Entries in Petitions (2)


White House Raises the Stakes in Online Petitioning Platform

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- "We the People" will now need a lot more people before the White House takes notice.

The Obama administration's online petitioning platform has become so popular with users that the White House felt it had to raise the number of signatures necessary for an official response from 25,000 to 100,000.

"We the People" is basically a victim of its own success because all kinds of petitions are easily reaching the 25,000-signature threshold, including those calling for funding of a Death Star by 2016 and restricting DC lawmakers' annual pay to $75,000.

There are also more serious petitions as well, such as the one demanding the removal of the federal prosecutor in the Aaron Swartz case, the online pioneer who committed suicide last week.  That one will be grandfathered in, needing only 25,000 names instead of the new requirement of 100,000 to get White House recognition.

Currently, there are approximately 40 petitions with over 25,000 signatures that may or may not get comment if they reach the new magic number.  In one case, a petition to legally recognize the Westboro Baptist Church as a hate group has well over 300,000 signatures.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


White House to Review Online Secession Petitions

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Living up to its crowdsourcing promise, the White House says it will review online petitions from states that say they want to secede from the United States.

In the days since President Obama was re-elected, visitors to the site "We the People" have submitted a wave of petitions calling on Obama to allow 36 states to peacefully secede from the United States.

As a practice, the White House says it will review and respond to petitions that obtain more than 25,000 signatures. Three secession petitions, from Texas, Louisiana, and Florida, have passed that threshold. Texas leads all petitions, with 82,799 online signatures, which the White House confirms through email.

And the White House said it would follow this procedure now.

“Every petition that crosses the threshold is reviewed and receives a response,” a White House official said when asked about the secession petitions. "As a rule, we don’t comment on the substance of those responses until we’ve issued them to the petitioners."

That said, the White House has been known to dodge. While it sometimes responds in several hundred words written by the relevant policy officials, others (such as  this one) amount to explanations of why the White House can’t or won’t comment.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio