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Judicial Watch • Cost Of Census Paraphernalia A Trade Secret

Cost Of Census Paraphernalia A Trade Secret

Cost Of Census Paraphernalia A Trade Secret

APRIL 09, 2010

 

Though it’s been widely reported that the Obama Administration is spending enormous sums to promote the U.S. Census, an additional chunk of money has gone to paraphernalia sporting the official logo and the government doesn’t want Americans to know how much.

The merchandise—coffee mugs, notebooks and insulated lunch bags—is decorated with the magic ““United States Census 2010” logo and is being disbursed nationwide at schools and community events aimed at promoting the decennial count. The government has already revealed that it is spending an unprecedented $338 million to promote the census with a mass advertising, marketing and public relations campaign geared largely at assuring illegal immigrants that they won’t be reported to immigration authorities if they answer questionnaires.

Billed as the most diverse outreach campaign in U.S. history, the never-before-seen promotional blitz includes television commercials, print and outdoor ads as well as online advertising. Hundreds of ads have been drafted in 28 languages, including two Chinese dialects, Russian, Arabic and Tagolog. The Spanish advertisements, which will be distributed on national television and print media, are of particular interest because they guarantee the safety of illegal aliens who fill out census forms.

Additionally, Uncle Sam is spending $26 million to send Spanish-language questionnaires directly to homes for the first time in the decennial count’s history. More than 13 million will be distributed to neighborhoods with high concentrations of illegal aliens, including Los Angeles County, Miami Florida and Houston Texas.

For some reason, the feds don’t want Americans to know the cost of the merchandise used to bombard local communities during outreach events. A California newspaper’s watchdog section asked a simple question after a local school got slammed with the U.S. Census goodies during a “get counted” campaign. How much is this costing U.S. taxpayers?

Simple enough since it’s supposed to be a readily available public record, especially under President Obama’s “transparent administration. Instead, the paper was told “none of your bee’s wax.” Census Bureau officials would only say that, in addition to the $338 million advertising campaign, it has a separate “field operations” budget of $654 million.

The breakdown of the promotional items isn’t available, a Census Bureau official said, because the information constitutes a “trade secret” of the agency’s main contractor. Now the newspaper must file an official public records request and possibly take legal action to obtain the information which is supposed to be public record because it involves a contract awarded by the government. 

 

 


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