Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Dino Rossi has an interesting political legacy. He was for several weeks the Gov.-elect for Washington state. Then after much counting (and recounting) Democrat Christine Gregoire took the lead by 129 votes and was she sworn in as governor on January 12, 2005. Since then Rossi has run for governor again, …

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  Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports First: A fantasy. Wouldn’t it be cool if once, just once, there was a debate in Congress that could only be decided by a vote that benefits Native people? I don’t know. Something like, “I won’t vote for any bill unless it fulfills the treaty obligations that the United …

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Trahant Reports The Kalinago Territory in Dominica took a direct hit from Hurricane Maria.  The indigenous territory (formerly known as the Caribs) is on the remote eastern Atlantic side of the island. There have been no communications from the tribal community. The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency said Wednesday that it was using a helicopter to …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports You have to wonder why the latest Senate Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act did not get written with one senator in mind, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Yet the bill by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) is more conservative than previous approaches. It …

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Voting on a climate plan and a tax Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports There are two ways to impact public policy through the ballot box. First, people can choose to run for elective office. And, second, ballot initiatives can shape public policy. The Quinault Nation in Washington is “gearing up for another strategic move to …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Bernie Sanders is expected to introduce his version of health care reform, a plan he calls “Medicare for all.” At least fifteen Democrats have signed on as co-sponsors to the single-payer plan. “This is where the country has got to go,” Sanders told The Washington Post. “Right now, if we …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Indian Country Today, a national voice for Indian Country, went dark while its owners look for a new buyer or a new business model. The “press,” even a “digital press” is the story. It’s true that most tribal leaders have been annoyed by media, including tribal media, from time to …

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  Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Big news: The rest of the year will have less drama than the ups and downs we’ve been experiencing since January. The federal government will more or less operate on schedule, the federal debt limit fight has been pushed back to the end of the year, and President Donald …

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Trahant Reports Congress is back today and one of two things will happen: It will either do its work or all hell will break loose. Crazy thing is Hurricanes Harvey and Irma could help Congress stay on task. The federal reaction will be costly and money will need to be appropriated. On top of that, …

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