Target Facing Backlash over Campaign Donation

July 30, 2010 -

Minneapolis-based retailer Target has raised some eyebrows concerning a $150,000 donation the company made to a “Republican-friendly” political group in the state.

As if choosing a political side wasn’t enough to anger some Target shoppers, the contribution to MN Forward is also being used to run ads for Republican Gubernatorial Tom Emmer, who, according to CBS News, opposes same-sex marriage, angering another whole segment of consumers.

The embedded video shows former Target customer Randi Reitan, who has a gay son, returning a full shopping cart of merchandise to Target in protest over the donation.

Target donated $100,000 in cash to MN Forward and another $50,000 in brand consulting.  CBS also reports that Target’s fellow Minnesota-based retailer Best Buy donated $100,000 to MN Forward as well.

CBS further described Emmer as “… a fiery conservative who opposes gay marriage, lauds Arizona's strict approach to illegal immigration, once advocated chemical castration for sex offenders and wants to lower taxes.”

More on Target’s political contributions:

Money from Target's top executives has gone mainly to Republicans. Former Chief Executive Officer Robert Ulrich, who retired last year, gave $617,000 during his time as Target's leader, most of it to the state GOP. Current Chief Executive Gregg Steinhafel has donated about $25,000, almost exclusively to Republican candidates and causes.

Target issued a letter to employees in which CEO Gregg Steinhafel wrote that, the company’s support of the gay and lesbian community is “unwavering.”


Via BrandflakesforBreakfast


Comments

Re: Target Facing Backlash over Campaign Donation

Gay politics has nothing to do with republican or democrat.  It all has to do with whoever alligns themselves with fundamentalist christianity.  It just happens to be that most xtian fundies flock towards the republican party

Re: Target Facing Backlash over Campaign Donation

Soooo permit me to summarize your argument:

Gay rights have nothing to do with political party, except for the fact that the majority of people who oppose them belong to one major political party and the majority of people who support them belong to the other?

Re: Target Facing Backlash over Campaign Donation

So, Target contributing to republicans = bad, but people who give us electricity, make most of the thecnological devices we use, and some of the biggest companies in the world contribute to obama, and it's ok? Fail. Epic fail. If I was the manager, I would've denied her return. Moron. http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/contrib.php?cycle=2008&cid=n00009638

Re: Target Facing Backlash over Campaign Donation

"So, Target contributing to republicans = bad, but people who give us electricity, make most of the thecnological devices we use, and some of the biggest companies in the world contribute to obama, and it's ok? Fail. Epic fail."

Um, people typically only boycott companies for political contributions they DISAGREE WITH, not for making political contributions IN GENERAL.

Re: Target Facing Backlash over Campaign Donation

Not all Republicans are anti-gay. Also you're basically making the arguement that not supporting a company who supports a candidate you don't agree with = fail. That means you want people to support companies regardless of their political contributions, which = fail. You're a dumbass.

Re: Target Facing Backlash over Campaign Donation

I would rather they don't donate to any political cause, but it's not going to stop me from shopping there. 

Pwnage of Empires

Re: Target Facing Backlash over Campaign Donation

Meanwhile, going unreported is the sector of consumers who will experience steerage to support their local Target outlets as they share MN Forward's political philosophy. 

Re: Target Facing Backlash over Campaign Donation

If anyone does that, but doesn't tell anyone, then how can the media cover it?

 

Re: Target Facing Backlash over Campaign Donation

 what does this have to do with video games and politics? 

Re: Target Facing Backlash over Campaign Donation

Absolutely agree that this has nothing to do with Games or Games' relation to Politics.  IT reads more as "Store that sells games has a political leaning" which isn't much of a game related topic.  

Poor article for this site.

Re: Target Facing Backlash over Campaign Donation

I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that target sells games and that the part of the story that's about politics is already very obvious.

my vanity is justified

my vanity is justified

Re: Target Facing Backlash over Campaign Donation

I think that's a weak justification.

Wal-Mart sells games, should we have a story every time they get involved in politics?

----------------------------------------------------

Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: Target Facing Backlash over Campaign Donation

Target is about to have a lot less hipsters and liberal extremists shopping there?

Guess I got a new favorite store.

"

Re: Target Facing Backlash over Campaign Donation

So anybody who doesn't want to contribute to Republican candidates is a hipster or a liberal extremist?  Nice black-and-white worldview you've got there.

Re: Target Facing Backlash over Campaign Donation

I'm pretty sure he's talking about all of the people who jumped on the bandwagon of "they gave money to someone who voted for a bill against gay marriage!  HE'S ANTI-GAY AND SO IS TARGET!  I'M NEVER SHOPPING THERE AGAIN!"

Are you, by extension, trying to claim that every left-leaning person is so stupid as to make that leap?

---

With the first link, the chain is forged.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Target Facing Backlash over Campaign Donation

Wow, assuming both he AND I meant things that we never actually said?

Good job, jedidethfreak; you've just managed to pull off the rare and complicated DOUBLE strawman.

Re: Target Facing Backlash over Campaign Donation

So anyone boycotting target over this is now is a left wing extremist? That is a pretty black and white view.

----------------------------------------------------

Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: Target Facing Backlash over Campaign Donation

It's also pretty much true.

---

With the first link, the chain is forged.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Target Facing Backlash over Campaign Donation

You going to try giving any supporting arguments for a change, or just rest on your all-caps exaggeration?

Boycotting a company that contributes to things you don't agree with isn't extreme, near as I can tell, whether you're liberal, conservative, or choose to live in a world that's not defined by black-and-white polarization.

Re: Target Facing Backlash over Campaign Donation

Ah war......war never changes..... (poltics=war)


I have a dream, break the chains of copy right oppression! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/cigital-disobedience/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Target Facing Backlash over Campaign Donation

Ah, so she didn't return items after she'd found out about the contribution, she went to Target "for the last time" already knowing about it and bought over $200 worth of merchandise only to wheel right over to customer service and return it.

I can appreciate this woman's stance and her boycott of the store but that's just a flatout dickish move.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Target Facing Backlash over Campaign Donation

I guess that's one way to look at it.  Why though?  Isn't non-violent protest all about being visable and annoying?  Those are pretty much its hallmark traits I would think and this keys in on both very well.

my vanity is justified

my vanity is justified

Re: Target Facing Backlash over Campaign Donation

"I guess that's one way to look at it.  Why though?"

Because deliberately wasting the time of people who have nothing to do with your grievance is dickish.

Were I that store's manager, I would have refused the returns.  I see nothing in Target's store return policy that prevents it from doing that.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Target Facing Backlash over Campaign Donation

By that standard wouldn't every form of non-violent protest be 'dickish' including marches and sit-ins?  Is that really a fair standard then?

my vanity is justified

my vanity is justified

Re: Target Facing Backlash over Campaign Donation

"By that standard wouldn't every form of non-violent protest be 'dickish' including marches and sit-ins?"

No.  For example, had Reitan returned items she'd purchased prior to learning about the contributions, I would not have labeled her actions dickish.

On a side note, I wonder if she had any portable electronics in her basket and got hit with a restocking fee.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Target Facing Backlash over Campaign Donation

You didn't really address my point at all.  If " deliberately wasting the time of people who have nothing to do with your grievance is dickish" then how are other, hallmark forms of non-violent protest like marches, which waste the time of just about everyone around them including local law enforcement, or sit-ins, which waste the time of anyone trying to get in or around the location they are in, not dickish? Or is it just that all forms of non-violent protest dickish and if so, what difference does it make, if the term applies equally to just about anything she could do to protest then she's got no other choice but to be 'dickish.'

my vanity is justified

my vanity is justified

Re: Target Facing Backlash over Campaign Donation

My previous post gave an example of a form of non-violent protest that I would not consider dickish.  Whether I would consider a particular march or sit-in as such would depend entirely on the manner in which is it was executed, just as it is with Reitan in today's story.  So again, no, not all forms of non-violent protest are dickish.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Target Facing Backlash over Campaign Donation

Even in your example the protest is 'deliberately wasting the time of people who have nothing to do with your grievance.' it doesn't mater how a march or sit-in is executed the wasting time part is the same. It's actually the central element that makes the protest work.

my vanity is justified

my vanity is justified

Re: Target Facing Backlash over Campaign Donation

No.  In the example, she's speaking to the appropriate people to address her immediate (albeit, not overriding) grievance and she's not deliberately wasting anyone's time.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Target Facing Backlash over Campaign Donation

You're just contradicting yourself.  How can the exact same actions with the exact same people be 'speaking to the appropriate people to address her... grievance' if she does them on one day and be 'dickish' if she does them the next.  That just doesn't make any sense.  She'd be deliberately wasting people's time either way that's the point.  If she doesn't waste anyone's time then the protest doesn't do anything, it would just be ignored.

my vanity is justified

my vanity is justified

Re: Target Facing Backlash over Campaign Donation

Again, no.  The difference is in the "deliberately" part.  In my example, she's not deliberately wasting anyone's time (I would argue she's not wasting anyone's time at all).  She's using the customer service desk to keep her money from going somewhere she didn't intend for or want it to go.

What she actually did, was buy stuff knowing exactly where the money was going.  She made her purchases knowing she'd be immediately returning them.  That's why it's a deliberate waste of people's time and a dickish move.  It's still a completely valid form of protest.  It's a highly visible stunt and she made her point known.  Perhaps it will even be successful and help sow the seeds of change (I doubt it but you never know).  But, she still went about it in a dickish way.  That's all I'm saying.  I think her protest would have been just as visible but far more powerful had she gone about it in a non-dickish way.

I hate using analogies but since my example doesn't seem to be working for you, it's like the difference between accidentally and purposefully spilling a coke on the floor.  Either way, someone has to clean it up and customers have to walk around it (or get sticky shoes).  Despite being the exact same action, with the exact same results, the latter is dickish while the former is not.  The difference is in the intent.

To sum it all up, I believe non-violent protest can be done in dickish and non-dickish manners.  In some circumstances, the dickish course of action may be the most successful but I don't believe this to be one of them.

Whether you agree with me or not, hopefully you now understand what I'm saying.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Target Facing Backlash over Campaign Donation

Eh, the classical problem with boycotts is companies tend to not even know you are doing them... their effect usually gets lost in the normal sales fluctuations.   It takes something a bit more direct to actually register on management's radar.

Re: Target Facing Backlash over Campaign Donation

 Wait, was Target as a corporate entity making these contributions, or were the contributions being made by high level executives as themselves?

VERY different situations in my mind.

Re: Target Facing Backlash over Campaign Donation

How are they different?  Either way the shoppers at Target are indirectly funding political contributions they may or may not agree with.

my vanity is justified

my vanity is justified

Re: Target Facing Backlash over Campaign Donation

it was corporate it appears... they were taking advantage of new laws that allow corporations to contribute corporate funds to candidates.

Re: Target Facing Backlash over Campaign Donation

 I am thinking back to a happier time when stock holders controlled the board and thus were able to voice their displeasure at things like this.  Regardless of if individual stockholders agree or disagree with this guy's politics, they should be pissed that the corporation is using corporate assets to fund an unrelated political candidate.

This is starting to sound like executives abusing company resources...

Re: Target Facing Backlash over Campaign Donation

Yeah, because massive unions supporting candidates and groups with union money without the consent of those they govern isn't wrong.

Re: Target Facing Backlash over Campaign Donation

 TBH, that is something I consider a problem with unions too.  Though given that unions are designed to be a counter to the power of the wealthy, you quickly get into 'arms race' problem.

Re: Target Facing Backlash over Campaign Donation

HAHA, he got you there buddy. Of course you are as transparent with your agenda as freshly washed glass.

Re: Target Facing Backlash over Campaign Donation

That sure came out of left field.  Why can't they both be wrong?  Who are you replying too that's saying one is wrong but not the other?

my vanity is justified

my vanity is justified
 
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