Today comments I sent into the Star Tribune were published on the topic of Targets donation to a pro-business group that subsequently gave money to Rep. Tom Emmer's campaign for Minnesota Governor. The comments posted today is the second time my comments were published by the Star Tribune on this topic. My comment from July 29, 2010 (http://www.startribune.com/opinion/letters/100939139.html?elr=KArksc8P:Pc:Ug8P:Pc:UiD3aPc:_Yyc:aULPQL7PQLanchO7DiUr) were:
The uproar by the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) community over Target's $150,000 donation to a group that has placed an ad for Tom Emmer is questionable. Target is one company that recognizes the plight of the GLBT community by offering domestic partnership benefits and donating money to pride parades.
The donation by Target is to back a candidate who is probusiness.
Why is it OK for the GLBT community to focus on one issue when backing a candidate, but not OK for Target?
Since that time advertising and negotiations have been taking place trying to force Target into donating similar money to groups and candidates that a friendly to the GLBT community. After hearing that Target said they would not cave to pressures from outside of Minnesota I wrote this(http://www.startribune.com/opinion/letters/100939139.html?elr=KArksc8P:Pc:Ug8P:Pc:UiD3aPc:_Yyc:aULPQL7PQLanchO7DiUr):
Kudos to Target executives for not being baited by the Human Rights Campaign into an attempt to extort money by a single-issue group ("Target balks at counter contribution," Aug. 17). Does the HRC not realize that Target offers benefit programs that are friendly to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community while also giving money for the annual Pride festival? Or is this just another case of an outside force coming to Minnesota to push its weight around?
Target executives made a business decision to give money to a probusiness group that in turn helps probusiness candidates get elected. Target did not donate money to an anti-GLBT group. Will the HRC hire all the workers that Target, or any other company, has to let go if the environment in Minnesota becomes too toxic for businesses to thrive?
To paint Target, or any other business, has being anti-GLBT is pathetic. People are boycotting Target as well because of their donation choice. Don't people understand that in order for Target to thrive and offer jobs that it will back pro-business groups? Just take a look at the West Coast. Recently Utah raised their top level tax rate to 11% and the result was many businesses left the state and revenues dropped by $600 million. We need businesses in our communities to keep tax revenue flowing and if that means they donate money to a pro-business candidate then so be it. As I originally posed, "Why is it OK for the GLBT community to focus on one issue when backing a candidate, but not OK for Target?"