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Spin Control

Posts tagged: census

Reminder: Redistricting Commish meets tonight

The Washington State Redistricting Commission has a special meeting plus a public forum this evening at Spokane Falls Community College.

Want more info? Click here for details on the meeting.

Click here for Sunday's column on do-it-yourself redistricting.

Will WA get a 10th House seat?

Set next Tuesday aside for marking something other than the Winter Solstice. It will also be the day Washington state finds out whether it will add one more congressional district.

The U.S. Census Bureau will announce the national headcount and the state-by-state breakdowns. From that, states learn how many congressional districts they will have for the next decade.

The national population is estimated to be between 305.7 million and 312.7 million, up from 281.4 million in 2000, and the biggest gains are in the South and West.

Washington is reportedly on the cusp of having grown enough to get a new congressional seat, going from nine to 10…and won’t that make for fun line-drawing by the state commission that will figure out those boundaries next year?

Idaho is expected to stay steady at two House seats.

WA may add a congressional seat

Washington state could be in line for a new congressional district when the numbers from the 2010 Census become final.
A private organization that analyzes census, election and political data said Monday the state could just make the cut for adding a seat if the once-per-decade national headcount comes out as expected.
That would give Washington 10 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and give the state Redistricting Commission more to do than just adjust the current nine congressional districts and 49 legislative districts…

To read more, click here to go inside the blog.

RNC “Census” update: Yet another law tries to stop it


Members of Congress are apparently so ticked off about the Republican National Committee’s use of a “Census” to raise money in its mailers that they’ve introduced a new bill to stop it,  passing it quickly this week on a voice vote in the House of Representatives.

So what, Republicans out there might say. The House is run by Democrats always looking to take a shot at the GOP. Except this bill was written by Rep. Darrell Issa, a California Republican, and it passed without dissent from either party.

The RNC remains unabashed about its mailings, which have gone out to Eastern Washington residents as well as folks in some other states. RNC Chairman Michael Steele, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer: “This was within the law as written. I can’t help it that the Democrats wrote a bad bill.”

He answers a question about it in at about 6:17 of the above clip..

The previous bill outlawing the practice was sponsored by Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., and passed unanimously in the House and Senate this year. The RNC believes it complies with the law, which bans the use of the word Census on the envelope, because “Census Document” appears on a page of the mailing with the addressee’s name that’s inside the envelope and shows through a plastic window.

Issa told the Associated Press it’s not a partisan issue. “When it comes to the Census htere is no separation between Republicans and Democrats. Working together we thought we put an end to this deceptive practice. Unfortunately, the foolishness of the RNC to move forward with yet another deceptive mail piece has caused us to act again.”

The new bill is now in the Senate.

Spokane, Valley cities tie on census bet

Spokane Mayor Mary Verner and Spokane Valley Mayor Tom Towey

Elected officials are sometimes unable to avoid making bets with their counterparts in other realms about sporting events. When there are no decent sporting events, they sometimes cook up other competitions on which to wager.

Thus it was that Spokane Mayor Mary Verner and Spokane Valley Mayor Tom Towey managed to bet on which city’s residents would do better on returning their 2010 Census forms by the end of April. Loser has to wear a shirt with the other city’s logo.

Although it is not yet the end of April, the Census Bureau has released the results for Washington city returns, so the day of reckoning is at hand.

And the winner is: Nobody. Or everybody. In other words, it’s a tie. Both cities have a return rate of 76 percent.

One might think the mayors would just let this little wager die a nice, quiet death. But one would be wrong. Each agreed to don the other city’s shirt, and issue a joint press release.

“The great people of the Spokane region once again delivered,” said Verner.  “I’m proud to wear Spokane Valley’s colors in support of all the people who filled out their 2010 Census forms.”
“Pink isn’t one of my favorite colors,” said Towey of the pastel shirt provided by Verner.  “But since Mayor Verner is one of my favorite mayors, I’m going to wear it proudly.”

And by the way, the mayors said. If you are among the one in four who didn’t turn in your Census form, be nice to the Census taker who comes to your door in May to get the information.

 

3 of 4 Census forms back

The U.S. Census Bureau says Washington has exceed it mail-back participation in the 2010 Census compared to 2000. It says nearly 3 of 4 residences, or 74 percent, have mailed back their forms. 

That’s 2 percentage points ahead of the mail-back previous census.

Idaho has matched its 2000 mail-back rate, and is just ahead of Washington at 75 percent.

That puts both states ahead of the national return rate of 72 percent, but behind Minnesota, which has an 80 percent mail-back rate.

Other than potential bragging rights between the states, or between this decade and last, the return rate is significant for a fiscal reason. Every form that is returned is a household that doesn’t have to be contacted personally by Census workers looking to fill in the blanks.

Spokane, Spokane Valley and Colville are all at 76 percent, the bureau reports. For a full list of Washington cities, go inside the blog.

RNC “Census” mailing investigated, criticized

Fundraising letters sent to Eastern Washington voters from the national Republican Party are receiving a review by the U.S. Postal Service and bipartisan criticism from members of Congress who view them as a deceptive and potentially illegal infringement on the U.S. Census.
Two Democratic House members wrote the postmaster general, calling for an investigation into whether the April 12 mailings violate a law that passed unanimously this year and was signed by President Obama on April 7. The letters, signed by Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, were also sent to residents of several other states.
One Republican congressman says the letters “violate the letter as well as the spirit” of that law and another is proposing yet another law to try to stop the RNC’s long-standing money raising tactic.
The national GOP organization is unfazed. A spokesman insisted Monday the mailings are “in full compliance” with the law and designed to raise money to beat incumbent Democrats. Jahan Wilcox wouldn’t say how many districts around the country were sent mailings: “We don’t get into details on our fund-raising practices.”
As reported Sunday in The Spokesman-Review’s Spin Control, the fund-raising letter comes in a letter marked “Official Document/Do Not Destroy” and bold words above the address say it contains a “Census Document Registered To” the recipient. Lighter type above the Census notation says “This is not a U.S. Government Document”.

RNC mailer: Is it illegal, or just silly? Let’s do a census

Some Eastern Washington voters diligent about returning their U.S. Census form may have been surprised last week when what seemed like another Census form arrived in the mail.
An official looking letter – its envelope, after all reads DO NOT DESTROY/OFFICIAL DOCUMENT – says it is carrying a “Census Document” registered to the addressee, with one of those cool line codes that just reek of officialdom.
The document inside isn’t from the Census Bureau. But it is someone you might’ve heard of: Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele.
The nation’s top GOP official took time out from his busy schedule of trying not to get fired to get input from “a select few” in Washington’s 5th Congressional District. How select isn’t clear, but chances are not very. The copy forwarded to me came from a friend’s spouse who is in no way a Republican. Nonetheless, the information sought is described as absolutely critical to building what Steele’s calls “a state of the art grassroots organization” to win races up and down the ballot.
To do that, Steele sent out a “2010 Congressional District Census”, which masquerades as an in-depth survey, but is really just a way to raise money. A sample of the questions:

From another perspective, Tacoma really is Washington’s second city

 

Our good friends at the political blog at The News Tribune in Tacoma appear to be challenging us to a friendly Swivel chart war.

Responding to our bar chart showing that Spokane is the second largest city in the state — with a 2,000-person lead over Tacoma — The News Tribune’s Political Buzz reminded us that Pierce County has a signficant lead over Spokane County and easily claims the highly coveted title of “Washington’s Second County.” We at Spin Control do not dispute this title, only its relevance.

Today’s fun video: How funny can you make the census?

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Gary Locke Pt. 1
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Reform

Oh right, the census.

That’s why former Washington Gov. and current Commerce Secretary Gary Locke was on the Daily Show Thursday night.

The Commerce Department, see, is in charge of the Census, which is underway. It’s in that government envelope you received in the mail and put with the sweepstakes, credit card touts and other stuff you’ll open some time, when you get around to it … but may just throw out because the stack is getting too tall and it’s late tonight and trash pickup is tomorrow morning.

Which means you are going to cost the federal government a bazillion dollars because they’ll have to send a census taker to your door  (about a gajillion times because you’re just never home) to get the answers to the 10 little questions you could answer in about two minutes if you’d just Open the Darn Envelope and Fill Out the Damn Form.

But we digress. Locke’s appearance is apparently part of the huge marketing effort underway for the census. The marketing effort seemingly did not spend a lot on writing Locke’s jokes and practicing his delivery; but then, Locke was always a bit of a wonk, so he makes a decent straight man for Stewart, and manages to slip in a few interesting bits…like the  question that was on the form in 1790 that isn’t on the form in 2010. Answer at about 2:40 in the first clip.

And Locke does get two segments, which is more than Snoop Dogg got on Wednesday night. Second segment is below.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Gary Locke Pt. 2
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Reform

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

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