Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Remember this: There is always another election.  And the 2018 congressional elections already promise to be extraordinary. Let’s look at the landscape so far. Last week voters in Kansas surprised Republicans by barely winning a district that’s supposed to be safe. President Donald J. Trump tweeted: “Great win in Kansas last night for …

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Deborah Parker will be a witness to the president’s speech to Congress Tuesday night as the guest of Wisconsin Rep. Gwen Moore. A reminder about what’s at stake from Congressional gallery Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports President Donald J. Trump is set to deliver a financial blow to Indian Country. His first budget will propose …

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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 There is no question in my mind that gender is on the ballot this election. Hillary Clinton would be the first woman ever elected in U.S. history. While the Republican nominee for president finds new ways to show his contempt for women almost every time he opens his mouth. And …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Over the years I have joked about Indian Country being included in the Electoral College. Each tribal nation should have a vote and a say about the next president of the United States. (Of course it would have to be a much larger college. But in a country of 323 …

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Will Standing Rock stir younger Native voters? Mark Trahant / TrahantReports Will young people vote in 2016? And, more important, at least for our purposes, how about the younger generation of American Indians and Alaska Natives? Let’s explore the first question. Younger voters are perplexing. They are, or should be, the largest group voters, some 75 million. …

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Mark Trahant / TrahantReports Vermont casts 22 votes for its senator, Bernie Sanders. A minute later, Sanders asks the rules be suspended and that Hillary Clinton be nominated by acclamation. And so the Bernie Sanders’ chapter comes to an end. The question is, “what’s next?” Let’s explore this from a couple of different points of view. …

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Mark Trahant / TrahantReports A couple of decades ago I had a chance to interview John Ehrlichman.  He had been recently released from prison for perjury and other Watergate-related crimes. We were talking about President Nixon’s American Indian and Alaska Native policies. He talked about some of the successes, some of the challenges, and then I asked …

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