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(What you see below was specifically for the 109th Congress, and will no longer be updated after December 2006)
The Hawaiian Government Reorganization bill, S.3064 (formerly S.147 and H.R.309), is highly controversial, unconstitutional, and dangerous to all 50 states. Also known as the Akaka bill, it would give federal recognition to a phony Indian tribe invented out of thin air. The purpose is to protect over 160 race-based programs under court challenge because of a Supreme Court decision. It would carve up Hawai'i by race, and set a precedent for similar balkanization throughout America. The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has condemned this bill as race-based and divisive. 20% of Hawai'i's people, completely integrated and intermarried, living working and praying side by side with everyone else throughout all neighborhoods, would be singled out by law solely because they have a drop of native blood, and given a new government. Most have less than 25% native blood. Many of them oppose the whole idea of a race-based government. After 17 months of intensive advertising and community outreach, fewer than 5% of ethnic Hawaiians placed their names on a racial registry expected to be used as a tribal roll. But if the bill passes Congress, a race-based government can be created to protect the wealth and power of some ethnic Hawaiians and to keep federal dollars flowing to Hawai'i. There will never be a vote by all ethnic Hawaiians or by all Hawai'i's people on this issue, even though a newspaper poll yielded 75% opposed and a scientific survey showed 67% opposed. Ethnic Hawaiians who sign up for the "tribe" get to vote for a "tribal" council and get federal recognition; ethnic Hawaiians who oppose it (probably a majority), and the remaining 80% of Hawai'i's people, are shut out. The bill also allows a negotiated settlement dividing up Hawai'i's lands and resources without any ratification vote by the tribe's members or by the people of Hawai'i. On July 13, 2005 the Assistant Attorney General of the United States issued a warning, pointing out significant problems with S.147. 200 years ago Kamehameha the Great unified all the Hawaiian islands into a single multiracial Kingdom; today the Akaka bill seeks to split up Hawai'i.
The Hawaiian "tribe" would be the largest in America, with 400,000 possible members. 240,000 of them live in Hawai'i, 60,000 in California (more than any current California tribe), and 100,000 in the other 48 states. A new population study in September 2005 projects nearly a million "Native Hawaiians" by year 2050. This huge "tribe" would compete against genuine tribes for federal handouts at the expense of all America's taxpayers. Hawai'i Senators Inouye and Akaka sat on the Senate Indian Affairs Committee for many years, even though there have never been any tribes in Hawai'i. They constantly inserted "Native Hawaiians" into legislation intended to benefit real Indians and Alaska natives. Because of court challenges, they now want Congress to make it official that "Native Hawaiians" are federally recognized as a tribe. All Hawai'i politicians, both Democrat and Republican, favor the bill to make all America's taxpayers keep sending money to Hawai'i! Bill supporters justify it partly by saying that ethnic Hawaiians have the worst statistics for income, education, unemployment, drug abuse, and diseases; but such victimhood claims are mostly bogus because they ignore that ethnic Hawaiians are 13 years younger on average than other groups, and about 3/4 of "Native Hawaiian" victims each have more than 3/4 of their ancestry from Asia, Europe, and America.
The precedent set by the Hawaiian Recognition bill would strengthen demands by millions of "indigenous" people throughout the U.S. not currently eligible for tribal membership, casinos, or government handouts to form new federally recognized tribes simply because they have a drop of Indian blood. Their people and businesses living on "tribal" lands would be exempt from federal and state income tax, sales tax, environmental regulations, and civil and criminal laws; and would be subjected to whatever laws are created by "tribal" government insiders without recourse to U.S. Constitutional protections. Indian groups throughout America are claiming special rights to race-based control of "sacred places." In Hawai'i, the old pagan religion is being revived and used to support political claims for racial supremacy in land use policy, based on a sacred genealogical family relationship among the gods, the ethnic Hawaiians, and all the lands of Hawai'i.
The balkanization of America is already well underway through racial and ethnic identity politics. The recent California governor recall election showed this dramatically. Cruz Bustamante got huge campaign contributions from California Indian tribes who expected him to protect their special interests -- the money came from untaxed tribal income from casinos and tribal businesses. Bustamante's enthusiastic membership in a radical hispanic group drew major attention -- MEChA claims a right to organize a race-based nation for all people having any Aztec (Mexican) ancestry, converting California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas (all former Mexican territory) into a new independent Nation of Aztlan. The legal and moral basis for doing this is similar to the rationale for the Hawaiian bill -- historical grievances against the U.S. and demands for money and power for allegedly poor, downtrodden "indigenous" people. Other nations have suffered grievously because of laws and government policies establishing racial supremacy. Fiji, with a history similar to Hawai'i, enforces Native Fijian racial supremacy over descendants of Asian sugar plantation workers through a legal system resembling what Hawaiian sovereignty activists are seeking. Hawaiian activists, including Senator Akaka and government officials, see the Akaka bill as a way to keep federal dollars flowing to them even while continuing to seek full independence.
Please demand that your Senators and Representatives oppose S.3064 (formerly S.147 and H.R.309), the Hawaiian Government Reorganization bill. Join with Senator Kyl (R, AZ) who wrote a letter to his constituents explaining why he opposes [former bill number S.344] (see below). Join with Senator Craig (R, ID) who wrote a lengthy message on behalf of the Senate Republican Policy Committee asking Senators to vote against it. Join with Congressman James Sensenbrenner (R, WI), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, who wrote a letter to Speaker Hastert demanding that the bill be killed, or referred to his committee for hearings on its unconstitutionality. The Wall Street Journal wrote an editorial against the bill, entitled "A Bright Line on Race." Dozens of similar, powerful articles by well-known commentators have been published in the national media during Summer and Fall, 2005. But despite all this opposition, a very powerful Senator Inouye (D, HI) continues making backroom deals and trading votes; and an agency of the Hawai'i state government is spending millions lobbying for the bill. That's why your opposition to this bill must be communicated to your Senators and Representatives.
Further information and documentation of facts is available below, and on a large webpage at:
HERE IS FURTHER DISCUSSION AND DOCUMENTATION OF THE MAIN POINTS MADE ABOVE:
Bush Administration "Strongly Opposes Passage" of the Akaka Bill -- Department of Justice letter to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist on June 7, 2006
U.S. Commission on Civil Rights -- Report Opposing the Akaka bill, May 4, 2006
Survey by Grassroot Institute of Hawaii released May 23, 2006 shows that 2/3 of Hawaii citizens oppose the Akaka bill, and also want a question on the election ballot in Hawaii before Congress even considers the bill.
What Does the United States Owe to Native Hawaiians? Two reports commissioned by Congress contain the answers, which are directly applicable to the Akaka bill. The Morgan Report (U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, 1894, 808 pages) concluded the U.S. did not conspire with the revolutionists to overthrow the Hawaiian monarchy, and did not help them while it was underway. The Native Hawaiians Study Commission was delivered to Senate and House committees in 1983, and concluded there is no historical, legal, or moral obligation for the United States to provide race-based benefits, group rights, or political sovereignty to ethnic Hawaiians.
There have been numerous articles (and letters to editor) opposing the Native Hawaiian Recognition bill published in newspapers and magazines. Here are some of the most important articles, selected because they appeared in media of nationwide circulation or because they provide especially clear analysis. The articles include "A Bright Line on Race" editorial in THE WALL STREET JOURNAL of October 2, 2000; a commentary in THE NATIONAL REVIEW, September 6, 2001, by Roger Clegg, general counsel at the Center for Equal Opportunity; an article "Hawaiian Apartheid" was published in many venues by nationally syndicated conservative writer Michelle Malkin; "Hawaiian Sovereighty: 3 Alternatives, No Choice" by Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.; "Akaka Bill unlikely to survive challenge" by Honolulu attorney Paul M. Sullivan; "A Race to Racism? Ascribe It To Tribe" by Honolulu attorney Paul M. Sullivan; A "debate" in the Washington Times of October and November, 2004; A "debate" about the unconstitutionality of the Akaka bill in Hawaii Reporter of December 2004 and January 2005 featuring State of Hawaii Attorney General defending the bill and Washington Times columnist Bruce Fein opposing it. Full text of these articles, and their source citations, are available at:
Constitutional law expert Bruce Fein published a booklet June 1, 2005 under the auspices of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii: "Hawaii Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand." Mr. Fein's essay is of special interest to scholars because of his analysis of the apology resolution of 1993 as well as the provisions of the Akaka bill. It can be downloaded in pdf format here:
Senator Kyl (R, AZ) obtained unanimous consent to print Mr. Fein's essay in the Congressional Record in three installments on three consecutive days: June 14, 15, and 16 of 2005. Each installment was introduced by brief remarks by Senator Kyl. The relevant portions of the Congressional Record are copied here:
Corrections and comments to Senator Akaka's speeches
In U.S. Census 2000, more than 400,000 people nationwide checked the box for "Native Hawaiian." If the Hawaiian bill passes, the newly recognized "tribe" would instantly become the largest tribe in America, competing against genuine tribes for government handouts. A spreadsheet created from Census 2000 data shows 240,000 "Native Hawaiians" comprising about 20% of Hawaii's population; plus 60,000 in California, plus another 100,000 scattered among the remaining 48 states.
A new population study in September 2005 projects nearly a million "Native Hawaiians" by year 2050. (a) Do we want an Akaka tribe on the federal dole with a million members? (b) "Native Hawaiians" are clearly not a dying race; (c) Population bomb as a political weapon: "Native Hawaiian" activist professor urges "her people" to double in 20 years rather than 50, in order to grab majority power sooner.
Hawaiian Nationalism, Chicano Nationalism, Black Nationalism, Indian Tribes, and Reparations -- The Native Hawaiian Recognition Bill Sets a Precedent for the Balkanization of America
Hawaii's Fifth Column: Anti-Americanism in the Hawaiian Sovereignty Movement
Affirmative Action Gone Berserk -- Racial Entitlement Programs in Hawaii, and the Attempt to Create a Phony Indian Tribe to Defend Them
The Hawaiian Recognition bill (aka Akaka bill) is pork barrel ethnic politics at its worst. The primary purpose of the bill is to protect racial entitlement programs which otherwise will be ruled unconstitutional by the courts.
Akaka Bill -- Roundup of Evidence Showing Most Hawaii People and Most Ethnic Hawaiians Oppose It
On February 23, 2000 the Supreme Court in Rice v. Cayetano, 120 S.Ct. 1044 (2000), ruled that it is contrary to the 15th Amendment for the State of Hawaii to conduct racially segregated elections where only ethnic Hawaiians could vote for trustees of the state government agency "Office of Hawaiian Affairs." The decision explicitly identified "Hawaiian" and "Native Hawaiian" as racial categories, not political entities. Legal challenges are now underway to invalidate government programs exclusively for "Native Hawaiians" on the grounds such programs are government-sponsored racial discrimination in violation of the 14th Amendment equal protection clause. All sides agree these lawsuits will probably be successful, but defenders of race-based programs hope to moot (nullify) the Rice decision and the on-going lawsuits by passing the Hawaiian Recognition bill to arbitrarily declare that ethnic Hawaiians are an Indian tribe. For information about Rice v. Cayetano, see:
Over 160 Hawaiian racial entitlement programs are slowly but inexorably coming under attack in the courts because they are unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment equal protection clause. There are literally Billions of dollars (yes, with a B!!) in racially exclusionary programs benefitting ethnic Hawaiians. To see a list of many of these programs , and how much money was spent on each in year 2000 and a few immediately preceding years, go to:
Ethnic Hawaiians are deeply divided among themselves regarding whether to support or oppose the Hawaiian Recognition bill. Native Hawaiian Opposition to the Native Hawaiian Recognition bill is important, and it is growing. When the people who will allegedly benefit from legislation say they don't want it, everyone should listen carefully. Public statements in opposition, and photographs of protestors, are provided. See:
After 17 months of intensive advertising and community outreach, fewer than 5% of ethnic Hawaiians placed their names on a racial registry expected to be used as a tribal roll.
After three years fewer than 15% of ethnic Hawaiians have signed up despite probably several million dollars in advertising, gifts to signers, and travel to the mainland to round up signers.
Akaka Bill Public Opinion Poll of March 2005 Shows 75% Opposed; and Previous Scientific Surveys Show Akaka Bill is Lowest Priority for Ethnic Hawaiians and All Hawaii's People
Akaka Bill Scientific Survey Report July 5, 2005 -- 67% OPPOSED out of 1696 who responded when 10,000 were called -- 45% feel strongly enough to hold it against politicians who support this bill
The Hawaiian recognition bill needs amendments to ensure democratic due process. Currently the bill would allow a small group of powerful, wealthy institutions and their staff and grant recipients to create a tribe authorized to speak on behalf of all 401,000 ethnic Hawaiians, even though a majority of them disapprove of creating such a tribe. The bill also would allow the tribal council to accept a settlement with the state and federal governments without submitting the terms of the settlement to the tribe's members for ratification; and it would allow a settlement to be approved by the state Legislature without a vote by Hawaii's people. A set of amendments is proposed to deal with these objections and to ensure finality of a global settlement within five years. See:
Indian groups throughout America are claiming special rights to race-based control of "sacred places." In Hawaii, the old pagan religion is being revived and used to support political claims for racial supremacy in land use policy, based on a sacred genealogical family relationship among the gods, the ethnic Hawaiians, and all the lands of Hawaii.
Alaska Senator Ted Stevens is a co-sponsor of the Hawaiian Recognition bill, in return for Hawaii Senators Inouye and Akaka supporting oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The Arctic North Slope Corporation (Inupiat tribe) has contributed big bucks to the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement in support of the Hawaiian Recognition bill.
People throughout the United States have good reason to oppose the Hawaiian Recognition bill. For a detailed analysis of why this bill should be of great concern to all Americans, see:
A careful, lengthy, point-by-point analysis of the bill by Honolulu attorney Paul M. Sullivan, updated January 2005:
Professor Conklin's Red-Pen Corrections and Comments on Speeches by Dan Akaka, Dan Inouye, Ed Case, and Neil Abercrombie When Introducing the Hawaiian Recognition Bill on January 25, 2005
Text and Analysis of Bush Administration Actions and Statements on Hawaiian Recognition Bill: December 6, 2001 Dept. of Interior Markup; September 6, 2002 statement by Secretary of Interior Gail Norton; DOJ at first blocks race-based funds and warns Senate committees regarding including "Native Hawaiians" in pending legislation but then backs off:
Both racial separatism and ethnic nationalism in the Hawaiian sovereignty movement are characterized by the same underlying attitudes: hostility toward the United States and racism toward people who have no Hawaiian blood. Public statements illustrating the core attitudes are provided.
In 1993 Congress passed a resolution of sentiment commonly known in Hawaii as the "apology bill." The resolution was passed at the request of the Hawaii delegation to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the overthrow of the monarchy in Hawaii. The resolution gave an apology for the minor role of the U.S. in that event, using flowery language filled with factual inaccuracies. A recorded vote was taken in the Senate, but not in the House. Resolutions of sentiment usually pass unanimously, or with very little opposition. But this resolution was so outrageous that 34 Senators had the courage to take the "politically incorrect" step of voting against it. 13 of those Senators are still sitting in the Senate in 2007-2008. Hopefully they will understand why it is important to oppose the Hawaiian Recognition bill. For a spreadsheet showing the names and contact information for these 13 remaining members of the Honor Roll, see:
Map of Hawaiian islands showing some of the lands likely to be demanded by an Akaka tribe, where different laws would prevail and businesses might operate exempt from taxes and regulation. There are large and small land parcels, SCATTERED throughout the islands, making jurisdictional issues a nightmare. Almost every current business would eventually come under competition from untaxed and unregulated businesses located within easy driving distance.
If the Akaka bill passes, it would have disastrous effects on local businesses and local communities. Some of those effects are described here:
If the Akaka bill passes, it will severely damage the democratic and constitutional rights of ethnic Hawaiians, both those who join the tribe and those who do not. See:
Other nations have suffered grievously because of laws and government policies establishing racial supremacy. See:
Fiji, with a history similar to Hawaii, enforces Native Fijian racial supremacy over descendants of Asian sugar plantation workers through a legal system resembling what Hawaiian sovereignty activists are seeking. See:
Attorney Bruce Fein, nationally recognized expert on Constitutional law, published three articles opposing the Akaka bill, between November 2004 and March 2005. The articles were entitled "The Pineapple Time Bomb"; "A Race-based Drift?"; and "E Pluribus Unum, Debating the Legality of the Akaka Bill." All three articles were entered into the Congressional Record by Senator Kyl (R. AZ) on March 17, 2005, along with Senator Kyl's own statement reaffirming his opposition to the Akaka bill. The actual pages of the Congressional Record can be seen, along with URLs for the original sources of the three articles and some closely related articles. Go to:
Testimony of Professor Rubellite Kawena Kinney Johnson (highly esteemed native Hawaiian kupuna) opposing S.147, Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization bill, delivered to U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs for hearing on March 1, 2005
Attorney Hayden Burgess, alias Poka Laenui, Hawaiian sovereignty independence activist, supports the Akaka bill as a way of getting federal money while continuing to seek Independence.
The Akaka Bill And Secession: The Hawaiian Government Reorganization bill (Akaka bill) is seen by its supporters as a step toward total independence for all of Hawaii
Akaka bill -- would it be a unifying force for Hawaii if it passes? The Akaka bill -- building a bridge to the Nineteenth Century.
Kamehameha vs. Akaka -- Kamehameha unified Hawaii 200 years ago; Akaka bill's main purpose is to divide Hawaii (includes history of Kamehameha Day holiday; lack of certainty about Kamehameha's birthdate within a range of 25 years; Battle of Nu'uanu Pali and Herb Kane's painting of it and Adair's political cartoon based on it; newspaper advertisement comparing Kamehameha's unification of a multiracial Hawaii against divisiveness of Akaka bill)
Ken Conklin -- Personal background and anecdotes showing why the Akaka bill would be harmful to the unity of Hawaii
"NATIVE HAWAIIAN" VICTIMHOOD CLAIMS -- what are they, why are they being asserted, and how can the bad statistics be explained? Advocates for race-based programs frequently justify them by asserting claims that "Native Hawaiians" have the worst statistics among all Hawaii ethnic groups for education, income, unemployment, drug abuse, incarceration, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, etc. Such claims are asserted in the "findings" preamble of the Akaka bill and are included more extensively in the accompanying committee report. But such claims are rarely accompanied by the documentation that would allow researchers to verify them independently. Most economic and social "victimhood" statistics are probably due to the fact that "Native Hawaiians" on average are only 25 years of age -- 13 years younger than the average of other ethnic groups. Most health statistics are probably explained by the strange counting method which allocates full tally marks to "Native Hawaiian" victimhood for victims whose native blood quantum is very low -- about 3/4 of all "Native Hawaiians" each have more than 3/4 of their ancestry from Asia, Europe, or America; thus, most of their victimhood tally marks should be awarded to races other than "Native Hawaiian." See:
Akaka Bill Dialogs (collection of several series of published articles where supporters and opponents engage each other)
HERE ARE IMPORTANT PUBLIC STATEMENTS AGAINST THE BILL
On July 13, 2005, U.S. Assistant Attorney General William Moschella released a letter to Senator John McCain, Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs, identifying several important objections to the Akaka bill on behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice. Mr. Moschella's letter came only a few days before the full Senate was scheduled to debate and vote on the bill, S.147. The letter, on official stationery, can be downloaded in pdf format from:
On June 22, 2005 the U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee issued a 13-page statement on official stationery strongly opposing the Akaka bill. The statement can be downloaded in pdf format from:
In September, 2003 Senator Kyl (R, AZ) sent a letter to his constituents explaining his reasons for opposing the bill. Complete text of that letter, and the reasons why he sent it:
In the U.S. House of Representatives, a successful stealth maneuver in 2000 sparked such outrage that its reverberations were felt from then through 2006. On September 26, 2000, in the 106th Congress, Representative Neil Abercrombie's stealth strategy succeeded in getting the Akaka bill to pass the House of Representatives on a voice vote by unanimous consent in the middle of a series of non-controversial bills at the dinner hour when only a handful of Congressmen were present. Later that year the bill died in the Senate. The following year, in the 107th Congress, James Sensenbrenner (R,WI), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, was determined not to allow such a maneuver to succeed again. He wrote a letter on July 19, 2001 to Speaker Hastert asking that the bill either be killed or else referred to his committee for hearings because of grave concerns that it is unconstitutional.
In the 108th Congress the bill was essentially dead in the House for two years.
In the 109th Congress, the Akaka bill never passed out of committee in the House of Representatives. Nevertheless many House members were alarmed by the progress of the bill in the Senate. They were once again determined to prevent a stealth maneuver, and also hoped to influence what was happening in the Senate. On Tuesday July 19, 2005 a hearing was held before the House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on the Constitution, even though the bill was bottled up in a different committee and would not otherwise have come before the Judiciary Committee. The hearing on July 19 was entitled: "Can Congress Create A Race-Based Government? -- The Constitutionality of H.R.309/S.147". In a very unusual step for a Senator, Senator Kyl (R, AZ) submitted testimony to this House subcommittee. For information about this hearing, including testimony by Senator Kyl and others, see:
Senator Kyl's testimony alone is available at:
As a result of the July 19 hearing, a strongly worded letter opposing the Akaka bill was sent to Speaker Hastert and Majority Leader DeLay on July 29, 2005, signed by the following Members of Congress
Representatives Steve King, 5th District of Iowa, Dana Rohrabacher, 46th District of California, Jeff Flake, 6th District of Arizona, Louie Gohmert, 1st District of Texas, Gil Gutknecht, 1st District of Minnesota, Virgil H. Goode Jr., 5th District of Virginia, Ernest J Istook Jr., 5th District of Oklahoma, Lynn A. Westmoreland, 8th District of Georgia, Mike Pence, 6th District of Indiana, Jeb Hensarling, 5th District of Texas, Dave Weldon, 15th District of Florida, Chris Chocola, 2nd District of Indiana, Thomas G. Tancredo, 6th District of Colorado, Ron Paul, 14th District of Texas, John Kline, 2nd District of Minnesota, John J. Duncan Jr., 2nd District of Tennessee, Zach Wamp, 3rd District of Tennessee, Todd W. Akin, 2nd District of Missouri, Charlie Norwood, 9th District of Georgia, Wally Herger, 2nd District of California, and Scott Garrett, 5th District of New Jersey.
See text of the letter at
In December 2001 A lengthy memo was sent by Senator Craig (R,ID), on behalf of the Senate Republican Policy Committee, to all the Senators severely criticizing the bill as unconstitutional and strongly rebuking Senator Inouye's stealth tactic of burying it inside the Defense Appropriations bill.
Connecticut Senators Dodd and Lieberman, and Attorney General Blumenthal, oppose having more (phony) tribes recognized. Logical consequence -- defeat Akaka bill, which would make tribal recognitions easier. Connecticut Attorney General's letter to Senator Inouye describes the bad consequences of tribal recognitions for states and local communities.
PROTECTING CIVIL RIGHTS IN Hawaii -- Testimony by Ken Conklin to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights regarding the Hawaiian Government Reorganization bill, S.147 and H.R.309 (Akaka bill)
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SEE MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE AKAKA BILL
SEE WEBPAGES ABOUT HAWAIIAN SOVEREIGNTY ISSUES IN ADDITION TO THIS BILL