Survey: Target Apology Not Enough

Sorry may be a good start, but an UpTake survey indicates it’s not enough for people boycotting or spending less at Target. They are upset because of Target’s political donation to a group running TV ads supporting Republican Tom Emmer for Governor of Minnesota. Emmer has ties to anti-gay groups.

As we showed you last week, those anti-gay ties prompted a Twin Cities woman to return her purchases to Target and cut up her Target credit card.  Since then more than 250,000 signatures have been gathered on petitions protesting Target’s donation.  Thursday, Target’s CEO Gregg Steinhafel said he was “genuinely sorry” the $150,000 donation disappointed some workers as well as the public.

The UpTake contacted 240 people who had previously indicated they were cutting back their spending at Target because of the political donation. As a group, their total spending at Target was somewhere between $7,688 – $10,388 a week, or $399,776 – $540,176 a year.

So far 89 people have responded.

91 % said Target’s apology was not going to change their decision.

11% indicated no matter what Target did, they would never shop there again.

83% indicated that Target needed to do something else to win them back as customers.

That “something else” is very often pledging never to make political donations out of its profits again, asking the donation be returned, and/or giving an equal amount to benefit a campaign opposing Emmer.

Continue reading to see the specific suggestions our survey respondents say would win them back as customers for Target.Here are some of the things the people we surveyed said Target would need to do to change their mind: (responses that contained defamatory language are not published here)

Say it will never make political donations again.

Return the donation to MN Forward and cease making political contributions. The Citizens United decision was wrong; corporations who make political contributions should suffer consequences and the decision should be overturned.

Issue a real apology. Essentially they said they were sorry we got pissed, not sorry that they did something wrong. They are going to continue to throw their money at politics and could not care less how much it corrupts the system. If they are
truely contrite they need to take the money back.

Renounce political spending. Target also contributed to the Prop 8 fight in California.

This indicates that they have been anti-gay more than in the MN situation. Plus I don’t think they should be contributing because they believe the GOP is more pro business.

Discontinue contributions of this kind. I’m sure I’ll go back at some time because of the convenience, but for now I’m going to local stores, farmer’s markets and Costco. I seriously doubt Target will be hurt by this boycott, but it’s a small step I can take to push back.

Quit giving campaign contributions all together and get out of that PACT

Disavow spending their customers money to harm their customers-including gays, lesbians AND poor. While they have apologized, I don’t think they’ve asked for any money back, or done anything concrete to counteract the policies of Tom Emmer and his ilk. An apology was a step, but it doesn’t make everything alright. They are still willing to spend their profits to promote policies that harm the rest of us. We don’t have to help them. The curtain was pulled back and we can’t go back to not knowing.

Take back the corporate money donation from MN Backwards OR give an equal corporation donation to Alliance for a Better Minnesota. Either way, I want a commitment on its part to NEVER use corporate money to back a candidate or candidates ever again.  Leave such things to its PAC which, because it channels employee donations, should have employee input into where it goes. If it doesn’t at this time, they should be sure it does going forward.

Ask for MN forward to return donation.

Take back the donation.

Ask for the money back and stay out of politics. Same for Best Buy.

Demand that the $150,000 donated be returned and/or contribute a similar sum to a progressive candidate who favors human rights for all.

Give an equal amount to Margaret Kelliher as she is a big education supporter and so are they

Make an equal donation to Outfront MN.

Make it corporate policy not to engage in supporting *any* PAC, political group or candidate to influence an election. They have many other means at their disposal to influence elected candidates and legislation. They do not need to influence voters’ choices.

Make equal donation to the other parties.

They need to ask for the contribution back or make a $150,000 contribution to health care safety net provider to offset the cuts that the GOP made to GAMC in Minnesota.

Stop making political campaign contributions and give to organizations devoted to social and economic justice, support educational programs and aspirations, and support self-development programs.

Keep supporting it’s staff…. have the CEO’s make less money and pay the workers MORE.

Support employees and customers. Refrain from making direct political donations to politicians or the likes of MN Forward

Withdraw its contribution and pledge to stay out of elections.

I am not sure that there would be anything. Even if there were not the issue of gay rights, the whole idea of Target supporting Emmer, to further block union rights, does it for me. I don’t plan to shop there any more.

Nothing. I’m more encouraged to shop at local stores owned by local people and move away from national chain store purchases.

Target Corp needs to pledge to stop making contributions to political campaigns. People, not corportations, should elect people representatives to government.

If they cannot retract the contribution to MN Forward, then make an equal or larger contribution to an organization that supports equality in gay rights

No donations to PACs, parties, or candidates for office. No financing of advertising against or for a national issue. Unionize their employees and pay them living wages.

Take back its donation to MN Forward and pledge to stop trying to buy elections.

Target needs to prove that they truly stand behind the message they convey to their employees. That they are truly about diversity. Supporting the candidate that they did showed they care more about the bottom line than they do the consumers that
have created the money they used to donate. It also showed that they really do not care about the liberties that a huge percentage of their employees are not allowed right now. Target needs to step back and realize that contributing financially to a single candidate alienates a huge population and their monies would be better spent funding bills and referendums that are in line with their business and retail interests.

Donate a comparable amount to an opposing group: Alliance for a Better Minnesota comes to mind.

No longer make contributions to any political campaigns, ever.

Michael McIntee

Michael McIntee is a former network TV news executive with more than 30 years of broadcasting experience. He began his broadcasting career at the University of Minnesota's student radio station. He is an expert producer, writer, video editor who has a fondness for new technology but denies that he is a geek. More about Michael McIntee »

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