New TV ads criticize Target donation, calls for boycott

Wed. August 18, 2010 6:01 PM by News Staff

Minneapolis, MN - Target can't seem to shake the controversy surrounding its $150,000 donation to fund anti-gay politics as unveils a new TV ad encouraging shoppers to boycott the Minneapolis-based retailer.

"Target and other big corporations are trying to buy our elections," says the 30-second ad, which is airing on Minneapolis area TV stations and MSNBC. "Our democracy is not for sale," concludes the ad.

After two weeks of closed door meetings with the Human Rights Campaign, Target said Monday that it will take no corrective actions to repair the harm caused by the contribution.

HRC, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, says it will now devote $150,000 of its own resources to help elect a pro-equality governor in Minnesota.

The controversy began when Target 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.

Emmer is seen as a social conservative and opposes same-sex marriage. 

Target Chief Executive Gregg Steinhafel apologized to employees last week saying the company's intent was to "support economic growth and job creation." 

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. 

Political analysts say Target's experience will most-likely cause corporations to think twice before contributing to political campaigns in the future. 

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

Emmer will face Democrat gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton, who supports legalizing same-sex marriage, and Independent Tom Horner. 

Ironically, Dayton's century-old family business, Dayton-Hudson corporation, is the former incarnation of Target Corp.

Related: About 50 gay rights advocates and allies participated in a protest outside the new Target in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood on Saturday.

View the ad: