Seems like only six months ago that Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) was feverishly encouraging people to refuse to fill out their census forms, because of ACORN...and the Japanese internment camps...and, junk? It was, I'm sure, eloquently expressed at the time. But now, as the editors of the Minnesota Star-Tribune point out, this could all backfire on Bachmann, because as it turns out, it's really important for Minnesotans to participate in the census, lest they lose a seat in Congress:
Minnesotans have extra incentive this year to be sure they are counted -- and counted here -- by the decennial U.S. census that will begin in March. The retention of the state's current complement of eight members of the U.S. House of Representatives is on the line.
State demographer Tom Gillaspy has been warning for months that the next census could result in the loss of one congressional seat in Minnesota. In fact, he confessed last week that, until the recession hit, he was almost resigned to the probability that Minnesotans would be allowed to elect only seven U.S. House members from newly drawn districts in 2012.
According to Gillaspy, Minnesota is one of the states that are "on the cusp" of losing a seat in the House because of population, and is generally seen to be in competition with three other states -- Texas, Missouri, and California -- for three Congressional seats. In the past, the editors of he the Star-Tribune say, Minnesota has been advantaged by "the cooperation of its civic-minded citizens." But that was before their representative was telling everyone that the Census was some sort of diabolical ACORN plot to spread socialism, or something.
Here's what the Strib has to say about that, by the way:
It's ironic that a Minnesota member of Congress, Republican Michele Bachmann, went so far last summer to declare her intention to only partially complete her census forms, and to suggest reasons for others not to comply with the census law. If Minnesota loses a congressional seat, Bachmann's populous Sixth District could be carved into pieces. She likely would have to battle another incumbent to hang on to her seat. We've noticed that her anticensus rhetoric has lately ceased. We hope she got wise: Census compliance is not only in Minnesota's best interest, but also her own.
The next logical step in this is for someone to pretend to advocate non-compliance with the Census as a means of driving Bachmann from office, because I bet Michele Bachmann would believe this if we put it on the internet.
An early warning: The census matters [Minnesota Star-Tribune]
Oops: Bachmann's anticensus hysteria could backfire [Daily Kos]
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'I Bet Michele Bachmann Would Believe This If We Put It On The Internet'
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