Why I won’t be shopping at Target

Last winter in the “Citizens United” case, the US Supreme Court ruled that banning corporate spending on behalf of political candidates was unconstitutional. Many fear that the resulting flow of corporate money into political campaigns will further tilt the balance in American society away from the individual and towards big business. To counter the influence of unrestrained political spending by corporations, I think it’s critical that we all pay close attention to the political activities of businesses we frequent and, if these businesses act contrary to our own beliefs, to take our commerce elsewhere. Corporations may have a First Amendment right to participate in the political process; but I have a corresponding right to not shop at their stores.

Target Corporation, which is based in Minnesota, recently donated $150,000 to a political action committee that is now running ads in favor of Tom Emmer, the Republican candidate for governor of that state. Emmer holds what I consider to be radical views on the role of government, favors business over the individual, and is a staunch opponent of many individual rights including same sex marriage. I think the election of Emmer and people of like political philosophy would be harmful to the country. I have no problem with individuals who support Emmer – they are free to hold their own views on what’s best for them and the country. But I certainly don’t want to do anything to help elect Emmer and now I feel that if I shop at Target I’m promoting Emmer by proxy.

Here’s a link to Emmer’s website. If you like what you see, keep shopping at Target. If you disagree with him, consider shopping at another store.

10 Responses to Why I won’t be shopping at Target

  1. Jack Mitchell says:

    The threat of boycott will help supress the lust that corporations will have for openly politicking. That is why GOPers rejected the DISCLOSE Act.

  2. Mary says:

    Lordy, I’m not going to stop going to Target because they made a donation to some political PAC that may lean right. What happens if Walmart does the same and then CVS??? Where are you going to shop?

    Think about the 1000’s of people that work there instead of a few people at the top. It’s like boycotting the entire state of Arizona because you don’t like the choice made by the legislature there. It makes no sense.

  3. The Mark says:

    I applaud Dick for doing so. Vote with your feet and wallets. It’s why I won’t watch or pay for the Boston Ruins. When I go to the Garden for a Celtics game or concert I won’t buy the concessions as I don’t want to give the jacobs family any more of my money then possible. Good for Dick for taking a principaled stand.

    But the flip side is some people WILL shop at Target for this reason.

  4. Prince Charming says:

    Still buying the Lowell Sun? Do you agree with everybody they’ve endorsed? Has their slanted reporting ever helped anyone whose politics are contrary to yours? Every time you fill your tank you’re helping some oil-loving Republlican .

  5. George DeLuca says:

    I agree with Mary and Prince Charming. The new Target store on Plain St. in Lowell is a home run in the retail department for the City. For one thing it saves us from having to drive to the malls when you need to shop for something you can’t find in the local mom and pops. The prices are reasonable and they carry quality products.

    As Mary said, a lot of people rely on their jobs at Target, and, it’s a convenient place to shop, and even has groceries and a Starbucks. Boycotting Target is a bad idea if you live in Lowell and I’m strongly against it. Let’s support our businesses.

    If you want to attack local businesses, you don’t do it by judging their political preferences, you judge them on quality, service and price. Let’s weed out the bad businesses, not the strange bedfellows.

    I’m intrigued with Paul Marion’s recent post that suggests we boycott oil as a means of doing our individual part in the a peaceful approach to waging the war against terrorism.

    I cut back on driving about 12 years ago, when I refused to drive an hour to and from work each day. Not only is it a waste of time that you can be spending on something productive, it’s also a waste of gas, wear and tear on the car, etc, and harmful to the environment. Now I’m further inspired to think of ways to cut back on driving as an exercise in sustainable economic development. Now Paul adds another excellent reason to think about it. We may become a walking City yet …

  6. JoeS says:

    Gotta say one thing for the Republicans, they’re not in it for small change:

    Wyly Brothers’ $550 Million Stock Sales Draw SEC Fraud Lawsuit
    July 29, 2010, 8:03 PM EDT

    By David Scheer

    July 29 (Bloomberg) — Samuel Wyly and Charles Wyly, Texas- based entrepreneurs who financed ads supporting George W. Bush’s presidential campaigns, were sued by U.S. regulators for allegedly misleading investors while selling hundreds of millions of dollars in stock.

    The brothers over a 13-year period used “an elaborate sham system of trusts and subsidiary companies” in the Isle of Man and Cayman Islands to hide control of securities linked to companies where they were board members, the Securities and Exchange Commission said today in a lawsuit filed at federal court in New York. They illegally kept investors in the dark as they sold off their holdings, it said.

    “The cloak of secrecy has been lifted from the complex web of foreign structures used by the Wylys to evade the securities laws,” the SEC’s deputy enforcement director, Lorin Reisner, said in a statement. “They used these structures to conceal hundreds of millions of dollars of gains in violation of the disclosure requirements for corporate insiders.”

  7. DickH says:

    I haven’t subscribed to the print edition of the Sun for a long time. I tried going without for six months but missed too many wakes so I succumbed to their electronic edition (which gives me the legal notices, too). As my grandmother used to say, “I only read it for the deaths.” Oil? I’m definitely in the market for a hybrid, but my car’s only 5 years old, too new to turn in. With some things, I have to follow the old “change the things you can; accept the things you can’t rule.”

    But when it comes to Target, I can buy a tube of Crest or a pair of gym shorts at plenty of places. Where I have a choice, I will exercise it. If there are any corporations that donate to liberal politicians, I hope conservatives boycott them. If enough people start voting with their wallets, corporate America might pay attention and steer clear of politics (overtly, at least) and stick to selling their products.

  8. C R Krieger says:

    I am now being forced to reconsider my boycott of Target.  All this time I thought of them as supporting liberal causes and slighting the patriotic citizens of these United States and those who served in uniform.  I can’t tell you when the last time was that I was in a Target—and it was before I moved here 16 years ago.

    I do now have a point for orientation.  Apparently Democrats and Independents don’t use oil in any forms.  And when they do they attribute it to those darned Republicans, but absolve all those Democrats and Independents who own shares in the oil companies and their ilk.

    In the mean time I am hoping that we regain a level head about nuclear power.  Maybe follow the example of the French.

    Regards  —  Cliff

  9. C R Krieger says:

    Re subscribing to The Sun, it is like subscribing to The Boston Globe.  It is all about the comics.  Scanning the page is faster than bringing them up individually on the iPad.

    Regards  —  Cliff