SUMMARY OF CONTENTS, IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER, for August 31 through September 15 (about 155 pages of details). Some August 31 items are included on this page because they look forward to September; other August 31 items are on the August page.
POSTPONEMENT OF AKAKA BILL DUE TO HURRICANE EMERGENCY WAS FALSELY AND PREMATURELY ANNOUNCED AT ETHNIC HAWAIIAN CONVENTION IN WAIKIKI AUGUST 31 AND SEPTEMBER 1 (APPARENTLY AKAKA WANTED POSTPONEMENT AND WAS SEEKING IT); DECISION TO POSTPONE BOTH AKAKA BILL AND DEATH TAX REPEAL CLOTURE PETITIONS WAS MADE BY REPUBLICAN MAJORITY LEADER SENATOR FRIST SEPTEMBER 5; SENATOR AKAKA NOTIFIED LATER SEPTEMBER 5. On Wednesday August 31 and Thursday September 1, 2005, an unpublished rumor began circulating that the Senate cloture vote set for September 6 has been postponed for two weeks due to the emergency in New Orleans from the flooding caused by Hurricane Katrina. An announcement of the postponement was made at the annual convention of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (umbrella organization of large institutions seeking passage of the Akaka bill to protect their federal grants). Apparently Senators Akaka and Inouye were requesting a postponement and released the announcement on their assumption the postponement would occur. However, on Sunday September 4 both Honolulu newspapers did not mention the rumor and both published articles saying the cloture motion would be held on Tuesday Sept. 6 at 5:30 PM Washington D.C. time (as scheduled by unanimous consent just prior to the Senate's adjournment for the August recess). On the other hand, Hawaii Reporter on September 4 published an article that "inside sources" say the postponement is likely "for at least a few weeks." And finally, on Tuesday September 6 both Honolulu daily newspapers published news reports that the cloture petition and possible floor debate have been postponed indefinitely. According to the news reports, the decision to postpone was made Monday afternoon and Senator Akaka was notified when he arrived in Washington later on Monday.
On Wednesday August 31 the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco handed down its long-awaited decision in the Arakaki#2 lawsuit. The decision was reported briefly in "breaking news" announcements on the websites of both the Honolulu Advertiser and the Star-Bulletin on Wednesday, and then there were numerous lengthy news reports and editorials on Thursday September 1. Most commentaries pushed the Akaka bill as a way to overcome court decisions like the 9th Circuit Court decisions in the Kamehameha and Arakaki cases. (about 20 pages just for September 1)
Also on August 31 and September 1, an article opposing the Akaka bill was published by Linda Chavez, President, Center for Equal Opportunity. Articles were also published opposing the bill by Elaine Willman, and Don Newman. (about 10 pages for these three opinion pieces)
September 1, 2005: Lengthy interview with Hawaiian activist Bumpy Kanahele regarding why he opposes Akaka bill.
September 2, 2005: "The Economist" (of London) poked fun at the Akaka bill "SURF, SUN, AND SECESSION? -- A daft proposal for racial separatism approaches the Senate" Also, Kristina Rasmussen, Government Affairs Manager for the 350,000-member National Taxpayers Union, published an article in "Human Events" magazine entitled:
"Move Over Kilauea -- 'Native Hawaiians' Legislation Threatens Fiscal Eruption" Also, an excerpt was published in Hawaii Reporter taken from Elaine Willman's book: "Going To Pieces - The Dismantling of The United States of America; Perspective from a Native American on a Lack of Homeland Security on Tribal Lands; How Hawaii Senators are Involved"
About 45 pages of details for September, to this point.
September 3: Report of Maui Community College debate; but the only debaters were Hawaiian sovereignty activists who disagree over whether the best way to get more goodies for ethnic Hawaiians is by means of the Akaka bill or by means of independence. As so often happens, nobody was allowed to present the viewpoint of unity and equality.
September 4: Honolulu Star-Bulletin article says there could be trouble getting enough Democrat Senators on the floor for the Tuesday cloture vote because of Hurricane Katrina. Commentary in the Honolulu Advertiser by OHA attorney Robert Klein claims Supreme Court nominee Roberts, a conservative, would uphold the Akaka bill's constitutionality because of the positions he took when he represented the State of Hawai'i in the Rice v. Cayetano case. Commentary by Bruce Fein repeats reasons why the Akaka bill is unconstitutional and would be bad public policy. Hawaii Reporter article says inside sources say the cloture vote is likely to be postponed "several weeks."
September 5, 2005: Washington Times commentary by Frank J. Gaffney Jr., president of the Center for Security Policy and a columnist for The Washington Times; and a very strong letter to editor by George Berish. Commentary by Ed Feulner, president of The Heritage Foundation. Commentary by David Freddoso in "Human Events" magazine. Lengthy commentary by Wes Vernon in "Renew America."
September 6, 2005: The Congressional Record for September 6 for the Senate shows that the first item of business was unanimous consent to VITIATE (cancel) the Akaka bill cloture petition (actual language of the Congressional record provided). Both Honolulu daily newspapers report the Akaka bill cloture vote and possible debate has been postponed indefinitely, due to the Senate's need to deal with the emergency caused by Hurricane Katrina. Both newspapers also report a small press conference on the grounds of 'Iolani Palace on Labor Day where leaders of Hawai'i's largest labor unions gave their support to the Akaka bill. Edward Hudgins, Executive Director of the Objectivist Center (think tank) publishes article: "Fascism in a Lei." Expecting that the Akaka bill would come to the floor of the Senate, an advertisement was published in the morning edition of the Washington Times by Chief Maui Loa of the Hou band of Native Hawaiians of the Blood, opposing the bill. That advertisement is posted in chronological order.
About 90 pages of details for August 31 through September 6.
September 7, 2005: Excellent article by Samantha Young (Stephens Media Group) in "West Hawaii Today" describes how the Akaka bill got postponed, and how the delay is being used by the Hawai'i delegation to rewrite the bill in collaboration with the Department of Justice. Governor Lingle is lobbying both the Senate and the House while she is in Washington. Honolulu Star-Bulletin reports that Governor Lingle exercised her right as a sitting Governor to go onto the Senate floor to speak with Senators during recesses to lobby for the Akaka bill. Both the Star-Bulletin and Advertiser quote Lingle as estimating the bill's postponement as 2 or 3 weeks. Advertiser editorial (again!) urges passing the bill to fend off court challenges to racially exclusionary government programs. Elaine Willman, Chair of Citizens Equal Rights Alliance, published "Battered Communities" describing non-Indian communities living inside or near Indian reservations as being like battered spouses, who often seem too timid to stand up for their rights; and she asks whether government officials in Hawai'i are like that. John Fulton Lewis, executive editor of the Reservation Report, compares the Hawaiian homelands and Akaka bill to South African apartheid. Jack Kelly, editor of The Green Flash News, reports a rally at the Hawai'i Legislature by Native Alaskans and Native Hawaiians in solidarity with each other to oppose the Akaka bill (the Native Alaskans are angry with Hawai'i Democrat Senators Inouye and Akaka who voted in favor of opening the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, in retirn for Alaska Republican Senators Stevens and Murkowski voting in favor of the Akaka bill).
September 8: RightMarch, the conservative mirror image of the left-wing MoveOn, put out a nationwide e-mail alert to oppose the Akaka bill. Honolulu Star-Bulletin editorial -- "Vote on Akaka Bill should not be cast aside forever." Chicago Sun-Times, other newspapers, and ABC News report that Governor Lingle is lobbying U.S. Senators telling them that it is ridiculous to say the Akaka bill would lead to the secession of Hawai'i from the U.S. The National Center for Public Policy Research publishes its report # 532, entitled "Proposed Race-Based Government for Hawaii Would Create Trouble in Paradise."
Friday, September 9: Forbes Magazine's "Dunce of the Week" feature singles (doubles) out "Dunce(s) Of The Week: Daniel Akaka and Linda Lingle." Samantha Young, Stephens Washington Bureau, reports about Governor Lingle lobbying in the Senate, and says "Most of the dozen senators she spoke with were unaware that Hawaiian homelands were scattered throughout the state, Lingle said. Most thought the land would be similar to a tribal reservation." Letters to editor say that the Akaka bill would not protect race-based programs from legal attack; and that the apology resolution of 1993 (apologizing for U.S. help in overthrow of the monarchy) is blown far out of proportion because there has never been a U.S. apology for a real and major military invasion of Mexico which seized huge amounts of territory now known as Texas and New Mexico.
About 130 pages of details through September 9.
September 11: Senator Inouye, "Hawai'i's craftiest vote-counter", says if the Akaka bill comes up for a vote on a Monday or Friday, it could have trouble getting enough votes. He also says there might not have been enough votes if it had come to the Senate floor last week. Republican opponents are making the bill into a national issue, whereas Akaka/Inouye have trouble getting people outside Hawai'i to know what it's all about.
Also September 11: Hawaii Reporter republished most of the text of the September 8 action alert previously sent out by RightMarch.com (see below for details).
September 12: Article in Investor's Business Daily: Paradise Lost
September 13, 2005: Honolulu Advertiser helps Kamehameha Schools publicize its slick "executive summary" of a new 450-page book (to be released in the future) containing mostly old data purporting to show that ethnic Hawaiians are at the bottom of most indicators of social and financial well-being. The idea is to use victimhood statistics to prove that the Akaka bill and Kamehameha Schools' racially exclusionary admissions policy are needed as some form of affirmative action. Also, a lengthy letter to editor says the Akaka bill certainly does threaten the possibility of secession for Hawai'i, contrary to an earlier column that had labeled such claims a "big lie."
September 15: An important article debunking "Native Hawaiian" victimhood statistics was published in Hawaii Reporter. Such statistics are often used to justify demands for reparations and political sovereignty. Also, a more detailed version of the Advertiser LTE from September 13 was published in Hawaii Reporter; including photos of anti-American signs pushing secession.
SEPTEMBER 16: SENATOR AKAKA ANNOUNCED THAT AGREEMENT HAS BEEN REACHED AMONG THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, SENATORS AKAKA AND INOUYE, AND OFFICIALS OF THE STATE OF HAWAI'I. THE AKAKA BILL WILL BE AMENDED TO INCORPORATE THE AGREEMENT. Summary of new version by Senator Akaka, text of new version available for download, comments by Hawai'i Senators and Representatives.
DETAILS OF NEWS FOR SEPTEMBER 2005 REGARDING THE AKAKA BILL, IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Breaking News at 10:29 AM HST
Appeals court lets group challenge state funding of OHA
In a major reversal of an earlier opinion, a federal appeals court ruled this morning that a group of Hawaii taxpayers has standing to challenge state funding through taxes of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, but does not have standing to challenge funding of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.
In a unanimous vote, a three judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court's dismissal of the case on political grounds. But the court affirmed the taxpayer groups' standing to challenge the "Hawaiians-only" OHA program. The case will be handed back to the U.S. District Court in Hawaii for trial.
The case, known as Arakaki v. Lingle, is one of several lawsuits brought by similar plaintiffs in recent years challenging programs aimed at benefiting native Hawaiians.
H. William Burgess, the attorney representing Earl Arakaki and the other plaintiffs, said this morning "we are disappointed that the court narrowed the scope of our suit as much as it did."
Burgess said he was pleased with the court's decision allowing the taxpayers to sue OHA but did not want to be denied standing to sue the federal government or DHHL/Hawaiian Homes Commission.
State Attorney General Mark Bennett could not be reached for comment.
The Arakaki suit and the other lawsuits were filed in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Rice v. Cayetano. On Feb. 23, 2000, the high court ruled the "Hawaiians-only" vote in elections for OHA trustees violated federal anti-discrimination laws.
This morning's appeals court decision was the second time this month that the 9th Circuit has ruled against an "Hawaiians-only" programs. On Aug. 2, the court ruled 2-1 that Kamehameha Schools' "Hawaiians-only" admission policy violates federal anti-discrimination laws because it creates an "absolute bar" to non-Hawaiians.
In March 2002, the Arakaki suit was filed arguing that OHA and the Hawaiian Homes Commission are race-based and therefore illegal under the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. It claims OHA's programs discriminate against non-Hawaiians, so the state agency should not receive state funding.
As a remedy, the plaintiffs want the state to cease operation of OHA, DHHL and HHC and to have all assets handed back to the state for the benefit of all Hawaii residents.
The plaintiffs also argued that native Hawaiians are a racial group with no special trust status like that accorded other indigenous people such as American Indians and Alaska natives.
The defendants, which include the state agencies OHA and DHHL and the state government, argued that Congress has established many remedial programs such as the Native Hawaiian Education Act and the Native Hawaiian Health Care Act to better the lives of native Hawaiians and therefore they are an indigenous people with a special relationship to the U.S. government.
The defendants say native Hawaiians are a political group, not a race, as the plaintiffs argue. As a political group, the programs are not race-based and therefore not discriminatory, they say.
In January 2004, U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway dismissed the case, noting that Congress was considering the Akaka Bill, which would grant federal recognition to native Hawaiians as an indigenous people.
Honolulu Advertiser, Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Breaking News, Posted at 9:24 a.m.
Court: Taxpayers may file OHA suit
By Ron Staton
A federal appeals court ruled today that Hawai'i taxpayers may sue to stop state funding of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs for allegedly discriminating against non-Hawaiians.
The three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco overturned a lower court's dismissal and affirmed the standing of a multiethnic group of taxpayers to challenge the Hawaiians-only programs.
It was the second time this month that the court has ruled against Hawaiian programs. On Aug. 2, a three-judge panel ruled 2-1 that the exclusive Kamehameha Schools' policy of giving preference to Native Hawaiians violates federal anti-discrimination laws.
The lawsuit in the latest opinion, filed in March 2002, argues that OHA's programs should not received state funding on the grounds that they are discriminatory.
The suit argued that revenue from ceded lands — government land under the Hawaiian monarchy that became public land under statehood in 1959 — should benefit Hawai'i's entire population, not just native Hawaiians.
U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway had dismissed the case on Jan. 15, 2004, noting at the time that Congress was considering a bill sponsored by Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawai'i, that would grant federal recognition to native Hawaiians similar to the recognition afforded to American Indians and Alaska Natives.
OHA attorney Sherry Broder argued that a number of congressional acts — such as the Native Hawaiian Education Act and the Native Hawaiian Health Care Act — have already established Hawaiians as a political entity.
The lawsuit stemmed from a landmark ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 23, 2000, that struck down the Hawaiians-only restriction for voting in OHA elections as unconstitutional racial discrimination.
The lawsuit originally named the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and the federal government as defendants.
Mollway removed them from the lawsuit in November 2003, saying taxpayers lacked standing to challenge federal laws. The department was established by the 1959 Statehood Admissions Act.
The 9th Circuit upheld that ruling. The panel heard arguments in Hawai'i but issued its opinion in San Francisco.
The Akaka bill is scheduled for a cloture vote in the U.S. Senate next Tuesday; if it wins at least 60 votes, that would force debate and a vote on the bill.
KPUA Hilo Thursday, September 1st, 2005
Hawaiian leaders rally in support of Akaka bill
Hawaiian leaders rally in support of Akaka bill
HONOLULU (AP) _ A court ruling affecting Hawaiian programs brought
strong expressions of support from Hawaiian and community leaders for
the Native Hawaiian recognition bill.
The Office of Hawaiian Affairs called a news conference today
ostensibly to comment on the ruling by the Ninth U-S Circuit Court of
However, the meeting was more of a pep rally for the so-called Akaka
The appeals court ruled that a group of Hawaii residents has legal
standing to challenge state funding of OHA's Hawaiians-only programs.
Backing OHA and its support for the Akaka bill at the news conference
were U-S Senator Daniel Akaka, Governor Lingle, Department of Hawaiian
Home Lands chairman Micah Kane, Kamehameha Schools C-E-O Dee Jay Mailer
and University of Hawaii interim President David McClain.
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Thursday, September 1, 2005
Supporters of OHA decry latest court ruling
By Sally Apgar
Programs that help native Hawaiians will face more attacks, advocates said after yesterday's federal appeals court ruling that allows a group of Hawaii taxpayers to challenge state funding of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs as discriminatory.
At a crowded news conference yesterday afternoon, OHA Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona said the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision "represents another serious blow to the rights of native Hawaiians and consequently to our whole Hawaii community."
She said that the ruling comes "on the heels" of the same court's Aug. 2 decision to strike down Kamehameha Schools' "Hawaiians-only" admission policy as violating federal anti-discrimination laws.
"This clearly demonstrates that the courts and their doctrines do not favor Hawaii's native people," said Apoliona. "We can also expect further efforts to erode Hawaiian rights."
It is unclear what other health, educational or housing programs aimed at native Hawaiians could be challenged because of the state taxpayer money they receive.
The 9th Circuit ruled on the Arakaki v. Lingle lawsuit, one of several recent suits that challenge programs for native Hawaiians. The suits were spurred by the 2002 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Rice v. Cayetano, which found that the "Hawaiians-only" vote in elections for OHA trustees violated anti-discrimination laws and the U.S. Constitution.
The Arakaki suit, filed in March 2002, argued that OHA, the Hawaiian Homes Commission and the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands are race-based and therefore illegal under the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment in the U.S. Constitution. It claimed OHA discriminates against non-Hawaiians and should not receive state tax money.
Apoliona spoke in OHA's fifth-floor boardroom, which was crowded with supporters, including Gov. Linda Lingle, U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, the chief executive and trustees of Kamehameha Schools, a leader of Hawaiian homesteaders and the acting president of the University of Hawaii.
The theme of all the speakers was that the strongest shield against further court challenges is the passage of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act -- the Akaka Bill.
The bill, expected to be debated on the floor of the U.S. Senate next week, sets up a process for the federal government to recognize native Hawaiians as an indigenous people like American Indians or Alaskan natives. As such, they would be recognized as a political group, rather than a race-based group, which could immunize native Hawaiian programs from legal attacks based on violating anti-discrimination laws.
The Akaka Bill creates a means for native Hawaiians to create a "governing entity" that, if recognized by the federal government, will allow it to relate on a government-to-government basis to the United States.
Akaka has repeatedly said that his bill will protect more than 130 federal programs aimed at benefiting native Hawaiians and will protect institutions such as OHA and DHHL.
Basing its ruling on a legal technicality, the 9th Circuit recognized a legal distinction between the creation of OHA and the DHHL.
The court found that DHHL was the creation of the federal government's Admissions Act that made Hawaii a state in 1959 and that OHA was the creation of the state's 1978 Constitutional Convention. The court said that because DHHL was created under the direction of the federal government, the plaintiffs have no standing to challenge it as state taxpayers.
The Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1921 set aside about 200,000 acres for homesteads staked by Hawaiians with at least 50 percent aboriginal blood. The intent of the act was to establish "a permanent land base for the beneficial use of native Hawaiians."
When Hawaii became a state in 1959, Congress required it to incorporate the HHCA into its state Constitution. Because of the federal role in the creation of HHCA, the court ruled that the plaintiffs could not sue the federal government as taxpayers under existing law.
The case of OHA is different.
The 9th Circuit found that the state tax money going to OHA could be challenged by a group of state taxpayers. OHA receives the bulk of its revenues from rents on leased lands. Last year, the state gave OHA about $2.8 million from state collections, which represents about 10 percent of its $25 million budget.
William Burgess, an attorney representing Earl Arakaki and the other plaintiffs, said he was disappointed by yesterday's ruling because it narrowed what he could challenge.
The court ruled his clients had no standing to challenge the federal government and DHHL.
"We are disappointed that the court narrowed the scope of our suit as much as it did," he said.
The defendants in Arakaki, which include OHA, DHHL and the state government, argued that Congress has established many remedial programs such as the Native Hawaiian Education Act and the Native Hawaiian Health Care Act to better the lives of native Hawaiians and that therefore they are an indigenous people and "a political group" with a special relationship to the U.S. government. They argue that as a political group, their programs are not race-based and cannot be challenged as discriminatory under federal laws or the Constitution.
In the several lawsuits brought to date, no court has ruled on whether native Hawaiians are a race or political group. In fact, they have left that decision to the U.S. Congress and the fate of the Akaka Bill.
Lingle agreed with Apoliona yesterday saying that with the Arakaki decision, "we dodged a legal bullet, and this bullet is aimed at the heart of the programs that benefit the Hawaiian people and thereby bring benefits to the state of Hawaii."
"These bullets will not stop, and this decision was made in such a narrow sense and on such a technical (legal) basis that it does not preclude the next group from coming forward on another (legal) basis and challenging the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands again."
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Thursday, September 1, 2005 EDITORIAL
Appeals court ruling gives boost to Hawaiians
A federal appeals court has rejected challenges to federal and state programs targeted to help native Hawaiians.
HAWAIIANS appear to have won a major court ruling that protects federal assistance programs and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs' prime source of revenue. The decision by a federal appeals panel should be a relief for Hawaiians still reeling from an appellate court ruling against Kamehameha Schools' admission policy.
A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld District Judge Susan Mollway's dismissal last year of a challenge to federal programs that assist native Hawaiians. The panel ruled that Earl Arakaki and other plaintiffs can challenge the expenditure of state tax revenue on OHA, but few if any tax dollars are funneled to the agency.
The ruling comes as the Senate prepares to vote on the Akaka Bill, which would give Hawaiians federal recognition similar to that afforded American Indian tribes and native Alaskans. If the 9th Circuit ruling stands -- it could be appealed further -- state and federal Hawaiian programs may not desperately need the bill's protection.
Arakaki attorneys argued that the expenditure of public money on Hawaiian programs infringes on constitutional protection against racial discrimination. The appeals panel rejected the standing of the plaintiffs to bring a racial-bias claim against federal programs on the basis that "any effect on federal spending may only remotely affect" the plaintiffs, invoking a long-held U.S. Supreme Court stance.
The appellate judges ruled that the plaintiffs can challenge the expenditure of state tax dollars on OHA, but they cannot contest OHA's revenue from the Hawaiian home lands trust or a settlement with the state over past claims. OHA's revenue comes largely from the land trust.
By state law, OHA receives 20 percent of the revenue from crown or public lands ceded to the state at statehood. The judges ruled that the plaintiffs, "as taxpayers, may not challenge the expenditure of such non-tax revenues."
The ruling also protects state funding of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. The panel pointed out that the 200,000 acres of land set aside for the use of Hawaiians was incorporated into the Admission Act, requiring the state to include the program in the state Constitution.
Unlike the Arakaki lawsuit, which involves constitutional issues, the lawsuit against Kamehameha Schools' Hawaiians-only admission policy is based on precise Supreme Court interpretations of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which prohibits racial discrimination in contracts. The high court ruled in 1976 that the law prohibits discrimination in private schools and protects all races.
While government programs aiding Hawaiians may be safer from legal challenges, Kamehameha and other charitable organizations benefiting Hawaiians remain in need of the Akaka Bill's protection from court challenges.
Honolulu Advertiser, Thursday, September 1, 2005
Court OKs challenge to taxpayer funding of OHA
By Ken Kobayashi and Gordon Y.K. Pang
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling involves a 2002 lawsuit filed by a group of Hawaići taxpayers challenging the constitutionality of the funding for the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, the Hawaiian Homes Commission and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, all of which provide benefits and programs to Native Hawaiians.
Highlights of yesterday's unanimous decision by appeals court judges Jay Bybee, Melvin Brunetti and Susan Graber:
• The panel reinstated a portion of a lawsuit challenging taxpayer money going to OHA, about $2.8 million a year, or roughly 10 percent of its budget.
• The panel affirmed the dismissal of other parts of the lawsuit challenging money to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and the Hawaiian Homes Commission.
• The panel affirmed dismissal of another part of the suit challenging nontaxpayer money going to OHA. That money includes revenue from ceded lands that once belonged to the Hawaiian monarchy and currently provides the bulk of funding for OHA.
— Ken Kobayashi
A group of Hawai'i taxpayers can challenge the expenditure of about $2.8 million a year in state tax money for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, a federal appeals court ruled yesterday in yet another appellate decision jeopardizing programs that benefit Native Hawaiians.
But because the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling limited the lawsuit to that money, the decision isn't expected to have the far-reaching impact of the U.S. Supreme Court's 2000 decision that struck down the Hawaiians-only voting for OHA trustees or the 9th Circuit's recent decision that declared Kamehameha Schools' admissions policy a violation of federal civil rights law.
In a 40-page decision, a three-member panel of the appeals court unanimously overturned a 2002 decision by U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway and ruled that the taxpayers can contest the constitutionality of taxpayer funding equal to about 10 percent of OHA's budget.
The court, however, affirmed Mollway's dismissal of the rest of the suit and said taxpayers cannot challenge other revenues for OHA and cannot contest the constitutionality of government funding for the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and Hawaiian Homes Commission.
"It's like being kissed by your sister," said H. William Burgess, the lawyer for the taxpayers who wanted the appeals court to reinstate the entire lawsuit.
Supporters of programs for Native Hawaiians also underscored the limited decision and repeated the call for the passage of the so-called Akaka bill, which they said will make it easier to defend taxpayer funding for OHA.
"We dodged a legal bullet, and this bullet is aimed at the heart of the programs that benefit the Hawaiian people, and thereby benefits the state of Hawai'i," Gov. Linda Lingle said. Lingle said the state will continue to defend the programs.
Clyde Namu'o, OHA administrator, said OHA gets about $2.8 million from the state general fund and it could be lost "under a worst-case scenario" if the lawsuit is successful in District Court. The amount represents about 10 percent of the agency's $28.5 million annual operating budget and is used for a limited number of programs that seek funding from OHA, he said.
The lion's share of the $2.8 million goes to three nonprofit organizations that benefit Native Hawaiians — Na Pua No'eau, the Native Hawaiian Legal Corp. and Alu Like.
David Sing, director of Na Pua No'eau, said about $700,000 of its $1.5 million budget comes from OHA. The program provides educational enrichment for about 1,500 Native Hawaiian students annually.
"The ruling doesn't change the conditions that will continue to exist but it will impact the efforts that are being made," Sing said.
Alan Murakami, litigation director for the Native Hawaiian Legal Corp., said the roughly $600,000 his organization receives from OHA represents "more than half" of its operating budget. About $300,000 of the OHA money is from the state general fund, and could be lost if the lawsuit prevails.
The taxpayers' suit was filed by former Honolulu police officer Earl F. Arakaki and about a dozen others in 2002 challenging the constitutionality of government funding for the Hawaiian Home Lands program and OHA because their programs benefit only residents of Hawaiian ancestry.
In 2004, Mollway ruled the taxpayers did not have legal standing to challenge the Hawaiian Home Lands program established by Congress in 1920 that provided 200,000 acres to Hawaiians to build homes on property leased for 99 years at $1 a year.
She ruled they could sue OHA, but also ruled that the court should not interfere with the ongoing congressional debate over the Akaka bill that would recognize Native Hawaiians as a political group.
The appeals court yesterday essentially affirmed all aspects of Mollway's ruling except its finding that the court should refrain from making a decision because of the pending Akaka bill.
The court ruled that the Akaka bill would only go to the issue of what kind of standard a judge would use to evaluate the constitutionality of the tax money to OHA. That the bill is still pending does not bar the court from hearing the lawsuit, the appeals court said.
The court also made clear it would be a limited challenge only to tax money, not revenues from ceded lands that once belonged to the Hawaiian monarchy.
"We agree with the district court that plaintiffs, as taxpayers, may not challenge the expenditure of such nontax revenues, the court said.
Arakaki, 58, an 'Ewa Beach resident who retired from the Police Department in 1994, said he had not had a chance to review the decision with Burgess, but said his reaction is mixed. He's pleased the suit is "still alive," but "it sounds to me there are still race-based programs that the government is providing."
Deputy Attorney General Girard Lau, also had mixed feelings about the decision. He's pleased the appeals court affirmed the dismissal of most of the lawsuit, but he's disappointed the tax money to OHA can be challenged.
He said the office is considering asking for a rehearing or an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. He said other states may also have concerns about taxpayer challenges to state programs.
In some ways, the decision is part of a legal continuum that began five years ago with the U.S. Supreme Court's Rice v. Cayetano decision that OHA's Hawaiian-only ballots for its trustees violated constitutional voting rights protections. In the wake of the decision, OHA no longer restricts voting or the trusteeships to people with Hawaiian blood.
That high-court decision also prompted U. S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawai'i, to introduce a bill seeking to clarify the status of Native Hawaiians as a political rather than racial group to help defend Native Hawaiian entitlements.
Lau said passage of the bill would make it clear that a federal judge should evaluate the constitutionality of tax money under a "rational basis" standard that is much easier for OHA to meet than the higher standard of "strict scrutiny." That tougher standard is used to determine whether the government has a compelling interest in interfering with fundamental rights, such as equal protection under the law.
"That is why the passage of the Akaka bill is really, really important," Lau said.
Yesterday, Lingle also stressed the need for the passage of the Akaka bill. Senators are slated to decide Tuesday whether the Akaka bill should come to a vote on the Senate floor. Lingle said she and Micah Kane, DHHL director, will fly to Washington over the weekend to "solidify support" for the bill.
Akaka said yesterday the future of Hawaiian programs could hinge on whether the bill is successful. "When that happens, the courts I think will view these cases differently," Akaka told The Advertiser's editorial board. "But it will be in the hands of the courts."
Supporters of OHA, and advocates of Native Hawaiian programs in general, used yesterday's decision as a rallying point for gathering support for the Akaka bill.
There was disappointment when word of the court's decision first broke at the annual Native Hawaiian Conference, which officially opened at the Sheraton Waikiki yesterday. But as the day wore on and Hawaiian advocates began to realize the immediate impact of the decision was not monumental, those in support of the Akaka bill began to use the news as a rallying cry.
Haunani Apoliona, chairwoman of the OHA board of trustees, said the decision "represents another serious blow to the rights of Native Hawaiians and, consequently, to our entire Hawai'i community."
Apoliona said the ruling, as well as a ruling last month against Kamehameha Schools' Hawaiians-first admissions policy, are only the latest attacks against programs that aid Native Hawaiians.
"The courts and their doctrines clearly do not favor Hawai'i's native people," she said. "You can expect possible further lawsuits. You can also expect further efforts to erode Hawaiian rights."
However, Hui Pu, an umbrella group of Native Hawaiians opposing the Akaka bill, said in a statement yesterday that it's wrong to use the court's decision to support the Akaka bill because "it actually hurts the group which this ruling protects — Hawaiian Homeland lessees. With ... new amendments, the bill takes away their right to file legitimate claims against the government. From 1959 to 1995 alone, more than 4,000 claims have been filed. The state Office of Hawaiian Affairs betrays the Hawaiian people by spending millions on Washington, D.C., lobbyists to pass a bad bill, instead of addressing the socio-economic conditions of the Hawaiian people."
Honolulu Advertiser, Thursday, September 1, 2005
OHA set up to help meet obligations to Hawaiians
The Office of Hawaiian Affairs was established by the Constitutional Convention of 1978 as part of what was known as the Native Hawaiian Legislative Package.
OHA's purpose was to become the principal vehicle for the state to meet its trust responsibilities to Native Hawaiians, defined as those with at least 50 percent Hawaiian blood, and Hawaiians, which is further defined as descendants of the aboriginal peoples inhabiting the Hawaiian Islands in 1778, the year British Capt. James Cook arrived here.
Much of OHA's $28.5 million in annual operating revenues comes from its share of what's known as the public lands trust. When Hawai'i became a state in 1959, a condition of statehood was that 1.8 million acres formerly ceded to the federal government be returned to the state with the stipulation that these lands benefit two beneficiary classes — Native Hawaiians and the public.
How much of the revenue from these lands that OHA and Native Hawaiians should receive has been a source of debate and litigation for years.
A second major source of revenues is dividend and interest income that is derived from OHA's $365 million in assets.
Expenditures go largely to nonprofit agencies that provide educational, legal, health, vocational and other services to the Native Hawaiian community. Monies also go to loan programs to help Hawaiians start businesses and toward advocacy of protection of natural and cultural resources.
The Maui News, Thursday, September 01, 2005
Decision seen as example of why Akaka Bill is needed
An appeals court decision on an effort to block state funding for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs is another reason that Hawaiians need the federal government to recognize their right to a government of their own, Maui Hawaiian leaders said Wednesday.
Cultural specialist Charles Kauluwehi Maxwell Sr. said there were good and bad points to the appeals panel decision, but he said it was basically bad in setting the stage for more challenges to benefits for Native Hawaiians.
"It's an insult to the Hawaiians who opened their homes and hearts to people and now are being oppressed again," Maxwell said.
He is a supporter of the federal recognition bill, commonly known as the Akaka Bill, that he says will help to protect programs set up specifically to provide benefits to Native Hawaiians.
"There's nothing in the horizon to save our entitlements. It's more pressing now to get the Akaka Bill passed," he said.
Retired judge and OHA Trustee Boyd Mossman said Hawaiians have "dodged a bullet" in that the appeals court panel narrowly focused on a single issue of state general tax revenues.
"But until we have the Akaka Bill passed, we're going to be suffering the effects of more bullets that are chipping away at Hawaiian benefits. That's why Akaka is so important to us, to make available a law that will help us to defend ourselves," he said.
Maxwell and Mossman were reacting to the ruling issued by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday that allows a group of Hawaii taxpayers to sue to block the state from funding OHA for Hawaiians-only programs.
The appeals panel ruling reversed a U.S. District Court decision on only the issue of state funding from general tax revenues. The appeals panel allowed to stand the lower court decision that dismissed the federal government and the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) from claims in the lawsuit, as well as a decision that allows continued funding for OHA from ceded-lands revenues.
In Honolulu, OHA called a news conference to respond to the ruling, with Sen. Daniel Akaka – who had introduced the bill in the Senate – among several participants urging support for the legislation.
Others included Gov. Linda Lingle, DHHL Chairman Micah Kane, Kamehameha Schools Chief Executive Officer Dee Jay Mailer, University of Hawaii interim President David McClain and Robbie Alm, a vice president at Hawaiian Electric Co.
Akaka made a strong pitch for his bill and said he is confident that he and Sen. Daniel Inouye have the 60 votes necessary for approval of a cloture motion Tuesday that would force a Senate vote on the bill.
Lingle said the state will "fight vigorously any attempt to take anything from Hawaiian people."
The governor said she and Kane will leave Sunday for Washington "to try to reach as many people as we can" to get support for the cloture vote and the bill.
"We have addressed challenges to the constitutionality of the Akaka Bill and feel we have put that to rest," Lingle said.
OHA Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona said the court ruling "underscores the need to pass the Akaka Bill." She and other trustees, including Mossman, also will travel to Washington to lobby for the measure.
OHA's chances of prevailing in the funding case would be much stronger with the Akaka Bill, said acting Attorney General Lisa Ginoza.
Deputy Attorney General Charlene Aina, who helped argue the case before the appeals court, said Congress already has recognized Native Hawaiians in various federal programs but said it has been in "a less-than-direct way. The Akaka Bill would give Native Hawaiians direct recognition we haven't had."
Alm said the ruling is bad not only for Native Hawaiians but for the entire community.
"The fight doesn't belong just to the Hawaiian community; it belongs to all of us," he said.
Alm said the non-Hawaiian plaintiffs in the case speak for only a small minority.
"This is a mixed ruling . . . but it allows groups to continue to attack benefits for Native Hawaiians. The court did not accept our argument that this is a political question and it can be resolved with passage of the Akaka Bill," Mossman said.
"They did say that Akaka would not be a guarantee of benefits. But certainly it would be better than none at all."
Maxwell today will participate in a public forum on the bill, sponsored by Ho'okahua and by Po'okela, both Native Hawaiian programs at Maui Community College. Kalei Ka'eo, a spokesperson for Hui Pu and NOA (Not of America) will speak in opposition to the bill.
TownHall, August 31, 2005
GOP USA, September 1, 2005
Time to stand for unity
Linda Chavez, President, Center for Equal Opportunity
Do Republicans actually stand for anything? I wonder sometimes, especially when GOP lawmakers make appeals to traditionally Democratic voters by trying to out-pander the Democrats.
A handful of Senate Republicans are set to do so when Congress comes back after Labor Day and takes up a bizarre bill that could not only give the imprimatur to odious racial classifications but set the stage for secession for one state: Hawaii.
The bill, S. 147, has been bottled up for months, thanks to the efforts of Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., who has valiantly fought the legislation for years without much help from his fellow Republicans. The legislation would grant so-called native Hawaiians status akin to that of American Indian tribes, including a measure of self-government.
Hawaii became a state in 1959. At the time, Americans were firmly committed to the idea of the Melting Pot. There was broad consensus that Hawaii's multi-racial population -- which included the descendants of Europeans, Asians, and the Polynesian inhabitants who came to islands from the South Pacific -- would be treated the same. Intermarriage among the various ethnic groups living on the island was widespread, and there was no effort to treat native Hawaiians as a separate racial group, much less a tribe. But nearly 50 years later, multiculturalism and racial preferences have permeated American society, and the push is now on to grant special status to some of Hawaii's citizens, depending on their racial lineage.
The legislation defines as "Native Hawaiian" anyone who is one of the "indigenous, native people of Hawaii," and who is a "direct lineal descendant of the aboriginal, indigenous, native people" who resided in the Hawaiian Islands before Jan. 1, 1893, when the United States took possession of the island from the reigning monarch, Queen Liliuokalani. The definition is simply a racial classification of the kind normally suspect under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Its purpose is to define members of a group who would be given special status -- including the right to self-government. The bill even empowers the new entity established by Native Hawaiians to "negotiate" with the existing state and federal governments over lands and natural resources, civil and criminal jurisdiction, and the "delegation of governmental powers" from the United States and the state of Hawaii to the new governing entity.
Is it too far-fetched to imagine some enterprising group of "Native Hawaiians" deciding to demand all waterfront property be turned over to the new "tribe," or perhaps just to demand that existing owners pay a new tax to the new governing entity for the privilege of keeping their property? Perhaps the group would demand that those not of "native" status simply leave the islands altogether. Unimaginable? Perhaps not. A group of irredentists in Arizona once tried to get legislation passed that would have barred anyone whose ancestors were not living in Arizona at the time of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the war between the United States and Mexico in 1848, from living in most areas of the state.
But rather than fight similar mischief, a number of Republicans appear ready to jump on the Native Hawaiian bandwagon. The bill's chief sponsor is Sen. Daniel Akaka, who has tried to get the legislation through Congress for several years. In the past, he's been given a boost by Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, who has also pushed for legislation to make Puerto Rico a state, but most mainstream Republicans have steered clear. Not so of late. Now Stevens is joined by his Alaska colleague Sen. Lisa Murkowski, as well as Sens. Lindsey Graham (SC), Norm Coleman (MN) and Gordon Smith (OR). In addition, Ben Ginsburg, former general counsel of the Republican National Committee, is one of the chief lobbyists for the bill.
Let's hope their fellow Republicans -- as well as sensible Democrats -- see the folly in this legislation.
Hawaii Reporter, September 1, 2005
Scared of the Akaka Bill
By Don Newman, senior policy analyst for the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii
One of the things that people are not considering when they advocate passage of the Akaka Bill, is what it will do to the political dynamics of the state. We only have to look at what has happened in numerous states that have Indian tribes. The money generated by these tribes was used to sway state legislation to the benefit of those tribes at the expense of everyone else.
Even if, as Gov. Lingle says (without any evidence at this point), that federal legislation will circumscribe legalizing casinos on land controlled by the newly reorganized Native Hawaiian government, such laws will only remain in effect as long as the state of Hawaii doesn't legalize gambling in any form. If the state of Hawaii modifies this proviso in any form then the whole "ballgame" changes.
Many entities have come to the fore advocating legalizing gambling in this state long before the Akaka Bill. With the resources garnered behind the new Hawaiian government the lobbying effort to legalize gambling would be greatly augmented. As has been demonstrated so many times in the past this is a "pay to play" state where those who have the greatest capability to contribute to political campaigns have the greatest clout. There is no reason to think it would be any different for the newly created Native Hawaiian entity.
The national legal precedent is that as long as a state outlaws gambling outright then Indian tribes can not introduce gambling. But if the state legalizes gambling in any form then the barn door is wide open. This happened in Oregon when the state legislators decided to legalize "video poker" in bars to provide funding for education (as well as legalizing a lottery for the same reason) and the Indian tribes jumped on this to build casinos all around the state. Now they have numerous such monsters and public education still starves.
Much to the chagrin of those state legislators there was nothing they could do. It is an either/or situation when it comes to the federal law. Either gambling is utterly forbidden or it is legal and the tribes can do whatever they wish. The only question then is, who benefits? Typically this is just the handful of families that control the tribe. Mostly, the majority remain in grinding poverty. For this reason, most leave the tribe.
Thus the majority of Native Americans, about 80 percent, do not live on reservations and have nothing to do with their "tribe." They have long since moved into mainstream America and built their lives on the opportunity available there. It is only those who remain in the tribes that live the degraded life of drugs, poverty and alcoholism that we are incessantly told is the Native American's lot. This is not the typical case though. The majority have moved on.
Life in the general populace of America is far preferable to the tribes unless one of the ruling members of the tribes who control the income from the casinos and other tribal income sources. There is no reason to think the situation would be any different here in Hawaii. The only issue would be: Who would control?
This brings us back to the means of control. This is only achieved through legislative action. The newly formed Hawaiian government would be in a position to control millions of dollars and influence any number of legislative races. Would they support those who would maintain, or repeal, laws against gambling? What would best serve the interests of the Hawaiian government? Since they would be exempt, as all Indian governments are, from state and federal taxes, why wouldn't they advocate easing the gambling laws?
How long would it be before the lobbying clout of the newly formed Hawaiian government succeeded in prevailing upon the state Legislature to create a single exception to the "no gambling" laws currently in effect in this state? The irony is that it would only take a single exception, whether it would be something like video poker or a lottery, to make Hawaiian "tribe" gambling perfectly legal here. That's all. Merely a single exception.
This is just another aspect of the Akaka Bill that is completely unsettled. As much as our some of our elected officials say that such things cannot happen, they really cannot know. The Akaka Bill, ultimately, leaves such things wide open. There is no knowing where it will lead. To claim to know otherwise is to claim to know the future. This is impossible. It is the uncertainty that is paramount. Who knows where all this will lead? The answer: No one.
This is just one aspect of the Akaka Bill that is unclear. There are many more. The fact is, there is no knowing what all the ramifications of this bill actually are. One of the main claims of those who support the Akaka Bill is to assert against its detractors is that they are "scare mongers." But with such a poorly crafted bill it just might be rational, logical and reasonable to be "scared" as to the potential outcome of this bill. As much as the advocates claim they know "everything" that the Akaka bill implies, they could be wrong. And if they are, we are entirely right to be "scared."
Don Newman, senior policy analyst for the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, Hawaii's first and only free market public policy institute focused on individual freedom and liberty, can be reached at: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Hawaii Reporter, September 1, 2005
Allegiance to America is Under Attack by Akaka Bill and Its Supporters
Open Letter to U.S. Congress
By Elaine Willman, MPA, Chair of Citizens Equal Rights Alliance (CERA) a national organization of community education groups and citizens in 25 states who reside within or near federally recognized Indian reservations.
The Pledge of Allegiance which is a federal statute at U.S. Code, Title 36, Chapter 10, Section 172, is part of what is under attack with Senate Bill 147 and H.R. 309 otherwise known as the Akaka Bill:
"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America..."
Nine senators and eight congressmen of the United States, unmindful of their own respective pledges of allegiance to the country in which they hold elected office, contrary to their own sworn Oath of Office, and in clear violation of the U.S. Constitution, support legislation to separate and segregate one specific ethnic population in contradiction to the pledge of allegiance by forming a separate, race-based government requiring a redirected allegiance to a separate government.
"And to the republic for which it stands..."
At least 17 members of Congress would enact S. 147 and H.R. 309, repudiating the requirement of a Republican form of government for the 400,000 Native Hawaiian U.S. citizens. These congressmen, by their intent to pass this legislation clearly state that our "republic for which it stands," stands for nothing. Or worse, laws can be enacted on behalf of the highest bidders based on their political contributors.
"One nation, Under God, Indivisible...."
Senators Akaka, Cantwell, Coleman, Dorgan, Graham, Inouye, Murkowski, Gordon Smith, and Stevens, and Congressmen Abercrombie, Bordallo, Case, Falomeomavaega, Grijalva, Moran, Rahall and Don Young—by their endorsement of S. 147 and H.R. 309, promote and foment a race-based governance system to dismantle the One Nation of the United States while claiming to uphold their Oath of Office and the United States Constitution. Every American citizen should be outraged at such dishonorable thought and conduct among federal elected officials.
"With liberty and justice for all."
S. 147/H.R. 309 will separate and segregate Native Hawaiians, denying to them the Constitutional and civil protections and civil liberties guaranteed under a republican form of government. These bills are modeled after the Indian Reorganization Act (IRA) of 1934, and like the IRA, will expand destruction and balkanization that this county is currently experiencing because of federal Indian policy. Is Congress so pleased with federal Indian policy that it wishes to now expand this system to other racial groups? If so, what limits this race-based expansion, and keeps our country "indivisible?"
Justice will be denied to ethnic Hawaiian citizens and to all other citizens of the United States by elected officials whose own integrity and allegiance is apparently redirected away from the best interests of the whole cloth of the United States. Race-based balkanization is a force capable of destroying most countries, and especially ours, with our tremendous diversity. Such efforts as this legislation border on sedition.
Elaine Willman, MPA, is Chair of Citizens Equal Rights Alliance (CERA) a national organization of community education groups and citizens in 25 states who reside within or near federally recognized Indian reservations. Ms. Willman is a former City of Ojai assistant administrator, teaches in the Masters in Public and Business Administration programs for a university, and is pursuing a doctoral in federal Indian policy. Contact her via email at mailto:email@example.com'''
September 1, 2005, Vol. 9 No. 10
Right-wing Republicans aren't the only ones who hate the proposed Hawaiian recognition bill. Here's why one Native Hawaiian Activist opposes it.
By Jen Russo
After months of debate, it looks like the U.S. Senate is finally going to vote on the controversial Akaka Bill. On Sept. 6, 2005, the Senate will say yea or nay to a cloture motion that will force a vote on S.147, which seeks to establish an office in the Department of the Interior. This office would then select a committee to oversee the forming of a Native Hawaiian Governing Council. Then the Federal Government would recognize this entity as the representative governing body of the Native Hawaiian people, putting their best interests in the hands of the Department of the Interior. Sound rather bureaucratic? It is.
Hawai'i Democratic Senators Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka—the bill's chief sponsor—as well as Republican Governor Linda Lingle all love the bill, but it faces significant opposition, mostly from conservative Republicans. Opponents like Senator Jon Kyl (R, Arizona) and talk radio host Rush Limbaugh like to paint the bill as pitting Hawaiian against haole. They insist the bill is blatantly racist and would lead to Hawaiian independence.
In fact, opposition to the Akaka Bill is far more complex. Just ask Dennis "Bumpy" Pu'uhonua Kanahele. In the late 1980s and early ‘90s Kanahele was a militant sovereignty activist publicly resisting federal and state laws. Held without bail in Hawai'i's courts in 1995, Kanahele was viewed as a political prisoner in his case against federal agents. Emerging from the system in 1998 a free man, Bumpy now preaches Gandhi's virtues of peace and nonviolence. He believes in sovereignty for the Hawaiian people through peaceful economic advocacy.
He also thinks the Akaka Bill is terrible and should be voted down. Last week I asked Kanahele why.
Maui Time Weekly: Why do you oppose the Akaka Bill?
Kanahele: Let's say this table here represents the Hawaiian Nation before the overthrow. Each Hawaiian has an interest in a part of this table. Then let's say that a tablecloth thrown over this table represents the overthrow and statehood. Then there is all this stuff that has happened from then on and those are the things on top of this tablecloth.
So now we have this Akaka Bill that wants to set up a governing entity and address the Hawaiian people and what they want and need. Okay, let's talk about it, but first pick up that tablecloth and gather all the things on it and take that away. Now we can look at our table of rights and interests and see it for what it is. The Akaka Bill and its supporters are not willing to do that.
What are some of the problems with the bill?
This bill basically makes the Hawaiian people wards of the federal government through the Department of the Interior [DOI], similar to the Native American Indians. Let's look at the track record of the Department of the Interior with regards to the Native Americans. Right now the federal government is involved in huge lawsuits over the DOI's mismanagement of royalties of Native American lands, with over $2.4 billion unaccounted for.
The bill is also missing the infrastructure to provide the badly needed services to improve the lives of Native Hawaiians. The bill does not set up a sovereign state; instead it sets up a committee to elect a group of people. Then this group has to negotiate with the federal government to be recognized, to have land, to have rights. This is not self-determination. This bill does not immediately address the issues we have.
Attorney General Mark Bennett, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) and former state Supreme Judge Robert Klein are all supporting the bill. They claim it is the last chance to make programs benefiting the Native Hawaiians legal. What do you say to this?
These people are threatening the Hawaiian people, saying we are going to lose these programs if we don't agree to the Akaka Bill. But let's look at these programs. They aren't helping all Native Hawaiians. So to use the Akaka Bill to reinstate these programs is not the solution for the Hawaiian people. If this argument is so strong for them why are they grumbling when we ask OHA to bring in an international lawyer to research the Akaka Bill? Why are they so afraid of a second opinion? Why are they pouring money into marketing instead? The bottom line is education. Why haven't they spent a whole year reaching every nook and cranny to educate all of the Hawaiians about it?
What do you say to folks like constitutional lawyer Bruce Fein, the Grassroots Institute and the right-wing Republicans who claim no injustice was done to the Hawaiian people?
They have to deny that any wrongdoing occurred to make their point. But that is just denial of the truth. In actuality, the Hawaiian people are suffering a subtle form of genocide. It's not only guns and bombs that kill people. By manipulation through the mind we have been exterminated. First we were not allowed to speak our language or practice our religion. We were made to live in fear of our own culture. Then foods like Spam, margarine and such were introduced. And liquor. Now Native Hawaiians have the worst problems with health, alcohol and drug abuse, housing and jobs. You name it, we got it and it's the worst. That is how we are exterminated.
Is the bill racist, as these groups claim?
They may have a claim using United States law. However, right now, here in Hawai'i the Americans are illegally occupying Hawai'i. This is Hawai'i, not America. So their claim is a facade. It's not real. As much as I don't like being on the same side as this discriminating gang, it has brought more truth and awareness to the table.
What if the bill passes?
It won't end the struggle for independence. Instead it will probably escalate it. It will be more detrimental than anything else. It is all about the money, the investors and the banks. These institutions will use their power to protect themselves. But they must be careful; there are human rights violations. There are protests against the occupation.
What if the bill doesn't pass?
Eventually it will force us into international protection under international law. When the United States passed the Apology Bill they admitted to breaking the law. The Hawaiian people are the last straw regarding world peace. I am an advocate of peace and non-violence. The Queen knew what it was. It's not about guns. It's about repeating the truth. The kupuna and their prayers are all we have left. To stand firm in the system we have to withstand anything.
What are some of the groups that are involved in sovereignty? Do you work with any of them?
Some of the different organizations and people that have pulled different folks together are Akahi Nui (www.freehawaii.org), who claims to be the King of Hawaii, Henry Noa of the Reinstated Hawaiian Nation, Dennis Reysdale and John Nelson, and the Nation of Hawai'i (www.hawaii-nation.org), which ratified the Hawai'i Constitution in 1995. I am head of state for the Nation of Hawai'i. Right now I am focusing on the health and economy of the people. On Maui I had over 250 kupuna but I have lost half of them. Now it's health first, then let's talk about building a nation. I am preserving our national treasures as the approach to unification.
Tell me about the Hawaiian Patriotic League of the Hawaiian Islands.
These are the people who signed the petition to congress in 1897. There are over 38,000 signatures of Hawaiians. Congress didn't have the two-thirds vote to annex they needed. These are the people who opposed annexation, my great great grandparents' signatures are in that petition. So for many of us the struggle for independence did not begin 20 to 30 years ago, it began two to three generations ago.
What should the Akaka Bill say?
We should be talking about what would an economic base looks like for a Hawaiian government and people. There are many options that do not involve the Department of the Interior. We could start a Native Hawaiian-owned and controlled bank and make each Hawaiian a trustee of the bank. When you have a bank, deposits are leveraged 10 to 1. With the deposits OHA has we could start this bank, and create an $8 to $9 billion business and surpass what the Federal Government is suggesting for us. Then the Hawaiian trustees could get dividend checks.
We could get the Kamehameha Schools involved and dividends could be paid in educational vouchers. With an economic basis, a corporation would be protected. I am a visionary. I am always looking for a solution. Why aren't we talking about this now? MTW
On September 2, 2005 the Hawaii Reporter on-line newspaper published excerpts of an article from "The Economist", a prestigious journal published in London England. The excerpts were at
Ken Conklin has since then obtained the full text of the article. Here is the full text.
SURF, SUN, AND SECESSION?
A daft proposal for racial separatism approaches the Senate
The Economist, September 2, 2005
WHEN Queen Liliuokalani of Hawaii was overthrown by a band of
local rebels in 1893, not many of her subjects cared. At least, not
enough to fire a single shot in her defence. Nonetheless, the
incident, which some say occurred with American connivance and which
led to the annexation of Hawaii to the United States, is now a source
of immense grievance to some native Hawaiians.
Bill Clinton apologised for it in 1993, even though, strictly
speaking, it was not his fault. But that was not enough for Daniel
Akaka. The Democratic senator has tabled a bill to right the wrongs of
the past by granting "self-governance" to native Hawaiians. The Senate
is to consider the bill next week.
A casual observer might think that a century under the American
yoke has not been all bad for native Hawaiians. Their median household
income is $52,000, making them slightly better off than white
Americans and much richer than any group of Polynesians outside the
United States. And they also live in Hawaii.
Mr Akaka comments on the bill to grant "self-governance" to
Hawaiians, which the Senate will consider. See also the Office of
Hawaiian Affairs and the University of Hawaii.
Statehood was not imposed on native Hawaiians by force. In 1959,
they voted for it by a two-to-one margin. Since then, native and
non-native have rubbed along well enough to marry each other with
casual abandon. Back in 1984, only 4% of native Hawaiians were
classified by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs as pure native Hawaiian,
and colour-blind love must have reduced that figure since then.
Mr Akaka's gripe, however, is that native Hawaiians have been
denied the degree of self-determination that has made Native American
reservations such happy places. His bill, which is supported by
Hawaii's Republican governor and its other Democratic senator, would
allow the creation of a separate "governing entity" for native
Hawaiians. Exactly what this would entail is unclear, but it seems to
allow the one-quarter or so of Hawaiians who can show native ancestry
to choose to be governed by a different set of laws from their
That could have interesting consequences. Unlike Native American
tribes, which have been separate political entities since before the
American constitution was framed, native Hawaiians live intermingled
with those whose ancestors arrived more recently. So, under the new
system, could you have two shops side by side, one of them paying
taxes, and one exempt because its owner has a drop of native blood?
Asked that question by a caller to a Hawaiian radio station, Robert
Klein, a lawyer for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, which is promoting
the Akaka bill, replied: "I don't know. We would need to see how that
will play out in the negotiations."
Would this sort of thing foster harmony between native and
non-native Hawaiians, as the bill's sponsors suggest? "The opposite is
more likely," says Rubellite Kawena Kinney Johnson, a local academic
and prominent native opponent of the bill. "Different laws for
different races" is a system with an inglorious history. It is also
unconstitutional, say the bill's critics. And it could pave the way
for other ethnic groups to demand new rights based on perceived
historical injustices. Latinos could make a case that they would be
better off had the United States not beaten Mexico in the war of
1846-48. And don't even get started on blacks.
In an unguarded moment, Mr Akaka admitted that his bill could lead
to independence for native Hawaiians. Amid the ensuing uproar, he
retreated, while carefully keeping that option open. The threat of
secession could help the new racially-exclusive native authority
squeeze more concessions out of the federal or state government.
And that still leaves the most amazing thing about the Akaka bill.
It might pass.
Human Events, September 2, 2005
Move Over Kilauea -- 'Native Hawaiians' Legislation Threatens Fiscal Eruption
by Kristina Rasmussen
[Ms. Rasmussen is the Government Affairs Manager for the 350,000-member National Taxpayers Union (www.ntu.org). ]
Senate May Approve Race-Based Government for Native Hawaiians
Among the most-treasured natural wonders of Hawaii is Volcanoes National Park, which attracts some 2.5 million visitors per year to gaze at Kilauea, the world’s most active volcano. But now many more eyes may be drawn to pending legislation in the Senate called the “Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act,” the passage of which could trigger a lava-hot political eruption across the Hawaiian Islands as well as the nation.
Championed by Hawaii’s U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka (D), the proposal would create a race-based governing entity for the “tribe” of “Native Hawaiians” with roles and responsibilities similar to those held by American Indian and Alaskan Native tribes.
In effect, the Akaka bill would use taxpayer money to condone the creation of divisive racial preferences in a state known for its harmonious blend of various cultures and traditions. Indeed, during 1950s statehood debates, Congress reached a consensus that Native Hawaiians would not be treated as a separate race. Knowledge of the Jim Crow laws of the South led many statehood activists to trumpet Hawaii as a post-racial “melting pot . . . which has produced a common nationality.” Why the sudden turnabout on this principle? Bigger government may be one motivation.
By most reasonable interpretations of federal rules -- such as demonstrating a separate and distinct geographical and cultural community with preexisting, intact political structures -- Native Hawaiians would not seem to qualify for official recognition as a “tribe.” Although the certification process has been criticized for inconsistency, the current language before Congress places no bets on being able to game the system. Instead, the bill brazenly turns to race, by defining a “Native Hawaiian” as a direct, lineal descendant of the indigenous people who resided and exercised sovereignty in the Hawaiian archipelago before January 1, 1893. A nine-member commission would be responsible for creating and certifying a roll of adult Hawaiians based on these race classifications.
Under such definitions, the “Native Hawaiian Tribe” could represent a total of 400,000 people, covering about 20 percent of Hawaiian residents in addition to members living in the remaining 49 states. Were every eligible individual to sign up for membership, the Native Hawaiians could constitute the largest Indian tribe in the nation.
Yet race-based governments have not withstood the test of time. In 2000, the Supreme Court ruled in Rice v. Cayetano that efforts to create such odious structures violated the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and that enlightened legal systems should strive toward color-blind justice and treatment.
Nonetheless, if the Akaka bill were passed into law, the new native government would be recognized by the U.S. as “the representative governing body of the Hawaiian people” and among other activities would take control of state and federal social services that spend money collected from taxpayers nationwide.
Granted, the administrative expenditures from the U.S. Treasury associated with this legislation are modest – nearly $1 million annually in fiscal years 2006-2008 and less than $500,000 in each subsequent year to establish and fund bureaucracies like the United States Office for Native Hawaiian Relations and the Native Hawaiian Interagency Coordinating Group. However, in addition to maintaining support for existing programs, both the federal government and the State of Hawaii may be expected to turn significant land holdings over to the new entity pending further negotiations.
Yet another form of taxpayer liability would be the exceedingly long 20-year statute of limitations contained in the bill for new legal claims brought by “Native Hawaiians” against the federal government. Burgeoning legal disputes over land or treatment could further drain government coffers.
Meanwhile, Hawaiian citizens could face seriously higher tax bills owing to the cash-hungry gaggle of local bureaucracies that will surely hatch from the creation of a new, inefficient government structure.
Ironically, Hawaii’s taxes are already among the worst in the nation. The Census Bureau reports that state-level taxes per capita in Hawaii were the highest of all 50 states last year, while the Tax Foundation ranks the Aloha State third for the heaviest state and local tax load as a percentage of income. Both Native and non-native Hawaiians would be best served by public policies that reduce rather than expand the size and number of government burdens in the Islands.
Furthermore, the Hawaiians impacted by the bill will have no opportunity to vote on this sweeping change. This is especially concerning since a recent survey released by the non-profit Grassroots Institute of Hawaii pointed to strong opposition (67%) among Hawaiian residents toward the proposed legislation, even as Hawaiian political elites continue to ram the bill through the Senate.
Thankfully, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act faces more of a challenge among Members of the House of Representatives, who do not want to codify race-based discrimination into law. A recent joint letter to House lawmakers, signed by Representative Steve King (R-IA) and 21 of his colleagues, expressed “serious concerns” that the bill’s “result would be contrary to fundamental American values and would set a dangerous precedent for our nation.”
Their words could not ring truer at a time when a rumbling mountain of misguided legislation threatens to spew a fiscally-noxious cloud not only over Hawaii, but over America’s taxpaying heartland too.
Ms. Rasmussen is the Government Affairs Manager for the 350,000-member National Taxpayers Union (www.ntu.org).
Hawaii Reporter, September 2, 2005
Excerpt from "Going To Pieces - The Dismantling of The United States of America; Perspective from a Native American on a Lack of Homeland Security on Tribal Lands; How Hawaii Senators are Involved
By Elaine D. Willman, MPA
A terrorist attack could strike anywhere in America at any time. No one and no place is immune. This discussion must begin with two guiding principles: The first principle is that all cultures, and most certainly American Indian culture, are to be respected and cherished within the United States of America. The second principle is that there is a clear and distinct separation between ethnic culture and governing systems. Government is not culture. Culture is not government.
One other important issue is worthy of ongoing acknowledgement. Individual American Indians have, and continue to provide, sacrifice and service to the United States military, in order to keep America safe, and our military is the better and stronger for this service. This has been the factual history from the American Revolutionary War to the current conflicts in Iraq.
Again, this is a discussion of governing systems only; not culture.
Surfacing and deterring terrorist activity requires full cooperation and collaboration of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies in one, seamless continuum. Interconnectivity, coordination and collaboration are prevailing themes determined to best ensure safety of America's homeland.
The Homeland Security Act of 2002 (HSA) specifically includes the involvement of tribal governments, along with federal, state, county and municipal governments and other supportive law enforcement, intelligence and emergency response agencies. The HSA passed by Congress in November 2002 was a massive reorganization of the federal government that created a cabinet-level department, the Department of Homeland Security, out of all or parts of at least twenty-two federal agencies.
In February 2003, Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI) was one of nine senators who voted against the Homeland Security Act of 2002. In a summary of remarks at a February 2003 Winter Conference of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), published in an American Indian news service, Senator Inouye "urged tribal leaders to capitalize on the war on terrorism in order to press their claims for tribal sovereignty."
On September 11, 2001, the very day of the national tragedy, the NCAI was meeting in Washington D.C. to promulgate a Tribal Sovereignty Protection Initiative, that evolved into the "Tribal Governance and Economic Act of 2002." This Act was foundational to Senate Bill 578, submitted by Senator Inouye in 2003, and entitled "The Tribal Government Amendment to the Homeland Security Act of 2002." The content of this legislation, had it passed, would have significantly balkanized the United States by creating literally hundreds of separate, sovereign, "Tribal Homelands," apart from America's national homeland.
Currently, the existing HSA of 2002 funnels Homeland Security appropriations out to the fifty states, which then distribute funds to "local governments," including Indian tribes. This was not satisfactory to Senator Inouye, or the NCAI. Senate Bill 578 would have required, among other demands, the following:
* Separate tribal homelands, apart from state lands.
* Separate Homeland Security funding distributed directly from the federal government to Indian tribes.
* A tribal government's ability to define the term "terrorist" as it applies to an individual "tribal homeland." This would easily allow anyone who disagreed with a tribe to be identified as not just a "dissident," but also perhaps as a "terrorist" to the tribe.
* Full "inherent sovereign authority of an Indian tribal government to enforce and adjudicate violations of applicable criminal, civil, and regulatory laws committed by any person on land under the jurisdiction of the Indian tribal government."
The language of S. 578 would have removed the Constitutional rights and traditional, republic form of American government of several hundred thousand U.S. citizens. Citizens residing within reservation boundaries would be subject to tribal law enforcement, tribal courts, and the bill would have repealed powerful Supreme Court law that protects citizens from criminal or civil powers enacted upon them by a private tribal government. The Fourteenth Amendment providing equal protection, would have been rendered null and void.
Somehow, the NCAI and Senator Inouye believed this to be a good thing. Fortunately, citizens across the country raised a vigorous opposition to such a travesty, and S. 578 disappeared, but it is not gone. Attempts to insert language contained within S. 578 into newer bills, continues.
Many tribes in the Northwest have seriously pursued dam breaching. There is little acknowledgement that when a dam is breached, the end result does not restore a river to its original formation; rather, years of built up silt and debris behind a dam releases to unpredictable results that can cause injury or death to anything in its path. There are major dams throughout the Northwest and Western states that provide life-giving water and energy to America's homes and economy.
Simultaneously, with substantial federal funding appropriations and new federal efforts to promote tribal government entry into energy production, energy distribution systems and energy management, current public energy systems are at risk of going into private tribal government management, with far less accountability to citizen users and ratepayers, limited federal and no state oversight. Water and energy resources are attractive targets for terrorists.
Just six months after September 11, 2001, a Washington State tribe boasted of "visiting dignitaries" who were "civic journalists" coming to tour the tribe's radio station and newspaper. The tribal radio station is a tiny, leased building with modest provisions.
On Easter Sunday afternoon of 2002, a local informant knocked on my door, and handed me some papers. The informant said, "You need to see these. They were in a fax machine in a tribal office, and they worry me."
The papers delivered were detailed announcements about some visiting dignitaries and civic journalists, including their names and countries. There were fourteen "civic journalists" from: Algeria, Morocco, Qatar, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen. This was six months after September 11th, and these were countries not on the best of terms with the United States.
Had the journalists been from the Orient, the Americas or Europe, I would not have felt such a chill as I did then. Immediately after the visit, the local newspaper and Indian newspaper carried photographs and stories of these dignitaries, without identifying either their names or home countries.
What concerned me most is this: The tribe's reservation, a very large and relatively isolated Indian reservation is bounded on the East by the Hanford Nuclear site; on the South, across the Columbia River is the Umatilla Chemical Weapons Storage Facility; on the West boundary of the reservation is an Army Training Center where troops are trained for Iraq and the War on Terrorism; and on the North, the reservation is bounded by several major dams in the Northwest, including Grand Coulee Dam.
These visitors were in a very isolated area of Washington State, at the wrong time, and from politically worrisome countries. Homeland security has held all new meaning to me, from this point on.
There are daily complexities that also factor in to Homeland Security when dealing with the existence of separate tribal governments of strong, separatist mentalities, and often less than affection for other cultures:
Many tribal governments issue separate vehicle license plates. How does this fold into national identification systems?
Many 911 emergency systems are literally "race-based." How can it be helpful in an emergency to have to identify one's race in order to request emergency assistance? Some of the 911 systems in Idaho, Montana and Nebraska, and likely many other states, create this obstacle.
Tribal Class III casinos are meg-bucks locations, substantially less accountable and audited than private sector casinos. Aren't these casinos at the very least, a quite private, "attractive nuisance" inviting of money laundering, when operating on tribal lands, difficult to access by traditional law enforcement?
Tribal governments can enroll anyone they choose. Recently in Washington State, a scam was discovered wherein a tribe was offering to sell its enrollment to encourage business advantages not available to private sector. Just who might be interested in such an arrangement that would imply some legal status within the United States, by a purchased tribal enrollment?
Tribal governments insist upon identifying themselves and being treated as "separate nations." In an individual state with dozens, sometimes over thirty, such separate nations, how does one state ensure the safety of all of its citizens when having to contend with such a balkanization within a single state?
A toxic mix of foreign (Maylasian, Chinese, South African) investors, the highest and lowest echelons of the American gambling industry, Saudi Arabian hospitality and service industries that provide resources to private tribal governments that partner with private tribal Class III casinos and hotels, are located on lands immune from state and local authority, in a business only minimally monitored by the National Indian Gaming Industry. This scenario invites trouble and potential money-laundering for terrorism.
It has not mattered that thousands of citizens and community groups across the country raised a huge cry to protect and preserve statewide public safety nets that include tribal government participation. We defeated S. 578 and continue the vigilance. Even so, now in 2005 a new, stealth version of the Tribal Government Amendment to the Homeland Security Act of 2002 bill exists. Senate Bill 477, submitted on March 1, 2005, is sponsored by Senator Byron Dorgan, and Senators Akaka and Inouye, with no other co-sponsors. Citizens have to be ever vigilant to preserve their right to never be governed by a private tribal government, absent their mutual consent.
An excerpt from "Going To Pieces...The Dismantling of The United States of America," by Elaine D. Willman. To obtain this book, send an email to the author at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Maui News, Saturday, September 3, 2005
By CLAUDINE SAN NICOLAS, Staff Writer
KAHULUI – A debate about whether Native Hawaiians need federal recognition left some confused with most speaking against it Thursday night at a public forum at Maui Community College.
Among those speaking out were taro farmer Oliver Dukelow, who gave a warning as he stated his opposition to the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, also known as the Akaka Bill.
"Steadfast, we're headed for a collision course," Dukelow said. "Our culture cannot be negotiated."
Lahaina resident Foster Ampong said he'd rather be identified as a member of the Kingdom of Hawaii than a citizen of the United States and opposed the Akaka Bill "mind, body and soul."
Meanwhile, audience member Keala Han denounced a handout issued at Thursday's forum that referred to the Akaka Bill as the "kaka bill." [** Note from Ken Conklin: "Kaka" translates from Hawaiian as "excrement."**]
Han said handouts like the one distributed at Thursday's forum only provided those suing against Hawaiian entitlement programs more evidence of the lack of unity among Native Hawaiians.
"Maybe when we lose our entitlements, then we can get together as a Hawaiian people," said Han, one of only two audience members Thursday who spoke in support of the Akaka Bill.
The Akaka Bill has been a source of contention ever since its legislative sponsor, U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, first introduced the measure in Congress six years ago.
Akaka has had the most success with his proposal this year when the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs held a public hearing March 1 in Washington.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote in the nation's capital on a cloture motion, which would force a vote on the bill. Akaka has said he and Sen. Daniel Inouye believe they have the 60 votes needed to act on the cloture motion. If the motion is approved, Akaka hopes a Senate vote on the bill would follow soon thereafter.
Thursday's forum on Maui had an audience of about 100 people listening intently as Maui Community College instructor Kalei Ka'eo, spokesman for Hui Pu and NOA (Not For America), and Kahu Charles Kauluwehi Maxwell Sr., a Native Hawaiian cultural specialist, each presented their positions on the Akaka Bill.
Ka'eo encouraged audience members to read the proposed bill. "You'll clearly see that an educated person cannot support the bill," he said.
Using an overhead projector, Ka'eo cited a string of events and documents dating back to 1843 to show that an independent Hawaiian nation existed and had been recognized by international panels.
"Have we not been recognized already?" Ka'eo asked.
Listing his reasons for opposition, Ka'eo said the legislation calls for the creation of a Native Hawaiian governing entity, not a Native Hawaiian government. Soliciting examples from the audience, Ka'eo said such entities would be like the Maui County Council, the Department of Land and Natural Resources or a community neighborhood association.
Ka'eo also pointed out Justice Department concerns over the Akaka Bill, including its insistence that the legislation not interfere with the operation of U.S. military facilities and that a new governing entity be prohibited from establishing gambling.
Maxwell acknowledged that Ka'eo had provided an accurate description of Hawaii's history and the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy.
Maxwell also said that he had issues with parts of the Akaka Bill, but still supported it for its overall intent and impact. He said he's spent the last 34 years leading and participating in protests of the United States treatment of Hawaiian lands and people.
"I'm an old warrior. I've been at this for a long time," Maxwell said.
He said despite protests, Hawaiians have been unsuccessful in getting their lands returned and today they're faced with lawsuits that threaten Hawaiian entitlements.
In the month of August alone, a federal three-judge panel ruled against Kamehameha Schools' preferred admissions policy for Native Hawaiian children, and another set of federal judges just this week ruled that non-Hawaiians can sue to stop state funding for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
The reality, Maxwell said, is that the United States "will not leave Hawaii" and many more non-Hawaiians may be waiting in the wings to sue to invalidate other Hawaiian entitlements including the federal law that created the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.
"The problem is we have no seat at the table," Maxwell said.
With federal recognition, Maxwell said Native Hawaiians will have legal standing and a means to protect their own entitlement programs.
Maxwell said he's visited Alaska where some Native Alaskans there have prospered under federal recognition. A similar type of federal recognition bill was approved more than 30 years ago and has been amended repeatedly over the years.
Native Hawaiians, too, can amend the Akaka Bill if needed, he said.
Maxwell said he does not disagree that Hawaiians have been wronged by the American government.
"It's frustrating. As a Hawaiian, this is the worst time in history for us," Maxwell said. "But at least we have a chance now to have a seat at the table."
"I see both sides," Tiffany Kesaji-Murakami, a part-time Maui Community College student, said after listening to both Ka'eo and Maxwell. She said she had not made up her mind whether to support the Akaka Bill.
"It's confusing. It's damn confusing," said Christopher Edward Kauikaiaolani Tam, who had a copy of the 38-page text of the Akaka Bill.
Tam questioned what part of the legislation specifically protected Kamehameha Schools or the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. Both Ka'eo and Maxwell responded that the bill provided a process in which Native Hawaiians would set up and protect its own programs within the governing entity, but also acknowledged the process could be lengthy.
Lehua Clubb, the only other outspoken supporter for the Akaka Bill Thursday night, read from a text prepared by the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement. The group has held forums in the past to provide information about the Akaka Bill and prepared written answers to the most frequently asked questions about the legislation including the definition of federal recognition.
The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement was working Friday to have the questions and answers on the Akaka Bill posted this weekend at its Web site: www.hawaiiancouncil.org/akaka.
Clubb said she's been involved in federal recognition efforts for some time now. "The gist of all this is for us to govern ourselves," she said. "This is a foot in the door."
Maxwell said the bill does not prohibit Hawaiians from mingling with other nations and forming a sovereign nation at some point.
"My question is when it is going to happen?"
Ka'eo said efforts by various organizations to form an independent Hawaiian nation have not received a lot of media attention, but he knows that the groups have been working diligently to make it happen.
Lahaina kupuna Evalani Shim said despite all the differences aired Thursday night, she believed the 2?-hour forum was well worth her time.
"I think this was very educational for the Native Hawaiian people," Shim said. "A lot of Hawaiian people are confused. But tonight was very good, and I'm very happy we're learning more about this."
Another presentation on the Akaka Bill will be held today at noon at Kepaniwai Park in Iao Valley. Participants are invited to come as early as 9 a.m. for a walk through the park and a newly constructed traditional Hawaiian hale.
The actual panel discussion is scheduled to begin at noon and will feature Kalei Ka'eo of Hui Pu; retired 2nd Circuit Judge Boyd Mossman, trustee of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs; and Leon Siu, minister of foreign affairs for the Hawaiian Kingdom.
MCC forum moderator Malia Davidson said Friday she was pleased with what transpired.
"I believe those in attendance walked away wanting to know more and will probably engage family and friends about this issue," she said. "It was also obvious last night that regardless of the split of views this issue brings to our people, we are still united in spirit and aloha as shown by the respect that was given to all."
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Sunday, September 4, 2005
Akaka renews Hawaiian bill fight
Supporters worry that Democrats may not provide needed votes to close the debate
By Richard Borreca
Round Two of the Akaka Bill opens Tuesday evening before the U.S. Senate in Washington, D.C.
After his attempts to clear the native Hawaiian recognition bill for debate in July were rejected, Hawaii Sen. Dan Akaka persuaded Republican Senate leaders to hold a vote to close debate.
The vote is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.
The motion for cloture -- to force a vote on the Akaka Bill -- needs 60 votes, and Akaka has been working during the summer recess to nail down needed votes. The bill starts a process for organizing a native Hawaiian government.
Still, there is some last-minute political drama added to the vote for cloture.
Gulf Coast relief efforts surrounding Hurricane Katrina may postpone the arrival of some senators, and Akaka Bill supporters worry that they may not have some of their needed votes from Democrats.
If some Democrats from Gulf Coast states are not in Washington on Tuesday to help Akaka, supporters say the motion could fail.
If that happens, Akaka said he is ready to go with other methods to get the bill before the Senate for a vote, but he declined to go into detail.
Meanwhile, to help the bill along, some trustees from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs will leave Honolulu tomorrow to lobby senators on the bill and to witness the vote.
"The bottom line for us is, failure is not an option," Haunani Apoliona, OHA chairwoman, said in a recent interview.
Still, OHA will need to get more than just Democratic support for the bill and Apoliona said she is counting on some GOP senators to continue to support the bill.
Also traveling to Washington is Republican Gov. Linda Lingle, who is hoping to move some of the undecided GOP senators off the fence. Lingle said last week she plans to spend Tuesday meeting with members of the Senate.
So far the Akaka Bill has been blocked in the Senate by a group of conservative Republicans, led by Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., who contends the bill is based on giving certain legal rights to people based on their race.
Opponents argue that the bill is not based on race but on people who were the first members of the Kingdom of Hawaii, which was overthrown by the United States in 1893.
"There was an illegal overthrow, but Hawaiians made attempts to get it back. There were petitions signed asking that their sovereignty be restored," Akaka said in an interview.
"Soon after the overthrow, the Republic was set up; its mission was to annex Hawaii to the United States.
"There was a huge effect on Hawaiians," Akaka added. "They lost their sovereignty. They had no governance. I use the word 'scattered.'
"The Hawaiian people really lost their pride. They were in danger of losing their culture and traditions," Akaka said.
Today Hawaiians in Hawaii look at the Akaka bill with mixed feelings. Some insist that nothing less than recognition of Hawaii as a sovereign nation would be proper.
Other Hawaiians are concerned the issue is being misinterpreted as a matter of racial preference.
"It is not an issue of race, that's for sure. I'm a proud Hawaiian, I am also a proud Irishman and a proud Chinese," Pono Shim, a local business executive, said.
"I know Uncle Dan (Sen. Akaka) loves the Hawaiian people and wants to care for everyone. And I know people who are opposing the Akaka bill and they love Hawaiians and they want to get to a place where they can care for everyone," said Shim, president of the Kamehameha Schools Parent and Teachers Association.
The Maui News, Sunday, September 4, 2005
LETTERS TO EDITOR
Arguments against Akaka Bill listed by critic
The Akaka Bill dishonors our nation's creed: "All men are created equal." It would "recognize" a new class of people in America, a hereditary elite, anyone with an indigenous ancestor, and would bestow on persons in that class political power and privilege superior to all other citizens and far superior to the privileges enjoyed by Native Americans.
Ancestry alone is not sufficient for recognition of an Indian tribe. A pre-existing, long-standing government in a community separate from the non-Indian population is needed. Native Hawaiians do not meet any of those requirements. Nor does their history remotely resemble Indians'. The U.S. has treated Native Hawaiians as equals from the beginning.
The Akaka Bill would also contradict the nation's motto, "E pluribus unum." It would divide forever the people of the United States and allow a race-based government to be carved out of the state of Hawaii. In 1959 over 94 percent voted "Yes" for Hawaii's statehood. In July of this year, the most comprehensive survey ever taken on the subject indicates Hawaii residents oppose the Akaka Bill by a margin of 2 to 1. Even 48 percent of Native Hawaiians oppose it.
H. William Burgess
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Sunday, September 4, 2005
Letters to the Editor
Unity of purpose preferable to race
One can only hope that in September the well-deserved defeat of the Akaka Bill will take place. Though it is a worthy goal to try to maintain the status quo that existed prior to Rice v. Cayetano, the cost of this approach is too great.
When my grandfather told his family they were to stop speaking Hawaiian and speak only in English at home, it was accepting reality. They may have been loyal subjects of the kingdom of Hawaii but that same kingdom proved ineffective against the rush of modernity and Western culture.
In the same way, I see no group or entity outside of the elected state and federal governments worthy of administering the remaining assets of the kingdom. If these assets cannot be fairly administrated and distributed among those they were created to benefit, they should be liquidated or absorbed. It's better to give up "things" than people, and better to struggle for unity of purpose rather than the tawdry unity of race.
Honolulu Advertiser, Sunday, September 4, 2005
Conservative or not, Roberts probably would support it
By Robert Klein [former Justice of the Hawai'i Supreme Court, now attorney representing OHA]
When President Bush announced the nomination of attorney John G. Roberts, Jr. to the U.S. Supreme Court, there was an immediate signal of approval from Republican senators who spoke in superlatives about Roberts' wisdom, lawyerly skills and familiarity with Supreme Court precedent dating from his days as a law clerk to Chief Justice William Rehnquist.
Roberts' outstanding legal pedigree, relative youth and conservative judicial philosophy make him an ideal choice to serve as Bush's first nominee to the court. Because Bush had publicly stated that he preferred a candidate such as conservative icon Justice Antonin Scalia, one can anticipate that Roberts' judicial weight will surely tilt the court to the right.
One of the announced reasons for Roberts' selection is that he has argued nearly 40 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court — a staggering number given that nearly any lawyer who argued but one case would undoubtedly consider the experience a career highlight. No doubt Roberts developed a successful practice as a Supreme Court specialist who could pick and choose his clients and their causes.
Among his many clients, Roberts represented the state of Hawai'i before the Supreme Court in the seminal Hawai'i case Rice v. Cayetano. Although the court ruled against Hawai'i on narrow grounds, Roberts' brief, particularly on issues left open by the Rice court, provides insight into many of the arguments that fuel today's debate over the enactment of the Akaka bill — a bill that would permit Native Hawaiians to organize a federally recognized government much like those found in American Indian country and Alaska's native communities. The bill will be on the Senate floor as one of the first orders of business when it convenes Tuesday.
Ironically, technical constitutional arguments against the bill raised by so-called conservative scholars and politicians are at odds with Roberts' legal analysis of the issues.
Because Roberts is almost surely going to be confirmed to the Supreme Court, and he has satisfied the president and congressional Republicans as to his legal and philosophical credentials, great deference should be given to his constitutional analysis. So how would Roberts answer those critics of the Akaka bill who charge that the legislation is "race-based" in violation of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution?
Roberts flatly rejects such arguments. He writes: "(t)he Constitution, in short, gives Congress room to deal with the particular problems posed by the indigenous people of Hawai'i and, at least when legislation is in furtherance of the obligation Congress has assumed to those people, that legislation is no more racial in nature than legislation attempting to honor the federal trust responsibility to any other indigenous people. It is, in sum, 'not racial at all.' "
What does Roberts' conservative philosophy instruct regarding the criticism that Hawaiians today are not the descendants of "Indians" who lived in "tribes," so Congress' broad authority over Indian affairs cannot benefit Hawaiians? Roberts, as any constitutionally conservative jurist would do, harkens back to the "original meaning" of those terms in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. Here is what he cogently discovered:
"Petitioner's principal argument is that this authority is limited by the words 'Indian tribes' in the Indian Commerce Clause (Article I, section 8, clause 3). As a textual — not to mention historical and common sense — matter — that argument should be rejected. In empowering Congress with the authority to single out and deal with indigenous societies they knew as 'Indians' or 'tribes,' the framers did not intend to restrict Congress' authority to deal with the extension of sovereignty over indigenous groups of which they may never have heard, but which would pose the same basic issues as Indians occupying the 1789 frontier. The words 'Indian' and 'tribes' do not place Congress in this bind. In colonial America, 'Indian' was still defined as '(a) native of India.' It is not surprising, then, that Captain Cook and his crew called the Islanders who greeted their ships in 1778 'Indians.'
"The word 'tribe' is of no avail to petitioner either. At the founding, 'tribe' meant '(a) distinct body of people as divided by family or fortune, or any other characteristic.' That is — perhaps not coincidentally — how Congress has described Hawaiians, and fittingly so. See, 42 U.S.C., section 11701(1) (Hawaiians are 'a distinct and unique indigenous people with a historical continuity to the original inhabitants of the Hawaiian archipelago'); 20 U.S.C., section 7902(1) (same). That 'tribe' may mean something else today — in either legal or lay terms — should not circumscribe the authority conferred upon Congress to deal with indigenous people by those who ratified the Constitution in 1789."
It is clear to Roberts that Congress may easily legislate for Hawaiians just as it has done for other native peoples. But what limits does he see to the constitutional power granted to Congress to deal with Hawaiians?
"Petitioner ... suggests that Congress lacks the authority to enter into ... a (special trust) relationship with Hawaiians, and to fulfill it in the same fashion Congress has done with respect to America's other indigenous people. Here, too, petitioner is at odds with existing law. Congress has expressly found that '(its) authority under the United States Constitution to legislate in matters affecting the aboriginal or indigenous people of the United States includes the authority to legislate in matters affecting the native peoples of Alaska and Hawai'i.' 42 U.S.C., section 11701(17). There is no reason for this court to part with Congress here; Congress' broad authority over Indian affairs reaches the shores of Hawai'i, too.
"Also, 'as such, Congress has established with Hawaiians the same type of "unique legal relationship" that exists with respect to the Indian tribes who enjoy the "same rights and privileges" accorded Hawaiians under these laws. 42 U.S.C., section 11701(19). That unique legal or political status — not recognition of "tribal" status, under the latest executive transmutation of what that means — is the touchstone for application of (federal case law) when, as here, Congress is constitutionally empowered to treat an indigenous group as such.' "
Roberts rejects the idea that Hawaiian federal legislation is "race-based." He further rejects the idea that Congress is powerless to legislate for Hawaiians under the authority of the Indian Commerce Clause. Following Roberts' conservative lead, the twisted arguments of the Akaka bill's mostly conservative critics must be rejected. Roberts backs his positions with a solid and convincing understanding of the Constitution and federal Indian law. He will bring these views to the bench, if he is confirmed to serve on the nation's highest court.
Some may cynically argue that Roberts' writings are just part of the lawyerly craft used to promote his client's position. The implication is that Roberts does not truly believe what he writes in legal briefs filed under his name in the Supreme Court. That jaded implication undermines Roberts' integrity and detracts from his Supreme Court candidacy. Surely we should expect more conviction from a Supreme Court nominee, especially one who could be client-selective within his legal specialty.
Roberts got it right: There is no constitutional bar to passage of the Akaka bill.
Honolulu Advertiser, Sunday, September 4, 2005
Bill would 'restore' racial exclusivity kingdom never had
By Bruce Fein
As Mark Twain might have quipped, there are three types of lies: lies, damned lies and the Akaka bill.
The legislation falsely likens Native Hawaiians to Indian tribes entitled to a separate race-based sovereignty under the Indian Commerce Clause of the Constitution, as facetious as characterizing an elephant as a mouse with a glandular condition.
According to voluminous decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court, Indian tribes have been indulged special sovereignty for three reasons: the absence of Native American citizenship until 1924; an incapacity for mature participation in a democracy; and the oppressions and plunders of state governments and private citizens epitomized by the Sand Creek Massacre and General Phil Sheridan's (often misquoted) ugly remark, "The only good Indians I ever saw were dead."
The fact that Native Americans were indigenous, without more, did not justify a semi-sovereign tribal status. The United States Supreme Court authoritatively declared in Montoya v. United States (1901): "By a 'tribe' we understand a body of Indians of the same or a similar race, united in a community under one leadership or government, and inhabiting a particular though sometimes ill-defined territory." The court further explained in Board of County Commissioners v. Seber (1943): In the exercise of the war and treaty powers, the United States overcame the Indians and took possession of their lands, sometimes by force, leaving them an uneducated, helpless and dependent people, needing protection against the selfishness of others and their own improvidence.
Of necessity, the United States assumed the duty of furnishing that protection, and with it the authority to do all that was required to perform that obligation and to prepare Indians to take their place as independent, qualified members of the modern body politic ..."
In contrast to Indian tribes, Native Hawaiians have never featured a separate racially exclusive community or government since the inauguration of the Kingdom of Hawai'i under King Kamehameha I in 1810.
Indeed, for two centuries, the shining earmark of the kingdom, the republic of Hawai'i, the territory of Hawai'i and the state of Hawai'i has been the magnificent fusion of many races and ethnicities, including Native Hawaiians, whites, Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Filipinos, Thais, Vietnamese, blacks, Hispanics and others. They voted on common rolls. They served side by side in the legislative, executive and judicial branches. They customarily intermarried, which has inched down the number of pure Hawaiians to about 3,000, or 00.75 percent. They lived as neighbors, not in ghettoized enclaves. Sen. Dan Inouye thus exulted on the 35th anniversary of Hawai'i's statehood: "Hawai'i remains one of the greatest examples of a multi-ethnic society living in relative peace."
Unlike Native Americans, Native Hawaiians were citizens of the United States from the moment of annexation in 1898. They were fully equipped to participate in a democratic society. Indeed, they dominated the electorate during the initial decades of Hawai'i's territorial government and continued their prominence in public life after statehood. Think, for example, of former Gov. John Waihee, former Hawai'i Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Richardson and former Justice Robert Klein, Sen. Daniel Akaka, Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona, state Sens. Kalani English and Clayton Hee, state Rep. Ezra Kanoho and the director of budget and finance Georgina Kawamura, and a long line of other people of Hawaiian ancestry of high position.
Hawai'i Attorney General Mark Bennett has preposterously relied on the Department of Justice, which features lawyers but not historians, fatuously to associate an alleged horrifying "suffering" of Native Hawaiians occasioned by the 1893 nonviolent overthrow of Queen Lili'uokalani to the 6 million Jews who perished in the Holocaust. According to Bennett and the lawyers in the department, the overthrow caused Native Hawaiians to suffer "mortality, disease, economic deprivation, social distress and population decline." Nothing in logic or principles of scientific causation would associate the overthrow with mortality tables, disease, prosperity or population decline. No Native Hawaiian was either killed or injured or lost an inch of private property because of the queen's ouster for attempting a coup against the Hawaiian Constitution. The Hawaiian language was not outlawed. The Native Hawaiian population did not plunge because of the queen's loss of power.
Annexation to the United States, and statehood in 1959 supported by over 94 percent of voters, have yielded a treasure trove of benefits to Native Hawaiians and non-natives alike.
The 2000 Census reported the median incomes of Native Hawaiian families in the United States as $49,214, virtually identical to the $50,046 of the general population. Indeed, the Census demographics suggest that Native Hawaiians excel if they are allowed to follow the same rules as everyone else. In Hawai'i, with its multiple entitlements, their incomes lag the incomes of Native Hawaiians across the nation. Historic Census reports show the population of Native Hawaiians declined throughout the years of the kingdom and reached a low of about 38,000 in 1900.
Since then, as a territory and then a state, the population of Hawaiians has risen to more than 400,000 in the 2000 Census, a jump of more than tenfold. The Native Hawaiians Study Commission created by Congress in 1980 concluded in 1983 that there was no legal claim and "as an ethical or moral matter, Congress should not provide for Native Hawaiians to receive compensation either for loss of land or of sovereignty (because of the overthrow)."
Genuine discrimination and suffering was inflicted for many decades on the Japanese and Chinese citizens who have never clamored for a separate government, while the United States unvaryingly treated Native Hawaiians as equals or favorites. Privation, whomever it assails, can be addressed by offering a helping hand to all irrespective of race or ethnicity.
Akaka bill proponents generally deny that it is a step towards independence or otherwise dangerous to the United States. But Sen. Akaka and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs have both acknowledged that independence would be an option for the Native Hawaiian entity.
The champions of independence despise the U.S. and its cherished constitutional values for which so many have given (and are giving this moment) that last full measure of devotion in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Their large banners proclaiming "We Don't Need No American Government" and "America is a Thief" are regularly permitted at 'Iolani Palace. The bill's philosophical brothers regularly protest the presence of the United States and loudly proclaim with bullhorns that they are not Americans. Their idols are more likely to be Che Guevara and Fidel Castro than George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Presiding over an independent Native Hawaiian nation, their hostility to America and its security would be empowered.
Hawaii Reporter, September 4, 2005
Tuesday Vote on Akaka Bill Likely Delayed in Senate
By Malia Zimmerman
Hawaii Reporter has learned that the cloture vote on the Akaka Bill in the U.S. Senate -- scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2005 -- will likely be postponed for at least a few weeks.
Sources in the Senate Judiciary say the GOP leadership has agreed to delay the vote on the bill, which will grant native Hawaiians federal recognition as Native Americans and Native Alaskans have, but with even more powers to Native Hawaiians.
The devastation brought on the people and property in the Southern states last week because of Hurricane Katrina, along with the vacancy of two positions on the U.S. Supreme Court, including one created this weekend with the death of Chief Justice William Hubbs Rehnquist, are being blamed for the delay.
Advocates of the Akaka Bill, named for Democrat Sen. Daniel Akaka, say Hawaiians deserve federal recognition and protection of their existing entitlement programs. Gov. Linda Lingle, a Republican, and Hawaii's four Congressmembers, all Democrats, are supporting the measure. Office of Hawaiian Affairs representatives lobbying for the bill already departed for Washington D.C. this Friday.
Opponents say the Akaka Bill will divide the state racially, will allow native Hawaiians to create a separate government with a different tax system, justice system and constitution, and could facilitate legalized gambling in Hawaii. The bill is opposed by many native Hawaiians as well as non-Hawaiians living in Hawaii.
A recent poll by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii of all households in Hawaii shows two of three people in the state oppose the Akaka Bill. Two Office of Hawaiian Affairs polls, including one of 600 people and another of 400, showed more support than opposition.
The Washington Times, September 5, 2005
The undoing of America
By Frank J. Gaffney Jr.
Frank J. Gaffney Jr. is president of the Center for Security Policy and a columnist for The Washington Times.
The U.S. Senate is scheduled tomorrow to decide whether to clear the way for the most odious, anti-American piece of legislation in memory: S. 147, the "Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act." Incredibly, as of now, more than 61 senators are expected to vote to begin a process that would ineluctably unravel the United States as a nation.
This legislation has been advanced in the spirit of pandering that has come to characterize all too much of our national political life. In this case, the pandering is on behalf of an ethnic community that is largely a figment of some politicians' imaginations -- a once-sovereign, identifiably blooded race of "Native Hawaiians" that are, if S. 147 were to become law, to be given the right to govern themselves as they see fit. This could involve creating a new Hawaiian monarchy and perhaps lead to the islands' secession from the Union.
Hawaii's longtime Democratic Sens. Daniel Akaka and Daniel Inouye are leading the charge for S. 147. The latter has considerable influence within his party and across the aisle as the ranking Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee. They are joined by the State's Republican Gov. Linda Lingle. Her political ambitions and appeals for support from the Bush White House have borne Republican fruit. In particular, the administration again has demonstrated its willingness to subordinate national interests to playing for ethnic votes.
The result is a clearly unconstitutional effort to legislatively manufacture a new "tribe" out of one of the most heterogenous and fully assimilated populations in America: people who can claim through one of two qualifications to have had something to do with Hawaii. S. 147 would designate as a "Native Hawaiian" anyone who is: (1) one of the "indigenous, native people of Hawaii" and who is a "direct lineal descendant of the aboriginal, indigenous, native people who" resided in the Hawaiian Islands on or before Jan. 1, 1893, and "exercised sovereignty" in the same region; or (2) eligible in 1921 for the programs authorized by the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act -- that is, "any descendant of not less than one-half of the blood of the races inhabiting the Hawaiian Islands previous to 1778."
Absent from this definition are any characteristics previously required for a Native American tribe to be recognized as such. For example, a "Native Hawaiian" need not demonstrate: residency in Hawaii (either currently or at any time in the past), ties to a particular traditional culture or language, or any documented involvement or interest in Hawaiian, much less Native Hawaiian, community or political affairs. This is not an accident. The law could not establish such conditions because it would be difficult to constitute a tribe if they applied.
Instead, S. 147 uses as its test for membership in the so-called "sovereign" Native Hawaiian "race" what amounts to the ability to claim a one-drop-of-blood connection to a "aboriginal, indigenous, and native person" who lived in Hawaii at the designated times. This test is complicated by two inconvenient facts: The "Native Hawaiian's" governing regime was a monarchy -- under which sovereignty resided in a single individual, not in a people -- and it was not racially based. And since the 19th century, the Hawaiian "people" included many native-born and naturalized subjects who were Americans, Chinese, Samoans, etc., not "ethnic" Hawaiians.
As it happens, in 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down an earlier effort by Hawaii to create a state-sanctioned, race-based entity composed solely of Native Hawaiians (defined in a manner similar to S. 147). The court -- citing the Constitution's 15th Amendment, which forbids discrimination in voting based on race -- ruled such a race-based government in Hawaii was unconstitutional. The Supreme Court stated:
"One of the reasons race is treated as a forbidden classification is that it demeans the dignity and worth of a person to be judged by ancestry instead of by his or her own merit and essential qualities. An inquiry into ancestral lines is not consistent with respect based on the unique personality each of us possesses, a respect the Constitution itself secures in its concern for persons and citizens. ... [To do so would be] odious to a free people whose institutions are founded upon the doctrine of equality."
Should senators violate their oath of office -- which obliges them to "support and defend the Constitution" -- by enacting S. 147, they will invite an even greater problem down the road. Other self-designating communities can be expected to demand recognition of their rights to have their own government and sovereign laws. These might include Chicanos, Cajuns, Amish and Puerto Ricans.
Given the contortions involved in identifying, let alone conferring sovereignty upon, a "Native Hawaiian" community, who is to say other groups won't demand the right to govern themselves by their own rules, as well? Already, Islamists in Canada and elsewhere demand to have their affairs adjudicated by Shari'a -- a religious code that, taken to its extreme, produces Talibanlike repression of women and other living things. Lest we think it couldn't happen in a society like ours, international protests against the establishing Shari'a-ruled communities will be held Thursday across Canada and in France, Britain, Sweden and the Netherlands.
No good can come of a "yes" vote on S. 147. It will be a black day for the Senate and the United States of America if a cloture-breaking majority of senators casts it.
Frank J. Gaffney Jr. is president of the Center for Security Policy and a columnist for The Washington Times.
The Washington Times, September 5, 2005, LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Oppose the Akaka bill on principle
I oppose the Akaka Bill for the same reason given by America's founders for shedding King George and the old world's royalty-ruled system: The creator of the universe equally endowed all rights and power in individuals, not in a monarch, king, chief, ali'i or other "sovereign" ("Backsliding in Hawaii," Commentary, Aug. 27).
That means American nationality is based on shared ideals, instead of a shared bloodline, and in America power will forever be shared equally by all current citizens, not vested forever in the descendents of the bloodline that first grabbed it by force.
Principle-based citizenship lets me, the grandson of four immigrants, stand in a room of people whose bloodlines do not cross mine until Adam and Eve, and say "we Americans." I would not enjoy that acceptance today had my grandparents chosen any other country -- Japan, Africa, France, etc.
It let America embrace Einstein as an American and benefit from his brilliance, while Germany drove him away because his blood made him a Jew. It lets Americans readily unite to demand severe justice for crimes by a skinhead despite some Americans sharing his bloodline, while people who choose to associate by ancestry often seem pressured to defend, or excuse, indefensible crimes. Association by shared principles permits a more moral nation.
American principles declare that power will forever be shared equally among Americans alive at the time. They deny special rights for the first to arrive, and deny special rights for any privileged bloodline. They also guarantee Americans tasked to fight, struggle, suffer and sometimes die, to protect the nation, and their descendents, will share equally in the rights they defend, and the nation they build. They will not return in second place to a group anointed with unearned privilege.
Therefore, I do not see the Akaka Bill as a debate but a choice between first principles, and first principles are a line beyond which debate is no longer useful: I only hope it will be as self-evident to Congress, as it was to America's founders, that a society organized around shared principles, instead of a shared bloodline, and in which power and rights are shared equally by all forever, is best for humanity.
The Conservative Voice, September 5, 2005
State of the Union
by Ed Feulner
"We all agree that the seceded States, so called, are out of their proper relation with the Union; and that the sole object of the government, civil and military, in regard to those States is to again get them into that proper practical relation." -- Abraham Lincoln, April 11, 1865
As President Lincoln spoke those words, he had just led the country through a bloody war of secession. Yet he never doubted that the defeated southern states would rejoin the United States.
This is, after all, the land of E Pluribus Unum. One of the fundamental beliefs that makes America a great idea and a great country is that of national unity. America draws strength not only from her diversity, but also from the fact that we have all historically viewed ourselves as one people.
Unfortunately, in recent years the great and fundamental idea "Out of many, one" has come under attack. It is attacked by the identity politics that pervade our nation's colleges and universities. It is attacked by the political correctness that affects our children's educations. And today it faces a new and profound threat: a Senate bill named the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act.
This measure -- quietly moved forward by Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii -- would create a separate government for "Native Hawaiians." Anyone who could prove a relationship with "the aboriginal, indigenous, native people who resided in the islands that now comprise the state of Hawaii on or before January 1, 1893" would be eligible to join up.
Once this new government was up and running, the Akaka bill would authorize the United States, "to enter into negotiations with the governing entity to lead to an agreement addressing specified matters, including the transfer of lands, natural resources, and other assets and the protection of existing rights related to such lands or resources."
In other words, the bill would allow portions of Hawaii to do what Americans went to war to prevent the South from doing in 1861 -- secede from the United States.
Of course, there's no evidence that Hawaiians even want this bill. In 1954, the people of Hawaii voted overwhelmingly to become one of the United States, to become full citizens, committing themselves to protect and defend the Constitution and to build our country side by side. And Hawaiians are some of the proudest and most loyal citizens of our country.
During the recent Little League World Series, it was a team from Hawaii that represented the United States in the championship game. And as they played that game, their fans shouted in unison, "U-S-A!, U-S-A!, U-S-A!" But this bill specifically bypasses the Hawaiian people. They'll be given no chance to vote on whether or not they even want to create, out of whole cloth, a "tribe" of "Native Hawaiians."
The United States never has believed -- nor ever should believe -- in race-based government. The idea of making any citizen of our country with a drop of Hawaiian blood immune to our Constitution and legal structure would set us on an irreversible course away from "E Pluribus Unum." We might as well allow every racial group to began claiming sovereignty of its own and immunity from federal laws.
Until now, by moving forward with this bill in secrecy, a small group of activists has been able to make great progress toward their goal of secession. But there's little doubt that most Americans, and probably most Hawaiians, wish to preserve our union. The Senate is expected to consider the Akaka bill early this month, and if democracy prevails it will be soundly voted down.
President Lincoln knew Americans were committed to building one country where freedom, opportunity, prosperity and civil society could flourish for all. We'll soon find out if that's as true in the 21st century as it was in the 19th.
Ed Feulner is president of The Heritage Foundation (heritage.org), a Washington-based public policy research institute.
Human Events (online), September 5, 2005
Senate May Approve Race-Based Government for Native Hawaiians
By David Freddoso
With most of the nation distracted by the destruction of Hurricane Katrina and the first Supreme Court confirmation hearings in nearly a decade, the Senate may quietly approve a bill to recognize native Hawaiians as a new Indian tribe and establish a separate governing authority for people of their race within Hawaii.
"This is the worst bill you've never heard of," said John Fund, political analyst for the Wall Street Journal, speaking at the Heritage Foundation August 30.
The bill would create an open-ended negotiation process between a proposed native-Hawaiian governing entity and the federal and state governments. The process could ultimately give this entity the powers of taxation and law enforcement, hundreds of thousands of acres of Hawaiian land and the right to discriminate based on race. Members of the tribe would be enrolled based on race, and the tribe's governing entity could become immune from civil rights laws, much like American Indian tribal authorities, which are permitted to establish state religions and discriminate based on race and sex.
Among other things, the bill would allow the Kamehameha Schools — which discriminates in its admissions in favor of racial Native Hawaiians — to continue discriminating, despite an August 2, 2005, ruling against the practice by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
The bill's chief sponsor, Sen. Daniel Akaka (D.-Hawaii) even said in an NPR interview that his bill may lead to Hawaiian independence, although he later clarified he does not personally support independence. The state of Hawaii's Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) talks about secession as a possibility on its website, promoting as options "total independence" or "nationhood with marginal connections to the legal and territorial limits of the United States."
In promoting the Akaka bill, OHA has spent $780,000 in taxpayer dollars hiring top Washington lobbyists. Benjamin Ginsberg, a former Bush-Cheney 2004 lawyer, is lobbying Senate Republicans and the White House for OHA.
The Akaka bill may pass the Senate, Senate sources tell HUMAN EVENTS. It has more than the 50 votes needed to pass, and it may even have the 60 votes to overcome a filibuster. It has five Republican co-sponsors, including both Alaska senators, Sen. Norm Coleman (R.-Minn.), Sen. Gordon Smith (R.-Ore.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R.-S.C.).
The support of Alaskan Senators Ted Stevens (R.) and Lisa Murkowski (R.) is part of a deal whereby Hawaii's senators vote together with Alaska's on matters pertaining to the two states—including ANWR drilling, for example. Senators Graham and Smith did not return calls requesting comment on why they are co-sponsoring the bill. A Senate aide told HUMAN EVENTS Coleman signed on in response to a personal appeal from moderate Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle (R.).
Sen. John McCain (R.-Ariz.), who in 1993 voted against a non-binding resolution apologizing for the 1893 overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy, helped Akaka move the bill through the Indian Affairs Committee in March.
On Tuesday, the Senate will take a cloture vote on whether to allow debate on the measure. Opponents, led by Sen. Jon Kyl (R.-Ariz.), plan to propose three hostile floor amendments that could gut the bill, a Republican Senate staffer said. One would bar the Native Hawaiian governing entity from discriminating based on race, while a second would prevent racial discrimination in enrolling members of the Hawaiian "tribe." Both of these amendments will receive votes no matter what.
For parliamentary reasons, a third amendment, requiring a statewide referendum on the bill in Hawaii, will not receive a floor vote if cloture is invoked on the final bill. A July survey of 41,000 Hawaiians found that more than two-thirds oppose the bill. Among racial Native Hawaiians, who comprise just above 20% of the state's population, support is at about 50%.
A Senate source also said that opponents may try to send the bill back to the Judiciary Committee, where it could languish indefinitely or even die.
Mr. Freddoso is a reporter for the Evans-Novak Political Report. This is reprinted with permission.
Renew America, September 5, 2005
Sneak attack of the racial/ethnic dividers
by Wes Vernon
The Political Correct police have tried every which way to divide this country by gender, race, ethnicity, sexual preference, religion, and background.
They forbid us to use such designations as "chairman," and insist the presiding officer at a given meeting is a "chair," even as that "neutral" word more commonly describes an inanimate object. In personal relationships, "wife," "husband," "fiancé," (or even "boyfriend" or girlfriend") have given way to the less specific "significant other." They have mainstreamed the term "African-Americans" to describe millions of our citizens who have never visited Africa, and have no desire to do so. "Native Americans" and "European Americans" are divided solely by their ancestry regardless of whether they themselves were born here or ever lived in Europe (A variation on the old snob boast "My ancestors came over here on the Mayflower").
These unofficial but emphatic speech edicts may seem frivolous or a matter of semantics. But they helped create a climate that has emboldened legislators to move a big step beyond all that.
Not out in the open, of course — at least at first. But the push behind a pernicious piece of legislation on Capitol Hill, known as "The Native Hawaiian Bill" is making its way through the congressional mill. It seeks to establish a race-based government on our soil — a separate nation that can disregard the provisions of our Constitution, Bill or Rights, as well as U.S. and state law.
Visitors to Hawaii in previous years have marveled at how in this arguably most integrated of all the 50 states, people of so many races lived in a harmony that allowed for something approaching the ideal color-blind society. In more recent years, however, that has been changing. The politics of "multiculturalism" and politicized ethnic identity have reached the shores of the beautiful island. And in the shadows of a Capitol Hill pre-occupied with Katrina's rescue efforts, Supreme Court vacancies and nomination fights, and the ongoing War on Terror, there lurks this mischief that would carry the balkanization of America toward possible ultimate secession. It would create a separate nation of "Native Hawaiians." We already fought one war over secession. Do we need another one?
S-147, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2005 is patently unconstitutional, and some folks at the White House believe it is so absurdly out of sync with the framework of our society that surely if it becomes law, the courts will rule it unconstitutional on its face. Oh, sure. Opponents of the bill note these are the same wise prognosticators who were confident that the anti-free speech McCain-Feingold campaign finance "reform" bill would be struck down by the Supreme Court. The court upheld it, much to the shock of its authors themselves.
Senator John Kyl, a Republican from Arizona, is leading the fight against the measure. His analysis prepared for the Senate Republican Policy Committee makes the following points (which we list here, along with some of our own comments):
S-147 creates the race-based government by shoehorning in the Native Hawaiian population, wherever located, into the federal Indian law system and calling the resulting government a "tribe." To qualify as a "Native Hawaiian" under this bill, one has to have just a drop of Native Hawaiian blood. With so many intermarriages among the many races in Hawaii, this is a surefire recipe for what Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund calls "permanent racial conflict," to say nothing of legal chaos. Thus, the famed remarkable harmony that has existed on the island would sink like a lead balloon.
S-147 advocates argue that the bill merely grants Native Hawaiians the same status as American Indians and Alaska Natives, but this claim represents a serious distortion of the constitutional and historical standards of recognizing Indian tribes.
The Supreme Court has ruled that Congress cannot simply create an Indian tribe. Only those groups of people who have long operated as an Indian tribe, live as a separate and distinct community (geographically and culturally), and have a pre-existing political structure can be recognized as a tribe. Native Hawaiians do not satisfy any of these criteria.
When Hawaii became a state in 1959, there was a broad consensus in the Congress and in the nation that Native Hawaiians would not be treated as a separate racial group, and that they would not be transformed into an "Indian tribe."
To create a race-based government would be offensive to our nation's commitment to equal justice and the elimination of racial distinctions in the law. The inevitable constitutional challenge to this bill almost certainly would reach the U.S. Supreme Court.
S-147 would lead the nation down the path to a racial balkanization, with different legal codes being applied to persons of different races who live in the same communities. (Excuse me, but didn't we have a "civil rights" movement four decades ago that led marches and demonstrations against just that sort of thing? Do we call this "The Return of Jim Crow?")
The bill also encourages increased litigation (Hmmmm. Might have known the trial lawyers had a hand in this somewhere). This would include claims against private landowners and state and federal entities which would heavily impact private and public resources (And guess whose pockets would benefit thereby).
The bill represents a step backwards in American history and would create far more problems — cultural, practical, and constitutional — than it purports to solve.
But there is a reason S-147 has been called "the worst bill you never heard of." Backers have hoped you never learn of it, let alone examine the fine print until it's a done deal.
It is not as if there has been a popular outcry fin favor of the measure. A survey of the Hawaiian people released in July and conducted by ccAdvertising, showed they are opposed to the legislation by 55-45%. 82% oppose racial preferences. What is most interesting is that nearly 80% of Native Hawaiians themselves oppose the bill. That suggests the "guilt trip" Political Correctness police, not the people, are the driving force here. There is no true grassroots effort involved.
A brief history of the legislation is in order. And for that, I am indebted to the research of Kenneth R. Conklin, a retired schoolteacher who has lived in Hawaii for thirteen years:
In February of 2000, the Rice vs. Cayetano court decision wiped from the books a Hawaii state law that said only Native Hawaiians could vote for trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. The court held that the term "Native Hawaiian" names a racial category and not a political group.
Well, of course, the ethnic identity powers-that-be were not going to give up. After all, as Conklin puts it, "Billions of dollars and enormous political power were at stake." So defenders of racial preferences met in secret to plan other ways to get around the Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments to the Constitution.
The relevant part of the Fourteenth Amendment reads, "All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of the United States; nor shall the State deprive any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
The relevant portion of the Fifteenth Amendment reads, "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color or previous condition of servitude."
You would think the unambiguous language etched in our guiding document would allow for no ifs, ands, buts, or maybes. But plain English does not deter the trial bar, especially when lots of money and power hang in the balance. The end result was the Akaka Bill, named for its chief sponsor, Hawaii's junior Senator Daniel Akaka. He has the backing of the state's senior senator Daniel Inouye, who literally runs the Democratic Party in Hawaii. The measure is also backed by Hawaii's Republican Governor Linda Lingle. The Akaka Bill, through its various incarnations in successive congresses, would give political recognition to Native Hawaiians as an Indian tribe.
This is odd indeed, given that U.S. law stipulates that only those groups that have long operated as Indian tribes and live in communities (reservations) and had been recognized as quasi-sovereign national entities that were in existence before Congress or the Constitution could be considered Indian tribes. Native Hawaiians are dispersed all throughout all 50 states of the nation — not just Hawaii.
Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum warns the Senate is "trying to pull a fast one," by slipping in a vote — as quietly as possible — on S-147, which creates Native Hawaiian "tribe" that can "accept or reject any part of the Constitution as it sees fit."
Indeed the legislation has been slipping through dark corners of the legislative process unbeknownst to most Americans for some time. In 2000 and 2001, it was trucked away inside a huge Defense Appropriations bill; it had actually passed the House in 2000 in what Conklin describes as "a stealth maneuver," but died in the Senate when "an Inouye stealth maneuver failed on the last day of the 106th Congress."
"If passed, there is no turning back," Eagle Forum says. "This bill will create a sovereign entity which could negotiate treaties with other nations, establish its own theocracy, and ignore the Bill of rights. The Senate must reject this racist bill."
Eagle Forum suggests the following senators need to hear from you, and that your calls to Capitol Hill should not be delayed, as there is little time to lose:
Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), George Allen (R-Va.) Bob Bennett (R-Ut.), Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), Jim Bunning (R-Ky.), Conrad Burns (R-Mont.), Richard Burr-R-N.C.), Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), Larry Craig (R-Ida.), Pete Domenici (R-N.M.), Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Chuck Grassley (R-Ia.), Tom Harkin (D-Ia.), Orrin Hatch (R-Ut.), Mel Martinez (R-Fla.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Gordon Smith (R-Ore.), Jim Talent (R-Mo.), Craig Thomas (R-Wyo.), John Warner (R-Va.).
When Congress was debating making Hawaii our 50th state, there were those who predicted it would not work and that Hawaii's multi-ethnic population would make it difficult for the island to unite for true statehood — that it would soon be at war with itself.
Well, they were wrong...until jackboot Political Correctness intruded. For over 40 years, Hawaii's diverse ethnic population got along just fine. Every year, Hawaiians would mark the anniversary of statehood with parades, fireworks, speeches and U.S. flags flying high. But in 2000, then-Democrat Governor Ben Cayetano ended all that. Now, as columnist John Fund reported after a visit to the island, "(T)he streets were taken over instead by demonstrators crusading for 'Native Hawaiian rights' and the Akaka bill now before the U.S. Senate."
Senator Akaka does not deny that this bill could lead to secession. If we end up with a particular racial group in our midst in all 49 states as a separate nation, it takes no active imagination to envision what will follow. What's next? An African-American "nation?" Hispanic-American "nation?" Japanese American? Chinese American? German-American? Where does it stop? We would end up with something worse than an ethnic tower of Babel. We would have nations within a nation, which in turn could very well lead to the breakup and downfall of the United States of America.
If the bill were harmless, as its supporters claim, why all the extraordinary measures to sneak it through in the dead of night?
It is time to shout this from the rooftops, and let the timid politicians here in Washington understand that Americans will not stand by and allow their country to be destroyed and become the Dis-United States of America.
The time to act is now.
Click here to contact your senators -- tell them to vote NO on S.147
Wes Vernon is a Washington-based writer and veteran broadcast journalist.
SEPTEMBER 6, 2005
On September 6 the cloture petition on the Akaka bill was VITIATED by unanimous consent. "To vitiate means to undo or negate a previous action. Vitiation requires the unanimous consent of the Senate." Thus the Akaka bill cloture petition has been wiped off the books. This is not merely a postponement. As of now, the Akaka bill is procedurally exactly where it was before July -- it has been passed by the Committee on Indian Affairs, and reported to the Senate floor. It can come to the floor at any time. But any holds on the bill must continue to be honored, until another cloture petition is filed or until the bill is called up for debate and vote.
C-SPAN has a glossary of words used in Congress, where the definition of "vitiate" can be found. See:
C-SPAN Congressional Glossary
Term / Definition / Used In
Vitiate/ To Vitiate means to undo or negate a previous action. Vitiation requires the unanimous consent of the Senate. / Senate
** Here is the Congressional Record for September 6, 2005. The unanimous consent to vitiate the Akaka cloture petition comes up immediately. The remainder of the "Order of Procedure is copied merely for the context, so readers can see that the reasons for vitiation were the pressing business of Hurricane Katrina and the death of Supreme Court Chief Justice Rehnquist.
SCHEDULE -- (Senate - September 06, 2005)
Mr. FRIST. Mr. President, I have a few housekeeping matters as we begin today.
I have talked to the Democratic leader and a number of our colleagues about changes we have made in our current schedule. As all Members are aware, on July 29 we filed cloture motions on two items that were scheduled for consideration today. In light of Hurricane Katrina, we will be shifting our focus this week, and I am prepared to make those changes by unanimous consent.
ORDER OF PROCEDURE
First, I ask unanimous consent that the two cloture votes scheduled for 5:30 this afternoon be vitiated.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. Is there objection? Without objection, it is so ordered.
Mr. FRIST. Mr. President, I also ask unanimous consent that the order be modified so that at 2:15 today, the Senate begin a period for morning business with Senators permitted to speak for up to 10 minutes each, with the time until 5:30 equally divided between the two leaders or their designees.
I further ask consent that at 5:30 today, the Senate proceed to a vote on adoption of a resolution related to Hurricane Katrina.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so ordered.
Mr. FRIST. Mr. President, Senators should be aware that now the vote at 5:30 today will occur on the resolution expressing condolences to the victims of Katrina. I expect that a number of our colleagues will want to speak today on
that resolution, and we have provided time to do so between 2:15 and 5:30 today.
In addition, following that vote, at 6 p.m. this evening there will be an all-Senators briefing related to our Gulf States. At that briefing will be a number of the Cabinet Secretaries who will be available. That briefing will be in S-407 in the Capitol.
As I have been stating, it is our intention to move very quickly, responsibly, and aggressively to Hurricane Katrina and her aftermath. This relief is underway. We need to make sure that we are maximally supportive and responsive in a timely fashion. I believe we demonstrated that last Thursday when we came in in an urgent session to approve $10.5 billion which subsequently became law and was signed by the President.
Later today--again another manifestation of being able and appropriately responding to the changing events--we will clear a bill known as the Federal Judiciary Emergency Special Sessions Authority which will allow the affected U.S. courts to conduct business under these emergency conditions.
Tomorrow, we will pay tribute to the Chief Justice of the United States, William Rehnquist. I will say more later today on the schedule as it relates to the funeral and a Senate resolution relating to Chief Justice Rehnquist.
Finally, we will be turning to the Commerce, Justice and Science appropriations bill later this week. That appropriations measure does fund a number of hurricane-related activities.
Earlier today, the Democratic leader and I, Chairman Specter, and Ranking Member Leahy from the Judiciary Committee outlined the schedule with
regard to Judge Roberts' hearings and the nomination process over the next month. Those hearings will begin Monday, September 12, at noon. The committee will report out Judge Roberts no later than Thursday, September 22. We will begin Senate floor consideration the week of September 26, and we will complete action no later than Friday, September 30.
I believe that is relatively complete in terms of the changes we have made in response to two very sad and unfortunate events: Hurricane Katrina, a natural disaster which is ongoing, as we all know, and the death of Chief Justice Rehnquist. We will remain flexible in terms of our scheduling in this body to address that natural catastrophe along the Gulf States. We will be acting in a bipartisan and bicameral way, as has been seen to date, in these matters in order to facilitate an immediate response initially to the victims and then ultimately to the recovery and rebuilding of those gulf regions, with the goal of greater prosperity than they have ever seen in the past.
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Tuesday, September 6, 2005
Akaka Bill vote stalls
The Senate majority leader postpones a motion because of Hurricane Katrina
By Richard Borreca
WASHINGTON » Senate action on a native Hawaiian sovereignty bill has been postponed while the Senate works on emergency legislation to help victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Today was supposed to be the day that the Senate would take up S. 147, the so-called Akaka Bill, which would start the process of giving native Hawaiians a formal separate entity to negotiate with the state and federal government.
But just 24 hours before the vote on cloture, a motion to stop debate, was to be taken, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn, told Hawaii Sen. Daniel Akaka that he was pulling the motion from the calendar.
Donalyn Dela Cruz, Akaka's press secretary, said Frist made the decision because of the need to deal quickly with relief measures and other legislation needed in the wake of the devastating Gulf Coast hurricane. Dela Cruz said the senate leader has the power to drop or add items to the daily Senate calendar.
Dela Cruz said it was not known when the Akaka Bill would be taken up by the Senate. Gov. Linda Lingle, who flew to Washington for two days of lobbying on the Akaka Bill, said the change in plans was understandable.
"It is just too early to say what this will mean for the bill," Lingle said.
Akaka said he found out about Frist's decision to drop the cloture vote when he returned to Washington from Honolulu yesterday.
"I thought, 'Here we go again,'" Akaka said, referring to the repeated delays the bill has had.
Akaka has been lobbying the measure for five years, and this summer's action is as close as he has come to getting it passed out of the Senate.
"I would like to get it on the calendar as soon as possible," Akaka said.
Although Akaka has yet to talk personally with the Republican Senate leader, Akaka said he plans to meet with him today.
"Perhaps we can do it in a few weeks or at least by October," Akaka said.
In a statement, Office of Hawaiian Affairs officials said they understood the request to delay the vote.
"OHA fully recognizes the United States Senate should, on its first day back from its summer recess, focus on the catastrophic events on the Gulf Coast. We believe every government priority should be given to victims of Hurricane Katrina," said Haunani Apoliona, OHA's Board of Trustees chairwoman.
"We remain hopeful that Senate Bill 147 (the Akaka Bill) will be heard as soon as Congress addresses the immediate issues triggered by Hurricane Katrina."
Honolulu Advertiser, Tuesday, September 6, 2005
Union leaders offer support for Akaka Bill
By Rod Antone
State labor leaders threw together a last-minute message of support of the Akaka Bill before finding out that it would not go before the U.S. Senate today.
Labor organizations representing more than 100,000 members across the state gathered at Iolani Palace during yesterday's Labor Day holiday to urge the passage of the bill.
"The Akaka Bill gives native Hawaiians the political recognition they need and deserve to keep many worthwhile programs alive," said Harold Dias, president of the Hawaii State AFL-CIO, which represents 68 Hawaii labor unions.
"From the Hawaiian homelands to the programs administered by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs ... we're talking about hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of programs."
The bill will ultimately support the working men and women of Hawaii by saving these worthwhile programs and keeping the Hawaiian culture alive," Dias said.
Hurricane Katrina and the death of Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist postponed the Akaka Bill proceedings.
Labor officials said many of their members are native Hawaiians, and they agree with state and federal officials that the Akaka Bill best supports the state's working-class people.
According to officials for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, "All people deserve a better quality of life, and we are committed to working for justice in our communities."
"The overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom in 1893 was wrong, and the Akaka Bill continues the process of reconciliation outlined in the Apology Bill passed by Congress over 10 years ago," the officials said.
Roger Takabayashi, president of the Hawaii State Teachers Association, said: "Teachers teach our students to celebrate diversity and to respect other cultures. We teach them respect is a basic human and civil right. Supporting the Akaka Bill is a way for us to live what we teach."
Honolulu Advertiser, Tuesday, September 6, 2005
Vote on Akaka bill postponed indefinitely
By Gordon Y.K. Pang and Zenaida Serrano
A vote scheduled for today on whether the Akaka bill will get a full airing on the Senate floor has been postponed indefinitely as Congress focuses on the needs of Gulf Coast residents in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawai'i, lead author of the Akaka bill, was informed of the decision by Republican Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., when Akaka returned to Washington yesterday, said Donalyn Dela Cruz, Akaka's spokeswoman.
"Congress will only deal with the state of emergency (due to the hurricane) and nothing else until that is completed," Dela Cruz said.
Akaka understands the decision to delay the vote on the federal recognition bill for Hawaiians and "is completely supportive of the people in the Gulf region getting what they need and more," Dela Cruz said.
In a statement issued by his Washington office, Akaka said he understood "the extremity of this state of emergency" left by the storm.
"It is of the utmost importance that this emergency be addressed immediately," Akaka said. "I look forward to the cloture vote occurring as soon as possible."
Dela Cruz said there was no discussion between Frist and Akaka about when the cloture vote on the Akaka bill would take place.
"I'm not sure they got that far in their conversation," she said. "The focus for the entire Congress right now is the Gulf Coast."
Another closely watched piece of legislation, which would repeal the estate tax, also had been scheduled for debate today and has been taken off the agenda, Dela Cruz said.
Despite requests by some members of Congress last week to hold off on the cloture votes on the Akaka bill and the estate-tax bill, First had decided to keep both on today's calendar through the weekend, Dela Cruz said.
On Thursday, Congress voted in emergency session to approve $10.2 billion in federal aid to the Gulf region at the request of President Bush.
A successful cloture petition, which would require the votes of 60 of the 100 senators, would force a debate and vote in the Senate on the Akaka bill, which has been delayed by GOP senators.
The Akaka bill, also known as the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2005, creates a process that would eventually lead to the establishment of a Native Hawaiian government that would be recognized by the U.S. government, similar to the political status given to Native Americans and Alaska natives.
Supporters say the Akaka bill would help to right the wrong of the U.S.-backed overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893 and that it is necessary to fight off the legal challenges against programs set up to help Hawaiians.
Opponents say the bill creates a separate government entity that is race-based and therefore unconstitutional. Some Native Hawaiian groups also oppose the bill, saying it does not go far enough.
Attorney H. William Burgess, an opponent of the bill, called the delay good news.
"We'll use any delay that happens well," Burgess said. "We'll spend the time fruitfully, getting more people more information about the consequences of the bill. It's just an opportunity to get Congress and the public better educated about what the bill would do."
Haunani Apoliona, chairwoman of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs board of trustees, said OHA recognizes the need to make hurricane relief the priority.
Also yesterday, labor leaders representing more than 100,000 members statewide gathered at 'Iolani Palace to show their support for the bill's passage.
Participants included members of the state AFL-CIO, ILWU Local 142, Hawaii Government Employees Association, Hawaii State Teachers Association and Hawaii Carpenters Union.
"The fight that native Hawaiians are in right now for recognition in a lot of ways is equal to what workers fight for every day on the work site: the fight for recognition in the workplace, the fight for dignity and respect," said Harold Dias, president of the state AFL-CIO, which represents 68 unions statewide.
Labor leaders pointed to statistics showing that the federal government provides $70 million a year in programs that benefit native Hawaiians. Those programs, along with the homestead program, OHA and Kamehameha Schools, are at risk, union officials said.
The Maui News, Tuesday September 6, 2005
Future needs Akaka Bill
Today was the day U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka hoped to get his "Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2005" on the U.S. Senate agenda for debate and a vote. If successful today, the Akaka Bill would be scheduled for debate and a vote sometime during this session.
There were questions whether there would be enough senators to take the cloture vote due to Hurricane Katrina, but there is no question passage of the Akaka Bill is vital for the preservation of Hawaiian programs. Those programs, largely supported by islanders of all ethnic backgrounds, are vital to preserving an essential component of the visitor industry – the Hawaiian culture.
Those programs are under attack by a group of 16 individuals, some of whom had ancestors involved in the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy. In recent months, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of lawsuits claiming Hawaiian programs are race-based and subsequently in violation of the U.S. Constitution.
The Akaka Bill would head off this kind of lawsuit and future court rulings made by Mainland judges devoid of the sensibilities developed in the islands where every imported ethnic group has adopted, to one extent or another, many of the basic beliefs and teachings developed over hundreds of years of island life by the Hawaiians.
The way the system works is that when courts make rulings that are unpopular, the public has a means of overruling the courts via their legislatures. In the case of federal court rulings, that means the U.S. Congress and, in this case, the Akaka Bill.
The debate in the islands over the Akaka Bill is being fueled by those intent with removing any official recognition of the Hawaiian culture and those who believe secession and re-establishment of Hawaiian sovereignty is the only answer.
There is no way that more than 100 years of history can be erased. It can only be modified so Hawaiians can have a louder say in their future. The Akaka Bill would make that possible. The fate of the islands hangs in the balance.
The Objectivist Center, September 6, 2005
Fascism in a Lei
By Edward Hudgins, Executive Director
What could be friendlier or more welcoming place than Hawaii, America's 50th state? If S-147, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2005, introduced by that state's Democratic Sen. Daniel Akaka, is passed by the U.S. Congress, the ugly scourge of racism — the real, honest-to-badness type, not the name calling type that gets flung around too often — will rule those islands which, in the future, might cease to be part of the United States.
The proposed legislation would divide Hawaiians into "natives" and all others. Anyone with a drop of blood of the original inhabitants of the islands might quality. How is that determined? There would be a nine-member race commission to declare who is "really" a native. (Can you imagine such a commission to determine who's really a white or Aryan?) Further, the bill would allow these official "natives" to establish their own government with laws that are outside of and thus not subject to the U.S. Constitution. This government would be related to the federal government by treaty, like a foreign power or a Native American Indian tribe.
This proposal on the surface might seem to mimic the arrangement between many American Indian tribes and the federal government. It might seem like an innocent attempt by some native Hawaiians to grab a chance at setting up tax-exempt casinos and to make a pile of money. But the real motives are much more sinister and dangerous.
To begin with, the current tax advantages that many American Indian tribes enjoy today hardly make up for the tragic fact of reservation life that stretches back to the nineteenth century. America is the land of opportunity; immigrants from all over the world, the poorest of the poor, came to these shores and, thanks to economic freedom, prospered. Cultural clashes and injustices, sadly, put Americans Indians on reservations where they have suffered in squalid, socialist poverty rather than becoming part of the American economic and cultural mainstream and enjoying its blessings.
Native Hawaiians, however, were never ghettoized. They and the latecomers to the islands mixed together and now form a multiethnic community. S-147 would undo this. It would set aside huge tracts of land for a new apartheid arrangement. It could even create "extraterritoriality," meaning that natives outside of their reservations might still be subject to reservation law.
And what of this law? Subjects of the native government would not enjoy any of the protection of the U.S. Constitution. The native government would in fact be a corrupt, third-world type dictatorship that would abuse the rights of it subjects. We know this because those are the core values of the advocates and anyone who would take away the protections for freedom accorded by the Constitution and replace them not with a government that respects individual liberty even more but, rather, political power exercised on the most vile, race-based premises. Many advocates do not disguise the fact that they want Hawaii to secede from the United States.
The advocates of this plan are true tribalists. They take their identity from their accidental membership in some group to which they were born. But the achievements of others in their groups are not their achievements nor are the failures and follies of those who share their genes theirs either. They should be judged — and should judge themselves — in the words of Martin Luther King, not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
When native Hawaiians — or anyone else — look in a mirror, what they ought to see, first and foremost, is not a native Hawaiian, not a citizen of that state and not even an American. They ought to see an individual, what they have made of themselves. If they can only see their own worth in terms of their membership in some blood group, they place themselves on the level of barnyard animals.
Most of us Americans have immigrant pasts and thus it's not surprising that we keep positive aspects of our traditions. But far from seeing our ethic origins as exclusionary, we like to celebrate them and also the cultures with others — on Columbus Day, Italian, on St. Patrick's Day, the Irish, on Cinco de Mayo, Mexican. But it's quite another thing to use our traditions against others. German Fascists used Norse mythology and pseudo-history and to promote their theories of the master race. Native Hawaiians who advocate similar fascist policies appeal to native gods and to sheer fabrications about Hawaii's past that are shamefully recited in S-147.
The Akaka bill would accelerate the politics of racial, ethnic and cultural division that today's collectivists have foisted on this country for decades. If Americans don't want to revive the ugly nationalism that plagued Europe and the world for centuries, they will fight for the laws and the culture that respects above all the freedom and dignity of each individual.
Copyright, The Objectivist Center. For more information, please visit www.ObjectivistCenter.org.
The Heritage Foundation, WebMemo
September 6, 2006
Research - Legal Issues
Native Hawaiian Resources
The United States Senate has scheduled a vote on a motion to proceed to S.147, a bill to authorize the creation of a race-based government for Native Hawaiians living throughout the United States, on Tuesday, September 6, 2005. As the Native Hawaiian Sovereignty issue moves forward in Congress, please use the attached hyperlinks as a resource to educate yourself on the Native Hawaiian Separatism debate:
The "Native Hawaiian" Bill: An Unconstitutional Approach in Furtherance of a Terrible Idea
by Ed Meese III and Todd Gaziano
A Raced-Based State: Hawaii wants a segregation that would boggle your mind
by Ramesh Ponnuru
Why Congress Must Reject Race-Based Government for Native Hawaiians
by Senator Jon Kyl
Republican Policy Committee
Senate May Approve Race-Based Government for Native Hawaiians
by David Freddoso
Move Over Kilauea – ‘Native Hawaiians’ Legislation Threatens Fiscal Eruption
by Kristina Rasmussen
E Pluribus Unum? Not in Hawaii.
by former Senators Slade Gordon and Hank Brown
Wall Street Journal
Aloha, Apartheid - A court strikes down a race-based policy in Hawaii, while Congress considers enshrining one.
by John Fund
Wall Street Journal
Manifest Destiny in Reverse
by Rich Lowry
The worst bill you have never heard of
by Tim Chapman
New Racism in New Bottles
by Bruce Fein
Trouble in paradise?
by Brian McNicoll
Townhall.com © 1995 - 2005 The Heritage Foundation All Rights Reserved.
Expecting that the Akaka bill would come to the floor of the Senate, an advertisement was published in the morning edition of the Washington Times by Chief Maui Loa of the Hou band of Native Hawaiians of the Blood, opposing the bill. Here is that advertisement.
West Hawaii Today (Kona), Wednesday, September 7, 2005
Legislators iron out Akaka bill -- hold on vote gives time for changes
by Samantha Young
Stephens Media Group
WASHINGTON -- The Senate on Tuesday indefinitely postponed work on a bill to recognize Native Hawaiians, turning its attention instead to recovery efforts from Hurricane Katrina.
Disappointed that the Hawaiian measure once again was delayed, Hawaii senators nevertheless said they backed the decision by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn.
A Republican effort to repeal estate taxes also was set aside as the Senate reconvened from a month-long summer recess with a hurriedly revised work plan.
"How can you take up repeal of the estate tax and the Native Hawaiian bill at a moment when every front page is filled with death, destruction and despair?" said Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii.
The unexpected delay has given Hawaii senators time to iron out problems with the legislation that have been expressed by the Bush administration.
Inouye and Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, rewrote sections of the Native Hawaiian bill last week, and the new version is being reviewed by White House officials.
The new bill includes tougher wording banning Native Hawaiian gambling and addresses Hawaiian legal rights, said Akaka spokeswoman Donalyn Dela Cruz. She declined to make the new legislation public, citing ongoing negotiations with the White House.
Dela Cruz said the new bill would prohibit Native Hawaiian-run gambling in Hawaii or in any other state or territory. Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., had blocked the Hawaiian bill over concerns Hawaiians could set up casinos similar to those run by Indian tribes.
The new bill also makes clear that civil and criminal jurisdictions now overseen by state and federal governments would remain with the respective governments until negotiated with the Native Hawaiian governing entity, Dela Cruz said.
The legislation also references historical grievances to ensure that land claims are not extinguished, Dela Cruz said.
"It gives us a little more time to work with our colleagues on this," Akaka said. "Hopefully, that will be a help."
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina that flattened New Orleans and other Gulf Coast cities, Inouye and Akaka, D-Hawaii, told Frist last week that they would agree to temporarily set aside the Hawaiian recognition bill.
Sen. Democratic Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., also had publicly urged Frist to set aside the Native Hawaiian bill and legislation repealing the estate tax. Reid spokeswoman Tessa Hafen said the Hawaii senators agreed to a two-week delay.
"With Katrina, we had been getting feedback that if we forced our bill to come up there would be adverse votes," Akaka said.
Gov. Linda Lingle flew to Washington anticipating a test vote on the Hawaii bill.
Lingle was present in the Senate chamber on Tuesday when Frist announced he was changing the schedule.
After speaking with Frist on the Senate floor, Lingle expressed confidence he would bring the Hawaiian recognition matter up for a vote this fall.
Lingle said she would hold Republican leaders to a promise to take action on the measure.
"It's going to be a big challenge but they are just going to have to do it," Lingle said. "They made a an agreement and they are going to have to find a way to get this on the schedule in the middle of all the other pressing business that they have."
When asked by a reporter when the bill would be rescheduled, Frist responded, "I really have no idea. I wish I could tell you. I wish I knew."
Asked if the bill would get a vote this year, Rep. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., said "I'm certain of it." Kyl has emerged as a negotiator for Republicans on the bill.
Akaka said he has asked Frist to schedule the bill as soon as possible.
"I've been waiting five years to try and get it on the floor. I want to get it on as soon as we can," Akaka said.
Inouye said he doubted support for the bill would erode over time.
"If you had it today, you should have it two weeks from now," Inouye said of the 60 votes he and Akaka must garner to move the debate forward. "You've got to be positive."
Although the Senate delayed vote, Lingle planned to stay in town to meet with lawmakers.
"We'll use our time here to touch base with senators who haven't taken a position and try to enlist their support," Lingle said. "Each time there is a critical vote about to come up, I want to be here talking to as many senators as I can."
In addition, Lingle said she would meet with House lawmakers in anticipation the bill would be taken up later this year. While most of the attention has been focused on the Senate, a handful of Republican lawmakers in July began circulating a letter calling for the defeat of the bill.
"I don't want people on the House side not to have information," Lingle said.
** Interesting revelation in the bottom half of this article: Governors have a right to go onto the floor of the Senate! And Hawai'i Governor Lingle exercised that right on Tuesday to lobby for the Akaka bill while Senators were dealing with Hurricane Katrina. Shameless lobbying for a selfish racist bill in the midst of a national tragedy. Newspaper editor Richard Borreca's probably unintended puns in his Star-Bulletin article say Senator Akaka helped Governor Lingle "snag" Senators on the floor and go to the cloak room where she "hooked up" with them, even though she had never met them before. Let's see. Wouldn't that portray Senator Akaka as a pimp setting up a gangbang? **
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Wednesday, September 7, 2005
Two- to three-week delay expected on Akaka Bill vote
By Richard Borreca
WASHINGTON » Hawaii Sen. Daniel Akaka, Senate leaders and Gov. Linda Lingle are speculating that the next action on the native Hawaiian recognition bill is at least two to three weeks away.
Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., GOP policy committee chairman and an opponent of the measure known as the Akaka Bill, said increased demands on Congress make the bill a "victim of unfortunate timing."
"This week is not in the picture. We just need to figure out a date to plug into the schedule. It will be up to leadership," Kyl said.
The bill to start the process of granting federal recognition to native Hawaiians had been up for a key vote yesterday, but was delayed so Congress could work on Hurricane Katrina relief bills and the nomination of John Roberts as chief justice.
The Senate was supposed to vote on a motion of cloture that would have forced a vote, but senators said there just wasn't time.
In July, Lingle and Office of Hawaiian Affairs and other officials traveled to Washington to lobby for a Senate vote, only to be blocked by a number of Republican senators putting holds on the bill. On the last day before the summer recess, Majority Leader Bill Frist filed the motion to force a vote on the bill.
Lingle says the bill will be delayed "two to three weeks, based on what I have been hearing, but I hate to be definitive."
Akaka said yesterday, however, that he will continue to press for a vote on the measure. Akaka said he thinks the Senate's GOP leaders "will make every effort to get it back on track."
Referring to Frist, R-Tenn., Akaka said: "I will be on his back, pressing for a vote."
Earlier this year, Akaka and Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye said the GOP leadership had promised a vote on the bill by August, but since then, several Republicans have objected to the measure and blocked the floor vote.
Lingle was able to increase her own lobbying yesterday after she found out from Akaka's staff that as a sitting governor she is allowed on the Senate floor.
Lingle said she took advantage of the location to snag senators during recesses. "I had more privileges there than I have at home with the Legislature," Lingle said.
"I was talking with Sen. (Norm) Coleman, R-Minn., one of the bill's co-sponsors, and he said, 'Let's go talk in the cloakroom,' so I was able to hook up with senators who I have not seen before. To be there in person and let them know I feel it is important to the state, I think has made an impact," Lingle said.
The lobbying effort was helped, Lingle said, when senators came up to Akaka and he introduced them to her.
"They can't pass him by. And he would say, 'Do you know our governor,'" Lingle said.
With the GOP controlling 55 Senate seats, Lingle said it helps to have bipartisan lobbying.
"It does underscore for me how important it is to have balanced representation up here, and again, no matter how long you have had someone in office, regardless of party, being able to work both sides, as we are doing now, has made a difference," Lingle said.
Asked if the chance to observe the Senate up close made her want to consider running for the Senate, Lingle said, "No."
Honolulu Advertiser, Wednesday, September 7, 2005
State officials still hope for Akaka bill debate
By Gordon Y.K. Pang
Gov. Linda Lingle, officials with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and Hawai'i's congressional delegation continue to be optimistic that the Akaka bill will be heard this session, despite the recent shift in attention on Capitol Hill to helping Gulf Coast residents affected by Hurricane Katrina.
Senators had been scheduled to hear a cloture vote yesterday that would have forced a vote on the Akaka bill on the floor of the Senate, but Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., postponed the vote to allow lawmakers to concentrate on legislation to help disaster victims, address rising gasoline prices, Supreme Court justice nominees and other recent developments.
Lingle, who flew to Washington for the vote accompanied by Hawaiian Home Lands Chairman Micah Kane, said in a phone interview yesterday that she believes there is an "at least 50-50" chance that the cloture vote will be held before Congress adjourns later this fall.
The Akaka bill, also known as the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2005, creates a process that would eventually lead to the establishment of a Native Hawaiian government that would be recognized by the U.S. government, similar to the political status given to Native Americans and Alaska natives.
"My guess, and it's only a guess, would be two to three weeks," Lingle said. "I feel as if we've explained what there is to know about it, we've worked through all of the issues that the Justice Department and the White House had. There's just no reason for further delay at this time."
Lingle said she spoke to about 10 Republican senators on the Senate floor yesterday, among them Frist and Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Arizona, a major opponent of the bill.
Donalyn Dela Cruz, spokeswoman for U.S. Sen. Dan Akaka, D-Hawai'i, the namesake for the bill, said her boss was doing what he could to ensure the bill would be heard this session.
"It's too early to say it's not going to happen," Dela Cruz said. "The senator is going to continue to push for this bill to be heard, at least get the cloture motion back on the floor."
She added: "The senator has spent the past six years just trying to get it to this point, and the fact that it's come this far speaks volumes. But he will continue to press the majority leader to get a date before adjournment."
The Senate initially was to adjourn in early October, but its Web page now says the target adjournment date is "to be announced."
OHA administrator Clyde Namu'o also had traveled to Washington, along with seven of the nine OHA trustees, in anticipation of a cloture vote.
Namu'o said the trustees were expected to stay through today when they will meet with Lingle, representatives of OHA-hired law firm Patton Boggs, and the congressional delegation to discuss strategy.
"I think after that discussion, we'll have a better sense of what's going on and what the time schedule might look like," Namu'o said.
Sen. Dan Inouye, D-Hawai'i, also is pushing for a vote, according to Mike Yuen, Inouye's spokesman.
"The senator is working with other members of the delegation to try an ensure the bill comes up for a cloture vote as soon as possible given the circumstances we find ourselves in right now," Yuen said.
Honolulu Advertiser, Wednesday, September 7, 2005
Akaka bill's delay prompts regrouping
The decision to postpone Senate action on the Akaka bill due to the urgency of matters in the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast may turn out to be a blessing in disguise for the bill's supporters.
There was an expectation that a vote on cloture, that is, forcing the Akaka bill to the floor for full debate and an up-or-down vote, would have likely taken place yesterday, the first business day after Labor Day. And it would have indeed been difficult to ensure that senators returned to Washington, much less get the 60 votes needed, given that several of them are dealing with Katrina's devastation at home.
Understandably Majority Leader Bill Frist postponed all matters other than hurricane-related issues.
The delay will no doubt be frustrating to supporters who feel that whatever momentum they had will now be dissipated. Still, the measure must be able to stand on its own merits, whatever the timing.
On balance, the bill, which would recognize Native Hawaiians as a political entity, deserves approval in the Senate and follow-on approval by the House.
Theoretical arguments by opponents who say this would create a race-based privileged "caste" of citizens within the United States fail to deal with the reality of the situation.
In fact, both the state and federal governments have recognized Hawaiians as a distinct entity (call it racial, or call it political) worthy of attention and support.
A clear example, of course, is the Hawaiian Home Lands program, established by Congress in 1921, that aims to resettle Hawaiians on set-aside lands to aid in their "rehabilitation." That law, as well as many that followed, presupposes that Hawaiians suffered a dislocation that deserves to be rectified through federal and state programs.
But such programs are under challenge from those who believe, quite sincerely, that any program or effort designed to help Hawaiians as a class is race-based and thus constitutionally impermissible.
The Akaka bill addresses this by redefining Hawaiians as a political class, similar, although not identical, to American Indians.
What happens now is crucial. Opponents of the Akaka bill will use this "found" time to organize their arguments and to lobby senators who have yet to form a concrete opinion on the matter.
Supporters will surely do the same. The merits of the bill are clear. It is now time to make that case to senators who may have been wavering or inclined to vote against it out of fear of the unknown.
Hawaii Reporter, September 7, 2005
Battered Communities -- Does This Describe Hawaii's Elected Officials?
By Elaine Willman
A couple of years ago, I submitted a guest commentary to the Yakima Herald Republic newspaper, in Yakima, Washington, suggesting that feelings of citizens and communities situated within or near Indian reservations were strikingly similar to the feelings of a battered spouse. The newspaper published the article on January 5, 2003, and the reaction to the article was so remarkable, that I expanded upon the illustration, for a recent national newsletter. The subject seemed to strike a chord somewhere deep within many citizens in my region as well as across America. Here's what I am speaking of:
A battered spouse deeply wishes that she could love and respect her spouse, and is likely to keep frequent beatings and humiliations to herself. She'll choose silence and secrecy for so long as she can. She may often think that if she just says the right words, or acts in a different manner, the beatings will stop. Next time will be different. Things will get better. For battered spouses, things don't get better. They get worse.
I think there's an analogy here for three municipalities located within exterior reservations of the Yakama Nation, as well as other communities on other reservations across the country. These communities are currently experiencing a serious battering from a neighboring government. A government that is not of a municipality, county or state, is forcing itself upon these communities. A tribal government is pushing out for jurisdictional, regulatory and economic control of local communities through gaming, air quality, pesticides, water and water quality, area dams, utility taxation, and unwarranted obstruction of new non-tribal projects. That's quite a growing list of tools by which to threaten, intimidate, control or drive off anyone who is not an enrolled tribal member.
I believe that most Americans fundamentally desire to love and respect each other, including tribal government systems, just as the battered spouse desires to love a spouse. But it's like trying to love a porcupine; one must do so very carefully, and the love is seldom—if ever— reciprocal. Notwithstanding enormous national financial and political clout, no one truly understands why tribes are so aggressive these days, but the general response of adjacent community members in the past, isn't working. Being nice at all times, hoping for better understandings, crossing fingers that dialogue and productive partnerships might one day occur - none of these socially preferred postures has helped at all. Pretending that everything is really o.k., that the tribe doesn't really mean to control or strangle non-Indian communities, is thinking like the battered wife. If we all just stay nice, maybe tribal leaders will be nice next time.
Most area businesses and citizens in my local communities have behaved exactly as an embarrassed and frightened battered wife. Don't say anything. Don't tell anyone. Don't make it worse. Be quiet, be good and maybe it will get better soon. Is it getting better? Nope. Seldom does. Is it getting worse? Yes, conditions like this are more likely to worsen than improve, until someone says enough is enough. It stops now. It changes now.
So what can citizens in battered and bullied communities do, to encourage fair play and better behavior from a tribal government? They can call upon resources, much like a battered wife, who has taken her last beating, must also do. She will call upon law enforcement, legal guidance and other resources that put an end to the destructive behavior.
Likewise, citizens in the predominantly non-Indian communities must raise a great collective voice. We must demand the assistance of our State legal guidance and whatever other resources that will cause a tribal government to concern itself with its own productive development, and stop harassing its neighbors that have always supported the tribe, have never interfered with the tribe, and have only wished tribal government and tribal members all the best for a full, quality life.
For example, here in Central Washington, no municipal, county, state or federal entity has imposed itself upon the Yakama tribe, or interfered with its future potentials. In fact area governments have gone the "extra mile" at every request of Yakama Tribes. No conduct has occurred that warrants the menacing, interfering actions and behaviors tribal leaders are increasing in intensity and frequency against their neighbors. Generations of mixed-cultures have been wonderful neighbors for over a century. There is no excuse for this millennium mayhem causing such jurisdictional and economic distress.
If a battering spouse is unable to stop himself, he can be stopped. It just takes courage, speaking up, and a solid determination to do so. It is time for three non-Indian communities located within the exterior boundaries of the Yakama Reservation to take protective measures. If our homes, jobs, communities and quality of life mean anything at all to us, we can do no less.
Since publication of this theory, I have received contacts from across the country, identifying with the feelings described. Citizens truly do wish the best for their tribal neighbors and for all communities on and near Indian reservations. Citizens have been anxious and apprehensive to speak up and assert their rights on reservations, whether tribal members or not.
We have, as citizens, submerged an innate courage, that is now surfacing across America. I believe it is at least partially to CERA's credit that mainstream media is now paying closer attention to the proliferation of Indian casinos, and corrupt political practices occurring on numerous reservations.
The way out of oppression is first to call it by name, and then to stop submitting in silence. This is the pathway to recovery for battered spouses, battered citizens, communities and battered and bullied States.
Elaine Willman, MPA, is Chair of Citizens Equal Rights Alliance (CERA) a national organization of community education groups and citizens in 25 states who reside within or near federally recognized Indian reservations. Ms. Willman is a former City of Ojai assistant administrator, teaches in the Masters in Public and Business Administration programs for a university, and is pursuing a doctoral in federal Indian policy. Contact her via email at email@example.com
Hawaii Reporter, September 7, 2005
U.S. Senate to Vote On Organization of Hawaiian Apartheid
From the Reservation Report: A Monthly Media Letter Regarding American Indian Policies
By John Fulton Lewis, Executive Editor
Sponsors of the Akaka Bill will deny that after a 5-year battle to enact what has become the "Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2005," the legislation imposes anything so discredited as "Apartheid" on the 50th U.S. State.
But anyone familiar with the "homelands" efforts of South Africa between 1966 and 1989, cannot avoid seeing great similarities. Anywhere that race is singled out, legislatively or administratively, for special treatment not given all others – be that treatment positive or negative to a given race – some degree of Apartheid is apt to be in play.
The only real difference is that the segregation effort in Hawaii's case is actually led and promoted by "native" activists seeking autonomy and possibly "ultimate independence" from their state and nation.
These activists also enjoy bi-partisan support from Hawaii's non-native political establishment. Enactment of S.147 or whatever emerges from an amalgamation of that bill with its House equivalent, H.R. 309, is also designed to give natives a full range of choices – membership off their planned tribal reservation, in the existing multicultural statehood structure under the U.S. Constitution as well as membership, when on their reservation, in a blood-legitimized, select society, segregated from many disciplines and obligations required of citizens who abide by the U.S. Constitution and justice system.
Hawaiian Apartheid will not sever "native" ties to all the benefits, including national defense, public health, public education and welfare presently provided by U.S. taxpayers. But it is likely to sever requirements that natives who live on the reservation should pay all state and federal taxes. Such special bonuses will result from testing and finding "one drop" of honest-to-goodness native blood in up to 400,000 Americans of possible Hawaiian descent throughout the nation.
South Africa's largely indigenous natives - in sharp contrast to Hawaiians under Senator Daniel Akaka's S.147 - bitterly opposed relegation to separate, Afrikaner (white)-determined tribal homeland entities (full Apartheid) or, in the case of Coloreds and Asians, in enclaves of some degree of ghetto-style, Apartheid-like isolation, respectively, in Capetown and Durban. All "people of color" were divorced from full participation in a nation run by white Europeans.
Never let it be suggested that white Americans, since the Civil Rights Act was passed and School Desegregation was Court-ordered in the 1950s and ‘60s, would deny any ethnic group full participation in private and public sectors of societal activity and government. But S. 147 will most certainly deny or restrict all non-native Hawaiians from further full participation in the life presently enjoyed by everyone in large parts of the isles that comprise our 50th State.
Needless to say, no one at the United Nations has even hinted that evidence of Apartheid against white citizens in a U.S. state might warrant condemnation and economic sanctions as the U.S. and many other nations did in the 1980s against South Africa and the former Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Senator Akaka has admitted, though he seems now to regret it, that under his race-discriminating legislation, Hawaii's natives, eventually, may seek independence IF and WHEN enactment of S.147 provides them with "sovereignty," control of extensive lands and legal privileges.
John Fulton Lewis is the executive editor of the Reservation Report, A Monthly Media Letter Regarding American Indian Policies. Mr. Lewis was a former NBC journalist and radio broadcaster, who has produced documentaries on Chinese history and politics. He now publishes a monthly report on Native American Indian Policies. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
September 7, 2005
Alaskans and Hawaiians Rally for Sovereignty in Honolulu
A United Call for Rejection of the Akaka Bill
By Jack Kelly
One hundred school children sat on the concrete floor of Honolulu’s Capitol rotunda as teachers, organizers, reporters and others milled around waiting to begin.
So strong and brave in their red t-shirts, proudly displaying their message: independence and nothing less.
These children from local Hawaiian language immersion schools want us to hear their declaration.
“We are Hawaiians. We are not Native Americans.”
Along with all these Hawaiians – schoolchildren and adults – who are here to call for the defeat of the Akaka Bill, is a group of Alaskan Natives. These Alaskan representatives explain that their inherent sovereignty was taken from them by the provisions of the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, legislation that they say is markedly similar to the Akaka Bill.
“Ever since ANSCA became law we as tribal governments have no land. Zero,” said Mike Williams, Vice Chairman of the Alaska Inter Tribal Council. “We are tribal governments without territorial reach. We have nothing.”
This is a moment in time where these two native cultures, both at a critical crossroad, have banded together to fight for their sovereign right to exist.
The Alaskans are here to tell the children, the members of Hui Pu, the cameras and reporters that they should not fall victim to the fear tactics promulgated by the power structure of Hawaii, which is telling them that they must accept partial sovereignty and become wards of the federal government or all will be lost.
“We are here today to talk about the Akaka Bill,” opened Ikaika Hussey, spokesman for Hui Pu, a coalition of Hawaiian sovereignty groups opposed to the Akaka Bill. “Our brothers and sisters from Alaska have experienced something very similar to the Akaka Bill. Thirty years ago a bill was passed called the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act that gave away a lot of the rights to their ancestral lands. The people were supposed to benefit but only a few benefited. These folks are here to share their experiences with federal recognition.”
The Alaskans are experiencing déją vu as they stand on the Capitol steps. This is exactly what happened to them in 1971. The pressure from their leaders. The fear tactics. The hysteria fueled by the corporate press. The hundreds of tribal members spread throughout the vast expanse of Alaska had little knowledge of what was occurring and before they knew it, the deal was done.
The bill divested the native tribes of their authority and reach over the stewardship of their lands. A structure of state-chartered corporations initially under native control was created to control the resources. Eskimos who had lived a subsistence life for generations were suddenly thrust into the western world and expected to serve on boards and adjust their lives to adapt to a cash economy. However, for those who choose to stay in their villages, very little cash will come their way.
“The promise of prosperity was there,” said Williams, “but the tribes have not seen prosperity. Not a single tribe from Alaska has benefited from these developments on the North Slope. The oil companies made profits out of those developments; the state of Alaska has benefited, but not the tribes. We need the help of the Native Hawaiians, we need the help of all the indigenous peoples of the world, to restore justice, to restore all our lands, that we have lost, so we can take care of our families, take care of our resources and so we can live our way of life that is being destroyed as we speak. The tribal leaders of Alaska must stand up and speak up. Do not be afraid to stand up for your rights.”
And now those Alaska corporations are attempting to masquerade as tribes themselves, speaking for the self-determination of the people. The corporations and the tribes are at loggerheads because their missions are diametrically opposed. The corporations are out to extract resources from the land for profit. The tribes are out to sustain their subsistence lifestyles and use the land in the traditional self-sustaining manner.
The Alaskans are here in Hawaii to refute Senator Daniel Inouye’s Senate floor statement during the Arctic Refuge debate on March 16, 2005 where he stated, “Out of 229 federally recognized tribes in Alaska only one oppose drilling in the Arctic Refuge. The Gwich‘in.”
According to the Alaskans, Inouye is completely incorrect and totally off-base. His statement refers to the position of the Alaska Federation of Natives, a consortium of native corporations who do not represent the tribes and who have no right to speak regarding the self-determination of the tribes.
“ In the past there has been confusion in the national ANWR media coverage about the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act regional for profit and non-profit corporations,” said Williams. “The ANSCA village corporations and their statewide organization – called the Alaska Federation of Natives – were created by the Act. Despite having names that include tribal terminology, these organizations are not tribes. They are non-sovereign constructions of state law and they differ on their perspective on protection of traditional lands. Sovereign tribes view the environment as consisting of subsistence resources that must be protected for environmental sustainability. ANSCA corporations view the environment as consisting of natural resources that must be developed to sustain economic profitability.”
The children chant a welcome to their cousins from the North and together they circle the statue of Hawaii’s great Queen Liliu’okalani. The statue that sits at the back of the Capitol with her back facing her own Palace, Iolani Palace, where she was imprisoned by American forces during the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1892. More chants, and the bond is strengthened.
Kapono Souza of Hui Pu exhorted the crowd to reject the Akaka Bill. “We don’t know what kind of concessions have been made,” he said. “They will not tell us what kinds of concessions might be voted on in Washington D.C. next week. The Akaka Bill has changed one more time and it is watered down even more and they are going to vote on it. They are going to vote on our future. We reject that.”
The Alaskans concurred that worries about the effect of the Akaka Bill are well founded.
“They stole what we had,” says Williams. “They took it away and they are running with it now. Our financial corporations, those people are making big profits and leaving us behind with the resources we have left. Leaving pollution and health problems behind.
“We are hurting inside. We are being swept away through federal legislation. I hope that you do not lie down and take this like we are not lying down to take this as well. My future generations that are your age are not shareholders in Alaska, they have no benefits from the native corporations and they are starting to stand up like you are. So remember that. Don’t stop here. Don’t take anything less than you deserve. Continue your fight.”
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Thursday, September 8, 2005
Vote on Akaka Bill should not be cast aside forever
A Senate vote on the Akaka Bill has been postponed indefinitely while Congress attends to the needs of Hurricane Katrina victims.
HAWAIIAN recognition has been in line for a Senate vote for years, stopped at the door by use of the institution's archaic protocol. The latest barrier is the most understandable -- the Senate's sudden attention to legislation aimed at providing relief to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. But by no means should the Akaka Bill for Hawaiian recognition be put off beyond October.
Sen. Jon Kyl put a hold on the bill in the last Congress under a rule that allows a single senator to anonymously keep a measure from reaching the Senate floor. When Senators Akaka and Inouye threatened to attach Hawaiian recognition to a bill being pushed by Kyl, the Arizona Republican and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist agreed to allow a vote on the Akaka Bill by Aug. 7 of this year.
A day in mid-July was agreed upon, but several other opponents unexpectedly stood in Kyl's place. A super-majority cloture vote is needed to surpass such opposition and allow full consideration of the bill and amendments to go forward.
Before Congress adjourned for its August recess, Frist had scheduled the vote on the Akaka Bill to be taken on Tuesday. The hurricane naturally became the priority of senators from the area it struck, and Akaka had concerns that some might have decided to delay their return to Washington to attend to the needs of their constituents. A successful cloture requires affirmative votes by 60 senators -- not just three-fifths of those present.
Upon returning to Washington, however, Frist took the vote off the Senate calendar, which is now filled with legislation in response to the hurricane. Other legislation cast aside temporarily in the Senate includes measures to eliminate the inheritance tax and overhaul Social Security.
The Judiciary Committee will begin hearings Monday on John Roberts Jr.'s nomination to be chief justice. That issue is expected to reach the Senate floor after President Bush decides whom to nominate for the court's second vacancy.
Like much of the congressional activity relating to Hurricane Katrina, those discussions will take place during committee hearings and should not interfere with Senate floor actions. Tuesday's planned vote on the Akaka Bill was scheduled for the evening to avoid conflicts.
Hawaii's senators and Governor Lingle, who had traveled to Washington this week to lobby for the bill, are making good use of the extra time to continue educating senators about the bill. Lingle is assuring them that the notion of the bill leading to Hawaii's secession from the union is absurd; indeed, a fringe element of the Hawaiian community suggests the legislation will impede their goal of secession.
Right March put out an action alert nationwide on the Akaka bill on Thursday September 8. Right March is the conservative counter to the leftist Move On.
Follow the link to see the e-mail that came automatically into probably a few million e-mail boxes nationwide -- everyone who subscribes to this group.
Note the little box "Take action now" that asks for zip code. The result is a form letter to be sent by e-mail automatically to the Senators serving that zipcode.
The contents of the form letter can be changed or rewritten in case anyone wants to do that.
A zealous opponent of the Akaka bill could perhaps use this link repeatedly -- putting in a zipcode for an area served by whatever Senator someone would like to contact -- like Norm Coleman of MN, or Lindsey Graham of SC. A zip code for any particular place can be found by using the U.S. Postal Service zip code locator, at
Chicago Sun-Times, September 8, 2005
Hawaiian governor calls secession fear 'ridiculous'
BY ALEXANDRE DA SILVA
HONOLULU -- A delay in a U.S. Senate vote on a bill that would grant federal recognition to Native Hawaiians is giving Hawaii's governor a chance to lobby senators who fear it could lead to Hawaii's secession from the union.
''That's a ridiculous claim and a ridiculous argument,'' Gov. Linda Lingle said. ''We have over 500 recognized Indian tribes in America. ''They don't secede. They simply get a federal recognition that allows them to avoid these kinds of lawsuits that Hawaiians have faced.''
On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist canceled a planned Tuesday vote on ending a filibuster against the bill so the Senate could act instead on emergency legislation related to Hurricane Katrina.
Lingle, who was in Washington lobbying for the bill, said she was disappointed that the vote was put on hold, though she understood the urgency of Katrina action.
And she said the postponement allowed her to speak with senators whose objection centered on the secession fears.
Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), the bill's sponsor, has also said the measure has nothing to do with independence or secession.
The bill, which Akaka has been trying for six years to bring to the Senate floor for a vote, would give federal recognition to Native Hawaiians and lead to the formation of a Native Hawaiian governing entity.
Critics call the bill vague and suggest that one day Hawaii could host two governments -- the state and a new sovereign Hawaiian government.
Pro-independence advocates say the bill doesn't go far enough in ensuring Native Hawaiians self-governance and control over their land.
** ABC News also picked up the story, which means it might have played on the TV network news. **
Hawaii Gov. Lobbies Senate on Secession
Forbes, September 9, 2005
Dunce of the Week [Weekly feature every Friday in Forbes Magazine]
Dunce(s) Of The Week: Daniel Akaka and Linda Lingle
by Rich Karlgaard
NEW YORK - Back from the Forbes Global CEO Conference and six days in Sydney. Thanks for letting me punt on last week's "Dunce of the Week" column.
Katrina has ushered in a flood of Dunce commentary on economics. U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Washington) has called for price controls on gas. I guess she prefers unavailable gas at $2.50 to available gas at $3.25. I'm waiting for her to quote Ralph Nader on the soulful virtues of waiting in lines. Another U.S. Senator, Byron Dorgan, a Democrat from my home state of North Dakota, demands a super tax on oil-company profits. That's a fine way to stop the search for new wells. I know Sen. Dorgan--nice guy, crackling sense of humor, loyal to his state, but dumb as a brick on economics.
But we're going to leave Katrina behind and look to the future. In early October, the U.S. Senate will vote on what is the worst bill I've seen in my lifetime: The Hawaiian Government Recognition Bill. It was brought to the floor by Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) and it seeks to create one new Native American tribe made up of U.S. citizens with "one drop" or more of native Hawaiian blood. The tribe would have its own Constitution, and be exempt from state and federal taxes. It would, of course, get gobs of federal money just like other Native American tribes. Tax Californians to pay Hawaiians is the idea. You can read the bill for yourself.
The disaster in New Orleans reminds us that the most blighted economic regions within the U.S. are in welfare colonies: public housing in older cities and Indian reservations. The irony, of course, is that the Hawaiian Government Reorganization Bill seeks to take the very worst economic model we have in the U.S. and apply to much of the 50th state.
Unbelievably, Hawaii's Republican Governor, Linda Lingle, supports Akaka's bill. So do a least six U.S. Senate Republicans, who are set to vote yes in early October. It is even rumored that President George W. Bush will let this racist act sneak by without a veto, should it pass. If the bill passes, and the president refuses to veto it, you can be sure GWB will be our Dunce of the Week, perhaps even our Dunce of the Year.
Here is terrific commentary on the insanity of Sen. Akaka's cockeyed bill.
West Hawaii Today (Kona), Friday, September 9, 2005
Lingle lobbies senators on behalf of Akaka Bill
by Samantha Young
Stephens Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON -- Working on the floor of the U.S. Senate, Gov. Linda Lingle spent this week buttonholing fellow Republicans who are undecided about whether to extend formal government recognition to Native Hawaiians.
Lingle may not have won votes for the controversial bill but she maintained she made progress explaining it to senators unaware of Hawaii's history of indigenous people.
"They wanted to understand more about some of the lawsuits that had been filed," Lingle said of ongoing court complaints challenging state Hawaiian funding and school admission policies.
Most of the dozen senators she spoke with were unaware that Hawaiian homelands were scattered throughout the state, Lingle said. Most thought the land would be similar to a tribal reservation.
To each senator, Lingle cited a groundswell of support from the state's legislators, mayors and Native Hawaiian community.
Lingle's trip had been scheduled to coincide with a vote Tuesday on the Hawaiian recognition bill, but congressional relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina sidelined the issue.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., declined to say when the Hawaiian bill would get a vote. Lingle said Thursday she anticipates a debate within four weeks.
Hawaii senators face an uphill battle to secure 60 votes needed to advance the bill over a procedural hump. Sens. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, and Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, have said they believe they have the support, but criticism of the bill has been getting louder.
At a forum in Washington last week, Edwin Feulner, president of the conservative Heritage Foundation, said the bill was being promoted by a group of activists who has "silently yet effectively sought a radical change" in the state of Hawaii.
Critics charged the bill would authorize a race-based government in the United States and strip Hawaiians of their constitutional rights.
"If ethnic Hawaiians can artificially morph into Indian tribes and the state of Hawaii can then transfer the Office of Hawaiian Affairs functions and the vast acres of real estate they administer to the tribe, a racial spoils system could be preserved and even extended," said John Fund, an editorial writer at the Wall Street Journal.
The National Center for Public Policy Research, # 532, September 2005
Proposed Race-Based Government for Hawaii Would Create Trouble in Paradise
by David W. Almasi and Amy Ridenour
When Hawaii was admitted to the union in 1959, there was an understanding among lawmakers, the American people and the territory's residents that Native Hawaiians would not gain the same legal status as American Indian tribes.
That 45-year understanding may now come to an end.
Legislation currently pending in Washington - "The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2005" (S. 147), sponsored by Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI) - would reclassify Native Hawaiians as a tribe. It would place all Native Hawaiians (essentially defined as all Americans with even one Native Hawaiian ancestor) under a separate "Native Hawaiian" government - whether they or the non-native citizens of Hawaii like it or not.
The bill would essentially create the nation's largest tribe overnight, with approximately 240,000 members in Hawaii, 60,000 members in California (making Native Hawaiians, perversely, California's largest tribe) and 100,000 members throughout the rest of the United States.
S. 147, which may be voted on by the full Senate in the week following Labor Day, has bi-partisan co-sponsors, including Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Norm Coleman (R-MN), Chris Dodd (D-CT), Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Gordon Smith (R-OR) and Ted Stevens (R-AK). Hawaii's Republican governor, Linda Lingle, also supports the bill.
A companion bill in the House of Representatives, H.R. 309, is sponsored by Representative Neil Abercrombie (D-HI) and has nine co-sponsors representing both major parties. It has been referred to the House Committee on Resources.
Among the stated reasons for the legislation: Protecting $45 million in federal handouts exclusively targeted for Native Hawaiians. Special financial and political benefits enjoyed by Americans who have a Native Hawaiian ancestor have been under challenge since the U.S. Supreme Court in 2000 ruled unconstitutional a law requiring Native Hawaiian ancestry for all voters electing the leadership of the state's Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
Supporters also claim the bill is partial recompense for a U.S. role in the 1893 overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani. However, the U.S. was neutral in that matter, and the coup occurred without the firing of a single shot. According to a Wall Street Journal article by former U.S. senators Slade Gorton (R-WA) and Hank Brown (R-CO), the Queen herself dispelled notions of bitter feelings and the need for reparation when she later said that annexation to the U.S. was the best thing that could have happened to Native Hawaiians.
It's important to note that the Hawaiian state was not governed on separatist lines prior to 1893. Doing so now, therefore, would not recapture the past.
This legislation has generated both criticism and concern.
The U.S. Department of Justice has expressed concern about the lack of forethought on factors ranging from national security to the delegation of law enforcement duties to fears that the islands might become the next Las Vegas. Others are concerned about the bill compromising civil liberties and property rights. And then there are the people of Hawaii, who have indicated they don't want the bill at all.
Of primary concern to most critics of the legislation is the sanctioning of a unique race-based government. Voluntary U.S. Census designations estimate there are 400,000 people who claim to be Native Hawaiians. Native Hawaiians would be defined as those who are "direct lineal descendants of the aboriginal, indigenous, native people" who "exercised sovereignty" on or before January 1, 1893. The definition is both broad and confusing, since the islands were ruled by the monarch Queen Liliuokalani at that time, and she was the only one able to exercise any power of sovereignty.
Furthermore, the definition of "Native Hawaiian" contains no requirements for a person to have Hawaiian residence (at any time) or even cultural, language or political ties to the islands.
In creating this new, distinct class of Americans, S. 147/H.R. 309 does not follow the same standards used to recognize American Indian tribes. The U.S. Department of the Interior's regulations governing the formal recognition of American Indian tribes relies on factors such as large and exclusive communities, close kinship, shared culture and groups that act as distinct political entities. To the contrary, Native Hawaiians are not geographically or culturally segregated, are dispersed among the 50 states and have largely intermarried with other Americans. There are actually perhaps only 7,000 "pure-blooded" Native Hawaiians left.
Hawaii's other senator, Daniel Inouye (D), praised Hawaii's melting pot microcosm when, on the 35th anniversary of Hawaii's statehood in 1994, he called the islands "one of the greatest examples of a multiethnic society living in relative peace." Yet Senator Inouye is now a co-sponsor of S. 147, which is explicitly separatist in that it would create separate legal codes for people living in the same neighborhoods based solely on their ancestry.
On July 13, 2005, Assistant Attorney General William E. Moschella of the Justice Department's Office of Legislative Affairs sent a letter to Senator John McCain (R-AZ), the chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, which has jurisdiction over and has approved S. 147. The letter outlined the U.S. Department of Justice's view of the need for the addition of key provisions to S. 147:
* The bill creates no means of stopping claims on land once considered to be held by Native Hawaiians (or at least incorporates an abbreviated statute of limitations for such claims) to stem "a flood of litigation" and "the prospect of enormous unanticipated liability for the United States and the State of Hawaii."
* There are no guarantees that any new tribal authority would not be able to interfere with U.S. military facilities and overall military readiness.
* There is no provision in the bill explicitly keeping the Native Hawaiian government from exercising gaming rights (legalized gambling).
* There is no clarification as to which government would provide law enforcement on Native Hawaiian lands.
* There is no provision that non-Native Hawaiians can serve on the body that certifies the new Native Hawaiian government.
This last concern harkens back to the 2000 case of Rice v. Cayetano, when the U.S. Supreme Court said that creating a race-based Native Hawaiian government with the powers of a tribe is "difficult terrain" and "a matter of some dispute." In a decisive 7-2 ruling, the Court found this previous attempt to create such an entity violated the 15th Amendment's prohibition of voting based on race.
Rice v. Cayetano is not without precedent. As conservative leader Paul Weyrich noted in a commentary critical of S. 147, "The Supreme Court, the year after I was born in 1943, noted that 'distinctions between citizens solely because of their ancestry are by their very nature odious to a free people whose institutions are founded on the doctrine of equality. This was the Court's opinion in Hirabayashi v. United States.'"
Ironically, or, perhaps, expediently, state officials in Hawaii who now favor establishing Native Hawaiians as a tribe took the opposite view when arguing the losing side in Rice v. Cayetano.
As former U.S. Attorney General Ed Meese and legal analyst Todd Gaziano argued in a July Heritage Foundation analysis, "Although Hawaii correctly argued in the Rice litigation that descendants of aboriginal Hawaiians are not an American Indian tribe, state officials have changed their minds - since that is the only way they can practice racial discrimination on behalf of a favored interest group. Hopefully, the United States Constitution is not so easily circumvented."
Some Senate Republicans are concerned that the bill does not contain a guarantee that the Native Hawaiian government will be democratic and abide by the Bill of Rights (federal law exempts tribal governments from honoring many constitutional protections, such as the First, Fifth and 14th Amendments). There is not even a guarantee that Native Hawaiians themselves would be able to vote on the acceptance of a new constitution under which they would be governed, once it was written by the new tribe's governing council.
Some also fear the adoption of a Native Hawaiian tribal government might lead to the islands declaring their independence from the United States. Lest one think this is the stuff of conspiracy theorists, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs - a state government agency - suggests that the legislation could lead to "complete legal and territorial independence from the United States and the re-establishment of a Hawaiian nation-state."
Yet another concern is the opinions of the over one million non-Native Hawaiians living on the islands. What will happen to their rights and their property with the creation of a new race-based regime that may or may not have to answer to the people? The people of Hawaii, native and non-native, don't seem to like it at all.
In July of 2005, a survey conducted by ccAdvertising found that 67.3 percent of all Hawaiians opposed S. 147. Almost half of those self-described as Native Hawaiians opposed it. Yet the bill is poised to get valuable floor time when lawmakers are overloaded with vital issues such as a Supreme Court nomination, rescuing a hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast, gasoline distribution problems and the need to reform Social Security and Medicare. And, of course, the war.
After decades of progress, Americans are quickly leaving behind the racial animosities and stereotypes of the past. For the government to allow the creation of a new race-based government within its borders would cast a dark shadow over this progress. It also threatens to open up a constitutional can of worms that would only hurt our republic.
The motto of the United States is "out of many, one" - not, "out of one, many."
David W. Almasi is the executive director and Amy Ridenour the president of The National Center for Public Policy Research.
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Friday, September 9, 2005
Letters to the Editor
Where's the protection from Akaka Bill?
Deceptive public statements continue to be made by supporters of the Akaka Bill who insist that we need immediate protection against the legal assaults on Hawaiian trusts, programs and entitlements. They declare -- with absolute statements -- that upon the Akaka Bill's passage the programs will be protected. These statements instill fear among people so that they become willing to sacrifice anything, including their birthright, to protect these programs.
The Akaka Bill is not federal recognition; it only describes and allows the process toward that end. Section 7 of the bill outlines approximately 17 steps that must be fulfilled before federal recognition can be extended to the native Hawaiian governing entity. How long will this process take? Best-case scenario is that it is a three-year process, but realistically, it could take five years or more.
Bruce Fein, the constitutional lawyer who opposes the bill based on racial reasons, has declared that the constitutionality of the bill will be challenged in court -- if it passes. He has also predicted that it will be years in litigation. This should not be a surprise to anyone.
I am sympathetic and care for the programs that help our people. However, in consideration of court challenges and elapsed time of at least three years or more before federal recognition could be extended: Where is the immediate protection for the programs? And how do the supporters propose to protect the programs in the interim? The Office of Hawaiian Affairs should be forthright and provide an answer to all the stakeholders.
Rather than leadership by vision, we kanaka maoli are witnessing leadership -- by fear -- into an eventual universal settlement with the state and federal government resulting in the extinguishment of title to our remaining lands forever, slam the door to all future claims and provide second-class citizenship as wards of the federal government. Where is the vision for a better life for our people?
Charles Lehuakona Isaacs Jr.
U.S. took even more land from Mexico
I have been giving some thought to the Akaka Bill and the apology that is often cited as its genesis. If my memory serves me correctly, we also stole Texas and most of California from the Mexicans. Sounds like Mexico lost a whole lot more territory than the Hawaiian monarchy.
Perhaps, in fairness, we should offer some sort of reparations to Mexico. Personally, I would be in favor of giving them Louisiana and Mississippi. I can't imagine that President Fox could do less than President Bush and the Federal Emergency Management Agency in providing timely and substantive relief to the flood and hurricane victims.
Then there is the question about how we should apologize to Tony Blair for that spiteful little rebellion those many years ago ...
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Sunday, September 11, 2005
Will numbers add up for Akaka Bill?
by Richard Borreca
Hawaii's craftiest vote-counter, Senator Inouye, has an easy guide to figure out what will happen to the native Hawaiian sovereignty bill -- watch the day it is scheduled.
Inouye says the Akaka Bill will come up for a test vote in the next few months, but watch the day the bill is scheduled for a cloture vote.
Cloture is the name of the motion needed to free the Akaka Bill from the grip of the holds placed on it by conservative Republican senators.
With more curves than the road to Hana, the route from cloture to passage is a long way coming. For instance, there are lots of amendments. According to Senator Akaka, the bill is likely to have five amendments by sponsors and five amendments by opponents. No one is saying with any specificity what are the pro or con amendments. So there really is no way of knowing if anyone would recognize the bill if it does pass the Senate. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is trying to put a realistic face on all that by telling supporters that now is the time to look long term and consider the benefits of getting something on the books as compared to remaining with what Hawaiians have now, which is nothing.
Inouye adds that if that the Akaka Bill cloture vote had actually been held last week, he had "great doubts" that it would have passed.
The reason is that for the bill to get the needed 60 votes, all 44 Democrats would have to be present and voting for it. But several key supporters, including Sen. Mary Landrieu, the Louisiana Democrat who didn't return to Washington until last Thursday because of Hurricane Katrina, were missing.
Still with all the Democrats properly counted, the bill does not yet have a clear ticket to ride in the Senate, much less the House. Conservative opponents are attempting to make the native Hawaiian sovereignty measure a national issue, claiming it would create a race-based government group and would open the door to other ethnic enclaves diluting America's message of equality for all.
In opposition, Hawaiians have a difficult time expanding the interest group beyond people from Hawaii. Although the bill has picked up support among Native Americans, it is still flying under most political radar screens.
And even the bill's supporters admit that many members of the Senate haven't heard anything about the Akaka Bill. A little knowledge of how the Senate works, Inouye says, is needed to guide you in figuring out if the bill will actually pass.
"I hope it is scheduled for a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday," Inouye says, because if it is set for a Monday or Friday vote, it means that supporters might not have the votes, because those aren't considered working and voting days.
"If the announcement comes that it is up for a Monday or Friday, you can say to yourself, we have a few additional problems," Hawaii's premier vote-counter said.
Hawaii Reporter, August 11, 2005
"Race-Based Government" for Native Hawaiians Not Good for Hawaii, America
Tell Congress to Oppose the "Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act"
The U.S. Senate is scheduled to begin debate soon on S. 147, the misleadingly named "Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2005." The bill purports to authorize the creation of an exclusively race-based government of so-called "native" Hawaiians to exercise sovereignty over native Hawaiians living anywhere in the United States. This "Native Hawaiian Government" supposedly could exempt these Hawaiians from whatever aspects of the United States Constitution and state authority it thought undesirable.
As Senator Jon Kyl, the Chairman of the Republican Policy Commitee, has also noted, this bill would authorize the creation of a race-based government for those with Native Hawaiian blood. The bill does this by sticking Native Hawaiians (who live in all 50 states) into the federal Indian law system, creating a new race-based entity, and calling it a "tribe." However, unlike Indian tribes, this proposed Native Hawaiian government would be defined not by community, geography, and cultural cohesiveness, as every other Indian tribe is. Instead, the Native Hawaiian entity would be defined by the one distinction that is completely opposed to American law and civic culture -- that of race.
As Kyl writes, "Congress should not be in the business of granting special governmental powers to racial subsets of the American family. We are a nation grounded in equality under the law regardless of skin color or ancestry. Our most violent internal conflicts, whether in the 1860s or the 1960s, have revolved around efforts to eliminate the law's racial distinctions and to encourage a culture where all citizens become comfortable as part of the American race."
No, we're not there yet, but "this is simply a message of racial division and ethnic separatism, and of rejection of the American melting pot ideal," says Kyl. "The bill is, therefore, profoundly counterproductive to the nation's efforts to develop a just, equitable, and color-blind society, and it must not become law."
Oh, and one more thing -- if this bill is passed, there would be nothing to stop Islamists from declaring that they are a "tribe" and can therefore live outside of American law, and under Islamic "Sharia" law.
This bill must be stopped.
Take Action: Hawaiians were never an American Indian tribe, and can not become one by congressional decree. When the first western missionaries arrived on the islands, Hawaii was ruled by a powerful king in a feudal monarchy, just like some in Eastern Europe and the Far East at the time.
Congress can't simply "create" an Indian tribe, as that term is understood in the Constitution, or "recognize" an Indian tribe that never existed. If it could somehow do so, there would be no end to racial separatist "nations" that Congress -- or some future Supreme Court -- could carve out of the United States population and exempt from the United States Constitution. If sharing one drop of aboriginal Hawaiian blood makes a tribe, then Chicanos, Latinos, African Americans, Mexicans, indeed any ethnicity could become a tribe if Congress or the Court so decrees. Welcome to the Islamic Republic of America.
This bill represents a step backwards in American history and would create far more problems -- cultural, practical, and constitutional -- than it purports to solve. It must be rejected.
Go to this web site to send a free message to your Congressman, asking him or her to oppose the "Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act" (S. 147).
Investor's Business Daily, September 12, 2005
Issues & Insights
Nearly five decades after statehood for Hawaii, the U.S. Senate is about to take up a bill classifying American citizens by race and establishing apartheid there. Is America about to have its own separatist movement?
If ever there was a place that came close to Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream of people being judged by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin, it is Hawaii. "One of the greatest examples of a multiethnic society living in relative peace" is how its senior senator and war veteran Daniel Inouye once described it.
Yet that would change with the enactment of S.147, dubbed the Akaka bill after its chief sponsor, Hawaii junior Sen. Daniel Akaka, but officially known as the "Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act."
Ironically, Inouye also supports the bill, as does a bipartisan group of senators and others, including the state's Republican governor, Linda Lingle. The bill would recognize native Hawaiians, however determined, as a new Indian tribe and establish a separate governing authority for people of their race within Hawaii.
Passage would seem unlikely, given stiff opposition in the House of Representatives to the idea of creating a tribe out of "Native Hawaiians" and granting them sovereignty over their affairs. Also hurting the bill's chances is the fact that the Supreme Court has already ruled a similar proposal unconstitutional.
But in this age of political correctness, apologies for historical injustices, real and imagined, not to mention a "living Constitution," who knows?
The legislation was spawned by a historically flawed resolution passed in 1993 and signed by President Clinton. It apologized for the United States aiding and abetting the overthrow of the native Hawaiian government of Queen Liliuokalani a century earlier, in effect stealing Hawaii from the Hawaiian people. Except it didn't happen quite that way.
As noted by former Sens. Slade Gorton of Washington and Hank Brown of Colorado, who voted against the 1993 apology, the U.S. provided neither arms, nor money, nor political support to a band of Hawaiian insurgents who prevailed without firing a single shot, largely because neither the government of Queen Liliuokalani nor the majority of native Hawaiians opposed annexation by the United States.
Hawaiian scholar Rubellite Johnson, who helped establish the Hawaiian studies program at the University of Hawaii, says much of the supposed historical justification for the Akaka bill is "a distortion of the truth." The U.S. was not only "not directly involved" in the forced abdication of Queen Liliuokalani, Johnson says, but most of the Hawaiian monarchy supported U.S. annexation.
In any event, the issue was available for discussion in 1959, when Native Hawaiians voted 2-to-1 for statehood in a plebiscite that officially transferred sovereignty to the U.S. and rendered moot the question of whether Hawaii was stolen from its people.
Back in 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a similar effort to create a state-sanctioned, race-based entity composed solely of native Hawaiians. In Rice v. Cayetano, it ruled that under the Constitution's 15th Amendment, which forbids discrimination in voting based on race, a race-based government in Hawaii was unconstitutional.
The legislation would establish an American Quebec, only worse, and would become a conduit for reparations and other subsidies at the expense of U.S. taxpayers, much as reparations are demanded by some for the institution of slavery.
The fact that such legislation is being taken seriously lends encouragement to other segments of the ethnic grievance industry, such as those who insist the southwestern United States was stolen from Mexico. Would they demand similar recognition?
Honolulu Advertiser, Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Data show Native Hawaiians lag
By Gordon Y.K. Pang
Native Hawaiians, as a whole, continue to lag behind the rest of the state in the areas of social, economic, physical, emotional and cognitive well-being despite some recent gains, according to a new, 450-page study being released this month by Kamehameha Schools.
The findings in "Ka Huaka'i: 2005 Native Hawaiian Educational Assessment," gives Kamehameha and other agencies that serve Native Hawaiians a new weapon as they seek to stave off lawsuits that challenge their Hawaiians-first preference policies.
The study derives nearly all of its data from other sources. But while much of the information is not new, it binds it into one source book that gives weight to the argument that Native Hawaiians, as a category, have greater needs than other ethnic groups in the state.
Such programs — including the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and Kamehameha Schools itself — are in the midst of fighting challenges in federal court.
The executive summary of the report was distributed at the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement's recent Native Hawaiian Conference. The full report is expected to be released to the public in the next few weeks.
"It's basically the same story that we've been telling for the last 20 years," said Shawn Malia Kana'iaupuni, director of Kamehameha's Policy Analysis and System Evaluation team. "When you look at the data, you can see that whether you're looking at economic needs, physical health, material resources or other types of social indicators, the averages for Native Hawaiians are lower than other groups."
The study cites 2000 U.S. Census numbers showing 9.8 percent of Native Hawaiians unemployed, highest among the race categories, compared to 6.3 percent statewide.
Among parents of school-aged Native Hawaiian children, the situation is not as bad. About 68.8 percent of such families have both parents working, compared to a statewide rate of 68.2 percent.
Kana'iaupuni said what bothers her is that those Native Hawaiian families make a mean income of $55,865, substantially less than the $66,413 statewide average for two-parent families with school-aged children.
A separate table in the 2000 Census shows Hawaiians are under-represented in managerial and professional occupations. Only 22.8 percent of Native Hawaiians reported being in management and professional ranks, second only to the 18.3 percent of Filipinos who put themselves in that category. The statewide average was 32.2 percent.
The same table showed Native Hawaiians more likely than other ethnic groups, and the statewide average, to be employed in blue-collar positions including farming, construction, maintenance and transportation jobs.
# In the area of social and cultural well-being, Native Hawaiian households were more likely than non-Hawaiian households to be family-based and include minor children. But the prevalence of single-parent families with minor children appeared to be greater among Native Hawaiians than non-Hawaiians.
The rate of child abuse and neglect cases among Native Hawaiians was more than twice the rates of other major ethnic groups and has been steadily increasing. Native Hawaiians, on the whole, have disproportionately higher rates of substance abuse, arrest and incarceration than other groups.
# Mortality rates for cancer, diabetes and heart disease for Native Hawaiians are higher than other major ethnic groups in the state. About 71.8 percent of Native Hawaiians adults are overweight and obese, compared to 51.8 percent of the statewide percentage.
# Native Hawaiian adolescents suffer higher rates of depression and are more likely to attempt suicide than their statewide non-Hawaiian peers.
# The test scores of Native Hawaiian children lag behind statewide averages by approximately 10 percentage points in reading and math. Meanwhile, the percentage of Native Hawaiian adults who have obtained a bachelor's degree is 12.6 percent, less than half the statewide rate of 26.2 percent.
Kekoa Paulsen, a Kamehameha spokesman, said the study underscores the need for the school and others to continue focusing their efforts on improving the well-being of Native Hawaiians.
For instance, he said, the school's recent emphasis on early-childhood education can be justified by some of the findings in the study.
Ken Conklin, a researcher for the group Aloha for All, questioned the value of a study that focuses on comparing a single ethnic group with others.
"We should look at individuals as individuals and not as members of some group," he said. "Whatever difficulties they may have, if those difficulties are severe enough and can be overcome, then perhaps society should help those individuals. But we should not be giving special benefits to an entire ethnic group."
Conklin and Aloha for All object to the Akaka bill, which would create a process that leads to federal recognition of a Native Hawaiian political entity, arguing that it is race-based. They also challenge the legality of programs that give preference to Native Hawaiians.
Aloha for All last month won a partial victory when the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 vote that the taxpayer group can challenge the expenditure of state tax money for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
Kamehameha, meanwhile, is appealing a ruling by the same court that determined its Hawaiians-first admissions policy violates federal civil-rights laws.
Conklin also said he is also troubled by studies that appear to promote the needs of one racial group over another.
"What we're doing is encouraging identity politics," he said.
But Jade Danner, vice president of the nonprofit Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, said studies such as the Kamehameha product are valuable. They not only show where Native Hawaiians, as a category, continue to need more assistance, but also reveal what programs have worked to help them.
Danner said she agrees with Conklin that "race-based programs are not what's needed."
However, she said, support should be given to programs that perpetuate a culture that would cease to exist without some help.
Danner, who is Hawaiian-German, said an entire nation exists that will ensure the German culture is perpetuated. That's not the case for the Hawaiian culture, she said.
"Those things will perish if there isn't room made for them to exist in America," she said.
ON THE WEB
Kamehameha Schools' "Ka Huaka'i: 2005 Native Hawaiian Educational Assessment" is a 450-page compilation of data showing how Native Hawaiians are faring in various areas when compared to other ethnic groups.
An executive summary was released earlier this month, while the full study is expected to be released in the coming weeks. To see the summary or for more information, go to
** Note from Ken Conklin: The ultra-slick 20-page "executive summary" is a huge pdf file of 11,426 Kilobytes. The small content it has appears as text written across the petals of a flower, and in other imaginative ways. The 450-page book is promised for "later," but in any case there has never been a peer review of any of these "studies" such as would be done before publication in an academic journal. So far as is known, no neutral outsider has ever reviewed the validity or statistical reliability of these "studies." The executive summary can be downloaded by clicking here:
Honolulu Advertiser, Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Letters to the Editor
HAWAIIAN SECESSION ISN'T 'BIG LIE'
It's a shame that "journalists" are allowed to publish personal attacks on people with whom they disagree: David Shapiro, for example, claims "Akaka opponents are spreading the Big Lie" (Aug. 31) by pointing out that the Akaka bill could lead to Hawai'i's secession from the Union.
Surely Mr. Shapiro is aware of the following recent events:
# On Aug. 6, at a Hawaiian rights rally at 'Iolani Palace, large banners proclaimed: "We are not American. We are not American. We are not American. We will die as Hawaiians. We will never be American!"
Also, "We don't need no American government. Don't like to see too much foreign power here cause Western influence been killing us for years."
At this same rally with all these signs prominently displayed, Gov. Linda Lingle and Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona, wearing activist red T-shirts, marched with the protesters and the governor said in her speech to the crowd, "We are here to support your cause."
# On OHA's Web site, the page for "Hawaiian Governance FAQ" regarding the Akaka bill has the following posted:
"What form of government will be established?
"The ultimate form of government — be it total independence, nation-within-a-nation or free association — must be decided upon and ratified by the Native Hawaiian people.
"What's the difference between independence, nation-within-a-nation, and free association?
"Independence: This model would mean complete legal and territorial separation from the United States and the re-establishment of the Hawaiian nation-state."
# There were two debates held in Hawai'i on Aug. 22 and 23. The organizers of the debates invited two advocates for the Akaka bill and two against. One panelist for the first debate who spoke against the measure was Kaleikoa Kaeo for Hui Pu and NOA. In case Mr. Shapiro does not know what NOA stands for, let me clarify that for him. It stands for "Not of America," and Mr. Kaeo is clearly an advocate for total independence.
At the second debate organized by the League of Women Voters and Hawai'i Institute for Public Affairs, Anne Keala Kelly was invited to represent opposition to the Akaka bill. Clearly, her goal is to have Hawai'i secede and gain total independence from the United States. If Mr. Shapiro is unclear about her viewpoint on secession and removal of U.S. military in Hawai'i, I suggest he check out her Web site. Sen. Akaka himself acknowledged his bill could lead to total independence.
There is no question that gambling, property values and diminished military readiness are major concerns to the majority of the population of Hawai'i. There is no question the majority of the people of Hawai'i should be allowed to vote and decide for ourselves if we want to create a separate nation for Hawaiians only. And, there is no question that if this separate Hawaiian nation removes up to 1.8 million acres of state and military lands that all the other non-Hawaiians living here will have to pay more taxes.
Sandra Puanani Burgess
** A more complete version of the above article was published in Hawaii Reporter, including photographs of each of the signs whose contents are given. **
Hawaii Reporter, September 15, 2005
Akaka Bill Could Lead to Succession - That is Not a Lie
Just Ask U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka
By Sandra Punani Burgess
Columnist David Shapiro on August 31, 2005, in The Honolulu Advertiser, claims "Akaka opponents are spreading the Big Lie" when they point out that the Akaka bill could lead to Hawaii's secession from the Union.
Surely Mr. Shapiro is aware of the following recent events:
First. On August 6, at a Hawaiian rights rally at Iolani Palace large banners graced the beautiful lawn fronting King Street with these words:
"We are not American; We are not American; We are not American; We will die as Hawaiians; We will never be American!!"
And another sign:
"Kanaka Maoli, Read International Law and see that America has no Rights to govern the Hawaiian Nation. America is not Lawful in Hawaii. "If the 1st amendment is the freedom of speech, what can we be saying when they been stealing our beach. Oh say can you see, America is a thief."
And another sign:
"We don't need no American government Don't like to see too much foreign power here cause Western influence been killing us for years."
At this same rally with all these signs prominently displayed, governor Linda Lingle and Lt. governor Duke Aiona wearing activist red t-shirts marched with the protesters and the governor said in her speech to the crowd "We are here to support your cause."
Second. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs Web site "Hawaiian Governance FAQ" regarding the Akaka bill has the following posted on the site:
"What form of government will be established? The ultimate form of government -- be it total independence, nation-within-a-nation or free association -- must be decided upon and ratified by the Native Hawaiian people.
"What's the difference between Independence, nation-within-a-nation, and free association? Independence: The model would mean complete legal and territorial separation from the United States and the re-establishment of the Hawaiian nation-state."
Third. There were two debates held in Hawaii on August 22 and 23, 2005. The organizers of the debates invited two advocates for the Akaka bill and two against. One panelist for the first debate who spoke against the measure was Kaleikoa Kaeo for Hui Pu & NOA - in case Mr. Shapiro does not know what NOA stands for - let me clarify that for him - it stands for "Not of America", and Mr. Kaeo is clearly an advocate for total independence.
At the second debate organized by the League of Women voters and Hawaii Institute for Public Affairs, Anne Keala Kelly was invited to represent opposition to the Akaka bill. Clearly, her goal is to have Hawaii secede and gain total independence from the United States. If Mr. Shapiro is unclear about her viewpoint on secession and removal of U.S. military in Hawaii I suggest he check out her web site: http//www.nohohewamahawaiinei
U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, himself acknowledged his bill could lead to total independence. When asked during a National Public Radio interview whether the bill "could eventually go further, perhaps even leading to outright independence." he replied, "That could be. That could be. As far as what's going to happen at the other end, I'm leaving it up to my grandchildren and great-grandchildren." And, when he introduced the bill on January 25 of this year he said, "As long as Hawaii is a part of the United States, however, I believe the United States must fulfill its responsibility to Hawaii's indigenous peoples."
There is no question that gambling, property values and diminished military readiness are major concerns to the majority of the population of Hawaii. There is no question the majority of the people of Hawaii should be allowed to vote and decide ourselves if we want to create a separate nation for Hawaiians only. And, there is no question that if this separate Hawaiian nation removes up to 1.8 million acres of state and military lands that all the other non-Hawaiians living here will have to pay more taxes.
Mr. Shapiro accuses opponents of the Akaka bill of being liars. I just have one question for Mr. Shapiro, is he blind?
Hawaii Reporter, September 15, 2005
'Native Hawaiian' Victimhood Claims - Bad Statistics for Bad Purposes
By Ken Conklin
How many times have we heard it said?
Native Hawaiians are at the bottom among all Hawaii's ethnic groups. Low income, poor education, high rates of cancer, diabetes, drug abuse, incarceration, etc. There are hundreds of Hawaiian racial victimhood claims; often vague, but occasionally accompanied by percentage figures that make them look scientific.
In most cases the methods of gathering data and analyzing them are not disclosed. The "studies" are usually not subjected to peer review (outside experts judging the work) of the sort that would be done for similar studies prior to publication in a scientific journal. It is often impossible to evaluate these "studies" for validity (relevance of the data to the claim) or reliability (mathematical correctness of statistical analyses and sufficient specificity to make it possible to do a parallel study to replicate the results). The sheer number of claims, and the amount of data necessary to prove or disprove them, make it impossible for any individual or small group to deal with them effectively.
Just this week the Honolulu Advertiser reported that Kamehameha Schools will eventually publish a monster Hawaiian grievance book containing 450 pages of old victimhood claims. But the "executive summary" just happens to be available already, at exactly the right moment to lay it on the desk of every Senator just before they vote on the Akaka bill. We get the slick propaganda booklet now (all form and no substance), never mind the facts (which are old, dubious, and incredibly complex). Download at
A new webpage provides details of some very simple explanations why many such claims are bogus.
(1) "Native Hawaiians" on average are 13 years younger than the rest of the population. Their average age is only 25. Of course young people have lower income (actually only about 10% lower), lower ranks in the companies where they work; and higher levels of unemployment, drug abuse, family instability, criminal activity, and incarceration. Perfectly normal.
In Census 2000, the median household income for "Native Hawaiians" was $45,381, and their median age was 25.3. In Census 2000, the median household income for the population of Hawai'i as a whole was $49,820, and the median age was 36.2. That age gap of 11 years gets 2 years added to it if we exclude from the total population the 20% who are "Native Hawaiian." Also, 12% of all "Native Hawaiians" had household income ABOVE $100,000. Surely those wealthy people should not be eligible for government handouts based on the racial profiling of "Native Hawaiians" as poor and downtrodden. The sources of these data are provided on the webpage at http://tinyurl.com/ccvuh
(2) Most "Native Hawaiians" are mostly not of Hawaiian native ancestry. Perhaps 75% of all "Native Hawaiians" have more than 75% of their ancestry from Asia, Europe, and America. But when someone with 1/16 Hawaiian native blood quantum is diagnosed with breast cancer, the Hawaiian grievance industry chalks up one full tally mark. That's clearly wrong.
First of all, individuals with problems who cannot solve the problems without government help should get that help regardless of race. But if we're going to play the game of putting people into racial groups and tallying victimhood counts, then there needs to be a more honest way to determine which group wins the tally mark.
One way is to count each person as belonging to the one racial group which is his highest percentage of blood quantum. A better way is to allocate a fraction of a tally mark to each race, equal to each victim's percentage of blood quantum of that race.
The lady who gets breast cancer with 1/16 Hawaiian native blood quantum racks up 1/16 of a tally mark for the Hawaiian category, while the Irish victimhood account wins 1/2 tally mark for her 50% Irish blood.
This method would also let us find out whether women with higher Hawaiian native quantum get breast cancer at a higher rate than low quantum Hawaiians -- clearly an important way to prove whether "being Hawaiian" is correlated with or perhaps causative of breast cancer.
Some activists say being Hawaiian is not about race, it's about culture. Fine. Then to do the data analysis properly, you must create a taxonomy of cultural behaviors and ascribe each one to some particular culture. Then for each individual determine the fractional portion of his cultural identity to be ascribed to each racial group. One thing is very clear -- it's absurd to award a full tally mark to "Native Hawaiians" for a victim who has only 1/16 native quantum of blood or culture.
(3) Everyone eventually dies. Shocking, but true! And nobody dies more than once. So when the Hawaiian grievance industry says that "Native Hawaiians" have the highest mortality rate for breast cancer, isn't it obvious that they must also have the lowest mortality rate for some other disease? There are only so many Hawaiians, and each one can only die once. Furthermore, for whatever diseases "Native Hawaiians" have comparatively low mortality rates, it must be true that some other ethnic group has comparatively high mortality rates for those diseases. So, in order to protect the interests of white people, there should be a Papa Ola Lokahi Haole funded by millions of federal dollars to gather and analyze the data for all those diseases for which white people have comparatively high mortality rates. Likewise Papa Ola Lokahi Kepani to do the job for people of Japanese ancestry. How silly. But fair is fair. Live by playing the race card, die by playing the race card.
(4) Darwinian "natural selection", or evolution, might explain why "Native Hawaiians" have bad statistics (both physically and culturally). This is not as silly as it might sound. "Native Hawaiians" have had perhaps 100 generations of inbreeding, with perhaps no outside additions to the gene pool between the Marquesan invasion of 1200 AD and the European arrival in 1778. The arrival of Europeans, Americans, and Asians produced tremendous changes in the physical environment of these islands, and also the social/cultural environment. It takes many generations before an organism can adapt to a changing physical environment. Thus "Native Hawaiians" may simply be physiologically (genetically) unable to cope with the radically changed physical and cultural environment of modern Hawai'i. The solution envisioned by the Akaka bill and other models of "indigenous self-determination" is to give "Native Hawaiians" the power to exercise racial supremacy in re-shaping the physical and cultural environment of Hawai'i to make it more hospitable to their inborn needs, even if that means making Hawai'i far less hospitable to everyone else. Awarding political power based on race is very dangerous. A different solution would be to re-engineer the obsolete Hawaiian gene to make it compatible with today's environment. Both solutions are horrendous.
Hawaiian victimhood claims are part of the Hawaiian grievance industry, which has four main purposes: (a) to support requests for huge grants of government and philanthropic money to study and treat these problems on a racially exclusionary basis; and (b) to allegedly justify the existence of powerful racially exclusionary government and private institutions (such as Kamehameha Schools, OHA, DHHL, Papa Ola Lokahi, Alu Like, Native Hawaiian Leadership Program, etc.); and (c) to allegedly justify demands for race-based political power (such as would be authorized by the Akaka bill); and (d) to arouse in the public mind feelings of sympathy and compassion for these allegedly poor and downtrodden victims of history, so there will be political support for purposes (a), (b) and (c). A webpage describes "Native Hawaiians as the State Pet or Mascot: A Psychological Analysis of Why Hawai'i's People Tolerate and Irrationally Support Racial Separatism and Ethnic Nationalism" See:
Hawaiian victimhood claims are not put forward merely to solicit sympathy and hand-holding. Rather, these are the kinds of statements made by a beggar who not only holds out a tin cup but who chases you down the street, grabs you by the collar, and shakes you while yelling in your face the reasons why he is begging and why you owe him money. No matter how much you give, it's never enough.
David Ingham gave us a perfect example in the laundry list he published in Hawaii Reporter on September 14 -- dozens of claims, some of which included impressive-looking percentages. Where's the evidence?
See David Ingham, "Akaka Bill May Not Be the Answer, But Native Hawaiians Do Need Help. The Educational, Social, and Health Conditions of Native Hawaiians are a Dismal Disgrace to All but the Willfully Blind and Ignorant" Hawaii Reporter, September 14, 2005.
Ingham merely says at the end: "The statistics in this article are collected from information compiled by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Department of Health, CDC, the U.S. Census, NIH, Ahahui o na Kauka and private data banks."
So, David, where exactly do we look to verify the five claims that "Native Hawaiian males have the highest cancer mortality rates in the State for cancers of the lung, colon, rectum, and colorectum, and for all cancers combined"?
Ingham did not gather the data himself. He did not do the statistical analyses. He did not comb through hundreds of individual reports and "studies" to create this compilation by himself; because if he had done so, he would have provided a citation for each item telling where it came from so that a scholar could find the actual study and independently analyze the data. If I were his professor and this was his term paper, I would strongly suspect plagiarism.
Even if true, most of Ingham's claims are easily dismissed because of the explanations above. (1) The 13 year age gap accounts for relatively youthful "Native Hawaiians" having the worst statistics for income, drug abuse, instability, and incarceration. (2) Start over and analyze the data by allocating a fractional tally mark to each race, equal to each victim's fraction of blood quantum of that race. Chances are, "Native Hawaiians" would no longer be at the bottom on more than 20% of the items if we correctly identify who is really "Native Hawaiian" (and how much). (3) Remember that everyone dies, but only one time. Therefore, for every disease where "Native Hawaiians" have the worst mortality rate, there must be other diseases for which they have the best mortality rate. Celebrate the good; and give a fair share of resources to other racial groups for the diseases where they have the worst mortality rates. Better yet, help the needy regardless of race. (4) In the end, if you insist that "Native Hawaiians" are always the worst on every measure, then there are two choices, both bad: either start a crash project of genetic engineering to cure the bad Hawaiian race gene; or else tear down Hawai'i's modern physical and social environment, and go back to the old environment to which "Native Hawaiians" were well-adapted before the white man came and made it inhospitable to them. After all, that's what race-based "self-determination" and "sovereignty" are all about, right?
You may now
CONTINUE FORWARD TO THE HISTORY OF THE AKAKA BILL FOR SEPTEMBER 16-30, 2005 (AKAKA ANNOUNCES NEW VERSION OF BILL FOLLOWING NEGOTIATIONS WITH DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE; and followup)
READ MORE ABOUT THE HISTORY OF THE HAWAIIAN GOVERNMENT REORGANIZATION BILL IN THE 109th CONGRESS (January 2005 through December 2006)
SEE MORE GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE HAWAIIAN RECOGNITION BILL (HAWAIIAN GOVERNMENT REORGANIZATION BILL)
GO BACK TO OTHER TOPICS ON THIS WEBSITE
(c) Copyright 2005 Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. All rights reserved