3M Jumps onto Citizens United Bandwagon

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.


When Target and Best Buy decided to take advantage of the new political spending rules under Citizens United, they were wading into uncharted territory—and ended up stirring a tremendous backlash as a result. Another Minnesota-based corporation, 3M, has witnessed the fallout over Target and Best Buy’s Citizens United-empowered donations, but the company has decided take the plunge anyway. The Minnesota Independent reports that the paper products giant has donated $100,000 to an independent group, Minnesota Forward, to run ads supporting conservative Minnesota candidates for state office.

Over the summer, Target and Best Buy came under fire from progressive activists for making contributions to the same group: both retail giants had developed a reputation as LGBT-friendly companies, and activists branded them as hypocrites for funding ads that supported GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer, an opponent of gay rights and gay marriage. The Minnesota Independent explains that 3M has a similarly positive track record with the gay community, receiving 100 percent ratings on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index. But the company has apparently decided that the donation was worth the risk of potential blowback.

What’s more, there are signs that activists might be less inclined to raise the same ruckus with 3M, according to the Independent.:

[s]o far, response from progressive organizations has been muted compared to the reaction against Target’s donation. Some have called for boycotts, and a petition was started on Change.org, though it has only garnered around 200 signatures at the time this article was posted….A spokesperson for the HRC said the organization reached out to 3M to inquire about the donation; HRC declined to comment until 3M responds. MoveOn did not respond to the Minnesota Independent’s request for comment.

There are some signs that corporations are, in fact, thinking twice about whether to take advantage of Citizens United. But while some have vowed restraint, there are growing signs that others are clamoring on board. And if the backlash is indeed waning, the stigma of embracing the Supreme Court ruling is likely wear off, and heavy corporate involvement in political ads could become the new norm.

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate