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Steve Daines’ specious guest opinion about a citizenship question on the census ignores the 14th Amendment to the Constitution: “Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed.” By the way, don’t let that last clause lead you astray. Since 1924, when all Native Americans were made citizens, all are now taxed.

Daines wants you to believe that Montana’s representation in Congress is based on the number of citizens in the state. No, it is based on the whole number of persons in the state. Right now, each Congressional district represents about 711,000 whole people. Montana’s population is just over one million. Do the math. The number of Representatives in Congress is fixed by law at 435. The pie has only so many slices.

What Daines wants is not more representation but more fear. He wants the citizenship question because he wants Montanans to fear those who don’t belong in his 1950s fantasy world. He’s selling another bill of goods, just like his ballyhooed 2017 beef deal with China. How did that work out for you?

Bill McRae

Billings

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