Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My Cousin's Target Protest: New Article in Religion Dispatches

I have a new essay over at Religion Dispatches--one which touches on gay rights, campaign finance, and my cousin Randi.

Let me explain. Last week, Randi (also the godmother of my son) heard that the Target Corporation had donated $150,000 to a business PAC actively supporting a right-wing Minnesota gubernatorial candidate with strong anti-gay views. This triggered her own personal protest action against Target--which was filmed and posted on YouTube. The video has now been viewed more than 200,000 times, and a clip of it was also shown the other day on Countdown with Keith Olbermann. Here is the video clip:

As I say in my article, in this post-Citizen's United campaign finance world, our best hope may be in making corporations gun-shy about making big donations. And the way to do that would be for all of us to follow Randi's lead, and make a big stink when corporations give money in ways we don't like.


  1. If anyone has a clue about how to make an embedded YouTube clip fit WITHIN the blog post frame, feel free to let me know. This is my very FIRST attempt to embed a video in a post (I'm expanding my horizons!)--and while I followed the instructions I found online, it's didn't come out as pretty as I would have liked...

  2. Eric,

    This post is kind of funny, because I remember when Amy Grant was getting flak for signing with Target because of their 'pro-gay' agenda.

    Out of curiosity, did Target by any chance also support the opposite side with a similar size donation?

  3. Mike,

    As far as I know there was no comparable donation anywhgere else. Target would have surely mentioned it in their defense if there had been. Instead, what they stressed was that the donation was to a PAC that supposedly gives money to any candidate, from any party, whose policies are judged "good for business."

    The PAC, MN Forward, was created to take advantage of the new campaign finance rules--a kind of front for the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. Its support for the right-wing Emmer is because they think Emmer's policies will benefit businesses (that is, hlep them get richer). They just happen to think Republican policies are more business-friendly, and they're best-known in the state for sponsoring ads for Emmer.

    There are links on the Religion Dispatches article that offer more details.

  4. how to make an embedded YouTube clip fit

    You will have to edit the html version of the page (I think blogger lets you do that). Somewhere down this cryptic text you will find a line containing:

    object height="385" width="640"

    (Search for “video clip” - it will be the next line)

    You have to change height and width to fit (the values are in pixels). I have tried to reduce them by a third (giving 260 and 427) an, although smaller than the column, the clip fits nicely. The numbers appear twice in the line and I have changed both occurrences. I am not sure if both must be changed and I have no time to check now. But this should do it.

    And be careful - make a backup of your post first in case you change something critical by mistake...

  5. Latest update: Target apologizes (not for making the donation, but for upsetting people) and promises to put in place a procedure for future donations (whatever that means).