Fox News: White House can't quite explain how people ended up on Axelrod's spam list

They have theories, mind you. But the theories don’t add up.

The White House told FOX News that third-party groups sending online petitions to the official administration Web site could be to blame for a rash of e-mails that have gone out to people who never requested them. The theory is that these groups are including the names and e-mails of members and petition-signers along with the petitions themselves, in turn embedding those e-mails into the White House distribution list…

Griffith, who works for the American Association of Christian Schools in Washington, D.C., said she got the e-mail in her office account even though she’s careful not to use her work e-mail for anything that’s not office related. She said she has submitted questions through the Web site using her personal e-mail address, but those questions were never answered. She said she never signed up for any updates or petitions with any group

Anita Donaldson, a stay-at-home mom in Arlington, Va., told she’s received a slew of unwanted e-mails from the White House on everything from health care reform to Father’s Day ever since she sent some e-mails to Washington via the FreedomWorks Web site.

That was not a petition, though. And it was not sent directly through the White House page. She sent the messages, protesting the stimulus package and other proposals, through one of many “action alerts” featured on the FreedomWorks page. The pages allow readers to submit comments to the White House and other government officials through an application called Capwiz.

“Apparently it has put me on some mailing list,” Donaldson said. “I get fairly frequent e-mails on a variety of subjects. … One was even from Michelle Obama herself.”

Alternate theory: Nutroots jackasses are spamming their conservative acquaintances by signing them up for White House propaganda. I find that one hard to believe, just because the reports of Axelrod spam are fairly widespread — we got a bunch ourselves last week — whereas the nastiness needed to motivate someone to sign someone else up for spam is (hopefully) fairly rare. I did get several e-mails from people who told me they’d sent the White House messages in the past (in one case, it was a message of congratulations for winning the election) only to find themselves receiving WH spam thereafter. Sounds like either Team Barry had a program in place that harvested the addresses of messages it received or, more disconcertingly, that they’re making deals with outside parties for their e-mail lists. Usually it’s the Obama campaign that’s being solicited for donor lists, not vice versa, but maybe health care is important enough to them that they felt obliged to expand their reach of contacts. Keep digging, Fox! Exit question: The White House, possibly amassing lists of members of outside organizations? What could go wrong?