Date: Fri 7/30/2010 3:06 PMFrom: “Joe Solmonese, Human Rights Campaign” email@example.com
Subject: Target and Best Buy! Make it right!
One candidate for Governor of Minnesota has promised to veto marriage equality legislation and has ties to a Christian rock band that advocates death to gays.
Target and Best Buy, both based in Minneapolis, have donated $250,000 to a political committee supporting his campaign.
But they still have a chance to make it right. We’ve drafted an open letter calling on the companies to donate an equal amount to support fair-minded candidates. We’ll publish it in a full-page ad in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Will you help us ratchet up the pressure by adding your name?
By signing on, you’ll help make it clear that Target and Best Buy are risking the business of millions of pro-equality customers – and show the rest of corporate America, which is watching this situation very closely, that support for hateful and intolerant candidates won’t go unnoticed.
But don’t stop there. Print out our letter, take it to the manager of your local Target and Best Buy, and let them know how disappointed you are.
Here’s the backstory: Earlier this week, reports surfaced that Target had donated $150,000 to the political committee MN Forward. Best Buy pitched in another $100,000.
MN Forward’s mission? Elect as governor an anti-LGBT state representative with a long history of attacks on LGBT Americans. This representative’s campaign even donated to a controversial “punk-rock Christian ministry” whose leader has advocated executing gays and lesbians!
After all these two companies have done to build a fair and equitable workplace, it’s a slap in the face. In years past, Target and Best Buy consistently received 100 percent ratings on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index.
They need to make this right – by donating an equal amount to support candidates who will fight for equality. But they won’t do it just because we ask. They need to see that hundreds of thousands of customers across the country are upset and disappointed.
I hope Target and Best Buy will do the right thing. But it’s up to us to show that fair-minded consumers are paying close attention to what they do next.
Let’s make this happen,
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Well, I was pretty outraged by this, and I have to assume it is accurate, even if Human Rights Campaign did not entrust us with the actul facts. I frequently shop in both of these chains, especially the Target store in, of all places, West Hollywood, California.
When I reflect back just a few years ago when people were fired or had a criminal record just for associating with a known homosexual, such guilt by association was assumed to be justifiable. Politicians continue to use this practice to discredit and shame the other candidate and the other party. Why then, if the public mind accepts the reasonable conclusion that association with bad is bad, should businesses be able to duck every blemish on their carefully-groomed public relations skin?
Fox News (!) reports that Republian candidate Tom Emmer doesn’t like the flap over the campaign contributions because “I thought we were supposed to be able to exercise our rights of free speech.” Well, it is about free speech, so everybody is free, thanks to the Supreme Court decision earlier this year, to buy all the speech that their corporations want to pay for. But that’s not the issue, Tom. We are just as free to tell Target and Best Buy not that they don’t have a right to speak with their campaign dollars, but that we think what they’re saying is disgusting.
Am I being cynical about the Supreme Court? Hardly. The same Fox News story explains it in detail:
Target and other Minnesota-based companies, including electronics retailer Best Buy Co., Red Wing Shoes and snowmobile maker Polaris Industries Inc., donated to MN Forward after a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allowed companies to spend money on elections. The decision overturned prohibitions on corporate campaign spending in about half the states, including Minnesota.
If you can’t stand Fox News, catch the story on ABC News.