Target has donated a significant sum toward the Republican Governors Association, reports Right Wing Watch, which argues the company is then indirectly funding one the most antigay candidates in the country.
The retail giant gave $50,000 to the Republican Governors Association, an organization that contributed nearly $3 million to the campaign of Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican gubernatorial candidate in Virginia. "The company is indirectly funding one of the most extreme anti-gay culture warriors in the country," reports Right Wing Watch.
But the website also points out that Target gave to the other side, donating the same amount to the Democratic Governors Association, which backs Terry McAuliffe in the race.
As attorney general, Cuccinelli campaigned against the inclusion of sexual orientation in the nondiscrimination policies of public universities. In 2008, the conservative went so far as to claim, "when you look at the homosexual agenda, I cannot support something that I believe brings nothing but self-destruction — not only physically, but of their soul," according to the The Washington Post.
This is the first time in a long while that the Minnesota-based company has made headlines for its political contributions. In 2010, Target donated $150,000 to MN Forward, which created ads advancing another antigay gubernatorial candidate — Tom Emmer of Minnesota. The backlash prompted CEO Gregg Steinhafel to issue an apology to employees, stating “our decision affected many of you in a way I did not anticipate, and for that I am genuinely sorry.”
Google is another company recently questioned over its donations, having planned a $250 to $2,500-per-plate fundraiser for Oklahoma's antigay senator, James Inhofe, according to The Washington Post.
CLARIFICATION: An earlier version of this story did not include mention of the $50,000 donation to the Democratic Governors Association.