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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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports I was at an event in Seattle recently and listened to Slade Gorton talk about the future of the Republican party in Washington at the Crosscut Festival. Washington state is changing and the GOP runs the risk of being irrelevant (as is now the case in California elections). And, Washington, …

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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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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 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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Trahant Reports Washington state voters picked candidates in a primary election Tuesday and a number of Native Americans ran for offices ranging from city councils to the Seattle Port Commission. Bellingham City Councilmember Roxanne Murphy, Nooksack, was easily cruising to a spot in the general election rolling up more than 65 percent of the vote. …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Senate Republicans campaigned against “Obamacare” for seven years. Yet there was never an alternative that had support from a majority of their own party. The problem is simple: Many (not all) Republicans see health care programs that help people — the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, etc. — as welfare. Others …

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