GOP paid millions to strategist behind the plot to rig the Census to keep GOP in power


'Legal and compliance' work is GOP code for disenfranchisement.

The man behind the Trump administration's plot to add a racist citizenship question to the U.S. Census has been paid handsomely by Republicans for years.

Longtime GOP strategist Tom Hofeller was exposed in May by his daughter, according to the New York Times, for seemingly ghostwriting a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice that asked that a citizenship question be added to the next census. The question would ask respondents if they are United States citizens, attempting to scare millions of mostly Hispanic people from responding and leading to underreporting that would diminish their political representation.

Adding that question would, in Hofeller's own words, "clearly be a disadvantage to the Democrats" and "advantageous to Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites."

As it turns out, Hofeller has been on the Republican Party's payroll for a decade.

As first reported by Mother Jones, federal Republican National Committee filings show the party paid Hofeller $2,027,000 for his "legal and compliance" work from 2009 until shortly before his death last summer. This includes regular monthly payments of $22,247 since Trump was inaugurated.

"Legal and compliance" work to Republicans apparently means disenfranchising minority voters and rigging the Census to politically favor their party.

Hofeller was best known as a longtime GOP gerrymandering "expert," and helped contort district lines in favor of Republicans after the 2010 midterm elections. An AP analysis found that such gerrymandering efforts helped shield Republicans from losing 16 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives last year, proving their expenses paid off.

Having Hofeller on the GOP’s payroll certainly suggests that hurting minorities is an overall GOP goal. But paying millions to hurt minorities and political opponents is unfortunately not surprising coming from the party whose leader said Mexican migrants were "rapists."

The Census case is currently before the U.S. Supreme Court, and it appears the court's conservative majority is leaning toward allowing the question to remain on the Census. However, it's unknown how Hofeller's involvement might impact the ruling, which is expected later this month.

Dead men apparently do tell tales, including that Republicans will do anything to hurt minority representation to protect their own power.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.