Conservative activists said Friday that Target Corp. won't quell the controversy over its corporate donations if the retailer gives in to demands from the left to renounce involvement in political campaigns or to help gay-friendly candidates.

 

Charlie Weaver, a leader of a political organization supporting a conservative Republican gubernatorial candidate in Minnesota, said the pressure from gays and liberal organizations on Target amounts to ``thuggery.''

``This is simply an attempt to intimidate companies from doing what the Supreme Court said they're entitled to do, exercise their free speech,'' said Weaver, treasurer of MN Forward, a campaign group that got $150,000 from Target last month.

A GOP state lawmaker said the controversy, including protests and calls for a boycott by gay leaders, has put Target in a bind.

``They're darned if they do something and they're darned if they don't,'' said Rep. Marty Seifert, a Republican from Marshall.

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