Conservative Group Empowers Consumers to Shop According to Their Values

August 14, 2014 - 10:59 AM

APTOPIX Michelle Obama Shopping

First lady Michelle Obama, wearing a hat and sunglasses, stands in line at a Target department store in Alexandria, Va., Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011, after doing some shopping. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(CNSNews.com) – Just in time for back-to-school shopping, a conservative group has compiled a list of businesses that gives parents information about where certain companies stand on issues like gay marriage, abortion, gun rights and the environment.

Target, for example, received a score of 1.8 out of 5 and was designated as liberal. According to 2nd Vote’s “Back to School Shopper Guide,” the retail giant recently signed an amicus brief in favor of same-sex marriage that is pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. Plus, it scored a 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s 2013 Corporate Equality Index.

Target also funds the Chicago Foundation for Women, a group that supports and lobbies for abortion, and has partnered with United Way and YWCA, which both fund Planned Parenthood. It also received low marks on the issue of gun rights for asking customers not to bring firearms into stores.

In addition, Target partnered with a business group that supports cap-and-trade, but has since remained neutral on the environment issue, 2ndVote said.

Other companies rated as liberal include: Wal-Mart, Office Depot, T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, Macy’s, Dell, Hewlett Packard, Best Buy, Apple and Microsoft.

Wal-Mart was ranked even lower than Target, receiving 1 out of 5, for funding numerous organizations that support abortion, and being a corporate supporter of the Center for American Progress – a liberal group that supports stricter gun control laws, same-sex marriage, and carbon taxes. The retail giant also partners with the Environmental Defense Fund.

On the other end of the political spectrum, Hobby Lobby and Under Armour received high marks for being conservative. Under Armour received a 3.3 rating. The sporting goods store has a department dedicated to hunting clothing, footwear and accessories, 2nd Vote noted.

Under Armour has also remained neutral on environment issues, marriage issues and life issues, the website said.

Hobby Lobby, one of the nation’s largest privately owned companies, “operates the company in a manner consistent with biblical principles,” even closing on Sunday, 2nd Vote said, giving the arts and crafts store a score of 3.8 out of 5.

While Hobby Lobby has remained neutral on 2nd Amendment rights and environment issues, it successfully sued the federal government in defense of its constitutional right to religious freedom and against a federal law that mandated it provide contraceptives – which “have the potential to terminate a life.”

Also, the company released a statement saying it was neutral on same-sex marriage, but it lists Oral Roberts University – a Christian university whose pledge affirms traditional marriage, as one of six organizations to which it contributes.

Three companies have been listed as neutral: Family Dollar, Kohl’s and Dillard’s. Dillard’s received a 3 out of 5 and was described as neutral on marriage, 2nd Amendment rights, the environment and pro-life issues.

Family Dollar, which had a score of 2.8 out of 5, was described as neutral on the issues of marriage, 2nd Amendment, and the environment. On the abortion issue, it funds the United Way, which has funded Planned Parenthood programs.

Kohl’s, which also had a 2.8 out of 5, was described as neutral on environmental and 2nd Amendment issues. It does not offer spousal benefits to employees’ same-sex partners. It does, however, partner with Susan G. Komen, which donates to Planned Parenthood.

Seven companies were classified as leaning liberal: Kmart, Texas Instruments, Crayola, Dollar General, Staples, 3M, and Office Max.

Kmart had a 2.5 score and was described as neutral on environmental issues and 2nd Amendment issues, but Kmart’s parent company, Sears, received a 100 score on the Human Rights Campaign’s “Buyer’s Guide.” Sears has also partnered with Susan G. Komen and United Way, both of which funded Planned Parenthood programs.

2nd Vote based its scoring system on a number of factors: direct and indirect corporate donations; activities and stated policies from these companies; documented sponsorships for various political and advocacy-related events; corporate leadership donations, activity and advocacy; and lobbying spent for or against various issues on the federal and state levels.

“Organizations and Interest Groups that advocate for various issues, both on the conservative and liberal side, spend tremendous amounts of money each year to advance those causes. This money comes from individual donors, grants, and most importantly, corporate contributions,” 2ndVote said on its website.

Companies are classified as liberal based on the following criteria: “Direct donations to liberal organizations, such as pro-abortion groups or gun control groups” and “having liberal values in the company’s main business platform.”

Companies that lean liberal are determined by “third party donations to groups that support or fund liberal organizations causes, matching gifts to liberal organizations or causes, or any indirect support to liberal organizations or causes.”

Neutral companies are defined as: “Absence of any support of liberal organizations or causes. A company can also score neutral if they equally support liberal and conservative causes.”

Companies that lean conservative are deemed such because of “third party donations to groups that support conservative organizations or causes, matching gifts to conservative causes or groups, or any indirect support for conservative organizations or causes.”

And conservative companies are defined as such because of “direct funding to conservative groups, such as pro-life groups and pro-2ndAmendment groups” and “having conservative values in the company’s main business platform.”

2nd Vote has also released an app that will allow shoppers to “vote” with their “shopping dollars.” Consumers can search companies by name or industry. New scores are added weekly, the app’s description said.