State Rep Paul Holvey has had a long career and gotten a few good things done. But in recent years, he's abandoned the progressive values that he originally ran on. Some of his actions have even called into question who he answers to (hint: not voters!).
Supporting the Paul Holvey recall doesn't mean we think he's a bad person... it just means we think it's time for him to step aside.
In recent years, Paul Holvey has abandoned working families. He legislates by a double-standard where big business and anti-worker lobbyists get extra effort and consideration, but pro-worker bills are tossed aside without a second thought. Plus, in recent years he's made bizarre and questionable decisions:
Doing La Mota's Dirty Work
After his caucus was showered with cash from the ethically-troubled cannabis company La Mota, La Mota's attorney asked Paul Holvey to kill a bill that would have protected workers' organizing rights. He refused to give it a vote in his own Business and Labor Committee, and then sent it to Rep. Julie Fahey's Committee to be killed. Even after the bill was out of his committee, Holvey continued to post false and damaging information about the bill until it was declared dead.
Slashing Working People's Pensions
Paul Holvey officially took the lead on slashing pension benefits in 2019. Despite extraordinary opposition from labor unions of all kinds as well as legal advice suggesting it was a bad idea, Holvey muscled the bill through the House Floor, which slashed pensions of teachers, firefighters, and other public employees by as much as 12%. But Holvey made sure to protect the Legislature's own sweetheart pension deal just for lawmakers!
Killing Front-Line Worker Assistance
Paul Holvey was briefly Acting Speaker of the House after Tina Kotek left to run for Governor. Kotek had been working on a front-line worker assistance bill that would have provided needed relief to many families who put their health on the line during the COVID crisis. Just before the 2022 Session began, Paul Holvey told supporters that the bill would not be moving forward because it was too complex, despite all details having already been worked out before he became Acting Speaker.
Is this it? No, not really. There are a number of other reasons Paul Holvey is ready for retirement, including accepting suspect campaign contributions and being part of an anti-union leadership trying to stymie the Legislators' own staff from organizing.
But most importantly: Paul Holvey is Chair of the House Committee on Business and Labor, which means all workforce issues must go through him, and many don't survive. The Representative from one of the most progressive House Districts in the State of Oregon should be held to a high standard.
Oregon deserves better leadership, and Paul Holvey deserves a rest after a long career that is becoming more and more troublesome.