Last night, best-selling comic fantasy author Christopher Moore tweeted that for the first time in his career, he would not stay at Portland's Heathman Hotel when he visits Portland this April on a book tour.
Hotel operator Gordon Sondland's covert donation of $1 million to Donald Trump's campaign, as first reported by website The Intercept. Sondland— head of the Provenance Hotels group that also owns or operates the Dossier, Hotel Lucia and the Sentinel, among others—had previously claimed not to support Trump, as reported by WW. The Oregonian reported in September that Sondland is also likely being considered for an ambassadorship in Trump's administration.
Sondland is not the owner of the Heathman, which is owned by Maryland-based LaSalle Hotel Properties, but Provenance was tapped to operate the hotel earlier this year.
So far, Moore's Tweet has been retweeted 1,700 times, and other authors have joined him in saying they wouldn't stay there.
Moore is not a political author, and says that while he's made other decisions based on politics—including one to not buy from L.L. Bean after Linda Bean supported Trump's run—he doesn't "go looking for an issue." His books, which include the popular Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal and You Suck: A Love Story, are broadly comedic books often based in a fantasy universe.
"The new book, Noir, a comedy set in 1947 San Francisco, is, like all of my books, apolitical," he tells WW.
Moore had also enjoyed his stays at the Heathman, a hotel known for catering to authors, which had even gone so far as to keep a library at its upstairs bar containing the volumes of authors who've stayed there.
"My experience with the business of the Heathman has been very positive," Moore tells WW. "I like the property and didn't make this decision lightly."
But as Moore planned his book tour, the Republican-controlled senate passed a Trump-backed tax bill that Moore believes would be punitive to the blue states that generally have higher local taxes.
"The information about the Heathman's [management company] came to me almost contemporaneously with the tax plan vote and the planning of my new book tour, so it was really the first time I was in a position to consider it," Moore says. "Once I confirmed the political connection, I went public with my decision on social media."
Moore tells WW that the tax plan was particularly galling to him because the gerrymandering of House Districts and the electoral college disproportionately benefits red states, but the tax bill penalizes blue states especially.
"Blue states, on average, contribute more money to the Federal budget than they take back, not supporting businesses who are funding political interests contrary to our best interest is one small way to make up for the electoral inequity," Moore tells WW. "A consumer response to a tax bill that punishes states with higher state and local taxes seems particularly appropriate."
As far as the library of authors who've stayed at the Heathman, one of its original curators also weighed in on Moore's post.