You research who you vote for before heading to the polls, so why wouldn’t you research where you chose to spend your money, thereby funding a company’s activism activity?
That’s what Chris Walker wants to know and is also why he created a tool to help conservatives, who might not realize some of the places they choose to shop might be funding initiatives against their values.
2nd Vote was launched at the Value Voters’ summit last weekend as app that informs users about the political and social activity of the companies they might be giving their business to. After being featured on Glenn Beck’s program on TheBlaze TV Tuesday, Walker said a flurry of visitors “stressed our servers to capacity.”
Walker, executive director for the nonprofit, told TheBlaze in a phone interview Thursday that response to the app has been one of excitement for conservatives who have said it’s “something we’ve been looking for.”
“People are also excited to see conservatives doing something techie,” he said.
The idea for 2nd Vote — which has the goal of letting users “know where your money really goes when you’re buying something, eating at a restaurant, or supporting an organization” — started about a year an a half ago.
[sharequote align=”center”]”I want to buy an airline ticket. I’m not there to buy a leftwing agenda with it.”[/sharequote]
“Companies recognize both conservatives and liberals are supporters of their products,” Walker said. “They have already heard from a very active left. Conservatives have a voice too.”
“Companies should start realizing that it is profitable to consider conservatives in their causes,” he said, adding that he believes the country is, as a majority, conservative, although that might not get reflected.
The research-intensive endeavor of 2nd Vote involves tracking down through public record what organizations companies or nonprofits might donate money to. On the app, companies are given a 1-10 score, which corresponds with being actively conservative (8-10), passively conservative (6-7), passively liberal (4-5) or actively liberal (1-3).
Among some of the most actively liberal, according to 2nd Vote’s data analysis, are Dockers, Levis, Ben & Jerry’s, and Nike, to name a few.
Th most actively conservative include a few well-known players like Chic-Fil-A and Hobby Lobby, but also other, perhaps more surprising, names include Jockey, Long John Silvers and Forever 21.
Choosing not to support a specific company for reasons like those pointed out in the app can hurt. For Beck, it was McDonalds. For Walker, it was Ford and Southwest.
“It hurts to look at the Ford score,” Walker said of the car manufacturer that scored a 2.5. “Personally, that was the most disappointing because I love my truck.
Walker said when it comes time for his family to buy a new car, it’s a figure he plans to take into account.
As for Southwest, which scored 3.3, Walker said, “I want to buy an airline ticket. I’m not there to buy a leftwing agenda with it.”
Citing the company’s support to Planned Parenthood and another pro-abortion organization, Walker added, “I would not donate to them on my own, so why would I buy it with my airline ticket?”
Watch this video detailing how the app works:
2nd Vote breaks down its scorecard for each company by the issue, giving an explanation about the data and why it ranked as such. Walker said he welcomes companies to challenge them if they think 2nd Vote is wrong, although he said “the data is the data” and he’s confident they’ve analyzed things correctly.
2nd Vote, Walker said, will be continuously updated to include more companies and more categories (like made in the USA, for example) and to update company status should it change.
The app also asks for volunteers to send them information as they might see it.
“We’re encouraging people to come and help,” he said. “Send us info of what they see in their communities, like a sign on the door.”
Users of the app are encouraged to give a thumbs up or down if they plan on supporting a company — or not. Someday, Walker said they plan to present this data directly to companies.
“We do want to let them know 1 million conservatives or 2 million conservatives said ‘we don’t support this,’ Walker said, noting how the app could bring change.
“Every vote counts, every dollar counts,” he said.
So choosing not to spend your money at certain establishments, according to Walker, is one way people can continue to share their vote outside of election day.
Watch TheBlaze TV’s segment about 2nd Vote that includes Beck’s interview with Walker: