Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

  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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Trahant Reports U.S. Rep. Tim Walz and his running mate Peggy Flanagan passed their first test in Minnesota, easily winning a straw poll of voters at the state’s party caucuses. Walz-Flanagan won nearly a third of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor ballots. State Auditor Rebecca Otto was in second place with 20 percent, followed by state Rep. Erin Murphy …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports The November election seems far off. It’s almost a year away, right? Sorry. Elections are a series of steps that lead to that moment when ballots are actually counted.  And for the #NativeVote18 candidates some of those early steps are real tests. And in Minnesota one of those critical test …

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Updated Sunday. Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports The government is in its official shut down mode. And it’s a fight that has been brewing for a long time. It’s complicated because there are several different congressional factions, think of them as mini-political parties, that have different goals. Remember this: The Republicans are in charge. This process …

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Trahant Reports Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has scheduled a news conference Wednesday to announce his pick for the U.S. Senate. The StarTribune reports it will be, as expected, his Lt. Gov. Tina Smith. “In selecting Smith, the governor is choosing one of his most trusted advisers and someone who has worked for years traveling the …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports There is an uncomfortable, even painful re-balancing going on across so much of society. The old world of male hegemony is slowly coming to an end. Minnesota’s Sen. Al Franken lost his office because of his own actions — and that broader change. “I, of all people, am aware that …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Congress has yet to reenact the Children’s Health Insurance Program and states will soon run out of funds to prop up the program. That will mean that thousands of American Indian and Alaska Native children will lose their health insurance. And, the result is the Indian Health Service will have …

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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 A year ago ballots from across the country were being examined by citizens, journalists, and politicians, who were all wondering, “What the hell just happened?” The nation woke up to a President-elect Donald J. Trump. And this morning? The Trump brand is like an overpriced hotel where you would never, …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports New Mexico congressional candidate Debra Haaland is criss-crossing Indian Country determined to get her name out there — and to raise enough money to be competitive. She began in Milwaukee at the National Congress of American Indians annual convention and she ends the week in Anchorage at the Alaska Federation …

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