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Honolulu City Council resolution proposed in April 2010 to support the Akaka bill, and detailed testimony against it, and a proposed substitute resolution opposing the Akaka bill. 3 YouTube videos capture entire 29 minutes of testimony and cross examination by the Council.

In March and April, 2010, the Council for the City and County of Honolulu gave consideration to a proposed resolution "Urging the United States Congress to support the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act ('The Akaka bill')." Text of the resolution, 10-56 CD1, is provided below, followed by the testimony of Ken Conklin. The detailed testimony following an index of ten main points is quite valuable because of numerous links to internet webpages providing documentation. Thus this webpage can serve as a useful study guide for anyone who wants to learn about the Akaka bill.

At the time of this testimony the text of the Akaka bill as it passed the House of Representatives on February 23, 2010 and was awaiting floor action in the Senate is available at

The history of the Akaka bill during the 111th Congress, January 2009 through December 2010, including full text of all significant news reports and commentaries, is (being tracked) at



WHEREAS, the United States Congress passed, and the President signed, Public Law 103-150 (the Apology Law), acknowledging the illegal overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii and the need for reconciliation between the United States and Native Hawaiians; and

WHEREAS, there exists a trust relationship between the United States and Native Hawaiians; and

WHEREAS, there is need for Congress to effect a clear statement about the political status of Native Hawaiians and to recognize a Hawaiian nation; and

WHEREAS, current federal policies and laws allow greater autonomy and self-determination for native peoples with recognized native governments to administer funds and programs designed to meet the trust obligation of the United States to those peoples; and

WHEREAS, it is in the best interest of Native Hawaiians for the United States government to recognize a Hawaiian nation so as to enjoy a full government-to-government relationship with the United States;

now, therefore, BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the City and County of Honolulu that the council urges the United States Congress to support a final version of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act (“the Akaka bill”);

and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the council requests that the United States Congress and President articulate and implement a federal policy in accord with such legislation;

and BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the governor, the Hawaii Congressional delegation, the United States Congress and the President of the United States.



Aloha kakou,

'O Ken Conklin ko'u inoa, mai ke ahupua'a o He'eia, Ko'olaupoko.

I hope you have read the detailed testimony I sent you last Friday. But now I'm speaking directly to your mind and heart.

The moral basis for the Akaka bill is the apology resolution of 1993. It's a tearjerker, filled with historical falsehoods. Nevertheless, if you want to believe it, go ahead.

In the apology resolution the U.S. blames the U.S. for overthrowing the Hawaiian monarchy. If the U.S. did the crime then the U.S. should pay the restitution. But the Akaka bill lays the entire burden on the people of Hawaii, to give away huge amounts of our public lands to a phony new Indian tribe. It's the biggest unfunded federal mandate in Hawaii's history. Reject it!

This afternoon you're discussing the budget and setting the property tax rate. Suppose you were going into that meeting knowing you must cut the budget in half, or else double the tax rate, because you no longer have authority to collect taxes on the lands taken by the Akaka tribe. I'm not kidding -- that's what will happen.

I'm calling on those members of this Council who have Hawaiian native blood to recuse yourselves from Resolution 10-56 and not vote on it. Why? Because you have a huge conflict of interest. You stand to benefit greatly from establishment of the Akaka tribe. A few weeks ago you chastised a Councilman for spending government money on lunches for his family and constituents. But that was chicken feed compared to giving 2 million acres of public land to yourself and your blood brotherhood. Recuse yourselves!

Do you think it's rude of me to single out Council members because of their race? But that's the whole PURPOSE of the Akaka bill -- to single out people because of race. Those with a drop of the magic blood go over here; all others go over there. Us against them. Was my language harsh? The Akaka bill is a recipe for racial strife, and constant lawsuits over land, taxation, zoning, etc.

One final point.

Tribes are outside the authority of state and county governments to regulate campaign contributions and spending. The Akaka tribe can give millions of dollars to your political opponent, and blanket the media with ads against you. So the next time you see your future bosses, Haunani Apoliona and Robin Danner, be sure to kow-tow VERY low to them.

Mahalo ia 'oukou i kou 'oukou ho'olohe ana mai ia'u. Thanks very much for listening to me. And now I leave you with a word I hope we all can still say: Aloha!



Members of the Council, their staffers, and the public

Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.
46-255 Kahuhipa St. Apt. 1205
Kane'ohe, HI 96744
tel/fax (808) 247-7942
Website: "Hawaiian Sovereignty: Thinking Carefully About It"
Book: "Hawaiian Apartheid: Racial Separatism and Ethnic Nationalism in the Aloha State"

Aloha kakou,

Below is a quick summary of the main points of my testimony:
#1-5 are broad and general;
#6-10 are specific to the City and County of Honolulu.

The summary is actually an index. Please read the detailed testimony that follows, for complete explanations and proof to document the main points. At the end there is a proposal for a substitute resolution to replace the one currently on the agenda.


1. The Akaka bill is unconstitutional. As public officials you have taken an oath "to support and defend the Constitution of the United States." Don't support passing a law expecting (perhaps even hoping) that the courts will fix your "politically correct" mistake.

2. The Akaka bill relies heavily on the 1993 apology resolution, which is filled with historical falsehoods. Also, if the U.S. wants to apologize for something the U.S. did, then the U.S. should pay the restitution; but the Akaka bill places most of the burden of restitution on the people of Hawaii. It is a huge unfunded federal mandate. Why would you ask Congress to put more burdens on the people of Hawaii in general, and Honolulu in particular?

3. The Akaka bill is racially divisive, establishing ethnic Hawaiians as a privileged hereditary elite while everyone else gets pushed down to second-class citizenship. We are a nation of INDIVIDUALS fully equal under the law, not a nation of racial GROUPS governed by different laws and owning race-based COMMUNAL land tenures. The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has repeatedly condemned the Akaka bill.

4. The Akaka bill sets in motion the racial balkanization of America into enclaves such as a Nation of Aztlan or a Nation of New Africa.

5. The Akaka bill would create out of thin air the nation's largest Indian tribe in a place where there were no tribes before.

6. The land base of the Akaka tribe would probably be about 50% of all the lands of Hawaii (ceded lands, Bishop Estate lands, and others) to benefit about 20% of the people. Those lands are widely scattered throughout all the islands, including densely populated areas. The Akaka bill has no deadline for final settlement of historical grievances or land claims. There will be unending demands for additional lands and revenues, producing unending lawsuits and racial strife.

7. Zoning regulation, traffic law, police authority, labor-management law, etc. would be thrown into chaos because people and businesses in the same neighborhoods (even right across the street) would be operating under different laws enforced by different police departments and adjudicated in different court systems. Tribes and their businesses cannot be sued and their contracts cannot be enforced except in tribal courts.

8. The state's income tax base and the county's property tax base would be drastically lowered because tribal members and lands are outside the jurisdiction of state and county taxation. Either you'll have to double the taxes paid by all non-Hawaiians, or else cut services and fire half your employees.

9. The Akaka bill is supported primarily by Hawaii's powerful, wealthy, race-based institutions and their employees; but is opposed by most of Hawaii's people and probably opposed by most ethnic Hawaiians.

10. As elected officials you need to know that state and local laws governing campaign contributions and political advertising do not apply to a tribe. The tribe can contribute unlimited amounts of money to your opponent and blanket the media with ads against you. So when Haunani Apoliona or Robin Danner summons you to appear at tribal headquarters, be sure to bow VERY low!

Mahalo ia 'oukou i ko 'oukou heluhelu ana mai i ko'u mana'o. Thank you very much for reading my testimony. Aloha.



1. Unconstitutionality

The U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 8, says "Congress shall have the Power To ... "regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes ..." However, Congress does not have the power to create new Indian tribes out of thin air.

In 1913 the Supreme Court ruled that the government can treat the Pueblo Indians as though they are an Indian tribe, but only because they historically behaved as a tribe; however, "it is not meant by this [decision] that Congress may bring a community or body of people within the range of this power by arbitrarily calling them an Indian tribe ...." United States v. Sandoval, 231 U.S. 28 (1913).

The Menominee tribe in Wisconsin had been federally recognized, was terminated in 1961, and re-recognized in the 1970s because it had kept a corporate identity in Wisconsin during the intervening period and federal Indian policy had changed. That is not an example of Congress creating a new tribe where one did not previously exist.

25 CFR 83.7 specifies 7 mandatory criteria, all of which must be satisfied by a group of Indians before the Bureau of Indian Affairs can grant them federal acknowledgment as a tribe. A webpage lists the 7 criteria, along with examples of Indian groups that were denied recognition for failing to satisfy even a single criterion, and a discussion of why ethic Hawaiians fail the test. Being racially Indian is far from sufficient. There must be a history of continuous self-governance where the group's own leaders have exercised substantial authority over its members from before European contact continuously until the present, and the group has continued to live primarily separate and apart from the surrounding community of non-Indians. See

Here are a few other places where the Akaka tribe falls short of Constitutional requirements; although full analysis would be too lengthy for this testimony:

Titles of Nobility. Art. I, Sec 9. No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States; Sec 10. No State shall … grant any Title of Nobility.

Impairment of Contracts. Art. I, Sec 10. No State shall … pass any … Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts.

Republican form of government. Art. IV Sec 4. The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government.

Supremacy Clause. Art. VI. The Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof … shall be the Supreme law of the Land.

Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. Sec. 1, No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any 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.

Equal Protection Clause of 5th Amendment. Nor [shall any person] be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law. (Equal protection by U.S. is implied in 5th Amendment “due process” clause.)

15th Amendment. 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.


2. Apology resolution falsehoods, and who should pay any restitution which might be owed.

Hawaii Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand (Essay by nationally respected Constitutional lawyer Bruce Fein, as printed In the Congressional Record of June 14, 15, and 16 of 2005 by unanimous consent, by request of Senator Kyl). The June 14 portion is headed "THE 1993 APOLOGY RESOLUTION IS RIDDLED WITH FALSEHOODS AND MISCHARACTERIZATIONS" which are then described; while the June 15 section includes an analysis of the Akaka bill and why it is unconstitutional; with further historical analysis in the June 16 section. All sections are gathered at

HAWAIIAN REPARATIONS: NOTHING LOST, NOTHING OWED by Patrick W. Hanifin, esq.; Hawaii Bar Journal, XVII, 2 (1982)

A careful, lengthy, point-by-point analysis of the bill by attorney Paul M. Sullivan, updated August 2009 for S.1011 and H.R.2314, in the 111th Congress, including cartoons by Daryl Cagle:

What Does the United States Owe to Native Hawaiians? Two reports commissioned by Congress contain the answers, which are directly applicable to the Akaka bill. The Morgan Report (U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, 1894, 808 pages) concluded the U.S. did not conspire with the revolutionists to overthrow the Hawaiian monarchy, and did not help them while it was underway. The Native Hawaiians Study Commission was delivered to Senate and House committees in 1983, and concluded there is no historical, legal, or moral obligation for the United States to provide race-based benefits, group rights, or political sovereignty to ethnic Hawaiians.

"Feds to Hawaii: We did the crime, now you do the time. Two unfunded federal mandates single out Hawaii: Micronesian healthcare and Akaka bill."

If you think ethnic Hawaiians have gotten a bad deal and have historical grievances that should be addressed, just who do you think should give redress for those grievances? You? Your family? The U.S. Congress passed an apology resolution in 1993 blaming the U.S. for the revolution of 1893 that overthrew the Hawaiian Kingdom. Well then, let the U.S. pay for whatever wrongs the U.S. thinks it committed. But the Akaka bill places the entire burden of paying restitution on the people of Hawaii -- including especially the citizens of Honolulu. We're supposed to give up our public lands, destroy our tax base, and shrink our jurisdiction just because the feds say so.

The Akaka bill would be the biggest unfunded federal mandate ever to hit Hawaii.

Why would you ask Congress to put more burdens on the people of Hawaii in general, and Honolulu in particular?


3. Racial divisiveness; individual rights vs. group rights; U.S. Commission on Civil Rights opposes Akaka bill

The Akaka bill is racially divisive, giving superior rights to 20% of Hawaii's people at the expense of the other 80% who would then become second-class citizens. Members of the Akaka tribe would have racially exclusionary ownership of, and legal jurisdiction over, huge portions of Hawaii's lands, at the expense of citizens of Hawaii who lack a drop of the magic blood. The bill pits "us against them", even cousin against cousin. At the same time as ethnic Hawaiians have voting rights in their tribe where the rest of us cannot vote, and racially exclusionary land ownership rights in their tribal lands where the rest of us cannot own land and perhaps cannot travel without a permit, they also continue to have full voting rights and property rights throughout all the rest of Hawaii.

Ethnic Hawaiians would sit on both sides of the negotiating table when we decide how to carve up Hawaii -- they would vote for tribal leaders and also vote for State Legislators who will negotiate against the tribe. Imagine Clayton Hee as State Senator (and former long-time Chair of OHA), on one side of the table; negotiating against Haunani Apoliona, current Chair of OHA, on the other side of the table. Do you think Hee would protect the rights of non-Hawaiians against the demands of his brotherhood of the blood?

U.S. Commission on Civil Rights -- Report Opposing the Akaka bill, May 4, 2006

Letter from the U.S. Commission on Civil rights explaining why it opposes the Akaka bill, on official letterhead, dated August 28, 2009, with signatures, can be seen at

Monday February 22, 2010: Five Commissioners of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights wrote a letter to Congressional leaders reaffirming the USCCR letter of August 28, 2009 opposing the Akaka bill. The new letter also opposes the secretive process whereby the new, amended version was adopted which is now opposed by Governor Lingle and Attorney General Bennett. The letter of February 22, 2010, including signatures of the 5 Commissionsers, can be seen at


4. The Akaka bill sets in motion the racial balkanization of America into enclaves such as a Nation of Aztlan or a Nation of New Africa.

The following three paragraphs may sound to people in the Southwestern U.S. like the viewpoint of MEChA or Nation of Aztlan; and they may sound to people of Hawai'i like the viewpoint of Hawaiian sovereignty activists. Actually these are the views of both groups, and are similar to the views of other ethnic nationalist movements in America.

The activists claim to be indigenous to a certain area because they have at least one ancestor who lived somewhere in that area (in a range of hundreds of miles) prior to Western contact. Although someone's percentage of native blood may be very small, he nevertheless claims to be an aboriginal, indigenous, native person of that area.

The history of that area following Western contact goes something like this: Natives suffer extreme population decline (some call it genocide) because of newly introduced Western diseases. Gradually white people of European and American ancestry arrive in increasing numbers, and "impose" their culture, religion, language, legal system, money economy, and private property ownership, "forcing" the native people to assimilate to this strange new way of life. The white people bring in other non-natives, from Asia and Africa, as laborers. Eventually white people end up owning most of the property and running most of the government. Other non-white immigrants also get well-established. Natives end up at the bottom of society. At some point the U.S. stages an armed invasion to support a total takeover by the white oligarchy. After a few years or a few decades the area is officially annexed by the United States and sooner or later becomes a state.

But in recent years a growing awareness of historical heritage produces special pride in people who have any degree of native ancestry. Some people of native ancestry choose to identify more closely with their native ancestors than with their other ancestors, even when their native blood quantum is very small. An activist's pride in his native ancestry is accompanied by anger at historical injustices committed by his own white, Asian, or African ancestors against his native ancestors. The newly self-proclaimed indigenous people demand the right to self-determination, nationhood, and reparations from the United States for the "crimes" committed against them more than a century ago.

Ethnic Hawaiian activists might think the above three paragraphs describe themselves. But no. Those paragraphs describe people who have at least one ancestor of Mexican-Indian blood. The area where they live is not the State of Hawai'i, but rather the States of California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas; and perhaps parts of other nearby states. As anyone who has studied American history knows, the lands of those states were formerly part of Mexico, and were obtained as a result of military conquest in a war with Mexico, or through treaty or purchase. And before the Spanish conquest and creation of Mexico those lands belonged to the indigenous people who lived there (especially the Aztecs), and whose descendants still live there today. The immigrants who came and took over the land, and the newer immigrants who came since then, freely chose to come (except for African slaves dragged there by their owners), and freely chose their new nationality as Americans. But the surviving "natives" of today never chose to be invaded or engulfed by a foreign culture or nation. Some radicals among them say they owe no allegiance to the United States, and they assert "indigenous rights" under "international law" to self-governance and independence.

For detailed discussion, see webpage: Hawaiian Nationalism, Chicano Nationalism, Black Nationalism, Indian Tribes, and Reparations -- The Native Hawaiian Recognition Bill Sets a Precedent for the Balkanization of America

In 2009 the U.S. Senate and U.S. House each passed a resolution apologizing to African-Americans for slavery (just as in 1993 the Congress passed a joint resolution apologizing to ethnic Hawaiians for the revolution which overthrew the Hawaiian monarchy). Should Congress now therefore create a federally recognized tribe of New Africa and give them huge pieces of America as reparations?

Would it be good to round up all 40 million African-Americans, defined by the one-drop rule, and declare that they are a tribe with the power to create a racially exclusionary government and negotiate for money, land, and legal jurisdiction? Would that be good for America? Would it be good for African-Americans? Would it be consistent with the dream of Martin Luther King? Or does it sound more like a nightmare?

The racial divisiveness of the Akaka bill would be 50% more devastating for Hawaii than the creation of the African-American tribe would be for all of America. Here's why. According to the U.S. Census American Community Survey for the most recent 3-year period (2005-2007), 13.1% of all the people of America are at least partly African-American. And about 20% of the people of Hawaii are at least partly native Hawaiian. Thus the impact the Akaka tribe would have on Hawaii is 50% more devastating and divisive than the impact on America of creating an African-American tribe, because the percentage of Hawaii's people who are ethnic Hawaiian is 50% larger than the percentage of the U.S. population who are African-Americans, all according to the same one-drop rule used in the Akaka bill.


5. The Akaka bill would create out of thin air the nation's largest Indian tribe in a place where there were no tribes before.

In U.S. Census 2000, more than 400,000 people nationwide checked the box for "Native Hawaiian." If the Hawaiian bill passes, the newly recognized "tribe" would instantly become the largest tribe in America, competing against genuine tribes for government handouts. A spreadsheet created from Census 2000 data shows 240,000 "Native Hawaiians" comprising about 20% of Hawaii's population; plus 60,000 in California, plus another 100,000 scattered among the remaining 48 states.

A population study in September 2005 projects nearly a million "Native Hawaiians" by year 2050. (a) Do we want an Akaka tribe on the federal dole with a million members? (b) "Native Hawaiians" are clearly not a dying race; (c) Population bomb as a political weapon: "Native Hawaiian" activist professor urges "her people" to double in 20 years rather than 50, in order to grab majority power sooner.


6. The land base of the Akaka tribe would probably include half the lands of Hawaii, which are widely scattered throughout all the islands, including densely populated areas. This will create jurisdictional chaos and racial strife.

Here is a map showing the federal lands (409,939 acres), state ceded lands (1,274,886 acres), and Hawaiian homelands (203,000 acres) that are on the negotiating table to be given to the Akaka tribe. Note that this does not include the Bishop Estate (Kamehameha Schools) lands.

The Akaka bill has no deadline for final settlement of historical grievances or land claims. There will be unending demands for additional lands and revenues. In addition there will always be unexpected demands for access to non-tribal lands for gathering rights, water rights, and visitation to ancestral burials.


7. Zoning regulation, traffic law, police authority, labor-management law, etc. would be thrown into chaos because people and businesses in the same neighborhoods (even right across the street) would be operating under different laws enforced by different police departments and adjudicated in different court systems. Tribes and their businesses cannot be sued and their contracts cannot be enforced except in tribal courts.

Liquor stores, gas stations, tobacco shops, porn shops, perhaps even casinos can open up right next door to non-Akaka lands where ordinary citizens are living and ordinary businesses are trying to survive, because the tribe can do anything it wants with its lands and you are unable to sue them due to tribal sovereignty.

Governor Lingle, Attorney General Bennett, and Congressional candidates Case and Djou, have supported previous versions of the bill but now say they oppose the current version because it is too dangerous to the sovereignty and jurisdiction of the State of Hawaii and its land holdings. Governor Lingle's statement of February 22, 2010 says, among other things:

"I]n the current version of the bill, the ‘governmental’ (non-commercial) activities of the Native Hawaiian governing entity, its employees, and its officers, will be almost completely free from State and County regulation, including free from those laws and rules that protect the health and safety of Hawai‘i's people, and protect the environment. ’Governmental’ activity is a broad undefined term that can encompass almost any non-commercial activity. This structure will, in my opinion, promote divisiveness and litigation, rather than negotiation and resolution."

Lingle continues: “I do not believe such a structure, of two completely different sets of rules – one for ‘governmental’ activities of the Native Hawaiian governing entity and its officers and employees, and one for everyone else – makes sense for Hawai‘i. In addition, under the current bill, the Native Hawaiian governing entity has almost complete sovereign immunity from lawsuits, including from ordinary tort and contract lawsuits, and I do not believe this makes sense for the people of Hawai‘i." Governor Lingle's complete statement is on the Governor's official website, The direct link to the statement is:

Attorney General Bennett's letter of December 15, 2009 to the House committee that handled the Akaka bill describes in detail some of the legal issues that caused him to oppose the then-new version which has now been passed by the House and is pending in the Senate. Bennett's letter, on official stationery, is at

In reality the current radical version is what OHA, and Senators Akaka and Inouye, have always been seeking. They have always said Native Hawaiians should have full parity with the mainland Indian tribes. It is beyond naive, and perhaps disingenuous, for anyone to imagine that the Akaka tribe, once recognized under any version of the Akaka bill, would remain confined to any powers less robust than the current version.

Dr. Frankenstein should not have been surprised when the monster he created, having come to life, refused to stay strapped down to the gurney in the laboratory and broke free to go on a rampage through town! Regardless whether a heavily restricted tribe would inevitably morph into the monster which the current version of the Akaka bill would establish, the current version of the bill is the one which this resolution would in fact endorse; and therefore Councilman Djou and all others concerned for the future of CC Honolulu must oppose it.

If the Akaka bill passes, it would have disastrous effects on local businesses and local communities. Some of those effects are described on a webpage, including a compilation of articles by business owners and property owners in areas of the U.S. mainland impacted by tribes, such as upstate New York.

See also "The "Perfect Title" scam. How Keanu Sai disrupted the land title and mortgage banking system for more than a year; how he established himself as Regent pro-tem of the Hawaiian Kingdom and made big bucks doing title searches and filing warranty deeds at the Bureau of Conveyances"

Neighbors Living Under Different Laws -- Example of State Sex Offender Registry. The bottom half of this webpage is devoted to the State of Hawai'i sex offender registry, and why a court ruling in Minnesota might make that registry useless for keeping track of more than half the sex offenders in Waimanalo (and presumably many other areas) if the Akaka bill passes. Names and addresses of sex offenders, and assessed valuations of their houses on which they pay no taxes (Hawaiian homeland), were provided. The court ruling in Minnesota provides a loophole for registered sex offenders who are members of the future Akaka tribe to escape the requirement to be on the sex offender registry. In effect, Waimanalo Hawaiian Homeland (and every other Hawaiian homeland) would become a pu'uhonua moehewa -- a refuge where sex offenders could go to live anonymously, unknown to their non-native neighbors just a block or two away, and conveniently close to an elementary school.


8. The state's income tax base and the county's property tax base would be drastically lowered because tribal members and lands are outside the jurisdiction of state and county taxation.

Highly taxed, highly regulated businesses and homeowners will live in the same neighborhood -- maybe right next door -- to untaxed and unregulated ones. Guess who will win the competition? Guess what will happen to the tax base of the City and County of Honolulu when all the lands and businesses of the tribe go untaxed and unregulated, while the highly taxed and regulated ones go out of business because they cannot compete.

Please do not imagine that the State of Hawaii will protect the Counties against the depredations of the Akaka tribe. The State will negotiate with the Akaka tribe over how to carve up the lands and tax base of Hawaii -- but the counties will not have a seat at the table. Remember that during the Legislature's session of 2010 the State tried to grab the entire hotel room tax which formerly was a big part of County revenue. Remember that there was serious talk that the Legislature would confiscate for the State all the accumulated revenue from the extra half-percent excise tax imposed in Honolulu to support the long-delayed rail transit plan. If the State thinks it can grab the hotel tax and the special excise tax collected by Honolulu for a Honolulu-specific project, then you must certainly realize the State will not protect the County against demands by the Akaka tribe. Indeed, the State is likely to give away County assets to the tribe as bargaining chips to preserve State assets.

The Akaka Bill: What Tribal Sovereignty Would Mean to Hawaii
By Lyle Beckwith
Senior Vice President of Government Relations for the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS)

In 2009 the Grassroot Institute released a major study by the Beacon Hill Institute (of the Economics Department of Suffolk University, Boston) entitled "The Economic Impact of the Akaka Bill: Unintended Consequences for Hawaii." which estimates that the Akaka bill could cost the state up to $690 million per year in lost revenue. And that does not include losses of property taxes or excise taxes (as the CC Honolulu rail tax) to the county governments. There may be a transfer of state-owned lands to persons designated as native Hawaiians to the detriment of non-Native Hawaiian taxpayers and, correspondingly, to the state economy. The resulting tax increases would have large, negative impacts on the state's economy leading to a possible reduction of 20,793 private sector jobs, a loss of $417.2 million in investment and a loss of $1,461 in real per-capita disposable personal income annually. The full report in pdf format can be downloaded here:


9. The Akaka bill is supported primarily by Hawaii's powerful, wealthy, race-based institutions and their employees; but is opposed by most of Hawaii's people and probably opposed by most ethnic Hawaiians.

This bill is not about making right a historical wrong, re-establishing a nation overthrown with U.S. help, rehabilitating a poor downtrodden group, giving self-determination to an indigenous people, preserving Hawaiian culture, etc. Those reasons are merely a smokescreen to cover a naked grab for money, land, and power.

The State of Hawai’i power structure, including virtually all politicians of both political parties, strongly support the Akaka bill. They fear that without it there will be a major reallocation of financial and political power away from the current race-based programs and the bloated bureaucracies that feed off them. Needy people would then receive help based on need alone instead of race, and they would go to race-neutral government and private institutions. Wealthy ethnic Hawaiians (and there are many of them) would no longer receive government freebies at all, while scarce government resources would flow more equitably to needy people of all ethnic groups. The resulting changes in political and economic power would cause those now profiting from the existing system to lose influence. The size and cost of government could be reduced due to greater efficiencies from having just one set of service providers instead of parallel race-based structures.

Below is documentation for what has been said. Interestingly, much of the documentation comes from advocates pushing the bill, including top officials of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA). When Akaka bill supporters speak to nationwide audiences, including Senators and Congressmen, they use high-sounding language about indigenous rights to self-determination, correcting historical injustices, preserving a beautiful culture, etc. But when they speak to ethnic Hawaiians, they use scare tactics about the urgency of protecting the entitlement programs against legal challenges; and when they speak to the general population of Hawai’i they focus on the huge amounts of money flowing into Hawai’i from the entitlement programs. Selfish demands for money and power are normal in ethnic politics. But this time the advocates are so outrageously selfish they are willing to rip apart Hawai’i’s rainbow society and produce permanent political instability.

Today a whole generation have grown up addicted to getting goodies through racially exclusionary agencies. It should come as no surprise when folks identify more closely with their race than with their citizenship in America, or when they proclaim only the Hawaiian portion of their ancestry, diminishing or ignoring their other heritages. Let's be clear -- addiction to government entitlement programs is like addiction to drugs. It damages both the recipients and the larger society. Taking away the drugs is the loving thing to do, even if the addict screams in anger.

An article published in 2003 begins with the above paragraphs, and then provides documentation for the following: On February 24, 2003 OHA opened its new lobbying office in Washington D.C. On May 24, 2003 the Honolulu Advertiser reported that OHA has hired a major Washington D.C. lobbying firm for a 2003 retainer fee of $450,000. The Akaka bill would protect not only the entitlement programs but also a $500 Million sole-source contract for cable wiring for the Hawaiian “homelands,” funded by the federal Rural Utilities Services program, involving nepotism and interlocking administrative boards among OHA, DHHL, and Kamehameha Schools. A primary author of the bill stands to gain from a clause explicitly allowing nepotism, included in the latest version of the bill and also an earlier version. Wealthy ethnic Hawaiians who got free land for homes in an exclusive upscale urban “homestead” also stand to gain. On February 28, 2001 the Honolulu Advertiser reported that OHA had approved up to $9 Million for advertising and lobbying on behalf of the Akaka bill. See: "Native Hawaiian Recognition Bill -- How Pork Barrel Politics Is Splintering the Rainbow"

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

Testimony of Professor Rubellite Kawena Kinney Johnson (highly esteemed native Hawaiian kupuna) opposing S.147, Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization bill, delivered to U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs for hearing on March 1, 2005

A webpage was published in 2006 entitled "Akaka Bill -- Roundup of Evidence Showing Most Hawaii People and Most Ethnic Hawaiians Oppose It" And that covered only the period from 2000 to 2006. There were scientific surveys in both 2005 and 2006 which phoned every household in Hawaii having a listed telephone number and, on both occasions, 67% who responded opposed the Akaka bill. Details of the questions and response data are provided. Several polls were done by the Honolulu and Maui newspapers with similar results. Surveys by Ward Research and the newspapers asked people to rank the importance of various goals and government programs -- both ethnic Hawaiians and the general population ranked healthcare, housing, education, and even traffic congestion as being far more important than the last-place item: nationhood or sovereignty for ethnic Hawaiians. After 5 years and untold millions of dollars for advertising and free T-shirts, only about 1/4 of ethnic Hawaiians have bothered to sign up on the racial registry "Kau Inoa" which might serve as an initial membership roll for the Akaka tribe. The roundup of evidence up to 2006 is at

Most recently the highly respected Zogby polling company released on December 15, 2009 poll results showing that a majority of Hawaii's people oppose the Akaka bill, and an even larger majority want the bill to be placed on the ballot for a vote. Text of all the questions, and the detailed results, are at


10. As elected officials you need to know that state and local laws governing campaign contributions and political advertising do not apply to a tribe, because it has sovereignty.

On the mainland, tribes routinely contribute unlimited amounts of money to candidates they favor, and blanket the media with ads against those who stand up against them.

So when Haunani Apoliona or Robin Danner summons you to appear at tribal headquarters, be sure to bow VERY low!

Only a couple years ago there was a major scandal, leading to Congressional hearings, about tribes paying millions of dollars to sleazy political lobbyists to do lobbying and pay bribes to get legislation passed. Dare I remind you of the name of Jack Abramoff?

Perhaps some members of this County Council have already been approached by lobbyists for OHA or DHHL regarding zoning and land development for the big new projects in Kaka'ako, Kapolei, and elsewhere. Perhaps you are aware of interlocking directorates among OHA, DHHL, Kamehameha Schools, Sandwich Isle Communications, and various banks, PBS Hawaii and other media, etc. OHA, an agency of the state government, already refuses to comply with freedom-of-information demands for information about advertising and lobbying expenses. If OHA were a federally recognized tribe, it could refuse any subpoena from the state or any county. Remember the "pay to play" scandals a few years ago concerning CC Honolulu government contracting? That sort of thing is "business as usual" for mainland tribes. It's difficult to discover such corruption because tribal sovereignty makes a tribe's finances as secret as a parishioner's confession to a priest.



WHEREAS, the Akaka bill is heavily based on a 1993 apology resolution which is filled with historical falsehoods and misinterpretations; and

WHEREAS, there were no committee hearings or public testimony on the apology resolution in either the House or the Senate where history or current circumstances could be debated and resolved; and

WHEREAS, the apology resolution blames the U.S. for the Hawaiian revolution of 1893 which overthrew the monarchy, but the Akaka bill would impose most of the cost of reparations upon the people of Hawaii in the form of transfers of public lands to the Akaka tribe and resulting loss of state and county resources and tax base; and

WHEREAS, the lands likely to be claimed by the Akaka tribe are widely scattered throughout all areas of the islands including densely populated areas, and are likely to be about 50% of all Hawaii lands; and

WHEREAS, the jigsaw, checkerboard distribution of tribal lands and tribal members would create horrendous jurisdictional conflicts, lawsuits, and racial strife; and

WHEREAS, most people with Hawaiian native blood have low percentage of native blood quantum and are thoroughly assimilated and interspersed throughout all neighborhoods; and

WHEREAS, since August 2000 there have been no public hearings on the Akaka bill by Congress in the Hawaiian islands where local people could testify; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has repeatedly warned Congress that the Akaka bill is unconstitutional and racist; and

WHEREAS, the highly respected Zogby company released poll results on December 2009 showing that a majority of Hawaii's people oppose the Akaka bill and an even larger majority want local hearings on the bill and want a ballot question asking whether they approve the bill; and

WHEREAS, those eligible to join the Akaka tribe comprise 20% of Hawaii's population, while no other state has such a large proportion of its people who are racially Indian or eligible to join any particular tribe; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the City and County of Honolulu that the council urges the United States Congress to defeat the Akaka bill resoundingly so as to discourage any repeated introduction of it; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the council requests that the United States Congress pass a resolution that it will not give further consideration to the Akaka bill until after there have been Congressional hearings in Hawaii where all Hawaii people who wish to testify can do so, and until all such testimony has been provided to the entire Congress; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the council requests that if the United States Congress passes the Akaka bill, it does so only after including a requirement that the bill cannot take effect until after a question has been placed on the ballot in a State of Hawaii election asking whether the people approve the specific version of the bill passed by Congress; and the question must pass according to the same requirements as if it were an amendment to the Constitution of the State of Hawaii; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the governor, the Hawaii Congressional delegation, the United States Congress and the President of the United States.



On April 21, 2010 the Honolulu City Council considered a resolution to support the Akaka bill. Presumably OHA or the Congressional delegation asked for the resolution as a way to persuade Congress there is local support for the bill (even though the recent Zogby poll shows a majority oppose it).

The full Honolulu City Council, with all nine members in attendance, spent 29 minutes hearing testimony from four people, asking questions of two of them, and giving their own views.

The Council meeting was televised live on 'Olelo. The 29 minute segment on the Akaka resolution was recorded on a home DVD, and then divided into three ten-minute videos which were uploaded to YouTube. Those three videos include some fascinating and controversial dialog, and can be viewed by following the links provided below.

Only four of the Council members asked questions or expressed opinions while the other five sat in silence.

There was a lengthy cooperative dialog between Council member Gary Okino and testifier Ken Conklin which clarified many practical issues such as the fragmentation of conflicting jurisdictional authority between the widely scattered lands of the Akaka tribe vs. the lands remaining under control of the state and county; and how the county would need to drastically cut its budget or raise property taxes when huge amounts of land are taken by the tribe and no longer taxable.

There was spirited but respectful debate between Council member Ikaika Anderson and Ken Conklin regarding Hawaiian history; most notably on the issue that the Kingdom was multiracial but the Akaka tribe requires Hawaiian native blood for membership; the question whether the Kingdom could have been built and consolidated without massive Caucasian and Asian input; and the question whether the Akaka tribe would be acceptable from a civil rights standpoint if it were re-defined to include all descendants of Hawaiian Kingdom subjects (citizens) from before 1893 regardless of race.

Testimony was limited to one minute per person unless there were questions. During her very brief but effective testimony Sandra Puanani Burgess noted that the Honolulu rail project would be impacted by demands from the Akaka tribe for money in case any portion of the train passes through tribal lands. She cited the example of the Niagra Mohawk electric power company whose transmission lines pass through a few miles of a remote undeveloped corner of the Seneca tribe's reservation; yet the tribe demanded $60 Million in payment. Although Mrs. Burgess did not have time to tell the story about OHA's similar demands for ceded land revenues, we all will surely remember that OHA filed a lawsuit and also legislation demanding megabucks in royalties equal to 20% of the sales at the Duty Free Shop in Waikiki -- on the theory that purchases from DFS are delivered to tourists as they board their planes at the airport, and a portion of the reef runway passes through ceded lands from which OHA claims entitlement to 20% of gross revenues.

Council member Rod Tam said he would vote in favor of the resolution to support the Akaka bill because the U.S. admitted its guilt in overthrowing the monarchy and restitution is owed to Native Hawaiians. He said the missionaries had stolen not only native lands but also lands owned by Hawaii's ethnic Chinese people, most notably the lands owned by his great-grandfather. The Mission Houses Museum and Hawaiian Mission Children's Society have been sent a link to the video with Mr. Tam's comments in case they might be able to help him understand more about history.

Council member Romy Cachola repeatedly asked for clarification of the testimony of Ms. Leimomi Khan, who spoke in her capacity as President of the Association of (Native) Hawaiian Civic Clubs. Ms. Khan had testified that the Civic Clubs support the resolution and the Akaka bill. Mr. Cachola noted that there are differences of opinion among Native Hawaiians over the Akaka bill, and asked whether the Civic Clubs had taken a vote and how many voted each way. Ms. Khan was unable to provide that information, although she said it was a majority. She paused to do the arithmetic out loud, saying that 58 (the number of clubs) divided by 2 is 29, so presumably at least 29 clubs were in support of the Akaka bill.

At the end of the third video Council Chair Todd Apo gaveled through passage of the resolution in just a few seconds without actually taking a recorded vote, noting that there was only one objection (from Council member Gary Okino). Thus, presumably, the "vote" was 8-1 in favor. It happened so fast that when Council Chair Apo called the next item on the agenda, one bewildered observer said "Huh? What happened? Did they vote?"

Council member Charles Djou is a candidate for Congress in the special election to fill the remaining time of Neil Abercrombie's term. In his campaign Mr. Djou has repeatedly stated that he opposes the current version of the Akaka bill because it is too radical, but that he favors the general concept of the bill as expressed in earlier versions. But he sat silent throughout the 29 minute Council discussion and "voted" in favor of the resolution even though it clearly sends a message to Congress to pass the Akaka bill (right now, in its present version). Mr. Djou made no attempt to amend the resolution to deplore the current version.

Likewise, Council member Ikaika Anderson and some other members have said they would like to see local testimony on the Akaka bill, and perhaps a vote by Hawaii's people on a referendum; but there was no attempt to amend the resolution to express those concerns.

The three 10-minute videos of the 29-minute Honolulu City Council testimony and discussion on the Akaka bill are arranged from left to right in the correct order at

Each of the three parts has its own URL link provided below, along with brief descriptions of the contents.

Part 1: 9 minutes 53 seconds
Ken Conklin testifies on Akaka bill and responds to questions from Councilman Gary Okino regarding fracturing of land and jurisdiction, and differences between mainland and Hawaii. Example of state Senator Clayton Hee vs. former OHA Chair Clayton Hee sitting on both sides of negotiating table when deciding how to divide the lands of Hawaii between the state and the tribe.

Part 2: 9 minutes 22 seconds
Councilman Okino discusses public opinion on Akaka bill; Conklin and Councilman Ikaika Anderson debate Hawaiian Kingdom history and role of non-natives in multiracial society; testifier Sandra Puanani Burgess opposes bill and describes mainland tribe extortion of money from electric company whose power lines cross tribal reservation; testifier Tom Peterson opposes bill and describes existing racial strife; testifier Leimomi Khan supports bill speaking as President of Association of (Native) Hawaiian Civic Clubs.

Part 3: 8 minutes 47 seconds
Discussion among Honolulu City Council members Gary Okino, Rod Tam, and Romy Cachola about Akaka bill; Tam claims that missionaries stole Chinese lands as well as native lands; Cachola asks for more information from Ms. Khan about disagreements among the Civic Clubs over Akaka bill but she doesn't know how many voted in support or opposition to it.

A webpage includes: full text of the Council resolution 10-56 supporting the Akaka bill; Ken Conklin's planned oral testimony and detailed written testimony opposing it; and text of a substitute resolution suggested by Ken Conklin to oppose the Akaka bill. See

For those who want more audio and/or video files about the Akaka bill, there are twelve audios, six of which are accompanied by corresponding videos, at

Those files include major speeches by civil rights activist Jere Krischel and Hawaiian independence activist Leon Siu, given at an Akaka bill debate sponsored by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. The remaining audios and videos are each one minute long, focusing on people with no native blood who would be excluded by the Akaka bill but who contributed in major ways to the Kingdom of Hawaii, or to the perpetuation of Hawaiian culture today; such as John Young, Saint Damien, Mau Piailug, and others.


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(c) Copyright 2010 Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. All rights reserved