As ThinkProgress has repeatedly pointed out, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has been bragging about the fact that she plans not to answer Census questions this year, which is a violation of federal law punishable with a fine up to $5,000. Bachmann has been mocked by Stephen Colbert and criticized harshly by the largest Minnesota newspaper for her conspiratorial stance.
Now, in the latest rebuke of her off-the-wall claims about the Census, three out of the four House Republicans on the subcommittee that oversees the Census have released a statement calling her boycott plan “llogical, illegal and not in the best interest of our country”:
“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.”
According to Roll Call, the three Republicans “approached Bachmann privately over the past few weeks and asked her to stop the boycott,” but “decided to go public because Bachmann appeared unfazed by their request.” Bachmann pushed her boycott plan on Monday in an interview with Sean Hannity.
Census officials have been meeting with Bachmann to try to talk her down from her illogical concerns. CongressDaily reports that McHenry even “showed her printed census materials in the attempt to dispel her fears.” But she remained skeptical. A GOP source said, “As long as Fox News keeps calling, she’s going to keep going.”
Bachmann’s spokesperson, Debbee Keller, told Roll Call that “Congresswoman Bachmann cannot 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.” PolitiFact found that Bachmann’s claims about ACORN and the Census are “ridiculously wrong.”