Flashback: Census Bureau Dumped Unreliable ACORN After Videos Exposed Corruption

The Census Bureau dumped ACORN as a “national partner” in the 2010 head count last fall after James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles’s undercover videos spotlighting ACORN’s rampant corruption debuted here on Big Government.

In a letter dated Sept. 11 that terminated the Census Bureau’s relationship with ACORN, Census director Robert M. Groves wrote

Over the last several months, through ongoing communication with our regional offices, it is clear that ACORN’s affiliation with the 2010 Census promotion has caused sufficient concern in the general public, has indeed become a distraction from our mission, and may even become a discouragement to public cooperation, negatively impacting 2010 Census efforts.

While not decisive factors in this decision, recent events concerning several local offices of ACORN have added to the worsening negative perceptions of ACORN and its affiliation with our partnership efforts.

The Census had to act because it’s important to keep dishonest and incompetent workers far away from the nation’s once-a-decade Census.

The data gathered are used to help determine who gets what and how much in the nation’s federalist system of governance. Population figures arrived at through the Census decide which states gain and lose seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, the redistricting of state legislatures, county and city councils, and electoral districts.

False or inflated population figures can water down or negate entirely the value of an individual’s vote just as effectively as stuffing ballot boxes.

That’s why Americans were outraged last year when they learned the Obama administration bent over backwards to give ACORN a major role as a “national partner” in the 2010 Census.

In March, after the Obama administration tried unsuccessfully to consolidate control over Census operations in the White House, officials downplayed the significance of ACORN’s participation in the Census:

Any charge or claim that a Census Bureau partner could influence or have direct input into census operations is baseless and inaccurate … the Census Bureau has strict quality assurance procedures in every operation to prevent the introduction of errors and/or fraudulent information into the national count.

The official statement was, however, largely beside the point.

After Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the administration the Census Bureau disclosed that ACORN’s involvement gave it ample opportunities to influence how the count would be conducted.

ACORN’s status as a “national partner” in the Census entitled it to “[i]dentify job candidates and distribute recruiting materials,” and “[p]rovide space to train new employees.”

Just what the Census needs: radical left-wing community organizers as employees, recruiters, and trainers.

The “national partner” status also would have helped ACORN to pose as a respectable group by allowing it to “[u]se census drop-in articles, messages and logos in newsletters, mailings, etc.” (See page 113 of the Census Bureau’s May 15, 2009 Freedom of Information Act response to Judicial Watch.)

“Given its history of illegal activity and fraud, ACORN should be nowhere near the 2010 Census,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said last year.

(crossposted at Big Government)

Matthew Vadum

The author of Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers (WND Books, 2011), Vadum, former senior vice president at CRC, writes and speaks widely…
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