Retail chain Target has denied it has indirectly supported the
Virginia gubernatorial campaign of Ken Cuccinelli, an outspoken
opponent of gay rights.
Right Wing Watch made the accusation on Thursday.
“[T]he company is indirectly funding one of the most extreme
anti-gay culture warriors in the country, Virginia Attorney General
Ken Cuccinelli,” the group wrote in a post.
“Target reports that in the first half of this year, it
contributed $50,000 to the Republican Governors Association, which so
far this year has spent nearly $3 million on behalf of Cuccinelli's
Goldberg to Virginia's Ken Cuccinelli: Get out of my bedroom.)
The watchdog group did note that Target also donated an equal
amount of money to the Democratic Governors Association.
In 2010, Target, a vocal supporter of LGBT rights, was forced to
apologize for funding campaign ads on behalf of Tom Emmer's
unsuccessful bid to run Minnesota. Emmer is also a Republican
opposed to gay rights.
In a statement, Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder denied the
“Target's commitment to the LGBT community is long-standing and
unwavering,” Snyder said.
“We also believe strongly in our civic responsibility to engage
in a bipartisan manner at the state and federal level in order to
learn about public policy priorities and advocate on issues that
affect our business, such as fairness legislation. One of the ways
we do this is through membership in both the Democratic and
Republican Governors Associations, both of which include several
hundred other corporate members. When paying for our memberships, we
explicitly require that our dues not be used for any individual
electoral campaigns or other electioneering efforts. It would
therefore be wrong and inaccurate to associate our membership dues
with any particular political candidate or campaign.”
Wing Watch's Miranda Blue responded: “It's hard to tell how
supporting an organization that says its 'primary mission is to help
elect Republicans to governorships throughout the nation' doesn't
amount to supporting Republican candidates for governorships.”