MoveOn.org, the lefty political action group, has joined the campaign against Minnesota retailing giant Target Corp., which has spent some $150,000 in the governor’s race backing state GOP Rep. Tom Emmer.
In an email to supporters today (subject line: Shop at Target?), MoveOn is circulating an electronic petition to tell Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel that “you’re not going to shop at Target unless they stop trying to buy elections.”
The group is trying to get 150,000 signatures for hand delivery to Target’s Minneapolis headquarters.
The campaign has picked up steam in recent days as news spreads of Target becoming one of the first companies to take advantage of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United
decision allowing unlimited corporate cash in elections.
The company gave $150,000 to MN Forward
, a group led by Brian McClung, until recently a top aide to outgoing Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty. MN Forward is running TV ads supporting Emmer.
The transaction was the topic of a Keith Olbermann rant on MSNBC Monday night which portrayed Emmer as an arch conservative who opposes gay rights.
The dust-up over Target seems to drive home President Obama's assertion that the Citizens United ruling would open the floodgates of corporate money in politics. Some politcal experts on the right countered that big time marketers would be reluctant to sully their brands in politics. Goldman Sachs, for example, just pledged to stay out of political advertising.
On that score, the questions is whether Target is defying the conventional wisdom.