Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

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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  Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports First: A fantasy. Wouldn’t it be cool if once, just once, there was a debate in Congress that could only be decided by a vote that benefits Native people? I don’t know. Something like, “I won’t vote for any bill unless it fulfills the treaty obligations that the United …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports You have to wonder why the latest Senate Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act did not get written with one senator in mind, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Yet the bill by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) is more conservative than previous approaches. It …

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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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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports It would be cool, just this once, if the Senate would say, “Indian Country you are so important. So we are adding a special provision to this health care bill that adds big bucks to the Indian Health Service.” Then Senators with significant American Indian or Alaska Native populations would …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports A Senate hearing Wednesday on Indian health illustrates the larger problem exactly: How can you strip millions of dollars from a health care system and get better results? The answer is you cannot. But that’s not what the Trump administration testified. And it’s not what the Senate leadership is saying …

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    Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Reality TV works for one simple reason: The antics of the characters are beyond what’s believable in fiction. It’s compelling drama because normal people do not do such things. So part of watching is to find out when the story arc ends, to discover when the situation becomes …

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  Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Debra Haaland filed paperwork to run for Congress from New Mexico. If elected, she would be the first Native American woman to ever serve in that body. And what makes this news especially cool: This is a winnable seat. Haaland, a member of Laguna Pueblo, has served the past …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Former Montana State Sen. Carol Juneau once said that she considered state office because that’s where she could make a difference. (She is a member of the Mandan Hidatsa Arikara Tribe but was living in the Blackfeet Nation). The year was 1998. She was first appointed to the legislature to …

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***Updated*** Good morning. A quick update. So a reader points out that I really ought to include Debora Juarez in this list (and in the broader review of Native women in office). And it’s a spot on suggestion. So I have added Juarez and a couple of county commissioners I know about … but there …

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