Target CEO Apologizes For Company’s Support Of Tom Emmer

The head of the Target Corporation is now taking the amazing step of apologizing for the company’s financial support of Tom Emmer, the presumptive Republican nominee for governor in the company’s home state of Minnesota, after coming under fire from gay rights activists.

And in a further sign of how tricky corporate political spending can actually be in practice in the post-Citizens United world, the company will also set up a review process for any future political donations.

As we noted last week, Target donated $150,000 to MN Forward, a business-backed group that is running ads for Emmer, focused on economic issues. This was made possible because of the Citizens United decision from the U.S. Supreme Court this past January, which opened the door for corporations to directly spend big money on political campaigns.

The company was facing a backlash from some consumers and activists in this liberal state, however, due to Emmer’s support for a proposed state constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, and his close associations with the religious right. And now, Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel has written a letter to employees, apologizing for the company’s involvement.

“While I firmly believe that a business climate conducive to growth is critical to our future, I realize our decision affected many of you in a way I did not anticipate, and for that I am genuinely sorry,” wrote Steinhafel, also adding: “The diversity of our team is an important aspect of our unique culture and our success as a company, and we did not mean to disappoint you, our team or our valued guests.”

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Dc
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriter:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: