Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

Good morning. I am working on a piece about Native American women who were elected to office at the state (or, I wish, at the federal) level. This is my spreadsheet. Please take a look and let me know if anyone is missing. I have identified 62 American Indian or Alaska Natives in state legislatures …

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Governing without a working majority   Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports President Donald J. Trump’s legislative agenda has crashed. The Republican promise to quickly repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act on Friday failed to win enough votes from conservatives to make it so. As House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a post-failure news conference: “Obamacare …

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Native American Republicans include two elected members of Congress; a dozen serving in seven state legislatures Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Indian Country cannot afford to close the door to Republicans in Congress and in state legislatures, especially those Native Americans who have been elected to office and serve as Republicans. There are two tribal citizens …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports A short post for a big week: We should start to see some budget numbers coming out of the White House (as soon as today). Early reports suggest sharp cuts for domestic spending as well as increases for Defense. I’ll update once I see if that framework includes the Bureau …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Last year I expected a record number of Native Americans to get elected to offices across the country. There were just so many really superb candidates running for Congress, state legislatures, and statewide offices. At one point my list topped a hundred candidates. Of course it didn’t turn out that way. …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports HELENA, Montana — It’s easy to think about politics as being about elections. We concentrate so much of our attention, our money, and our energy on campaigns. But then what? Most politicians run because they want to change things. They want government to be effective, to use the machinery of state …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Sometimes the stars do align. The short version: Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison is campaigning to chair the Democratic National Committee. If he wins, that opens up a congressional seat in a special election. And, state Rep. Peggy Flanagan is thinking about running. Now, the details.  Ellison represents Minneapolis and some …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports If, then, this. A series of three words explaining what happens in any new White House. If Donald Trump wins the presidency, then many (not all) of the promises made during the campaign become policy. And it happens starting next month when the Congress races to try and make this so. …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports This election Indian Country was like America. Perhaps only more so. Most American Indian and Alaska Natives voted for Hillary Clinton. But that support was mild. There were not enough votes to make a difference in red states like Montana, South Dakota and North Dakota. Just enough votes to stay …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Native American representation in Congress was 0.37 percent before the election and today it’s the same, Rep. Tom Cole and Rep. Markwayne Mullin were easily re-elected to the House. But Denise Juneau, Joe Pakotas and Chase Iron Eyes were all defeated by wide margins in Montana, Washington and North Dakota. …

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