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Do Census Layoffs Clear the Way for Hiring of ACORN Workers?

This might be something, or it might be nothing.

Remember when the Obama administration lied about the extent of ACORN’s involvement in the 2010 Census?

After the Census Bureau responded to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, Judicial Watch reported that

In its official statement responding to the ACORN controversy, the Obama Commerce Department downplayed ACORN’s participation in the Census, and labeled “baseless” the notion that ACORN would be involved in any Census count. However, the Census Bureau offered ACORN the opportunity to “recruit Census workers” who would participate in the count. Moreover, as an “executive level” partner, ACORN has the ability to “organize and/or serve as a member on a Complete Count Committee,” which, according to Census documents, helps “develop and implement locally based outreach and recruitment campaigns.”

According to its application ACORN also signed up to: “Encourage employees and constituents to complete and mail their questionnaire; identify job candidates and/or distribute and display recruiting materials; appoint a liaison to work with the Census Bureau; provide space for Be Counted sites and/or Questionnaire Assistance Centers; sponsor community events to promote participation in the 2010 Census,” among 18 requested areas of responsibility. The documents also show the decision to add ACORN as a partner occurred in February, long after the January 15th Census partnership application deadline. (One Census official had bet “it was under Bush.”)

Now today the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the layoff of Census workers comprised the bulk of the jobs just lost in the federal government. The July 2 Employment Situation Summary states: “Employment in federal government fell by 49,000 in June, largely due to the layoff of workers temporarily hired to prepare for Census 2010.”

What’s wrong with this picture? The federal government isn’t exactly on an austerity binge right now.

Given that the Obama administration lied about ACORN’s involvement in the Census, it might be lying now about the laid off workers being temporary employees. Is the way being cleared for ACORN workers to be hired?

If the administration hadn’t tried a few months ago to move oversight of the Census into the White House and then lied about ACORN and the Census, the news of the layoffs would not have caught my attention.

However, the Obama administration did attempt the Census power play and it did lie about ACORN’s involvement in the Census, so reasonable observers have every reason to be suspicious.

And former ACORN organizer Gregory Hall recently warned in a Washington Examiner op-ed about the dangers of letting ACORN participate in the Census:

There is no reason to believe the problems of staff mistreatment or systematic fraud will be any different if and when the federal government asks ACORN to take its show on the road to households across the country.