Mixing Corporations And Politics Can Be A Drag

What role should corporations play in political campaigns and political causes?

The UpTake asked attendees at Twin Cities 2012 Pride Festival about this. Two years ago, Target faced boycotts and public backlash from a contribution to a group supporting the Tom Emmer campaign for Governor. This year, General Mills announced its opposition to the anti-gay marriage amendment.

The people we talked to did not see this as a simple situation. Several felt that corporations could participate, but they should be prepared to suffer consequences of customer reaction.

Victoria told The UpTake:
“You know it’s interesting. You asked me the question and my first response was no. And then you talked about General Mills, and quite frankly if a corporation wants to say what they feel, then they should be allowed to do so and deal with the repercussions of speaking their mind, just like any of us should. So I guess the answer is yes. ”

The UpTake: “Even if we disagree with them? Even if General Mills had come out and said that marriage is between a man and a woman and that’s it?”

Victoria: “If that’s what they want to say, then I won’t eat their cereal anymore. That’s pretty easy.”

But that’s stating an opinion. What happens with corporations start spending to influence elections like Target did in 2010 to support anti-gay candidate Tom Emmer for Governor?

“Did I agree with that? No. Have I bought any drag from them since? No.”

Video highlights of this year’s Pride parade:

Bill Sorem

Bill Sorem is a longtime advertising professional who started with Campbell Mithun and ended up with his own agency. After a tour as a sailing fleet manager in the Virgin Islands he turned to database programming as an independent consultant. He has written sailing guides for the British Virgin Islands and Belize, and written for a number of blogs. In 2010, he volunteered as a citizen journalist with The UpTake and has stayed on as a video reporter.

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