Many LGBT organizations have called for a boycott of Target since it was discovered that they gave $150,000 to “Minnesota Forward,” a PAC that is funding anti-gay gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer. Target defended this gigantic contribution, saying it was funding the PAC because it agrees not with Emmer's stance on gay rights, but with his stance on financial matters. Here's a quote from the response I received to an email I sent to Target condemining the contributions:
Our support of causes and candidates is based strictly on issues that affect our retail and business interests. To continue to grow and create jobs and opportunity in our home state, we believe it is imperative to be engaged in public policy and the political process. That is why we are members of organizations like the Minnesota Business Partnership, the Chamber of Commerce and many others. And that is why we decided to contribute to MN Forward.
But despite Target's post-donation posturing, it now appears that the high-profile progressive action committee MoveOn might be joining the boycott. From a MoveOn email blast, courtesy of Huffington Post's Sam Stein:
Target has spent over $150,000 in the Minnesota Governor's race backing state Rep. Tom Emmer, a far-right Republican who supports Arizona's draconian immigration law, wants to abolish the minimum wage and even gave money to a fringe group that condoned the execution of gay people.
Target must think customers won't care. They're wrong: We do care, and we need to let them know that we want Target–and all corporations–out of our elections.
So far over 200,000 people have signed a MoveOn petition urging Target to stop trying to influence the Minnesota governor's face.
I think it's inherently good to have such a large, high-profile grassroots organization like MoveOn joining this boycott. The bottom line is that the LGBT rights movement is not unified enough in its current state to organize a massive boycott of a corporation that turned a blind eye towards a homophobic candidate's dangerous ideologies. But with MoveOn on our side, we can send Target, and all corporations who want to interfere in our elections, a very powerful message about the price they will pay for supporting bigotry.