Role of ACORN in 2010 Census could have lasting consequences
Counting is simple, right? After all, my two-year-old can tell me if she has four, six or ten green peas left on her plate, a skill largely gleaned from a stuffed vampire on public television. How difficult could it be?
Unfortunately, the issue here is not necessarily as simple as it should be. As always, “simple” is being made complicated by a bitter group of people bent on preserving perpetual power by any means possible. This time, though, it’s the census. It happens every ten years and, this year, it’s going to cause a street-fight.
The issue here is the difference between actual enumeration and statistical sampling. As we look forward to the 2010 Census, with control of the count having been wrestled from the apolitical Commerce Department by the Democrat-led White House, and with both the reapportionment of U.S. House seats and the redistricting of the several states depending upon accurate census numbers, the distinction between actual enumeration and statistical sampling has never been so crucial.
While the latter, statistical sampling, uses mathematical equations to estimate the amount of people in a given area, actual enumeration is the practice of actually counting those who live here—legally or illegally—in the United States of America, and using those actual numbers to reapportion House seats and re-draw the boundaries of congressional districts in each state. Actual enumeration is actually required by Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution:
Representation and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers … . The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct.
Most recently in the lead-up and aftermath of the 2000 Census, however, Democrats pushed for the use of statistical sampling to determine–largely by mathematical estimation–population data and reapportion and redistrict accordingly, claiming that minorities were not fairly represented because they are less inclined to return census forms. Republicans and conservatives alike have decried the practice as inaccurate, easily manipulated and, above all else, unconstitutional.
In 1999, The United States Supreme Court held in Commerce v. House of Representatives that the Census Bureau was required to employ, pursuant to the Constitution, the practice of actual enumeration with regard to reapportionment. While there has been no such judicial determination with regard to the constitutionally-required use of actual enumeration rather than statistical sampling for redistricting, the Census Bureau back in March 2001 recommended that actual enumeration be used for just such a purpose. From that report:
The Executive Steering Committee for ACE Policy (ESCAP) is unable to conclude, based on the information available at this time, that the adjusted Census 2000 data are more accurate for redistricting. Accordingly, ESCAP recommends that the unadjusted census data be released as the Census Bureau’s official redistricting data.
Do not expect the fight over the use of statistical sampling to be over, though. If the Democrats controlling Capitol Hill have learned anything over the past 18 months or so, it is the power of appealing to minority voters with superficial promises of “hope” and “change.” Expect the same sort of appeals, except this time in the name of “fairness” and accompanied by the same, tired old diatribe that actual enumeration shortchanges minority voters.
The decision to bring control of the 2010 Census under the umbrella of the White House and Rahm Emanuel could have been the foundational move to do just that. Much in the same way that President Barack Obama took to the airwaves and to late-night talk shows to sell his counterproductive economic recovery measures, expect him to deal directly with the American people with regard to the merits of statistical sampling.
So long as his teleprompter is working, that is.
Of course, just as the Census Bureau predicted in its March 2001 report, new technology has indeed made the practice of statistical sampling more accurate, but any technology employed in the sampling process would be handled by human hands – and with regard to redistricting and the effect it has upon the value of each vote, a little fraud can go a long way.
With 2010 around the corner, we’ve learned that voter fraud specialists ACORN will be participating in this particular count. In other words, the very same group which accepted $832,000 in donations from then-candidate Barack Obama’s campaign and subsequently was under investigation for registration fraud in more than a dozen states during last year’s contest–not to mention the more than $5 billion destined for ACORN-like groups in the so-called “stimulus” package signed into law last month–will have a heavy hand in determining the population count so crucial in determining everything from the balance of power on Capitol Hill to the allocation of federal funds nationwide. An excerpt from a Fox News article published Wednesday:
But ACORN’s partnership with the 2010 Census is worrisome to lawmakers who say past allegations of fraud should raise concerns about the organization.
“It’s a concern, especially when you look at all the different charges of voter fraud. And it’s not just the lawmakers’ concern. It should be the concern of every citizen in the country,” Rep. Lynn A. Westmoreland, R-Ga., vice ranking member of the subcommittee for the U.S. Census, told FOXNews.com. “We want an enumeration. We don’t want to have any false numbers.”
ACORN, which claims to be a non-partisan grassroots community organization of low- and moderate-income people, came under fire in 2007 when Washington State filed felony charges against several paid ACORN employees and supervisors for more than 1,700 fraudulent voter registrations. In March 2008, an ACORN worker in Pennsylvania was sentenced for making 29 phony voter registration forms. The group’s activities were frequently questioned in the 2008 presidential election.
ACORN spokesman Scott Levenson told FOXNews.com that “ACORN as an organization has not been charged with any crime.” He added that fears that the organization will unfairly influence the census are unfounded.
Sure, just like Mickey Mouse registered to vote in Orlando, and the entire Dallas Cowboys front line registered in Las Vegas. Oh, ACORN is non-partisan. I don’t worry a bit.
During the recent election, I recall one Ohio voter who admitted to having been registered to vote 73 times by ACORN workers. With that kind of track record concerning just one voter, imagine the effect that ACORN’s involvement could have on the number of minority voters in urban centers like Philadelphia, for example. Should ACORN workers be able to “find” many more voters in the very liberal City of Brotherly Love than before, much in the same way ACORN workers “found” those 1,700 additional registered voters in Washington State or “found” Freddie Johnson 73 times, redistricting according to new-found numbers could mean a dramatic shift in congressional power away from the more conservative center districts of Pennsylvania to the liberal southeastern corner. Such a result could be repeated in population centers across the country.
Unfortunately, the various approaches to census-taking and the consequences of each count are not the sexiest of news stories. Though it gets mired in details and numerical mumbo-jumbo, the approach taken to the 2010 Census could be the most critical issue with regard to the Obama administration so far. For conservatives, sticking our heads in the sand and hoping this goes away is simply not an option.
When it comes to a national election, ACORN is a bad dream. When it comes to the census, however, ACORN is an absolute nightmare. This is a group which was under investigation for voter fraud, for inventing fraudulent registrations, and now could play a role in the long-term balance of power in our representative republic. A few thousand fraudulent votes can elect a congressman; a fraudulent sampling, however, can pass legislation for years to come.
In his dissent in the first major judicial challenge to the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, otherwise known as John McCain and Russ Feingold’s “campaign finance reform” legislation, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote that “the first instinct of power is the preservation of power.” This perversion and hijacking of the constitutionally-mandated census process is just that — another facet of a Democratic Party power grab, much in the same way as they became the Party of Free Stuff by expanding further the welfare state through the recent unprecedented spending, and much in the same way as they will attempt to expand their voter base by inevitably providing amnesty to illegal immigrants.
You know, I often ramble on and on about the founders of this great nation, and I’m sure I get more than a few rolled eyes when I write about how these imperfect men didn’t know what they wanted America to be as much as they knew what they did NOT want America to be, how they wished for this great experiment to be the antithesis of the tyrannical and oppressive states from which they came. As it were, however, each and every provision in our founding documents was placed there intentionally and in response to what those men knew from experience elsewhere, and to what they expected and predicted from human nature, could happen. There’s a reason that the Constitution is a limiting document, and there is a reason that our founders knew to require that actual enumeration, the act of actually counting those living in the United States of America, be used to drive changes in the balance of power in this country.
We’re getting further and further away from the Tree of Liberty. We’ve already gone so far as to barely feel the roots under our feet. As we face this new challenge, I fear that once again ignoring the prognostications of and protections set forth by our forefathers will push us so far as to never return. Let’s stand up, be counted, and make sure that doesn’t happen.