Target back in the cross hairs over political contribution

  • Article by: Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 12, 2010 - 9:36 PM

Opponents of Target Corp.'s political donation to a group supporting Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer are opening a new battlefront.

THE LATEST: Union members rallied outside the company's downtown Minneapolis store Thursday to protest Emmer's positions on immigration. A few protesters passed out leaflets to shoppers and passersby.

WHY EMMER? Emmer, a state representative from Delano, has praised the recent Arizona law that cracks down on illegal immigrants, and he has sponsored English-only bills in the Legislature.

WHY TARGET? Members of the Service Employees International Union are taking aim at Target because the union contends it is a company that "seeks the business of immigrant families and then support[s] anti-immigrant politicians."

THE BACK STORY: Target first came under fire from gay rights supporters for its $150,000 contribution to MN Forward, which is running pro-Emmer ads. Emmer has a long history of opposing gay rights.

After initially defending its donation, the company publicly apologized to its employees, saying its future political contributions would be closely scrutinized by its directors.

Target has become something of a poster child for the perils of corporations making political contributions, something made easier by a recent Supreme Court decision that gave companies and unions explicit authority to spend funds on elections.

A representative of Target didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

BOB VON STERNBERG

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