This is welcome news:
The head of Target Corp. apologized Thursday over a political donation to a business group backing a conservative Republican for Minnesota governor, which angered some employees and sparked talk of a customer boycott.
Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel wrote employees to say the discount retailer was “genuinely sorry” over the way a $150,000 contribution to MN Forward donation played out. Steinhafel said Target would set up a review process for future political donations.
“While I firmly believe that a business climate conducive to growth is critical to our future, I realize our decision affected many of you in a way I did not anticipate, and for that I am genuinely sorry,” Steinhafel wrote.
He added, “The diversity of our team is an important aspect of our unique culture and our success as a company, and we did not mean to disappoint you, our team or our valued guests.”
It’s nice to see that Target is willing to learn from its mistakes. This is still an extremely interesting situation from the perspective of the Citizens United ruling, of course, as that was always the larger story. But it seems that they’ve at least learned the lesson that a candidate’s entire record is important, and that a politician’s antipathy to gays is not just an “Oh, by the way.” Republican candidates should pay attention, actually. Corporations give lots of money to the GOP (and the Democrats too), because they tend to roll over and let large corporations do whatever the hell they want when they’re in power. Those politicians know where their daily bread comes from too. The current GOP electoral strategy is to bait the rubes with racist, nativist and anti-gay sentiments, like it’s been since the 1960’s. But large corporations have a stake in being inclusive, and it’s going to become more and more difficult for them to align publicly with politicians with records of bias and bigotry, and more than ever, people are paying attention.