Presidential Power Grab: Obama to Move Census from Commerce to Executive; Pork Included
Deeply deeply troubling Obama development. President b. Hussein is removing the Census from the Commerce department and moving it to the White House. Bear in mind that President O has allocated one billion dollars in the porkulous package [did you catch that one?] for the already automatically funded census taking.
Look at the seal of the Bureau of the Census. It was the intent of the framers of the this great country (the first census after the American Revolution was taken in 1790 under Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson) to keep the census out of partisan hands. This move by ACORN organizer and current President seems a deliberate violation of the Constitution. And yes, I think his ACORN days (illegal voter registrations etc) and the gaming of the Census data are tied.
Is this another reason why the ‘President’ named Judd Gregg as Commerce secretary – to cite “conflict of interest”? Scary, eh?
The United States Census is a decennial census mandated by the United States Constitution. The population is enumerated every 10 years and the results are used to allocate Congressional seats(congressional apportionment), electoral votes, and government program funding. Some states or local jurisdictions also conduct local censuses.
The census is performed by the United States Census Bureau. The first census after the American Revolution was taken in 1790 under Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson; there have been 21 federal censuses since that time.The last national census was held in 2000, and the next census is scheduled for 2010.
Politico even provides a remark from House Minority Leader Boehner (R-OH):
House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) is joining other Republicans in blasting the White House for plucking control of the Census Bureau away from Commerce Secretary-designate Judd Gregg and vesting it, perhaps, with Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel.
Boehner, in a soon-to-be-released statement:
“I am disturbed by reports that control of the traditionally nonpartisan Census Bureau is being stripped from the Commerce Department and placed with the White House staff. This action appears to be motivated by politics, rather than the interests of our country, and the burden will be on the new administration to prove otherwise during Senator Gregg’s confirmation hearings. The United States Census should remain independent of politics; it should not be directed by political operatives working out of the White House.”
In plain English, the Constitution says the following about a census (Article 1, Section 2, Clause 3):
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. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative …
Update: From AmericanPowerblog:
John Fund’s piece today at the Wall Street Journal, “Why Obama Wants Control of the Census“:
President Obama said in his inaugural address that he planned to “restore science to its rightful place” in government. That’s a worthy goal. But statisticians at the Commerce Department didn’t think it would mean having the director of next year’s Census report directly to the White House rather than to the Commerce secretary, as is customary. “There’s only one reason to have that high level of White House involvement,” a career professional at the Census Bureau tells me. “And it’s called politics, not science.”
The decision was made last week after California Rep. Barbara Lee, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, and Hispanic groups complained to the White House that Judd Gregg, the Republican senator from New Hampshire slated to head Commerce, couldn’t be trusted to conduct a complete Census. The National Association of Latino Officials said it had “serious questions about his willingness to ensure that the 2010 Census produces the most accurate possible count.”
Anything that threatens the integrity of the Census has profound implications. Not only is it the basis for congressional redistricting, it provides the raw data by which government spending is allocated on everything from roads to schools. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also uses the Census to prepare the economic data that so much of business relies upon. “If the original numbers aren’t as hard as possible, the uses they’re put to get fuzzier and fuzzier,” says Bruce Chapman, who was director of the Census in the 1980s.
It is likely that this power was subject to the Commerce Department, as it is one of the few explicitly-stated areas that the federal government has power/authority over the several States. I wonder if a case could be made that since the language doesn’t stipulate this power belonging expressly to the Legislative branch, but that since it’s found in Article 1 (talking about the House of Representatives, specifically), why the need to move this power under the Executive branch?
Unless, of course, you’re trying to find a way to do universal gerrymanding of any given district in any given State to try to control the electoral outcomes as much as possible.
Dude. This guy hasn’t even been in office for his first 100 days and he’s expressing intentions of radically altering what I see as intentions of the Constitution without the consent of the People first.
I smell a federal lawsuit just waiting to happen.
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