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It’s In Our Hands: Census Kicks Off 2010 Portrait of America Road Tour

posted by: Audiegrl

Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke can be followed on Twitter at @SecLocke

Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke can be followed on Twitter at @SecLocke

Secretary Gary Locke~~Yesterday, I started my new year in Rockefeller Center on the Today Show to kick off our huge push to get people to take part in the 2010 Census.

One of my resolutions is to help make this the best, most accurate Census count ever.

The Commerce Department’s Census Bureau spends 10 years planning how to best count everyone living in America and then New Years comes – and the rubber hits the road! Which is literally what’s happening this year.

Today, we’re sending out a small fleet of 13 vehicles – which we’re calling the Portrait of America Road Tour – that will drive across the United States and Puerto Rico to get the word out about the 2010 Census.

We’re doing this for the oldest of reasons – because our Constitution tells us to. Every 10 years, since 1790, we’ve counted ourselves – every single person living in America. This count determines how we divvy up about $400 billion in federal aid to states to help pay for things like schools, roads, hospitals and police and firemen.

For the 2010 Census, we’ve added some high tech twists to the traditional Census process. Everyone is still going to receive a Census questionnaire in the mailbox, so please – FILL IT OUT, and mail it back. The form is very simple, and has only 10 questions that should take about 10 minutes to complete, and the questionnaire comes in numerous languages.

I’m counting on the Road Tour to get the word out and encourage people to participate. Our little armada of vehicles will drive more than 150,000 miles, be seen by an estimated 18 million people and stop at more than 800 community gatherings, celebrations and sporting events.

Anybody who wants to can learn about the Census and how to fill out a Census form. If you want, you can explain why you’re taking part in the Census, and then you can upload your story onto an interactive website. And you can follow the tour and see other people’s stories by tracking the Road Tour on Twitter, Facebook or through the Road Tour blog. Happy New Years and make sure to follow the Portrait of America Road Tour on the web at:

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Filed under Agencies, Cabinet, Census Bureau, Gary F. Locke (Sec of Commerce), Government, News, Obama Administration, Politics, Pres. Barack Obama, Technology, Uncategorized, United States, Video/YouTube

John Woodfield, Retired AP Bureau Chief, Commits Suicide After Molestation Charges

AP-LOGO-largeAP—A retired Associated Press bureau chief has killed himself after being charged with molesting two boys over a five-year period.

John Edward Woodfield Sr., 80, was found dead in his home on Saturday from a single gunshot, according to Lt. Jim Eyler of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office. The medical examiner’s office ruled the death a suicide.

Woodfield, who retired in 1991 as bureau chief in Baltimore, had been charged the day before with sexual abuse of a minor and other charges.

Woodfield worked for the AP for more than 30 years, the entire time in Maryland.

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More @ Associated Press

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Filed under Child Abuse/Molestation, Law, Media and Entertainment, News, True Crime

Indicted California Man Threatened To Kill President And Scrawl “Fed …” On His Chest

Posted by Audiegrl

AP—A Northern California man remained in federal custody without bail Friday after being charged with sending racist, profanity-laced e-mail threatening to kill President Barack Obama and his family.

John Gimbel, 59, of Crescent City was arrested Oct. 6 by U.S. Secret Service officers and indicted two days before the president’s Thursday appearances at a pair of Democratic fundraisers in the city.

He is accused of sending the message to Obama, Vice President Joseph Biden, a Louisville newspaper and about 70 other people on Sept. 28.

Gimbel is scheduled to be arraigned Monday. Randall Davis, a defense lawyer assigned to serve as Gimbel’s co-counsel because Gimbel wants to represent himself, said he expects him to plead not guilty.

”He contends he didn’t violate the law” and only was exercising his free speech rights,” Davis said.
More @ Associated Press

**44 Update by GeoT**
From The Eureka Times-Standard
After allegedly e-mailing an editor with NBC Universal twice in May 2007 about killing former President George W. Bush, the Secret Service located Gimbel, who told the service he was harmless and had no interest in assassinations. The Secret Service then contacted two of his sisters, one of whom said the siblings were estranged, but thought Gimbel had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and believed he was troubled after his military discharge.

According to the Veterans Service Office and Humboldt County Records Office, Gimbel was born in Iowa City, Iowa, in 1949. While he was a resident of Arcata, he enlisted in the U.S. Army in Oakland in 1971. The private first class was honorably discharged for a physical disability at Letterman Army Medical Center in San Francisco in 1973 after six months of foreign or sea service.

On Sept. 7, the Secret Service interviewed Gimbel at his home on Brevus Street in Crescent City, according to an affidavit in U.S. District Court. During the interview, Gimbel was reportedly verbally abusive to Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office deputies. He claimed he had a right to free speech when informed that his alleged threats were illegal, and said he’d defend his rights and his home, and if he “had to kill 18 deputies who tried to enter his home, then so be it.”

In the affidavit, Secret Service Special Agent Russell Miller asked the court to approve a “no-knock” arrest warrant, which would allow agents to enter Gimbel’s residence without warning. There was reason to believe Gimbel had firearms in the house, Miller wrote, and Gimbel had allegedly made threats against law enforcement. He also requested the complaint and associated documents be filed under seal so Gimbel would not discover them.

Gimbel was arrested in his home on Oct. 6 and taken into custody in the Humboldt County jail, a facility approved for holding federal prisoners. He is being held without bail on suspicion of threatening the president of the United States, threatening the president’s immediate family and making threats transmitted through interstate communication. The three charges, brought by a grand jury earlier this week, each carry maximum penalties of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release.
Read more from Northern California: (click here:)
Eureka Times-Standard

TPM has received a copy of the indictment in United States of America vs. John Gimbel

The subject line of the email read:

Operation kill big-[epithet]-rig: kill the ‘president’ [epithet], then write ‘fed shit’ on his chest with a felt tip.

As TPM also notes:

That last clause appears to be a reference to the recent death of a Census Bureau worker, who was found in rural Kentucky with a rope around his neck and the word “Fed” scrawled on his chest, in what many have suggested was an act of anti-government violence.

In the body of the e-mail, as reproduced in the indictment, Gimbel, used a string of crude and racist epithets in additionally calling for the murders of Michelle Obama and the couple’s two children “in front of” the president.

You can read the rest of his sick rant here, if you can stomach it.

Gimbel’s Previous Legal History

According to reporting by the San Francisco Chronicle, this case, which was investigated by the Secret Service, is not the first time Gimbel has come under scrutiny for e-mail messages.

In April 2004, Gimbel was accused of complaining about a $5 parking ticket in an e-mail and threatening to deputize others to carry out his plans. His email is below:

Just got a $5 parking ticket. The Crescent City piggy-wiggly that gave it to me left a little over-zealous. That’s a drag. I am hereby deputizing all the citizens of Crescent City to fix up some of the f*ck up piggos. Grab those hi-powered deer rifles, each and every, and get in groups of 50 and more and go breeze away to dust the skull of the policy chief.

Make an example of that scum. That should do it for awhile. However, if any other piggos down at the station give you crap on this or get in the way, then blow their skulls off, too.
.”

On April 8, 2004, the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Department arrested Gimbel and removed two computers and two handguns from his location. Gimbel was convicted of making the threats, but the conviction was overturned on appeal, court records show.

On January 8, 2007, Gimbel filed a lawsuit John Gimbel vs. State of California, et al. alleging federal claims for relief against Defendant for violation of his rights under the First, Second, and Fourth Amendments of the United States Constitution. The court dismissed the claim dismissed with prejudice”.

In another case, Gimbel allegedly harassed a Del Norte County sheriff’s deputy who cited him for having faulty brake lights and no proof of insurance.

Gimbel repeatedly left vulgar messages on the deputy’s voice mail, prompting the deputy to obtain a restraining order against him in 2006, authorities said.

In Gimbel vs. State of California et al, Gimbel attempted to sue for a Civil Rights violation, and asking for damages in the amount of $7000. On June 22, 2007, the Court granted a Motion to Dismiss. The Court’s Order included a detailed discussion of the pleadings and applicable law, and specifically allowed Gimbel 30 days to file an Amended Complaint properly alleging claims.

On July 12, 2007, Gimbel filed a 6-page document entitled “Amended Complaint.” The court documents explain why the case was dismissed with prejudice:

The Court need not look past the first sentence of Gimbel’s “Amended Complaint” to see that it is nothing more than profanity-ridden drivel, replete with racial epithets directed at specific members of this Court, and should be dismissed with prejudice. Even if the “Amended Complaint” actually alleged a cognizable claim (which a cursory review of the document demonstrates that it does not), the Court is under no obligation to consider the merits of Gimbel’s calumnious screed, which is a stream-of- consciousness diatribe directed primarily at insulting the Court.

John Vrieze, a Eureka attorney who represented Del Norte County in both cases, told the San Francisco Chronicle, “The guy has some type of obsessive disorder. … He’s become very fixated on his First Amendment rights, thinking that transcends all bounds and that you can say anything you want and that it’s protected speech. He probably could stand to benefit from some therapy.”

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Filed under Crime, Law, Politics, Racism, True Crime, Uncategorized, Violence

Latinos Bank on Bilingual Census Form to Aid Count

Posted by Audiegrl

Census-AAssociated Press/Amy Taxin—When Teresa Ocampo opens her census questionnaire, she won’t have to worry about navigating another document in English.

The 40-year old housewife who only speaks basic English will be able to fill hers out in Spanish – which is exactly what U.S. officials were banking on when they decided to mail out millions of bilingual questionnaires next year.

For the first time, the decennial census will be distributed in the two languages to 13.5 million households in predominantly Spanish-speaking neighborhoods. Latino advocates hope the forms will lead to a more accurate count by winning over the trust of immigrants who are often wary of government and may be even more fearful after the recent surge in immigration raids and deportations.

“If the government is reaching out to you in a language you understand, it helps build trust,” said Arturo Vargas, executive director of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. “I think the community has become really sensitive to political developments, and the census is the next step in this movement that we’re seeing of civic engagement in the Latino community.”

Traditionally, experts say, the Census Bureau has undercounted minority and immigrant communities, who are harder to reach because of language barriers and distrust of government.

Latino advocates hope the bilingual forms will help show their strength in numbers to underscore their growing political influence and garner more in federal funds that are determined by population.

More @ Associated Press

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For the First Time in History: Census Releases Data on Same-Sex Marriages

same sex couples censusThinkProgress/Amanda Terkel—For the first time ever, the Census Bureau has released estimates from the annual American Community Survey (ACS) of same-sex couples who identifed as married spouses in 2008. (Although the Census Bureau has been keeping track of same-sex marriages since 2000, the Bush administration refused to release the data, citing the federal ban on marriage equality.) Nearly 150,000 people said they had a same-sex spouse, and approximately 415,00 identified as “unmarried partners“:

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More articles:

Associated Press: Census: 150,000 gay couples report they’re married

Washington Post: Census Count of Same-Sex Couples to Stir Policy Fights

The Williams Institute: Same-Sex Couples in the 2008 American Community Survey

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Filed under Gay (LGBT) Rights, News, Politics, Uncategorized