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Get Ready For the U.S. Census Fight, Chicago-style

Republicans are fit to be tied over the Obama administration's Tom DeLay-style strategy of removing the U.S. Census Bureau from the jurisdiction of the Commerce Department and transfering it to the White House.

Their biggest fear, of course, is that with the 2010 census looming, Democrats will attempt to redraw congressional districts to their party's ultimate benefit. (Not that Republicans have ever used politics as their guiding tool in carving out congressional districts to their liking, right Mr. Delay?)

"With all of its political implications, hijacking the Census from the Commerce Dept. and letting it be run out of Rahm's office is like putting PETA in charge of issuing hunting permits," a Senior Republican Senate Aide fumed to the Sleuth. (The aide said he needed to remain anonymous for fear of "being redistricted -- Chicago style.")

So is the White House trying to pull a Tom DeLay?

"All DeLay did was rearrange the deck chairs," said the irate GOP aide, adding, "this would allow Rahm to redesign the whole ship affecting everything from congressional districts to who and where eligible S-CHIP children, adults and 'poor' rich people live."

House Minority Leader John Boehner also blasted the White House move today. In a statement, he said, "The United States Census should remain independent of politics; it should not be directed by political operatives working out of the White House."

The New York Times -- a day before it was revealed that Obama would be removing the census from the Commerce Department's jurisdiction -- editorialized on Wednesday that Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) might not be the best choice to lead the agency tapped with conducting next year's census, given that he has routinely tried to cut census funding:

"Mr. Gregg was never a friend of the census," the editorial said. "As chairman of the Senate committee that oversees the Commerce Department's budget, he frequently tried to cut the bureau's financing. In 1999, he opposed emergency funds for the 2000 census requested by President Bill Clinton and the Republican-controlled House."

Problem solved on that front. Voila, the very next day, a Congressional Quarterly report revealed President Obama would be moving the Census over to the White House.

Stay tuned... the census fight will get interesting, and ugly.

By Mary Ann Akers  |  February 6, 2009; 6:30 PM ET
 
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Comments

I think the Republiban is worried that the Democratic Party will do justice by the American and perform the census perfectly. They will thereby prove that unlike the Republiban Party, the democrats can do at least one think right.

Posted by: majorteddy | February 6, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone at the Post track the travels of members of Congress when they take a full WEEK off for President's DAY?

Posted by: Rivery | February 7, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Before Judd Gregg agreed to be Commerce Sec. - I wonder if he knew the 2010 Census would not be directed by his agency.

Obama played dirty all during the primary and general - and claimed HE was the change we needed.
ha!

Posted by: angie12106 | February 7, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

AWESOME! The shoes on the other foot now, eh?? Not as comfortable as it was on Tommy D's nasty feet, it it????

HA, YOU LOST, IT'S TIME FOR CHANGE!

Change we ALL LOVE!

Stick it to em Obama, they deserve NO respect, no bi-partism, no NOTHING...NOTHING!

Bush and the Republican Congress acted like arrogant babies spewing NO NO NO to every act initiated to help Americans by the Dems, NOW WE HAVE GOTTEN RID OF THE TRASH, TIME FOR CHANGE!

Go F yourself Repiglicans if you don't like it!

Posted by: Impeachbush99 | February 7, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

It was a foregone conclusion that Census would be stripped from Commerce the minute Sen. Gregg was appointed to Commerce. And Sen. Gregg undoubtedly knew that when he accepted the nod. He certainly didn't want to control Census--not under a Dem. Pres., Senate and Congress. The NYT editorial score for predicting the obvious is still at 100%.

Posted by: johnkwhite1 | February 7, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Where is the Washington Post editorial decrying the politicization of the census? Is this CHANGE? If Obama doesn't trust Gregg with the census, he should appoint them.

Emanuel is a low-life thug from Chicago. When not counting all the money he got from FANNIE MAE, helping to create the mortgage disaster, he will be sending ACORN to count Mickey Mouse 200,000 in one house in LA. Welcome to disaster.

Posted by: Cornell1984 | February 7, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

As a recovering Democrat - I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW!
And who better to emulate corrupt Repub tactics? Obama - The Divider.

Posted by: angie12106 | February 7, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Taking control of the census from the commerce dept. is a bad move. The census needs to be done properly in a non political manner. The redrawing of congressional districts is political and always has been. Politicizing the census itself will cause a lack of confidence in the numbers generated by the process. Let the politicians fight over redistricting after we have an accurate census and not cause the whole process to be tainted.

Posted by: saw1 | February 7, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Will Rahm Emanuel and his minions jiggle the numbers? Will the sun rise tomorrow?

Posted by: Tupac_Goldstein | February 7, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Ah, that creepy Obama kid's song is playing in my head: "He's gonna change it, and rearrange it. Obama's gonna change the world." Just for a laugh, what reason was given for this change?

Posted by: washingtonpostviewer | February 7, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Control of the direction of government has been usurped by political parties for their benefit. Most citizens would agree that Departments, Agencies, and functions of government should be immunized from politics, including the Census Bureau, Department of Justice, and the selection of candidates for appointment to the Supreme Court. The Federal Government no longer complies with the admonition "of the people, by the people, for the people".

It would be wonderful if, in their passion for a Democratic Republic, Congress would mandate:

1. Creation of Executive Management Boards for designated government agencies and functions. Each Executive Board having seven members, appointed to seven year terms, with one board member replaced each year. Startup of boards would have to accommodate membership rotation as well as a replacement scheme for resignations, deceased, and those removed for reason.

2. Independence of the Executive Boards to be constrained by the Supreme Court.

2. Board members to be chosen BY LOT from candidates submitted each year by State Governors. The total number of candidates per State to be proportional to State population as of the last completed census. (Governors of less populated States would have fewer candidates but all Americans have equal weight in the selection. Might want to disallow more than one appointee per board per State if supported by the mathematics.)

Posted by: ChoKum | February 7, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

This move will help ensure that those minorities that were traditionally undercounted in the past will be counted this time around. The 2010 nunbers might be a shock to a lot of Republicans.
Democrats should also consider rescinding the law that limits the House to 435 members when it had a population of about 120 million and expand it to 600 or 700 members back in 1910 so that a country that is now over 300 million population won't feel as remote or as alienated from Congress in the future as it does now.

Posted by: sunnsea | February 7, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

This move will help ensure that those minorities that were traditionally undercounted in the past will be counted this time around. The 2010 nunbers might be a shock to a lot of Republicans.

Democrats should also consider rescinding the law that limits the House to 435 members passed in 1910 when the country had a population of about 120 million and instead expand the House to 600 or 700 members. This is so a country that is now over 300 million population won't feel as remote or as alienated from Congress in the future as it does now. To give you some examples, the British Parliament has 630 members in a country of 65 million and the Russian Duma has 600 members with 220 million.

Posted by: sunnsea | February 7, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

The Constitution explicitly gives Congress the authority to decide how the Census operates by law. Federal law, in turn explicitly places the Census under the control of the Secretary of Commerce, not the Presidency, or the Executive Branch in general. It is accordingly entirely and explicitly illegal for the White House to take control of the Census without an Act of Congress.

At least Bush waited more than a month before he trashed the U.S. Constitution.

Posted by: ehrbar | February 8, 2009 1:34 AM | Report abuse

What these petulent bozos neglect to mention is that each state draws up its own Congressional districts. Some states will lose seats and others gain them due to population shifts. Indeed, California may lose its first seat in history.

I never thought I'd live to see the day the GOP continuing to shoot itself in the foot and becoming almost totally irrelevent. If they think it's bad now, just wait until the 2010 election.

Posted by: NotBubba | February 8, 2009 7:26 AM | Report abuse

Comrade Obama will control all, as he must in order to dictate to us our better lives.

The State must control all aspects of life in order to more efficiently direct its citizens.

Welcome to The United Socialist Republik of Amerika.

Thank you, idiot Obama voters!

The Conservative Resistance
http://poorrepublican.today.com

Posted by: csc5502 | February 8, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

One would think that the great Constitutional lawyer would know that the Constitution actually spells out in detail that the Commerce Department under the direction of the Legislative Branch must conduct a census and report the findings to the Executive Branch.

But of course, the Obamorons don't know anything about the Constitution given that they are still waiting on their rent and gas payments from Obama.


PS:
Threats to the Constitution are always about to happen with Republicans according to the MSM but it is always Liberal Democrats who end up violating it with impunity. See their attacks on the 2nd Amendment?

Posted by: LogicalSC | February 9, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Just the first step toward USSA

Posted by: deereynolds48 | February 9, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

EMANUEL IS MORE THAN QUALIFIED TO GET THE CENSUS DONE (SEE BELOW).. WHO SAID ANYTHING ABOUT FAIR AND HONEST???

Emanuel is a low-life thug from Chicago. When not counting all the money he got from FANNIE MAE, helping to create the mortgage disaster, he will be sending ACORN to count Mickey Mouse 200,000 in one house in LA. Welcome to disaster.

Posted by: Sylvia28 | February 9, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

I think it is sad to watch the promise of the Obama presidency go down the toilet in the familiar refrain of partisan gamesmanship. Leadership requires that the politician demonstrate that they are willing to act in the best interests of the country, even if it means that they sacrifice their own personal interest.

I am independent, and I voted for Obama. But I am disappointed that his leadership would seek to politicize the Census. Give me a legitimate reason why it can't be done by Commerce like every other Census.

Dumb as we are, the American people will not be fooled long by weak leadership. Demonstrate that you are committed to your principles by sacrificing special interests in favor of America's interests. Do anything less and you will squander the opportunity to restore the nation's idealistic commitment to greatness.

Much as I love the promise of the man, Obama appears to be heading toward becoming another footnote in the partisan game our government has become. I wish him well, but I expect more than what I have seen so far.


Posted by: kstads1 | February 13, 2009 11:24 PM | Report abuse

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