GovDelivery throwing Obama under the bus?
posted at 10:00 am on August 23, 2009 by Ed Morrissey
I’m still in the middle of a Marriage Encounter weekend, but I got a moment to catch up on the GovDelivery connection to the spam e-mails coming from David Axelrod in support of ObamaCare. The White House blamed the dissemination of unsolicited e-mails on the firm they hired to manage its e-mail communications on political issues, but GovDelivery apparently doesn’t want to play along with the Oval Office. Verum Serum notes that the company is denying that it supplies e-mail addresses to any of its clients, and insists that it just manages address books:
In other words, the White House is denying responsibility for the Axelspam. Fox provides a link to the GovDelivery website. From there you can visit the company’s blog where the top post, published 8/18, is titled GovDelivery’s Role in Government Communication. … Then we get to the good stuff, a Q and A:
Q: Where do GovDelivery clients get the email addresses and mobile phone numbers used to reach the public through the GovDelivery digital communications platform?
A: GovDelivery’s clients can offer updates on specific topics through their websites, and often include a subscription sign-up (opt-in) form. Some GovDelivery clients serving a similar audience cross-promote content (topics) from related government agencies by offering subscription items from other agencies (think of this as ‘one stop shopping’ for government information that is of interest to a particular citizen). Finally, GovDelivery allows clients to upload existing contact lists into GovDelivery. …
Q: Does GovDelivery ever share one GovDelivery client’s contact list with another organization?
A: No. GovDelivery does not share contact information collected and stored by one client with any other clients under any circumstances.
John has more at VS, but basically GovDelivery says that it helps manage data-collection services for its clients (specializing in government agencies) that harvest e-mail addresses, but it doesn’t supply them to the customer, and it doesn’t take e-mail lists from other customers to use for other programs. The White House contention that the problem was created by its vendor gets quietly but firmly quashed by GovDelivery.
That meshes with the testimony of a Hot Air reader, who has first-hand experience with GovDelivery but wishes to remain anonymous. The reader says that GovDelivery asked them for the e-mail list to use for distribution. They are just an end-product e-mail distributor, not a clearinghouse for e-mail lists.
Frankly, the White House is making this a lot worse by trying to pass the buck. As far as I know, spam e-mails wouldn’t break the law, although it would make the administration look cheesy enough, and that effect has already occurred. They’re turning an embarrassment into an indictment of their integrity and honesty. The cover-up is always worse than the crime, and covering up a non-crime makes this administration look immature, petty, and bumbling.