Friday, July 23, 2010

SFist: Target's Financial Backing of Anti-Gay Politician

SFist, a San Francisco cultural blog, just posted a brutal story on Target's support for anti-gay Republican Tom Emmer. This is awful news for Target, as the company is currently working to secure approval for its first San Francisco locations. Highlights:
Here's something that may give fans of San Francisco's impending Target invasion some pause: the company's financial support for an anti-gay Republican politician whose friends include a "kill-the-gays" Christian rock singer.


The story goes like this:

Bradlee Dean, the frontman of a Christian rock band in Minnesota called You Can Run But You Cannot Hide, recently said that Muslim countries that execute LGBTs are "more moral than even the American Christians," plus some mouth-foaming about gays engaging in abominations and child molestation. Ugh.

So what's the Target connection? Well, Bradlee's ministry received money and support from Tom Emmer, an anti-gay Minnesota Republican running for Governor. And Tom Emmer's campaign got a boost from Minnesota Forward, a PAC running TV ads on his behalf. And Minnesota Forward got $150,000 -- which amounts to about a third of all of their donations -- from Target.

So, to follow the money: Target gave $150,000 to Minnesota Forward, which bought TV ads for Tom Emmer, who says "I believe marriage is the union between one man and one woman," and who hangs out with a guy who thinks killing gays is moral.

Tom Emmer seems to like Bradlee Dean -- as in, really like. "These are nice people," Tom said of the band. Meanwhile, Bradlee told an interviewer, "On average, they molest 117 people before they're found out. How many kids have been destroyed, how many adults have been destroyed because of crimes against nature?"

In Target's defense, backing Emmer could have been more about getting corporate welfare for their company, and the anti-gay stuff didn't even appear on their radar. Which is a shame, because it really should have. Maybe they donate to politicians who support their business needs? Fine. Bu at what point do you say, "this person may be good for the bottom line but they want to hurt people and we can't support that." While Target didn't know about Dean's "kill the gays" bile, the certainly knew that Emmer wants to stop gays from marrying, and they want ahead and gave him the money anyway.

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