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Associated Press, Published August 14 2010

Target struggles with backlash from donation

ST. PAUL – Conservative activists said Friday that Target Corp. won’t quell the controversy over its corporate donations if the retailer gives in to demands from the left to renounce involvement in political campaigns or to help gay-friendly candidates.

Charlie Weaver, a leader of a political organization supporting a conservative Republican gubernatorial candidate in Minnesota, said the pressure from gays and liberal organizations on Target amounts to “thuggery.”

A GOP state lawmaker said the controversy, including protests and calls for a boycott by gay leaders, has put Target in a bind.

Contributors to a conservative Facebook page on the controversy also warned the company of a backlash from the right.

The conservatives’ admonitions come as liberal groups demand that Target balance the earlier donation that helped GOP gubernatorial nominee Tom Emmer, an outspoken critic of gay marriage. Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel’s issued a statement of apology last week, and gay and liberal organizations have been negotiating with corporate officials for an equal donation or another concession.


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