Commissioner of Labor and Industries

April 10, 2018

Candidates for Oregon Commissioner of Labor and Industries

Oregon Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries is a nonpartisan position; incumbents serve 4-year terms.

“The mission of the Bureau of Labor and Industries is to protect employment rights, advance employment opportunities, and protect access to housing and public accommodations free from discrimination.”--

The Commissioner’s decisions affect citizen workers, many of whom face unemployment or depressed wages because employers are allowed to hire illegal aliens, undermining wage and employment standards for all workers.

There are only 3 candidates for this office: Jack Howard of La Grande, Val Hoyle of Eugene, and Lou Ogden of Tualatin.  None of them replied to the Oregon Abigail Adams Voter Education Project survey which included questions on immigration policy.  Candidate Hoyle is known to be a strong supporter of benefits to illegal aliens; see details below. Candidates Ogden and Howard appear not to have made, as of April 10, any statements on immigration policy.  

Voters can visit the candidate websites of Ogden and Howard and contact them requesting information on their positions on immigration policy:

Lou Ogden:

Jack Howard:

Val Hoyle:

Lou Ogden has been Mayor of Tualatin since 1994 and is now completing his 6th term.  According to his Facebook page, he was endorsed for his 1994 reelection race by both State Senator Richard Devlin and Congressman Greg Walden. Ogden’s 2018 filing paper with the Secretary of Labor’s office does not show a party affiliation. 

Some of Ogden’s endorsements in the 2018 race: Congressman Greg Walden, Tualatin Chamber of Commerce, Oregon Small Business Association PAC, Oregon Family Farms Association PAC, Washington County Commission Chair Andy Duyck, Happy Valley Mayor Lori Chavez-DeRemer, and various elected leaders throughout the state.  See full list on his website.

In a wide-ranging interview posted by the Oregon Catalyst, Ogden said:  “Every decision the Commissioner makes has a consequence, and more often than not, those consequences are directly impacting front-line workers.”  

Jack Howard is currently completing his first term (2015-2019) as a Union County Commissioner.  His biography on the Council Commission’s website says: “Jack Howard’s previous work includes a decade as a freelance writer and researcher, five years as an English teacher, and a lawyer.”  His website gives general statements about his political ideas. His filing paper with the Secretary of State indicates affiliation with the Democratic Party.

Val Hoyle, of Eugene, served as a State Representative for several years, beginning in 2009. She represented House District 14.  She became House Democratic Leader, and later resigned in 2016 to run for Secretary of State, losing that race to Dennis Richardson.

Val Hoyle’s record on immigration issues is very poor.  During her time in the Legislature, she had an influential role in the management of bills that favored illegal aliens.

Val Hoyle was originally appointed to the House to fill the unexpired term of Chris Edwards; then she was elected in 2010 and following years. She was named Assistant House Democratic Leader for the 2011 session, then became House Democratic Leader for the 2013 session and also for the 2015 session.  In the 2015 session, besides being House Democratic Leader, she was Chair of the House Rules Committee, and a member of these committees:  Joint Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Capital Construction; Joint Committee on Legislative Administration.  

In the 2013 Legislative session, she voted to make SB 833, granting driver cards for illegal aliens, a special order of business, enabling fast-tracking of the bill through the House without a House hearing.  The next day, April 30, the bill was voted on in the House, and she voted Aye to driver cards for illegal aliens.  Also, in 2013, she was a sponsor of HB 2787, providing instate tuition for illegal aliens, and she voted for it.   

In 2014, she almost certainly was a decisive voice in rewriting the ballot title of Measure 88; this measure (88) was the veto referendum on SB 833.  The bill calling for a rewrite, HB 4054, was pre-session introduced at the request of the House Interim Committee on Rules.  Rep. Hoyle was Chair of the House Rules Committee.  She voted for the bill when it came before the House which passed it on Feb. 27.  Because there was widespread disapproval of this attempt to hamper public understanding of the bill, the bill was not voted on by the Senate, and it died.   

One of the first bills heard in the House in 2015 was HB 2177, automatic, universal voter registration which increases chances for illegal alien voting.  It was also fast-tracked, with a public hearing on Feb. 2, work session on Feb. 4, Rules suspended on Feb.18 and House vote on Feb. 20.  Rep. Hoyle voted Aye.  Fast tracking continued in the Senate which held no hearing, and the bill became law on March 16.

She also voted in 2015 for SB 932, college tuition grants for illegal aliens.