Putting free market principles into practice, the owner of conservative blog RedState put founder Erick Erickson’s endorsement up for sale in a recent advertising appeal.
The e-mail from the site’s parent company, Human Events Group, promoted Erickson’s influential voice with his right-leaning readers as part of a “new RedState Endorsement Program.” Buyers could even score “Erick’s Video Endorsement (subject to final approval by Erick).”
“Organizations with issues, candidates and viewpoints that are in line with Erick’s positions can truly benefit from his endorsement,” the email’s author, account executive Chris McIntyre, wrote. “The program is specifically designed to provide broad, multi-channel coverage and put your message in front of the people who can truly support your advocacy and fund raising efforts.”
Erickson took to his blog to assure readers that he had nothing to do with the promotion after Politico’s Ben Smith broke the news of the e-mail.“Just to start it off, no, my endorsements are not for sale,” Erickson wrote. “I don’t know who the guy is who sent the email, but he certainly did RedState no favors.”
He clarified that the ad campaign was aimed at conservative organizations he already supported and that he would never use the word “endorse” as part of the program or apply it to any political candidates. Human Events is disavowing the e-mail as well, with Vice President Joe Guerriero telling Smith it was “the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen” and produced by an overeager salesman.