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Editorial: Bachmann census idea may have ironic end

America's once-a-decade census process started this week in Alaska. The village of Noorvik took the census in stride and celebrated.

Rightly so!

World War II veteran Clifton Jackson, 89, was the first Noorvik resident to complete his census interview and be counted in the 2010 Census. In addition to being the first resident counted, Jackson is also the oldest resident in the remote Alaskan village.

The village held a day of activities to welcome federal, state and tribal officials to complete the census. The officials will complete the census in Noorvik this week.

Census workers will visit 217 other Alaskan villages in the coming weeks. These villages are not linked by roads and are only accessible via dogsled or plane in the wintertime. March and April often can bring muddy conditions making the villages inaccessible.

The rest of the country will receive their forms in March 15.

These remote Americans understand and appreciate the importance of the U.S. Census. They understand their patriotic and legal duty to complete these census forms.

It is a good example for west central Minnesotans to follow.

As should Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., who has said she will not completely fill out her census form. She believes the census is asking too many questions and has called for a census boycott.

Now, the Republican National Committee is sending out forms entitled "2010 Congressional District Census." However, it is not a 2010 Census, but a 2010 Republican fundraiser and survey form.

In fact, the Better Business Bureau this summer issued an alert about a similar "2009 Congressional District Survey," calling the mailing misleading.

Federal officials use census data as the primary tool in the allocation of federal funding. The census is also the primary tool that lawmakers use in the redrawing of state and federal legislative districts.

The census is critical to Minnesota in 2010 as it is on the borderline between keeping eight congressional seats or losing one seat. A loss of one seat would have an impact through all of Minnesota.

It would be likely that Bachmann's 6th District would be in play to be divided among the remaining districts as the state Legislature is currently controlled by a Democratic majority.

Now that would be an irony -- if Bachmann the census boycotter would find her district eliminated by Minnesota's census result and the corresponding redistricting.