Business as Usual? Target, Best Buy Donate to Anti-LGBT Candidates via MN Forward

Wow. Just wow. Target — which has a 100% rating from the Human Rights Campaign for the their workplace environment and support of LGBT causes and importanlty for many consumers focuses on budget style, featuring some great designers like Alexander McQueen, Jean-Paul Gaultier and Zac Posen — is now off my spending list for a while.

Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel and his wife donated $5,000 each — the maximum allowable — to Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachman’s campaign, and Target itself donated $150,000 to MN Forward, a PAC which is supporting Tom Emmer’s run for governor of Minnesota, reports The

In a letter sent out today, Steinhafel says

Target has a history of supporting organizations and candidates, on both sides of the aisle, who seek to advance policies aligned with our business objectives, such as job creation and economic growth. MN Forward is focused specifically on those issues and is committed to supporting candidates from any party who will work to improve the state’s job climate. However, it is also important to note that we rarely endorse all advocated positions of the organizations or candidates we support, and we do not have a political or social agenda.

But what if the candidates supported by the PAC don’t have your employees’ best interests at heart? Does that help the job climate of the state overall? Or does that create an environment where the corporation is a mini-state with its own rules that can benefit or harm the employees because the corporation is removed of state regulation?

Here’s some info about Emmer from

Tom Emmer (the anti-gay Minnesota gubernatorial candidate that Target’s $150,000 made its way to) wants to bar gays and lesbians from getting married, and is a friend and financial supporter of a ministry that advocates violence and discrimination toward LGBT people. And like it or not, Target financially supported his campaign, even if the money wasn’t a direct contribution.

Michele Bachmann has dropped some nifty anti-LGBT comments in her speeches and has a rotten record on supporting LGBT rights including voting against the repeal of DADT and voting against expanding hate crimes legislation to include protections for sexual orientation and gender identity. Here are a couple of her comments collected by

Bachmann said if gay marriage were to become legal:

[Gay marriage] is an earthquake issue. This will change our state forever. Because the immediate consequence, if gay marriage goes through, is that K-12 little children will be forced to learn that homosexuality is normal, natural and perhaps they should try it.

On people who are gay or lesbian:

If you’re involved in the gay and lesbian lifestyle, it’s bondage. It is personal bondage, personal despair and personal enslavement.

Best Buy — which supports many of the same LGBT causes as Target —  just added to MN Forward’s kitty with a $150,000 donation, proving that their profits are the most important thing in the long run, not the long-term rights of all the people in areas where they do business.


31 Responses to "Business as Usual? Target, Best Buy Donate to Anti-LGBT Candidates via MN Forward"
prufrock3 | Thursday July 29, 2010 03:46 pm 1

A huge part that is missing from this big story is that Tom Emmer has also publicly stated that he would like to do away with the minimum wage, which kind of makes Greg Steinhafel look like either an idiot or a liar– or both– for stating in his official rebuttal to the boycott that Target donates to those who would support a more favorable business climate. Or increased jobs— sure, having a reduced or no minimum wage would be great for creating more jobs!!~Not many people would agree that it’s good for business to have people completely unable to support themselves due to an absence of minimum wage. At least, not in the American 20th or 21st Centuries. I’m sure that there were several “businessmen” below the Mason-Dixon Line who were quite happy at not having to pay any minimum required wage for their “workers.”

marymccurnin | Thursday July 29, 2010 04:03 pm 2

I haven’t been in a Best Buy for years cause I find it irritating. I was in a Target last week – for the last time.

yellowsnapdragon | Thursday July 29, 2010 04:10 pm 3

Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel and his wife donated $5,000 each — the maximum allowable — to Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachman’s campaign

F*ck. Love Target… but can’t support supporting crazy.

alank | Thursday July 29, 2010 04:13 pm 4

Would like to see this incipient campaign to go nationwide. However, I can’t see how anyone can believe their motives are any different now than they were before.

Prairie Sunshine | Thursday July 29, 2010 04:15 pm 5

Timeout from Target…and Best Buy.

Good for biz–thinking of your employees as chattel, your customers as cattle. Yeah, right. Wing, that is.

I’m outa there.

Kelly Canfield | Thursday July 29, 2010 04:18 pm 6


The Target belch and I frequent is called TarGAY; it’s been the anti-WalMart shop for the savvy homo for EVAH here.

Et tu, BestBuy? Well at least there’s always MicroCenter for the electronics.

KrisAinCA | Thursday July 29, 2010 04:20 pm 7

Target itself donated $150,000 to MN Forward

such as job creation and economic growth. MN Forward is focused specifically on those issues

$150 k is 5-6 Full time jobs at a Target location…

I’m just sayin’.

Twain | Thursday July 29, 2010 04:22 pm 8

If we’re going to boycott Target we should let them know about it. They have so many customers I don’t think they would realize that we are gone. Going to find their headquarters and e-mail them.

marymccurnin | Thursday July 29, 2010 04:23 pm 9
In response to Twain @ 8

I just wrote and told them.

timinatl | Thursday July 29, 2010 04:31 pm 10

Target is totally off of my shopping list and Best Buy just bit the dust as well. Glad I saw the article since I was thinking about going to my neighborhood BB to buy a Blackberry tonight. Not now.

For those who are far more artistically inclined than myself, why don’t we design a simple bumper stick in Target’s font with red lettering (of course) that simply has the word ‘BOYCOTT’ with the ‘O’ replaced with the Target bullseye? Would get the point across quickly. Also need to make a BP bumper sticker that reads, “boycott polluters” using their font and logo. Wish I were good at that sort of stuff.

Tim in Atlanta

jo6pac | Thursday July 29, 2010 04:32 pm 11

Was going to bb next week but not any time soon, if ever.

hijean831 | Thursday July 29, 2010 04:32 pm 12
In response to prufrock3 @ 1

Target donates to those who would support a more favorable business climate.

By that he means favorable to corporate profits, not to their employees.

timinatl | Thursday July 29, 2010 04:44 pm 13

One last thing, if anyone has receipts from purchases, especially major purchases from Best Buy, why don’t we mark them with something to the effect of “I refuse to aid in your support of GOP nut jobs. I’m taking my business elsewhere!”. Then mail them to these corporations Board of Directors? Or see if Keith O. or Rachel will take them and put them in a nice big clear container and leave it on the set of their shows so we (and their shareholders)and see just how fast their loss of business pile up? Add to this receipts of purchases made at other retailers of similar goods and mark those receipts, “Thank you for not supporting the Reich wing. My business is now yours.” I’m sure someone can put this in a much more elegant manner than I have, but it would draw attention.

Tim in Atlanta

AitchD | Thursday July 29, 2010 04:48 pm 14

You’ll have to include me out. I don’t even know where Target is where I live (since 2003). Never been to a Best Buy. I went to an upscale jewelry store for watch battery replacements and a new watchband for my upscale Swiss Army watch. The associate showed me very costly watchbands (most of them alligator). I told her the prices and materials were silly. She told me Target sells watchbands. She installed the batteries and didn’t charge me for anything. I bet you can’t find that kind of contempt at Target or Best Buy.

edve | Thursday July 29, 2010 04:50 pm 15

Boycott, write, call, email, all of the above. I find a potent way to wake up folks to stuff like this is to simply drop something like:

“Hey, by the way, did you know that every time you shop at Target, you are helping to support a store that encourages discrimination, bigotry,and homophobia… I didn’t think you would do something like that!…I am a bit surprised at you”

drop that into any normal, everyday conversation with neighbors, friends, family members, whatever, and if they bristle, tell them where they can seek more information and suggest they take a closer look at whom they patronize…

It is always a shock to find that so many people simply do not know what is going on, and sadly in many cases, don’t give a damn!

mzchief | Thursday July 29, 2010 05:01 pm 16

They were off my list as they are a “big box” store and by today’s definition strip-mine money and jobs out of the community while shutting down local business and any innovation. Yea, I’ll never trade my human and civil rights for their expensive off-shore trinkets ever again.

demi | Thursday July 29, 2010 05:02 pm 17

You guys crack me up. Go Real.

Phoenix Woman | Thursday July 29, 2010 05:04 pm 18

MN Forward is a group that claims to be even-handed, yet a reading of their stated policy platform shows it to have few functional differences from that of the Republican Party of Minnesota.

RickinSF | Thursday July 29, 2010 08:52 pm 19

Target wants to open a store near me, in the Richmond District of San Francisco. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

CarmanK | Thursday July 29, 2010 10:35 pm 20

I don’t shop Target and haven’t shopped Best Buy in a long time. Guess they don’t need my business, but I won’t be the only one in my family.

medicinecat | Friday July 30, 2010 05:04 am 21

Emmer and Bachmann. Two of the vilest…

bluefloridia | Friday July 30, 2010 06:50 am 22


bluefloridia | Friday July 30, 2010 06:57 am 23

Just sold my Target stock…Will not set foot inside a Target store…nor will my family or friends or anyone else i can convince….supporting LGBT discrimination is NOT OKAY……..YOUR CHOICE OF CANDIDATES DOES NOT WARRANT YOUR BEING SUPPORTED BY DECENT PEOPLE ANYWHERE…SHAME ON YOU AND YOUR EMPLOYEES………

Lisa Derrick | Friday July 30, 2010 10:39 am 24

If you live in an area with a Target and an LGBT group willing ot picket, this may get more attention from your communities.

DonWilliams | Friday July 30, 2010 07:49 pm 25

Anyone who sent money to Obama/Biden supported two bigots who are opposed to gay marriage.

Anyone here fit that description?

ThingsComeUndone | Sunday August 1, 2010 05:03 pm 26

I assume Target and Best Buy do not want any Gay couples to Register with them…shareholders in this economy will be so pleased.
Even a 1% drop in sales will spook markets if this story is not fixed soon. PR disaster a 5 to 7% drop considering Gays high rates of disposable income is off the top of my head more likely if this becomes a full fledged boycott.

ThingsComeUndone | Sunday August 1, 2010 05:11 pm 27

CEO’s get fired for drops in sales they cause just ask the Whole Foods founder who I believe despite owning the company had to give up a Corporate position.

ThingsComeUndone | Sunday August 1, 2010 05:14 pm 28

Healthcare reform
Mackey opposes the public health insurance plan being debated in the U.S. Mackey believes a better plan would be allowing consumers to purchase health insurance across state lines and use a combination of health savings accounts and catastrophic insurance, as Whole Foods does.[16] Mackey’s statement that Americans do not have an intrinsic right to healthcare led to calls for a boycott of Whole Foods Market from the Progressive Review and from numerous groups on Facebook.[17]
Whole Foods Market is one of only two non-union Fortune 500 companies listed by Forbes among the “25 Best Companies to Work For” in 2005. Mackey ascribes this to his pro-employee philosophy. He supports non-adversarial unions and advocates their legalization in the U.S.
“It’s illegal in the United States for there to be company unions — special unions which are formed and controlled by the employees and managers of the company to represent their interests and collectively bargain on their behalf. These type of unions are legal in many countries such as Japan, but are illegal in the United States. Instead the law requires that all unions be outside unions. I believe this law should be repealed and that company unions should be as legal as any other kind of voluntary association.”[18]
An excerpt of Mackey’s frankness was demonstrated in an interview with The New Yorker :
…Mackey told me that he agrees with the book’s assertion that, as he put it, “no scientific consensus exists” regarding the causes of climate change; he added, with a candor you could call bold or reckless, that it would be a pity to allow “hysteria about global warming” to cause us “to raise taxes and increase regulation, and in turn lower our standard of living and lead to an increase in poverty.” [19]
[edit]Yahoo! Finance postings

On July 20, 2007, The Wall Street Journal[20] revealed that Mackey was, for at least seven years, using the pseudonym “Rahodeb” (an anagram of his wife’s name, Deborah) to post to Yahoo Finance forums. He referred to himself in the third person and criticized rival supermarket chain Wild Oats Markets.[21] The Federal Trade Commission[22] approved a complaint challenging Whole Foods Market’s approximately $670 million acquisition of its chief rival, Wild Oats Markets, Inc. It authorized the FTC staff to seek a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction in federal district court to halt the deal, pending an administrative trial on the merits. After an extensive regulatory battle with the FTC, a federal appeals court consented to the deal. Whole Foods officially completed their buyout of Wild Oats on August 27, 2007.
In May 2008, after an SEC investigation cleared him, Mackey started blogging again. In a 2,037 word post, he wrote about why he began blogging in the first place and how his upbringing drove him to defend himself and Whole Foods. He admitted he made a mistake in judgment, but not in ethics.[23]
[edit]Resignation as Whole Foods Chairman

On December 24, 2009, Mackey resigned from Chairman of the Board of Whole Foods Market. On his blog he cites that “John Elstrott will now take the title of Chairman of the Board, which will accurately reflect the authority and the responsibilities that he has had for many years.”[2

Mackey pissed off his customers US! Thats why he had to step down we have done this before Lisa we can do this again.

ThingsComeUndone | Sunday August 1, 2010 05:19 pm 29

As you probably know by now, Whole Foods shoppers tend to be more progressive and politically active, and many were stunned to find Mackey so badly out of synch with their perceived vision of what the store should stand for. Some disgruntled shoppers have even organized a boycott. (Facebook shows more than 30,000 folks have signed up for Boycott Whole Foods, while only 3,000 have joined DO NOT Boycott Whole Foods.) As Huffington Post reports, two unions have now joined the fray on the side of the boycott.

Whole Foods has long combined high prices for consumers with low wages for workers. Alternet reported last May that Whole Foods was acting a lot more like Wal-Mart than your local food co-op. Yes, they support fair trade products and let employees wear nose rings, but Sharon Smith wrote, “Somehow, Mackey has managed to achieve multimillionaire status while his employees’ hourly wages have remained in the $8 to $13 range for two decades. With an annual turnover rate of 25 percent, the vast majority of workers last no more than four years and thus rarely manage to achieve anything approaching seniority and the higher wages that would accompany it. If Whole Foods’ workers are younger than the competitions’, that is the intention.”

The boycott must be starting to bite, because now comes conservative David Frum blogging that he’s going to make sure to shop at Whole Foods on his way home, to show support for John Mackey. Frum also urges Michael Pollan, author of Omnivore’s Dilemma, to organize an anti-boycott of Whole Foods. We have no response from Pollan yet, but in Frum’s antiverse, Pollan should find common ground with him on this issue because supporting sustainable agriculture means supporting higher prices for farmers, and somehow this will result if Whole Foods continues to gouge both consumers and workers alike.

Facebook page Lisa?

ThingsComeUndone | Sunday August 1, 2010 05:34 pm 30

Whole Foods CEO Mackey was opposing healthcare last year but he was making all sorts of anti Lefty comments since 2008 as far as I can tell.

Click the linkthen click the google 5 year stock chart which shows a declining stock price. Mackey leaves the stock goes up we can do this!
We have done it before and in this economy big companies can’t afford to diss us.
There is nothing the GOP fears more than consumer boycotts. Why there is nothing they like more than money.

ThingsComeUndone | Sunday August 1, 2010 05:37 pm 31
In response to DonWilliams @ 25

As if McCain Palin were not going to send them to camps.

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