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Arrest warrant issued for Winona LaDuke in Wadena County traffic case

WADENA -- Two-time vice presidential candidate and Native American activist Winona LaDuke was a wanted woman this week in Wadena County.

According to Wadena County Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy Bill Cross, LaDuke's Ford pickup was pulled over on U.S. Highway 71 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 the 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 explained 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 go to the Becker County Courthouse on Wednesday to clear up the Wadena 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.