Update: Orion45 provided a link to a Huffington Post article, entitled Target Political Giving ‘A Debacle’ Says Target Institutional Investor. From that article:
Target gave $150,000 and Best Buy $100,000 to a business-focused political fund helping a conservative Republican gubernatorial candidate in Minnesota, triggering a national backlash from gay rights groups and liberals…The candidate, state legislator Tom Emmer, opposes gay marriage and other rights for same-sex couples.
“A good corporate political contribution policy should prevent the kind of debacle Target and Best Buy walked into,” said Trillium vice president Shelley Alpern. “We expect companies to evaluate candidates based upon the range of their positions – not simply one area – and assess whether they are in alignment with their core values. But these companies’ policies are clearly lacking that.”
The shareholders said the donations don’t mesh with corporate values that include workplace protections for gay employees and risk harming the companies’ brands. Walden senior vice president Tim Smith said such giving can have “a major negative impact on company reputations and business.”
The Target resolution urges the board to review the effect of future political contributions on the company’s public image, sales and profitability and to consider the cost of backing a candidate whose politics conflict with the company’s public stances.
So one of Target’s and Best Buy’s institutional investors thinks these were ungood political donations. It’s hard to disagree with that opinion given the “core values” reasoning why the donations were not good donations; hard to disagree with that opinion given the fallout from the donations.
From the Washington Blade‘s Boycott takes aim at Target stores:
Gay shoppers boycotting Target for supporting an anti-gay Minnesota gubernatorial candidate have little reason to rethink their stance as the company, the nation’s second largest retailer behind Wal-Mart, has done little in response.
Target’s negotiations with the Human Rights Campaign ended abruptly this week with the gay civil rights group releasing a statement saying Target would “take no corrective actions to repair the harm that it caused” through its political donation.
Based in Minnesota, Target has been pressured for three weeks by LGBT activists to make amends after giving $150,000 to MN Forward, a group that has run ads supporting Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer. A straight father of seven, Emmer is against same-sex marriage and supports constitutional amendments that outlaw it.
…More than 250,000 signatures have been collected from people pledging not to shop at Target again until the company promises to stop making political donations, MoveOn.org says. Protestors have reportedly appeared at 1,100 Target stores across the country…
Perhaps I was too early in saying I’d again shop at Target due to their apology, as Target isn’t seeming to fully grasp why their $150K donation supporting an anti-LGBT candidate was so cruel to LGBT community…a community the corporation states it strongly supports.
It appears to me that Target is really not that interested in our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community’s pink dollars. That kinda stinks, actually.