INDEX OF NEWS REPORTS AND COMMENTARIES; FULL TEXT OF EACH ITEM IS BELOW THE INDEX IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER
August 3, 2012: YouTube video, 92 minutes, of a meeting about the goals and procedures of the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission authorized under Act 195 to establish a racial registry for a future Native Hawaiian tribe. Active participants include former Governor John Waihee, who is chairman of the Commission, and Mahealani Wendt, former head of the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation [when her surname was Kamau'u]. All participants make clear that the commitment is to independence, as shown by the affirmation of Hawaii's "unrelinquished sovereignty" in Act 195 and in the pledge signed by people who sign the new racial registry.
Aug 19: Senator Inouye turns 88 next month. He said that when his current term ends 4 years from now he plans to run again for an additional 6 year term. He also said "If it's the last thing I do, I will make sure the Akaka bill passes. I gave [Akaka] my word."
Aug 24: Kana'iolowalu racial roster public meeting set for Maui
Aug 24-25: Republican candidate for U.S. Senate John Carroll, who lost to former Governor Linda Lingle in the primary election, announces his endorsement for Democrat nominee Mazie Hirono because he doubts Lingle's decision-making and ability to govern.
Aug 27: Senator Akaka claims to have a pledge from majority leader Harry Reid that the Akaka bill will come to the Senate floor this year.
Aug 31: Data focused on Native Hawaiians from Census 2010 have important political implications for Hawaii and all of America. The implications concern the Akaka bill and/or Act 195 state-recognized tribe; and victimhood claims asserted by the Hawaiian grievance industry as a way of demanding sympathy, money, and political power. Native Hawaiians would be the largest Indian tribe in America. Their average age is 26, compared to an average age of 42 for all the rest of Hawaii's people; the age gap explains why they have lower income, and higher rates of drug abuse and incarceration.
September 1, 2012: OHA trustee Peter Apo writes "the roll commission [Act 195] is not an initiative designed to support the Akaka bill. The political anticipation is that the Akaka bill will not survive congressional Republican opposition. The roll commission signals a new political strategy toward self-determination. The roll commission is a virtual voter registration process. It anticipates a Native Hawaiian Governing Entity by identifying the citizenry to be governed."
September 4, 2012: Republican and Democrat 2012 National and State Platforms Regarding the Akaka bill and Hawaiian Racial Entitlements
Sept 11: 2 minor online news reports that the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs will gut and "markup" (replace) the Akaka bill at a September 13 business meeting. The new version will delete lengthy portions regarding membership requirements and procedures for creating the Akaka tribe, and refer such matters to the racial registry process now underway under state Act 195 (2011).
September 13-14, 2012: Senator Akaka introduced a new version of the Akaka bill in the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and the committee immediately passed it by voice vote in about one minute. For the first time in the 12-year history of the bill, news media reported that there were committee members who expressed opposition inside the committee during the meeting. Senator John Barrasso (R,WY), who is vice-chair of the committee, voted against the bill and said that Senator John McCain (R, AZ), absent from the meeting, also wished to be recorded as voting no. This webpage provides a link to the text of the bill, full text of news reports during the day the bill was introduced and the following day (the most insightful reports based on in-person observation of the meeting are provided first regardless of date), and Senator Akaka's news release.
Sept 16: Honolulu Star-Advertiser online poll has 74% of respondents saying the chances of passing the Akaka bill this year are poor, 19% fair, 7% good.
Sept 18: "Brief Summary of Bad Surprises in the New Akaka Bill" major article by Ken Conklin describes how the new bill authorizes casinos in Hawaii and mainland, allows Akaka tribe to take benefits from federal benefit programs at expense of mainland tribes, allows claims against public and private lands in Hawaii using Indian non-intercourse act, etc.
Sept 20: Senator Akaka opened a business meeting of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs by reading a prepared statement in which he reviewed a history of Indian victimhood at the hands of the U.S., and a modern revival of tribal sovereignty. He ended by saying "My top legislative priority, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, ensures parity in policy for all federally-recognized Native peoples. It means the Native Hawaiian people will have full access to the prevailing federal policy on self-determination, and finally be able to exercise their right to self-governance. It is time for the United States to give my people access to its best policies on Native peoples, not just the legacies of the worst ones."
Sept 24: Keli'i Akina, candidate for OHA trustee, says the new Akaka bill lets Congress wash its hands of racism and makes Hawaii do that dirty work.
Sept 25: (1) New Inouye stealth maneuver is uncovered -- a paragraph buried inside a proposed Department of Interior appropriations bill that would authorize the Secretary of Interior to add the Akaka tribe to the list of federally recognized tribes.; (2) Honolulu Star-Advertiser editorial supports the new Akaka bill (without describing what's in it).
Sept 26: News release from Senator Jon Kyl, a longtime staunch opponent of the Akaka bill, says Kyl will block the entire Interior Department appropriations bill (i.e., put a hold on it or filibuster it) until Inouye's stealth paragraph recognizing the Akaka tribe is removed.
Sept 30: (1) News report about Senator Inouye inserting stealth language into Department of Interior appropriations bill to give federal recognition to the Akaka tribe; (2) Guest commentary by OHA trustee Peter Apo saying ethnic Hawaiians should pull together all the enormous land and money assets they have in Native Hawaiian institutions, and pursue nationhood even if there is no federal legislation to create the Akaka tribe.
October 1, 2012: The OHA monthly newspaper contained several pages with multiple stories about Kana'iolowalu, the new racial registry being assembled under Hawaii Act 195 (2011) which dovetails with the federal Akaka bill. OHA CEO pep talk; Former Governor John Waihe's, chairman of Kana'iolowalu; a comparison among past racial registries including Operation Ohana, the OHA Hawaiian Registry, Kau Inoa; a description of initial reluctance on the mainland; a passionate appeal from Kehaulani Abad saying that the Hawaiian dream is not the American dream.
Oct 2: Short article in Civil Beat finally takes note that Inouye inserted stealth language into the Interior Dept budget bill to recognize the Akaka tribe, and Republicans immediately objected.
Oct 4: OHA trustee candidate Keli'i Akina says that Republicans, by opposing the Akaka bill, are actually embracing longstanding Democrat principles opposing racial exclusion. Thus opposition to Akaka bill should be bipartisan.
Oct 5: Senator Akaka swan-song -- his final speech as a sitting Senator to the annual convention of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, putting himself in the line of succession to Robert Wilcox and Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana'ole, and touting his new version of the Akaka bill.
Oct 17: (1) Ken Conklin recommendations for Hawaii voters who oppose the Akaka bill: US Senate, US House, OHA trustees, state legislature; (2) Harry Reid, U.S. Senate majority leader, interviewed by "Indian Country Today", praises Senator Akaka and wants to help him pass the Akaka bill
Oct 22: The Association of (Native) Hawaiian Civic Clubs selected Washington D.C. as the place to hold its annual convention. But they refused to allow a reporter to cover their meetings, refused a request for interview, and commented that their growing number of (race-based) clubs on the mainland is now "colonizing" America just as America colonized Hawaii.
Oct 26: Ken Conklin, in the Kaua'i newspaper, says vote against Lingle and Djou because, as Republicans, they would work inside the Republican caucus to undermine Republican opposition to Akaka bill.
Nov 4: Keli'i Akina tells why he should be elected as OHA trustee and Cal Lee should not, including Akina's opposition to the Akaka bill and the Act 195 racially exclusionary state-recognized tribe.
Nov 6: Office of Hawaiian Affairs Beefing Up Advocacy At Federal Level by re-opening its Washington D.C. office
Nov 12: In an interview in "Indian Country Today", Senator Akaka, chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, says his top 2 priorities for the lame duck session are a clean Carcieri fix and the Akaka bill, and he will push those as hard as he can right up until the final gavel bangs down on December 21.
Nov 28: Dr. Keli'i Akina, who ran for OHA trustee at-large and placed 3rd out of 6 candidates on November 6, wrote an article in Honolulu Civil Beat entitled "Native Hawaiian Roll Commission Is Racial Discrimination."
Nov 30: Associated Press reports that Senator Akaka has presided for the last time over a meeting of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee before his retirement. But the AP report described Akaka as the only native who has ever chaired that committee, forgetting and disrespecting Colorado Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell.
December 1, 2012: Honolulu Star-Advertiser publishes correction to November 30 news report.
December 3, 2012 and December 5: Secret memo reveals plan for Obama to issue executive order granting federal recognition as an Indian tribe to a group of Hawaiian Homestead Associations [50% blood quantum required] who would then own 200,000 acres of homestead lands and get $600 Million in OHA assets.
Dec 3-5: 3-part series in Honolulu Civil Beat describes Senator Akaka's 36 year career in Congress. Part 1: Plenty of aloha, but not many accomplishments. Part 2 describes the history of the Akaka bill in both the House and Senate from 2000-2012, including all the various bill numbers and what became of them. Part 3: Ambassador Of Aloha Bridged Party Lines [in personal relations but not in legislative accomplishments]
Dec 5: Keli'i Akina Honolulu Star-Advertiser commentary: "An abuse of democracy may be ahead as certain Native Hawaiian groups consider plans to bypass the majority of Hawaii voters on the issue of whether the state of Hawaii should be the venue for a race-based sovereign nation."
Dec. 9: Andrew Walden describes many ways that the final version of the Akaka bill, passed on September 13 by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, would empower the new Akaka tribe to attack all land titles in Hawaii, build casinos on the mainland as well as in Hawaii, and have special powers not available to a majority of mainland tribes.
Dec 11: The Seattle Times newspaper finally publishes a correction of the November 29 Associated Press story which had incorrectly said that Senator Akaka was the first native person to chair the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.
Dec 12: Senator Akaka gives a 15 minute farewell speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate, in which "Akaka acknowledged that the Akaka Bill, named after him, will not pass before he leaves office, but urged colleagues to pass the measure, which would create a process toward Native Hawaiian sovereignty." A C-SPAN2 video clip of the portion of his speech in which he spoke about the Akaka bill is provided, along with a video and full text of his entire farewell speech. Akaka said "My bill has encountered many challenges, but it is pono, it is right, and it is long overdue. Although I will not be the bill's sponsor in the 113th Congress, it will forever bear my highest aspirations and heartfelt commitment to the Native Hawaiian people, the State of Hawaii, and the United States of America."
Dec 13: Honolulu Star-Advertiser front page headline story:
A 'DECENT' MAN LEAVES SENATE
After 36 years as a lawmaker, Daniel Akaka delivers a stirring farewell to Capitol Hill and Washington
And a 2-page centerfold describes his legacy.
Dec. 17: The newest version of the Akaka bill, passed by the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs on September 13, has finally had its official committee report sent to the Senate AND THE BILL HAS BEEN PLACED ON THE SENATE CALENDAR UNDER "GENERAL ORDERS." (That means the bill could be called to the floor by Majority Leader Harry Reid to be debated, if and when he chooses to do so.). See news report by Andrew Walden on December 20.
Dec 18: Senator Inouye died on December 17. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser on December 18 published lengthy articles and an editorial commemorating his life. A few sentences, excerpted here, were devoted to his work on the apology resolution of 1993 and the Akaka bill from 2000 to 2012.
Dec. 20: News report by Andrew Walden in Hawaii Free Press says Akaka bill has had its committee report sent to the Senate and has been placed on the Calendar under General Orders. News report includes link to the report.
Dec 20: News report says the racial registry Kana'iolowalu, to create a membership for the Hawaii Act 195 (2011) tribe, has gotten only 7,000 signatures at approximately the halfway point in its year-long signup campaign. But they're going to spend lots of money to get signups in the months ahead.
Dec 20-21: On December 20 Senator Akaka spoke on the Senate floor pleading with his colleagues to pass the Akaka bill as a tribute to Senator Inouye who also supported the bill. His 8-minute speech was reported in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Dec. 21 along with a video clip from CSPAN of his 9-minute speech. The Congressional Record from Dec. 20 became available on Dec 21; full text of Akaka's speech is provided along with a followup speech by Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski supporting Akaka's plea.
Dec 24: Mini editorial notes that Inouye often made end-of-session stealth maneuvers to pass Akaka bill, and wouldn't it be ironic if Akaka's plea for Senate to pass Akaka bill in honor of Inouye finally gave Inouye success.
FULL TEXT OF EACH ITEM, IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER
August 3: YouTube video, 92 minutes, of a meeting about the goals and procedures of the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission authorized under Act 195 to establish a racial registry for a future Native Hawaiian tribe. Active participants include former Governor John Waihee, who is chairman of the Commission, and Mahealani Wendt, former head of the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation [when her surname was Kamau'u]. All participants make clear that the commitment is to independence, as shown by the affirmation of Hawaii's "unrelinquished sovereignty" in Act 195 and in the pledge signed by people who sign the new racial registry. The entire 92 minutes is immediately available, which allows viewers to browse and skip by clicking at various places along the time track.
The Maui News, August 19, 2012
Inouye has more he wants to do for Hawaii
Senator emphasizes need for Democrats to remain in control
By CHRIS HAMILTON - Staff Writer
** Excerpts related to Akaka bill
WAILEA - U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye will turn 88 next month. And, if his health keeps holding up, the spry World War II hero said on Saturday that he will run for another six-year term in four years.
Inouye's been in Congress since 1959, is third in line for the presidency and is chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee. And he still has much he wants to see done for the nation, Hawaii and Maui, he said.
So maintaining Democratic control of the Senate and his party's four-seat lead is imperative, Inouye said. "If we lose, the changes for us will be dramatic, to say the least," he said.
In the post-economic meltdown world, both the president and many congressional leaders have pledged to ban or veto earmarks. But Inouye said he's quietly been working with Democrats and Republicans for more than a year to find a solution.
Finally, Inouye said, "Maui is a very special place for me. My mother was born here." And after his grandparents died, a Native Hawaiian family took her in.
That's why, he said, "if it's the last thing I do," he will make sure the Akaka Bill passes. "I gave (Akaka) my word," he said.
The federal law would provide some sovereignty and other rights to Native Hawaiians. Inouye said he also wants this law "for my mother."
The Maui News, August 24, 2012
Roll part of effort to achieve self-governance
Group to register, confirm ancestry of 200,000 with Native Hawaiian blood
By CHRIS HAMILTON - Staff Writer The Maui News
WAILUKU - A nonprofit set up by the Legislature and funded by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Kana'iolowalu, is undertaking an effort to register and confirm the ancestry of an estimated 200,000 people with Native Hawaiian blood as part of a long-term effort to achieve some form of self-governance.
This is a two-part, all-inclusive effort to address long-standing and worsening injustices and social ills facing Native Hawaiians, said Kana'iolowalu, or Native Hawaiian Roll Commission, members Mahealani Perez Wendt of Maui and former Gov. John Waihee. Other Hawaii residents will not be left behind, they added.
Supporters of the modern sovereignty effort who are not Native Hawaiian can sign the nonprofit's petition. Kana'iolowalu's five representative commissioners will host a public meeting at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Queen Lili'uokalani Children's Center at 1791 Wili Pa Loop in Wailuku.
"We feel the community needs to be involved in the process," Waihee said. In order to register or sign the petition, go online at kanaiolowalu.org.
"There are so many Native Hawaiian issues out there that need to be resolved. To speak with one voice on these issues is imperative for some kind of self-governance. What it will look like, we don't know yet," Waihee said.
"But what I can tell you for certain is we are not interested in any private lands, only those ceded (former monarchy) lands controlled by federal and state governments," he said.
The Legislature created the commission last year with Act 195, which Gov. Neil Abercrombie supported.
"The act recognized Native Hawaiians as the indigenous peoples of Hawaii and supports the mission or achievement of self-government," Waihee said.
These ideas have been around for decades now. But it's also completely separate from the Akaka Bill still deadlocked in Congress, which some say doesn't go far enough by providing federal recognition for Native Hawaiians.
Others, many of whom are non-Native Hawaiian residents, worry that the Akaka Bill, or this effort, will result in displacing their property, rights and themselves eventually from Hawaii. Waihee and Wendt said that won't happen.
The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is funding Kana'iolowalu with nearly $4 million, most to confirm the Native Hawaiian ancestry of people who are 18 and older and live anywhere in the world. Other confirmation partners (the law mandates that the information remain confidential) include the state Department of Health, Kamehameha Schools and Kau Inoa.
She said Kana'iolowalu has had thousands of Web hits since the effort began July 20.
Waihee and Wendt said that the work is important because Native Hawaiians are dealing with more social problems.
Wendt, a former Native Hawaiian Legal Corp. executive director, envisions registration first, then delegate elections for a Native Hawaiian constitution, which will also be voted upon. She didn't say what role non-Native Hawaiians would have in this nascent process.
"To resolve some of these issues we need to get everyone involved," Waihee said.
Personally, Wendt said, she wants to see a sovereign Hawaiian state with its own justice system, police, health and human services, natural resource management and recognition by other nations. Wendt said that doesn't mean Hawaii will no longer be a part of the United States.
Unifying Native Hawaiians allows them to have more impact over policies that affect their lives, Wendt said. The people have been marginalized. But she wants a peaceful transition, noting that she and her family are not 100 percent indigenous.
This promises to be a very complex and long process, she said, but empowering.
"Hopefully this will be done as exponentially as possible, considering the issues we face," Waihee said. "For instance, I read the other day there are more Native Hawaiians in prison than enrolled at the University of Hawaii."
In addition, he said that the state continues to sell ceded lands.
"We want to make life better for everyone," he said.
KITV news, Honolulu, Friday August 24, 2012
HONOLULU -- John Carroll, who challenged Linda Lingle to be Hawaii's U.S. Senate Republican nominee in the Primary Election, endorsed U.S. Democratic nominee Mazie Hirono Friday.
** Photo showing John Carroll standing at Hirono podium with Mazie Hirono
** Photo with caption "Kiss of Support"
Carroll called it a "gut decision" about who he personally trusts. He is critical of Lingle's record.
Carroll said is staying with the Republican Party and will be voting for Republican candidates for the U.S. House, State House and State Senate. But in this particular race, he is endorsing Hirono.
"I believe that Ms. Lingle is a clear and present danger to the economic and political health of this beloved State of Hawaii," said Carroll. "Given her record as Hawaii's Republican Party Chair from 1999-2002, she only helped to elect one Republican State Senator out of 25 and eight Republican State Representatives out of 51, which is simply abysmal. Her accomplishments and failures as Governor are equally depressing."
"So, my decision on whom to support is based on my perception of the candidate's character and sincerity to help Hawaii," explained Carroll. "Of the two [Lingle and Hirono], I believe Mazie is predictable on issues and is of good and honest character, similar to Senator Daniel Akaka."
The Lingle campaign released this statement from Lenny Klompus, Lingle's Deputy Campaign Manager and Communications Director:
"Most endorsements are special and meaningful, while others don't mean a hill of beans. John Carroll falls into the latter group by trying to once again put himself in the limelight by standing with a candidate with the most liberal voting record, after working hard and failing to be the grandfather of a conservative group of party faithful."
"In what has become a personal vendatta, he has embarrassed those in the party that once supported him. Finally, in his last three races (2002, 2010, 2012) he didn't garnish more than 10 percent of the vote. Carroll has not been a serious candidate and this is not a serious endorsement."
Carroll lost his bid for the Republican nomination to Hawaii's open U.S. Senate seat to Linda Lingle in the Primary Election. Although he considers himself a conservative, Carroll said many of his positions on issues, such as his advocacy for increasing tourism as well as pioneering legislation for protecting Hawaii's environment, are also more in line with Hirono.
Carroll served in the Air Force and Hawaii National Guard as a fighter pilot and legal officer. He was also a Captain for Hawaiian Airlines for 30 years. Carroll continues to practice law in downtown Honolulu.
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, August 25, 2012
GOP member backs Democrat Hirono
By Derrick DePledge
In an unusual twist, former state lawmaker and attorney John Carroll, who lost badly to former Gov. Linda Lingle in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, on Friday endorsed U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono, Lingle's Demo cratic rival.
The conservative Carroll acknowledged that he disagrees with the liberal Hirono on most issues but praised her support for tourism and environmental protection. He described Hirono as a "candidate of character and sincerity."
Carroll said he did not doubt Lingle's character but questioned her ability to govern and her decision-making. He cited the loss of the Hawaii Superferry, an increase in homelessness and a rise in unemployment during her time as governor.
"She left the state in economic shambles," he said. "And now she's saying this is all myth, none of this is true. This shows me somebody who does not know what's going on."
In the primary, Hirono used a rare endorsement by U.S. Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, to undercut Lingle's claim of bipartisan leadership. The congresswoman, who had called Carroll after the primary, introduced him at a news conference at her campaign headquarters off Nimitz Highway as "the newest member of Team Mazie."
"As we talk about bipartisanship, this is really another example of someone who has looked at my record, looked at my opponent's record and said that 'Mazie is the fighter for Hawaii. She's the person we can trust,'" she said.
Lenny Klompus, Lingle's deputy campaign manager, said Carroll, who has not attracted more than 10 percent of the vote in his Republican campaigns for governor and U.S. Senate, has not been a serious candidate.
"Most endorsements are special and meaningful, while others don't mean a hill of beans," Klompus said in a statement. "John Carroll falls into the latter group by trying to once again put himself in the limelight by standing with a candidate with the most liberal voting record, after working hard and failing to be the grandfather of a conservative group of party faithful.
"In what has become a personal vendetta, he has embarrassed those in the party that once supported him," Klompus said.
Republicans, like Democrats, have party rules against members actively campaigning for candidates of competing political parties. David Chang, state GOP chairman, said it would be up to the party's state committee whether to terminate Carroll's party membership.
"It's disappointing that John is doing this," Chang said. "Instead of electing Gov. Lingle, who is the best candidate for this position, he's going to take his loss personally and endorse her opponent."
Carroll, 82, laughed off potential expulsion.
"Let me put it this way: With all the help they've given me, I ought to be terrified about what they're going to do," he said. "They might interfere in my next race when I'm about 87 years old."
Pechanga [Indian news blog], August 27, 2012
AKAKA FIX: Mixing the Internet with a Carcieri fix can be tricky
(Blog) Dave Palermo: AKAKA FIX: Mixing the Internet with a Carcieri fix can be tricky
Widespread speculation among Capitol Hill insiders is that Sen. Daniel Akaka, (D-Hawaii), is hoping to use draft Internet legislation as leverage to get Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) to engineer a congressional fix to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Carcieri v Salazar.
Akaka, chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, also is pressing to get Congress to officially recognize native Hawaiians. Akaka is half Hawaiian.
"Loretta Tuell [staff director to the committee] has made it clear the committee's priorities are a Carcieri fix and Native Hawaiian recognition," said a Washington lobbyist who requested anonymity. "Nothing happens until those issues are taken care of.
"It is my belief this whole Internet gaming bill is meant to be a negotiating tool with Harry Reid to try to get Carcieri done."
"Yeah, I've heard that," said a second tribal lobbyist who also requested anonymity. "That's common knowledge."
With little consensus among American Indian tribes on Internet wagering, many lobbyists are curious why Akaka's committee would rush to draft a bill and hold a July hearing on the matter.
"A lot of people are shaking their heads, you know, wondering, 'What is she [Tuell] doing?'" said the second lobbyist.
"I understand the concept of a draft bill – a place-holder – being Reid has a draft he won't show anybody.
"But I disagree with the strategy of putting out a draft bill. On a substantive level, it's hard to put out a draft on behalf of Indian country when Indian country, as a whole, doesn't know what it wants."
Akaka initially attempted to attach a Carcieri fix to the Hearth [Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Home Ownership] Act, legislation allowing tribes to lease restricted lands for residential and other purposes without the approval of the Secretary of the Interior.
The move angered tribal officials convinced controversy surrounding the Carcieri ruling, which severely hinders tribal efforts to place land in trust, would generate congressional opposition to the Hearth legislation. Hearth was fast-tracked through Congress by Reid over Akaka's objections.
Few give much hope to getting a Carcieri fix through Congress.
Congressional opposition to Carcieri is fueled by the expansion of tribal government gambling beyond existing reservations. Tribal leaders are seeking a "clean" legislative fix that does not require amending the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act to further limit off-reservation casinos.
"That's simply not going to happen," a lobbyist said. "You have a number of state-by-state, tribe-by-tribe concerns. So getting that (Carcieri) done is going to be very, very difficult."
Carcieri essentially states that Interior cannot place land in trust for Indian governments not "under federal jurisdiction" with passage of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934. The act creates legal issues beyond the approximately 50 tribes that have been officially recognized since IRA.
Carcieri has complicated land/trust cases with Interior. But the agency under the Obama Administration has managed to place some 157,000 of land in trust for the tribes.
While Congress has traditionally treated Native Hawaiians in a manner similar to American Indians and Alaska Natives, the federal policy of self-governance and self-determination has not yet been formally extended to Native Hawaiians.
"The people of Hawaii have waited for far too long for an opportunity to participate in a government-to-government relationship similar to that already extended to this nation's other indigenous people," Akaka said.
Reid has reportedly promised Akaka the issue of Native Hawaiian recognition would hit the Senate floor before the end of the year.
But he's reportedly not happy with the draft Internet bill out of Akaka's committee.
"My understanding is Reid's people are not pleased that this Indian Affairs bill is being bandied about," the Capitol Hill lobbyist said.
"At the end of the day, getting Harry Reid to draft a bill that's fair to the tribes is, at least in my view, is folly."
Hawaii Reporter, August 31, 2012
Census 2010 Native Hawaiian data -- some political implications
BY KENNETH R. CONKLIN, PH.D. -- Data focused on Native Hawaiians from Census 2010 have important political implications for Hawaii and all of America. The implications concern the Akaka bill and/or Act 195 state-recognized tribe; and victimhood claims asserted by the Hawaiian grievance industry as a way of demanding sympathy, money, and political power.
WHY SINGLE OUT NATIVE HAWAIIANS FOR SCRUTINY?
There is no other ethnic group in Hawaii that has some of its leaders pursuing racial separatism, demanding to create a race-based government empowered with land, money, and jurisdictional authority. The major vehicles for doing that are the proposed federally recognized tribe under the Akaka bill,
and the state-recognized tribe put in motion under Hawaii Act 195 of 2011.
That's why it's important to analyze demographic data focused on Native Hawaiians. There are already severe conflicts of interest when state government officials who are themselves Native Hawaiian make decisions about transferring land and other state assets to race-based institutions that will provide benefits exclusively to their own racial group (as in the recent transfer of $200 Million ocean-front land in Kaka'ako to OHA). A compilation of information about more than 850 race-based government grants to benefit Native Hawaiians exclusively, totaling more than $322 Million, is at
See analysis of the problem of race-based conflict of interest at
Following is a very brief summary of major Native Hawaiian data from Census 2010. For detailed analysis and numerous internet links to Census data, see
80,337 "PURE HAWAIIANS" IN HAWAII, AND 156,146 NATIONWIDE. REALLY?
That's how many people checked ONLY the race box for "Native Hawaiian" even though the instructions were clear that people could check multiple boxes reflecting multiple ancestries. In reality there are probably fewer than 5,000 people with 100% Hawaiian native blood. That means 75,000 people in Hawaii and 151,000 people nationwide are so zealous about Hawaiian activism that they chose to ignore and disrespect their non-native ancestors, even when those non-natives comprise most of their heritage. Anecdotal evidence is clear that OHA, Kamehameha Schools, and other Hawaiian institutions often encouraged their beneficiaries to report only their Native Hawaiian ancestry, in hopes of increasing government handouts and strengthening public perception of Hawaiians as "a people" who are unique, distinct, and separate, and therefore eligible for federal recognition.
527,077 "NATIVE HAWAIIANS" NATIONWIDE INCLUDING 289,970 IN HAWAII
That's how many people checked the race box for "Native Hawaiian" with or without also checking additional race boxes. In Hawaii that's an increase of 21% above year 2000, while nationwide it's an increase of 31%. Clearly Hawaiians are flourishing, even more on the continent than in Hawaii. The number might well explode as hundreds of thousands more suddenly remember their smidgen of Hawaiian blood if a Native Hawaiian government begins distributing land and annual payments. There's a chart in the Hawaii state databook showing the number of ethnic Hawaiians (both "pure" and total) in the top 18 states. California continues to lead the pack with 74,932, an increase of 24.8% since 2000.
If the Akaka bill passes, then the California branch of the Akaka tribe would be the largest federally recognized tribe in California. The fake Hawaiian tribe of 527,077 would be far larger than any of the genuine tribes in America. The largest tribe is Navajo, with 332,129. There are 819,105 Cherokees, but they are divided among several different tribal governments. Both the Akaka bill and Act 195 specify that there shall be only one Native Hawaiian tribe.
Although the Akaka bill says the Hawaiian tribe cannot have gambling casinos and cannot benefit automatically from government handouts given to all tribes, those restrictions might be ruled unconstitutional, or can easily be changed by future legislation. The genuine tribes should be very afraid that a Hawaiian tribe would overwhelm all of them in competing for a shrinking pot of federal handouts and for casino customers in every state.
Shortly after Barack Obama became President, a letter was sent to him raising racial and demographic issues in relation to the Akaka bill, and appealing to the civil rights experience of African-Americans who chose the integrationist dream of Dr. Martin Luther King rather than the racial separatist nightmare of (the early) Malcolm X and Louis Farrakhan. The letter pointed out that (in Census 2000) 240,000 ethnic Hawaiians comprised 20% of Hawaii's population, while 40 million blacks comprised 13% of America's population. Just imagine how divisive and racially incendiary it would be to gather all America's black people and create a race-based government for them, authorized to negotiate for huge areas of land and jurisdictional authority. The impact of the Akaka bill [or Act 195] on Hawaii would be 50% more severe than that, because the percentage of ethnic Hawaiians in Hawaii's population was half again larger than the percentage of blacks in America's population. [Likewise, in Census 2010, 50 million Hispanics comprise 16% of America's population while Native Hawaiians are 21% of Hawaii's population, so the Akaka bill would be 30% more traumatic for Hawaii than creating a "Nation of Aztlan" would be for all of America.] See the Obama letter at
SHOULD HAWAII TAXPAYERS GIVE BENEFITS TO A QUARTER MILLION OUTSIDERS?
There are more than 237,000 "Native Hawaiians" living outside Hawaii among the other 49 states, which is about 45% of the entire racial group. A major policy decision for the Hawaii legislature will be whether to transfer State of Hawaii land and money to the control of a future federally recognized Akaka tribe, or to the Act 195 tribe which the legislature is in the process of creating.
Both Act 195 and the Akaka bill make it clear that Hawaii residence is not a requirement for tribal membership. The only requirements for membership are to have at least one drop of the magic blood and to have some sort of easy-to-obtain affiliation with some sort of Hawaiian cultural group (perhaps a hula halau, canoe club, or civic club).
Thus state government land, money and jurisdictional authority, which now belong to all the people of Hawaii, will be transferred to a tribe which has nearly half its people who are not citizens of Hawaii. Those outsiders will receive benefits from the tribe (given to the tribe by Hawaii citizens), and those outsiders will also participate as equals in making decisions about the allocation of tribal resources.
IN 2010 THE MEDIAN AGE OF NATIVE HAWAIIANS IN HAWAII WAS ONLY 26, COMPARED TO A MEDIAN AGE OF 42 FOR THE REST OF HAWAII'S PEOPLE
The age gap of 16 years has huge consequences for interpreting data portraying Native Hawaiians as having lower income, greater drug abuse, and higher incarceration rates than the rest of Hawaii's population. Someone who is only 26 years old is obviously just getting started in a career and therefore not earning as much as someone well-established at age 42. Young people get drunk, do drugs, and commit crimes much more than middle-aged people(especially violent crimes meriting harsher penalties). The victimhood statistics touted by the Hawaiian grievance industry are attributable to youth, not to race.
FAILURE TO CONSIDER BLOOD QUANTUM CAUSES HUGE DISTORTIONS WHEN INTERPRETING DATA
How blood quantum is counted (or not counted) is another major factor in explaining the Hawaiian victimhood claims. The Census does not ask "What percentage of your ancestry is Native Hawaiian?" Neither do any of the hundreds of "studies" comparing Native Hawaiian victimhood against the victimhood of other races.
Who gets counted as "Native Hawaiian" seems to be everyone with a drop of Hawaiian native blood, even if he has 31/32 of his ancestry being Caucasian or Filipino or Japanese. But someone with only one drop of Caucasian blood would never be counted as Caucasian. So if low quantum Hawaiians are counted as Hawaiian while low-quantum Caucasians or Filipinos are not counted as Caucasians or Filipinos, then of course the grievance industry can scream that "Native Hawaiians have the worst statistics for drug abuse" or "Native Hawaiians are disproportionately impacted by incarceration and severity of sentencing."
Michelle Obama has 1/32 Caucasian ancestry (her great-great-great grandfather was a white slave-owner). Judging by her appearance and cultural background she could never "pass for white." But she would be counted as entirely Caucasian if the statistical techniques used by the Hawaiian grievance industry were applied to all racial groups.
The best way to allocate social or medical outcomes to racial groups would be to award fractional tally marks to each race according to the fraction that race has in someone's ancestry. Thus if someone incarcerated has 1/32 Hawaiian blood, 3/32 Chinese, 3/8 Caucasian, and 1/2 Filipino, those would be the fractional tally marks allocated to each of those races when studying allegations of disproportionate incarceration. Such fractional tallies would also allow us to see whether being "more Hawaiian" correlates with having worse social and medical outcomes.
But the tycoons of the Hawaiian grievance industry will never analyze data that way, nor will they take account of the age gap, because then their victimhood claims would vanish like morning mist during sunrise.
Ka Wai Ola [monthly OHA newspaper], September 2012, page 28
The Native Hawaiian Roll Commission
by Peter Apo, Vice Chair, and trustee for Maui; monthly trustee column
There is a seafaring term to describe a churning storm condition at sea when winds, currents and waves all seem to be coming from different directions. The term for this condition is a confused sea. I think we have a confused sea condition with the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission.
In my humble attempt to navigate the confusion, I begin by directly quoting the law: "The purpose of this chapter is to provide for and to implement the
recognition of the Native Hawaiian people by means and methods that will facilitate their self-governance, including the establishment of, or the amendment to, programs, entities, and other matters pursuant to law that relate, or affect ownership, possession, or use of lands by the Native Hawaiian people, and by further promoting their culture, heritage, entitlements, health, education, and welfare. … The publication of the initial and updated rolls shall
serve as the basis for the eligibility of qualified Native Hawaiians whose names are listed on the rolls to participate in the organization of the Native Hawaiian governing entity." So, before we leave the main road and travel the back roads, let us understand that the law seems clear and is no more, or less, than stated above.
As a trustee out in the community, I have been asked why there is a roll commission and how it relates to Kau Inoa. Here's what I know. First, Kau Inoa was a community initiative involving many organizations, including the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs and OHA. On the other hand, the roll commission was established by the Hawai'i state Legislature. Even though they are separate programs, the people who registered for Kau Inoa will be contacted and asked if they wish to have their names transferred to the new
roll commission registry.
Second, the roll commission has its own governance authority of five commissioners led by former Gov. John Waihee. OHA was deliberately positioned at a distance by the Legislature so as to avoid contaminating
roll commission operations as simply being an extension of OHA. The roll
commission should not be saddled with OHA's political baggage.
Third, the roll commission is not an initiative designed to support the Akaka bill. The political anticipation is that the Akaka bill will not survive congressional Republican opposition. The roll commission signals a new political strategy toward self-determination. The roll commission is a virtual voter registration process. It anticipates a Native Hawaiian Governing Entity by identifying the citizenry to be governed.
Fourth, in spite of some of the trumpeting describing the roll commission as a step to forming a Hawaiian nation, pursuit of federal recognition, nation
within a state, and other pre-registration notions, such outcomes are far from being a given. So that, once the blood-quantum-required citizenry is defined, it is up to them, through some hopefully democratic process, to revisit the question "if there be a nation, who shall be its citizens" that might include
non-Hawaiians who have genealogical histories of being citizens of the
Hawaiian Kingdom at the time of the overthrow in 1893 – explosive stuff.
Further, the citizenry should also give serious deliberation and thoroughly vet the pros and cons of federal recognition and whether or not it truly provides self-determination.
In the end, I would encourage Hawaiians of all persuasions to sign up. We need your voice. From my aging perch I would also reach deep into our brilliant youth to engage and challenge us old dogs with a future that you and your children will live to see long after we are gone. Ua mau ke ea o ka 'äina i ka pono.
Hawaii Reporter, September 4, 2012
Republican and Democrat 2012 National and State Platforms Regarding the Akaka bill and Hawaiian Racial Entitlements
BY KENNETH R. CONKLIN, PH.D. -- It's often said that political party platforms are a waste of time, because voters don't pay attention to them and candidates don't feel bound by them. But sometimes particular platform planks are the focus of intense infighting among party loyalists. A party's platform can provide a sense of the values and programmatic intentions of party activists.
This essay is a short summary of a webpage which provides links to the Republican and Democrat platforms for 2012 (both the national and Hawaii platforms), along with quotes in context, analysis, and details about the positions of Hawaii candidates for U.S. Senate and U.S. House. See
The 54-page Republican national platform for 2012 expresses strong opposition to creating any new race-based governments (i.e., the Akaka bill), explicitly linking that opposition to a fundamental commitment to racial equality as grounded in the Constitution. But that's tempered by a contradictory pledge to maintain government tribal handouts generally and to include Native Hawaiians in such programs on an equitable basis (even though there would be nothing equitable about providing handouts to Hawaiians since they are not a recognized tribe).
Here are the only two sentences directly applicable to Native Hawaiians: "As a matter of principle, we oppose the creation of any new race-based governments within the United States." (page 9) "We support efforts to ensure equitable participation in federal programs by American Indians, including Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians and to preserve their culture and languages that we consider to be national treasures." (page 27)
The Hawaii Republican Party adopted a strongly-worded resolution opposing the Akaka bill at its convention in 2011, which remains the state party's position going into the election of 2012:
"Whereas, the "Akaka Bill" violates the fundamental values inherent in the Hawai'i Republican Party's LLIFE platform; Whereas, the "Akaka Bill" imposes an entirely new level of governance upon the Hawaiian people; Whereas, the "Akaka Bill" trades away individual Liberty in exchange for government grants and favors; Whereas, the "Akaka Bill" denigrates the principles of Individual Responsibility; Whereas, the "Akaka Bill" creates unequal opportunities, fiefdoms of favoritism, and artificial barriers to our citizens; Therefore, be it resolved, that the Hawai'i Republican Party in convention at Lihue, Hawai'i, May 14, 2011, hereby expresses its unalterable opposition to the "Akaka Bill" and to any iteration of it that robs Hawaiians of Liberty and Equal Opportunity or imposes more government and the fiscal and moral calamities such a course inevitably brings; Therefore, be it further resolved, that copies of this resolution be posted on the Hawai'i Republican Party website and distributed to Hawai'i elected officials and media for public dissemination."
Linda Lingle, Republican Party candidate for U.S. Senate, strongly supports the Akaka bill and Hawaiian racial entitlement programs. Likewise Charles Djou, Republican candidate for U.S. House Hawaii District #1. Likewise Kawika Crowley, Republican candidate for U.S. House Hawaii District #2, who not only favors the Akaka bill but also favors Hawaii's secession from the U.S. to re-create Hawaii as an independent nation. All three of them have abandoned the national and state platforms of their party regarding the Akaka bill, in the interest of pushing their own personal agendas and presenting themselves to the public as politically correct bipartisan candidates. Having abandoned their party's conservative platforms, perhaps their party's conservative members will feel justified in abandoning these candidates. Republicans from Hawaii who favor the Akaka bill are far more dangerous in Congress than Democrats who favor the Akaka bill, because it is Senate Republicans who have blocked the Akaka bill for 12 years and who might be talked out of blocking it if their fellow Republicans from Hawaii relentlessly plead with them. See
The 70-page Democrat national platform for 2012 has one powerful sentence on page 50 which puts the Democrat Party strongly and explicitly in favor of the Akaka bill. That sentence is at the end of a section entitled "Tribal Sovereignty" which includes the following language: "American Indian and Alaska Native tribes are sovereign self-governing communities, with a unique government-to-government relationship with the United States. ... We will continue to honor our treaty and trust obligations and respect cultural rights, including greater support for American Indian and Alaska Native languages. Democrats support maximizing tribal self-governance, including efforts for self-determination and sovereignty of Native Hawaiians.
The Hawaii Democrat Party platform has a preamble of 13 principles, where #12 is: "Support the rights of native Hawaiians and the preservation of native Hawaiian culture"
An entire section of the platform is titled "Native Hawaiians." It strongly and explicitly supports both the Akaka bill and the racial entitlement programs:
"Native Hawaiians are indigenous peoples of Hawai'i and deserve a just relationship with the state and federal governments. We support recognition by Congress of native Hawaiians as indigenous people as provided by the U.S. Constitution. Such recognition will begin the process for native Hawaiian self-determination consistent with federal policy extended to other indigenous peoples of the United States. We support na kanaka maoli right to self-determination. We are committed to the support of native Hawaiian agencies, organizations, and programs that increase the quality of life for kanaka maoli. We especially value our host culture that has allowed diversity to thrive. We support the growth of Native Hawaiian farming, agricultural and healing practices. We value and wish to foster the preservation of our host culture."
The Democrat candidate for U.S. Senate, and both Democrat candidates for U.S. House, have considerable experience working for the Akaka bill and for Hawaiian racial entitlements.
Mazie Hirono has been a champion of pork-barrel spending who secured numerous earmarks for local projects with no national significance that should be paid for by local people rather than by people of other states. As Hawaii's senior member in the House of Representatives, Hirono is the sponsor and introducer of the Akaka bill.
Colleen Hanabusa served in the Hawaii state Senate from 1998 to 2010, when she resigned to run for the U.S. House. Just days after her election in November 1997, Hanabusa traveled all the way from Wai'anae to a Hawaiian sovereignty rally in Waimanalo. She spoke very passionately, telling the crowd of about 100 secessionists that she has special respect for the "first people" of Hawaii and the "host culture", and "My door will always be open to you whenever you need help in the legislature." Hanabusa rose to the rank of President of the Senate before she resigned in 2010 to run for the U.S. House. While in the state Senate Hanabusa was Chair of the Committee on Water, Land, and Hawaiian Affairs (now reduced in scope to Hawaiian Affairs alone) where she sponsored many bills exclusively benefitting Native Hawaiians. On March 30, 2011 Hanabusa signed on as first cosponsor of the Akaka bill. With the departure of Rep. Mazie Hirono, Hanabusa will be Hawaii's senior member of Congress in her second term.
Tulsi Gabbard, at age 32, is a political veteran. At age 21 she was the youngest woman in America ever elected to a state legislature. As a member of the Hawaii National Guard she was called to duty, resigned from the legislature and served in combat in Iraq. She has since risen to the rank of Captain in the Army National Guard and is now a Company Commander. In 2006 she served as legislative aide to Senator Akaka, during the period when the Akaka bill narrowly lost a cloture motion to end a Republican filibuster following 5 hours of floor debate in the Senate. She later won election to Honolulu City Council. In 2012 while serving on the City Council she won the Democrat primary election for U.S. House to replace Mazie Hirono, defeating the former mayor of Honolulu by a wide margin. There's no doubt she will win election to the U.S. House in November. Her campaign webpage says the following about the Akaka bill and racial entitlements:
"The fact that our country overthrew the government of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1893 [false!] is a great injustice and something that weighs heavily on my heart. As I consider this unjust act, I think of my two years working with Senator Akaka, watching him work tirelessly trying to get the Akaka Bill passed into law. ... This is Senator Akaka's legacy and something that's got to be done for the Hawaiian people. ... I believe the U.S. government through an act of Congress should more formally recognize the special legal/political status of Native Hawaiians. Pending re-organization of a Native Hawaiian Governing Entity, through the process commenced by Act 195 (2011) or a Native Hawaiian-driven process, I would immediately work with the delegation to pass a bill or administrative regulation acknowledging this status ... I assisted Senator Akaka with programs and legislation directly benefitting Native Hawaiians. ... Formal recognition of Indian Commerce Clause status of Native Hawaiians would help reauthorization of these important acts. Additionally, tying such reauthorizations to Native Alaskan health and education acts is good strategy because Republican Don Young of Alaska needs Democratic support. Congresswoman Hirono successfully used this strategy in 2011 to obtain reauthorization of $41 million in education funds for Native Hawaiians. ..."
Honolulu Civil Beat, September 11, 2012
Akaka Taking Last Shot At Legacy Bill For Native Hawaiians
By Michael Levine
WASHINGTON -- The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs will take up the namesake legislation of retiring Chair Daniel Akaka in his final attempt to advance the cause of Native Hawaiian government that will be his legacy.
The committee has scheduled a "markup" for Thursday afternoon so Akaka can streamline what had been roughly a 60-page package into a 15-page proposal he hopes will be easier for colleagues to pass, even if it happens after he's gone, according to Akaka spokesman Jesse Broder Van Dyke.
The existing version of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act includes a lengthy section that would set up a roll, determine who qualifies as Native Hawaiian and require action from the Secretary of the Interior.
But the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission authorized by the Hawaii Legislature last year is now up and running, eliminating the need for the federal government to get involved in that step. The amended version of the bill Akaka will push Thursday would acknowledge the state's Roll Commission.
Removing that piece from the bill, the thinking goes, would make the measure less controversial and easier to pass because there won't be any debate over who qualifies.
That hardly guarantees passage, however.
The September session here in Washington, which just started in earnest Tuesday, is expected to be brief. With Democrats and Republicans moving toward a continuing resolution that would fund the federal government for six months, lawmakers could be back on the campaign trail within a couple of weeks.
That would leave only the lame-duck session between the Nov. 6 general election and the seating of the 113th Congress in January. The lame-duck session would be Akaka's final chance to pass the bill before he's replaced by either Democrat Mazie Hirono or Republican Linda Lingle. Majority Leader Harry Reid has lots of other things on his plate and a less-than-fully-compliant minority opposition to deal with.
Asked about the odds of passing the Akaka Bill in a lame-duck session, Broder Van Dyke said his boss intends to keep pushing for equity for Native Hawaiians as long as he can.
"Sen. Akaka is going to do everything he can every day he's in the Senate," Broder Van Dyke said at his office Tuesday. "He's not going to give up."
The main goal is to pass the bill soon, but the streamlining has the added benefit of making it easier for others to pick up the ball and run with it after Akaka is gone.
"In the event that the bill is not considered by the Senate this year, this is the version of the bill that Sen. Akaka will continue to advocate for," Broder Van Dyke said.
Hirono has been supportive in the past, while Lingle was previously open to the idea before she undermined a previous effort when she was governor after the bill was changed at the last minute.
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, September 11, 2012, Derrick DePledge blog
The U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee on Thursday is scheduled to consider an amendment to a Native Hawaiian federal recognition bill t0 reflect a state law recognizing Hawaiians as an indigenous people.
U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, the committee's chairman, supports the amendment because it would streamline the federal legislation to its core purpose. The state law created a commission that is establishing a roll of Native Hawaiians who would participate in a new Hawaiian government.
The federal legislation, as amended, would recognize the Hawaiians identified under the state law. The goal is for a Hawaiian government to eventually negotiate with the state and federal governments on land use and cultural issues.
The Akaka bill has stalled in the Senate for more than a decade because of opposition from conservative Republicans who consider it unconstitutional race-based legislation. Akaka will try to pass the bill before he retires early next year, Jesse Broder Van Dyke, his spokesman, said, but he will also continue to support the amended version of the bill after he retires if it does not pass. The U.S. House has passed versions of the Akaka bill three times.
** Ken Conklin's note: The text of the new bill does not appear to be available anywhere -- at least, it's not on Senator Akaka's website nor on Thomas. The Committee on Indian Affairs schedule for Thursday September 13 is the only place where there is any official mention that the Akaka bill will be considered:
BUSINESS MEETING to consider the following: S.675, S.1345, S.1684
Thursday, September 13 2012, 2:15PM, Senate Dirksen 628
S. 675, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2011.
S. 1345, the Spokane Tribe of Indians of the Spokane Reservation Grand Coulee Dam Equitable Compensation Settlement Act.
S. 1684, the Indian Tribal Energy Development and Self-Determination Act Amendments of 2011.
to be followed immediately by an
OVERSIGHT HEARING on Addressing the Costly Administrative Burdens and Negative Impacts of the Carcieri and Patchak Decisions
September 13-14, 2012: Senator Akaka introduced a new version of the Akaka bill in the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and the committee passed it by voice vote in about one minute. For the first time in the 12-year history of the bill, news media reported that there were committee members who expressed opposition inside the committee during the meeting. Senator John Barrasso (R,WY), who is vice-chair of the committee, voted against the bill and said that Senator John McCain (R, AZ), absent from the meeting, also wished to be recorded as voting no. Following are a link to the text of the bill, full text of news reports during the day the bill was introduced and the following day (the most insightful reports based on in-person observation of the meeting are provided first regardless of date), and Senator Akaka's news release.
Late on September 13, after the committee meeting ended, Senator Akaka posted the text of the new bill on his website at
However, Akaka's Senate website will be demolished at the end of 2012 because he is retiring. Therefore Ken Conklin posted the bill's text on his own website where it will remain permanently available at
Here is full text of Senator Akaka's news release as posted on his Senate website late on September 13 after the committee hearing ended:
Indian Affairs committee approves amended Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act
Streamlined bill now up for consideration by the full Senate
Thu, September 13, 2012
WASHINGTON D.C. - Today, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, chaired by Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-Hawaii), amended the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2011 (S. 675) by voice vote and favorably reported it to the Senate floor.
Earlier this year, the State of Hawaii's Native Hawaiian Roll Commission began developing a roll of Native Hawaiian constituents for the purposes of reorganizing a Native Hawaiian government. As a result, significant portions of the bill, which was approved by the Indian Affairs Committee last spring, are no longer required.
Chairman Akaka said: "My amendment, guided by extensive consultation and witness testimony, streamlines my bill, builds on recent efforts by the State of Hawaii, and incorporates longstanding principles of federal Indian law.
"The Native Hawaiian people are the only federally-recognized Native peoples without a government-to-government relationship, and no clear path to securing one without legislation. This bill will create parity in federal policy so that Native Hawaiians will be treated the same as all other recognized indigenous peoples - no more no less.
"Congress has created and continues to fund programs to address the Native Hawaiian needs in the areas of health, education, welfare and housing, but has failed to uphold the final and most important piece of the trust relationship with Native Hawaiians, a guaranteed right to self-governance.
"By approving this amendment today, the members of this Committee took a stand for justice and a step towards equity."
Senator Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii) said: "Federal recognition for Native Hawaiians is long overdue and I will continue the fight started by my longtime partner and friend, Senator Akaka. Whether it be during this Congress or the next, I will not rest until the sovereign rights of Native Hawaiians are recognized and Senator Akaka's legacy is fulfilled."
Honolulu Civil Beat online newspaper, September 13, 2012
Michael Levine blog
Akaka Bill Amended, Passed With Little Discussion
It only took a minute, and now Dan Akaka's Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act is on its way back to the full Senate.
S. 675 was amended and passed with nearly zero discussion at the Indian Affairs Committee hearing here in the Dirksen Senate Building moments ago.
Wyoming Republican John Barrasso said his position is that new tribes should go through the Interior Department recognition, which the Akaka Bill would circumvent. But he said he admires Akaka's tenacity, dedication and leadership.
At the end of the hearing, Barrasso noted that John McCain also wished to be recorded as a no vote.
Hawaii Reporter, September 13, 2012
Akaka Bill Passes Senate Indian Affairs Committee, But is Likely DOA on Senate Floor
Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, with the help of Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, has attempted for more than a decade to get legislation passed that would have the federal government "recognize" native Hawaiians, so that race-based government programs are protected from legal challenges.
The proposed legislation, which would set up a framework for a separate native Hawaiian nation within the United States, has been extremely controversial in the islands and in Congress. Native Hawaiians on both sides have been fighting over the language and intent.
One proposal included designating native Hawaiians as a new Indian tribe (although they were never in tribes).
The legislation passed the U.S. House three times, even with strong opposition by conservatives both in and out of the U.S. House. However, the legislation has never passed the U.S. Senate. This despite the power that Inouye, D-HI, has as appropriations chair and as President pro tempore of the U.S. Senate.
Akaka, now 88, is retiring at the end of year from the U.S. Senate, and in one final push, he is asking fellow Senators to back his Native Hawaiian Recognition bill otherwise known as the Akaka Bill.
Today, in the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, which Akaka chairs, the Akaka Bill (S. 675 ) was voted to the Senate floor via voice vote.
Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyoming, indicated his opposition, as did Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, via proxy.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, voiced her support. No other Republicans were present.
Barrasso said on the record this bill has inspired strong opposition from other Senators who "feel strongly" it bypasses the Department of Interior process inappropriately.
The bill was passed with a substitute amendment, but that amendment has not been made public as of noon Hawaii time and Akaka did not explain the substitute during his hearing.
Steven Duffield, former policy director to Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ), who has watched the Akaka legislation over the years, and attended the hearing today, said: "This bill is dead on arrival on the Senate floor. Committee Vice Chair John Barrasso (R-WY) went out of his way to thank Sen. Akaka for his service and leadership, but then made clear that he opposes the bill and many others do, too. The fact that Sen. McCain, who once chaired this committee, reiterated his opposition should remind everyone how deep the concerns about this bill are."
Leon Siu, a native Hawaiian activist and popular Hawaiian entertainer, has opposed the Akaka Bill legislation in Congress and has even traveled to Washington DC to meet with House and Senate members about his concerns.
Siu said in an earlier letter to Hawaii Reporter that Akaka made a key tactical error in December 2009 when he amended the bill to create a "tribe" and take away state oversight, because that set off a chain of events that led to the bill's failure.
That included leading then Republican Gov. Linda Lingle's withdraw state's support for the measure. In addition, Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who was in Congress at the time, failed to embrace the amendments Akaka proposed, Siu said, leaving two different versions of the bill.
Then Akaka changed his bill back to the pre-December 2009 version, Siu said, getting the governor back on board with the Senate bill, but not the still unacceptable Abercrombie version in the House.
In addition to native Hawaiian sovereignty activists who don't want federal authority over them, conservative organizations, such as the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute, and several Republican Congress members, have opposed the bill.
Supporting the legislation are native Hawaiian organizations such as the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the Department of Hawaiian Homelands, both state agencies that provide services and housing to native Hawaiians.
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, September 14, 2012
Pared-down Akaka Bill passes U.S. Senate committee
The Native Hawaiian recognition measure still faces opposition from Republicans
By Dennis Camire
Special to the Star-Advertiser
WASHINGTON » A Senate committee advanced the newest version of a Native Hawaiian federal recognition bill Thursday, signaling the start of a last-ditch campaign to gain a full Senate vote on the bill before its chief sponsor retires.
"We're still trying to the very end to get something that we will be striving to pass," said Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, who retires in four months.
For a dozen years, Akaka, chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, has sought full Senate approval of the measure, which would create a process for Native Hawaiian self-government, only to be blocked by Republican colleagues.
"What we're seeking really is parity for Native Hawaiians," Akaka said.
The new bill, approved Thursday by a voice vote with only two dissentions in the Indian Affairs Committee, was a stripped-down version of a Native Hawaiian bill the committee passed last year.
The new legislation drops provisions that created a process to determine who qualifies as Native Hawaiian and enroll them as part of creating a new Native Hawaiian government. A new Native Hawaiian Roll Commission, set up by the Hawaii Legislature, is performing those functions.
By stripping out those sections, Akaka was able to cut the bill down to about 15 pages from an original 60 pages with the hope that Republican opponents would find it more palatable, since it removes the controversy over who qualifies as Native Hawaiian.
The bill now focuses on a structured process to reorganize a Native Hawaiian government, including drafting and ratification of a constitution and bylaws and the election of officers, with similar federal privileges given to other federally recognized Native American tribes.
"My amendment … streamlines my bill, builds on recent efforts by the state of Hawaii and incorporates longstanding principles of Indian law," Akaka said in a statement. "The Native Hawaiian people are the only … native peoples without a government-to-government relationship and no clear path to securing one without legislation."
But the new bill's changes don't seem to satisfy Republican opposition, according to Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming, the top Republican on the Indian Affairs Committee. The senator voted against the bill and announced that Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., a committee member who was absent, also wanted to be recorded as a "no" vote.
"My position is that all native groups should go through the same rigorous administration recognition process," Barrasso said. "There are members of our conference who also feel strongly that the process set up in this bill is not the one we should be taking."
But Barrasso also offered praise to Akaka, saying, "I admire your tenacity, your dedication, your leadership not only to this cause, but for the well-being of native people everywhere."
Legislative time to get the bill to the Senate floor for debate and a vote also poses a major hurdle.
The current Senate session, which began this week, is expected to primarily focus on approving a bill to fund the federal government through March before lawmakers leave town to campaign for the November elections.
Akaka is pinning his hopes for a successful passage on a possible lame-duck session of Congress that could convene after the elections.
"We are struggling to try to determine what the (Senate) schedule is going to be," Akaka said. "We have to look at all the options to get it passed by the full Senate."
Even if it gets Senate approval this year, the Republican-controlled House is unlikely to move a similar measure, which has been stuck in the House Resources Committee since Rep. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, introduced it last year. That means the battle will have to be waged all over again when the new Congress convenes in January.
"It is vital that we focus on making federal recognition of Native Hawaiians a reality, and I will continue to join with our delegation in championing this effort," said Hirono, who is running for Akaka's seat against former Republican Gov. Linda Lingle.
Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, D-Hawaii, also pledged to continue the fight for the legislation.
"Federal recognition for Native Hawaiians is long overdue and I will continue the fight started by my longtime partner and friend, Senator Akaka," Inouye said in a statement.
"Whether it be during this Congress or the next, I will not rest until the rights of Native Hawaiians are recognized and Sen. Akaka's legacy is fulfilled."
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, September 13, 2012, BREAKING NEWS posted at 4:31 PM
Akaka launches last-minute effort for his Native Hawaiian bill
By Dennis Camire
Special to the Star-Advertiser
WASHINGTON >> A Senate panel approved the newest version of a Native Hawaiian federal recognition bill today, signaling the start of a last-ditch campaign to gain a full Senate vote on the measure before its chief sponsor retires.
"We're still trying to the very end to get something that we will be striving to pass," said Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, the bill's chief sponsor who retires in four months.
For a dozen years, Akaka, chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, has sought full Senate approval of the measure which would create a process for Native Hawaiian self government, only to be blocked by Republican colleagues.
The new bill is a stripped-down version of a Native Hawaiian bill the committee passed last year. It drops provisions that created a process to determine who qualifies as Native Hawaiian and enrolls them as part of creating a new Native Hawaiian government. A new Native Hawaiian Roll Commission, set up by the state Legislature, is now performing those functions.
The bill now focuses on a structured process to reorganize a Native Hawaiian government, including drafting and ratification of a constitution and by-laws and the election of officers, with similar federal privileges given to federally recognized Native American tribes.
Hawaii News Now (KHNL and KGMB TV), September 13, 2012
Streamlined Akaka bill passes committee
WASHINGTON D.C. (HawaiiNewsNow) -
A streamlined bill to grant native Hawaiians federal recognition has passed the Senate committee on Indian affairs. Sen. Daniel Akaka, who chairs the commission, cut his namesake bill from 60 to 15 pages and reduced the amount of terminology to simplify the proposed law.
The Akaka bill now incorporates a new Hawaii state law that created a roll commission that determines who qualifies as a native Hawaiian.
Sen. Akaka is hoping opponents may reconsider a leaner bill.
Sen. John McCain voted against passing the bill out of committee.
It now goes to the Senate floor. The bill has reached this point before but has never received an up or down vote.
Honolulu Star-Advertiser online poll for September 16, 2012:
What are the odds of passage for the revised Akaka Bill, aimed at Native Hawaiian self-governance?
C. Bad (74%, 709 Votes)
B. Fair (19%, 185 Votes)
A. Good (7%, 63 Votes)
Total Voters: 956
Start Date: September 16, 2012 @ 12:00 am
End Date: September 16, 2012 @ 4:00 pm
Hawaii Reporter, September 18, 2012
Brief Summary of Bad Surprises in the New Akaka Bill
BY KENNETH R. CONKLIN, PH.D. --
This is a brief summary of the bad surprises in the new version of the Akaka Bill:
• Tribal casinos in Hawaii even if the state legalizes only church bingo
• Grabbing for federal, state, and even private lands in Hawaii
• Akaka tribe casinos competing against genuine tribes on mainland
• Grabbing federal handouts away from genuine tribes
• Pig in a poke -- recognizing a tribe before it's created
• Race the only requirement enforced for tribal membership
• Balkanize America -- any "indigenous" group can now be a tribe
This essay is only a very brief summary. Space available in a newspaper does not allow lengthy quotes, documentation, or detailed explanations. For those, please see
Until now the bill prohibited the Akaka tribe from engaging in any form of gambling in Hawaii or anywhere else. The new version authorizes full-blown tribal casinos in Hawaii if the state ever legalizes any form of gambling, even only church bingo. Previous versions prohibited the Akaka tribe from using the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act; the new bill authorizes it.
This new bill allows the Akaka tribe, by far the largest tribe in America, to bully the genuine but much smaller mainland tribes by competing against them in two ways which previous versions of the bill prohibited.
(a) The Akaka tribe can put casinos in 48 other states (excluding Utah) even if the State of Hawaii does not allow gambling in Hawaii. Because of a Supreme Court ruling in 2009 (Carcieri vs. Salazar), new tribes (recognized after the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934) are prohibited from placing land into trust, which is the only way for a tribe to have casinos, liquor stores, gas stations, and tobacco shops exempt from local zoning or labor laws, making huge tax-exempt profits. The Akaka bill contains a "Carcieri fix" exclusively for Senator Akaka's own wannabe tribe -- a lovely golden parachute for himself and all 527,077 members of his blood brotherhood in Hawaii and everywhere else; but no such fix for the other new tribes.
(b) Previous versions prohibited the Akaka tribe from receiving benefits automatically from programs routinely available to all the federally recognized tribes. The new bill reverses that. The new bill emphasizes the Akaka tribe is an Indian tribe with all the rights and privileges of every federally recognized tribe. In view of America's $16 Trillion national debt, the pot of money available for tribal benefits is shrinking. Now comes the phony Akaka tribe -- the largest tribe in America -- elbowing out the real tribes.
Someone should tell the mainland tribes the time has come for them to oppose the Akaka bill if they don't want their turf to be invaded by Hawaiian casinos and have their government handouts reduced to accommodate a rapacious Akaka tribe.
But it's not only the genuine Indian tribes or Hawaii opponents of legalized gambling who should be worried. The new Akaka bill threatens everyone in Hawaii and the rest of the United States, in many ways. Here are some of those threats.
Virtually all lands in Hawaii are at risk to be taken over by the Akaka tribe. That's because the new bill removes language from previous versions that prohibited the Akaka tribe from making use of the Indian non-intercourse act.
From 1790 to 1834 a series of six laws were passed by Congress to protect Indian tribes from unfair or deceptive land transactions. These Indian non-intercourse laws said land transactions with tribes would be lawful only if Congress approved them. During recent decades numerous tribes have gone to court demanding huge amounts of land or money based on claims that tribal lands were sold without Congressional approval a century or two ago. Often those lands now have entire towns on them, or farms and factories. Thousands of homeowners have been unable to get mortgages or to sell their homes because of the cloud on their land title. Thus private lands are attacked along with federal, state and municipal lands.
Under the new bill, armed with the Indian non-intercourse act, the Akaka tribe will be free to file lawsuits to take control of nearly all federal and state lands (the "ceded lands") or to receive massive compensation for them, similar to what has happened on the mainland even in long-established towns in Maine, New York, and many other places. All Hawaii harbors, airports, roads, beaches, schools, etc. are at risk, along with the entire Northwest Hawaiian Islands Reserve. Privately owned lands could be at risk because they were originally granted to Hawaiian natives in the Mahele of 1848 and then later sold to someone with no native blood.
The new Akaka bill is a pig in a poke -- it asks Congress to grant federal recognition to a tribe which has not yet been created. The bill's accompanying news release on Senator Akaka's official website has a headline calling this a "streamlined bill." Indeed, it's lean and mean. It's streamlined in the way a sniper bullet to the heart could be called a streamlined version of a hand grenade or roadside bomb. The tribe will be recognized immediately when the bill is passed -- before its members have enrolled, before a tribal council has been elected, before a tribal constitution has been written and ratified, etc.
Part of the bill's streamlining is deferring the process for creating the tribe to Hawaii Act 195 (2011) and to the Kana'iolowalu racial registry process set up by the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission. Thus Congress washes its hands of oversight or responsibility for what happens.
Act 195 says that someone is qualified for membership in the Akaka tribe if he is 18 years of age, has Hawaiian native blood, and "Has maintained a significant cultural, social, or civic connection to the Native Hawaiian community."
But that third requirement is in Act 195 only as a pretext to give the appearance of being a political group and not merely a racial group. In reality the signup sheet for the Kana'iolowalu registry stringently enforces the age and racial requirements by demanding documented proof; but does not require any documentation regarding cultural or civic connection nor even the name of a single group to which the applicant allegedly belongs. Hawaiian groups like hula halaus and canoe clubs are open to people of all races. But members with Hawaiian blood are the only ones who can apply to join the Akaka tribe. This shows it's all about race and not about "cultural, social or civic connection to the Native Hawaiian community."
The Akaka bill accelerates the racial balkanization of Hawaii and the entire United States.
It authorizes the people and lands of Hawaii to be divided along racial lines into different governments with different laws. We're talking about 21% of Hawaii's people, not just some small tribe in the boondocks of Wyoming. We're talking about perhaps half the land of Hawaii's main eight islands plus the entirety of the 1200 mile long, 400 mile wide Papahanaumokuakea National Marine Reserve running all the way to Kure Atoll, with all its islands, rich fishing grounds, and seabeds waiting to be mined. We're talking about neighbors across the street living under different civil and criminal laws, and a child-custody presumption automatically favoring an ethnic Hawaiian parent in a divorce.
The Akaka bill reaches throughout America. There are more than 237,107 Native Hawaiians living in states outside Hawaii, including 74,932 in California. The new Akaka bill encourages nationwide racial balkanization by redefining the word "tribe" in the Constitution to mean "indigenous people." So instead of about 560 tribes, there could be thousands of them as Congress seizes a power never envisioned in the Constitution, to single out any group of so-called indigenous people and create a government for them regardless whether they were ever previously organized like that. The leaders of the "Nation of Aztlan" movement note that nearly all Mexican-Americans are "indigenous" because they have at least one drop of Aztec or Mayan blood. They demand the right to create a race-based government controlling all U.S. lands that were formerly part of Mexico: California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and portions of Nevada, Colorado, etc. The Akaka bill sets a precedent empowering such a scenario. That's one reason "La Raza" favors the bill, along with advocates for a reconquista.
It's time for Congress and the Hawaii legislature to realize the tremendous damage being done by the Akaka bill, Act 195, etc. The damage is not only to property and government, but to the Aloha Spirit and to our very souls as we face a future of racial separatism and ethnic nationalism. Please stop this nonsense. The situation with the Akaka bill is similar to the Honolulu rail project. Politicians colluding with wealthy, powerful institutions spewing massive propaganda initially persuade the public to go along with it. But as implementation gets closer to becoming reality, people see the bad consequences more clearly and rebel against it. Let's stop it. Now!
Senator Akaka's official Senate website
Indian Affairs oversight hearing on advancing the federal tribal relationship through self-governance and self-determination
Statement of Chairman Daniel K. Akaka
Thu, September 20, 2012
[At beginning of committee business meeting at which the committee passed 5 bills, including S. 65, the Hawaiian Homeownership Opportunity Act of 2011. This was exactly one week after the committee passed the new version of the Akaka bill]
I call this hearing of the Committee on Indian Affairs to order. Aloha, and thank you for being with us today for the Committee's oversight hearing on Advancing the Federal-Tribal Relationship through Self-Governance and Self-Determination.
From the Constitution, it is clear our Founding Fathers understood the sovereign authority of tribal nations, and their governments. It is also clear Tribal governments came in a diversity of forms.
The broad terms Indian and tribes represented a diversity of peoples, with unique cultures, languages and traditions, indigenous to the United States.
From our earliest days as a nation, we made treaties with the Indian Tribes, just as we did with a diversity of foreign nations, governing issues such as trade, peace, and other relations.
With our westward expansion during the nineteenth century, federal objectives turned to Manifest Destiny and federal policies toward our Country's first peoples changed. The movement to remove the Native peoples began.
The United States again relied on treaties with Tribes to facilitate the acquisition of Native lands, and often promised in exchange, to provide for Indian health, education, welfare, and housing, and a guaranteed right to self-governance.
The policy eras that developed from then through the first half of the twentieth century were marked by programs designed to force Natives to abandon their traditional ways and assimilate into mainstream American norms.
These programs intended to strip Native Americans of their languages, break up tribal bonds and land bases, and encourage Indians to focus on their identities as individuals, rather than members of tribal communities.
These policies and program strategies were applied to all indigenous peoples throughout the country--on the continent, and across the ocean in my own home of Hawaii.
The policy of banning Native language use in the schools was adopted by the territory of Hawaii, and we were punished for speaking Hawaiian, just as the American Indians and Alaska Natives were punished for using their languages in school.
The policy of allotting 160 acre parcels of land to individual Indians began in 1887 with the enactment of the Dawes Act as a way to break up the reservations and communal lifestyles, instead, encouraging Indians to own family farms.
In 1906, this policy was expanded to the Alaska Natives, and in 1921, it was applied to Native Hawaiians with the passage of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act.
Overall, these policies of assimilation failed to meet the federal trust responsibility to Native peoples, and in fact, often worsened the socio-economic conditions of Native peoples and their communities.
In 1968 and 1970, Presidents Johnson and Nixon, respectively, introduced policies supporting tribal self-determination, and called for a shift in responsibility of public programs to tribal governments.
In 1975, Congress enacted the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, enabling tribes to contract with the BIA and IHS to administer federal programs. Later legislation allowed tribes greater flexibility in designing and operating Indian programs and about sixty percent of the tribes have self-governance compacts with
DOI, IHS or both today.
Federal reaffirmation of tribal sovereignty through self-governance programs has enabled tribes to generate revenues through their own business enterprises, operate court and effective law enforcement systems, and design school curricula to better meet the needs of Native students.
Tribes have done this without forced assimilation to mainstream American norms, and this federal focus on self-determination and self-governance has proven to be the only federal policy that has worked for Native communities.
Studies show that self-determination policies have enabled Indian tribes to build strong economies, reverse decades of language loss, and tailor programs and services to better meet the needs of their people.
My top legislative priority, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, ensures parity in policy for all federally-recognized Native peoples. It means the Native Hawaiian people will have full access to the prevailing federal policy on self-determination, and finally be able to exercise their right to self-governance.
It is time for the United States to give my people access to its best policies on Native peoples, not just the legacies of the worst ones.
Hawaii Reporter, September 24, 2012
Congress: Let Hawaii do the Dirty Work!
BY KELI'I AKINA, PHD - Dr. Akina is a philosopher who lectures on business and government ethics in Chinese and American universities. He is a candidate for Trustee-at Large of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs in the upcoming General Election. His website is
He can be reached at
As a going away present to Senator Akaka, his colleagues on the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs successfully passed a watered-down version of the Akaka Bill by removing its most controversial portion. The excised content, comprising approximately 15 pages, had transformed the original intent of the bill from providing federal recognition of Hawaiians as Native Americans into a bill for the enrollment of a Hawaiian nation.
In defense of the lighter version, committee members emphasized that the federal government no longer needs to address the issue of Hawaiian nationhood because the State of Hawaii has done so itself in the passing of Act 195 during its most recent legislative session.
Act 195 establishes the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission which will administer a racial test to enroll a nation of exclusively blood-Hawaiians descended from pre-Captain Cook Hawaiian ancestors. A five member commission will additionally scrutinize applicants and add a further test based on whether an individual has "…maintained a cultural, social, or civic connection to the Native Hawaiian Community."
One questionable aspect of Act 195 is that it allows the State of Hawaii to define a Hawaiian nation in a manner antithetical to Hawaiian values. At the time of the overthrow of Queen Lili'uokalani (circa 1893), the Hawaiian Kingdom boasted an inclusive citizenry that included Japanese, Chinese, Caucasians, and other non-Hawaiians.
Another questionable aspect is that the five-member commission, in absence of any objective criteria, is given authority to decide who is not a "qualified" Hawaiian.
For U.S. Senators to suggest that recognition of a nation merely requires an act of one state legislature and its governor is peculiar and suggests what really is the case. Congress has no intention of sullying its reputation by recognizing in Hawaii a nation that excludes the majority population by way of a racial litmus test and the subjective judgment of an autonomous panel.
Let Hawaii do that dirty work.
** Official website of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, Chairman Dan Inouye (D, HI)
Sep 25, 2012
Senate Appropriations Committee Releases Draft of FY 2013 Interior Bill
** Note from website editor Ken Conklin: At the time the website was checked very early on September 25, the text of the proposed bill was provided through an internet link. But later in the day, that link led to an error message that the requested material cannot be found. Nevertheless, here is one of the paragraphs that was deep inside the bill before the link got scrubbed:
"SEC. 427. Now and hereafter, in exercise of the authority delegated under sections 441, 442, 463, and 465 of the Revised Statutes (43 U.S.C. 1457; 25 U.S.C. 2, 9), the Secretary shall consider for recognition the self-governing community that may include individuals enrolled under Act 195 (26th Haw. Leg. Sess. (2011)); Provided, That such community shall not be entitled to programs and services available to entities listed pursuant to section 104 of Public Law 103–454 except to the extent a statute governing such a program or service expressly provides that it applies to such community or its members; that such community may not conduct gaming activities as a matter of claimed inherent authority or under the authority of any Federal law; and that section 2116 of the Revised Statutes (25 U.S.C. 177) shall have no present or past application in the State where such community is located."
** Further comment by Ken Conklin: The three specific restrictions listed after the word "Provided" directly contradict what's in the new Akaka bill S.675 approved by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee on September 13. That new version of S.675 has no such restrictions and, on the contrary, directly allows gambling both on the mainland and in Hawaii, and would allow the Akaka tribe to benefit from all programs routinely benefitting all federally recognized Indian tribes. See detailed analysis of the new Akaka bill at
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, September 25, 2012. EDITORIAL
Even pared down, Akaka Bill fulfills goal of Hawaiians
It's been 12 frustrating years for advocates seeking Native Hawaiian nationhood through the Akaka Bill. Surely much of that frustration has been borne by its namesake, U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka. When public support at home seemed strongest, the political scales in Washington were tipped against the bill, and since then the measure's been stalled in the increasing partisan polarization.
The bill recently passed the Indian Affairs Committee that Akaka chairs, but its chances to move beyond that point are slim. If anything, that polarization is worse in this election cycle; the likelihood of passage by the end of the year, when the senator will retire, is all but nil.
According to his staff, Akaka realizes that better than anyone: What he wants above all is to leave a "legacy" bill he believes has the best chance of passing at some point. So the Hawaii delegation is right, despite those long odds, in its move to keep the worthy notion alive in a more realistically scaled-down form.
Akaka has decided to pare legislation down to a 14-page version, S. 675. The principal difference between this and previous iterations of the measure is the elimination of the section that defines how a Native Hawaiian roll would be created -- the membership of the nation-within-a-nation political entity for Native Hawaiians.
Instead, it simply adopts by reference whatever roll that is compiled by the state Native Hawaiian Roll Commission, a panel created by state legislation in 2011. Here's the relevant wording: "The individuals listed on the roll compiled and certified by the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission shall be considered members of the Native Hawaiian people for the purposes of reorganization of a Native Hawaiian governing entity."
The idea, according to Akaka's office, is to remove one of the flash points of the opposition -- creation of a national political entity based on race -- and simply leave all that a state concern. But the politically conservative position in recent years has been broadly against expanding native rights, however the bill is worded.
Even in the Senate, with Democrats holding a razor-thin majority, Republicans don't appear to be won over. U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, a minority member of the Indian Affairs Committee, signaled as much before the panel. And in the House -- in a post-election, lame-duck session before the staunchly conservative GOP majority -- the bill would be a nonstarter.
Still, even if the raised hackles remain at the federal level, the revision to the bill accomplishes one thing: It moves the debate over the central issue of membership back to the state level. For many years, proponents and critics alike have felt estranged from all the Congressional wrangling.
The roll commission launched that enrollment project, dubbed Kana'iolowalu, in July. It's a year-long effort to create a registry of individuals eligible to participate in the formation of a sovereign government. There have been several false starts down this road, but this one has the backing of the state Legislature. And that's critical if the congressional delegation is to telegraph to Capitol Hill that the principle of Native Hawaiian self-governance has strong statewide support.
The basic concept in nationhood is simple enough: Native Hawaiians comprise an indigenous population of the United States, and they deserve the same standing as Native Americans and Native Alaskans. It's dispiriting that the road toward realizing that goal remains so rocky, but that's not a reason to abandon it now.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 26, 2012
Joe Hack (202) 224-7577
Kyl Statement on Legislative Language Changing Status of Native Hawaiians
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl made the following statement today regarding the Senate Appropriations Committee's inclusion of language in one of its bills that would allow the Secretary of the Interior to recognize Native Hawaiians as an Indian tribe:
"I oppose the inclusion of this language and will insist that it be removed before allowing that bill to advance. I have long supported public programs for the cultural and educational benefit of native peoples, including those of Native Hawaiian descent. At the same time, I have long opposed the creation of any new government defined by race or blood, but that has always been the core of the various Native Hawaiian tribal recognition bills that have been proposed. This appropriations rider is no different. It ties the proposed tribe's membership to a Hawaii law, known at Act 195, which only allows participation by persons with Native Hawaiian blood. That is a race-based definition and it is contrary to our constitutional principles.
"Moreover, it is inappropriate for this kind of controversial, legislative language to be included in a bill that is supposed to provide funding for the Department of Interior. That is especially true given how unpopular this legislation is. It is so controversial, in fact, that even when Democrats had 60 votes in the Senate during the last Congress, the leadership never even tried to advance it."
Sen. Jon Kyl is the Senate Republican Whip and serves on the Senate Finance and Judiciary committees. Visit his website at www.kyl.senate.gov or his YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/senjonkyl.
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, September 30, 2012
Native Hawaiian measure tacked onto spending bill
By Derrick DePledge
U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye has inserted Native Hawaiian federal recognition into a draft of the annual spending bill for the interior and environment, a tactical move that could be the final chance for federal recognition before U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, the idea's leading sponsor, retires.
Under the provision, the secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior could recognize the Native Hawaiians being identified by a state roll commission as indigenous people with the right to self-government, similar to American Indians and Alaska Natives. Native Hawaiians would be prohibited from conducting gaming activities.
Inouye, D-Hawaii, the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, used a similar tactic in the interior spending bill last year but the provision did not survive. Conservative Republicans in the Senate who believe Native Hawaiian recognition is an unconstitutional race-based preference have blocked the idea since 2000, although versions of federal recognition have passed in the House three times.
Akaka, D-Hawaii, who is retiring in January, moved a streamlined version of his bill out of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee earlier this month. His bill, like the provision in the interior spending bill, is based on the state roll commission that is preparing a registry of Hawaiians eligible for participation in a new government that could eventually negotiate with the state and federal governments on land use and cultural issues.
Inouye said at the time that he would "not rest until the sovereign rights of Native Hawaiians are recognized and Senator Akaka's legacy is fulfilled."
"Senator Inouye is committed to achieving self-determination for Native Hawaiians," Peter Boylan, an Inouye spokesman, said in an email on Saturday. "He has and will continue to pursue any and all available avenues."
The federal fiscal year ends today, but Congress has not approved the dozen annual appropriations bills that finance the federal government for fiscal year 2013. President Barack Obama on Friday signed a continuing resolution that will fund federal government operations through late March.
The Akaka Bill, as stand-alone legislation, would likely fail because of Republican opposition if brought to a floor vote in the House or Senate when lawmakers return to Congress to wrap up business after the November elections. Inserting Native Hawaiian recognition into the interior spending bill, however, places it among dozens of provisions that lawmakers could negotiate in competing drafts of the larger bill.
Inouye's Senate Appropriations Committee released its draft of the interior spending bill last week. The House Appropriations Committee approved its draft earlier this year.
** Ken Conklin's Comment online:
2 important things a good reporter would have mentioned. (1) The stealth paragpraph inserted into the Interior appropriations bill by Imouye contains 3 restrictions on the Akaka tribe which are opposite to what is in the new Akaka bill passed by Indian Affairs committee a couple weeks ago. Which way do they really want to go? This reporter didn't bother to demand answers. (2) Senator Jon Kyl (R, AZ) issued a news release saying he will block the entire Interior appropriations bill until Inouye removes the stealth language. So Inouye's stealth maneuver is going nowhere. This reporter didn't know about Kyl's news release, or else refused to report about it.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl made the following statement today regarding the Senate Appropriations Committee's inclusion of language in one of its bills that would allow the Secretary of the Interior to recognize Native Hawaiians as an Indian tribe:
"I oppose the inclusion of this language and will insist that it be removed before allowing that bill to advance. I have long supported public programs for the cultural and educational benefit of native peoples, including those of Native Hawaiian descent. At the same time, I have long opposed the creation of any new government defined by race or blood, but that has always been the core of the various Native Hawaiian tribal recognition bills that have been proposed. This appropriations rider is no different. It ties the proposed tribe's membership to a Hawaii law, known at Act 195, which only allows participation by persons with Native Hawaiian blood. That is a race-based definition and it is contrary to our constitutional principles. Moreover, it is inappropriate for this kind of controversial, legislative language to be included in a bill that is supposed to provide funding for the Department of Interior. That is especially true given how unpopular this legislation is. It is so controversial, in fact, that even when Democrats had 60 votes in the Senate during the last Congress, the leadership never even tried to advance it."
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, September 30, 2012, Reader Commentary
Hawaiians need to just connect the dots
By Peter Apo
A Star-Advertiser editorial kindly acknowledged the 12 frustrating years of Hawaiian advocacy for nationhood embodied in the Akaka Bill, noting that the honorable Sen. Daniel K. Akaka is not likely to cap his long and distinguished career with the dream realized before he retires from Congress ("Even pared down, Akaka Bill fulfills goal of Hawaiians," Star-Advertiser, Our View, Sept. 25).
Add to those 12 years the previous decades of Hawaiian political activism seeking redress from the federal government for the now well-documented history of the near genocidal colonization of the Hawaiian people. The political and cultural surge springing from and emotionally framed by the movement to stop the bombing of Kahoolawe, and the Hokule'a canoe voyaging project, sparked a remarkable linking of arms of Hawaiians across the state and an even more remarkable show of support from the broader community.
In the ensuing years, Hawaiians and their institutions, led by OHA, have been fiercely focused on achieving political sovereignty. It's unfortunate that we seem not much closer to any form of political sovereignty in 2012 than we were in 1975.
We are now two generations removed from the passion of the '70s, and I sense a growing emotional distance between Hawaiians and the new generations of Hawaii's people who have little memory of those early years of the struggle.
As the emotional distance grows, I sense a subtle but consistent rise of impatience with Hawaiians as we continue to press for political redress. There continues an abiding tension between the Hawaiian community and Hawaii's political and economic institutions which will continue to hover over us until we can finally redefine the political relationship between Hawaiians and the rest of Hawaii in ways that allow both to move forward with a common vision.
While I have no crystal ball, one thing I can be sure of is that Hawaiians continue to be the people of aloha. It's in our DNA. And whatever that common future is, it will be inclusive, for most of us are of mixed ancestry and I cannot imagine that we would abandon our friends and neighbors who may not be Hawaiian, but with whom we share other ancestral ties.
To Hawaiians I would say that as we continue to struggle with the issue of political sovereignty, perhaps we should establish a second but equally intensive advocacy initiative, which I would define as economic sovereignty.
We need to seriously ramp up the dialogue among the leading Hawaiian institutions and see if we can't find a way to shape a common vision of an economic future, a future that does not require a congressional act or asking anyone's permission to achieve. The major players would be the Kamehameha Schools, Queen Lili'uokalani Trust, the Queen's companies, the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, and the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Their collective asset base consists of hundreds of thousands of acres of land in fee title and billions in liquid assets.
Consider the compelling picture that emerges and what might be possible if we tried to connect the dots and forge a common vision of a Hawaiian economic future -- a virtual economic nation -- one that serves Hawaiians in ways that would also contribute to lifting the economy of everyone in the entire state.
Why do we need to beg for the right to exercise nationhood? We are already a nation. All we have to do is to behave and act like one. The time has come. The opportunity is here. We have but to seize it.
** Ken Conklin's online comment:
All voters regardless of race can vote for OHA trustees on November 6. 5 seats are open, and everyone gets to vote for all 5 regardless of which island we live on. This gives us the chance to fundamentally change the evil that OHA does. Here are my recommendations: (1) In the at-large contest, vote for Keli'i Akina and get rid of Haunani Apoliona. Dr. Akina opposes racial separatism, and is intelligent and knowledgeable. I am very happy to endorse him. (2) There is only one candidate for the Molokai seat, Collette Machado, who is currently OHA's chair. She has no opponent we can vote for; but let's vote BLANK on that contest so she gets more blanks than actual votes, showing we disapprove of her. (3) Vote for Jackie Burke for the Kauai seat, because she opposes the Akaka bill. (4) The Maui seat is open because Boyd Mossman was "called" to work for his Mormon church. Do NOT vote for his son, Kaulana Mossman, who wants to build a family dynasty and thinks name recognition will get him elected. Perhaps Johanna Amorin might do good work. (5) The Big Island seat is currently held by Robert Lindsey. He favors the Akaka bill, but downplays it and works to support programs that actually help people. Perhaps a vote for him would be OK.
Ka Wai Ola [OHA monthly newspaper], October 2012, page 4
Message from the CEO
Put in your paddle, get involved, stay involved!
Aloha mai kakou, e na 'oiwi a me na hoaaloha mai ka hikina o ka la i
Ha'eha'e a i ka welona o ka la i ka mole o Lehua me na kama o na 'aina like 'ole o ka honua akea o Papa -- aloha no.
I greet you today with much hope. For our lähui, our people, and all those who stand with us, this is an era of opportunity -- not because we are experiencing great prosperity and ease, but because it is a time of tremendous challenge.
There are attempts by some to erode the laws that are intended to preserve our traditional cultural practices. There are attempts to end federally funded programs aimed at helping Native Hawaiians. And there soon will be deep, sustained federal funding cuts that will have a major impact on programs in our Hawaiian communities and throughout the state over the next several years.
So we find ourselves in a time when we must do more than wait for others to help. It is a time requiring us to be purposeful and planful, to be coordinated and unified, but most of all, to be informed and engaged. E komo pü ka mäpuna hoe! Put in your paddle, get involved, stay involved!
Our goal for Ka Wai Ola is to provide timely and thoughtful articles, commentaries and announcements that educate our community so that we can stay informed, take action i mana ka leo, so our voice will be empowered.
This slogan, I Mana ka Leo, is one that you may have seen on T-shirts that OHA is sharing. We are doing this to remind everyone of the power of our engaged voice, whether at the voting polls or in any situation when we are
inspired to share our mana'o and take action.
To support and facilitate our empowered voices, this Ka Wai Ola issue focuses on governance -- from crucial self-determination efforts to Office of Hawaiian Affairs candidates' views on matters affecting our Hawaiian community.
This edition is particularly important because it explores Hawaiian self-governance, the issue that will have the largest impact on our lähui and that may be the best means to address our many challenges.
Today, one of the most important initiatives forwarding self-governance is Kana'iolowalu, a yearlong effort of the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission. Its goal is to register a large body of Native Hawaiians, all of us who affirm our unrelinquished sovereignty and who are ready to be involved in the process of nation building.
OHA believes that the Kana'iolowalu roll can assist all of the various Hawaiian self-governance efforts, because a large registry would confirm that there is broad support for Hawaiian self-governance. There are not merely pockets of small groups who support one or another effort, but a mass of us calling for the formation of a Hawaiian self-governing entity.
What that entity will be is wide open for consideration. Kana'iolowalu is not promoting any specific form of self-governance.
As for Kana'iolowalu, its kuleana is limited to establishing the roll of Native
Hawaiians. Once the enrollment process is complete, the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission will dissolve.
OHA's kuleana will be to support the process of nation building. This OHA role will take the form of providing information, as with this Ka Wai Ola edition.
And in future months, our kuleana will involve a series of educational forums that OHA we will be hosting.
The purpose of the forums will be to convene a wide array of Hawaiian leaders involved in selfgovernance initiatives to share their perspectives and
proposals for gaining state, federal or internationally recognized sovereignty.
OHA's role in the forums will not be to set the direction or outcome of the various efforts but rather to facilitate the dialogue so that we can all be better informed. With this education, we can then make clear decisions about
our individual roles.
OHA also commits to facilitating an eventual decisionmaking process that will allow our lähui to collectively determine our course of action to exercise self-governance.
As we do so, let us be inspired by the opportunities ahead to shape a new Hawaiian world founded upon the ancestral traditions, practices and strength of our küpuna and unlimited in the possibilities that will allow us to incorporate all the best that the world has to offer.
E kaupė aku nö i nä hoe, a kö pü mai, a pae ka wa'a. Let us put forward our paddles and draw them back together until we land. Let us stay involved and continue paddling together until we complete our journey.
Kamana'opono Crabbe, Ph.D.
Ka Pouhana, Chief Executive Officer
Ka Wai Ola [OHA monthly newspaper], October 2012, page 5
Q&A: John Waihe'e, Native Hawaiian Roll Commission chairman
From the courtroom to the Capitol, former Gov. John D. Waihe'e III has been championing and supporting Native Hawaiian rights and initiatives for more than 35 years, including his current role as chairman of the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission. We sat with the governor for some straight talk on questions surrounding Kana'iolowalu, a yearlong project to register Native Hawaiians who will participate in the organization of a governing entity.
Q: Why is Kana'iolowalu so important? Why this? Why now?
A: All that we have accomplished as a people in holding on to, protecting and strengthening our Native Hawaiian rights and status over the past 120 years have been stepping stones for reclaiming our self-governance. Pressures and attacks as well as opportunities are upon us. We must maintain this foothold and now use a political power to holo i mua (progress). This power will only come as we unite as Hawaiians and have our collective voice be heard. That time is right now. And that is the purpose of Kana'iolowalu -- to reunify the
sovereign identity of Native Hawaiians through self-recognition. Our Hawaiian nation exists today because our Queen Lili'uokalani, our küpuna and all of us have refused to let it die. We never relinquished our sovereignty. The Kana'iolowalu petition and registry are public statements of our collective self-recognition of this unrelinquished sovereignty and our commitment to moving forward together.
Q: Act 195, which authorized the roll commission, mentions the state's support of federal recognition. Is Kana'iolowalu going to automatically lead to federal recognition?
A: There is nothing automatic about federal recognition. The purpose of the Kana'iolowalu registry is for Native Hawaiians to put their names on a public roll, or list, of those who will be involved in moving towards self-governance.
Those who sign up will have the kuleana of determining, among other things, what form of government to pursue. Whether that is federal recognition or not is up to those who take a stand now and sign up to be on the roll. That is why signing up is so important.
Q: What are the implications of the recent mark up of the Akaka bill that now includes a direct reference to the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission?
A: Kana'iolowalu does not automatically lead to any particular form of self-governance. Gaining federal recognition through the new version of the Akaka bill will still require an action by those who are on the Kana'iolowalu registry to organize in order to move forward to pursue federal recognition. This revision to the Akaka bill means that if the bill passes and those of us on the registry choose federal recognition as our option for self governance, then that path is there for us to pursue. Simply put, the Akaka bill opens up another option for us to consider when those of us on the roll convene.
Q: What is your message to Hawaiians about signing up or not signing up with Kana'iolowalu?
A: Our nation remains. Our sovereignty remains. Now we need to act as a unified collective, committed to working together to determine what our future as a nation is going to be. Whatever your view is about how to move forward or what form of government to pursue -- or even if you don't have a really strong opinion at this point -- do not give up the opportunity to be involved and have your mana'o be heard. Our Queen Lili'uokalani would want all of us to be counted.
Ka Wai Ola [OHA monthly newspaper], October 2012, page 6
A guide to registries past and present
By Breann Nu'uhiwa
OHA Chief Advocate
Over the last two decades, OHA has supported three separate initiatives to register Native Hawaiians. Below is a description of those initiatives and how they connect with Kana'iolowalu -- the ongoing enrollment effort of the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission.
Operation 'Ohana began in 1989 as a worldwide enrollment campaign for "all Hawaiians to stand up and be counted as Po'e Hawai'i, the Hawaiian people." By 2001, Operation 'Ohana had approximately 29,000 registrants (18,000 with verified Native Hawaiian ancestry).
In 2002, Operation 'Ohana closed to make way for OHA's Hawaiian Registry,
but Operation 'Ohana files are still maintained by OHA and used as reference at the request of individual registrants.
OHA's Hawaiian Registry is open to all Hawaiians who are lineally descended from the aboriginal peoples that inhabited the Hawaiian Islands in 1778. In 2003, the state enacted a law (HRS § 10-19) requiring OHA to maintain a registry of all persons of Native Hawaiian ancestry.
Today, the Hawaiian Registry has more than 26,000 registrants with verified Native Hawaiian ancestry. Registration applications are accepted via mail, e-mail and walk-in at any OHA office.
Kau Inoa was a self-governance initiative started by OHA and administered by Hawai'i Maoli. Kau Inoa gave people an opportunity to declare their Native Hawaiian ancestry, their intent to participate in government reorganization, and their desire to be included on an official public list.
When Kau Inoa was created, it was not clear when or how the official public list would be formed, but Kau Inoa played a key role in moving self-governance efforts forward and identifying participants.
Kana'iolowalu is a yearlong effort to create the official public list of Native Hawaiians. According to the law that calls for the creation of the list, if your name appears on the list:
(1) You and your descendants will be acknowledged by the Stateof Hawai'i as members of the indigenous, aboriginal, maoli people of Hawai'i, and
(2) You will be eligible to participate in a convention organized by the Native Hawaiian people (not the state) where important decisions will be made about whether, when and how to reorganize a Native Hawaiian governing entity.
The Conection Between Operation 'Ohana, the Hawaian Registry, Kau Inoa and Kana'iolowalu
Native Hawaiians who have had their ancestry verified through Operation 'Ohana, the Hawaiian Registry or Kau Inoa can use that verification to prove ancestry when registering for Kana'iolowalu.
In addition, because Kau Inoa and Kana'iolowalu collected similar information for a similar purpose, Kau Inoa registrants can have their information transferred to Kana'iolowalu through a shorter registration process. Transfers will only happen at the registrant's request. Please see the Letter to Kau Inoa Registrants on the left hand side of this page for more information.
Ka Wai Ola [OHA monthly newspaper], October 2012, page 7
Kana'iolowalu: A report from the continent
By Alice Milham
Enacted more than a year ago, many Native Hawaiians on the continent are
as yet unfamiliar with the State of Hawai'i's Act 195 and the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission. Even fewer have heard of "Kana'iolowalu," the name given to the yearlong effort to enroll Native Hawaiians to have a voice in their
But those who have are sensing hope for future generations. Aunty Emma Sarono, hope pelekikena (vice president) of Moku'äina A Wakinekona Hawaiian Civic Club in Washington state, sees Kana'iolowalu as a way to improve the future for her mo'opuna, her grandchildren.
Sarono, who first heard about Kana'iolowalu during last year's Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs' annual convention, is leading the registration campaign in the Tacoma area.
Well known for her civic-mindedness, she registered soon after the campaign was launched in July 2012. While aware of potential resistance to the registry, Sarono nonetheless understands its source.
They've embraced Hawaiian registry programs, such as Kau Inoa, before. Once their names were taken, they heard nothing more about it.
"People are tired," she said. "They tired of doing all these things. But you cannot give up. See, when you give up, we going be the losers. We need to keep at it."
At its meeting in early September, Sarono says the civic club's members were initially "shocked" to hear of the new registration campaign. She asked them to save their "gripe" until after she finished her presentation.
"Soon as I got through (the Kana'iolowalu presentation), all the information that I had, everybody was grabbing it," says Sarono.
One of the main points she made was the benefit to mo'opuna (grandchildren) and future generations of Native Hawaiians, who will witness
the birth and blessings of the long hoped-for Native Hawaiian governing entity.
"They (the mo'opuna) are the main ones of all (who will benefit)," she said. "You're not going to be here. I'm not going to be here. But at least we left that portion for them. We left that open space for them."
Having lived among the Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest for 43 years, Sarono saw the difference between the lives of descendants of Native Americans who had registered as a tribal member and those who hadn't.
Concerns for the future of their children were likewise a motivating factor for the Helenihi 'ohana of Vancouver, Washington.
On a June visit to O'ahu, for daughter Ashley's attendance at Kamehameha Schools' Explorations Ho'olauna enrichment program, Mari Helenihi registered
all three children, Ashley, 12, Troy, 8, and Naomi, 2, with OHA's Hawaiian Registry to ensure their eligibility for programs benefiting Native Hawaiians. Being counted as a Native Hawaiian is something the Helenihi family takes seriously. Mari's husband, Aaron Helenihi, a 1991 Kamehameha Schools
graduate and board member of the Vancouver, Washington, nonprofit Ke Kukui Foundation, benefited from a Kamehameha Schools scholarship that supported his college education at the University of Southern California.
Mari Helenihi was surprised, after returning home to Vancouver, to hear about the Kana'iolowalu registry, and says she would probably have registered her family for it as well had she known of it.
Mary Alice Kaiulani Milham, a Portland, Oregon-based freelance journalist, is a former newspaper reporter and columnist from California's Central Coast.
Ka Wai Ola [OHA monthly newspaper], October 2012, page 8
By Kehaunani Abad
OHA Community Engagement Director
A sovereign nation exercises authority over an area. With this power, a nation creates laws and institutions that embody its culture and forwards the best
interests of its people.
In the 1800s, Hawaiian leaders established a government that did just that.
Its sovereign independence was recognized worldwide, with treaties, legations and consulates extending to more than 90 nations in the European, American, Asian and Pacific regions.
It developed an educational system producing one of the most literate populations in the world.
It was on the cutting edge of technology, with hydroelectric power from
Nu'uanu Stream lighting Honolulu street lamps and 'Iolani Palace -- years before the White House was wired for electricity.
At the same time, our nation was firmly rooted in cultural traditions. Our people supported themselves following generations-old sustainable practices. Hula thrived, musical compositions abounded, mo'olelo (histories, literature,
and traditions) were shared and preserved in newspapers.
Through the Hawaiian language newspapers, our küpuna kept abreast of global events, debated political issues of the day and read translations of literary works from around the world -- some even before they were translated to English (e.g., 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea).
A multiethnic society emerged, as our küpuna opened their hearts to people of all races. Children of mixed ancestry were welcomed in 'ohana, schools and
Our Hawaiian nation was ahead of its time.
But when the United States illegally, unprovoked and with military force, overthrew the Hawaiian Kingdom, tremendous damages to our lähui (nation and people) ensued.
>> Our Hawaiian Kingdom, which forwarded the values, practices and beliefs of our lähui, was no longer in charge. Others, with different ideals, were in power.
>> 1.8 million acres of Hawaiian crown and government lands -- over 43 percent of all lands in Hawai'i -- were seized and controlled by the new government, creating a staggering economic and cultural loss.
>> A vital part of Native Hawaiian tenant rights was ignored. Native Hawaiian tenants in the Kingdom could gain "a fee-simple title to one-third of the lands possessed and cultivated by them." The fee-simple title could be reified
"whenever" the monarch or native tenant desired to enact the division (Dec. 18, 1847, Hawaiian Kingdom Privy Council).
We are still reeling from these losses. For even 109 years later, our lähui has not fully assimilated into America.
American sovereignty makes possible its "American dream" -- that every individual can achieve, through hard work, ever greater prosperity.
But the American dream is not the Hawaiian dream. That difference is a fundamental problem we face as Hawaiians. It is why we are in constant battles at the Legislature, in the courts, at hearings of government agencies. Being Hawaiian under a government that is not Hawaiian is often a struggle.
A Hawaiian dream -- one shared by many in Hawai'i of all races and creeds -- would recognize our intrinsic connection to the natural world, honor our perpetual relationship to our küpuna (ancestors) and mo'opuna (descendants), seek collective success for 'ohana and communities, and consider longterm impacts of our actions for generations to come.
For more than a century, these aspirations have not been at the core of our governance. Our language was excluded from everyday use in schools, government and commerce. Water was diverted from streams, taro patches and fish spawning areas. Our küpuna were evicted from their burial grounds.
Our people have been so disenfranchised that they must focus only on daily survival in the system and are pulled away from their cultural roots.
Yet in the midst of these struggles, we still have a choice, a simple but profound decision to choose our journey. We can assimilate more completely so our na'au no longer aches when we think of what was lost, imagining that it was all for the best. We can accept the status quo, hang on to our Hawaiian identity, beliefs and practices, and bear the strain of conflict with the system.
Or we can strive for what three decades of Hawaiian leaders sought to achieve: restored Hawaiian sovereignty -- whether as an independent nation with complete authority over Hawai'i or as a federally recognized nation with partial autonomy.
In either context, we could establish our nation on a strong cultural foundation and integrate the best of what the world has to offer in our modern world. We would shape our laws, institutions and priorities that would serve the best interests of our lähui, that would encourage us to be Hawaiians, that would bring to life the Hawaiian dream.
Honolulu Civil Beat, October 2, 2012, Reporter Michael Levine's blog
Inouye Inserts Akaka Bill As Rider, Republican Objects
With a straight up-or-down vote in the Senate looking unlikely this year and a Republican-controlled House looming on the horizon, Sen. Daniel Inouye is trying other tactics to get the Akaka Bill through Congress.
Asked in an interview at his office last week about the prospects for the bill during the lame-duck session, Inouye said he wasn't optimistic about. "I don't see any activity on that during this period. But I can assure you next year, we'll put all of our effort (into it). During this period, the primary concern will be sequestration."
He didn't mention it at the time, but three days earlier, Inouye had inserted language referring to Native Hawaiian recognition into the Interior Department funding bill, right between "Livestock Grazing Administration" and "Use of American Iron, Steel and Manufactured Goods."
The move was met with immediate pushback from the GOP.
"I oppose the inclusion of this language and will insist that it be removed before allowing that bill to advance," Arizona Republican John Kyl said in a statement the day after the amended bill text was released. "I have long opposed the creation of any new government defined by race or blood, but that has always been the core of the various Native Hawaiian tribal recognition bills that have been proposed."
Asked about the move, Inouye spokesman Peter Boylan said in an email that "Senator Inouye is committed to achieving self determination for Native Hawaiians. He has and will continue to pursue any and all available avenues."
-- Michael Levine
Hawaii Reporter, October 4, 2012
Republicans Can Show Their Bipartisan Leadership with Latest Akaka Bill Gambit
By Keli'i Akina, Ph.D.
While Democrats, especially Hawaii's Congressional Democrats, need to handle anything endorsed by U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye with kid gloves, they are faced with the dilemma that the movement to create an exclusive race-based nation on U.S. soil is at odds with Democratic Party ideals. It is part of the Democratic Party litany to claim credit for opposing "whites-only" (therefore, "race-only") membership policies in government and society. Republican candidates for office now have an opportunity to appeal to Democratic sensibilities and even voice publicly what some democrats feel concerning the Akaka Bill.
The latest move to advance a watered-down version of the Akaka Bill through Congress is the attempt by U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye to use the mid-term budget bill of the Senate Appropriations Committee to authorize expenditures for recognizing native Hawaiians as an "Indian tribe." Although the U.S. Senate's Native Indian Affairs Committee, chaired by Senator Daniel Akaka, recently gave the Akaka Bill a palatable make-over by dropping its language to enroll a sovereign Hawaiian nation, Senator Inouye's bill ties his proposed appropriation to Hawaii Act 195 (Legislative Session 2011-12).
The Hawaii legislation establishes a Native Hawaiian Roll Commission to enlist "blood-only" Hawaiians for a future Hawaiian nation. Even Senate Democrats have demurred in their enthusiasm for Inouye's efforts. But Republican Whip Jon Kyl is the first U.S. Senator to articulate clearly what Senators on both sides of the aisle feel: "I have long opposed the creation of any new government defined by race or blood, but that has always been the core of the various Native Hawaiian tribal recognition bills that have been proposed. This appropriations rider is no different." Kyl further points out concerning Hawaii's Act 195, which excludes non-Hawaiians from membership in its new government, that it "... is a race-based definition and it is contrary to our constitutional principles."
As November 6th approaches, GOP candidates now have one more opportunity to speak to the common-sense majority who are tired of partisan politics and would find an expression of good principles a breath of fresh air.
Keli'i Akina, Ph.D., is a philosopher who lectures on human rights and business ethics in Chinese and American universities. Dr. Akina is currently a candidate for Trustee-at-Large in the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. His website is
and his e-mail address in
hawaii247.com, October 5, 2012
Akaka gives final speech to Native Hawaiian Convention
U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Akaka, chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee, spoke Thursday at the annual Native Hawaiian Convention at the Hawaii Convention Center.
Akaka has spoken at every Native Hawaiian Convention since its inception in 2001, and this was his last one as a sitting U.S. Senator, as he retires in January.
Akaka is the first Native Hawaiian ever to serve in the U.S. Senate and third to serve in Congress.
Akaka's remarks as prepared for delivery:
Aloha! It is so good to be home! Mahalo for inviting me to join you at this year's Native Hawaiian Convention.
Mahalo nui loa to Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement Chairman Alvin Parker and President Robin Danner for their leadership in organizing this annual convention. Mahalo nui loa to all of you, who are attending this convention in record numbers.
By coming together as a community, to listen to different manao, kukakuka, and holo i mua, we can achieve this year's convention theme: "Moving Forward -- Our People, Our Land, Our Spirit."
I am so proud to say that I have joined you here at this convention every year since the beginning. As you know, after 36 years of service in Congress, I am retiring at the end of this year.
Throughout my career, I have been inspired by the leaders who came before me. I hope to inspire the leaders who will follow. I'm proud to be the first Native Hawaiian in the U.S. Senate, and even more proud to be the third to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.
After Hawaii was annexed to the United States of America, Robert Wilcox was elected as a territorial delegate to the House in 1900. Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana'ole represented Hawaii from 1903 to 1921.
Both men had been jailed with Queen Liliuokalani and sentenced to death for trying to reinstate the Queen after the illegal overthrow. But they didn't give up, they used the American political system to help our people.
They were elected because Native Hawaiians voted and made sure we had representation in the United States Congress.
In the early 1900s, these men lived in times of deep segregation in the United States, when Hawaii was still reeling from the aftermath of the illegal overthrow and rapid political change.
Both Congressman Robert Wilcox and Congressman Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole found motivation to work toward self-sufficiency for our people so that we could once again thrive, be productive and contribute to our families, our communities, and our island home.
Throughout my career in Congress, I have built upon the achievements of these two men, and I have drawn inspiration and courage from them. Through it all, I have carried our culture and our aloha with me.
I have tried to remain focused on what is pono, and set my goals around what can be achieved in the spirit of lokahi.
I have seen so many changes in Hawaii and across the country, and I have been amazed at the resiliency of our Native Hawaiian people, our culture, and our language.
Since I was a boy, the United States has grown and evolved. I have witnessed profound change in the status and treatment of all indigenous peoples.
Gone are the days when teaching our language was banned, when our culture and traditions were deemed unimportant. We now know that our language, culture, and traditions hold incredible wisdom about how best to live in this place we call Hawaii.
This Congress, I have had the great pleasure and responsibility of leading the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. I have focused on strengthening the identities of Native peoples, and their ability to protect their homelands.
I have worked with my colleagues to make sure they understand the federal relationship with Native peoples and its origins in the Constitution.
When it was written, the broad terms Indian and tribe were used in the Constitution to mean indigenous peoples, with their diversity of unique cultures, languages and traditions. Each with their own ways of governing themselves.
The consistent use of these terms Indian and tribe results in the federal government treating all federally-recognized Native peoples equally, with the same tools to address the unique needs and priorities in their own communities.
It is long past time for the Native Hawaiian people to have the same rights, the same privileges, and the same opportunities as every other federally-recognized Native people. That is why I am working tirelessly to secure parity in federal policy for our people.
My bill, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, gives us full access to the prevailing federal policy on self-determination, and the ability to once again exercise our right to be self-governing.
For more than 12 years, I have worked with our community and other stakeholders to develop the terms of this bill.
I have listened carefully to all sides, and I am determined to do what is best for all of Hawaii, by ensuring Native Hawaiians a true avenue for reconciliation.
Last month, the Indian Affairs Committee passed my amended bill, which builds upon State of Hawaii Act 195 that created the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission. The amendment removes the sections of my bill about creating and certifying the roll of qualified Native Hawaiian constituents, because that process is already underway here in the islands, and streamlines my bill down to its essential parts.
As Chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee, this version of the bill represents my best manao on how to secure the future of our people, by ensuring we are afforded the same rights and opportunities as all other federally-recognized Native peoples -- no more, no less.
I was proud to be the first person to sign up for the Kanaiolowalu registry – the new roll of Native Hawaiian voters. If you haven't already, I urge you to do the same, to participate in this incredible process to re-organize our Native Hawaiian government.
I'm told there is a booth here where you can sign up, or you can visit their website. I truly believe that as the indigenous people of Hawaii, our ability to chart our own course and define our own future will never be secure until we have parity with all other Native peoples.
My amended bill sets a proper foundation for the reorganization of a Native Hawaiian government, which will have a government-to-government relationship with the United States and the State of Hawaii. This version of my bill is the best way forward.
In these changing times, it is critical that all Native Americans – American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians – continue to stand together, and move forward together, to advance Native sovereignty and self-determination in the United States. There is strength in solidarity.
Native self-governance leads to Native self-sufficiency, resulting in our continued ability to be productive and contribute to the well-being of our families, our communities, and our great nation.
It is in this spirit that I worked to secure passage of the Apology Resolution. I will continue to fight every day I am in Congress for passage of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act.
I know I am just one in a long line working to ensure that our language, our culture, and our people continue to thrive for generations to come.
I understand my kuleana is to advance our rights, and to help prepare the next generation to take up their kuleana – to advance the causes of our people.
I think often of our beloved Queen Liliuokalani, her character, and her words.
She said: I could not turn back the time for the political change, but there is still time to save our heritage. You must remember never to cease to act because you fear you may fail.
These words have guided my conduct and service over the years.
Serving as your Senator has been my greatest privilege, honor, and duty. I am thankful to all the people of Hawaii for putting their trust in me. This voyage we are on together, advancing the cause of our people, is far from over.
Like those who set the course before you: Grab your paddle and hoe a mau. There may be rough seas along the way, but I am confident that you possess the ability to successfully navigate our people into the future.
It is important to remember to live Hawaiian values, draw courage from those that have come before you, and focus your work on advancing self-determination and self-sufficiency.
Prepare yourself, learn new skills, work hard, so you can make contributions to your community, to your state, to your country, and to our people. Strive to extend aloha in all you do.
You will find it returned to you.
E ke Akua hoomaikai ia oukou. E ke Akua hoomaikai ia Hawaii. E ke Akua hoomaikai ia Amelika. God Bless you, God Bless Hawaii, and God Bless the United States of America.
Me ke aloha pumehana, a hui hou.
Hawaii Reporter, October 17, 2012
Recommendations for Hawaii voters who oppose racial separatism:
U.S. Senate; U.S. House; 5 OHA seats; state legislature.
BY KENNETH R. CONKLIN, PH.D. --
** Excerpts directly focused on Akaka bill
Aloha dear readers,
As you know I'm in favor of unity, equality, and aloha for all. See
With those principles in mind, I have recommendations for voting in the election of 2012.
I believe racial separatism and ethnic nationalism are the greatest threats to long-term peace and stability in Hawaii. Yes, it's true that our nation and state face great difficulties related to budget deficits, unemployment, taxation, foreign policy, etc. But racial strife is a far greater threat than any of those things. Consider Bosnia, where Europeans of three different ethnicities were living, working and playing together and intermarrying (similar to Hawaii), until Serbs, Croats, and Muslims started killing each other, engaging in ethnic cleansing and racial separatism. Consider Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Darfur, East Timor, Sri Lanka, etc. where ethnic strife led to civil war and mass atrocities.
We in Hawaii must do all we can to defeat racial separatism. I appeal especially to conservative Republicans who think it's very important to win Republican control of the U.S. Senate and keep control of the House. But my friends, I say to you that there comes a time when we who live in Hawaii must give top priority to what's best for Hawaii, even if it means we send to Congress people who will vote the wrong way on national issues. I will vote against candidates who agree with me on most issues but who push for the Akaka bill, racially exclusionary programs, and racial separatism.
The only reason the Akaka bill has never passed in 12 years is because of the principled opposition of Republicans who have repeatedly blocked it in the Senate. If a leftwing Democrat and a conservative Republican both support the Akaka bill, I will vote for the Democrat rather than send a Republican to represent Hawaii who will make deals in the Republican caucus to undermine Republican opposition to the Akaka bill. Lingle's top federal priority during her 8 years as Governor was to pass the Akaka bill. On October 16, in her televised debate with Hirono, Lingle once again said that as a Republican she will work inside the Republican caucus to pass the Akaka bill, in a way Hirono cannot do. Djou gave a 30-minute interview on OHA radio touting his ability to persuade fellow Republicans to pass the bill. Let's keep them out of Congress. For a much more in-depth analysis, including published information showing how strongly Lingle and Djou pushed the Akaka bill, see
Linda Lingle, Charles Djou, and Kawika Crowley have abandoned both the national and the state Republican Party platforms that strongly oppose the Akaka bill. So conservative Republicans should not hesitate to abandon those candidates. I will hold my nose and vote for Mazie Hirono for U.S. Senate, and recommend a vote for Colleen Hanabusa for U.S. House District 1. Those two contests might be close, so please don't abstain from voting -- Hirono and Hanabusa must get more votes than Lingle and Djou to ensure the right outcome. I live in House District 2, where Republican candidate Kawika Crowley favors the Akaka bill and also wants to rip the 50th star off the flag to make Hawaii an independent nation. Democrat Tulsi Gabbard will easily defeat Crowley, so there's no need to vote for Gabbard merely to defeat Crowley. Thus I can afford to vote a principled blank showing disapproval of both candidates.
Five OHA seats will be on the ballot November 6. Everyone can vote regardless of race. Everyone can vote for all 5 seats regardless of island designation of candidates. This is our chance to fundamentally change OHA. The general principle is: throw the bums out! But for whom should you vote?
The incumbent for the OHA at-large seat is Haunani Apoliona. She served as trustee and chair of the OHA board for many years, always pushing the Akaka bill. Let's toss her out! Fortunately there's a truly outstanding candidate running to replace her -- Keli'i Akina, Ph.D. Dr. Akina is a professor both in Hawaii and in China. He strongly opposes the Akaka bill and the Act 195 state-recognized Akaka tribe. He believes that Hawaiians of the blood and Hawaiians at heart should work together for the betterment of us all and to reform OHA. He is the opposite of a racial separatist. I strongly endorse him and hope you will vote for him. Read his powerful, inspiring commentary in the September 7, 2012 issue of Hawaii Reporter:
For the OHA Kaua'i seat I recommend a vote for Jackie Burke, because she opposes the Akaka bill. She opposes it for the wrong reason -- she's a secessionist advocating an independent nation of Hawaii. And she supports the racially exclusionary government handouts for ethnic Hawaiians. So I certainly do not endorse her. I only recommend a vote for her because she's the least bad among the candidates, and most importantly because she opposes the Akaka bill.
For the Hawaii Island seat, I'll vote for incumbent Robert Lindsey. He favors the Akaka bill but does not push it aggressively. He works humbly and quietly but effectively to get OHA to spend its money on programs that actually help needy people.
Finally, what about the state legislature? One candidate stands out above all others as a champion of unity, equality, and aloha for all -- a man who not only opposes the Akaka bill but has traveled to Washington D.C. to lobby against it at a time when it was vitally important to have an elected official from Hawaii telling U.S. Senators that we oppose the bill. I'm talking, of course, about the only Republican in the Hawaii state Senate, Sam Slom. Senator Slom also organized a celebration of Statehood Day in front of the former Capitol of the Territory of Hawaii where the transition to statehood took place (Iolani Palace). He bravely stood with a group of Hawaii patriots there who were assaulted with vile language and threats of violence from Hawaiian sovereignty hooligans who consider the Palace to be their Capitol of a still-living Kingdom of Hawaii. Senator Slom has consistently voted against resolutions in the legislature supporting the Akaka bill. He was the only legislator out of 25 in the Senate and 51 in the House who voted against Act 195 (2011) that established a state-recognized Akaka tribe and a racial registry to begin organizing it. So I strongly endorse Senator Sam Slom for re-election. May he live long and prosper!
In other contests for the state legislature my general inclination is to support Republicans because they usually seem more eager than Democrats to cut spending, reduce taxes, reduce bureaucratic and tax policies that harm small businesses. Republicans also may be more willing than Democrats to step away from "political correctness" and perhaps get some courage to oppose racial entitlements, OHA, and the demands that will inevitably be made for transfer of land, money, and jurisdictional authority to the Akaka tribe.
Indian Country Today, October 17, 2012
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Talks Romney, Carcieri, Internet Gaming and Indians
By Rob Capriccioso
** Excerpts related to Akaka bill
Are American Indians important in this upcoming election?
I am doing everything I can -- I even helped raise a little bit of money -- to help organize Indians. They are crucial in Montana -- seven percent of the vote; crucial in North Dakota -- five percent of the vote; they're helpful in Nevada. They're important in Arizona and New Mexico. They're important because Indians vote 90 percent Democratic, and rightfully so.
Many Indians are hoping for legislative action on a fix of Carcieri v. Salazar.
I think it's something we should do, but Native Americans are not all sold on this.
Will that division in Indian country hamper the possibility of a clean Carcieri fix?
It's certainly not going to help. We have to work our way through all this.
Are you open to a compromised Carcieri fix?
My middle name is compromise. The art of legislation is compromise and building consensus.
How is your relationship with Senator Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs? There was talk that Akaka had wanted a clean Carcieri fix attached to the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership [HEARTH] Act when it passed in July, but you moved forward with HEARTH without Carcieri. Was there tension between you and Akaka?
Senator Akaka is a wonderful person; he is truly the best. His important voice will be missed with his retirement [this January]. Congress has a solemn obligation to honor treaties, the supreme law of the land, and uphold tribal sovereignty. Chairman Akaka, who is a Native Hawaiian, is the second Native American to lead the committee. He has some priorities he would like to see [acted upon] before he retires, and I would like to help him with some of those things.
These two pieces of legislation should be passed on their own to ensure tribes not only have better tools, but good law on their side.
How do you feel about the Native Hawaiian federal recognition bill Akaka is trying to get passed this Congress?
I support Senator Akaka's efforts on Native Hawaiian issues. We have been working on this legislation a long time, and I know how important it is to him and to the Native Hawaiian people.
Honolulu Civil Beat, October 22, 2012
Native Hawaiian Clubs 'Colonizing the Continent'
By Michael Levine
WASHINGTON — Native Hawaiian groups from across the country convened this past week to talk about some of the key issues facing their community. But rather than gather in the place of common ancestry, the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs held its annual convention here in the nation's capital, just steps from the seat of the government many Hawaiians still distrust as an illegal occupier.
The weeklong convention, hosted in numerous conference rooms at the J.W. Marriott hotel a few blocks from the White House, was a study in the dichotomy of Native Hawaiians' participation in civic affairs, particularly government.
On one hand, an hour-long speech delivered by Kamanaopono Crabbe, the CEO of the state-government-attached Office of Hawaiian Affairs, was generally well-received by hundreds in attendance in the main ballroom Thursday. On the other hand, Civil Beat, which has the only full-time correspondent for a Hawaii news organization in Washington, D.C., on Friday was asked to leave a policy discussion about proposed gambling on Native Hawaiian land as well as the controversial Public Land Development Corporation created by the Hawaii Legislature last year.
Meanwhile, the president of the organization hosting the convention, Soulee Stroud from Utah, declined repeated requests for interviews, concerned how the event would be portrayed.
This much is clear from conversations with convention attendees and a review of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs website:
Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole founded the first Hawaiian Civic Club nearly a century ago as a way to encourage Native Hawaiians to actively participate in their own governance.
The clubs exist today not only to impact policy but also to share and pass down traditions from one generation to the next. Among those in attendance were school-age children and some three-generation families.
There are more than 60 individual Hawaiian Civic Clubs, including at least 20 based on the mainland in places like Texas, Colorado and Las Vegas.
"Even though they like to think they colonized Hawaii, we're colonizing the continent with Hawaiians everywhere," Mahealani Cypher, a leader of the Koolaupoko Civic Club on Oahu's eastern shore, told Civil Beat outside of a committee meeting Friday. A day earlier, she'd accepted a nomination to be a vice president of the full association, and was awaiting a full vote later in the weekend.
The clubs are organized into five "councils" — one for each of the four counties in Hawaii and one for all the mainland clubs — but Cypher said each club is fully autonomous. They have diverse areas of focus, with some choosing to get involved directly in politics and others spending their energy on environmental issues, nation-building or cultural practices.
"I think people are seeing now that, collectively, as civic clubs and as councils and as the association, we can make a difference," she said.
The gambling proposal was among the resolutions discussed Friday and Saturday. So too were a pair of resolutions dealing with the PLDC: one urging the Legislature to repeal the law that created the agency, and one urging the PLDC itself to enact administrative rules that would neutralize some of the more troubling components of the law that give the agency wide latitude to disregard some environmental laws in the interest of economic growth.
It's not immediately clear how any of those resolutions fared. On Friday, some attendees of the Economic Development committee objected to allowing a Civil beat reporter in the room.
The most vocal was Pohai Ryan, who raised her hand in objection and said only that "This is Hawaiian Civic Club" and that the media didn't belong. Ryan serves as one of 25 senators in the Hawaii Legislature, and was among those who voted in favor of creating the much-criticized PLDC. Ryan lost in the Democratic primary in August to former Department of Land and Natural Resources Director Laura Thielen and will no longer be in office if a repeal of the law is considered in 2013.
Stroud had originally agreed to a brief interview early Saturday morning, but called late Friday night to back out. Reached Sunday, he told Civil Beat he was in a meeting and unable to talk.
The Hawaiian Civic Clubs, and the association, are private organizations and not subject to the state's Sunshine Law or any other rules pertaining to government transparency. But considering one of the overarching goals is public advocacy and participation in civic affairs, the organizational bashfulness with the media is an odd strategy.
"I think it's important that they all learn the issues, be makaala, be alert to what's happening in the nation and in their own communities," Cypher said when asked what role the clubs should play. "Work with their communities, with the grassroots, to educate people about Hawaiian concerns, justice for Hawaiians, and try to persuade the communities around them to support Hawaiians' pursuit of justice."
The Garden Island (Kaua'i), October 26, 2012, LETTER TO EDITOR
Conservatives should vote against Lingle and Crowley
The Akaka Bill threatens to rip apart our people and lands along racial lines. It is the most dangerous federal legislation that ever affected the State of Hawai‘i.
The Akaka Bill would be so devastating for Hawai‘i that it outweighs national issues like the budget deficit, unemployment and foreign policy as we Hawai‘i conservatives consider how to vote. Remember Bosnia, Rwanda and Sri Lanka? Racial separatism and civil war were far more important than economic problems.
The only reason the Akaka Bill never passed in 12 years is because Senate Republicans blocked it. Gov. Lingle spent eight years pushing the Akaka Bill as her top federal priority. Lingle would work inside her Republican Senate caucus to get them to stop blocking it. But Republicans will ignore Democrat Hirono. Conservatives should hold their noses and vote for Hirono to stop Lingle from going to the Senate.
Kawika Crowley embraces conservative views on economics and foreign policy. But he favors both the Akaka Bill and secession. That's outrageous. Democrat Gabbard favors the Akaka Bill too, but Republicans will ignore her. Gabbard will win easily, so conservatives who don't like Gabbard's liberalism do not need to vote for her to ensure Crowley's defeat — we can afford a principled "blank" to show we dislike them both.
Republican national and state platforms both strongly oppose the Akaka Bill. Lingle and Crowley have abandoned Republican principles. Conservative Republicans can abandon those candidates without guilt.
Hawaii Reporter, Sunday November 4, 2012
Akina: Why Cal Lee Should Not Become an OHA Trustee
This article focuses exclusively on the policy positions of OHA Trustee-at-Large candidate Cal Lee. It is not about the person, character or contributions of Cal Lee to the community. In that regard, Lee is an outstanding coach who has served thousands of our island youth. I admire his career and acknowledge the well-deserved love many have for the man.
In this essay, I want to allow voters to know what Cal Lee's impact upon the state of Hawaii will be if elected as an OHA trustee, based upon his own written statements.
According to the Issues section of his campaign website, Cal Lee is an advocate of the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission Act (Act 195) and he also supports OHA's role in funding the process. Elsewhere on his issues site he states his understanding of the role OHA will play in the NHRCA: "Funding to facilitate the activities of the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission will be provided by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs."
In contrast to Cal Lee, I am on record in opposition to the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission Act (Act 195) on the grounds that it violates Hawaiian and American Democratic values by establishing a race-based nation which excludes all who do not have Hawaiian blood. I have written elsewhere that the original Hawaiian nation, under the first monarch, Kamehameha, through the last monarch, Queen Lili'uokalani, welcomed individuals without Hawaiian blood as citizens. If these citizens, of Chinese, Japanese, Caucasian and other ancestries were alive today, their Hawaiian citizenship would be stripped away by the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission Act.
Also in contrast to Cal Lee, I am on record in opposition to the use of OHA's resources for the purpose of financing the establishment of a race-based nation through the Roll Commission Act. In a recent audit of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the State Auditor determined that a significant percentage of OHA's spending goes to administration and advocacy costs. Yet, OHA documents the plight of Hawaiians as being over-represented amongst the unemployed, homeless, under-nourished, physically ill, incarcerated, and under-educated. Now, with Act 195 and Cal Lee's interpretation and support of OHA as the funder of its activities, more money will be drained away from needed services for Hawaiians.
To get an idea as to how much funding OHA trustees have been willing to spend on advocacy, one need merely look at their expenditures on the so-far failed Akaka Bill, which until recently, was the chief means of promoting the race-based nation concept Lee advocates. At a time when homelessness has been on the rise in Hawaii, the trustees have spent undisclosed millions of dollars on lobbying, an in-house legal department, Washington D.C. offices, D.C. and Hawaii legal firms, and entertaining members of Congress. Cal Lee must be aware of these costs based upon his written criticism of the current incumbent and Trustee-at-Large candidate: "OHA spent millions of dollars in lobbying the Akaka Bill, under Chairperson Haunani Apoliona. A steep price to pay…" 
It would be incorrect to single out Cal Lee as the originator or driving force behind the ideas of a race-based nation and that OHA should devote large sums of money to its realization. These ideas were in place before Lee entered the contest to become an OHA trustee. Credit for the plan of racial separatism goes to the existing OHA trustee board under the long-term leadership of Haunani Apoliona who hopes to be granted a fifth four-year term by the voters this General Election. Cal Lee's support of OHA's stance demonstrates that if he is elected a trustee, voters can expect more of the same from OHA. Regardless of the "teamwork" Lee says he will bring to the OHA board, with his consent, it will continue to divert resources from its mission to serve real needs of Hawaiians to the harmful advocacy of a race-based nation.
In closing, I want to reiterate that my comments are not a criticism of Cal Lee on a personal level, but an analysis of the positions he has made public. Additionally, I must point out that Cal Lee has failed to participate in public forums where he could discuss and explain his views and has turned down my request that he meet me to debate these issues so that the public can compare where we stand. This essay was written so that can take place.
Keli'i Akina, Ph.D., is a philosopher who lectures on human rights and business ethics in Chinese and American universities. Dr. Akina is currently a candidate for Trustee-at-Large in the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. His website is
and his e-mail address is
 Cal Lee for OHA campaign website at http://www.votecallee.com/issues/hawaiian-self-determination-sovereignty-and-nationhood/ Downloaded 10/31/12
 Cal Lee for OHA campaign website at http://www.votecallee.com/issues/the-state-of-hawaii-native-hawaiian-recognition-bill/ Downloaded 10/31/12
 See Hawaii State Auditor, Investment Portfolio Review of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, http://hawaii.gov/auditor/Reports/2009/09-10.pdf Downloaded 10/31/12
 See, as one attempt to research the costs of OHA spending on Akaka Bill advocacy, Chad Blair in Civil Beat:
and Gordon Pang in "OHA spends millions on trying to create a Native Hawaiian nation" in the Honolulu (Star) Advertiser:
, Downloaded 11/1/2012  Cal Lee for OHA campaign website, op. cit.
 Chad Blair, Cal Lee: I'll Bring Teamwork to OHA,
http://www.civilbeat.com/articles/2012/10/15/17363-cal-lee-ill-bring-teamwork-to-oha/ Downloaded 10/31/12
Honolulu Civil Beat, November 6, 2012
Office of Hawaiian Affairs Beefing Up Advocacy At Federal Level
By Michael Levine
WASHINGTON — The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is looking to expand its reach far beyond Hawaii's shores.
OHA, known best in the islands for managing Hawaiian land and administering grants for Native Hawaiians, has reopened its one-person Washington, D.C., bureau after letting it go dark for a few months this year. The intent, OHA says, is to add interns, fellows, staffers and policy analysts to beef up advocacy efforts at the federal level.
Taking the helm is new bureau chief Kawika Riley.
A graduate of Kealakahe High School on the Kona side of the Big Island, Riley has a history of Native Hawaiian advocacy. But he's spent most of the last five years learning his way around the inside of the legislative and executive branches of the federal government. An intern in the bureau years ago, Riley said in an exclusive hourlong interview with Civil Beat that he's happy to have found his way back.
"It was a homecoming because I felt that in a lot of ways I had come full circle," said Riley, sitting behind a modest wood-paneled desk in the office space OHA shares with the National American Indian Housing Council a few blocks from Union Station and the U.S. Capitol.
Riley was a staffer on Sen. Daniel Akaka's Veterans Affairs Committee during wartime and most recently served as a national spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration, created after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. And even though he's now a State of Hawaii employee, he still dresses like someone who knows his way around Washington.
On this day, he's wearing a dark gray suit and striped tie and sporting a thin beard that belies his youth. Just 29 years old, he now carries the heavy burden of speaking on behalf of the Native Hawaiian community in Washington at a time when Akaka — the only Native Hawaiian to ever have a vote in Congress — is retiring.
He knows it's an important job.
Advocacy is one of the pillars of OHA's operation in Hawaii, along with resource management, research and community engagement.
Kamanaopono Crabbe took over as the organization's CEO earlier this year and installed a new leadership team a couple of months later. That administrative realignment included a vision of an "expanded federal advocacy arm," new OHA Chief Advocate Breann Nuuhiwa told Civil Beat in a recent phone interview from Honolulu.
"We need people on the ground in D.C. who can advocate for a policy change on the federal level ... and we can get some synergy between federal and state agencies and bodies so we can have an impact and have that systemic change we're looking for," she said. That type of change would not be possible "if we're only working on the local level or the state level."
A good example of why that synergy is critical, Nuuhiwa said, was the flap over Hawaiian language students being forced to take translated state tests due to the way federal education policy was applied. Students struggled with the translated English version because developing a true Hawaiian version could cost millions.
"That's one issue. There are a hundred that pretty much follow the same pattern: that the work we do on the state level is very important, but there's an overarching federal piece that also needs to be addressed," Nuuhiwa said.
That means the scope of Riley's work is much wider than merely pushing for major pieces of legislation in Congress like the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, known as the Akaka Bill. It's also not limited, as some might think, to advocating on behalf of Native Hawaiians who live on the mainland.
"Our expectations of the D.C. bureau are really A to Z," Nuuhiwa said. "Any issue that OHA is engaged with locally, we expect the D.C. office to be engaged with at the federal level if there's a federal nexus."
'An Exceptionally Rare Opportunity'
Riley said he's excited about the broad scope of the job and feels blessed by the opportunity to represent the greater community.
"I talk a lot about legislation, but I don't want to just talk about legislation because advocacy doesn't just mean understand and influence the laws that do or don't pass, the bills that do or don't become law," he said. "It also means to advocate at the implementation level. ... So in addition to monitoring, analyzing and being a part of what happens in Congress, we want to monitor, analyze and be a part of what happens in the executive branch."
He estimates there are 150 laws on the books that specifically mention Native Hawaiians, and said part of his job is making sure those programs are not rolled back. Nuuhiwa said that was a factor in OHA's decision to re-establish the bureau with the hopes of expanding it.
"I think we are realizing, not just OHA and not just Native Hawaiians but citizens of Hawaii broadly and our beneficiaries that live on the continent, that federal monies are becoming increasingly scarce, and there are budget cuts that impact everybody across the board," she said. "And it's a time when we need to be more vigilant and more unified and more organized about how we interact with the federal government to protect funds that support important programs in the areas of education and health and others.
"And as federal moneys become more scarce, we see our advocacy at the federal level as being even more important," she said. "So we see the expanded D.C. bureau not as a luxury, we see it as a necessity at this point. We don't have the ability to stand by and let others in Washington who may not be aware of what the needs are of the Hawaiian community making important decisions about Native Hawaiian programs."
Those who have worked with Riley before say he's up to the task.
Kathryn Monet, who worked with Riley on the Veterans Affairs Committee and is from Maui, said Riley's strength is his ability to both understand policy and communicate strongly and effectively. He was detail-oriented like a wonkish policy analyst, but learned how to listen to what people wanted and how to come up with solutions that met their needs, she said.
The knowledge he'll bring to the new job, Monet said, is that proposals should be based on what's politically tenable and shouldn't be too complicated to explain.
Clay Park is the Veteran Program Director for Papa Ola Lokahi, part of the Native Hawaiian Health Systems. He said in an email that even though Riley looks young, he's a smart and driven advocate on Hawaiian issues who understands the culture and people of Hawaii.
Asked what attracted him to the position, Riley pointed to the single-minded focus on the Native Hawaiian people that even the state's congressional delegation can't claim.
"What it really comes down to is the person who sits at this desk gets to, from the first thing that they do in the morning to the last thing that they do at the end of the day, advocate for the Native Hawaiian community," Riley said. "To try to give back and affect change and influence policy that betters the Native Hawaiian people, that is an exceptionally rare opportunity, to get to do that, especially in Washington, D.C."
Indian Country Today, November 12, 2012
Akaka to Push Passage of Carcieri and More in Lame Duck Session
By Gale Courey Toensing
Senator Daniel Kahikina Akaka and Loretta Tuell, his chief of staff and chief counsel on the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, said they won't stop working to pass a clean Carcieri fix and other important legislation during the lame duck session until the final pounding of the gavel closes the 112th Congress.
Akaka addressed Indian country by video at the National Congress of American Indians 69th Convention in late October. The video was his swan song to NCAI: After 36 years in Congress – 14 in the House and 22 in the Senate – Akaka, 88, will retire at the end of the 112th Congress. He is the country's first Native Hawaiian senator and the only Chinese American member of the United States Senate.
A champion of Indian country, Akaka's video speech held attendees at the conference silently engrossed. As always, Akaka began his talk by extending his aloha to the NCAI leaders, members and the NCAI President Jefferson Keel. He told the audience that he has focused the committee's work around strengthening the identities of Native peoples and their ability to protect their homelands – two themes that were woven throughout his and Tuell's speeches.
The amendment to the IRA would clarify that the Secretary of the Interior Department has the authority to put land into trust for all federally acknowledgment tribes, "fixing" a misguided February 2009 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Bills that don't pass during the duck session expire. If the Carcieri fix or Native Hawaiian bills die during the lame duck session of the current 112th Congress, legislators would have to start from scratch and introduce new bills during the 113th Congress, which is scheduled to begin on January 3, 2013.
Akaka stressed that he is "determined" to pass the Carcieri fix during the current Congress and he said there is support to pass it. "I'm happy to report that Majority Leader Harry Reid is committed to working with me to ensure the Carcieri fix is enacted and signed into law by President Obama this year," Akaka said. Reid told Indian Country Today Media Network that a Carcieri fix is indeed one of Akaka's priorities and "I would like to help him with some of those things," Reid said. A Carcieri fix is "something we should do," Reid said.
He talked about his home state of Hawaii with great affection and about the need for solidarity among the Indigenous Peoples of the United States. "In Hawaii we're lucky to bring together the traditions and wisdom from the many cultures that make up our community for the benefit of all peoples, … More than ever it is critical that all Alaska Natives, American Indians and also Native Hawaiians stand together and move forward together to advance Native self-determination," Akaka said. He talked about the cultural identity provided to the state of Hawaii by the Native Hawaiian tradition of doing things with aloha – with love and with respect. He urged American Indian leaders "to call upon the cultural values of our ancestors to guide our decisions" and to encourage young people to remember and draw courage from those values. "We must remember that we are just one in a long line of people working to ensure that our life ways, our languages, our cultures and our peoples continue for generations to come," Akaka said.
With Akaka and several other seasoned legislators leaving Congress, "a lot of institutional knowledge is leaving," Tuell told the NCAI members, "so your job just got a little harder in educating the new people about who we are and how we move forward."
Tuell, a member of the Nez Perce Tribe, will also leave the government at the end of this Congress after 20 years of work in Indian Affairs. "It has been an honor and a privilege to serve under the leadership of Chairman Akaka. I remain fully committed to working to advance the Chairman's top legislative priorities in the final days of the 112th Congress. As for the future, I look forward to exploring any opportunity that allows me to continue to serve Native people," Tuell told ICTMN in an email.
At the NCAI convention, Tuell reviewed the committee's work during its 35 years of existence – over 950 hearings, 350 business meetings and some 300 public laws passed. "That's a big deal," Tuell said. "It shows that when you have a committee that works for you, you can get things done and I encourage you to always encourage and maintain the SCIA and likewise in the House. It's the right way to address the trust responsibilities the U.S. has to Indian tribes."
During the current Congress, the SCIA referred 50 bills and reported 25 bills out of the committee, held 30 oversight hearings, 19 round tables, listening sessions and briefings, eight legislative hearings, nine business meetings, and approved the nomination of Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn. The Washburn nomination was approved in seven days. "It was important because we knew President Obama wanted to make sure that position was secure whether he was re-elected or not so that Indian country had a voice in the government," Tuell said.
But the committee's work is not finished. According to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid the lame duck session will run from November 13 through December 21, Tuell said. "The committee will continue to do its work. It's really important for us to be ready to move forward."
The Budget Control Act – the legislation that requires the massive budget cuts called sequestration – will set the tone for the lame duck session, Tuell said. But the SCIA will focus on passing the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act – "an issue close to the chairman's heart," Tuell said – the Indian Reorganization Act amendment and other bills that are important to Indian country.
"We've built a very strong legislative record of why we need to solve this (Carcieri) issue. It doesn't cost a dime. It puts us back to status quo and it's critical that we lead with our right to have land. We own this nation! This is our land! We have a right to have homeland, so we've been pursuing this very strongly," Tuell said with passion. She referred to an SCIA report that shows how the high court's ruling is hurting tribal jurisdiction, law enforcement and loan capability.
Additionally, President Obama has always been a strong advocate for a clean Carcieri fix "and his re-election doesn't take away the urgency for the fix," Tuell said. "One lesson that we have learned through situations like the Patchak case is that we need to amend the Indian Reorganization Act before additional frivolous law suits are filed. Chairman Akaka is encouraged that Leader Reid included this no-cost legislative fix on his lame duck agenda," Tuell told ICTMN. At the NCAI convention, Tuell said, "We have 60 votes on both sides on this issue. We've worked very hard on it. If it doesn't happen in this Congress, it's the number one issue in the 113th. It will not go away."
Efforts will be made to move two other important bills forward during the lame duck session. The Native CLASS Act provides for indigenous cultures, traditions and languages to be taught in BIA and public schools attended by Indian students. The SAVE Native Women Act strengthens tribal jurisdiction over domestic violence and sexual assault on all perpetrators on Indian land. "It's primed for the lame duck. We need to fight for it. It's the first time we've ever said we have the right to jurisdiction on our land. This is important," Tuell said. But the vocal support and presence of Indian leaders is crucial to success, Tuell said. "We need your voice on this. We will need you to come to D.C. We will need you to use our voice for you nations, your communities."
Honolulu Civil Beat, November 28, 2012
Native Hawaiian Roll Commission Is Racial Discrimination
by Keli'i Akina, Ph.D.
President Obama's nomination of Derrick Kahala Watson to the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii softens a long-standing cross-town rivalry in its endorsement of a Kamehameha alumnus by a Punahou graduate.
Presumably, Watson's appointment should be a feather in the cap of the Hawaiian people as well as a source of pride to all who identify themselves with the Aloha State. As of the most recent Hawaii legislative Session, however, Watson will be subject to a racial litmus test should he desire, even as a recognized Native Hawaiian, to be part of a State-authorized "Hawaiian nation."
Thanks to Act 195 (the Native Hawaiian Role Commission Act), not only are all non-Hawaiians barred from citizenship in the nation being enrolled by the newly formed Roll Commission, those Native Hawaiians who do not meet certain additional standards are also barred. A five-person panel within the Roll Commission, appointed by the governor, is charged with disqualifying any Native Hawaiians, even those with proof of Hawaiian blood ancestry, who do not pass a specified test. That test is whether, in the eyes of the panel, the Native Hawaiian has "maintained a significant cultural, social, or civic connection to the Native Hawaiian community and wishes to participate in the organization of the Native Hawaiian governing entity."
I wonder whether Derrick Watson "wishes to participate in the organization of the Native Hawaiian governing entity."
I also wonder whether his Western education and long absences from Hawaii while studying at Harvard University, serving in the U.S. military and working in California, might raise doubts over his "cultural, social, or civic connection to the Native Hawaiian community." By law, that's now a question for the panel to decide, not for Watson, and not for his ancestors.
In the upcoming session of the Hawaii Legislature, a move to repeal the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission Act would be a significant opportunity for government leaders to affirm our American civil rights and correct a hastily enacted mistake. It would also be an opportunity for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, which endorses and administratively supports the Native Hawaiian Role Commission, to take a stand for civil rights by fulfilling its two-fold duty as both an agency of the State and an advocate for the betterment of Native Hawaiians.
The defense of a Native Hawaiian's identity and status as a descendent of one of our nation's indigenous peoples should be a priority for OHA trustees working together with state lawmakers and not jeopardized by a racially discriminatory law.
About the author: Dr. Keli'i Akina is a philosopher who lectures on human rights and business ethics in Chinese and American universities.
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Nov 30, 2012
Akaka drops Indian Affairs gavel for last time
By Associated Press
WASHINGTON » The goodbyes are beginning for U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, who will retire when the lame-duck session ends after 22 years in the U.S. Senate.
Akaka was the first Native Hawaiian in the U.S. Senate and the first native person to become chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. He has held 43 hearings during his two years as chairman, with his last one on Thursday.
Fellow senators lauded the Hawaii Demo crat for his work for Indian Country. The hearing focused on preserving native cultures and identities.
Akaka grew emotional before dropping the gavel for the last time. Rather than goodbye, he said, "It is with much aloha that I say to you now, a hui hou, see you again."
Akaka, 88, a former public school teacher and principal, served in the U.S. House from 1976 to 1990, when he was appointed to the Senate following the death of U.S. Sen. Spark Matsu naga. He won a special election to the Senate in 1990 and was re-elected in 1994, 2000 and 2006.
He sponsored the Native Hawaiian Recognition Bill, also known as the Akaka Bill, to create a process for Native Hawaiians to gain federal recognition as an indigenous people. But proponents have been unable to gain passage of the bill in Congress.
Akaka's website bears a message from the senator that says in part, "I am proud of my accomplishments on behalf of our federal workers, consumers, veterans and all the people of Hawaii. You have always been my first and foremost priority."
Aloha Ed Lynch,
There's an error in Friday's article about Senator Akaka chairing a meeting of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee for the last time.
The article says "Akaka was ... the first native person to become chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee." That is false.
Ben Nighthorse Campbell served as U.S. Senator from Colorado from 1993 until 2005. He is a chief of the Northern Cheyenne Indian Tribe. He was elected as a Democrat, but switched to the Republican party which enabled him to become Chairman of the U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee at a time when the Republicans were the majority.
Note that this article was written by Associated Press. AP often makes errors of fact in its published articles. Any particular AP article, like this one, is likely to be republished in hundreds of newspapers affiliated with AP throughout the U.S. and around the world. Will AP send a correction to all its affiliated newspapers, and will they all publish the correction? Of course not. How do we even contact AP to notify them they have made an error? AP is hard to reach, and does not reply or even acknowledge receiving a correction from mere individuals. It's up to the editors of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser to notify AP about the error and to demand that AP send a correction to all its affiliates. Indeed, the editors of this newspaper and its predecessors (Star Bulletin and Advertiser) have published hundreds of articles about the Akaka bill during the past 13 years, so surely the editors of this newspaper should have remembered that Senator Nighthorse Campbell was Chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee; yet the editors published the falsehood unthinkingly, merely because it came from AP.
Hopefully the Star-Advertiser will publish a correction in its next print edition.
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, December 1, 2012
Corrections For Saturday, December 1, 2012
» Former Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell of Colorado was the first Native American to become chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. A Page A26 article Friday said Hawaii's Sen. Daniel Akaka was the first native person to become committee chairman.
** Note from Ken Conklin: See below for December 11, when the Seattle Times finally got around to publishing a correction for the error by Associated Press.
Hawaii Nation Info (yahoo group) [** Ken Conklin's note: Bumpy Kanahele, Nation of Hawaii]
Message # 1288
Publicly posted Mon Dec 3, 2012 9:06 am
Posted By: ehukekahu
[** Ken Conklin's note: Ehu Kekahu Cardwell, spokesman for the Koani Foundation]
ACTION ALERT! - SECRET MEMO REVEALS PLAN FOR HAWAIIAN INDIAN TRIBE
We want to make you aware of a very alarming development that has recently come to our attention.
Even though the US federal Akaka bill is dead and gone, the push is still very much alive for US federal recognition.
The Sovereign Council Of Hawaiian Homelands Assembly (SCHHA) and the Danner sisters are the driving forces behind this plan.
Simply put, their intention is this - to pressure both US president Barack Obama and the US Department of Interior to grant the SCHHA US federal recognition as an indian tribe.
This would most likely be accomplished by an executive order issued by president Obama.
The SCHHA would then seek to transfer `aina (land base) and the millions of dollars in funds currently held by OHA to the SCHHA. OHA would then cease to exist, and the new Hawaiian "nation" would be the SCHHA headed and controlled by the Danner sisters. This new "nation" would be the "Native Hawaiian Governing Entity" Dan Inouye and the Danners have sought for so long to establish.
Complicit in this plan are paid staffers of the Native Hawaiian Roll commission - Haunani Apoliona's sister Aulani and others - as well as US senator Dan Inouye and US senator-elect Mazie Hirono.
We have pasted below an obviously highly confidential memo sent out by the SCHHA to a select group of recipients which outlines their plan.
We encourage you to review it carefully. We also encourage you to share it widely with 'ohana members and friends.
Additionally we strongly urge you NOT to sign Kana'iolowalu, the Native Hawaiian Roll.
Finally we ask you to let those involved know - SCHHA, the Danners, the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission and OHA, that you are outraged at their underhanded scheme to have one small group of Hawaiians end up controlling all the assets at the expense of everyone else.
INTERCEPTED SECRET MEMO BELOW REVEALS INOUYE, DANNERS, OBAMA SCHEME FOR A HAWAIIAN/INDIAN TRIBE...TO BE CREATED BY PRESIDENTIAL EXECUTIVE ORDER
Update on SCHHA & Roll Commission Strategy for Hawaiian Nation - For Your Eyes Only
Aloha SCHHA Homesteaders,
This is a short update on our strategy for federal recognition of the SCHHA and the recent meetings the Roll Commissioners have held with OHA Trustees and the Hawaiian Civic Clubs.
Years ago, with Robin & CNHA's help we created a plan for federal recognition under the US Interior process. At that time we changed our name from the Statewide Council of Hawaiian Homes Association to the Sovereign Council of Hawaiian Homelands Assembly. Following this name change, Robin submitted to the US Department of Interior an application for Federal Recognition as an Indian Nation. Interior could not process our application because Hawaiians were not Indians.
Now that the Akaka Bill has been amended to say that Hawaiians are Indians, we can take the next step, getting Interior to move on our application. Although the Akaka Bill cannot move in Congress because the House is controlled by Republicans, we can go to Obama to have him issue an Executive ORDER to Interior directing them to move our application. According to Jade, the White House Indian staffers, including Kimberly Teehee have been supportive ever since Obama took office.
The Hawaiian Civic Clubs have approved the Hawaiian/Indian change in the Akaka Bill, and the Roll Commission has hired Aulani Apoliona and Soulee to facilitate with lobbying, we know that the White House will support our initiative. Inouye & Mazie will be assisting on the White House side as well. OHA Trustees have approved the approach and already voted weeks ago to give the Roll Commission about 2 million more dollars. The Kau Inoa registration has been turned over to the Roll Commission and they will send out letters to every Kau Inoa registrant to get their approval for the Roll Commission to use their data for the Roll Commission effort.
We should all be thankful to our sisters Robin, Jade and Mahealani. Jade has done an incredible job in getting Interior on our side, but the feds were happy to assist once they understood we do not need money or land from the USA, only help to move this along.
As SCHHA members we have DHHL land and we can get the funds in OHA set aide for our new nation. This is also a good way for our Hawaiians as well, no need to join one nation, the SCHHA Nation will be "recognized"¯ first and any other Sovereign group can also apply. There are many Indian Nations and there can be many Hawaiian Nations too.
As Senator says, there are many ways to skin a cat. Please share this only with SCHHA members, do not distribute to others including Civic Clubs.We do not have to go to the Congress. There are other ways to get Federal Recognition, including the Indian administrative process. You can find it by googleing 25 CFR Part 83.
Hawaiian Kingdom Blog (Scott Crawford)
Update December 5, 2012
Update: Here's an update from Leon Siu further discussing the authenticity of the memo, and more importantly of the substance of the scheme it reveals.
The controversy is growing over the memo that was recently leaked, revealing a plot by certain parties to be declared a "federally recognized" American Indian tribe so they can create a "Native Hawaiian governing entity" to take control of Hawaiian assets currently under OHA, DHHL, etc. Here is an update:
For those who asked, the Koani Foundation (who released the memo on Monday) will not reveal its sources nor where it was intercepted, but is absolutely certain the memo authentic.
But the real question should not be who wrote the memo or how Koani got it, it should be whether the diabolical scheme the memo reveals is real. Asking the wrong question rarely gets you the right answer.
So far Robin Danner (the head of CNHA) and Kamaki Kanahele (the head of SCHAA) have both responded privately to individual inquirers by casting aspersions on the anonymity of the writer and dismissing it as a mean-spirited prank by disgruntled activists. But neither of them have publicly or privately denied the substance of the memo and the devious scheme it reveals. If there is no truth to the contents of the memo, they could easily put it to rest with a public statement denouncing the scheme.
Bringing the issue out into the open accomplishes a number of beneficial things. The named conspirators either have to own up to it and try to explain and justify their outlandish, greedy scheme; or they have to flatly, publicly deny it, which means once they do so, they won't be able to execute their plan. Either way, we win. Remember, this tactic of exposing backdoor maneuvering has been successfully employed several times in the past to stop both Dan Inouye and Robin Danner.
Since Monday when the memo was released, people have pointed out a slew of minor, seemingly unrelated news items that now, in light of the memo, show how Inouye, the Danners and SCHAA have been quietly vetting this strategy to gain federal recognition directly through the president or the DOI. They've been plotting and positioning themselves for some time. This intercepted internal memo connects the dots and reveals the plot. To know the strategy of your opponent is a major game changer.
Anyway, Koani sounded the alarm and stole the conspirators' element of surprise. They either have to come out into the open and fight, or stand down and crawl back into their holes.
A hui hou,
Honolulu Civil Beat, December 3, 2012
Akaka Retiring: Plenty Aloha, But What About Accomplishments?
By Michael Levine
Editor's Note: This is the first of a three-part series on U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, who is retiring after 36 years in Congress.
WASHINGTON — Let's get this out of the way right up top: Danny Akaka is an extraordinarily nice man.
It's hard to tell if Hawaii's perpetually smiling octogenarian U.S. senator has ever said a cross word to anybody in the nation's capital. His hymns at prayer breakfasts on the Hill are the stuff of legend. Republicans and Democrats alike have only good things to say about the man.
But despite Akaka's saint-like demeanor and reputation, it's his record that speaks to what he's accomplished — for Hawaii and the nation — since he came to Washington nearly four decades ago.
The former schoolteacher's self-professed goal was to bring the aloha spirit with him. But today, gridlock shrouds the halls of Congress and Akaka was still unable to get colleagues to help him pass the signature piece of legislation bearing his name. Besides championing Native Hawaiians and other indigenous peoples, he has worked hard for federal workers and veterans.
"I tried to act humble and tried to work with people and tried to press the point that working together we can get more things done in partnership," Akaka said in a recent interview at his office. "And so that's what I've been striving for here, and I would say that I have made some strides in that."
36 Years In Congress
After 14 years in the U.S. House of Representatives and 22 more in the U.S. Senate, Akaka retires at the end of the year when the 112th Congress shuts its doors. In January, Congresswoman Mazie Hirono will be sworn in to take his place alongside Sen. Daniel K. Inouye.
Comparisons with Inouye are inevitable.
The Dans both turned 88 in September, their 1924 birthdays separated by just four days. But Inouye, Hawaii's senior senator by virtue of his longer tenure and not his 100-hour head start in life, is chair of the powerful Appropriations Committee and travels with a security detail conferred by his standing as third in line for the presidency. Akaka's chaired only second-tier committees and subcommittees, leaving a much smaller mark, at least to casual observers.
Inouye calls Akaka an "extraordinary human being" and said the two complemented each other well as Hawaii's senators.
"In all the years I have known him, from his time as the schools superintendent to his final days in the Senate, I have never heard him utter a harsh word or wish ill for anyone," Inouye said in an email to Civil Beat sent by his office. "He readily forgave those who transgressed him."
"He did utter the word 'Aloha' a bit more often than any other person I've known," Inouye said. "But in Danny's case, it was natural, because he epitomized the spirit of Aloha."
Seniority is a big part of the equation for achievement and success. Inouye has been in Congress since statehood and in the Senate for half a century, making him the second-longest serving senator in U.S. history.
"Major figures like that, like the majority leader or a chairman of a major committee, you're always a bit in their shadow," Senate Historian Donald Ritchie pointed out in an interview. "So then the question becomes: How do you carve out a career elsewhere?"
Akaka's been a leader on the issues nearest and dearest to him, even when they're relatively low-profile.
As the only Native Hawaiian ever in the U.S. Senate, he's taken on Native American issues and pushed for recognition and self-determination for his own people.
As a World War II veteran, he's taken on veterans issues during wartime.
And as a longtime government employee, he's taken on federal workforce issues that affect millions of those who work for the United States.
Here's how Ritchie puts it: "He gravitated where he wanted to be."
And even though Akaka pales next to Inouye in terms of stature and seniority, he compares favorably to the vast majority of others in the upper chamber today. Appointed by Gov. John Waihee in April 1990 to fill Spark Matsunaga's seat after the latter died in office, Akaka won four Senate elections since and today is the 21st most senior of 100 senators.
Historically, his 22 years in the Senate are even more rarified air. According to the U.S. Senate Historical Office, as of June only 133 senators had served at least four full six-year terms in office. With a little less than 2,000 senators in the nation's history, Akaka ranks somewhere in or near the top 10 percent of longest serving senators of all time.
If you factor in his time in the House, Akaka's 36 consecutive years make him one of perhaps 100 to serve that long of about 12,000 individuals who have been in either chamber of Congress since 1789, according to the Library of Congress. That's the top 1 percent.
So if Akaka's in the upper echelon in terms of of experience, what about accomplishment?
Criticisms Of Ineffectiveness
"Seniority doesn't mean much if you don't know what to do with it."
That's what then-U.S. Rep. Ed Case said during his 2006 primary challenge against Akaka. Effectiveness, or lack thereof, was a focal point during that race, and Case's harsh criticism was included in a Honolulu Star-Bulletin report about Congress.org compiling qualitative metrics that ranked Akaka 71st out of 100 in terms of power and influence in Washington.
A few months earlier, Time Magazine called Akaka one of the "worst" senators and said he was "a master of the minor resolution and the bill that dies in committee."
In all, 21 Senate bills introduced by Akaka were eventually signed into law. That includes some on substantive issues like veterans benefits, and others on less substantive issues like naming a medical center after Matsunaga, his predecessor.
But, as Akaka argued in that 2006 campaign, the number of bills passed isn't the only way to measure effectiveness.
Ritchie, the Senate historian, said Akaka has been effective in his own way.
"Senators are divided into show horses and workhorses. Show horses have higher political ambition, they're thinking about running for president or they want to be floor leader of they've got something going on," he said. "They spend a lot of time doing television programs, they spend a lot of time doing press conferences, and they don't spend a lot of time in committee.
"The workhorses spend most of their time in committee. They get to know the subject, and as a result they have a much greater influence on the legislation that comes out, but they're not well-known outside of the institution."
Ritchie quoted the late President Woodrow Wilson, who wrote that Congress in committee is Congress at work, while Congress on the floor is Congress on public display.
"I think Sen. Akaka is the classic workhorse in that sense. His whole life on Capitol Hill has been in the committee. It's been much less on the Senate floor than in the Senate committees, but 80 percent of what the Senate does is done in committee rather than on the floor," Ritchie said. "He doesn't stick up, he doesn't have a high profile, you're not going to see him on the Sunday morning shows, but in terms of the legislative output of the Congress, he's been effective."
Akaka likes the workhorse versus show horse characterization.
"I've never gone out really to reporters to play all these things up that I do, so you don't read about the things that I've done over the years because I never sought to be a show horse. I just wanted to be a person who can help people," he said. "Even in my legacy, the way I feel is I don't want to inflate the things that I've done just to be known."
Case's criticism, whether right or wrong, was eventually seen as disrespectful of his elder, a big no-no in Asian and Hawaii culture. Akaka held his seat, and Case has failed in multiple attempts to get back to Congress since.
After Akaka dispatched Case, Democrats swept the midterm elections and took control of the Senate. That elevated Akaka to his most high-profile role, chair of the Veterans Affairs Committee. That was a particularly important job when the U.S. was at war in Iraq and Afghanistan and injured veterans were coming home.
Under his watch, for example, the committee helped broker a compromise on the Post-9/11 GI Bill helping veterans afford an education.
In 2010, Akaka stepped down as Veterans Affairs chair and took over the Indian Affairs Committee. It was largely seen in Washington as a demotion, but Akaka never complained publicly about the new role.
The committee, which now hangs Native Hawaiian art on the wall for the first time, has allowed Akaka to focus on the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, also known as the Akaka Bill.
Honolulu Civil Beat, December 4, 2012
Akaka Retiring: Hawaii Senator Leaving Office With Legacy Bill In Limbo
By Michael Levine
Editor's Note: This is the second of a three-part series on the retirement of longtime Hawaii Sen. Daniel Akaka.
Sen. Daniel Akaka, who is three-fourths Native Hawaiian and one-fourth Chinese, introduced the first incarnation of his namesake legislation more than a decade ago. Unless something dramatic happens in coming weeks, he'll leave Congress without passing it — or even getting a straight up-or-down vote on it.
"My problem," Akaka says, "it sounds kind of weird, but the reason I cannot pass it in the Senate is I have never been able to get it on the floor. And I really believe that if I got it on the floor, I could pass it. I can't even get it to the floor!"
Akaka says the bill is an attempt to promote self-determination for Native Hawaiians and allow for government-to-government relationships between the U.S. and a Native Hawaiian entity. He also says it's a matter of equity, since Native Americans and Alaska Natives have been federally recognized, but not Native Hawaiians.
Opponents have criticized the legislation as racially driven, and Akaka responds that it's not a matter of race but of indigenous peoples who existed in a place and governed themselves before U.S. intervention.
Akaka proposed the first version of what eventually became the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act back in 2000. This is part of what he said on the Senate floor when he introduced the bill:
This measure provides the process to begin resolving many longstanding issues facing Hawaii's indigenous peoples and the State of Hawaii. In addressing these issues, we have begun a process of healing, a process of reconciliation not only with the United States but within the State of Hawaii. The essence of Hawaii is characterized not by the beauty of its islands, but by the beauty of its people. The State of Hawaii has recognized, acknowledged and acted upon the need to preserve the culture, tradition, language and heritage of Hawaii's indigenous peoples. This measure furthers these actions.
Mr. President, the clarification of the political relationship between Native Hawaiians and the United States is one that has been long in coming and is well-deserved. The history and the timing of Hawaii's admission to the United States, unfortunately, did not provide the appropriate structure for a government-to-government relationship between Hawaii's indigenous native peoples and the United States. The time has come to correct this injustice.
He's proposed at least one version of the legislation in every Congress since. Here's what's happened to every incarnation, including those introduced by Hawaii's representatives in the House:
Senate Bill 2899 (2000) — Passed the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, never heard on the Senate floor
House Bill 4904 (2000) — Passed the House of Representatives by voice vote, never heard on the Senate floor
Senate Bill 81 (2001) — Died in committee
House Bill 617 (2001) — Passed the House Resources Committee, never heard on the House floor
Senate Bill 746 (2001) — Passed the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, never heard on the Senate floor
Senate Bill 1783 (2001) — Died in committee
Senate Bill 344 (2003) — Passed the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, never heard on the Senate floor
House Bill 665 (2003) — Died in committee
House Bill 4282 (2004) — Passed the House Resources Committee, never heard on the House floor
Senate Bill 147 (2005) — Passed the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, and was debated on the Senate floor on June 7 and June 8, 2006. Inouye and Akaka were joined by Alaska Republican Ted Stevens and Illinois Democrat Barack Obama in speaking in support of the measure. Numerous Republicans objected. On June 8, a motion to end debate failed when it secured 56 votes, short of the 60 required. No up-or-down vote on the merits of the bill was held.
House Bill 309 (2005) — Died in committee
Senate Bill 3064 (2006) — Introduced
Senate Bill 310 (2007) — Passed the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, never heard on the Senate floor
House Bill 505 (2007) — Passed the House of Representatives, 261-153, then died in Senate
Senate Bill 381 (2009) — Died in committee
House Bill 862 (2009) — Died in committee
Senate Bill 708 (2009) — Introduced
House Bill 1711 (2009) — Died in committee
Senate Bill 1011 (2009) — Passed the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, never heard on the Senate floor
House Bill 2314 (2009) — Passed the House of Representatives, 245-164, then died in Senate
Senate Bill 3945 (2010) — Introduced
Senate Bill 675 (2011) — Passed the Senate Indian Affairs Committee in September 2012, awaiting Senate action for the rest of the 112th Congress
House Bill 1250 (2011) — Pending in committee
It's a long record of disappointment, but Akaka has not been totally unsuccessful on Native Hawaiian issues. In fact, 1993's Apology Resolution is one of his signature accomplishments. Adopted a century after the 1893 overthrow, the measure signed by President Bill Clinton accepted U.S. responsibility for the removal of the "highly organized, self-sufficient, subsistent social system" that exited before Western contact.
Still, if Akaka spent his career in Washington building relationships and effectively operating behind the scenes, why was he unable to get even an up-or-down vote on his bill?
"We're all of different minds, and I respect that. For whatever reason, somebody objects and of course in some cases you never know really why, except they object. It could be many reasons," Akaka said. "I think that part of it is racial, because that has been used at one time to say that I'm being racial. And I try to of course educate them by saying, look, this is not race, this is indigenous, like the American Indians, like the Alaska Natives. These are people who were there first and they had their own governments earlier. Hawaii had a kingdom, and after they lost their kingdom, what happened to the indigenous people?"
Majority Whip Dick Durbin, who worked with Akaka in both the House and Senate and is now the second-ranking Democrat in the chamber, told Civil Beat that serving in the Senate requires patience.
"The day will come, and when it does, Danny Akaka will get great credit for it," Durbin said of the Akaka bill.
Don Ritchie, the Senate historian, agreed that things happen slowly in Washington, and said there's still a chance Congress will pass some version of the Akaka Bill after its namesake is gone from the halls of the Capitol.
"Your personal reputation often creates a certain amount of good will for the issues you support. And senators will come around and support that," he said.
"I would say right now is an awkward time for anybody, because the House and Senate are just in total gridlock. Apple pie couldn't be adopted right now in this Congress. But that doesn't necessarily mean that it's done or dead," Ritchie said. "It's a real collapse of the system of collegiality that the Senate has always run on."
Honolulu Civil Beat, December 5, 2012
Akaka Retiring: Ambassador Of Aloha Bridged Party Lines
By Michael Levine
Editor's Note: This is the final installment of a three-part series on retiring Sen. Daniel Akaka.
Congress has become increasingly polarized in recent years with Republicans and Democrats seemingly unable to set aside ideological loyalties and compromise.
But the last politician to blame would be Sen. Daniel Akaka, whose abiding legacy will surely be his patient efforts to bridge that widening political gulf.
Sen. Jim Inhofe is an Oklahoma Republican and the political opposite of Akaka, but still considers him a close friend.
"He's always ranked among the most liberal and I'm always ranked among the most conservative, and yet we're truly brothers," Inhofe told Civil Beat. "In terms of what we stand for and our philosophy, we couldn't be further apart. But in terms of our relationship, nobody could be closer than Danny Akaka and I."
Inhofe chalks up the relationship to their shared faith, and said Akaka would routinely take requests for psalms and hymns at the weekly prayer breakfast senators share. One memorable example was "Just As I Am", which Inhofe said was a tribute to how each senator is different and has something unique to offer the country.
Majority Whip Dick Durbin, who worked with Akaka in both the House and Senate and is now the second-ranking Democrat in the chamber, said Akaka is one of the most beloved members of the Senate, and a relic of a time when cross-aisle collaboration was more common.
"It is a bygone era, but Danny Akaka makes it work," Durbin said. "People respect him for it."
Akaka has built those relationships one at a time.
A recent example is Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican who was swept into office in the Tea Party wave of 2010. Akaka said he took the now-unusual step of calling him in advance of a committee meeting to give him a heads up on what would be taking place.
"I go beyond the ordinary by being certain that I communicate with them. So even with Johnson, I would call him up and tell him I'm going to do this, this and this, rather than him coming and finding out, oh, we're going to do these things," Akaka said. "But just to inform him so he knows what's going to happen, and I think that impacts your relationship with a person.
"That kind of relationship is different. Individually, our relationships are good. That's what I mean. Trying to bring this kind of collegiality back. I really believe that we're all different and we're serving different people so we can't think the same. We shouldn't be thinking the same. But that doesn't mean we cannot get along."
Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a colleague of Akaka's for 10 years, has known him since her father, Frank Murkowski, served in the Senate. She says the tenor of Congress has changed over the years, making it harder for a senator like Akaka, who works to build relationships, to operate in the more politically polarized environment.
"When Sen. Akaka first came to the Senate, when he and my dad were working together, I think that kind of a style, 'Hey this is an issue that is important to the people of Hawaii, you understand it because Alaska Natives have many of the same concerns,' and you didn't need to do more of a sell than that," she said when Civil Beat asked her about why the Akaka Bill has not passed.
"I think the environment has probably changed. You have lawmakers who are coming over from the House and it's just kind of, (snapping fingers) 'We're just counting votes here.' And the relationship perhaps was not as significant, and so it really is a, you'd better walk them down through the point and the counterpoint of every aspect of the bill. So maybe that would have made a difference, but I think part of our reality is that things have changed around here."
Akaka also has fond memories of the way things used to work.
"From the very beginning here, I tried to be an example of aloha to try to bring about better relationships as friends as well as working colleagues, and I've done that all the years I've been here," he said. "When I first came here, I would say that feeling of aloha went pretty well. At that time, let me put it this way, we can move things by a handshake. And they would follow up with it. When you shook hands on things, it's done."
Over the years, Akaka said, the Senate changed as "old-timers" who stabilized the body were replaced by new members who came in with fixed minds and intended to change the system.
"And the sad thing about that is they're trying to change it without respect, which was high in priority in my earlier days. Respect was important," he said. "But I would say that Congress today has less feeling of respect than it had in my earlier days, and it affects everything else."
So if there's less aloha in Congress than ever, has the aloha senator failed in his primary mission?
"As I'm leaving," Akaka said, smiling as always, "I think I have made some inroads."
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, December 5, 2012
Akaka Bill backers trying to make end run around Congress
By Keli‘i Akina
An abuse of democracy may be ahead as certain Native Hawaiian groups consider plans to bypass the majority of Hawaii voters on the issue of whether the state of Hawaii should be the venue for a race-based sovereign nation.
Three of the largest Native Hawaiian advocacy organizations have announced their intention to bring together their networks on Dec. 6, 2013, at the "Your Money-Your Land-Your Self Determination" convention. The agenda will include discussion of a role for the U.S. federal government via the Department of the Interior in the establishment of a Native Hawaiians-only nation.
The organizations convening the gathering are the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, the Association of Hawaiians for Homestead Lands, and the Sovereign Councils of the Hawaiian Homeland Assembly.
Recently, the failed Akaka Bill was edited to bury its most controversial provision, which passed instead in Hawaii as Act 195 of the 2011 Hawaii Legislature. That act established the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission, which has begun a year-long project to enroll citizens for a nation consisting exclusively of individuals with Native Hawaiian blood.
The commission was also established to disqualify any Native Hawaiian applicant who has not "maintained a significant cultural, social, or civic connection to the Native Hawaiian community and wishes to participate in the organization of the Native Hawaiian governing entity."
This process is being overseen and financed by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, a state agency.
Although the Native Hawaiian organizations are meeting ostensibly to improve homestead access for Native Hawaiians, OHA's and their use of Act 195 as the basis for political power is very un-Hawaiian.
The race-based criteria for citizenship, established by the Hawaii Legislature and enforced by a state agency, is a departure from the inclusive practice of the historic Kingdom of Hawaii.
From at least the enactment of the 1840 Hawaiian Constitution through the end of the reign of the Queen Liliuokalani in 1893, citizenship was available to non-Hawaiians and to Native Hawaiians without a subjective test of "significant cultural, social or civic connection."
Were they alive today, large numbers of Japanese, Caucasians, Chinese and others who were granted Hawaiian citizenship by Queen Liliuokalani, along with some Native Hawaiians, would be barred from citizenship in the nation being enrolled by Act 195.
Hawaii voters should be alarmed and insist upon accountability by our elected representatives in the Legislature and at OHA for two reasons.
» First, Act 195 is a racist affront to democracy and human rights and, as such, is very un-Hawaiian in its violation of historic Hawaiian practice and values.
OHA's trustees need to be reminded that they were elected to defend and preserve Hawaiian values, not to oppose them.
» Second, involvement of the Department of Interior is an attempt to end-run the failure of the Akaka Bill in Congress through the assertion of presidential executive authority. Constitutionally, major peacetime laws are to be enforced, not created, by the executive branch. Hawaii voters should, therefore, immediately call for a repeal of Act 195.
Keli'i Akina, Ph.D., is a philosopher who lectures on human rights and business ethics in Chinese and American universities. His e-mail address is kelii@EWLE.net
Hawaii Free Press, Sunday December 9, 2012
Akaka Tribe: We Can Kick Out Anybody Anytime for Any Reason
By Andrew Walden
"Daniel Akaka defended the trustees. He said the level of compensation was not too high; if anything, the trustees deserved to be paid more." -- Broken Trust, p 164
We now have the final word on the bill retiring Senator Daniel Akaka has pursued relentlessly ever since his beloved Broken Trustees were ousted from Kamehameha Schools. We now can see what he really wanted all along and it is cause for a big "I told you so" from those of us who have for years opposed the Akaka Bill.
Introduced as an amendment in the form of a substitution to S.675 and reported out September 13, 2012 by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee,
Akaka's last bill still contains the "instant Indian tribe" legal jurisdiction which forced Attorney General Mark Bennett and Governor Linda Lingle to come out in opposition to Akaka's December, 2009 bill.
The latest bill also includes restrictive definition of "Qualified Native Hawaiian Constituent" which could exclude up to 73% of Native Hawaiians
while allowing tribal officials to selectively admit property developers, casino magnates, and other non-Hawaiians.
The list of "Qualified Native Hawaiian Constituents" is being compiled by the State-authorized Native Hawaiian Roll Commission headed by Right Star defendant, ex-Governor John Waihee (last seen looting 40,000 Hawaii "in time of need" burial contracts).
As if that was not enough, new language inserted in the amended version of S.675 allows the Tribe to kick out anybody at any time for any reason. Section 6(a)(1)(A) allows the "Native Hawaiian governing entity" to:
(A) to determine membership in, and membership criteria for, the Native Hawaiian people; and
(B) to grant, deny, revoke, or qualify membership without regard to whether any individual is considered to be a member of the Native Hawaiian people under this Act....
This enshrines the right of the Akaka Tribe to engage in the worst practices of the Mainland gaming tribes which have written and re-written their tribal laws to throw out lifelong tribal members, in a cash grab to shrink the tribal roils by tightening the blood quantum required for membership thus giving larger gaming royalty checks to the remaining members. But unlike the Mainland tribes, under S.675, the Akaka Tribe won't even have to bother with an excuse based on changes to blood quantum, they can just make a list of 'enemies' or 'undesirables' and throw them out.
Under S.675, the Akaka Tribe is to "have the inherent powers and privileges of self-government of an Indian tribe under applicable Federal law, including the inherent power and authority--(and)--be considered to be an Indian tribe for purposes of section 104 of the Federally Recognized Indian Tribe List Act of 1994 (25 USC 479a-1)"
But Akaka's final version removes protections provided to tribal members under the 1968 "Indian Civil Rights Act". Without this language, the US Constitution will not apply under Akaka Tribal jurisdiction and members of the Akaka Tribe will not be guaranteed free speech, due process, or other civil rights. This would help protect corrupt Tribal officials as they expel angry Tribal members. The missing language, which had been in the 2011 version of S.675, read:
(c) Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968.--The Council and the subsequent governing entity recognized under this Act shall be an Indian tribe, as defined in section 201 of the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968 (25 USC 1301) for purposes of sections 201 through 203 of that Act (25 USC 1301-1303.)
If enacted, Akaka's last bill would open up billions of dollars and millions of acres for exploitation--shielded by Tribal immunity from prosecution. Most of this comes from language omitted from the final version of S.675.
A big omission allows for the Akaka gang to use the Tribe to sue for "restoration" of every square inch of Hawaii to the "Reorganized Native Hawaiian Government." The missing language--included in the 2011 version of S.675--read:
(e) Real Property Transfers.--Section 2116 of the Revised Statutes (commonly known as the "Indian Trade and Intercourse Act") (25 USC 177) does not apply to any purchase, grant, lease, or other conveyance of lands, or of any title or claim thereto, from Native Hawaiians, Native Hawaiian entities, or the Kingdom of Hawaii that occurred prior to the date of the United States recognition of the Native Hawaiian governing entity.
The key language from the "Indian Trade and Intercourse Act" (25 USC 177) -- which would apply retroactive to the year 1803 to the Akaka Tribe if the new version of S. 675 became law -- reads:
[N]o purchase, grant, lease, or other conveyance of land, or of any title or claim thereto, from any Indian nation or tribe of Indians, shall be of any validity in law or equity, unless the same be made by treaty or convention entered into pursuant the constitution.
Because the "Reorganized" native Hawaiian government is defined as an Indian tribe under S. 675, (thus implying that the Hawaiian Kingdom was also an Indian Tribe) all land ever possessed by any native Hawaiian or by the Hawaiian Kingdom is deemed to have been taken illegally--with the exception of lands such as Pearl Harbor, which was transferred under terms of the 1875 Reciprocity Treaty. This validates the most demented claims
of sovereignty mortgage scammers who have defrauded thousands of native Hawaiians statewide.
Outside Pearl Harbor, it subjects all the real estate in Hawaii to seizure by a self-selected gang of criminals operating from behind a wall of tribal immunity while claiming to represent native Hawaiians. For years opponents of the Akaka Bill have explained this, now in his final act, Sen. Akaka has admitted it.
The Akaka gang's land grab will not be limited to Hawaii.
For years mainland Indian tribes have purchased land and then petitioned the US Bureau of Indian Affairs to take the land into trust. This allowed tribes to build casinos in urban areas far from traditional tribal lands. The 2009 US Supreme Court decision in Carcieri v Salazar put an end to that for tribes recognized after the 1934 passage of the Indian Reorganization Act. But, even as post-1934 tribes agitate unsuccessfully for Congress to pass a "Carcieri Fix," the Akaka Tribe has one all for itself:
"RATIFICATION AND CONFIRMATION OF ACTIONS. -- Any action taken by the Secretary pursuant to the Act of June 18, 1934 (commonly known as the ‘‘Indian Reorganization Act'') (25 U.S.C. 461 et. seq.) for the Native Hawaiian governing entity is ratified and confirmed to the extent that the action is challenged based on the question of whether the Native Hawaiian governing entity was federally recognized or under Federal jurisdiction on June 18, 1934."
This means that the Akaka Tribe will be able to use its assets to buy casino sites and other investments anywhere on the Mainland and place them under Tribal law without the protections of the Indian Civil Rights Act. This breaks years of promises to the other Indian tribes that they would not face competition from the larger and richer Akaka Tribe. Moreover, it would put the Akaka Tribe at an advantage relative to post-1934 tribes.
It also means that the Akaka Tribe will be seizing land in Hawaii and transferring it to the jurisdiction of the Federal Government in order to establish Tribal jurisdiction.
In line with the land grabs and the absence of Civil Rights, the new version of S. 675 removes the prohibition of gaming on Tribal lands. Removed from the new bill is this language from Section 10(a) in the previous version of S. 675:
"The Native Hawaiian governing entity and Native Hawaiians may not conduct gaming activities as a matter of claimed inherent authority or under the authority of any Federal law, including the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (25 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.) or under any regulations there under promulgated by the Secretary or the National Indian Gaming Commission."
The new version reads:
(b) INDIAN GAMING REGULATORY ACT.—The Native Hawaiian governing entity—
(1) is subject to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (25 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.) (including regulations promulgated pursuant to that Act by the Secretary or the National Indian Gaming Commission); and
(2) may not conduct gaming activities (within the meaning of section 4 of that Act (25 U.S.C. 16 2703)) unless the State of Hawaii permits such an activity for any purpose by an individual, organization, or entity.
Translation: Gaming is allowed on Akaka Tribe lands on the Mainland subject to IGA, and the Legislature is deemed to automatically permit gaming on Tribal lands within Hawaii if gaming is permitted anywhere in Hawaii.
In addition to competing for casino business, the new version of S.675 breaks another decade-long political deal with the real Indian tribes over benefits from federal Indian programs. The following language contained in the 2011 version of S.675 has been removed:
"Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, nothing in this Act extends eligibility for any Indian program or service to the Native Hawaiian governing entity or its members unless a statute governing such a program or service expressly provides that Native Hawaiians or the Native Hawaiian governing entity is eligible for such program or service. Nothing in this Act affects the eligibility of any person for any program or service under any statute or law in effect before the date of enactment of this Act."
That means that the limited supply of Indian program money now divvied up between mainland tribes would become even more diluted by forced sharing with the fake Akaka Tribe.
Seattle Times, Tuesday December 11, 2012 at 11:03 AM
Correction: Sen Akaka-Final Hearing story
In a story Nov. 29 about Sen. Daniel Akaka's final committee hearing, The Associated Press reported erroneously that Akaka was the first Native person to chair the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. Akaka was the first Native Hawaiian to chair the committee.
The Associated Press
In a story Nov. 29 about Sen. Daniel Akaka's final committee hearing, The Associated Press reported erroneously that Akaka was the first Native person to chair the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. Akaka was the first Native Hawaiian to chair the committee.
A corrected version of the story is below:
Sen. Akaka drops gavel on final committee hearing
Hawaii senator begins end of 22 years in Senate; last hearing focuses on Native identity
By SUZANNE GAMBOA
WASHINGTON (AP) - The goodbyes are beginning for Sen. Daniel Akaka (uh-KAH'-kuh), who will retire when the lame-duck session ends after 22 years in the U.S. Senate.
Akaka was the first Native Hawaiian in the Senate and the first Native Hawaiian to chair the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. He has held 43 hearings over two years as chairman, with his last one on Thursday.
Fellow senators lauded the Hawaii Democrat for his work for Indian Country. The hearing focused on preserving Native cultures and identities.
Akaka grew emotional before dropping the gavel for the last time. Rather than goodbye, he said: "It is with much aloha that I say to you now, `A hui hou (ah hoo-EE' HOH'-oo),' see you again." Aloha is a Hawaiian greeting that also means love and care.
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, December 12, 2012
Senate colleagues salute Akaka for work and songs
By Star-Advertiser staff
Hawaii Sen. Daniel Akaka was praised on the floor of the U.S. Senate on Tuesday.
Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid and Majority Whip Sen. Richard Durbin commended Akaka for his service to the country as Akaka moves toward retirement next month.
Akaka is scheduled to give his farewell speech today at about 6:30 a.m. Hawaii time.
Reid (D-Nevada) congratulated Akaka on his retirement and cited his work for veterans as chairman of the Veterans' Affairs Committee from 2007 to 2010.
He also noted that Akaka was the first Native Hawaiian chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee.
"Dan has been a strong voice and tireless advocate for Native Americans. He has taught us all about the history, history of Hawaii and its native communities, as well as issues facing indigenous Hawaiians today," Reid said.
Durbin (D-Illinois) also praised Akaka's legislation to help veterans and on agricultural issues. He also cited Akaka's singing every Wednesday morning during the Senate Prayer Breakfast.
"He and Millie are the perfect Senate family. They have devoted a major part of their lives to serving Hawaii and serving in the national interest," Durbin said. "We're going to miss him."
Akaka, 88, a former public school teacher and principal, served in the U.S. House from 1976 to 1990, when he was appointed to the Senate after the death of Spark Matsunaga. He won a special election to the Senate in 1990 and was re-elected in 1994, 2000 and 2006.
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, December 12, 2012, Breaking news at 7:37 AM and updated at 10:41 AM
'A hui hou': Akaka bids farewell to U.S. Senate after 22 years
By Associated Press & Star-Advertiser
U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka said aloha to Washington in a farewell speech on the Senate floor this morning.
The Hawaii Democrat has been in Washington for 36 years, 14 of those in the House and the last 22 years in the Senate. He didn't seek re-election.
Akaka, the first Native Hawaiian to serve in the Senate, said he was humbled to have left his mark on the institution.
He spoke of his work on veterans' issues, borne of experience. Akaka said the GI Bill helped him and others build a new life after World War II, and showed him that when Congress acts responsibly, it can build a better America.
Akaka also said it was long-overdue for Native Hawaiians to gain federal recognition similar to American Indian tribes.
Akaka acknowledged that the Akaka Bill, named after him, will not pass before he leaves office, but urged colleagues to pass the measure, which would create a process toward Native Hawaiian sovereignty.
"It is pono. It is right. It is long overdue," Akaka said.
He began his remarks with best wishes for senior Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye, who is still under observation at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center after fainting in the Senate chamber last week.
Akaka spoke about bi-partisanship, using a Hawaiian analogy to urge Republicans and Democrats to work together.
"If we paddle together in unison, we can travel great distances. If we paddle in opposite directions, we will go in circles," Akaka said.
"God bless Hawaii and God bless the United States of America with aloha," Akaka concluded, ending with "a hui hou" — until we meet again..
Senator Akaka's remarks as prepared for delivery:
Mr. President, before I begin, I would like to take a moment to wish my good friend, my colleague of 36 years, my brother, Dan Inouye, Hawaii's senior Senator, a speedy recovery and return to the Senate.
Mr. President, I rise today to say aloha to this institution. I have been honored to be a member of the United States Senate for 22 years. It has been an incredible journey that I never imagined.
As a senior in high school going to Kamehameha School for Boys, which was noted as a military school, my life was changed forever when I saw Japanese fighter planes attacking Pearl Harbor. Like most men in my generation, I joined the war effort. My path was forever altered.
When the war ended, I believe I was suffering from PTSD.
It was an act of Congress that allowed me, and the veterans of my generation, to build successful new lives.
Congress passed the G.I. Bill. And I say with certainty that I would not be standing here before you today without the opportunity the G.I. gave me, not only to get an education, but to have structure and a path forward, and the feeling that there was a way for me to help people.
This proved to me that when Congress acts responsibly, it can build a better America.
That is why, when I was blessed with the opportunity to lead the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, I dedicated myself to helping our servicemembers and veterans and their families, and worked with my colleagues to expand VA services and pass a new 21st Century G.I. Bill.
So I want to take this moment to urge all of my colleagues, and all of the incoming Senators and Representatives: do everything you can for our veterans and their families, because we asked them to sacrifice so much for us.
They put their lives on the line while their wives and husbands watched over their families. Caring for them is one of our most sacred obligations as a nation.
And not everyone on the front lines making our nation stronger wears a uniform.
In many critical fields, the federal government struggles to compete with the private sector to recruit and retain the skilled people our nation needs: experts in cybersecurity and intelligence analysis, doctors and nurses to care for our wounded warriors, accountants to protect taxpayers during billion dollar defense acquisitions. These are just a few examples.
After I leave the Senate, it is my hope that other Members will continue to focus on making the federal government an employer of choice. We need the best and brightest working for our nation.
The work of the United States Congress will never end. But careers come to a close. Like the great men whose names are etched here in this desk, I am humbled to know I have left my mark on this institution.
I am proud to be the first Native Hawaiian ever to serve in the Senate, just as I am so proud to be one of the three U.S. Army World War II veterans who remain in the Senate today.
The United States is a great country. One of the things that makes us so great is that, though we have made mistakes, we change, we correct them, we right past wrongs.
It is our responsibility as a nation to do right by America's Native people, those who exercised sovereignty on lands that later became part of the United States. While we can never change the past, we have the power to change the future.
Throughout my career, I have worked to ensure that my colleagues understand the federal relationship with Native peoples, and its origins in the Constitution.
The United States' policy of supporting self-determination and self-governance for indigenous peoples leads to Native self-sufficiency, resulting in our continued ability to be productive and contribute to the well-being of our families, our communities, and our great nation.
That is why I worked to secure parity in federal policy for my people, the Native Hawaiians.
The United States has recognized hundreds of Alaska Native and American Indian communities. It is long past time for the Native Hawaiian people to have the same rights, the same privileges, and the same opportunities as every other federally-recognized Native people.
For more than 12 years, I have worked with the Native Hawaiian community and many others to develop the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, which has the strong support of the Hawaii's legislature and governor as the best path forward towards reconciliation.
My bill has encountered many challenges, but it is pono, it is right, and it is long overdue. Although I will not be the bill's sponsor in the 113th Congress, it will forever bear my highest aspirations and heartfelt commitment to the Native Hawaiian people, the State of Hawaii, and the United States of America.
I know I am just one in a long line working to ensure that our language, our culture, and our people continue to thrive for generations to come.
Hawaii has so much to teach the world and this institution. In Congress and in our Nation, we are truly all together, in the same canoe. If we paddle together, in unison, we can travel great distances. If the two sides of the canoe paddle in opposite directions, we will only go in circles. I urge my colleagues to take this traditional Hawaiian symbol to heart, and put the American people first, by working together.
I want to say mahalo nui loa, thank you very much, to my incredible staff. After 36 years there are far too many individuals to name, so I will just thank my all of my current and former staff members in my Senate and House offices, and on my committees, including Indian Affairs, Veterans' Affairs, and subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia.
I want to thank the hundreds of employees who work for the Architect of the Capitol and the Sergeant at Arms. Without the hard work they do every day, we could not do what we do in the Senate.
Mahalo, thank you, to the floor and leadership staff.
I also want to thank Senate Chaplain Barry Black, who has provided me so much guidance and strength, and has done more to bring the two sides of this chamber together and find common ground than just about anyone.
And there is no one I owe more to than my lovely wife of 65 years, Millie. She is literally there for me whenever I need her.
Nearly every day that I have served in the Senate for the past 22 years, Millie has come to the office with me. She helps me greet constituents, she makes me lunch, she keeps me focused, and she makes sure I know what is happening back home.
She means the world to me. Every honor I have received belongs to her and my family. This speech is their farewell speech too. Mahalo Millie and my ohana, my family.
In life, there are seasons.
While leaving Congress is bittersweet, I am looking forward to spending more time with our five children. Getting to know our fifteen grandchildren, and, can you believe this, we are expecting our sixteenth GREAT grandchild next year. And I will be home to see it.
And I am looking forward to speaking with students and mentoring up and coming leaders, and visiting places in Hawaii that I have worked for over my career.
My goal was to bring the spirit of Aloha to our nation's capital in everything I do. In Hawaii, we look out for one another, we work together, and we treat each other with respect. I hope I succeeded in sharing a little bit of Hawaii with all of you.
As I come to the end of twenty-two years in this chamber, and a total of thirty-six years serving in Congress, I offer my profound gratitude and humble thanks to the people of Hawaii for giving me the opportunity to serve them for so many years.
It truly was the experience of a lifetime. All I ever wanted was to be able to help people, and you gave me that opportunity. Mahalo nui loa, thank you very much.
In Hawaii, when we part, we don't like to say goodbye. Instead, we say "a hui hou," which means "until we meet again."
Though I am retiring, I see this as the start of a new chapter, a new season.
And I am blessed have made friendships and partnerships that will last forever.
God bless Hawaii, and God bless the United States of America, with the spirit of Aloha.
A hui hou.
Mr. President, I yield the floor.
** Video clipped from C-SPAN2
SEN. AKAKA ON THE AKAKA BILL.
Clipped from: Senate Session Dec 12, 2012
U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka speaks about the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act.
2 minutes, 27 seconds
** The above short clip of Senator Akaka on the Akaka bill was a portion of his farewell speech. The entire farewell speech , including that clip, follows.
** Video clipped from C-SPAN2
U.S. SEN. DANIEL AKAKA SAYS ALOHA TO SENATE
Clipped from: Senate Session Dec 12, 2012
Hawaii U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka gives his farewell speech on the Senate floor before his retirement. 15 minutes, 16 seconds
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, December 13, 2012
** FRONT PAGE HEADLINE STORY
A 'DECENT' MAN LEAVES SENATE
After 36 years as a lawmaker, Daniel Akaka delivers a stirring farewell to Capitol Hill and Washington
By John Yaukey
Special to the Star-Advertiser
WASHINGTON » U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka delivered a stoic but soulful aloha and mahalo Wednesday to his colleagues in the U.S. Senate, capping a 22-year career in the nation's most deliberative lawmaking body.
Including his work in the U.S. House of Representatives, the 88-year-old Akaka served 36 years in Washington. His resume also includes distinguished service in World War II after witnessing the bombing of Pearl Harbor as a high school senior. That changed his life forever. And he spoke of it and other events as a man in his winter years narrates his life.
In the way that senators often study their notes for a moment, adjust their glasses and then look up, he declared:
"Mr. President, I rise today to say aloha to this institution," Akaka said in his quiet, steady cadence, standing at his polished oak desk on the Senate floor. "I am humbled to know I am the first Native Hawaiian to serve in the Senate. The work of the United States Congress will never end. But careers come to a close. Like the great men whose names are etched here in this desk, I am humbled to know I have left my mark on this institution."
Akaka will complete his term in January, after lawmakers decide whether to resolve potentially perilous economic issues, collectively called the "fiscal cliff."
The senator first took time to recognize his "brother," U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii.
Inouye, 88, was still recovering in a hospital Wednesday from a fainting spell, but said in a statement, "My brother, Sen. Daniel Akaka, has been my friend, my partner in Washington for 36 years. I am sad at the thought of the Senate without him."
Together they constituted — pound-for-pound — one of the most powerful congressional delegations on Capitol Hill. They led Senate committees key to Hawaii: Appropriations, Veterans' Affairs, and Indian Affairs. All are integral to Hawaii's cultural and military life.
Akaka also acknowledged his wife, Millie.
"There is no one I owe more to than my lovely wife of 65 years, Millie," Akaka said. "She is literally there for me whenever I need her."
Akaka and Inouye arrived at the Senate during a different time, when compromise was the coin of the realm; when chasing TV cameras was gaudy; and filibusters were a sparingly used last resort.
Those days are gone.
"Today you have a time of absolutism," said Ted Lowi, retired Cornell University professor and author of two dozen books on American politics. "It's warfare."
Akaka comes back to Hawaii not without scars. Time magazine once called him among the most ineffective senators.
But talk with other senators, and they describe an old-school lawmaker; a man of committees, where laws are written. The Senate floor was for performers, not for Akaka.
"He was a quiet man," said U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich. "He was a powerful force, one of the most decent people you'd ever want to meet here."
Hawaii will undeniably lose political capital with Akaka's departure. But it has new resources and old reserves. Everyone knows of Inouye's prominence. But there are green shoots: U.S. Sen.-elect Mazie Hirono is part of a newly developing coalition of Senate women bent on handshakes over brass knuckles.
U.S. Rep.-elect Tulsi Gabbard came from two military tours of the Middle East to serve in Washington.
Akaka, a grandfather of 15, leaves a legacy of advocacy for Native Hawaiians and veterans, but not one he considers complete.
The legislation that carries his name, the Akaka Bill, remains mired in Congress despite 12 years of attempts to pass it.
The bill would grant federal recognition to the Native Hawaiian people, but it has stalled mainly in the Senate, where conservative Republicans who oppose it as race-based discrimination have used arcane procedures to keep it from advancing.
The bill awaits action on the Senate floor. Supporters in the House are pushing their version as well. The four-member Hawaii delegation has made it clear that even though Akaka is retiring, this bill remains alive.
"The United States has recognized hundreds of Alaska Native and American Indian communities," Akaka said. "It is long past time for the Native Hawaiian people to have the same rights, the same privileges, and the same opportunities as every other federally recognized native people."
Akaka will also be remembered for his support of veterans.
As a former chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, he shepherded a raft of new reforms meant to loosen the logjams that block medical care and educational benefits.
"I want to say mahalo nui loa," he told his colleagues.
Once done in the Senate, Akaka will return to his beloved Hawaii and his still growing family with great-grandchild No. 16 on the way.
On Wednesday morning in the Senate, he folded his letters and said quietly, "I'll be home for that."
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, December 13, 2012
** Front section centerfold spread
Legacy of service
Although unable to win passage of the Akaka Bill, the senator has plotted a path for Native Hawaiians
By Derrick DePledge
U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka was honored by friends and colleagues on Wednesday as a gentleman who embodied the spirit of aloha even when the political climate in Washington, D.C., turned dark and unforgiving.
The 88-year-old Hawaii Democrat, who is retiring when his term ends in January, gave his farewell speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate on Wednesday. Back home in the islands, Akaka, who is of Native Hawaiian and Chinese ancestry, was recognized for giving Hawaiians a presence in Washington that reflected island culture and values.
"I think he will be remembered as somebody who personified Hawaiian values," said former Gov. John Waihee. "I think he will also be remembered for trying to secure federal recognition for Native Hawaiians."
Akaka's most significant achievement was helping to obtain the Apology Resolution in 1993, which was signed by President Bill Clinton and acknowledged the role of the United States government in the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1893. The senator has described the resolution as part of the reconcilation between the United States and the Hawaiian people.
But Akaka's attempt to gain federal recognition for Native Hawaiians as indigenous people with the right to self-government has sputtered in the Senate since 2000 despite being approved three times by the House. Conservative Senate Republicans have blocked the bill as race-based discrimination, and some Hawaiians say the legislation would undermine the sovereignty movement by preventing a truly independent Hawaiian government.
Akaka's inability to advance the bill — known as the Akaka Bill — has provided fuel for critics who have praised the senator's personal qualities but have doubted his influence as a legislator.
Waihee, the chairman of the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission identifying Hawaiians eligible to participate in a Hawaiian government, said Akaka would be credited for his effort when, and if, federal recognition ever becomes a reality. The latest version of the Akaka Bill would authorize the federal government to recognize the Hawaiians listed on the roll.
"As long as federal recognition remains a goal of Native Hawaiians, he will always be the person who laid the foundation for it," he said.
Esther Kiaaina, a former congressional aide to Akaka, said that while U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, has used his leverage over federal spending to benefit Hawaii, Akaka often worked through committee on the authorizing side, carving out resources to preserve national parks, help federal employees, and provide equity for veterans.
Kiaaina, a deputy director at the state Department of Land and Natural Resources who ran unsuccessfully for Congress this year, said Akaka used the aloha spirit to transcend politics much like his late brother, the Rev. Abraham Akaka, shared the aloha spirit through religion.
"The aloha spirit is in so many facets of Hawaii society, and he transcended it to the highest levels of our government," she said. "That's something to be cherished because we don't know if we're going to get that again. He is the last of his generation."
Kamanao Crabbe, the chief executive officer at the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs, said Akaka left a path on Hawaiian issues for the next generation in Congress to follow.
"From my perspective, Sen. Akaka will be remembered as a trailblazer who, as an elder statesman, provided important validation for Hawaiian issues in the great halls of our federal government," Crabbe said in a statement. "He also embodied the spirit of aloha through his passionate approach, fierceness and persistence in putting issues important to the broader community front and center on the agendas of federal lawmakers.
"As for his contribution to the Hawaiian governance issue at the federal level, he's plotted a path for the next generation of congressional leaders from our state."
State Senate Majority Leader Brickwood Galuteria (D, Kakaako-McCully-Waikiki) said he hopes Akaka will be a mentor to emerging Hawaiian leaders when he returns home. He does not believe Akaka will be judged harshly by history for not fulfilling the Akaka Bill, but instead will be admired for his resilience.
"I think it would be more symbolic that he was able to stand firm for his beliefs, and be a champion for Native Hawaiians, in such a harsh environment," he said.
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, December 18, 2012
A war hero to a U.S. senator
By Derrick DePledge
Working with U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, a Hawaii Democrat, Inouye helped win historic passage of a resolution signed by President Clinton in 1993 formally apologizing for the U.S. government's role in the 1893 overthrow of the kingdom of Hawaii. In a Senate floor speech, Inouye said the resolution was not a step toward Hawaiian independence, but rather a reconciliation between the federal government and a people who had been wronged. "It was authored by my friend from Hawaii because he loves America," Inouye said of Akaka, who is of Hawaiian and Chinese ancestry. "It is because of our love for this nation that this resolution was presented, to make it possible for all of us, even after 100 years, to cleanse one of our pages, to make it a bit brighter."
The senator also supported Akaka's Native Hawaiian federal recognition bill, which would create a process for Hawaiians to form their own sovereign government similar to American Indians and Native Alaskans.
Some Hawaiians have doubted Inouye's commitment to sovereignty, while others believed that, given his personal history, he was uncomfortable with the anti-American tone prevalent in some of the movement's extremes. Some Hawaiians also resent the senator's role in the military expansion of the islands, including military training on land Hawaiians consider sacred.
But Inouye empathized with the Hawaiian struggle and helped steer millions in federal money annually to Hawaiian education, health and cultural programs. "I've tried my best, although it's impossible, to put myself in their shoes," Inouye told Heather Giugni for her 2003 biographical film on the senator. "And when I do that, I somehow get the feeling that if I were in their position, I may be screaming also."
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, December 18, 2012, EDITORIAL
Inouye's impact on Hawaii was monumental
** Excerpt: The only paragraph which mentions the Akaka bill
Although in recent years Inouye put some support behind the push for Native Hawaiian federal recognition, the senator generally was known less for groundbreaking legislation than advocacy for Hawaii in budgetary matters. Inouye was unabashedly proud of his record for bringing home the bacon in earmarks for his home state, a record that was arrested when the practice fell out of favor under the Republican leadership of the U.S. House, where budget bills originate. Still, his position as Senate Appropriations chairman meant a great deal to a small state that otherwise is in danger of falling below the radar on Capitol Hill.
Hawaii Free Press, December 20, 2012
Sneak Attack? Akaka Bill Placed on Senate Calendar
By Andrew Walden
S.675 Latest Title: Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2011
Sponsor: Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] (introduced 3/30/2011) Cosponsors (3)
Latest Major Action: 12/17/2012 Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 568.
Senate Reports: 112-251
12/17/2012: Committee on Indian Affairs. Reported by Senator Akaka with an amendment in the nature of a substitute. With written report No. 112-251. Additional views filed.
12/17/2012: Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 568. (Day Inouye died)
NOTE: House Republicans refused to hear the HR1250 version of the Akaka Bill, thus protecting Hawaii from its own elected officials.
"While regard for Sen. Inouye is substantial, U.S. senators will not ignore their duty to uphold the Constitution out of affection for a colleague, even a war hero. The Akaka Bill would create a government defined by race and would be unconstitutional. Many and perhaps most senators recognize this, and they want no part of it. The good news is the Akaka Bill will soon fade away, and smart policymakers will turn to strategies that will unite Hawaiians, not divide them." -- Steven Duffield, former chief counsel to Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ).
ADDITIONAL VIEWS OF VICE CHAIRMAN BARRASSO
From Senate Report 112-251
Federal recognition of a Native group is of profound importance to many stakeholders--the Native group itself and its members, the United States and its citizens, local communities and the people who live in them. I understand how challenging, complex, and time-consuming the administrative recognition process is--the Committee has heard a great deal about those problems--and sympathize with groups that have gone through it or attempted to go through it.
Nevertheless, it is my view that legislative recognition--legislation that deems a group or tribe to be federally recognized--is not the right way to decide which groups should be recognized and which groups should not be recognized.
That is a determination that can be best made by the Executive Branch of the Government following the regulations that have been adopted for that purpose, to analyze and evaluate of the historic, cultural, political, and other key factors that should go into the decision of whether a Native group should be formally recognized by the United States.
Testifying about several recognition bills at a hearing before this Committee during the 110th Congress, the Director of the Office of Federal Acknowledgement at the Department of the Interior stated--
Legislation such as S. 514, S. 724, S. 1058, and H.R. 1294 [recognition bills introduced in the 110th Congress] would allow these groups to bypass this [the Federal acknowledgement] process--allowing them to avoid the scrutiny to which other groups have been subjected. The Administration supports all groups going through the Federal acknowledgment process under 25 CFR Part 83.1.
The Department's witness went on to point out that, in light of the importance and implications of recognition decisions, the Department adopted its Federal acknowledgment regulations at 25 CFR Part 83 in 1978 in recognition of `the need to end ad hoc decision making and adopt uniform regulations for Federal acknowledgment.'
I do know and appreciate how important this bill is to the Chairman and to many Native Hawaiian people in his home state. However, I feel that the policy should be the same for all Native groups--they should go through the administrative acknowledgement process to be federally recognized. Although there is a reorganization process contemplated by the bill as amended in the business meeting on September 13, 2012, it is, in effect, a legislative recognition of the Native Hawaiian entity. For that reason I cannot support the bill.
Hawaii Tribune-Herald, December 20, 2012
Hawaiian group hopes to expand membership
By TOM CALLIS
Tribune-Herald staff writer
Still a ways from its goal of collecting 200,000 names, the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission plans to start the new year with an advertising push.
Executive Director Clyde Namuo said the commission will begin mailing information about the roll to at least 60,000 Hawaiians in January with the hope that more will sign up.
In addition, it will also be placing advertisements in print and broadcast media, he said.
The commission was started last July through Act 195 to create a list of people with Hawaiian ancestry who wish to assert their sovereignty and see the formation of a native government.
So far, it has collected 7,000 names.
The commission has set a self-imposed deadline of July 2013, a target that may have to be moved, Namuo said.
"I think we would have preferred to be a little bit higher by now, but it's been a slow start," he said. "Our media efforts were delayed because of the election."
Namuo said the commission is targeting Hawaiians living in the state on the mainland.
"We want to reach as many people as possible," he said. "Clearly those folks living in the state are going to be easier to reach."
Namuo said Hawaiians on the mainland will be traced by their surnames.
He said another round of mailers in the first quarter of the year will target the 80,000 people who signed up for the Kau Noa program that ended in 2009.
Namuo said the commission can't simply transfer their names since it needs their consent.
He said there are about 500,000 Hawaiians in the United States, with roughly 280,000 in Hawaii.
The commission held three meetings on the Big Island earlier this month.
About 30 people attended each meeting, another sign that it needs to do more outreach, Namuo said.
"We need to do more to get the word out to people," he said. "People still don't know what the enrollment program is all about."
The petition can be signed at www.kanaiolowalu.org.
Email Tom Callis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, December 21, 2012
Akaka hopes bill will pass 'in Dan's honor'
By Star-Advertiser staff
The retiring U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka took to the Senate floor Thursday and urged his colleagues to approve a Native Hawaiian federal recognition bill in honor of U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye.
The bill, known as the Akaka Bill, has passed the House three times but has stalled in the Senate since 2000 because of opposition from conservative Republicans who consider it race-based discrimination. The bill would recognize Native Hawaiians as an indigenous people with the right to self-determination, similar to Native Americans and Alaska Natives.
Akaka made the request as Inouye's body lay in state in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol.
"Today, in Dan's honor, and for all the people of Hawaii, I am asking the Senate to pass the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act," Akaka, D-Hawaii, said in a prepared statement. "Dan and I developed our bill to create a process that could address the many issues that continue to persist as a result of the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1893.
"As you know, Dan Inouye was a champion for Hawaii and worked every day of his honorable life to solve problems and help our island state.
"Dan also served on the Indian Affairs Committee for over 30 years and chaired it twice. He was an unwavering advocate for the United States' government-to-government relationships with Native Nations. He constantly reminded our colleagues in the Senate about our Nation's trust responsibilities -- and our treaty obligations -- to America's first peoples.
"Dan believed that through self-determination and self-governance, these communities could thrive and contribute to the greatness of the United States."
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, one of the few Republican supporters of Native Hawaiian recognition, echoed Akaka's appeal for the bill to be passed.
** Note from Ken Conklin: An 8 minute 8 second CSPAN video clip is embedded in the Star-Advertiser online article. A slightly different video clip of 8 minutes 42 seconds is on the CSPAN website, which includes a bit of verbal and procedural stumbling by Senator Akaka. Apparently the Star-Advertiser editors decided to save Senator Akaka some embarrassment by censoring some of his stumbling. Here's the longer CSPAN clip:
** Congressional Record transcript from December 20, portion containing remarks of Senators Akaka and Murkowski pleading with their colleagues to pass the Akaka bill as a tribute to Senator Inouye
[Starting on Page: S8267, which is permanently available at
Mr. AKAKA. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
Mr. AKAKA. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to speak as in morning business.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
NATIVE HAWAIIAN GOVERNMENT REORGANIZATION ACT
Mr. AKAKA. Mr. President, I rise as my friend, my colleague, my brother, Danny Inouye lies in state in the Capitol Rotunda just a few yards from where I stand now. In life, he received our Nation's highest military honor, the Medal of Honor. Today he is receiving a tribute reserved for just a handful of American heroes such as Abraham Lincoln.
I come to the floor to speak about an important piece of legislation I developed and worked with Dan Inouye on for over 12 years. Today, in Senator Dan Inouye's honor, for all the people of Hawaii, I am asking the Senate to pass the Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act.
Dan and I developed our bill to create a process that could address the many issues that continue to persist as a result of the legal overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1893.
As you know, Dan Inouye was a champion for Hawaii and worked every day of his honorable life to solve problems and help our island State.
Dan also served on the Indian Affairs Committee for over 30 years and chaired it twice. He was an unwavering advocate for the United States' government-to-government relationships with native nations. He constantly reminded our colleagues in the Senate about our Nation's trust responsibilities and our treaty obligations to America's first peoples. Dan believed that through
[begin Page: S8268, which is permanently available at
self-determination and self-governance, these communities could thrive and contribute to the greatness of the United States.
When asked how long the United States would have a trust responsibility to native communities, he would quote the treaties between the United States and native nations, which promised care and support as long as the Sun rises in the east and sets in the west.
Dan Inouye's sheer determination to improve the lives of this country's indigenous peoples and make good on the promises America made to them led him to introduce more than 100 pieces of legislation on behalf of American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians.
Senator Dan Inouye secured passage of the Native Hawaiian Health Care Improvement Act, the Native Hawaiian Education Act, the Hawaiian Home Lands Recovery Act, and the Native Hawaiian Homeownership Opportunity Act.
He was instrumental in helping me to enact the apology resolution to the Native Hawaiian people for the suppression of their right of self-determination. It was enacted on the 100th anniversary of the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii.
In 1999, Dan and I worked together to develop the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act to give parity to Native Hawaiians. For over 12 years now, we worked together to pass the bill to ensure that Native Hawaiians have the same rights as other native peoples, and an opportunity to engage in the same government-to-government relationship the United States has already granted to over 560 native nations throughout this country, across the continental United States, and in Alaska, but not yet in Hawaii.
Over the years, people have mischaracterized the intent and effect of our bill, so let me be plain. For me, as I know it was for Dan, this bill is about simple justice, fairness in Federal policy, and being a Nation that acknowledges that while we cannot undo history, we can right past wrongs and move forward. To us, this bill represented what is ``pono'' in Hawaii, what is just and right.
Our bill is supported by President Barack Obama and the U.S. Departments of Justice and Interior. It has the strong support of Hawaii's Governor, the State legislature, and a large majority of the people of Hawaii. Our bill has the endorsement of the American Bar Association, the National Congress of American Indians, the Alaska Federation of Natives, and groups throughout the Native Hawaiian community.
As a Senator and senior statesman, Senator Dan Inouye advocated that Congress do its job and legislate where native communities were concerned. Dan Inouye believed that a promise made should be a promise kept.
In the days since my dear friend Dan's passing, there has been a tremendous outpouring of love from Hawaii and every other State in the Union. Native American communities across the country are mourning the loss and paying tribute to their great champion. Dan Inouye's absence will be felt in this Chamber and the Nation for many years to come. May his legacy live on for generations of Native Americans and inspire all Americans to always strive toward justice and reconciliation.
I urge my colleagues to pass the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act in the memory of Senator Daniel K. Inouye and his desire to provide parity to the Native Hawaiian people he loved so much.
To Dan, I say: Aloha 'oe and a hui hou, my brother.
Mr. President, I yield the floor, and I suggest the absence of a quorum.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
Ms. MURKOWSKI. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
NATIVE AMERICAN AFFAIRS
Ms. MURKOWSKI. Mr. President, I was watching my friend and colleague Senator Akaka as he was delivering his comments earlier about Senator Inouye and the legislation that both he and our dear friend and former colleague have worked so hard on over the years, and I wanted to come to the floor this evening and tell my friend that I am deeply appreciative of the words he has delivered as the chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. I would certainly hope the Senate would respect the thinking the Senator has outlined as it relates to the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act.
As the Senator knows well, I have long been a supporter of that act. It is indeed an honor to have worked with him on it, as well as our dear friend and late colleague, Senator Inouye.
This legislation has been going on for some 12 years now, and I think it is fair to say that it truly has been a bipartisan effort, not only here in Washington, DC, but in Hawaii as well.
For several years, when Governor Lingle was Governor of Hawaii, she was back here helping on the Republican side of the aisle.
I firmly believe this cause of Native Hawaiians is just. The native people of Hawaii are similarly situated to the native people of Alaska. Both are aboriginal peoples from former territories. Yet the fact is that the two peoples are not treated the same for purposes of Federal Indian law. The native people of Alaska are recognized as among the first peoples of the United States. Their tribes appear on the Interior Department's list of federally recognized Indian tribes, and they have access to important Federal Indian programs that truly have improved the quality of life for Alaska natives.
The native people of Hawaii, however, are not federally recognized among the first peoples of the United States. For more than a decade now, efforts to provide Federal recognition have been filibustered, and I would suggest unjustly so.
Senator Inouye and Senator Akaka have worked valiantly to create programs for Native Hawaiians that parallel those available to American Indians and Alaska Natives, but this is not enough. Justice demands that the native people of Hawaii earn the Federal recognition that is rightfully theirs.
The time to provide parity and justice for Hawaii's native people is now. The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, which has passed out of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, I think is a responsible bill. It is a constitutional vehicle to accomplish this objective.
We began our mourning paying tribute to our friend and former colleague Senator Inouye. As we think about Hawaii and its peoples, and as we remember the contributions of Senator Inouye, and as we recognize Senator Akaka as he departs from this body after years and years of honorable service, I would hope that within this body we would not forget the efforts they have worked on so valiantly.
I will commit to my friend, Senator Akaka, that the cause the Senator has taken up, that he has worked on so hard with Senator Inouye, will not die until justice for the native people of Hawaii is achieved. I thank the Senator for his leadership.
Mr. President, I was going to yield the floor, but I would like to take a moment to provide my remarks regarding Senator Akaka and his contribution here, if I may.
** [Following this comes Senator Murkowski's tribute to Senator Akaka, recounting his life history and many contributions to our nation.]
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, December 24, 2012, Off the News [mini editorial]
Akaka plays the Inouye card to push Akaka Bill
It seemed ironic to hear the retiring U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka urge his fellow members to pass the Native Hawaiian federal recognition bill nicknamed after him, in honor of the late Sen. Daniel Inouye.
Late-in-the-year efforts to get the "Akaka Bill" passed had always been the kuleana of Inouye himself, and now it was his junior colleague in his stead.
One such attempt by Inouye happened years ago when he inserted its bill number into a defense appropriations measure, an effort that was defeated because Senate rules barred policy legislation from being part of earmarks. And there have been other examples of language hidden away in bills to accomplish passage by stealth.
Could he really get the thing passed from beyond the grave through a measure in his honor? Now that would be a neat trick.
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Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.
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