Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Three lessons from  last week’s election results. First: Gerrymandering can be defeated. The election districts in Virginia were designed to support incumbents, and especially Republicans. The Atlantic described the “well-documented” Republican operation to gain “control of the mapmaking process in 2010 (and) saw their share of legislative seats steadily grow, …

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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 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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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports A couple of days ago I wrote that “there is one tell that’s worth watching: Where are they?” This is better indicator than polls because it shows where the candidates themselves think they are vulnerable. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan will campaign this Sunday with Rep. Ryan Zinke in Billings. …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Thirteen days and counting. And the election issue once again is the Affordable Care Act. A report by the Department of Health and Human Services details the rising costs for individual policies. So after two years of moderate premium increases (2% for 2015 and 7.5% for 2016) premiums are going up …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports What does a landslide look like? And, more important, what would that mean for Native American candidates? First: Hillary Clinton is peaking at the ideal moment. And, at the same time, Donald Trump’s campaign is imploding. He had a bad week, a poor debate, and he’s out of time to …

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  Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Early in the election cycle I made a prediction: I said if Donald Trump was the Republican nominee, the House would be in play for the Democrats. The reaction (and more than once) was 30 seats? Not likely. (Previous: Native candidates could help flip Congress). Not likely are the words …

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  Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Let’s start with the big picture. Donald Trump’s recorded revelation of felony intent — and yes, it’s that serious — ought to disqualify him from the presidency. There is no excuse. We are not talking about lewd behavior, consensual relationships, or being boorish. Trump said he can engage in criminal behavior. …

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