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Target Amends Giving Policy

Target Amends Giving Policy


Target Corp., which angered gays last year with a donation to a political group supporting an antigay Minnesota gubernatorial candidate, has amended its policy for political contributions.

Among the changes, reports the Washington Blade, is the establishment of a committee of senior executives to oversee donations to candidates, parties, and political action committees. "The policy committee and our CEO are responsible for balancing our business interests with any other considerations that may be important to our team members, our guests or other stakeholders," Target spokeswoman Jessica Carlson told the Blade.

Minneapolis-based Target, a retailer known for trendy but inexpensive merchandise, drew protests and boycott threats last year after it was revealed it had donated $150,000 to MN Forward, which in turn took out ads supporting Republican gubernatorial nominee Tom Emmer, an opponent of marriage equality and other LGBT causes. He narrowly lost the November election to gay-friendly Democrat Mark Dayton.

Carlson told the Blade the experience led Target to "evolve" its giving policy. "These changes are really reflective of that perspective that we gained over the 2010 election cycle," she said.

She declined to say if Target had consulted with outside groups on the matter, but an anonymous source told the Blade some LGBT rights advocates were involved. Carlson also emphasized that the retailer has donated to gay groups and events, such as Minnesota's Project 515 and Twin Cities Pride, and that it plans to offer support to pride events in Chicago and San Francisco.

The political contribution policy is posted on Target's website.

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