Target Issues Statement Addressing Its Recent Questionable Donations

Target Corp. found themselves under the financial microscope once again, after it was revealed yesterday that they donated $50,000 dollars to the Republican Governors Association, a PAC that has spent over $3 million campaigning for anti-gay Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli in Virginia. Some, including Right Wing Watch, claimed that the donation was "indirect support" for Cuccinelli, who has an extensive history of homophobic remarks.

Now, Target Corp. has released a statement to The Advocate, in an attempt to put these recent concerns to rest. Molly Snyder of Target Communications insisted that the funds must "not be used for any individual electoral campaigns or other electioneering efforts."

"Target has a long-standing commitment to the LGBT community. 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," stated Snyder. "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."

So far, no one has yet been able to independently confirm this claim. 


  1. DK says

    The Republican Governors Association’s Donate page says:
    Contributions are not deductible as charitable donations for federal income tax purposes. Contributions to RGA will not be used in connection with federal election activity. Contributions from foreign nationals are prohibited. Contributions to RGA may be used in RGA’s affiliated state PACs.

    Their membership page’s thing is cut off on my computer and to begin says it’s not a charitable donation and that corporations have no limit or something…

    As per Target’s statement, would these associations do anything but electoral campaigns and electioneering with their money? The RGA’s website is pretty explicit in saying that its purpose is to get Republicans into governors’ offices.
    Secondarily, given the issues of these groups from a cursory google search about them, their money could be funneled wherever without care to the donor’s desired instructions for whatever purposes.

  2. Andy says

    This is nothing new. They donated to EXTREME right wing nuts in Minnesota. The one that had that band with the song about killing the gays. But throw the queens a cute same-sex wedding photo and all is forgotten. How many times are LGBT going to layover and take it before we wise up?!

  3. daniel oneil says

    Pathetic. I won’t be shopping there AGAIN!
    I like the store, but I can’t go there again.
    Sad. Why do they have to be so slow to understand?-Daniel

  4. GreatLakeSailor says

    So Target, you pay for dumping the wastebaskets in the RGA home office, and that frees up Chick Fillet money to elect the next Govnah Ultrasound. That about sum it up?

    Oh, and the B-plot there in your message: We’re fair. We buy tax favors from both parties, not just the homophobic one! (and, let’s face it, both parties are for sale)

  5. JMC says

    I mean, if what they’re saying is true it sounds like the higher ups in the Republican Governor’s Association are using Target’s 50k to go on a vacation lol like what else would they do with that donation other than electoral campaigns/electioneering efforts?

  6. deedrdo says

    i call BS. this is from the RGA mission statement: “The Republican Governors Association’s primary mission is to help elect Republicans to governorships throughout the nation.” so how can you donate to a group who’s primary mission is to give money and support to Republican candidates and, in the same breath, say “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”? More corporate BS from Target.

  7. Throwslikeagirl says

    Ridiculous. Now, does anyone know of a store where I can shop for the items I previously bought at Target, that isn’t duplicitous? I won’t shop at Walmart, either, and K-Mart just sucks.

  8. ali says

    Yes, they did donate virtually identical amounts to Democratic groups. This can be verified at

    Donations over $20k in 2012:
    $50,000: Democratic Governors Assn
    $50,000: Republican Governors Assn
    $30,000: Democratic Senatorial Campaign Cmte
    $30,000: National Republican Senatorial Cmte
    $20,000: Democratic Attorneys General Assn
    $20,000: Republican State Leadership Cmte

  9. Ryan says

    1. What does ‘not use the money on any individual race or electioneering’ even mean? It’s a political group. Virtually all of its spending relates to its politics. Seems like they’re playing around with words.

    2. This is essentially a political PAC. It’s not a ‘membership’ organization. You don’t join it and pay dues or something. You just hand over money as a political donation in hopes of getting crap back in return, anti-regulation, anti-union policies that these GOP folks push, etc.

    3. Even if there was some way to make sure the specific dollars didn’t go to anti-gay causes within the GOP Governor’s association, money is spongy. So they couldn’t use X dollars from Target for Y causes… but they know how much money they have coming in and have a budget. They’ll just use more of their other money coming in for those political purposes. When the money all goes to one place, there’s really no ‘ensuring’ that certain dollars don’t help certain bigoted causes. Target knows that and is just trying to hoodwink people who don’t realize it.

    They should really just be honest; they don’t care about LGBT causes in any great way and will more than happily support anti-gay politicians like Cucinelli who would enact unconstitutional laws to ban sex for gay people, if they thought he was more likely to support policies that would make Target even one more cent than it otherwise would.

  10. anon says

    Hey, it doesn’t matter what they tell them to use the money for. Money is fungible, right? That’s what the right-wingers always say about any money going to planned parenthood that isn’t used for abortion services. That they money frees up other money to be used for abortions. So, in theory, it’s all used for abortions.

  11. Jeff says

    I stopped shopping at Target in August 2010 after their first anti-gay political donation. They never made it right. I continue to stay away and suggest you do too.

  12. Brian1 says

    This is the dumbest story I’ve seen here in a long time. As Ali pointed out, they gave identical contributions to both parties. Most companies do that. You can be angry that companies are trying to buy influence, but it’s preposterous to view this as in any way anti-gay. Or if you insist, at least view the counterbalancing Democratic contributions as pro-gay.

  13. says

    At this point, we homos won’t be able to shop anywhere! It’s a conspiracy to weed us out of the population. We can hardly shop anywhere, when we do shop we can’t buy the right clothes because they all made in sweat shops in third world countries, and we can’t eat anywhere either because we’re boycotting or there are GMOs or pesticide/hormone/antibiotic infused.

  14. RMc says

    Bullshite. You are funding a Nazi parasite who wants gay people dead. Directly or indirectly is irrelevant. Congratulations, you took the money of gay people to help fund their oppression and maybe even their murder. Go f@#k yourself.

  15. Jerry6 says

    Have not set foot in a Target or Walmart store since I found out that they effectively put American suppliers out of bussiness by buying goods from foreign manufacturers that paid low wages with working conditions that would have put American business men in jail if they did the same thing here.

  16. Randy says

    must “not be used for any individual electoral campaigns or other electioneering efforts

    But of course, by using it elsewhere, it frees up those funds to be used for “individual electoral campaigns or other electioneering efforts”

    Money is fungible.

  17. ThomT says

    Making donations to organization that support discrimination “but” requiring that they not be allowed to use those funds for those discriminatory practices is disingenuous.

    Sure this might make the donor feel that they aren’t contributing to anything that might adversely affect their customer base but the reality is that the donation ($50,000 in this case) simply allows the recipient to replace and reallocate $50K that was previously intended for things like rent or salaries to their anti-gay cause.

    It’s all smoke and mirrors folks – $50,000 is $50,000 and to think that this money has somehow been isolated and will not be used for whatever purpose the organization choses is beyond naive. Smart companies DO NOT make donations to organizations, groups or political parties that they are not fully aligned with – it simply isn’t a good business practice.

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