I’m posting this brief note even though I have already updated a previous post about the first “We the People” petition of the POTUS 45 era, because the updates there are somewhat obscured in the original post about the White House website changes. So, to reiterate, over 200,000 signatures on the petition demanding release of his tax returns have been dismissed in one sentence by a presidential advisor this morning. He will not be releasing his tax returns.
I’ll be monitoring these petitions to see if any of them get any kind of more formal response than this glib treatment. The two relating to guns might garner a more detailed response if they ever reach the number of signatures required, but right now that looks unlikely.
Someone (most likely a team of individuals) has already changed the front page of the White House official website to reflect the change of presidents.
I checked the site just before noon EST and it still was the same as previous days under the Obama administration.
I checked again around 12:20 p.m. EST and the page now has a link to view the inauguration live. All of the presidential action pages are cleared of previous actions. The archiving has apparently been done.
I have not taken time yet to follow the live links that have anything, such as the issues page, but I did check to see if the ‘We the People’ petitions page was still there, and it is, but all the previous petitions are gone. I’m very curious to see how long it takes before a new petition is created.
It did not take very long before new petitions were posted on the site. For a while the website was inconsistent in operation with occasional glitches, but it seems to be working fine now.
Interestingly, the first petition posted on my last check (around 9:00 p.m. EST) had well over 160,000 signatures of support!
Now it will be interesting to see when (and even if) the White House responds to it.
We have the answer to when the White House will respond. Today, a spokesperson for the president said he will not be releasing his tax returns. Now well over 200,000 signatures on the petition and here is the answer.
Today I received an email message from the White House. Impressive, huh?
Actually, I am only one of probably millions of people to receive that message from the staff of “The We the People Team”.
One of the many electronic communication initiatives of the Obama administration was the establishment of this “…innovative experiment in a new kind of civic engagement”, as they called it. The ability for anyone to sign up on the White House website then create a petition for action by the president (or other branch of government) was indeed unique. If a petition receives enough signatures (100,000 within thirty days), a direct response is promised within 6o days. Some of these petitions have produced real legislative and/or regulation results.
I was on this White House email list because some time ago I signed a petition. Although I did not make a regular habit of signing petitions in this way, I think it is an excellent idea and hope it will be continued.
Here is the link to the Petitions page of White House website, in case you are interested in seeing what petitions are active right now. Some are pretty interesting!