Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports HELENA, Montana — Just about a week ago it was clear that Cathy McMorris Rodger was headed to the Interior Department. Nope. It was a headfake. President-elect Donald Trump has instead picked Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke for the post. This is a  much better appointment for Indian Country. Zinke is …

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  Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports The period between an election and a new presidential administration is nothing short of frantic. There is just not enough time to fill all the positions that open up on Jan. 20, 2017, some 8,000 posts that are political in nature. About 1,200 of those jobs require Senate confirmation. President-elect …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Across Indian Country there are rallies, phone banks, forums, and social media pitches that are repeating one message, vote. Native American voters can make the difference in key states from the presidential race to county commissions. And what does it matter? In a paragraph: One presidential candidate, Donald Trump, favors …

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  Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports A new poll in Montana shows Denise Juneau trailing Rep. Ryan Zinke by a wide margin. “Despite record fundraising and polling solid support among Democrats, Juneau, the current state Superintendent of Public Instruction, will need to make big moves in the final weeks of campaigning to close the gap …

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  Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Early in the election cycle I made a prediction: I said if Donald Trump was the Republican nominee, the House would be in play for the Democrats. The reaction (and more than once) was 30 seats? Not likely. (Previous: Native candidates could help flip Congress). Not likely are the words …

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  Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Denise Juneau had the perfect answer. At debate in Great Falls each of the congressional candidates were asked, what would you do to protect the rights of gay, bisexual and transgender individuals? “Number one, get elected,” she said. That’s right on so many levels. This country cannot be the country …

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  Mark Trahant / TrahantReports Make no mistake: The 2016 election is not routine. If you want proof, look no further than the weekend encampment at the Arlee Celebration. On Friday afternoon the Republican candidate for governor, Greg Gianforte, showed up at the celebration with a GOP colleague and then proceeded to serve grilled burgers …

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    Measuring contributions of $25 or less Mark Trahant / TrahantReports Let’s turn the world upside down. A “normal” political story might examine finances for political candidates starting with who raised the most money, where it came from, and what that means for their prospects at the ballot. Money equals success. I am not going to …

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  Mark Trahant TrahantReports.com Indian Country is a key voting bloc in the Democrat’s campaign to win more House seats. Sort of. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is focusing on 19 seats that the party thinks it can win from Republicans, labeled as the “Red to Blue” campaign. Three of those seats have a signifiant …

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Denise Juneau, Montana's Superintendent of Public Instruction, is a candidate for Congress.

Denise Juneau, a member of the Mandan Hidatsa Tribes, and Montana’s two-term Superintendent of Public Instruction, is running for Congress. She’ll face incumbent Republican Ryan Zinke. One of her first pitches is fantastic: “Denise’s Montana roots run deep. Her family’s ancestry traces back to before Montana was even a state, possibly 54 generations on this soil.” She …

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