Akaka bill -- major testimony presented to the Hawaii Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights during August and September 2007

During August and September 2007 the Hawaii Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights held a series of hearings on O'ahu, Maui, Hawai'i Island, Kaua'i, and again on O'ahu. It is hoped that eventually all testimony submitted will be made available on a website hosted by the USCCR, including both written testimony and transcripts of oral testimony.

Here are links to all the major testimonies currently available to the public, in the order in which the testimonies were submitted. When the same testimony is available at multiple venues, the most complete and most stable location is provided first, and hot-linked; other venues or edited summaries are mentioned afterward but not hot-linked.


Testimony of Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D., submitted August 17, 2007 for a hearing by the Hawaii Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights



Testimony of Mark Bennett, Attorney General of the State of Hawaii, delivered on August 20, 2007 to the Hawaii Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, by invitation

Full text of the Bennett testimony was offered by Honolulu Advertiser in an encrypted pdf on the newspaper's website


Edited summary of the Bennett testimony was published in Honolulu Advertiser on Sunday August 26, 2007 at



Testimony of Roger Clegg, president and general counsel of the Center for Equal Opportunity, a nonprofit research and educational organization based in Falls Church, Virginia. Testimony was delivered on August 20, 2007 to the Hawaii Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, by invitation

Full text of Mr. Clegg testimony is available on this website at


An edited summary of Mr. Clegg's testimony was published in the Honolulu Advertiser on Sunday August 26 at


Full text of Mr. Clegg testimony was also made available on the Honolulu Advertiser's online edition at


Full text of Mr. Clegg's testimony was published in Hawaii Reporter online newspaper on August 15, 2007 at:



On Wednesday September 5, 2007 the Hawaii Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights held a public session with testimony limited to five individuals who had been invited for the purpose of providing a diversity of viewpoints.


One of the speakers was Mr. Jere Krischel, senior scholar of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. His testimony is available on this website at


and also at


A slightly modified version of this testimony was also published on Hawaii Reporter online newsaper on Monday September 10, 2007 under the title "Debunking Myths Surrounding the Akaka Bill" at



Three speakers represented the Office of Hawaiian Affairs: Haunani Apoliona (Chair of OHA), Boyd Mossman (OHA Maui Trustee), and Robert Klein (former justice of the Hawaii Supreme Court and frequent litigation attorney for OHA). Their written testimony was posted on the OHA website as a combined single document encrypted pdf file which was downloaded and then uploaded to this website at


That file was copied from the OHA website; however, OHA sometimes changes its URLs without forwarding the discontinued ones, or deletes older files. Here's the original OHA URL:


OHA created a webpage describing the event of September 5 and providing some photos, at


A collection of 91 photos, including all 17 members of the Hawaii Advisory Committee and all 5 people who testified on September 5, is on the OHA website at



A fifth speaker was Dr. Richard Kekuni Blaisdell, M.D. Dr. Blaisdell has been advocating for an independent nation of Hawai'i for several decades, and leads a coalition of several sovereignty groups known as Ka Pakaukau, who share the same objective.

Unfortunately Dr. Blaisdell's testimony is not yet available, but it has been requested and will be posted here as soon as he sends it.


West Hawaii Today (Kona)
Thursday, September 13, 2007

Controversy follows Akaka bill, advisory committee

by Nancy Cook Lauer
Stephens Capitol Bureau

HONOLULU -- Accusations of politics continue to swirl around an advisory committee working to make recommendations about the Akaka Bill to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

Several members of the Hawaii State Advisory Committee said Wednesday they're considering filing a complaint about Michael Yaki, a pro-Akaka commission member who sat in on a Sept. 5 meeting of the committee. Yaki is the second commission member to attend an advisory committee meeting this year -- Commission Chairman Gerald Reynold attended the first meeting of the committee in August.

Committee members will be in Hilo Thursday to solicit public input about the Akaka Bill, which sets up a process for formal federal recognition of Native Hawaiians. The meeting starts at 12:30 p.m. at the State Office Building on Aupuni Street.

Advisory Committee Chairman Michael Lilly, in a discussion before the meeting Wednesday, asked fellow committee members whether they wanted to add a discussion of Yaki's behavior to the day's agenda. Lilly said Yaki, unlike Reynold, was "disruptive" during the Sept. 5 meeting and "disrespectful" to a speaker.

In addition, noted committee member Vernon Char, Yaki was later on a radio show criticizing the makeup of the committee and saying it was biased against the Akaka Bill, more formally known as Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2007.

"I would make a complaint to the commission itself," Char said, "if we are being undermined before we've even deliberated."

At the suggestion of commission staff analyst Barbara de La Viez, who said she objected strongly to the issue being brought up in a public forum with reporters present, committee members agreed to send her e-mails instead of discussing it at the meeting.

Lilly told Stephens Media after the meeting that regardless of the visits by commission members, he felt that "we have complete control of our committee," without interference from the commission. He doesn't know whether to expect frequent visits by commission members or not, he said.

"It was a complete surprise to me that they showed up," Lilly said.

The advisory committee was reorganized after a previous advisory committee recommended passage of the Akaka Bill, a recommendation that Civil Rights Commission overruled last year. Yaki wrote an impassioned dissenting opinion to that vote. Fourteen of the 17 advisory committee members are new, and several have demonstrated anti-Akaka ties.

Yaki characterized the flak about his visit as a way to "distract from the message by attacking the messenger." He said his interview on Na Oiwi Olino Radio, a broadcast of the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs, was well within his free speech rights.

"I have every legal right to participate in state committee activities," Yaki told Stephens Media in a telephone interview. "I will not hesitate to speak my mind. I am concerned that my colleagues in Washington, D.C., tried to create a committee that would act quickly to oppose the Akaka Bill. I'm hoping they will make their own independent judgments and not have the people in D.C. tell them how to do it."


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