Why Joe Olivo’s name sounds familiar

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If you listened to NPR this morning, you might have caught a segment on how the Affordable Care Act affects small businesses. It featured a quote from Joe Olivo, who runs a printing business in New Jersey, who made less than flattering comments about the law. NBC Nightly News ran a segment last night, featuring the exact same guy.

What I didn’t know is that Joe Olivo doesn’t appear to be just another random small business owner. Steve M. made a fascinating observation.

[A]s it turns out, Joe Olivo of Perfect Printing turns up quite a bit in public discussions of this and other issues. Here he is testifying against the health care law before House and Senate committees in January 2011. Here he is on the Fox Business Network around the same time, discussing the same subject. Here he is a few days ago, also on Fox Business, talking to John Stossel about the law. Here he is discussing the same subject on a New Jersey Fox affiliate.

And here he is in July 2010 discussing small business hiring with Neil Cavuto on Fox News. Here he is opposing an increase in the minimum wage in an msnbc debate a couple of weeks ago.

Go to many of these links and you find out something about Joe Olivo that NPR and NBC didn’t tell you: he’s a member of the National Federation of Independent Business. 

If the name “National Federation of Independent Business” sounds familiar, there’s a good reason for that: yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act has a specific case name: National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius.

What’s more, as Steve M. added, the NFIB – which promotes Olivo’s public appearances – is also “linked to the ALEC and Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS,” which are obviously conservative outlets.

In fairness, I don’t know Olivo or anything about his business. The Affordable Care Act is generally a great help to small businesses trying to expand coverage for their employees, but maybe Olivo has legitimate concerns. I’d need more information.

The larger point, though, is that when the public sees Olivo doing interviews, it’s worth keeping in mind that he’s not just expressing his own perspective; he appears to be representing the interests of a group trying to kill the health care reform law.

Why Joe Olivo's name sounds familiar

Updated