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WH Blames Third Parties For E-Mails

From Fox News:


White House Passes Blame on Unsolicited Health Care E-Mails

The White House suggests third-party groups are to blame for unsolicited health care e-mails.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The White House for the first time Sunday seemed to acknowledge that people across the country received unsolicited e-mails from the administration last week about health care reform, suggesting the problem is with third-party groups that placed the recipients’ names on the distribution list.

In a written statement released exclusively to FOX News, White House spokesman Nick Shapiro said the White House hopes those who received the e-mails without signing up for them were not "inconvenienced" by the messages.

"The White House e-mail list is made up of e-mail addresses obtained solely through the White House Web site. The White House doesn’t purchase, upload or merge from any other list, again, all e-mails come from the White House Web site as we have no interest in e-mailing anyone who does not want to receive an e-mail," the statement said. "If an individual received the e-mail because someone else or a group signed them up or forwarded the e-mail, we hope they were not too inconvenienced."

The White House previously would not answer questions on how the e-mails landed unsolicited in so many inboxes. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on Thursday said he couldn’t give an answer until he saw who received the e-mails because he doesn’t have "omnipotent clarity."

Yet the White House ignored repeated offers from FOX News to share with the administration such e-mail addresses, to help determine how the recipients ended up on the White House distribution list.

Shapiro said Sunday that those recipients can unsubscribe if they want, "by clicking the link at the bottom of the e-mail or (telling) whomever forwarded it to them not to forward such information anymore." He said the White House is trying to correct the problem.

"We are implementing measures to make subscribing to e-mails clearer, including preventing advocacy organizations from signing people up to our lists without their permission when they deliver petition signatures and other messages on individuals’ behalf," he said.

One possible reason for the confusion is that advocacy groups, when dealing with online petitions, are sending in their membership lists whenever they make contact with the White House – the e-mail addresses affiliated with those members could then become embedded in the White House distribution list. The White House indicated its Web site managers are going to seek out and block online petitions so that people can only sign up for information individually.

FOX News viewers have said in some cases they received a copy of the president’s speech earlier this year in Cairo; in other instances they received health care updates.

Most recently, FOX News had received hundreds of e-mails from people who said they got an e-mail last week from senior adviser David Axelrod, even though they had never requested any communication from the White House.

In the mass message, Axelrod defended President Obama’s health care proposals and asked supporters to help rebut criticism circulating on the Internet.

Axelrod wrote that opponents are relying on tactics including "viral e-mails that fly unchecked and under the radar, spreading all sorts of lies."

"So let’s start a chain of e-mail of our own," he wrote, inviting supporters to forward his message countering claims that Obama’s plans would lead to rationing, encourage euthanasia or deplete veterans’ health care.

But many people who thought they were not on any distribution list received the message directly from the White House, leading to accusations that the Obama administration was effectively spamming them

Porta, a Republican, said he received Axelrod’s e-mail even though he’s never accessed the White House Web site or asked for any communication from it on any topic.

The e-mail with Axelrod’s name on it, sent Thursday, came under a message from the White House. If it had come from Axelrod’s individual White House e-mail it would have been archived indefinitely under the Presidential Records Act. But messages from the more generic account may not fall under the same restrictions…

Mind you, the White House is blaming third parties, and changing its email policies over something they had previously insisted had not happened.

It was ever thus.

When has Mr. Obama or anyone in his administration accepting responsibly, no matter how red-handed they are caught?

(Thanks to BillK for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, August 17th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

10 Responses to “WH Blames Third Parties For E-Mails”

  1. BillK says:

    The buck stops here?

    Nah, not in this White House.

    From Fox News:

    White House Passes Blame on Unsolicited Health Care E-Mails

    The White House for the first time Sunday seemed to acknowledge that people across the country received unsolicited e-mails from the administration last week about health care reform, suggesting the problem is with third-party groups that placed the recipients’ names on the distribution list.

    In a written statement released exclusively to FOX News, White House spokesman Nick Shapiro said the White House hopes those who received the e-mails without signing up for them were not “inconvenienced” by the messages.

    The White House e-mail list is made up of e-mail addresses obtained solely through the White House Web site. The White House doesn’t purchase, upload or merge from any other list, again, all e-mails come from the White House Web site as we have no interest in e-mailing anyone who does not want to receive an e-mail,” the statement said. “If an individual received the e-mail because someone else or a group signed them up or forwarded the e-mail, we hope they were not too inconvenienced.

    The White House previously would not answer questions on how the e-mails landed unsolicited in so many inboxes. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on Thursday said he couldn’t give an answer until he saw who received the e-mails because he doesn’t have “omnipotent clarity.”

    Yet the White House ignored repeated offers from FOX News to share with the administration such e-mail addresses, to help determine how the recipients ended up on the White House distribution list.

    Shapiro said Sunday that those recipients can unsubscribe if they want, “by clicking the link at the bottom of the e-mail or (telling) whomever forwarded it to them not to forward such information anymore.” He said the White House is trying to correct the problem.

    “We are implementing measures to make subscribing to e-mails clearer, including preventing advocacy organizations from signing people up to our lists without their permission when they deliver petition signatures and other messages on individuals’ behalf,” he said.

    One possible reason for the confusion is that advocacy groups, when dealing with online petitions, are sending in their membership lists whenever they make contact with the White House – the e-mail addresses affiliated with those members could then become embedded in the White House distribution list. The White House indicated its Web site managers are going to seek out and block online petitions so that people can only sign up for information individually. …

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/08/16/white-house-e-mail/

    Yeah – “whoopsie” and “If you don’t like it you can unsubscribe.”

    Perhaps this is the next step in the White House’s plan to pay for Health Care – emails for “discount” Viagra™ will be next. :-)

  2. retire05 says:

    Am I buying this story? You betcha. Right after I close the deal on my ocean front property in Lubbock, Texas.

    Avocacy groups are forwarding email addresses? Isn’t it illegal to reveal a person’s email address just because they signed a petition? You can bet it this was an advocacy group and it was a conservative group, the White House would be quick to say who it was.

    Never mind that this happened just days after Americans were told to “snitch” on their family, friends and neighbors over “fishy” rumors that the White House can’t let Americans hear.

    The only thing “fishy” is this excuse being put out by the Chicago White House.

  3. texaspsue says:

    See. I bet that the Obama Administration is glad that Major Garrett has helped to keep this, the most transparent Whitehouse house evah!

    Dang those third parties anyway, they just mess up everything :-)

  4. curvyred says:

    This entire episode seems very fishy to me.

    And who exactly are these “third parties” they speak of?

    Are they the third parties that ratted out friends, family, and neighbors to flag@whitehouse. gov?

    • mrbeverage says:

      curvyred,
      There are so many third parties involved with this White House, you need trading cards to keep track of the players. This Administration is engaged in the biggest ” political Ménage à trois” in the history of Washington.

    • curvyred says:

      Looks like an organization called ‘govdelivery.com’ may be somehow involved, according to a woman who received an email – she traced it back to them.

      govdelivery.com is utilized by government “entities” to disseminate information on behalf of “governments”.

      They were contacted by Fox and of course now have “no comment.

      Fishier, fishier, fishier.

  5. proreason says:

    Looks like the White House dropped its ever-vigilant guard for a sec on this one.

    Thank God this could never happen with our National Security. They probably diverted resources from the White House web-site to protecting Internet security, which allowed this little toe-stub to sneak through No harm, no foul, heh heh.

    We must be at least 100 times safer now than we were under Bushhitler.

    Of course, there’s also a slight chance the WH CIO was out shop-lifting instead of manning the internet barricades.

  6. Liberals Demise says:

    Southside White House officials were quoted as saying, ” Youse guys keeps dis up, youse is gonna end up going for a little schpin!”

  7. mrbeverage says:

    Maybe now would be a good time for Major Garrett to say to Robert Gibbs, “Robert, don’t look “funny””.
    Mr Gibbs went on to further insult Major Garrett by saying, “lets move onto something more constructive”, well if you ask me, any question that is raised by the press that later results in a change in White House policy, is pretty damn constructive!
    I wish unsubscribing to this Presidency was as easy as clinking a link at the bottom of the page!

  8. curvyred says:

    Very interesting:

    I just received an email from my local Senator (D) addressed to my teen daughter – who I can assure you does not get involved herself in politics, and also does not utilize my email address. It addressed her by first and last name – both of which are quite unique.

    He has scheduled two town halls to talk about “health Care reform” or as he calls it the “affordable health choices act”

    I will have to trace it back – anyone want to give me pointers -is it even worth it?


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