Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Last year about now I was pretty much writing all politics all the time. Indian Country had so many good candidates to offer. Interesting resumes. Better ideas. Campaigns that led to a few wins. A few more losses. And that’s life. This year I am pretty much writing about health …

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  Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports The Senate bill, like its House counterpart, has a simple message for Indian Country: Don’t get sick. Not in June. Not anytime soon. This bill is not about health care because it takes billions from Medicaid and passes on that savings to wealthy Americans. How bad could it be? …

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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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Governing without a working majority   Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports President Donald J. Trump’s legislative agenda has crashed. The Republican promise to quickly repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act on Friday failed to win enough votes from conservatives to make it so. As House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a post-failure news conference: “Obamacare …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Remember the sequester? Ah, the good old days. The new Trump Administration budget is short on details, but clear on direction. And we do know two things. First: If enacted, this budget would shrink the federal government to a much smaller size. Except for the military and the Veterans Administration. …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports There is that moment when we take the plastic protection off a new phone screen. Everything was perfect until we peel it away. Then fingerprints, scratches, and the business of life take hold. That new thing is never the same. That’s exactly where Doug Burgum was as the new governor …

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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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Four words that still matter Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports The Rule of Law. Four words that are cited over and over as the reason why the water protectors at Standing Rock should back away from their efforts to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. The reasoning goes: The Rule of Law makes it ok to …

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  Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports A few years ago I had a chance to ask President George Bush what he thought about tribal sovereignty in the 21st century. His answer went viral: “Tribal sovereignty means that. It’s sovereign. You’re a … you’re a … you’ve been given sovereignty and you’re viewed as a sovereign …

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