Bachmann's Census conspiracy continues to be debunked, criticized
Rep. Michele Bachmann's latest crazy talk might be days old, but we have more people debunking her claims and coming out against her conspiracy.
Last week Bachmann said she wasn't going to answer all of the questions on the U.S. Census. Her reasoning and defense of her argument have been debunked by many. And the Star Tribune, which has been criticized for giving her a free pass in the past, came out strongly against her latest comments.
Check it all out below.
Bachmann's biggest critics often call out the Star Tribune for not being hard enough on her and letting some of her most extreme comments slip by without mention. The Editorial Board came out with a piece this weekend against Bachmann's Census fear-mongering.
More form the Star Tribune:
This is hard-core conspiracy theory, the likes of which are rarely seen outside the most extreme parts of the blogosphere. Even Beck seemed taken aback by the government round-up rhetoric.
While Bachmann certainly is entitled to her outside-the-mainstream beliefs, she's too often crossed a critical line. The two-term congresswoman from Minnesota's Sixth District bluntly said she will not fully fill out the census form, a misdemeanor punishable by up to $5,000. Her census fear-mongering clearly could push others to do the same. What Bachmann is doing -- on national television, no less -- is encouraging people to break the law. That's not right-wing. That's not conservative. That's just wrong.
Bachmann had this response, posted on the Strib site:
"One thing I know for sure is that a controversial comment is in the eye of the beholder. [After media criticism] I've received calls, e-mails, and letters of gratitude and appreciation for speaking up. For instance, as I noted earlier, the phones have been ringing off the hook in both my D.C. and district offices in support of my statements on the census and American Community Survey from folks throughout the country and Minnesota. But at the end of the day, all that matters is if I'm faithfully representing my constituents, the people who sent me here. I'm not so naïve as to think that everyone will always agree with me. No representative can be everything to all people at any time, and there will always be disagreements about specific policies or bills. But my constituents always know where I stand, and they know that I will not break my promises to them.''
The St. Petersburg Times Politifact fact checked two of Bachmann's Census claims and found both of them false. In their words, both comments make her a "liar liar pants on fire".
The first fact check:
Bachmann says the Constitution only requires her to tell the census "how many people are in our home."
Here is what Politifact said :
The law says those who refuse to fill out the entirety of their census questionnaire or answer questions posed by census takers could face fines of anywhere from $100 to $5,000. Honestly, Gimbel said, the U.S. Census doesn't often enforce those rules.
"It is important to note that census takers are not seeking to prosecute people; our goal is to gather and return to the public quality information that assures equal representation and determines how billions of dollars of taxpayers' money is spent by their government," Gimbel said.
Politifact also debunked her claim that ACORN will be running the Census and going door-to-door taking people's answers:
ACORN will not be "in charge" of going door-to-door and collecting data from the American public, as Bachmann said. The U.S. Census will be in charge of that. Some of the 1.4 million people who get Census-taking jobs may learn about the job through ACORN. Workers who apply to the Census through ACORN have no better shot at the job than those who apply through any of the 30,000 other partners. That's it.
And despite Bachmann's claim, ACORN gets no money for signing on as a partner.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.