Uses Hot-Button Issue to Gin Up Base Against Target

It’s hardly a secret the Democratic Party, and by extension their liberal activists, are fearful their side is going to suffer significant electoral losses this November.


Part of that is due to voters’ dissatisfaction with Democratic-controlled executive and legislative branches nationally. But another component is apathy or disinterest on the part of many voters who would pull the lever for vote for a Democratic candidates. In contrast, conservative voters are clearly fired up.


But has resorted to a backdoor way to get liberal voters engaged. On MSNBC’s Aug. 20 “The Daily Rundown,” host Chuck Todd explained how the left-wing organization is using a campaign to make same-sex marriage an issue in the Minnesota gubernatorial race. In his “Top Ten Friday” segment, which keys in on particular gubernatorial races that could flip sides in the fall, Todd explained how the “professional left” was focusing on the Minnesota gubernatorial race.


“Here we go – at number ten, it’s Minnesota,” Todd said. “The Democrat, Mark Dayton, who won his primary just over a week ago running against outgoing Gov. Tim Pawlenty and George W. Bush – not his actual opponent. But he does actually need to get past [GOP candidate] Tom Emmer, who we recently found out is getting help from none other than Target, a company that’s cultivated an urban gay-friendly image, a former sponsor of the Twin City’s gay pride festival. It turns out [they] donated $150,000 to Minnesota Forward, a PAC that’s supporting Emmer’s campaign.”


Most of the polling has Daytonsolidly in command of the race, but its curious the left would beat up on Target (NYSE:TGT) because they contributed to a PAC that supports a candidate that opposes same-sex marriage. It appears to be the same sort of the left decried as demagoguery during the 2004 election, just the opposite side of the same issue. The campaign is being orchestrated by, which not only happens to be using the issue of same-sex marriage to fire up its rabid supporters, but to also shamelessly fundraise.


In fact, as Todd explained, Target contributed to Minnesota Forward because it supports the candidate that wants lower corporate taxes, which is definitely in the Minnesota-based company’s best interest. But he also explained that it has inspired so-called shareholder backlash.


“Emmer wants Minnesota’s corporate taxes to be lower, which Target supports,” Todd continued. “He's against same-sex marriage and has now made Target a bull’s-eye, running an ad urging supporters to boycott the company. Shareholders aren't happy that three asset management companies wrote a letter to target saying they should consider the implications of political contributions on its shareholders, i.e. that $58-million stake they hold in the company, a part of the new complex landscape following that game-changing Citizens United Supreme Court decision in January.”


If shareholders are really concerned over these political contributions and the bottom line, there’s not a whole lot of evidence they should be. Since the story broke that Target was involved in the political process in late July, Target stock has been relatively flat, hovering around $52 a share.

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