corporate calls

3M Just Gave MN Forward $100K To Elect Tom Emmer. Oh, and HRC Gives 3M A 100% Score?

3M — the enormous technology, health care, security, and manufacturing company that seems to be behind anything with double-sided sticky surfaces — has a market cap of $62 billion. Now it’s joining Target and Best Buy in funneling some of that cash toward MN Forward, the Minnesota business PAC that wants to elect Tom Emmer governor of the state, despite his opposition to basic things like marriage equality and anti-bullying measures.

That’s great news for Target, because for so many weeks the big box retailer was facing the brunt of the heat! And while a number of corporations have trafficked cash into MN Forward, at an emotional level it’s easier for us to find frustration with brands we regularly interact with. Which is why you won’t care too much about Polaris Industries, Hubbard Broadcasting, or Davisco Food International, which all donated $100,000 in cash to the PAC. But Target and Best Buy? They make your blood boil, because you might want to buy a plasma TV from one of ’em soon. (See that filing here; PDF.)

Target, proudly, still claims the largest donation to MN Forward, with $150,000 in cash and services.

So what’s 3M have to say for itself? Well first it can point to its glorious LGBT record! Like Target, 3M has a 100 percent rating in the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index. It also has a perfect score in HRC’s Buying for Equality guide. Last month, following weeks of stonewalling, HRC finally agreed to drop HRC and Best Buy from its buying guide. What might happen to 3M?

The company, meanwhile, is so far using Target’s excuse to explain its six-figure donation, which only became public because of Minnesota’s election finance disclosure rules. “That donation is about advancing public policy that will foster a more competitive business environment,” says a 3M rep. (Meanwhile, notes the Minnesota Independent, “The company declined to elaborate further on the motivation for the contribution, and would not say if they were directly supporting Republican gubernatorial candidate Emmer. But a quick glance at MN Forward’s expenditure records reveals that any contribution to MN Forward essentially serves as a donation to Emmer rather than support for general ‘business policy.’ Over 95 percent of MN Forward’s campaign spending has been devoted to Minnesota’s gubernatorial campaign, with only minimal amounts directed at lower ballot races.”)

So where’s the outrage? So far it’s muted, at least compared to the Target backlash — which has sent Target’s reputation among consumers tanking. HRC says it reached out to 3M but isn’t commenting further until they hear back, which is a nice way of saying, “We’re going to let 3M dictate the way this story unfolds.” Pussies.

Of course 3M’s interest in electing Emmer has little to do with his record on LGBT rights. It’s about taxes and the environment; as a manufacturer, 3M would like to escape those annoying water and air cleanliness standards.

Now how long before it comes out that George W. Buckley, the company’s chief executive who earned just shy of $14 million last year, mimics his Target counterpart in regularly donating to anti-gay candidates and causes?

Either way, looks like I’m going to have to find another way to remind my roommate not to shop at Target: That Post-It note is going in the trash.

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #3m #business #campaigns stories and more


  • Cam

    they would never dare give to a politician who favored lower taxes but said he wanted to take away womens rights to vote. It is only with Anti-Gay politicians that they think that their bigotry is somehow not important.

    I’ve just asked our office manager to look around for a replacement for all 3M products, she said she was happy to do it.

  • Bryce

    These companies don’t realize their money has has such wide-ranging consequences! Look at all those suicides recently over homophobic bullying!

  • SpiffyShindigs

    If only Romy and Michele really had invented post-its…

  • reason

    This would be a difficulty company to target, there product are so widespread that you may not even realize you are purchasing them. There adhesive could be bonding the magnet in your speaker set, a repellent in your rain jacket, a product your dentist put in your mouth, or one of their 50,000 plus products could be incorporated in something you never dreamed…like the last condom you used.

  • ADW

    Do not buy 3M products !Send them an email about their donations to radical groups !

  • dearmoonpie

    a’g–e is nothìng but just a number. My b”oy’frì’end and i both think so …
    He is almost 11year oldér than me .i met him via
    (seek cou gar.c0m) as my name says.
    Where for Oldér wo*mén and youngér m*én OR youngér wo*m*én and Oldér mén,
    to interact with each other…

  • Derek

    Pussies? Really?

    It’s sexist language, plain and simple, and bad journalism.

  • Chris

    i agree w/ derek. but still win.

  • DJ

    First things first. Let the 3M employees know what you think of their management.

    There are thousands of 3M employees in Maplewood, Minnesota, at their headquarters campus — just across the street (McKnight Road)– from the City of St.Paul. I would be willing to bet that a majority of the 3M employees do not favor anti-gay Tom Emmer and would be disappointed to learn of the donation. However, they probably won’t known about the donation to MN Forward until you tell them.

  • Pickles

    Send them a letter. Now. It takes about 40 seconds. You’ve got to let them know, or they go un-checked continuing to think this is fine. I probably spend $2000 dollars a year for 3M products (their Command strips are brilliant) so I’m pisssed. Send that letter now:
    The link’s above. Let them know. Opinions from our side never expressed, will never be considered.

  • Schteve


    Be angry at 3M and don’t buy their products if you don’t want, but don’t think they are suddenly an anti-gay company. 3M is a business and rightfully should support candidates that would be better from a business standpoint (things like wanting fewer taxes). Does 3M think woman shouldn’t have the right to an abortion? No. Does Tom Emmer? Yes. Does 3M think citizens should be able to have any kind of guns they want? No. Does Tom Emmer? Yes. Does 3M think gay people should not marry? No. Does Tom Emmer? Yes.

    Anyone who voted for Obama despite disagreeing with him on issues (such as who should be allowed to marry) should be the first to realize that your support of a political candidate does not mean you agree with that candidate on every single thing.

Comments are closed.