Census Conservative Cave In

ACORN Community Organizing

Groves2 New Orleans Conservatives counted coup with another score on ACORN by forcing the U.S. Census Bureau to terminate its partnership with the organization proving for the second time in a week how willing the Obama administration is open to a cave-in to the conservatives on false pretenses on a completely fake “issue.”  The cause cited by the Census Bureau was that the relationship was a “distraction,” which is becoming a hallmark excuse meaning precisely nothing I imagine.  ACORN to my knowledge has not responded, because I guess they were probably distracted by things that were actually important.  This is all just more reputational McCarthyism as the rightwing and Republicans attack ACORN these days at will with confidence that few will respond and close ranks as fear plagues the progressive movement and principle is in too short supply.

Calling the ACORN-Census Bureau hookup a relationship is a far stretch.  Facebook friends are all blood relations compared to the casualness of this “relationship.”  Various published reports count the number of such Census Bureau “partnerships” at between 50,000 and 80,000 different organizations.  These are merely Census Bureau fan pages.  No money changes hands for example.  Neither ACORN nor any of the other gazillion “partners” would be involved in actually counting anyone out there in the vastness of America for goodness sakes, although this was the pretense for the right wingers assault.  The Republicans are still wallowing in the unproven, spoilsport accusations of “voter fraud” based on some small registration kerfuffle last November, and now their fog machine wanted to bamboozle some of the vast herd that ACORN was going to mangle up the count.  Poppycock!

All of this would be a total yawner except for one thing easily buried in all of this bull.  In poor and minority communities the U.S. Census Bureau wildly needs credibility in exactly the low income and working communities and among the African American and Latino populations where families sign up and participate actively in ACORN community organizations.  This Republican windbag effort is tactical and a perfect piece of their strategy to chill, depress, and undercount the number of poor, minority, and immigrant citizens in America in actually the same way they tried to depress the vote before last November’s election with the same tactics and wild, overheated accusations.

Fewer of the poor willing to participate in the Census and be counted, means less people where it counts to be considered in redistricting by state legislatures after the 2010 Census.  Fewer of the poor also mean less money for urban cities and school districts where resources are desperately needed to create citizen wealth.