Loosing a Seat in Congress – What to do?

The Berkshire Eagle Online has a story today concerning the low population growth in the state of Massachusetts. As you may or may not know, a states representation in the U.S. House of Representatives is determined by the population of the state.

“You are definitely going to lose a seat up there,” said Clark Bensen, founder and head of Polidata, a political analysis and census data firm in Lake Ridge, Va., that compiled the report. “There’s no way things are going to stay the same.”

So how do you think that state legislators and politicians are dealing with the issue? Might they try to turn the trend around over the next two years to get more people to move to Massachusetts? I doubt it. (Emphasis added)

Massachusetts Secretary of State William F. Galvin, who worked to save the 10 U.S. House of Representative seats in 2000, said he is troubled by the figures but committed to a strong count during the 2010 census.

“It is, as they note, still a projection based on estimates,” Galvin said. “This will be very challenging, because our population growth isn’t robust, but we have unique factors here that I believe might help us up our count.” Galvin pointed to the state’s vast college population — which can be counted if students spend most of the year in state — and to the immigrant community.

“For the size of our state, it’s a remarkable amount,” Galvin said. “We were effective in reaching out to indigenous groups up in Lowell and other locations to make them understand the need to be counted last time.”

Am I reading something into Galvin’s statement? Look, if students are truly residents of the state, that’s fine, but is there any check to ensure that these kids are not being double-counted?

And by the way, what the heck is an indigenous group Mr. Secretary?

On the boston.com Web site, I found an article from October providing some information about the Fifth Congressional District race between Democrat Niki Tsongas and Republican Jim Ogonowski.

Of the roughly 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States, the Pew Hispanic Center has estimated that 150,000 to 250,000 live in Massachusetts. There are no estimates for how many live in the Fifth District, but Lowell and Lawrence are two of the state’s immigration hubs. According to the US Census, about 38 percent of Lowell residents and 74 percent of Lawrence residents speak a language other than English at home.

Translation: This area is full of illegal aliens, and since these good folks don’t like to call attention to themselves – since they are criminals – they usually don’t like to get officially counted for anything; even attendance figures for sporting events.

The problem here is that Galvin and the state of Massachusetts are not interested in innovative ways to bring new people to the state. Ideas like lowering the tax burden, reducing outrageous business regulations, running a more fiscally responsible government and more personal freedoms are just not on the table at all.

They would rather find innovative ways to count more people.