BuyBlue.org

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BuyBlue.org was an online consumers' guide designed to help progressives in the United States choose brands that favored their politics. Its editors rated companies based on their campaign contributions and other factors. Its name refers to the popular idea of the U.S. being sharply divided, culturally and politically, into red states and blue states that voted Republican and Democrat, respectively, in the 2000 election.

The website encouraged users to submit articles that criticize or applaud a company's business practices. The submitting user assigned a binary categorical rating of positive or negative with regards to the company's adherence to progressive business practices as described in the article. The absolute number of articles submitted and each submitted article's rating were used to calculate a company's overall rating. A five-point scale ranked a company's degree of progressiveness or regressiveness according to users' submissions.

The website hosted blogs and message boards designed to steer consumers towards businesses favored by the party, to exert direct political pressure on targeted businesses, and to foster activism among the site's users.

Though this website was geared toward liberals, conservatives could also use it to find out which companies are supporting Republicans.

Methodology[edit]

The website's editors used public databases and compiled an estimate of political campaign contributions by a company's three highest executive officers, those executives' spouses, the highest executive officer at any subsidiary company, and any PAC registered by that company. The allocation of donations between Democrats and Republicans determined a company's political contribution rating, with higher ratings awarded to companies that primarily donate to Democrats.

Rating categories[edit]

2006 PoliPoint Press controversy[edit]

After the Northern California publishing company PoliPoint Press released a similarly themed book, The Blue Pages, in 2006, Daily Kos pundit Markos Moulitsas accused PoliPoint of being a "den of thieves."[1] The creators of BuyBlue had been in talks with PoliPoint to publish a similar book, but failed to come to an agreement, and PoliPoint went on to produce their own rating guide in-house.[2]

In March 2005, PoliPoint publisher Scott Jordan had withdrawn an offer to BuyBlue.org, claiming to have "run out of time" to publish their book.[3] The company released its own consumers' guide, The Blue Pages, without the participation of or remuneration to BuyBlue.org. BuyBlue.org unsuccessfully sought to stop the release of the book, claiming its methodology had been stolen.[4][5]

PoliPoint's editorial director, Peter Richardson, offered a different account, calling the new book "complimentary," not derivative, of the popular Web site. Richardson maintained his company decided to produce an unrelated book in-house, after failing to secure an agreement with BuyBlue.org.[6]

Spring 2007 shutdown[edit]

As of April 23, 2007, the website was shut down, and the following message was posted at the site:

Thanks for your support!

The BuyBlue team would like to thank you for all of your support over the past 2 years, unfortunately we are shutting our virtual doors. We hope that we've been able to educate consumers and inspire people to take action and vote with their wallets. Maybe another group will take up this charge in the future, but for now we can no longer do so. Just because we won't be online any more does not mean that the information we provided cannot be found any longer. You'll want to keep the following information sources in mind. Also, BuyBlue Colorado, an independent organization, will continue to remain operational.

This message was also followed by the statement that BuyBlue's data had been donated to the organization Advomatic.

On September 6, 2007, the site carried a message stating that 'BuyBlue 2.0' would be coming that fall, with the guide returning in a "more partisan and focused" form.

The site currently (March 4, 2010) displays a banner by Advomatic with the organization's slogan and a message stating that it is undergoing scheduled maintenance.[7]

Officers and directors[edit]

Media coverage[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Daily Kos, February 10, 2006
  2. ^ Daily Kos, February 10, 2006
  3. ^ BuyBlue.org February 2006 press release, http://maneegee.blogspot.com/2006/02/buyblue-public-service-announcement.html
  4. ^ BuyBlue.org February 2006 press release, http://maneegee.blogspot.com/2006/02/buyblue-public-service-announcement.html
  5. ^ Daily Kos, February 10, 2006
  6. ^ Peter Richardson response on DailyKos.com, February 10, 2006. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/2/10/114153/477
  7. ^ [1]

External links[edit]