My Two Census

Formerly the non-partisan watchdog of the 2010 US Census, and currently an opinion blog that covers all things political, media, foreign policy, globalization, and culture…but sometimes returning to its census/demographics roots.

MyTwoCensus Investigation: How many politicians got jobs for their kids or other relatives with the Census Bureau?

I know that I, along with millions of other people who applied for 2010 Census jobs (Full disclosure: I did this to investigate the hiring process for this blog) never received so much as a call to come in for an interview. Yet, I have now received three tips via e-mail that relatives of politicians (two Democrats and one Republican) have been hired/are employed by the Census Bureau. This is an official call to action for the Inspector General’s Office and the Attorney General’s Office to launch investigations into whether nepotism or other illegal forms of hiring took place during any phase of 2010 Census operations or at the Census Bureau in general:

MyTwoCensus have been tipped off about the following:

1. Austin Esposito, son of Democratic Senator from Missouri Claire McCaskill. Check out some screenshots from his FACEBOOK page. (Come on dude, you should know to up your privacy settings by now. You’re the son of a Senator! I’m surprised little old non-partisan me is the first person to post these rather than GOP operatives or right-wing bloggers!)

Editor’s Note: I am most concerned about the McCaskill/Esposito connection because there have been so many complaints about a lack of 2010 Census jobs in Missouri.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

16 Responses to “MyTwoCensus Investigation: How many politicians got jobs for their kids or other relatives with the Census Bureau?”

  1. Kris Says:

    Not sure how this discovery resembles an *investigation*.
    Like you, I have not been called….. despite being assured on the phone every 2 weeks since mid Jan. that I will be called “in about 2 weeks.” I suspect that if these yahoos are already working for the Census it is not in the same capacity as the masses who will be hired as enumerators. There are year-round employees, and another layer of recruiters and others who have been working for as long as a year or longer, doing pre-count/admin work. Many of them worked in prior census counts and no doubt there is the usual nepotism/favorism going on as well. There is no way to know if they are actually qualified for the positions or not, in addition to having ‘connections’. Temps are not being required to take Civil Service exams like every other lower-level Fed employee. I expect that fulltime employees have taken it , or else are at a professional level where not required to ( ie degreed accountant etc). So while I am always ready to hear about “exposing ”
    some govt mischief, there really seems to be nothing of interest here other than the stupidity of this idiot’s FB postings.

  2. Empress Says:

    Someone should do the math. For Randy Neugebauer to be the father of Randall Neugebauer, he would have been 11 years old. Nevermind the fact that the Congressman wasn’t in office when the latter got his first job at Census. They aren’t even related…check your facts.

  3. Stephen Robert Morse Says:

    Empress – Thanks for the info. I’m not saying this is fact, I am saying this is what has been sent to me. If I am wrong, I apologize. SRM

  4. Empress Says:

    Then whoever sent it to you is wrong. Either way, fact checking would be good. I don’t believe the congressmen even HAS children. I think you should remove the reference rather than connect someone (where there is not connection to be made) to a congressman who is in a considerably negative light. Similar names are a very unfortunate coincidence.

  5. Stephen Robert Morse Says:

    Empress – Removed it from you. I don’t want it to detract from my main point on this issue. SRM

  6. JAG Says:

    It’s funny that you don’t want the fact that your information was inaccurate to detract from your main point on this issue? You’ve never required facts or accuracy when making any of your points.

    By the way, I noticed Missouri was in the top 5 states for response rates from yesterday.
    Seems like quite a bit of work is getting done despite the lack of Census jobs in Missouri as you claim.

  7. Bailey Says:

    This site is an excellent source for the 2010 Census hiring scam. Many of us made a good faith effort to seek employment with the Census Bureau only to learn that Veterans and other applicants would be given preferential treatment when it came time to hire. It has been all over the Internet recently that only one in five applicants will get hired for possibly one to three weeks of work. And to think I took off work to apply for this stupid job and wasted gas and over two hours. With the economy in the toilet, it’s not inconceivable that relatives of government employees will be getting the Census jobs along with U.S. veterans. If I had the information that this site has provided, I NEVER would have bothered.

  8. will Says:

    I hope Stephen can substantiate that sexual harassment allegation if need be – don’t know this Serrano guy or care about him, not being in his district, but that statement is coming very close to libel if there wasn’t a formal complaint made. At the least, exposing his friend to maybe needing to come forward publicly to back up his statement in court was a bad idea, considering she was not willing to go public at the time, and could even be unethical if he did not get permission from her beforehand to go public with it here.

    Bailey – veterans always get extra points when applying for governmental work, that is not a secret. Considering the sacrifices many of them made in service to the nation, hard to see how that is unfair.

  9. Stephen Robert Morse Says:

    Will – I can 100% substantiate it and public figures like Members of Congress can be openly criticized. It’s an important distinction of libel laws in America. SRM

  10. will Says:

    Stephen – I’m sure you think the Congressman in question is scum, and perhaps he is, do not know him. He probably should have been outed on that, but that was your friend’s call to make, not yours. I hope you see the problem with bringing your friend’s situation up like this if you didn’t clear it with her first, considering that she wanted to keep this low-profile from what you said. Mentioning it like this on a public blog is not respecting that wish.

    Further, the “condemnation-by-association” of linking the brother to his relative’s actions is not OK to do. If you know he obtained his Census position through nepotism instead of ability, as you imply, that should be the focus. Even mentioning them in the same paragraph like that implies a connection by the brother to the sexual harassment, but I do not see anything there that indicates the brother was complicit or a party to the violation. Was he?

    I am worried you are letting your personal feelings about this – trying to get revenge for your friend for an injustice – get the better of your journalistic integrity, and that is not a good thing.

  11. Anonymous CL Says:

    According to his LinkedIn page, Eli Serrano is the “Small Business Ombudsman” at the Census Bureau in Washington, DC. That is a long-term full-government-job-application-process position. Also, I agree with Will’s points.

    ——

    I don’t see any information about Austin Esposito’s alleged Census employment, but I would be surprised if it is anything above the very-short-term minimal-job-application-process positions which hundreds of thousands of people come and go from. And yes, judging from your screenshots, his Facebook page has some rowdy/crude/immature content and he ought to use the privacy settings and some circumspection, but it’s similar to countless other ~22-year-old guys’ Facebook pages, and isn’t evidence of any inability to understand the difference between party time and work time. If he is indeed one of the hundreds of thousands of people working in temporary Census positions, unless I see evidence to the contrary, I will assume that he is capable of filling out paperwork and/or filing paperwork in a manner comparable with the hundreds of thousands of other people similarly employed for a few weeks/months.

    ——

    (PS: This post, doing things such as condemnation-by-association and even condemnation-by-similar-names, is another example of the kinds of things I advise against in another comment tonight.)

    ——

    Nepotism is a concern that should be guarded against. The Census Bureau does try to guard against it (relatives who might have such influence are supposed to be disclosed on the job application and reviewed for conflict of interest, and there are rules against people being supervisors of or supervised by relatives), and any instances that slip through should be addressed. But I think most instances of people working for the Census who are related to other government employees/politicians are not going to be actual instances of nepotism.

    In the US, there are about 2.8 million federal government employees, 1.4 million active-duty military people, 5.3 million state government employees, and 14.4 million local government employees. And as for elected officials (politicians presently in office), there are about 0.5k federal, 19k state, and 492k local. Then there’s all the past politicians out of office, all the new politicians running for office, and all the retired government employees. With that many, a significant portion of the country will be related to one of them.

    There are hundreds of thousands of short-term Census jobs coming and going, and people related to government employees/politicians would tend to be more likely than average to pay attention to hearing about the Census jobs (and perhaps even be told about the jobs by their government-affiliated relatives), and more likely than average to not disdain government work and so be willing/interested to apply for them. This likely increases the odds of people with a relation to one of the hundreds of thousands of politicians and millions of government employees, ending up in the Census temporary employee pool.

    But it is only nepotism if there is a direct connection/action of influence by the relative to secure the person’s position or promotion, or deter their firing. Just because it might have been possible due to the existence of such a relationship, doesn’t mean it was actually misused.

  12. Stephen Robert Morse Says:

    Will – Removed the Serrano material. I understand your points.

    Anonymous CL: The reason I was concerned about the McCaskill connection was because of endless reports of individuals in Missouri not even hearing from the Census Bureau after they took tests. That a Senator’s son was not only called back, but hired as well, is surely circumstantial evidence, but evidence nonetheless, of potential nepotism. Admittedly, it will be difficult to pursue this charge. As for federal government employees in the long-term, the burrowing process (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/04/AR2007100402282.html) may account for some families having too much political influence.

    SRM

  13. Bailey Says:

    @SRM The same scenario is happening in other states as well. I know numerous individuals who called to schedule testing. The local Census office took their names, numbers and advised them they’d receive a call back. Last time I checked, they were still waiting for that illusive call.

  14. JAG Says:

    “endless reports of individuals in Missouri not even hearing from the Census Bureau”……..seriously, endless reports? The Census Bureau has hired thousands of people in Missouri to date to conduct the address work last year, the group quarters work this year along with the form delivery this year. The 9 offices probably have 40-50 people in each office.

    So now you’re down to one example (assuming it to be true) of a senator’s son working for the Census Bureau. ONE? Is that really a scandal?

  15. Brad Says:

    Just for the record, I did a little homework. It seems that Eli Serrano has worked for the Census more than 30 years while his brother has only been in Congress 20 years. Do the math. You really need to get your facts straight before you put this kind of verifiably inaccurate information on the web site. All I had to do was check a couple of web sites to verify the information.

  16. mo nishida Says:

    i’m a little confused. the site says that u r a watch dog for whats happening with the current census. and i’m reading about some shit happening in missouri, with accusations and counter stuff. i work with ‘lil tokyo fraternal workers assn.’ and we r finding some pretty confusing and chickenshit stuff going on inside the census and r trying to find the right button to push, the one right now is the office of the special counsel.

    i had also applied for a job with the census, i’ve worked with a prior one and i’m also a veteran, was 73 at the time i applied. got one phone call, the guy sounded green behind the ears and i haven’t heard anything since. i want to know why i was turned down. can u folks help me by pointing me in the right direction for some answers?