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.

Posts Tagged ‘Michele Bachmann’

Is this really Fox News? Or an April Fools joke?

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read the following opinion piece by Liz Peek of Fox News, but perhaps on the heels of Karl Rove’s 2010 Census PSA, the Republicans are finally doing the right thing…even if they are still highly critical of the process and making many unsubstantiated accusations about the White House’s influence in this headcount:

Republicans Have It Wrong, Census Forms Need to Be Filled Out Early and Often!

By Liz Peek

- FOXNews.com

I recently filled out my Census form and sent it in. It took about ten minutes, as advertised; four or five to actually write in the required information, and another several minutes to talk myself out of cheating.

Glenn Beck and Representative Michele Bachmann have it entirely wrong. Rather than bristle at the Census’ supposed invasion of privacy (you have to provide more info to join Costco, for heaven’s sake) they should be encouraging Republicans to respond…over and over again.

Instead of correctly marking down that two people live at my address, I wanted to write in fourteen. Why this sudden urge to fib? I’m afraid that others – many others — will cheat, and that I will lose out unless I do so, too. The more people who respond from my neighborhood, the more federal monies will flow in our direction. Over $400 billion in government funds is at stake. More important is that the Census totals determine how many Representatives your state sends to Congress. That means if you and the people who live next door are undercounted, you will also be underrepresented. That’s just plain stupid.

Why am I worried about widespread fraud? The 2010 Census is unusual in that the Obama administration has patched together a veritable army of people intent on increasing the count of those minorities historically considered to be “undercounted.” More astonishing, the Census Bureau was awarded an extra one billion dollars in Stimulus funds expressly to “hire additional personnel for partners and outreach efforts to minority communities and hard-to-reach populations.” One billion dollars! That’s a lot of outreach.

Not only will hundreds of thousands of Census workers fan out in coming weeks to press for higher response rates. Assisting them will be some 30,000 community organizations – such as the SEIU — resembling the coalition that helped elect President Obama. These “partners” of the Census Bureau will be mining Hispanic communities, in particular, where there is typically a high number of illegal aliens. These folks understandably shy from any contact with the U.S. government, for fear that filling out forms – any forms – might lead to their deportation. Those who advocate for illegals estimate that more than one million Hispanics were undercounted in the last Census, costing that community millions in support services.

While that is a reasonable purpose, it also invites fiddling with the numbers. Consider that such minority neighborhoods will almost certainly vote Democratic. The higher the numbers counted, the larger the number of Democrats in the House. That’s simple math.

The low down on the Rush Limbaugh-inspired CheckAmerican.org movement…

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

A few days ago, we wrote about CheckAmerican.org, the most recent waves from Conservatives in regards to the 2010 Census. This movement was the brainchild of Rush Limbaugh, the de-facto spiritual head and chief demagogue of the GOP. One Joseph Weathers  took Limbaugh’s gospel to heart (click HERE to listen to Limbaugh announcing his “Check American” policy on the air) and promptly created the CheckAmerican.org site. I had the opportunity to ask him a few questions via e-mail, and this was Mr. Weathers’ response:

We launched our website 4 days ago on Saturday evening, March 13th.  Right now we have about 300 fans on our Facebook page, 100 followers on our Twitter page, and about 540+ visits to the site.

I got the idea when listening to Rush Limbaugh’s show on Thursday afternoon, and as soon as I got home I registered the domain name.  It took about 2 days to get the site designed and developed and ready to launch.

We are also talking to some other political figures and media outlets, but nothing concrete at the moment.

Our goal is to send the message that we as Americans are tired of being classified by racial and ethnic groups, and we just want to be considered as Americans.  I think this post on our Facebook wall sums up well how our supporters feel:

“Invited every single one of my friends. As a mixed family, we will be happy to check “American” and stop being labeled by our color!”

MyTwoCensus Editorial: A Rare Spell Of Bipartisanship Spells Good News For The 2010 Census

Friday, March 5th, 2010

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.

Bachmann toning down census criticism

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is toning down her criticism of the 2010 census, now that her district may be in danger, according to recent news reports.

Talking Points Memo observes that it’s been some time since Bachmann — who previously said she would not completely fill out the form and only disclose the number of people in her household — has criticized the census. And that might be because Bachmann’s district could be cut if Minnesota loses one of its eight House seats. State demographers say it’s probable that Minnesota will lose a seat, and the Minneapolis Star-Tribune published an editorial this weekend encouraging state residents to participate.

TPM reports:

The really fun fact, as I’ve learned from Minnesota experts, is that Bachmann’s district would likely be the first to go if the state lost a seat. The other seats are all fairly regular-shaped, logical districts built around identifiable regions of the state (Minneapolis, St. Paul, the Iron Range, and so on). Bachmann’s district is made of what’s left over after such a process, twisting and turning from a small strip of the Wisconsin border and curving deep into the middle of the state. As such, the obvious course of action if the state loses a seat is to split her district up among its neighbors.

UPI has a bit more on the issue:

“She becomes the most vulnerable just simply because of the shape of her district, because of the likelihood of the political composition of the Legislature next year and because Democrats don’t like her,” David Schultz, an election law expert at Hamline University in St. Paul, said.

Why the 2010 Census matters

Monday, January 4th, 2010

Sacramento Bee editorial writer Pia Lopez has a piece today responding to SacBee commenters and politicians like Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) who want to boycott the census.

It’s a good read, and a reminder that the Census is about more than funding and congressional representation. Here’s Lopez’s central argument (check out the full piece here):

The U.S. census provides an essential portrait of who we are as a people and how we live – from 1790 to the present.

The census gives us a person-by-person, family-by-family, street-by-street, community-by-community, state-by-state set of details about Americans. It is not just “America by the Numbers” – an impersonal compendium of population numbers for a statistical atlas.

Lopez used census information to look into her own family history — and what she found is pretty interesting. The 1900 Census reveals that her great-grandfather was the only boarder on a New York City block of Swedish, Irish and German immigrants. Most could speak English, read and write, but not everyone could.

The census, she writes, gives us details about how Americans lived — and protects privacy because the page-by-page details aren’t disclosed until 72 years later. Lopez encourages those who receive the in-depth American Community Survey to willingly fill it out:

If you get that longer questionnaire, which delves into 40 topic areas – including such things as income, citizenship, disability, plumbing and heating in the house, telephone service, family relationships and educational attainment – just remember that the information won’t be released until 2082. And when it is, it will provide indispensable information about technological change, standard of living and the work people do.

In the short-term, the 2010 Census is crucial for fairly appropriating funds and ensuring just representation in Congress. But for future historians and regular people who want to know their family’s past, it provides a comprehensive yet specific look at American society. The story of Lopez’s great-grandfather is just one of the millions that show the value of the census.

Michele Bachmann Doesn’t Slow Down Her Census Protests

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

Michele Bachmann, the darling of Minnesota, is at it again.

Republicans Encourage Bachmann to End Census Boycott

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

The following is a press release from Rep. Patrick McHenry’s (R-NC) office:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Brock McCleary
July 1, 2009 Phone: (202) 225-2576
Republicans Encourage Bachmann
to End Census Boycott
WASHINGTON – Congressman Patrick McHenry (NC-10), Congressman Lynn Westmoreland (GA-3), and Congressman John Mica (FL-7), Republican members of the Census Oversight Subcommittee, released the following statement regarding Congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s boycott of the 2010 Decennial Census.

“We share Ms. Bachmann’s concerns about ACORN’s involvement in the 2010 Census and will continue pressuring the Bureau to follow their own guidelines for partnering organizations and dump ACORN.  However, we can not emphasize enough how important it is for every individual to fill out their census forms.

“Every elected representative in this country should feel a responsibility to encourage full participation in the census.  To do otherwise is to advocate for a smaller share of federal funding for our constituents.  Boycotting the constitutionally-mandated census is illogical, illegal and not in the best interest of our country.

“The unfortunate irony is that Ms. Bachmann’s boycott only increases the likelihood that ACORN-recruited census takers will be dispatched to her constituents’ homes.  Anyone who completes and returns their census form will remove any need for a census taker to visit their residence.

“Furthermore, a boycott opens the door for partisans to statistically adjust census results.  The partisan manipulation of census data would irreparably transform the census from being the baseline of our entire statistical system into a tool used to wield political power in Washington.”

NOTE: The 2010 Decennial Census, not to be confused with the American Community Survey, will strictly utilize a short-form questionnaire for the first time ever.  Under Sections 9 and 24 of Title 13, information collected by the Census Bureau is confidential and not shared with any other federal agency.  Only an act of Congress could alter this statute.

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Congresswoman Refuses To Participate in 2010 Census

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

According to the Minnesota Independent, “Rep. Michele Bachmann told the Washington Times on Wednesday that she will not be filling out all the questions on next year’s census because ACORN will be one of the federal government’s many community partners for conducting the census. But what she is proposing to do is illegal, the Times reports.

“I know for my family the only question we will be answering is how many people are in our home,” she said. “We won’t be answering any information beyond that, because the Constitution doesn’t require any information beyond that.”

“There’s great concern that’s being raised because now ACORN has been named as one of the federal partners… This is very concerning because the motherload of all data comes from the census,” she said.

But as the paper reports, Bachmann is “misreading” the law — and it could cost her family $100 per question left unanswered.”

NOTE: Below, please find an audio recording of Bachmann’s interview with The Washington Times.