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.

Posts Tagged ‘McHenry’

Congressman responds to Blagojevich-linked Census Bureau official with letter to Census Bureau Director Groves

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

MyTwoCensus.com is appreciative that Congressman Patrick McHenry’s office has taken up this issue. Now, we hope that William Lacy Clay and the House Democrats also jump on board to make this a bi-partisan effort…

Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Josh Kahn
June 17, 2010
McHenry: Why Is a Census Official Tied to the Blagojevich Scandal?

WASHINGTON, DC… Congressman Patrick McHenry (R-NC), sent the following letter to U.S. Census Director Dr. Robert Groves questioning the Bureau about a local Census official tied to the Blagojevich trial.

Rep. McHenry is the Ranking Member on the Subcommittee overseeing the Census.  The letter is below:

June 17, 2010

Robert Groves
Director
U.S. Census Bureau
4600 Silver Hill Road
Suitland, MD 20746

Dear Dr. Groves:

This week the director of a Census Bureau office in Chicago, Joseph Aramanda, appeared as a witness in former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich’s corruption trial.  Although Mr. Aramanda testified under immunity and so will not be charged himself, he was involved in some extremely questionable money transfers at the direction of Blagojevich associate Tony Rezko.

This is unacceptable.  The Census is too important to be caught up in a corruption trial.  Mr. Aramanda manages a significant number of employees and his deep involvement in the Blagojevich scandal tarnishes the reputation of the 2010 Census.

I strongly encourage you to reassess Mr. Aramanda’s employment status with the Bureau.  I would appreciate your quick response on this timely issue.

Sincerely,

Patrick T. McHenry
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Information Policy,
Census, and National Archives

With latest jobs report, the Census Bureau’s failures to report training hours and part-time jobs come to light

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

For most of you, this is old news by now, but I hesitated to report it because it would probably just make you more angry. It recently came out that most of America’s new jobs are temporary Census Bureau positions that will soon end, which is dismal news for the economy. As MyTwoCensus.com observed, some people on the right are outraged by what they report as false job statistics since Census Bureau employees have been hired and let go (for various reasons) and then re-hired to work for other 2010 Census operations down the road.

FoxNews published reports from Commerce Department and Bureau of Labor Statistics spokespersons:

Commerce Department spokesman Nick Kimball:

“The Census Bureau — like all other employers — reports the number of individuals on its payroll for the specific week the Labor Department uses as a point of reference for measuring the nation’s level of This is not a tally of positions filled during the past month — instead, it is the number of actual individual human beings who received paychecks that week. That number can then be compared to the reports from previous months to understand the changing jobs environment over time.”

Bureau of Labor Statistics spokeswoman Stacey Standish:

“Each month the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Current Employment Statistics (CES) program publishes the employment levels for total nonfarm and component industries. Establishments, including the Census Bureau, are asked to report the total number of workers on their payroll. That is, the establishment is asked to report the total number of employees who worked or received pay for the pay period that includes the 12th of the month. The CES program does not ask establishments to report the number of new hires or created, or the number of persons who were laid off.”

Shelly Lowe of the Census Bureau’s public information office commented on a MyTwoCensus post:

First, the Census Bureau does not hire, then fire, and then rehire anyone. Any employee who is fired is fired for cause. We train and hire temporary workers for various operations, most significantly Non-Response Follow-Up (NRFU) to complete work assignments. When the work is complete, the temporary worker goes into an inactive status. They may be re-activated if there is more work to do, or for another subsequent operation. At no time do we count a re-activation from non-working status as a ?rehire.?

The article goes on to state: “Labor doesn’t check the Census hiring figure or whether the jobs are actually new or recycled. It considers a new job to have been created if someone is hired to work at least one hour a month.

This is simply inaccurate. The Census Bureau reports to the Department of Labor and on our public website the number of people paid for work during a given week. We do not report the number of jobs. The Census Bureau reports the total number of unduplicated temporary 2010 workers that earned any pay during a specific weekly pay period. Temporary workers earning any pay during the week are counted only once. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) measures changes in employment levels — not the actual level itself — and looks only at the week which includes the 12th day of the month. It is simply not possible for Census to engage in the manipulation of data to artificially inflate the employment report of the BLS in the manner alleged by this news column.

So now we see that the number of people on the payroll each week is the number of people who are reported to the government. However, as we know from previous posts and reports by the Commerce Department Inspector General and Government Accountability Office, there are tons and tons of Census Bureau employees who are “trained” each week but never actually work. Furthermore, there are thousands of Census Bureau employees who are only working part-time. Many workers have twenty hours to work per week, tops. These  figures are not accounted for in the Census Bureau’s tally, which are further compounded by the Census Bureau’s frequent IT malfunctions making it such that Census Bureau employees who are on the clock are merely sitting around and waiting for assignments to come through.

House Resolution 1046 Final Version: Census Awareness Month, March 2010

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

To read the final bipartisan resolution that was passed with overwhelming support in the House of Representatives a few hours ago, click here: HR1046

“The 2010 Census Communications Contract: The Media Plan in Hard to Count Areas”

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

On Wednesday, February 24, 2010, the Information Policy, Census and National Archives Subcommittee will hold a hearing titled: “The 2010 Census Communications Contract: The Media Plan in Hard to Count Areas.” The hearing will take place in room 2154 Rayburn House Office Building.

The witnesses scheduled to testify include:

Panel I

Dr. Robert Groves
Director
United States Census Bureau

Mr. Jeff Tarakajian
Executive Vice President
DRAFTFCB

Ms. Robbyn Ennis
Senior Associate Media Director
GlobalHue

Mr. Nelson Garcia
Senior Vice President/ Media Director
GlobalHue Latino

Panel II

Ms. Karen Narasaki
Executive Director
Asian American Justice Center

Mr. Arturo Vargas
Executive Director
National Association of Latino Elected Officials

Mr. Marc Morial
President and CEO
National Urban League

Ms. Helen Hatab Samhan
Executive Director
Arab American Institute Foundation

Panel III

Mr. Marcelo Gaete-Tapia
Vice President
Entravision Communication Corporation

Mr. James L. Winston
Executive Director
National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters

Ms. Sandy Close
Executive Director
New America Media

Mr. Danny Bakewell
Chairman
National Newspaper Publishers Association

Ms. Linda Smith
Executive Director
National Association of American Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies.

Documents and Links


Opening statement of Subcommittee Chairman Wm. Lacy Clay

Prepared testimony of Dr. Robert Groves

Prepared testimony of Mr. Jeff Tarakajian

Prepared testimony of Ms. Robbyn Ennis

Prepared testimony of Mr. Nelson Garcia

Prepared testimony of Ms. Karen Narasaki

Prepared testimony of Mr. Arturo Vargas

Prepared testimony of Ms. Helen Hatab Samhan

Prepared testimony of Mr. Marcelo Gaete-Tapia

Prepared testimony of Mr. James Winston

Prepared testimony of Ms. Sandy Close

Prepared testimony of Mr. Danny Bakewell

Prepared testimony of Ms. Linda Smith

Witness List

Looks like Census hearing is delayed due to Toyota hearings…

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

“The 2010 Census Communications Contract: The Media Plan In Hard To Count Areas” (2:00 PM)

Stay tuned…this should be an interesting hearing.

Watch the live video stream HERE!

Is ACORN recruiting for the 2010 Census? The GOP thinks so!

Monday, August 10th, 2009

The GOP wants some questions answered from the man at the top, Robert M. Groves:

McHenry: Is ACORN recruiting census workers or not?
Internal documents at odds with Bureau’s claims to Congress

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Patrick McHenry, Ranking Member on the Census Oversight Subcommittee sent a letter to the U.S. Census Bureau concerning its partnership with ACORN.

While the Bureau has reported to Congress that ACORN is not recruiting census workers, internal documents contradict this claim.

Assuming the Bureau can reconcile these contradictions and verify that ACORN has been instructed not to recruit census workers, Congressman McHenry asked, “If ACORN has been singled out in such a manner because of its long criminal history, it begs the question, why are they a national partner in the first place?  If they cannot be trusted to recruit enumerators, it would seem to me that ACORN should be disqualified as a partner altogether.”

Dr. Robert M. Groves
Director
U.S. Census Bureau
4600 Silver Hill Road
Suitland, MD 20746

Dear Dr. Groves:

On July 10, 2009, Acting Director Thomas Mesenbourg wrote a letter to Congress clarifying the partnership role of the political advocacy group ACORN, Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.  Mr. Mesenbourg stated definitively that ACORN “will not be involved in recruiting or hiring census employees.”[1] However, information has come to my attention that requires further clarification from the Bureau.

Documents from the Bureau obtained by Judicial Watch contradict Mr. Mesenbourg’s letter to Congress.  One such document details the organization’s partnership responsibilities, including “Identify job candidates and/or distribute and display recruiting materials.”  Bearing his signature from February 12, 2009, this form indicates that Mr. Mesenbourg approved ACORN’s role as a recruiter of census enumerators.[2]

Furthermore, promotional materials for the national partnership program indicate very clearly that partners will play a role in recruiting enumerators.[3]

A) How do you reconcile this evidence with Mr. Mesenbourg’s letter to Congress?

B) If ACORN has been instructed specifically not to recruit enumerators, please provide
the dated correspondence between the Bureau and ACORN that verifies this.

C) Additionally, please provide a list of other national partners that have been instructed
not to recruit enumerators.

D) If ACORN has been singled out in such a manner because of its long criminal history,
it begs the question, why are they a national partner in the first place?  If they cannot
be trusted to recruit enumerators, it would seem to me that ACORN should be
disqualified as a partner altogether.

In a document provided to Congress, the Bureau states that partnering organizations would be disqualified if they “could distract from the Census Bureau’s mission.”[4] An internal document from the Bureau states that groups will be disqualified if they “might make people fearful of participating in the Census.”[5]

E) How does the criminal background of ACORN reflect positively on the Census
Bureau’s mission?

F) As a criminal enterprise, how could ACORN in no way distract from the Bureau’s
mission?

Please submit written responses to the questions above to the Subcommittee on Information Policy, Census, and National Archives by August 24, 2009.  Should you have any questions or need any additional information, please contact Alexis Rudakewych at (202) 225-2576.

Sincerely,

Patrick T. McHenry
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Information Policy,
Census, and National Archives

[1]  See Bureau letter to Mr. McHenry (July 20, 2009)
[2]  See Bureau partnership form (February 12, 2009)
[3]  See Bureau Form D-3207, Become a 2010 Census Partner, (April 2008)
[4]  See 2010 Census Partnership Program, Partner Selection Process and Guidelines, page 2
[5]  See Email, Barbara A. Harris, (March 17, 2009)

$206 Million for the Census Bureau up in smoke

Friday, June 19th, 2009

Update: According to Rep. Patrick McHenry’s office, Rep. Pete Olson withdrew his amendment after he and McHenry discussed how important it was to fully fund the 2010 Census.  This is what prompted the following letter from McHenry’s office:
 
Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Act – Oppose Cuts to Census Funding
 
Dear Colleague,
 
            With operational costs increasing as we near Decennial Census Day – April 1, 2010 – the Census Bureau budget has become an easy target for offsets in the appropriations process.  Several amendments have been filed that will strip even more crucial funding from the Bureau that is used for community outreach, advertising, non-response follow-up and data analysis.  This could translate into fewer responses to the initial paper survey and a greater, more laborious effort in door-to-door follow-up visits by census workers. 
 
            Census data guides the allocation of $300 billion in federal funds to state and local governments, and representative districts from Congress to school boards are based on census results.  It is absolutely vital that the census is fully funded to get a complete and accurate count of every person residing in America. 
 
            Help ensure that the 2010 Census is the most accurate decennial to-date by opposing any reductions to funding from the Census Bureau in the FY2010 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Act.

 

MyTwoCensus would like to give a hat tip to TheCensusProject.org for reporting the following information:

CENSUS NEWS BRIEF

June 16, 2009 No. 65

BREAKING NEWS: 2010 Census Funding at Risk on House Floor

Funding for the Census Bureau next year could be slashed significantly as the U.S. House of Representatives begins debating the Fiscal Year 2010 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill (H.R. 2847) today.

Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) is expected to offer an amendment that would shift $566.5 million from the Census Bureau to NASA’s exploration account, more than eight percent of the $6.671 billion the Appropriations Committee allocated for 2010 census operations in the fiscal year that begins on October 1, 2009.

Numerous additional amendments that would siphon off funds from the Census Bureau — always a target for lawmakers seeking to boost funding for law enforcement, science, and other popular programs in the massive spending bill — are expected over the next two days.

According to analyses by the Brookings Institution, almost $400 billion in federal program funds annually — $4 trillion over the decade — is allocated to states and localities based in whole or in part on census data. The analyses, broken down by program and by state, are available on The Census Project web site at www.thecensusproject.org (under Fact Sheets).

The Census Bureau’s FY2010 budget also took an unexpected hit in the Appropriations Committee last week, when a misunderstanding between panel members and the Commerce Department (the Census Bureau’s parent department) led appropriators to reduce the agency’s funding by $206 million. Lawmakers had thought the amount, appearing in the President’s detailed budget request as a carry-over from 2009, represented extra money, when in fact the Census Bureau had committed the funds to a paid media buy.

The Administration told Congress yesterday that if the $206 million is not restored before Congress finalizes the Commerce spending measure, the Census Bureau would reduce a planned $573 million contingency fund for the 2010 census by that amount. The contingency fund, the Administration said, would cover unanticipated conditions, such as a lower-than-projected mail response rate or more vacant units that increase the non-response follow-up workload, or unforeseen events, such as a natural disaster or health pandemic. The emergency fund, Census officials told Congress, “is not a very large reserve for a once-a-decade program of this size and complexity, which must be completed by statutory deadlines.”

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Census News Briefs are prepared by Terri Ann Lowenthal, an independent legislative and policy consultant specializing in the census and federal statistics. All views expressed in the News Briefs are solely those of the author. Please direct questions about the information in this News Brief to Ms. Lowenthal at TerriAnn2K@aol.com. Please feel free to circulate this document to other interested individuals and organizations. Ms. Lowenthal is a consultant to the nonpartisan Census Project, organized by the Communications Consortium Media Center in Washington, DC. Previous Census News Briefs are posted at www.thecensusproject.org.