Potential Nominee Thomas Brunell Would Politicize 2020 Census

Potential Nominee Thomas Brunell Would Politicize 2020 Census

Politics have no business in the Census but the Trump Administration’s leading candidate for the deputy director slot at the Census Bureau, Thomas Brunell, would introduce blatant partisan politics into the national headcount. Discontent from Capitol Hill over Brunell’s political partisanship may have scuttled his candidacy for the top slot at the bureau but as deputy director he skirts the confirmation process.

  • David Vance
Statement of Karen Hobert Flynn, Common Cause President Karen Hobert Flynn

Politics have no business in the Census but the Trump Administration’s leading candidate for the deputy director slot at the Census Bureau, Thomas Brunell, would introduce blatant partisan politics into the national headcount. Discontent from Capitol Hill over Brunell’s political partisanship may have scuttled his candidacy for the top slot at the bureau but as deputy director he skirts the confirmation process. 

Brunell has frequently testified in support of partisan gerrymanders and regularly shown his partisan stripes. To fully grasp how unfit Brunell is for the job, one need look no further than the title of his book, “Redistricting and Representation: Why Competitive Elections Are Bad for America.” This is not a man that should be handed the keys to the 2020 Census. Americans expect and deserve a fair and accurate Census that is free from the political partisanship Brunell would bring to the process. 

Brunell’s lack of experience and support of adding questions on citizenship and legal status to the census questionnaire are extremely troubling and would further erode public confidence in a fair Census. We urge the Secretary Ross to appoint Census Bureau leadership that is both well qualified and non-partisan.