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Payback time: Lie to your government
by Andrew Barbano
Apr 03, 2010 | 780 views | 2 2 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Your government has been lying to you all your life but now you have a chance for a little payback: Lie on your census form. It’s your patriotic duty.

For every person undercounted, our cash-strapped state will lose about $10,000 in federal tax money over the next decade. So add four people to your household and you’ve scored the return of $40,000.

There is always a substantial undercount anyway. Republicans for decades have blocked the use of statistical adjustment to refine the numbers because they fear it will lead to reapportioning of more Democratic-leaning congressional districts.

The statewide seat currently held by Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev, has never been won by a Democrat since it was formed in 1981. It’s unconstitutionally rigged for a Republican, but no one has ever challenged it in court.

Nevada is the most transient state in the union, worsening our undercount problems. Adding people to your form will compensate for that and increase the chance of our getting a fourth congressional seat.

This idea is even attractive to Republicans. One GOP die-hard told me that the way the economy is going, you may need to rent out rooms to those four people just to keep your head above water. After all, you never can tell when your no-account brother-in-law will knock on your door, suitcase in hand.

This idea is guaranteed to make even states’ rightists and neo-Confederates enthusiastic about sticking it to the man.

It’s not like the man didn’t tell us to lie in the first place. The government asked us to mail the forms in March with an estimate as to the number of people who might be living in our homes on (I’m not making this up) April Fools’ Day.

Even census officialdom says a little fudging is OK, so do your patriotic duty and mail in that form plus four. Stick it to the man and help the state budget.

Viva La Causa

César Chávez Day VIII was a big hit even if Gov. Jim the Dim missed the boat, as usual. He forgot to follow state law and declare March 31 as César Chávez Day until I e-mailed his office on March 30. The proclamation was uploaded to the guv’s Web site late that same afternoon, which constitutes the first and last time Jim Gibbons will ever do something at the request of a Democrat.

Wednesday evening’s highlight came with presentation of the inaugural César Chávez Silver State Public Service Awards. Skip Daly, business manager of Laborers’ Union Local 169 and Democratic candidate for Sparks Assembly Dist. 31, presented the union project of the year honors. Sparks-based Q&D Construction shared accolades with the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority for the $63 million expansion of the facility’s baggage check-in area.

The employer of the year award went to Save Mart Supermarkets, a union shop not enough union members know about. That changes starting now.

Union organizer of the year went to a member of my union. The César Chávez Day Committee knew that Liz Sorenson wouldn’t show up if informed up front. So we misled her until she was actually on the stage thinking she would be presenting the award to someone else. Liz runs labor’s electoral information campaigns and in her spare time organizes workers, most recently several hundred at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center.

Darlene Jespersen became the first Nevada César Chávez Hall of Fame inductee. Ten years ago, she filed the world-famous lipstick lawsuit against Harrah’s. (She refused to paint her face according to company mandates and was fired after 21 years of distinguished service.) The Barbwire of Oct. 8, 2000, has evolved into her unofficial website and has ranked among’s top 10 most-viewed pages for a decade. Darlene has been featured in a major Hollywood documentary (Darryl Roberts’ award-winning “America the Beautiful”) and her case is being taught in law schools all over the country.

We also held a moment of silence for two recently departed heroes, former Assemblymember Marcia deBraga, D-Fallon, and world class math teacher Jaime Escalante.

César Chávez Day IX will happen on March 31, 2011, also at Circus Circus.

Viva La Causa II

Regular readers know that I have been raising money to help Sierra Nevada Community Access Television fully benefit from a matching foundation grant of $40,000. If you can help, give me a holler at 882-TALK or drop me a line.

Viva La Causa III

The Reno-Sparks NAACP will hold its annual Freedom Fund Banquet on May 22 at the Peppermill in Reno. For ticket and sponsorship information, go to or contact me. This is important.

¡Sí se puede!

Relevant Reruns

The two latest Barbwire TV specials are now rerunning statewide. “Suing for Schools” airs this week on Carson City Charter Channel 210 at 5:30 p.m. Monday, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, 8:00 a.m. Thursday and 8:00 p.m. Saturday. You may also view them anytime on your computer desktop via the links in the expanded web edition of this column at

Be well. Raise hell.

Andrew Barbano is a 41-year Nevadan, chair of the Nevada César Chávez Committee, second vice-president/political action chair of the Reno-Sparks NAACP, a member of Sparks-based Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO and editor of As always, his opinions are strictly his own. E-mail Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988.
Comments-icon Post a Comment
April 09, 2010
An alternative is to lie on your income tax form. If they catch you they may make you the Secretary of the Treasury.
April 05, 2010

That was remarkable post! I like to read such articles for they provide relevant information to me as a blogger that enriched my knowledge on different facts. Great job and I hope to read more from you!

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