Obama sells White House photos paid for by the American People. Legal?

It appears the President is pushing the legal limits again.  Not only does he make appointments during pro forma sessions of congress, he now is selling buttons that were taken at taxpayer expense in the Oval Office.  It is pretty clear that use of the White House for campaign purposes is prohibited, but this president has made it clear that he is not interested in what is ethical or legal.  It is what he can get away with. The buttons are being sold on Barackobama.com for five bucks each.  We think this money should be put in the United States Treasury.

This is so blatant that even the mainstream media is questioning the use.

The first family has yet to appear together on the 2012 campaign trail, but the faces of the foursome are now officially for sale in President Obama’s campaign store.

Image credit: Courtesy barackobama.com but photo paid for by the American People

A portrait of the president, first lady and their daughters taken in the Oval Office by an official White House photographer is prominently featured on Obama-Biden buttons for $5 apiece, and in an online campaign ad asking voters to “join our campaign.”

It’s the first time this election cycle that images of Sasha and Malia Obama have been used by the president’s re-election team after years of careful control over their public use.

But more remarkable may be the legal and ethical questions raised by use of the photo, which was originally taken and published at taxpayer expense and for which political and commercial use is expressly prohibited.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in response to an inquiry from ABC News last week that the photos – which are freely available on the administration’s Flickr website – are “basically items in the public domain.”

“They cannot be used for commercial uses,” Earnest said at a press briefing, “but we’ve also seen a number of political campaigns, certainly in 2010, that used … photos off the Flickr website and incorporated them into their television advertisements and other advertisements.”

via Obama Sale of First Family Photo Tests Campaign Rules – ABC News.

About Albert N. Milliron 6991 Articles
Albert Milliron is the founder of Politisite. Milliron has been credentialed by most major news networks for Presidential debates and major Political Parties for political event coverage. Albert maintains relationships with the White House and State Department to provide direct reporting from the Administration’s Press team. Albert is the former Public Relations Chairman of the Columbia County Republican Party in Georgia. He is a former Delegate. Milliron is a veteran of the US Army Medical Department and worked for Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Psychiatry.

1 Comment

  1. I don’t care for him but I think getting concerned over a copy of a pic a gov photog took is really scrapping the barrel. It looks like he’s not that bad of a guy if that’s what your going after him for. Can we not do better?