Target Says “We Do Not Have a Political Agenda”


Yesterday we mentioned that Target has found itself in a bit of a conundrum after donating $150,000 to MN Forward, which is running ads supporting Republican gubernatorial candidate (and friend of the Tea Party) Tom Emmer, who just so happens to be anti gay marriage as well as pro Arizona immigration law and pro concealed carrying of guns, among other things.

See, the thing is, Target has always called itself a supporter of the gay community, even while CEO Gregg Steinhafel donated generously to various Republicans including Michelle Bachmann and George W. Bush. We had a chance to ask a few questions of the organization. Herewith, our conversation with Target spokesperson Jessica Carlson:

So, why donate to someone who’s anti gay marriage if you call yourself a supporter of the gay comunity?
Carlson: At this point what we’re sharing is what was in Gregg’s email. To be clear, we donated to a political action committee, the MN Forward, which is a bi-partisan group, and not directly to Emmer’s campaign. Gregg’s email speaks for itself.

Here’s the full email, via Minnesota Public Radio.

BUT: Why say you’re a supporter of the gay community if you’re going to donate to someone who isn’t? And why say you don’t have a political agenda if you’re donating to groups that are funding political campaigns?

We got a few more questions in:

Will this change the way Target donates in the future?
Carlson: I can’t speculate on the nature of where our donations will go.

How about your employees, is anyone threatening to quit?
Carlson: Target is committed to our team member diversity and those points in the email. We’ve received various levels of feedback on this donation but we can’t speak on specifics.


How’s that new New York store doing?
Carlson: Anecdotally, we opened really strong in New York, but there’s no specific sales data yet.