John Olver

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This is a profile of a former U.S. Representative. (See the Massachusetts portal for all incumbents, candidates and blogs.)
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John Walter Olver has been a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives since 1991, representing the First District of Massachusetts, a primarily rural district that makes up most of Western Massachusetts(map). He has been challenged by attorney Robert Feuer in the 2008 Democratic primary. (See 2008 Elections below)


Record and controversies

Congressional scorecards

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Organization 2007 Scorecard
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2008 Scorecard
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Iraq War

Olver voted against the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 that started the Iraq War.[1]

For more information see the chart of U.S. House of Representatives votes on the Iraq War.

Environmental record

For more information on environmental legislation, see the Energy and Environment Policy Portal

Climate Stewardship Act of 2007 (H.R.620)

Olver introduced the Climate Stewardship Act of 2007 (H.R.620) to the House on January 22, 2007 to "accelerate the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States by establishing a market-driven system of greenhouse gas tradeable allowances that will limit greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, reduce dependence upon foreign oil, and ensure benefits to consumers from the trading in such allowances, and for other purposes." It was the House version of the Senate's Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act (CSIA) of 2007 (S.280). It attracted 128 cosponsors[2] as of June 2007.

Main article: U.S. congressional action on climate change#Climate Stewardship Act of 2007 (H.R.620)



Olver was born September 3, 1936 in Honesdale, Pennsylvania, but has called Amherst, Massachusetts home since 1963. He earned a Bachelor of Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a Master's degree from Tufts University, and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He served as a chemistry professor at the Franklin Technical Institute in Joplin, Missouri, at MIT and at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He served two terms as a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1969 to 1973, and then nine terms in the Massachusetts Senate from 1973 to 1991.

Congressional Career

On February 18, 1991, first district congressman Silvio Conte died just one month after taking office for his 17th term. That June, Olver, who had just been sworn in for his 10th term in the state senate, narrowly defeated Republican Steve Pierce in a special election for the 1st District Congressional seat. He won the seat in his own right by 8 points in 1992 and has only faced one truly serious challenge since, from future governor of Massachusetts Jane Swift in 1996 (the same year Governor William Weld gave Senator John Kerry the closest race a Democratic senator has faced in Massachusetts in almost two decades).

2006 elections

No major candidates announced their intentions to contest Olver’s seat in the November 2006 election. (See U.S. congressional elections in 2006) [1]

2008 elections

Robert Feuer

Olver has been challenged by attorney Robert Feuer in the 2008 Democratic primary. Feuer's said his challenge was spurred by Olver's strong resistance to supporting the impeachment of President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. despite overwhelming sentiment in favor of impeachment in the traditionally liberal First District, which went 63% for Kerry in the 2004 presidential election. The district, however, was represented by Republicans from before the Civil War until Conte's death in 1991. Feuer calls impeachment a "duty" of the Congress. [2]

Nathan A. Bech

Olver also faces a challenge from West Springfield Republican Nathan Bech, a veteran of the wars in Iraq (an assignment he specifically requested) and Afghanistan. Bech grew up in heavily-Hispanic North End of Springfield, Massachusetts. Bech is a Middle East policy expert, having studied in the region and at the University of Massachusetts - Amherst. Bech is also an honorary member of the Republic of Georgia's military. He is fluent in Russian and Spanish. Bech completed his diploma requirements at West Springfield High School in three years, spending the fourth year studying in India on a Rotary International scholarship. He has run his family's business in West Springfield for several years. Bech has been endorsed by Jane Swift, who came extremely close to unseating Olver despite the 1996 Clinton landslide.[3]

Money in politics

This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. For specific controversies, see this article's record and controversies section.

Campaign contribution data could not be found.

Links to more campaign contribution information for John Olver
from the Center for Responsive Politics' site.
Fundraising profile: 2008 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by organization/corporation: 2008 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by industry: 2008 election cycle Career totals

Committees and Affiliations


Committees in the 110th Congress (2007-2008)

  • House Committee on Appropriations
    • Subcommittee on Energy and Water
    • Subcommittee on Interior and Environment
    • Subcommittee on Transportation, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development, -Chair

Committee assignments in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)

  • House Committee on Appropriations
    • Subcommittee on Interior and Environment and Related Agencies
    • Subcommittee on Transportation Treasury and Housing and Urban Development The Judiciary District of Columbia - Ranking Minority Member

Coalitions and Caucuses

  • Co-Chair, Albanian Issues Caucus
  • Co-Chair, Congressional Climate Change Caucus
  • Congressional Competitiveness Caucus
  • Congressional Human Rights Caucus
  • Congressional Travel and Tourism Caucus
  • Whip/Executive Committee, Democratic Study Group
  • National Guard & Reserve Components Congressional Members Organization

More Background Data

Wikipedia also has an article on John Olver. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.


DC office
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District offices
  • 463 Main Street, Fitchburg, MA 01420
    Ph: 978-342-8722 Fax: (none entered)
  • 57 Suffolk Street, Suite 310, Holyoke, MA 01040
    Ph: 413-532-7010 Fax: (none entered)
  • 78 Center Street, Pittsfield, MA 01202
    Ph: 413-442-0946 Fax: (none entered)
On the Web
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Campaign office
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Articles and Resources

Local blogs and discussion sites

Semantic data (Edit data)