Anti-gay rights candidates received the
lion's share of political donations by retail giant Target.
More than thee-quarters of donations
made by Target's political action committee (PAC) in the last
election cycle funded anti-gay politicians or PACs supporting those
York-based website TheAwl.com first reported.
The donations were made after Target
became the target of a boycott for supporting anti-gay Minnesota
gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer.
Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel apologized
in August for contributing $150,000 to MN Forward, an independent
political fund that supported Emmer's failed bid.
In a memo to employees, Steinhafel
wrote that he continues to believe that a “business climate
conducive to growth is critical to our future,” but added he had
not anticipated how the donation would affect its employees. “And
for that I am genuinely sorry,” he wrote.
But after the August 5 letter, Target
PAC recorded $31,200 out of $41,200 (more than 75%) in donations to
anti-gay rights candidates or PACs supporting those candidates,
including Republican Representatives Spencer Bachus (Alabama), David
Camp (Michigan), Dave Reichert (Washington), David Dreier
(California) and John Kline (Minnesota), and Idaho Senator Michael
Crapo, all of whom scored low on the Human Rights Campaign's (HRC)
Congressional Scorecard, a measure of an elected official's
support for gay rights.
Target's political arm also supported
Representatives Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and Roy Blunt (R-Missouri)
by giving to three PACs that in turn gave to the candidates.
Kline, a vehement gay rights foe,
received a $5,000 maximum donation from the fund in September –
weeks after Target's Emmer donation prompted progressive group
MoveOn.org to release an ad calling for a boycott of the
Target also gave money to gay rights
supporters, including New York Senator Chuck Schumer and Minnesota
Congressman Keith Ellison, $1,000 and $500 respectively.