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 ‘White House’

Rahm Emanuel Wants A Re-Count For Chicago – Disputing 2010 Census Results

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

In the run up to the 2010 Census, Rahm Emanuel took a significant amount of flack for trying to bring the 2010 Census under the auspices of the White House. Republicans were enraged that President Obama’s then chief-of-staff had the chutzpah to try to transform an independent agency into a White House subsidiary. But now Emanuel is in the news for other reasons. As Mayor of Chicago, Emanuel is fighting for the $1,200 that each resident is worth in terms of annual federal subsidies. The Chicago Tribune reports:

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is mounting a challenge to 2010 U.S. Census estimates that Chicago lost about 200,000 residents.

Big city mayors regularly contest the once-a-decade census results, which determine how much federal funding flows to different parts of the country. Chicago would gain about $1,200 annually for the next decade for each person added to the official population, according to Emanuel’s office.

Emanuel’s predecessor, Mayor Richard Daley, launched an unsuccessful bid to get Chicago’s 2000 population numbers increased. In 1990, Daley and other mayors tried futilely to get Congress to give them additional time to fight the census results.

The 2010 census estimated Chicago lost about 181,000 African-Americans and about 53,000 whites. Meanwhile, the Latino population grew by about 25,000 and the Asian population went up more than 20,000. Overall, the city’s estimated population in 2010 was 2,695,598.

City workers used estimates of the occupancy rates of housing units in particular neighborhoods to come up with areas they believe the census numbers were low, according to a news release from the Emanuel administration.

MyTwoCensus Editorial: New York Times editorial has it both right and wrong

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Today, the New York Times published an editorial that praises Congress for initiating bi-partisan reforms of the Census Bureau as it initiated legislation that mandates the Census Bureau Director’s term to be fixed at five-years, a plan that makes it easier to work around the decennial census. However, Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and the White House were at first keen on this idea, but have now stalled the plan, despite seven former Census Bureau directors asserting that this is the best way to reform the Census Bureau. Robert M. Groves, the current Census Bureau Director, also supports this plan — but apparently the egos of the others have got in the way of progress:

The Obama administration, which should be supporting the bill, is instead raising objections. It has objected to a provision that would allow the census director to report directly to the commerce secretary. It also has objected to a provision that would require the director to send Congress the bureau’s budget request at the same time it goes to the White House.

However, the editorial strays from its initial goals later on and says this:

The census was in dire straits when President Obama took office, and it took a while for the administration to get organized. The 2010 count is now on track, thanks to the efforts of Mr. Locke and Robert Groves, the bureau director — both Obama appointees.

The New York Times has it wrong. The Census Bureau and the 2010 Census are not “on track” at this point. The myriad technical failures and other problems have already hampered the accuracy of this count and will continue to do so in the immediate future mean that the 2010 Census is NOT on track.

RNC continues deceptive mailers because Obama hasn’t picked up his pen yet…

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

As usual, the Republicans and the Democrats have both made serious errors. 1. The Republicans think they are above the law and continue to send out deceptive mailers. 2. President Obama has not picked up his pen to sign a recently changed bi-partisan supported bill into law. Come on Barack, pick up the pen already! Thanks to Ryan Knutson of Pro Publica for continuing to keep this matter alive, even though it should have been forgotten by now:

The latest legislation [1] intended to stop deceptive “census” mailers [2] passed both chambers of Congress [3] earlier this month, but President Barack Obama still hasn’t signed it into law, and the Republican National Committee is still sending out mailers that the legislation is meant to stop.

Our inboxes continue to receive a deluge of e-mails from people across the country who are still getting fundraisers from the RNC [2] labeled  “Census Document,” a tactic that we’ve been following since February [4]. In an attempt to stop the practice, Congress passed a bill in March [5] requiring that any mailer with the word “census” on the envelope must also include a clearly labeled return address to prevent confusion about whether it’s really from the 2010 Census.

But the RNC got around [1] that requirement by moving the word “census” to a document inside the envelope — yet it was still visible from the outside through the envelope’s clear plastic window.

That move irritated even Republicans. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., proposed legislation [6] to close the loophole. “I would say to people who raise money, whether it’s the Republican National Committee or the Democratic National Committee or [anybody else], don’t use the Census,” he said at the time. “Because it’s wrong.”

The bill passed the House in April, and it breezed through [3] the Senate unanimously on May 5. But without Obama’s signature, it’s still not the law — thus the RNC mailers continue.

MyTwoCensus Editorial: Eric Erickson should be fired from CNN!

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

Though CNN’s sagging ratings over the past year may be reason to encourage its commentators to pull crazy on-air stunts, their commentator Eric Erickson’s recent remarks crossed lines of decency, and perhaps the law on April 1 on WMAC’s In the Morning with Erick Erickson. MyTwoCensus.com has filed an official complaint with the Federal Commerce Commission because Erickson suggested resorting to violence (with a shotgun) to deal with 2010 Census employees who may come to his door. MyTwoCensus is outraged that the government hasn’t taken more steps to openly condemn this matter (other than Obama Press Secretary Robert Gibbs calling the remarks “lunacy”). Additionally, CNN and WMAC must fire Erickson immediately. Otherwise, a boycott of CNN and WMAC is in order.

Here is an audio clip of Erickson’s remarks:

ERICKSON: This is crazy. What gives the Commerce Department the right to ask me how often I flush my toilet? Or about going to work? I’m not filling out this form. I dare them to try and come throw me in jail. I dare them to. Pull out my wife’s shotgun and see how that little ACS twerp likes being scared at the door. They’re not going on my property. They can’t do that. They don’t have the legal right, and yet they’re trying.

First biracial president? Nope! First black president? Yes!

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

Though MyTwoCensus would have classified President Obama as biracial, he views himself as “black” and his kids as “black” too. The following confirmation to our inquiries was first reported by the New York Times:

It is official: Barack Obama is the nation’s first black president.

A White House spokesman confirmed that Mr. Obama, the son of a black father from Kenya and a white mother from Kansas, checked African-American on the 2010 census questionnaire.

The president, who was born in Hawaii and raised there and in Indonesia, had more than a dozen options in responding to Question 9, about race. He chose “Black, African Am., or Negro.” (The anachronistic “Negro” was retained on the 2010 form because the Census Bureau believes that some older blacks still refer to themselves that way.)

Mr. Obama could have checked white, checked both black and white, or checked the last category on the form, “some other race,” which he would then have been asked to identify in writing.

There is no category specifically for mixed race or biracial.

Instructions for the census’s American Community Survey, which poses the question in the same way as the 2010 form, say that “people may choose to provide two or more races either by marking two or more race response boxes, by providing multiple write-in responses, or by some combination of marking boxes and writing in responses.”

In the 2000 census, when Americans first were allowed to check more than one box for race, about 6.8 million people reported being of two or more races.

President Obama: We can’t move forward until you mail it back

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

A pretty innocuous and straightforward message from El Presidente was just released, so hopefully this won’t get politicized. The major downside here is that the geniuses at ad agency Draftfcb haven’t figured out that people should be able to embed video…so unfortunately you will have to click the link below to find this one…Here’s a press release from the Census Bureau :

President Obama Records Message Urging Participation in 2010 Census

Continuing a White House tradition of strong support for the census
dating back to 1790, President Barack Obama recorded a public service
announcement (PSA) encouraging national participation in the 2010 Census.
The 30-second PSA released today by the U.S. Census Bureau asks every
household to take 10 minutes to answer the 10 questions on the 2010 Census
form and to mail it back.

The PSA and a 20-second version are available now at
<http://2010census.gov/> and will be distributed to television and radio
stations by the National Association of Broadcasters’ Spot Center satellite
feed on Friday, Feb. 19. Stations are encouraged to broadcast the PSA
through April following their standard procedures appropriate for a
national public awareness campaign.

U.S. presidents in office during a decennial census have routinely
spoken in support of the census to encourage participation by all residents
in the country. President Dwight Eisenhower said of the 1960 Census:  “The
prompt, complete and accurate answering should be regarded as one of the
requirements of good citizenship.”

In 1990, President George H.W. Bush recorded a PSA about the rights
and freedoms we enjoy. “One of the ways our Constitution preserves our
rights is to require the government to conduct a census every 10 years. It
helps determine how you’re represented in Congress and what kinds of
government services you find in your community. So be a part of this great
democracy. Answer the census. It counts for more than you think.”

In 2000, President Bill Clinton spoke of the vital importance of the
census. “Behind all those numbers are real lives and real life stories. And
when you put them all together you see the patterns emerge. This is a
profoundly important issue if we want to make good decisions about where
we’re going. We first have to know exactly who we are.”

In addition to speeches and public service announcements, all presidents
serving during decennial censuses — from President William Howard Taft
through President Clinton — have issued a presidential proclamation on or
before Census Day, which has been on April 1 from 1930 to the present. The
10 proclamations can be viewed in the attached video along with images of
other presidential efforts supporting the censuses of 1930, 1990 and 2000.

Message from the President of the United States on the 2010 Census
The White House

“Every 10 years, our Constitution requires the federal government to
conduct a census. This helps determine your representation in Congress, as
well as how federal funds are spent on things like schools and roads, and
where businesses decide to put new stores and factories. So when you get
your census form in mid-March, take about 10 minutes to answer 10 questions
– remembering to include everyone in your household. Because we can’t move
forward until you mail it back.”

White House: ACORN Behavior Is Unacceptable

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Thanks to Jake Tapper of ABC News:

At today’s White House briefing, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, asked by ABC News about recent government actions taken against ACORN, had a forceful response.

“Obviously the conduct you see on those tapes is completely unacceptable,” Gibbs said, raising the issue of videotapes posted online by BigGovernment.com and aired frequently by Fox News Channel that seem to show ACORN employees advising a faux prostitute and faux pimp on how to skirt housing and tax laws. “The administration takes accountability extremely seriously.”

Gibbs said the Census Bureau decided that ACORN could not assist the group in meeting “the bureau’s goal of achieving a fair and accurate count in 2010″ and that some other agencies are evaluating their relationship with the group. “We constantly evaluate to ensure that any grantee is living up to what has to happen in order to fulfill that grant application.”

The ACORN Investigations Continue…

Friday, September 11th, 2009

We hate to keep beating this story to a bloody pulp, this is yet another day where ACORN has been featured prominently in the news for its wrongdoings. When I woke up this morning, the following story was the #1 headline on CNN.com:

(CNN) — Two employees at the Baltimore, Maryland, branch of the liberal community organizing group ACORN were caught on tape allegedly offering advice to a pair posing as a pimp and prostitute on setting up a prostitution ring and evading the IRS.

The footage, which appears to have been edited in places, was recorded and posted online Thursday.

The footage, which appears to have been edited in places, was recorded and posted online Thursday.

The video footage — which has been edited and goes to black in some areas — was recorded and and posted online Thursday by James O’Keefe, a conservative activist. He was joined on the video by another conservative, Hannah Giles, who posed as the prostitute in the filmmakers’ undercover sting.

The video shows the pair approaching two women working at the ACORN Baltimore office and asking them for advice on how to set up a prostitution ring involving more than a dozen underage girls from El Salvador.

One of the ACORN workers suggests that Giles refer to herself as a “performing artist” on tax forms and declare some of the girls as dependents to receive child tax credits.

“Stop saying prostitution,” the woman, identified by the filmmaker as an ACORN tax expert, tells Giles. The other woman tells them, “You want to keep them clean … make sure they go to school.” Video Watch tape of alleged advice on prostitution »

Both women appear enthusiastic to help.

Calls to ACORN’s Baltimore offices were not immediately returned Thursday. A local spokeswoman told The Associated Press that both employees seen in the video were fired.

“The portrayal is false and defamatory and an attempt at ‘gotcha journalism,’ ” said Scott Levenson, a spokesman at ACORN’s national offices. “This film crew tried to pull this sham at other offices and failed. ACORN wants to see the full video before commenting further.”

The conservative filmmakers unsuccessfully attempted similar ruses at the group’s offices in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Los Angeles, California, and New York, Levenson said.

Law enforcement officials in the Baltimore area wouldn’t confirm whether they are investigating the alleged incident at the local ACORN office. However, authorities said that under Maryland law, such undercover video may not be admissible in court as evidence.

CNN attempted to reach O’Keefe and Giles; O’Keefe was not available for comment and Giles canceled an interview scheduled for Thursday.

ACORN — an acronym for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now — made headlines last year when Republican groups seized on allegations of voter registration fraud by the group in Florida and several other states, claiming its workers were trying to push the election in Barack Obama’s favor.

On Wednesday, arrest warrants were issued for 11 Florida voter registration workers suspected of submitting false information on hundreds of voter registration cards, according to court documents. The Florida investigation was triggered by ACORN officials who noticed irregularities in forms they were receiving.

Can Harry Reid Make Robert M. Groves’ Confirmation Happen?

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

Well, now we know where the holdup came from! It was not one, but two senators, David Vitter (R-LA) and Richard Shelby (R-Al) who have been blocking Robert M. Groves’ confirmation to become the next U.S. Census Director. MyTwoCensus is inquiring with both of these Senator’s offices and we will be able to have their responses for you within the next 24 hours. We give a hearty hat tip to Roll Call for the following report:

By Jessica Brady
Roll Call Staff
July 9, 2009

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is looking to force a vote as early as this week on the stalled nomination of Robert Groves to lead the Census Bureau, hoping to harness his new 60-seat majority to overcome holds by a pair of Republicans.

“I think we’re going to have a cloture vote,” Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) said Wednesday, noting that Reid will likely file a procedural motion to advance the long-stalled nomination.

Republican Sens. Richard Shelby (Ala.) and David Vitter (La.) each have holds on Groves, director of the University of Michigan’s Survey Research Center and a former Census Bureau official, over concerns he would use statistical sampling for the 2010 effort. Republicans charge that the technique, designed to better capture undercounted groups such as minorities, is unconstitutional and a political maneuver.

But Democrats who favor Groves’ installment as Census Bureau director are eager to get him in place before the national population count officially gets under way in just eight months.

“The reality is this census is already hopping on one leg,” Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (N.J.) said, expressing fear that “Latinos and other minorities are going to be severely undercounted.”

Carper last month called a meeting with Sens. Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), the chairman and ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, to hatch a plan to unlock the GOP hold on Groves. There has been no follow-up to the June 16 meeting, both Carper and Collins said. The Homeland Security panel has jurisdiction over the Census Bureau.

“I still think he should be confirmed. He’s well-qualified, and I don’t know why some of my colleagues have a hold on him,” Collins said of Groves, who was confirmed by her panel on a unanimous vote on May 20.

But Vitter and Shelby have been unrelenting in their holds, demanding assurances from the White House including a guarantee from President Barack Obama that the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, which came under fire in 2008 over allegations of voter fraud, would not participate in the 2010 effort.

“Sen. Vitter is holding the Groves nomination until he gets written confirmation from the White House addressing two concerns: that sampling will not be used and that ACORN will have nothing to do with the census,” Vitter spokesman Joel DiGrado said.

Shelby wrote a letter to the president in March to question ACORN’s involvement in the census.

The census, conducted every 10 years, assesses the nation’s population and demographic makeup and influences the allocation of Congressional districts throughout the country. Next year’s head count will cost at least $14 billion, and according to a report by the Government Accountability Office issued in March, preparations for 2010 are ill-managed and behind schedule.

In addition to hefty legislative priorities and the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, Reid has a backlog of two-dozen executive nominations awaiting floor consideration. The Majority Leader has had to use procedural rules to break GOP opposition on several nominations so far this year.

“We of course want to confirm all of these nominees as quickly as possible,” Reid spokeswoman Regan LaChapelle said in a statement Wednesday. “It is unfortunate to have to use precious floor time on these nominations, all of which so far have eventually been confirmed. We have so many important issues to address and the president needs his full team.”

Census to Recognize Same-Sex Marriages in ’10 Count

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Here’s the Associated Press story about the big news…

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Married same-sex couples will be counted as such in 2010, Census Bureau officials said, reversing a decision of the Bush administration.

Steve Jost, a spokesman for the Census Bureau, said same-sex couples would be counted, “and they ought to report the way they see themselves,” adding, “In the normal process of reports coming out after the census of 2010, I think the country will have a good data set on which to discuss this phenomenon that is evolving in this country.”

Same-sex couples could not be married in the United States during the last decennial count. But last year, after two states had approved same-sex marriages, the bureau said those legal marriages would go uncounted because the federal Defense of Marriage Act prevented the government from recognizing them.

Since President Obama took office, his administration has been under pressure from gay rights advocates to take a fresh look at the issue.

The White House announced Friday that its interpretation of the act did not prohibit gathering the information.

Congresswoman Refuses To Participate in 2010 Census

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

According to the Minnesota Independent, “Rep. Michele Bachmann told the Washington Times on Wednesday that she will not be filling out all the questions on next year’s census because ACORN will be one of the federal government’s many community partners for conducting the census. But what she is proposing to do is illegal, the Times reports.

“I know for my family the only question we will be answering is how many people are in our home,” she said. “We won’t be answering any information beyond that, because the Constitution doesn’t require any information beyond that.”

“There’s great concern that’s being raised because now ACORN has been named as one of the federal partners… This is very concerning because the motherload of all data comes from the census,” she said.

But as the paper reports, Bachmann is “misreading” the law — and it could cost her family $100 per question left unanswered.”

NOTE: Below, please find an audio recording of Bachmann’s interview with The Washington Times.

Interesting 2010 Census Op-Ed from The Huffington Post

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009
Michael J. O'Neil

Michael J. O’Neil

President, O’Neil Associates

Census Pick Illustrates Broader Obama Strategy

Posted: June 15, 2009 04:07 PM

A strategic retreat on the matter of employing estimation in the Census is thus one illustration of a selective approach the Obama administration has taken to many issues. Choose your battles carefully, prioritize, and do not give the opposition the opportunity to define you.

What does the testimony of a Presidential nominee to a nonpolitical federal statistical agency tell you about the strategic approach of the Obama administration? If you observe how it fits a pattern, it tells you quite a bit.

Robert M. Groves is President Obama’s pick to head the Census Bureau. From a purely technical standpoint, he could hardly have picked a more qualified candidate to head the bureau. Groves is among the most respected survey researchers in the field. In that sense, the pick resembles the choice of Nobel Laureate Steven Chu as Energy Secretary: each is a highly respected scientist and neither has discernible political leanings.

But an 800 pound gorilla loomed over any pick to head the Census Bureau: whether to use statistical estimation to adjust the results of the Census for purposes of congressional apportionment. The issue is a political hot potato: any hint of using estimation for apportionment would result in screams from the Republican side of the aisle that the Census was being manipulated for political purposes.

Why? While the Census attempts to interview everyone, complete enumeration is an especially imperfect business. And the professionals at the Census Bureau not only know this, they know the characteristics of those they miss. Poor people (particularly homeless ones), minorities, and immigrants are those most likely to be missed — over 4 million of them according to a study of the 2000 census. And these groups tend to be Democrats — and live in areas with disproportionately more Democrats. So applying statistical estimation would inevitably increase population estimates in Democratic areas, and thus result in more Democrats in Congress.

Which is more accurate, imperfect enumeration or statistical estimation? There is really no scientific dispute here. The Census conducts hundreds of surveys and produces tens of thousands of population estimates. The Census uses estimation, to my knowledge, for every one of these estimates — except for congressional reapportionment. The users of the Census want the most accurate data possible. The apolitical scientists know what is accurate and how to derive accurate estimates, and that is achieved through the application of carefully derived and tested estimation models rather than a highly flawed actual headcount with known and systematic errors.

(If you need a non-statistician’s explanation of why sampling and estimation is as accurate as an actual enumeration, consider your last blood test: did they remove and test ALL your blood?). These matters are beyond any scientific dispute. Yes, sampling is theory — the same way gravity is theory.

Groves is a professional sampling statistician. He knows all of this from a lifetime of work in this and related arcane methodological matters. If a purely scientific panel of the most eminent sampling statisticians in the country were commissioned to make recommendations in this area, Groves name would be on the top of almost any list of preeminent experts in this area. Indeed, while serving as Assistant Director of the Census after the 1990 Census, he recommended using sampling and estimation to correct for the known errors in that Census. While from a scientific perspective the issue is a complete no-brainer, Republicans in the Senate have seized on this to assert that he has a partisan agenda.

They clearly do not know the man. I do. I have known Bob Groves for over 30 years as a professional colleague. I have read his work, and even collaborated with him on a couple of papers on some of the specialized methodological issues of survey research that have been his life’s work.

And after 30 years of professional acquaintance, I can tell you that I have not a clue about Bob’s political leanings. (And those who know me for the political junkie that I am will find this astounding, for the political realm has always been my personal passion: it tends to be among the first topics I gravitate to in any casual conversation). This fact, I think, attests to Bob’s nonpolitical nature. He is not motivated politically, he is a Scientist, and one of the first order.

But, curiously, Groves, in his confirmation hearings, indicated that he had no intention to employ or advocate the use of sampling or estimation in conducting the 2010 Census. What gives?

I think this says something very revealing, but far more about the Obama administration than about Bob Groves. I have no doubt whatsoever what Bob’s private counsel would be if asked about whether applying estimation principles to the Census would increase its accuracy. Indeed, his scientific judgment on this matter is already a matter of public record. But what is interesting here is how this new position mirrors the Obama administration’s approach to dealing with many controversial matters. There is a pattern: President Obama does not want the political distraction of Republicans screaming that the Democrats have “fixed” the Census to produce a partisan result. It would not matter that as a matter of scientific certainty, such claims would be wrong; they could score political points in making the charge. (This is the type of technical issue that is difficult to explain to a statistically lay audience; many intelligent people simply won’t understand it.) Obama looks willing to forgo the congressional seats, perhaps a dozen or so, Democrats would gain in order to avoid this political distraction and pursue higher priorities. He has bigger fish to fry.

This strategic retreat resembles the back-burnering of issues such as gun control and gays in the military. Each has been delayed out of a fear that it could be divisive and derail his core agenda, especially the economy and health care reform. To pursue key objectives, he has been willing to delay action on other issues that could distract or dilute his mandate. While he has pursued many initiatives, he has carefully avoided those with the explosive potential to blow up the broader agenda. And an attempt to use estimation for reapportionment has that potential. While the scientific merits are indisputable, getting the public to understand such arcane statistical principles is a lost cause. The Obama administration has concluded that it is simply not worth the political capital to try.

One need look no further than the impact the gays in the military issue had on the early Clinton administration to see the risks he seeks to avoid. The strategy does not necessarily mean that such issues will be avoided indefinitely. But it does argue that they should be held back lest they come to define his Presidency. And, in the case of gays in the military, it allows time for proposals to percolate up from the military establishment rather than appearing to be imposed on them.

Mayors set to meet with Obama: 2010 Census on the agenda…

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

Today, during the annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, which this year was held in Providence, Rhode Island, President Obama offered the many mayors in attendance a chance to visit him at the White House in the near future. In addition to the economic recovery measures that will be discussed at this future meeting, the 2010 Census will also be a high priority agenda item. Check out the report from the AP:

Nickels, mayors accept White House invitation, but not this month

Officials from the U.S. Conference of Mayors said today they plan to accept a White House invitation to meet on economic issues facing their cities. But the conference’s newly sworn-in president, Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, says the mayors won’t be able to make the administration’s proposed date of June 29.

By KELSEY ABBRUZZESE

The Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Officials from the U.S. Conference of Mayors said today they plan to accept a White House invitation to meet on economic issues facing their cities.

But the conference’s newly sworn-in president, Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, says the mayors won’t be able to make the administration’s proposed date of June 29 because they want to develop a substantive agenda that reflected the conference’s national meeting in Providence. He wouldn’t say when they might be able to go.

Among the topics on the agenda were federal stimulus aid, gun control and the 2010 Census.

“It’ll take a little longer than two weeks to put together. This took six months to put together,” Nickels said, referring to the group’s four-day gathering in Providence.

Vice President Joseph Biden and other officials skipped this year’s U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting to avoid crossing a Providence firefighter picket line, although the White House has said the Obama administration isn’t taking a position on the labor dispute.

“We will continue to listen to and work with mayors, as we have since the beginning of this administration, and look forward to working with Mayor Nickels to identify a date that works for him and his colleagues,” White House spokeswoman Moira Mack said in a written statement today.

Seeking journalist to cover event in Providence, R.I.

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

If any of our readers know a journalist/photographer in or near Providence, Rhode Island who can cover the 2010 Census-related portion of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, it would be greatly appreciated if you could have that person contact us. We will reimburse the attending journalist for food/travel costs. See the press release below for details of the event that we would like covered:

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN, SR. WHITE HOUSE ADVISOR JARRETT ATTENDING MAYORS’ ANNUAL GATHERING JUNE 12 – 15 ~ PROVIDENCE, RI

WASHINGTON, June 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Vice President Joe Biden, Senior White House Advisor Valerie Jarrett, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis, Attorney General Eric Holder, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, Office of National Drug Control Director Gil Kerlikowske, Alaska Senator Mark Begich, Congressional Urban Caucus Chair Chaka Fattah (PA), Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, and Mexico Ambassador to the U.S. Arturo Sarukhan are confirmed for the 77th Annual Meeting of The United States Conference of Mayors in Providence (RI) from Friday, June 12th to Monday, June 15th.

The Conference of Mayors has been working with the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to establish an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) Resource Center where mayors and city staff can meet with federal staff managing the various ARRA programs to seek guidance on federal stimulus funding implementation.

Led by Conference President and Miami (FL) Mayor Manny Diaz and hosted by Providence Mayor David Cicilline, this event is the largest annual gathering of U.S. mayors. In addition to Recovery Act implementation, the meeting will also highlight illegal guns and gun violence, energy independence, education and the 2010 Census. At the culmination of the meeting, mayors will debate and vote on national policy recommendations to forward to Congress and the new Administration.

U.S. President Barack Obama and his cabinet have been invited. An advance DRAFT agenda is also posted at www.usmayors.org. All CREDENTIALED press wishing to attend should pre-register VIA THE USCM WEBSITE to gain access to the meeting.

WHAT: Hundreds of U.S. Mayors to Attend USCM 77th Annual Meeting

WHEN: Friday, June 12th – Monday, June 15th

WHERE: The Rhode Island Convention Center

One Sabin Street

Providence, RI 02903

401-458-6000

Meet Gov. Gary Locke, Third String Commerce Secretary Nominee

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

White House on Gregg’s Withdrawal

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

Here is the official White House statement on Judd Gregg’s withdrawal:

“Senator Gregg reached out to the President and offered his name for Secretary of Commerce. He was very clear throughout the interviewing process that despite past disagreements about policies, he would support, embrace, and move forward with the President’s agenda. Once it became clear after his nomination that Senator Gregg was not going to be supporting some of President Obama’s key economic priorities, it became necessary for Senator Gregg and the Obama administration to part ways. We regret that he has had a change of heart.”

Now, I don’t mean to stoke the fire here, but this statement sounds a little hostile compared to other withdrawals — Tom Daschle, Bill Richardson, Nancy Killifer, and the like. It’s like the White House is outwardly saying, “He turned on us,” or, more implicitly, He screwed us. These press statements are painstakingly crafted so nothing is left to insinuate; every word is deliberate. By using the phrase, “It became necessary for Senator Gregg and the Obama administration to part ways,” the message is clear — Gregg got dumped, not the other way around.

Who will control the Census?

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

At this juncture, with a Democrat in the White House, and Democrats in control of Congress, many Republican and right-wing organizations fear that the Obama Administration’s desire to have more control over the 2010 Census will bring them harm. To learn about these fears, read the following articles that, with the exception of the LA Times, come from right-leaning publications:

FoxNews: Don’t Mess With the Census

LA Times: Growing political battle over the Census: Latinos versus Republicans

Wall Street Journal: Why Obama Wants Control of the Census


Investor’s Business Daily: Head-Count Case