Deception & Misdirection

Liberal Activists Tilting the 2020 Census to Favor Democrats

The 2020 Census is here and with it a swarm of professional activists pushing the Left’s agenda. Far from concerned citizens eager to ensure an accurate census count, these are well-heeled, highly coordinated partisans focused on tilting America’s elections to favor Democrats for the next decade and beyond.

Constitutional Mandate

The Constitution mandates the federal government hold a census every 10 years to determine how the country’s population has shifted and how to distribute Congress’s 435 districts among the states. The census also provides essential information for allocating billions of dollars in federal aid).

What does this mean for you? According to the latest estimates, 10 states—Alabama, California, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia—will likely lose a seat in the House of Representatives. Seven other states, including Texas and Florida, stand to gain as many as three congressional seats.

The stakes couldn’t be higher: Once these seats are apportioned, they’ll decide the country’s political future until the next census in 2030.

Tilting the Field

As I recently wrote at American Thinker, the Left’s all-guns-blazing approach to the 2020 Census is part of its long game to permanently paint the nation Democratic blue. Step one is ensuring that Democratic-leaning constituencies in big cities—including the homeless and noncitizens—weigh more heavily on the Census results than Republican-leaning groups.

If you doubt that, consider who’s funding the array of tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofits “helping” the U.S. Census Bureau to “get out the count”—leftist mega-donors such as George Soros, eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, and the blackhole clearinghouse NEO Philanthropy. These are the elites at the helm of American Progressivism.

By the way, the IRS considers such census activism a “charitable” activity. But where are the conservative nonprofits to match the scores of leftist groups “getting out the count” in key battleground states? As far as anyone can see, this is a one-sided race.

A “Fair” Census

Take Census Counts, an activist group that virtuously describes itself as a “collaborative campaign” of 15 organizations “working together to make sure that the 2020 Census is fair and accurate.”

That sounds innocent enough, and it goes without saying that accuracy in the Census is important.

But fairness is hardly the group’s goal. It publishes a state-by-state list of local allies, and nearly all are closely affiliated with left-wing standbys such as Common Cause and State Voices—major organizations created to establish get-out-the-vote infrastructure in battleground states such as Pennsylvania, Virginia, and North Carolina. Its coalition members encompass the Left’s constellation of identity groups: Black Alliance for Just Immigration, National LGBTQ Task Force, and American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, to name a few.

Then there’s Census Counts, which is a front for the decidedly left-wing Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights—a fact you won’t find on its “About” page. (Check its privacy policy instead.)

That means that Census Counts isn’t an IRS-recognized nonprofit, but an extension of a group that’s been pushing a “social justice” agenda for 70 years. In 2018, for example, the Leadership Conference led the lobbying effort demanding the Trump administration remove a citizenship question from the 2020 Census. Such a question had appeared in one form or another on every “long-form” census questionnaire from the presidency of James Monroe until 2000, when it was moved to the separate American Community Survey.

All eyes are on the brewing battle over the presidency in November, but conservatives can’t afford to miss the bigger Census fight looming in 2020.

Hayden Ludwig

Hayden Ludwig is the Director of Policy Research at Restoration of America. He was formerly Senior Investigative Researcher at Capital Research Center. Ludwig is a native of Orange County, California,…
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