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 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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    Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports It’s such a simple thing: Every citizen should have a voice at the table when decisions are made. It’s a powerful notion because no democracy can sustain itself unless all of its people, all of those who have a stake in the outcome, are included. But that idea remains …

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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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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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