Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

Good morning. I am working on a piece about Native American women who were elected to office at the state (or, I wish, at the federal) level. This is my spreadsheet. Please take a look and let me know if anyone is missing. I have identified 62 American Indian or Alaska Natives in state legislatures …

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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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Native American Republicans include two elected members of Congress; a dozen serving in seven state legislatures Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Indian Country cannot afford to close the door to Republicans in Congress and in state legislatures, especially those Native Americans who have been elected to office and serve as Republicans. There are two tribal citizens …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports We live in odd times. Congress is moving forward with promised legislation that will roll back much of the health care reform enacted during the past eight years. The Trump administration is issuing regulations to do the same. The key here is that President Donald J. Trump and Republicans in …

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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 HELENA, Montana — Just about a week ago it was clear that Cathy McMorris Rodger was headed to the Interior Department. Nope. It was a headfake. President-elect Donald Trump has instead picked Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke for the post. This is a  much better appointment for Indian Country. Zinke is …

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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 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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