We are so happy that our favorite chic-cheap-hipster store has found itself dead center in the middle of controversy as a result of the new Supreme Court ruling that allows corporations to contribute freely to political causes.
Trend setters that they are, Target was one of the first to take advantage of this ruling by giving money to a 'pro-business' PAC that in turn supported a gubernatorial candidate opposed to same sex marriage.
Unfortunately for Target, just as they were lighting up a celeb-studded performance art spectacle at the Standard Hotel in NYC, they were being 'outed' for making this contribution.
Still, we're thankful to them for shining a spotlight on the critical question: is what's good for a corporation good for America? Because despite Target's carefully cultivated earthy-crunchy-hipster-greenster-image, it is really just a very BIG corporation. Yes, they are cool merchants with a carefully cultivated good guy image, but do we want any company with infinitely deep pockets influencing public policy decisions? Do we want individuals at big companies with control of this money making nearly invisible contributions to special interest groups? (Minnesota law requires some transparency, but not all states do.)
Since business is all about the money, we don't expect that anyone who is making big bucks off Target ads, or selling huge amounts of product through this mass retailer, or basking in the glow of major promotional opportunities like the one at the Standard, to be turning their backs anytime soon on the King of discount cool.
Still, no company wants bad press, angry customers or unhappy institutional investors. So, as Target carefully considers how to respond to this chain of embarrassing events, we suggest they think about this: how about a pledge to stop contributing to these kinds of political groups that can unduly and without transparency influence our political process?
Better yet, how about really being cutting edge and targeting their energies toward support of real campaign finance reform aimed at taking big money and special interests out of our political process?
Now that would be the earthy-crunchy-good-guy thing to do.