Politics

Rahm Emanuel’s Census Power Grab Could Favor Dems In 2010

When the Obama administration moved oversight and accountability for the 2010 Census from the Department of Commerce directly to the White House, few noticed until Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) took his name out of consideration for the post of Commerce Secretary. Gregg cited this obvious politicization of a Constitutional function as one of the reasons he withdrew.

So what’s the big deal?

The data compiled from the Decennial Census — one of the few governmental functions specificed in the Constitution — affects directly how our representative government works, from the Electoral College allocation and the allotment of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives — a process based on the population of every state — to drawing boundaries for congressional and state and local legislative districts. The data is also used for the apportionment over $300 billion in federal funds to local communities.

Amid the Democrats’ manic frenzy to shove through [according to them] the urgent, desperately-needed $1.2 trillion dollar “stimulus” spending bill last week — the one that President Obama will sign today in Denver — House Republicans were objecting to the hostile Census takeover and other imperial moves made by this administration. This partisan and politically-charged move has expanded the duties of the Obama administration’s guard dog at the White House gate to that of overseeing one of the most fundamental guarantees of our representative government: a fair and accurate census.

In 2006, Rep. Rahm Emanuel, now Obama’s hyperpartisan White House Chief of Staff, revealed to USA Today the motivation behind the shift of the Census into the White House today: “If you think redistricting is always partisan and political which it is… it’s going to be on steroids this time.” So much for fair and accurate. But is this move Constitutional?

“By no means is there any basis, any legal or Constitutional basis for the President to direct the Census,” said Rep. Darryl Issa (R-Calif.), the ranking member of the Government Reform and Oversight Committee. “Article I of the Constitution enumerates the powers of Congress. Included in that is a requirement to conduct a Census. Therefore, by definition, we want to make it clear that we give to the executive branch and the Department of Commerce the requirement to administer this Constitutional duty belonging to the Congress. … I was shocked when I learned that Rahm Emanuel was going to in fact direct what is otherwise an independent agency… that government money was going to be spent at the direction of the President for something that by definition must be fair, accurate and above politics.”

Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), the ranking member of the Information Policy, Census and National Archives Subcommittee having jurisdiction over the Census, said, “This is about the battle between counting and adjusting. Adjusting is statistical abstraction, or extrapolation, that gives a select few the ability to go in after the count is done in the Census, and adjust the numbers, and adjust the numbers in ways they see and deem fit. This is a battle that happened in the 2000 Census. It was rejected under federal law, and the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional. The issue here is about the political manipulation of the end results of the Census. Those that want a fair and accurate Census simply want to count all Americans as the Constitution mandates and federal law mandates. Those that want to use it for political gamesmanship want to adjust the results of the Census or use statistical sampling and change the end results of the Census.”

In a trend that is expected to continue in the 2010 Census, the 2000 Census proved the population centers were moving out of urban areas and also toward the south which historically means more seats allotted to Republicans. This unconstitutional Democrat solution of statistical sampling tried to compensate for this trend by manipulating the numbers to count what they claim to be uncounted populations in these urban centers to include the homeless as well as illegal aliens who may be either reluctant or unable to participate in the Census. The Obama administration under the direction of the White House is expected to try yet again to statistically manipulate the actual count of Americans by these procedures. Sounds like a job for ACORN.

Dan Lundgren (R-Calif.), the ranking Republican on the Committee for House Administration, said, “Rahm Emanuel understands the potential for corrupting the process, and it is unfortunate that he has now been put in charge, essentially, of the Census, particularly when he articulated his position so well.”

The foundation of our representative government is at risk when these numbers are manipulated. Electoral votes are allotted to each state directly corresponding to the number of representatives and senators that each state sends to Congress which would mean that the process under which Obama would run for re-election in 2012 will be controlled by his White House in an incumbency protection plan.

Lamar Smith (R-Texas.), ranking member of the House Committee on the Judiciary noted, “The administration claims that there is precedent for shifting control of the Census from the Census Bureau to the White House. So we contacted the Congressional Research Service to check that statement, and they have found no written record that any previous administration shifted control of Census determinations from the Commerce Department to the White House. There simply is no precedent to excuse this blatant power grab by the Obama administration.”

“The danger here is that the temptation is great in the White House,” Smith continued. “The last time I looked — and there’s nothing wrong with it — but there were politicians there. The Census is supposed to be non-partisan, and therefore we ought to keep politicians out of the equation. … There will be no accountability if management of the Census is moved to the White House. The administration will simply claim executive privilege and any misuse or politicization of the Census will go unexposed. … I’m also bothered by what I see as an emerging pattern of assault on democracy. We have a politicization of the Census department, we have in regard to Card Check [by Democrats] an effort to eliminate the secret ballot and clearly that is the essence of democracy, and we also have a number of friends on the other side of the aisle who are talking about the Fairness Doctrine and the assault on the First Amendment.”

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