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Racial entitlement bills in the 2013 Hawaii legislature (and how all the Republicans except Senator Slom and Representative McDermott are voting in lockstep with the Democrats)

(c) Copyright March 11, 2013 Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. All rights reserved

It's halftime at the 2013 Hawaii legislature. There's no marching band. Janet Jackson didn't have a wardrobe malfunction. But bills either got passed by one chamber and sent to the other chamber, or are presumed to have died (although, like Lazarus, they might rise again).

On Sunday March 10 the Honolulu Star-Advertiser published its annual halftime list showing the status of dozens of bills. But that list (not available online) failed to mention any of the numerous bills that threaten to further divide Hawaii's lands and people along racial lines. March 11-16 is known nationally as Sunshine Week, to encourage openness and access to government information. Let's shine a light on ten of the worst racial entitlement or sovereign independence bills and resolutions now being considered.

Every year the Hawaii state legislature entertains bills and resolutions whose purpose is to give additional land, money, or political authority to Hawaii's highly favored racial group, ethnic Hawaiians. The justification offered in such race-based legislation is the fact that amendments to the state Constitution in 1978 gave special rights to "Native Hawaiians" and established agencies of the state government devoted to that racial group -- most notably the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) and the Department of Hawaiian Homelands (DHHL).

OHA has succeeded in lobbying the legislature to pass bills since 1978 that force numerous other government agencies to have a member on their board of directors who is appointed by OHA. There are more such bills in 2013. Thus Hawaii's racial entitlement empire infiltrates many branches of government that were not intended to focus on any racial group. OHA is like an octopus reaching its tentacles into holes in the coral reef to grab whatever food might be there.

Aside from having a racially-designated seat on many government boards, the ethnic Hawaiian establishment successfully lobbied the legislature to create an entirely new government agency to take control of the island of Kaho'olawe after the U.S. government stopped using it for target practice and returned it to the state. The Kaho'olawe Island Reserve Commission (KIRC) is a board whose members are all ethnic Hawaiians, appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate on a rotating schedule. The legislation that created KIRC requires that the island will automatically be turned over to a future ethnic Hawaiian governing entity as soon as that entity has achieved recognition by the federal and state governments. Other bills in recent years, including 2013, would set up similar race-based commissions to manage other portions of Hawaii, and such bills also include the same requirement to turn over control to a future Akaka tribe as soon as that tribe gets recognized.

Do the people of Hawaii really want to divide ourselves and our lands along racial lines? Apparently our elected officials think that's perfectly fine. The legislature already passed Act 195 (2011) to begin creating a state-recognized Indian tribe out of thin air, which can then be given money and land exclusively for ethnic Hawaiians. Meantime the ethnic Hawaiian establishment wants to grab as much as it can get even before negotiations begin. There's a severe conflict of interest when legislators who are ethnic Hawaiian, or have ethnic Hawaiian spouses or children, write and vote for legislation to transfer land and jurisdictional authority to their own blood brotherhood for the benefit of themselves and their family members. See

The legislature's website is very user-friendly. Anyone can put the number of a bill or resolution into the top window on the front page, and get a webpage for that particular item which provides full text of the bill, all its hearing notices, all the written testimony submitted to each committee hearing, committee reports, and a status list tracking the dates of each event and the votes of each legislator as the item moves along. No registration is necessary unless someone wishes to sign up to automatically receive hearing notices or submit testimony.

Conservatives and libertarians expect Republicans to stand up for individual rights as opposed to group rights and racial preferences. That's why it's especially shocking to see nearly all Republican legislators marching in lockstep with the Democrats on Hawaiian racial entitlement programs.

Republicans Bob McDermott (House) and Sam Slom (Senate) deserve praise for voting in opposition to such legislation. All other Republican members of the House repeatedly voted AYE on almost every item in lockstep with the Democrats both in committee hearings and on final passage. Republican Richard Fale (House) voted in favor of every racial entitlement bill that came to committees where he was a member, and also on final passage for items that got that far. A mitigating factor for Fale is that he is only a freshman in the House and is the designated Republican member of committees which have first jurisdiction over racial entitlement legislation. Thus his name has high visibility on racial entitlements while other Republicans are normally not involved until final passage. Nevertheless, he must bear responsibility for his terrible voting record and for his lack of courage to stand in opposition to such bills. It's too soon to tell whether Fale has merely been swallowed up by Democrat group-think or whether he might truly be an enthusiastic supporter of racial entitlements.

Below are some of the most outrageously racist bills and resolutions from 2013, and where they stand after the mid-session crossover when bills pass one chamber and get sent to the other chamber. Each item is linked to the legislature's webpage for it.

HB509 Would establish a Makua Valley Reserve Commission to prepare for the transfer of Makua Valley to the State when the Army's lease expires in 2029. But it's a long time until then. This bill is really a Hawaiian sovereignty wolf in the sheep's clothing of prudent land management. The commission of 7 members will be racially and politically stacked with a member appointed by OHA and a member chosen from a list provided by Native Hawaiian organizations, and the other members being chosen by ethnic-Hawaiian-dominated Wai'anae protest groups who passionately opposed the Army's activities in Makua. Furthermore "the State shall transfer management and control of the valley reserve to the sovereign Native Hawaiian entity upon its recognition by the United States and the State." This same bill passed the legislature in 2009 but was vetoed by Governor Lingle. The legislature held a special session to consider overriding Lingle's vetoes on a number of bills, but in the end did not try to override Lingle's veto on the Makua bill. All three versions of the bill in 2013 contain the racially and politically stacked requirements for the 7 commissioners. The original version was amended to delete the requirement to transfer the valley to the Akaka tribe and that amended version passed two committees with the approval of Republicans Richard Fale (on both committees) and Cynthia Thelen on one committee. However, the Ways and Means Committee put back the original language requiring transfer to the tribe, in addition to the racially and politically stacked commission, with support from Republicans Beth Fukumoto and Gene Ward. It's interesting that none of the committee reports makes any mention of the deletion and subsequent re-insertion of the most significant amendment of all, regarding transfer to the Akaka tribe! On final passage by the House, Republicans Cheape, Fale, Fukumoto, Johanson, Thielen, and Ward voted AYE in lockstep with all the Democrats. Shame on them! Many thanks to Republican Representative Bob McDermott who cast the only NO vote out of all 51 representatives. He gets the Sam Slom award for profiles in courage.

SB406, part of OHA's bill package, would require OHA to either administer, or approve a third party to administer, a mandatory training course "relating to native Hawaiian and Hawaiian traditional and customary rights, natural resources, and the public trust." The course will be required of all members of certain state councils, boards, and commissions whose work involves anything related to ethnic Hawaiian racial entitlements such as land, water, ceded land revenues, etc.; and it must be completed during their first year on the job. This propaganda course is not merely the usual "sensitivity training" some companies now require their employees to take to ensure they do not engage in sexual harassment or racial discrimination. On the contrary, this course has the purpose of persuading government decision-makers TO ENGAGE IN racial discrimination! The decision-makers will be brainwashed to ensure they will comply with OHA's attitude concerning racial entitlement programs, ceded lands, the history of the "illegal overthrow" and "illegal annexation", etc. Recall Rep. Faye Hanohano's racist rant demanding that artwork by "Native Hawaiians" should hang on her office walls. With implementation of SB406 one might expect board members of the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts to be "trained" that they must acquire more ethnic Hawaiian artwork and make sure it is hung on the office walls of ethnic Hawaiian legislators. SB406 began in the Senate where it passed all its committees without protest, ignoring testimony in opposition by Ken Conklin. It passed the entire Senate on a vote of 24-1 with Sam Slom, the only Republican in the Senate, casting the lone NO vote.

HCR6 is part of the OHA package. It commemorates the 20th anniversary of the apology resolution passed by the U.S. Congress in 1993, which is cited as justification in the preambles of nearly all racial entitlement legislation including Hawaii Act 195 (2011) and every version of the Akaka bill. The Ocean, Marine Resources, & Hawaiian Affairs committee headed by Faye Hanohano passed it with support from Republican Richard Fale. It was forwarded to the Judiciary committee but has not yet been heard. It might not be dead because resolutions have more lenient requirements for crossover than bills. See detailed testimony by Ken Conklin, including text of Conklin's proposed substitute resolution deploring the apology resolution and identifying its historical falsehoods.

Here's a resolution that was originally introduced in February as a set of three companion items, had a hearing in February where testimony was submitted, was killed by being deferred indefinitely, and has now been reintroduced in slightly modified form for hearing and testimony on March 13. It's a Hawaiian independence resolution which deceptively appears non-racial but in fact would produce an independent nation of Hawaii in which ethnic Hawaiians would dominate the government and comprise perhaps 95% of the population.

HCR50 and HR32 is a resolution newly introduced on February 28 and will have its first hearing and testimony on March 7 in the Ocean, Marine Resources, & Hawaiian Affairs committee headed by Faye Hanohano. This resolution has the stated purpose of "recognizing Hawaiian nationals as a population residing lawfully in the Hawaiian islands." Its real purpose is to put the state legislature on record as recognizing the continued sovereignty of the independent nation of Hawaii consisting of all descendants of Hawaiian kingdom subjects from before the revolution that overthrew the monarchy in 1893. The resolution says "international law clearly confirms that the sovereignty of the Hawaiian kingdom was never relinquished or extinguished and that the Hawaiian Kingdom is "in continuity"; and ... international law prohibits the coercive assignment or altering of a person's nationality and citizenship to a foreign state without the explicit free, prior, and informed consent of the person; and ... in section 19 of the Admission Act, the United States Congress affirmed that the Admission Act itself does not confer or terminate or otherwise change the nationality status of Hawaiians; and ... Hawaiian Nationals are citizens of the Hawaiian Kingdom, residing in their own country, the Hawaiian Islands, and are not citizens of the United States or "residents" of the "State of Hawaii"; and [therefore] Hawaiian Nationals, as an authentic body politic, have the right to organize and restore their national government of, by, and for the people of the Hawaiian Islands." The webpage for this concurrent resolution is at
and for the House [only] resolution is at
where all information will be posted as events unfold.
Sometimes people submit testimony only for one or the other of such companion resolutions, so it's wise to check the webpages for both.
This resolution is a slightly modified version of the previous resolutions HCR40, HR16, and HR23, which were indefinitely deferred after a hearing on February 13. The most substantive testimony submitted at that time by supporters and opponents, including detailed comments by Ken Conklin (who will submit closely similar testimony this time), can be seen at

Here are some bills that had committee hearings but were then killed. It is indeed scary that these were taken seriously enough for a very busy legislature to hold a hearing and for very busy civil rights activists to then feel compelled to write testimony in opposition! The committee chairs are responsible for choosing which bills get hearings.

HB175 would hand over ten million tax dollars directly to DHHL in the year 2013. Wow! The Ocean, Marine Resources, & Hawaiian Affairs committee headed by Faye Hanohano passed it with amendments, with the support of Republican Richard Fale. The Committee on Judiciary received powerful testimony from attorney H. William Burgess about historical and legal issues regarding the ceded lands, and also less legalistic testimony by Ken Conklin. See the file for February 7. The bill was deferred indefinitely, thus killing it.

SB123 would establish a Native Hawaiian corporation under DHHL to take control of all DHHL lands and all the ceded lands to be referred to collectively as "Native Hawaiian lands." Imagine that! The entirety of the ceded lands, including about 95% of all the lands owned by the State of Hawaii, would now be called "native Hawaiian Lands" and would be controlled by a Native Hawaiian corporation. Before any testimony was taken, one committee passed the bill with support from Republican Senator Sam Slom but opposition from Senator Laura Thielen, and recommitted the bill for further proceedings. Two committees later took testimony. Both committees then held a joint hearing. See powerful detailed testimony by attorney H. William Burgess concerning legal and historical issues related to the ceded lands, and also testimony by Ken Conklin. The bill was then killed when the chairs of both committees indefinitely deferred it.

HB251 as originally proposed by committee chair Faye Hanohano would allow (hundreds of thousands of) ethnic Hawaiians to pay a fee of only one dollar instead of the established fee of ten dollars whenever they need to get certified copies of certificates of birth, marriage, divorce, or death in order to prove eligibility for the Act 195 state-recognized tribe or eligibility for any of the multitude of racial entitlement programs. After strong objection from the Department of Health and other agencies whose budgets would be decimated, the bill was amended and became increasingly convoluted, and eventually died. In the Ocean, Marine Resources, & Hawaiian Affairs committee headed by Faye Hanohano, compliant Republican Representative Richard Fale voted AYE. In the Committee on Health, Republican Representative Lauren Kealohilani Cheape voted AYE to pass an amended version. Along the way Republican Representative Bob McDermott voted NO, and Republican Representative Gene Ward was absent for a vote. The bill was killed when it reached the Finance Committee whose chair refused to schedule a hearing. Note the testimony on February 1 by the Department of Health and by Ken Conklin, which might have helped the Finance chair reach the decision to kill it.

HB1352 would exempt [ethnic Hawaiian] owners of kuleana lands "from all state, county, and municipal taxation, fees, and charges of every kind for water usage in connection with the kuleana landowner's appurtenant water rights." The bill passed two committees with Republican Representative Richard Fale voting AYE on both committees. It was then forwarded to the finance committee whose chair killed it without a hearing.

SB233 would change the inscription on the Queen Liliuokalani statue to the dates of her coronation and death. The clear purpose of the bill is to twist history by giving tourists and schoolchildren the impression that Liliuokalani was never overthrown in 1893 and that she remained Queen until she died 24 years later, in 1917. Two committees scheduled a joint hearing and received testimony. See detailed testimony by Ken Conklin linking to photographic evidence that emperors, kings, queens, and presidents of at least 20 nations on 4 continents sent letters to President Sanford Dole recognizing the Republic of Hawaii as the rightful government, despite the fact that some of them had very close personal relationships with ex-queen Liliuokalani. Both committees deferred the bill indefinitely, thus killing it.

HB659 would establish a "kanaka village for the homeless" where DHHL and OHA would receive state funding for a shelter and restorative justice rehabilitation program exclusively for ethnic Hawaiians (instead of punishment or imprisonment). Sponsored by Rep. Mele Carroll. Faye Hanohano's committee scheduled a hearing and received testimony (including Ken Conklin in opposition), deferred the bill for one day, scheduled a hearing for decision-making the following week, and then deferred it indefinitely, thus killing it.


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