Promises Undelivered

Tait Trussell is a national award-winning writer, former vice-president of the American Enterprise Institute and former Washington correspondent for The Wall Street Journal.


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President Obama boldly politicized the U.S. Census. And even though 225,000 Census workers have been let go, as the Wall Street Journal reported July 3, more than 125,000 Census people are still on the payroll. But of much greater importance: Obama has new plans ahead to aid liberal Democrats in November, and especially to help him hold the Presidency in 2012.

Despite his failed 2009 attempt to wrest control of the U.S. Census by shifting it from the Commerce Department to the White house, that didn’t stop the Administration from utilizing the Census process to bolster his voter base.

The largest government advertising campaign in history–$300 million–was spent to convince minority Americans that answering Census questions is the way to get a slice of $400 billion in federal money.

To reach the spread of nationalities representing the black diaspora, including African American, Caribbean, African, and Haitian audiences, DraftFCB, New York, the head agency for the 2010 Census Communications Campaign, signed up Globalhue multicultural advertising agency, plus production and digital marketer RC-CP, and hip hop Disturbing the Peace Records.

Rapper Ludacris has been a large part of the tax-funded $300 million campaign to propagandize the 2010 Census to African Americans. It’s all been about how much largess a community will get from the federal government. Recording artist and entrepreneur Christopher “Ludacris” Bridges helped tell African Americans they had to fill out Census forms to make sure their communities got a piece of the $400 billion federal allotment.

This most expensive advertising campaign in U.S. government history had as its sole purpose: motivating the elusive hard-to-count young, single black males and black single females with children, poor, underprivileged, folks with criminal issues, and immigrants. The “Luda on the Block” radio and home visit tour homed in on five big African American destinations—in Dallas, New Orleans, New York City, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta this spring.

The purpose of the Census is to count everyone in the United States. It is mandated in Article I, Section II of the Constitution.  Certainly all legal efforts should be made to count all Americans regardless of race or ethnicity. Census data are used to apportion congressional seats to states, to distribute federal funds to tribal, state and local governments each year and to decide what community services to provide.

The golden promise that’s been emphasized: If you fill out the Census form and send it back, this will automatically revive your community, improve your schools, increase the number of available jobs and job training, and provide health clinics, emergency medical services, almost anything you want. It’s as if the Census Bureau has concluded that people of color and the poor, as well as some other Americans, are clearly too stupid to understand much beyond government handouts. The message from the Census Bureau—whether on the air or in print–is consistent: File, so you’ll be sure to get as much tax money for your community as possible from Uncle Sam.

Now, there’s a plan to spend $50 million to try to rake in Obama’s political base of minorities and young voters for this year’s mid-term election, according to a June 20 Washington Post story. “It’s a great experiment to see whether we can bring out voters whose only previous vote was in 2008,” Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md) was quoted as saying. He is chairman of the Democrats’ Congressional Campaign Committee. That $50 million is twice the $17 million it spent in the 2006 mid-term race. Obama especially needs to shore up the minority-young base, having dashed the expectations of anti-war leftists by naming Gen. Petraeus to fight—maybe even win–in Afghanistan.

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  • davarino

    I am so glad we have the most ethical admin in the history of the US. Let the voting fraud begin, it worked so well in Minnesota. Al Franken in the senate? You have to be kidding me. Are Minnesotens that board they have to elect some washed up commedian? Well they did elect a wrestler for governor. My state of Texas was considering Kinky Freeman. So now we are voting for people because they are cool? We have no idea what they stand for but they sure are cool. Nobody cared about Obama's past but he sure could talk good.

  • USMCSniper

    Trillions have been waisted on the African American tribalists and it is worse than it ever was. $14,000 a year on Washington DC African American students and they can't even read, write, or do basic arithmetic. They can even speak coherently.

  • Peachey

    You just gotta fill out the form to ensure a cut of "Obama's stash".

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