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.

Las Vegas money well spent…hardly

Update: To clarify, Michael Cook of the Census Bureau’s Public Information Office has noted in the comments section that the below event differs from the $100,000 trip to the Treasure Island Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas that CBS recently investigated.

Thanks to the reader who alerted us to this YouTube video that was uploaded in August. Dozens (perhaps hundreds) of people watch a woman sing a mediocre a cappella rendition “I Love Rock & Roll” and this supports the 2010 Census in what way?

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31 Responses to “Las Vegas money well spent…hardly”

  1. Patrick Says:


    Now, I think CBS4 did a fine job with their investigative story, and I think you’re right to post it…

    But I think you’ve manipulated the facts and jumped to a convenient conclusion to try to prop up your story even further.

    You seem to have assumed that this video was from Las Vegas on the same “junket” that these 100-some administrators went on, on the taxpayer dime.

    Problem is, the video was uploaded on August 12 — a full 12 days before the Las Vegas trip. Further, the caption below the video says, “August 8, 2010 at texas Station Dallas Ballroom.” I’d say that shows pretty conclusively it was not in Vegas, and I don’t know why you or the uploader have labelled it Vegas. Perhaps it still was and the the uploader was just confused, but that seems unlikely.

    And, again, I agree that it appears a little ridiculous, but there’s no immediate way to know what event the video was shot at nor how much it cost nor anything else about it. But again, it’s fairly clear it wasn’t at the Vegas getaway in question… perhaps you should correct your post. Seems like the fair thing to do to me.

  2. Patrick Says:

    PS — I was referring to the captions on the actual YouTube site.

    As a follow-up, it is possible the ballroom really is in Vegas and is actually called “Texas Station Dallas Ballroom.” But the dates still seem to show clearly it’s not the same Census gathering as you’ve been referring to all this time, and so you shouldn’t be making it look like it is…

    Wait, did I just discover ANOTHER census Vegas trip? Hmmmm…

  3. Al Forteni Says:

    Woo Hoo! Great feedback for 2020.

  4. yippee-ki-yay-MF Says:

    Deluxe Room w/ King bed @ Texas Station in Las Vegas = $35.68. That’s without the government or group rate. Ouchie! Frivolous! Warbagargle!

    I bet these videos were shot during breaks. Any takers? How about you Stephen? I bet you one article retraction if I’m right, $10 to your paypal account if I’m wrong.

    Hook’em Horns,

  5. Charles Gordon Says:

    Some people think the Vegas trip was justified because they, “the census management” can get feedback on the various operations so that it will be better in 2020.
    Don’t bet on it. I and fellow managers in our LCO filled out various surveys and debreifing questionaires throughout the course of our tenure as LCO managers.
    In addition, we offered construtive critism and suggestions on how to better run a particular operation. We were constantly treated worse than whale shit, as you know is at the bottom of the ocean.
    For instance, why bring in a midnite shift in admin, field and quality when the work in admin was done in a shift and a half, the PBOCS computer system was down for maintenance from 11 PM till 7 AM the next moirning, but all the questionaires were reviewed and ready to be entered the next morning by the end of the second shift, assuming we were allowed to go on to PBOCS and the QA portion did not even start yet. Is this government efficiency. How stupid of me, it is.
    This is only 1 example of the ineptness and the stupidity of the NYRCC managers at the RCC. In particular an ARCM and several AM’s.
    If they have a similar get together for the NYRCC, hey better have it in New York because the fools will not know how to get anywhere else. unless they are caged up and transported ther en masse. Hey, that is not a bad idea. Cage them up and shipp them out, because now they will be working out of the RO as regular census employees AKA know as dictators who know absolutely nothing.
    I await the responses from all the lemmings out there who probably have never had a real job where they had to think for themselves and make decisions that would affect the operation and the bottom line, but the US Government has a ton of money to spare, so what is the difference.

  6. Stephen Robert Morse Says:

    @Patrick – The ballroom is in Vegas:

  7. Jack Says:

    I bet she was counted twice.

  8. NRFU4u Says:

    Only people reading this blog were Census employees.

    Time to take SRM off my RSS feed for good. I’ve read enough of this drivel.

  9. Patrick Says:

    @ SRM:

    Fair enough. I admitted that might be the case already that it was in Vegas. My main point was…

    It still doesn’t prove it’s the same Vegas “junket” that you and CBS4 are lampooning. In fact, it’s clearly a different event that happened several weeks earlier.

    So, again, either it’s a SECOND Vegas junket that happened earlier in August, in which case you’ve got another story… or it’s something else, perhaps the local census office threw itself a much smaller party.

    Either way, the way you’ve posted it, you make it sound like it’s video from the same event that you and CBS4 wrote about (because that’s how I first interpreted it, and it’s certainly reasonable) — which is patently untrue. That’s all I’m saying.

    I know, you don’t want to cave to reader pressure. But any reputable news organization would include the caveat that they’re showing a different event, and I would think you would as well, for the sake of accuracy and honesty and all that good stuff reporters and journalists try to include in their stories…

  10. Mary Says:

    He won’t do it Patrick. He won’t even report the USA Today article about how anti government sentiment had little impact on the count. It doesn’t fit his agenda.

  11. Laney Says:

    You’re right, they should have run every entertainment decision by you before doing anything.

    Just guessing here, but they probably let Census employees volunteer to provide some entertainment during breaks between speakers or what have you. Seems like if it was up to Morse and some readers, everything would be completed in total silence, with no breaks, food, drink, or levity. That’s the way to get people excited about the Census! Treat it like a funeral.

  12. JAG Says:

    Word is that these Census folks spent about 10-12 hours sleeping, eating, and not even working.

  13. Michael C. Cook Says:

    This was not a U.S. Census Bureau sponsored event. The event was in fact a celebration sponsored by former temporary census workers through their own ticket sales for the event. It took place on Sunday, August 8, at the Texas Station Hotel in Las Vegas and was not part of the 2010 Census Denver Regional debriefing that took place at the Treasure Island Hotel, August 24-26.

    @SRM: Please fact check with the U.S. Census Bureau prior to posting . . .

  14. Patrick Says:

    Hate to say it, but I told you so…

  15. Laney Says:

    (Nelson Muntz finger pointing):

    Ha, ha!

  16. Mary Says:


  17. MyNameIs Says:

    Mr. Cook, There you go again throwing your “facts” around. How are we supposed to run a watchdog operation with those things anyways?

  18. Ex AMA Says:

    Well, now the video seems to have been “removed by the user.” I seem to see alot of Partnership” materials in the pic like what we stored in our LCO. I wonder how these materials ended up in that ballroom. I pretty much guarantee you that some of the people in the video were Partnership Assistants. There were many of them still “working” on August 8th. This program was perhaps the MOST egregious waste of taxpayer dollars that I saw in my 2 years as a manager for the decennial census.

  19. Solong Census Says:

    Hi Ex AMA,
    The Partnership Program is an institution that sorely needs to be revamped. It is haphazardly managed and even the Partnership People complain. It is like a “grass roots” organization that has no leadership. A lot of money was just thrown away. There were some very good effective Partnership People who helped greatly with the community outreach but, they were often not appreciated and supported by Partnership management. There is too much favoritism and people out for their own benefit. Suggest to your Congressional Rep. they take a look at the Partnership Program and make changes otherwise 2020 will look the same.

  20. Ex AMA Says:

    MorseModels –

    Lets put my “Partnership” angle under the microscope. I dare you to try to claim that angle is false.

  21. Stephen Robert Morse Says:

    @Everyone: I never wrote that the event was part of the Treasure Island event. I simply said that it was from August. I am issuing no retraction. I found a video and it was put out there. Though Mr. Cook says that Census Bureau employees took the time, energy, and money to create this event themselves, with no financial support from the Census Bureau, I am waiting to learn more information.

    @Workers from Vegas: Did you really organize and pay for this event yourselves?

  22. Patrick Says:


    You missed the point. I didn’t suggest you issue a retraction. I simply said you needed a caveat to make clear they weren’t the same events, because that’s a very reasonable conclusion but which is patently untrue. And despite that it’s untrue, you seem to have no problem letting people make their own conclusions — you’re just “putting it out there” a la Fox News. And given Cook’s comment about workers organizing it, I’d say it calls for an update as well as a caveat.

  23. Stephen Robert Morse Says:

    @Patrick – I will clarify now…

  24. Clinger Says:

    @Everyone – A Quick Census Survey

    1. Yes or No – When you first saw it, did you believe that the this video post (not spending money wisely for an event in Vegas) was a related to the previous post (not spending money wisely for an event in Vegas)?

    2. Yes or No – Do you believe SRM when he implies that the two stories were not related?

    3. Yes or No – Should SRM retract this story after learning the truth from Mr Cook?

    Post your answers below. I will tally the numbers and post the results in December…hehe

  25. Clinger Says:

    1. Yes
    2. Yes
    3. Yes

  26. Mary Says:

    Yes x 3 !

  27. All sensed out Says:

    I can tell u about waste. My friends son
    Plays cricket in queens and said the
    Census bureau sponsored all its teams
    Tournaments, equipment and banquets. I
    Understand the point of promoting the
    Census but with 40 ppl in attendance
    Excluding players that’s thousands spent
    To reach a small group.

    Sounds just like partnership in NY, the
    Head of the cricket club is probably in

  28. All sensed out Says:

    Let’s not forget the teams uniforms, socks and hats for over 10 teams

  29. Anon Says:

    and No. He should leave it up so others can see how unprofessional he can be when faced with reality.

  30. Laney Says:

    All sensed out – you’re right, what a HUGE waste of time and money that was.

    You’re the same kind of person who would come here and complain about an undercount. Yet when steps are taken to avoid undercounting, you complain about that as well.

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