Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

Chase Iron Eyes getting ready for a meet and greet in Fargo, N.D. (Photo via Facebook)

Mark
**Updated

TrahantReports
North Dakota Congressional candidate Chase Iron Eyes will be the star at a Washington, D.C., fundraiser on Thursday. It’s hosted by Senator Heidi Heitkamp, D-North Dakota, and former Senators Kent Conrad, Byron Dorgan and Rep. Earl Pomeroy. The event is at the Heitkamp home beginning at 6 pm.

Iron Eyes reports on Facebook that “our campaign is moving along and building each week.” He said he has been calling voters across the state “to hear their concerns and plan visits.”

SPEAKING OF FUND RAISING, Victoria Steele, running in Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District, reports that her donor match program went so well that “a group of donors stepped up at the same time to. double-match your donation until midnight May 27.”

“That’s right,” Steele writes, “your support will have double the impact on issues we both believe in — an economy that works for everyone, clean water and air for our children, and the protection of our Social Security and Medicare programs.”

IN MONTANA, Congressional candidate Denise Juneau said she wants six debates with her Republican opponent, incumbent Rep. Ryan Zinke. Her proposal includes a debate in Pablo, Montana, the headquarters for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, as well as in Billings, Bozeman, Great Falls, Butte, and Glen Dive. Zinke’s staff said there would be “several” debates but did not commit to any specifics.

 Zinke, a former Navy SEAL, endorsed Donald Trump for president on Wednesday. According to the conservative web site, Breitbart, Zinke said he was open to being Vice President or in any cabinet position. “I know my name has been thrown around,” he told Breitbart. “I would be honored to do my duty. You know why? It’s about making America great again.” Late Wednesday, Juneau’s campaign team issued a news release dismissing Zinke’s new aspiration. “Montanans are beginning to wonder if Ryan Zinke ever plans to focus on being our Congressman. Clearly, the answer is no,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction and U.S. House candidate Denise Juneau. “Congressman Zinke has become a Washington insider who is more focused on helping special interests and boosting his own image, than representing our state.”

OKLAHOMA Republican Markwayne Mullin, a member of the Cherokee Nation, has a new primary challenge. Jarrin Jackson, a combat veteran with service in Afghanistan, announced his candidacy for the state’s 2nd Congressional District. “In Washington, politicians like Mr. Mullin … make decisions through the political lens of how it affects them personally, with complete disregard that their vote and back room dealings have devastating effects on our economy and national security.”

EVERY MONDAY Washington Congressional candidate Joe Pakootas will “spotlight” legislation that he disagrees about with his opponent, Cathy McMorris Rodgers. The first posts was about Rep. McMorris Rodgers’ opposition to the Paycheck Fairness Act. Pakootas wrote: “Among the many things the bill would have done is add protections against retaliation for employees who discuss their pay at work.” He said McMorris Rodegers voted against the bill twice even though she has said current laws do not go far enough in terms of protecting workers from retaliation if they discuss pay.  The series is hash staged: #McMorrisMonday

(Previous: Seven Native candidates for Congress.)

— Mark Trahant

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