Eye Opener: GOP to Bachmann: End Census Boycott
Happy Thursday! (Even better: Happy Getaway Day!) At some point last month, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) said she would refuse to fill out anything more than the number of people in her household on her Census questionnaire. She argued that questions other than how many people live in her home are unconstitutional and feared that political groups, including ACORN, might try to sway final Census numbers.
Republican colleagues have now called her boycott illogical and illegal.
“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," Reps. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) and John Mica (R-Fla.) said in a statement. The trio is members the House Census Oversight Subcommittee.
They argue that her boycott only increases the likelihood of political interference, because Census staffers and volunteers would have to visit her home to do a followup interview.
"Anyone who completes and returns their census form will remove any need for a census taker to visit their residence," the group said.
Census officials stress that the agency's community partners (including ACORN) might go door-to-door, but only to promote participation and not to collect personal information. Bachmann's statements also seemed to confuse the 2010 Decennial Census questionnaire with the American Community Survey, a longer questionnaire that gets randomly sent to households every year to ask a series of Census and economic questions.
Observers have called Bachmann's Census statements "wildly wrong" and her statements on various issues have raised Eyebrows before (there's even a blog that chronicles her activities). Still, her concerns about Census questionnaires are nothing new: several prominent Republican leaders have raised concerns in the past.
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