Libertarian Party Press Release
03 April 2000
"Just Say No To Nosy Census Questions" campaign generates national media coverage
ADVISORY FROM THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY
News from the National LP headquarters for
members & supporters of the Libertarian Party
Watergate Office Building
2600 Virginia Avenue, NW, Suite 100
Washington DC 20037
Phone: (202) 333-0008 Ext. 222
For information about the party: (800) ELECT-US
April 3, 2000
WASHINGTON, DC -- Headline in the Washington Post: "Census Flap Intensifies; Director Pleads for Compliance." (Page 1, March 31, 2000).
Why is Census Director Kenneth Prewitt pleading? Because the "Boycott the Census" movement is making headlines, burning up the phone lines of radio talk shows, spreading like wildfire on the Internet, and putting the Census Bureau's $7 billion campaign at risk.
Who started it all? The Libertarian Party. Here is some of the media coverage we've generated with our call to "Just Say No To Nosy Census Questions."
"Initially, it was the Libertarian Party that denounced the 53-question census form as being "too intrusive." Leaders of the party, which has 200,000 registered voters, urged Americans to ignore all but the first question on the form, which asks how many people live in their household. "
-- The Washington Times, March 31, 2000
"Noting the real purpose of the long form's queries, Libertarian Party National Director Steve Dasbach made headlines recently when he stated, "Census information is used to forge the chains that bind Americans to failed government programs, meddlesome bureaucracies, and a sky-high tax rate.""
-- Lawrence Reed, The Detroit News, March 19, 2000
"The Libertarian Party is urging citizens to fill out the first question and leave the rest blank. Risk the [$100] fine, urged George Getz, a Washington D.C.-based spokesman for the party. "A lot of people wonder what they're going to do with the information. We don't know," Getz said. "
-- Associated Press, March 27, 2000
"The Libertarian Party said in Washington on Monday that Americans have a unique opportunity to say "yes" to the Constitution and "no" to what the party calls "busybody bureaucrats in Washington DC" by refusing to answer most Census 2000 questions. Officials of the House Subcommittee on the Census had no comment on the Libertarian Party statements when contacted by CNSNews.com. "
-- Conservative News Service, March 20, 2000
""This big, bossy, busybody government is trying to ask questions they have no business asking," says George Getz, the Libertarian Party's press secretary. According to Getz, Libertarians oppose answering census questions beyond those that fulfill the basic function mandated in the Constitution. "
-- The Utne Reader, March-April 2000
"The fact is, innumerable residents across the country are refusing to participate in the census, beyond a simple head-count. Steve Dasbach, leader of the Libertarian Party, is actually encouraging the practice. "The U.S. Constitution says the purpose of the Census is to make an enumeration; that is, to take an accurate count of Americans for the purpose of apportioning Congressional districts," he said. "But the federal government has gone far beyond that Constitutional mandate, and uses the Census to ask dozens of probing questions." "
-- WorldNetDaily.com, March 22, 2000
"In January, Steve Dasbach, the Libertarian Party's national director, called for Americans to answer only how many people live in their houses. "For once, we find [the government] doing something that is actually constitutional -- conducting a census -- and we think people should participate and answer that one question that the Constitution requires, which is how many people live in your home," said George Getz, the party's national press secretary. "
-- The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, March 16, 2000
"The Libertarian Party and others object [to nosy Census questions]. The national party is advising people to answer just one question -- in order to apportion the House seats -- and return the remainder blank. "It's a huge privacy invasion; some of these questions the government simply has no business knowing," said press secretary George Getz in Washington, D.C. "Do you have any difficulty bathing? And do you get to work by ferry boat? We don't think government has any business, and no constitutional authority, to be asking people about their personal habits." "
-- The Oregonian, March 12, 2000
"The Libertarian Party put out a press release last week that read: "Strike a blow for privacy: Refuse to answer nosy Census questions!" They recommend just answering the one question that the Census Department has Constitutional authority to ask: the one about how many people live in your home. "
-- The Manchester Union Leader (NH), March 22, 2000
"Convinced that the Census Bureau will not prosecute boycotters, the National Libertarian Party is encouraging people to skip everything but the first question on household population. "Count the people to make sure that there are an equal number of people in every congressional district -- we Libertarians support that," said George Getz, the party's press secretary. "We would like to see 100 percent compliance if that's all the information is going to be used for. The problem is that the government has corrupted [the Census] into another big government program." "
-- APBnews.com, March 30, 2000
"The Libertarian Party is encouraging people to answer just one question on the census. The Constitution demands asking only the question about the number of people living in a household, said George Getz, a Libertarian spokesman. "What else does the government need to know?" Mr. Getz said. "Why should we trust these government agencies?" "
-- The Dallas Morning News, March 13, 2000
"Now, [the government's] appetite for details of our private lives is insatiable. How old are you? What's your race? There are 15 choices here. George Getz, the Libertarian Party's spokesman, sardonically notes that South Africa's apartheid government had only four racial classifications. "
-- Don Feder, The Boston Herald, April 3, 2000