President Obama’s new “We The People” initiative smells exactly like a political campaign move and is unethical, says one large grassroots conservative group spokesman.
“It sure looks suspicious,” FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe told The Daily Caller. “It looks like lobbying and it looks utterly inappropriate.” Because they’re not lawyers, though, Kibbe and FreedomWorks spokesman Adam Brandon won’t comment on whether the Obama White House’s new campaign is legal or illegal.
Brandon said it appears the White House is using taxpayer-funded government resources to play political games.
Brandon told The Daily Caller that FreedomWorks is looking into the legality of the new program. “The White House [should be] about policy, not politics,” Brandon said in a telephone interview. “This is a political move.”
The new Web campaign is a “direct reaction to the success of the tea party, the left and the Obama administration trying to catch up,” Brandon adds. “I don’t think it’s ethical.” (RELATED: White House solicits online petitions to shape policy)
The Obama administration’s “We The People” initiative will open up the White House website to petition drives for the first time. The administration says it will post a petition on the White House website when it attracts at least 150 signatures. Obama administration social media chief Macon Phillips says that if 5,000 people sign a petition, “a group of White House policy officials … will review it, make sure it gets to the right people in the Obama administration, and craft an official response.”
FreedomWorks isn’t the only political group to question the ethics of the administration’s “We The People” initiative. Republican National Committee spokesperson Kirsten Kukowski told TheDC that the new project reeks of political campaigning almost as much as Obama’s recent bus tour.
“The president is clearly in campaign mode from his fundraisers to his campaign bus tour, and now more campaign tactics are coming out from the official White House,” Kukowski said. “This shouldn’t come as any surprise to Americans who have come to see him as the ultimate Campaigner-in-Chief.”
What Kibbe finds most “interesting” about this latest Obama initiative is how he’s asking citizens to criticize his own team.
“He’s asking citizens to communicate with Washington, D.C., about the need for serious action on jobs and the economy,” Kibbe said. “He’s the one that’s failed to offer a vision to grow out of this failed economy. In a way, Obama’s actually rallying citizen action against his own inaction.”
Michael Watson contributed reporting for this story.