Is Gold’s Gym the Next Target?
But none of the contributions to American Crossroads has drawn as much attention from the LGBT community as [Robert] Rowling’s, which appears to be generating a virtual firestorm in the gay blogosphere. That’s because in addition to Omni Hotels, Rowling’s TRT Holdings owns Gold’s Gym, and apparently the only thing we hold more sacred than shopping at Target is working out.
The reason for the minor storm is Highland Park billionaire Robert Rowling’s multimillion-dollar donation to the major GOP-backing outside spending group, American Crossroads, which has been supporting a slew of Republican Senate candidates whom many in the LGBT community consider anti-gay. Rowling’s company is usually listed as the anodyne-sounding TRT Holdings on disclosure forms, but the company plays parent to a number of more familiar names, like Omni Hotels and Gold’s Gym.
Whether the firestorm will grow or run out of oxygen isn’t yet clear. The case isn’t quite as galvanizing as the one surrounding Target and Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer (R), but many of the same principles apply. It highlights the potential danger that companies with regular consumer bases face if they choose to make high-profile donations, illustrating once again why so few appear to be giving to political groups that are obliged to disclose their donors.