Abe Sauer over at The Awl has been doing the best reporting on this since earlier in the year when everything blew up over Target’s donations to anti-gay Minnesota candidate [and now, loser] Tom Emmer. Apparently after they apologized, they just went on doing it. My point then, as it is now, remains that corporations, in the wake of Citizens United, can throw around more cash than ever in influencing our political process, and that I doubt Target is even paying attention to anything but their pwecious bottom line when choosing where to donate money. So, our strategy in the coming months needs to be to find a way to look at corporations and say “look, we know you’re not going out and looking for the biggest bigots you can, but could you at least try to pay attention to these issues when selecting candidates that will roll over and die in the face of your corporate agenda?”
Target did confirm that “consistent with past practices” it will be a sponsor for 2011’s Twin Cities Pride. Maybe not so consistent with past practices will be the reception the retailer gets from participants. Twin Cities Pride confirmed discussions with Target as a sponsor, though donation amounts have not yet been discussed. A Pride spokesperson added that the event organizers are “carefully considering the input we’ve received from the community and we’re working with Target to figure out how to best move forward in a way that is mutually beneficial for all parties involved.”
Twin Cities Pride may receive more input following revelations about Target’s political giving after the August 5 letter from Steinhafel.
After Steinhafel’s August 5 letter, Target’s Political Action Committee, helmed by the former right hand of Senator Thune, Matt Zabel, recorded $41,200 in federal election activity. Of that total, $31,200 went to anti-gay rights politicians or PACs supporting those candidates.
Supporters of gay equality did get some money. In September, Target PAC gave $1,000 to Chuck Schumer. It also sent a whole $500 to Keith Ellison, the Minnesota Congressman that anti-gay leader Bradley Dean accuses of supporting LGBT rights as a way to bring Sharia law to America.
But donations such as $1,000 to Kelly Ayotte (reported on September 22), who opposes both gay marriage and same sex adoption, are far more the norm.
That same day, there is a record of a donation by Target PAC to Spencer Bachus, who voted to ban same-sex adoption. Michigan’s David Camp, who, in addition to supporting a Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriage, voted against protecting gays from job discrimination based on sexual orientation, also reported money. Through October, Target PAC thousands of dollars in donations were recorded to Michael Crapo and Dave Reichert, both supporters of anti-gay Constitutional amendments, and Rob Portman, a supporter of banning gays from adopting. Portman’s position on other gay rights won’t surprise. On October 4, a donation was reported: $2,000 to David Dreier, whose position on gay rights is quite a bit of theatre.
There is so much more where that came from, so read it all. By the way, you all really should be reading The Awl on a daily basis. It’s one of the best things on this here internet.