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.