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The Foundation

“Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.” – George Washington, Farewell Address

What did he/she say?

“The act of counting people is more patently political than ever — here and worldwide. The 1980s census-taking in the Netherlands and in Germany had to be canceled; those efforts have been replaced with smaller sampling and surveys. In the past decade, the credibility of census results in Australia, Iran, Nigeria and Poland created major political fights. Political rivals in Kenya and Sudan are questioning census counts.

In this country, census officials are responding to complaints on the right by conducting unprecedented outreach with ads aimed at political conservatives — a subset of the group with the biggest over-count: white Americans. (Wealthy, older suburbanites who have two homes — a primary residence and a vacation place — often get counted twice. But even still, if conservatives among them don’t participate, they could be in danger of being undercounted.)

Critics charge that the decennial census intrudes on personal privacy and will result in more liberal Democrats in Congress if, as predicted, the number of minorities and immigrants counted increases. Conspiracy theories have circulated since at least 1991, when Republican Commerce Secretary Robert Mosbacher wrote of his concern over “political tampering with the census.” In 1997, Republican National Committee Chairman Jim Nicholson estimated that new methods to compensate for undercounted groups might cost Republicans 24 seats in Congress. “If we look at American history,” Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) said last summer in urging conservatives not to answer census questions, “the data that was collected by the Census Bureau was handed over to the FBI and other organizations at the request of President Roosevelt and that’s how the Japanese were rounded up and put into internment camps.”

Conservative columnist Michelle Malkin cautioned readers in October about “politicization of the census” because it will count everyone in the United States, including those here illegally. “More illegal immigrants counted equal more power — for ethnic lobbyists, Big Labor, and the Democratic Party,” she wrote. In other words, as it certifies the declining percentage of older, white and right-leaning Americans, the census could be a boon to enemies.” – Juan Williams, Marketing the 2010 cencus with a conservative-friendly face 

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