Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

  Mark Trahant / Indian Country Today Paul Ryan came to Washington to blow up Washington. He was first elected to represent his Wisconsin district at 28 years old. He campaigned over his career for a federal government that should shrink dramatically, spend far less, that taxes should be low, and the Republicans should be …

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Mark Trahant / Indian Country Today Cross-posted on Indian Country Today. Here we go again. Congress has three days to resolve long standing disputes over immigration, health care, taxes, abortion rights, guns, building a border wall, a New York City tunnel, and funding federal programs. Republicans control the House and the Senate, but still need …

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  Cross posted on Indian Country Today. Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports A special election in Pennsylvania is a good sign for Native American #NativeVote18 candidates running for office. Why? Because this cycle is already favoring out-of-power Democrats and, quite possibly, independents. It’s hard to peg any constituent group more out-of-power than those who would …

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Mark Trahant / Indian Country Today Many years ago Richard LaCourse and I would sit around and toss ideas about what the perfect Indigenous newspaper would look like. LaCourse, at the time, was trying to create a new publication in Washington, DC. Imagination was his currency. What was possible? LaCourse had a lot of experience answering …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Across the country more women than ever are running for office, including Congress, statewide posts, and legislatures. That’s the case in Indian Country, too. So is it a record year? It sure looks to be so. Amanda Douglas is the latest candidate. “Northeastern Oklahoma is so skewed that not a single …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Who should run the Indian Health Service? Not “who” exactly, but what kind of leader? What kind of skills and experience would be the most useful? This question is more important than ever. The Trump administration has withdrawn the nomination of Robert Weaver to lead the agency. Weaver, a member of …

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I have been working on #NativeVote18 lists … folks running for state legislatures (55 and counting, 25 women and 30 men). I have also been working on a list of Native American women who have run for state wide offices and Congress. Fascinating stuff. (I was thinking of a trivia game I could post.) There …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Another Native American woman is ready to make history. Sharice Davids is running for Congress in the 3rd district of Kansas. Davids, 37, is a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation. She has a Ready-for-Congress resume. She is an attorney,  a Cornell Law School alumna, a White House fellow during the Barack Obama …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Budgets are statements: This is what “we” care about.  It’s money that reveals priorities. The “we” could be, and ought to be, the country. Or the “we” could be a presidential administration that’s not really equipped to govern. So there will be lots of stories this year, like last year, …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports It’s time to look at the money. How much money are #NativeVote18 candidates raising? Yes, I know, this is a silly metric. After all there is no relationship to governing and calling up people you don’t know and asking them for money. Yet this is the system in place. A …

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