Skip to comments.Advice needed: Being harassed by census worker
Posted on 07/21/2005 10:59:16 AM PDT by redbaiter
Two months ago a field agent from the US Census Bureau left a business card under my door, with a note requesting an interview for a survey the Bureau does on unemployment and income. The note explained the purpose of the survey and outlined the sorts of questions that would be asked (mostly income and work-related stuff). I called him back at the number provided, told him that my income was none of his business and requested that he not contact me any more.
This was not effective, and he continued to try to contact me. So I called him back again and ordered him to cease and desist. This too was ineffective, and he continues to try and contact me even now, two months later. (In the summer I am rarely home before 9PM so he has never succeeded.)
I asked around, and it turns out he has a pattern of similar behavior.
What can I do to make this guy cease and desist?
Tell him you run Microsoft and are worth several billion dollars.
Call the Census Bureau. Find out if the guy is legit, and tell them to stop him, or else.
Take it a notch higher in the chain of command.
< i wonder if he gets paid to constantly harass in this manner since he cant find people to talk with him???
If he is one an hourly salary can he bill for even failed wasted time?
perhaps if several thousand FReepers called his office..... what was that number?
umm, why not just answer his questions. The information you give is not stored with your name nor shared with the IRS. The purpose of gathering such info is for legitimate use. I am one that rarely gives out any personal info unless necessary but to a census worker I would not have a problem.
Census-Taker: No, it's not that ridiculous. Mr. Leonard, do you own or rent this apartment?
Mr. Leonard: Sure. You have to ask one of the other 79 people.
Census-Taker: You mean your wife?
Mr. Leonard: Yeah.
Census-Taker: Well, can I talk to her, then?
Mr. Leonard: She won't answer you. She's a bobcat.
Census-Taker: You got a bobcat in there?
Are you sure he works for the census buro? Fed Investigators have been known to use that disguise to get info on people to later use against them. Be careful.
That's my suggestion too.
Not according to the Constitutional limitations prescribed for the census.
Take out an order of protection against them. Their behavior is very questionable.
"A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti ffft ffft fftt"
The legitimate Constitutional purpose of the census is to apportion representatives. Therefore they need a count of people every ten years. Asking questions about "mostly income and work-related stuff" between the ten year count isn't a legitimate use.
Ooooooooooo I like that one.
"A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti."
My thought exactly.
Nothing. He's authorized by Federal Law to continue to contact you, and he's doing his job as he's trained.
Census workers are told to ignore no tresspassing signs and are specifically permitted to get to front doors to knock, leave a note, etc.
Because it's none of his damn business. Any other questions?
The overwhelming majority of census workers have no office at all; they're part-time workers that are given a laptop computer to go out and do interviews, and then at night they dial-up and transmit their info directly to headquaters. The guy's phone number is likely his home or cellphone number.
As much as I'd like to suggest weaponry, I'd first suggest calling the office and asking for his Boss, or more appropriately, whoever runs that entire office. Demand to speak with him/her. Then lay it out for them. Also mention the name/number of a Congressman, for whom you'd made a donation last year...
You could file a restraining order against him in family/civil court. Or you could attempt to contact his supervisor and ask them to tell the guy to leave you alone.
Ah, but consider the following:
The income tax is constitutional thanks to an amendment. (I've heard the "wasn't properly ratified" arguments, and I'm not convinced.)
Ronald Reagan signed a law to index the tax brackets to prevent bracket creep. If an income tax is constitutional, it logically follows that it is constitutional for the government to pass a law mandating the appropriate collection level.
To complete a constitutional function, it is reasonable to say that the government can take whatever reasonable steps are necessary to complete that function. The Constitution doesn't say that the government can buy army uniforms, for example, but it reasonable to say that the government can do this as part of the task of national defense.
In order to index the tax levels, we need to have a Consumer Price Index. In order to have a Consumer Price Index, we need to sample the population and figure out what they purchase so that we can apply appropriate weights to that index.
Guess who does that sampling? The Census Bureau. That's probably why the Census worker was knocking on doors.
Just stop talking to him on the phone...if he calls don't answer the phone....IGNORE HIM...COMPLETELY...
Ask them to hi-light the part of the Constitution that gives census workers the right to harass U.S. citizens with probing questions that are none of their business.
(d) Without regard to subsections (a), (b), and (c) of this section, the Secretary, in the year 1985 and every 10 years thereafter, shall conduct a mid-decade census of population in such form and content as he may determine, including the use of sampling procedures and special surveys, taking into account the extent to which information to be obtained from such census will serve in lieu of information collected annually or less frequently in surveys or other statistical studies. The census shall be taken as of the first day of April of each such year, which date shall be known as the mid-decade census date.
US Code, Title 13, Chapter 7, Subchapter II, Section 221:
(a) Whoever, being over eighteen years of age, refuses or willfully neglects, when requested by the Secretary, or by any other authorized officer or employee of the Department of Commerce or bureau or agency thereof acting under the instructions of the Secretary or authorized officer, to answer, to the best of his knowledge, any of the questions on any schedule submitted to him in connection with any census or survey provided for by subchapters I, II, IV, and V of chapter 5 of this title, applying to himself or to the family to which he belongs or is related, or to the farm or farms of which he or his family is the occupant, shall be fined not more than $100.
(b) Whoever, when answering questions described in subsection (a) of this section, and under the conditions or circumstances described in such subsection, willfully gives any answer that is false, shall be fined not more than $500.
(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, no person shall be compelled to disclose information relative to his religious beliefs or to membership in a religious body.
That is extremely dangerous.........and highly questionable.
If not, find it and then do that to the census worker.
Census takers looking for any thing other than a direct count are getting paid for "extra-constitutional" activities. I have NEVER answered any questions other than the number of people living in the house, even when they called me late at night. I told them exactly why I had non intention of cooperating. He went away. At best they are wasting tax dollars, at worst, well, I don't like my private business in the hands of any more bureaucrats than absolutely necessary. Besides, if we stop cooperating with the survey, it will be meaningless and maybe they will stop trying. The racial info is the worst. The gorvernment should not be counting us by race.
The husband of a friend is black........and albino. His race doesn't match his appearance. They had fun playing with a census worker once.
I then proceeded to lie on every answer,she knew it too. Her face went from pale to crimson.
When she left,I said,"Have a nice day.";)
Yeah, if you don't want to cooperate, it's not helpful to contact them specifically to tell them you don't want to cooperate.
Best move is simply to ignore the notes if you don't want to cooperate.
And the census worker isn't taking "revenge"...I didn't know that notes left in a door were "revenge"...he's just doing his job. It's a bit odd the case hasn't been reassigned to a new field rep...who would then continue to leave notes on the door, though.
When the last census came around with a bunch of questions about home ownership and crap like that I told the census worker that I would only answer them if it meant that there would be a new property qualification for voting. They left me alone.
I do agree with those above who said you should make 100% sure this guy is truly with the Census Bureau before answering his questions. And as has already been noted, how are they going to know if you lie in your responses? If they already had the information, they wouldn't have to be asking you for it in the first place. Just BS the guy and get him off your back. It's not a battle worth fighting.
The overwhelming majority of government actions and activities aren't specifically mentioned in the Constitution or banned by the Constitution; they're authorized by votes of Congress, including the many and varied Census activities other than the 10-year counts, thus all are legal.
You can refuse to answer questions. Just leave a note on your door for them telling them to leave you alone.
Next time he contacts you, ask for the name and number of the director of his department. Tell him if he doesn't give it to you, you will go to the press and detail the harrassment you've been experiencing.
The press isn't exactly going to fall all over itself to break the stunning "Census worker leaves NOTES ON MY DOOR!" harassment story.
My thoughts exactly.
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