What Is True/Slant?
275+ knowledgeable contributors.
Reporting and insight on news of the moment.
Follow them and join the news conversation.

Apr. 1 2010 - 4:33 pm | 2,296 views | 3 recommendations | 20 comments

Bachmann census conspiracy theory may cost GOP big-time

Michele Bachmann

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr

It all began last year when Rep. Michele ‘Mama Che’ Bachman (R-Minn.) announced to anyone and everyone who would listen that the information collected in the Census could be used for such evil and nefarious purposes as putting us into internment camps. Bachmann continues to beat the anti-census drum, counseling us to refuse to fill in the form, despite the law that requires that we do so.

According to Bachmann -

If we look at American history — between 1942 and 1947 — the data that was collected by the Census Bureau was handed over to the FBI and other organizations at the request of President Roosevelt. “That’s how the Japanese were rounded up and put into the internment camps. I’m not saying that’s what the administration is planning to do. But I am saying that private, personal information that was given to the Census Bureau in the 1940s was used against Americans to round them up.”
Via Newsmax

It appears that many a Tea Partier has taken Mama Che’s advice to heart and are refusing to participate in this year’s census. One such American is  GOP Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX), who voted against a congressional resolution asking Americans to participate in the census.

In commenting on his strong, anti-census feelings, Paul said-

The invasive nature of the current census raises serious questions about how and why government will use the collected information. It also demonstrates how the federal bureaucracy consistently encourages citizens to think of themselves in terms of groups, rather than as individual Americans.
Via Houston Chronicle

Here’s the thing. While Reps. Paul and Bachmann may not have gotten the memo, we actually do know how the information is used.

It’s used to reapportion Congressional seats every ten years to better reflect the population, reset the number of electoral votes a state gets in presidential elections and divvy up federal aid dollars based on population.

What Congressman Paul also missed was the fact that his home state of Texas had been counting on the census to deliver four new congressional seats, four new electoral college votes and millions of dollars in federal aid over and above what the state is currently receiving. Why? Because while Texas’ population is growing –the federal government is unable to recognize that growth without the benefit of the census.


According to the data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau, Texas is running well behind the national averages on getting their census forms filled out and turned in. And no, its not the African-Americans and Latinos we historically undercount due to non-participation, Rather, it’s the protestors who have listened to people like Bachmann and Paul to their own, distinct determent.

Counting the percentage of census returns in some key Republican counties in Texas, the Houston Chronicle reports-

In Texas, some of the counties with the lowest census return rates are among the state’s most Republican, including Briscoe County in the Panhandle, 8 percent; King County, near Lubbock, 5 percent; Culberson County, near El Paso, 11 percent; and Newton County, in deep East Texas, 18 percent. Most other counties near the bottom of the list are heavily Hispanic counties along the Texas-Mexico border.
Via Houston Chronicle

Currently, about 34% of the nation’s citizens have filed their census report. Clearly, these Texas communities – along with the entire state (only 27% of all Texans have filed) – are falling well below the national average.

Frances Diviney, director of the non-partisan Texas Kids’ Court, says that for every Texan missed in the census count, the state will lose an estimated $12,000 over the next decade in federal funding for transportation, agriculture, health, education, and housing, totaling “hundreds of millions of dollars in lost opportunities” due to uncounted residents.

And those additional four congressional seats the state was hoping would increase its influence? Not looking so good – and yes, they would  likely be GOP seats.

So, to Michele Bachman, a well earned “You go girl!” It’s good to see you doing your part to insure that fewer GOP obstructionists will be reaching Congress in the years to come. Now, we can hope that Bachmann’s own district will heed her words and register their protest by avoiding the census form. With any luck, Rep. Bachmann may find herself re-districted out of a job.

Should this happen, I hope Rep. Bachmann will look to the bright side. While she may no longer be privileged to spread her reactionary dribble in the halls of Congress, she can comfort herself in the knowledge that, due to her efforts, she will be less likely to find herself in one of those Obama re-education camps that she swears are lurking in our future.



Active Conversation
9 T/S Member Comments Called Out, 20 Total Comments
Post your comment »
  1. collapse expand

    This is the strangest little conservative movement I’ve ever seen. Throwing a fit about the census? Did this happen last time?

  2. collapse expand

    I don’t believe she is right about them not having autonomy, the specifics take 75 years to see and they claim this has never happened.

  3. collapse expand

    (1) I think everything I provided for the census was in the phone book with the exception of whether or not my house was paid for. Sometimes “true conservatives” act like two-year-olds in need of a nap. They contest everything — just because. Yesterday, a caller on the C-SPAN Republican line could not bring himself to applaud the decision for offshore drilling. (Did he forget “Drill, baby, drill”?) Instead he called it “lip service” and stated Obama took “directions from George Soros.” He said there was a hidden agenda which would be revealed.

    (2) I think the Census Bureau would have had a quicker response if they had not said they wanted the numbers as of April 1. In my case, I interpretted that to mean they wanted it filled out on April 1 and mailed that day or the next. So I just sent mine in.

  4. collapse expand

    Your article is disinformation. Ron Paul did not “miss” the fact that the census is to be used for the purpose of reapportioning congressional seats, a clear requirement of the Constitution. What he opposes are the remaining questions on the census form that place each person into racial groupings. He is against the principle of collectivism and for the principle of individualism. Collectivism is the seed for racism. As you clearly state in your article, the census data has been used in the past to round up people based upon their race. It’s clear to me that the government has not kept its word that the data is to remain secure. That is basis enough for opposing the questions on the census that concern race. Doesn’t it feel good just to call yourself and American and leave it at that?

    • collapse expand

      1. How do you know that Ron Paul did not miss the fact? Or was Ron Paul aware of the fact that not participating in the census would lead to the loss of mlilions of dollars to his fellow Texans who could use it? IF he was aware, you do find something uniquely American to not give a shit about those who would benefit in their lives from this aid?

      2. I did not state in my article that census data had been used in the past to round up people based on their race – Michele Bachmann stated it, I re-printed it and I duly credited her for doing so. Believe me, just because Bachmann says something does not make it true. Michele Bachmann says a lot of unbelievable things that I reference in pointing out the many things I detest about her. And, were we to believe that she were correct, your statement, that ‘it is clear to me that the government has not kept its word that the data is to remain secure” is a bit ridiculous as the incident she speaks of, in all liklihood, happened long before you were born. Are you suggesting that today’s government is to be held accountable to government actions that long ago? If you are, let me know and we’ll have a chat about the actions of certian conservative governments gone by.

      3. You know, I always notice when receiving comments from readers with handles such as ‘jasontrueconservative’, that they can’t just provide their comment, their point-of-view, etc. and engage in a healthy back and forth. They always have to end by saying something nasty about me like “Doesn’t if feel good just to call yourself ‘and’ American…..”

      For a long time I wondered what that was all about. I love disagreement. I learn from disagreement. But I’ve come to the conclusion that people who feel the need to finish with a nasty, ridiculous comment, do so in the hopes that I won’t engage on an intellectual level because that discomforts them.

      For starters, I do feel good that I know the difference between the proper use of the words word ‘and American’ and ‘an American.’ Beyond that, I would not question your commitment to your country or anything else simply because you have a different point of view. My general assumption is that if you care enough to read and comment, you probably very much care about these things. You might wonder if you could ascribe the same intent to me given that I too take the time to write and answer your comment, even when you feel you must insult with no reason. The nasty bullshit does nothing to bolster your argument. Quite the contrary. So, while you may feel good about yourself for having slung a little nastiness, you’ve failed the readers of the blog who might read what you have to say and consider its merit.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
  5. collapse expand

    Ron Paul is dipshit. How did this fool get a medical degree? “…the federal bureaucracy consistently encourages citizens to think of themselves in terms of groups, rather than as individual Americans”. What a crock of shit. This is the United State of America, not the Individual Autonomous States of America. The insane blind worship of individualism is one reason why this country is going down the tubes.
    Ya know We The People and all that, from that little document called the Constitution that he claims to love so much. Ron Paul is just another deluded lunatic shithead who seems to think everything would be just dandy if we only rolled the clock back to, say, 1785.

  6. collapse expand

    Conservatives only pretend to care what’s actually in the constitution. When the rubber hits the road, they’re the first ones to toss it out the window.

  7. collapse expand

    I just mailed mine in today. Yes, I know it was late, but not until yesterday when everyone on tv and the internet was telling us we should have mailed it in by now. Honestly, I just think most people are just a bit lax when it comes to filling out government surveys. Also, it’s the first thing I’ve actually mailed in months. Many people pay their bills online and use email.

  8. collapse expand

    I am so happy that you pointed little self-defeating movement out!

    I, too, want to send Michelle Bachmann (Lunatic-MN) a great big “YOU GO, GIRL!”

  9. collapse expand

    I just have to rant about this issue some more. The census is a means of tracking people for possible internment? Get the fuck out of here. How many other ways are there for the government to track people down? Like the phone book, your cell phone, your mailing address from the Post Office(wait–they are probably in on it too, your tax forms, your social security card etc etc ad infinitum. Bachman is a empty-headed twit and so are her followers. Maybe she can team up with Sarah Palin for the GOP dream ticket. Ron Paul could be Secretary of Stupid Ideas.

Log in for notification options
Comments RSS

Post Your Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment

Log in with your True/Slant account.

Previously logged in with Facebook?

Create an account to join True/Slant now.

Facebook users:
Create T/S account with Facebook

My T/S Activity Feed


    About Me

    I am an attorney in Southern California, and a frequent writer, speaker and consultant on health care policy and politics. To that end, I am active member of the Association of Health Care Journalists. Based in beautiful Santa Monica, California, I'm very pleased to have the opportunity to be a contributing editor to True/Slant. I've recently finished a book designed to make the health care debate understandable to the average reader, and expect it to be out in the next five months or earlier. In my 'spare time', I continue to write for television and, occasionally, for comic books.

    My checkered past includes stints in creative writing and production for television where I did strange things like founding the long running show "Access Hollywood" and serving, for many years, as the president of the Marvel Character Group where I had the distinct pleasure of being one of Spider-man's bosses.

    See my profile »
    Followers: 333
    Contributor Since: February 2009
    Location:Santa Monica,CA

    What I'm Up To

    Media inquiries:

    Melissa Van Fleet

    Ken Lindner & Associates, Inc.
    2029 Century Park East, Suite 1000
    Los Angeles, California 90067