Alliance for Democracy

Shop at Target?

Posted in Citizens United, Karl Rove, Uncategorized, US Chamber of Commerce by Alliance for Democracy Portland OR on August 3, 2010
While I don’t usually think too much of petitions to effect social and political change, once in a while one highlights a particular problem and the one below from Move-On certainly does.  The problem:  unlimited money in politics especially now following the US Supreme Court’s decision earlier this year in Citizens United v FEC.  The Supreme Court opened the flood gates on private interest money to pollute our democratic processes.  Corporations (and unions) can now put their hands directly on the corporte cookie jar and fund either candidates or political campaigns (like initiatives and referrals). Target is evidently one of the first corporations to take advantage.
The Oregonian on Monday had an article titled Conservative groups aim high in fundraising for fall elections.  The US Chamber of Commerce, the article tells us, has “increased its spending for the congressional elections in November from $35 million in 2008 to a projected $75 million this year.
      “The chamber has been joined by a number of new conservative fundraising organizations, such as American Crossorads, affiliated with Republican strategist Karl Rove, that have committed to raising tens of millions of dollars.”  (More on American Crossroads here).
The Oregonian story goes on to note that “more than $300 million has been budgeted for the campaign by a group of 15 conservative tax-exempt groups…..The money’s power is magnified since it will be concentrated in a relatively small number of swing states and districts.”
Naturally, by funneling all this corporate money to groups like the US Chamber, these corporations will not be identified in any particular race as the Senate failed to pass the DISCLOSE Act.  The DISCLOSE Act  would have required disclosure of the identities of major funders. 
So I invite you to respond to the Move-On petition below.

David e. Delk, Alliance for Democracy – Portland Chapter, 503.232.5495

Date: Mon, 2 Aug 2010 11:05:07 -0700
Subject: Shop at Target?

Target just gave a huge contribution to a anti-gay, anti-immigrant, anti-progressive candidate for governor in Minnesota. Will you send a message to Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel that you won’t shop at Target unless they stop trying to buy elections? Click here:Sign the petition


Dear MoveOn member,

Get this: Target, the retail giant, just became one of the very first companies to take advantage of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision allowing unlimited corporate cash in elections.1

Target has spent over $150,000 in the Minnesota Governor’s race backing state Rep. Tom Emmer, a far-right Republican who supports Arizona’s draconian immigration law, wants to abolish the minimum wage and even gave money to a fringe group that condoned the execution of gay people. 2

Target must think customers won’t care. They’re wrong: We do care, and we need to let them know that we want Target—and all corporations—out of our elections.

Will you send a message to Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel telling him that you’re not going to shop at Target unless they stop trying to buy elections? Click here to add your name to the petition:
Once we get 150,000 signatures, MoveOn members in Minnesota will hand deliver the petition to Target headquarters.
The stakes are much higher than one candidate and one company. Other CEOs are in “wait-and-see” mode following the Citizens United decision, according to a former Federal Trade Commission counsel quoted on NPR.3 If we don’t push back hard, this will just be the tip of the iceberg. Other corporations will learn that they can pour money into elections to buy the outcome they want—without paying a price with their customers or shareholders.

We all knew Citizens United would benefit candidates who stand up for corporate CEOs instead of everyday people. But you wouldn’t expect a company like Target to jump in and try to buy an election so quickly. After all, Target made its name by being thought of as the more progressive store in the wake of numerous WalMart scandals.

That’s why MoveOn members are following up on actions of groups like Human Rights Campaign and the Alliance for a Better Minnesota by telling Target that we won’t shop there unless they stop trying to buy elections. Please add your voice now:

Thanks for all you do.

–Ilyse, Robin, Anna, Mari, and the rest of the team

1. “Target Corp. defends Minn. political donation,” Associated Press, July 27, 2010
2. “GOP-linked punk rock ministry says executing gays is ‘moral’,” Minnesota Independent, May 25, 2010

“Emmer Camp On Comment That Waiters Make $100K: ‘It’s An Extreme Example’,” Talking Points Memo, July 13, 2010

3. “Minn. Ad Puts Target At Center Of Campaign Finance Controversy,” NPR, July 27, 2010


Want to support our work? We’re entirely funded by our 5 million members—no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. Chip in here.

PAID FOR BY MOVEON.ORG POLITICAL ACTION, Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. This email was sent to David Delk on August 2, 2010. To change your email address or update your contact info, click here. To remove yourself from this list, click here.


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