New Republic publisher admits conflict endorsing Kristof for Oregon governor
The publisher of the New Republic has endorsed New York Times columnist Nick Kristof for Oregon governor. Win McCormack then updated his column to admit a conflict of interest. His domestic partner, Carol Butler, a longtime political consultant, is assisting Kristof's campaign.
The signed column was posted on Sept. 16 headlined, "Nick Kristof for Governor: A communitarian leader emerges in Oregon." In it, McCormack quotes from a campaign memo that said Kristof's goals as governor would be: "Bolstering education would make economic development easier, and that can help heal the rift between the Portland area and Eastern Oregon."
Some time later, McCormack updated the column to add, "I'm connected to Kristof through my partner, Carol Butler, who is overseeing staffing up his possible campaign."
Butler, who has decades of political experience, is described in the Washington Post as a "well respected operative who would be a major 'get' for any campaign."
The connection was hardly a secret. The Politico news website had reported it on Sept. 3 when it wrote, "Kristof is coordinating closely with political consultant Carol Butler, whose longtime partner, The New Republic publisher Win McCormack, is one of Oregon's biggest Democratic donors."
"We made a mistake," the magazine's current editor Michael Tomasky was quoted as saying by Off the Record, a daily newsletter that covers New York media.
McCormack is editor-in-chief of Tin House magazine and Tin House Books, the former publisher of Oregon Magazine, the founder and treasurer of MediAmerica, Inc., and a co-founder of Mother Jones Magazine. He purchased The New Republic in 2016.
Kristof is currently on leave from the New York Times. He grew up on a family farm in Yamhill and attended Yamhill Carlton High School. He and his wife brought property and a home near the family farm many years ago.
In the endorsement, McCormack said as editor of the student newspaper, Kristof mailed it to every family in the neighborhood, which he called "his first communitarian act."
The New Republic editorial can be found here.
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