Target leads off with campaign donations

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    the newly authorized campaign contributions from corporations have started rolling into political coffers ..

    and our local target store is right in the middle of the controversy.

    it happens Target has donated to the campaign of a right wing anti-gay candidate in Minnesota… and that has stirred protest..

    but i am delivering a letter of protest and intent to boycott at noon today at our local target as part of a national boycott effort because I don’t think that corporations should be given free reign to buy elections.. no matter who they support.

    The supreme court diluted the rights of free speech for individuals by gifting corporations benefits belonging to citizens… without tempering them with responsibilities.

    The not so subtle elections for sale process has begun.

    I am going to say no by voting with my pocketbook.

    Already target’s stock has fallen.

    this could work.



    I think it’s great that people boycott (I’m not sold that they actually work, however).

    What I don’t get is that Target contributed to this guy (indirectly) because he is the pro-business candidate(low taxes/less government?) not because of his stance on gay marriage.

    I can’t imagine that there is any politician you agree with on every single issue, is there? What are they(or we) to do, not support anyone? Maybe.

    It seems to me that their stance as a corporation trumps everything – and the recent court ruling make this guys position moot anyway, correct?



    in answer to smitty…

    i am not boycotting because of the recipient of the donation. i am boycotting because of the donation itself.

    at best this is a business trying to buy the election of a pro-business candidate… something i am totally against.

    for those like me who don’t choose to join the boycott sponsored by move-on objecting to this specific donation…

    but who want to boycott because they will not support businesses taking advantage of the new corporate donation law.. i am posting the content of my letter to Target.

    Please feel free to copy and use it if it works for you.

    i purposefully wrote it so that i can easily adapt it later to any business because i am pretty sure this is not the only corporate boycott letter i will be writing for this cause.

    i do believe that buying boycotts work.

    I am still not shopping at whole foods.

    the letter…

    dear Greg Steinhafel

    CEO of Target

    I want to inform you that that I am joining the boycott of target over the recent political donation made by your company..

    I am not joining this boycott simply because the money was given to a cause I personally find reprehensible but because I don’t choose to subsidize any company that takes advantage of the latest Supreme Court ruling on campaign finance contributions to make political contributions outside of their existing PACs.

    The right of free speech is an individual right. Vesting individual rights in corporations dilutes the right of individual free speech which is one of the founding principles of this nation.

    It’s good that you have apologized to your employees for creating this controversy and are setting up a panel to deliberate future donations so that your corporate donations won’t reflect just your personal political choices, but it isn’t enough.

    I will not shop in Target or use my Target VISA again until you pledge not to make political contributions from Target outside of your PAC.

    I have enjoyed being a loyal Target customer and will miss shopping in your stores.




    Thanks, Smitty. Thanks, JoB.

    Smitty, I think boycotts do work, but not always. Several conditions have to be met. Among other things, there has to be:

    1) Public understanding and acceptance of “the cause.”

    2) Sustained momentum.

    3) A sensitivity to public pressure on the part of the boycotted business.

    JoB: Go with your gut on this. If this candidate’s stance on gays outweighs his positions on other issues in your eyes, it’s perfectly all right for you to take action based on that alone. This is the same way I feel about Democrats who won’t take a stand on war. They may be good in other areas; they may be slightly better than Republicans in most areas. But peace is my big issue, and if they’re not with me on that, then I’m not with them either.



    Makes me want to apply for a Target Card and then cut it in half and send it back to them….




    i am not boycotting because of the candidate Target chose to support… although that is what brought their donation to national attention.

    I am boycotting because i don’t believe that corporations ought to have an unfair advantage over citizens in buying political ads for candidates.

    Don’t get me wrong.. i personally think this candidate is repulsive…

    but i would still be boycotting regardless of whether i approved of the candidate or not if i had been made aware that Target had chosen to take advantage of this supreme court ruling

    because i believe the ruling is wrong.

    Our elected representatives spend far too much of their time fund raising for their next election and catering to the special interests of their largest donors…

    govt of the people..

    for the people..

    by the people..

    i think i messed up the sequence and am too tired today to go look it up..

    but the point is that corporations are not people… whether the supreme court grants them that status or not.

    the only reason we know about the donation from target to a special interest group supporting Emmett is that Minnesota has strong political disclosure laws… but not every state does.

    right now the republicans have effectively blocked a national political contribution disclosure law in the Senate.

    In most states, corporations will not have to disclose their contributions and consumers won’t have the opportunity to vote against those contributions by boycotting.

    Target is a good place to make a stand because the boycott is hurting their stock price and the issue in this case is clear.

    it’s a start.




    a woman made a you-tube video about shopping at target.. returning $200+ of merchandise and telling the store manager why.. followed by cancelling and cutting up her card.

    too much work for me…

    but i can write a letter

    and i do have an account they can check

    and i am sorry to say the amounts are substantial:(

    boycotting target will probably be good for my pocketbook:)



    I’ll never boycott Target but the rest of you go on ahead. Shorter lines for the rest of us who don’t care as much about political donations! Besides, if Target is one of the first to make such contributions, I’m sure more even more large corporations will follow.



    Every corporation will now be making contributions; not that I don’t find the Target contribution any less distasteful, but that’s the way it is.

    If you want to make a difference, be bothered to vote. (and to those who already do, kudos)

    The makeup of the Supreme Court, which foisted this and other disservices on our nation was determined the day that Bush II was elected for the second time. How anyone with half a brain voted for that murderer is beyond me, but that’s for another discussion.

    The point is: vote for candidates who are IN FAVOR OF YOUR CIVIL LIBERTIES instead of toadies of the wealthy and the powerful. But more importantly, take every opportunity to vote AGAINST the people already in power who brought you this, and the weakening of Miranda rights, and the rights of developers over homeowners…and more to come.

    But this boycott, like all others before it, is the classic closing of the barn door after the horse has bolted.

    Think about it: if only a couple hundred more people had voted for Gore in just Florida, we never would have had to bury the thousands of brave young men and women who have died in the second Vietnam. We would have a Supreme Court that would never have allowed the erosion of personal liberties and blessed the libertinism toward corporations that we are seeing.

    Just a couple hundred, out of the millions who didn’t vote but could have.

    Vote. VOTE.

    Boycotts don’t work. Petitions don’t work.

    VOTING does.



    If I were to boycott every corporation that did something I found ethically questionable I’d probably be sitting in an empty room right now.



    lenguamor, petitions DO work, when the folks we vote into office fail to move forward on progressive bills; for example, hundreds worked for years to get a smokefree law passed via Wa state legislature, but we couldn’t even get the bill out of committee; so we took it to the streets via petitions, and won the people’s vote by a landslide; if we waited for elected officials to pass smokefree law, we might still all have to endure smoke filled public restaurants and bars


    I have always voted, and totally agree, please vote; it does make a difference in personal lives


    agree with cjboffoli; and I will not boycott Target in our neighborhood, will not punish a business that provides much needed jobs for local employees; Target has made a statement and seems to be making efforts to make this right


    please put your energies into something more positive, productive; people need jobs



    Diane: You’re right about the grass-roots effort it took to get the much-needed anti-indoor-smoking law passed, but that was not a petition…it was an Initiative, which is quite different.

    Now, you start an Initiative to get a law passed that reverses the SCOTUS’s ruling, at least in WA, and I’m behind *that* 100% all the way.

    People complain about Tim Eyman’s *initiative politics* but it’s the only thing that has busted the WA government’s lethargy for more than a decade now, and it has proven to be a far more effective way of enacting the true will of the people than our elected government.

    Ain’t that a shame? Without Eyman I’d be paying upwards of $500 yearly for tabs on my 1989 car by now; last time I renewed before that Initiative passed it was $350+.

    If only we could enact national Initiatives.




    you would be surprised to hear that the manager i spoke with at target was appalled at the donation outside the PAC and looked for a way to express my letter to headquarters.

    I was told that employees were glad to see the letters because the policies supported by the candidate who was given the donation do not reflect Target corporate culture and they wanted to put an end to those donations as well. They felt politics had no place at target.

    as i walked out… another fellow was walking in.

    I suspect my personal boycott of Target won’t last that long since Target is known to react quickly to customer input… and i think they got a fair amount of customer input nationwide today.

    btw… i told the manager how much i loved shopping at Target and how much this act pained me and that i truly hoped this issue would be rapidly resolved. I will miss shopping at my local target.




    Eyman’s short term thinking is cutting off your long term services…

    but hey.. i bet that’s ok with you. who needs public parks or fire stations or manned police stations or libraries or …

    as long as you save on those tabs so you can afford to hire your own.

    *** heavy sarcasm alert here … FYI ***



    petition & initiative are often interchangeable terms used in reference to process for gathering signatures so people can vote directly on the ballot to pass laws; people sign petitions to get initiatives on the ballot; I thought that’s what you meant when you said “petitions don’t work”; they are very effective when elected officials won’t budge on crucial legislation, even when the majority clearly are in favor, as was true with smoke free law



    JoB: If the legislature and Governor had followed through after the voters overwhelmingly voted for $35 tabs, they would have replaced the money that was being used by excessive tab fees FOR THINGS THAT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH CARS, OR ROADS, OR ANYTHING REMOTELY ASSOCIATED WITH AUTOMOBILE EXPENDITURES with funding from sources appropriate to each item.

    But no – our government wanted to make sure we paid a penalty for daring to usurp their unilateral disregard of our wishes, and all they had to do what they always do – what they do best: NOTHING.

    If you can tax people one way, you certainly can tax them in another, more appropriate way to the programs you’re trying to fund…if you have the ability to THINK.



    Sorry, people make mistakes. We all do. Left and right political spectrum. I still can live with my neighbors. WSB editors always try to correct/have the last word (they monitor the blog its seems) but it won’t make me stop reading the blog cuz it’s a great venue. I won’t protest the blog cuz I feel my opinion is the Messiah of opinions. Target, just another venue for protest. If not them, some one else tomorrow. Stick to the issue, which I agree–equal rights for all people. Not that Target made a mistake…I think they know that.



    I have to shop there. There is no other place that sell the cleaning supplies I need.

    So if people stop shopping there, business goes down they start laying off people who need more welfare, unemployment checks ect. The employees may or may not support the CEO decision, but they need a job. Plus Target seems to be liberal on tattoos and body piercing hell even Costco doesn’t allow that. Great on those of you who want to boycott. Do think of the employees who may be laid off because business dropped. The CEO makes millions of dollars so it will NOT affect him. It is all a write off.



    yep hammerhead, that was my main point; thank you



    Yeah, as long as you got bread and circus, doesn’t much matter HOW hard the man screws you, does it CMP?

    I’d like to say your blithe ignorance must be nice, but it isn’t, for you or the rest of your fellow citizens.



    I think I already read about Target’s response to the threat of a boycott (or “apology”) yesterday, or maybe even the day before.




    the CEO apologized to target employees in an email for causing a controversy and vowed to set up a committee to decide on future political donations…

    not the same thing as sticking to PAC money.


    i sincerely doubt that the loss of the amount of money i spend at Target each year is enough to put the company out of business…

    but i was a loyal enough customer to get their attention… and multiplied by other loyal customers it may be enough to change company policy.

    the only threat to Target employees is the dip in stock price created by those pesky wall street traders who panic at the mere thought of any loss of revenue… and yes.. that alone could lead to job losses to elevate Target’s bottom line to quell the nerves of investors.

    That’s no way to run a business.. but wall street isn’t about the business of business.. it’s about finance and leveraging and creating profit centers on top of profit centers…. no wonder the economy is in such deep trouble.




    i know this is a stretch…

    but just how do you expect our government to provide services without income?

    because that’s the rub. there is no elusive pot of gold at the end of the rainbow that THEY could use if THEY just chose to.

    it’s all well and good to talk about cutting the waste out of state and local government… 10% budget cuts across the board this year.. but those budget cuts inevitably mean job cuts and job cuts inevitably mean less service and incidently less revenue due to fewer taxpayers and that turns into fewer customers supporting fewer businesses who are forced to lay off more workers decreasing revenues even further.

    be careful what you ask for. California’s budget meltdown was the result of Eyman like initiatives… it didn’t work out so well for them.

    but hey.. it sure sounds great doesn’t it.. empower the little people and make the big bad government stop taking our hard earned money for things we don’t really need…

    *** another sarcasm alert ***




    I’m with you 100% on this for both the smaller and larger concerns. Thank you for penning a great letter and your clear explanation of the situation.



    how do you end up paying 350-500 dollars for tabs on a 1989 car? I drive a 1992 car and my tabs cost around 70 dollars. Just curious.

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