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GOP House Trio Urges Bachmann to Reverse Boycott of Census

Three House Republicans on the subcommittee overseeing the 2010 Census are asking Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) to reverse her decision to boycott the national population count, fearing others will follow her lead.“Boycotting the constitutionally mandated Census is illogical, illegal and not in the best interest of our country,” 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 Achieves, said in a statement Wednesday.“[A] boycott opens the door for partisans to statistically adjust Census results,” the trio’s statement said. “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.”Rep. Jason Chaffetz (Utah), the only other Republican member of the subcommittee, did not sign on to Wednesday’s statement.Sources say the GOP Members approached Bachmann privately over the past few weeks and asked her to stop the boycott. They decided to go public because Bachmann appeared unfazed by their request, according to a GOP aide.Bachmann has said she would not fill out her 2010 Census form, a violation of federal law, because of the involvement of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. The nonprofit came under fire during the 2008 elections over allegations of voter fraud; Republicans have asked President Barack Obama to prohibit ACORN from helping gather 2010 Census data.“I’m not encouraging Americans not to fill out the Census,” Bachmann told FOX News last month. “I’m saying, for myself and my family, our comfort level is we will comply with the Constitution Article I Section II. We will give the number of people in our home, and that’s where we’re going to draw the line.”The subcommittee Republicans stressed the importance of filling out census forms and said they are working hard to prohibit ACORN from participating in the process.“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,” the statement said. “However, we can not emphasize enough how important it is for every individual to fill out their census forms.”Debbee Keller, a spokeswoman for Bachmann, said in an e-mail: “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.”

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