Minnesota | News | Target | Tom Emmer

Target Apologizes for Donation to Anti-Gay PAC MN Forward

Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel has apologized to employees for Target's donation to anti-gay PAC MN Forward, which funds ads for anti-gay gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer, the AP reports:

Target_emmer "Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel wrote employees to say the discount retailer was "genuinely sorry" over the way a $150,000 contribution to MN Forward donation played out. Steinhafel said Target would set up a review process for future political donations. MN Forward is running TV ads supporting Republican Tom Emmer, an outspoken conservative opposed to same-sex marriage and other gay-rights initiatives that have come before Minnesota's Legislature."

Wrote Steinhafel: "While I firmly believe that a business climate conducive to growth is critical to our future, I realize our decision affected many of you in a way I did not anticipate, and for that I am genuinely sorry. The diversity of our team is an important aspect of our unique culture and our success as a company, and we did not mean to disappoint you, our team or our valued guests."

The Human Rights Campaign recently took out a full page ad in the Minnesota Star-Tribune calling on Target to "make it right" for their donations to the anti-gay PAC.

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  1. So, uh, it is impossible to find a candidate that is business friendly - and supports fundamental rights for gays and lesbians? Is that what Target is saying?

    Given the opportunity, actually, the first opportunity, to contribute money politically - Target as a corporation chose a candidate that is rabidly anti-gay and lesbian - any pretense that MN Forward gave the money to Emmer without Target's blessing is ridiculous. Furthermore, as evidenced by the very executives who made the decision - Emmer is one of many conservation Republicans with anti-gay views they support with political contributions.

    This apology - coming one week after a mother was reduced to tears over the betrayal this contribution represented - is entirely too little and it is fast becoming too late.

    No, this half-hearted mealy-mouthed apology is not enough to get me to shop at Target again.

    Posted by: ricky | Aug 5, 2010 6:17:15 PM

  2. That's right HRC, everything will be forgotten and made right by money. What hypocrisy!!! Target/Best Buy need to tell MN Forward that they want their donation back. That tells me that they truly are sorry. Not a payoff like HRC wants!!!

    Posted by: CB | Aug 5, 2010 6:34:56 PM

  3. An apology. Isn't that _nice_?

    Is Target withdrawing its donation, or making an equal donation to a candidate who supports equal rights for all citizens?

    Don't hold your breath unless you look good in blue.

    Posted by: Bryan Harrison | Aug 5, 2010 7:03:20 PM

  4. The real kicker is that the man that Emmer is running against is a DIRECT descendant of the man who founded TARGET!

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Aug 5, 2010 10:49:26 PM

  5. isn't it amazing how after boycotts, returns, and protests they realizw they made a mistake and totally sorry. they will do it again and again. a positive rating on LGBT issues does not allow for them to hand
    money to people who really hate s.

    Posted by: walter | Aug 5, 2010 11:49:00 PM

  6. just don't give the money to uncle Joe! I hope target donates to the local LGBT center.

    Posted by: Derek Washington | Aug 6, 2010 4:44:22 AM

  7. this is an empty apology. next year when target offers to donate to the local gay parade, that money needs to be turned down, the target that supports glbt parades is not the real target, the real target is the one that backs politicians who act against the glbt community. this boycott should be permanent. no one i know is forced to buy at target, you can buy anything they sell from another retailer without having to figure out if the money you just spent there is going to end up the the war chest of a politician who will vote against glbt issues. make this issue one that the target management won't forget when we cause target's bottom line to suffer.

    Posted by: lk | Aug 6, 2010 6:45:29 AM

  8. Well I guess WalMart will have alot of queens browsing for those deal

    "Save Money, Live Better" WalMart!


    Posted by: RED DEVIL | Aug 6, 2010 8:46:40 AM

  9. Apologies are easy - you do what you want and then, if you get caught, you apologize. I'd be more inclined to believe the sincerity of the apology if I could see a donation of double the original amount made to a pro-gay candidate, support of an gay positive initiative or to an equality based organization. And if we're relying on better donation decisions made "in the future" (as Mr. Steinhafel's suggests) might I remind you that the future for many of us is NOW.

    Posted by: ChrisM | Aug 6, 2010 9:37:24 AM

  10. Could it possibly be because 140,000 people signed the MoveOn.org petition damning Target's anti-gay politics, or because almost 50,000 have joined a "Boycott Target" group, or because Target's stock FELL $1.3 billion dollars in one day?

    Posted by: SteveDenver | Aug 6, 2010 1:58:54 PM

  11. I didn't hear an apology for his and his wifes's personal contributions to MN Forward. Does he personally approve of Emmer and You Can Run...? Continue the boycott until Steinhafel gets the money returned and donates to a gay-friendly politician. His statement is NOT an apology!!

    Posted by: Michael | Aug 6, 2010 1:59:53 PM

  12. Time to put your money where your mouth is! When you intentionally do something and then apologize for doing it only because you want to appease people it means nothing. In today's society apologies are a dime a dozen, actions speak louder than words.

    Posted by: Rick Smith | Aug 6, 2010 4:35:02 PM

  13. Actions speak louder than words. I'll believe this apology is sincere when they ask their money back from this gay bashing asshole and donate it to somebody sane.

    If Target had donated this money to a BLACK candidate tied to a rap group which advocated killing white people, Faux Noise would have been wall-to-wall with calls for a boycott from day 1 until Target relented. And that black candidate would have been forced out of the race.

    I plan on cutting up my Target card and returning the bits and pieces to them over the weekend. Target is dead to me.

    Posted by: Jacknasty | Aug 6, 2010 9:46:51 PM

  14. OH FOR THE LOVE OF FUCK!!!!!!!

    MN Forward is NOT AN ANTI-GAY ORGANIZATION. I don't want Emmer in office any more than anyone else interested in gay rights, BUT STOP FUCKING MISREPRESENTING THE FUCKING FACTS, YOU FUCKWITS!!!

    Yes, I really am that pissed off about this, because that sort of disingenuousness is what makes political discourse in this country so infuriating.

    Posted by: Single-issue voter | Aug 6, 2010 9:54:49 PM

  15. Here, I did 4 minutes of research. Maybe next time you'll try harder?


    MN Forward supports DFL *and* GOP candidates. Including this guy:

    Note his vote on the Domestic Partner Death Rights bill (SF341). [vetoed by our nimrod governor, but that's a separate issue].

    Posted by: Single-issue voter | Aug 6, 2010 10:03:54 PM

  16. It's not an apology. They're not sorry for making the donation, they're sorry for "how it played out". HUGE difference.

    Posted by: joe | Aug 15, 2010 6:57:29 AM

  17. Hey Single-Issue... When the scandal broke, MN Forward had one endorsed candidate: Mr. Emmer. The rest of these "bipartisan" endorsements came after the shitstorm had already started. MN Forward may not have a specific anti-gay position as part of their platform, but their actions speak loudly and clearly. Don't forget... the entire organization is made up of high-level operatives from the administration of your "nimrod governor". It's all the same people... with the same ick factor and disdain when it comes to GLBT folks.

    Look, I've always liked shopping at Target. I'm not getting my panties in a twist just for the thrill of it. And I can deal with the fact that most companies will support candidates who vow to lower taxes on businesses whether they support civil rights equality or not. There's really no getting around that, no matter where you shop. But when the candidate that they supported at the time of the donation to MN Forward is someone like Mr. Emmer, whose public support of groups calling for the execution of GLBT folk is well documented, I have to draw the line.

    Like I said before... we get so focused on watching our enemies that we sometimes forget to watch our friends. There's a sense of betrayal here that isn't present in most boycotts (particularly in the Twin Cities area), and that's why I think the emotions are running so high.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Aug 15, 2010 9:59:06 AM

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