Monday, August 16, 2010

Biting the Hand that Feeds Corporate Profits, Political Donations May Hurt Customers.

Target Logo.Image via Wikipedia The best reason given so far for disclosing campaign donations; Target.
The head of Target Corp. apologized … for a political donation to a business group backing a conservative Republican for Minnesota governor, which angered some employees and sparked talk of a customer boycott.

Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel wrote employees to say the discount retailer is "genuinely sorry" … would set up a review process for future political donations (to MN Forward)… MN Forward is running TV ads supporting Republican Tom Emmer, an outspoken conservative opposed to same-sex marriage and other gay-rights initiatives that have come before Minnesota's Legislature. Steinhafel said the contribution from the corporate treasury to a political effort, which until this year wasn't allowed, was designed to support his stance on economic issues.
But in the broader context, politicians often support other policies that might hurt a businesses customer base, like Target's. Disclosure prevents a company from biting the hand that feeds them, their customers, just so they can focus solely on profits. They cannot ignore the negative social impact of their donations, as acknowledged by Target’s CEO Steinhafel:
"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," Steinhafel wrote.
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