Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

  Introspection day. Last spring’s crowd-sourcing campaign did not pan out as I expected. I did raise about a month’s worth of work — so it was helpful — but it wasn’t enough to cover the cost of some of the stories I had planned. The biggest disappointment was from media that use my column …

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Mark Trahant TrahantReports Tribes in Montana and North Dakota went on record last week “endorsing” candidates.  The Salish Kootenai Tribe endorsed Denise Juneau’s bid for Congress. Juneau is scheduled to visit all of Montana’s reservations during the month. (Previous: Denise Juneau, It’s Really Good To be Here.) Tribal chairman Vernon Finley said on Montana Public …

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              Independent commission looks beyond politics Mark Trahant TrahantReports The toughest challenge for any democracy is making certain that the rules of voting are fair. How fair? A system that allows voters to toss politicians out of office. Every politician in the world proclaims that’s how it ought to …

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    Measuring contributions of $25 or less Mark Trahant / TrahantReports Let’s turn the world upside down. A “normal” political story might examine finances for political candidates starting with who raised the most money, where it came from, and what that means for their prospects at the ballot. Money equals success. I am not going to …

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  Update. After looking at this week’s campaign finance reports, it’s clear that there are now just seven active Native American candidates for Congress. (Two people I have been following in Arizona have not filed campaign documents or financial reports.) I will have a new post on Sunday about money, but wanted to post an …

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Mark Trahant / TrahantReports A friend writes from time to time and makes the case against Native Americans voting. One of the arguments is that “when you vote, you willingly and voluntarily abandon your nation’s sovereignty. And also because Indian as well as non-Indian votes do not matter one bit in presidential elections.” And the …

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Mark Trahant / TrahantReports   North Dakota now has three Native American candidates running for statewide office. Chase Iron Eyes was nominated recently by the state’s Democratic Party as their candidate for the state’s only seat in Congress. Now this week Ruth Buffalo filed for the post of Insurance Commissioner. And Marlo Hunte-Beaubrun will seek a …

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Next up.     Editing next video profile, Joe Pakootas. It was an interesting interview. We talked about his campaign, raising money, and what it might mean to have enough members for a true Native American caucus in Congress. I am also thinking about primaries & democracy. The system is a mess. It’s not just …

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