A friend of mine commented on Facebook that she “will not be shopping at Target any more,” bringing up a fascinating question about how much we know about the politics of the retailers we patronize.
Background: media outlets reported that Target donated to the Yes on Prop 8 campaign in California, which supports a ban on marriage rights for gays. However, a progressive political site debunked the claim, saying that Target employee donations to Prop 8 had mistakenly been reported as corporate donations. Target is still under fire for contributions to an anti-gay gubernatorial candidate in Minnesota. The company released a statement saying that it favors the candidate’s business platform, not his social positions. The debate is raging outside my circle of friends; there is even a Facebook group boycotting Target.
Regardless of how you feel about Prop 8 and the right of gays to marry, my friend’s decision to boycott Target made me think about how little I know about the politics of the retailers I shop at. An About.com story shares this list of prominent brands and their political affiliations.
Republican – Coca Cola, Wal-Mart, most oil companies, many U.S.-based airlines
Democrat – Apple, Starbucks, Ben & Jerry’s, Google, Yahoo, and MSN
An even better resource is GoodGuide.com, which lists the political campaign contributions of 153 major American brands, from Amazon to Wal-mart. The cool graphic below shows Republican leaning and Democrat leaning companies, how far each company leans, and the plethora of companies that play both fields. The latest data is from 2008, unfortunately. The site looked at contributions to federal candidates and party committees made “by company political action committees and individuals connected to the organization.”
Do you know which political party and/or candidates the corporations you patronize support?