A Boycott That Hurts – Target

from Erin Kotecki Vest
to Gregg.Steinhafel@target.com,
Aaron Vest
date Mon, Aug 2, 2010 at 11:12 AM
subject Regarding your donation to Tom Emmer
mailed-by gmail.com

Mr. Steinhafel,

I’m currently headed out the door with a purse filled with cash my family and I earned at our garage sale this past weekend. My five and seven-year old children finally have their own rooms for the first time in their lives, and we’re about to decorate each of them accordingly.

My daughter is a girly-girl and is aiming for pink and purple pillows, curtains, lamps, a throw rug, – the works.

My son needs a new comforter, a rug, and wall decorations. And even Mom and Dad could use some new sheets and a dust ruffle.

Anyway, I just wanted you to know that despite my love for Target, we’re headed to Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Your donation to anti-LGBT candidate Tom Emmer speaks volumes as to what sort of CEO you are, what sort of man you are, and how you feel about equal rights for all Americans.

I’m teaching my kids to respect everyone in this country, not just pay them lip-service and take their money all while voting to take away their rights. No, Mr. Steinhafel, I refuse to teach my children that hate or inequality is acceptable in the United States.

Women control .82 cents on every household dollar, and this woman is taking her control and wallet elsewhere.


Erin Kotecki Vest
@queenofspain on Twitter


  1. Right. Fucking. On.

    *Oh SURE it’s fine for Isaac Mizrahi to make money for me, but that doesn’t mean I think he’s an equal! Oh heavens, no!*


  2. Well, it’s going to hurt, but I’m in…

  3. Here, here. Money talks Erin. I’m proud of you for putting your money where your mouth is.
    .-= Shannon Renee´s last blog ..Vacation Mon =-.

  4. This one kills me so much! I have always loved Target for the products and also for the prices. Actually, I am extremely low on funds and NEED some new things for my trip to BlogHer this week and my first thought was the clearance racks at Target. So my family was planning to make the one hour drive tonight(yes, that’s the closest) to Target. Not only for some clothes for me, but also to stroll the food aisles as the prices are great. Now, that you have brought this to my attention, I just can’t do it. I can’t. I only hope I can find some things that I can afford elsewhere.
    Thanks Erin!!
    .-= Cathy´s last blog ..A Focus on the Positive =-.

  5. Awesome! Vote with your dollars. I will be interested to see what (if any) response you get.
    .-= Mo´s last blog ..The Girls =-.

  6. You go, girl.
    .-= Tonya´s last blog ..Oh- Hey =-.

  7. What VDog said….

  8. Be ready to spread the hate (figuratively), check your pool filter, Pentair Inc is also a big supporter, as is Best Buy and a bunch of others.
    .-= Adrienne´s last blog ..eLiving =-.

  9. All of them will lose my business.

  10. Wow. This changes everything for me…
    .-= Jess´s last blog ..The sky’s the limit except when it’s open =-.

  11. I’ll be joining you in your boycott of Targe. I am incredibly disappointed in the organization’s choice to donate campaign money to Tom Emmer.
    .-= Barnmaven´s last blog ..Of Sand- Mist and Memory =-.

  12. The CEO donated 2k personally and the company donated 150k to Republican groups backing these candidates. The company actually admitted these candidates may not agree with them socially but were ‘good for business’ – so they made the decision to put MONEY MAKING over lives.

  13. I’ve always been a big Target fan, but I can’t agree w/their doing this. I’ll be taking my dollars elsewhere, too.
    .-= Maura´s last blog ..How To Lose a Limb- A Cautionary Tale =-.

  14. Good for you . Fuck ’em, they suck. I shopped there also until the news of That Particular Donation. Not going to Mall Wart any more either since their support for Anti Union Legislation, I am a proud, long time, Union Stage Hand.
    Peace and light, continued prayers for your Health and speedy recovery.

  15. Keep us posted if you hear back from them!

  16. Count me in. I was heading to Target tomorrow to get some things but it will be another store. Do you know where we can get a list, I would like to know more companies like Adrienne mentioned.

  17. I’m glad you wrote this. I wrote a post of my own that’s going up tomorrow.

    I gave up Domino’s Pizza more than 20 years ago when I found out they were supporting pro-life causes. I avoid Wal Mart like the plague because of their anti-labor practices. Target just got added to the list. It’s a shame for them, though. I spend more at Target than any other single retailer each year. They’re losing thousands of dollars from me over this one.

  18. I have also joined the boycott of Target last week. I don’t shop much at Best Buy, but was considering a new computer.

    It should also be noted that the CEO of Target and I believe his wife sent money to Michele Bachmann. Who has also been strong in her opposition to gay rights. Thank you for writing this. I hope to have something uo on my blog later this week.
    .-= Mary´s last blog ..Terminal Cancer- Choosing not to merely prolong life =-.

  19. I don’t want to diminish the Anti-GLBT aspect of this at all, but I think that for the corporation, the motivation is at least equally weighted toward MN Forward and Emmer’s anti-Union and anti-Minimum Wage policies.

    It sickens me, but I’m afraid my beloved home-town team is no better than wally-world.

    Support your local small business/retail shop. Maybe we get less for our money, but the small businesses are where we can actually form community and wield influence.
    .-= Not Fainthearted´s last blog ..Music Monday – Pragmatism Edition =-.

  20. How the hell did I miss this? I am IN, lady. (And I LOVE me some Target. Sigh.)
    .-= Heather´s last blog ..Everything It Was Still Fun =-.

  21. I hate these guys too! Never again!

  22. I love Target as well and was really looking forward to purchasing dorm stuff for my daughter there as she enters MSU this Fall. However, it will be BB&B or JCPenney for us as well.
    .-= Pop and Ice´s last blog ..Six Years- No Pictures on the Walls =-.

  23. With me being Gay it gives me great joy to see you be in full support of our rights.
    .-= Jason Houck´s last blog ..Interview with The Precise Agency =-.

  24. Money talks good for you for bringing this to our attention, because I missed this info…. I’m okay with passing Target up as I’m a BBand B girl along with JCP…..

  25. Crap. Crap. Crap.

    I love Target, but they really did that? How can I shop there now?
    .-= Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah´s last blog ..The Fun Kind of Cleaning =-.

  26. Oh, nuts. I was going to get my kids’ school uniforms there! Thank you for bringing this to our attention!
    .-= Karen S.´s last blog ..Monday Menus =-.

  27. I just took the family to Target yesterday. I don’t really feel bad about it; rather, I don’t feel any worse about it than I do about supporting any business run by a bunch of white people who won’t get off my land.

    Jokes aside, I can’t motivate boycott level feelings when a company supports a group that then supports a candidate whose philosophy is terrible. I just don’t see sponsorship as being as morally transitive. So I’ll keep going to Target when I need $1 whatevers.
    .-= Backpacking Dad´s last blog ..Backpacking Dad- Reality TV Star =-.

  28. Oh man . . I didn’t know. Aargh. Target probably gets most of my retail money – one of the few larger stores that stocks Dr. Bronners castile soap, California Baby sunscreen, and some other items I regularly buy. But I’ll go elsewhere . . .
    .-= Jennifer Taggart, TheSmartMama´s last blog ..Project Mom Casting – TheSmartMama Throws Her Blog Into The Ring =-.

  29. Nancy,
    “I gave up Domino’s Pizza more than 20 years ago when I found out they were supporting pro-life causes”. Nancy, I really hope that is not what you wanted to convey. If it is, beyond dismayed by your words.
    Erin, interesting post. Something to chew on.

  30. CHANGE doesn’t happen easily. Backpacking Dad is the worst kind of enemy of change. Just like politicians, you’d rather have your $1 whatever than meaningful change. That’s how these corporations became as powerful as they are. A nation of “I don’t care where my $1 goes” have placed the power in only a few corporate hands instead of in the hands of the $1 holders as it should be.

  31. Dang. However, I’m in. If we don’t take baby steps to ensure that he hears this message, then we aren’t being responsible parents, consumers or human beings.

    Now, where do I sign?
    .-= vodkamom´s last blog ..Meet my new bff- Ming Wang! =-.

  32. Interesting post. Admittedly, I’m ignorant on this matter. But you’ve prompted me to do my research.

  33. Good for you! Thank you for the heads up, I was unaware. I’m in, for sure. I’ve been boycotting WalShame for years. Tis a shame, Target. Hear that? It’s the sound of your profits plummeting.. You rock, Erin.
    .-= Celine´s last blog ..Cut- Cut!- When Auditions Crash and Burn =-.

  34. Found this post through twitter. Seems to be getting noticed. I can appreciate your passion, but would like to point out that Target provides domestic-partner benefits for gay employees, and sponsors Twin Cities Pride. Yes, the donation to the group that supports Emmer is terrible, but Target is not anti-gay. Hopefully in the future they will pay more attention to where their money goes.
    .-= Cathy´s last blog ..Fantasy Football =-.

  35. I skipped my weekly Target trip this past weekend. We ordinarily spend about $100-$150 a week at the Target store a few minutes from our house. I love, love, love that store — the employees are much more friendly and helpful than at other big box stores around here (I think in part because they have better wages and benefits compared to those other stores). The prices are great. The shelves are packed with things I like to buy. (We buy half our groceries there — they have all sorts of organic dry goods at ridiculously low prices).

    It’s hard for me not to shop there. There is no other store near my home that compares when it comes to price and selection. But I skipped my Target trip last week anyway, and this week I’ll be skipping it again.

    I know some argue that Target’s support of same sex partner benefits, etc., makes this donation somehow tolerable. I disagree– blatant hypocrisy is never something I can support, particularly when it comes to human rights.

    But this is bigger than GLBT rights (though equal marriage rights are very important to me). It’s bigger than immigration (another issue I disagree with Emmer on) or a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body.

    I believe the Citizens United decision is a serious threat to democracy, and I want big corporations everywhere to know that they are not going to get away with exploiting it without consequence. If that means I can’t buy organic blue corn chips for $2.50 for a while, so be it.
    .-= Jaelithe´s last blog ..Days Before Yesterday =-.

  36. Hello Nancy – I work with Domino’s and just wanted to make sure you are aware that Tom Monaghan sold Domino’s 11 years ago, and he no longer has any involvement with the company. Good summary of the company’s independence from him here:

    http://www.chron.com/disp/st ory.mpl/life/dailycols/6934867.html

  37. Tami I’ve been boycotting Domino’s since I was a teenager as well. I refuse to support a company that is anti-choice.

    As for the boycott- I didn’t ask anyone else to boycott. This is personal. Target does offer benefits but VERY CLEARLY stated that they were giving $150K to Emmer because he would be better for business. So they put BUSINESS and PROFIT over equal rights. That’s just the peak of corporate greed and hate to me.

    From MoveOn.org this morning “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. ”

    Not even anti-gay but ‘CONDONED THE EXECUTION OF GAY PEOPLE” … but hey, he’ll be good for business!

  38. I always vote with my dollars in this case we don’t have Target in Canada but it pays to be informed. In other news you give Aaron .18 to spend you are a great lady I only give mr habanero 10 of every dollar
    .-= habanerogal´s last blog ..Thanks for visiting my blog =-.

  39. Sorry, my link was cut off – here is the link regarding the fact that Tom Monaghan no longer has involvement with Domino’s: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/life/dailycols/6934867.html

  40. Why anyone ever thought Target is better than WalMart has always been beyond me.

    For the most part, with a few exceptions, Publicly Traded Company=Sucks.

    Whenever shareholders and stock options are involved, nothing matters but the almighty dollar. These companies donate to both parties and talk out of both sides of their mouth in an ongoing effort to continuously curry favor with whoever might make them look good and make more money.

  41. Hmm, even $1 tchotkes seem too expensive when the CEO of Target Gregg Steinhafel and his wife Denise have each given $5000 to Crazy as Fucknuts Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann: http://query.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/com_ind/C00476119/

    And that was *before* she created her brand new MichelePAC to start raking in Citizens United corporate donations. Talking Points Memo on her new PAC: http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/08/the-woman-from-michelepac-bachmann-starts-new-fundraising-committee.php?ref=fpb

    I love Tarjay as much as the next suburban parent, but will be looking for other options.
    .-= Cynematic´s last blog ..BlogHoLA 2010- Right Here in Los Angeles While Everyone Else Is Partying Sob in NY =-.

  42. Target’s CEO gave much more than $2000. He and his wife both separately donated the maximum possible ($5,000 each) to Michelle Bachmann, http://query.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/com_ind/C00476119/
    .-= John Judy´s last blog ..trianglman- @johnrisvold Im sure they dont understand it- but they also probably believe the 10th amendment overrides it =-.

  43. Looks like most of America doesn’t seem to agree with this aproach. Target is as packed as ever. I guess some people just don’t agree with trying to handle politics through their shopping practices. Imagine that. I wonder if there could perhaps be another more productive and less internet clogging way to change the world….hmmm I will have to ponder that after I get back from grilling my auto mechanic on his charitable contributions for the year. After all, he might agree with something I don’t like and that is SO unamerican!

  44. Michele the company gave $150K. Profit over people is a business practice I refuse to support.

  45. I first learned of this donation through you on Twitter, and followed it up with more research. I am sickened by the hypocrisy, the personal backing of Emmer and not shopping at Target will likely be the death of me (even my husband who is very pro equal rights, is having a hard time just passing it by, we usually end up there a lot), but I stand firm, and it’s reassuring to know that we aren’t alone. People are going further out of their way so as not to fund hate (EXECUTION of gays & lesbians? Horrifying!), and we can do it to.

  46. Amen Monique. This hurts us more than it hurts them, I’m sure. But it’s the principle.

  47. The fact is, most boycotts deliver less than they set out to achive and as a mechanism for social change they have a very spotted record. Finacially, boycotts have a negligible impact on their targets. (no pun intended) A boycott like this makes people FEEL like they are doing something for the greater good and that makes them feel better about themselves. It’s generally ineffective in a situation like this….but hey—if saying “I hate Target” let’s you sleep better, then rest your pretty heads on your new Bed Bath and Beyond $100 sheets.

  48. I do not know what LGBT is and to keep the objectivity of my comments I will look it up another time. Boycotts send a message but they also express a measure of hatred. There has been a boycott of Israel for decades. I was shopping in a dollar store, found a Hershey bar with Arabic writing among the ingredients but the Kosher mark that I look for on candy, and on American Hershey bars omitted. We have a proposed boycott of Iran where public safety may be at stake.

    Target, or Israel, or Iran, or the Montgomery Bus system thrive or fail based on how they define and serve their real constituents, less on the political ideology of their adversaries. Montgomery succeeded because the Bus system needed them as riders. The others are not really dependent on those who single them out.

    And then we have the issue of how to treat those whose political views diverge. As a physician practicing in the mainstream, my population includes everyone. Some of the most likeable people are folks I couldn’t possibly vote for, but it would be unthinkable to blend my medical advice on their behalf with their disagreeable political ideology.

  49. Michele if you will note I did not call for anyone else to boycott. I am, because I can’t in good conscience give my money to them. I won’t support companies or people monetarily that hurt others.

    If we don’t speak with our wallets .. or our votes.. what else do we have?


  1. […] So, I’ll be shopping online at Amazon, Overstock, and other online retailers. I’ll be paying a few extra cents at my grocery store for cleaning supplies. I’ll be making a few more stops at multiple shops to get all the things I used to get under Target’s roof. Fortunately, I’m not alone. […]

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