Census toys, caps, and t-shirts anger lawmakers

A group of 20 House members led by Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) is demanding to know why the U.S. Census Bureau purchased promotional materials for the 2010 Census that were manufactured overseas, as opposed to domestically produced goods.

In a letter sent to Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Census Director Dr. Robert Groves Thursday, Lipinski cites everything from mini-footballs, toy robots  and tape measures, to apparel.

The goods in question reportedly originated in both China and Honduras, and were part of a "March to the Mailbox" campaign to encourage people to return their Census forms.

Lipinski called the foreign tchotchkes "an affront to the millions of Americans that are looking for work," and even suggested that people might be less willing to participate in the Census if they knew these promotional goods were made in China.

The letter specifically requests a meeting with Locke and Groves to discuss the matter.

The Census Bureau had yet to respond to the lawmakers at press time.


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