Report: Controversial Donations Continue At Target

By John Lauritsen, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The campaign season is behind us, but a Minnesota-based retailer is still feeling the heat.

Target Corporation became the target of nation-wide protests and boycotts after it gave money to politicians opposed to gay marriage. Target apologized and vowed to review its donation process, but a national website says nothing has changed.

Jason Linkins, a reporter for The Huffington Post, which is a national news website, says that even after Target CEO Greg Steinhafel apologized, Target continued to give thousands of dollars to politicians across the country who opposed gay marriage.

Target vowed to review its donation process this fall, but Linkins’ article says controversial donations are continuing. He says politicians who support gay marriage are getting some money, but not nearly as much as gay marriage opponents.

“For us, it’s just something we are used to, and sadly used to,” said Monica Meer of the gay rights organization, Outfront Minnesota. Meyer says Target deserves credit for the way it treats gay employees, but she says unfortunately the political contributions are contradicting.

“I think what was disconcerting for a lot of people was their political donations didn’t match the corporate values that they were really good at,” said Meyer.

Target helped pay for a Tom Emmer ad this past summer, and because Emmer opposes gay-marriage, the corporation came under fire. Target’s support for the Emmer ad prompted the organization to run an ad encouraging people to boycott Target.

In response to the latest accusations made by Linkins’ article, Target released a statement saying it “works with policy makers on both sides of the aisle.” And that during the 2010 election cycle, Democrats received 50 percent of Target donations with Republicans receiving 48 percent.

After the ad aired, Target reported sales near the low-end of their expectations in September and October.

It is not clear if the protests and boycotts affected sales those months, but Target reported in November that sales that were “better than expected.”

WCCO-TV’s John Lauritsen Reports

More from John Lauritsen
  • Adam&steve

    I like Target.

  • Greg & Davey

    Target is the best.

  • Gay target customer

    This is ridiculous. People are untitled to their own opinion. It is not like Target is going around bashing people’s sexuality. Maybe Target supports republicans because they like their business aspects more then democrats? Why does it always go to them not supporting gay rights? I am all for gays having equal rights as everyone. I AM GAY! And I still love shopping at Target over Walmart any day!!

  • Gupta

    “Gay target customer”, you sound gay – and that’s not the same as being gay.

    • Gay target customer

      I don’t have to defend my sexuality to anyone. I am proud to be gay, and I know someday I will marry my partner of 4 years. We both will alway continue to choose Target over Walmart.

    • Gay target customer

      Also could you tell me what “gay” sounds like??

  • Giraffe

    you are a sharp cookie Gupta, +10 points for clever jokes!

  • kyle

    This is stupid… Target, a MN based retail giant, is making donations to business friendly cantidates in effort to protect its existance… Aren’t people allowed to make donations to whomever they choose? I wish the liberal media would stop trying to make this into something it isnt…

    • Gay target customer

      Completely agree with you!!!!!

    • Joe

      Oh here we go with the “liberal media” whine…

    • Ignorance must be bliss

      I wish people would stop calling everything that they disagree with liberal. This was on all news channels and in all papers. What would make every station liberal? Stop labeling everything that you hear and maybe you could understand things better. Labeling everything you do not agree with is just stupid. You must be a left wing, liberal, tree hugger, Obama supporter, hippie. Is that over the top? Because that is what I see on this site every day.

  • Charles Johnson

    It is interesting that Target supported Emmer, when Dayton’s family basically started Target.

  • newjack

    It is corporate donation in the interest of promoting a better business growth atmosphere, not loyalty payment to descendants of the target founders.

  • Randall Cheuvront

    sorry but gay marriage is likely not their motivation one way or the other in their contributions. there is far more going on than gay marriage you know! they surely have their reasons relating to their business to donate. but you know some people think they are the center of the world and EVERYTHING revolves around their narrow view point. i’m not for or against gay marriage personally but last i checked this was a world free will and target is exercising theirs so respect that right and move on.

  • Bob

    Like who really Cares??? Merry Christmas Every one!!!!!!!!!!! Must be a slow news day.

  • Pat

    If any other culture was expected to give up an integral aspect of their society such as marraige between a man and a woman the whole nation would be in an uproar. but a small percentage of the potpulation expects us to bend over, and totally abandon our societal and religiious beliefs.
    Forget it

    • Ignorance must be bliss

      Pat – Are we talking about any other culture or ours? I do not know about you but I could care less what another culture is doing because it does not affect me. However I do live in the states so I do care about the bigots in this country and what they are trying to tell me I can or cannot do. 1 more thing, if we are not supposed to have differences in this country why was it formed in the 1st place? Wouldn’t the founders just stayed in the old countries if it did not matter?

  • mark from

    Thank you Target for donating money, your moral standards are great. To many people think that they need to have their values shoved down our throats. The moral majority is winning this battle, and the Liberal Left is on its way out.

    • Jen Sommer

      Just so I get this straight: It’s okay to shove values down the throats of others, as long as you’re the one doing the shoving???

      You can’t have it both ways, sir.

  • lew

    A. The moral majority is neither
    B. Companies can donate $$$ to whomever they wish
    C. Interest Groups can boycott those companies whose donations they disagreee with
    D. is this a great country or what?

  • ar

    Why would we want to give our money to companies who will use it to advocate policies and politicians who work against our interests. Vote with your purse!

    • Fed-up


  • Outsize Importance for Toy Retailers

    […] Report: Controversial Donations Continue At Target The campaign season is behind us, but a Minnesota-based retailer is still feeling the heat. Read more on WCCO Minneapolis – St. Paul […]

  • AzPerson

    I realize “Gay Target Customer” may not be re-visiting this page, but the whole point of boycotting Target and advocating for corporate dollars NOT going to certain candidates is when they are working against our best interests or personal values. GTC, if Target continues contributing to candidates like Emmer who aggressively works against gay marriage, your future plans just might never happen.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Thursday Night Football

Listen Live