Bachmann vs. the census

BACHMANN VS. THE CENSUS…. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) sure does love her conspiracy theories.

In February, Bachmann explained her belief that President Obama is orchestrating an elaborate scheme involving the Census Bureau. As she sees it, the White House will use the 2010 census to redraw congressional lines to keep Democrats in power indefinitely. The argument was obviously crazy, but the Minnesota Republican seemed quite excited about it.

This week, we learn that Bachmann’s census-related conspiracy theory has evolved, and now includes ACORN.

Outspoken Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann says she’s so worried that information from next year’s national census will be abused that she will not fill out anything more than the number of people in her household.

In an interview Wednesday with The Washington Times’ “America’s Morning News,” the Minnesota Republican said the questions have become “very intricate, very personal” and that she feared ACORN, the community organizing group that came under fire for its voter registration efforts last year, would be part of the U.S. Census Bureau’s door-to-door information collection efforts.

Bachmann added, “I know for my family, the only question we will be answering is how many people are in our home. We won’t be answering any information beyond that, because the Constitution doesn’t require any information beyond that.”

First, Bachmann’s creative legal thinking notwithstanding, it’s illegal to refuse to answer census questions. It’s generally not a good idea for sitting members of Congress to boast in advance about law-breaking.

Second, ACORN has applied to help recruit census workers, but has not yet been chosen to take on any specific role. Should ACORN play a role in the process, it’s not clear what Bachmann thinks these workers would do with census data, but the lawmaker said the very possibility is “very concerning.”

What’s “very concerning”? Only Bachmann knows for sure.