White House Blames Political Groups for Spam Emails on Health Care Bills
by Steven Ertelt
August 17, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The White House is blaming political organizations like pro-life groups for the unsolicited emails people have ben receiving promoting the pro-abortion health care restructuring bill.
Thousands of people have emailed LifeNews.com and other media outlets complaining about the spam emails from the Obama administration.
In a statement released on Sunday night after Fox News challenged White House press secretary Robert Gibbs on the emails, spokesman Nick Shapiro blamed citizens groups saying that the Obama administration likely emailed people who signed petitions on issues, such as asking Obama to stop funding abortions.
If an individual received the e-mail because someone else or a group signed them up or forwarded the email, we hope they were not too inconvenienced," he said. "Further, we suggest that they unsubscribe from the list by clicking the link at the bottom of the e-mail or tell whomever forwarded it to them not to forward such information anymore.
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," Shapiro claimed. "[A]ll e-mails come from the White House website as we have no interest in emailing anyone who does not want to receive an email."
Shapiro also said the White House would be changing some email policies in response to the complaints, but again blamed advocacy groups.
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.
Last week, Fox News reporter Major Garrett had a testy exchange with Gibbs about the emails, which asked readers to support the pro-abortion health care bill and to encourage others to do so.
Some of the people who got emails and notified LifeNews.com said they had never sent an email to the White House before and don’t know how they were placed in Obama’s database.
Fox News asked Gibbs about the people who received the emails and Gibbs eventually agreed to have the White House look over the list and see why Americans received them.
Gibbs said he couldn’t know why people got the emails because he doesn’t have "omnipotent clarity." He added he would have to see the emails to know more about why the people received them mistakenly.
Pressed for a further explanation, Gibbs couldn’t respond.
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