A new mobile application wants to give consumers access to information about the political contributions made by the companies they patronize.
The free app, called 2nd Vote, is designed to combat the growing influence of corporate money in politics by “developing the most complete database that makes it easy for conservatives to follow the money and see how the companies you shop with every day are spending the money you spend with them,” according to its website.
The database rates companies based on corporate donations; sponsorship of political events; stated policies; “corporate leadership donations, activity, and advocacy”; and lobbying activities at the state and federal levels. Each company then receives a rating between one and five, with “1″ being liberal and “5″ being conservative (“3″, as one might suppose, indicates a politically neutral company).
And while the app is geared toward conservatives, Chris Walker, Executive Director of 2nd Vote, noted in an interview with Fox News that, “our friends on the liberal side of the aisle can use it as well,” as presumably could individuals of any political persuasion.
In a press release on Monday, 2nd Vote announced that it had recently surpassed 100,000 downloads, thanks to its “continuing addition of issues and companies, like Common Core and Papa John’s.”
“We are continually looking for ways to provide consumers with the information they need to make conservative shopping choices,” Walker said, adding that, “the mere fact that consumer brands are associated with a political ideology at all is cause for alarm.”
In an interview with Glenn Beck, Walker explained that 2nd Vote had begun with a donation to the March of Dimes.
Our founder and chairman Dave Black gave a donation over the holidays, and his wife, Rep. Diane Black, pulled him aside afterwards, and said, ‘what are you doing? They fund Planned Parenthood.’
According to Walker, Dave was “stunned,” as he had been donating to March of Dimes “since he was a kid,” and decided that consumers needed a convenient way to find out which political causes are being supported by the spending decisions they make.
The app’s name, Walker said, comes from the idea that “the first vote is at the ballot box, and the second vote is where you spend your money.”
Users can even express their feelings to companies directly, by giving them a “thumbs up” or a “thumbs down.” 2nd Vote then passes the results along, as “a reminder to the company that we are the ones that are their livelihood.”
This report, by Peter Fricke, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.