My Two Census

Formerly the non-partisan watchdog of the 2010 US Census, and currently an opinion blog that covers all things political, media, foreign policy, globalization, and culture…but sometimes returning to its census/demographics roots.

MyTwoCensus Investigation: Concerns About The Political Makeup Of Complete Count Committees

After reading a report in the Austin Republican Examiner (featured below), MyTwoCensus is extremely concerned by the fact that Complete Count Committees are not always bi-partisan entities with independent non-political voices also serving in leadership capacities. As there have been concerns about a lack of participation in the 2010 Census by Republicans, a charge being led by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), it is all the more important for Republican voices (in this instance) to be present on Complete Count Committees, so rumors about the goals of the 2010 Census and accusations of bias will not exist. While Travis County, where Austin, Texas is located, consistently votes Democratic (64% for Obama compared to 35% for McCain in 2008), there is no good reason why Republicans are not serving as chairs or on the board of the Austin Complete Count Committee.

MyTwoCensus urges any readers who are aware of other instances in which one political party controls a municipal, local, regional, or state Complete Count Committee to please report these problems to us.

Here’s the original op-ed that prompted this investigation:

Are Democrats hijacking the Austin census?

By Brandon Lighton

Census time is upon us yet again, and thankfully we still have at least one government enterprise that has not yet become explicitly partisan. Oh, wait…

“Mayor Lee Leffingwell and County Judge Sam Biscoe joined members of the citizen driven Complete Count Committee to launch the 2010 Census efforts on Monday, November 30, 2009 at City Hall.

The 2010 Census Complete Count Committee is Chaired by Judge Eric Shepperd, Constable Bruce Elfant and Alejandro Ruelas, Managing Partner, LatinWorks.”

So we have the Democrat mayor of Austin and a Democrat County Judge overseeing this operation. But thats okay, right? We still have the committee membes themselves to maintain the integrity of the census. So let’s take a look at those committee members:

Eric Shepperd – Democrat Judge, County Court at Law, Place 2

Bruce Elfant – Democrat Constable

Alejandro Ruelas – Finally, someone who isn’t a candidate. Someone who can balance out the partisan bias of the other committee members. Oh wait, he’s a Democratic Party donor. Oops.

So we have a Democrat mayor, two Democrat judges, a Democrat constable, and a Democratic Party donor to boot. Sound like a recipe for a fair and accurate census to you?

This is just another step in a long trend of Democrats politicizing the census, starting with the Obama administration’s decision to take over the census itself instead of allowing a nonpartisan group to do it like the other 43 presidents have done. When the 2010 census comes out and Democratic constituencies have miraculously gained ground in Austin, at least try to act surprised.

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8 Responses to “MyTwoCensus Investigation: Concerns About The Political Makeup Of Complete Count Committees”

  1. DVR Says:

    First, did Brandon Lighton actually try to find out whether Republicans were barred from chairing the committee? Or, was it simply an issue that no Republicans volunteered to chair the committee?

    Second, you should describe exactly what a complete count committee is supposed to accomplish, or at least link to the Census Bureau documentation. A CCC should promote/advocate people filling out their census forms. They really don’t impact the operational side of the Census.

    Third, it appears that the Austin Republican Examiner is essentially Brandon Lighton’s blog in the Examiner.com world. He seems to be the sole writer for the “Austin Republican Examiner”. I want point this out so readers can judge the quality of this editorial.

  2. hermes Says:

    DVR’s points are valid. Still, it’s interesting to consider. I have been trying to determine the memberships of CCCs in my area to no avail. Is there an easy way for citizens to find this information?

  3. Ex-IT Says:

    The language “Democrat Mayor” as opposed to “Democratic Mayor” is one of those pathetic cute GOP things that kind of exposes the political bias of the complaint.

  4. My Two Census » Blog Archive » Live-blogging a conference call with Census Bureau Director Robert M. Groves… Says:

    [...] 9:21 – Complete Count Committees forming…who ensures that there is bi-partisan representation on these 9,100 committees (37 in states). But are they bipartisan and independent? [...]

  5. Cynthia Says:

    Ex-IT– right? and I do mean RIGHT (as in -winged fanatics, lol)

    It would be FINE to make the point, were the opposite situation, not true in a like number of municipalities, where, of course, the Republicans fail to see any problem at all.

  6. Cynthia Says:

    Someone’s political affiliation matters very little, provided the process is fair and impartial, and they are, as well. In some areas, there may far more members of one party than the other, and if a member of the minority party, in a given area, wants to be involved, they certainly should be allowed to be a participant. So far, it doesn’t seem as if anyone was denied access to participate, in which case, what is the point here?

  7. Cynthia Says:

    Me thinketh the Republican doth protest too much, no more projecting, not everyone engages in illegal activities to throw the votes their way. There is such a thing as being truthful, fair and impartial, regardless of what one’s own political affiliations happen to be.

  8. Anonymous CL Says:

    Good points, Cynthia.