Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports The story of Alaska and Montana is not front and center in the health care debate in the House today. But it should be. Montana does not get a vote. (The state does not currently have a member of Congress after former Rep. Ryan Zinke was confirmed as Secretary of …

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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 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 Timing is everything in politics — so Minnesota Rep. Peggy Flanagan is wasting no time in her bid for Congress. This week she launched a new web page and her social media links. Flanagan is a member of the White Earth band of Ojibwe and she would be the first Native American …

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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 There is that moment when we take the plastic protection off a new phone screen. Everything was perfect until we peel it away. Then fingerprints, scratches, and the business of life take hold. That new thing is never the same. That’s exactly where Doug Burgum was as the new governor …

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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 The period between an election and a new presidential administration is nothing short of frantic. There is just not enough time to fill all the positions that open up on Jan. 20, 2017, some 8,000 posts that are political in nature. About 1,200 of those jobs require Senate confirmation. President-elect …

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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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