Target remains under fire for anti-gay campaign contribution

Sat. August 7, 2010 2:59 PM by News Staff

MoveOn to Target: Stop trying to buy an election

Minneapolis, MN - has organized a massive nationwide boycott against Target after the company drew fire from gay rights groups, including the Human Rights Campaign, for funding anti-gay politics.

The Minnesota-based retailer gave $150,000 to a right-wing political action committee (PAC) known as Minnesota Forward, which in turn bought television ads for Minnesota Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer, who supports a constitutional marriage amendment to ban same-sex marriage.

Target Chief Executive Gregg Steinhafel apologized to employees on Thursday, one week after the controversy began. Steinhafel said the company's intent was to "support economic growth and job creation."

A number of gay rights advocates say the apology isn't enough. "Sorry doesn't cut it!," the group Boycott Arizona Minnesota (BAM!) wrote on its Facebook page. "No real steps to correct the situation have taken place." is not satisfied with the apology and the liberal advocacy group delivered a direct message to Target on Friday in the form of a petition with 260,000 signatures demanding the company stop influencing campaigns.

"When Target became one of the first known companies to try to buy an election, we started to hear a response almost immediately," director of political advocacy and communications for, Ilyse Hogue told PBS. "We have people who haven't previously worked with us who are coming to us and saying, 'Target needs to be made an example.'"

Target's campaign donation is one of the first to gain national attention since a recent Supreme Court decision to allow corporations world-wide to limitless contributions to American election campaigns.

Electronics-giant Best Buy has also been criticized for its $100,000 donation to Minnesota Forward and the Emmer campaign.

Emmer will face one of three Democrat gubernatorial candidates after the Aug. 10 primary. All three Democrats support legalizing gay marriage.