Sharon Anderson sent me the link for this article. She is very concerned with this kind of aggressive power grab, with good reason.
White House grabs 2010 census power
GOP warns Democrats attempting unconstitutional vote manipulation
By Drew Zahn
© 2009 WorldNetDaily
is an attempt to manipulate redistricting of congressional seats.
“This action appears to be motivated by politics, rather than the interests of our country,” House Minority Leader John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, said in a statement. “The United States Census should remain independent of politics; it should not be directed by political operatives working out of the White House.”
The Washington Post’s Mary Ann Akers reports a senior Republican aide telling her that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has no business overseeing the headcount that will shape the future of U.S. elections.
“With all of its political implications,” the aide reportedly said, “hijacking the census from the Commerce Department and letting it be run out of Rahm’s office is like putting PETA in charge of issuing hunting permits.”…
Bruce Chapman, director of the U.S. Census Bureau under President Reagan, explains the Republican objection and why the census is so important in his Discovery blog:
“Everyone knows that it is possible to organize a decennial census in a way that benefits one party or another politically,” Chapman writes. “One way to effectuate this otherwise unpalatable departure from the Census Bureau’s 200-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.”
Chapman also claims, “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.”…
MSNBC reports a White House spokesman further arguing that Obama’s action actually has historical precedent.
“From the first days of the transition the census has been a priority for the president, and a process he wanted to reevaluate,” the spokesman reportedly said. “There is historic precedent for the director of the census, who works for the Commerce Secretary and the president, to work closely with White House senior management – given the number of decisions that will have to be put before the president. We plan to return to that model in this administration.”
Former Census Bureau Chief Chapman, however, disagrees.
“Simply put, there is no excuse for this idea,” Chapman writes. “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 operated above suspicion of politics.”
Chapman added, “Power flows from an accurate census count. Everyone involved for years has seen the count therefore as a sacred trust. It must not be polluted with even a semblance of presidential meddling.”