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Karl Rove appears in TV ad for Census

By Ed O'Keefe

Author and former George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove will appear in a new public service announcement from the U.S. Census Bureau designed to convince people to mail back their 2010 census forms by the end of the month.

In an e-mail, Rove said he agreed to participate, "Because the Census settles apportionment of Congress and the current distrust of Washington should not discourage people from being counted."

His participation and subsequent comments come as some Republicans worry that anti-government sentiment will lead to lower census participation rates in conservative areas of the country, resulting in fewer Republican seats in Congress and state legislatures.

And just as Rove's PSA might help boost participation rates among conservatives, National Council of Negro Women President Dorothy Height also will appear in a new ad encouraging minorities to send back their forms. Several major cities with large black and Hispanic populations have seen lower participation rates thus far compared to 2000.

Rove's 30-second message (see above) focuses on the early beginnings of the census:

One of my favorite founders is James Madison, principal author of the Constitution. He created an instrument of democracy by writing into the Constitution a requirement for a census every 10 years to ensure fair representation in Congress.
If you've not yet mailed back your 2010 Census form, it's not too late. Please answer the 10 easy questions. They're almost the same ones that Madison helped write for the first census back in 1790.

The Census Bureau will offer the PSAs to broadcasters to air whenever they air such messages (usually during the daytime and late night hours). Though Census Day was last week, the agency will accept responses through the end of the month before it deploys census takers to conduct in-person interviews. It has also mailed a second round of forms to certain areas of the country in case people missed the first mailing.

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By Ed O'Keefe  | April 5, 2010; 11:06 AM ET
Categories:  Census  
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Readers should recognize, here, what Watson's Dictionary of Weasel words, Contemporary Cliches, Cant & Management Jargon," calls "creative destruction" of jobs: high profile public announcement by Karl Rove, urging people to fill out the census forms and send them back, and at the same time the absence of human contact in the form of census takers at your door. It goes with mechanized inventorying, self-check-out at stores instead of cashiers, machines instead of clerks in the post offices, self-check-out machines in libraries, phone trees, automatic bank teller machines &c.

Posted by: Quadspect | April 5, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

....and insourcing and outsourcing.

Posted by: Quadspect | April 5, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

The Census Bureau would better serve the public if they were to count the number of underemployed, never-employed, part-time employed, in every household, so that the public is not fooled by labor department statistics.

Posted by: Quadspect | April 5, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Do you think Rove has the capacity, the insight to take some responsibility for making the Republican Party, the party that hates the government of the United States of America so much that he has to beg its members to complete the Census?

Posted by: edismae | April 5, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Ironic- the angry white GOP TEA PARTY of HELL NO will not fill out census! Predicted 9 out of 10 LATINOS will ! lol!

Posted by: sasha2008 | April 5, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I wonder what that idiot michelle bachman will say now?

Posted by: davidsawh | April 5, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Damn, that Journal article manages to pull out the "poor & minority voters tend to vote democratic" line. IT DOESN'T MATTER how the people missed by the census vote.

It only matters who is politically dominant in the areas where people are missed by the census. Those are the losers. Hence the GOP worries about undercounting in GOP states. But they shouldn't be so particular in reaching out to conservatives only: they should be reaching out to poor & minorities in Utah and Idaho. For their part, the Dems should be reaching out to Tea Partiers in Massachusetts and California. (They do have to be careful not to mess up their legislative districts, of course).

In case this is confusing, consider why the census (before 1860) counted slaves as 2/3 of a person: not for the slaves' benefit, but in order to give more (federal) political power to the free whites who voted. So slaveowners made sure that every slave was counted.

Posted by: FunkyGawy | April 5, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

20% of the questions on the census are about race.

Why is the government asking us about our race? Whatever the color of our skin, we are equal all citizens of the same Republic, possessed of the same rights and duties. This being the case, there is NO legitimate way in which the government can use racial statistics and thus there is NO legitimate reason for the government to ask these questions of us!

If the government is to use this data to determine how they are going to draw up districts and disburse funds, they should be concerned ONLY with how many citizen live in such and such an area NOT how many citizen of which "race".

If you are as disgusted as I am with the juvenile and counter-productive "identity" politics in which so many of our fellow citizens, left and right, insist on engaging, please join me in refusing to answer any questions about race when you fill out your census.

Until we stop obsessing about race, we will NEVER beat racism. If we can ALL learn to look past the surface, to stop dividing each other up according to the most shallow of determinants and to start judging each other as individuals discreet from whatever "race" into which we are consigned by the race-baiters then racism is already defeated.

We need to start acting like we're all in the same boat!

Because we are.

Posted by: andrew23boyle | April 5, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Whew, at first I thought it was an ad for canned ham.

Posted by: hoser3 | April 5, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

gag me with a pitchfork...

Posted by: Geopolitics101 | April 5, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Bachmann’s pitch to conservatives — that the census is evil and right wingers should avoid filling it out — could very easily have cost them dearly with respect to Congressional representation and federal funding to their districts.

Classic case of “be careful what you wish for”.

Posted by: labman57 | April 5, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

I thought the census was a good thing...until I see Karl Rove pushing I'm not so sure.

Posted by: 90172 | April 6, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

My tax dollars are going to pay for Rove to do a commercial?

I'm glad one of those rumors the republicans planted is coming back to bite them.

sarcastically -->

Hey all you birthers they must have brainwashed Bushes brain. If you fill out the form the goverment will know where you are to take away all your guns.

listen to your real hero Rep. Bachmann!!!

Posted by: joejoe2000 | April 6, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

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