Following are excerpts from Andy Anderson’s position paper on Hawaiian sovereignty, July/August 2002, with red-letter comments in rebuttal by Ken Conklin.

As a former professor, I am giving Andy’s term paper an A for style, because it is quite well written, and the spelling seems correct. But he gets an F for content because there are many false statements and misleading half-truths; and the whole concept is morally repugnant. If the paper were submitted in an introductory course he would therefore receive a "gentleman's C" -- the grade generous professors sometimes gave to friendly students who made a sincere effort but just couldn't measure up to expectations. However, since running for governor is a project at the advanced graduate level, style is automatically assumed to be excellent, and the only grade is for content. Perhaps Andy should try a different career.


D.G. “Andy” Anderson

Candidate for Governor of Hawaii - 2002

I can recall, as a part Hawaiian youngster growing up in Honolulu, hearing Kupuna speaking among themselves in hushed tones. I could not understand what they were saying as they spoke in the native tongue. It seemed that we, the kamalii – the children - were never addressed in ‘olelo Hawaii, the Hawaiian language. I wondered how, without that interaction, we could learn it. All instruction in school was conducted in English. We were taught world and American history. We learned about Hawaii’s annexation and its status as a territory, its agricultural and rural like character, but very little else.

As Andy points out, the kupuna had made a personal choice to require their children and grandchildren to speak only English in the home, thus reinforcing the English-only policy at school. This freely-chosen policy of ethnic Hawaiian families was very different from the choice made by families of Japanese and Chinese ethnicity, which required their children to attend after-school and weekend programs to preserve ancestral language, culture, and history. The result was that for the first several decades of the Territorial period, ethnic Hawaiian young people competed far more effectively than Asians in business, politics, and the professions. Hawaiians, unlike nearly all Asians, had the right to vote; they were by far the largest ethnic voting bloc, and dominated the Legislature and the political patronage jobs.


When a language is lost, a nation is lost. When Hawaiians lost their language through a policy of suppression, as shown above, it was more a voluntary choice than suppression they lost their ability to think as Hawaiians; they lost Hawaiian thought and philosophy; and as more and more of their culture and traditions were submerged by a language, a way of life and a value system that came from distant continents, they came perilously close to losing their homeland. There is no other Hawaii but Hawaii itself.

Kanaka maoli knowingly and voluntarily overthrew their own ancient religion and burned the heiau (temples) and idols in 1819. In 1820, at the invitation of four ethnic Hawaiian men who had traveled to Yale University, the missionaries arrived in Hawai’i and were welcomed by King Liholiho Kamehameha II. Native Hawaiians began eagerly embracing Christianity. In 1840 King Kauikeaouli Kamehameha III, as sovereign monarch exercising self-determination on behalf of his people, voluntarily proclaimed the Kingdom’s first Constitution, modeled on that of the United States. In 1848 he proclaimed the Mahele, establishing a Euro-American style of private land ownership. Hawaiians, like all intelligent and energetic human beings, made choices which to them seemed most likely to secure their happiness and self-interest. They abandoned old ways when new ways that seemed superior were offered. All cultures change in response to internal and external pressures. Most people grow and adapt; a few bitterly refuse to change, spending their lives mourning for a dead past and raising their children to become protesters.

And in light of Public Law 103-150, the Apology Bill, I am convinced that the United States must either act or face the prospect of a finding by a World Court, pursuant to international law, that may not be to its liking.

Keanu Sai, self-proclaimed “Regent Pro Tem” and/or “Minister of the Interior” of the Hawaiian Kingdom, perpetrated a fraud when he allegedly took the Kingdom’s case to “the World Court” at the Hague. Like a surfer riding a wave far too large for his abilities, he wiped out. Case dismissed. For a serious analysis of what happened, and a humorous “Santa Claus” analogy, see

All who aspire to the governorship must be prepared to deal with the issue. They must enable Hawaiians to exercise the right of self-determination, but they must be helpful without being intrusive.

Yes, the new Governor must tackle the Hawaiian sovereignty issue. But, contrary to Andy’s opinion, the new Governor should indeed be very “intrusive.” Hawaiian sovereignty is not something for ethnic Hawaiians alone to decide. Indeed, this is the very crux of the matter. Either we all are full partners in making important choices about the future of Hawai’i, or else we allow 20% of our population, based on race, to exercise authority over the remaining 80% who become second-class citizens in the process.


I can well imagine the agony that Queen Lili’uokalani was forced to endure on January 17, 1893. But I can also applaud the magnificent manner in which she dealt with it. Besieged by a conspiracy that can only be described as treasonous, aided and abetted by the ardent annexationist John Stevens as U.S. Minister in residence, and facing the prospect of armed insurrection through the support of military forces of the United States, Queen Lili’uokalani, the last reigning monarch of the Kingdom ... protested the abrogation of her authority and her government. She protested not to the provisional government but to the United States government, and asked for redress. History records the Queen’s action as a well calculated one. I could not agree more. Any protest to the provisional government would have been entirely futile. After all, those in the provisional government were the schemers and perpetrators.

The Revolution of 1893 was the completion of the revolution of 1887 that had forced on King Kalakaua the “Bayonet Constitution” entirely without any U.S. involvement. Lili’uokalani’s strategy in 1893 was to surrender to a distant government which had not defeated her, and might come to her rescue, rather than to the close-up revolutionaries who had actually defeated her. In 1893 the corrupt, powerless, figurehead monarchy was finally overthrown completely. I may be mistaken on the exact number, but approximately 1500 armed local members of the Honolulu Rifles did all the heavy lifting, took over buildings, and disarmed the royal militia; while 162 U.S. blue-jackets stood by quietly. See

History now recalls that the Queen’s cry of protest did not fall upon deaf ears. In response to it, President Grover Cleveland sent former Congressman James Blount to investigate. ... President Cleveland’s refusal to support annexation spawned the creation of the Republic of Hawaii, the provisional government’s answer to the failed attempt at annexation in 1893.

The new American President Grover Cleveland objected to the overthrow, withdrew a proposed treaty of annexation, and demanded the ex-queen be restored to the throne. Hawai'i President Sanford B. Dole REFUSED. Since President Cleveland was commander-in-chief of the U.S. military, he soon removed all U.S. military from Hawai'i. The Provisional Government decided it should establish a Constitution and a Legislature. The Republic of Hawai'i was an independent nation with all the diplomatic relations of the Kingdom. The Republic held power for 4 years, despite a hostile President Cleveland and an armed Wilcox counterrevolution using arms secretly smuggled with the help of the United States. There was NO U.S. occupation of Hawai'i during the 4 years of the Republic. The Republic had the right to negotiate on behalf of Hawai'i, just as the undemocratic Communist dictatorships of China and Cuba have that right today to negotiate for their nations. The Republic offered a treaty of annexation in 1897, which the U.S. finally accepted by joint resolution of Congress in 1898 despite protests by Hawaiian royalists.

Annexation took place despite the fact: (1) that 38,000 people, predominantly Kanaka Maoli, signed petitions opposing annexation [the Native Hawaiian population at the time numbered less than 40,000]; (2) that a treaty of annexation failed to gain the 60 votes needed for ratification in the US Senate [annexation took place, instead, by a Joint Resolution of Congress - the Newlands Resolution - passed by a simple majority of each house amidst the fever of war with Spain and the claimed need of Hawaii as a refueling port for ships with troops bound for the Philippines to engage the Spanish]; and (3) that annexation by joint resolution is unconstitutional under U.S. law and not possible under international law. I find it incomprehensible.

Andy’s last sentence is correct. He finds it incomprehensible, because he didn’t get the facts straight. (1) The petition against annexation had only 21,000 signatures, not 38,000. There was allegedly another petition, to restore the ex-queen to the throne, which allegedly had about 17,000 signatures. Sovereignty activists like to add up those two lists to get the 38,000 figure. However, the second alleged petition has never been found, and was probably nothing more than the list of names of all the ethnic nationalists who belonged to an anti-annexation club with about that many members. Surely everyone who signed a petition to restore the queen would also sign an anti-annexation petition; thus, it is inappropriate to add up those numbers. It is interesting that despite enormous social pressure to sign the petition, and a massive outreach program to every nook and cranny of all the islands, only a little more than half the ethnic Hawaiian population signed the petition. And if the entire population of Hawai’i is considered, then only about 19% signed the petition opposing annexation. (2) The treaty of annexation did not need 60 votes in the Senate, it only needed a 2/3 vote. In the end, the actual vote on the joint resolution in the Senate was 42-21 (exactly 2/3), and in the House was 209-91 (far more than 2/3) (3) Annexation by joint resolution is not unconstitutional, having been done about 50 years previously in the case of Texas. Senators from the southern states with large sugar plantations opposed Hawai’i’s annexation and could have appealed to the Supreme Court to get a ruling on the Constitution but did not do so. Also, in the year 1910 ex-queen Lili’uokalani sued the United States for compensation for “her” Crown lands, and lost. In the process, the court relied on the treaty of annexation offered by the Republic of Hawai’i and accepted by joint resolution of Congress and included it in the appendix to the decision; either Lili’uokalani herself did not raise the issue of annexation or else the court ruled that annexation was done legally. For details see

Finally, Andy’s claim is ludicrous when he says it is against international law for the U.S. to use joint resolution rather than treaty as its method for accepting the Republic’s offer to be annexed. The U.S., as a sovereign nation, decides for itself what method to use in ratifying its end of an international contract. Only U.S. citizens have a right to complain to a U.S. court about the internal procedures used by the U.S. to ratify an international agreement; citizens of the other nation involved in the agreement have no standing to complain about the internal procedures of the U.S. For details on all these points, see


In the debate of the apology resolution on the Senate floor, the Honorable Slade Gorton, Senator from the State of Washington opposed the bill because he believed “. . . the logical consequences of this resolution would be independence. That is the only way that the clock can ever truly be turned back.” There are scholars who tend to agree. Among them is a Francis Anthony Boyle, Esq., professor in international law at the University of Illinois. On examining P.L. 103-150, he opined that the US has admitted that they overthrew the Kingdom of Hawaii. It is an “admission against interest” and clearly an illegal act under standards of international law existing at the time. He goes further to say that the implications of the law are for the Hawaiian people to decide; not Congress, not the State of Hawaii. It is their call, the Hawaiian people, pursuant to their right of self-determination. The Hawaiian people should determine the remedy appropriate for the loss of their entire sovereign nation state.

The apology bill was a resolution of sentiment to commemorate an event in the year of its 100th anniversary. It contains numerous errors of fact. Congress can repeal the law of gravity, but cannot prevent things from falling when we drop them. Professor Boyle has earned himself an international reputation as a supporter of radical causes, and is held in low esteem among legal scholars generally and even among specialists in the dubious field of international “law.”


In Public Law 103-150 the United States apologizes to the Hawaiian people for its part in destroying their sovereign nation state and depriving them of the right to self determination and promises to support reconciliation efforts between the United States and the Native Hawaiian people. As Governor, I will affirm that support, but will also acknowledge the Hawaiians’ right to seek, in any lawful endeavor, a remedy that may go beyond mere apology and reconciliation. It is my firm belief, after having examined the evidence presented to me, that Native Hawaiians have a strong case for independence and could prevail in an international court pursuant to international law. Support of Hawaiians’ right to self-determination could avoid the acrimonious and divisive debate that would otherwise surely follow; it would help reason prevail over emotion. I concur with Senator Slade Gorton of the State of Washington when he says that independence is a logical implication of P.L. 103-150, but differ with him in that I believe independence is but one of several logical implications. There are those who believe in independence as the only resolution. There are also those who would rather contemplate some other form of sovereignty. Many believe that history, once played out, cannot be rewritten; that one can’t “turn back the clock” and begin anew; nor are Hawaiians predisposed to “run from the United States”.

Andy is saying that ethnic Hawaiians have a right to self-determination which is superior to the right to self-determination of the remaining 80% of Hawai’i’s people. He is saying that he is convinced ethnic Hawaiians could go to an international court and win a decision that would force all Hawai’i’s people out of the United States and into an independent nation. Therefore, says Andy, we should all knucke under and support whetever ethnic Hawaiians might demand, to “avoid the acrimonious and divisive debate that would otherwise surely follow.” Andy says ethnic Hawaiians would have the right to push us over the edge into the abyss of racial supremacy in an independent ethnic nationalist regime, so to avoid that we should all beg for mercy and let them make the decisions even before they seize the power. I say, on the contrary, that it is time for all Hawai’i’s people to gather courage, to draw strength from the Aloha Spirit that unites us, and to assert our rights to make these decisions as full partners. Unity and equality must be preserved.

Sons and daughters from Hawaii, and in this context I refer to Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians alike, sacrificed their lives in the interest of freedom and justice on the battlefields and in the skies of Europe, the islands of the Pacific, Korea, Vietnam, the Mid East, Central Asia, and our own Pearl Harbor. ... Moreover, Hawaiians are, by nature, a forgiving people. ... Hawaiians are also a compassionate people. They need not be reminded that hundreds of thousands have come to populate these islands; hundreds of thousands who had not the remotest link to the events of 1893. They have put roots down in Hawaii; built their homes; raised their children and grandchildren here and hope to live out their years in Hawaii. They need to be assured that the Hawaiian agenda does them no harm in any way. A prominent member of the Hawaiian community once commented, not too long ago, “Our huhu , anger, at the loss of the Kingdom is more properly directed at the rascals who overthrew the Queen. And none of them is around today.” .If we keep that in mind - and I am confident that we will - the Hawaiian quest for justice can only gain even greater respectability.

Andy is saying that we should all be content to leave these decisions to ethnic Hawaiians, because they are forgiving and compassionate, and their anger over the overthrow and annexation is not directed at the rest of Hawai’i’s people living today. But I say that adults, unless they are mentally defective, have a right to make important choices for themselves, and generally prefer to do so on a continuing basis. Andy would like to portray ethnic Hawaiians as Hawai’i’s philosopher-kings, entitled to rule because of their profound wisdom and compassion, and receiving the eager obedience of a grateful populace overwhelmed by their mana (charisma). But I say that democracy requires the vigilance of an entire populace who consider themselves equal under the law. If we believe someone is wise, we can vote for him; and if he turns out to be a scoundrel we can throw him out of office. Unlike the Islamic Republic of Iran which gives automatic power to the mullahs, or the Republic of Fifi which recently saw a multiracial democracy overturned in favor of rule by indigenous chiefs, we in Hawai’i like to decide who will rule us by using majority vote and secret ballot, and we like to keep making those decisions every two or four years.

For a hundred years, Hawaiians have looked for some acknowledgment that the events of January 1893 were illegal and totally unjustified. P.L. 103-150 accomplishes that; but the victory would be a hollow one if simply left there. Hawaiians are interested in one thing and one thing only – Justice!

Is there justice for Hawaiians when the United States pays the government of the Marshall Islands millions each year for the use of Kwajalein as a base of operations and subsidizes the Federated States of Micronesia and the Government of the Northern Marianas under compacts of association while Hawaiians receive nothing for the use of Hawaiian lands? And was there justice when the United States paid the Philippines for its presence at Clark Air Base and Subic Bay while Hawaiians received nothing for military bases in Hawaii?

Wait a minute Andy! The Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and the Philippines are independent nations where the U.S. must pay rent. Hawai’i is a part of the United States, where we welcome our fellow countrymen in uniform. Hawai’i receives far more expenditures from the federal government than the taxes we send to Washington. And then, in your next few sentences, you make it clear that any such “rent” would be owed only to ethnic Hawaiians. That’s simply wrong!

The road to Justice can begin by compensating Hawaiians for the use of lands by the Federal Government, to include such areas as Pearl Harbor, Hickam Field, Schofield Barracks, the Marine Corps Base at Kaneohe, the Pohakuloa training site, and others. U.S. military bases in foreign countries do not come rent free; or, if not in the form of direct rental payments, in the shape of foreign aid packages. If the United States can pay other countries for the use of land and facilities, why can’t it compensate the Hawaiian people in like manner? It offers Hawaiians an alternative to independence.

The Hawaiian people have continued to suffer. The events of 1893 were just the beginning. ... In 1978 Hawaii voters approved an amendment to the State Constitution establishing the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to work in behalf of Hawaiians.

Actually, the vote in 1978 to ratify the results of the Constitutional Convention had the lowest margin in support of OHA and DHHL among all the Con-Con results; and within a short time the Hawai’i Supreme Court struck down the ratification of those items on the grounds that the voters had not been properly informed about the racial aspects of those provisions (Kahalekai v. Doi). The Legislature then reversed the court, but Hawai’i’s people never directly had another chance to vote on OHA and DHHL with full disclosure of what they were voting on.

A U.S. Supreme Court decision struck down the “Hawaiians only vote” in elections for OHA trustees and thereby opened the doors to further assaults on Hawaiian benefits. There is on-going litigation that seeks to terminate OHA funding and/or expand OHA services to everyone. The bleeding has to stop and the wounds repaired and healed.

Thank goodness for the Supreme Court upholding unity and equality. It is unconstitutional for government to have racial restrictions on voting, candidacy, and beneficiaries. Regarding voting, see:
regarding candidacy, see:
and regarding racially exclusionary benefits, see:

In 1883, Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop bequeathed her sizeable estate consisting of substantial real property to the establishment and operation of the Kamehameha Schools for the education of Hawaiian children. ... The question over whether beneficiaries of her trust were to be children of Hawaiian blood only, or any child of Hawaii arose early in the School’s history. The Princess was specific in her will that her trustees were to devote a part of each year’s income to the “support and education of orphans and others in indigent circumstances, giving the preference to Hawaiians of pure or part aboriginal blood” ... Except in the reference to orphans and indigents, her will does not otherwise include language that is exclusive to Hawaiians. And that is where the argument has raged. ...

The issue is before us once again and this time perhaps for a long while. Only last week, the school administration and the board of trustees made a decision to admit a non-Hawaiian student to its Maui campus and thereby created a storm of protest and anguish from alumni and others in the Kamehameha family. ... I can understand their feelings on the matter. I believe all Hawaiians do – and that includes myself. ... Feelings are running so high that some have suggested that the exempt status be given up in order to escape IRS oversight. I am Hawaiian by birth and a businessman by profession. On that question, my business sense tells me quite clearly that the tax exempt status serves the best interest of the schools and, by extension, the beneficiaries. ... Without the tax exempt status, the cost of attending Kamehameha could be prohibitive for many and it wouldn’t be long before the schools would be home only for the well to do. We need to do two things: maintain the tax exempt status and seek a strategy that would legally permit the preference for Hawaiian admissions. ...

Andy seeks to preserve both the tax exempt status and apartheid, sort of like having his cake and eating it too. A better solution would be to redefine Kamehameha Schools’ mission not in terms of race, but culture. This commentator published such a proposal on July 15:
and Hawai’i’s most astute scholar of trust law and long-time commentator on Bishop Estate / Kamehameha Schools, Randy Roth, published a similar conclusion on July 28:
For further information about Kamehameha Schools’ admissions policy, see:

I believe that any remedy lawfully permissible must have the consent of a clear majority of Hawaiians eligible under, and voting in, any plebiscite on the question. It is also my belief that a period of education must precede any plebiscite vote to better assure an informed electorate; so that the choices of remedy are clearly understood, both as regards their substance and their implications. To this end, therefore, I would support an educational effort to reach all Hawaiians regardless of their status, political affiliations or persuasions. I would support a Constitutional Convention to draft a document of governance at a time when and if appropriate to the process. As Governor, I would work tirelessly for a fair resolution to the injustice of more than a hundred years ago.

In the above paragraph it is unclear whether Andy is still talking about Kamehameha School, or whether he is now talking about independence for Hawai’i. Either way, Andy seems to be saying that only ethnic Hawaiians would participate in his proposed plebiscite (which would, presumably, include an option for independence that would affect everyone in Hawai’i). He also talks about a Constitutional Convention, although it is unclear whether that would come before or after the plebiscite, and whether it would include everyone or only ethnic Hawaiians.

Hawaii is known the world over as the land of Aloha. And what is Aloha but the sense of affection, hospitality, and genuine warmth of the people who first settled in Hawaii, the loveliest group of islands on the face of this earth. Without Hawaiians there would be no Aloha.

No, Andy, the Aloha Spirit is far greater than any one ethnic group. People with no ethnic Hawaiian ancestry have been full partners in Hawai’i for more than 200 years. We are not merely guests in someone else’s home.
Without Hawaiians there would still be Aloha, but also great sadness that the Hawaiians had departed.

Andy’s principles for deciding the future are far too narrow. Here is a better set of basic principles for deciding our future:


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Email: ken_conklin@yahoo.com