This afternoon, 75 immigrant rights and LGBTQ advocates demonstrated in front of Target, over their connection to Republican candidate for governor Tom Emmer. They condemned Target’s $150,000 contribution to MNForward, which used the money for a television ad urging the election of Emmer who is infamous for his anti-immigrant, anti-gay, and anti-minimum wage views.
The protesters carried 4 four-foot-tall dia de los muertos skeletons, signifying Emmer’s offensive positions on immigrants, GLBTQ people, and low income workers, as well as Target’s corporate political contributions.
“MNForward has endorsed one candidate: Tom Emmer,” Ana Vasquez, a MIRAc member said. “Target gave $150,000 to support an anti-immigrant, anti-GLBTQ, anti-worker candidate.”
“Target’s political skeletons are out of the closet,” Vasquez added. “It’s time for the company to renounce the politics of hate and put some meat on the bones of its so-called “respectful” community-oriented policies.”
In mid-afternoon, Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel apologized to company employees for the contribution, but did not address any corrective action to repair damaged relationships with GLBTQ and immigrant communities.
The Minnesota Independent previewed the MIRAc action in Immigrant advocates take to streets in Target’s hometown
The Four Skeletons in Target and Emmer’s Closet
Anti-Immigrant & Anti-Latino: Emmer called AZ law SB1070 “a wonderful first step,” and continues to be a vocal supporter of it, even after a courts has challenged the bill’s constitutionality and promoting of racial profiling. He also introduced bills to take away prenatal care from undocumented women, as well as an English-Only provision
“I believe marriage is the union between one man and one woman,” he says on his campaign website. “As a legislator, I have consistently supported the constitutional marriage amendment that protects traditional marriage.” In 2007, Emmer authored a constitutional amendment to prohibit same-sex marriage and civil unions.
Anti-Minimum Wage: Emmer has said he wants to cut minimum for servers, claiming many make over $100,000 a year.
Corporate cash in elections: This donation makes Target one of the very first companies to take advantage of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision allowing unlimited corporate cash in elections. Target gave $150,000 in company cash to MN for an ad buy and graphic services.
For more info on Target’s support of MN Forward/Emmer check out Think Progress’s excellent background article.
Update: The Uptake has posted this great news feature about the event: