Just for giggles I have been snooping around on the internet… finding yet more of those little tid-bits those fearless investigative reporters in the media can’t manage to uncover… or bother to look for. I mean, I’m just some nosey little shlub sitting on my sofa with a laptop entering a few key words into search engines and I am finding quite a bit of interesting stuff. So, in addition to everything below the update… here are a few new morsels to add to the growing plate of slop.
The News-Star reported that (amongst other outlets of waste) the U.S. Census Bureau has a :media specialist” travel policy that can cost taxpayers hundreds and even thousands of dollars for a single media interview. Whenever a news outlet requests an interview with one of the Census enumerators, “Census Bureau policy dictates that a media specialist must be physically present at the site of the interview.” This policy is, of course, to insure that enumerators do not unknowingly slip up and release information about fraudulent activities, their lack of work and their widespread habits of falsifying time sheets that is supposed to remain confidential.
When the Monroe LA News-Star asked to speak with enumerators working in their area, the bureau sent out a “media specialist” based in New Orleans to Monroe through Dallas. This “specialist” arrived the night before, stayed in a hotel, used cab rides to travel while in Monroe, was present for a “roughly 30-minute interview” and immediately headed back to Monroe Regional Airport and flew home when the interview concluded.
Malkia McLeod, a national spokeswoman, defended the pricey policy.
“The census takers are working with sensitive information, very sensitive information. We do like to have P.I.O.s (public information officers) on site when our enumerators are being interviewed. Our media specialist budget does include a travel budget.”
Ahhh… “Public Information Officers”. Well that’s different from “media specialist” now isn’t it?
Information Officer Media Specialist
Fifth District U.S. Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-Quitman, blasted the travel policy and the amount of money being wasted through the census.
“We’ve seen several things that we think are a perfect example of federal waste,” he said. “I don’t know if any federal agencies consider coming in under budget. It’s quite obvious it’s one of those bureaucracies that’s ballooned.”
As I began in a post on February 16th, “… that federal investigators have discovered extensive waste of taxpayer dollars in the preparation stage for the 2010 Census I have learned some interesting things.” Since then, nothing has changed… Except maybe that the list of financial waste, fraudulent activites and demonstrations of incompetance has expanded.
From the very beginning… Well… (to be more accurate) from before the beginning, the 2010 Census (under the same watchful eye of a president with “laser focus“), has been flushing money down the toilet. Even in the developmental stages the United States Government Accountability Office observed and reported that the Bureau had not even developed a comprehensive plan necessary for the Bureau to manage operations and cost, nor had it updated the 2010 life-cycle cost estimate to reflect current information from testing.
Additionally, there were technical problems with the handheld computing devices used by canvassers to verify addresses. In fact, they hadn’t even fully tested the software tools. The GAO felt that such problems could add as much as another $2 billionto the cost census and jeopardize the accuracy of the survey. As far back as October of last year, Census director Robert Groves admitted costs had already ballooned $88 million higher than the original estimate of $356 million…Interestingly, Todd Zinser, the Commerce Department’s inspector general did support the Census Bureau’s decision to spend $133 million on its advertising campaign to increase public awareness. It was Todd’s opinion that the $2.5 million dollar tab for the 30-second Super Bowl ad was, “appropriate”, even though, ”some Republicans” had criticized the expenditure as wasteful. Perhaps by, “some Republicans” Mr. Zinsermeant the 3,854 people (91%) who responded, “Not funny, not worth the cost” to the PollDaddy question – “How would you rate the Super Bowl Ad”.Adding to the financial waste, Census Workers have been coming forward to report how the Obama administration used their creative, mystery “jobs saved/created” math of “hiring and firing and hiring… and firingandhiringagain” procedure to artificially pump air into deflating employment numbers.
Another significant waste of money? Well, Census Workers have to get paid for (not) working… right? Yeah… The AP sumed that up nicely:
The Census Bureau wasted millions of dollars in preparation for its 2010 population count, including thousands of temporary employees who picked up $300 checks without performing work and others who overbilled for travel costs.
10,000 Census employees were paid more than $300 each to attend training sessions but quit (or were let go) before performing any actual work. This additional waste at the expense of the American taxpayers…? $3 million. Another $1.5 million was wasted on paying an additional 5,000 employees who were paid #300.00 each to train and work for one day or less. Another 23 ”temporary” employees were paid 55 cents per mile even though the number of miles they reported exceeded the total number of hours they actually worked. Another 581 employees received full “questionable” mileage reimbursements but never actually performed any field work.
Then we found out that Census workers were not only paid for hours during which they did nothing but were actually encouraged by supervisors to falsify information on their time sheets and given assurances that it was okay to lie because no one would ever find out.
There has also been wide speculation that Obama and his liberal minions are trying to use the 2010 Census to clear the path for funneling money and other benefits to illegal immigrants and to even begin the transition of granting them amnesty. Of course, everyone involved denies this. Two questions though:
1) If the census was not being used to funnel money and benefits to illegals in this country… then why did 31st District U.S. RepresentativeXavier Becerra (D) make an appeal to undocumented immigrants in Los Angeles to serve “broad participation in the U.S. Census” , which is what the government uses to determine distribution of money and representation and 2) Why did Becerra tell illegals they will only be “counted” if they fill out the Census when the Census asks nothing about legal residency?
“We have to be part of the counted community so that the politicians may see how many we are,” he said.
Of course, SEIU is not involved… they are only offering assistance in filling out the forms…
Well, now we are told that two Brooklyn Census Managers have been fired by district manager Tony Farthing for forging an estimated 10,000 forms… forms that will have to be re-done… again at the expense of American tax payers.
13 USC Sec. 221
TITLE 13 – CENSUS
CHAPTER 7 – OFFENSES AND PENALTIES
SUBCHAPTER II – OTHER PERSONS
Sec. 221. Refusal or neglect to answer questions; false answers
(a) Whoever, being over eighteen years of age, refuses or willfully neglects, when requested by the Secretary, or by any other authorized officer or employee of the Department of Commerce or bureau or agency thereof acting under the instructions of the Secretary or authorized officer, to answer, to the best of his knowledge, any of the questions on any schedule submitted to him in connection with any census or survey provided for by subchapters I, II, IV, and V of chapter 5 of this title, applying to himself or to the family to which he belongs or is related, or to the farm or farms of which he or his family is the occupant, shall be fined not more than $100.
(b) Whoever, when answering questions described in subsection (a) of this section, and under the conditions or circumstances described in such subsection, willfully gives any answer that is false, shall be fined not more than $500.
So, just who are these Census Workers anyway and why does all of this form fakery sound so dang familiar? First thought in my mind is ACORN… Remember them? Yeah… they’ve been caught, arrested and convicted of faking voter registration cards and forging signatures for years. Back in 2004, one ACORN employee even admitted forging signatures and registering three of her friends to vote 40 times… But I am sure all of the work she did before (getting caught) was “kosher” too.
But it couldn’t be ACORN behind the recent fakery. ACORN lost that opportunity after those videos surfaced revealing their humanitarian efforts to help a pimp and a prostitute receive federal funds to start their own child sex business so the task went to others… You know, upstanding, trustworthy, impartial people… like those on the rosters of such impecably honorable groups as the AFL-CIO, the National Council of La Raza and the Service Employees International Union.
Back in October of 2009, Republicans urged the Census Bureau to cut its ties with SEIU due to its symbiotic relationship with ACORN but SEIU denied they ever participated in the Census work. They were simply “encouraging low-income people to be counted and instructing them how to fill out census forms”. Never mind they are on the list of “partners” given on the official 2010 census website. SEIU also denies any involvement with ACORN… So what if Andy Stern wins the “I went to the White House” prize. He’s only the President of SEIU. Nothing suspicious there. And so what if Wade Rathke founded both ACORN and SEIU. No connection there either. I mean, come on. That would be like saying my left arm was part of the same body as my right arm… pfffffff…. Besides, as soon as it slipped out that his brother stole a million dollars from the group, Rathke resigned as head of ACORN. And of course, SEIU isn’t involved with that whole funnel American tax dollars to an illegal immigrant/ crack the amnesty door open thing either…
Yeah… they’re just helping the poor fill out forms… Those silly Republicans… always worrying about nothing.
Just for giggles, the Washington Post is conducting a poll… wondering if people believe this little revelation is the smoke of a proverbial (wide spread) smoldering fire or simply an “isolated incident”. So far, the majority of the poll’s respondants have convinced themselves it’s just a one-time thing… no biggie. Sorta like those “isolated incidents” of voter registration fraud.
“Aviles and Merritt could not immediately be reached for comment.”