We are pleased to welcome James H. (Jim) Weaver, six-term Congressman from Oregon (D), as a senior advisor. He has a family tradition of independent politics and is three generations removed from his namesake, James Baird Weaver of Iowa.
James B. Weaver was an independent thinker and third party activist who has the distinction of being the only third party presidential candidate to receive enough Oregon votes to gain Electoral College votes from Oregon.
In 1892, James B. Weaver was the Presidential candidate of the Populist People's Party. That same year, Weaver published A Call to Action: An Interpretation of the Great Uprising, Its Source and Causes (Des Moines, 1892), which contains an indictment of the rise of the Corporate State which he warned was replacing the dismantled Slave State in America. As a presidential candidate he stumped the entire country, calling for a "free and fair ballot" in the South and civil rights for black Americans. He won 22 electoral votes, polling roughly a million and a half votes, 9% of the total cast. He won all of the electoral votes of Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, and Nevada and also received some electoral votes from North Dakota and Oregon. His popular vote percentage for a third-party candidate has been exceeded only by Theodore Roosevelt in 1912, George Wallace in 1968, and Ross Perot in 1992.
James B. Weaver was a staunch abolitionist. He served in the Union Army as a brigadier general of volunteers. In 1864 he returned to Iowa where he continued to serve in a local militia against the escalation of guerilla strikes along the Iowa-Missouri border during the Confederate incursion into Missouri.
James B. Weaver then served as a district attorney and was a rising Republican political star until he fell from party favor for his persistent hostility to the railroads and his outspoken support for social reform. Still, Weaver remained loyal to the party until President Hayes sent federal troops for the first time as strikebreakers in the Chicago General Strike of 1877. Hayes, who had lost the popular vote to Samuel Tilden, took office through a brokered deal after a tie in the Electoral College. To assure a Republican president, the congressional Republicans agreed to end Reconstruction in the South, abandoning federal efforts for civil rights for former slaves for generations. In 1878, Weaver ran successfully for Congress from southeastern Iowa on the Greenback-Labor ticket. He ran against the establishment by defending the rights of workers to organize, woman's suffrage, and analyzing the "the money question" by critiques on monetary and tax policy. He served two terms in Congress.
"Our government has chartered thousands of corporations, turned them loose upon us and now permits them to commit from year to year... outrages upon our people. These charters are neither more nor less than letters of marque, authorizing those who hold them to prey upon the commerce of the country, and they are the forerunners of something still more serious if they be not speedily recalled and the evils they entail quickly remedied... These enterprises are made up of expectation and apprehension. If expectations are realized, corporators flourish; if apprehensions are verified, the misfortune is unloaded upon the people. Could anything be more monstrous?"
-- James B. Weaver, A Call to Action, p. 268.