Consumer Group Cites Schwarzenegger Health Care Policies in Call for Boycott of Target
California Consumers United has launched a Bay Area radio campaign calling for consumers to boycott Target stores, citing the retailer's contributions to the campaign of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and the possible effects on health care of the governor's proposals, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Target has given more than $300,000 to Schwarzenegger, according to the Chronicle. The company gave $210,000 to his California Recovery Team and $100,000 to Citizens to Save California, which supports Schwarzenegger's special election initiatives.
Target also contributed $250,000 to support a referendum on the November 2004 statewide ballot that repealed a law requiring some employers to provide health care benefits for their workers and $100,000 to the California Business Properties Association, which supports Schwarzenegger.
In addition, Target has contributed "tens of thousands of dollars" to the state Democratic and Republican parties and legislators from both parties, according to the Chronicle.
The ads urge consumers to boycott Target because it is one of Schwarzenegger's "biggest special interest donors -- money he's using to promote his agenda against consumers and affordable health care."
The radio spots, which cost CCU $50,000, feature an announcer and the voice of "an elderly shopper," according to the Chronicle.
The announcer says Schwarzenegger accepted donations from Target as well as pharmaceutical companies and vetoed a bill that would have allowed reimportation of prescription drugs from Canada. According to the Chronicle, the ad alleges that if Proposition 76 -- a ballot measure on the Nov. 8 statewide ballot addressing the state budget process -- is approved, Schwarzenegger would use it to cut health care spending.
Target spokesperson Lena Michaud said in a statement that the company contributes to both Democratic and Republican campaigns. Michaud said, "We contribute to political candidates based upon our corporate business agenda, and that support is not tied to any one issue."
Todd Harris, a spokesperson for the governor's political team, said CCU is using "secret money" to pay for ads that make "false and misleading charges."
CCU is not required to report its contributions.
CCU spokesperson Cory Black said the group is not financed by any political organizations (Wildermuth, San Francisco Chronicle, 8/23).