Spam From the White House

Major Garrett of Fox News and White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs tussled over the White House email distribution list.  How did they decide who to send emails to?  Why are people who have never signed up at the White House website suddenly getting emails from David Axelrod, the senior political advisor to the President?

Watch below:

I know for a fact that the White House is sending out unsolicited email because I’ve been the recepient of at least three emails from David Axelrod (this was even before the Big Brother episode where I did send them an email, but sending someone an email does not mean I approve of being added to a distribution list).

Even today I received an email from him “debunking” the “myths” that critics of the plan have put forth. Here is the original email in Outlook form and if you can’t open that here is the pdf version.

In the eight years of the Bush administration I sent numerous emails to the White House, but never once did I get an unsolicited email from them. Why am I suddenly getting them from the White House? At least they offer an unsubscribe feature at the bottom, otherwise they would be in violation of The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. But that still leaves us with the nagging question… how did they get the email addresses in the first place?

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  • sara

    maybe they are gathering them at … someone turned you in, oh no!

    .-= sara´s last blog ..White House ironically launches "Reality Check" site =-.

    • Shane Vander Hart

      @sara, That would be a good explanation, but… I started receiving them before that.

      • Foxfier

        @Shane Vander Hart

        My bets on web-crawlers, or someone annoyed with your political stance (did it start below or after SarahPAC?) submitted your email.

        Probably the latter.
        .-= Foxfier´s last blog ..If You’re A Praying Type =-.

      • Shane Vander Hart

        @Foxfier, No, it was after SarahPAC. I wish I kept the first one I received. You could be right though.

        You know unless it was somewhere I left a comment, no one coming to my blog would know my email unless we’ve emailed back and forth since I use a webform.

      • Foxfier

        @Shane Vander Hart


        That is rather worrying, unless someone just guessed your email.

        A google search shows your email here, here, here and here, but that’s a bit more work than someone who wants to annoy would *usually* go through. Although you do have a flare for finding folks who are rather…dire.
        .-= Foxfier´s last blog ..If You’re A Praying Type =-.

  • Brian Getz

    As a politically vocal person, is it possible that you were added by someone else either as a joke or an annoyance? Perhaps that is the case for you or some of the others who had this happen.

    I can vouch as an Obama campaign supporter that I continued to get emails after the election, though I can’t recall whether they are from Axelrod or just OFA. (I’d check, but I unsubscribed from about 10 different organizations’ newsletters about a month ago and I think that was one)

    • Shane Vander Hart

      @Brian Getz, the problem with that is White House & political campaign stuff isn’t supposed to be mixed. It violates campaign laws & ethics rules. You have to keep them separate.

      You could be right about possibly being added by somebody else. The thing is, it would have to have been somebody I have emailed back and forth with – you won’t find my email (until today) on this blog since I use a webform… just for that very reason.

      I suppose it could be another blogger if I left a comment on their blog, but I normally don’t go on opposition blogs to leave comments unless I happen to know them (for that very reason). It’s still possible though.

  • Casey

    I’ve gotten them, too! I never signed up for a mailing list before. Something tells me that Google is not going to put on its spam blacklist, though.
    .-= Casey´s last blog ..A picture’s worth a thousand words =-.

  • Liberty Belle

    Hah! Are whitehouse spam emails going to be the next viagra/enlargement spam? I can’t think of which would be more annoying! Neither apply to me, so I guess I’ll just continue ignoring all spam as always…
    .-= Liberty Belle´s last blog ..Wait, who’s invoking Nazi talk? =-.

  • M. Hovda

    Scott Baker of The B Cast on and made an excellent analysis of Gibbs trying to throttle Major Garret to “Tell Him To Rephrase his Question”

    I would encourage anyone to go to The B Cast!! It is a site/show on the web that is like no other!!!

    Oh it was on Yesterday’s Show the 13th of August!!

  • Blogman

    Sending SPAM is illegal.

    A State Attorney General can sue for $250 per illegal e-mail message up to a maximum of $2 million — more if the offense includes certain aggravating violations (Sec. 7(f)). Internet Service Providers can sue in federal district court for $100 per illegal e-mail message up to a maximum of $1 million or more (Sec. 7(g)(3)).

    Which State’s Attorney is going to step up to the plate?

    Obama’s Chicago style will get him in the end


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