MINNEAPOLIS — Mass merchandiser Target has changed its political donation policies following a controversy that erupted last year over a donation to a socially conservative political group, according to published reports.
The Washington Blade, a gay and lesbian newspaper, reported Thursday that Target had formed a policy committee comprising senior executives that would direct political giving.
Though the retailer has long supported gay and lesbian organizations and events, it attracted controversy and calls for boycotts during the 2010 elections when it donated $150,000 to MN Forward, a group that ran ads supporting Republican Minnesota gubernatorial candidate, Tom Emmer, who had run as an opponent of many gay-rights initiatives, including same-sex marriage and programs to combat anti-gay bullying in schools. Emmer also had made a $250 donation to You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International and appeared on the radio show of its leader, Bradlee Dean, who had made statements that appeared to endorse violence against gay people, though Emmer later distanced himself from Dean’s statements. Emmer lost the election to Democrat Mark Dayton.