The big retailer Target put itself in the crosshairs after it became one of the first big companies to exercise the new political muscle handed corporations by the U.S. Supreme Court under its Citizens United ruling. On July 6th, 2010, Target $150,000 to Minnesota Forward (MN Forward), a political action committee that backs Republican candidates. After accepting the donation, MN Forward put out an ad supporting Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer, who in 2007 authored a constitutional amendment to prohibit same-sex marriage and civil unions. Emmer also tries to change the language of bills so that same-sex couples cannot benefit from them. In one example, Emmer sought to replace the word "parents" with "mother and father" in a bill to create standards for surrogate motherhood. Gay rights organizations were offended by Target's donation and have called for boycotts and organized protests to draw attention to Target's donation. One such protest was a musical "flashmob" that descended on a Target retail store to perform the new song, "Target Ain't People," to raise awareness of Target's efforts to influence Minnesota's elections. Target officials ran to call the police to stop the musical invasion as customers danced to the beat -- and got the message that corporations aren't people, and shouldn't possess the unlimited ability to influence elections.
By Anne Landman on August 19, 2010