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Van Jones Promotes Progressive Candidate Voter Guide

A website being promoted by former White House official Van Jones offers one-stop shopping of progressive candidates endorsed by unions, environmental groups and abortion rights organizations, among others, in what is a nationwide voter guide for Election Day.

Jones has teamed up with other activists and organizations to launch TheBallot.org under the umbrella of the League of Young Voters PAC, which first engineered the online tool in the 2004 presidential election.

It now claims more than 350 voter guides in almost every state.

Through the site, groups ranging from unions to local Planned Parenthoods to the Sierra Club have uploaded their slates of endorsed candidates.

The idea is not just to impact the congressional elections but local elections as well, since many of the locally tailored lists go all the way down the ballot. Uploaded voter guides become available on a national map on the website, and users are also encouraged to spread them around at polling places and forward them through Facebook and Twitter.

“By empowering Americans to make their own endorsements and spread them to their networks, TheBallots.org is enhancing grassroots democracy,” Jones said in a written statement.

Jones and League director Bill Wimsatt collaborated to develop the progressive voter guide as a counterweight to efforts by conservative groups.

Jones left the White House as its green jobs adviser more than a year ago following criticism over his public remarks and positions, including calling Republicans "a--holes" and signing a petition in 2004 supporting a movement that claims the Bush administration was involved in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

Jones joined the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C., and Princeton University earlier this year.