Twin Cities Pride Executive Director Dot Betsler tells that her organization is still trying to decide how to respond to Target Corporation’s donation of $100,000 in cash and $50,000 worth of goods and services to MN Forward, a Republican pressure group founded by former Pawlenty deputy chief of staff Brian McClung that’s helping fund ads supporting GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer. According to Minnesota Public Radio, Target says they gave to Emmer because of his pro-business stances:

Target spokeswoman Lena Michaud says Target does not give funds based on party, but on which candidates and causes “directly effect the company’s retail agenda.”

Pro-business Emmer may be, but the state legislator has also been linked to a prominent local anti-gay group, and has not exactly been at the forefront of the fight for LGBTQ equality in the Minnesota legislature, last May voting against a popular anti-bullying bill that was ultimately vetoed by Governo Tim Pawlenty.

Betsler declined to comment on what options were on the table in dealing with Target, who has been a significant sponsor of many LGBT community events, and who occupied a prime place as a “Silver Sponsor” of this year’s Twin Cities Pride festival. A decision, she said, would rest on “internal conversations,” and would be due by the end of the week.

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  1. “…weighing its options”, like what exactly? Refuse to take any more of Target’s money? Doesn’t seem likely. They’re one of if not THE largest corporate philanthropist in the state. It’s ludicrous to think that all of that money ($5 mllion a week, right?) will go to causes any one perspective agrees with, regardless of whether it comes from corporate HQ “governmental relations” or from the Foundation. And it’s equally ludicrous for TC Pride to even imply that they (or any other non-profit for that matter) would close the valve on that flow of money in protest of that reality.

    It’s funny that we have different expectations of Target than we might of, say, Wells Fargo or U.S. Bank, whose philanthropic and “governmental relations” giving surely plays both sides.

    By the end of the race, Emmer’s donor list is going to read like a Chamber of Commerce roll call list, for the exact reason the Target PR lady states — Republicans cut the taxes of businesses and rich people. That’s no mystery, nor should it be a surprise.

  2. If they wanted a fiscal conservative they should have gone with Tom Horner. Emmer is a right wing idealog.

  3. I hope TC Pride will take a stand. I know the idea of loosing a key sponsor is scary, but so is Tom Emmer.

    I just think it’s a huge mistake for Target to get involved with Brian McClung. Getting directly involved in partisan politics (I just do not believe the press release that says MN Forward is ‘bi-partisan’ If it is, who besides Emmer is MN Forward supporting?).

    If Target gave money to a group supporting Margaret A-K, the right-to-lifers would go nuts. Liberals are – or should be – pissed at the Emmer support.

    Can’t win, no middle ground. SO stay OUT OF IT, Target. Really!!


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