The following advertisement asks President Bush to oppose the Akaka bill. It was published as a full-page ad on page A10 of the Honolulu Advertiser for Thursday, October 23, 2003. That was the day President Bush made a day-long stopover in Honolulu on his return to Washington after a week-long trip to Asia.
To download the advertisement, click here:
On Thursday October 23, 2003 President Bush visited Honolulu for a full day (see below). His visit had been planned in detail for several weeks. Governor Lingle and others indicated publicly that their top priority for the President’s visit would be to lobby the President to support the Akaka bill. For example:
On Wednesday October 22, 2003, the day before the visit, the Honolulu Advertiser published the following article:
Lingle prepares to explain Akaka bill to the president
By Richard Borreca
When President Bush touches down in Honolulu tomorrow morning, Gov. Linda Lingle will be ready with a carefully honed sales pitch.
Hawaii's Republican governor will try to convince Bush that a bill in Congress to permit a form of native Hawaiian sovereignty is vital not just to Hawaiians, but to the state.
"I want, in the clearest way possible, to present the issue to him of why the Akaka bill is so important and to give him a general understanding of Hawaii, the situation here and the history," Lingle said in an interview.
"It will be a challenge, and I am giving it a lot of thought," Lingle added.
Supporters say the Akaka bill becomes critical in preserving Hawaiian programs as more federal lawsuits contest the participation of native Hawaiians.
"To someone from the outside, it is not a simple issue and we know that. We want to take a lot of time, but we are not going to have a lot of time," Lingle said.
Democratic supporters of the Akaka bill, such as U.S. Reps. Neil Abercrombie and Ed Case, have said it is up to Lingle to convince her fellow Republicans in Washington of the measure's significance, and Lingle is hoping that she will be able to at least put the issue before Bush.
"I think if I can present to him this issue of what is right and fair, we will have a good chance to capture his attention as a person and as someone who wants to do the right thing," Lingle said.
The governor had scheduled a Washington, D.C., trip last month to push for the bill in Congress, but canceled, she said, after the bill stalled.
Martha Ross, Office of Hawaiian Affairs Washington liaison, said she has not seen any movement on the bill in the Senate.
"It is really positive that she (Lingle) is going to be talking with the president. Hopefully the president and his advisers will see that it is a bipartisan issue," Ross said.
Lingle has had some extra help lobbying the bill as Hawaii Attorney General Mark Bennett started writing to attorneys general who might help.
"He has actually gotten them to write to the Justice Department that this bill does not violate the Constitution," Lingle said.
Bennett said he has also had success in getting at least one colleague to write to his Republican senators to explain the Akaka bill.
On Thursday October 23, 2003 President Bush visited Honolulu for a full day on his way back to Washington following a week-long Asian trip. As noted above, Governor Lingle lobbied him very hard to support the Akaka bill. OHA also timed the release of a poll to coincide with the President’s visit. OHA had conducted the survey in private three months beforehand, clearly intending to keep the results secret if they were not supportive of the Akaka bill. But the results were supportive, so OHA released the results at the most advantageous time. The results are of doubtful validity, because OHA ordered Ward Research not to release ALL the results, and also not to release the wording of the questions or the method whereby the respondents were chosen. Here is an article from the Honolulu Star-Bulletin of October 23, 2003 reporting the survey results:
Wide support seen for Akaka bill
Both Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians are in favor, according to a poll from OHA
By Leila Fujimori
A bill granting federal recognition to native Hawaiians has broad support from Hawaiian and non-Hawaiian residents, according to a poll from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. The results also show residents do not understand the process of building a Hawaiian government, OHA trustees said.
"It's clear that people don't quite understand the relationship between building a Hawaiian governing entity and federal recognition," said OHA trustee Clyde Namuo. "That's an area where we will need to concentrate more effort locally in educating people."
The poll showed 86 percent of Hawaiians and 78 percent of non-Hawaiians agreed with the Akaka bill that Hawaiians be given federal recognition as an indigenous people, similar to American Indians.
However, fewer agreed that a Hawaiian nation or government should be formed: 72 percent of Hawaiians and 53 percent of non-Hawaiians.
The release of the results yesterday and President Bush's arrival on Oahu today is no coincidence.
Although OHA had planned to publicly release the information eventually, the data had been provided to the Governor's Office upon request.
Gov. Linda Lingle had been preparing for her meeting today with Bush to explain the Akaka bill's importance.
OHA Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona said Bush's visit is a good opportunity "to have the president here to experience Hawaii and Hawaiians and to understand that there's nothing to fear about federal recognition for Hawaiians."
Ward Research conducted two statewide telephone surveys in July, one among 303 native Hawaiian residents, the other of 301 non-Hawaiian residents. The results have a margin of error of 5.6 percentage points.
OHA did not provide all responses to poll questions, saying they contain internal and proprietary information.
Those surveyed were also asked whether Kamehameha Schools should admit non-Hawaiian students, with 13 percent of Hawaiians and 39 percent of non-Hawaiians saying the school should admit non-Hawaiians.
Namuo said the number of non-Hawaiians was higher than he would have thought.
The survey was taken at about the time a lawsuit challenged Kamehameha Schools' Hawaiians-only policy, and prior to a separate suit filed in August by the mother of a Kauai boy, Brayden Mohica-Cummings.
Other results showed 70 percent of Hawaiians and 51 percent of non-Hawaiians believe Hawaiians are entitled to special government support. The majority, 93 percent of Hawaiians and 82 percent of non-Hawaiians, support the continuance of federally funded programs for Hawaiians.
The survey also reported that 85 percent of Hawaiians and 75 percent of non-Hawaiians believe OHA and the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands are legal, despite court challenges arguing that they are illegally race-based.
On October 23, 2003, the day of President Bush’s visit, Aloha For All published a full-page advertisement in the Honolulu Advertiser on page A10 asking President Bush to "just say no" to the Akaka bill, and listing a few reasons why he should oppose it. To download a copy of that ad, click here:
On Friday October 24, 2003, the day after President Bush’s visit, the newspapers reported on his trip. Here are excerpts from the Honolulu Star-Bulletin of 10/24/03.
By Richard Borreca
Hawaii served as the exclamation point to end President Bush's 18,000-mile journey through Asia, as he concluded his trip with a busy day here yesterday.
The 12-hour stop was enough time for Bush to raise $600,000 for his re-election effort, gather another $200,000 for the local Republican party and run through a series of morning stops at Pearl Harbor and a local school.
But in his evening speech, he stopped short of endorsing the Akaka bill for native Hawaiian self-determination, despite hearing encouragement from Gov. Linda Lingle to support the bill.
Lingle and Bush rode together in the presidential limousine between engagements, as motorists stranded by the closed freeways lined onramps and streets to catch a glimpse.
"We really achieved what we wanted, which was to make this issue something on the radar screen for the president," Lingle said last night.
In his speech at the Hilton Hawaiian Village before 600 supporters, Bush added a special nod to native Hawaiians.
"I also appreciate the unique contributions native Hawaiians have made to this state and to our nation.
"Impressed by the rich culture of the native Hawaiian people. I respect their traditions, and I respect Gov. Lingle's dedication to all of Hawaii's citizens. You all got a great governor."
Bush singled Lingle out for praise and mentioned several local GOP officials, although he stumbled when he attempted to pronounce the name of Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona.
Ed makes his case: In his brief encounter with the president and his staff, U.S. Rep. Ed Case passed on a letter urging Bush and the administration to support the Akaka bill, calling it the "single most important action you can take as our president for the future of our Hawaii."
Case said he was not able to talk with the president, but that was able to give the letter to White House Chief of Staff Andy Card.
The complete speech given by President Bush was published only in an on-line newspaper, The Hawaii Reporter. That complete speech can be seen at:
Following is an excerpt from the beginning of the speech. This is the only place where President Bush made public comments that might be construed as related to the Akaka bill. These comments were made at the end of a very long day when he had been heavily lobbied to support the Akaka bill by Governor Lingle, including a choral presentation by Kamehameha School and the bestowing of numerous flower lei upon both the President and Mrs. Bush.
“Thank you all very much. Aloha! Thank you. Please be seated. Thanks for the warm welcome. If I seem a little jet-lagged -- it's because I've spent a long week away from home. After eight days on the road and more than 18,000 miles in the air, it's great to be back in America. And it's really great to be in the beautiful state of Hawaii.
As we go about our work in Washington, Vice President Cheney and I are grateful for the continuing support in Hawaii. We appreciate our friends here. I also appreciate the unique contributions native Hawaiians have made to this state and to our nation. I'm impressed by the rich culture of the native Hawaiian people. I respect our shared traditions and I appreciate Gov. Lingle's dedication to all of Hawaii's citizens. You've got a great governor for this state.”
On Saturday, October 25, 2003 both Honolulu newspapers felt the need to summarize the results of Governor Lingle’s lobbying of President Bush. Here are articles from the Honolulu Advertiser, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, and an editorial from the Star-Bulletin.
The Honolulu Advertiser, Saturday October 25, 2003
Lingle: Hawaiian issues on Bush's 'radar screen'
Although President Bush did not mention Native Hawaiian recognition issues in his fund-raiser speech in Waikiki Thursday night, Gov. Linda Lingle yesterday said she was satisfied with her discussions on those matters with the president.
"He believes so strongly that when you make a commitment, you have to live up to it," Lingle said. "I don't think he felt comfortable at this time to lay out a clear position on it, but he obviously is very interested in it now. It's on his radar screen, and that's what we wanted to accomplish on this trip."
The president and the first lady made a 12-hour stopover in O'ahu Thursday en route to Washington, D.C., concluding a six-nation trip through Asia and the Pacific. The visit included an exclusive fund-raiser for the Hawai'i Republican Party as well as a fund-raiser for the Bush-Cheney '04 campaign.
Bush did not address the Native Hawaiian recognition bill or any specific Hawai'i issues in his re-election fund-raiser speech at the Hilton Hawaiian Village before some 600 supporters who paid $1,000 or $2,000 per ticket.
He said he appreciates "the unique contributions Native Hawaiians have made to this state and to our nation."
Lingle told reporters yesterday that she rode with the president and the first lady in their motorcadeThursday and she brought up Native Hawaiian recognition issues during all but one of their car trips on O'ahu. She said she was pleased with her efforts to make inroads with the president on those issues even if the president did not commit to supporting a bill that would foster the creation of a U.S.-recognized Native Hawaiian government with some amount of sovereignty.
The measure, called the Akaka bill after its sponsor, Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawai'i, could help protect federal entitlements for Hawaiians, but has stalled in the Senate.
In February, Lingle traveled to Washington and lobbied the president's political adviser, Karl Rove, the Department of the Interior, and the Justice Department about the Native Hawaiian recognition measure. She said that Thursday was the first time she discussed the issue in detail with the president.
Lingle said she will follow up with Rove and others in December, when she travels to Washington to participate in a National Governor's Association roundtable discussion on issues relating to long-term care.
The Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Saturday October 25, 2003
Gov says Hawaii was ‘at its best’ for Bush
Hawaii citizens, whether President Bush supporters or opponents, get an "A-plus" from Gov. Linda Lingle for their conduct during Thursday's 12-hour presidential visit.
The Republican governor also said she was encouraged by Bush's interest in the issues of native Hawaiian sovereignty and her lobbying for the Akaka bill, legislation before Congress that would grant federal recognition to native Hawaiians.
Lingle said she plans to follow up on discussions she had with Bush about the bill when she heads to Capitol Hill in early December.
The governor said she took every opportunity she could to mention the issue during her time with the president.
Although her trip to Washington in December is to attend a conference on long-term care, Lingle said that would not stop her from pursuing the issue of federal recognition.
"I'll follow up with the Department of Interior, with Justice again and with (Bush adviser) Karl Rove and the staff of the White House and just continue to talk with them and see if they can help us get this scheduled for a vote in the Senate," she said. "The next step right now is getting it scheduled."
The Akaka bill would establish an office in the Department of the Interior to address native Hawaiian issues and create an interagency group composed of representatives of federal agencies that currently administer programs and policies affecting native Hawaiians. In effect, the federal government would recognize Hawaiians as a native population, as they already do American Indians and native Alaskans.
Lingle said she had mentioned Washington Place and the history of Hawaii's last queen, Liliuokalani, when first lady Laura Bush mentioned that she had bought a biography of the queen.
"Mrs. Bush said it was a sad story," said Lingle. The governor said she told the Bushes that the queen's overthrow formed the basis for the whole federal recognition effort "because the country was taken away."
Although Lingle said Bush did not make any promises, she said the native Hawaii issue was "now on his radar screen."
"I feel better about it, substantially better than the day before he came. He recognizes it as an important issue to the state and the people of Hawaii," Lingle said.
Ron Mun, deputy administrator of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, said the reaction was encouraging.
"Any time you can put something like this on a national level, it is encouraging," Mun said.
Although it is not likely to come up for a vote in Congress now, Mun speculated that the Akaka bill could see action when Congress reconvenes in the 2004 election year.
The Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Saturday October 25
Editorial -- Full text
[ OUR OPINION ]
Lingle’s plea to Bush bolsters Akaka bill
President Bush has agreed to look into the issue of whether to grant federal recognition to Hawaiians.
GOVERNOR Lingle is pleased with President Bush's agreement to take a closer look at a bill in Congress that would provide federal recognition of native Hawaiians similar to that given American Indian and native Alaskan tribes. While the president stopped short of endorsing the bill during his one-day visit to Hawaii, Lingle's plea should make him reluctant to oppose it.
If the Bush administration remains neutral on the issue of Hawaiian recognition, it will not be because of the governor's lack of trying to persuade her fellow Republicans. In February, Lingle testified before Congress on the bill sponsored by Senator Akaka and spoke with Attorney General John Ashcroft, Bush political strategist and adviser Karl Rove and Interior Secretary Gale Norton, whose department would house an Office of Native Hawaiian Relations under the Akaka bill.
Eight months later, Bush apparently was still unfamiliar with the issue. That, Lingle says, has changed. "We really achieved what we wanted," she says, "which was to make this issue something on the radar screen for the president."
In a speech to 600 supporters in a fund-raiser at Hilton Hawaiian Village, Bush made oblique note of the issue and Lingle's involvement: "I also appreciate the unique contributions native Hawaiians have made to this state and to our nation, impressed by the rich culture of the native Hawaiian people. I respect Governor Lingle's dedication to all of Hawaii's citizens. You all got a great governor."
The Akaka bill has been approved by the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. Lingle had scheduled a trip to Washington in September to push the bill but canceled it because of the continuing anonymous hold on the bill, presumed to have been placed by Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz. Martha Ross, Washington lobbyist for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, reports no recent movement on the bill. Sixty senators are needed to break the hold on the bill and send it to the Senate floor.
It is time for Lingle, Ross and the congressional delegation to coordinate an effort to help Bush's staff to familiarize itself with the issue and to bring the Akaka bill to the Senate floor. Bush's endorsement would be important, but Rep. Ed Case believes enactment is possible with White House neutrality on the issue.
The Honolulu newspapers on Sunday October 26 published their final assessments of the effectiveness of Governor Lingle’s lobbying of President Bush regarding the Akaka bill during his visit to Honolulu. Editorial page editor Jerry Burris, who strongly favors the Akaka bill and also favors the Democrat party, wrote the following summary:
The Honolulu Advertiser, Sunday, October 26, 2003
Hawaiian recognition sidestepped
By Jerry Burris
Advertiser Editorial Editor
Now that the so-called "Akaka," or Native Hawaiian recognition bill, has been placed on President Bush's radar, what happens next?
Best guess: Not much. At least not in the immediate future.
Despite a semi-secret "hold" on the recognition bill in the U.S. Senate, Hawai'i's congressional delegation believes the measure would pass Congress if Bush would signal he'd sign it, or at least allow it to become law.
If the president had any immediate intention of giving that signal, he had the perfect opportunity this past week during his drive-by visit to Honolulu. Gov. Linda Lingle, who actively supports the bill, had several chances to bend Bush's ear about its importance in the Islands.
As for the Democrats, U.S. Rep. Ed Case says he managed to get in a word for the Akaka bill during a brief meeting with Bush at Pearl Harbor.
Had the president been in the mood for a spot of political log-rolling, this would have been the perfect opportunity. He could have told a crowd of Republican high rollers that — based on the recommendation of his good friend Lingle — he now understands why the bill should become law.
Or, if caution was needed, even a statement that the Bush administration and the Justice Department will treat the Akaka bill with serious and unbiased attention might have helped.
Clearly, the president heard the entreaties from Lingle and others. You could tell in one of the few deviations from his standard stump speech at the Hilton Hawaiian Village fund-raiser.
"I appreciate the unique contributions Native Hawaiians have made to this state and to our nation," he said. "I'm impressed by the rich culture of the Native Hawaiian people. I respect our shared traditions, and I respect Gov. Lingle's dedication to all of Hawai'i's citizens ..."
Nice words, and surely gratefully received. But carefully short of an endorsement of the recognition bill.
Contrast that with the words of yet another presidential contender who also was a recent Hawai'i visitor.
Howard Dean, at the moment the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, recently released a letter he sent to U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie on the Akaka bill. Abercrombie, who has endorsed Dean, says he spent considerable time briefing him on the Akaka bill.
Dean assured Abercrombie he fully supports the Akaka bill. Further, he said, he would instruct his Justice Department to "vigorously" support the Akaka bill, as well as existing Hawaiian programs, in the courts.
Bush may be taking the wiser political course, since there are many — including those opposed to "race-based" programs and even some Hawaiians — who oppose the Akaka bill. Why step into the middle of a local issue when there is no unanimity on the ground?
Or it may be that as pleasant as it would have been for Bush to do this favor for Lingle and local Republicans, he just couldn't because the thrust of the Akaka bill is so out of tune with what the Bush administration stands for on race-based initiatives.
The Honolulu Star-Bulletin did not publish any wrapup article on Sunday, October 26, but did publish an editorial cartoon by “Corky.” Remember that Governor Lingle was reported to have used every moment of her time with President Bush to lobby him on the Akaka bill, including the time she spent riding with him in a limousine from the airport in the morning and another limousine ride in the evening to the Republican Party fundraiser. The cartoon shows the Governor teaching the President how to make the Hawaiian “shaka” sign.
Just before President Bush's visit to Honolulu, word was being passed on the internet that three radical Latino groups have endorsed the Akaka bill after OHA requested the endorsement. The newspapers held back publication of the endorsements until after the President had left Honolulu.
Below is the announcement in the Honolulu Advertiser of Sunday October 26. Readers should consider the significance of these endorsements in light of the fact that passage of the Akaka bill would set a precedent for recognition of other "indigenous" groups leading to further balkanization of America, such as the proposal by MEChA to convert California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas into an independent Nation of Aztlan. MEChA is not just a fringe group -- the leading Democrat contender for Governor of California in the 2003 recall election was Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante, an active member of MEChA who refused to disavow his support for their platform despite aggressive questioning from the news media during the campaign. For details about the connection between the Akaka bill and the Nation of Aztlan, see:
Posted on: Sunday, October 26, 2003
Latino organizations support Akaka bill
By Vicki Viotti
Advertiser Staff Writer
Three Latin American civil rights organizations sent letters to U.S. senators last week urging support of federal recognition of Native Hawaiians.
Federal recognition has been proposed in a bill, S. 344, that is stalled in the Senate. The measure — more widely known as the Akaka bill, because one of its sponsors is Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawai'i — would recognize Hawaiians as a "nation within a nation" political class with some self-governance powers.
The National Council of La Raza, the League of United Latin American Citizens and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund are urging support of the Akaka bill.
"Enacting S. 344 would acknowledge the Native Hawaiians as a political body — a nation, giving Native Hawaiians much-needed and much deserved federal recognition similar to that given to Native Americans and Alaska natives," wrote Raul Yzaguirre, La Raza council president.
Antonia Hernandez, president of the Mexican American group, wrote in their letter that in the apology resolution, passed by Congress 10 years ago, the United States admitted its role in overthrowing the Hawaiian monarchy but never recognized Hawaiians having a status similar to that accorded to other native peoples.
And the Latin American league's letter, signed by national president Hector Flores, cited more than 150 statutes passed by Congress supporting Hawaiians.
The letters have drawn praise from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, which has been lobbying for the bill. Clyde Namu'o, OHA administrator, said staff and trustees have met with these and other groups in those lobbying efforts.
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