Browsing: Census Bureau

Senate panel to vote this morning on nominees to lead OPM, Census Bureau

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Two Obama administration candidates for nuts-and-bolts jobs are scheduled to get confirmation votes at 10 a.m. today from the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. First up, according to a committee advisory, is the nomination of John Thompson to head the Census Bureau. Thompson, who previously worked for the bureau as far back as the 1970s in such posts as associate director for the decennial census, is currently president and CEO of the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, according a White House bio. The Senate panel is also supposed to vote on the nomination of…

"ACORN pimp" filmmaker targets Census

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Conservative activist James O’Keefe, who became notorious last year after dressing up as a 70’s-style pimp and releasing videos he claimed showed the community organizing group ACORN was aiding and abetting prostitution, has set his sights on the U.S. Census Bureau. O’Keefe posted a hidden camera video today on Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government blog purporting to show a Census Bureau supervisor instructing temporary workers to fudge their time sheets. O’Keefe, who worked for two days receiving training to be a temporary Census taker, then apparently told a few superiors that he was being paid for four hours of work he didn’t do, but his…

Was the Census Bureau ad worth $2.5 million?

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Alex Parker rounds up some reactions to the Census Bureau’s $2.5 million advertisement during last night’s Super Bowl. The ad was aimed at boosting participation in the 2010 Census: If people don’t mail in their census forms, the agency has to send census workers to their homes, and that gets expensive. The ad was expensive, too — hence the criticism that the agency wasted money. But according to the Census Bureau, if 1 percent of Super Bowl viewers decide to mail in the 2010 Census form, it will save $25 million. That’s a 10-to-1 return on investment. So the question…

Critics slam GOP sham "census" form

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A Republican Party fundraising letter that looks an awful lot like the official 2010 Census form is drawing complaints from all sides. The mailing from Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele is disguised as a survey and is labeled the “2010 Congressional District Census.”  The survey even includes a “Census Tracking Code” and is brandished with the words “census document.” A GOP spokesman said the mailing was not intended to mislead voters, noting that it states in several places that it’s from the Republican Party. But lawmakers from both parties are criticizing the letter, saying it could be confused with…

Census worker's death ruled a suicide

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Kentucky law enforcement officials today said Bill Sparkman, the Census worker who was found hanged Sept. 12 in a national forest with “fed” scrawled on his chest, actually committed suicide. According to an Associated Press report, authorities said Sparkman staged his death to look like a murder: Sparkman had recently taken out two life insurance policies that would not pay out for suicide, authorities said. If Sparkman had been killed on the job, his family also would have been be eligible for up to $10,000 in death gratuity payments from the government. He was not eligible for a separate life insurance…

Census Bureau gets new leader

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The Senate yesterday afternoon confirmed Robert Groves as the next director of the Census Bureau. The confirmation comes at a critical time for the Commerce Department bureau, which is about to undertake its once-a-decade tally of the U.S. population. Groves has the skills to tackle this challenge, top senators say. From 1990-1992, he was associate director for statistical design, standards and methodology at the Census Bureau. For the last eight years, he has directed the University of Michigan Survey Research Center. “Dr. Groves is a brilliant social scientist, he has impeccable credentials and the administration would have had a hard time…

Video tour of federal green roofs

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Last week, I wrote about how federal agencies are using some of the billions of dollars in stimulus funds flowing to them for facility and energy projects to replace or retrofit their building rooftops with green alternatives. Options being considered include thin solar films that are imbedded into roofs, additional insulation to repel heat, and vegetative roofs such as a 5,000-square-foot garden patch atop the seven-story Interior Department headquarters building in Washington. Other agencies have outfitted their roofs with vegetation, recognizing both the environmental and economic benefits. Our videographer, Colin Kelly, recently toured two examples outside the nation’s capital in Suitland,…

Gregg out at Commerce

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Update: Judd Gregg spoke to congressional reporters a few minutes ago and denied he offered his name as commerce secretary, saying a “third party” brought his name to the White House’s attention. “I didn’t campaign for this job,” he said, adding that he did call the White House after hearing he was a candidate to check on the status of the nomination. Gregg said the reorganization of the Census Bureau was only a “slight issue” in his decision to pull his name from consideration. He said President Barack Obama is a “strong, effective and good president” and that his nomination…

Friday Fun Facts: Happy Holidays!

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Hanukkah starts Sunday and Christmas and Kwanzaa are about a week away. To get you in the holiday mood, we bring you a special winter holiday edition of Friday Fun Facts. Today’s fun facts come to us courtesy of the Census Bureau, or as I like to call it, the Fun Fact Bureau. The Postal Service will deliver more than 20 billion pieces of mail throughout the season. Last year holiday shoppers spent $30.5 billion on gifts. Christmas tree farmers sold $493 million worth of pine trees last year; $114 million worth were sold in Oregon alone. Approximately $1.3 billion…

Wednesday is the New Friday Fun Facts: Thanksgiving Edition

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Thanksgiving is tomorrow. Let’s talk turkey shall we? How about 271 million turkeys for starters? That’s the number of turkeys that were raised in the U.S. since last Turkey Day, according to the Census Bureau, the keeper of all fun facts. According to Census the average American consumes 13.3 pounds annually. Here’s what else Census has to say about other Thanksgiving eats: The U.S. cranberry industry produced 689 million pounds of cranberries this year, up 5 percent from last year. And surprise, Wisconsin, not Massachusetts, leads the nation in cranberry production. Approximately 1.8 million pounds of sweet potatoes were harvested…

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