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.

$100 Reward for photos of current 2010 Census trip to Vegas

MyTwoCensus was tipped off that employees from the Fargo, North Dakota Census Office are currently in Las Vegas, staying at the Treasure Island hotel, because they were #1 out of the 41 offices in their region (presumably in terms of response rates).  I was told this is for a “debriefing.” They are departing from the hotel today. Can anyone get some photos of this?

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43 Responses to “$100 Reward for photos of current 2010 Census trip to Vegas”

  1. Field Enumerator... Says:

    Now why couldn’t they have a debriefing in Fargo, North Dakota?? Oh, wait a minute, Las Vegas has gambling and great night life!!!! Just another waste of our taxpayer $$$ during hard times for some…

  2. Solong Census Says:

    This is an outrage! Everyone go on the website for the Congressional Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and tell them how outrageous and inappropriate this is. Last I heard, the Census Bureau wasn’t a private corporation that gave lavish rewards. This is our money and, it is doubly troubling it is being used to reward a competitive race for something that should have focused on accuracy and quality, instead.

  3. anon Says:

    The Phoenix offices and Denver were #1. The Denver region is doing a debrief of all offices in Vegas. It is cheap to fly there.

    Good job of doing research dumbass.

  4. anon Says:

    Oh, and to further how stupid this website is, the LCOs have little if no impact on response rate.

    Outrage is that you have a grant to run something akin to The Star or National Enquirer.

  5. Solong Census Says:


    Its not just the cost of the flight. There is lodging and per diem for each person that participates. How many people went to Vegas? Again, they are rewarding the wrong thing,speed not accuracy and quality. The shoddy work is going to cost communities hundreds of thousands of dollars over the next 10 years.

  6. anomouse Says:

    Solong Census,

    It is a debrief, Vegas is cheap in the region–flights, rooms, and such.
    My mangers went there, said it was group discussions and such. The only shoddy work I see is on this website. I feel proud of the work my LCO did. People like you probabally did the shoddy work.

  7. AxionJaxion Says:

    Offices from around the region go there, hotels and flights are cheap to/in Las Vegas, & per diem would be paid whether it was held in Fargo or LV — as anyone who’s ever been in the real world knows.

    Leaving you & your pseudonymous comments to your own blog posts clueless, as usual

  8. Stephen Robert Morse Says:

    I find it odd that the minority of readers of this site blast me. Presumably they all work as media specialists for the Census Bureau’s PR team or are other government flunkies…clearly nobody else would want to see taxpayer dollars wasted unless they were reaping the benefits themselves. – SRM

  9. Steve Jost Says:

    This information you are reporting is false.

    The day and a half meeting of staff from all local census offices in the Denver Region is a debriefing om lessons learned during the 2010 Census operations to help prepare and plan for improvements in 2020. Nevada is part of the Region and Las Vegas was chosen because flights there from the 10 states in the region and the cost of hotels rooms and meeting rooms were the lowest in the entire Region. For example, the room rate Census is being charged is $61 per night, far less than the government approved rate.

    It is absolutely false that this meeting is a “reward” for the mail back response rate or the speed of field work in any given LCO. Every LCO is represented at the meeting. The results of this and other debriefings are included in compilations that are shared with the GAO, the Department of Commerce Inspector General, and the U. S. Congress.

  10. pwnd Says:

    I highly recommend the following coursework between now and 2020:

    www journalism sfsu edu/departmentinfo/curriculum09.shtml

  11. Stephen Robert Morse Says:

    @Steve Jost – Thanks for writing. As I said, that was a TIP that came into the mailbox today. Can you please let me know how many staff members are at this event and what their positions are?

    Also, I’d love for you to comment on the multitude of problems in Detroit!


  12. Laney Says:

    If all else fails, claim a conspiracy theory.

    I find it odd that you contribute to the comments sections of posts, but never actually address any questions or errors that arise. Looks like Brian White refuted every single allegation against him, yet you retract nothing and just continue to accuse him. Just like the totem story. Just like this story. Just like the “ranch resort” story. Hmm. I’m sensing a pattern. But no, you’re right. It’s alllll a conspiracy. Everyone pointing out the facts just works for Census PR! Yes, that’s it…

  13. Stephen Robert Morse Says:

    @Laney – Are you defending the Detroit Census office? They will need lots of support when they are indicted. I’m glad you’re there to defend them.

    There is nothing wrong with the Totem Pole story and I stand behind it 100%.

    As for the “ranch resort” post, I made some accusations, which, in my role as a watchdog, I am allowed to do, and Mr. Jost answered some but not all of my questions about this issue. People were still flown to Arizona from Denver for lunch which certainly raises eyebrows in the midst of this recession.

    And unfortunately, people aren’t pointing out facts, they are simply presenting opinions that differ from my own, just as you, with no knowledge of any of these situations, are doing now. SRM

  14. Laney Says:

    I’m defending the person whom you accused, based on his answers to every single one of your accusations against him. He was speaking for himself, not the entire office.

    Nothing wrong with the Totem story? You said it was the most blatant waste of money, ever, without even knowing the cost or anything about it.

    See, this is the whole problem with this site. You hear things, get tips, that’s great. But a real journalist would actually investigate the veracity of the tip BEFORE posting it. Real journalists make sure that they have the facts instead of simply trusting the word of a stranger who sends something to your inbox, hurling accusations, and then NEVER apologizing or retracting a single world.

    People are absolutely pointing out facts. Recall in the Totem post you asked a bunch of questions instead of researching them first? I pointed out the answers to several of your questions, answers that I found in literally five minutes of Google searching. Remember how you acted like it was some kind of scam or conspiracy that the man who created it lived in the Southeastern part of the state, when it was supposed to be for the Northern part of the state? I just went on his website and quickly found the answer to that. This is something that you should have done. Instead, you went for the conspiracy theory because it was easier, and a better story.

    Opinions are one thing. False accusations and half-truths are another. If you simply get a “tip” about something and then post it here without doing any research, then yes, I DO know as much as you about it. Wouldn’t you say?

  15. JAG Says:

    If the debriefing was held in North Dakota, you might not have reported it despite the fact that airfare alone would have been significantly higher than going to Vegas. Apparently, you don’t think it’s worth while for the census to meet with their soon to be ex-employees to learn what worked or didn’t work in the census.

    By the way, I’m going to email a picture to you from my last family Christmas party and tell you it’s from Vegas. Maybe I can get me a $100 !

  16. Stephen Robert Morse Says:

    @Laney – you should be a “real” journalist. You’d be great at it!

  17. Stephen Robert Morse Says:

    @JAG – I’m sure your family is beautiful. I will pay $1,000 to see them! SRM

  18. ********** Says:

    the first two comments to this post seem fake

  19. Solong Census Says:

    To Anomouse and Steve Jost,

    I don’t care how cheap the airfare, rooms, etc. It was a reward for finishing first. The reward should have been for accuracy and quality not speed. For your information, Anomouse, my office was one of the best in the LA Region, no shoddy work but then, again, we weren’t treated to a trip to Vegas or any other casino town. How much was spent on this boondoggle? Call it a debriefing or whatever you want. They have exposed government agencies for spending public moneyh for taking trips to Vegas and other resorts. For an agency that touts its public image, you would have thought the Census Bureau would have used better sense than to expose itself to criticism about where they had their meetings. There is no intelligence in the Census Bureau.

  20. KHM Says:

    Can we post pictures on this forum? How?

  21. Stephen Robert Morse Says:

    KHM – you can e-mail to me and I can put it up (see our contact page) or alternatively, perhaps you can post it somewhere else and attach a link. SRM

  22. KHM Says:

    Is there an HTML tag that will work?

  23. Stephen Robert Morse Says:

    if you email me, i will happily post it now! You can try html, I am not sure what the results will be!

  24. LivingLovingInLV Says:

    Here is some facts that I have heard from an AA.
    1. Most of the Phoenix offices did not go, nor the area manager for Phoenix. Apparently the area manger is so bad they did not what that persons offices or the area manager causing issues.
    2. The LCOM, AMFO, and AMQA for other offices went as well as RTs for a Thursday meeting. Some area manager was flown in from Texas to attend, my AA said he had quit a while back.
    3. The managers all get some type of prize with Census logo on it (may wasted partnership items).

  25. KHM Says:

    ok…I will try…I think this is correct

  26. KHM Says:

    nope that did not work

  27. nooney Says:

    Steve Jost wrote: “It is absolutely false that this meeting is a “reward” for the mail back response rate or the speed of field work in any given LCO. Every LCO is represented at the meeting.”

    My office in Phoenix hasn’t sent one person to Vegas. It’s the regional techs/specialists and partnership specialists who are there right now. Our managers are being sent to Scottsdale for a debriefing, not Vegas.

  28. Stephen Robert Morse Says:

    KHM – please shoot me an e-mail! thanks.

  29. GS-X Says:

    Teleconferencing could be so much cheaper.
    Even a wiki. But technology is not the Census Bureau’s strong point.

    Anyway, there are probably more and better ideas for improving the next census in the comments
    on this blog than the Census Bureau will collect in the debriefings.

  30. JAG Says:

    Teleconferencing would be cheaper? I wonder what 500 teleconferencing systems would cost?

  31. AZCensus Says:

    @ GS-X, your comment shows much contempt and ignorance.

    @ SRM, I have to agree with Laney. You dodge every legitimate answer and never answer questions you’re asked that would point out how wrong you are.

    As for the “Are you defending the Detroit Census office? They will need lots of support when they are indicted. I’m glad you’re there to defend them.” The debrief in Vegas was for the Denver Region offices. If you had bother to check (Or even think for that matter), you could have gone to the census website and looked at the regional map to see that Detroit is not in the Denver region. Maybe a little common sense would do you good.

  32. Dude Says:

    All offices are invited to the debriefing, not based on who finished first.

    I wouldn’t bother with reporting on this crap anymore. Game over man, it’s done. This operation was a success on many levels.

  33. Stephen Robert Morse Says:

    @AZCensus – The Denver and Detroit issues are unrelated. You must have misread. SRM

  34. famosus libellus Says:

    I agree with SRM: Denver does not equal Detroit.

  35. Amanda Says:

    Couldn’t they just have done a debriefing the same way they conducted all those conference calls to the LCO? I mean, they apparently already had the equipment and knowledge enough to use the phone to conference before, why the need for a face-to-face debriefing?

    And just so noone misunderstands, I’m not agreeing with anyone in particular here, just a simple question. :)

  36. Dude Says:

    There is an Area Manager/ARCM/Director debriefing in LA in a couple weeks. They had last weeks debriefing to compile information to take with them. Why did they do it in person? Dunno. It’s the only time the entire region was together.
    I don’t think I would want to sit in on a 6 hour conference call. With 100 people trying to get their say, I don’t think it would accomplish much except frustration. This was probably the best way to obtain the results they wanted. I guess this is a standard close-out process.

  37. Solong Census Says:


    Where was this debriefing held and how many traveled there? Where will the debriefing for th AM’s and ARCM’s be held? I’m compiling this data to present to Congressinal Reps.

  38. Dude Says:

    No idea on those details. Congressional is how it’s spelled though.

  39. Solong Census Says:

    Sorry Dude, my mind runs faster than I can type. I know how it is spelled as I have contacted them many times.

  40. Enumerate this Says:

    @Solong Census: You say you’ve contacted your Congressmen many times. That’s the one thing on this blog I don’t doubt.

  41. Solong Census Says:

    @ Enumerate this

    You are correct. You know the saying about the opera: “Its not over until…..Solong sings” and I haven’t begun to sing.


  42. censustaker Says:

    as a watchdog, you should speak facts, not fling acusations. unfortunately there are those who will take your words as truth, even as the real truth becomes known.

    This is what is wrong with journalist today, make a headline, forget about the facts.

  43. Stephen Robert Morse Says:

    censustaker – wake up and smell the coffee: