The White House has said it won’t be responding to a petition calling for an investigation into whether comments by MPAA head Chris Dodd about paying for political support constituted an admission of bribery.
Shortly after SOPA and PIPA were kicked into the long grass by nervous legislators, Dodd - himself a former senator – remarked to Fox News that his organization was “watching very carefully” and would not be writing campaign donation checks to politicians who ceased to support it. The comments sparked a petition to the White House and it gained the requisite 30,000 signatures needed to trigger a response within hours.
“The White House declines to comment on this petition because it requests a specific law enforcement action,” came the government’s response, entitled "Why we can't comment".
According to the terms and conditions of the petitioning system: "To avoid the appearance of improper influence, the White House may decline to address certain procurement, law enforcement, adjudicatory, or similar matters properly within the jurisdiction of federal departments or agencies, federal courts, or state and local government in its response to a petition."
The crucial word here is “may”, and in this case the White House has chosen to exercise this option. It may also indicate that a petition phrased in a different way could get an actual response.
The MPAA has so far also declined to comment on the issue. ®