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Ex-Director: Don’t Politicize The Census

From the Discovery Institute:

Hal Miller sits in a van as he listens to a homeless man while preparing census forms for homeless people Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2009, in Camden, N.J.

Don’t Politicize Next Year’s Census Count

By Bruce Chapman

February 5, 2009

Everyone knows that it is possible to organize a Decennial Census in a way that benefits one party or another politically. One way to effectuate this otherwise unpalatable departure from the Census Bureau’s two hundred year history of non-partisanship is to put the Bureau administratively under direction of the politicos in the White House. In reality that would be a sure invitation to cook the books on the highly consequential count of Americans.

Advocates argue that putting the 2010 Census under direct White House control somehow assures a higher priority to its mission. This is cynical. It puts a priority on manipulation of carefully derived Census criteria. The only reason the White House would want to be involved is in figuring out how to add more voting power to certain states and groups within states.

Simply put, there is no excuse for this idea. it is not true that the Census Bureau has ever been under the direct management of the White House, and for good reason. Even if angels were in charge of the Executive Mansion, if the nation’s premier statistical agency were placed under White House direction the danger to public trust would be enormous. The Decennial count is one of the few federal functions specifically described in the Constitution itself and must be operate above suspicion of politics.

I was Director of the Census from 1981 to ’83 in the Reagan Administration. I always was made to feel conscious of the sound public servants who had preceded me and, regardless of who appointed them, defended the decennial count. I have known directors from the Kennedy era (the estimable Richard Scaammon) to the G. W. Bush Administration (the very professional Louis Kincannon). I don’t know anyone who cares for the integrity of the Bureau and its products who would desire to see the Census Bureau report directly to the White House.

Power flows from an accurate Census Count. Everyone involved for years has seen the count therefore a sacred trust. It must not be polluted with even a semblance of Presidential meddling.

As the article notes, Mr. Chapman was the Director of the US Census Bureau from 1981 – 1983.

He should know whereof he speaks.

But of course the truth of what he says is self-evident to anyone who is not in the pay of the Democrat Party.

Such as our media.

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, February 8th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

5 Responses to “Ex-Director: Don’t Politicize The Census”

  1. proreason says:

    “In reality that would be a sure invitation to cook the books on the highly consequential count of Americans.”


  2. TwilightZoned says:

    I can see how this will play out; taking estimates versus a real head count. New congressional boundary lines will be drawn getting more minority politicians elected. More voters will be able to claim disenfranchisement since estimated counts could be too low and thousands of votes not getting counted, especially if they happen to be democratic. And how about all those illegal immigrants being thrown into the count. An easy way to cook the books indeed!

  3. GuppyNblue says:

    “if the nation’s premier statistical agency were placed under White House direction the danger to public trust would be enormous.” lol – too late Einstein.

    That is a more profound effect than the political power grab. Americans can’t trust once reliable institutions.

    We’ve seen the politicalization of science and education already and I don’t trust a damn thing coming from the government. If the FDA says a drug is safe you have to wonder if thats based on honest science. If the DOJ puts out crime stats you have to question their method of acquiring them. Remember the Clinton years? White on hispanic crimes were just that. Hispanic on white crimes were reported as white on white.

    This creates suspicion. That eventually becomes distrust and a very unhealthy nation.

  4. Reality Bytes says:

    I wonder, will America cede with a wimper? If not, then what will turn the tide & how will it be met. If you thought the taking of a little Cuban boy at the point of an SPF gun was shocking, imagine towns & counties being taken the same way.

  5. Reality Bytes says:

    Won! – Tu! – Fwree! – Fo! – Fie! – Sis! – Sebben!

    Hey! Hode it Down, Ahm Countin’ Ova Herah!

    Now uh, where wuz I. Uhh, Shizzle!

    Won! – Tu! – Fwree!

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