Tuesday, March 1, 2016

When a Rapist Ran Oregon

The news last week was that The New Republic had been sold. After the magazine's turbulent tenure under Facebook mogul Chris Hughes, it was purchased by Win McCormack, an Oregon resident. At first glance this seems like a good fit. McCormack co-founded Mother Jones, another liberal publication, and has a lot of experience both in publishing and Democratic activism.

Yet McCormack has a bit of an unsavory past.

Here's the backstory: In the 1970s, Portland, Oregon, mayor Neil Goldschmidt started sleeping with his kids' babysitter. She was 14 when it started. It didn't become public, but it also wasn't a well-guarded secret. Goldschmidt took her to parties with other power brokers in the state, but no one said anything. As Multnomah County Sheriff Bernie Giusto put it, "You could argue that I had an ethical responsibility to do something." Goldschmidt went on to be Carter's secretary of transportation and was elected governor of Oregon in 1986. In 1990, Goldschmidt stunned Oregon when he announced that he wasn't running for a second term.
. . .
When Goldschmidt's indiscretions finally became public, Willamette Week did a big Pulitzer-winning autopsy of the scandal titled, "Who Knew?" Well, Win McCormack knew:
McCormack told WW he learned of Goldschmidt's secret not long after the governor's surprise announcement in 1990. "The brother of a friend of mine was dating [Susan] when Goldschmidt said he wasn't going to run again," recalls McCormack. "He said, 'Let me tell you the real reason he isn't running.'"
With his journalistic experience, McCormack knew what a huge story he had been handed. Still, he chose to do nothing. "I didn't feel like it was my business, and even though I don't like Neil, I didn't want to destroy him," McCormack says.
It's only illegal when a plebe or a Republican does it.

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