Target kept on giving to anti-gay politicians after Emmer fiasco

Categories: GLBT

We looked at FEC figures for 2010.

The biggest beneficiary of the company's largesse was Republican Rep. John Kline's campaign in the 2nd congressional district. He collected $5,000 from the Target PAC after the Steinhafel mea culpa. The Target PAC didn't donate to his challenger, Shelly Madore.

Kline has voted against prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation, and in favor of a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. He signed on to televangelist Pat Robertson's failed lawsuit targeting gay marriage in the District of Columbia; Robertson's Christian Coalition gives Kline a 92 percent favorability rating. The Human Rights Campaign has rated him a zero in terms of support for GLBT issues.

Target's PAC also donated $1,500 to GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen on Sept. 29 -- after the apology -- as well as in previous quarters. Paulsen is a consistent opponent of gay marriage. He voted against repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and against workplace anti-discrimination laws based on sexual orientation. He's been embraced by James Dobson's organization, Focus on the Family, for trying to get a gay marriage ban passed in Minnesota during his time in the Legislature. The Human Rights Campaign also rated him a zero. No Target PAC money went to his Democratic challenger, Maureen Hackett.

Thumbnail image for JohnKlinesq.jpg
Target apologized, then sent John Kline a check for $5,000.
In the 6th district, Target PAC donated to anti-gay marriage stalwart Michele Bachmann before the August primaries, but not after. However, the The Awl reports the PAC also donated to independent groups that in turn donated Bachmann's campaign. Bachmann's rival, Tarryl Clark, received no donations.

The Target PAC did support two friends of GLBT causes this year.

  • CD 5: Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison, a gay marriage supporter, took in a $1,500 donation from the Target PAC on Sept. 30. His opponent, Republican Joel Demos, didn't receive Target PAC money.
  • In CD 4, $1,000 went to Democratic Rep. Betty McCollum on June 21 -- before the apology. The Target PAC did not donate to her Republican challenger, Theresa Collete.

This year, the FEC shows that no Target PAC money made its way into the these races:

  • CD 1: Democratic Rep. Tim Walz vs Republican Randy Demmer
  • CD 7: Democratic Rep. Collin Peterson vs Republican Vidar Byberg
  • CD 8: Democratic Rep. Jim Oberstar vs Republican Chip Cravaack

Neither of Minnesota's two U.S. Senators, Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, were up for re-election this year. However, the Target PAC donated $1,000 to Klobuchar this year.

Supposedly GLBT-friendly Target says it's playing fair. But to have its CEO apologize for the company's political donations, and to then keep supporting politicians opposed to GLBT rights, is a cold calculation.

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