New Hatfield biography focuses on early years, governorship


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With Senate papers ensuing from open, historian praises ‘admirable leadership,’ however moreover touches on later scandals.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Richard W. Etulain, a resident of Clackamas and a distinguished historian of the West, has written 'Mark O. Hatfield: Oregon Statesman.'Had Richard Etulain graduated 4 years after he entered Northwest Nazarene College, he would have heard a 36-year-old Mark Hatfield talk on the commencement ceremony in May 1959.

But Etulain took a further 12 months to accumulate a bachelor’s diploma from what’s now a university in Nampa, Idaho. He was pursuing an Oregon dairyman’s daughter who would later flip into his partner. So he didn’t hear Hatfield, then and now the youngest particular person ever elected governor of Oregon.

That modified all through his six years in graduate work on the University of Oregon, the place Etulain earned a grasp’s in American literature in 1962 and a doctorate in American literature and historic previous in 1966. He was able to vote for Hatfield’s reelection as governor in 1962 and Hatfield’s nomination for U.S. senator throughout the 1996 Republican main. But he left Oregon sooner than Hatfield acquired the first of 5 phrases throughout the Senate that fall.

Etulain, now 83, calls himself a lifelong Democrat.

“But I fell in love with Mark Hatfield’s style,” he talked about. “I saw him as a person who could work across the aisle.”

Etulain and his partner, Joyce, a retired children’s librarian, keep in Clackamas. His tutorial occupation took him once more to his alma mater, then Idaho State University, and the University of New Mexico, the place he directed the Center for the American West. He is the creator or editor of larger than 60 books, along with Abraham Lincoln and Civil War politics throughout the Northwest, and William S. U’Ren, father of the Oregon System of the initiative, referendum and recall.

Etulain can also be the creator of “Mark O. Hatfield: Oregon Statesman,” the first biography as a result of the previous Oregon governor and senator died in 2011 on the age of 89. It was printed in 2021, nonetheless the upcoming centennial of Hatfield’s supply supplies it additional import.

The book focuses on Hatfield’s early years and the governorship — Hatfield was the first Oregon governor throughout the twentieth century to serve two full phrases, from 1959 until he turned a senator in 1967 — nonetheless solely summarizes (in 30 pages) his 30 years throughout the Senate.

Etulain talked about Hatfield’s Senate papers, which might be housed throughout the library that bears his title at Willamette University in Salem, are scheduled to be open to researchers on the one hundredth anniversary of Hatfield’s supply on July 12.

Etulain doesn’t gloss over Hatfield’s failings, nonetheless says his is “a sympathetic biography.”

“Even after I make allowance for his mistakes and where I disagree with his conclusions, I think him a role model for politicians,” he wrote throughout the preface.

Though Hatfield wrote a book a decade sooner than his dying — “Against the Grain: Confessions of a Rebel Republican,” printed in 2001 — he moreover talked about he felt he was not the simplest resolve of his place in historic previous.

Other than his 93-year-old widow, Antoinette, most of those in Hatfield’s early political circle have died. The latest on March 13 was Gerry Frank of Salem, the one-time division retailer proprietor who led Hatfield’s 1966 Senate advertising and marketing marketing campaign and was his Senate chief of staff and explicit assistant from 1967 to 1992. Frank was 98.

Humble beginnings

PMG PHOTO: PETER WONG - 'Mark O. Hatfield: Oregon Statesman' is the first biography since the death of the former Oregon governor and U.S. senator at age 89 in 2011. Hatfield, an solely child, was born throughout the mid-Willamette Valley metropolis of Dallas. His father, Charles Dolen Hatfield, was a blacksmith and railroad employee, a Methodist and a Democrat. His mother, Dovie Odom, was a coach — she purchased her educating credential from Oregon State University — a Baptist and a Republican. The family moved to Salem in 1931.

Though Hatfield in no way misplaced an election for public office in 4 a very long time, from his first bid for the Oregon House in 1950 until his remaining victory for the U.S. Senate in 1990, Etulain notes that Hatfield misplaced tries for scholar physique president in highschool and Willamette University.

His Navy service in World War II lined the seaborne invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, and a go to to Hiroshima after the 1945 atomic explosion destroyed the Japanese metropolis. His ship moreover stopped in Haiphong, then part of French Indochina, in what figured into Hatfield’s later opposition to U.S. navy participation throughout the Vietnam War.

Hatfield acknowledged early with Republicans. His grasp’s thesis at Stanford University was about Herbert Hoover’s relations with labor sooner than Hoover turned president. After Hatfield turned a political science trainer at Willamette University and was elected to the Oregon House, he was an early supporter of Dwight Eisenhower for president in 1952. He was a delegate to the 1952 convention the place Eisenhower prevailed over Robert Taft, who was favored by social gathering stalwarts.

Etulain talked about that in distinction collectively together with his later years in public life, Hatfield began his political occupation as a relatively typical Republican in assist of restricted authorities, centered on state and native in its place of federal efforts, and better stewardship of most of the people’s money.

“But Mark Hatfield was more interested than most Republicans in helping people socially,” Etulain talked about.

Hatfield led the House committee that handed Oregon’s first civil rights laws in 1953, a decade sooner than Congress handed a nationwide laws to bar discrimination in public lodging equal to consuming locations, theaters and lodging.


He acquired an Oregon Senate seat in 1954 and secretary of state in 1956. Two years later, he beat state Treasurer Sig Unander for the Republican nomination after which unseated Democratic incumbent Robert Holmes. At age 36, Hatfield stays the youngest Oregon governor ever elected.

Etulain talked about Hatfield’s youthful look — and his marriage that summer season to Antoinette Kuzmanich — moreover helped his political fortunes.

Two-term governor

PMG PHOTO: PETER WONG - Richard W. Etulain, a resident of Clackamas, signs one of his books during a recent appearance at Powell's City of Books in Portland. Etulain's latest book is 'Mark O. Hatfield: Oregon Statesman.'Unlike his successor as governor — Tom McCall would utter the phrases, “For heaven’s sake, don’t move here to live” — Etulain talked about Hatfield was an enormous monetary cheerleader for Oregon all through his two phrases. Yet it was Hatfield, not McCall, who coined the time interval “livability” to clarify Oregon’s attractiveness.

Hatfield sought to reorganize state authorities, reduce the number of firms, rewrite the 1857 Constitution and revise the tax system — all of which Etulain talked about Hatfield largely failed to realize. Though a coalition managed the Senate, Democrats have been the majority social gathering throughout the House three of 4 legislative cycles — and in two of them have been led by Robert Duncan of Medford, who was House speaker sooner than he acquired a congressional seat in 1962.

Hatfield made some progress in direction of his goal in his remaining session in 1965, after a youthful lawmaker named Bob Packwood helped Republicans win a majority throughout the House whatever the Democratic presidential landslide in 1964.

Hatfield moreover wanted to share power with the secretary of state and state treasurer, who collectively sat as a result of the Board of Control to oversee state institutions aside from bigger coaching. (The board was abolished in 1969.)

But Hatfield’s frequent travels by Oregon, his assist of enterprise and tourism, and his rising nationwide prominence — he was the keynoter on the 1964 Republican National Convention, balancing common and conservative — gave him a pathway to an open U.S. Senate seat in 1966, when Democrat Maurine Neuberger decided in opposition to reelection.

His opposition to rising U.S. involvement throughout the Vietnam War was nonetheless a minority place in 1966, when Democrat Duncan, who supported the battle, took him on. Hatfield did tie the battle to unfavourable penalties for the Oregon monetary system — and Hatfield prevailed, 52% to 48%.

Etulain talked about that in Hatfield’s eight statewide victories courting once more to 1956, when registered Democrats outnumbered Republicans for the first time in Oregon historic previous, “he had to win over Democrats to be continually victorious.”

Hatfield’s 30-year Senate occupation stays to be a report for Oregon, though Democrat Ron Wyden is inclined to interrupt it if Wyden is elected to a fifth full time interval Nov. 8 (Wyden has already served 27 years, on prime of 15 years throughout the House.) Etulain talked about he had meant to cowl these years, nonetheless that ought to await future historians.

Two scandals

Though Hatfield is remembered for his principled opposition to the Vietnam War, the buildup of nuclear weapons and a constitutional requirement for a balanced federal worth vary, Etulain does describe just a few ethics controversies involving Hatfield, tarnishing his public image as “St. Mark.”

In 1984, Antoinette Hatfield accepted $55,000 from Basil Tsakos, a Greek businessman, for her help in buying and redecorating an apartment in Washington, D.C.

Tsakos was an advocate for a trans-Africa oil pipeline that Hatfield supported. The Hatfields donated the money to Oregon Health & Science University, and the Senate Ethics Committee concluded there was no proof the Hatfields accepted Tsakos’ funds as bribes.

That comparable 12 months, Hatfield acquired his fourth time interval by 2-to-1 over a Democratic challenger.

In 1991, after Hatfield acquired his fifth and remaining Senate time interval by a 54% majority over Democrat Harry Lonsdale, there have been disclosures about Hatfield being the recipient of things (porcelain, Steuben glassware and an Audubon print) worth $9,300, plane tickets and a four-year scholarship for son Charles (Visko) from James Holderman, president of the University of South Carolina, who was trying to find a $16.3 million federal grant for an engineering developing. Other accusations involved favorable remedy for his daughter Elizabeth by Oregon Health & Science University, the place Hatfield had steered tens of tens of millions in grants, and {{a partially}} forgiven mortgage from John Dellenback, a former U.S. marketing consultant from Oregon who urged Hatfield to assist legal guidelines benefiting a Christian faculty group Dellenback labored for.

The Senate Ethics Committee did drawback a correct rebuke in 1992. “My mistakes were many, and my omissions were serious,” Hatfield talked about on the time. “There is no one but myself to blame.”

Etulain talked about these two episodes, seven years apart, make clear why Antoinette Hatfield set 2022 as a result of the date for the opening of her husband’s Senate archives. Mark Hatfield is silent about them in his 2001 book.

“I think she did not want that information to come out” and subjecting her to relive these long-ago controversies, he talked about.

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New Hatfield biography focuses on early years governorship

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