Myths and Facts:
Correcting Rep. Holvey's false statements
More to come! Check this space for updates!
Rep. Holvey is facing a recall because he asked questions about a bill.
Rep. Holvey describes on his website why he thinks he's targeted for a recall:
"This recall effort was launched... because I asked questions about a potential piece of legislation they were pushing. Asking questions is foundational to the job of being a State Representative and Chair of the Business and Labor Committee; it ensures there are no unintended consequences to our community and the people of Oregon."
Holvey's "asking questions" never happened, and his track record backs that up.
There's a few things to note here.
We know that Rep. Holvey is not actually interested in "asking questions," because he hasn't asked any! Although Rep. Holvey says: "Asking questions is foundational" to his job, he asked a grand total of zero questions at the hearing for the bill in question (HB 3183), even when a labor policy expert came from out of state specifically to be available for discussion on this legislation. You can watch the hearing for yourself here and decide if you think Rep. Holvey lived up to his stated values.
Holvey also refused to have any meetings or discussion about the bill at all between the fall of 2022, when his office was first contacted about the bill, up to the beginning of the 2023 session. And even then Holvey raised no concerns. Despite Rep. Holvey pushing the premise that he was carefully examining the bill, he made no effort to reach out and ask questions or request information from the supporters of the bill.
Holvey typically hasn't cared about unintended consequences. Rep. Holvey's false concern about ensuring that "there are no unintended consequences" when he passes bills is not something he's been historically concerned about. While versions of HB 3183 have been enacted in several other states for years without challenges or unintended consequences, he's always been up for steering the state into trouble when it suits big business:
In 2012, Holvey voted for HB 4200 in a Special Session, which allowed the State to enter into 30-year contracts where the State of Oregon was expected to cover certain losses. This bill was introduced the morning of December 14, 2012, and despite the complex long-term implications, Holvey voted in favor of it several hours later (even though a full Legislative Session would begin in a few weeks). There is no legal analysis in the record for that bill.
In 2013, despite cautionary memos from attorneys, Holvey voted for SB 822 which attempted to slash public employee pensions. Holvey didn't raise a peep against the bill and in fact supported it, and of course the bill ended up getting overturned by the Supreme Court shortly thereafter.
In 2019, Holvey took the lead on trying to slash pension benefits once again with SB 1049, despite another cautionary memo from Legislative Counsel that came on the heels of the previous court case on August 31, 2016. Through some creative re-defining of terms, the State managed to pass legal muster after a costly legal battle.
So for Rep. Holvey to say now that he cares about unintended consequences, with such a track record, is either disingenuous or simply a double-standard that is great for big business and terrible for workers. Either way, we deserve better!