Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel’s Continued Anti-Gay Funding

Target took a beating at their annual shareholder meeting from shareholders who think the big box retailer should focus on selling stuff rather than discriminating against gay people. Target’s CEO Gregg Steinhafel actually reached a white flag raising point of asking for questions on ANY issue other than the issue he brought onto himself last year when the company funded MN Forward in order to buy television ads in support of Tom Emmer, a documented gay rights bigot.

Now, one would think that if Gregg Steinhafel was truly sorry for his company’s choice to fund TV advertising for a bigoted candidate, his actions would align with his words. But, check this out:

Gregg Steinhafel's Bigoted Political Funding

That’s a Q1 2011 donation to Rep. Erik Paulsen. And, where does Erik Paulsen stand on gay rights issues? He’s had a chance to vote on one as a member of congress:

Erik Paulsen's Bigoted Vote

After the MN Forward blow-up, Erik Paulsen voted in favor of continued discrimination against gay members of the United States Military. Within months, Gregg Steinhafel chipped an additional $2,400 to Paulsen.

Erik Paulsen has also received the support of religious bigot, James Dobson, who’s a big fan of Erik Paulsen’s anti-marriage equity stance:

[Dobson] continues, “For another, Erik Paulsen believes that the institution of marriage is worth protecting, and he helped lead the effort in the legislature to pass a constitutional amendment to preserve marriage as the union of one man and one woman.”

I’ve gotta give Gregg Steinhafel credit. Not many people are willing to claim to be neutral on civil rights for gay people while simultaneously giving thousands of dollars to elected officials who are actively working to take away rights from gay people. That’s a level of hypocrisy that few people can tolerate while sleeping at night.

6 thoughts on “Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel’s Continued Anti-Gay Funding”

  1. Do all the candidates you support agree with every you on every issue? Ed- I think you’ve lost it. You can like a candidate on 85% of the issues, and disagree on a couple, and still send money to that candidate.

  2. @Jason, you may be right. I think there is more downside for a guy like Gregg Steinhafel on a $2,400 political donation that upside.

  3. @Jason, if I was a single issue voter, equal rights may be my topic of choice. Based on how Gregg Steinhafel’s political contribution history in and outside of work, I get the impression that he’s not, say, a fiscal conservative who happens to be supporting candidates who happen to also be socially bigoted.

  4. Considering he’s a CEO of a corporation, I would imagine that social issues rank pretty low on things that are important to him. Money – money – money is what matters.

    That said – in this climate I’d be afraid to make a donation to anyone. Which is kind of sad, actually.

  5. @Kevin, yes, definitely personal donations. He can do what he wants with his money. I just think it’s a strange action for a leader of a company that recently found itself in a political mess due to political donations.

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