One other consideration you should keep in mind is who you're giving your money to. What are the large corporations spending their money on? In an election year it's quite telling.
For example, Target recently caught heat for its donation of $150,000 to MN Forward, a group supporting Republican Tom Emmer for Minnesota governor. Emmer's opposition to same-sex marriage and other gay-rights measures angered people who support gay rights, including one Minnesotan whose son is gay. She videotaped her last trip to Target, returning $200 worth of merchandise and cutting up her Target card.
It's no secret that most businesspeople support Republican candidates. They place more of a priority on increasing their wealth than on social-justice issues. Target's CEO Gregg Steinhafel stated as much in an apology letter.
"While I firmly believe that a business climate conducive to growth is critical to our future, I realize our decision affected many of you in a way I did not anticipate, and for that I am genuinely sorry," Steinhafel wrote.I don't believe Steinhafel was surprised about whom and what he was supporting. I do believe he was caught off-guard by the consumer backlash.
Best Buy and Red Wing Shoes are among other corporations that have contributed to MN Forward.
Another giant retailer -- this time Wal-Mart -- donated $50,000 to Illinois Sen. Bill Brady a couple of months ago. Brady is the Republican choice to run for governor. I first heard about him earlier this year after he sponsored a bill to legalize the use of carbon monoxide gas chambers to kill unwanted dogs (at shelters or animal-control facilities). The practice had been banned in this state last year. After criticism from dog lovers, he passed the bill to someone else to sponsor.
It's virtually impossible to avoid giving some of your money to corporations whose interests clash with yours. But having information about donation practices at least lets you make a more informed decision when you vote with your wallet.