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.
Integrity Award recipients currently serve or have served in elected office and have demonstrated the following in their public lives:
— A strong commitment to public service
— A commitment to justice, to fair processes, and a concern for all members of society
— Integrity: They are honest and not corrupt, genuine and not characterized by deception. They demonstrate moral soundness especially in dealings that test steadfastness to truth and purpose, and insist on honesty and lack of corruption in others in public office.
— Independence: They are unmoved by influence and political expediency.
— Courage: They are willing to take principled stands even at a great political cost and face adversity with steadfast purpose even when the risk is great.
The Wayne Morse Integrity in Politics Award is offered in response to recurring challenges in our nation’s civic life and honors the pledge Senator Morse made to his constituentsade 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 and U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, Oregon
2019: U.S. Representative Peter DeFazio, Oregon
WAYNE MORSE INTEGRITY IN POLITICS AWARD 2021
On September 1, 2021, WMHPC was honored to present the 11th Wayne Lyman Morse Integrity in Politics Award to U. S. Representative Peter DeFazio, who represents Oregon’s Fourth District. The event, held in the UO Knight Law Center Courtyard, included remarks by UO School of Law Dean Marcilynn Burke and Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis, together with history about Morse, the WMHPC and the IPA. Congressman DeFazio received the Award Plaque from Board President Johnny Earl.
A video of Congressman DeFazio’s acceptance statement may be viewed here.
Congressman DeFazio, dean of the Oregon Congressional Delegation, served in the House of Representatives for 34 years. Throughout his tenure in the House and his service as Chair or Ranking Member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, he demonstrated Wayne Morse’s confident, just and bold commitment to serving the public good. He took the Morse pledge for principle and independence of judgment to his work in the House and especially exemplified Senator Morse’s fierce defense of the public interest – a hallmark of the Congressman’s work for his District and our Nation.