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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).
Record and controversies
Olver voted against the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 that started the Iraq War.
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 as of June 2007.
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.
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).
Olver was unsuccessfully 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. 
Nathan A. Bech
Olver also faced an unsuccessful 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 was endorsed by Jane Swift, who came extremely close to unseating Olver despite the 1996 Clinton landslide.
Money in politics
This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. <crpcontribdata>cid=N00000143&cycle=2006</crpcontribdata>
|Links to more campaign contribution information for John Olver
from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org site.
|Fundraising profile:||2006 election cycle||Career totals|
|Top contributors by organization/corporation:||2006 election cycle||Career totals|
|Top contributors by industry:||2006 election cycle||Career totals|
- Revolving door profile for John Olver from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org website.
- 2006 privately funded travel profile for John Olver from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org website.
- Personal finance profile for John Olver from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org website.
Committees and affiliations
- 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
District Office- Fitchburg:
463 Main Street
Fitchburg, MA 01420
District Office- Holyoke:
57 Suffolk Street, Suite 310
Holyoke, MA 01040
District Office- Pittsfield:
78 Center Street
Pittsfield, MA 01202
Articles and resources
Local blogs and discussion sites
|Current Office: U.S. House of Representatives|
Ranking Member On:
Ranking Member On:
Albanian Issues Caucus, Congressional Climate Change Caucus, Congressional Competitiveness Caucus, Congressional Human Rights Caucus, Congressional Travel and Tourism Caucus, Whip/Executive Committee,
|Committees: House Committee on Appropriations, House Committee on Appropriations/Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, House Committee on Appropriations/Subcommittee on Interior and Environment and Related Agencies, House Committee on Appropriations/Subcommittee on Transportation Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies,|
|First Elected to Current Office:
June 4, 1991
|First Took Current Office:
June 4, 1991
November 2, 2010
|Previous Political Work?
Massachusetts Senate, Massachusetts House of Representatives,
|Other Party Membership:|
|Zip Code Affiliations:|
Date of Birth: September 3, 1936
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