Tom Emmer Hub

Tom Emmer Sets His Sights On Michelle Bachmann's Vacant Seat

With Michelle Bachman announcing her decision to not run for reelection Minnesota Republicans have begun lining up to claim her Sixth District seat, and Tom Emmer is the first to announce his bid, the Star Tribune reports.

EmmerThe 2010 failed gubernatorial candidate said that he has "never felt more compelled in my life to serve,” and cites the IRS scandals and out-of-control spending as reasons to run, asking "Is this the legacy we want to leave to our children?” 

During his run for governor in 2010 Tom Emmer's anti-gay views were brought into focus. He donated money to You Can Run But You Cannot Hide ministries, whose band Junkyard Prophets supports executing homosexuals; he authored a consitutional amendment to ban gay marriage and fought against gay couples being given any rights; and fought against gay and lesbian couples being able to use a surrogate to concieve children. In the middle of all of this, Target and Best Buy suffered boycotts and backlash for donating to Emmer's conservative MN Forward PAC.

Presently, no Democrats have announced that they will run against him, but elections are still 18 months away which is plenty of time for a contender to emerge.

Target CEO Hit with Questions About Same-Sex Marriage Ban, Political Giving at Annual Meeting

Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel was hammered with questions about its political donations to MN Forward on Wednesday and its support of an amendment banning same-sex marriage in Minnesota at the company's annual meeting in Pittsburgh, Reuters reports:

Steinhafel Bill de Blasio, New York City public advocate and trustee of the New York City employees retirement system, which holds about $50 million in Target shares, said on Tuesday that he is "deeply concerned" when he sees those pension investments used unwisely.

A number of shareholders at Wednesday's meeting echoed his comments, repeatedly asking Steinhafel about the donation. Target has changed its review process for donations since the MN Forward donation, but some shareholders would like to see a more explicit apology and broader change from the company.

"Last year was a great learning experience for us," Steinhafel said as he repeatedly suggested moving onto a different topic.

"Does anybody have a question relating to our business that is unrelated to political giving? I would love to hear any question related to something else," Steinhafel said.

When asked specifically about the  marriage amendment, Steinhafel said, "Our position at this particular time is that we are going to be neutral on that particular issue, as we would be on other social issues that have polarizing points of view...We're a retail store, we welcome everybody...We have a broad team-member base, every shape and size and color. And so we are a very inclusive organization...We're going to continue to monitor, we're going to continue to assess, and see how that develops."

Tom Emmer to Concede MN Governor Race to Democrat Dayton

Target-supported GOP candidate Tom Emmer is expected to concede the Minnesota governor's race to Democrat Mark Dayton this morning.

The Hill reports: Emmer

"The Minnesota governor’s race will conclude Wednesday morning with the concession of Republican Tom Emmer, according to reports. On Tuesday, Emmer's campaign withdrew almost all its remaining ballot challenges, paving the way for Democrat Mark Dayton to declare victory. Dayton, a former senator, currently leads Emmer by about 9,000 votes out of 2.1 million cast. A recount had been under way since the Nov. 2 election but didn't erode the Democrat's lead."

Emmer is expected to concede at an 11:30 am ET press conference.

You may recall Emmer in the headlines over the summer after Target Corp. and Best Buy donated large sums of money to MN Forward, a conservative and anti-gay PAC helping to elect Emmer.

To follow news on Minnesota, check out our HUB. And "LIKE" it to follow updates on Facebook.

Tom Emmer to Request Recount in MN Gov Race; Dayton Has Edge


Democrat Mark Dayton is holding off for now on declaring victory in the Minnesota governor race against anti-gay Republican Tom Emmer, who, as you know, made headlines earlier this year as a recipient of funds from MN Forward, a conservative PAC partly funded by Target and Best Buy corporations.

Emmer Dayton has the edge, but most everyone is preparing for a recount.

The Star-Tribune reports:

"DFLer Mark Dayton unofficially leads Republican Tom Emmer by 8,856 votes -- a margin so slight that it could trigger a hand-ballot recount for the second election cycle in a row. Officials began the tedious, nerve-wracking task of locking up ballots, which both parties may guard around the clock. The day's events placed the state, yet again, in political suspended animation, awaiting the prospect of another recount brawl that could take months to resolve and get tangled in the courts...Dayton expressed cool confidence about the complex process that will decide his political fate. "It's about something far more priceless. It's about the integrity of an election in a democracy," Dayton told a packed Capitol news conference. Dayton and Emmer kept low profiles Wednesday after the roller-coaster ride of an election night drama that started with jubilation in the Dayton camp as he jumped out to an early lead before Emmer clawed his way back into contention."

But this is the REAL bad news — it could give them time to push through a gay marriage ban:

A potential recount in Minnesota's race for governor might eventually crown Democrat Mark Dayton the winner but drag on so long that the Legislature convenes in January with retiring GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty staying in office.

Democrats fear that Republicans newly in charge of both chambers will combine with Pawlenty to push through massive spending cuts and pursue long-held goals on things like banning gay marriage, enacting photo ID for voters and expanded gambling.

It's a scenario that could also benefit Pawlenty, who had planned to spend January rolling out his memoir and deciding whether to run for president.

HRC 'Grappling' with Overall Response to Anti-Gay Corporate Donations, Still Telling People to Shop at Target

This week, the Human Rights Campaign announced that talks had broken down between it and Target regarding the corporation's major donation to MN Forward, a conservative political PAC which funded campaign ads for anti-gay gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer.

Target_emmer In response, HRC said it would inject $150,00 into the campaigns of gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton, as well as fund pro-equality legislative candidates and pro-LGBT causes.

The Target donation to MN Forward has inspired a nationwide boycott of Target stores by progressive group MoveOn. However, HRC is refusing to call for a boycott, and, via its iPhone app, is actually still suggesting that LGBT people shop there.

Michelangelo Signorile talked to HRC's Fred Sainz yesterday about the contradiction:

Signorile:...The [Corporate] Equality Index is a position on the boycott, because the reason you give the equality index is to tell people where to shop...

Sainz: No, that’s not true.

Signorile:...and what companies they should support...

Sainz: No, no, that's not true. The Corporate Equality Index is a measure of the workplace practices of companies. It was started as a guide of what the best employers are for LGBT people...It is not meant to be a statement on a company’s wholistic behavior. It is rather a measurement of the workplace practices of a company. That’s really–-

Signorile: HRC does tell people to shop at equality-friendly businesses, even has an app that is devoted to that.

Sainz: That is true.

Signorile: Okay, so the equality-friendly businesses are those that score high on the Corporate Equality Index.

Sainz: That is true…

Signorile: So right now, at this moment, Target still has a 100, and that means that’s a good place to shop.

Sainz says it's hard to quickly change the CEI and that the group doesn't want to make a "knee-jerk" response to Target's actions. He says HRC is trying to "grapple" with the changes regarding corporate donations to candidates following the Supreme Court ruling. Sainz also says that HRC won't take Target's money if it wants to sponsor any tables at its dinners around the country.

There's much more to the conversation and you can listen to it HERE.

Maybe an update to the iPhone app that would inform people about the Target situation? Just a thought.

In related news, institutional investors in Target are demanding the corporation revamp its donation process:

Imprudent donations can potentially have a major negative impact on company reputations and business if they don't carefully and fully assess a candidate's positions," said Tim Smith, a senior vice president at Walden Asset Management, one of three asset management firms that this week filed a resolution asking the retail giant to overhaul its campaign donation policies. He cautioned that funding ballot initiatives, as many corporations have done, "can similarly backfire."

The three management firms sponsoring the resolution — Calvert Asset Management, Trillium Asset Management and Walden — together hold $57.5 million of Target stock. Other institutional investors, including the giant New York state pension fund and union investment managers, are considering co-signing the resolution, which calls on Target's independent directors to review the criteria and risks in making donations to organizations active in political campaigns.

MSNBC Won't Air MoveOn's 'Boycott Target' Ad


MSNBC is refusing to air an ad from in support of its boycott of Target Corporation over the company's donation to conservative and anti-gay political PAC MN Forward.

The Minnesota Independent reports:

Target_emmer "MSNBC and its parent, General Electric, refuse to air’s ad calling for a boycott of Target, stating the spot doesn’t 'comply with NBC’s ‘Controversial Issue Advertising policy,’ because the ad is a direct attack on an individual business.' (In fact, the ad referenced 'Target and other corporations.') The advocacy group had purchased a week of airtime in Minneapolis and nationally on MSNBC, according to a release. The ad accused the Minneapolis-based big-box retailer of 'trying buy our elections,' but shied away from mentioning more controversial aspects of Target’s recent political dealings: a $150,000 donation to MN Forward, a PAC that supports a GOP-endorsed gubernatorial candidate known for affiliations with anti-gay figures and opposition to marriage equality."

Earlier this week, the Human Rights Campaign said that negotiations with Target over its donations to MN Forward (and that PAC's subsequent funding of an ad for anti-gay candidate Tom Emmer) had broken down, and that the corporation refused to take corrective action by making an equivalent donation to a pro-equality cause.

Watch MoveOn's Ad, AFTER THE JUMP...

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