updated 1/14/2005 5:37:18 PM ET 2005-01-14T22:37:18

After spending 10 days in London with friends who were outspoken about their disdain for President Bush’s policies, Berns Rothchild came home wishing she had a way to show the world she didn’t vote for him.

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“I sort of felt ashamed, and didn’t really want to be associated with being an American,” said Rothchild, who lives in New York City and voted for John Kerry.

Her mother had a suggestion: bracelets, inspired by the Lance Armstrong Foundation’s popular “LIVESTRONG” bands, that would signal opposition to Bush.

Thousands of miles away, two women in Idaho had the same idea. So did a woman in Kansas. The result? At least three separate bracelet ventures targeting left-leaning citizens who want to wear their political affiliation on their wrists — and at least one competitor bearing the opposite message.

'This is my tribe'
Rothchild, 35, is selling blue bracelets that say “COUNT ME BLUE,” while Laura Adams, of Fairway, Kan., offers blue bracelets that say “HOPE.” The McKnight family, of Moscow, Idaho, is even more direct; their black bracelets proclaim: “I DID NOT VOTE 4 BUSH.”

“It’s kind of like saying, 'This is my tribe,”’ said Adams, 43, a Kerry supporter, who was inspired by her 14-year-old stepson’s yellow Lance Armstrong band.

It’s unlikely the wristbands will ever have the widespread appeal of the bands created by the Lance Armstrong Foundation, which have sold about 31 million so far to raise money for cancer research. Brenda McKnight, 40, said her family has sold roughly 4,000, and Adams said she has sold about 3,300. Rothchild has sold about 500 since her Web site launched Monday.

But all three ventures also have the aim of raising money for a variety of organizations.

Rothchild, who is selling the bracelets on the Web in packages of 10 for $20, plans to give part of her profits to UNICEF, and Adams has donated money from the sale of her $3 bracelets to Save the Children and Habitat for Humanity.

The McKnights are auctioning their bracelets on eBay and selling them for $3 each on their Web site, where buyers can vote for one of six organizations that will receive a portion of the proceeds.

So far only McKnight said she has received e-mails criticizing the bracelets as unpatriotic. But Rothchild said her venture has spawned a counter-protest — from her Republican father.

John Rothchild, a Miami Beach, Fla., resident who voted for Bush, has invested in 5,000 “COUNT ME RED” bracelets.

He has hired his daughter’s boyfriend, who created her Web site, to create his, which he launched this week.

“Now we’re sort of having a father-daughter competition to see who can sell more,” Berns Rothchild said.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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