Friday, April 2, 2010

Cuccinelli's Office Caught Spreading More Anti-Government Myths

Whether it was through claiming that social security numbers are a way for the government to spy on people or suggesting that President Obama wasn't born in the United States, Ken Cuccinelli has proven that he's willing to promote conspiracy theories if they might win him some political points. It now appears as though Ken Cuccinelli's office is giving people false information so that they might decide not to provide the Census Bureau with information.
For a story published Sunday by the Richmond Times-Dispatch about privacy concerns with the census, Gottstein released a statement on behalf of Cuccinelli encouraging residents to participate in the 2010 census. The statement added that census workers “might ask for basic financial information, such as salary range, but participants are legally allowed to refuse to answer these questions if they do not feel comfortable giving out that information.”

However, after being contacted this week by McGee, Gottstein acknowledged the mistake and said in an e-mail that he forwarded information from another state’s attorney general without verifying it with the Census Bureau. He said the Virginia attorney general’s office has not focused on census-participation issues but has been interested in helping people protect their identities from imposter census workers.
What makes the statement released by Cuccinelli's office very interesting is that the 2010 Census doesn't even include a question that asks about household income. The fact that Cuccinelli's office was so willing to spread this misinformation about the actual Census illustrates how they're willing to promote their anti-government agenda without even checking the information that they have. When you also consider that another Attorney General's office supposedly sent this information to Cuccinelli's office, you get a prime example of how he has a national reputation of someone who is willing to place the right wing's agenda above providing his constituents with reliable information.

Now Cuccinelli's office claims that they were putting forward this information so that "imposter census workers" can't obtain private information from the public. This explanation is simply baloney. If Cuccinelli was actually interested in preventing "imposters" from obtaining information, his office should be educating the public about how to identify census workers (here's a video on how you can do that). By not providing this information to the public and focusing instead on spreading myths about the census and encouraging people not to provide information, Cuccinelli's office is simply making it clear that they are interested in spreading the fear of government that the Tea Party leaders are promoting. When you combine this with his recent comments about how he thinks the job is "pretty boring" when he's not wasting taxpayer money on lawsuits that say the EPA shouldn't be using science or challenging laws that help provide Virginians with health care, we have a clear picture of how Cuccinelli's office is placing his own right wing agenda ahead of doing the grunt work that could actually benefit the general public.

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