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Wadena County issues warrant for former vice-presidential candidate LaDuke

WADENA, Minn. - Authorities in Wadena County this week issued a warrant for two-time vice presidential candidate and American Indian activist Winona LaDuke in relation to a traffic stop.

According to Wadena County Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy Bill Cross, LaDuke was pulled over on Nov. 21 and she was cited for not having a current insurance card in her vehicle.

"She failed to make a court appearance or pay her fine," Cross said, leading a judge to issue a bench warrant for her arrest.

The charge is a misdemeanor, and after adding a warrant fee, she owed $325 bail to Wadena County, if she chose to plead guilty.

"I tried to pay it over the phone," LaDuke said in a phone interview. "They told me I had to pay it in person."

LaDuke, 50, said she had a current insurance card, but it wasn't in the vehicle. She said Tuesday she planned to pay the fine at the Becker County Courthouse in Detroit Lakes, Minn., to clear up the warrant.

LaDuke is busy rebuilding her home in Ponsford, which burned down in late 2008.

LaDuke campaigned twice as Ralph Nader's running mate for the White House in 1996 and 2000. She is a Harvard-educated economist and the founding director of the White Earth Land Recovery Project.

Steve Schultz is a reporter at the Wadena (Minn.) Pioneer Journal, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.