Fellow Republicans Talk Down Bachmann From Her Census Protest
Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) has spent several months trying to draw attention to the issue of whether the census will be fair — that is, whether it will exclude sampling and whether it will be conducted by the Department of Commerce. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-Minn.) recent and repeated claims that she will not participate in part of the census have been overshadowing those issues. So today, McHenry and two other members of the Census Oversight Subcommittee, Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) and John Mica (R-Fla), are asking Bachmann to back down.
From their statement:
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.
You don’t usually hear Republicans criticizing a fellow member in such a public and official capacity.