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: Steve Jost says Aramanda is no longer managing Chicago LCO

MyTwoCensus has been investigating the job history, performance, and current employment status of Joseph Aramanda, the Blago associate who somehow made the miraculous jump from pizza shop owner to Chicago Local Census Office Manager. That this man was in charge of thousands of employees and significant amounts of sensitive data should have raised red flags immediately.

But apparently the Chicago political machine was able to hush these voices until MyTwoCensus stepped in to publicize this corrupt activity and Congressman Patrick McHenry’s office subsequently launched an investigation into this man. Yesterday, Steve Jost, Associate Director for Communications of the Census Bureau, wrote to me, “Mr Aramanda is not managing the LCO and is in a non-working status pending further review.” Now, we’re wondering, is Mr. Aramanda still on the Census Bureau payroll?

According to a response I received yesterday from the Census Bureau’s FOIA office, Mr. Aramanda started work at the Census Bureau on November 2, 2009. This was 8 months after Blago was impeached and some 6 months after he was indicted. It is unacceptable that a man so closely tied to a major political scandal was approved to run the 2010 Census operations of the city of Chicago. Those who hired him should be investigated for not following proper human resources practices.

Updates/claifications on the following in the comments…

Additionally, if my memory serves me correct, the Census Bureau’s job application asks specifically if one has been involved in any political activities. Did Mr. Aramanda lie on his job application or did the Census Bureau hire a man who was widely known to be deeply involved with the Illinois political machine?

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25 Responses to “MyTwoCensus Investigation: Steve Jost says Aramanda is no longer managing Chicago LCO”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Those who hired him should be investigated for not following proper human resources practices.

    SRM – What practices were not followed? Be specific. No more baseless claims.

  2. Stephen Robert Morse Says:

    I am trying to get hold of Census Bureau employment application (if anyone has one on file, please send it over) – I believe there is a question directly asking individuals if they have had any partisan political involvement. Given Mr. Aramanda’s political/business history, one hopes that he disclosed this information. It would not be good practice to hire someone with such a partisan political background.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    SRM – you got hired by the Census Bureau, right? how did you answer the question?

  4. Steve Jost Says:

    Stephen, all of our application materials can be found on our website at this link: http://2010.census.gov/2010censusjobs/application-material/index.php

    It would not be lawful for the government to disqualify a job applicant for having previously exercised their Constitutional right to petition their government. There is no such question on the application, however you may be recalling the first summary page which does state that the law (Hatch Act) prohibits federal employees from engaging in partisan political activities while on duty.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Can you be more specific? What law, rule or regulation prohibits this hire?

  6. Stephen Robert Morse Says:

    @anonymous – I never worked for the Census Bureau.

  7. ntsc Says:

    There is no question on the Census Bureau BC-170D (filled out when you take the test) asking anything about politics, partisan or otherwise.

    http://2010.census.gov/2010censusjobs/pdf/BC-170D_fillable.pdf

  8. Anony in the City Says:

    Since it’s illegal to discriminate based on political affiliation, I’m sure the Census Bureau doesn’t ask about the partisan political background of job applicants.

  9. Samantha Jackson Says:

    Recruiters do read from a script which states something to the effect of employees not being able to hold elected political office. That’s it. Nothing about being involved in politics.

  10. BTK census worker Says:

    Let’s keep this real While a Census employee one may not hold partisan political office but one can hold other non partisan public office ie school board or even elected office if it is not partisan. So if this guy was not holding political office he can be employed or if married to or related to a person in office that is OK too. Hey there is a reason why there is a Census office in every congressional district. Congress demands it.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    “I have also taken exams to become a Census employee and supervisor.”

    You didn’t get paid for your training and testing?

  12. Just the Facts Says:

    I thought I would help you out: http://www.ogc.doc.gov/pdfs/censussummary.pdf

    Oh, and here is another littel tidbit for you: CYBER-SLIMERS BEWARE
    VICTIMS EYEING REVENGE AFTER ‘SKANK’ RULING
    Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/regional/item_JdfuVV44zIOjz01aOCOj4O;jsessionid=38D22CB8F70E73A54F1A7F250971305D#ixzz0sHVBHN3L

  13. James Says:

    Well, there you go again. First off, it may well be that a pizza shop owner might not have the qualifications to run a LCO operation. Or again, he may well have, depends on how large a pizza operation it is. And his background prior to and during his pizza business may well have suited him for the job. You don’t say, nor do you try to.
    Regardless, what does having ran a pizza business have to do with him not being qualified to work with sensitive date? Is that a slam to him being Italian and therefor mobbed up? Stereotype much?
    Again, it seems while that maybe he was not the best choice for the job, where is the corruption that you claim? Sounds like he made some bad choices on business associates. And the ‘Chicago political machine” shot? Where exactly is that spelled out? If that isn’t a right wing talking point, nothing is. This could be an interesting story. Too bad you apparently can’t tell it right.

  14. anonymous Says:

    “MyTwoCensus has been investigating the job history, performance, and current employment status of Joseph Aramanda”

    I’m curious about the extent of the investigating. Was it just what was posted in the blog post that linked to the newspaper articles regarding his connection to the Blagojevich trial?

  15. anonymous Says:

    Just linking to the blog post with the SRM comments saying that he has taken exams to become a census employee – http://www.mytwocensus.com/2010/06/17/update-on-todays-story-the-census-bureau-hides-behind-the-shield-of-foia-once-again/

    It’s in his grant application comment

  16. Anonymous Says:

    omglolwtfbbq

    wonkette.com/416165/internet-guywill-destroy-the-census-with-foia-bombs

  17. Stephen Robert Morse Says:

    I find it interesting that many of those who comment here don’t see a conflict of interest between this man’s history and his Census Bureau employment. SRM

  18. Anonymous Says:

    I find it interesting that you have failed to explain the conflict of interest.

  19. anonymous Says:

    Shameful hiring practices like this have plagued the 2010 Census. Political and personal favoritism. Thank you Stephen and MyTwoCensus for telling all sides.

  20. anonymous Says:

    Question for the ‘anonymous’ commenter who often says ‘Thank you Stephen & MyTwoCensus for telling all sides’. What are ‘all of the sides’? I’m not sure that I’ve read, yet, a post on this blog talking about what the census is doing right or doing well. Surely that’s a ‘side’ that could be heard. There must be something out there that is going well, right?

  21. NRFU RI Says:

    I’m part of NRFU RI, told today that all EQ’s must be completed and turned in by tomorrow night. We are now allowed to make 3 visits in 1 day, then get a proxy. You’ve got to love the ever changing rules!

  22. GS-X Says:

    SRM, How about some investigation on “Hey there is a reason why there is a Census office in every congressional district. Congress demands it.” from BTK census worker? Sounds like maintaining the status quo for incumbents to me.

  23. Stephen Robert Morse Says:

    GS-X – Good idea.

  24. My Two Census » Blog Archive » MyTwoCensus Scoop: Census Bureau regional partnership coordinator running as a Democrat for New York State Assemblyman while still on the job (part 1) Says:

    [...] for Assemblyman for New York’s 82nd District. Yet, as Census Bureau Associate Director Steve Jost recently commented on a MyTwoCensus.com post, the Hatch Act, “prohibits federal employees from engaging in [...]

  25. DMan Says:

    “Additionally, if my memory serves me correct, the Census Bureau’s job application asks specifically if one has been involved in any political activities.”

    Most folks who either apply or are hired by the Census Bureau eventually have to fill out a SF-306 (see http://www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/of0306.pdf). You get fired if you lie on the form and pleas note, it never asks about political activities.