena, California on January 24, 1951, and graduated from St. Helena High School. He served in the United States Army during 1969–1972, and was stationed in Vietnam where he was wounded in action, receiving a Purple Heart. In 1982, he received a Bachelor of Arts from Chico State University. He went back to Chico State University to receive his MPA degree in 1996.
The Congressman owned and managed Beringer Winery prior to his political career. He also taught public administration and state government at CSU Chico.
His spouse is Janet Thompson, a family nurse practitioner. They have two children.
Thompson was nominated to the 1990 Democratic ticket for State Senator, 2nd District, and won the election. He was reelected in 1994. He was selected to chair the Budget Committee and sponsored the Welfare Reform Act. Due to term limits, he was ineligible for reelection in 1998, and instead ran for the open U.S. Representative seat. He was replaced by Wesley Chesbro.
Election to the House
In 1998, Thompson was nominated to the Democratic ticket to face incumbent Frank Riggs. Due to public discontent with the policies of his predecessor and his popularity as a State Senator, Thompson won the election and was duly sworn in on January 3, 1999. After being elected, he founded the Congressional Wine Caucus, which is designed to make Congressmen aware of the concerns of the winemaking industry.
The fact that he is Catholic and pro-choice has led to some controversy; however, he managed to win re-election in 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012. In the House, he has served on the House Ways and Means Committee, which has authority over revenue bills and the Intelligence Committee where he chairs the Terrorism Subcommittee. He tends to toe the party line on most issues.
Passenger Bill of Rights
In 2007, he introduced the Airplane Passenger Bill of Rights, a bill that if passed would require airlines to allow passengers to deplane after delays over three hours. It would require water and food to be distributed as well. Currently it is still stuck in committee.
Congressman Thompson enjoys considerable popularity among his constituents. This is due to the pork he has brought to the district, both in grant money and projects, as well as the fact that the Democratic party enjoys and has enjoyed a majority of the voters in the first district.