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Top Democrat calls new Census staffers 'starkly partisan'

This April 5, 2020, photo shows a 2020 census letter mailed to a U.S. resident in Detroit. The U.S. Census Bureau needs more time to wrap up the once-a-decade count because of the coronavirus, opening the possibility of delays in drawing new legislative districts that could help determine what political party is in power, what laws pass or fail and whether communities of color get a voice in their states. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
This April 5, 2020, photo shows a 2020 census letter mailed to a U.S. resident in Detroit. The U.S. Census Bureau needs more time to wrap up the once-a-decade count because of the coronavirus, opening the possibility of delays in drawing new legislative districts that could help determine what political party is in power, what laws pass or fail and whether communities of color get a voice in their states. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

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. In April, Cogley started working as a senior advisor in the Office of the Deputy Secretary at the U.S. Department of Commerce, according to the bureau.

Adam Korzeniewski, who has done census fieldwork and is a Marine veteran, was picked as a senior adviser to the deputy director for policy.

A New Yorker story last year described Korzeniewski as a campaign consultant to Joey Saladino, a pro-Trump YouTube star better known as “Joey Salads," who ended a congressional campaign in December. Starting in April, Korzeniewski was named an advisor to the deputy Secretary of Commerce, the bureau said.

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.

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