Monday, July 29, 2013

Is Target Still Funding Anti-LGBT Politicians?

Is Target at it again? Y’all remember, way back in 2010 when the Target Corporation was forced to apologize after stories surfaced that it had funded campaign ads for anti-LGBT Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer? And remember how Target kept saying they are big supporters of the LGBT community while giving big cash to Emmer and his ilk? Well, now it turns out that Target’s apology wasn’t real, and that Target is still giving money to anti-LGBT anti-gay candidates.

In fact, even during the same time period that Target was apologizing, the corporation donated some $31,200 to anti-LGBT candidates in that election cycle, and now we find out that Target is funding, albeit indirectly, the campaign of virulently homophobic Ken Cuccinelli in his bid to become Virginia’s next governor.

And this is how they do it: Target, in the first six months of 2013, contributed $50,000 to the Republican Governors Association, a group which has spent, wait for it because this is an example of the GOP’s new inclusiveness, almost $3 million on Cuccinelli‘s gubernatorial campaign. Now, to be fair, Target also gave $50,000 to the Democratic Governors Association, which is supporting Democratic candidate for governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe.

But, how does the LGBT community overlook Target’s money going in Cuccinelli‘s coffers? And should we look the other way? This isn’t about supporting Republicans or Democrats; it’s about giving money without a care as to where it goes, and to whom.

When the shiz hit the Target fan over the Emmer contributions, Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel apologized, then backed off his apology and then apologized again. Then Steinhafel promised to launch “a strategic review and analysis of our decision-making process for financial contributions in the public policy arena” and to start “a dialogue focused on diversity and inclusion in the workplace, including GLBT issues.”

It doesn’t sound like Target is coming through on that promise, but if they wanted to, they could begin donating only to those candidates who are LGBT-friendly, and deny support for those like Cuccinelli. But I hate that Target keeps calling itself a friend to The Gays when they are giving money to people who seem to have one goal, which is to deny us equality.

Of course, in damage control mode, Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder released a statement:
Target’s commitment to the LGBT community is long-standing and unwavering.       
We also believe strongly in our civic responsibility to engage in a bipartisan manner at the state and federal level in order to learn about public policy priorities and advocate on issues that affect our business, such as fairness legislation. One of the ways we do this is through membership in both the Democratic and Republican Governors Associations, both of which include several hundred other corporate members.  When paying for our memberships, we explicitly require that our dues not be used for any individual electoral campaigns or other electioneering efforts. It would therefore be wrong and inaccurate to associate our membership dues with any particular political candidate or campaign.
This sounds like a heaping pile of ignorance to me. Target is saying that they give money, in the form of membership dues, to both sides, and yet require that their monies not be used “for any individual electoral campaigns”.

That’s kinda hard to do, Target. You can’t hand someone a check for dues to their organization and then ask that the money not be given to certain parts of the group. Target is trying to play the Ignorance Card, but they know, as most folks know, that the GOP is still, by and large, and anti-LGBT political group so when you give them money—even for dues—you are paying for their candidates reelection and for their agenda.

Ignorance is n o excuse.


R.J. said...

I barely do any shopping at Target anymore, so if it means cutting them off from my debit card it's no big deal.

the dogs' mother said...

How about stop donating to politicians and send that money to various local charities.

mistress maddie said...

WOW! I sure hope not, but looks discouraging. I do a lot of household shopping their because of the prices, and can't stand or take Kohls or Wal-Mart, no patiences to go in them. And the Traget here does a lot with Pride fest, not to mention every other guy working there is gay. This is terrible.

anne marie in philly said...

I never shop target or hate-fil-aholes or wallfart. I try to shop my local mom-n-pop stores.

Ask the Cool Cookie said...

Well, as someone who has worked in corporate America on the PAC side, companies do make contributions to both political sides of the coin - its called hedging your bets. Remember, these people have to do business in states, so they have to butter both sides of toast. THAT SAID, the LGBT community needs to fire these warning shots, which serve to put the company on notice AND the CANDIDATE that their BS will not be tolerated.

Ron said...

What is Target's problem? I thought they were better than that.

Biki Honko said...