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White House Acknowledge Unsolicited E-Mails on Health Care

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.

"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. 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."

Click here to read FOX News' White House Blog

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.

"It's not a function of the White House to get somebody's e-mail address," said Utah resident Lou Porta.

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 Axelrod e-mail is just the latest move by the White House to raise privacy questions.

The White House earlier drew criticism for asking the public to send in "fishy" information on health care reform the public receive via e-mail or find on the Internet.

Critics worried how the White House would use that information and accused the administration of playing "big brother."

Gibbs rejected the accusations and said the White House was not compiling a list of names.


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Added: Aug-16-2009 Occurred On: Aug-16-2009
By: ashtray27
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Tags: whitehouse
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  • White House should also acknowledge the fact that lobbiests for the Pharmacutical Industry as well as the Insurance Companies that sale Supplemental insurance are spending millions to push this Health Care Reform Bill with Ads all over the Internet these fake petitions that look like 76% of America want this crap etc.... big money to be made if this reform gets passed and we the people will be the losers.

    Posted Aug-16-2009 By 

    (6) | Report

    • We are the losers right now birther boy, the insurance industry makes billions dummy.

      Posted Aug-16-2009 By 

      (-7) | Report

    • The insurance industries make billion because of laws which were passed decades ago that were not good for the people than, even though government claimed it was, just as they are doing now.

      Politicians work for big business. Period

      Posted Aug-16-2009 By 

      (2) | Report

    • What a false narrative, its the same from you every time.
      The insurance industry has been giving tens of millions to congress, only for those that will vote against reform. Quit lying, you're only fooling yourself.

      Posted Aug-16-2009 By 

      (-6) | Report

    • Yes, it is called plutocracy. Big business doesn't have the average person in mind at all and never has.
      Only morons like Mr.Dumb can't grasp that fact.

      Posted Aug-16-2009 By 

      (-4) | Report

    • Comment of user 'opacity' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • Wake up people obama is scum!

    Posted Aug-16-2009 By 

    (4) | Report

  • Socialists going down in their flaming panties.

    Posted Aug-17-2009 By 

    (3) | Report

  • Government spam.

    Posted Aug-16-2009 By 

    (2) | Report

  • If the White House is actually buying e-mail lists and soliciting from the White House, then they have blurred the lines between party action and governmental function. The White House is never supposed to directly lobby the public. And keeping and using e-mail lists for unsolicited e-mail may very well be illegal.

    Posted Aug-17-2009 By 

    (1) | Report

  • Here is a true story, when Obama was running for Pres someone called me up from the Obama Campaign and asked me to give em some money. I told them to put me on the Do Not Call list so they asked me for me email so they could take me OFF the list. Those bastards started E-mailing me every day. FFS take me off the list or I'll call the President...

    Posted Aug-17-2009 By 

    (1) | Report