Ever since Target decided to wade in on the MN-GOV election last year with a big check for notoriously anti-gay Tom Emmer, I haven’t shopped there. And I’m hardly the only one; for instance, check out the YouTube below.

Why Target’s CEO – Greg Steinhafel – hasn’t been fired is beyond me. And it’s not that Steinhafel – personally – is a big donor to the Mn GOP and GOP candidates – it’s his money, and it’s his right to donate to who he wants. It’s that Steinhafel is the guy who apparently has “The Buck Stops THERE!!!” sign on his desk. Steinhafel has given me no reason to once again shop at Target; if anything, his actions make me more determined that until Steinfels goes, I don’t go to Target.

Steinfel’s latest Mea Nota Culpa? From CityPages.com:

Now, CEO Gregg Steinhafel is telling Target shareholders that the company isn’t taking a position on the gay marriage ban campaign now getting cranked up ahead of the 2012 elections.

“We are going to be neutral on that particular issue, as we would be on other social issues that have polarizing points of view,” Steinhafel says.

So, why is that a complete BS? From the Strib:

(Steinhafel) said Target will stay politically neutral when it comes to social issues such as gay marriage but wants “a seat at the table” when it comes to business issues such as credit-card swipe fees, health care, tax and trade issues.

“…business issues…”? “…BUSINESS ISSUES..”??!?

Apparently, in the cruel and cold-hearted conservative world Steinhafel lives, the happiness and well-being of employees that happen to love someone of the same sex and want the same right to wed as everyone else isn’t a “business issue.”

Maybe Steinhafel thinks The Bradlee Dean Anti-Marriage Amendment is a “social issue” – I think not. It’s a human rights issue.

If Steinhafel wants Target Corp’s Corporate Treasury donating to candidates based on their business beliefs, he better be sending Target dough to help defeat The Bradlee Dean Anti-Marriage Amendment.

Or he’d better not be sending anything from Target Corp’s Corporate Treasury to anybody.

Once Steinhafel quits these flip-flopping “contortions” (that’s what CityPages calls ‘em; go on over there for their take AND links to some coverage City Pages has given Steinhafel’s FUBAR) he might just mend a few fences and regain a few customers.

Of course, if Target Corp simply decided to (stuff)-can Steinhafel, and replace him with someone that isn’t the cold-hearted conservative Steinhafel is, they might regain a lot.

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject; comments welcome there)

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I read the story in the Business Section of Sunday’s Strib – “Best Buy may prove naysayers wrong”. The story, in a nutshell, is that Best Buy, as a corporation, isn’t doing as well financially as the Banksters on Wall Street would like:

Best Buy shareholders may need to be patient. Dunn and his crew bet wrong on consumer appetite for 3-D and Internet-ready televisions, which led to a weak holiday season. That, combined with a hasty retreat from some foreign markets and a gloomy outlook for next year, have helped send Best Buy’s stock price to a two-year low on Friday.

In Wall Street’s estimation, Best Buy is neither learning from the challenges it faces nor changing fast enough. (Strib.com)

Here’s the question Best Buy CEO Brain Dunn asks, in the story:

“The question we’re asking is, ‘What can we do for our customers that nobody else can?’”

Say, Mr. “My Compensation Has Gone Up The Last Three Years”? Here’s the question you SHOULD be asking:

“The question we’re asking is, ‘What are we doing to our customers that nobody else is?’”

And I can answer that question, pal – you used corporate dough to fund a political candidate that – quite frankly – pissed off a whole bunch of your customers – me included.

From ABCNews.com:

Target, Best Buy Angers Gay Customers By Making Contribution to GOP Candidate
Companies Say They Are Supporting Minnesota Candidate’s Stance on Jobs, Not His Anti-Gay Views

Say, Mr. Dunn? You want to give your OWN dough to political candidates (and you have – including Ol’ Smokescreen, Norm Coleman) – hey, knock yourself out.

But you give CORPORATE dough to groups supporting/opposing candidates, like Best Buy did supporting Tom “Get Over It” Emmer, and you’re risking your company’s reputation/bottom line.

I haven’t stepped foot inside of a Best Buy since last summer; same goes for Target. I did stop a few times at Holiday Gas Stations this winter but I bought as little as possible.

Here’s that question Mr. Dunn and the rest o’ Best Buy’s Brain Trust should be asking: ‘What are we doing to our customers that nobody else is?’”

Wall Street should be asking Best Buy that also.

For those upset with what’s happening in Wisconsin, it’s worth noting that Koch Industries, based in Wichita, Kansas, is a privately held, industrial conglomerate. It is involved in everything from fertilizers, raw materials and refineries to cattle, forests and consumer products. In Minnesota, it owns Flint Hills Resources, which operates the Pine Bend Refinery in Rosemount, Minn.

In 2005, Koch bought Georgia Pacific, the huge forestry and wood products company that produces everything from plywood to cleaning supplies, drywall to towel dispensers, office papers to toilet paper. Among Georgia Pacific’s brands:

• Angel Soft, Quilted Northern and Soft ‘n Gentle toilet paper

• Brawny, Mardi Gras and Sparkle paper towels

• Dixie plates, bowls, napkins and cups

• Mardi Gras napkins and towels

• Sparkle, Vanity Fair and Zee napkins

Koch also owns Invista, which manufactures more than a dozen widely known fibers and fabrics found in clothing and household goods. Among Invista’s brands:

• Coolmax, Cordura, SolarMax, Supplex, and Thermolite fabrics

• Polarguard synthetic insulation

• Antron and Stainmaster carpet fibers

• Comforel, Lycra and Tactel fibers

• Dacron fiberfill

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject.com; comments welcome there)

Whether the story broke here on MPP or over at The UpTake.org, clearly videographer Bill Sorem’s YouTube of Randi Reitan’s personal boycott of Target Corp has gone viral. Personally, it seems to me that it was Mike’s Blog Roundup that lit the firestorm:

MN Progressive Project: A Minnesota grandmother cut up her Target Card to protest Target giving $150,000 to RightWingNut candidate for governor Tom “I don’t believe you can be a freedom-loving American and be a Democrat” Emmer.

Traffic was heavy here all day while more and More and MORE places picked up the story and linked to the YouTube (many embedded it); at last check the YouTube has been viewed 59,089 times. The story has gone far beyond local, like the and been picked up all over; from ABCNews.com and CBSNews.com.

Some bloggers (such as LavenderLiberal) noted – and listed – those corporations donating to Emmer-backing MN Forward. Another interesting read is San Francisco Weekly’s take, which noted:

So, what about San Francisco? Are we still excited about the prospect of having access to discount prices, low-wage jobs, and tax revenue in light of what we are learning about Target? The development of this story is like licking the outside of a Tootsie pop and getting to the middle only to discover a turd has taken the place of the delicious chocolate.

To be sure, this is not a new phenomenon and it’s also one that we can get used to hearing more of now that the U.S. Supreme Court has opened the floodgates to even more corporate involvement in politics.

But that doesn’t mean we have to accept every chancre-ridden Trojan horse that pulls up to the gates of our city promising to bring us bargains and jobs and tax dollars. This story is about more than whether or not politicians (or a CEO) supports same-sex marriage. This is about associations much worse than simple bible thumpers.

The leader of the You Can Run ministry, Bradlee Dean, applauds the execution of gays. The group is closely associated with the Minnesota Republican Party and has attracted the support of the Party’s candidate for governor. These people aren’t just political hacks being provocative — they are spewing some rabid, hate-filled rhetoric that has consequences for LGBT people; not just at the ballot box but also on the street.

Target gave money to a PAC that ran ads for the supremacist politician who keeps company with a right-wing fringe group; a group whose rhetoric is more KKK than it is Carrie Nation. Two days ago Target defended its contribution.
(San Francisco Weekly)

OK, listings of “who gave” and a weekly that notes ties to the Minnesota state GOP….


Who is missing from that list of donors?

FEC Tony’s tacoteria!!!

So, why did Target pony up $150,000, but Tony Sutton’s Baja Sol didn’t?

Not sure.

One guess is “leadership” – or, more specifically, lack thereof.

Was FEC Tony waiting to see if there was any carnage before he put his money where his mouth is?

IMNSHO, yep.

After all, ChickenHawks are virtually all republiCons, and if anyone is a republiCon, it’s FEC Tony.

(cross posted from MnProgressiveProject; comments welcome there)