What's a billion dollars of free social services worth? Apparently, not the carefully cultivated anti-Washington rugged-individual political image of Governor Rick Perry. Less than two weeks away from Censusmania, the state's true hair-care magnate has failed to make any motion to ensure Texas' consistently undercounted population is accurately recorded.
It was nearly four months ago when state Representative Mike Villarreal wrote to Perry, urging him to “ensure our state government is taking every appropriate step to ensure the highest possible level of participation by Texas residents” in the Census. Response? Dialtone.
As the second-highest undercounted state of the 2000 Census, Texas may be about to flub its chance to not only rake in hundreds of millions in taxes (taxes we have already paid), but also increase the number of Congressional seats we hold, according to Anna Alicia Romero, regional census director for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF). (You can hear our full conversation below.)