Friday, August 13, 2010

Should we stay on Target?

There is some broohaha going down with regard to Target Corp.

According the link above, Target has donated $150,000 to a group that supports a Republican gubernatorial candidate in Minnesota. This candidate is against gay marriage. He has it listed at a part of his campaign platform.

It's been commonly said that Walmart is evil. I know people who shop at Target because they have the notion that Target is not as evil as Walmart is.


Target is not the only company that was caught here, apparently Best Buy has also donated a large sum of money in support of the same candidate.

At last, corporations are free to make large campaign donations that let us all know what their political positions are. Apparently, Target and Best Buy are against Gay Marriage. They don't want Gay couples to register for wedding gifts at their stores. They don't want to carry congratulatory cards that depict happy same sex couples declaring their love and commitment to the world.

Good to know.

Now we can find out the political positions of all the corporations that we do business with. We can see whether their political contributions match up with their advertising and PR campaigns.

I can't help but wonder who at Target is specifically against Gay Marriage. Was there a vote at a board meeting? Was this decision made by the CEO? Was there a poll taken amongst all employees and or stakeholders/stockholders at Target to see what candidates they want to support, to see what political positions they wish to espouse publicly and substantively?

Is there a budget line item marked "Political Campaign Contributions" in the ledger? What category does that fall under? How much money will be allocated each year towards furthering Target's political interests and social values?

It is NOT enough for them to apologize and promise not to do it again. The anti-gay marriage candidate now has that money to spend on his anti-gay marriage campaign and to buy anti-gay marriage television and radio ads to promote his anti-gay marriage platform and mobilize anti-gay marriage voters to elect him. I can only hope that television air time in Minnesota is expensive.

An apology is insufficient. I want them do more and do it in the most public way possible.

Personally, if I owned stock in Target Corp. - given the choice between seeing that money go towards any political candidate and getting a discount on underwear or seeing that money go into ethical, sustainable and greener business practices - I'd like to see a discount in the price of underwear or that other hippy stuff.

As a liberal, myself, I am wondering whether in response to their $150,000 donation, I need to stop using my Target credit card and pledge to spend $150,000 at other stores before going back to Target. If that is the case, I might be 55 before I next step into a Target or use their credit card.

Does anyone know if is against Gay Marriage?

The stink in some ways adds to the publicity received by the Emmer campaign. Less press has been directed towards the other candidates in the race: Mark Dayton and Tom Horner.

If you know of any others, let me know.

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