Pro-Holvey, Anti-Ems

Readers continue to weigh in on the recall Rep. Paul Holvey attempt and building a new stadium for the Eugene Emeralds


Recently, I was approached by a canvasser holding a clipboard, and the person asked, “Do you think we should hold our public officials responsible?” I quickly thought to myself, why not? Who wouldn’t want to support that? I walked toward the canvasser, and asked what exactly they meant. Then came a barrage of odd comments about how Rep. Paul Holvey was a poor legislator and an enemy of unions in Oregon.

I was baffled, as this could not be further from the truth. When I asked for clarification, each signature gatherer blasted out distorted truths as arguments and not reasons, rather than sharing any accurate examples to support their points. Canvassers have also been knocking on doors in my neighborhood. The main point they shared was, “Paul Holvey has been in office for 20 years,” but not much beyond that. They did mention something about the lack of cannabis unions, blaming Holvey, which is not accurate. 

I recently talked with a person who stopped working for the recall effort. They are paid to gather signatures. At some point, this person asked for more clarification about what Holvey had done that was so wrong, but was told to not worry about it. Just get the signatures.

Public engagement is a cornerstone to improving our democracy, but it is extremely troubling to hear these canvassers spreading misinformation rather than sharing concrete reasons on behalf of their actions. Please join me in saying no to these manipulative canvassing practices, and do not sign the petition to recall Holvey.

Mary Ann Petersen
House District 8 PCP Chair 


As a longtime community leader, I have known Paul Holvey for three decades. He has worked diligently as a union leader, community leader and legislator to advance workers’ interests as well as progressive environmental and social policies. The current recall effort against him is disingenuous and wrongheaded. It would be laughable if it wasn’t so potentially damaging.

We cannot afford to lose Holvey’s effective, principled leadership in the Oregon House of Representatives. He has skillfully chaired the House Committee on Business and Labor, forging bipartisan compromises and leading critical worker campaigns for paid sick leave, minimum wage increases, fair overtime rules, protection of farmworkers, worker safety and health, and so many other issues. He scrutinizes every bill that comes before him, as he should. He has also been central to environmental advances such as banning field burning and forging the “blue-green” labor-environmental coalition. He is the hardest working legislator I know.

The recall attempt by the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555 (UFCW) is so misguided, that NO other Oregon labor union supports their campaign. In fact, many labor unions (including SEIU 49, Oregon Nurses Association, NW Carpenters Union, IronWorkers 29, Oregon Building Trades, PCUN, and LiUNA) have publicly stepped up in support of him.

 Why has UFCW weaponized the recall process by targeting a hard-working, honest, pro-worker legislator who has earned overwhelming support from the voters in his district? The issue is UFCW insisted on trying to pass a deeply flawed bill that violates the federal National Labor Relations Act. Holvey along with other legislators decided it would be irresponsible to pass legislation that was preempted by federal law, inviting expensive and lengthy litigation for the state. Rather than accepting this, UFCW has taken an egregious action that is clearly not in their members best interest. In fact, UFCW’s lobbyist Michael Selvaggio just had some of his lobbying credentials suspended and is facing an Oregon Government Ethics Commission complaint because of unethical behavior connected to this recall.

I wager that rank-and-file UFCW members in grocery stores would be extremely upset if they found out the truth. UFCW’s lobbyists and “leaders” have already spent over $100,000 of their hard-earned dues money on this recall. That includes paid signature gatherers, not citizen campaigners working on a worthy cause — many of whom do not even live in House District 8. The only silver lining in this sad saga is that hundreds of people are showing their support for an outstanding person and legislator, Rep. Paul Holvey. If this reckless recall makes the ballot, please join me in saying no!

 Margaret Hallock


Locally funded stadiums are a scam. University of Chicago economist Allen Sanderson once said that “If you want to inject money into the local economy, it would be better to drop it from a helicopter than invest it in a new ballpark.” 

A 2017 poll of economists believed funding stadiums with tax revenue cost taxpayers more than the construction would generate. A comprehensive survey in the Journal of Economic Surveys (Feb. 3, 2022) concluded that “the large subsidies commonly devoted to constructing professional sports venues are not justified as worthwhile public investments.” 

Despite the overwhelming evidence showing new stadiums do nothing, and teams give far less to the community than they claim in economic impact statements, taxpayers are continually bamboozled into giving their money to billionaires to fund pet projects. Most economists agree that if the same money earmarked for stadium construction was put into other growth areas, the result would be equal, if not greater.

My property taxes have doubled in the last decade. And I want my tax dollars to work for the entire community. Rather than subsidizing sports stadiums, fully fund our library, support the Extension Service, create more community gardens, repair and expand the walking/bike paths. 

If the Ems’ owners want a new stadium, they can open a GoFundMe site or organize several hundred bake sales. Sports facilities don’t pay off for taxpayers or their cities. Billionaires get richer at the expense of taxpayers.

It has to stop.

Sarah Ruth

Comments are closed.