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George Miller's (Un)official Web Site

It's no secret that Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) is backing Barack Obama's campaign for president. The veteran chairman of the Education and Workforce Committee and a top lieutenant of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Miller endorsed the Illinois Democrat last month and worked (unsuccessfully) to try to help him win California on Super Tuesday. All that information is easy to find out.

You just shouldn't be able to find it so easily from Miller's official House Web site.

Until Capitol Briefing called Miller's office about it today, Web surfers could go to the "Contact Us" page on Miller's site, click on the left-hand side link that says "MILLER TV" and be taken directly to a video on Facebook -- if you have an account -- of Miller gushing about Obama.

"I wanted to make sure you know that I'm supporting Barack Obama for president of the United States," Miller said in the video, lest there be any confusion. "If you're not supporting him I ask you to go to his Web site and join up."

After Miller sings Obama's praises, the video segues to an audio clip of one of the candidate's speeches and a big plug to go to Obama's own campaign site and donate some money.

Here's the problem: House rules are pretty clear about what can and can't be on a member's official site. The guidelines say those sites "may not include personal, political or campaign information, and may not be directly linked or refer to Web sites created or operated by a campaign or any campaign-related entity, including political parties and campaign committees."

Whoops. Rest assured, though, that the mistake has already been fixed. After Capitol Briefing's call to Miller's office, the Obama video was taken down, so now if you go to Miller TV, you'll get a more rules-compliant video segment called "Ask George," where the Congressman answers "your questions about the Iraq War."

Danny Weiss, Miller's chief of staff, said the link to the campaign video was "totally inadvertent" and should not have happened. "We have no interest in subverting the rules whatsoever," he said.

The Obama video is no longer on Miller's Facebook site, but it is available in a more appropriate place on Miller's campaign site. So you can still enjoy it -- legally.

By Ben Pershing  |  February 29, 2008; 3:30 PM ET
Categories:  2008 Campaign , Ethics and Rules , House  
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