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Honolulu mayoral debate September 9, 2008 shows the power of OHA and the danger of the Akaka bill

What did the televised Honolulu mayoral debate on September 9 have to do with the Akaka bill? Plenty! It clearly showed the heavy influence already exercised by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) in local politics. OHA was sole sponsor of the debate, and its heavy-handed presence was felt in the flags on stage, the choice of journalists, sole control of a segment of questioning, and TV commercials broadcast during breaks.

This mayoral debate was reminiscent of the OHA-sponsored gubernatorial debate in 2002, held on Friday night immediately before the Tuesday election, during which candidates Mazie Hirono and Linda Lingle competed to see who would be more enthisiastic about supporting the Akaka bill and handing over money to OHA in the meantime. Lingle pledged to support the Akaka bill, and since then used that campaign pledge as her main excuse for her zealous advocacy of it.

Suppose the Akaka bill passes and there are negotiations to fork over huge chunks of Hawaii's (and Honolulu's) land, money, and jurisdictional authority to the racially exclusionary Akaka tribe. The 20% of Hawaii citizens who are also members of the tribe will then sit on both sides of the negotiating table -- they will be a major voting bloc in setting the negotiating position of state and local governments. No other state has 20% of its population who are members of any Indian tribe. Indeed, no other state has 20% of its population composed of members of all its Indian tribes combined.

There's already a heavy political influence by OHA and other powerful ethnic Hawaiian institutions including Department of Hawaiian Homelands, Kaho'olawe Island Reserve Commission, Kamehameha Schools, the Hawaiian civic clubs, Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation, etc. At least a dozen of the 51 members of the House are members of the Native Hawaiian caucus. Senator Clayton Hee served many years as an OHA trustee, including most of those years as Chairman. Senator Kalani English is known among the Hawaiian secessionists to be their supporter, and there are rumors that he refuses to recite, or stand for, the Pledge of Allegiance. OHA already owns the entire Waimea Valley on O'ahu, given to it by a public-private consortium that included millions of dollars paid by the County of Honolulu. OHA owns 40 square miles on Hawaii Island in Waokele O Puna; and many other assets including daily two-hour drive-time radio programs spewing racist propaganda. OHA is already growing its Evil Empire by acquiring assets [1] and is implementing a plan to create an Akaka tribe even if the Akaka bill itself never becomes law. [2]

The 90-minute mayoral debate on September 9 was the only debate to be televised. It was the only debate with a panel of well-known journalists asking questions. Anyone watching that debate would immediately see the following:

* The debate had only one sponsor -- OHA.

* One member of the panel of journalists asking questions was Lee Cataluna, Honolulu Advertiser columnist who often writes on ethnic Hawaiian political or cultural topics and whose father is OHA trustee Don Cataluna (Kaua'i seat).

* OHA was given a segment of the debate under its sole control when OHA honchos in the audience asked carefully scripted special-interest questions such as "Do you support the Akaka bill?"

* The only commercials broadcast during breaks in the 90 minute program were OHA brand-recognition commercials [3]

* OHA trustee Oswald Stender was the only person appearing as host on TV during the breaks.

* The huge baskets of flowers on the floor in front of the candidates contained only bright red flowers. (The candidate favored by OHA is current mayor Mufi Hannemann, whose campaign color is red. Also, OHA's Kau Inoa racial registry T-shirts are red. Hawaiian activists have used red shirts during marches and demonstrations to stress the blood bond that unites them.)

* Three very large Hawaiian flags were positioned behind the three candidates, and a fourth Hawaiian flag was behind the panel of journalists. But there was no American flag. This deployment of flags clearly shows the secessionist attitude of OHA and the supporters of the Akaka bill. Every red-shirt march (with as many as 20,000 marchers) has featured dozens or even hundreds of Hawaiian flags and zero American flags. [4]. The total absence of the American flag in the OHA-sponsored debate contrasts sharply with the debate sponsored by the hotel-workers' union the following day on September 10 in Kaka'ako where the Hawaiian flag and the U.S. flag were both prominently displayed, as is customary (film clips were shown in TV news reports).

OHA trustee Walter Heen, on page 27 of the current OHA monthly newspaper for September 2008, did not hesitate to express his secessionist attitude. When reading the following quote, remember that Mr. Heen served for many years as a judge and as Chairman of the Hawaii Democrat Party, where this attitude undoubtedly colored his decisions and his political work: "The United States will never voluntarily give up hegemony over our Islands. And there is no one in the world who can force them to do so. I have reminded the radicals that the civil war was fought to prevent any state from seceding from the union. And the national government will use armed force again if necessary. OUR IMMEDIATE GOAL IS TO TAKE WHAT WE CAN NOW WHILE CONTINUING TO PRESS FOR MORE. AS ONE RADICAL SAID RECENTLY, 'I WILL TAKE EVERY LITTLE BIT BY EVERY LITTLE BIT, BECAUSE I KNOW THAT IN THE END WE WILL HAVE IT ALL.'"

It's true there are internal disputes within the Hawaiian sovereignty movement. Most independence activists generally oppose the Akaka bill because they fear it will place ethnic Hawaiians on record as acknowledging American citizenship and submitting to the plenary power of Congress. However, some long-time leaders of the independence movement support the Akaka bill for the same reasons given by Walter Heen. Perhaps most supporters of the Akaka bill are secessionists at heart, dreaming of eventually restoring an independent nation of Hawaii while recognizing that the best way to grab money, land, and power during this "transitional" period is to pass the Akaka bill. Senator Akaka himself has encouraged this sentiment. [5]

The greatest threat to unity, equality, and civil rights in Hawaii is the shockingly powerful move toward Hawaiian apartheid [6] represented in both of its aspects: the racial separatism of OHA and the Akaka bill, and the ethnic nationalism demonstrated in the work of numerous secessionist groups including those who try to take over 'Iolani Palace [7] and who refuse to allow the celebration of Statehood Day. [8] The September 9 Honolulu mayoral debate is merely a small hint of the power and arrogance the Evil Empire will have if the Akaka bill passes.

1. "Office of Hawaiian Affairs -- Watching the Moves It Makes to Expand the Evil Empire (acquiring huge parcels of land, building a headquarters for the "nation", considering purchase of a TV station, etc.)"

2. "Klub Kanaka -- Office of Hawaiian Affairs confidential memo of June 2006 outlining OHA plans for setting up Hawaiian apartheid regime following failure of the Akaka bill"

3. "OHA Brand-Recognition Commercials -- Big Bucks for Self-Promotion by a Government Agency With an Evil Agenda"
See also "OHA Racist Kau Inoa TV Commercials -- transcripts and analysis; plus background information about how the Kau Inoa program fits into strategy for the Akaka bill, and how much OHA has spent on lobbying. Transcripts and analysis of commercials" at

4. Red-Shirt Pro-Apartheid March of September 6, 2004 -- "Die Jugend Marschiert"

5. "The Akaka Bill And Secession: The Hawaiian Government Reorganization bill (Akaka bill) is seen by its supporters as a step toward total independence for all of Hawai'i"

6. "Hawaiian Apartheid: Racial Separatism and Ethnic Nationalism in the Aloha State"

7. "Insurrection (not mere protest) attempted at Iolani Palace on April 30, 2008, by so-called Hawaiian Kingdom Government
"Hawaii King Akahi Nui -- His coronation at Iolani Palace in 1998 and how he fits in with others claiming power"
"Proposed new rules for Iolani Palace and grounds -- testimony to DLNR offered by Ken Conklin in honor of Statehood Day, August 15, 2008

8. "Hawaii Statehood Day 2006 -- Celebration at Old Territorial Capitol Building (Iolani Palace) Disrupted by Hawaiian Ethnic Nationalist Wannabe-Terrorists"


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(c) Copyright 2008 Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. All rights reserved