Wayne Morse Integrity in Politics Award

In 1987, the Wayne Morse Historical Park Corporation launched the national 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.

  • I will exercise an independence of judgement 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. – Wayne Morse

It is awarded to an individual who has demonstrated an extraordinary level of integrity and independence, a commitment to justice, and a willingness to take a principled stand even at great political cost.

Nominations are reviewed by the WMHPC Board as well as former occupants of the Wayne Morse Chair of Law and Politics at the University of Oregon.

Recipients of the Wayne Morse Integrity in Politics Award meet the following criteria:

  • They currently serve or have served in elected office.
  • They have demonstrated extraordinary integrity; that is, they are honest and uncorrupt, genuine, and not characterized by deception. Further, they actively insist on honesty and lack of corruption in others in public office. Thus they demonstrate moral soundness, especially in dealings that test steadfastness to truth and purpose.
  •  They have demonstrated a commitment to justice, that is, they have a commitment to fair processes and a concern for all members of society.
  • They have demonstrated independence, that is they are unmoved by influence and political expediency.
  • They have demonstrated courage, that is, they are willing to take principled stands even at great political cost and have the ability to face adversity with steadfast purpose even when the risk is great.

Former Recipients:
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 (currently Chair, National Endowment for the Humanities)
2002: U.S. Representative Barbara Lee, California