Three Republican congressmen have publicly chastised fellow Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) for declaring that she would not fill out her census form.
"Boycotting the constitutionally mandated Census is illogical, illegal and not in the best interest of our country," said Reps. Patrick McHenry (N.C.), Lynn Westmoreland (Ga.) and John Mica (Fla.), members of the Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Information Policy, Census, and National Archives in a statement Wednesday.
From the statement:
We share Ms. Bachmann's concerns about ACORN's involvement in the 2010 Census and will continue pressuring the Bureau to follow their own guidelines for partnering organizations and dump ACORN. However, we can not emphasize enough how important it is for every individual to fill out their census forms.
Every elected representative in this country should feel a responsibility to encourage full participation in the census. To do otherwise is to advocate for a smaller share of federal funding for our constituents. Boycotting the constitutionally-mandated census is illogical, illegal and not in the best interest of our country.
The unfortunate irony is that Ms. Bachmann's boycott only increases the likelihood that ACORN-recruited census takers will be dispatched to her constituents' homes. Anyone who completes and returns their census form will remove any need for a census taker to visit their residence.
Furthermore, a boycott opens the door for partisans to statistically adjust census results. The partisan manipulation of census data would irreparably transform the census from being the baseline of our entire statistical system into a tool used to wield political power in Washington.
Roll Call reports that the three congressmen approached Bachmann privately and asked her to stop the boycott. They went public because Bachmann "appeared unfazed by their request."
Debbee Keller, a spokeswoman for Bachmann, told the paper: "Congresswoman Bachmann can not be reached, but we appreciate their views and hope to be able to work with them to keep ACORN -- which has earned public mistrust through its repeated voter registration fraud -- out of the Census."