White House Website Now Collecting Emails For Possibly Partisan Purposes

Get updates? Updates on what?

What’s the story that’s getting updated? Will the Obama White House  treat it in the fair, bipartisan manner (its so very known for), before  goes directly to your email address?

Granny Jan was the first to notice this curious change in the White House website, quipping that  “WhiteHouse.gov is now an advertising arm of the Obama campaign”.

Doug Ross thinks the email collection script at Whitehouse.gov may well  be skirting the law:

For a president whose administration has already been held in contempt of court by a federal judge and whose 2008 campaign openly accepted illegal foreign contributions, transforming the White House website into a voter outreach platform shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.

It is entirely possible, and perhaps extremely likely, that collection of these emails crosses the line into an illegal use of government property for partisan purposes. The Clinton administration’s Justice Department issued a 1999 memo that outlined prohibited behavior.

Warner Todd Huston at Publius Forum adds:

Too true. Even if these email addresses are not used to directly promote Obama’s campaign efforts, the fact that emails are going out under his name during an election campaign indirectly promotes him anyway.


This level of personal contact was unheard of during past presidential campaigns. Won’t constant emails “from the White House” help sway voters Obama’s way whether they have direct appeals in them from his campaign or not?

Again, who is watching to make sure that Obama’s staff does not *cough* accidentally *cough* take all these email addresses that were meant only for the “White House updates” and put them in with his campaign email database? Is anyone watching to make sure Obama is not breaking campaign laws?

Maybe some enterprising White House reporter could bring this up at the next briefing with Jay Carney? If you close your eyes, you can almost hear him disdainfully dismissing the concern as a “distraction’, right now.


LA Times: Obama campaign hires Chicago technologist to be ‘force multiplier’

A well-known Chicago technologist  joined the Obama 2012 campaign as chief technology officer.

Chicago technologist, Harper Reed 

The former CTO of clothing company Threadless joined the campaign in late April and will focus on helping field operators improve voter contact.


This video, created by Granny Jan  shows how they are collecting cookies:

Linked by Bryan Preston at PJ Tatler, who has a couple of questions:

Two questions need to be answered. One, where are these harvested emails going? If a single one of them ends up on the Obama campaign’s email list, that’s illegal. If they’re not going to his campaign, where are they going? I can see a scenario where they’re keeping the emails in some official WH list that’s “separate” from the campaign list for the sake of appearances, but in actuality will end up carrying the president’s re-elect message. Message timing and language will end up coinciding with that of the Obama campaign. And, they will have collected some useful information about the voters’ issue priorities via the self-selection, information they can and presumably will hand over to the actual campaign staff.