And so they’ve caved. Target chief executive Gregg Steinhafel wrote employees in a statement today saying the company is “genuinely sorry” it donated $150,000 in cash and services to MN Forward, the PAC backing Minnesota Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer, who’s anti-gay marriage (among other things).
In his letter, Steinhafel said Target would create a new review process moving forward when it comes to political donations. It doesn’t appear Target has asked for its money back.
The note, addressed to employees obviously upset over their employer’s move, could also be read as an apology to consumers: “While I firmly believe that a business climate conducive to growth is critical to our future, I realize our decision affected many of you in a way I did not anticipate, and for that I am genuinely sorry.” And: “We remain fully committed to fostering an environment that supports and respects the rights and beliefs of all individuals. The diversity of our team is an important aspect of our unique culture and our success as a company, and we did not mean to disappoint you, our team or our valued guests.”
The remarks come after Steinhafel defended Target’s donation by trumpeting its 100 percent HRC score — and after everybody from MoveOn.org to Twitter’s gays started assailing the company for putting tax breaks before civil rights. And then there were the consumers who told Target they were dropping the retailer for good.
Will Best Buy follow and Pentair suit? And does this apology matter to you? Maybe a promise to stop using its vast financial resources to influence elections would be a start.