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 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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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports It’s easy to get discouraged reading the news or looking at the political landscape. It’s a frightening mess: Mass murder, climate change, an election system that at its roots is unfair, and on and on. But the thing is every new challenge is matched by opportunity. Our legacy — and …

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Mark Trahant /Trahant Reports Here we go again: Congress is finding new ways to complicate health care. It really boils down to the philosophy that government-funded health care is just another word for welfare. So it’s a good thing to cut it back and limit it. The other side of that is that funding health …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports The Senate has given up on destroying Medicaid and much of the health care system and is now focused on restructuring the federal tax system (and destroying entitlement programs in the process). Here is what Speaker Paul Ryan said Sunday on CBS’ Face the Nation:  “We’re going to double that …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Dino Rossi has an interesting political legacy. He was for several weeks the Gov.-elect for Washington state. Then after much counting (and recounting) Democrat Christine Gregoire took the lead by 129 votes and was she sworn in as governor on January 12, 2005. Since then Rossi has run for governor again, …

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Voting on a climate plan and a tax Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports There are two ways to impact public policy through the ballot box. First, people can choose to run for elective office. And, second, ballot initiatives can shape public policy. The Quinault Nation in Washington is “gearing up for another strategic move to …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Indian Country Today, a national voice for Indian Country, went dark while its owners look for a new buyer or a new business model. The “press,” even a “digital press” is the story. It’s true that most tribal leaders have been annoyed by media, including tribal media, from time to …

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*** Updated to include new candidate, maps. Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports I have been avoiding politics. Last year I was consumed by dozens of races across the country, building data bases, checking names, and generally being enthusiastic. Now? Well, this year, I have been absorbed by the Republican plans to rewrite the Affordable Care …

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