Two more Census workers blow the whistle

So this is how they’re going to fix the job situation? Fire and rehire the same person over and over, and call each rehiring a newly created job? Typical government “logic,” and hopefully the American people are too busy (or stupid) to notice, or care.

From The New York Post:

You know the old saying: “Everyone loves a charade.” Well, it seems that the Census Bureau may be playing games.

Last week, one of the millions of workers hired by Census 2010 to parade around the country counting Americans blew the whistle on some statistical tricks.

The worker, Naomi Cohn, told The Post that she was hired and fired a number of times by Census. Each time she was hired back, it seems, Census was able to report the creation of a new job to the Labor Department.

Below, I have a couple more readers who worked for Census 2010 and have tales to tell.

But first, this much we know.

Each month Census gives Labor a figure on the number of workers it has hired. That figure goes into the closely followed monthly employment report Labor provides. For the past two months the hiring by Census has made up a good portion of the new jobs.

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The Census and the Constitution

From JewishWorldReview.com:

The Census Bureau estimates that the life cycle cost of the 2010 Census will be from $13.7 billion to $14.5 billion, making it the costliest census in the nation’s history. Suppose you suggest to a congressman that given our budget crisis, we could save some money by dispensing with the 2010 census. I guarantee you that he’ll say something along the lines that the Constitution mandates a decennial counting of the American people and he would be absolutely right. Article I, Section 2 of our constitution reads: “The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct.”


What purpose did the Constitution’s framers have in mind ordering an enumeration or count of the American people every 10 years? The purpose of the headcount is to apportion the number of seats in the House of Representatives and derived from that, along with two senators from each state, the number of electors to the Electoral College.


The Census Bureau tells us that this year, it will use a shorter questionnaire, consisting of only 10 questions. From what I see, only one of them serves the constitutional purpose of enumeration — namely, “How many people were living or staying at this house, apartment or mobile home on April 1, 2010?” The Census Bureau’s shorter questionnaire claim is deceptive at best.

Letter from JWR publisher


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FBI Probes Murder of U.S. Census Worker in Kentucky

From CNSNews:

Manchester, Ky. (AP) – When Bill Sparkman told retired trooper Gilbert Acciardo that he was going door-to-door collecting census data in rural Kentucky, the former cop drawing on years of experience warned: “Be careful.”

The 51-year-old Sparkman was found hanged from a tree near a Kentucky cemetery and had the word “fed” scrawled on his chest, a law enforcement official said Wednesday, and the FBI is investigating whether he was a victim of anti-government sentiment.

“Even though he was with the Census Bureau, sometimes people can view someone with any government agency as ‘the government.’ I just was afraid that he might meet the wrong character along the way up there,” said Acciardo, who directs an after-school program at an elementary school where Sparkman was a frequent substitute teacher.

The Census Bureau has suspended door-to-door interviews in rural Clay County, where the body was found, until the investigation is complete, an official said.

The law enforcement official, who was not authorized to discuss the case and requested anonymity, did not say what type of instrument was used to write the word on the chest of Sparkman, who was supplementing his income doing Census field work. He was found Sept. 12 in a remote patch of Daniel Boone National Forest and an autopsy report is pending.

Manchester, the main hub of the southeastern Kentucky county, is an exit off the highway, with a Wal-Mart, a few hotels, chain restaurants and a couple gas stations. The drive away from town and toward the area Sparkman’s body was found is decidedly different, through the forest with no streetlights on winding roads, up and down steep hills and sparsely populated.

FBI spokesman David Beyer said the bureau is assisting state police and declined to discuss any details about the crime scene. Agents are trying to determine if foul play was involved and whether it had anything to do with Sparkman’s job as Census worker, Beyer said. Attacking a federal worker during or because of his federal job is a federal crime.

Sparkman’s mother, Henrie Sparkman of Inverness, Fla., told The Associated Press her son was an Eagle scout who moved to Kentucky to direct the local Boy Scouts of America. He later became a substitute teacher in Laurel County, adjacent to the county where his body was found.

She said investigators have given her few details about her son’s death. They did tell her his body was decomposed and haven’t yet released it for burial.

“I was told it would be better for him to be cremated,” she said.

Acciardo said he became suspicious when Sparkman didn’t show up for work at the after-school program in Laurel County for two days and went to police. Authorities immediately investigated, he said.

“He was such an innocent person,” Acciardo said. “I hate to say that he was naive, but he saw the world as all good, and there’s a lot of bad in the world.”

Lucindia Scurry-Johnson, assistant director of the Census Bureau’s southern office in Charlotte, N.C., said law enforcement officers have told the agency the matter is “an apparent homicide” but nothing else.

Census employees were told Sparkman’s truck was found nearby, and a computer he was using for work was inside, she said.

Sparkman had worked for the Census since 2003, spanning five counties in the surrounding area, conducting interviews once or twice a month. Much of his recent work had been in Clay County, officials said.

The Census Bureau has yet to begin door-to-door canvassing for the 2010 head count, but thousands of field workers are doing smaller surveys on various demographic topics on behalf of federal agencies. Next year, the Census Bureau will dispatch up to 1.2 million temporary employees to locate hard-to-find residents.

The Census Bureau is overseen by the Commerce Department.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our co-worker,” Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said in a statement.

Locke called him “a shining example of the hardworking men and women employed by the Census Bureau.”

Kelsee Brown, a waitress at Huddle House, a 24-hour chain restaurant in Manchester, when asked about the death, said she thinks the government sometimes has the wrong priorities.

“Sometimes I think the government should stick their nose out of people’s business and stick their nose in their business at the same time. They care too much about the wrong things,” she said.

Appalachia scholar Roy Silver, a New York City native now living in Harlan County, Ky., said he doesn’t sense an outpouring of anti-government sentiment in the region as has been exhibited in town hall meetings in other parts of the country.

“I don’t think distrust of government is any more or less here than anywhere else in the country,” said Silver, a sociology professor at Southeast Community College.

The most deadly attack on federal workers came in 1995 when the federal building in Oklahoma City was devastated by a truck bomb, killing 168 and injuring more than 680. Timothy McVeigh, who was executed for the bombing, carried literature by modern, ultra-right-wing anti-government authors.

A private group called PEER, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, tracks violence against employees who enforce environmental regulations. The group’s executive director, Jeff Ruch, said it’s hard to know about all of the cases because some agencies don’t share data on violence against employees.

From 1996 to 2006, according to the group’s most recent data, violent episodes against federal Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service workers soared from 55 to 290.

“Even as illustrated in town hall meetings today, there is a distinct hostility in a large segment of the population toward people who work for their government,” Ruch said.

Sparkman’s mother is simply waiting for answers.

“I have my own ideas, but I can’t say them out loud. Not at this point,” she said. “Right now, what I’m doing, I’m just waiting on the FBI to come to some conclusion.”

——

McMurray reported from Lexington, Ky. Associated Press writers Roger Alford in Frankfort, Ky., Hope Yen in Washington and Dylan T. Lovan in Louisville contributed to this report.

Census Bureau Severs Ties With ACORN

There almost has to be some serious back story on this, although it’s possible that all the bad press they’ve received lately has made it necessary for Obama to cut them loose. I just can’t believe that they haven’t found a spokes-person willing to blame it on “right-wing-racists-extremists.”

And don’t forget about this. Expect heads to roll somewhere along the chain of command.

From Fox News:

The Census Director has sent a letter to the National Headquarters of ACORN notifying the group that the Census Bureau is severing all ties with the community organizing group for all work having to do with the 2010 census.

“Over the last several months, through ongoing communication with our regional offices, it is clear that ACORN’s affiliation with the 2010 Census promotion has caused sufficient concern in the general public, has indeed become a distraction from our mission, and may even become a discouragement to public cooperation, negatively impacting 2010 Census efforts,” read a letter from Census Director Robert M. Groves to the president of ACORN.

“Unfortunately, we no longer have confidence that our national partnership agreement is being effectively managed through your many local offices. For the reasons stated, we therefore have decided to terminate the partnership,” the letter said.

The news follows the firing Friday of two more ACORN employees after new hidden-camera footage showed workers for the group advising a couple posing as a pimp and prostitute how to subvert the law.

Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) reacted to the news Friday night, applauding the decision by the Census Bureau.

“ACORN had no business working on the Census.  ACORN’s partisan election efforts and its involvement in criminal conduct rightly disqualified it from working on the non-partisan mission of the Census to accurately and honestly count the U.S. population,” Rep. Issa said.

ACORN had previously been tapped to help with low level data gathering for the 2010 census. A copy of the director’s letter has been sent to Congress and relevant committees, as well as ACORN.

Two more ACORN workers were fired Friday after a second video surfaced, this time showing staff members in the community organizers’ Washington office offering to help the undercover man and woman acquire illegal home loans that would help them set up a brothel.

Those firings came less than 24 hours after another pair of ACORN officials, from the group’s Baltimore office, were canned for instructing the “pimp” and “prostitute” how to falsify tax forms and seek illegal benefits for 13 “very young” girls from El Salvador that pair said they wanted to import to work as child prostitutes.

Both of the encounters were videotaped on a hidden camera wielded by 25-year-old independent filmmaker James O’Keefe, posing as the pimp — tapes that have ignited calls for investigations of ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.

The group’s leaders said Friday they were “appalled and angry” at what their staffers had done, but insisted the videos were part of a political “smear” campaign and not representative of the institution as a whole.

“But that does not excuse the behavior of the employees,” wrote ACORN’s president Alton Bennet and executive director Mike Shea. “We have fired them and are initiating an internal review of practices and reminding all staff of their obligation to uphold the highest legal and ethical standards.”

O’Keefe, the filmmaker who exposed ACORN’s employees, was accompanied by 20-year-old Hannah Giles, who posed as a prostitute. On a videotape of their visit to ACORN’s Washington’s office, they are seen receiving guidance to establish the woman as the sole proprietor of a bogus company to mask the nature of her business.

“She’s not going to put on (the loan application) that she’s doing prostitution … she doesn’t have to,” a now-fired ACORN staffer says. “You don’t have to sit back and tell people what you do.”