Boycott Target? The Citizens United decision seems to have given a legal and psychological boost to corporate political contributions, but the risks can be significant. Minnesota-based Target’s $150,000 contribution in 2010 to MN Forward, a group supporting a conservative candidate for Minnesota governor was angrily assailed by some company employees and many Minnesota progressives. The specific objection was that the candidate indirectly supported by Target was an outspoken opponent of gay marriage. Target said it supported the candidate’s strong pro-business policies. Nonetheless, protesters rallied against the company and urged a boycott of Target stores. Target issued an apology, reaffirmed its commitment to diversity, and promised a review process for political donations. Then in 2012, Target upset those on the other side of the gay marriage debate by selling T-shirts to raise money for a group that supported lawful gay marriage. Questions 1. Would you have boycotted Target under either of these circumstances? Explain. 2. Had you been Target’s CEO, would you have issued an apology? Explain. 3. Should corporations be free under the law to donate corporate treasury funds as they see fit in federal elections? Explain.
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