Wayne Morse Integrity in Politics Award
In 1987, the Wayne Morse Historical Park Corporation launched the Wayne Morse Integrity in Politics Award to encourage integrity in politics and government. The Award recognizes elected officials who uphold the ideals exemplified and upheld by Oregon’s U. S. Senator Wayne Morse throughout his political life and career.
Recipients of the Wayne Morse Integrity in Politics Award have met the following criteria:
They currently serve or have served in elected office
They have demonstrated
— strong commitment to public service
— integrity, that is, demonstrating moral soundness especially in dealings that test
— steadfastness to truth and purpose.
— commitment to justice, that is, to fair processes and a concern for all members of society
— independence, unmoved by influence and political expediency
— courage, that is, a willingness to take principled stands even at a great political cost
The Wayne Morse Integrity in Politics Award plaque restates the pledge Morse made to his constituents:
I will exercise an independence of judgment based on the evidence of each issue. I will weigh the views of my constituents and party but cast my vote free of political pressure and unmoved by threats of loss of political support.
1987: Rose Bird, Chief Justice, California Supreme Court
1988: U.S. Senator Lowell Weicker, Connecticut
1989: President James Carter
1991: U.S. Senator Paul Simon, Illinois
1993: U.S. Representative Henry Gonzales, Texas
1995: U.S. Senator William Proxmire, Wisconsin
1997: U.S. Representative Jim Leach, Iowa
2002: U.S. Representative Barbara Lee, California
2018: U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley, Oregon
2018: U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, Oregon
2021: U.S. Representative Peter DeFazio, Oregon
WAYNE MORSE INTEGRITY IN POLITICS AWARD 2021
WMHPC is honored to name U. S. Representative Peter DeFazio as the 11th recipient of the Wayne Morse Integrity in Politics Award.
Oregon is privileged to count Congressman DeFazio among its distinguished public servants. Throughout his tenure in the House of Representatives and his service as Chair or Ranking Member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, DeFazio has demonstrated Wayne Morse’s confident, just and bold commitment to serving the public good. He has taken the Morse pledge for independence of judgment to his work in the House and especially taken to heart Senator Morse’s fierce defense of the public interest.
The current challenges in our nation’s civic life compelled WMHPC to offer the Integrity Award this year. Through the Award, we call for and call out principled action on behalf of the public good – action which has been a hallmark of Congressman DeFazio’s work for the people of his District and our Nation.
Presentation of the Award to the Congressman will be made at a date yet to be determined.
Wayne Morse Integrity in Politics Award 2018
The Wayne Morse Historical Park Corporation selected Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden as co-recipients of the 2018 Wayne Morse Integrity in Politics Award. Honoring the legacy of Senator Wayne Morse, the award recognizes elected officials who demonstrate the highest level of integrity, and a willingness to take principled action on behalf of the public good, even at considerable political cost.
“At a perilous moment in our national project, Oregon is privileged to have you in the United States Senate,” WMHPC Board President, Johnny Earl, wrote to the award winners. He pointed out the Board believed . . . “both . . . demonstrate a clear example of Morse’s character and willingness to speak out in defense of the less unfortunate and challenge the overzealousness of the current Administration. . . [They]. . . embody the collaborative and intellectual spirit of Morse which is desperately needed as this nation faces the rapid decline of its moral fiber.”
The Wayne Morse Integrity Award plaque was presented to Senator Wyden on December 2, 2018, at his 913th Town Hall at South Eugene High School. Senator Merkley received his Integrity Award plaque at his January 3,, 2019, Town Hall at Hamlin Middle School in Springfield.