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Health Care Reform in Your Inbox?


By Allan Holmes March 22, 2010

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Over the weekend, a political blogger and the White House took aim at each other over charges that the Obama administration had sent some federal employees e-mails asking them to support health care reform.

From Richard Grenell, in his blog Without the Filter, claimed in a March 18 post:

The White House Office of Health Reform Director Nancy-Ann DeParle has been feverishly sending out unsolicited email messages to federal employees in an effort to build support for President Barack Obama's health reform package over the last several weeks. DeParle's unsolicited emails have been regularly coming to some federal employees' official government email inboxes for weeks without permission or request, causing some federal employees to feel threatened by the overt political language.

The Department of State employees, who receive hundreds of official government emails every day, have complained about the annoying and partisan emails but are nervous to go public for fear of retribution. The emails are addressed to the federal employees by name and use the official .gov address.

CBS posted the item on March 19 and identified Grenell in a paragraph above the article as having "served as the spokesman for the last four U.S. Ambassadors to the United Nations: Zalmay Khalilzad, John Bolton, John Danforth and John Negroponte."

Macon Phillips, who heads up social media for the White House, called Grenell's charges "outlandish and false" in an item posted March 21 on the White House Blog.

Just today a fierce critic of health reform, Karl Rove, went a step further on ABC's "This Week" by making the absurd and unfounded claim that the White House "sent out unsolicited e-mails to federal employees asking them to contact their legislators about this bill." This is simply not true and unless Mr. Rove can point to a White House email making this request of anyone, federal employee or otherwise, he should correct this dangerous and inaccurate assertion.

Tell us if you have received any unsolicited e-mails from the White House asking you to support health care reform, or is there a plausible explanation for this?


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