Commenter akafred is head of a nonprofit Life For Sudan. He recently got two emails from David Axelrod about Obama's health care proposals, setting out what the White House feels are the facts to counter misinformation about the proposed legislation and the surrounding discussion on health care reform. I understand a number of these emails have gone out, not from the DNC or some PAC, but from the White House itself - from the government.
Life For Sudan did not contribute to Obama or any candidate, nor is it on some collection of mailing lists of people who might be sympathetic to the administration's ideas. Even if it were, it would be improper for the White House to use or purchase such a list to put out its side of the story as something coming from the government. There is a a line dividing what an administration can do as advocacy versus what it can do as government. Imagine if George Bush has sent out an email giving reasons for the Surge to all military families, or defense contractors. Yet this is the same thing, except Obama has actually done it. The source for the White House must be the government registry of nonprofits, a group they rightly or wrongly believe might be on board with their ideas.
Obama is using government information to campaign for his ideas. We saw this occasionally under the Clinton administration. It comes from the attitude that "this is good for the country, so we can use the government's resources to accomplish it. It's not unethical, because it's in a good cause."
My recollection is that this was what horrified liberals most about the Nixon Administration, that he equated his election with what was good for the country, allowing him to use the machinery of government to accomplish partisan goals. It takes a Nixonian hubris to think like that - which perhaps is the Democratic norm these days.
Perhaps there is some other explanation which will be uncovered in the next few days which is more innocent. At the moment, it looks very much like a misuse of government resources to advocate for one side in a legislative discussion.