Come on Michael Steele and the Republican National Committee, get with it!
Posts Tagged ‘Jason Chaffetz’
Obviously, for me, the jury is still out on the above question. But on Monday, Ed O’Keefe of the Washington Post tackled this question:
At least 72 percent of American households returned their forms to the U.S. Census Bureau this year, matching returns for the 2000 headcount. Final numbers will be announced on Wednesday and Obama administration officials cheered the early numbers late last week as evidence of successful outreach efforts.
But a leading Republican Census critic phoned The Eye within minutes of Friday’s announcement and raised an interesting point:
“This census cost more than double what the census cost in 2000,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah). He finds it curious that officials would be happy to only match 2000 figures despite a 2010 budget that was more than three times what was spent ten years ago.
“They spent $300 million on advertising that a lot of us were critical of and they’re getting poor results in the places we know we have problems,” he said, referring to a controversial Census Bureau Super Bowl ad panned by critics.
The agency’s 2010 budget was the same as 2000 on an inflation-adjusted basis, said Census Bureau spokesman Steven Jost.
“We spent just 5 percent more in equivalent dollars this year on a population that was 10 percent bigger,” he said in an e-mail. The 2000 Census was also the first conducted with a paid advertising campaign, so 2010′s headcount needed an equally robust ad strategy to stay even with previous numbers, he said.
In his e-mail Jost listed other reasons for only breaking even with 2000: The country has grown in size and diversity since 2000 and the last headcount was conducted at a time of economic prosperity when Americans had a better opinion of government.
“Most observers of the census during the last several years predicted these factors would make the job tougher in 2010 but so far the public has got us off to a great start,” Jost said, noting that the second part of Census operations kicks off soon when census takers start knocking on doors.
So who’s right? Chaffetz or Jost?
Leave your thoughts in the comments section below
Since Members of the House of Representatives face re-election every two years, they are constantly campaigning, and always on the lookout for legislation that may be used to attack them. I suspect the fears of populist discontent and anti-Washington sentiment (perhaps combined with just a tinge of moral values) are what led all but two Republican members of the House of Representatives to support legislation that makes March 2010 “2010 Census Awareness Month.” This show of bipartisanship was unexpected yet welcome.
Even former 2010 Census critic Michele Bachmann (R-MN) jumped on board this movement. This is an excellent first step to combatting anti-census sentiment that has swept the nation in the past few months, coinciding with the growth of the Tea Party movement.
The level of GOP discontent with Michael Steele and the Republican National Committee should not be ignored: Yesterday, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee unanimously passed a bill, with full GOP support (and even co-sponsored by Republicans Darrell Issa and Jason Chaffetz) to stop the RNC from sending mailers that misuse the word census. MyTwoCensus has reported on this issue for months, and we are glad to see GOP officials acknowledging their party leader’s mistakes and holding the RNC accountable for their unethical fundraising methods.
On Wednesday, it was reported that Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) (whom I know from following stories of his “Freshman Year” on CNN) had proposed integrating the decennial census with the U.S. Postal Service. Thanks to the Salt Lake Tribune for covering this topic:
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, wants your mail carrier to count you.
Chaffetz said Wednesday he will introduce legislation to marry the U.S. Postal Service temporarily with the Census Bureau so that the postal workers can help with the once-a-decade count of how many people live in America.
“They really have the workforce in place to do this,” Chaffetz said. “They already go to everybody’s door.”
Chaffetz proposes taking a “postal holiday,” so that mail carriers, instead of dropping bills and magazines to your mailbox, would count the number of people in each household. The Postal Service matches up well with the Census needs, Chaffetz argues.
There are 760,000 postal employees, and the Census is anticipating it will need 750,000 temporary workers to conduct the Census next year. Congress is forking out $11 billion to do the count while the Postal Service is looking at a $1 billion revenue shortfall this year.
The Postal Service had no comment on the bill because the legislation had yet to be formally introduced Wednesday and Census officials did not respond Wednesday to a request for comment.
And today, Glenn Beck of FOXNews took up Chaffetz’s cause in an interview, so we’ll soon see if this idea gains any momentum in the near future…