The recent firestorm over the Target Corporation's support for Tom Emmer in the Minnesota gubernatorial race illustrates a major pitfall for companies in the post-Citizens United world: They are now free to spend money on political races -- but are at risk of being identified with a candidate's whole agenda, and not just the key issues they might like.
Read More →
The lesson here is obvious: If you want to keep your brand clean of politics, keep your wallet out of the whole enterprise, too.
As we'd previously reported, Target gave $150,000 to MN Forward, a pro-business group backed by the state Chamber of Commerce, which is running TV ads supporting Emmer. However, this triggered a backlash from gay rights activists and some consumers in this liberal state, due to Emmer's support for a proposed state constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage and his close associations with the religious right.