There are serious problems with the administration of the U.S. census. Americans have good reason to be wary of the stranger's knock on the door. Unfortunately, anything critics say about the federal census can and will be used against them in the court of left-wing opinion.
First, the disturbing news about the government's most recent census travails: According to a new General Accounting Office report, botched fingerprinting by ill-trained employees led to the hiring of some 36,000 census workers with insufficient background checks. "More than 200" of those workers may have had serious criminal records, according to the GAO. The investigators revealed that:
"…of the prints that could be processed, fingerprint results identified approximately 1,800 temporary workers (1.1 percent of total hires) with criminal records that name check alone failed to identify. Approximately 750 (42 percent) (of those) 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."
Gulp. This comes on the heels of the Census Bureau's admission that it is uncertain of the final cost of the 2010 decennial census, and that it faces ongoing problems with handheld computers used to collect data. The failure of the handheld devices will increase census costs by up to $3 billion, officials told a House subcommittee last month. On top of that, NewMajority.com blogger Tim Mak points out, the bureau is grappling with cost overruns of nearly $90 million related to verifying its address list.
Then there's the troubling alliance between the Census Bureau and the aggressively partisan Service Employees International Union -- whose many leading officials and organizing tactics are inextricably intertwined with the disgraced personnel and methods of the ACORN community organizing racket.
GOP Congressmen Peter Roskam, Patrick McHenry and Mark Kirk pointed out in a letter to Census Director Robert Groves that the SEIU donated more than $4 million to ACORN in 2006-07. ACORN founder Wade Rathke, who covered up his brother's million-dollar embezzlement of ACORN funds, is the "Founder and Chief Organizer" of SEIU Local 100. In Chicago, SEIU Locals 1 and 880 have contributed $230,000 to ACORN groups in Illinois and Texas. Many of their offices are co-located.