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Top Democrat calls new Census staffers ‘starkly partisan’

Mike Schneider
Associated Press

Orlando, Fla. – A top House Democrat on Tuesday said the addition of two new staffers to top positions at the U.S. Census Bureau is an effort by the Trump administration to politicize the federal government’s largest statistical agency during its biggest operation.

In a news release Tuesday, the Census Bureau announced that Nathaniel Cogley, a political science professor at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas, was named a deputy director for policy, and Adam Korzeniewski, who has done census fieldwork and has military experience, was picked as a senior adviser to the deputy director for policy.

A 2020 census letter.

U.S. Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, called the men “starkly partisan allies” and said their hiring was an attempt by President Donald Trump to politicize the agency after its failed attempt to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. The Census Bureau currently is halfway through conducting the once-a-decade count of every U.S. resident.

“The decision to create two new senior positions at the Census Bureau and fill them with political operatives is yet another unprecedented attempt by the Trump Administration to politicize the 2020 Census,” Maloney said in a statement.

Census Bureau director Steven Dillingham said that the men would help the bureau complete the census, which helps determine $1.5 trillion in federal spending and how many congressional seats each state gets. The bureau didn’t comment further.

“Recognizing that our data collections are becoming increasingly complex and rely upon new technologies, innovations and reforms, it is imperative that we consider public, private, and not-for-profit sector needs for relevant and quality data,” Dillingham said.