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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Conservatives Vs. the Census

There are some conservatives that are advising the folks not to open their doors to census workers.

According to a report issued by the Government Accountability Office Oct. 7, approximately 785 employees with disqualifying criminal records could still end up working for the Census Bureau this year. Excerpts (below) show the exact wording of the agency’s frightening information about the people who go door to door conducting interviews and collecting information for the 2010 Census:

The Bureau’s efforts to fingerprint employees, which was required as part of a criminal background check, did not proceed smoothly, in part because of training issues. As a result, over 35,000 temporary census workers — over a fifth of the address canvassing workforce — were hired despite the fact that their fingerprints could not be processed and they were not fully screened for employment eligibility.

…of the prints that could be processed, fingerprint results identified 1,800 temporary workers (1.1 percent of total hires) with criminal records that name check alone failed to identify. Of the 1,800 workers with criminal records, approximately 750 (42 percent) were terminated or were further reviewed because the Bureau determined their criminal records — which included crimes such as rape, manslaughter, and child abuse — disqualified them from census employment


CNN contributor and prominent Republican blogger Erick Erickson is threatening to pull out a "shotgun" to scare away census workers.

Erickson — the founder of the conservative blog RedState — said on his Macon, Ga.-area radio show Thursday that if a census worker carrying a longer American Community Survey form came by his house, he would "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," Erickson said, in a recording by the liberal media watchdog Media Matters. "The servants are becoming the masters. We are working for the government. We are becoming enslaved by the government."

The hysteria from those quarters has come to a head with this very disturbing story.

U.S. Census worker has been charged with rape and burglary, after two women in southern Indiana claim they were attacked. One of the victims was a 21 year-old physically handicapped woman. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, he had been with the agency for two weeks.

The attack occurred Saturday morning in Pekin, Indiana in Washington County.

Police said the man broke in while a mother and daughter slept and attacked them. According to investigators, the mother had taken a mild sleeping pill. The man, identified as 39 year-old Daniel Miller, was arrested following the incident. He said he worked for the government.

While it's truly disturbing that a rape may have occurred, it should be noted that well over 100,00 census workers are now going to 40 million residences. So, this is the exception not the norm.

Now, some conservatives are in a lather claiming that census workers want you to snitch and encouraging their followers not to comply with this Constitutional duty.

In addition to this, last evening another source–in the neighboring suburb of Cordova, TN–had a 15-minute telephone conversation with a US census worker. The census worker asked questions regarding anyone currently living in a nursing home, a child’s address at college (when the student already filled out a census form), handicapped persons in the household, and anyone who may have lived there on April 1, 2010 and moved out after April 1, 2010.

This is a clear abuse of the protocols set forth to ensure the accuracy, privacy, and security of the census. Additionally, I find it disturbing that so many items from the Obama administration need branding and clarification, including the census, healthcare, immigration, global warming [rebranded to] climate change, and basically any other issue they take on. Everything is broken, has been branded, and has a rhetoric-laden marketing plan. Oddly, this administration shuns the branding of products, foods, and the very companies that create jobs for millions of Americans.

For those on the left who cling to the old-school, no rules, free-living, liberal-Democrat roots, it’s time to wake up and see how alarming and further polarizing this move on the part of the government truly is. When will the mask of “good will” be ripped off the left and understood for the intrusive nature and oppression that it entrenches. This administration has continually displayed, through their sophomoric agitation of the people, that they have no conscious when it comes to pitting Americans against one another to achieve their goals.

What this latest piece is talking about is a process that census workers refer to as using a proxy. It is not only allowed but in fact it is in the manual and done when the original person can't be reached.

What's really ironic is these same folks will scream about getting back to the Constitution. Well, the census is part of the constitution. Once every ten years you fill one out. Census workers come to your door when you fail to do that duty. So, all these conservatives a la Erick Erickson are telling their followers not to follow the constitution.

Even more ironic is the fact that these same folks will scream about government waste. Of course, encouraging people not to answer the door when the census comes only adds to government waste. That worker gets paid whether you answer the door or not. Your house will still need to be counted. So, that worker will have to come back on the clock. Maybe, you'll refuse to answer repeatedly and in a month or two a new worker will come to your door and try and get your information. At nearly $19 an hour, you are doing your part to contribute to our $13 trillion deficit.

This process is absurd and it takes ODS to a new extreme. No one used to have a problem with the census and no one used to tell people not to answer the census. Now, the same folks that scream about constitutionality and controlling government waste are directly challenging both.

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