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History of the Native Hawaiian Recognition bill in the 108th Congress (January 2003 through December 2004)


(c) Copyright 2003 - 2004 Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. All rights reserved


On this page is the history of the Native Hawaiian Recognition bill during the 108th Congress (January 2003 to December 2004)

For a thorough history of the Native Hawaiian Recognition bill from February 2000 through the present, exposing the pattern of stealth and deception in creating the bill and trying to pass it, see:
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/Akakahistory.html

For a short history focusing on the stealth tactics during the 108th Congress, see: http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/AkakaStealth20032004.html

What follows is a complete history of the Akaka bill in the 108th Congress (2003-2004), including the full text of news reports covering events in Congress and related events in Hawai’i. This webpage would probably run more than 150 pages if printed. Events are covered in chronological order.

During December 2002 and January 2003 the usual small groups of insiders met to draft the “new” bill for the 108th Congress. There was talk that the bill might be broken into smaller pieces to be passed separately, on the theory that each piece might attract less opposition and be able to fly below the radar. For example, one small bill might establish an interagency task force in Washington to coordinate and manage the various federal entitlement programs already in place for “Native Hawaiians.” No apparent harm in that. Then another small bill might provide federal funds to establish a roll of people with native Hawaiian ancestry. After all, Native Hawaiians are (allegedly) a dying race, so we should assist them by ensuring that all their scattered remnants can be identified and helped. Later, another bill might provide funds to hold an election among all persons on the roll, to establish a leadership group. After all, a leadership group could keep track of them all and raise morale. Then later, it would seem a perfectly reasonable, logical next step to pass another bill to give federal recognition to that leadership group as being the tribal council for a recognized tribe, just to be sure the entitlement programs can’t be challenged in court by mean-spirited people who hate those poor, downtrodden Native Hawaiians. But there was great concern that such a step by step process would take too long, and lawsuits against the entitlement programs might succeed in dismantling them before the final step of legal recognition could be accomplished.

Those independence activists in favor of “reconstituting” a nation of Hawai’i separate from the U.S. were concerned that establishing Native Hawaiians as an Indian tribe under the plenary authority of the U.S. might be seen as a voluntary relinquishment of their “right to independence under international law.” While understanding the need for swift action to preserve racial entitlements, they demanded the inclusion of a clause that "nothing in this bill in any way limits or abrogates the rights of Native Hawaiians to independence under international law." But supporters of the Indian tribe model complained that such a blatant expression of Hawaiian aspirations for independence would frighten Congress into squelching the legislation. Both the independence activists and also those Hawaiians favoring the Indian tribe model pointed out that the process of assembling a membership roll, holding elections, creating a governing document, and getting official recognition of tribal status could take many years -- therefore they urged that the new version of the Akaka bill should contain language granting federal recognition to Native Hawaiians immediately upon enactment of the bill, even before creating a membership roll or holding elections. But some attorneys (and commonsense) argued that Congress cannot give recognition to a group that does not yet exist, or to a vague concept.

Internal disputes made it impossible to draft a new bill, so the same bill that died in the 107th Congress (it was then known as S.746 and H.R.617) was re-introduced in the 108th Congress on February 11, 2003. The new bill has bill number S.344 in the Senate and H.R.665 in the House. Here is the bill's text:
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/AkakaS344HR665.html

Here is the short, and very misleading, speech given by Senator Akaka when he introduced the bill on the floor of the Senate on February 11, 2003:
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/AkakaS344HR665Speech.html

OHA opened its new lobbying office in Washington D.C. on February 24, sharing space with the National Congress of American Indians.

Meanwhile, the Senate Indian Affairs Committee made special arrangements to hold a carefully scripted “hearing” on Tuesday, February 25, 2003. That hearing date was kept secret as long as possible. Only supporters of the bill were invited to testify. After word leaked out on the internet, an opponent of the bill called the Indian Affairs Committee offices to verify the date and seek information about how to testify, and was told there were no definite arrangements. Governor Linda Lingle made a personal appearance to testify in support, along with trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the head of the Department of Hawaiian Homelands, and other representatives of institutions that profit from racial entitlement programs. Although no opponent of the bill was allowed to testify in person, written testimony was allowed to be submitted by e-mail to: testimony@indian.senate.gov

Holding this phony "hearing" made it possible under Senate rules for the committee to pass the bill and send it to the Senate floor. But first, the committee would need to hold a meeting for "markup," where changes could be made. Two years previously, the "markup" meeting attracted only three Senators -- Akaka and Inouye, plus Republican ranking member Ben Nighthorse Campbell, who rubber-stamped the bill. In 2003 the markup meeting was delayed, in hopes the ethnic Hawaiian community could reach agreement on amendments. Finally, the following newspaper article was published in the Honolulu Advertiser on May 14, 2003 indicating that markup was imminent:

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http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2003/May/14/ln/ln01a.html

Lawmakers agree to revise Hawaiian recognition bill

By Derrick DePledge
Advertiser Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — Hawai'i lawmakers have agreed to make changes to a Native Hawaiian recognition bill to satisfy concerns by the Department of Interior and, if possible, win an endorsement from the Bush administration.

While the heart of the bill remains the same — federal recognition of Hawaiians as an indigenous people with the right to sovereignty — the legislation would now create a specific process for Hawaiians to achieve recognition. It would also authorize the Interior Department to compile and maintain a list of Hawaiians willing and eligible to participate in a new government.

The Senate Indian Affairs Committee is scheduled to discuss the bill today.

"It would help if the White House came out for us," Sen. Dan Inouye, D-Hawai'i, the vice chairman of the committee, said yesterday after a speech to a conference on self-determination for indigenous people attended by several Hawaiians. "I think we're closer."

Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawai'i, the bill's principal author and a member of the committee, said the changes improve the bill "by providing additional clarity and guidance." Inouye, Akaka and their counterparts in the House, Democratic Reps. Neil Abercrombie and Ed Case, agreed to revise the bill after meeting last week.

The main roadblock in Congress has been from conservative Republicans who argue that the legislation would validate unconstitutional race-based preferences for Hawaiians. Other Republicans, and the Interior Department, have asked for more information on how a Hawaiian government would work.

Rather than address their critics directly, Hawai'i lawmakers decided earlier this year to propose the same version of the bill that stalled during the last session. But after a hearing before the Indian Affairs Committee in February, and talks with Interior Secretary Gale Norton and the Hawaiian community, the delegation opted to make changes.

New office set up

The bill would establish a new Office for Native Hawaiian Relations within the Interior Department and an interagency coordinating group to monitor Hawaiian issues before the federal government.

The new office would develop a roll of Hawaiians who choose to participate in creating a new government. Hawaiians could then select an interim governing council that would draft the structure and scope of a government and hold elections for government leaders. The new government could be recognized by the Interior Department and could negotiate with federal and state governments over issues such as land use or Hawaiian programs.

According to congressional officials, Norton did not want the prospect of several Hawaiian groups coming forward with claims of sovereignty. The original version of the bill, first proposed by Akaka in 2000, included a similar process for recognition.

Rowena Akana, a trustee for the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs, said people in the Hawaiian community had similar concerns. "Everything the Interior secretary was saying the people were saying," Akana said. "They wanted a process."

Forward movement

Earlier this month, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs outlined its own timetable for Hawaiians to convene and begin to consider a new government this year. Haunani Apoliona, the chairwoman of the OHA board of trustees, said that effort would complement, not compete with, the federal recognition bill. "The important thing is that this is moving forward," Apoliona said.

Gov. Linda Lingle testified on behalf of the bill in the Senate in February and has urged the Bush administration to support the legislation. State Attorney General Mark Bennett and Micah Kane, director of the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, are actively lobbying administration officials and Republican lawmakers.

"We've tried to educate them about the need for recognition and its importance to our state," said Kane, who plans to visit Washington in June to discuss the bill and other issues. "I think we're continuing to make steady progress."

Now that the Hawai'i legislative session is over, Case and others here hope Lingle will invest more of her time on Hawaiian sovereignty. "It's really going to be up to her to convince the Bush administration," Case said.

Many believe that if Lingle is able to get the Bush administration to back the bill, it would help soften opposition among Republicans in Congress. Robin Danner, president of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, said Lingle has made a difference. "She took the first 10 steps," Danner said.

The Supreme Court ruled in 2000 that it was unconstitutional for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to exclude non-Hawaiians from voting in trustee elections. The ruling has prompted other legal challenges to Native Hawaiian programs as race-based preferences.

There is no consensus in the Hawaiian community on sovereignty — some Hawaiians would settle for nothing less than independence from the United States — but many Hawaiians believe the federal recognition bill could provide some legal protection for Native Hawaiian programs and parity with American Indians and Native Alaskans.

H. William Burgess, an attorney representing people challenging the constitutionality of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, is here this week lobbying against the bill. "We really shouldn't have separate government forms based on ancestry or race," Burgess said.

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The Senate Indian Affairs Committee did indeed do its markup on May 14, as reported in the Honolulu Advertiser on May 15, 2003:
http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2003/May/15/ln/ln03a.html

Sovereignty bill makes headway

By Derrick DePledge
Advertiser Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — The Senate Indian Affairs Committee approved legislation yesterday that would recognize Native Hawaiians as an indigenous people and guide them in forming their own government. The bill, which could move to the full Senate for a vote, would acknowledge the sovereign rights of Hawaiians, much as the United States already does with American Indians and Native Alaskans.

A similar bill passed the committee in the last session of Congress but was held up by conservative Republicans who viewed it as a government sanction of race-based preferences. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawai'i, the main sponsor of the bill, said Hawai'i lawmakers have consulted with the Bush administration and the Hawaiian community and are hopeful the bill will pass the Senate. "I think the bill, as written now, satisfies the segment of people who had concerns," Akaka said. "I know there will be senators who will not vote for it, but I feel we'll have good consideration."

The Indian Affairs Committee approved key changes to the bill in response to concerns by the Department of the Interior. The reworked bill includes a specific process for Hawaiians to follow to attain federal recognition and would create a Native Hawaiian office within the Interior Department that would compile a list of Hawaiians willing and eligible to participate in a new government. An interagency group would be established to follow Hawaiian issues at the federal level.

Congressional officials said they will wait and see how the Interior Department and the Hawaiian community react to the changes before moving ahead in the House.

The Bush administration has not taken a position on the bill, but the Interior Department has raised questions with Hawai'i lawmakers and Gov. Linda Lingle, who has asked the administration for its support. Interior Secretary Gale Norton has said she does not want to have to choose among competing sovereignty claims from several Hawaiian groups, according to congressional and state aides. Changes in the bill attempt to address that concern by including a process by which Hawaiians would select an interim council to draft rules for the new government and the election of government officers, who could then be recognized by the Interior Department as sovereign representatives of the Hawaiian people.

"What's at stake here is the right of Hawaiians to define their future, deal directly with the federal government, and be recognized as an indigenous people," said Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawai'i.

No lawmakers have stepped forward this year to oppose the bill. Several Republicans have objections, however, and could attempt to delay or block the legislation.

H. William Burgess, an attorney who is suing to overturn Native Hawaiian programs in Hawai'i, is talking with several lawmakers here and said Wednesday there is "solid opposition" to the bill. "This bill takes a racial group and makes it into a tribe," Burgess said. He said there would likely be new legal challenges if the bill were to become law.

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On May 24, 2003 the Honolulu Advertiser reported that OHA has hired a major Washington D.C. lobbying firm for a 2003 retainer fee of $450,000. Within days of that announcement, OHA top officials made it clear that they consider it urgent to pass the Akaka bill primarily to protect existing entitlements and future programs. Their language was strident and desperate-sounding. The top bureaucrat at OHA, Administrator Clyde Namu’o, wrote a lengthy article in the Honolulu Weekly for May 28 - June 3, 2003. His article immediately followed publication of a major essay by OHA trustee Boyd Mossman published in the Maui News of May 25 and also in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin of May 27. The Advertiser report about the $450,000 retainer for the lobbying firm, the Namu’o article, and the Mossman article are copied in full, together with a reply by Ken Conklin, at:
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/AkakaPorkArticles.html

It turned out that the hiring of the Patton Boggs lobbying firm was only the tip of a very large iceberg. The lobbying firm was hired because of revelations that the Bush administration Department of Justice had sent letters to two Senate committees informing them that it might be unconstitutional racial discrimination to include Native Hawaiians as beneficiaries in pending legislation to provide benefits for recognized Indian tribes and Alaska Native corporations, because the Rice v. Cayetano decision had clearly identified Native Hawaiians as a racial group and not a political entity or Indian tribe. A White House policy statement regarding an energy bill had also identified Native Hawaiians as not eligible for benefits. It appears that information about administration statements had been witheld from the public for a few weeks to allow OHA to launch a massive propaganda and lobbying campaign to pass the Akaka bill. Also, the revised language of the Akaka bill resulting from the Senate Indian Affairs Committee markup appears to have been intentionally witheld from the Government Printing Office and the Library of Congress website; and requests to Hawai'i Senators for copies went unanswered. Here is a short timeline to put these events in perspective, including webpages that provide full details:

11/11/02: DOJ letter to Inouye about housing bill (at this time Inouye is chairman of Senate Indian Affairs Committee because Democrats control the Senate; but Akaka bill is dormant and 107th Congress is nearly finished)

02/11/03: Akaka bill introduced into the new 108th Congress, simultaneously in both Senate and House, as S.344 and H.R.665.

02/24/03: OHA opens its own lobbying office in Washington D.C.

02/25/03: Senate Indian Affairs Committee carefully scripted “hearing” on S.344 includes in-person testimony from Governor Lingle, OHA Chair Apoliona, and other Hawai’i officials.

05/08/03: White House policy statement opposing racial preferences in an energy bill

05/14/03: Senate Committee on Indian Affairs markup of Akaka bill, reported to Senate floor

05/16/03: DOJ letter from Assistant Attorney General Moschella to Senator Snowe opposing racial preferences in a grant program for small businesses
[Note: To see several newspaper articles reporting partial contents of this important letter, together with the massive outpouring of propaganda and lobbying this letter stimulated, go to:
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/AkakaBushThreatenHawnProgs2003.html ]

05/24/03: OHA hires powerful Washington D.C. lobbying firm Patton Boggs on 2003 retainer fee of $450,000 to lobby the Akaka bill

05/25/03: OHA trustee Mossman lengthy plea to pass Akaka bill in The Maui News

05/27/03: Mossman plea, nearly identical, in Honolulu Star-Bulletin

05/28/03: OHA administrator Clyde Namu’o very lengthy plea to pass Akaka bill, in The Honolulu Weekly
[Note: to see the Mossman and Namu’o articles, and a rebuttal by Ken Conklin, go to:
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/AkakaPorkArticles.html ]

06/04/03 to 06/06/03: four articles in three newspapers about the Bush administration letters from May, and describing OHA lobbying activities

06/08/03: Advertiser editorial characterizing Bush administration attitude toward Hawaiian race-based programs as “fuzzy” and urging better organization and intensified lobbying to pass the Akaka bill

06/07/03 to 06/13/03: OHA trustees attend weekend seminar on self-determination at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History for Hawaiians who live on the East Coast, stressing the urgency in passing federal legislation before the courts consider further legal challenges to Hawaiian programs. The trustees then meet with lawmakers the following week to push for Senate consideration of the recognition bill.

06/08/03: 3 large groups of ethnic Hawaiian beneficiaries of racial programs announce plans to blanket Hawai’i with propaganda festivals warning that 3,100 local jobs and $147 million a year in federal programs will be lost unless the Akaka bill passes soon.

[Note: To see details about the above four items, go to:
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/AkakaBushThreatenHawnProgs2003.html ]

Although the Senate Indian Affairs committee approved the new language of S.344 at its markup meeting of May 14, the actual language of the revised bill was unavailable to the public for 6 weeks while a lengthy report was written to accompany the bill. Finally the bill and its accompanying report were sent to the floor of the Senate and to the Government Printing Office on June 27, 2003 and became available on the Library of Congress website a few days later. The bill's revised language as approved in the markup meeting can be seen at:
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/AkakaS344Markup051403.html
And here is the lengthy Senate report # 108-085 that accompanies the bill:
http://www.angelfire.com/hi5/bigfiles/S344SenateReport108-085.html

On July 3, 2003 both Honolulu newspapers reported that Governor Lingle held a meeting July 2 that included her senior policy advisers and other Cabinet members, nearly all Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustees, Sens. Inouye and Daniel Akaka, and U.S. Reps. Neil Abercrombie and Ed Case. Everyone agreed to push hard to pass the Akaka bill in the Senate during July or early August, before the Labor Day recess. Lingle and the OHA trustees will go to Washington yet again to lobby Congress and Bush administration officials. Here are the two newspaper articles:

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http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2003/Jul/03/ln/ln06a.html

The Honolulu Advertiser, Thursday, July 3, 2003

Backers of Akaka bill plan unified campaign

By Vicki Viotti

Hawai'i's congressional delegation and other proponents of a bill giving federal recognition to Native Hawaiians met yesterday in the governor's office to map out a unified push in the coming two months.

The all-Democratic delegation asked Republican Gov. Linda Lingle for the meeting — which also included trustees and staff of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and other state officials — because the time is right to prod the "Akaka bill" along before Congress goes into recess in early August, U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye said. "There's an important window that will open in mid-July and close in August," Inouye said. "I leave this meeting enthused and extremely gratified with the governor's position."

Lingle said she is ready to do "what it takes" to rally support for the bill, including making another trip to Washington, D.C., although no trip has been scheduled yet. OHA trustees are planning their next Capitol lobbying visit for mid-July, said Haunani Apoliona, the trustees' chairwoman.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, whose name has been attached to various forms of the bill over the years, said the power lies with the Senate leadership to put the bill on the mid- to late-August calendar. He said he and Inouye plan to approach those leaders now that the bill has cleared the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and could move to the full Senate for a vote. Inouye said he was impressed with the strategies outlined in the meeting. Akaka added that the delegation is banking on the strength of its unified front with the state administration, but nobody wanted to say more. U.S. Rep. Ed Case, the newest member of the delegation, said the time has arrived for Lingle to deliver on election promises to sway the GOP president. "We currently have people who say they can influence the Bush administration," Case said. "We we need to turn up the heat on that."

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http://starbulletin.com/2003/07/03/news/story8.html

Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Thursday, July 3, 2003

Leaders say timing is right for Hawaiian recognition bill

By Pat Omandam

Hawaii's top political leaders say now is the time to push for passage of a federal native Hawaiian recognition bill. "Well, there's an important window. It will open in mid-July and end about the first week of August," U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye said yesterday following an afternoon top-level strategy meeting at the Governor's Office. Inouye said this will be the time to debate important bills, such as the Akaka bill, before Congress gets busy with the budget bill. "I came to this meeting hopeful. I leave this meeting enthused and extremely gratified with the governor's position. With her leadership, together with the coordinated effort of the OHA people and the congressional delegation, we'll have it done. It's not going to be easy, but we'll have it done. We can't take 'no' for an alternative," he said.

Support for the Akaka bill, pending before the U.S. Senate, was the focus of the rare gathering that included Lingle, her senior policy advisers and other Cabinet members, nearly all Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustees, Sens. Inouye and Daniel Akaka, and U.S. Reps. Neil Abercrombie and Ed Case.

While the delegation works on Congress, Lingle said it is likely she will return to Washington, D.C., again later this summer to lobby the Republican-controlled White House. "We've all committed ourselves to do whatever it takes. If that means going to Washington, that's what we'll do. ... Whatever the steps necessary to get this accomplished, we'll do it," Lingle said. Lingle's trip would mark the second time in about six months she has traveled to the nation's capital on behalf of Hawaiians. In February she lobbied Congress and the Bush administration for the bill that allows native Hawaiians to organize, discuss and then adopt governing documents as the foundation for a native Hawaiian government.

Under the measure, known as S. 344, the U.S. Interior Secretary would certify this new government, thereby granting Hawaiians federal status much the same as American Indians and Alaskan Natives.

Akaka said he and Inouye will approach the U.S. Senate leadership later this month to discuss placing the measure on the calendar for a floor debate and possible passage.

This is the fourth year Akaka has attempted to pass a federal recognition bill. Proponents of such a plan say it will help thwart ongoing lawsuits against government programs for Hawaiians offered by OHA and the Hawaiian Homes Commission, which plaintiffs have argued are race-based and unconstitutional.

OHA Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona said yesterday the agency will continue its unified position on recognition, as well as on the implementation and organizing of the proposed native governing entity. "It's great to be part of a team, working with our congressional delegation and our governor," Apoliona said.

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On July 25, 2003 both Honolulu newspapers reported that the Hawai'i Congressional delegation, the governor, and OHA officials were intensively lobbying the Department of Justice to overcome objections that the Akaka bill is unconstitutional; meanwhile, a Senate Republican has placed a hold on the bill that makes it extremely unlikely the bill would be heard on the Senate floor before the summer recess.

Excerpt from the Honolulu Advertiser of July 25, 2003, article by Derrick DePledge, Advertiser Washington Bureau
http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2003/Jul/25/ln/ln01a.html

WASHINGTON — A Senate Republican has placed an anonymous hold on a Native Hawaiian federal recognition bill, making it unlikely that the bill will be debated before the Senate breaks next week for summer recess. The Hawai'i congressional delegation met with Department of Justice officials Wednesday and said the department is still reviewing the legislation. Over the past few months, supporters of the bill have been anxious because of indications the Justice Department may oppose it. [Hawai’i Governor] Lingle said yesterday that the sticking point is the "issue of whether or not Congress has the authority under the Indian Commerce Clause of the constitution to grant this kind of recognition to Native Hawaiians," she said, adding that the debate may work in the bill's favor because it doesn't focus on race-based issues. "Congress or any legislative body doesn't like their authority questioned," she said. Meanwhile, Hawai'i's congressional delegation said the meeting with Justice Department officials went well. "The meeting was useful and effective," said Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawai'i, the bill's main sponsor. "We helped the department to better understand the history of Hawai'i and the importance of this legislation to all people of Hawai'i." Sen. Dan Inouye, D-Hawai'i, described the meeting as "most promising." Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawai'i, who is waiting for the Senate to act before pushing the bill in the House, said the Bush administration is the key factor. "If they support it, it will pass easily," the congressman said. "If they don't support it, the task becomes much more difficult." Rowena Akana, a trustee with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, has been in Washington for the past few days meeting with lawmakers about the bill. She said most of the talks have been "very, very positive." Lingle said she will continue to lobby for the bill at the administrative and Senate level, and will likely travel to Washington, D.C., in September. She said she also hopes to travel to Arizona next month to speak with Republican Sen. Jon Kyl — who has concerns about the measure — and that she plans to speak to Frist next week over the phone.

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A pro-apartheid march by 5,000 to 10,000 ethnic Hawaiians and supporters took place in Waikiki on September 7, 2003. The purpose of the march was to protest the Arakaki2 lawsuit as well as the two Kamehameha School desegregation lawsuits. The march was organized to show ethnic Hawaiian unity. OHA, DHHL, and CNHA hoped the march would solidify support for the Akaka bill as a way of stopping the lawsuits; but there were some marchers who carried signs opposing the Akaka bill. In the weeks following the red-shirt march there were important published statements by the Arakaki2 plaintiffs and the OHA trustees.See:
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/redshirtsept2003.html

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The Hawaii Island Journal for October 16-31, 2003 published an exposee of THE ALASKA OIL CONNECTION. The Hawaiian recognition bill is being supported by the Alaska oil industry, by the Republican delegation from Alaska, and by Alaska native corporations. The Alaska North Slope Corporation has provided large donations to the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, and financial support for the sisters Jade Danner and Robin Danner, who are leading the CHNA propaganda efforts to convince Hawaiian Homestead residents and others to support the Akaka bill for fear of losing their homes and benefit programs if they don't. Alaska oil companies and corporations clearly believe they can make huge profits in Hawai'i if the Akaka bill passes, perhaps by using the preference given to Indian tribes in bidding for federal construction and services contracts. To download an exposee of the Alaska oil connection to the Native Hawaiian Recognition bill, taken from the Hawaii Island Journal of October 16-31, 2003 click here:
http://www.angelfire.com/hi5/bigfiles/AkakaKealaKellyAlaskaOil.pdf

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On Thursday October 23, 2003 President Bush visited Honolulu for a full day (see below). His visit had been planned in detail for several weeks. Governor Lingle and others indicated publicly that their top priority for the President’s visit would be to lobby the President to support the Akaka bill. For example: On Wednesday October 22, 2003, the day before the visit, the Honolulu Advertiser published the following article:
http://starbulletin.com/2003/10/22/news/story4.html
Lingle prepares to explain Akaka bill to the president
By Richard Borreca

When President Bush touches down in Honolulu tomorrow morning, Gov. Linda Lingle will be ready with a carefully honed sales pitch. Hawaii's Republican governor will try to convince Bush that a bill in Congress to permit a form of native Hawaiian sovereignty is vital not just to Hawaiians, but to the state. "I want, in the clearest way possible, to present the issue to him of why the Akaka bill is so important and to give him a general understanding of Hawaii, the situation here and the history," Lingle said in an interview. "It will be a challenge, and I am giving it a lot of thought," Lingle added. Supporters say the Akaka bill becomes critical in preserving Hawaiian programs as more federal lawsuits contest the participation of native Hawaiians. "To someone from the outside, it is not a simple issue and we know that. We want to take a lot of time, but we are not going to have a lot of time," Lingle said. Democratic supporters of the Akaka bill, such as U.S. Reps. Neil Abercrombie and Ed Case, have said it is up to Lingle to convince her fellow Republicans in Washington of the measure's significance, and Lingle is hoping that she will be able to at least put the issue before Bush. "I think if I can present to him this issue of what is right and fair, we will have a good chance to capture his attention as a person and as someone who wants to do the right thing," Lingle said. The governor had scheduled a Washington, D.C., trip last month to push for the bill in Congress, but canceled, she said, after the bill stalled. Martha Ross, Office of Hawaiian Affairs Washington liaison, said she has not seen any movement on the bill in the Senate. "It is really positive that she (Lingle) is going to be talking with the president. Hopefully the president and his advisers will see that it is a bipartisan issue," Ross said. Lingle has had some extra help lobbying the bill as Hawaii Attorney General Mark Bennett started writing to attorneys general who might help. "He has actually gotten them to write to the Justice Department that this bill does not violate the Constitution," Lingle said. Bennett said he has also had success in getting at least one colleague to write to his Republican senators to explain the Akaka bill.

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On Thursday October 23, 2003 President Bush visited Honolulu for a full day on his way back to Washington following a week-long Asian trip. As noted above, Governor Lingle lobbied him very hard to support the Akaka bill. OHA also timed the release of a poll to coincide with the President’s visit. OHA had conducted the survey in private three months beforehand, clearly intending to keep the results secret if they were not supportive of the Akaka bill. But the results were supportive, so OHA released the results at the most advantageous time. The results are of doubtful validity, because OHA ordered Ward Research not to release ALL the results, and also not to release the wording of the questions or the method whereby the respondents were chosen. Here is an article from the Honolulu Star-Bulletin of October 23, 2003 reporting the survey results:
http://starbulletin.com/2003/10/23/news/story3.html
Wide support seen for Akaka bill
Both Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians are in favor, according to a poll from OHA
By Leila Fujimori

A bill granting federal recognition to native Hawaiians has broad support from Hawaiian and non-Hawaiian residents, according to a poll from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. The results also show residents do not understand the process of building a Hawaiian government, OHA trustees said. "It's clear that people don't quite understand the relationship between building a Hawaiian governing entity and federal recognition," said OHA trustee Clyde Namuo. "That's an area where we will need to concentrate more effort locally in educating people." The poll showed 86 percent of Hawaiians and 78 percent of non-Hawaiians agreed with the Akaka bill that Hawaiians be given federal recognition as an indigenous people, similar to American Indians. However, fewer agreed that a Hawaiian nation or government should be formed: 72 percent of Hawaiians and 53 percent of non-Hawaiians. The release of the results yesterday and President Bush's arrival on Oahu today is no coincidence. Although OHA had planned to publicly release the information eventually, the data had been provided to the Governor's Office upon request. Gov. Linda Lingle had been preparing for her meeting today with Bush to explain the Akaka bill's importance. OHA Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona said Bush's visit is a good opportunity "to have the president here to experience Hawaii and Hawaiians and to understand that there's nothing to fear about federal recognition for Hawaiians." Ward Research conducted two statewide telephone surveys in July, one among 303 native Hawaiian residents, the other of 301 non-Hawaiian residents. The results have a margin of error of 5.6 percentage points. OHA did not provide all responses to poll questions, saying they contain internal and proprietary information. Those surveyed were also asked whether Kamehameha Schools should admit non-Hawaiian students, with 13 percent of Hawaiians and 39 percent of non-Hawaiians saying the school should admit non-Hawaiians. Namuo said the number of non-Hawaiians was higher than he would have thought. The survey was taken at about the time a lawsuit challenged Kamehameha Schools' Hawaiians-only policy, and prior to a separate suit filed in August by the mother of a Kauai boy, Brayden Mohica-Cummings. Other results showed 70 percent of Hawaiians and 51 percent of non-Hawaiians believe Hawaiians are entitled to special government support. The majority, 93 percent of Hawaiians and 82 percent of non-Hawaiians, support the continuance of federally funded programs for Hawaiians. The survey also reported that 85 percent of Hawaiians and 75 percent of non-Hawaiians believe OHA and the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands are legal, despite court challenges arguing that they are illegally race-based.

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On October 23, 2003, the day of President Bush’s visit, Aloha For All published a full-page advertisement in the Honolulu Advertiser on page A10 asking President Bush to "just say no" to the Akaka bill, and listing a few reasons why he should oppose it. To download a copy of that ad, click here:
http://www.angelfire.com/hi5/bigfiles/Adv102303AskBushOpposeAkaka.pdf

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On Friday October 24, 2003, the day after President Bush’s visit, the newspapers reported on his trip. Here are excerpts from the Honolulu Star-Bulletin of 10/24/03.
http://starbulletin.com/2003/10/24/news/story1.html
Bush ‘impressed’
By Richard Borreca

Hawaii served as the exclamation point to end President Bush's 18,000-mile journey through Asia, as he concluded his trip with a busy day here yesterday. The 12-hour stop was enough time for Bush to raise $600,000 for his re-election effort, gather another $200,000 for the local Republican party and run through a series of morning stops at Pearl Harbor and a local school. But in his evening speech, he stopped short of endorsing the Akaka bill for native Hawaiian self-determination, despite hearing encouragement from Gov. Linda Lingle to support the bill. Lingle and Bush rode together in the presidential limousine between engagements, as motorists stranded by the closed freeways lined onramps and streets to catch a glimpse. "We really achieved what we wanted, which was to make this issue something on the radar screen for the president," Lingle said last night. In his speech at the Hilton Hawaiian Village before 600 supporters, Bush added a special nod to native Hawaiians. "I also appreciate the unique contributions native Hawaiians have made to this state and to our nation. "Impressed by the rich culture of the native Hawaiian people. I respect their traditions, and I respect Gov. Lingle's dedication to all of Hawaii's citizens. You all got a great governor." Bush singled Lingle out for praise and mentioned several local GOP officials, although he stumbled when he attempted to pronounce the name of Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona. Ed makes his case: In his brief encounter with the president and his staff, U.S. Rep. Ed Case passed on a letter urging Bush and the administration to support the Akaka bill, calling it the "single most important action you can take as our president for the future of our Hawaii." Case said he was not able to talk with the president, but that was able to give the letter to White House Chief of Staff Andy Card.

The complete speech given by President Bush was published only in an on-line newspaper, The Hawaii Reporter. That complete speech can be seen at:
http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?fd2f42bd-a9af-4c36-beab-9d8b07207846

Following is an excerpt from the beginning of the speech. This is the only place where President Bush made public comments that might be construed as related to the Akaka bill. These comments were made at the end of a very long day when he had been heavily lobbied to support the Akaka bill by Governor Lingle, including a choral presentation by Kamehameha School and the bestowing of numerous flower lei upon both the President and Mrs. Bush.

“Thank you all very much. Aloha! Thank you. Please be seated. Thanks for the warm welcome. If I seem a little jet-lagged -- it's because I've spent a long week away from home. After eight days on the road and more than 18,000 miles in the air, it's great to be back in America. And it's really great to be in the beautiful state of Hawaii. As we go about our work in Washington, Vice President Cheney and I are grateful for the continuing support in Hawaii. We appreciate our friends here. I also appreciate the unique contributions native Hawaiians have made to this state and to our nation. I'm impressed by the rich culture of the native Hawaiian people. I respect our shared traditions and I appreciate Gov. Lingle's dedication to all of Hawaii's citizens. You've got a great governor for this state.”

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On Saturday, October 25, 2003 both Honolulu newspapers felt the need to summarize the results of Governor Lingle’s lobbying of President Bush. Here are articles from the Honolulu Advertiser, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, and an editorial from the Star-Bulletin.

http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2003/Oct/25/ln/ln02a.html
The Honolulu Advertiser, Saturday October 25, 2003
Excerpt

Lingle: Hawaiian issues on Bush's 'radar screen'

Although President Bush did not mention Native Hawaiian recognition issues in his fund-raiser speech in Waikiki Thursday night, Gov. Linda Lingle yesterday said she was satisfied with her discussions on those matters with the president. "He believes so strongly that when you make a commitment, you have to live up to it," Lingle said. "I don't think he felt comfortable at this time to lay out a clear position on it, but he obviously is very interested in it now. It's on his radar screen, and that's what we wanted to accomplish on this trip." The president and the first lady made a 12-hour stopover in O'ahu Thursday en route to Washington, D.C., concluding a six-nation trip through Asia and the Pacific. The visit included an exclusive fund-raiser for the Hawai'i Republican Party as well as a fund-raiser for the Bush-Cheney '04 campaign. Bush did not address the Native Hawaiian recognition bill or any specific Hawai'i issues in his re-election fund-raiser speech at the Hilton Hawaiian Village before some 600 supporters who paid $1,000 or $2,000 per ticket. He said he appreciates "the unique contributions Native Hawaiians have made to this state and to our nation." Lingle told reporters yesterday that she rode with the president and the first lady in their motorcadeThursday and she brought up Native Hawaiian recognition issues during all but one of their car trips on O'ahu. She said she was pleased with her efforts to make inroads with the president on those issues even if the president did not commit to supporting a bill that would foster the creation of a U.S.-recognized Native Hawaiian government with some amount of sovereignty. The measure, called the Akaka bill after its sponsor, Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawai'i, could help protect federal entitlements for Hawaiians, but has stalled in the Senate. In February, Lingle traveled to Washington and lobbied the president's political adviser, Karl Rove, the Department of the Interior, and the Justice Department about the Native Hawaiian recognition measure. She said that Thursday was the first time she discussed the issue in detail with the president. Lingle said she will follow up with Rove and others in December, when she travels to Washington to participate in a National Governor's Association roundtable discussion on issues relating to long-term care.

http://starbulletin.com/2003/10/25/news/story1.html
The Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Saturday October 25, 2003
Excerpt

Gov says Hawaii was ‘at its best’ for Bush

Hawaii citizens, whether President Bush supporters or opponents, get an "A-plus" from Gov. Linda Lingle for their conduct during Thursday's 12-hour presidential visit. The Republican governor also said she was encouraged by Bush's interest in the issues of native Hawaiian sovereignty and her lobbying for the Akaka bill, legislation before Congress that would grant federal recognition to native Hawaiians. Lingle said she plans to follow up on discussions she had with Bush about the bill when she heads to Capitol Hill in early December. The governor said she took every opportunity she could to mention the issue during her time with the president. Although her trip to Washington in December is to attend a conference on long-term care, Lingle said that would not stop her from pursuing the issue of federal recognition. "I'll follow up with the Department of Interior, with Justice again and with (Bush adviser) Karl Rove and the staff of the White House and just continue to talk with them and see if they can help us get this scheduled for a vote in the Senate," she said. "The next step right now is getting it scheduled." The Akaka bill would establish an office in the Department of the Interior to address native Hawaiian issues and create an interagency group composed of representatives of federal agencies that currently administer programs and policies affecting native Hawaiians. In effect, the federal government would recognize Hawaiians as a native population, as they already do American Indians and native Alaskans. Lingle said she had mentioned Washington Place and the history of Hawaii's last queen, Liliuokalani, when first lady Laura Bush mentioned that she had bought a biography of the queen. "Mrs. Bush said it was a sad story," said Lingle. The governor said she told the Bushes that the queen's overthrow formed the basis for the whole federal recognition effort "because the country was taken away." Although Lingle said Bush did not make any promises, she said the native Hawaii issue was "now on his radar screen." "I feel better about it, substantially better than the day before he came. He recognizes it as an important issue to the state and the people of Hawaii," Lingle said. Ron Mun, deputy administrator of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, said the reaction was encouraging. "Any time you can put something like this on a national level, it is encouraging," Mun said. Although it is not likely to come up for a vote in Congress now, Mun speculated that the Akaka bill could see action when Congress reconvenes in the 2004 election year.

http://starbulletin.com/2003/10/25/editorial/editorials.html
The Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Saturday October 25
Editorial -- Full text

[ OUR OPINION ] Lingle’s plea to Bush bolsters Akaka bill

THE ISSUE President Bush has agreed to look into the issue of whether to grant federal recognition to Hawaiians.

GOVERNOR Lingle is pleased with President Bush's agreement to take a closer look at a bill in Congress that would provide federal recognition of native Hawaiians similar to that given American Indian and native Alaskan tribes. While the president stopped short of endorsing the bill during his one-day visit to Hawaii, Lingle's plea should make him reluctant to oppose it. If the Bush administration remains neutral on the issue of Hawaiian recognition, it will not be because of the governor's lack of trying to persuade her fellow Republicans. In February, Lingle testified before Congress on the bill sponsored by Senator Akaka and spoke with Attorney General John Ashcroft, Bush political strategist and adviser Karl Rove and Interior Secretary Gale Norton, whose department would house an Office of Native Hawaiian Relations under the Akaka bill. Eight months later, Bush apparently was still unfamiliar with the issue. That, Lingle says, has changed. "We really achieved what we wanted," she says, "which was to make this issue something on the radar screen for the president." In a speech to 600 supporters in a fund-raiser at Hilton Hawaiian Village, Bush made oblique note of the issue and Lingle's involvement: "I also appreciate the unique contributions native Hawaiians have made to this state and to our nation, impressed by the rich culture of the native Hawaiian people. I respect Governor Lingle's dedication to all of Hawaii's citizens. You all got a great governor." The Akaka bill has been approved by the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. Lingle had scheduled a trip to Washington in September to push the bill but canceled it because of the continuing anonymous hold on the bill, presumed to have been placed by Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz. Martha Ross, Washington lobbyist for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, reports no recent movement on the bill. Sixty senators are needed to break the hold on the bill and send it to the Senate floor. It is time for Lingle, Ross and the congressional delegation to coordinate an effort to help Bush's staff to familiarize itself with the issue and to bring the Akaka bill to the Senate floor. Bush's endorsement would be important, but Rep. Ed Case believes enactment is possible with White House neutrality on the issue.

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The Honolulu newspapers on Sunday October 26 published their final assessments of the effectiveness of Governor Lingle’s lobbying of President Bush regarding the Akaka bill during his visit to Honolulu. Editorial page editor Jerry Burris, who strongly favors the Akaka bill and also favors the Democrat party, wrote the following summary:

http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2003/Oct/26/op/op50a.html
The Honolulu Advertiser, Sunday, October 26, 2003

Hawaiian recognition sidestepped

By Jerry Burris
Advertiser Editorial Editor

Now that the so-called "Akaka," or Native Hawaiian recognition bill, has been placed on President Bush's radar, what happens next? Best guess: Not much. At least not in the immediate future. Despite a semi-secret "hold" on the recognition bill in the U.S. Senate, Hawai'i's congressional delegation believes the measure would pass Congress if Bush would signal he'd sign it, or at least allow it to become law. If the president had any immediate intention of giving that signal, he had the perfect opportunity this past week during his drive-by visit to Honolulu. Gov. Linda Lingle, who actively supports the bill, had several chances to bend Bush's ear about its importance in the Islands. As for the Democrats, U.S. Rep. Ed Case says he managed to get in a word for the Akaka bill during a brief meeting with Bush at Pearl Harbor. Had the president been in the mood for a spot of political log-rolling, this would have been the perfect opportunity. He could have told a crowd of Republican high rollers that — based on the recommendation of his good friend Lingle — he now understands why the bill should become law. Or, if caution was needed, even a statement that the Bush administration and the Justice Department will treat the Akaka bill with serious and unbiased attention might have helped. But nope. Clearly, the president heard the entreaties from Lingle and others. You could tell in one of the few deviations from his standard stump speech at the Hilton Hawaiian Village fund-raiser. "I appreciate the unique contributions Native Hawaiians have made to this state and to our nation," he said. "I'm impressed by the rich culture of the Native Hawaiian people. I respect our shared traditions, and I respect Gov. Lingle's dedication to all of Hawai'i's citizens ..." Nice words, and surely gratefully received. But carefully short of an endorsement of the recognition bill. Contrast that with the words of yet another presidential contender who also was a recent Hawai'i visitor. Howard Dean, at the moment the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, recently released a letter he sent to U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie on the Akaka bill. Abercrombie, who has endorsed Dean, says he spent considerable time briefing him on the Akaka bill. Dean assured Abercrombie he fully supports the Akaka bill. Further, he said, he would instruct his Justice Department to "vigorously" support the Akaka bill, as well as existing Hawaiian programs, in the courts. Bush may be taking the wiser political course, since there are many — including those opposed to "race-based" programs and even some Hawaiians — who oppose the Akaka bill. Why step into the middle of a local issue when there is no unanimity on the ground? Or it may be that as pleasant as it would have been for Bush to do this favor for Lingle and local Republicans, he just couldn't because the thrust of the Akaka bill is so out of tune with what the Bush administration stands for on race-based initiatives.

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin did not publish any wrapup article on Sunday, October 26, but did publish an editorial cartoon by “Corky.” Remember that Governor Lingle was reported to have used every moment of her time with President Bush to lobby him on the Akaka bill, including the time she spent riding with him in a limousine from the airport in the morning and another limousine ride in the evening to the Republican Party fundraiser. The cartoon shows the Governor teaching the President how to make the Hawaiian “shaka” sign.


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Just before President Bush's visit to Honolulu, word was being passed on the internet that three radical Latino groups have endorsed the Akaka bill after OHA requested the endorsement. The newspapers held back publication of the endorsements until after the President had left Honolulu. Below is the announcement in the Honolulu Advertiser of Sunday October 26. Readers should consider the significance of these endorsements in light of the fact that passage of the Akaka bill would set a precedent for recognition of other "indigenous" groups leading to further balkanization of America, such as the proposal by MEChA to convert California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas into an independent Nation of Aztlan. MEChA is not just a fringe group -- the leading Democrat contender for Governor of California in the 2003 recall election was Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante, an active member of MEChA who refused to disavow his support for their platform despite aggressive questioning from the news media during the campaign. For details about the connection between the Akaka bill and the Nation of Aztlan, see:
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/AkakaHawnChicanoNatnl.html

http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2003/Oct/26/ln/ln20a.html
Posted on: Sunday, October 26, 2003
Latino organizations support Akaka bill
By Vicki Viotti
Advertiser Staff Writer

Three Latin American civil rights organizations sent letters to U.S. senators last week urging support of federal recognition of Native Hawaiians. Federal recognition has been proposed in a bill, S. 344, that is stalled in the Senate. The measure — more widely known as the Akaka bill, because one of its sponsors is Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawai'i — would recognize Hawaiians as a "nation within a nation" political class with some self-governance powers. The National Council of La Raza, the League of United Latin American Citizens and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund are urging support of the Akaka bill. "Enacting S. 344 would acknowledge the Native Hawaiians as a political body — a nation, giving Native Hawaiians much-needed and much deserved federal recognition similar to that given to Native Americans and Alaska natives," wrote Raul Yzaguirre, La Raza council president. Antonia Hernandez, president of the Mexican American group, wrote in their letter that in the apology resolution, passed by Congress 10 years ago, the United States admitted its role in overthrowing the Hawaiian monarchy but never recognized Hawaiians having a status similar to that accorded to other native peoples. And the Latin American league's letter, signed by national president Hector Flores, cited more than 150 statutes passed by Congress supporting Hawaiians. The letters have drawn praise from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, which has been lobbying for the bill. Clyde Namu'o, OHA administrator, said staff and trustees have met with these and other groups in those lobbying efforts.

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Throughout the remainder of 2003, OHA trustees and bureaucrats, along with Hawaiian Homestead activists from SCHHA, continued to hold community meetings in Hawai’i and also in various mainland communities todrum up support for the Akaka bill. The second week of December, Governor Lingle used her visit to Washington for a convention, to do some face-to-face lobbying for the Akaka bill with Senator Gordon Smith (R., OR) and with President Bush’s chief political advisor Karl Rove. She also lobbied officials of the Agriculture Dept. regarding financial support for rural programs on the Hawaiian Homesteads. It should be remembered that the corrupt $500 Million sole-source contract for cable wiring of (all and only) the Hawaiian Homelands is funded through the Agriculture Department’s Universal Service Fund of the USDA Rural Utilities Service. The following three articles describe Lingle’s December lobbying activities in Washington.

http://www.westhawaiitoday.com/daily/2003/Dec-09-Tue-2003/news/news1.html
West Hawaii Today [Kona]
Tuesday, December 09, 2003; excerpts

Lingle lobbies in Washington

By SAMANTHA YOUNG/ Stephens Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON - Gov. Linda Lingle can't say it enough: Hawaii may be sunny paradise but the islands need federal help. ... In a week - long visit, Hawaii's governor is making a pitch for federal resources throughout the nation's capital, stopping at the Pentagon, the White House, Capitol Hill and a number of federal agencies. From requesting home - land security dollars to locating Navy carriers off the coast of Hawaii, the governor's message is similar. "We've been successful in creating an idyllic image of Hawaii as paradise and stress - free. That's true - but we still have important issues that we face," Lingle said. "If I didn't come here and talk about it I don't think it would be in the forefront of many of these agencies," she said. When she meets with top officials at the Department of Agriculture, Lingle said she hopes to persuade them to channel rural funding to Hawaiian Homelands. ... On Capitol Hill, Lingle is scheduled to meet with Sen. Gordon Smith, R - Ore., about the Native Hawaiian bill, which is being blocked by Republicans. Several have raised constitutional concerns that the legislation singles out Native Hawaiians for racial preferences. Lingle said Smith was suggested to her because he sits on the Indian Affairs Committee. He supported the bill when it passed the committee although he has not said how he would vote for final passage, according to his spokeswoman. Lingle, who has written to every Republican senator about the recognition bill, said a personal pitch is often more persuasive. "Racial means special preferences. We're just looking for the government to treat (Native Hawaiians) the same as all indigenous people in the country," Lingle said. The Bush administration also continues to have constitutional concerns about the bill. Lingle said she plans to raise the issue again today when she meets with Bush presidential political adviser Karl Rove. When Bush visited Hawaii last month, he declined to endorse the bill.

http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2003/Dec/11/ln/ln22a.html
The Honolulu Advertiser, Thursday, December 11, 2003

GOP senator agrees to sponsor Akaka bill

Another Republican U.S. Senator has agreed to co-sponsor the Akaka bill that would give Native Hawaiians federal recognition, Gov. Linda Lingle's communications director said yesterday. Lenny Klompus said Lingle, who is in Washington for a National Governors Association conference on long-term care, met with U.S. Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore. Smith, who is in his second term and a member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, said he would co-sponsor the Akaka bill, Klompus said. Smith is the third Republican to co-sponsor the bill, which has stalled in the U.S. Senate. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, co-sponsored the bill earlier, said Paul Cardus, spokesman for Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawai'i. Conservative Republicans have blocked the bill since it was introduced in 2000, claiming it would sanction unconstitutional race-based preferences. Cardus said Smith's decision to co-sponsor the bill is a "reflection of the fact that there's bipartisan support for the legislation. "It's another step," Cardus said. "It's one step in the process that I think Sen. Akaka is hopeful and confident will lead to passage next year." Klompus said Lingle did not plan to talk to other Republican senators about the Akaka bill during her trip.

http://starbulletin.com/2003/12/11/news/story1.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Thursday December 11, 2003, Excerpts

Lingle recruits Akaka bill allies
Visiting Washington, the governor says Bush will not oppose Hawaiian recognition

After meetings in Washington, D.C., this week, Gov. Linda Lingle said she is confident the White House will not oppose the Akaka bill if it passes the Senate. "We have been working hard with the president on down. The next move has to come from the Senate," Lingle said yesterday in a phone interview from Washington. "I think I have a pretty good chance to get it approved if it gets through Congress, whether it is an election year or not." Lingle said she was able to persuade another senator, Gordon Smith, R-Ore., to co-sponsor the bill. Earlier, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R- Utah, also agreed to co-sponsor the bill. The Akaka bill would establish an office in the Department of the Interior to address native Hawaiian issues and create an interagency group composed of representatives of federal agencies that administer programs and policies affecting native Hawaiians. In effect, the federal government would recognize Hawaiians as a native population, as it does American Indians and native Alaskans. Lingle said yesterday that in previous talks with Sens. Daniel Akaka and Daniel Inouye, it was agreed that Hawaii's two Democratic senators would be responsible for lobbying the bill through Congress while she worked on getting President Bush and his administration not to oppose the measure. "When we met with Sens. Inouye and Akaka, there was a feeling they could handle things in the Senate, I am trying to help in any way," Lingle said. As for the bill's chances in the Senate, she said, "I'm not doing the vote counting, that is Sens. Akaka and Inouye's area of expertise."

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In January 2004 the Honolulu Advertiser reported that Secretary of the Interior Gail Norton was in Honolulu and was discussing (negotiating?) the Akaka bill with Governor Lingle and others. Once again, it is troubling and distressing to think that the Bush administration might be willing to accept the basic concept of a race-based apartheid government, and might be actually negotiating the details of how to make that happen. Let’s hope that’s not true. Here’s the article:

http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2004/Jan/12/ln/ln12a.html
The Honolulu Advertiser, Monday, January 12, 2004

Akaka bill could face revision, Norton says

By Vicki Viotti

U.S. Interior Secretary Gale Norton said yesterday that her staff is reviewing the bill that would give Hawaiians federal recognition in hopes that revisions might avert some of the legal conflicts and other "pitfalls" faced by Native American nations. Norton, taking media questions following remarks to the American Farm Bureau Federation convention in Honolulu, acknowledged that the so-called Akaka bill is the subject of discussions involving Hawai'i's congressional delegation and officials of the U.S. Interior and Justice departments. The latest form of the bill, sponsored by Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawai'i, and known also by the label "S. 344," has passed through the Indian Affairs Committee but has stalled en route to a vote by the full Senate. A week ago, the delegation, in Honolulu for the holiday break, met with Gov. Linda Lingle, Attorney General Mark Bennett and trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs for a status report on the bill. Akaka was not available for comment last week, but U.S. Rep. Ed Case, D-Hawai'i, said "issues are being hashed out" in the effort to get the administration on board. "The goal is to obtain concurrence on 344, to consider any proposed changes by the administration," he said. "The intention is to pass S. 344 through Congress as it was passed out of committee. It may or may not turn out to be that way." Paul Cardus, a spokesman for Akaka, said no specific amendments have been hammered out yet. Some OHA members expressed worry over what the possible changes might include. Trustee Rowena Akana said OHA, which has been lobbying for passage of the bill, should get on record via a state resolution as supporting the legislation as written. Akana said her chief concern is that the revised bill could end up restricting membership in a Hawaiian nation in some way, but Case said no such curtailment is evident. Yesterday, Norton acknowledged that the administration has had concerns about the constitutionality of the bill, but she said her department's focus has been on passing on lessons learned from experience with Native American tribes. "My concern is a practical one," she said. "We deal with our Native American tribes. What we would like to do is help Hawaiians avoid pitfalls that we have seen. "I think it's important for everyone to think through how they want the system to operate when they establish it." For example, she said, the bill needs to clarify specific relationships between the state and the Native Hawaiian governing entity. She said some tribes have run into conflict over land use when there are overlapping tribal and local regulations. Other conflicts have arisen over taxation questions and over whether crimes should be adjudicated by the native entity or the state jurisdiction. Norton, who also yesterday presided over the presentation of honors to volunteers at the Arizona Memorial, spoke to the convention about the need for endangered species legislation that promotes cooperative solutions over litigation.

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During the week ending January 23, 2004, the 108th Congress passed an omnibus (very large and comprehensive) appropriations bill, valued at $373 Billion, which included one small element of the Akaka bill. As usual with such omnibus bills, there were large numbers of small items (often pork barrel) buried deep in the fine print at the request of some among the 535 members of the House and Senate. Readers of this website may recall that in December 2000 and again in December 2001 Senator Inouye attempted stealth maneuvers to pass the entire Akaka bill at a time when opposition had not yet had a chance to build up. See:
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/StealthDeception.html

Throughout 2003, the first half of the 108th Congress, opposition to the Akaka bill was so strong there was no attempt to pass it in its entirety. The bill as amended was passed out of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee but had no further action since then. In the House the original unamended bill was stalled without even a committee hearing inside the Resources Committee.

But on January 23, 2004 the Hawai'i newspapers suddenly and unexpectedly announced that a portion of the Akaka bill had been included in the omnibus appropriations bill which passed both houses of Congress and was then signed by President Bush the following day.

This event signals a new strategy of breaking up the Akaka bill into smaller pieces which make smaller targets and draw little attention. Each piece by itself might seem fairly harmless; but if all the pieces are passed then the mission will have been accomplished. This strategy emulates a terrorist who might be able to smuggle small pieces of a bomb undetected, and then reassemble the complete bomb at the target location. The strategy is also like what a magician does by using large gestures and waving colorful cloths to divert the audience's attention from what he's actually doing. Thus the complete Akaka bill might now be used as a camouflage cardboard decoy to attract the opponents' attention, while the real weapon sneaks through piece by piece, almost undetected. As Governor Lingle and the Hawai’i delegation lobby Senators and Representatives to support the Akaka bill, they will undoubtedly be whispering in their ears that if they cannot support the bill in its entirety, please at least allow the bits and pieces of it to pass embedded in other legislation like tiny bitter pills in gallons of ice cream.

Here are three newspaper reports describing the piece of the Akaka bill that got passed. Then follows the actual language of what Congress passed and the other things passed alongside it. The third news article also mentions that Governor Lingle will be going to Washington in February to lobby Senators to pass the Akaka bill (and to whisper in their ears to let the pieces of the bill pass while hidden inside other legislation).

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http://starbulletin.com/2004/01/23/news/story9.html
Honoilulu Star-Bulletin, Friday, January 23, 2004

U.S. Senate funds office benefiting Hawaiians
Coordination of federal programs will be the office's goal
By Ron Staton

The U.S. Senate has approved legislation that would establish and fund a federal Office of Native Hawaiian Relations, acknowledging the special relationship between the federal government and native Hawaiians. Paul Cardus, spokesman for Sen. Daniel Akaka, said the legislation creating the new office is identical to a section of the pending federal recognition bill, also known as the Akaka bill. However, Cardus emphasized that the bill approved yesterday does not extend federal recognition to native Hawaiians. The measure already has passed the House and now goes to President Bush for his signature. The conference report on the Omnibus Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2004 includes $100,000 to fund the new office within the U.S. Department of the Interior. Akaka advocated this bill before he introduced the recognition bill, which is stalled in the Senate, Cardus said. The bill stems from the 1993 apology resolution in which the U.S. government apologized for the 1893 overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy, he said. The office's mission is to bring about and implement the special legal relationship between native Hawaiians and the United States; to continue the process of reconciliation; and conduct meaningful, regular and appropriate consultation with native Hawaiians, according to Akaka. "The establishment of the Office of Native Hawaiian Relations is an integral element in the ongoing reconciliation process between native Hawaiians and the federal government that we initiated under the 1993 Apology Resolution," Akaka said. "The creation of this office is another important step toward reconciliation and provides a federal office to administer the special legal and political relationship between native Hawaiians and the United States," he said. Sen. Daniel Inouye hailed the creation of the office and said he was committed to working toward passage of the full federal recognition bill. Creation of the new office is "one element of the total vision of federal recognition," said Haunani Apoliona, chairwoman of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. "This is a very commendable first step in the reconciliation with native Hawaiians by the United States." The new office will bring together all federal programs benefiting Hawaiians and allow better coordination, Apoliona said. The federal office will not pose a threat to OHA, she said. "It will be more of an enhancement to help meet the needs of native Hawaiians," she said.

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http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2004/Jan/23/ln/ln04a.html
The Honolulu Advertiser, Friday, January 23, 2004

Part of Akaka bill wins final passage in D.C.
By Vicki Viotti

Native Hawaiians concerned about nurturing U.S. support for Hawaiian programs are taking heart after the passage yesterday of legislation to create a federal office for maintaining those ties. The creation of the Office of Native Hawaiian Relations is also the first part of the long-stalled "Akaka bill" — albeit the least controversial element — to head for the president's signature. "I look upon this as an important step in passing the later bill," said U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawai'i, referring to the measure bearing his name that would give Native Hawaiians federal recognition as a political body. "It'll give (the Akaka bill) a higher profile in the Congress and help with educating people about the bill." The measure, HR 2673, is an appropriations act that includes $100,000 to finance the Office of Native Hawaiian Relations within the U.S. Department of the Interior. It was approved yesterday by a 65-28 vote on the Senate floor, having passed the House earlier. President Bush is expected to sign the bill, Akaka spokesman Paul Cardus said. Those who are outspoken advocates for federal recognition said the vote may add momentum to the drive in Congress that began more than a decade ago with the 1993 Apology Resolution acknowledging the United States' role in the 1893 overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy. Jon Van Dyke, a University of Hawai'i law professor who has worked as a legal consultant to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, called the passage of the measure "a significant step." "Congress has repeatedly passed legislation recognizing the special relationship Hawaiians have with the U.S. government," Van Dyke said. "We've felt, how can there be any ambiguity here? But it seems that the view of some judges, at least at the U.S. Supreme Court level, is that there should be more. Well, this is 'more,' and I hope there will continue to be more." Others weighing in on the vote yesterday said that at the least it fuels the argument that the federal government acknowledges its "special relationship" with native peoples. At most, some say, it lays an important first step leading decision makers toward formal recognition of a "nation within a nation." "This statement by Congress, it's really a movement forward by those who want to protect existing programs, especially within the context of all these court challenges," said Poka Laenui, a longtime sovereignty advocate who, while not opposed outright to federal recognition, prefers that Hawaiians establish a more independent form of self-government. "It's a small step toward the Akaka style of Hawaiian governance. ... It's part of the new reality we're facing. You can agree or disagree, but it's there." The idea behind creation of the office predates the push for the Akaka bill in its various forms, Cardus said, adding that "this has always been part of the reconciliation process." But the initial reaction from the Hawaiian community here is that even this small measure may move the bill along. Haunani Apoliona, who heads the OHA board of trustees, also said the new office would enable Hawaiians "to have a stronger voice at the federal level." But she also cited the measure as evidence of progress toward establishing Hawaiians as a recognized political group within the U.S. Constitution that would not be prey to legal challenges on the grounds of racial equality. "The language was taken from the Akaka bill," she said. "This being an element of that bill is a commendable first step."

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http://starbulletin.com/2004/01/24/news/story6.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Saturday, January 24, 2004

Federal Hawaiian office gets Bush’s OK

Lingle will lobby next month for further Hawaiian recognition

President Bush signed legislation yesterday establishing a federal Office of Native Hawaiian Relations, as Gov. Linda Lingle said she plans to expand her strategy for winning congressional support of the federal Akaka bill. The measure signed by Bush is part of the $373 billion spending bill for most federal agencies and provides $100,000 to set up the office within the U.S. Department of the Interior to deal with native Hawaiian issues at the federal level. While the legislation underscores the special relationship between native Hawaiians and the federal government, it does not extend federal recognition, as would the Akaka bill, which has been stalled in Congress since July. Lingle said she plans to go to Washington, D.C., next month to lobby senators to support the bill. Attorney General Mark Bennett will accompany her, as will Micah Kane, director of the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, and her chief of staff, Bob Awana. Lingle, who testified before the Senate Indian Affairs Committee in February, said she plans to expand her efforts by lobbying Republican senators as well as Democrats. "I'll spend more time with them on this trip than I have in the past," she said. "Part of that is based on the success I've already had with Sen. (Gordon) Smith in Oregon and just talking with others." The Office of Native Hawaiian Relations also is a component of the Akaka bill, named for its sponsor, Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii. The Akaka bill would extend to native Hawaiians federal recognition similar to that granted to American Indians and native Alaskans. Akaka has said the bill extends the "process of reconciliation" that began with a 1993 congressional resolution apologizing for the U.S. government's role in overthrowing the kingdom of Hawaii a century earlier.

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The way the U.S. Office of Native Hawaiian Relations was created indicates a new strategy of trying to pass the Akaka bill piece by piece, by hiding small pieces of it inside huge must-pass bills on unrelated topics. A new webpage was created to describe exactly how that strategy is illustrated by the creation of the new U.S. office. This webpage includes the complete text of the 4 paragraphs establishing the U.S. office, along with the context of the language immediately before and after the Hawaiian office, showing the hodgepodge of unrelated topics in which the Hawaiian office was hidden. This webpage is at:
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/usoffice012604.html

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On February 3, 2004 the on-line newspaper Indian Country Today reported on negotiations among Hawai’i’s Congressional delegation, the Department of Interior, and the Department of Justice.

http://IndianCountry.com/?1075858075
Posted: February 03, 2004 by: Jerry Reynolds / Washington D.C. correspondent / Indian Country Today

Fine-tuning of Akaka Bill for Native Hawaiian recognition

HONOLULU - Interior Secretary Gale Norton has acknowledged that Bush Administration officials at Interior and the Department of Justice are discussing a proposal for federal recognition of a Native Hawaiian governing entity with the Hawaiian congressional delegation.

Honolulu newspapers and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs report that Norton made the acknowledgment in answer to a question following her speech to the American Farm Bureau Federation convention Jan. 11. In the administration's first direct public statement on Senate bill S. 344, the so-called Akaka Bill, Norton said her department is primarily concerned with practical matters, such as the relationship between the state and the Native Hawaiian governing entity.

As outlined in the bill as written, she said, the entity could invite the kind of disputes over taxation, criminal jurisdiction and other matters that have become all too common between states and tribes, or for that matter between states and Alaska Native villages. A priority should be to make sure the Native Hawaiian governing entity can function properly once it is in place, she added.

Others within the administration are concerned with the constitutionality of the bill as written, Norton said.

Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, R-Colo., chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, noted in February 2003 that Norton was supportive of the Akaka Bill. Later on the legislative calendar, the committee passed the bill. It has not yet come up for a vote of the Senate.

Paul Cardus, press secretary for Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, the bill's leading sponsor along with fellow Hawaii Democrat Daniel K. Inouye, said no voting date has been set but the senator has asked Senate leadership for an hour in a crowded schedule to vote on the bill in the current congressional session, which opened Jan. 20. "His commitment is to push S. 344."

Cardus added that discussions between Akaka, Inouye and the Interior Department on S. 344 are numerous and ongoing. "If it would reach the point where changes would be made that everyone agreed on, he would share that with the [Hawaiian] community."

Gov. Linda Lingle, a popular Republican in the Democratic stronghold of Hawaii, has drawn Republican attention to the bill and continues to advocate for it. She met with the Hawaii congressional delegation shortly before Norton's remarks.

Not all Native Hawaiians favor S. 344. Significant groups of independence-minded Native Hawaiians argue that old Hawaii was a monarchy illegally deposed, in part by U.S. forces, and that resistance to the overthrow and subsequent forms of statehood has been uninterrupted ever since. (In 1993, 100 years later, Congress formally apologized for the U.S. role in the overthrow.)

But for those willing to work within the framework of U.S. federal law, much hinges on S. 344. Following a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2000 that found a long-established Native Hawaiian voting preference unconstitutional on racial grounds, many Native preferences in Hawaii have come under attack in the courts. The Supreme Court precedent in the voting rights case has encouraged court challenges to vital Native interests in Hawaii, involving many millions of dollars in support of Native needs and challenging the viability of key Native-specific institutions, including the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, and Kamehameha Schools.

Many of these challenges have been turned back. But only one proposal has made public headway on resolving the problem: formal federal recognition of a Native Hawaiian government for purposes of a government-to-government relationship with the United States. As proposed in the Akaka Bill, federal recognition would extend the same preferences to Native Hawaiians that Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages now enjoy, but without breaking altogether new ground because federal recognition has always extended to Native Hawaiians in some form. The preferences of a more formal federal recognition would derive not from membership in a minority, but from status as indigenous peoples under self-determined governance - that is, from a political rather than a racial classification. This status would be based on the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution, which has been upheld many times by the Supreme Court, and on the historical relationships of the United States with indigenous peoples within its borders. As Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, the bill's sponsor, never fails to point out, federal recognition for Native Hawaiians would complete the political and legal relationship of the United States with its indigenous peoples.

In an unrelated development that followed Norton's remarks by a matter of days, a federal judge found in favor of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs in a court case that could have undermined OHA's legitimacy by holding that its Native Hawaiian entitlements are racially based. The presiding judge ruled on Jan. 14 that a federal "special trust relationship" with Native Hawaiians of varying blood quanta has been recognized by Congress and should be refined there without intervention by the courts.

Though plaintiffs promised an appeal and Native Hawaiian advocates warned of continuing legal challenges, the ruling is the latest precedent for a political, rather than racial, classification of Native Hawaiians.

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http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2004/Feb/12/ln/ln42a.html
The Honolulu Advertiser, February 12, 2004, excerpts

[At a meeting of the board of trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Trustee] Rowena Akana proposed hiring a second lobbyist to assist efforts to pass the Akaka bill for federal recognition of Native Hawaiians. Last May, OHA hired the Patton Boggs firm to lobby in the Senate, setting aside $450,000 for the contract. Akana cited a prediction by U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye that the bill could cross over from the Senate in April or May, leaving little time to lobby the House of Representatives. Trustee Oswald Stender, committee chairman, said Patton Boggs has said "the time is not right" for such a push; the proposal was tabled for two weeks. However, Akana maintained that talks should begin quickly "so we can be ready to hit the ground running" during the slim window of opportunity that an election year presents. She suggested working with lobbyist Jack Abramoff of the firm Greenberg Traurig. Akana cited Abramoff's strong connections to House Republican leaders as being among his credentials.

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On Sunday February 22, 2004 the Hilo Hawaii Tribune published an article describing the status of Akaka bill negotiations among the Department of Justice, Department of Interior, Hawai’i Senators Inouye and Akaka, and Governor Lingle. The article suggests that Both DOI and DOJ might be coming to understand that the whole concept of this bill is both bad public policy and also unconstitutional. Here is that article in its entirety.

http://www.hilohawaiitribune.com/daily/2004/Feb-22-Sun-2004/news/news1.html

Hawaiian bill questioned

By Samantha Young/ Stephens Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON - After almost two years of negotiations, representatives of President Bush continue to challenge efforts to grant Native Hawaiians the right to seek formal recognition from the United States government.

Interior Secretary Gale Norton said in an interview that Hawaiians need to go back to the drawing board to "clarify" their bid.

Meanwhile, Justice Department leaders continue to question whether Congress has the constitutional authority to recognize the group as an independent political entity.

Taken together, the Bush administration officials have raised questions that are frustrating Hawaii leaders and advocates for natives who say they long for progress.

Norton, who has authority to recognize native governments, said a Hawaiian recognition bill as written by Sen. Daniel Akaka, D - Hawaii could lead to more court battles over native rights. "When you look at the history of Native Americans across the United States there have been conflicts about taxation, land use, courts and criminal jurisdiction that sour relations between Native Americans and others," Norton said in a Feb. 3 interview. "Hawaii has the opportunity to learn by looking at the experience of other places and make a choice about what the rules are up front by clarifying who has jurisdiction over what question," she added.

Norton's comments were the most extensive to date on the matter that has been of great concern to Hawaii leaders in Washington and in the state. Her assessment, however, does not sit well with Hawaii lawmakers, who have been meeting with Interior officials since September of 2001 and lobbying Senate Republicans to allow a Native Hawaiian federal recognition bill to come to a vote.

Akaka said Norton misses the point. He said she is raising questions about the structure of native government that he does not believe need to be answered right away. His bill, which has the backing of the state delegation and Republican Gov. Linda Lingle, was crafted to simply establish a process for federal recognition, he said. "A lot of the issues she's concerned about occur post - recognition," Akaka said. "Perhaps other legislation after that could deal with her concerns." Even if progress could be made, however, Sen. Daniel Inouye, D - Hawaii, predicted the bill would stall again this year because the congressional session will be short and many other issues will be competing for attention. "I want to see the Native Hawaiian bill become law. I'm hoping we can do that," Inouye said. "I'm also a realist, and this is an election year."

Akaka said he asked Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R - Tenn., to schedule his bill for Senate floor votes, but Frist has not committed. Hawaii lawmakers maintain the bill could garner the needed 60 votes to overcome procedural blockades and eventually pass the Senate.

Republican Gov. Linda Lingle plans to lobby senators on behalf of Native Hawaiians while in Washington this week for a National Governors Association conference, her spokesman Russell Pang said.

Hashing out the details

Norton's latest comments reflect concerns she and her staff have expressed to Hawaii lawmakers over the years, according to congressional aides. Norton, who has been embroiled in lawsuits over Indian trust issues, said she is looking for legislation from Hawaiians that will spare the government and the natives any legal headaches. "I'm an attorney and you see time after time people who launch into new business ventures and say I'm going into business with my brother - in - law and we don't need to have a contract," Norton said. "That's when you get into your most bitter conflicts." She said she also wants to ensure that state and local governments, and non - Native Hawaiians, have a "meaningful" role in discussions of a native political entity before one is "locked in."

Rep. Ed Case, D - Hawaii, who is a lawyer by training, said Norton is being "a careful attorney." "At least we're talking details and not whether to do it," Case said. "I think we all want to pass this bill this session and we are all pushing the federal administration to get its questions answered in time." He noted that the administration has yet to take an official position on the bill.

Lorretta Tuell, who headed up the Office of American Indian Trust at the Department of Interior under the Clinton administration, called Norton's arguments "death blows" to Hawaiian sovereignty because they seek to drag out the legislative process. "Courts are the last thing you need to be worried about," said Tuell, a partner at Monteau & Peebles LLP in Washington which specializes in federal Indian law. "To say you need a cookie cutter framework, what they are really saying is we want to limit the trust responsibility and limit the role of the U.S. in the government to government relationship so it dies and goes away," Tuell said. Tuell said Akaka's legislation simply offers an opportunity for the Native Hawaiians to move forward and Norton's concerns could be answered in the future.

Lingle said Norton has "legitimate concerns," and that she and the Hawaii delegation will continue to negotiate the differences. Lingle is slated to discuss the bill in a private meeting with Norton on Wednesday, Pang said.

Concerns about Hawaiian political status

Before any jurisdictional issues are answered, Norton said the Justice Department first must resolve constitutional concerns about the bill.

Attorneys at the Justice Department are reviewing interpretations of the Indian Commerce Clause and the Equal Protection Clause, according to sources familiar with the bill. Although both issues were settled in favor of Native Hawaiians during the Clinton administration, Bush appointees have reopened the question of whether Congress has the authority to enact legislation regarding Native Hawaiians. Depending on the answer, that could throw in jeopardy more than 150 statutes that Congress has passed over the years dealing with Native Hawaiians, officials say.

At issue specifically is whether Native Hawaiians should be considered Native Americans, and therefore encompassed under the Indian Commerce Clause which recognized Native Americans as sovereign entities in the Constitution. "It was determined when native people are occupying native lands in a territory acquired by the United States they are Native Americans," said a former Clinton Justice Department lawyer who asked not to be named. Now, the lawyer said, "There is an argument about whether they are a native group or a racial group."

Inouye said a recognition bill would easier to move if a Democrat were president. During the Clinton administration though, Hawaiians were largely split on what course to take on sovereignty, and differences exist even today. "We have tried our best to be accommodating but I think from the standpoint of the law and constitution, the facts are on our side," Inouye said. "Hawaiians were here before any European or American got here."

Department of Justice spokesman Blaine Rethmeier said the Bush administration's position on the bill "has not yet been finalized." He declined to comment further, but he pointed to a May 2003 letter written by Assistant Attorney General William E. Moschella to Sen. Olympia Snowe, R - Maine, that questions whether Hawaiians should be awarded federal funding because they are not a federally recognized tribe.

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On Tuesday February 24, 2004 the Honolulu Advertiser published an article indicating that some sort of deal is in the works whereby Senate Republicans might be willing to include the Akaka bill inside the omnibus energy bill soon to be passed, in return for Hawai’i’s two Democrat Senators Inouye and Akaka voting in favor of the energy bill. In addition the deal apparently would involve some new kind of federal recognition uniquely designed for “Native Hawaiians” that would allow them to keep receiving federal money for racial entitlement programs as though they were an Indian tribe, but would stop short of conferring full tribal status. It is difficult to imagine how such an unprecedented concept could be constitutionally permissible, but here’s the newspaper article reporting the rumors.

http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2004/Feb/24/ln/ln27a.html
The Honolulu Advertiser, Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Deal may be in the works on Akaka bill

By Vicki Viotti

An impasse over the Bush administration's energy bill may give Hawai'i senators a chance to push federal recognition for Native Hawaiians onto the Senate floor.

That option was raised last week by U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye, D-Hawai'i, and by a key member of his staff, who said there will be time to negotiate for federal recognition as the current version of the controversial energy bill gets another look over the next few weeks.

Patricia Zell, Inouye's chief counsel for the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, told Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustees at a meeting last week that the Hawai'i senators may be able to trade their votes for the energy bill in exchange for passage of the so-called Akaka bill, named for its sponsor, U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawai'i.

Zell said such an exchange could be achieved either by inserting the federal recognition language into the energy bill or by extracting a pledge from Senate leadership to bring the Akaka bill up for a separate vote.

Akaka could not be reached for comment. His spokesman, Paul Cardus, said Akaka has not been approached for such a deal. However, Inouye, reached at his fund-raising dinner in Honolulu on Thursday, confirmed that the senators "are being courted" by Senate leadership for their support of the energy bill. "They never do this directly, of course," Inouye said. "It's being handled through staff."

Exactly what sort of deal could be struck — if any — is unclear. The energy bill, S. 2095, has been revised since the Bush administration first began shopping around for votes late last year, say environmental lobbyists who have been tracking its progress.

Representatives for some environmental and public-interest groups, such as the Cato Institute, believe it's too late in the session, and too close to the election, for much more work to be done on something as controversial as the energy bill.

However, others — including legislative experts for the U.S. Public Interest Research Groups and the Sierra Club — yesterday said the bill's struggle for survival will go on over the next week or two. Other legislation this week has taken precedence, delaying the debate over the energy bill, said lobbyist Anna Aurilio. "There is a lot of possibility there will be dealing," said Aurilio, U.S. PIRG's legislative director. "And they have a little bit of time now."

Zell told OHA trustees that in the meantime, the senators are continuing talks about changes to the Akaka bill that in part are aimed at defusing Bush administration concerns.

One amendment, she said, would more clearly define Native Hawaiians as those who can trace their ancestry either to someone who qualified for a homestead lease under the federal Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1921, or to someone who was an indigenous Hawaiian before January 1893, shortly before the overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom.

Other changes, Zell said, would be aimed at deflecting White House worries that a Native Hawaiian government would run into clashes with state, local and federal laws similar to conflicts experienced by Native American tribes.

Under federal law, she said, recognized tribes are granted certain jurisdictions and rights, some of which — such as gaming and criminal prosecution — are at odds with U.S. governments.

The revisions being proposed would clarify that the Native Hawaiian government would not be a tribe and that questions of jurisdiction could be resolved through later negotiations, Zell said. "There is an underlying assumption that the Native Hawaiian governing entity would be cloaked with the status of a tribe, and we need to convey that this is not a correct assumption," she said. "A Native Hawaiian government is going to be unique in the family of governments. It would not be an Indian tribal government."

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On Sunday February 29, 2004 the Honolulu Advertiser published a strange article which is a curious mixture of disinformation intended to lull Akaka bill opponents into thinking the bill is going nowhere ("time is running out" and "anonymous hold" and Akaka "has all but ruled out attaching his bill to another measure, fearing it may be killed.") while at the same time cheering on the bill's supporters by reading positive conclusions into negative events (Frist did not schedule a debate, but neither did he make any objection to the bill's contents; Dept. of Interior did not express any opinion on the bill, but also did not identify any problems with it). Time is clearly NOT running out. Plenty of new bills continue to be introduced into Congress every day, some of which will get time on the calendar and be passed. And as other recent articles have pointed out, attaching the Akaka bill to other must-pass legislation is a favorite tactic and is under active consideration with regard to the omnibus energy bill. Here’s the Advertiser article.

http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2004/Feb/29/ln/ln13a.html
The Honolulu Advertiser, Sunday, February 29, 2004

Time running out on Akaka bill

By Frank Oliveri
Advertiser Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — The greatest hurdle to Native Hawaiian recognition could be time.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., said last week that too many other issues are clogging the Senate floor, including the federal budget, to find room for the recognition bill anytime soon. Sens. Daniel Akaka and Dan Inouye recently sent a letter to Frist asking for floor time to debate and vote on Hawaiian recognition. Frist said he would try to find time for the bill, which is in line behind several other measures.

The effort to gain national recognition for Native Hawaiians has been problematic, so when Frist raised no substantive concerns about the bill, the Hawai'i delegation viewed it as a small victory. "We are making movement," Akaka said last week.

Akaka's bill seeks federal recognition of Native Hawaiians on par with recognition granted to American Indian tribes and Native Alaskan villages. The bill must be passed by the time Congress adjourns in October or the arduous process will start from scratch in 2005. "In the big picture, the challenges have always been twofold — one, substance; and the other, process," said Rep. Ed Case, D-Hawai'i. Hawai'i lawmakers said they have made progress addressing concerns about the bill's substance raised by other lawmakers and Interior Department officials.

But getting the bill on the Senate calendar has been difficult.

At least one senator placed an anonymous hold on the recognition bill, which is allowed under Senate procedures. Members of Hawai'i's delegation eventually discovered the source of the hold but won't reveal who it was. They did say the objection was based on perceived racial preferences. "In some cases they have settled down about what we are trying to do," said Akaka, who has all but ruled out attaching his bill to another measure, fearing it may be killed. He said the delegation will continue educating other lawmakers about the bill in hopes that the anonymous hold will be lifted.

During a recent visit to Washington, Gov. Linda Lingle and Micah Kane, chairman of the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, pushed the federal recognition cause to Vice President Dick Cheney, Interior Secretary Gale Norton, Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., and House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas.

Lingle and others are attempting to address Norton's concerns that the Akaka bill fails to explicitly define Interior's role in relation to the proposed Native Hawaiian government. "The way it is set up, they are our entree with the United States government," Akaka said.

An Interior Department spokeswoman would not comment on the legislation, saying only that the department has no official opinion on the bill. Some viewed that as a positive sign. Often, in not taking an official position on the bill, Interior officials would note some substantive issue that still needed to be addressed.

"The only real objections I'm hearing are process rather than overall merits," Case said. Case and Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawai'i, introduced a companion House bill on Feb. 11, 2003, and are waiting for issues to be addressed on the Senate side before going forward. The House passed a similar bill in 2000. As a result, the bill is expected to pass there without much trouble.

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On April 6, 2004 the Honolulu Advertiser reported in a"breaking news" article from its Washington correspondent Frank Oliveri that the Akaka bill is being amended. On April 7 that article was somewhat expanded, but also some information was lost or downplayed with the addition to the by-line of local Hawaiian affairs reporter (and partisan) Vicky Viotti. Viotti's version eliminates some of the quote from Senator Akaka describing the intensity of Senate opposition to the bill; and Viotti's version adds the valuable information that the revised version of the bill will be introduced in the House on April 21 (possibly indicating an intention to start moving the bill through the House instead of waiting for Senate action).

http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2004/Apr/06/br/br03p.html
Posted at 10:35 a.m., Tuesday, April 6, 2004

'Akaka bill’ amended for greater clarity

By Frank Oliveri
Advertiser Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — Native Hawaiian recognition took a step forward today with the issuance of an amendment to the so-called "Akaka bill" that reflects collaboration between legislators, the Interior Department and the state.

The streamlined amendment appeases concerns raised by Interior Department officials, who were concerned the bill needed more clarity in the process of how Native Hawaiian governance is formed. The amendment provides a less wordy and more specific description on how the process would occur. But it preserves the objectives of the bill: authorizing federal recognition of Native Hawaiians; initiating the process by which a governing authority can be formed and recognized; and addressing creation of a mechanism by which that governing authority negotiates with the state and federal governments on the disposition of lands, natural resources and other assets.

"The Department of the Interior sincerely appreciates all of the effort the congressional delegation and the governor have made regarding a number of provisions… " said a department statement. "We look forward to continuing productive communications … as the Administration develops its position on this legislation."

Native Hawaiians seek recognition on par with recognition granted to American Indian tribes and Native Alaskan villages.

"I just want to be sure that people know the amendment reflects many discussions we had with colleagues and officials at the Department of Interior and they know that the amendment remains true to the original purpose," said the bill’s author, Sen. Daniel Akaka.

The bill must be passed by the time Congress adjourns in October or the arduous process will start again in 2005.

Akaka and Sen. Dan Inouye have written another letter — their third — to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., requesting floor time to debate and pass the bill. The letter states that Akaka and Inouye have the 60 votes in the Senate to override a filibuster.

Frist said recently that the Senate calendar is too jam-packed to find time for Native Hawaiian recognition, but promised he would try to find time.

But colleagues in the Senate, who placed an anonymous hold on the recognition bill, allowed under Senate procedures, still find parts of the bill objectionable, Akaka said. "They question the congressional power to recognize and authorize recognition of Native Hawaiians," Akaka said. "Some are very adamant about what they feel about this."

Regulations governing Indian Affairs explicitly excluded Native Hawaiians from the Indian recognition process.

Akaka said he continues to consult with his colleagues on the issue, hoping to negotiate for their support, or at least a release of the hold.

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http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2004/Apr/07/ln/ln31a.html
Posted on: Wednesday, April 7, 2004

Amendment to streamline Native Hawaiian bill's language
By Frank Oliveri and Vicki Viotti
Advertiser Staff Writers

WASHINGTON — Native Hawaiian recognition could pick up steam today in the Senate with the filing of an amendment to the Akaka bill that reflects collaboration between lawmakers, the Interior Department and the state.

But just how much fuel the amendment will lend to the bill, still awaiting a final Senate vote, won't be evident for a few weeks. In yesterday's announcement of the amendment, Sen. Daniel Akaka said he and Democratic colleague Dan Inouye are trying — again — to shake loose time for a hearing on the Senate floor, adding that a bill reflecting the amendment would be introduced in the House on April 21.

The streamlined amendment appeases concerns raised by Interior Department officials who felt the bill needed to clarify the process of how Native Hawaiian governance is established. The amendment provides a less wordy and more specific description of the process. But it preserves the objectives of the bill: authorizing federal recognition of Native Hawaiians; initiating the process by which a governing authority can be formed and recognized; and addressing creation of a mechanism by which that governing authority negotiates with the state and federal governments on the disposition of assets such as land and other natural resources. The proposed description process, through the creation of a commission to oversee the compiling of a voting roll, had some in the Hawaiian community yesterday puzzling over how the commission would be created.

Clyde Namu'o, administrator of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, noted that the amendment revives the idea of a commission of Native Hawaiians, to be appointed by the secretary of the Interior, who have experience with genealogy and could oversee the validation of potential voters as Hawaiians. The entire process promises to be lengthy, he said.

Interior officials weighed in mildly: "The Department of the Interior sincerely appreciates all of the effort the congressional delegation and the governor have made regarding a number of provisions ... ," said a statement issued by the department. "We look forward to continuing productive communications ... as the administration develops its position on this legislation."

Namu'o said this is not an endorsement and does not overcome continuing worries raised by the U.S. Justice Department about the constitutionality of the measure. "But think it means they probably have addressed all of the concerns raised by Interior," he said. "It's still very optimistic. Interior, in their statement to senators, still give a sense of hope, that this information will help them."

Native Hawaiians seek recognition on par with recognition granted to American Indian tribes and Native Alaskan villages.

"I just want to be sure that people know the amendment reflects many discussions we had with colleagues and officials at the Department of Interior and they know that the amendment remains true to the original purpose," said Sen. Akaka, the bill's author.

The bill must be passed by the time Congress adjourns in October or the process must start again in 2005. Akaka and Sen. Inouye have written another letter — their third — to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., requesting floor time to debate and pass the bill. The letter states that they have the 60 votes in the Senate to override a filibuster.

Frist said recently that the Senate calendar is too jam-packed to find time for Native Hawaiian recognition, but he promised he would try to find time.

But senators who placed an anonymous hold on the recognition bill still "question the congressional power to ... authorize recognition of Native Hawaiians," Akaka said..

-------------------

The following editorial is typical of the mindset in Hawai’i’s political establishment treating ethnic Hawaiians as the favorite race, or state mascot. The concept of the editorial is, yes, we know the Akaka bill is probably unconstitutional, but let’s pass it anyway and then let those who uphold the Constitution go through years of expensive litigation to invalidate it. And even though the monarchy that was overthrown in 1893 had mostly non-natives in its leadership positions, and it might be OK for Congress to give compensation to all descendants of Kingdom residents, nevertheless we like the proposal to give recognition only to a racial group based on an untested assumption that Congress can recognize any group of so-called “indigenous” people.

http://starbulletin.com/2004/04/08/editorial/editorials.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Thursday, April 8, 2004
Editorials [ OUR OPINION ]

Substitute Akaka Bill should be enacted

THE ISSUE

Hawaii's U.S. senators have introduced a substitute Hawaiian recognition bill to satisfy concerns by the Interior Department.

ADVOCATES of federal recognition of a native Hawaiian governing entity have achieved a breakthrough in satisfying concerns expressed by the Bush administration's Department of the Interior but the bill still faces scrutiny by the Justice Department. Those constitutional questions are not likely to be answered through additional changes in the bill and may have to be decided in court battles that are certain to follow its enactment. Senators Akaka and Inouye advised Senate leaders this week that they are introducing a substitute measure for the recognition measure, known as the Akaka Bill. After months of negotiations with Justice and Interior department officials, changes were made to meet concerns of Interior Secretary Gale Norton about taxation, legal jurisdiction, land use and other issues that have arisen between states and Indian tribes. The substitute bill calls for the state and federal governments to negotiate those issues with the Hawaiian governing body. The changes also include restoring a provision from a 2000 version that would create a commission of nine Hawaiians appointed by the interior secretary to develop and maintain a base roll of eligible participants in the entity, similar in standing to Indian tribes on the mainland. Still unresolved is the issue of racial discrimination. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Rice vs. Cayetano four years ago that non-Hawaiians be allowed to vote in elections of Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustees. While that decision was narrowly based on 15th Amendment voting rights, the Justice Department cited it last year in recommending the removal of Hawaiians as eligible recipients of small-business startups and expansions for native Americans in a Senate bill. The citation was in a letter from Assistant Attorney General William Moschella to Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, chairwoman of the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Moschella said the inclusion of Hawaiians as recipients "raises significant constitutional concerns." Governor Lingle has minimized the letter's importance, saying, "Some person down in an office who wrote a letter does not represent the policy of the Bush administration." When asked about it last June, Justice Department spokesman Blaine Rethmeier said, "We'll let the letter speak for itself." When asked in February about the Bush administration's position on the Akaka Bill, Rethmeier said it "has not yet been finalized" and pointed to the Moschella letter. The Akaka Bill defines native Hawaiian as "an individual who is one of the indigenous, native people of Hawaii who is a direct lineal descendant of the aboriginal, indigenous, native people who resided in the islands that now comprise the state of Hawaii on or before Jan. 1, 1893," the year that the monarchy was overthrown. The only sure way to meet constitutional objections would be to include as beneficiaries descendants of non-Hawaiians who lived in the islands before the overthrow, but that would destroy the essence of the legislation. Sponsors of the bill should go forward without the Justice Department's endorsement.

=================

On April 7, 2004 Senator Akaka formally introduced a new version of S.344 as a substitute for the previous version. This is now the "active" version of the Hawaiian Recognition bill, and all previous versions have become obsolete. The language of the newly revised S.344 was printed in the Congressional Record, and has been copied directly from the Congressional Record on the following webpage:
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/Akaka040704sencongrec.html

A valuable comparison between the previous version of May 14, 2003 and the new version of April 7, 2004 was circulated on the internet by activist David Ingham. This comparison has all the combined language from the former version and the new version, consolidated and arranged so that it is easy to see what was deleted and what was added. The new version of the bill is claimed to be a compromise for the purpose of satisfying some of the concerns raised by the Department of Interior, especially focusing on the process for creating and certifying tribal membership, and the process for subsequent negotiations among the federal government, state government, and tribe. One of the most noticeable overall trends is to change the language away from the concept of creating or recognizing a brand new tribe, to the concept of reaffirming a continuing federal relationship with a tribe that has always existed but was not previously given official recognition. Completely missing from the new version is the section previously called "Ethics" which actually had expressly waived provisions of federal law that prohibit corruption and nepotism in government contracting. The comparison of old and new versions is at:
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/Akaka040704Compare.html

For history buffs, or those who want to see the way a bill looks when it is first printed: Senator Akaka's website contains a document dated April 5, 2004, which is the printed version (with line numbers) of the substitute S.344 to be introduced in the Senate on April 7. That document was available directly from Senator Akaka's webaite at
http://akaka.senate.gov/~akaka/releases/04/04/TRU04204_LC.pdf
from where it was copied, and is now stored at
http://www.angelfire.com/hi5/bigfiles/AkakaSenateApril2004.pdf

----------------------

On Thursday April 22, 2004 the Hilo Hawai’i Tribune published an article describing a Wednesday April 21 meeting of the Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs that approved the newest version of the Akaka bill. The article also describes behind-the-scenes negotiations among the Department of Interior, Department of Justice, the Hawai’i delegation, and other Senators.

http://www.hilohawaiitribune.com/archive/2004/04/22/LocalNews/186990.html

Panel OKs Hawaiian bill

By SAMANTHA YOUNG

WASHINGTON - The Senate Indian Affairs Committee on Wednesday passed legislation for the second time this session that would grant federal recognition to Native Hawaiians. By voice vote, the committee approved a bill that was reworked by Hawaii's senators to address changes sought by the Bush administration.

Although the Department of Interior has not endorsed the bill, Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, said almost a year of negotiations have turned Secretary Gale Norton "180 degrees." "At one time, one could describe the administration's position as adamantly opposed," Inouye said. "Now they are looking forward to working with us. So I think it's a great improvement."

Inouye aide Patricia Zell told senators on the Indian Affairs panel that "most, if not all of the secretary's concerns have been addressed." Meanwhile, Zell reported movement from the Justice Department, a second bureaucracy that has been involved in the Native Hawaiian issue but has not taken an official position. Zell said department officials invited committee members to submit arguments addressing constitutional issues the Bush administration raised last year. "They are willing to be persuaded," Zell said.

Before the hearing, Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, R- Colo., chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee, endorsed the bill and signed as a cosponsor.

The bill now goes to the Senate floor. Its future is uncertain because the Republican leadership has not yet allocated floor time for it.

In a statement submitted to the committee, Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, stressed the bill "will not adversely impact funding for Indian programs and services," and "will not authorize gaming in Hawaii," two concerns that have been expressed by critics.

In an effort to win over the Interior Department, Akaka and Inouye revised the bill to make it clear that any Native Hawaiian government would have to negotiate for land, taxing authority and legal jurisdictions. "There was a perception that upon recognition, full powers of the tribal government would spring into action," Zell said. "It is very clear that both federal and state laws and the constitution of Hawaii will require amendment."

Sen. Craig Thomas, R-Wyo., questioned the wisdom of setting up a process that requires additional congressional approval. "You have a lot of things to be done and come back. Why are we doing this?" Thomas said.

Zell said the bill calls upon Congress to "reaffirm" Native Hawaiian sovereignty, a term chosen by Inouye and Akaka in an effort to recognize that Native Hawaiians were once a sovereign nation.

The United States has not recognized a Hawaiian government since 1893 when American forces overthrew the Kingdom of Hawaii.

The legislation establishes a nine-member commission of Native Hawaiians that would certify Native Hawaiians, a job Norton did not want to fall on her shoulders as the original bill required, Zell said. The bill defines a Native Hawaiian as someone who is a direct lineal descendant of aboriginal or indigenous people who resided in the islands before Jan. 1, 1893. In addition, descendants of Hawaiians eligible in 1921 for programs authorized by the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act would be considered Native Hawaiians.

=================

In early May, 2004, there were protests by ethnic Hawaiians in Honolulu complaining that the Akaka bill is a bad idea in general, and also specifically complaining about the 20-year deadline the latest version of the bill imposes for settlements of historical grievances. As a result of the protests, the Hawai’i Congressional delegation agreed to make a technical change to the language of the bill which would make the clock start ticking on 20-year deadline for settlement NOT when the bill is passed, but when the ethnic Hawaiian governing entity is formed. Regarding the 20-year time limit, this technical change is significant, because it might take many years to enroll tribal members and get the roll certified by the Secretary of Interior. However, the change is very minor in the larger scheme. The protesters don’t like the idea of any time limit whatsoever; and more importantly, they don’t like the idea of ethnic Hawaiians falling under the plenary power of Congress as an Indian tribe instead of gaining complete independence for Hawai’i from the United States. So, in the end, the “compromise” is a very small concession that does not begin to satisfy the protesters. Here are three newspaper articles about this issue, followed by the language of the bill as it has once again been revised.

------------

http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2004/May/05/ln/ln10a.html
The Honolulu Advertiser, Wednesday, May 5, 2004, ** Excerpts **

New call for Akaka bill hearing
By Vicki Viotti

Hawaiian sovereignty activists, declaring the current federal recognition bill a "time bomb," are calling on Congress to give the measure another hearing in Hawai'i before passing amendments that some believe will shortchange Native Hawaiians in their claims. The bill's most troublesome feature, they said, is a recent amendment that sets a 20-year deadline for a Native Hawaiian government to organize and negotiate with the state and federal governments. Officials for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, as well as OHA legal consultant Jon Van Dyke, have said that 20 years would be far longer than the six years accorded to other Native American groups to reach a settlement. However, attorney Le'a Kanehe of the Native Hawaiian Legal Corp., said the restoration of sovereignty to Hawaiians, once citizens of an internationally recognized nation, is more complex than settlements for tribal groups and is not really comparable. Van Dyke acknowledged the complexities, but sees the amended bill as basically "a good thing" — laying out a clear "right to sue" for Native Hawaiians that they do not now possess. Other claims that can be made in international courts of appeals are not precluded by the amended bill, he added.

----------------

http://starbulletin.com/2004/05/05/news/story7.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Wednesday, May 5, 2004, ** Excerpts **

Hawaiians find fault with revised Akaka bill
By Rosemarie Bernardo

Several organizations have described as "flawed" and "dangerous" the changes made to a bill granting federal recognition to Hawaiians as indigenous people. Vicky Holt Takamine, president of the Ilioulaokalani Coalition, said: "It is very dangerous to the native Hawaiian community. We stand to lose more than we will gain." Some advocates also said the U.S. Senate did not give Hawaiians the opportunity to review or provide feedback on the changes. Advocate Mililani Trask said Native Americans have the right to make claims to District Court without a 20-year limitation. "We would not be able to address the illegal overthrow, address the breach of trust issues," Trask said in a telephone interview from New York. "We're looking at a terrible history. ... That history needs to be remedied." Trustee Rowena Akana of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs said: "Some tribes have received federal recognition 25 years ago and still don't have all their documents for enrollment. To expect native Hawaiians to get it all together in 20 years is a great discomfort to me."

---------------

http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2004/May/06/ln/ln32a.html
The Honolulu Advertiser, Thursday, May 6, 2004 ** Full text **

Akaka bill revised to extend deadline
By Vicki Viotti

Hawaiian sovereignty legislation now in both houses of Congress has been revised again, extending the length of time a Native Hawaiian government would have to settle claims for assets now under federal and state control. Hawai'i Congressman Neil Abercrombie yesterday introduced in the House a twin of the measure known as the "Akaka bill," which sets out how the federal government would recognize Native Hawaiians as a political class. About the same time, the latest version of the Senate bill also was filed, said Paul Cardus, spokesman for U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawai'i. Cardus said both the Senate and House measures include the newest wording setting a 20-year deadline for settling existing claims. The change is that the clock doesn't start ticking on that deadline until the Native Hawaiian government entity is formed. A previous version of the legislation set the 20-year countdown to begin when the legislation is enacted. The amendment drew applause yesterday from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Administrator Clyde Namu'o said OHA "did voice loudly our concerns" about the earlier version because of the constraints that the deadline placed on the thoughtful formation of a government. Haunani Apoliona, who chairs the OHA Board of Trustees, called the amended deadline "more realistic." Critics of the Akaka bill have voiced their opposition to the deadline and other aspects of the measure, and the revision may not change their view. "There should be no clock ticking — that's the bottom line," said Kaho'onei Panoke of Ilio'ulaokalani Coalition. "The questions should be, what is driving them for putting this deadline? "Who authorized these amendments? The process allows for the native people to respond before those amendments are made. We don't want hearings after the bill passes." Cardus said the legislative process has been guided by testimony given four years ago at hearings in Hawai'i, as well as written comments submitted since then. The Hawai'i delegation opted for a 20-year statute of limitations as a compromise with U.S. Department of the Interior officials, who wanted a shorter deadline. The House bill, co-sponsored by Hawai'i Reps. Abercrombie and Ed Case and others, will get the discussion moving in the House while the delegation presses for a vote on the Senate floor, Cardus said. The measure "offers Native Hawaiians a seat at the table and a direct voice on issues critical to their well-being and cultural identity," Abercrombie said in a prepared statement.

-----------------

The newly revised Akaka bill has so many revisions that its supporters decided to give it a new bill number, and a new name, at least in the House of Representatives. The old bill was H.R.665, but it died in the House Resources Committee without ever having even a committee hearing. The new bill’s House number is H.R.4282. Its new name is (very misleadingly) the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization bill. The Senate bill is said to have the same content as this one, after the last-minute technical change to lengthen the deadline for filing claims against the United States. The Senate bill will apparently be a substitution of content (including the new title) into its old bill number, S.344. The content of the May 5, 2004 House bill can be seen at:

http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/Akaka050504househr4282.html

======================

The first apparent public split in the ranks of the large, wealthy institutional supporters of the Akaka bill came on Sunday May 9, 2004 (Mothers Day) with the publication of a letter to editor whose signature implies that its author is one of the 9 Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. This trustee expresses shame at having the same last name, Akaka, as the Senator whose name is on the bill.

http://www.westhawaiitoday.com/archive/2004/05/09/Opinion/index.html

West Hawaii Today (Kona, the Big Island), Sunday, May 9, 2004

Akaka Bill shameful

Editor:

I am ashamed to bear the same name as the revised Akaka Bill that will further put our Hawaiian people into a quagmire after more than one hundred years since the theft of our Hawaiian Nation. This recent version of the Akaka Bill S 344 is not the vehicle "...that would grant federal recognition to Native Hawaiians." Nothing could be further from the truth! Even the title of this latest version of the Akaka Bill has been changed (April 21) from "Native Hawaiian Recognition Act" to "Native Hawaiian Governmental Reorganization Act." The Bush Administration, through its Department of Interior Secretary Gayle Norton, is calling for a reorganization of our Hawaiian Government before we Hawaiians have the opportunity of self-determine what our government is to be.

With the passage of this Bill, we Hawaiians will have 20 years to go round and round in circles set up the Bush Administration Department of Interior, forcing us Hawaiians to get approval at each and every step of the way from the first the Head of the Department of Interior, Congress and State Legislature; then to go back and forth with these entities on every single issue to be resolved. They intend with this process to have us Hawaiians "spin our wheels" by following this bureaucratic paper "trail of tears" and quicksand.

There is no rush to pass this fault-laden Bill at this time. It has been over four years since we had a Federal Hearing at home for Hawaiian Justice. This "revised" Akaka Bill S 344 is so drastically different from any of its past versions that it necessitates Federal Hearings to be held on these Hawaiian Islands. This is only fair as it deals with self-determination and our Hawaiian destiny in our own homeland of over one thousand years. It is imperative this be a true democracy as our Hawaiian future is at stake.

E. Moanikeala Akaka

Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustee

[Note from Ken Conklin: This woman was formerly an OHA trustee, but that was several years ago. Either Ms. Akaka or the newspaper editor has allowed a false impression to be created]

--------------------

http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2004/Jun/21/ln/ln01a.html
Honolulu Advertiser, Monday, June 21, 2004 ** excerpts **

Governor's success limited in Washington

By Frank Oliveri
Advertiser Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — Gov. Linda Lingle's 2002 challenge to herself — and promise to voters — was that she would increase Hawai'i's presence here and use her Republican credentials as entry to the White House to help Native Hawaiians gain recognition. But although it is clear from Lingle's calendar that she and her staff have met frequently with the president, vice president and Cabinet officials, she has enjoyed only limited success in pushing the Native Hawaiian agenda. And the successes she can point to — as well as the potential failures — must be shared with the powerful Hawai'i delegation headed by Democratic Sen. Daniel Inouye. The greatest impact Lingle might make would be by lobbying Washington on behalf of Native Hawaiian recognition. It is why in 2002 Lingle made it her top priority in Washington. "There is legitimacy that she would be in a place better than a Democrat, certainly better than someone like Abercrombie, going to the administration trying to get something done," said James Thurber, director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University. Lingle has worked with Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawai'i, and Inouye in stressing the importance of Native Hawaiian recognition to the Bush administration. The Akaka bill would create a framework for negotiations among the federal government, state officials and Native Hawaiians over issues related to the indigenous people of the island state. It's an important bipartisan effort, said Haunani Apoliona, chairwoman of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees. "I think in terms of our expectations, this year is an important year," she said. "Everyone is focused on its successful enactment." It was Lingle's mission to get the Bush administration to back off on challenges it might make to the bill and seek assistance from the Interior Department in updating the bill. Lingle succeeded on both measures, she said. Specifically, the governor persuaded skeptics in the administration not to challenge the constitutionality of the legislation. Akaka spokesman Paul Cardus supports her claims. During two of her meetings with Bush, Lingle has discussed Native Hawaiian issues. She's also talked about the issue with Cheney, Attorney General John Ashcroft, Interior Secretary Gale Norton and others. Lingle has also lobbied Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn.; Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz.; and House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill. "They are aware of how strongly I feel about this issue," Lingle said. Akaka said he and Inouye have worked closely with Lingle to bring about a successful conclusion for Native Hawaiians. But the bill continues to be held up by Kyl, who refuses to lift a "hold" — or legislative block — on the measure, Lingle confirmed. Nor has Frist made space on the Senate calendar for the bill to be brought up. Lingle asked Kyl to lift his hold, but he refused. Kyl objects based on his belief that indigenous peoples should be treated no differently than other racial groups, Lingle said. Kyl's office did not answer requests for an interview. Still, Lingle faces a more basic problem than the political maneuvering on Capitol Hill. Neal Milner, a political science professor at the University of Hawai'i, said that Native Hawaiian recognition is "not that important in Washington, and (Lingle) hasn't changed that in any significant way." Lingle said, at this point, it's Inouye's challenge to get a vote on the bill. "It was his responsibility to get it before the Senate," she said. Inouye and Akaka have until October, when the legislative session is expected to end. If the bill does not get considered for a vote, the process begins anew next year. Inouye declined requests to be interviewed for this story. He confirmed in February that Senate Republicans had approached him and Akaka seeking their support for the president's energy bill. In return for their support, discussions took place about allowing a vote on Native Hawaiian recognition. To date, nothing has come of those discussions. But there could be renewed interest in a compromise after the president's recent calls for Congress to pass his energy bill, which Democrats have thwarted through a filibuster. Lingle said she'd continue to use her position to lobby in Washington. "I am the first Republican in 40 years to get elected to governor in Hawai'i," she said. "People pay attention."

================================

A somewhat open, somewhat stealthy tactic for passing the Akaka bill was attempted in the Senate on Wednesday July 7, 2000, and Thursday. Hawai'i's Senators Akaka and Inouye tried to attach the Akaka bill as a completely irrelevant amendment to a major bill to regulate class-action lawsuits. Several other Senators were trying to attach their own pet bills in the same way. The Republican leadership insisted that only amendments relevant to the class-action topic would be considered. Eventually the Senate voted 44-43 in favor of the leadership's restriction on amendments; but 60 votes would have been required to pass such a measure. The leadership then removed the class-action bill from consideration in order to free up the Senate's time to consider other important legislation. But as this wrangling unfolded, many statements were made about the Akaka bill, both on the Senate floor and in the Hawai'i newpapers. Since this was the only actual "floor action" on the Akaka bill in either the Senate or the House during the 108th Congress (2003-2004), what happened was important. Here are four newspaper articles, one editorial, and the portions of the Congressional Record specifically pertaining to the Akaka bill. The first article, from the Honolulu Advertiser of July 8, is copied in its entirety, along with an unedited segment of the Congressional Record, and the editorial. Excerpts from the other newspaper articles are provided whenever they add information not previously reported. It is interesting that Haunani Apoliona, Chair of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, knew about the attempted stealth maneuver before it took place; and apparently press releases were prepared for immediate distribution as the maneuver unfolded. But the media, and Hawai'i's people, were kept in the dark until after the dust had settled. It is likely that other, more stealthy maneuvers, will be attempted later in the remaining months of the 108th Congress (as happened also at the last possible moment in the 106th and 107th Congresses).

---------------------

http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2004/Jul/08/ln/ln10a.html
The Honolulu Advertiser, Thursday, July 8, 2004
[slightly expanded from a "breaking news" report published on-line mid-day Wednesday, Hawai'i time]

Akaka bill in danger of failing

By Frank Oliveri
Advertiser Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — Legislative wrangling yesterday between Republicans and Democrats was holding up a late-session attempt to pass the Native Hawaiian recognition bill. Sens. Daniel Akaka and Daniel Inouye, recognizing that time is running short on this year's legislative calendar, were prepared to offer a measure on Native Hawaiian recognition as an amendment to a bill that would rewrite the rules on class-action lawsuits.

But squabbles over what kind of amendments would be allowed on the class-action bill have stalled the Hawai'i Democrats. The senators are trying to force a vote on the Native Hawaiian issue because there are only 20 work days left in the Senate. If no vote on the so-called Akaka bill is held this year, the Hawai'i lawmakers would have to start again from scratch next year.

"This we consider a bipartisan bill," Akaka said, expressing his frustration at the Senate floor tactics. "Our governor supports it. Our state Legislature supports it and the majority of our citizens support it. It is effectively blocked by a few senators who refuse to acknowledge Native Hawaiians as an indigenous people."

Until now, Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., has prevented the Native Hawaiian bill from going forward on its own merits. Senators frequently try to attach unrelated legislation to measures that are moving through the body, as a way to force votes and jump-start stalled bills.

The bill, a culmination of five years of work, has been approved by a Senate committee three times. It would:
* Create a Native Hawaiian governing council.
* Provide for creation of a legal relationship between the federal government and the Native Hawaiian governing body.
* Establish a Native Hawaiian relations office within the Interior Department.
* Permit the federal government and the Native Hawaiian governing body to enter into negotiations on the transfer of lands, natural resources, and empowerment over those lands and resources; and civil and criminal jurisdiction.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., who has made the class-action lawsuit bill a top priority, tried to limit amendments to that measure only to those that are related to that issue. He said it was an effort to save time. Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D, responded with disdain. He said senators have always had the right to offer germane or nongermane amendments and any effort to limit that right could trigger a Democratic effort to stall the bill.

In addition to the Native Hawaiian issue, Democrats also wanted to offer amendments that would raise the minimum wage and allow the importation of drugs from Canada. As a compromise, Frist said unlimited germane amendments could be offered but nothing that could be considered unrelated to class action lawsuits. His suggestion triggered an angry outcry.

"This is a sham," Daschle said. "The majority wants to deny the rights of the minority." Daschle said Frist's willingness to consider unlimited amendments related to class-action lawsuits showed that time was not a concern. Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, broke ranks with his party leader, angrily complaining that his agriculture-related amendment would not be considered. "Its time is now," Craig said. "This will be heard."

Frist was expected to ask for a vote to limit debate on the measure. That vote is expected tomorrow. If it fails, the Akaka-Inouye amendment on Native Hawaiian recognition could be introduced and voted on.

Republican Gov. Linda Lingle has been enlisted to write a letter to all Republican senators asking them to support the bipartisan Akaka-Inouye amendment.

"I will tell the senator from Hawai'i, we will continue to support him in his efforts to getting his measure to the floor," Daschle said.

Clyde Namu'o, administrator of the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs, said it was not yet clear whether the Frist maneuver was targeting the Hawaiian recognition bill specifically. "What's a question for most of us is why Senator Frist closed off the amendments," Namu'o said.

Haunani Apoliona, who chairs the OHA board of trustees, took some encouragement from supportive comments made from the floor by other senators. She also said she didn't see the failure of the amendment as a death knell for the bill. "This is where political intrigue begins," Apoliona said. "This is a bipartisan effort.

"It's not over until the gavel comes down."

-------------------

http://starbulletin.com/2004/07/08/news/story9.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Thursday, July 8, 2004 [** excerpts that add content to previous article]

Senate leader blocks piggybacked Akaka bill

By Ron Staton
Associated Press

The Native Hawaiian Recognition bill was dealt another setback yesterday when the U.S. Senate's Republican leadership blocked an amendment offered by Hawaii's two Democratic senators. However, Sens. Daniel Akaka and Daniel Inouye are looking at other options for getting the bill approved.

In a floor speech, Akaka said he and Inouye have worked for five years to enact the recognition bill. Akaka said the bill has been blocked from consideration by "a handful of senators who refuse to acknowledge native Hawaiians as indigenous peoples." Akaka said he and Inouye have the votes to pass the legislation, which provides a process for the recognition by the United States of a native Hawaiian governing entity. Akaka also said they have enough votes on a motion to consider the bill. But getting a floor vote requires approval of the majority leader, according to Paul Cardus, Akaka's spokesman. Inouye said through a spokesman yesterday that the amendment is not dead. "There is a leadership squabble on how to proceed," he said. "I hope this matter will be resolved as quickly as possible, and Sen. Akaka and I will be able to offer the amendment."

Offering the recognition bill as an amendment was seen as the best opportunity for bringing it to a vote as the 108th Congress winds down, Cardus said. The legislative session will be shortened by the political conventions and election. Adjournment is scheduled for October. If the bill is not passed by the time Congress adjourns, the bill will have to be reintroduced in the new Congress in 2005. Sen. Tom Daschle of South Dakota, the Democratic leader, said that limiting amendments, both those related and unrelated to the class-action issue, was "an absolute guarantee it will never get passed." Negotiations could set aside the cloture vote, Cardus said.

Akaka and Inouye recently gave a presentation on the Hawaiian recognition bill to fellow Democratic senators, who gave their approval, Cardus said. "I strongly support passage of the Native Hawaiian Recognition Act, and so, I suspect, do the vast majority of senators," Daschle said.

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** From the Congressional Record for the Senate for July 7, 2004. The Library of Congress website allows readers to see bill contents and the Congressional Record. However, no permanent URLs are available because of the massive size of the website and the hundreds of thousands of "hits" it gets every hour. Follow directions at http://thomas.loc.gov/ ** Note that Daschle says Akaka/Inouye made a presentation to the Democrat caucus a while back, and "our caucus was ready to stand unanimously in support of their effort." **

[Page: S7713]

The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. HAGEL). The Senator from Hawaii.
Mr. AKAKA. Mr. President, I thank you very much for recognizing me.

[Page: S7714]

I rise today to express my extreme disappointment, along with the Senator from Idaho, Mr. Craig, with the actions of the majority leader in preventing the consideration of amendments, including amendment No. 3547, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2004. Senator Inouye and I filed this amendment in an effort to have our legislation considered by the Senate. We have been working to enact this legislation now for the past 5 years. The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs has favorably reported this bill for the past three Congresses. Our legislation enjoys widespread support in Hawaii, and nationally also. We consider this a bipartisan measure. Our Governor supports it, our State legislature supports it, and a majority of our constituents support it. For 5 years we have worked to enact this bill which has effectively been blocked from Senate consideration by a few of our Senators who refuse to acknowledge native Hawaiians as indigenous peoples. We have the votes to pass this legislation. In fact, I am confident that we have the votes to succeed on a motion to proceed to S. 344. I must at this point say that S. 344 has been cosponsored by my colleague who preceded me, my colleague from Utah, who is cosponsoring S. 344 as a freestanding version of my amendment. Because of the kind of support we have here on both sides of the aisle, we are trying to have it considered. This is why we sought to have our legislation considered today--because we knew we could debate it quickly and pass it. I join my other colleagues in expressing my disappointment, again, with the procedural maneuvering that has occurred today. Thank you, Mr. President. I yield back my time.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Illinois.

Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, first, I salute my colleague and friend from Hawaii. I am honored to be a cosponsor of his bill. Senator Akaka and Senator Inouye are two of our very best Members in the U.S. Senate. It is rare, if ever, that they ask their colleagues for a helping hand. In this situation, Senator Akaka and Senator Inouye have shown extraordinary leadership to make recognition of a situation in their home State that deserves our help. I am more than happy to join the Senator. I am disappointed, as Senator Akaka is, that we are not going to have a chance, apparently, to vote on this amendment. As I understand it now, Senator Frist has come to the floor of the Senate and has used a procedural device called ``filling the tree,'' which means he has filed so many amendments that no one else can file an amendment. So we are just stopped. The underlying bill, the class action bill, is an important and controversial bill, and now Senator Frist has stopped any amendments to it. Among those that have been precluded is the amendment by the Senator from Hawaii, which has bipartisan support, a good amendment, and I hope we can get to it and get to it soon. I see our Democratic leader in the Chamber, Senator Daschle. I know he has spoken to this issue many times. I would like to address the class action bill, but I will at this point yield to the minority leader and then ask to be recognized after he has spoken.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Democratic leader is recognized.

Mr. DASCHLE. Mr. President, I thank the distinguished Senator from Illinois. As I was on the Senate floor, I noticed he was calling attention to the amendment that was contemplated by the two Senators from Hawaii. They both spoke powerfully and eloquently about a month ago before the caucus and at that time expressed the hope that the caucus could support their efforts to deal, once and for all, on the issue of Hawaiian recognition.

This is a very important issue for them. I think I can say without equivocation or concern for contradiction that our caucus was ready to stand unanimously in support of their effort. But it is the amendment offered by the Senator from Hawaii that illustrates the point we were making earlier today.

There is, I am told, one person in the entire body who has an objection to the amendment offered by the Senators from Hawaii--one person. One person is holding up the effort made by the two Senators from Hawaii courageously and persistently to deal with this question. And they came to us for advice: What do you think we should do? My suggestion was: Well, given the fact that we are in this situation, offer it as an amendment to the next vehicle.

This happens to be the next vehicle. They said: We don't need a lot of time. We could probably resolve this matter, given the fact there is overwhelming support for it, in a few minutes. I said: I will tell you this: Once we get on the bill, you will have the first amendment on our side. And that is exactly what the case was going to be.

We heard already from the Senator from Idaho. He, too, has been working diligently with the Senator from Massachusetts. He, too, said: This is not going to take a lot of time, but there is a very critical question of temporary workers and their status today, legally, and if we don't address this problem, we are going to be facing increasingly difficult legal questions. And it is a crime that this--he did not use the word ``crime.'' That is my word. It is a crime. It is a shame that we are precluded from addressing the temporary worker issue. But that goes to the heart of the situation we find ourselves in right now. In the first instance I can recall, the majority leader has now done something I thought we would never see under his leadership. He has filled the tree. He has precluded all Senators from offering amendments. We recognized in those dark days in the late 1990s, when this was done with some frequency, what a counterproductive effort that was. Now we find ourselves in exactly the same situation. Well, I was told this morning. I was very troubled by this action. Now I am told that maybe one of the reasons it was done is because there are those on that side who do not want this version of class action passed. So in an effort to preclude this version of class action being passed, they knew if they filled the tree they would never get to final passage and they could, without fingerprints, kill this version of class action, knowing there would be unanimous opposition to this procedural approach, just as there has been on every occasion when it was done in the past.

So whatever the motivation was, it is counterproductive, it is a real disservice to the Senators of Hawaii and Idaho and others who simply want their day in court, their opportunity to present their issues, who have not had that opportunity, with the calendar pages turning and the clock ticking and the time running out. It is very unfortunate. I had told the majority leader that we would be willing to work with him and I offered to have a limited number of nonrelevant amendments--five. He objected. So given our circumstances, we are left without recourse. But, again, I thank the Senator from Illinois for his kindness in yielding the floor for me to make a couple comments.

I tell the Senator from Hawaii that we will continue to find an opportunity for him to present his case to the Senate, and we will support him when his legislation reaches a vote. I yield the floor.

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http://www.westhawaiitoday.com/archive/2004/07/08/LocalNews/253334.html
West Hawaii Today [Kone], Thursday, Jul 8, 2004 [** excerpts]

GOP blocks bill

By Samantha Young
Stephens Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON -- Hawaii senators were blocked Wednesday from offering a Native Hawaiian recognition bill in the Senate, prompting a fight between Democrat and Republican leaders. The bill was among a handful of proposals that Republican leaders ruled could not be brought up as amendments to legislation dealing with class action lawsuits. Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., said the Senate did not have the time to debate a host of amendments, including some that were proposed by Republicans. "We are not prepared for this bill to become a magnet for every unrelated issue," Frist said.

Sens. Daniel Akaka and Daniel Inouye, both D-Hawaii, had targeted the class action legislation as the best chance for getting their Native Hawaiian bill passed this year. The Hawaii senators had won the backing of Democratic leaders, who went to bat for them when Frist declared the amendments not relevant.

Senate leadership aides said Democrats leaders have made the Native Hawaiian legislation a high priority. "We had it all set to go, cleared by both sides," Inouye said. "Then suddenly Frist closed the books, then everything blew up."

Despite Wednesday's setback, Inouye said Democrats will try again, perhaps on Thursday, to bring the Hawaiian bill before the Senate. "I am confident this matter will be worked out and resolved tomorrow, otherwise the whole thing will be dead," Inouye said.

In a speech on the Senate floor, Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., said the Democratic caucus was lined up behind the Hawaiian bill. "It's a disservice to the senators from Hawaii who simply want their day in court," Daschle said. "We will continue to find an opportunity for (Akaka) to present his case to the Senate."

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http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2004/Jul/09/op/op02a.html
Honolulu Advertiser, Friday, July 9, 2004

EDITORIAL [* full text ]

Fate of Akaka bill threatens programs

After years of effort, there are growing signs that the so-called "Akaka" Hawaiian recognition bill may be failing in Congress. While the fight is not over, it appears that philosophical objections from some members of Congress plus division within the Hawaiian community may be enough to stop the measure. There are two levels of support for the bill among local political leaders, many Hawaiian organizations and others. The first is that federal recognition of Hawaiians as, in effect, a political entity, would be an important step toward fuller Hawaiian self-determination or sovereignty. The second is that recognizing Hawaiians as a political entity might short-circuit efforts to dismantle Hawaiian-focused programs as unconstitutional because they are race-based. This second reason calls for serious introspection both in Hawai'i and in Washington. Federal programs to aid Hawaiians generate millions of dollars each year for Hawai'i. The state has had some success in defending such programs under the argument that the federal government has a special "trust" relationship with Hawaiians. Those who believe there is no room under our Constitution for any race-based programs are determined. Thus, if the Akaka recognition bill is either stalled or dead, it is time to begin thinking of other ways of saving worthwhile Hawaiian programs. The needs served by these programs will not go away if the programs themselves die. Either the needs will then go unmet or we will have to absorb their costs locally. The debate over whether the Akaka bill represents an important step toward self-determination or a descent into uncomfortable federal wardship can go on. But the programs that the measure might well protect should not be lightly abandoned. That is the immediate task ahead.

===============

Following the failure of the attempt to pass the Akaka bill in the Senate by attaching it to the class-action lawsuit bill, there was speculation over what further efforts might be made during the 108th Congress. A news report and several letters to editor provide a dialogue. Note that ethnic Hawaiian opposition to the Akaka bill is strong and determined.

http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2004/Jul/09/ln/ln11a.html
Honolulu Advertiser, Friday, July 9, 2004 [** full text]

Senators silent on next strategy for Akaka bill

By Frank Oliveri
Advertiser Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — Hawai'i senators must find another way to seek consideration of Native Hawaiian recognition, after the Senate gave up yesterday on the bill intended to be the vehicle for the issue. As the clock ticks on this legislative session, there are few ways for the Akaka bill to be heard. The bill would create a framework for a Native Hawaiian governing authority to negotiate with the federal government. "There are options, but I'm not prepared to say what they are," said Paul Cardus, a spokesman for Sen. Daniel Akaka. The Senate voted yesterday against an effort to shear off all nongermane amendments to a bill that would rewrite the rules on class-action lawsuits. The vote was 44-43 for wiping out nongermane amendments, far short of the 60 votes required to do so. Sens. Akaka and Dan Inouye attempted to add their amendment to the pending bill, but their efforts were thwarted when Republicans and Democrats clashed over the process by which the bill would be handled. As a result of the vote, the class-action bill will no longer be considered because of time constraints. A series of spending bills are pending before the Senate, which could also be used as vehicles for the Akaka bill. Inouye could play a significant role in attaching Native Hawaiian recognition to any appropriations bill because of his seniority on the Senate Appropriations Committee. But the Hawai'i delegation would not reveal its strategy.

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http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2004/Jul/12/op/op04aletters.html
Honolulu Advertiser, Monday, July 12, 2004
Letters to the Editor

Washington knows about opposition to the Akaka bill

Regarding the July 8 article "Akaka bill in danger of failing": The bill will continue to fail, as it has for the past five years, and, in different forms under Sen. Inouye, for more than a decade, because now, more than ever, the Washington, D.C., powers-that-be know there is overwhelming opposition here at home.

With much aloha and all due respect to our congressional delegation, and all federally funded supporters of federal recognition, we must denounce the desperate and futile attempts to tag this unacceptable bill onto major legislation that needs to be passed.

The reality, revealed during our recent visit to Capitol Hill, is that the Akaka bill has been and is going nowhere this session.

Koani Foundation directors, and many other Native Hawaiians, traveled to Washington in May in conjunction with the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. We met face to face with people from numerous congressional offices and the U.S. departments of Justice and the Interior. We successfully shared the huge opposition that exists to the bill at home in Hawai'i, and we got more than we anticipated.

Everyone was aware of the Native Hawaiian Reorganization Act. Staffers for Sens. Frist, McCain, Kyle, Domenici and many others agreed there is absolutely no chance of passage this session.

During the visit, we were informed, despite heavy propaganda in Hawai'i to the contrary, that: The bill has not been heard on the Senate floor; Sen. Kyle's hold remained in place, would not be lifted and could not be circumvented by any number of votes; Sen. Frist has no intention of scheduling it even if the hold were lifted; and Indian Affairs Chair Sen. McCain himself does not support the bill.

Even some of our own congressional staff people had to concede that little or nothing will be achieved during this pre-election session, including the Akaka bill. To them, we repeated our continuing opposition to dysfunctional federal recognition. We also repeated our continuing dedication to working together, with the stakeholders, toward an appropriate governance form — one that we can support.

Kai'opua Fyfe
Director, The Koani Foundation
Lihu'e, Kaua'i

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http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2004/Jul/17/op/op02a.html
Honolulu Advertiser, Saturday, July 17, 2004
Letters to the Editor

Akaka bill support is what's 'overwhelming'

Mr. Kai'opua Fyfe's assertion that there is "overwhelming" opposition to the Akaka bill in Hawai'i is wrong (Letters, July 12). In fact, the most recent statewide survey conducted by an independent research firm shows there is overwhelming support for the effort to provide federal recognition for Native Hawaiians, as the Akaka bill would do. The telephone survey, conducted one year ago by Ward Research, polled both Native Hawaiians and non-Hawaiian residents. Among Native Hawaiians, 72 percent were familiar with the Akaka bill. An overwhelming 86 percent said they support federal recognition and only 7 percent said they did not. Among non-Hawaiian residents, 78 percent said they support federal recognition and 16 percent said they did not. These numbers are similar to a survey done in 2000. Support for the Akaka bill is both broad and deep, and includes civil rights, cultural, educational and ethnic organizations. Gov. Linda Lingle has joined Sens. Akaka and Inouye in lobbying the Bush administration and members of Congress. The overwhelming support is more than just a statement on federal recognition and the Akaka bill. It shows the vast majority of people in Hawai'i believe an injustice was committed by the U.S. government, and it is time now to help Native Hawaiians regain our sovereign right of self-determination.

Clyde Namu'o
Administrator, Office of Hawaiian Affairs

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http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2004/Jul/20/op/op03aletters.html
Honolulu Advertiser, Tuesday, July 20, 2004
Letters to the Editor

Should Aloha State be the apartheid state?

OHA's Clyde Namu'o (Letters, July 17) cites an "independent" survey finding "overwhelming support" for the Akaka bill among both Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians (86 percent and 78 percent). What he left out is the qualification "once this legislation is explained to them." The survey was commissioned by OHA, and all questions used in the survey were designed in consultation with OHA. The "explanation" used in the survey said: "The Akaka-Stevens bill proposes that Hawaiians be formally recognized as the indigenous people of Hawai'i, giving them the same federal status as 560 Native American and Alaska Native tribes already recognized by the U.S. government." That is misleading. "Recognizing" Hawaiians as descendants of the indigenous people of Hawai'i would not give them any special status under the Constitution. Millions of people in the United States have some degree of Native American ancestry, but only those few who are members of federally recognized tribes may be singled out for differential treatment. ("Differential" treatment can mean better or worse treatment than other citizens.) A truly independent pollster would have asked questions like this: Do you think Hawai'i should be divided into separate racial jurisdictions? Do you think the federal government should single some racial groups out for special treatment? Do you think the Aloha State should be changed to the apartheid state?

Shayne Keith
'Ewa Beach

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http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2004/Jul/20/op/op03aletters.html
Honolulu Advertiser, Tuesday, July 20, 2004 (same date as previous letter)
Letters to the Editor

Royalism or tribalism indigenous to Hawai'i?

The Akaka bill is a cruel hoax — an irrational reaction to panic caused by Rice v. Cayetano. It sought unprecedented federal sanction for the state's Asian-Hawaiian and Caucasian-Hawaiian racial preferences while cynically repealing existing federal recognition for the nearest kinship group: 50 percent and more Native Hawaiians of the blood. Primary beneficiaries of that deceitful bill are the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and Kamehameha Schools. Why did Kamehameha support the bill's sleazy political manipulation of public perception knowing there is an honorable and realistic way to shelter threatened customs and practices? Is royalism indigenous to Hawai'i or was it an imposition from outside: a normal feature of colonialism derived from the British monarchy? If so, then Kamehameha I was as likely to be an actual king as Mickey Mouse is an actual mouse. The job of Congress is not to legalize fantasies. Is tribalism indigenous to Hawai'i? Jane S. Warren, a missionary, wrote in a book published in 1869, "The Morning Star": "This Sandwich Islands lad was Henry Obookiah. He was an orphan. He had seen his father, mother and dear little brother killed in a savage war with another tribe on the islands."

Maui Loa
Hale'iwa

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http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2004/Jul/22/op/op03aletters.html
Honolulu Advertiser, Thursday, July 22, 2004
Letters to the Editor

Native Hawaiians deserve better than the Akaka bill

I am writing with deep concern about the effort to push through the Akaka bill by Gov. Linda Lingle and other elected officials who seem determined to force this legislation on the Hawaiian people. The Koani Foundation directors who went to Washington, D.C., in May report they were told by representatives for Sens. Frist, Kyle, McCain and Domenici that there is absolutely no chance of passage for this bill. So why is so much money and press being wasted in its support? There has been little effort to educate our people as to the consequences of this legislation. No effort or money has been spent to explore alternatives. Why? Is this the only option? I think there could be more to lose than gain for Native Hawaiians. Imagine the shock to our people in 1893 finding out after the fact that their country had been stripped from them. To voice their opposition, more than 38,000 signatures were collected from Native Hawaiians who opposed the illegal occupation and annexation by the United States. The box containing these documents was found on the floor in a hallway, almost 100 years after they were sent to Washington. The effort of our kupuna went unheard. We have seen what has happened to our people over the years. The Akaka bill benefits the general public, not Native Hawaiians. If this bill becomes law, our rights will be "sold down the river" a second time. Native Hawaiians will have agreed the past means nothing and we willingly submit to foreign rule. If any of your family signed the original petitions, consider what they would think if you gave it all away by not catching on to another fast-talking set of trinket bearers. For a few shiny dollars we are selling out our future, our being, our culture and our Islands. In these days of homeland security, maybe Hawaiians should look to our own homeland. Iraq was just given the right to a sovereign government. Why not Hawai'i? Shouldn't we have the same chance? At least give the Hawaiians a fair forum to explore nationhood, not a political marketing plan that is still trying to sell a day-old fish to a Hawaiian. We deserve better.

Uncle Moon Keahi
Waiehu, Maui

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The Democratic National Convention in the year 2000 included a platform statement supporting the Akaka bill. But the platform adopted in 2004 in Boston during the closing week of July did not mention the Akaka bill or Native Hawaiians at all. This omission is especially glaring in view of the platform's explicit endorsement of self-determination for Guam, American Samoa, and the Virgin Islands. There was apparently a struggle over whether to support the Akaka bill, and a lack of support for including it. Hawaiian independence activist Isaac Harp, who opposes the bill and claims not to be a U.S. citizen, was also present as an official Hawai'i delegate, pledged to Dennis Kucinich. See http://tinyurl.com/4umyn All the Kucinich delegates stubbornly cast their votes to nominate Kucinich, refusing to make the delegation unanimous for Kerry. Mr. Harp undoubtedly lobbied aggressively against any platform support for the bill. Here is a news report about the omission of the Akaka bill from the platform:

http://www.westhawaiitoday.com/archive/2004/07/29/LocalNews/265863.html
West Hawaii Today, Thursday, Jul 29, 2004

Native Hawaiians not in Democratic platform

By Samantha Young
Stephens Washington Bureau

BOSTON -- Support for Native Hawaiian rights was left out of the Democrats' 2004 platform, dismaying Hawaii national convention delegates who expected the party would once again get behind the sovereignty effort. The absence of any reference to Native Hawaiians in the platform document that was adopted Tuesday took Hawaii leaders by surprise, given the fanfare the party staged at its convention four years ago to spotlight Hawaiians.

"The must have been some very heavy discussions with it being deleted," said state Sen. Lorraine Inouye of Hilo. "I am disappointed," she added.

In 2000, the Democratic platform contained a plank calling for legal recognition of Native Hawaiians similar to that given to Native Americans.

This year, the platform supports self-governance for Guam, American Samoa and the Virgin Islands, all U.S. territories. Native Hawaiians are not on the list.

Former Lt. Gov. Mazie Hirono said Hawaiians likely did not make it into the platform because they did not have a representative on the drafting committee as they did four years ago. "It's not because the party has rejected Native Hawaiians," Hirono said. "It all depends on who is on the platform." Democrat Party spokesman Nicholas Shapiro rejected the suggestion that Native Hawaiians were slighted. Rather this year's platform document - which serves as the party's guiding principles - was written to encompass broad thematic principles, he said. "We didn't want to have this platform be a large list," Shapiro said. "This is a document that incorporates the needs of all Americans, including Native Hawaiians and Native Americans." Unlike the 2000 document, this year's platform makes mention of few constituencies. It is more concise and focused on national security. Still, the platform has drawn criticism from women and human rights groups who also have felt shortchanged by the Democrats. Ave Dias of Haiku, Maui, who was in Miami earlier this month to help work on the platform, said delegates had little input in the final document. "It was a small group of people that did the document in secrecy and there wasn't an opportunity to amend it," added Bart Dame of Honolulu. The Hawaii congressional delegation has introduced legislation creating a process for Native Hawaiians to gain formal recognition from the United States. But it has faced Republican opposition in the Senate. The Bush administration also has been somewhat critical of the bill, but not formalized a position.

Hirono said Sens. John Kerry and John Edwards support the legislation. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, the bill's lead sponsor, did not return a call seeking comment.

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http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2004/Jul/28/op/op04a.html
The Honolulu Advertiser, Wednesday, July 28, 2004
Letters to the Editor

Why Akaka bill is being fought

Reservation Report, a monthly national media letter regarding American Indian policies, has weighed in on the Akaka bill. While Reservation Report is admittedly biased against the growing political power of Indian tribes, its clear and simple analysis of the Akaka bill should give pause to Hawai'i residents who don't understand the full impact of the proposed bill. The following appeared in its July 2004 issue:

"POTENTIAL BREAKUP OF HAWAI'I AS A STATE SOUGHT: ... A sharply divided, intensely partisan U.S. Senate has been threatening to jeopardize Hawaiian statehood by granting citizens of Native Hawaiian descent separate tribal status and special tax-funded privileges independent of all others in Hawai'i's population.

"Hawai'i would thus become 'a house divided' under terms of what is presently identified as Senate Bill 746, sponsored by Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawai'i, and supported by fellow Sen. Daniel Inouye and that state's (Republican) governor, Linda Lingle.

"Akaka's bill was offered as a 'rider' to a Bush administration measure to reform class-action lawsuits, but a band of Senate Republican conservatives opposed the Akaka proposal as a non-germane amendment to the litigation reform legislation. The class-action lawsuit measure itself was derailed in an early July vote but may reappear as a 'rider' for special consideration later.

"Akaka and Inouye ... are also principal sponsors of a long-contested plan (S. 578) to grant the more than 560 Native American Indian tribes a reservation status that would be equivalent to statehood.

"That proposal enjoys the ardent support of Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., whose prospects for re-election this year largely depend on vote help from South Dakota's large Sioux reservation Indian population.

"Both the Hawaiian and Indian separation measures have been opposed and stalled by Republican leaders in the Senate, most especially by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., and his colleagues, Sens. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., and Larry Craig, R-Idaho.

"Activist support for the Akaka bill (comes) from militant Hawaiian descendants who contend they wish to run their own affairs and enjoy greater benefits from the state and federal treasuries through a divorce from all other Americans in the state. This is an attempt to nullify the multicultural melting pot concept, fundamental to the American Constitution and essential to the democratic governance of the U.S. republic.

"Specifically, Akaka's plan is to create a Native Hawaiian governing council, providing for a direct legal relationship between the federal government and the described native governing body.

"It would authorize the federal government and the Hawaiian governing entity to engage in negotiations for the transfer of lands, which are presently considered to be part of the state of Hawai'i, to full administrative control by the Native Hawaiian council. Akaka also provides in his legislation for the native governing council to take full control of all natural resources as well as civil and criminal jurisdiction over all lands finally approved for exclusive native administration, independent of the state government.

"In another day and age, some might have called Akaka's plan 'secession.' If ever it wins enactment, it would forever change the character of the American nation."

Reservation Report is published by New Century Communications, P.O. Box 277, Reedville, VA 22539.

Thurston Twigg-Smith
Honolulu

** Note from website editor Ken Conklin: “Reservation Report” is a nationwide publication tracking federal legislation affecting Indian tribes. The report on the Akaka bill was set in the context of reports on other legislation that would add to the balkanization of America. Reservation Report can be found at: www.thecommunityforum.com

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http://starbulletin.com/2004/08/02/news/story4.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Monday, August 2, 2004

Senator skewers Akaka bill as divisive
Republican John Kyl calls the measure a "recipe for permanent racial conflict"

By Ron Staton
Associated Press

The native Hawaiian recognition bill is "a recipe for permanent racial conflict," says a U.S. senator who is opposed to a measure that has the support of Hawaii's Democratic senators and Republican Gov. Linda Lingle.

Sen. John Kyl, who has been identified as the senator who has put a hold on the bill, explained his opposition in a letter addressing his concerns.

The Arizona Republican says the measure named for Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, "would violate the United States Constitution and create a divisive and unworkable system of government." "Persons of different races, who live together in the same society, would be subject to different legal codes," Kyl maintains. "This would not produce racial reconciliation in Hawaii. Instead, it is a recipe for permanent racial conflict."

Kai'opua Fyfe and Ehu Cardwell, of the Kauai-based Koani Foundation, said that during a recent visit to Washington, they met with aides to Kyl, Senate President Bill Frist, R-Tenn., and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. All agreed that the bill, commonly known as the Akaka bill, will not be approved this year, according to Fyfe and Cardwell.

The Akaka bill would establish an office in the Department of the Interior to address native Hawaiian issues and create an interagency group composed of representatives of federal agencies that currently administer programs and policies affecting Hawaiians. In effect, the federal government would recognize Hawaiians as a native population, as it already does American Indians and native Alaskans.

Senate rules give individual senators the power to hold up any bill. Fyfe said the group was told that Frist has no intention of scheduling the bill even if the hold were lifted and that McCain, chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee, does not support it.

Despite repeated calls to their offices, no comment could be gotten from Frist or McCain. Kyl spokesman Scott Montrey said he could not comment on the chances of the bill being passed before Congress adjourns this fall, but did say that the senator is not the only one opposed to the bill.

Akaka and Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, however, are optimistic the bill will win approval. They and two prominent constitutional law professors disagree that the bill would violate the Constitution. Akaka believes that he and Inouye have effectively countered the constitutional arguments, according to his spokesman, Paul Cardus. Inouye said the Interior Department also does not see any constitutional problems.

Charles Wilkinson, a law professor at the University of Colorado, said in a memorandum prepared for the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs that most scholars believe Congress has authority under the Indian Commerce clause of the Constitution to recognize native Hawaiians. "This is because the overthrow and subsequent actions affected only the recognition of Hawaiian sovereignty; the sovereignty itself continued to exist, albeit not recognized by the United States," he said.

A U.S. Supreme Court decision this year "strongly confirms Congress's power to legislate for native people and thus gives strong support for the conclusion that the Akaka bill would be found to be a constitutional exercise of congressional power under the Indian Commerce Clause," said University of Hawaii law professor Jon Van Dyke.

With that backing -- and despite Kyl's efforts -- Akaka, Inouye, Lingle and OHA are optimistic on prospects for the bill. "We are not giving up," Inouye said. "The session won't end until October." Inouye said he and Akaka are identifying several legislative vehicles that the bill can be attached to. "We are not waiting until next session," he said.

Lingle has spoken by telephone to Frist several times and met briefly with him during the National Governors Conference in February, said her spokesman Russell Pang. There was no indication from Frist that the Akaka bill would die, he said.

OHA administrator Clyde Namuo said reports that the Akaka bill is dead are "absolutely false. ... It is very much alive." Namuo said he and several OHA trustees talked to McCain's staff during an earlier visit to Washington and were told that McCain is not opposed to the bill. "His objection last year was procedural," Namuo said, noting that McCain objected to inserting the Akaka bill into an appropriations bill. "I don't think he has an ideological opposition to federal recognition of Hawaiians. I don't think Kyl does, either," said Namuo.

But Kyl, in his letter, said he is concerned the bill could deny Hawaii citizens protection of the Bill of Rights. "By subjecting native Hawaiians to a government that is not bound by the Constitution, the Akaka bill effectively would take away these constitutional rights from persons who currently enjoy their protection," Kyl said. "This is something that I believe Congress neither can nor should do." Kyl also said the bill is motivated by a desire to immunize government preferences for native Hawaiians from constitutional scrutiny under the U.S. Supreme Court's 2000 Rice v. Cayetano ruling, which overturned Hawaiians-only voting in OHA elections. "The Supreme Court generally has frowned on legislative efforts to reverse the effect of its decisions," he said. "I do not think that the Akaka bill would fare any better."

-------------------------

WHILE VISITING MAUI DURING THE SENATE’S SUMMER RECESS IN AUGUST, SENATOR INOUYE SAID HE IS ONCE AGAIN PLANNING TO USE STEALTH STRATEGIES TO PASS THE AKAKA BILL, LIKE HE TRIED IN 2000 AND 2001. To read about Inouye’s previous stealth tactics during a period of four years, see:
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/StealthDeception.html

For the extreme final stealth action on the last day of Congress on December 15, 2000 see:
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/ExtremeFinalStealth2000.html

For the stealth action of December 7, 2001 see:
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/ExtremeFinalStealth2000.html

Here is the Maui News article reporting Inouye’s plans for stealth tactics in the remaining months of year 2004:

http://www.mauinews.com/news/story/0822202004_new03.asp
The Maui News, Sunday, August 22, 2004

Backdoor approach eyed on Native Hawaiian bill

By ILIMA LOOMIS and EDWIN TANJI Staff Writers

WAILUKU - Hawaii senior Sen. Daniel Inouye said last week he and Sen. Daniel Akaka will seek again to insert the Native Hawaiian Recognition Act into an appropriations bill. With the bill, commonly known as the Akaka Bill, stalled by an Arizona senator who has placed a hold on the measure, Inouye said its chance for approval on the current route is "next to nil."

But he said Hawaii's delegation would try "the route that's seldom followed" for the bill that would grant federal recognition to Native Hawaiians.

That means slipping it in as an amendment into a much-larger appropriations bill and hoping it rides all the way through Congress' review process. It's a technique that some will "frown" on at the Capitol, but if it makes it out of the Senate Appropriations Committee intact, that endorsement will carry some weight with other members of Congress and give it a chance, said Inouye, a ranking member of the committee.

It is one of several options the Hawaii delegation has in its efforts to win approval of the bill that has been repeatedly blocked in the Senate. A similar move last year to insert the recognition bill in an appropriations measure was blocked by several Senate opponents including Arizona Republican John McCain.

The Akaka Bill has staunch Capitol Hill opponents, some of whom also oppose granting special rights to Native American tribes, Inouye said. The bill's opponents will find ammunition in any argument against it - including Hawaiian sovereignty and independence groups that reject the Akaka Bill because it would acknowledge federal authority over Hawaiians.

But Inouye warned that Native Hawaiians programs with combined budgets of more than $150 million could be jeopardized if the Akaka Bill fails, and if critics of those programs renew their arguments that the programs are racially based and unconstitutional.

"(The programs) are based on the premise that Native Hawaiians are Native Americans, and, as such, they can receive special treatment," he said.

The bill calls for federal authorization to organize a Native Hawaiian government "and to provide for the recognition of the Native Hawaiian government by the United States."

Some supporters of Hawaiian sovereignty argue that there is no need to ask the federal government to allow Hawaiians to form their own government and the bill grants to the federal government an authority it does not now have. Conversely, non-Hawaiian opponents - including McCain's Arizona colleague, Sen. Jon Kyl - see the measure as giving an unconstitutional recognition to Hawaiians as a racial group.

Kyl has objected to the bill for seeking to reverse the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Rice v. Cayetano that overturned the Hawaii law providing for Hawaiians-only voting in Office of Hawaiian Affairs elections. There have since been multiple efforts by various groups to invalidate governmental programs providing specifically for Hawaiians through OHA and through the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act.

In an Associated Press report earlier this month, Kyl said he saw the Akaka Bill as seeking to block federal court scrutiny, opened by the Rice v. Cayetano decision, of government programs that benefit Native Hawaiians as a racial group. He said he doubted that the Supreme Court would find the Akaka Bill constitutional.

Both Inouye and Akaka have said they believe the recognition bill will pass constitutional review since it would essentially grant to Native Hawaiians the status already granted to Native Americans and Alaska Natives.

Meeting with The Maui News, Inouye remained confident the Akaka Bill is good legislation and a positive step for Hawaii and Hawaiians. "I think the history and the laws are clearly in our favor," he said.

----------------

http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2004/Sep/07/ln/ln17a.html
Honolulu Advertiser, Tuesday, September 7, 2004

Inouye says fight not over yet on Akaka bill

By Vicki Viotti

The push for federal recognition for Native Hawaiians is coming to a head this fall as proponents fight to have that status approved by Congress by the end of the current session.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, a leading champion of the Native Hawaiian Reorganization Act — the so-called Akaka bill — said he's planning to attach the legislation to one of the 12 appropriations bills still moving through Congress.

Congress might have little more than a month of lawmaking left, with pressure mounting to adjourn early before the general election, and the federal recognition bill is still languishing without a hearing on the Senate floor. It has been seen as a means to give Hawaiians a protected, political status that would derail lawsuits that challenge as unconstitutional programs or benefits targeting them.

The use of an appropriations package as a vehicle for the Akaka bill seems to be the only means left for its passage this session, because of the hold placed on it by the Senate's Republican leadership, Inouye said.

"I can't discuss the precise action we're going to take," Inouye said at the end of his session break in Hawai'i last week. "But in general, as of this moment, we have used every traditional means to pass this bill, going through committees and hearings, only to find that they (the Senate leadership) used an un-American method, a hold.

"Once they do that, you cannot move," Inouye said. "If they insist, I'm going to try to put it on an appropriations bill, and if they hold that, they hold up the government."

It would take political gamesmanship to make this work. Other senators could protest that the bill has not yet had a hearing in the House of Representatives and move to strip it out of the budget package, according to an Inouye staffer.

But as a member of the influential Senate Appropriations Committee, Inouye could trade support for certain budget items to keep the Hawaiian measure alive long enough to be considered by a Senate-House conference committee.

One reason Hawai'i lawmakers hear the clock ticking is that the appeal of one lawsuit challenging Hawaiian entitlements — Arakaki v. Lingle — is set for hearings in Honolulu Nov. 1. Having federal recognition approved by then, Inouye said, would make the lawsuit "moot."

The lawsuit claims that the use of state taxpayer money for programs benefiting Native Hawaiians only is unconstitutional. The case was dismissed in U.S. District Court in January, when Judge Susan Oki Mollway ruled that Congress must first have the opportunity to decide on federal recognition. The taxpayer group challenging Hawaiian benefits, such as those funded through the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to hear the case as quickly as possible, said its attorney, H. William Burgess.

Complicating all of this: The Akaka bill does not enjoy universal support, even among Native Hawaiians, some of whom believe it gives too much control over Hawaiian affairs to the U.S. Department of the Interior, the federal agency that oversees Native American tribes and Native Alaskan corporate entities. The version of the bill currently under consideration was revised in May to let the secretary of the interior name those who would compile the membership rolls of a Native Hawaiian nation. This was among the provisions raising eyebrows among even some of the bill's supporters.

However, during last week's annual Native Hawaiian Conference at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, several community leaders assured participants that Hawaiians would be better off with some kind of bill in place, one that always could be revised in coming years. "All legislation is a creative process," U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie told the gathering at its closing luncheon on Friday. "It's amended as experience indicates."

It was partly aversion to federal control of the nation-building process that spurred a grassroots Native Hawaiian registration drive dubbed Kau Inoa. Clyde Namu'o, administrator of the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs, told conferees last week that the drive is funded through OHA but that forms are being handled independently by the Native Hawaiian nonprofit Hawai'i Maoli. No matter how Native Hawaiians feel about federal recognition, he said, they should take part in the registration. "It's our participation in that process that will make it credible," he said. "Shame on us if we don't find a way to bring them all in as we build a Hawaiian government entity."

-------------------

When Congress came back into session after Labor Day, the Hawai'i delegation moved forward with a sense of urgency. The Congressional Record of September 7, 2004, for the Senate, page S8916, contains the following entry:

SA 3576. Mr. INOUYE submitted an amendment intended to be proposed by him to the bill S. 344, expressing the policy of the United States regarding the United States relationship with Native Hawaiians and to provide a process for the recognition by the United States of the Native Hawaiian governing entity, and for other purposes; which was ordered to lie on the table; as follows: Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the following:

and then the entire text of the Akaka bill was newly inserted, with negligible changes, probably to make it conform exactly with the text of the House version H.R.4282.

Then, on Tuesday September 14 the Honolulu Advertiser reported that the House Resources Committee had placed H.R.4282 on the committee's agenda for Wednesday morning, and the bill is expected to be passed by the committee.

http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2004/Sep/14/ln/ln07a.html
The Honolulu Advertiser, Tuesday, September 14, 2004

U.S. House committee to vote on Akaka bill

By Mike Gordon

Federal recognition for Native Hawaiians could receive a nudge toward reality tomorrow when a U.S. House of Representatives committee votes on its version of the so-called Akaka bill.

The House version of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act — which is identical to the one introduced in the Senate by U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawai'i — is one of 26 bills up for approval in the House Resources Committee.

The fact that it was scheduled has generated a lot of optimism among Hawai'i's congressional delegation. "This is major progress for the Akaka bill," said U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawai'i, a primary sponsor of the House version. "It sends a clear signal of approval from the committee with jurisdiction over native issues," Abercrombie said yesterday. "The stage is now set for passage by the full House of Representatives before Congress adjourns this year."

Abercrombie spokesman Michael Slackman said the chances of the bill being passed "are very good. Generally, they won't schedule something that they don't have the votes for," Slackman said. "We are very optimistic."

First introduced by Akaka, the bill has been seen as a means to give Hawaiians a protected, political status that would derail lawsuits that challenge as unconstitutional programs or benefits targeting them. It would enable Native Hawaiians to re-establish self-government and affirm the special political and legal relationship they have with the federal government.

But the Senate version stalled this summer and proponents there have worked feverishly to win approval by Congress before the end of the current session. Having a House committee approve the bill would be helpful, said Akaka spokesman Paul Cardus. "It couldn't hurt," he said. "I don't think it is indicative one way or the other. But it has passed the House in previous Congresses and it shows there is bipartisan support."

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawai'i, said he plans to attach the Akaka bill to one of 12 appropriations bills still moving through Congress. Congress has about a month of lawmaking left.

==============

http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?ccf00674-54dc-4f91-86f3-0a5187500539
Hawaii Reporter, September 16, 2004

Akaka Rollercoaster - All Aboard

By Kenneth R. Conklin

At about noon Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2004, both Honolulu newspapers reported that H.R.4282, the "Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act" (also known as the Akaka bill) passed the House Resources Committee "unanimously."

Honolulu Advertiser: http://tinyurl.com/48eo2

Honolulu Star-Bulletin: http://tinyurl.com/5fzmo

Will we ever find out how many members of the House committee were present for that "unanimous" vote? On at least one previous occasion (year 2000), the Senate Indian Affairs Committee "unanimously" approved its version of the bill after "considering" it for 5 minutes with only three Senators present. Two of those three present were the bill's sponsors, Hawaii Sen. Dan Inouye (then chairman of the committee), and Hawaii Sen. Dan Akaka (who is Native Hawaiian and allegedly wrote the bill). Also in attendance was Colorado Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, ranking Republican (an Indian who was formerly a Democrat and was chairman of the committee as a Republican before Senator Jeffords switched parties and gave the Democrats control of the chairmanship). Just three guys sitting at a table. Campbell: "Shall we pass it? Waddya say?" Akaka: "Yeah!" Inouye: "Sure." Campbell: "Whatever."

Ever wonder why Hawaii's two Senators have spent their careers on the Indian Affairs Committee when there are no Indian tribes in Hawaii? There's just one reason -- so they can put the words "Native Hawaiian" into the bills intended to provide health, education, and housing benefits to real Indians, and bring back heap big wampum to Hawaii from the Great White Father. Like cuckoo birds secretly put their oversized eggs into the nests of other birds who then keep them warm and feed the chicks when they hatch.

The Akaka bill came so close to passing in 2000 that President Clinton already had his pen poised to squirt his stain onto the paper.

Perhaps we will soon have deja vu all over again as Congress lurches toward adjournment. Let's take a ride in the way-back machine.

Year 2000 in Congress was similar to year 2004: it was a Presidential election year. Congress was supposed to adjourn in October, but important legislation was backed up and so a lame-duck session was held after the election. Sen. Akaka was recuperating from surgery in September 2000, just as in September 2004.

Four years ago, on Sept. 26, 2000 the Akaka bill passed the "full House" by "unanimous consent" on a voice vote under suspension of the rules at dinner time. About ten of the four-hundred thirty-five Members of Congress were present, waiting in line to pass their pet bills on the calendar of non-controversial legislation. "Psssst. I've got a minor little bill. Won't take but a moment of your time. I'll vote for yours if you'll vote for mine."

For details, including Congressman Abercrombie's "keep it quiet" strategy and his crowing with delight afterwards, see: http://tinyurl.com/7yclb Perhaps Abercrombie will try a similar tactic again this year.

Four years ago the Akaka Bill languished in the Senate Sept. 27 to Dec. 13, 2000. Senators Inouye and Akaka hoped to use the same "unanimous consent" stealth strategy that worked in the House, but admitted publicly that they might try to attach the Akaka bill to a major appropriations bill. On Dec. 12, 2000, the Honolulu newspapers published "disinformation" articles saying the bill had died in the Senate. There were post-mortems, crocodile tears, and public "wait 'til next year" pledges.

But wait. Three days later, on Dec. 15, 2000, the final day of the 106th Congress, the Akaka bill was suddenly discovered to have been passed! It was buried (but very much alive) in the form of a single sentence deep inside an appropriations bill. Senator Inouye, as chairman of the Defense Appropriations subcommittee, had abused his power to ... well ... just sort of stick it in there while nobody was looking. The Hawaii delegation was keeping it a secret. As soon as Congress adjourned forever, the bill would suddenly be discovered to have passed, and nothing could be done about it! Having passed both houses with identical language, the bill would have then gone to President Clinton who had already announced he would sign it. But fortunately the subterfuge was discovered in the nick of time. Both houses passed an emergency concurrent resolution in the closing moments of Congress to delete the offending language from the omnibus appropriations bill, and the 106th Congress then came to an end. Whew!

Similar stealth tactics were used in the Senate a year later, during the run-up to adjournment of the extended session in December 2001. Once again an eagle-eyed staffer discovered the Akaka bill hidden in the form of a single sentence. Buried in section 8,132 of the massive Defense Appropriations bill HR.3338, the sentence said: "SEC. 8132. The provisions of S. 746 of the 107th Congress, as reported to the Senate on Sept. 21, 2001, are hereby enacted into law."

The Senate stopped dead in its tracks for a short recess. Senators Craig, Gramm, and McCain dragged Senator Inouye to the cloakroom where they twisted his arm to withdraw the offending language. Putting substantive legislation in an appropriations bill violates a Senate rule. Sen. Inouye knew that; but he later offered a half-apology, saying he had done it just to find out which Senator was holding up his bill. When the Senators came back from the cloakroom and the session was called back to order, Sen. Inouye sheepishly withdrew the offending sentence. A strange new version of the bill was then pulled out of Senator Akaka's pocket and promptly introduced on the Senate floor. This sneak attack on the people of Hawaii occurred on Dec. 7, 2001 -- the 60th anniversary of another sneak attack on Hawaii -- a "day that shall live in infamy." December was dangerous for Hawaii in 1941, 2000, and 2001. It looks like the Congress will have another lame-duck session until mid-December again this year. Be afraid.

The complete history of Akaka-bill stealth and deception (or as much as has been ferreted out) can be read at http://tinyurl.com/57tsj

The rollercoaster passengers are now seated. The lap bar is snapped into place and locked. The stationmaster blows his whistle. Click-click-click the cogs snap into place as the train goes up the incline. Then over the top, hands in the air, and screeeeeeeeam!

---------------------

http://starbulletin.com/2004/09/16/news/story12.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, September 16, 2004

Akaka bill takes ‘giant step’ in House
The measure passes out of committee but still faces a full vote and a Senate obstacle

By Janis L. Magin
Associated Press

A bill that would grant federal recognition to native Hawaiians cleared a major hurdle yesterday in the House but still faces the same roadblocks that have stalled its Senate version.

The House Resources Committee unanimously approved the so-called Akaka bill, setting it up for a possible vote by the full House before Congress adjourns.

U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, the House bill's primary sponsor, and the rest of Hawaii's congressional delegation are working under an Oct. 3 deadline to get the bill, which has failed in two previous sessions.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye has said he plans to attach the legislation from the Akaka bill, named for fellow Hawaii Democrat Sen. Daniel Akaka, to one of 12 appropriations measures being considered this fall. Those are bills the Senate has to pass to fund government.

"We're exploring every legislative path we know of," Abercrombie said yesterday in a telephone interview from Washington, D.C., adding that he believes Congress will work well into October. "We're moving on all fronts together." It is now up to the House Republican leadership to schedule a vote, he said. "I can assure you something's going to be done; I can't say when it's going to be done," Abercrombie said. "This is a giant step."

The bill passed out of committee is "word for word" the same as its Senate counterpart, which is stalled, Abercrombie said. If it passes the House, the bill will be sent directly to the Senate, where it will require unanimous consent for a vote. This means that opposition from even one senator could stop the bill from getting a vote.

A spokesman for Sen. John Kyl, who is reported to be the one who placed a hold on the bill in the Senate, said that the Arizona Republican remains opposed to the Akaka bill. "He's in opposition to the bill," Kyl spokesman Scott Montrey said in a telephone interview. "Whether he's the one who did it or somebody else, it's not all that important."

Abercrombie acknowledged that individual lawmakers are opposed to the bill, but said it has more to do with issues going on in their home districts than the provisions of the bill. Supporters have tried to overcome "political consideration" members may have, he said. If it wins passage in the House, the bill would also underscore to the Senate the support the bill has among other lawmakers, he said.

=============

On September 15, 2004, the bill number S.2810, the Dept of Labor, Health and human Services, and Education, and related agencies Appropriations Act (providing funding for fiscal year 2005) was reported out of the Senate Appropriations Committee by Senate Report 108-345, read twice and placed on the calendar. Toward the very end of the bill there appears the following provision:

“SEC. 516. The course of dealings between the United States and the Native Hawaiian people, and the enactment of Public Law 67-34 (the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act), Public Law 83-3 (the Hawaii Admissions Act), Public Law 89-10 (the Native Hawaiian Education Act), Public Law 100-579 (the Native Hawaiian Health Care Improvement Act), Public Law 103-150 (the Native Hawaiian Apology Resolution), Public Law 104-42 (the Hawaiian Homelands Recovery Act), and Public Law 106-569 (the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act) have established a special relationship between the United States and the Native Hawaiian people, and accordingly, pursuant to the terms and conditions of S. 344, Senate Calendar No. 185, amendment 3576, upon the election of the officers of the Native Hawaiian governing entity and the certifications by the Secretary of the Interior, the United States shall extend Federal recognition to the Native Hawaiian governing entity as the representative governing body of the Native Hawaiian people.”

The reference in Sec. 516 to "amendment 3572" is to the amendment to S. 344 proposed by Sen. Inouye on September 7, 2004 at Cong. Rec. page S8916 to update that bill to match the new House version (HR 4282).

Since this appropriations bill has been placed on the Senate Calendar, it apparently can be brought up for vote at at any time.

----------------------

** NEWSPAPER ARTICLE DESCRIBES STEALTH TACTICS **

http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2004/Sep/29/ln/ln02a.html
The Honolulu Advertiser, Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Akaka bill voting relies on logistics

By Frank Oliveri
Advertiser Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — The success or failure of Native Hawaiian recognition this year has been reduced to three or four parliamentary maneuvers available to the Hawai'i congressional delegation at the end of this session.

"We are now at a stage that has less to do with substance and more with moving legislation," said Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawai'i. "It has less to do with the substance of the bill and more about the means available to you. That is what we are working on right now."

The so-called Akaka bill would create a framework for Native Hawaiian sovereignty to blossom. But should the measure fail, or fail to be considered, lawmakers would be forced to begin the debate and lengthy legislative process anew next year.

Hawai'i lawmakers in Congress met with Native Hawaiian leaders in Washington last week during festivities surrounding the opening of the National Museum of the American Indian. They discussed legislative procedures that might be used to introduce the Akaka bill for a vote.

Paul Cardus, spokesman for Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawai'i, said Akaka would not discuss strategy. He said Akaka was unwilling to give insight to those who might oppose his bill. Cardus said, however, that there are a number of ways to get the bill to the Senate floor.

Abercrombie said: "The reason there is urgency now is that this bill has been probably the most thoroughly discussed, thoroughly analyzed, most widely considered piece of legislation in Hawai'i's history. So a decision needs to be made. We would like to move forward with some resolutions of Hawaiian land and monetary assets. We've been coming to this day since the statehood act."

Abercrombie's version of the Akaka bill passed through the House Resources Committee on Sept. 15.

But the bill's toughest opposition is in the Senate, where Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., has held it up all year. Kyl opposes granting sovereignty to Native Hawaiians, arguing that it is unconstitutional to grant special status to any racial group. Kyl has several Indian tribes in his state that have achieved sovereignty. "By creating a separate, race-based government within the state of Hawai'i, (the Akaka bill) would violate the United States Constitution and create a divisive and unworkable system of government," Kyl said.

Sen. Dan Inouye, D-Hawai'i, has staked his powerful reputation on getting the bill to a vote before the session ends. He has said in recent weeks that the bill could be added to one of several major spending bills pending in the Senate or to an expected omnibus spending bill — a giant bill with several spending bills rolled into one.

How the bill is attached to these larger spending bills is significant.

If Native Hawaiian recognition is attached to a spending bill by amendment, a senator could object and have a good chance of having the amendment carved out.

But if Inouye could insert the Akaka bill language into a spending bill during negotiations between the House and Senate, it becomes a part of the very fabric of the spending bill. Rejecting the Akaka bill language would mean killing important spending on such issues as foreign operations, homeland security or veterans' funding. "In effect it waives all rules and sets up final consideration," Abercrombie said. "Believe me, there will not just be the Akaka bill that will ride that train."

Office of Hawaiian Affairs Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona said she is confident that Inouye will deliver passage of the bill. "There is a lot of work that we still need to do, but we are ready to do it," she said.

===================

On October 5, 2004 both Honolulu newspapers reported that Democrat Presidential candidate John Kerry has announced he supports the Akaka bill. The two newspapers report somewhat different details. Their reports are based on a Hawaii Democratic Party webpage announcing Kerry’s support for the Akaka bill.

http://www.hawaiidemocrats.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=ig.page&PageID=69&returntoname=year%20Home

Statement by John Kerry on Native Hawaiian Self-Determination:
October 4, 2004

“John Edwards and I are committed to improve the lives of Native Hawaiians. Once elected, we will work to support their right to self-determination as a Native people.

“My Democratic colleagues, Senators Akaka and Inouye, and Congressmen Abercrombie and Case, have introduced and championed legislation that provides a process for self-determination that will lead to federal recognition by the federal government of Native Hawaiians. It will also reaffirm that the numerous programs to benefit Native Hawaiians are based on a special and legal relationship between the United States and Hawaii's indigenous peoples and Congress' plenary authority to address the conditions of indigenous peoples.

“I support this legislation, the Akaka bill. As President, I will direct the Departments of Interior and Justice to work closely with the Native Hawaiian people to achieve self-determination under federal law.

“As President, I will also continue to support initiatives to improve education, health care, housing, and economic opportunities for Native Hawaiians. I will also push to create meaningful opportunities, support the preservation of Hawaiian language and cultural programs, and promote self-pride for the next generation of a proud Native people.”

** press release by Hawaii Democratic Party, included on the same webpage immediately following the Kerry statement **

JOHN KERRY PROVES HIS LEADERSHIP WILL ADVANCE NATIVE HAWAIIAN CAUSE

Honolulu - Hawaii Democratic Party Chairman Brickwood Galuteria said today a win for John Kerry in November will be a win for the Native Hawaiian people.

“President John Kerry will protect the current entitlements of Native Hawaiians and advance legislation for self-determination,” Galuteria said.

Galuteria’s remarks come on the heels of a statement released by John Kerry today on Native Hawaiian self-determination. In it Kerry reaffirms the Akaka bill and numerous programs to benefit Native Hawaiians, which were introduced by Democratic colleagues, Senators Daniel Akaka and Daniel Inouye and Congressmen Neil Abercrombie and Ed Case.

“We’re very pleased about that,” Galuteria said referring to the Akaka bill. “It hasn’t quite moved the way we wanted it to move through the current administration. With Kerry as President, he could advance the cause for the Native Hawaiian population.”

Last month, A bill that would grant federal recognition to native Hawaiians cleared a major hurdle in the House but still faces the same roadblocks that have stalled its Senate version. Republican Senator John Kyl, from Arizona Republican remains opposed to the Akaka bill. The bill requires unanimous consent for a vote.

-------------

http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2004/Oct/05/ln/ln16p.html
Honolulu Advertiser, Tuesday, October 5, 2004

Kerry backs Native Hawaiian bill

By Derrick DePledge
Advertiser Capitol Bureau

John Kerry yesterday endorsed the Native Hawaiian federal recognition bill, promising that, if elected president, he would direct the federal government to work closely with Hawaiians on self-determination.

The endorsement by the Democratic nominee will likely have little immediate influence on the bill's fate in Congress, where Hawai'i lawmakers are trying to get it passed before the end of the session. But supporters of the bill say it puts Kerry, a Massachusetts senator, on record in the event he is elected and has the power to set the agenda at federal agencies that have raised questions about Hawaiian sovereignty.

The bill, sponsored primarily by Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawai'i, would recognize Hawaiians as an indigenous people, similar to American Indians and Native Alaskans. It would create a process for Hawaiians to form a sovereign government that could have a government-to-government relationship with the United States and more autonomy over Hawaiian affairs.

"I support this legislation, the Akaka bill," Kerry said in a statement. "As president, I will direct the Departments of Interior and Justice to work closely with the Native Hawaiian people to achieve self-determination under federal law." Kerry also added that he supports federal programs to improve education, healthcare, housing and economic opportunities for Hawaiians.

The Bush administration has not taken a position on the bill despite the efforts of Gov. Linda Lingle, a Republican who has joined Hawai'i Democrats in Congress in backing the legislation.

Support for the Akaka bill is not unanimous in the Hawaiian community. Some Hawaiians who want independence view it as capitulation to the federal government. Haunani Apoliona, the chairman of the trustees for the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs, said it would be helpful to have a president who believes in Hawaiian self-determination. "Each individual Hawaiian will have to make their decision," Apoliona said. "But I think it's a positive statement on his part."

But Brennon Morioka, the chairman of the Hawai'i Republican Party, doubts the Kerry endorsement will have much impact on Hawai'i voters. "It would have been helpful if he stood up for the bill in the Senate before he was a candidate," he said.

---------------------

In October and November, 2004 the nationally circulated Washington D.C. newspaper “The Washington Times” published a series of three articles about the Hawaiian recognition bill. The full text of all three articles can be found at:
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/AkakaWashingtonTimesOctNov2004.html

---------------

http://starbulletin.com/2004/10/05/news/story9.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Tuesday, October 5, 2004

Kerry gives support to Akaka bill
Hawaii's GOP says the move signals Kerry fears losing Hawaii in the election

By Nelson Daranciang

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry pledged support yesterday for the Akaka bill, which would grant federal recognition of native Hawaiians.

A written statement from Kerry supporting the bill was promptly posted on the Democratic Party of Hawaii's Web site. Party Chairman Brickwood Galuteria declared that Kerry, as president, would protect native Hawaiian entitlements facing legal challenges.

Hawaii Republican Party Chairman Brennon Morioka said the release of Kerry's statement was politically motivated. "To me this is an indication the Kerry campaign sees the election in Hawaii slipping," Morioka said. Morioka noted that the Republican National Committee platform addresses native Hawaiian self-determination, a position that is supported by President Bush, while the Democratic National Committee platform is silent.

At the Republican National Convention in New York this summer, Gov. Linda Lingle said the national committee platform expresses support of native Hawaiian culture and language. It mentions Hawaiians along with native Alaskans and American Indians in reference to federal programs. But it does not mention the Akaka bill, which would extend federal recognition of Hawaiians as a native population, as the government already does for American Indians and native Alaskans.

Hawaii Democratic Party spokeswoman Donalyn Dela Cruz said the party is pleased with Kerry's statement but did not ask the Kerry-Edwards campaign for it. She said this year's Democratic National Committee platform does not mention native Hawaiian rights because it was already included in the national committee's 2000 platform. "We already talked about it and brought it to the forefront, so our efforts are now with the Akaka bill," she said.

The bill won approval by a House committee last month. If it clears the House, it faces a battle in the Senate, where the Senate version of the bill has been stalled.

--------------------

http://www.pahrumpvalleytimes.com/2004/10/08/news/kerry-hawaii.html
Pahrump Valley Times, Pahrump, NV October 8, 2004

Kerry's support of Hawaii could sway Nevada votes

By SAMANTHA YOUNG
PVT WASHINGTON BUREAU

WASHINGTON - Sen. John Kerry probably doesn't need help winning Hawaii this fall. But his endorsement this week of a bill important to Native Hawaiians could benefit him among the many Hawaii transplants in Nevada, officials said.

While most Nevadans may be unaware of impassioned efforts by Native Hawaiians to acquire sovereignty like American Indians, a small but growing group of islanders who call Las Vegas home rank the issue a key priority.

"This is a statement on the national level," said Rep. Ed Case, D-Hawaii. "This is not just a state of Hawaii issue but it is of great importance to citizens in California, the Southwest and up and down the Pacific coast."

And in Nevada, Case said.

"We call Las Vegas the ninth island of Hawaii," said Hawaii Democratic Party Chair Brickwood Galuteria, who used to host a weekly radio show in Las Vegas.

Kerry campaign aides in Nevada said the candidate's position could help voter turnout among native Hawaiians. Although they said the endorsement didn't figure into any Nevada campaign strategy. "We are battling for every vote here," said Sean Smith, Kerry's Nevada spokesman. "We have embarked on outreach to all constituencies, (Hawaiians) included."

In Nevada, 2000 census figures show 8,264 native Hawaiians reside in the state. But Sue Keliiheleua, who sits on the board of the Las Vegas Hawaiian Civic Club, estimated as many as 70,000 former Hawaii residents live in Nevada. "I think that it will be a plus on his side in that he is looking at what the Hawaii people need and want," said Helene K. Pierce, civic club president. "Many islanders who have relocated here to Las Vegas are in favor of this bill."

Nevada political scientists said Kerry's endorsement marks another issue where the Democrat differs with Bush, who has declined to endorse the bill, which is stalled in the Republican-controlled Senate. "I can't see it being a major factor but it could tip the balance for a few voters," said David Damore, associate political science professor at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. Michael Green, political science professor at the Community College of Southern Nevada, said a relatively minor issue like Hawaiian rights could influence the election if the Nevada contest becomes as close as the 1998 U.S. Senate race where Harry Reid won by just 428 votes. "A good politician should be aware of all the angles. It is entirely possible that Kerry is thinking this may help me in places other than Hawaii," Green said. "It is the little things that often decide a campaign."

Former Hawaii residents rank 10th among Nevada transplant groups, according to driver's license records compiled by the University of Nevada at Las Vegas' Center for Business and Economic Research. "That's fairly significant given the size and distance of Hawaii," said Bob Potts, assistant director at the UNLV center. "Hawaii in a lot of ways has the same industry we do - tourism. People go where the jobs are."

In Hawaii, observers were surprised by Kerry's endorsement, noting that the Democrat already was predicted to win the state by a comfortable margin and probably didn't need to do anything more to woo Hawaii voters.

------------------

http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2004/Oct/11/br/br01p.html
Honolulu Advertiser, breaking news, 12:34 p.m., Monday, October 11, 2004

Akaka bill gets boost in Senate

By Frank Oliveri
Advertiser Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — Hawai'i's senators secured a guarantee today from Republican leaders that the Akaka bill, which would pave the way for Native Hawaiian recognition, would get a vote in the U.S. Senate next year. Sens. Dan Inouye and Daniel Akaka are certain that they have enough votes to get the measure approved.

"While I am disappointed that we could not reach agreement for consideration of (the bill) prior to the adjournment of the 108th Congress, I feel good about the commitment made today that we will no longer endure the procedural shenanigans that have prevented the Senate's consideration of this bill for the past five years," Akaka said.

After Akaka and Inouye cleared a key hurdle on the Native Hawaiian bill, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., and Democratic leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., pledged to ensure that the Akaka bill would be considered no later than Aug. 7, 2005.

The Senate recessed today to campaign for next month's elections. Congress will have a post-election session, but only take up unfinished business like spending bills.

The so-called Akaka bill would begin the process for Native Hawaiian recognition as indigenous people. The measure has been held up this year by Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz. In exchange for the Hawai'i senators' support of a package of 32 bills from the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Inouye and Akaka received public support from Kyl and Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M. on the Native Hawaiian legislation. The energy committee bills passed the Senate by a voice vote late Sunday.

"I would express publicly my personal commitment to assist in (an) effort to ensure that no more procedural roadblocks would be thrown in the way of that legislation or a final vote," Kyl said on the Senate floor today about the Native Hawaiian bill. "I will indeed do that and encourage all my colleagues to work with us toward that end."

Under Senate rules, the Akaka bill would need to be introduced again at the start of the new Congress that convenes in January and considered again by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. The House would also have to approve the measure.

"I am pleased by the agreement we have reached, and I look forward to a full and robust debate in the United States Senate on this important bill, which, I believe, has much support from my colleagues," said Inouye, the top Democrat on the Indian Affairs committee.

Inouye recently sought to attach the Akaka bill to a Senate appropriations bill, but he said there was no longer a need. Both Hawai'i senators placed great importance on having the bill stand on its own, and not attached to any other measure.

Sen. John Kerry, the Democratic nominee for president, already has said he would support the Akaka bill. Also, Interior Secretary Gale Norton helped in structuring the Akaka bill.

The bill would recognize Hawaiians as an indigenous people, similar to American Indians and Native Alaskans. It would create a process for Hawaiians to form a sovereign government that could have a government-to-government relationship with the United States and more autonomy over Hawaiian affairs.

---------------

** Note from website editor Ken Conklin regarding the article above:

This article implies that the Akaka bill must be dead for this year, since only spending bills will be considered during the closing days of this year. The reporter implies Inouye has given up any attempt at stealth tactics for the remainder of 2004. “Inouye recently sought to attach the Akaka bill to a Senate appropriations bill, but he said there was no longer a need. Both Hawai'i senators placed great importance on having the bill stand on its own, and not attached to any other measure.”

But that may be disinformation as part of a stealth tactic. On December 13, 2000, the Honolulu newspapers anounced the Akaka bill was dead, and Inouye was reported to be looking ahead to the following year. Only spending bills were supposed to be considered in the remaining days of the 106th Congress. But at that very moment Inouye had a severe stealth maneuver underway, which was exposed and killed only in the closing moments of Congress on December 16. The mourning for the death of the Akaka bill turned out to be merely disinformation intended to lull opponents into thinking nothing further would happen that year. Similar stealth tactics will probably be attempted in November and December 2004.

However, that same kind of disinformation was published in 2000. Honolulu newspapers published "obituaries" mourning the death of the Akaka bill on December 13, even while Senator Inouye had an extreme stealth procedure underway which was found out barely in the nick of time on December 15, the last day of the 106th Congress. After reading this article from October 11, 2004, then read the articles from December 13 2000 for an eerie sense of deja vu. I'm sure Senator Inouye is not finished trying to push this bill through the Senate this year.

For the alleged death of the bill in December 2000 see
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/Senate1213To1215.html

To read about the extreme stealth maneuver underway through December 15, 2000 even as the newspapers published disinformation, see
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/ExtremeFinalStealth2000.html

------------------

http://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/articles/2004/10/12/local_news/local03.txt
Hawaii Tribune-Herald (Hilo), Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Senate to hear Hawaiian bill

Leaders said they will help Akaka, Inouye get a vote on the legislation

By SAMANTHA YOUNG
Stephens Media Group

WASHINGTON -- Senate leaders announced a deal on Monday that could lead to a vote by next summer on a bill granting government recognition to Native Hawaiians.

As the Senate worked to adjourn until after the elections, Hawaii senators agreed not to hold up government spending bills and natural resources bills by trying to attach a Native Hawaiian measure. In exchange, Republican and Democrat leaders said they would help Sens. Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka, both D-Hawaii, get a vote on their bill before the summer recess begins on Aug. 7, 2005.

"We are guaranteed a debate, a vote and no procedural obstacles," Inouye said afterwards. "To put it simply, next year it will pass the Senate." The recognition bill creates a process for Native Hawaiians to establish their own government and win recognition from the United States, similar to the status afforded to American Indian tribes.

Republican leaders agreed to the arrangement after Inouye threatened to hold up a government spending bill and a package of federal land bills that the Senate was working to pass before adjournment.

Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, recounted a conversation with Inouye. "He said I'm tired of never getting a vote," Domenici said. "They've been waiting six years. Whether people like their bill or not, that's not fair."

Domenici warned the Hawaii senators still could face opposition next year. "They are going to have to fight hard," Domenici said.

One key critic, Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., has blocked the bill from Senate consideration. But he said Monday he would abandon legislative tactics that have successfully stalled the measure. At least one of the land bills tied to the negotiations was beneficial to Arizona.

Akaka said he was confident the bill would win Senate approval. "We no longer have to endure procedural shenanigans that have prevented us from getting a vote," Akaka said. Akaka said he was disappointed the measure did not get a vote this year, but expressed gratitude in a speech Monday that the Senate leadership would give the issue its attention next session. "I was trying real hard to get it done this time," Akaka said.

Rep. Ed Case, D-Hawaii, said prospects look good in the House, noting the bill has been passed three times by the committee that governs native issues. "In the House there has been bipartisan support," Case said.

===============

THE AGREEMENT AMONG SENATORS AKAKA, INOUYE, KYL, AND DOMENICI WAS REPORTED ON THE FLOOR OF THE SENATE AND ENTERED INTO THE CONGRESSIONAL RECORD FOR THE SENATE FOR OCTOBER 11, 2004 ON PAGE S11234 AS FOLLOWS:

-------

Mr. KYL. Mr. President, I want to take just a couple minutes to engage three of my colleagues in a brief colloquy: Senators Inouye, Senator Akaka, and Senator Domenici, to inform our colleagues of an agreement that was reached in an effort to clear a group of bills that the Energy and Natural Resources Committee had worked on very hard and very long, for a long period of time, and have, in fact, cleared the Senate and been sent to the House, and to ensure that at some point next year, before August 7, a bill relating to native Hawaiians, similar to or the same as S . 344 , would be considered by this body.

We reached that agreement, which was embodied also in a letter from the two leaders to Senators Domenici and Inouye, who had inquired of that possibility, in which the leaders promised their best efforts to ensure that a native Hawaiian bill equivalent to S . 344 would be brought to the Senate floor for debate and resolution no later than August 7 of next year.

I had told both Senators from Hawaii I would express publicly my personal commitment to assist in that effort to ensure that no procedural roadblocks would be thrown in the way of the consideration of that legislation, nor a final vote on it. I will indeed do that and encourage all of my colleagues to work with us toward that end.

I thank Senator Domenici for his leadership on that large group of bills that were so important to so many Members of this body and for his work on this particular issue, as well as our good friends from Hawaii, Senators Akaka and Inouye, for their cooperation in helping us reach

this resolution.

Mr. DOMENICI. Will the Senator yield?

Mr. KYL. I am happy to yield.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Mexico.

Mr. DOMENICI. Mr. President, I note that Senator Akaka and the distinguished senior Senator from Hawaii are on the floor. First, I want to say they have been gracious. Many Senators had a part in this very major bill, with 24, 28, maybe even 30 pieces of legislation for their States.

I say to the Senators from Hawaii, you had a perfect right to insist that your bill, which has just been described by the distinguished Senator from Arizona, be in that bill. That could have caused the bill to probably be here a long time, the big bill, and you graciously said, if we can work something else out, let's try. We did.

As a result, we passed this bill for many Senators, and we said to you, both Senators from Hawaii, we will do our best to get your very important bill, described by the Senator from Arizona, up. We cannot assure that. I cannot guarantee that. This is the Senate. But we do have a letter with all of the people who are in the leadership, I, myself, by the distinguished two Senators from Arizona, that we will do our best. We described it and everyone knows of it.

Today we thought we would tell the Senate and give this assurance in the RECORD to our two Senators from Hawaii that we are serious, that we will do our part in trying to make sure their bill comes to a vote in the Senate by the date they have agreed to and we have agreed to.

I say to Senator Kyl, I thank you for your diligent efforts in helping with this. Every Senator who got something in that legislation that is now going to the House will know what we have done.

Thank you very much.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Hawaii.

Mr. INOUYE. Mr. President, I am extremely grateful for those reassuring words of my distinguished friend from Arizona and my distinguished friend from New Mexico. We look forward to working with them next year on this most important bill, a bill for the native Hawaiians.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Hawaii.

Mr. AKAKA. Mr. President, I want to express my sincere gratitude to Senator Kyl particularly and also to Senator Domenici for working with us on our Hawaiian bill. Especially I want to express my gratitude for your grace and your commitment for next year. Again, I want to do this, as we say in Hawaii, with much aloha.

===================

** Note from Ken Conklin: In the elections of November 2, 2004 President Bush won re-election with the largest popular vote any president has ever received; and the Republicans increased their majorities in both the House and the Senate. **

http://starbulletin.com/2004/11/08/news/story4.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Monday, November 8, 2004

Akaka bill supporters hopeful despite losses

By Mary Vorsino

Despite this election's Republican gains in Congress, supporters of federal recognition for native Hawaiians say they are still optimistic the Akaka bill will come up for a Senate vote by late summer.

But there is concern about the loss of key Democratic supporters, including Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle. The South Dakota lawmaker and four other Democratic senators were unseated, giving Republicans a 55-44 edge (with one independent). The new House makeup also favors Republicans, 231-204.

Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), said he is confident bipartisan support will overcome the Senate's Republican majority. The bill has bipartisan support in the House and Senate and is backed by both Hawaii's Democratic congressional delegation and Republican Gov. Linda Lingle. "We need just 51 votes to pass" in the Senate, Akaka said. "I think it will go well."

Before the elections, Akaka expected the bill to come to a vote this August. On Saturday he said that he is sticking to that time line.

The Akaka bill, introduced to Congress in 2000, would establish an office in the Department of Interior to address native Hawaiian issues, and create an interagency group to administer programs for native Hawaiians. Under the bill, the federal government would recognize Hawaiians -- as it does American Indians and native Alaskans -- as a native population.

"The Akaka bill's been -- throughout its four years -- quite bipartisan, with support from both side of the aisles," said Robin Danner, president of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement. "I just don't feel that the November elections ... are really likely to change that agreement," she said. "I think the bill will remain bipartisan." Danner also said freshman Republican senators brought in next year will not have the political clout to make a difference, even if they oppose the Akaka bill.

Both Danner and Akaka also said a pledge in this year's session by two key Republicans -- Sens. Jon Kyl of Arizona and Pete Domenici of New Mexico -- to drop their blockage of the sovereignty measure was a show of how support for the Akaka bill has not stuck to party lines.

Tony Sang, chairman of the State Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations, said Akaka bill supporters have worked with Republicans and Democrats for years to convince them that the bill "will help native Hawaiians."

Danner also acknowledged that bringing the Akaka bill to a Senate vote will not be easy, and the floor will have "to be gained one Republican at a time." She said she is not as concerned about the House, where the Akaka bill "has a history of doing well." "It passed the full House the first year it was introduced," she said.

Akaka spokesman Paul Cardus said the biggest hurdle will be making the bill a priority for new senators, some of whom might not be familiar with Hawaii's history. "Because we have so many members, there's a lot of educating to do," Cardus said.

On the plus side, he said, former Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry, a bill supporter, will be returning to his post.

Also, Cardus said he is hoping to see support for the legislation from Sen. Barack Obama. The newly elected Illinois Democrat grew up in the islands and attended Punahou School. "I think all in all," Cardus said, "we are very optimistic while knowing that there's a lot of work ahead."

Meanwhile, Akaka said President Bush remains the variable. "I'm just hoping that the Bush administration will support it," he said. "We have really not heard any commitment of support." But some say it is a good sign that Bush has not come out with an opinion on the bill. "No news is good news," Sang said.

===============

THE AKAKA BILL ENDED THE 108th CONGRESS DYING WITH A WHIMPER IN A FAILED STEALTH MANEUVER, AND NOT WITH A BANG.

On October 11, 2004 Senators Akaka, Inouye, Kyl, and Domenici formally entered into the Congressional Record (page S11234) an agreement, as noted above. The agreement was that Senators Inouye and Akaka would stop inserting the Akaka bill into must-pass legislation during the closing weeks of the 108th Congress, thereby messing up those bills and causing procedural problems; and in return the Republican leadership pledged to stop putting holds on the bill in 2005 and to allow the bill to come to a decision on the Senate floor not later than August 7, 2005.

However, there is evidence that Senators Akaka and Inouye did NOT meet their responsibilities under that agreement. Accordingly, we can hope that the Republican leadership will no longer feel obligated to allow the bill to come to a vote in 2005, and Senator Kyl might continue to place a hold on the bill.

Here is some of the evidence that Akaka/Inouye stealth tactics continued right up until the end of the 108th Congress, in violation of the agreement made with the Republican leadership.

As of October 24, 2004 S.2810, the appropriations bill for Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education still had the bizarre section 516 noted below, scheduled to come up after the election recess.

"SEC. 516. The course of dealings between the United States and the Native Hawaiian people, and the enactment of Public Law 67-34 (the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act), Public Law 83-3 (the Hawaii Admissions Act), Public Law 89-10 (the Native Hawaiian Education Act), Public Law 100-579 (the Native Hawaiian Health Care Improvement Act), Public Law 103-150 (the Native Hawaiian Apology Resolution), Public Law 104-42 (the Hawaiian Homelands Recovery Act), and Public Law 106-569 (the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act) have established a special relationship between the United States and the Native Hawaiian people, and accordingly, pursuant to the terms and conditions of S. 344, Senate Calendar No. 185, amendment 3576, upon the election of the officers of the Native Hawaiian governing entity and the certifications by the Secretary of the Interior, the United States shall extend Federal recognition to the Native Hawaiian governing entity as the representative governing body of the Native Hawaiian people."

This section 516 was apparently never removed as Akaka/Inouye had pledged to do. Perhaps they somehow conveniently "forgot" about it during the election recess? If called to account, they could always say "oops" and protect the appearance of being honorable by then removing it. But apparently nobody caught the "oops." One way or another, either in S.2810 Sec. 516 or in some other bill, the Akaka bill slipped through and became included in the massive omnibus appropriations bill sent from the Senate to a conference committee with the House. Things like this do NOT happen by accident.

The Akaka bill clearly got through the Senate buried inside another bill that then got included in the final Senate version of the consolidated appropriations act that went to a House-Senate conference committee. The Akaka bill died in the conference committee because the House conferees refused to agree to include it. Here's the evidence for what happened.

Page H10700 of the Congressional Record for the House of Representatives for November 19, 2004 includes the following section of the report of the House-Senate conference committee agreement on the consolidated appropriations act H.R.4818:

---------

NATIVE HAWAIIAN GOVERNING ENTITY RECOGNITION

The conference agreement does not include a provision, proposed by the Senate, recognizing the Native Hawaiian governing entity as the representative governing body of the Native Hawaiian people. The House did not propose a similar provision.

---------

Notice the language of that section clearly says the Senate had proposed to the conference committee [i.e., the Senate had passed] the Hawaiian recognition bill. Anyone can verify the existence of this section of the conference committee report by following a series of steps on the Library of Congress website containing the Congressional Record. No permanent link can be provided for that section, because the "thomas" website makes extensive use of temporary URLs. Great patience and lengthy searching is needed. Here is the sequence of steps to verify the extreme stealth involved in trying to hide the Akaka bill deep inside such a massive piece of legislation.

http://thomas.loc.gov/home/approp/app05.html

Status of FY2005 Appropriations Bills

[top row]

Consolidated
Appropriations
HR4818

H.Rept.
108-792

H. Rept. 108-792

Conference Report to Accompany H.R. 4818 - Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005

CONFERENCE REPORT ON H.R. 4818, CONSOLIDATED APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2005 -- (House of Representatives - November 19, 2004)

DIVISION F--LABOR, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, AND EDUCATION, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS 2005 [extremely close to the bottom]

[Page: H10700; containing the following page of content which includes the House rejection of the Akaka bill]

and Senate stating that none of the funds provided may be used to implement or administer any changes to regulations regarding overtime compensation in effect on July 14, 2004.

HIGHER EDUCATION SPECIAL ALLOWANCE FOR 9.5% LOANS

The conference agreement does not include a provision that prohibits the use of funds for the Secretary to administer or pay any special allowance under sections of the Higher Education Act of 1965 pursuant to provisions of the regulations of the Department of Education. The Senate bill contains no similar provision.

IMMIGRATION LIMITATION

The conference agreement does not include a provision that prohibits the use of funds by the Department of Education in contravention of sections of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Responsibility Act of 1996. The Senate bill contains no similar provision.

NATIVE HAWAIIAN GOVERNING ENTITY RECOGNITION

The conference agreement does not include a provision, proposed by the Senate, recognizing the Native Hawaiian governing entity as the representative governing body of the Native Hawaiian people. The House did not propose a similar provision.

NORTHERN LIGHTS BOULEVARD PROPERTY

The conference agreement includes a provision conveying the property at 1818 W. Northern Lights Boulevard in Anchorage, Alaska from the U.S. Government to the Southcentral Foundation for a replacement Head Start facility. The House bill contains no similar provision.

ACROSS-THE-BOARD SALARIES AND EXPENSES REDUCTION

The conference agreement includes a new provision to reduce salaries and expenses of the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education by $18,000,000.

====================

CLOSING COMMENTARY: WEIRD EVENTS IN CONGRESS CONCERNING THE AKAKA BILL, SEPTEMBER THROUGH DECEMBER 2004. HOW STEALTH TACTICS GOT THE AKAKA BILL INTO A JOINT HOUSE-SENATE CONFERENCE COMMITTEE FOR THE OMNIBUS APPROPRIATIONS BILL. THE AKAKA BILL COULD HAVE BECOME LAW EVEN THOUGH IT NEVER PASSED EITHER THE HOUSE OR THE SENATE, BUT THE HOUSE CONFEREES MADE AN OBJECTION.

The Akaka-bill rollercoaster finally returned to the station after its fifth run around the track (2000-2004). Amusement park engineers now have about a month to replace some worn-out tracking, and build some especially vicious new ups, downs, twists and turns to make passengers scream even louder on the next run starting in January. This is a ride we all will be taking whether we want to or not.

Readers might recall a previous article I wrote about the Akaka rollercoaster, which appeared in Hawaii Reporter on September 16, 2004. See:
http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?ccf00674-54dc-4f91-86f3-0a5187500539

Since that article was published, a great many things have happened, some of which were not reported in the newspapers. The amazing events of October through December 2004 provide a civics lesson in some of the murky, byzantine ways Congress handles legislation. There's also a question whether Senators Akaka and Inouye did or did not fulfill their end of a bargain they made, and whether the Republican leaders involved in that agreement will or will not complain about any breach of that agreement or perhaps argue that the agreement is now void because it was violated. It is very unclear whether the agreement was violated; and it is equally unclear whether the informal rules of gentlemanly conduct in the Senate would allow Republican leaders to complain and withdraw from the agreement even if they thought it had been violated or was deceptively perpetrated. Let's recall the old saying "If you lie down with dogs you will get fleas."

First, a little background information about what was happening in the Senate, that provoked a need for a procedural agreement about the Akaka bill. Then we'll look at an open, upfront attempt to pass the Akaka bill as an attachment to another bill; then a stealth maneuver to include the core concept of the Akaka bill as a short paragraph hidden inside another bill; then the procedural agreement between Akaka/Inouye and the Republican leadership; and then the way the Akaka conceptual paragraph somehow got included in the Senate's report to a House-Senate conference committee to reconcile an omnibus appropriations bill. The Akaka bill would have passed Congress and been signed into law if it had been included in the conference committee compromise (to be rubber-stamped by both the House and Senate). But fortunately some of the House conferees noticed the Akaka paragraph and announced they did not agree to it; and so it was removed barely in the nick of time. Now, let's go through these things one by one; and the exact language of some items will then be provided at the end of this essay.

In the Senate the Akaka bill had a short hearing in February 2003 in the Indian Affairs Committee, with testimony allowed only from a few hand-picked supporters. The bill passed the committee in May. The Republican hold on the bill continued to prevent it from being considered from May 2003 through the end of 2004, although Akaka/Inouye kept tinkering with the bill's language and sent it back to committee several times for rubber-stamp approval. In the House, the Akaka bill was introduced and sent to committee in February 2003, and was not heard from again for 19 months. The House Committee on Resources finally passed the Akaka bill on September 15 2004. The rumor was that some powerful Republicans who oppose the bill but are friends of Congressman Abercrombie wanted to let him "save face" in Hawai'i. But the bill went nowhere in the House after that. All the action was focused in the Senate.

On July 7 and 8, 2004 a very open, public attempt was made to attach the Akaka bill to a major bill being debated on the Senate floor. By attaching the Akaka bill, it would be possible to get around the Republican hold on it. A major bill was under consideration to reform class action lawsuits by establishing new legal rules for certifying them. The Akaka bill, of course, is irrelevant to that topic. Many other Democrat Senators were also trying to attach their own favorite bills to the class-action bill, including such proposals as raising the minimum wage and allowing the importation of medical drugs from Canada. Republican leaders realized that the main bill was already quite controversial, and loading it up with numerous relevant amendments and irrelevant attachments would make the bill so complex that it would take up too many days on a crowded calendar that was growing short because of a need for a summer recess, the Democrat and Republican national conventions, and a need for time to campaign before the November 2 election. Therefore the Republican leadership removed the class-action bill (and all its many proposed attachments) from the floor.

At some point the core concept of the Akaka bill (without any pesky details) got included as a very short paragraph buried deep inside a major appropriations bill in the Senate (see below for the exact language), where it was probably inserted by Senator Inouye acting alone in the dead of night. This hiding of the Akaka bill core concept deep inside another bill was not reported in the media; and its presence probably remained unknown to most Senators. The committee chairman and ranking member (top-seniority Senator of the minority party, like Inouye) on appropriations committees apparently have the privilege of inserting a few last-minute "improvements" into bills withour a committee vote (Inouye has brought millions of dollars in pork-barrel projects to Hawai'i this way for many years). While that larger host bill was in limbo awaiting action on the Senate floor, Democrat Senators Inouye and Akaka then made an agreement with Republican Senate leaders Kyl and Domenici, and perhaps others. The Republican concessions in the agreement were formally entered into the Congressional Record, while the concessions from Akaka/Inouye were mostly a gentlemen's agreement whose terms remained vague (the colloquy from the Congressional Record is provided below). This agreement was widely and accurately reported in the media.

The agreement was that Akaka/Inouye would stop trying to pass the Akaka bill by including it either visibly or stealthily in other bills. In return the Republicans who have been aggressively blocking the bill agreed to refrain from placing holds or blocks on the bill in 2005, and to allow the bill to come to a decision in the Senate not later than August 7, 2005.

The Republican leaders made the agreement because otherwise dozens of appropriations bills essential to their own home states and to the well-being of the United States would be messed up by having the Akaka bill inserted into them. Delays and procedural problems caused by a need to deal with annoying irrelevant attachments might cause the Senate to run out of time and thereby prevent those major bills from passing, just as had already happened with the bill to reform class-action lawsuits.

Later, with time running short and many must-pass appropriations bills still needing work, the Senate gathered together a large number of these bills containing thousands of pages, and sent the package forward to a joint House-Senate conference committee. The conferees would be expected to reconcile differences between the House and Senate versions, and produce a huge bill whose language could then be rubber-stamped in identical form by both the House and Senate. This is the way Congress ends every year, with the even-numbered years facing the worst crunch because that's the final session of a two-year "Congress" when all unpassed bills die and everything must start from scratch the following January. Senators and Congressmen with high seniority, appointed to the conference committee, love these end-of-session high-pressure last-minute reconciliation conferences, because all sorts of "details" (involving hundreds of millions of dollars in pork-barrel projects) can escape careful scrutiny and get enacted into law. Even a bill which has passed only one chamber (either House or Senate) and gets sent to a conference committee can then pass the entire Congress if the conferees from the other chamber do not object to it.

That short paragraph mentioned earlier, containing the core of the Akaka bill, remained buried deep inside one of the bills the Senate sent to the conference committee. No such language was contained in any of the House versions of the bills. But if the House conferees failed to notice that little paragraph, or if they did not object to it, then that language would be included in the final consolidated bill to be rubber-stamped by both the Senate and House.

Let's review what happened. The Akaka bill did not pass either the Senate or the House. A short paragraph containing the essential concept of the Akaka bill was secretly placed by Senator Inouye into the Senate version of a major appropriations bill (the paragraph granted federal recognition for a tribal council to be elected in the future by "Native Hawaiians" through an unclear process). No Akaka-bill language was contained in any bill forwarded from the House to the conference committee. If the handful of House conferees agreed to that Akaka paragraph, or failed to object to it, or simply failed to notice it, then the Akaka paragraph would be included in the final bill and would surely be rubber-stamped at the last moment by both Senate and House and would then certainly be signed by the President (who has not vetoed a single bill during his first four years in office and whose veto of this omnibus appropriations bill would bring the federal government to a screeching halt until January).

Fortunately, the House conferees did notice the Akaka paragraph, and announced they did not agree to it. The Akaka paragraph was then removed from the final version of the conferenced bill, and Hawai'i was once again spared from disaster. All this took place behind closed doors, without public input.

Now comes the question whether Akaka/Inouye kept their word to stop trying to pass the Akaka bill by attaching it to other bills. What do you think? Let's consider what happened.

Defenders of Akaka/Inouye would say that the Akaka paragraph had already been inserted into the other bill before the agreement was made; therefore, the agreement did not apply to that paragraph. Buyer beware! The Republican leaders made an agreement without realizing that the Akaka paragraph had already been secretly inserted into a larger bill; and that's their fault; they should have been more careful before making the agreement. Too bad for them. Also, there would have been no way to remove the paragraph from the other bill without bringing the other bill back to the Senate floor for an amendment to remove the paragraph before sending it to the conference committee. That would take up too much valuable time (about two minutes) and might open Pandora's box by giving other Senators an excuse to make other "technical" amendments. The agreement stands.

Critics of Akaka/Inouye would say that since they knew the Akaka paragraph was already in place at the time they made the agreement, then either they had an obligation to do whatever was necessary to remove the paragraph, or else they should refrain from making such an agreement which they knew they could never fulfill. It was dishonest and ungentlemanly of them to propose an agreement while knowing a secret Akaka paragraph had already been hidden inside a bill and could not be removed. The fact that the Akaka paragraph got forwarded as part of the Senate package to the conference committee is clear evidence that the agreement was not carried out. Therefore the agreement is moot, and the Republican leadership has no obligation in 2005 to stop blocking the Akaka bill.

The trouble is that the Senate behaves like a gentlemen's club where everyone is expected to behave outwardly in a cordial and respectful way (even while cutting, slashing, sidetracking, or poisoning each other's bills). "I regret that my esteemed colleague from the great state of Slobovia finds himself unable to support my bill at this time and has proposed an amendment I cannot endorse." No Senator is ever supposed to raise a doubt about any other Senator's honor. A Senator of an ethnic minority who has been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor and walks with an empty sleeve in his suitcoat must always be treated as above reproach.

When one party to a gentlemen's agreement violates that agreement either through inaction or through new action, that person should no longer be regarded as a gentleman and the agreement should thereby considered a nullity. Of course, the gentleman who failed to uphold his end of the bargain might try to avoid the censure of being labeled ungentlemanly by saying, basically, "Oops! Sorry. It slipped by. I was inattentive." Or, maybe, "It would have been impossible for me to delete the offending provision without taking action to do so on the floor of the Senate." Well, too bad. Whatever excuses might be offered, they should have been known to the offending gentleman at the time he entered into an agreement which he should have known he would be unable to perform. Inside the gentleman's club of the Senate, there need be no accusations of ungentlemanly behavior. After all, it might seem ungentlemanly for one Senator to accuse another one of ungentlemanly conduct just because he accidentally (ah-hem!) forgot to do what he had promised to do, or just because he somehow overlooked (ah-hem!) the fact that it would be impossible to do what he had pledged to do.

So fine, let the "gentlemen" maintain the fiction that they behave like gentlemen. It would be very gentlemanly for Senator Kyl to say to Inouye "I regret that the Akaka attachment showed up in the Senate proposal for the consolidated appropriations bill sent to the conference committee; but since that unfortunate event is contrary to our agreement that it should not happen, therefore our agreement is no longer in effect and will not affect what happens in 2005." And then Senator Inouye, being the gentleman he is, will of course reply "My esteemed colleague from Arizona is correct, and I acknowledge that the agreement formerly entered into is now moot."

Indeed, the truly gentlemanly thing for Senator Inouye to do would be to raise the issue himself, offer an apology to Senator Kyl for failing to fulfill the agreement, and then tell Senator Kyl that Kyl is released from any need to adhere to the agreement. And that has as much chance of happening as my getting those presents from Santa Claus that I keep asking for (although I'm sure that Santa is a very honorable gentleman, but he asked me not to sit on his lap, and I know he's very busy).

Anyone who wants to see details about the Akaka paragraph, the gentlemen's agreement, and how the Akaka paragraph got removed from the conference committee report should keep reading. Also, anyone should keep reading who wants to see an example of how to use the Library of Congress website to get information about legislation. Otherwise, it's time to get off the rollercoaster for a while, use the restroom, stretch your legs, and gather your courage for a wild 6th ride on the Akaka rollercoaster. Don't forget the nausea pills and the barf bag.

For a thorough history of the Akaka bill throughout the 108th Congress (2003-2004), including newspaper coverage and analysis, see (perhaps 200 pages):
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/AkakaHist108thCong.html

For a 5-paragraph summary of what's bad about the Akaka bill, followed by extensive documentation of the main points, see:
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/AkakaNationalSummary2004.html

-------------------

In quotes below is the one-paragraph "core essence of the Akaka bill" mentioned in the above essay, that was inserted secretly by Senator Inouye into a larger, more imnportant bill. On September 15, 2004, the bill number S.2810, the Dept of Labor, Health and human Services, and Education, and related agencies Appropriations Act (providing funding for fiscal year 2005) was reported out of the Senate Appropriations Committee by Senate Report 108-345, read twice and placed on the calendar. Toward the very end of the bill there appears the following provision:

“SEC. 516. The course of dealings between the United States and the Native Hawaiian people, and the enactment of Public Law 67-34 (the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act), Public Law 83-3 (the Hawaii Admissions Act), Public Law 89-10 (the Native Hawaiian Education Act), Public Law 100-579 (the Native Hawaiian Health Care Improvement Act), Public Law 103-150 (the Native Hawaiian Apology Resolution), Public Law 104-42 (the Hawaiian Homelands Recovery Act), and Public Law 106-569 (the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act) have established a special relationship between the United States and the Native Hawaiian people, and accordingly, pursuant to the terms and conditions of S. 344, Senate Calendar No. 185, amendment 3576, upon the election of the officers of the Native Hawaiian governing entity and the certifications by the Secretary of the Interior, the United States shall extend Federal recognition to the Native Hawaiian governing entity as the representative governing body of the Native Hawaiian people.”

The reference in Sec. 516 to "amendment 3572" is to the amended version of S. 344 (the Akaka bill) proposed by Sen. Inouye on September 7, 2004 at Cong. Rec. page S8916 to update that bill to match the new House version (HR 4282).

-------------------

The agreement among Senators Akaka, Inouye, Kyl, and Domenici was reported on the flood of the Senate and entered into the Congressional Record for the Senate for October 11, 2004 on page S11234 as follows:

-------

Mr. KYL. Mr. President, I want to take just a couple minutes to engage three of my colleagues in a brief colloquy: Senators Inouye, Senator Akaka, and Senator Domenici, to inform our colleagues of an agreement that was reached in an effort to clear a group of bills that the Energy and Natural Resources Committee had worked on very hard and very long, for a long period of time, and have, in fact, cleared the Senate and been sent to the House, and to ensure that at some point next year, before August 7, a bill relating to native Hawaiians, similar to or the same as S . 344 , would be considered by this body.

We reached that agreement, which was embodied also in a letter from the two leaders to Senators Domenici and Inouye, who had inquired of that possibility, in which the leaders promised their best efforts to ensure that a native Hawaiian bill equivalent to S . 344 would be brought to the Senate floor for debate and resolution no later than August 7 of next year.

I had told both Senators from Hawaii I would express publicly my personal commitment to assist in that effort to ensure that no procedural roadblocks would be thrown in the way of the consideration of that legislation, nor a final vote on it. I will indeed do that and encourage all of my colleagues to work with us toward that end.

I thank Senator Domenici for his leadership on that large group of bills that were so important to so many Members of this body and for his work on this particular issue, as well as our good friends from Hawaii, Senators Akaka and Inouye, for their cooperation in helping us reach

this resolution.

Mr. DOMENICI. Will the Senator yield?

Mr. KYL. I am happy to yield.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Mexico.

Mr. DOMENICI. Mr. President, I note that Senator Akaka and the distinguished senior Senator from Hawaii are on the floor. First, I want to say they have been gracious. Many Senators had a part in this very major bill, with 24, 28, maybe even 30 pieces of legislation for their States.

I say to the Senators from Hawaii, you had a perfect right to insist that your bill, which has just been described by the distinguished Senator from Arizona, be in that bill. That could have caused the bill to probably be here a long time, the big bill, and you graciously said, if we can work something else out, let's try. We did.

As a result, we passed this bill for many Senators, and we said to you, both Senators from Hawaii, we will do our best to get your very important bill, described by the Senator from Arizona, up. We cannot assure that. I cannot guarantee that. This is the Senate. But we do have a letter with all of the people who are in the leadership, I, myself, by the distinguished two Senators from Arizona, that we will do our best. We described it and everyone knows of it.

Today we thought we would tell the Senate and give this assurance in the RECORD to our two Senators from Hawaii that we are serious, that we will do our part in trying to make sure their bill comes to a vote in the Senate by the date they have agreed to and we have agreed to.

I say to Senator Kyl, I thank you for your diligent efforts in helping with this. Every Senator who got something in that legislation that is now going to the House will know what we have done.

Thank you very much.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Hawaii.

Mr. INOUYE. Mr. President, I am extremely grateful for those reassuring words of my distinguished friend from Arizona and my distinguished friend from New Mexico. We look forward to working with them next year on this most important bill, a bill for the native Hawaiians.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Hawaii.

Mr. AKAKA. Mr. President, I want to express my sincere gratitude to Senator Kyl particularly and also to Senator Domenici for working with us on our Hawaiian bill. Especially I want to express my gratitude for your grace and your commitment for next year. Again, I want to do this, as we say in Hawaii, with much aloha.

------------------------

As of October 24, 2004 S.2810, the appropriations bill for Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education still had the bizarre section 516 noted above, scheduled to come up after the recess for the November 2 election.

This section 516 was apparently never removed as Akaka/Inouye had pledged to do. Perhaps they somehow conveniently "forgot" about it during the election recess? If called to account, they could always say "oops" and protect the appearance of being honorable by then removing it. But apparently nobody caught the "oops." One way or another, either in S.2810 Sec. 516 or in some other bill, the Akaka bill slipped through and became included in the massive omnibus appropriations bill sent from the Senate to a conference committee with the House.

Page H10700 of the Congressional Record for the House of Representatives for November 19, 2004 includes the following section of the report of the House-Senate conference committee agreement on the consolidated appropriations act H.R.4818:

---------

NATIVE HAWAIIAN GOVERNING ENTITY RECOGNITION

The conference agreement does not include a provision, proposed by the Senate, recognizing the Native Hawaiian governing entity as the representative governing body of the Native Hawaiian people. [because] The House did not propose a similar provision.

---------

Notice the language of that section clearly says the Senate had proposed to the conference committee the Hawaiian recognition bill (as though it had passed the Senate), but the House conferees did not agree and the Akaka paragraph was therefore removed by the conference committee. Anyone can verify the existence of this piece of the conference committee report by following a series of steps on the Library of Congress website containing the Congressional Record. No permanent link can be provided for that piece, because the "thomas" website makes extensive use of temporary URLs that expire after about ten minutes. Great patience and lengthy searching is needed. Here is the sequence of steps to verify the removal of the Akaka paragraph from the conference report. Following these steps will show how massing the consolidated appropriations bill is, and how deep inside this little paragraph was buried.

The Library of Congress website for tracking Congressional legislation is
http://thomas.loc.gov

Then:
http://thomas.loc.gov/home/approp/app05.html

Status of FY2005 Appropriations Bills

[top row]

Consolidated
Appropriations
HR4818

H.Rept.
108-792

H. Rept. 108-792

Conference Report to Accompany H.R. 4818 - Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005

CONFERENCE REPORT ON H.R. 4818, CONSOLIDATED APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2005 -- (House of Representatives - November 19, 2004)

DIVISION F--LABOR, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, AND EDUCATION, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS 2005 [extremely close to the bottom]

[Page: H10700; containing the following page of content which includes the House conferees' rejection of the paragraph containing essence-of-Akaka]

and Senate stating that none of the funds provided may be used to implement or administer any changes to regulations regarding overtime compensation in effect on July 14, 2004.

HIGHER EDUCATION SPECIAL ALLOWANCE FOR 9.5% LOANS

The conference agreement does not include a provision that prohibits the use of funds for the Secretary to administer or pay any special allowance under sections of the Higher Education Act of 1965 pursuant to provisions of the regulations of the Department of Education. The Senate bill contains no similar provision.

IMMIGRATION LIMITATION

The conference agreement does not include a provision that prohibits the use of funds by the Department of Education in contravention of sections of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Responsibility Act of 1996. The Senate bill contains no similar provision.

NATIVE HAWAIIAN GOVERNING ENTITY RECOGNITION

The conference agreement does not include a provision, proposed by the Senate, recognizing the Native Hawaiian governing entity as the representative governing body of the Native Hawaiian people. The House did not propose a similar provision.

NORTHERN LIGHTS BOULEVARD PROPERTY

The conference agreement includes a provision conveying the property at 1818 W. Northern Lights Boulevard in Anchorage, Alaska from the U.S. Government to the Southcentral Foundation for a replacement Head Start facility. The House bill contains no similar provision.

ACROSS-THE-BOARD SALARIES AND EXPENSES REDUCTION

The conference agreement includes a new provision to reduce salaries and expenses of the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education by $18,000,000.


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