History of the Akaka bill beginning January 1, 2008 and continuing.

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

The history of the Akaka bill during the entire 110th Congress, January 2007 through December 2008, is divided into subpages covering several time-periods. The index of topics for the entire 110th Congress, with links to the subpages, can be found at

This is a subpage covering the history for the period from January 1, 2008 and continuing.


January 1: Honolulu Star-Bulletin editorial describes important issues for 2008, mentioning the Akaka bill only at the end.

January 2: (1) Honolulu Star-Bulletin cartoon shows a forlorn and tattered Senator Akaka waiting on a bench by Senate door, remarking that another year has gone by with no Akaka bill. Cartoon is similar to one published a year ago; (2) Honolulu Advertiser analysis of local political party Presidential caucuses says a major focus will be to place the Akaka bill onto the platforms adopted by the national party conventions.; (3) San Francisco Chronicle publishes story about Hawaiian cultural events in San Francisco which pushes the Akaka bill and especially the Kau Inoa racial registry.

January 11: Ken Conklin says the most important issue facing the Hawaii legislature for 2008 is racial separatism; 6 specific topics are identified.

January 13: As Congress returns from vacation, unfinished business is for the Senate to pass the Akaka bill already passed by the House.

January 16: Dick Rowland, President of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, notes the divisiveness and jurisdictional conflicts the Akaka bill would spawn, and then asks readers to sign an internet petition demanding the Hawaii legislature "let us vote" on whether we want Congress to pass the bill.

January 18: Oswald Stender, former Bishop Estate (Kamehameha Schools) trustee and current OHA trustee, describes his poor, downtrodden childhood and the history of oppression of native Hawaiians, and then tells why the Akaka bill should be passed. ** Reply by Tom Macdonald on January 22

January 19: Commentary by Garry Smith: "Millions More Taxpayer Dollars to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs -- When is Enough, Enough?"

January 20: Professor Jon Van Dyke says the proposed $200 Million transfer of assets is "A fair and just settlement for unpaid ceded lands revenues" and also supports the Akaka bill.

January 21: Honolulu Advertiser editorial praises the proposed ceded lands "settlement" and says "This deal also suits OHA's aims to build a land base in anticipation that federal recognition legislation will give Native Hawaiians a measure of sovereignty they've been seeking."

January 21 and 22 and 23: Newspaper online blog, and then TV station and then newspaper print editions all report that Senator Obama, while on the campaign trail in Florida, has re-stated his support for the Akaka bill. But the TV station report erroneously says Senator Edwards had supported the bill in a speech on the House floor in 2007 (that was Kucinich, not Edwards), and the Star-Bulletin print article distorts Senator McCain's record of opposition to the Akaka bill.

January 22: Tom Macdonald, a member of the Hawaii Advisory Committe to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, responds to OHA trustee Oswald Stender's article. Macdonald says "Akaka Bill is About Power and Money, Not Helping Hawaiians."

January 24: (1) Kunani Nihipali writes "After spending nearly seven years and more than $3 million of beneficiary/taxpayer money to get people to support the Akaka Bill, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs has begun to accept the inevitable, the bill's demise" which explains why OHA now seeks to acquire property and make global settlements with the state government.; (2) Arthur Lemay, a retired informatics executive and management consultant, says it's too bad Senator Obama favors the Akaka bill because it is unfair and un-American.

January 25: A new webpage was created to compile a series of highly controversial political cartoons ridiculing the Kau Inoa racial registry, and the commentaries they spawned pro and con. The cartoons were published on a blog named "Zero Shibai" and reprinted in the online newspaper Hawaii Reporter. The cartoons drew a written protest from OHA chair Haunani Apoliona, and her protest stimulated both serious and sarcastic responses. See: "Bovine Flatulence -- Zero Shibai blog Kau Inoa cartoons (Overthrow victim, Kau Manua, Cow Inoa) cause OHA chair Haunani Apoliona to have a cow." at

January 30: Jerry Coffee major article opposes Akaka bill, describing jurisdictional disputes between communities and Indian tribes on the mainland, and pointing out that Akaka bill supporters say they want parity with the Indian tribes.

January 31: Ken Conklin letter to editor opposes ceded lands settlement proposed by Governor Lingle and OHA, pointing out that it's a bad idea for the state to give away land and money even before the negotiations called for in the Akaka bill have begun.

February 1: Two newspaper articles and one TV news report that Hawaii state Supreme Court rules that the state cannot sell ceded lands until the question is resolved whether ethnic Hawaiians or OHA own the ceded lands or are entitled to compensation for them. All media also report that passing the Akaka bill would allow ethnic Hawaiians to have a recognized governing entity make a settlement with the state.

February 2: Honolulu Star-Bulletin editorial urges passage of Akaka bill is urgent to begin implementing the ramifications of the 1993 apology resolution. First sentence falsely implies OHA already owns the ceded lands, by saying "The state Supreme Court has ruled that the Office of Hawaiian Affairs can't be forced to sell ceded lands while political questions remain." [Nobody has ever tried to force OHA to sell any ceded lands]

February 3: (1) Honolulu Advertiser editorial says the state Supreme Court decision to prohibit the sale of ceded lands reminds us that Hawaii cannot forever neglect the claims of Native Hawaiians, and the Akaka bill will help establish a recognized Native Hawaiian entity capable of resolving those claims; (2) Commentary by Kekuni Blaisdell says the proposed settlement between OHA and Governor Lingle should be rejected because neither the Governor nor OHA have any rightful jurisdiction in Hawaii, since Hawaii is under continuing belligerent occupation by the U.S.A and only the descendants of Hawaiian Kingdom subjects can rightfully decide Hawaii's future.

February 5: Jon Osorio, Chair of the Center for Hawaiian Studies at University of Hawaii, responds to Honolulu Advertiser editorial by saying the U.S. apology resolution of 1993 shows that "Neither the state nor the United States has legal title or moral claim to the ceded lands" nor any right to impose the Akaka bill on ethnic Hawaiians.

February 6: (1) Jerry Burris, columnist for the Honolulu Advertiser, writes that the Hawaii Supreme Court decision prohibiting selling ceded lands was based on the apology resolution, thus showing that the apology resolution has legal force; (2) Dr.John Corboy notes that the Akaka bill is based on the apology resolution, which is filled with errors.

February 7: (1) H. William Burgess writes a letter to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights "Akaka Bill Would Set Precedent for Break Up of Every State in the Nation" citing his in-person invited testimony before the U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee; (2) Kenneth R. Conklin article in Hawaii Reporter reprints his testimony to a hearing in the Hawaii state Legislature regarding a ceded lands settlement, describing the "big picture" of how that settlement fits with the Akaka bill to advance the Evil Empire; (3) Secessionist letter to Star-Bulletin says the ceded lands can be settled not through the Akaka bill but by restoring Hawaii as an independent nation; (4) Secessionist article in Hawaii Reporter says state Supreme Court decision on ceded lands citing the apology resolution shows the Hawaiian Kingdom still lives; (5) Anonymous economist who moved to Hawaii in 2006 analyzes the rationale for the Akaka bill, and its likely consequences if enacted.

February 8: (1) Tom Macdonald cites the ceded lands proposed settlement to show that the Akaka bill is all about getting lands transferred from the state to a racial group; (2) Dick Rowland, President of Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, asks people to sign a petition demanding a vote on the Akaka bill by the people of Hawaii before Congress votes on it.

February 14: TV and print media in Hawaii report that Hillary Clinton, candidate for President, reaffirmed her support for the Akaka bill during her campaign for Hawaii delegates to the Democrat National Convention.

February 15: "Indian Country Today" commentary provides a very skewed view of Hawaii history concluding that the statehood act of 1959 effectively terminated the federal trust relationship with Native Hawaiians and something like the Akaka bill is needed to reinstate that trust relationship.

February 28: "Broken Rainbow: Hawaii's Racial Separatism Threatens America's Fundamental Principles" explains how the Akaka bill, designed to protect a huge number of otherwise illegal racially exclusionary institutions, would subvert the U.S. Constitution and lead to thousands of fake new Indian tribes.

March 14: Article in "Indian Country Today" says the Indian Apology Resolution might have difficulty passing for the same reason as the Akaka bill -- because "many lawmakers are concerned that once an apology is approved, the other shoe will fall in the form of demands for reparations."

March 22: Andrew Walden article links the Akaka bill and Hawaiian apology resolution with the Indian apology resolution now pending in Congress, and describes how local politicians have a corrupt bargain to support Obama for President in return for Obama's support for Akaka bill.

March 24: Michael Barone, senior editor, writes a short article in his U.S. News and World Report blog opposing the Akaka bill and citing Andrew Walden's article.

April 1: THE HILL [Washington D.C. newspaper focusing on Congress] says passing the Akaka bill depends on freshman Democrat Senators; and the attempt will probably be made before Memorial Day.

April 3: Paul Jacob, of the Grassroot Institute, points out that Hawaii was the last state to join the union, but under Kamehameha III (in 1839) was the first to support equality for all regardless of race (26 years before the U.S. abolished slavery).

April 5: Honolulu Advertiser quotes spokesman for Senate Democrat leader Harry Reid saying the Akaka bill will be brought to the Senate floor sometime later this year. Advertiser speculates the votes are there to overcome a filibuster.

April 9: (1) Jon Van Dyke (highly paid mouthpiece for OHA) scheduled to give a seminar on the Akaka bill, tickets $25, sponsored by Japanese Chamber of Commerce; (2) Honolulu Advertiser columnist Dave Shapiro says it's unwise to push Akaka bill in Senate this year because President Bush will veto it, and Shapiro says Republicans are "anti-Hawaiian" for opposing this race-based bill.

April 11: A Hawaii Reporter article, drawing on "The Hill" article, says Democrat Senators Webb (VA), Brown (OH), and Casey (PA) might be the swing votes on the Akaka bill.

April 14: Huge controversy inside Hawaii Republican Party -- The Platform Committee had a co-chair (Bruss Keppeler) who is a major player in the ethnic Hawaiian establishment favoring the Akaka bill and who, it was discovered, has actively supported Democrats against Republicans. A revolt by rank-and-file Republicans seeking to write a platform opposing the Akaka bill was squelched by Governor Lingle's political hacks, who disbanded the Platform Committee and re-adopted the platform from two years previously, to avoid further discussion of the Akaka bill.

April 15 and 16: "Republic of Hawaii Was Recognized Worldwide as the Legitimate Government of These Islands -- Photos of letters of recognition personally signed by 19 foreign rulers in 1894 discredit the apology resolution, undermine the Akaka bill, and confirm that the ceded lands belong to all Hawaii's people without racial distinction." by Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. Published in Hawaii Reporter, The Maui News, and The Garden Island (Kaua'i).

April 16: Andrew Walden notes that a weakening Hawaii Republican Party is fielding very few candidates, partly because party leaders are squelching efforts by young Republicans to reform the party platform on the Akaka bill.

April 27: Letter in Kaua'i newspaper notes that mainstreasm media are starting to reconsider wisdom of Akaka bill. “Maybe Danny didn’t bring it down from Mauna Kea on tablets of stone after all.”




Honolulu Star-Bulletin
EDITORIAL, ** excerpts in order of appearance [thus showing order of priority]

New year begins with excited attention to football

Isle residents greet the new year with a roar for the University of Hawaii Warriors but will turn their attention to more sober issues as the year progresses.

Never has Hawaii entered a new year with such a robust bang, even though it originates more than 4,000 miles away. Thousands of Hawaii residents will become hoarse today cheering on the Warriors at New Orleans' Superdome and in front of television sets at home. If only the remainder of the year could be so cheerful.

... the continued decline of the dollar ... Unfortunately, Hawaii's most noticeable globe-trotters will be those in military uniform. ... The war will continue to be the main issue in the fast-approaching selection of presidential nominees. ... Transportation will continue to be a major issue as the city goes forward with plans for a mass transit system. The Superferry, having survived a legal battle through a special session of the Legislature, will be tested economically.

Hawaiian sovereignty will remain an issue in 2008, having been approved in October in a 261-153 vote in the U.S. House. Sen. Daniel Akaka, the bill's sponsor, plans to seek a Senate vote this year, even though the House vote and the 56 votes cast in its favor in a Senate vote in 2006 indicate that President Bush's threatened veto would stand.


Honolulu Star-Bulletin artist "Corky" published the following cartoon on January 2, 2007, which originaly had URL

Note the similarity to a cartoon published a year previously by Corky, originally at


Honolulu Advertiser, Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Hawaii's stake in Election '08

By Jerry Burris

It's a new year, a new election cycle, and, of course, all eyes for the moment are on the campaign for president. Within a day or so, we'll know the results of the Iowa caucuses and who has the pole position in the race for the White House.

In reality, it should be absurd to make any prediction about the final shape of the presidential contest on this. But that won't stop folks from trying.

Hawai'i voters who are members of political parties have weeks before they can make their choices. By then, the races may be largely settled. But the fervent hope of local partisans is that Hawai'i's choice might even have a small impact on the outcome. The Republicans hold a series of district caucuses beginning Jan. 25.

Those will largely dictate the makeup of the state convention May 16-18, at which point delegates to the national GOP convention will be chosen. Traditionally, local Republicans like to send an uncommitted delegation.

Democrats, meanwhile, moved their caucuses — during which the makeup of much of the voting delegation to the national convention will be decided — to Feb. 19. This is relatively early in the presidential nominating calendar, but still late enough so that a nominee or at least a clear front-runner may have been identified.

So, why bother?

For some, it is the love of the game. For others, it is an abiding ideological association with a particular candidate.

And then there are those who see it as a strategic game in which the calculus of the nominating process is played in subtle ways. Even if a candidate has the nomination sewn up, there is still room for horse-trading on issues, time in the convention limelight and platform stands. That requires loyal delegates.

One issue where this plays in a big way is the Hawaiian recognition, or Akaka, bill.

While supporters make brave noises about bringing Akaka back to the floor of Congress this coming session, privately they will acknowledge there's little hope of complete success until after the election, and then, only if a Democrat is elected.

So for Akaka bill fans, 2009 is the real target date. Before that, it's vital to nominate a supportive Democrat and develop the clout needed to put the bill on the agenda at the nominating convention.

Opponents of the bill won't find much fertile ground in the Democratic caucuses. But they might want to push on the Republican side for a nominee and a convention that holds to President Bush's opposition to the bill.

Point is, one does not have to look far to find a real reason to care about the presidential nominating process, even way out here.


San Francisco Chronicle, Wednesday, January 2, 2008, page E-2
** Excerpts

Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, Paula Fuga

by Jeanne Cooper

The new year is already a banner one for Hawaii in the headlines, with Sen. Barack Obama (who attended Honolulu's elite Punahou School) running for president and the University of Hawaii football team running and passing its way into the Sugar Bowl earlier this week.

Unfortunately, the UH Warriors ran out of steam. But, throughout the country, a perhaps even more arduous campaign continues: the effort to gain federal recognition of native Hawaiians, similar to that of American Indians. While the Hawaiian sovereignty movement has several strands - including calls for a complete withdrawal of U.S. governance and restoration of the Hawaiian monarchy, overthrown 115 years ago this month - the more likely prospect is that ethnic Hawaiians will eventually be granted the same limited independence (minus the casinos) that mainland Indian tribes already enjoy.

The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2007, introduced last year by Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), is meant to do that. While the bill makes its way through the legislative process, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs is busy signing up native Hawaiians who support federal recognition in a drive called Kau Inoa ("place a name," or register, in Hawaiian).

There's not enough room here to go into detail about the Akaka bill and Kau Inoa, which are the source of some controversy in Hawaii (even in paradise, people can disagree), but after talking with Kau Inoa representative Pomai Neil, a recent UC Davis graduate who has a hula troupe in Santa Clara, I wanted to let her share a few thoughts.

"Just like certain Native American tribes, federal recognition would legally recognize Hawaiian people as native Americans, and that would mean the government has a special responsibility to take care of us by way of granting us the right to govern our assets. Our assets include Kamehameha native Hawaiian schools, the Department of Hawaiian Homelands and trust funds," Neil wrote via e-mail.

"There are organized groups that feel that having native Hawaiian schools, homestead lands and funding is racially discriminatory and they want a piece. ... These don't consider the fact that even with all of these resources, too many Hawaiians are still waiting in the back of the poverty line. Pursuing federal recognition is our best chance because Congress is familiar with the federal recognition of many other native American tribes."

Of the criticism of Kau Inoa, Neil writes, "It's not about sovereignty. It never has been. Hawaiians are good Americans. Kau Inoa is about dual citizenship. No Hawaiian will lose any of their American rights, Social Security, retirement, etc. ... One of biggest obstacles is overcoming the belief that there aren't enough Hawaiians left in this world for this bill to matter. We need to prove that we're here and we care, no matter where we are."

For details on who can register (basically, one Hawaiian ancestor is enough) and how to do so, go to www.hawaiimaoli.org (click on "Projects") or the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Web site, www.oha.org/kauinoa.

Hula memories: I met Neil at the bustling Kau Inoa booth at the Ia 'Oe E Ka La hula competition in Pleasanton in November. If you didn't get a chance to go to the festival, check out the vibrant photos on this link thoughtfully forwarded by San Francisco librarian Dennis Maness, www.dlmaness.net (click on "Photographs," then "Hula"). Mahalo, Dennis!

Hawaiian idol: Remember Hawaii's self-proclaimed "big girl" with the even bigger voice from the 2004 "American Idol"? Although she didn't follow Oahu's Jasmine Trias and Maui's Camile Velasco into the finals, Paula Fuga has since rebounded with a soulful debut album, 2006's "Lilikoi," which showcases her roots-reggae and blues stylings and netted her the Na Hoku Hanohano award (called Hawaii's Grammy) for most promising artist last year.

She'll be making her first performance in the Bay Area with a free concert at Jupiter in Berkeley on Jan. 25, but it won't be her first trip here. "I actually recorded part of my album at Hyde Street Studios in 2005. The Grateful Dead recorded there, Tupac, Green Day ... it was an amazing studio. There's a (sound) board in there that (slack-key guitarist) Gabby Pahinui recorded on."

Fuga credits "American Idol" with opening doors for her within Hawaii - and for giving her a business partner, a production assistant on the show who later helped her start her own record label. Her musical influences include Motown, Marvin Gaye and Aretha Franklin - "she's my favorite, I love the old-school bluesy style of music" - and Bob Marley; Fuga also sings in the nine-piece roots-reggae band DubKonscious.

And though she doesn't sing traditional Hawaiian music, she is proud of her own roots. On "Lilikoi," the melodic "Nose Flute Dub" features her playing the local bamboo instrument, while "Loloiwi" has lyrics in Hawaiian, which Fuga learned in school.

"I do the music that's within me," Fuga said. "It took a long time to realize that I didn't have to sing in Hawaiian to make Hawaiian music, because I am Hawaiian."

Jeanne Cooper is editor of Travel. Hawaii Calls appears the first Thursday of the month. To talk story, e-mail jcooper@sfchronicle.com.


Grassroot Institute of Hawaii blog, January 11, 2008

The Most Important Issue Facing the Hawaii Legislature for 2008

by Ken Conklin

On January 10, 2008 Ken Conklin gave testimony to a Kaneohe Town Meeting hosted by state Senator Jill Tokuda and Representatives Pono Chong and Ken Ito. All of them are either chair or vice-chair of the committees that focus on “Hawaiian Affairs.”

The testimony identified racial separatism as the most important issue facing the Legislature.

Recommendations to the Legislature were as follows: (1) Do not pass any resolution supporting the Akaka bill; on the contrary, place a question on the ballot for November to see whether Hawai’i’s people want Congress to pass the Akaka bill. Stop giving away state resources even before the Akaka bill passes and before negotiations begin between the Akaka tribe and the state government regarding how to carve up Hawai’i. (2) The ceded lands belong to all Hawai’i’s people; the Legislature should rescind the law it passed in 1980 awarding OHA 20% of ceded land revenues. (3) In June 2006 a confidential OHA memo became public which outlined Plan B to set up a state-recognized Akaka tribe even if the Akaka bill fails in Congress; that plan is likely to unfold in 2008 and the Legislature should resist it. (4) The Legislature should resist paying for OHA boondoggles like a new headquarters building; OHA has over $400 Million in assets plus an annual income of tens of millions and can easily pay for whatever it wants. (5) The government funded “host culture” charter schools should be held accountable for violating the separation of church and state, for indoctrinating children with religious views asserting racial supremacy, and for teaching twisted history supporting anti-American and anti-Caucasian attitudes. (6) The Legislature should resist proposals from a special commission on bioprospecting that would strip landowners of basic property rights to invite researchers onto their land and to profit from technological discoveries.

For full text of the testimony see


Honolulu Advertiser, Sunday, January 13, 2008

In D.C., it's back to unfinished business

By Dennis Camire
Advertiser Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — For Hawai'i lawmakers, completing unfinished legislative business, such as bills creating a future Native Hawaiian government and improving state-funded pre-kindergarten education through federal grants, is a top priority in the congressional session that starts Tuesday in the House.

Some of it, such as the Akaka bill and a bill to apply criminal penalties to war profiteering in Iraq, cleared the House only to be stalled in the Senate by Republican opposition or a crowded legislative schedule.

Other delegation legislation, including a bill authorizing a memorial to Hansen's disease victims on Moloka'i and another reinstating federal benefits for Micronesian immigrants, never really got off the ground as Congress engaged in partisan battles over Iraq war funding, children's healthcare and other issues.

But Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawai'i, said one of the first items Congress should tackle is finding a way to overcome President Bush's veto of the defense policy bill, which authorizes more than $78 million in federal funding for military programs in Hawai'i this year. Bush vetoed the bill over a provision that allows damage lawsuits against the Iraqi government stemming from the Saddam Hussein era. "I urge the Democratic leadership to schedule a vote to override the president's veto as early as (this) week," Abercrombie said.

After the Senate opens its new session Jan. 22, Sen. Dan Akaka, D-Hawai'i, hopes to bring at least three major bills to the floor for debate and vote, which Republican opposition has stalled. One would create a process to form a future Native Hawaiian government and put it on a path for federal recognition. Republicans believe the measure is race-based and therefore unconstitutional.

The House approved a similar bill in October.

"I am working with the Senate majority leaders to bring my Hawaiian federal recognition bill to the floor, building upon momentum from the House passage of the bill," Akaka said.

Akaka, chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, also has two major veterans healthcare and benefits bills that have stalled.

[** Remainder of article not related to Akaka bill.]


Grassroot Institute of Hawaii
Weekly Grass In Review, January 16, 2008

** Article also republished on January 17, 2008 in Hawaii Reporter (online) at

Nurturing the rights and responsibilities of the individual in a civil society.
We LUV Hawaii

A Message from Dick Rowland

The Akaka Bill would impose a "Native Hawaiian Governing Entity" (NHGE) on Hawaii in a major way and the rest of the USA in (perhaps) a minor way. What is to be formed is a new government that has nothing in it. Nothing. It is to be an empty government vessel inside of which is a sucking vacuum demanding people land, money, law, and power to fill it up.

Fuel for this vessel will be provided by lobbyists and government brokers anxious to influence and manage the creation of this new entity. Looming large among these power brokers will be the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Kamehameha Schools, Bishop Estate, Indian tribes and their casinos, and many other groups and organizations. Others, now unknown, will be crawling out of the woodwork chasing money and power.

Each Hawaii County will find it necessary to post full time monitors and lobbyists to watch over the committee which will be working out the details. So will Alexander & Bandwin, Castle & Cooke, Bank of Hawaii etc, etc. The Hawaii legislature will watch carefully and nervously. So will Moody's, Standard & Poor's, and the French owners of First Hawaiian Bank.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

It seems to us that our nation has no business whatsoever imposing this new government entity on our state without our expressed opinion by statewide vote of the people. That was done before we entered the US in 1959 and it should be done before the Akaka Bill becomes law.

Current proponents of the Akaka Bill cite the support of the Governor, State Senate and House and Hawaii 's national delegation as overpowering evidence that the people of Hawaii favor this new NHGE. We do not think so. We could be wrong, but so could they. Let's find out for sure.

We request the Hawaii Senate and House pass a resolution proclaiming that they withdraw earlier support of the Akaka Bill until it is voted upon by the citizens of Hawaii in a statewide referendum or plebiscite.

We want you to Let Us Vote

We are LUV - Hawaii


Let Us Vote Hawaii

There is a new website upon which you can register your belief that there should or should not be a vote of Hawaii 's people before the Akaka Bill is passed. As presently written, it imposes a new and separate government on the state.

Click here to go to the site.


Just scroll down, put in basic information and click submit. Then get your family to do the same.

Then, think of at least five friends and ask them to express their opinion. There is a place to register comments. Please do so.

As the number of participants grows, we will publish results and share the facts with policymakers to include occasionally some comments (without of course identifying the author).

Please ask your friends to enroll family and friends.

And, for all, please do promptly. One of the things we are going to do is measure our networking efficiency by tracking website activity for the next 10 days. After that we will take further actions.

Please: DO IT NOW!


Hawaii Reporter, January 18, 2008

Hawaiians Are Entitled to Benefits That Would Be Protected with the Passage of the Akaka Bill

By Oswald Stender

Editor's note: Oswald Stender is a former trustee of Kamehameha Schools who voluntarily left his position after 5 prominent people in Hawaii exposed tremendous abuse of the trust's funds, including trustees paying themselves more than $1 million a year in compensation for each trustee rather than spending the money on the school children they were supposed to educate. Stender is now an elected trustee of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and is actively lobbying for the Akaka Bill. He distributed this letter to lawmakers at the Hawaii State Capitol today explaining his background and why he wants the Akaka Bill to pass. Hawaii Reporter is publishing this unedited along with other pieces both for and against the Akaka Bill to further the discussion on the legislation, which passed the U.S. House in 2007 and is pending a vote in the U.S. Senate. The president and the U.S. Justice Department opposes the bill.

The Akaka Bill: From the perspective of a native Hawaiian. I chose this topic because I believe it is important that everyone in this room this evening gets it right. You like many in my extended circle of friends, may not be certain what the Akaka Bill is all about or what the bill is intended to achieve. There is so much misinformation and so many untruths being circulated on the street and in the media, it has been frustrating for the majority of us who support the bill. Tonight, I would like to set the record straight.

Before discussing the bill specifically, I would like you to understand the frustration and concern of many Hawaiians like me and why we feel it is important that the U.S. Congress pass the bill and that our president acknowledge this bill, which confirms Hawaiians as indigenous people.

Most Hawaiians growing up when I did grew up in the shadow of the Great Depression. To understand my childhood, you need to know that my mother - who was 100 percent Hawaiian - died when I was 2 years old. And my Caucasian father abandoned me and my 5 older siblings. We were raised by our Hawaiian grandparents with help from our extended family. My Tutu Kane was a park keeper in Hau’ula; My Tutu Wahine was a household maid and cook for many of the Caucasian families who lived in their summer homes on the beaches of Punaluu, Malaekahana and Kawela Bay. We grew Kalo and made our own Poi. We raised chickens, pigs and rabbits; we also fished and hunted to feed our family.

We all lived in a two-bedroom house on the homestead in Hauula without indoor plumbing or electricity. As my older brother and sister once told me, we were poor, but we did not know it until someone else told us we were poor.

My young life was not much different than most other Hawaiians during those days. We lived from day to day. Our Ohana was uneducated and unskilled. We were not allowed to speak native Hawaiian – our native language – and it was never expected that any of us would amount to much. Our Kupuna worked for the Caucasians who were prosperous and we were not allowed to swim or play on the beaches where their summer homes sat.

I believe, as many other Hawaiians do, that colonization began with the arrival of the Captain James Cook in 1778. The Hawaiians – the indigenous people of Hawaii – were put in harm’s way. As with colonization of the Western World, all indigenous people of those lands have suffered cultural, economic and population genocide. Indigenous people of larger continents were re-located to make way for new arrivals. Native Hawaiians, however, had nowhere to go.

With the arrival of colonizers, our language was suppressed; our cultural practices went underground; and our population was nearly obliterated by foreign diseases. When Captain Cook arrived on our shores, our population numbered approximately 1 million Hawaiians; and when Princess Pauahi Bishop died in 1884, our Hawaiian population had diminished to less than 50,000.

Upon their arrival, westerners occupied and confiscated lands that once provided Hawaiians with strong, healthy cultural and economic communities. Immediately thereafter, as they influenced the Ali’I, the native Hawaiian economic structure, religion, language and population were slowly being dismantled and destroyed.

The Ali’I, recognizing the fate of their people, began to organize and will legacies for them in an attempt to provide for and hopefully save them. Today, we see the fruits of their work for their people: Queen Emma founded the Queen’s Hospital, Queen Kapiolani left her legacy for Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children; and finally, Princess Pauahi Bishop left her legacy of the Kamehameha Schools for the education of Hawaiian and part-Hawaiian children.

I was one of the fortunate Hawaiian kids who was given the opportunity to attend the Kamehameha Schools. Through the foresight of our beloved Princess, Bernice Pauahi Bishop, orphaned and indigent Hawaiian children were given the opportunity to attend Kamehameha.

I was afforded the opportunity to work of my education tuition at Kamehameha; and through the benefits of the Queen Liliuokalani Trust, I was provided clothes, tutoring and counseling. Without either of these “entitlements,” I would never have been given the opportunity of a better life for myself and my family. Without this opportunity, I could easily have been one of those statistics of those of our race; the majority of whom are in prison, on welfare, in public housing, uneducated, unskilled and homeless.

Many other Hawaiians like me, were able to benefit from these so-called “entitlements.” We have successfully become assimilated into that western culture and have become contributing members of our Hawaiian community. Unfortunately, however, many other Hawaiians have not been fortunate enough to have benefited from these entitlements and continue to be a part of the statistics we often hear about.

Today these entitlements of healthcare, housing and education are being challenged by new arrivals to Hawaii who claim that these benefits provided by our Hawaiian Alii for the indigenous people of Hawaii are race based and therefore in violation of the U.S. Constitution. They are also challenging programs provided by the United States government, the state and Hawaiian Homelands. Although these programs are provided for the rehabilitation of the indigenous people of this land, they are being challenged because of a vocal minority sees these programs as being race based.

The Apology Bill, passed by the U.S. Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton in 1993, admits to the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom and calls for reparations and rehabilitation as a result of this wrong doing. The birth of the native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2007, commonly known as the Akaka Bill, is the outcome of the Apology Bill of 1993. It is intended to protect Hawaiians-only “entitlements” and begins the process for reparations and rehabilitation.

Those that continue to challenge these “entitlements” claim violation of the Equal Rights of Protection under the U.S. Constitution and therefore, they oppose the Akaka Bill and would like to dismantle the entitlements provided by the Hawaiian Ali’I, the state and federal governments. They would like to end programs designed for the rehabilitation of Hawaiians – the indigenous people of these lands.

Pure and simple, the Akaka Bill is designed to protect against challenges of these “entitlements” and puts into motion a mechanism to explore the issues of self-governance – if that is the wish of the Hawaiian people.

The Akaka Bill does not make Hawaiians members of a tribe like other Native Americans. The Akaka Bill does not attempt to separate the people of Hawaii and destroy the “aloha spirit.” If there were no Hawaiians and their welcoming and trusting spirit, there would not have been aloha. The Akaka Bill does not set up a separate government agency for Hawaiians and it does not dismantle our state government. The Akaka Bill does not allow gambling. The Akaka Bill does not allow Hawaiians to secede from the United States of America. The Akaka Bill does not take away lands from Hawaii residents, U.S. citizens or foreigners that own land and/or homes in this state. This bill also does not give lands to Hawaiians. The Akaka Bill does not subjugate any Hawaii residents, U.S. citizens or foreigner. The Akaka Bill does not set up a new kingdom of Hawaiians. The Akaka Bill simply does not take anything away from anyone and give it to the Hawaiians.

As a native Hawaiian, I passionately support the passage of the Akaka Bill because it is an attempt to protect entitlements provided to rehabilitate our Hawaiian people so they can become contributing members (rather than burdens) of this great state and our country. These entitlements are sorely needed to restore positive self esteem and economic well-being of all Hawaiians so that they can be proud of themselves, their culture and their heritage.

It is my hope, my dream, that Hawaiians can once again become the proud people they once were in their own homeland. Imua.

** Ken Conklin's note: See reply by Tom Macdonald on January 22.


Hawaii Reporter, January 19, 2008

Millions More Taxpayer Dollars to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs -- When is Enough, Enough?

By Garry P. Smith

Plan B for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) is proceeding perfectly.

Unable to get the federal “Akaka Bill” through Congress and the President’s office, so they could secure “federal recognition” and more importantly billions of dollars in land, cash and ultimately casinos, OHA has focused its attention on the more friendly state government and acquired state land and money anyway to form its new nation.

Stating “it’s a good deal for taxpayers,” Gov. Linda Lingle on Friday announced the state settlement for disputed ceded land revenue to OHA of $200 million. The deal includes only $13 million in cash and the rest in vast acreage in some of the most prime real estate in the State at considerably less than market value.

Why would a state agency want so much land while fervently supporting federal recognition that would require the State of Hawaii and the federal government to negotiate the surrendering of 1.2 million acres of ceded lands now owned by all races of citizens in Hawaii to the new Hawaiian Nation?

If the Akaka Bill does not pass Congress or is vetoed by the President as expected, Plan B of OHA will provide a land base for the new Nation of Hawaii. Land is money and power in Hawaii, especially undeveloped prime real estate in Kakaako and Kalaeloa.

Billions of dollars will be made by who ever owns the land and leases it out to commercial development as is all ready being done by the Department of Hawaiian Homelands throughout the state.

As a state taxpayer, I cannot even get a $1 tax rebate from the $700 million surplus of taxes in 2007, and probably not even a penny in 2008, but OHA can get a $200 million.

The governor also wants $100 million for Department of Hawaiian Homelands to build more homes for Hawaiians for Hawaiians on top of the $600 Million over 20 years all ready being paid by state taxpayers.

This is also in addition to the federal government’s $150 million a year in various programs for Hawaiians. The Federal Communications Commission is providing $400 Million in rural fiber optic connections on Hawaiian Homesteads through Sandwich Isle Communications, which has an all Hawaiian Board of Directors including Kamehameha schools trustee Robert K.U. Kihune (VADM, USN, Ret) and Al Hee, Sen. Clayton Hee’s brother.

Mayor Mufi Hannemann paid over $5 million from city taxpayers to buy Waimea Valley and then gave it to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

Hawaiians on homestead properties only pay $100 a year in property taxes for the same city services I pay over $3,000 a year for, so that is another benefit not given to the rest of us.

With the billions of dollars already paid out to Hawaiians, the question is why are there still so many Hawaiian homeless on the beaches?

When Gov. Linda Lingle says “it’s a good deal for taxpayers,” I have to ask who negotiated this deal for the average taxpayer? It doesn’t sound like a very good deal to me. How much longer do the taxpayers of the State of Hawaii and the Federal Government have to pay for racial separatism and when will enough be enough?


Honolulu Star-Bulletin, January 20, 2008

A fair and just settlement for unpaid ceded lands revenues

by Jon M. Van Dyke

Editor's note: The state and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs announced Friday that they had settled a longstanding dispute about ceded lands. According to the agreement, which is pending approval by the Legislature, the state will transfer to OHA $200 million in assets.

After protracted negotiations, the state and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs reached a settlement on the back pay owed to OHA from the revenues generated from the "ceded lands." What is the underlying basis for this payment, and why have these negotiations proved to be so difficult?

When Hawaii was annexed by the United States in 1898, about 1.8 million acres of land (more than 43 percent of the 4.1 million acres on Hawaii's main islands) were "ceded" by the Republic of Hawaii to the United States. These lands had been classified as "Crown Lands" (which supported the monarchy) and the "Government Lands" (which supported the government as a whole) during the Kingdom Period. When the kingdom was overthrown in 1893, the republic combined these two groups of lands as "Public Lands," and this merger continued during the Territorial Period (1898-1959). In 1993, the U.S. Congress apologized for U.S. participation in the overthrow, characterized the U.S. military and diplomatic role in the overthrow as "illegal" and a violation of "international law" and said that the lands were transferred "without the consent of or compensation to the Native Hawaiian people of Hawaii or their sovereign government."

It was recognized almost immediately after annexation that these "ceded lands" should not be merged with the other public lands of the United States and, because of their special history and meaning, that they should not be freely disposed of. The U.S. attorney general wrote in 1899 that the 1898 Annexation Resolution had created a "special trust" for the benefit of Hawaii's people.

In 1959, the federal government transferred about 1.4 million acres of the "ceded lands" to the new state of Hawaii, to be held in trust, with the revenue generated from these lands to be used for five named purposes, including "for the benefit of the conditions of native Hawaiians." During the next two decades, however, the state failed to allocate any of the revenue specifically for this purpose, devoting almost all of it to public education. To address this failure, the delegates to the 1978 Constitutional Convention proposed (and the voters adopted) amendments creating OHA and requiring the state Legislature to allocate a pro rata share of the revenues from the "ceded lands" to OHA to be used explicitly for the betterment of native Hawaiians.

The 1980 Legislature determined that the appropriate pro rata share for OHA should be 20 percent. This compromise figure was adopted because the "betterment of the conditions of native Hawaiians" was one of five purposes listed in the 1959 Admission Act and also perhaps because persons of Hawaiian ancestry constituted about 20 percent of the population of the state.

Difficulties arose almost immediately, however, about how to define "revenues" and which lands should be viewed as within the "ceded lands." After a lawsuit was filed by OHA in the 1980s, the Waihee administration negotiated an agreement dividing revenues into two categories -- "sovereign revenues" coming from activities unique to a government, such as collecting taxes and tuition at the university; and "proprietary revenues" coming from activities that any landowner could engage in, such as leases to farmers or operating airports or other profitable enterprises. It was agreed that OHA would receive 20 percent of the proprietary revenues, but none of the sovereign revenues, and the state then paid almost $135 million to OHA for revenues it had received in the 1980s but had not shared with OHA.

Disputes continued regarding the allocation of revenues between these two categories, focusing, for instance, on the duty-free sales from stores in Waikiki, because the customers receive their purchases when they depart at the airport, which is partially on "ceded lands."

The Hawaii Supreme Court refused to address the merits of this dispute, characterizing it as a "political question" that should be resolved by the Legislature, but the court stated clearly in 2001 (and again in 2006) that "the state's obligation to native Hawaiians is firmly established in our constitution" and "it is incumbent upon the legislature to enact legislation that gives effect to the right of native Hawaiians to benefit from the ceded lands trust."

The current settlement -- a combination of selected lands and money -- is designed to provide OHA with the funds it should have been receiving from the revenue stream generated by the "ceded lands" since this dispute arose. It is a fair settlement, reached in good faith through arms-length negotiations between the relevant state officials and OHA's trustees. It will enable OHA to maintain its existing programs and develop new ones to promote the well being of native Hawaiians, the Hawaiian language and Hawaiian culture.

This is an important interim settlement and an important step toward the ultimate resolution of the festering claims of the native Hawaiians, which could occur once the Akaka Bill is enacted, and negotiations begin between the native Hawaiian governing entity, on the one hand, and the state and federal governments, on the other.

Jon M. Van Dyke teaches constitutional and international law at the William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawaii-Manoa. His latest book is "Who Owns the Crown Lands of Hawaii?" (University of Hawaii Press).


Honolulu Advertiser, Monday, January 21, 2008

OHA settlement looks hopeful for both sides

Finally, a dollar amount has replaced the question mark that defined what the state owes to Native Hawaiians from the money it makes on land formerly belonging to the Hawaiian kingdom.

That figure, $200 million in cash and real estate, will have lawmakers combing through the settlement deal inked Friday between the state and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Of course, they should pull out the fine-tooth comb. But from the initial unveiling, there seems little that should worry either side.

From the state's perspective, the $15.1 million annual payment for revenues from the ceded lands the state inherited in the overthrow roughly represents the status quo. That's about where it stood for several years before legal disputes turned off the cash-flow pipeline, and where it is currently. The deal would settle all past claims and disputes over back pay owed OHA.

Much of the properties being conveyed to OHA in the deal are not the state's big moneymakers. In a year when the state is cash poor, turning over land in lieu of money is a reasonable plan, especially if it buys an end to the series of costly disputes over payments.

OHA's critics charge that the agency turned down a much more lucrative deal in 1999, when the Cayetano administration sat at the negotiating table. However, said OHA attorney William Meheula, the state then was seeking a final, "global" settlement, which OHA trustees rightly resisted, preferring to leave the ultimate deal on ceded lands for a sovereign entity to negotiate.

This deal also suits OHA's aims to build a land base in anticipation that federal recognition legislation will give Native Hawaiians a measure of sovereignty they've been seeking. OHA is reorganizing, as it should, to make land management a greater part of its mission.

Beneficiaries who have questions about this deal should track the enabling legislation as it moves through the Capitol. And OHA must hear from those beneficiaries while devising how this property is to be used.

In the meantime, the settlement offers hope of a win-win for both the state and Hawaiians and a hiatus in the seemingly ceaseless court battles that benefit none of us.


Honolulu Advertiser, January 21, 2008
Capitol Notebook
A behind-the-scenes look at state government and politics from Capitol Bureau reporters Derrick DePledge and Treena Shapiro. Share insider tips or ideas with the bureau at 525-8070 or via e-mail. Reach Derrick at ddepledge@honoluluadvertiser.com and Treena at tshapiro@honoluluadvertiser.com.

Obama would sign Akaka bill

Local allies of U.S. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois released a statement from the senator today where he pledges to sign a Native Hawaiian federal recognition bill if elected president.

The bill, known as the Akaka bill for its sponsor, U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawai'i, passed in the U.S. House in October but has languished for eight years in the U.S. Senate.

Bill Meheula, an attorney who has worked on sovereignty issues, said Obama has "an impeccable record on civil rights. It also reminds us that Senator Obama is not a national leader who needs to be briefed on local issues. Being from here, he knows what is important from the inside out.”

Meheula's law partner is Andy Winer, who is active in the local Obama campaign.

The other contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination -- U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, former U.S. Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina and U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio -- have also supported the Akaka bill.

Clinton voted in favor of a procedural motion in the Senate in June 2006 that would have moved the bill forward.

Edwards was the vice presidential nominee in 2004 when U.S. Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, the presidential nominee, endorsed the bill.

And Kucinich voted for the bill in the House in October and campaigned for Akaka during his re-election campaign in 2006.

Chuck Freedman, a local Obama volunteer, said the Hawai'i-born senator "is from here. He's been closely associated with working with our delegation."

Here's Obama's full statement:

"Hawai'i has always acknowledged and celebrated diversity, and an important part of Hawai'i’s culture is the Native Hawaiian people. For this reason, I am proud to support Senators Daniel Akaka and Daniel Inouye in their efforts to extend the federal policy of self-governance and self-determination to Native Hawaiians.

"The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act provides both the process and opportunity for Native Hawaiian communities to engage themselves in and reorganize their governing entity to establish a federally recognized government-to-government relationship with the United States. The process set forth in this important legislation empowers Native Hawaiians to explore and address the longstanding issues resulting from the overthrow of the kingdom of Hawai'i.

"As Americans, we pride ourselves on safeguarding the practice and ideas of liberty, justice, and freedom. By enacting this legislation, we can continue this great American tradition and fulfill this promise for Native Hawaiians and ensure that they are not left behind as Hawaii continues to progress.

"This is an important bill, and if it is not signed into law this year, I will commit to supporting it as president.”


KGMB 9 TV, Monday, January 21, 2008

Obama Supports Akaka Bill

Written by KGMB9 News - news@kgmb9.com

Presidential candidate Barack Obama said if he's elected president he will support the Akaka Bill.

His Hawaii campaign released a statement Monday in which Obama said it's important to create a government to government relationship between Native Hawaiians and the United States.

KGMB9 checked the voting records of other presidential candidates.

In 2006, Sen. Hillary Clinton and John McCain voted to bring the issue to the senate floor.

But it didn't make it that far.

Rep. John Edwards also supported the Hawaiian Government Act helping to pass it out of the house last year.

** Note from Ken Conklin. The final sentence is absolutely false. John Edwards served in the Senate only until 2004 when he ran for Vice President under John Kerry; he never served in the House, and he never spoke on the Akaka bill. The news report probably intended to refer to Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who indeed did speak in favor the the Akaka bill on the floor of the House during the debate in 2007.


Honolulu Star-Bulletin, January 22, 2008

Obama would sign Akaka Bill as president

By B.J. Reyes

If elected president, Democratic hopeful Barack Obama says he would sign the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, better known as the Akaka Bill.

"Hawaii has always acknowledged and celebrated diversity, and an important part of Hawaii's culture is the native Hawaiian people," Obama, a 1979 Punahou graduate, said in a statement released yesterday by his campaign.

"For this reason, I am proud to support Sens. Daniel Akaka and Daniel Inouye in their efforts to extend the federal policy of self-governance and self-determination to native Hawaiians. ... This is an important bill, and if it is not signed into law this year, I will commit to supporting it as president."

The Akaka Bill would allow for the formation of a governing body for native Hawaiians, similar to that of American Indians, that would negotiate with state and federal governments over land and other resources.

President Bush has opposed the legislation. Last year the White House Office of Management and Budget issued a statement that Bush "has eschewed such divisive legislation as a matter of policy."

Before any president gets a chance to endorse it, the measure first has to make it out of Congress.

House and Senate versions of the bill remain alive, although there is no immediate action scheduled on either.

** Note from Ken Conklin: The bill passed the U.S. House in 2007, where no further action is needed pending Senate action. If the Senate passes it unamended in 2008, it then goes to the President for his veto.

Two years ago, Akaka attempted to bring the bill to the Senate floor for an up-or-down vote by the full chamber. The motion, known as cloture, fell four votes shy of the 60 needed to force a vote.

Both Obama and Democratic rival Hillary Rodham Clinton, as well as Republican Sen. John McCain, voted in favor of the cloture motion.

** Note from Ken Conklin: It is very misleading to say merely that McCain voted in favor of cloture. He did so only to fulfill a pledge made two years previously not to block the bill in exchange for Democrat agreement not to block Republican bills; however, in 2006 when he voted in favor of cloture McCain also issued a statement saying he strongly opposes the bill and would vote against it if cloture had been successful.

State Sen. Colleen Hanabusa, a spokeswoman for the Clinton campaign in Hawaii, said she believes the former first lady would sign the Akaka Bill if given the chance as president.

Hanabusa noted that it was President Clinton who signed the 1993 "Apology Resolution" that acknowledged the 1893 overthrow of the kingdom of Hawaii. The process for recognizing a native Hawaiian governing body is spelled out in that resolution. Hanabusa said the Clinton administration's support for the resolution is indicative of the former first lady's support. "It's not a matter of a hypothetical 'What would you do?'" Hanabusa said. "This is a matter of the record, and the record speaks for itself."


Hawaii Reporter, January 22, 2008

Akaka Bill is About Power and Money, Not Helping Hawaiians

By Tom Macdonald

This is in response to Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustee Oswald Stender’s impassioned plea to the Legislature supporting the Akaka bill, "Hawaiians Are Entitled to Benefits That Would Be Protected with the Passage of the Akaka Bill" -- printed in Hawaii Reporter on Jan. 18, 2007.

After reading of Mr. Stender’s unfortunate childhood, with the death of his Hawaiian mother and abandonment by his haole father, one can readily understand Mr. Stender’s emotional commitment to preserving the current taxpayer funded entitlements that he regards as necessary to “rehabilitate” native Hawaiians.

But that does not excuse the writing of a piece filled with half-truths.

As Mr. Stender truthfully claims, the Akaka Bill does not itself “take anything away from one group and give it to another,” but the Bill does in fact make such things possible in the near future, that are not possible now. In fact, that’s the very point of the Bill.

To start with the major half-truth, Mr. Stender insists that “The Akaka Bill simply does not take anything away from anyone and give it to Hawaiians.” And he states that “this bill does not give lands to Hawaiians.”

Taken literally these statements are true -- the Akaka Bill itself does not involve land transfers. But, as Mr.Stender knows full well, the Akaka Bill does require “negotiations” between a newly formed native Hawaiian government and the state of Hawaii for the transfer of lands and other assets from the State to the new government.

U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii, District 1, summed the matter up succinctly when he said “The bottom line here is that this is a Bill about the control of assets. This is about land, this is about money…”

And it is no secret that, at a minimum, the new Hawaiian government expects to receive title to the island of Kahoolawe, and that it has fond hopes of receiving most of the remaining ceded lands that have not already been given to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

Mr. Stender also maintains that “the Akaka Bill does not set up a separate government agency for Hawaiians,” when in fact the Bill does authorize the establishment of a new sovereign Hawaiian “governing entity.” That is why we have the Kau Inoa movement collecting names of those who can prove they have at least a drop of Hawaiian blood, which will entitle them to citizenship in the to-be-formed native Hawaiian government.

And he maintains that the Bill “does not allow Hawaiians to secede from the United States,” while he does admit that the Bill “puts into motion a mechanism to explore the issues of self-governance” for native Hawaiians. He can not have it both ways.

The biggest deception (or perhaps self-deception) of all, however, is Mr. Stender’s insistence that “the Akaka Bill does not attempt to separate the people of Hawaii and destroy ‘the Aloha Spirit’.” Once again, maybe this statement is literally true -- it does not attempt to divide the people of Hawaii, but it surely will cause serious divisions and conflict in our community, when those non-Hawaiians who have believed Mr. Stender, and who have believed OHA’s soothing advertisements, realize that they have been deceived, and that they are now second-class citizens, excluded from receiving many taxpayer-funded benefits, in their own land.

Tom MacDonald is a resident of Kaneohe, Hawaii, who can be reached at


Honolulu Advertiser, Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Obama supports Akaka bill recognizing Hawaiians

Associated Press

HONOLULU — Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said he would sign the Akaka Bill recognizing Native Hawaiians if elected president. Obama said in a statement released Tuesday he supports federal recognition for Native Hawaiians because they are an important part of the local culture. The bill would fulfill the promise of "liberty, justice and freedom" for Native Hawaiians and ensure they are not left out of the state's progress, he said.

"The process set forth in this important legislation empowers Native Hawaiians to explore and address the long-standing issues resulting from the overthrow of the kingdom of Hawai'i," he said.

The legislation known as the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act would give Native Hawaiians the right to form a governing entity similar to those of Native Americans that could negotiate with state and federal governments over control of natural resources, lands and assets.

The legislation is often referred to as the Akaka Bill after its author, Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawai'i.

The bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives last year and awaits a vote in the Senate. President Bush has threatened to veto the bill, saying it would divide Americans along lines of race and ethnicity.

Akaka two years ago unsuccessfully tried to force an up-or-down vote on the bill in the Senate. Obama and Democratic rival Hillary Clinton supported that effort.

State Sen. Colleen Hanabusa, a spokeswoman for the Clinton campaign in Hawai'i, said she thinks Clinton would also sign the bill.

Hanabusa, D-Nanakuli-Makua, pointed to former President Bill Clinton's 1993 signing of an apology resolution that recognized the overthrow of the kingdom of Hawai'i in 1893. That resolution laid out a process for recognizing a Native Hawaiian governing entity.


Honolulu Star-Bulletin, January 24, 2008, letter to editor

OHA trying to protect its own interests

After spending nearly seven years and more than $3 million of beneficiary/taxpayer money to get people to support the Akaka Bill, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs has begun to accept the inevitable, the bill's demise.

Their "very conflicted" declaration that it be "THE" native Hawaiian governing entity confirms suspicions of their intentions of a Sen. Dan Inouye- backed agenda: the reaffirmation and confirmation of the illegal statehood of Hawaii, the Organic Act -- the territorial acquisition of Hawaii, the alleged annexation of Hawaii, the Republic of Hawaii, the provisional government and the alleged overthrow of the government/kingdom of Hawaii by using Congress' definition of "kanaka" as indigenous Native Americans and its plenary powers to rule and eliminate our independence claims forever!

OHA acts of "global-like" settlements, cronyism and funding of special projects, taking place as we speak, continue to fester the divisiveness within our community and we are told to "stop grumbling."

OHA's kuleana is to take care of its trust responsibilities and listen to all its constituents. We have asked for reconciliation as guaranteed by President Clinton's 1993 Apology Bill. That needs to be defined.

Meaningful reconciliation would help to create more pono solutions toward self-determination and self-governance for the kanaka Hawaii and address the historical injustices rather than just the Akaka Bill, which only perpetuates our dependence on governmental handouts, entitlements and dictation.

Kunani Nihipali


Hawaii Reporter, January 24, 2008

Too Bad Obama Supports the Akaka Bill
The Akaka Bill is Unfair and Un-American

By Arthur Lemay

I note that Barack Obama stated that, if he were elected President, he would vote the Akaka Bill into law. How unfortunate.

This bill is like the camel’s nose under the tent: it seems innocent, sounds innocent, but the devil is in the details. Although it is silent on the issue of property claims, it seems transparently obvious that the example of the Alaskan natives, the Oniedas (Ohio), the Mashpees (Massachusetts) and other native tribes who have gained hundreds of millions of dollars from the states and the U.S. government, that the objective of the Akaka Bill is to make possible similar claims for those who can claim Hawaiian ancestry.

So, where is the money to come from? On the mainland, the native peoples have claimed people’s homes, properties, and even whole counties. Litigation has frozen property sales in Mashpee since 1976, and, even though the claims nationally are largely unsuccessful, the settlements run in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Even after 30 years the Indians are still litigating in Mashpee and people whose homes have been passed down for generations cannot be sure they actually own them.

It is very obvious to me that the native Hawaiian minority is seeking a lifetime income for no work, based on some notion that they deserve it somehow. Under the Akaka Bill, the native Hawaiian would have more rights, more benefits, and would be a kind of aristocracy above the crowd of ordinary people who are not of native blood.

The French had a system like this before the Revolution. Special people had special rights, guaranteed incomes, titles, abusing the common people, until the tumbrels came out and took them to the Guillotines.

That is why our founding fathers set up a system where everyone is equal. Why does this imbecile Barack Obama not understand this? Why do the people of Hawaii not understand that it is their property and wealth which is at risk? Why does a native Hawaiian deserve more than a recent immigrant? We are all born equal, but evidently Sen. Akaka thinks otherwise.

The Akaka bill is unfair, un-American, and, if passed, will make Hawaii and Hawaiians into a despised elite minority like the Indian Casino millionaires who have manipulated the political system to become rich undeservingly and unfairly.

Why would anyone want to own property or a business where he is a second class citizen? The Akaka Bill has consequences far beyond any discussions I have seen so far, and if Hawaii’s politicians are to be believed, then a prudent man would sell everything he has in Hawaii and get out, that is, unless he was a native Hawaiian, and is happy to see his home gradually decline into the status of a third world country.

Arthur Lemay is a retired informatics executive and management consultant. He is a science graduate of Harvard, and writes extensively on scientific subjects. He was the systems architect for several world-wide information systems. In addition, he was president of several high-tech companies, both in computer services and manufacturing. His consulting clients included the U.S. Congress, several major banks in New York, venture capital firms in Silicon Valley and a major Japanese company. Lemay is an internationalist who spends almost 50 percent of his time travelling and living the European life style in Paris. Reach him at arthur@lemay.ws


January 25: A new webpage was created to compile a series of highly controversial political cartoons ridiculing the Kau Inoa racial registry, and the commentaries they spawned pro and con. The cartoons were published on a blog named "Zero Shibai" and reprinted in the online newspaper Hawaii Reporter. The cartoons drew a written protest from OHA chair Haunani Apoliona, and her protest stimulated both serious and sarcastic responses. See: "Bovine Flatulence -- Zero Shibai blog Kau Inoa cartoons (Overthrow victim, Kau Manua, Cow Inoa) cause OHA chair Haunani Apoliona to have a cow." at

Here is the cartoon which caused the biggest stir, including accusations of racism from both sides:


Midweek (O'ahu, Hawai'i), January 30, 2008

The Native Hawaiian ‘Reservation’

By Jerry Coffee

All across the northern U.S., from Washington, Montana and the Dakotas to Minnesota, Michigan and New York, Indian tribes increasingly flex their muscles, aided by steroid injections from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).

Over the years, Native American bureaucrats have stealthily infiltrated the BIA to the point of rubber-stamp approval of most self-serving initiatives from the nation’s Indian tribes, which then go to Congress for enabling legislation. This has been facilitated by generous tribal campaign donations to key congressional and state legislative leaders; donations which - by the way - coming from Indian tribes are exempt from the usual campaign donation limits.

Some tribes have redrawn historical tribal boundaries to claim homestead properties of non-native Americans who have lived on them for generations. Such claims frequently find favorable endorsements by the BIA and, successful or not, land titles are frozen until resolution can be litigated. In any case, the property owners are out thousands of dollars in legal fees. Appropriate governmental intervention has been historically slow.

A more insidious tactic is “reservation shopping,” whereby a tribal council identifies a perfect site - not necessarily even near the actual reservation - for a commercial enterprise, most commonly a gambling casino, but it could be a shopping center, a theme park or a truck stop. The council then applies for “reservation status,” gets a rubber-stamp approval by the BIA and summary approval by Congress. From this point, the tribe’s plans for the property require no approval by the Department of the Interior, no approval by the governor or the state Legislature, and no input from the surrounding community. According to U.S. Rep. Brian Baird, D. Wash., “The deck is so stacked against the local community ... when the approving agency is acting in a quasi advocacy role.”

Some citizens in the Northwest who fight such blatant property encroachment characterize tribal sacred ground as anyplace on an interstate highway with an interchange near a metropolitan center.

Keep in mind that “tribal sovereignty” makes a tribe a coequal to the United States government above the state government. Once a property is added to the tribal “trust,” it becomes a part of the reservation, technically immune from state zoning laws, state and federal taxes, campaign spending laws, environmental laws (no EISs) and, if the tribe chooses, immune from local law enforcement. Any products like cigarettes, gasoline or - in Hawaii, anything with GET - sold on reservation land are tax-free and can therefore undercut competing enterprises on adjacent non-reservation land.

All of the above is actually happening on the Mainland.

It should not be lost on the people of Hawaii that this is the model proposed by Sen. Dan Akaka in the “Akaka Bill” - that Native Hawaiians deserve the same rights as Native Americans. Although he is quick to point out the bill itself does not detail any of the above provisions, but only provides a “framework” for negotiations between the state and a “Hawaiian governing entity.” This can mean anything from formally establishing OHA as the interim “Tribal Council” to the ultimate secession of Hawaii from the United States - “something for my grandchildren to decide,” as Akaka puts it - leaving the secession door wide open.

Only a month or so ago there was some controversy over the plans for a Hawaiian Homelands parcel in Kapolei as to whether development of the parcel should be subject to state/county planning or zoning laws.

We have just seen the long-overdue (and what most consider fair) settlement of revenues and land to OHA from Hawaii’s ceded lands. Should the Akaka Bill pass, it’s fair to say the 209 acres (in three parcels) included in this recent settlement plus the existing Hawaiian home-lands would constitute the beginning of the “Native Hawaiian tribal reservation.”

And even if OHA (backed up by the BIA and U.S. Department of the Interior) and the state Legislature could “negotiate” a future relationship as coequals, which they won’t be, OHA will have enough ceded land revenue to spread around the Legislature - unrestricted - to make the HGEA look like beginners. We can be sure OHA will get its way.

But, hey, I guess that’s what the senator has in mind!

Is that what you have in mind?


Honolulu Advertiser, Thursday, January 31, 2008, Letters to the Editor


The $200 million "settlement" of OHA's claims for ceded lands "rent" would settle nothing. We've repeatedly been told the lie that all 1.8 million acres of ceded lands belong to ethnic Hawaiians communally.

The Legislature has passed resolutions supporting the Akaka bill. Should the Legislature now give away money and land even before negotiations begin against the anticipated Akaka tribe to chop up the State of Hawai'i?

Our governor, attorney general and Legislature have an absolute duty to defend all Hawai'i's people against the rip-off of our money, land and jurisdictional authority by powerful institutions allegedly acting in the name of one racial group.

Neither the crown, nor government lands, nor the kingdom itself belonged to Native Hawaiians as a racial group. Yet the current "settlement" and future tribe are for ethnic Hawaiians exclusively.

There is no historical, legal or moral justification for race-based claims to ownership of ceded lands or to the revenues they generate. The current settlement and future Akaka tribe are steps along a terrible path.

Kenneth R. Conklin


Honolulu Advertiser, Friday, February 1, 2008

Hawaii court bars state from selling ceded land

By Dan Nakaso

The state cannot sell or transfer the 1.8 million acres of former Hawaiian monarchy lands, known as ceded lands, until the claims of Native Hawaiians to the property have been resolved, the Hawai'i Supreme Court ruled yesterday.

The Supreme Court ruling was a victory for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Sherry Broder, one of the attorneys who argued the case on behalf of OHA, called the ruling "a tremendous victory for the Hawaiian people. I'm very excited about it."

The decision was a defeat for the state, which argued it had the right to sell ceded lands. "We're disappointed with the decision," state Attorney General Mark Bennett said last night. "It is our belief that the state is and should be able legally to sell ceded lands. ... We think it's legal."

In the case of OHA vs. the Housing and Community Development Corporation of Hawai'i and the state of Hawai'i, the Supreme Court reversed an earlier Circuit Court judgment in favor of HCDCA and the state and ordered the lower court to bar the sale or transfer of ceded lands.

The court's decision cited 1.8 million acres of historical ceded lands. Broder said the amount was 1.4 million acres.

The case began in the mid-1990s when the state transferred parcels of ceded lands to private entrepreneurs on Maui and the Big Island for residential development. In 1995, OHA sought an injunction for the Maui and Big Island parcels, as well as any other ceded lands from the public lands trust.

The Supreme Court's decision yesterday cited generations of critical moments in Hawaiian history, dating to the 1893 overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawai'i and the surrender of crown, government and public lands to the United States; the admission of Hawai'i as a state; the creation of OHA and the public lands trust; and Congress' 1993 Apology Resolution 100 years after the overthrow.

"In our view," the justices held, "the Apology Resolution acknowledges only that unrelinquished claims (by Native Hawaiians) exist and plainly contemplates future reconciliation with the United States and the state with regard to those claims."

The court held that the Apology Resolution and related state legislation "give rise to the state's fiduciary duty to preserve the corpus of the public lands trust, specifically, the ceded lands, until such time as the unrelinquished claims of the Native Hawaiians have been resolved."

Bennett, the attorney general, and his staff were reviewing the 93-page decision last night and he said it was premature to comment on whether the state may appeal.


Various entities have been awaiting the court's ruling, Bennett said, but he was not immediately aware of any potential third party land transactions that might be affected.

"We'll have to take a better look at the facts to see what the immediate impact will be," Bennett said.

Bennett said, "We respectfully disagree with the Hawai'i Supreme Court that the Apology Resolution is any way relevant to the question of whether the state has a legal right to sell ... ceded lands. We believe and argued that the law clearly allowed the state to sell ceded lands. That was the contemplation of Congress when it passed the Admissions Act."

The Supreme Court's order for an injunction to bar the sale of the land until claims are resolved places new focus on the stalled Akaka bill in Congress, which could create a third party to resolve claims on the ceded lands, Broder said.

"The next step is having the creation of a Native Hawaiian entity to negotiate with the federal and state governments for the unrelinquished claims for the Hawaiian people," Broder said. "The court is keeping the corpus of the ceded lands intact until any claims can be resolved."


In its ruling yesterday, the Supreme Court noted that OHA specifically asserted that it is not asking to resolve any claims to ceded lands "but only to protect the trust assets that are in dispute by issuing an injunction barring the sale or transfer of the (ceded) lands."

The court found that OHA merely wanted the court to protect the lands "until the political branches can reach a just solution to this dispute. In fact, the OHA plaintiffs admit that 'the ultimate resolution of the Native Hawaiian claims must be through the political processes, and it is actively engaged in these processes. But this struggle for justice will be futile if the assets in disputes (i.e., the ceded lands) no longer exist when a solution is found.' "

OHA issued a statement last night saying it "is pleased with the favorable opinion by the Hawai'i State Supreme Court in a case with important implications."

OHA attorneys scheduled a press conference for 1:30 p.m. today.


Honolulu Star-Bulletin, February 1, 2008

High court restricts sale of ceded lands

By Nelson Daranciang

The Hawaii Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the state, as trustee of lands formerly belonging to the Hawaiian monarchy, cannot sell or transfer those ceded lands to third parties until claims of native Hawaiians to those lands are resolved.

Yesterday's 5-0 ruling overturns previous lower court judgments and orders the state Circuit Court to issue an injunction to prevent the state from disposing of ceded lands to third parties.

"That's great news. That's really great news," said Jonathan Osorio, a native Hawaiian trust beneficiary and one of the plaintiffs in the case. "It really reinforces what we were saying all along."

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs and its board of trustees are also plaintiffs in the case. "This is a landmark decision on behalf of Hawaiians," said Haunani Apoliona, OHA board chairwoman.

State Attorney General Mark Bennett is critical of the ruling. "I believe the court's determination is wrong," he said. "We are still looking at it and reviewing it. It is disappointing, and on the law, I think, it is incorrect."

The ruling has no effect on the proposed settlement OHA and Gov. Linda Lingle announced earlier this month because the proposal would involve past and current ceded-lands revenue that is in dispute, Apoliona said. Yesterday's ruling, however, keeps intact whatever lands were taken following the 1893 overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy for native Hawaiians to seek their return or compensation.

"This suggests an urgency for the creation of a native Hawaiian government so it can negotiate with the state and federal governments," Apoliona said.

The case started in 1995 when the plaintiffs filed an injunction to stop the state from transferring ceded lands on Maui and the Big Island from the Department of Land and Natural Resources to the predecessor of the state Housing and Community Development Corporation of Hawaii to develop low-cost housing.

Two years earlier, Congress adopted the Apology Resolution that stated the overthrow of the kingdom of Hawaii was illegal, that the taking of the kingdom lands was without consent or compensation and that the indigenous Hawaiian people never directly relinquished their claims over their national lands to the U.S.

The injunction specifically sought to prevent the transfer of a 500-acre parcel on Maui identified as Leialii.

By the time OHA and the other plaintiffs filed their lawsuit, DLNR had already transferred the land, and the state housing agency had sent OHA a check for 20 percent of the fair market value of the land as its share according to state law.

The state housing agency decided to stop work on the project, but it had already invested $31 million in Leialii for roadways, utilities, lighting poles, sewer hookups and some landscaping.

During the years, the plaintiffs agreed to remove some of the Leialii lands from the dispute so the state could transfer them to the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands to provide housing for native Hawaiians, Apoliona said.


KHON TV, February 1, 2008

High Court Rules State Cannot Sell Ceded Lands

By Andrew Pereira

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is hailing a decision by the Hawaii Supreme Court Thursday that prevents the state from selling 1.4 million acres of ceded lands; land that was once controlled by the Hawaiian Kingdom.

The ruling comes more than ten years after the state attempted to sell 1,500 acres of ceded lands on Maui and the Big Island to housing developers. Four native Hawaiians together with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs filed suit in August of 1995 to stop the sale of the lands, but in 2001 a circuit court judge ruled against them.

In its 93 page decision to overturn the lower court's ruling the Hawaii Supreme Court ordered that the initial judgment be vacated and granted the plaintiff's request for an injunction to prevent the state from selling any ceded lands.

"The injunction is a permanent injunction and there's no time limit on it," said OHA attorney Sherry Broder, who argued the case before the state's highest court.

In it's decision justices relied heavily on a 1993 resolution passed by Congress and signed by then President Bill Clinton. The resolution apologized for the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1893, calling it "illegal."

"Essentially the Hawaii Supreme Court has recognized what the apology resolution was setting forth, which is that Hawaiians have unrelinquished claims to the ceded lands," said Broder.

Bill Meheula, the attorney who represented the four native Hawaiians in the lawsuit, cautioned the ruling does not mean ceded lands will be handed over to native Hawaiians.

"This decision does not determine who has a good claim to the ceded lands," said Meheula. "Although we are delighted with this decision it's not going to change the way the state operates its business at all."

Despite the high court ruling the state is still allowed to transfer ceded lands between different government agencies. "Even when lands are transferred to the Department of Hawaiian Homelands the title remains with the state of Hawaii because the Department of Hawaiian Homelands is another state agency," said Broder

Broder said resolving ceded land claims will require native Hawaiians to eventually choose an official government body that represents them as a sovereign people. "In order to have government to government negotiations there would have to be some kind of an entity that the federal government recognized," she said.

OHA Chairperson Haunani Apoliona agreed that in light of the ruling the importance of passing the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, more commonly known as the Akaka Bill, takes on new importance. "It's about organizing ourselves and bringing together a credible process and ultimately a native entity that will help to resolve these issues."

While there are many disagreements among native Hawaiians about the Akaka Bill and whether it's the best route to self-governance, one of the four plaintiffs who filed suit to stop the sale of ceded lands believes there will eventually be agreement among the native Hawaiian community.

"(Disagreements) we can resolve," said Charles Ka'ai'ai. "We just need to sit down and talk to each other."

Apoliona believes the route to self-governance, either through the Akaka Bill or something else, will be a long and difficult road. However once ceded land claims are resolved she believes the result will be a benefit to everyone in the state.

"I think Hawaii in the end will be a much better place," she said.


Honolulu Star-Bulletin, February 2, 2008

High court decision adds urgency to Akaka Bill enactment

The state Supreme Court has ruled that the Office of Hawaiian Affairs can't be forced to sell ceded lands while political questions remain.

A state Supreme Court ruling this week blocks the forced sale or transfer of lands once owned by the Hawaiian monarchy "pending final resolution of native Hawaiian claims through the political process." The decision adds urgency to enactment of the Hawaiian sovereignty bill proposed by Sen. Daniel Akaka.

The overturning of a 2002 decision of Circuit Judge Sabrina McKenna leaves in limbo the status of 1.4 million acres of land ceded to the United States following the 1893 overthrow of the kingdom and transferred to the state upon admission. A 1993 congressional resolution apologizing for the overthrow states that native Hawaiians never "directly relinquished their claims" to the ceded lands.

Unlike Senate, House or concurrent resolutions expressing opinions by a single or both chambers of Congress, a joint resolution such as the Apology Resolution carries the force of law upon being signed by the president, in this case by then-President Clinton. Thus, Chief Justice Ronald Moon wrote in the high court's unanimous opinion, the Apology Resolution is "a public law" that must be obeyed.

The resolution "dictates that the ceded lands should be preserved pending a reconciliation between the United States and the native Hawaiian people," Moon wrote. In the meantime, he added, the "unrelinquished claims of native Hawaiians" warrant the land's protection from transfers.

The issue arose after the Legislature agreed in 1992 to compensate the Office of Hawaiian Affairs for parcels of ceded land on Maui and the Big Island to be developed as low-cost housing. OHA agreed to the transfer until the Apology Resolution was enacted in November 1993. The state wrote a $5.8 million check to OHA for compensation, but OHA rejected it and filed suit.

McKenna refused to block the transfer of land for development, ruling that OHA's claims amounted to a political rather than a legal issue to be decided in court. The Supreme Court essentially agreed that the issue is political but ruled that the Apology Resolution "dictates that the ceded lands be preserved" until the political questions are resolved.

The high court cited a 2000 recommendation by the Clinton administration's Justice and Interior departments "that native Hawaiian people should have self-determination over their own affairs within the framework of federal law, as do Native American tribes."

The Akaka bill, which would grant Hawaiians such self-determination, has been approved by the House and awaits Senate action but appears not to be veto-proof in either chamber. President Bush and Sen. John McCain, the Republican presidential frontrunner, oppose the Akaka Bill, while Democratic hopefuls Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton support it.

The court also cited measures approved by the state Legislature contemplating reconciliation and "monetary reparations" made to Hawaiians for land acquisitions. It also referred to Gov. Linda Lingle's 2003 State of the State pledge to work "with the Hawaiian community to resolve the ceded lands issue once and for all."


Honolulu Advertiser, Sunday, February 3, 2008

Hawaii can't avoid duty to resolve Native Hawaiian claims

Reconciliation is always a painful process, but rarely do entire states encounter one sure to be as uncomfortable and prolonged as the settlement of Native Hawaiian claims.

But it seems the best course is to press ahead to achieve that settlement, difficult as that may be. If there's any easy detour around that legal burden, the Hawai'i Supreme Court certainly can't recommend one.

That much seems clear from the high court's recent ruling on a 1994 dispute around lands that once belonged to the Hawaiian kingdom later ceded to the U.S. and the state of Hawai'i. In their decision, the justices found that the state is barred from selling or transferring any of the so-called "ceded lands" until the final settlement of all outstanding Native Hawaiian claims on these lands, which total 1.8 million acres.

The case arose because the state was poised to sell private developers about 500 acres for the Leiali'i and La'iopua projects on Maui and the Big Island, respectively. Four individual plaintiffs of Native Hawaiian descent, joined by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, filed suit.

The lower court upheld the state's right to sell the land but on appeal, the high court cited the 1993 Apology Resolution and other state legislation underscoring the state's role as trustee for the ceded lands. Among the beneficiaries of that trust are Native Hawaiians and, according to the ruling, the state should not sell or transfer any of the trust lands until negotiations finally settle how much of that land should belong to Native Hawaiians.

The trouble is, there can be no negotiations until a Native Hawaiian government is organized and recognized by the federal government. And that can't happen until the Akaka bill is passed by Congress and signed into law.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs point out that the state never attempted any land deals before or since the Maui and Big Island instances, so the ruling doesn't complicate any ongoing land development projects or deals with the state.

Regardless, the state can't function indefinitely with such a large bank of land it has no power to control. A situation in which the state holds title but lacks the freedom to sell land will become intolerable before long. The state has needs for housing, agriculture and other uses; land swaps, transfers and sales are ways of consolidating tracts so it can be used effectively.

OHA and others who support federal recognition feel encouraged by the possibility of a change in leadership in Washington to a Democratic administration that would back the Akaka bill. However, the reality is that even if the bill passes, there are sure to be legal challenges, further delaying the negotiation and settlement process.

And that means advocates within state government must push the Hawai'i congressional delegation to deliver more support on Capitol Hill. Hawai'i has two of the most senior members in the Senate; Sen. Daniel Inouye, in particular, needs to apply more of that political muscle to this mission.

Closing the book on Hawai'i's turbulent past is essential before the state can tap its resources and focus its attention fully on a future that supports all its people.


Honolulu Star-Bulletin, February 3, 2008
Gathering Place [COMMENTARY]

Say no to the transfer of lands of the Hawaiian Nation

by Kekuni Blaisdell

The Hawaii state government's proposed allocation of lands belonging to the Hawaiian Nation must be rejected. The state of Hawaii, as part of the U.S. federal system, has no authority to allocate any land of the sovereign Hawaiian Nation to any party other than the rightful owners.

U.S. Public Law 103-150 (Apology Resolution) of 1993 clarified that the kanaka maoli (native Hawaiians) never relinquished their claims over their national lands to the United States. Even though the Hawaiian Nation was invaded by the United States in 1893 and its government was removed, the Hawaiian Nation, under international law, continues to exist. Only the kanaka maoli and fellow loyal non-kanaka citizens, as continuing members of the Hawaiian Nation, have legal authority to decide on the lands of the Hawaiian Nation. Until the U.S. government ends its illegal occupation of Hawaii, it is obliged to keep intact all the lands it occupies.

The state Office of Hawaiian Affairs cannot be viewed as a legal representative of the Hawaiian Nation, since it was created in 1980 by the illegal state government and the federal government. Thus, members of OHA have allegiance to those two governments, not to the Hawaiian Nation. OHA was created by the U.S. occupier as custodian of certain funds derived from Hawaiian national lands that the occupier allocates, allegedly, for the benefit of the occupied. But OHA cannot be considered a trustee of the lands of the Hawaiian Nation unless OHA were specified by the U.S. federal system to serve as custodian of all occupied lands until the lands are restored to the Hawaiian Nation.

The attempt, since 2000, by Congress to create a Hawaiian nation within the federal system (the Akaka Bill) stands in contradiction to the findings of U.S. PL 103-150 that acknowledges that the United States invaded the Hawaiian Nation in violation of treaties and international law. That public law also acknowledges that the United States, in 1893, suppressed the inherent sovereignty of the kanaka maoli people and deprived them of their right to self-determination. Such findings and admissions indicate that this public law's call for reconciliation on the part of the United States must be addressed through international law, not through U.S. domestic law.

OHA and the state's proposed land and money awards to OHA bring to center stage the reality that the United States remains an occupier and that as such, it is trustee of the Hawaiian national lands until the Hawaiian Nation government is reconstituted and recognized. Attempting to pursue reconciliation through U.S. domestic law maintains the deception that U.S. PL 103-150 uncovers.

If the state government sincerely desires to address the issue of the lands, it must do so through international law, particularly the Law of Occupation, Law of Restitution and Law of Self-Determination. Under the International Law of Occupation, the United States must end its occupation, assist in the restoration of the Hawaiian national government and return all occupied national lands to that government.

Under the International Law of Restitution, the United States must restore the original situation. In the case of the Hawaiian Nation, there are two "original" situations. The first is the original independent Hawaiian Nation that existed in 1893 before the U.S. invaded Hawaii and assured the overthrow of the government of Queen Lili'uokalani.

The second situation existed between 1946 and 1959, when the lands of Hawaii were placed under United Nations supervision as a non-self-governing territory, with the United States designated as the administrative authority. As such, the United States was tasked to prepare the people of the U.S.-occupied Territory of Hawaii, who had not been allowed to exercise their right to self-determination. In 1959, these colonized people were the kanaka maoli and other non-kanaka Hawaiian nationals and their descendants who had not sought U.S. citizenship. Thus, the 1959 fraudulent statehood referendum was not U.N.-supervised and the ballot did not include independence as the primary option for attaining self-determination.

Further, U.S. citizens, who already had exercised their right to self-determination by accepting U.S. citizenship, including U.S. military personnel and other non-Hawaiian nationals, were allowed to vote. The United States then wrongly reported to the United Nations, but not to the people of Hawaii, that a legitimate exercise of self-determination had been conducted. Thereupon, the United Nations duly removed Hawaii from its list of non-self-governing territories because no one in uninformed Hawaii or in the uninformed U.N. General Assembly publicly objected to the invalid voting procedure.

Given the fraudulent 1959 statehood vote, Hawaii, under the U.N. Law of Self-Determination, should remain a U.N. non-self-governing territory until a legitimate exercise of self-determination is conducted.

Kekuni Blaisdell is a member of the Kanaka Maoli Tribunal Komike, a pro-independence Hawaiian sovereignty group.


Honolulu Advertiser, February 5, 2008
Letter to editor


Sunday's editorial about the Supreme Court's decision to bar the sale of the ceded lands - the crown and government lands of the Hawaiian kingdom - pointed only to the process of reconciliation and the difficulties of negotiating that reconciliation with the United States and the state of Hawai'i.

From this the writer leaps to the conclusion that only the passage of the Akaka bill can provide a native agency that can negotiate a claim with the state and lead to a settlement that will close "the book on Hawai'i's turbulent past."

I can understand why Hawai'i residents would want this resolved as expeditiously as possible, but as one of the original plaintiffs in this case, I think there are other concerns about the state's control of these lands that are just as important, especially since Hawaiians are not responsible for the theft of their lands nor of the continued denial either of the right to self-determination or the restoration of their national government.

Theft is the most accurate description of the taking of the crown and government lands by the republic in 1894 and the cession of those lands to the United States. The United States did not conquer Hawai'i, but it prevented the kingdom from extinguishing the insurrection in 1893, disregarded its own constitution by assuming an annexation even when it could not secure enough votes for a legal annexation and took possession of lands that the kingdom's legislatures and chiefs had reserved for its monarchs and national well-being before 1850.

Neither the state nor the United States has legal title or moral claim to the ceded lands.

I, too, would like to see a reconciliation, but our people did not create this pilikia and we should not be admonished to hurry through the "settlement" just because it is inconvenient to the state.

Jonathan K. Osorio
Professor and director, Kamakakuokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies, University of Hawai'i-Manoa


Honolulu Advertiser, Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Apology bill has the force of law

By Jerry Burris
Advertiser Columnist

In 1993, when Congress (or rather, about five members of an otherwise fairly uninterested U.S. Senate) debated the so-called "Apology bill" for Native Hawaiians, Sen. Daniel Inouye argued it was merely a "simple apology" designed to set the nation's historical facts in order.

What Inouye was focused on were arguments that the Apology bill was the first step toward independence for Hawai'i. Nothing, he said, could be further from the truth.

That may be so. But it is now abundantly clear the Apology bill is far more than a mere token of remorse. It is, according to the state Supreme Court in its Jan. 31 opinion on a lawsuit involving ceded lands, the very law of the land.

Put it this way: The Apology resolution is the controlling law when it comes to ongoing questions about whether the overthrow of the monarchy was illegal, whether Hawaiians are due restitution for that overthrow and whether ceded lands (property that went from the Hawaiian government and crown to the U.S. and then to the state of Hawai'i) should be held in impregnable trust until that restitution debate is settled.

To each point, the legal answer, as declared by our highest court, is "yes."

Now, it is important to note that the court did not attempt to get involved in what restitution should look like. That's a political question.

Hawaiian claims arising out of the overthrow might be settled with a dollar and a hug. But don't count on it. The real game here is land, or constructive use of it.

Opponents of this process argue it is unconstitutional to transfer assets from public control to one specific group on the basis of race. The state Supreme Court didn't get into that. It simply said that, as recognized by federal law (the apology resolution has the force of law, it says), there was once a Hawaiian kingdom that controlled these lands, the kingdom was done away with illegally, and now, something must be done about the matter.

Just what that "something" is is up to the politicians to decide. Gov. Linda Lingle and the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs offer a clue with their proposed settlement of back claims for ceded lands revenues that involves both cash and ceded lands being given to OHA.

At first blush, it seems odd that OHA would argue forcefully against any alienation of ceded lands while at the same time happily taking some out of the trust for its own use. The answer given is that the guiding principle is: No alienation of ceded lands unless they go to us. If it benefits Hawaiians, no harm done.

As the political process moves forward, politicians can no longer claim there is no legal foundation for them to act.


Hawaii Reporter, February 6, 2008

Apology Bill, Which Was Passed Under False Pretenses, Now Threatens to Divide Hawaii

By John Corboy

It is a matter of record that supporters of the 1993 "Apology Resolution," insisted that it would never be used as a political document. The ink was barely dry on President Bill Clinton's signature when they disseminated the document far and wide as proof of federal responsibility for the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy.

Anyone knowing the history realizes that this is poppycock, yet comes now Chief Justice Moon requiring obedience to this "public law." No joint resolution can convert fiction to fact. Nonsense is still nonsense. What a shame.

The last thing we Hawaiians need is a separate based-raced government in these islands. At the very least, a plebiscite of all Hawaiians, native and non-native, must be conducted before any further efforts are made to divide our neighborhoods by bloodlines.

Just as a reminder, here is a letter - "U.S. Senators Betrayed by Sponsors of Akaka Bill" - written by U.S. Senators Slade Gorton and Hank Brown in 2005 that says they were promised by U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye that the Apology Resolution would not be used for political purposes and that they feel betrayed because it now is:

The U.S. Senate is poised to sanction the creation of a racially exclusive government by and for Native Hawaiians who satisfy a blood test. The new race-based sovereign that would be summoned into being by the so-called Akaka Bill would operate outside the U.S. Constitution and the nation's most cherished civil rights statutes. Indeed, the champions of the proposed legislation boast that the new Native Hawaiian entity could secede from the Union like the Confederacy, but without the necessity of shelling Fort Sumter.

The Akaka Bill classifies citizens by race, defying the express provisions of the 14th Amendment. It also rests on a betrayal of express commitments made by its sponsors a decade ago, and asserts as true many false statements about the history of Hawaii. It should be defeated.

The Akaka Bill's justification rests substantially on a 1993 Apology Resolution passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton when we were members of the Senate representing the states of Washington and Colorado. (We voted against it.) The Resolution is cited by the Akaka Bill in three places to establish the proposition that the U.S. perpetrated legal or moral wrongs against Native Hawaiians that justify the race-based government the legislation would erect. These citations are a betrayal of the word given to us -- and to the Senate -- in the debate over the Apology Resolution.

We specifically inquired of its proponents whether the Apology would be employed to seek "special status under which persons of Native Hawaiian descent will be given rights or privileges or reparations or land or money communally that are unavailable to other citizens of Hawaii." We were promised on the floor of the Senate by Daniel Inouye, the senior senator from Hawaii and a personage of impeccable integrity, that, "As to the matter of the status of Native Hawaiians ... [t]his resolution has nothing to do with that. ... I can assure my colleague of that." The Akaka Bill repudiates that promise of Sen. Inouye. It invokes the Apology Resolution to justify granting persons of Native Hawaiian descent -- even in minuscule proportion -- political and economic rights and land denied to other citizens of Hawaii. We were unambiguously told that would not be done.

The Apology Resolution distorted historical truths. It falsely claimed that the U.S. participated in the wrongful overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani in 1893. The U.S. remained strictly neutral. It provided neither arms, nor economic assistance, nor diplomatic support to a band of Hawaiian insurgents, who prevailed without firing a single shot, largely because neither the Native Hawaiian numerical majority nor the Queen's own government resisted the end of the Hawaiian Kingdom. The Queen authored her own ouster by planning a coup against the Hawaii Constitution to recapture monarchical powers that had been lost in a strong democratic current. She later confided to Sen. George Hoar that annexation to the U.S. was the best thing that could have happened to Native Hawaiians.

The Resolution falsely asserted that the Kingdom of Hawaii featured a Native Hawaiian government exclusively for Native Hawaiians prior to the 1893 events. In fact, the Kingdom was a splendid fusion of both native and non-native elements in both government and society. The definitive historian of the Kingdom, R.S. Kuykendall, elaborated: "The policy being followed looked to the creation of an Hawaiian state by the fusion of native and foreign ideas and the union of native and foreign personnel, bringing into being an Hawaiian body politic in which all elements, both Polynesian and haole, should work together for the common good under the mild and enlightened rule of an Hawaiian king."

The Apology falsely declared that Native Hawaiians enjoyed inherent sovereignty over Hawaii to the exclusion of non-Native Hawaiians. To the extent sovereignty existed outside the monarch, it reposed equally with all Hawaiians irrespective of ancestry. The Apology falsely maintained that Native Hawaiians never by plebiscite relinquished sovereignty to the U.S. In 1959, Native Hawaiians voted by at least a 2-1 margin for statehood in a plebiscite. Finally, the Apology Resolution and its misbegotten offspring, the Akaka Bill, betray this nation's sacred motto: E Pluribus Unum. They would begin a process of splintering sovereignties in the U.S. for every racial, ethnic, or religious group traumatized by an identity crisis. Movement is already afoot among a few Hispanic Americans to carve out race-based sovereignty from eight western states because the U.S. "wrongfully" defeated Mexico in the Mexican-American war.

The U.S. Constitution scrupulously protects the liberties and freedom of Native Hawaiians. It always has. It always will. Native Hawaiians have never been treated as less than equal by the U.S. Their economic success matches that of non-Native Hawaiians. Intermarriage is the norm. Sen. Inouye himself boasted in 1994 that Hawaii was "one of the greatest examples of a multiethnic society living in relative peace." In other words, E Pluribus Unum is a formula that works. We should not destroy it.

John Corboy MD is a Grassroot Institute of Hawaii Board of Directors Member, an ophthalmic surgeon, the former director of Hawaiian Eye Center, and the president of Hawaiian Eye Foundation, which conducts charitable Pacific medical missions.


Hawaii Reporter, February 7, 2008

Akaka Bill Would Set Precedent for Break Up of Every State in the Nation
Letter to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

By H. William Burgess

Editor's note: This letter was sent Feb. 4, 2008, to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Director Kenneth L. Marcus and Regional Coordinating Chief Chris Byrnes, regarding the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2007, known as the Akaka bill.

Thank you for requesting my input. In my opinion, the gravest threat now facing the civil rights of the people of Hawaii, and the people of the United States, is the Akaka bill, currently pending in Congress as S. 310/H.R. 505, Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2007.

This bill would create a privileged class consisting of anyone with at least one ancestor indigenous to the lands now part of the United States; and it would sponsor the creation of a separate sovereign government in Hawaii of, by and for persons with an ancestor indigenous to Hawaii. The bill does not require that new government to be subject to the full reach of the U.S. Constitution or the civil rights laws of the United States or the State of Hawaii; and it authorizes negotiations for the breakup and giveaway to that new government of some unspecified amount of Hawaii’s land, natural resources, governmental power and civil and criminal jurisdiction.

Imagine the consequences if Congress could authorize the breakup and give away of some or all of a state! What would become of the ”indestructible union composed of indestructible states” envisioned by the Constitution?

This bill would radically change existing Indian law by permitting recognition of tribal status based on blood alone. It thus would establish a precedent for the breakup of every state, and ultimately, of the United States itself.

Attached with further information about the dangers of this foolish bill is a copy of my testimony of May 3, 2007 to the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs -- see
and my response of May 17, 2007 to questions by Vice Chairman Craig Thomas -- see

Mahalo to the chairman and members and staff of the USCCR for standing firm to protect the equal protection of the laws for each and every citizen of the United States. If I may be of further assistance please call.

H. William Burgess is a Hawaii attorney and a member of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission's Hawaii committee. Reach him at


Hawaii Reporter, February 7, 2008

State's Land Distribution to Office of Hawaiian Affairs: 'Killing Our State Through Death of 1,000 Cuts'

By Kenneth R. Conklin

Aloha kakou

One small step for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, one giant leap toward racial apartheid in Hawaii. That summarizes SB 2733 -- legislation now pending in the Hawaii State Senate that threatens to slice off another piece of Hawaii, slowly killing our state through the death of 1,000 cuts.

That's the big picture regarding the ceded lands (or distribution of royal crown lands) agreement between Gov. Linda Lingle on behalf of the state and the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs, which SB 2733 seeks to enact into law:


Since 1978 the government of Hawaii has been facilitating the development an "Evil Empire" of racially separate governmental and private institutions exclusively for ethnic Hawaiians.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) was founded on three pillars of racial separatism: Only ethnic Hawaiians could vote for OHA trustees; only ethnic Hawaiians could run for OHA trustee; and only ethnic Hawaiians could receive benefits from OHA.

The first pillar was knocked down by the U.S. Supreme Court in Rice v. Cayetano. The second pillar was knocked down by the U.S. District Court in Honolulu and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Arakaki v. State of Hawaii. But the third pillar remains standing despite substantively correct lawsuits dismissed on technicalities.

In response to those lawsuits, the Akaka bill has been continuously re-introduced in Congress for nearly eight years, with zealous support from our Governor, Attorney General, and nearly every member of our Legislature. The Akaka bill seeks to authorize creation of a racially exclusionary government for all persons worldwide who have a drop of Hawaiian native blood -- that is the sole requirement for membership. The bill would authorize transfer of land, money, and jurisdictional authority to the phony Akaka tribe.

The whole concept of a racially exclusionary government is evil. And unlike any of the real Indian tribes which include a small number of people in a restricted and usually remote area of land, this one would legally segregate 20 percent of the entire population of a state, and perhaps 50 percent of the state's lands; thus deserving the label "apartheid." Hawaii's Evil Empire of racially exclusionary institutions has grown so powerful that hardly any public officials will dare to stand up against it.

The multiracial, multicultural society of Hawaii has hardly any voice in government to advocate for unity and equality; because the wealthy, powerful institutions of the Evil Empire have silenced their voice through the expenditure of untold millions of dollars in lobbying, advertising, school curriculum, and outright intimidation. Who hasn't seen expensive, racist Kau Inoa commercials beamed into their living rooms at least 200 times, or newspaper ads "explaining" the Akaka bill?

In case the Akaka bill does not get enacted, OHA created "Plan B" to expand anyway. The idea is to get our compliant governor and Legislature, plus the counties and private groups, to transfer land, money, and jurisdictional authority directly to OHA -- a plan already being implemented.

On Oahu the County of Honolulu used tax dollars plus money from several environmental groups to purchase the entire Waimea Valley. OHA made only a small contribution, but was given the deed to the entire valley.

In Waokele O Puna on Hawaii Island, OHA again contributed only a small portion of the purchase price but ended up with the deed to the entire parcel of 40 square miles.

Bills are now pending in the Legislature that would create racially stacked commissions to manage Haiku Valley and Makua Valley, with OHA having seats on those boards, and including a provision for outright transfer of the entire valley to OHA.

OHA keeps asking for money to build its new headquarters, which would become the national capitol of the new Akaka tribal nation (until Iolani Palace which taxpayers renovated is handed over). Now comes the state of Hawaii ready to give away $200 million of public land and money to OHA through SB2733.

If the Akaka bill passes (which our governor, attorney general and Legislature are working hard to accomplish), then the leadership of the new Akaka tribe will negotiate with the state of Hawaii for enormous amounts of land, money, and jurisdictional authority -- and who will stand up to protect the rights of the general public? Why should the state of Hawaii give away anything at this time, in the face of future negotiations where more will be demanded? Would a business owner give away part of something even before he enters negotiations where his opponent is demanding all of it?

The time is now to begin protecting all Hawaii's people against wealthy, powerful, greedy race-based institutions seeking to grab as much as they can at the expense of everyone else. Hawaii is experiencing the death of 1,000 cuts. Waimea Valley and Waokele O Puna were two of those cuts. SB2733 would take another cut out of the state of Hawaii, continuing the erosion of our tax base. To stop death by 1,000 cuts there must come a time when the knife is brushed aside before it can cut again.


It is historically, legally, and morally wrong to allocate government land, or revenues from land, for exclusive use by a racial group. Neither Kingdom law, nor the Organic Act for annexation, nor the Statehood Admissions Act, contemplated or required the creation of OHA.

The Constitutional amendment that created OHA in 1978 was passed by the smallest number of yes votes among all the amendments coming out of the Constitutional Convention; and the amendment creating OHA would have been defeated except that blank votes were counted as yes votes at that time, contrary to the way we count blank votes today. The decision to set aside 20 percent of ceded land revenue for OHA in 1978 was an arbitrary and capricious enactment of an ordinary law. It is not part of our Constitution -- the Legislature can and should repeal the 20 percent law at any time.

The public lands of Hawaii, including the ceded lands, belong to all the people of Hawaii without racial distinction. During the Kingdom, following the Mahele, the government lands were held by the government on behalf of all the people, just as now. The Crown lands also became government property by act of the Kingdom Legislature, gladly signed by the King, to issue government bonds to pay a mortgage lien on the Crown Lands the King had incurred to pay the King's personal (gambling) debts.

Thereafter the government owned the Crown Lands, while income from the Crown Lands was set aside to maintain the office of head of government in his official capacity but not as his private property. Thus, when the monarchy ended, the Crown lands and government lands were indistinguishable, all held by government as public lands to benefit all the people without regard to race -- both then and now.

The Statehood Act of 1959 does not require setting aside any ceded land income specifically for any racial group. It identified 5 purposes for the use of ceded land revenues, and explicitly said that part or all of the revenue could be used for any one or more of those 5 purposes.

When 100 percent of ceded land revenues was sent to the public schools from 1959 to 1979, the result was that 26 percent of ceded land revenues were thereby used for the betterment of Native Hawaiians, without need for racial separatist designation, simply because 26 percent of the children were of that racial group. Wasn't that a wonderful idea? Why not do that again? It must also be noted that the section 5(f) language identifying "betterment of native Hawaiians" as one purpose for spending ceded land revenues explicitly defined "native Hawaiians" as that term was used in the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920, which required 50 percent native blood quantum.

Therefore neither OHA, nor the anticipated Akaka tribe, is a proper receptacle for ceded land revenue, since OHA beneficiaries and Akaka tribe members are defined as needing only to have a single drop of the magic blood.

On Jan. 20 in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Jon Van Dyke wrote: "The revenue generated from these lands to be used for five named purposes ... ."

However, there was no requirement to spend one dime on any particular one of those purposes. Van Dyke laments "During the next two decades, however, the state failed to allocate any of the revenue specifically for this purpose [betterment of native Hawaiians], devoting almost all of it to public education. To address this failure ..."

As I explained above, Native Hawaiians received 26 percent of the ceded land revenues without any need for racist set-asides.

Furthermore, it was not a failure to send the money to the public schools, who now get zero money from the ceded lands because 20 percent of gross revenue sent to OHA exceeds 100 percent of net income after allowing for capital improvements and operating expenses for which we all pay.


OHA already has about $450 million. Most of that money has been sucked out of Hawaii's economy and sent to New York for stock market investments. OHA occasionally makes small grants to its "beneficiaries" but very little money reaches the makaainana (little people). It's time to stop feeding the beast. Repeal the law sending 20 percent of ceded land revenues to OHA. You can repeal that law tomorrow by a simple majority vote.

In the past OHA has sued the state of Hawaii (can a hand sue its arm?) for past-due "rent" "owed" for the 20 percent share of revenue. Does anybody think that won't happen again? This "settlement" guarantees $15.1 million annual payments toward the 20 percent share going forward, but OHA will again claim more is owed and will file more lawsuits. Stop this craziness. Repeal the 20 percent law.


One specific objection to SB2733 concerns the giveaway of lands along Banyan Drive in Hilo which are currently leased to the companies which built extremely valuable privately owned hotels.

A few years from now those land leases will expire. OHA will then become the owner of the hotels, without paying one penny to the builders and current owners.

OHA could choose to knock down the hotels to honor the fact that the lands are "sacred" to Native Hawaiians. Does anyone doubt there are moolelo (stories) about the gods or the chiefs frolicking on the beach there, or having heiau, fishponds, or taro patches there? Aren't ancient bones buried there?

OHA could choose to continue hotel operations reaping tremendous income from the hotels it will own.

OHA could choose to convert the hotels into condominiums which OHA could then sell leasehold for another cycle of years until it confiscates them yet again.

These scenarios are not at all far-fetched. One need only look at the town of Kailua, Oahu, where Kaneohe Ranch's lease on the land under the Kailuan condominium came to an end on December 31, 2007. The landowner refused to sell the land to the condominium owners, preferring instead to let the leases end. The condo owners now have lost their entire investment and have nowhere to call home.

The state of Hawaii as owner of the Banyan Drive land would treat the hotel owners fairly when their leases expire. But OHA is ruthless and the hotel owners had better prepare for financial disaster if SB 2733 passes.

'''Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. is the author of "Hawaiian Apartheid -- Racial Separatism and Ethnic Nationalism in the Aloha State" available at all Hawaii libraries and at

To find out more about SB 2733, log onto SB 2733

To submit testimony, write to COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE AND HAWAIIAN AFFAIRS Sen. Jill N. Tokuda, Chair and Sen. J. Kalani English, Vice Chair; COMMITTEE ON WATER AND LAND, Sen. Clayton Hee, Chair and Sen. Russell S. Kokubun, Vice Chair; COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY AND LABOR, Senator Brian T. Taniguchi, Chair and Sen. Clayton Hee, Vice Chair CONCERNING: SB 2733 RELATING TO THE PUBLIC TRUST LANDS SETTLEMENT by Saturday, Feb. 9, 2008. Send testimony to all senators at mailto:sens@capitol.hawaii.gov


Honolulu Star-Bulletin, February 7, 2008
Letter to editor

There are options besides Akaka Bill

In your Feb. 2 editorial the headline talks about the "urgency" of the Akaka Bill now that the U.S. Supreme Court has acknowledged the law (Public Law 103-150, the Apology Bill) and what many Hawaiians have been saying for more than a decade. Unfortunately and incorrectly your newspaper assumes to the public that the Akaka Bill is the only option available. Besides the nation-within-a-nation model (Akaka Bill), there are the options of restoration of the kingdom, compact of free association, independence in any form the people may choose, or remain a state.

The state-created Office of Hawaiian Affairs has been spending millions of dollars pushing the Akaka model for years without offering Hawaiians or the public any education on the other options. A free, fair and open process must begin where Hawaiians have an honest chance to understand all their choices. This is fair because Hawaii was taken illegally, breaking treaties between the United States and the Hawaiian kingdom, international laws and conventions, and even U.S. constitutional law, which states in Article 6 that treaties are the "supreme" law of the land.

Steven Tayama


Hawaii Reporter, February 7, 2008

Recent Supreme Court Ruling On Royal Ceded Lands Backs Up the Claim that the Hawaiian Kingdom Still Exists

By Leon Siu

At last! The Hawaii Supreme Court issued a decision that the state cannot sell portions of the so-called "ceded lands" because it is unclear whether the State actually owns those lands.

The court cites U.S. PL 103-150 (the Apology Law) as the basis for their decision. This 1993 Apology Law is essentially an admission by the U.S. that it knowingly received stolen goods when it was "ceded" ("fenced") the Hawaiian Kingdom lands by the rebel Republic of Hawaii government in 1898. The U.S. Virtually admitted to stealing the Hawaiian Islands. The thief confessed to the theft!

Although it has taken this long to sink in to the state's legal minds, now the 'cat's out of the bag.' The court’s premise is that the Apology Law amounts to a confession of the illegality of the state's ownership of "ceded lands." It follows then, that the same apology law is also a confession of the illegality of the U.S. and State of Hawaii's jurisdictional claims over these Hawaiian Islands. That means the sovereignty of the Hawaiian Kingdom could not have been (and never was) lawfully extinguished. Thus, though impaired and overwhelmed by a U.S. invasion, the Hawaiian Kingdom still exists! Now isn’t that awkward.

In the 15 years since the Apology was issued, the state and (US) federal courts in Hawaii have vehemently quashed the assertion that the Hawaiian Kingdom still exists and have fiercely prosecuted Hawaiian Nationals (lawfully living in their own country) on trumped up misdemeanors boosted to felonies. In reality Hawaiian Nationals are political prisoners, victims of police and judicial abuses to their civil rights because they dare to profess the fact that they are Hawaiian Citizens.

It is not the Apology that has the force of law, it is the admission that many laws were broken and the sovereignty of a nation was continually violated in the usurpation and prolonged occupation of the Hawaiian Islands.

Therefore, in light of the court's new revelations on the Apology, the state's announced "settlement" with the state/federal puppet agency, called the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, is laughable. Given the circumstances, the only just and righteous "settlement" is to return the lands and governing authority to the lawful Hawaiian Kingdom and its national citizens, not to OHA and its wanna-be Hawaii-Indian Tribe. Malama Pono,

Leon Siu is a local entertainer who can be reached at leon@hits.net


Grassroot Institute blog about Akaka bill and Hawaiian history
February 7, 2008

An economist’s view of the Akaka bill

[Blogmaster's note:] We asked an economist who moved to Hawaii within the last 18 months to have a look at the Akaka bill and related documents. He specifically asked that his name not be revealed because he sense (rightfully or wrongly) that he might be targeted for his thoughts. Here they are, unedited, just as we received them.
~ Dick Rowland

How will it affect the vast majority of “native” Hawaiians?

A good bit of the stated rationale for the bill is contained in one interpretation of history, though credible challenges to that interpretation abound. It seems to me that history, whatever its interpretation, is pretty much irrelevant to the future of so called “native” Hawaiians. The status quo is the status quo, no matter how we got there subsequent to the events of the 1890’s and before. What we need to do is take a prospective look at probable outcomes of the bill. How will the bill affect the people of Hawaii and the nation, including those “native” Hawaiians singled out for “special” treatment?”

One erroneous interpretation of history that is somewhat relevant to this prospective look, because it misleads us about how we arrived at the status quo, is the bill’s assertion that “the long-range economic and social changes in Hawaii over the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries have been devastating to the population and to the health and well-being of the Hawaiian people[1].” Nothing in the background accompanying the legislation says why its drafters think so. Most likely what is meant is contained in a speech by Assistant Secretary of the Interior John Berry subsequent to the Apology Resolution: “It cannot be ignored that such a governmental act as the overthrow of 1893 is not without physical and economic consequences for the indigenous people of Hawaii. The statistics of today for the majority of Native Hawaiians are not good and they unfortunately parallel many of the problems facing the indigenous people of the continental United States[2].” The gist of the Apology Resolution and the Akaka Bill suggests a cause and effect that is absurd, namely that the “overthrow” of the monarchy caused poor health and well-being for the so-called “native Hawaiians.”

This assertion constitutes lazy thinking. How would the monarchy’s continuation have allowed Hawaiians, “native” or otherwise, to flourish in the way they actually have under the rule of law, protection of property rights and freedom to trade that they enjoy as U.S. citizens? “Native” Hawaiians are doing much better than the world’s average by any statistical measure, certainly much better than the subjects of monarchies in existence today. Do the drafters believe that there is an impediment to “native” Hawaiians doing even better? If so, what is it?

Their answer is implicit in the Akaka Bill’s long list of “rights” obtained through the “provision of governmental services.” The laundry list of these “rights” includes[3]:

(i) health care services;
(ii) educational programs;
(iii) employment and training programs;
(iv) economic development assistance programs;
(v) children’s services;
(vi) conservation programs;
(vii) fish and wildlife protection;
(viii) agricultural programs;
(ix) native language immersion programs;
(x) native language immersion schools from kindergarten through high school;
(xi) college and master’s degree programs in native language immersion instruction; and
(xii) traditional justice programs

Presumably (they don’t actually say this) more government provision of these “rights” would raise the “native” Hawaiians standard of living to a level statistically more in line with other citizens of the U.S. But how can this be? Are they not already receiving a heavy dose of government provision of all of these “rights?” There are national and state entitlements galore for the poor – housing, energy, health care, food stamps, earned income tax credits, assistance to needy families, government-run schools and the like. In addition, there are special provisions for “native” Hawaiians. The Akaka Bill seems to imply that all these government provided “rights” are not enough. If that is what it means, then how much more would be enough and in what form? We should demand a concrete idea of what is in mind. By the way, judging by the dismal results of special provisions for the indigenous people of the continental United States, why would “native” Hawaiians ever want to subject themselves such “special” treatment?

That “native” Hawaiians are not doing as well “statistically” probably is more the result of “cultural” qualities mentioned in the Akaka Bill: “economic self-sufficiency[4]” and cultural practices such as “traditional agricultural methods, fishing and subsistence practices, maintenance of cultural use areas and sacred sites, protection of burial sites, and the exercise of their traditional rights to gather medicinal plants and herbs, and food sources.” These ways of doing things are not the way to higher statistical economic prosperity as we commonly measure it. But our common measure is unlikely to be valid for these Hawaiians. They are choosing these practices because that is what they want and they have that freedom. At least we think they have that freedom; is somebody interfering with it? A simple test of how these cultural qualities affect economic statistics may be available through census data: How are “native” Hawaiians living in Hawai’i doing compared to their counterparts where these cultural values likely do not hold as rigidly, such as California and Nevada?

Of course, some of the “not good” statistics may be the result of the very programs that the Akaka Bill would like us to expand. After all, when you punish responsible behavior (the behavior that puts you higher in terms of economic statistics) you get less of it. Similarly, when you subsidize irresponsible behavior (the behavior that puts you lower in terms of economic statistics) you get more of it. If these programs, from our dismal school system to welfare schemes that are supposedly designed to help the poor, are really working, then show us your evidence before we embark on expansions of all of it.

Speaking of the implicit goal of expanding all of these “rights,” where is the money going to come from? Nothing is mentioned about the new layer of “sovereign” government having any taxing power over its citizens. How much of a wealth transfer from non-natives to the new “sovereign” government is envisioned?

Unleashing a power struggle to become the new Ali’i

Who will gain from the Akaka Bill? The Akaka Bill is about political entrepreneurship. A small, vocal minority seems to have allied with politicians in selling their promises of “reconciliation” and improved welfare to an unaware public. While the outcome of the Akaka Bill is unlikely to help the warriors, that cannot be said for the new chiefs. The prospective chiefs have already unleashed a struggle for the wealth and power that will accompany their positions. They exist in the state’s Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the Department of Hawaiian Homelands.

A Dangerous Precedent

The kinds of wealth transfers in “reconciliation” as suggested by the Akaka Bill are nothing more than reparations filtered through the new Ali’i for supposed wrongs that occurred over four generations ago. This kind of precedent, if it passes constitutional muster, opens the door for any other group claiming historical injustice based on race. The state of Hawai’i is already engaging in this dangerous precedent; and it should be challenged in court for the massive wealth transfers it is brokering without our consent.

Ceded Lands

The “ceded lands” are a problem whether or not there is an Akaka Bill. The government owns a bunch of land supposedly held for use in common as a matter of historical evolution. Allowing a good bit of this land to be owned privately would promote prosperity and better stewardship. But that is unlikely to happen. There will always be interest group struggles over disposition of that land. The result of the struggles is likely to keep it in government hands.

[1] Quoting one of the whereases from the Apology Resolution
[2] Speech at Iolani Palace Bandstand in December 1999.
[3] House version of the Akaka Bill passed in October 2007.
[4] North Korea has the explicit goal of being the most “economically self-sufficient” country on the face of the earth; and as a result most North Koreans face unimaginable poverty.


Honolulu Advertiser, February 8, 2008, letter to editor


It is now clear that if the Akaka bill becomes law, huge chunks of state lands that benefit all the people of Hawai'i will be available to benefit only those with at least a drop of Hawaiian blood.

The governor's agreement to transfer valuable chunks of waterfront property in Kaka'ako and on Neighbor Islands to OHA is just the first installment in what OHA plans to be a massive transfer of other lands from state ownership to Native Hawaiian ownership in "negotiations" required by the Akaka bill, between the state and a new Native Hawaiian government.

Now that the Hawai'i Supreme Court has ruled that the state must reach a comprehensive ceded land deal with Native Hawaiians, that negotiating process has been tilted in favor of Hawaiians.

And it has become clear what "recognition" of Native Hawaiians really means. As succinctly put by U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, the Akaka bill "is a bill about the control of assets. This is about land, this is about money... we're talking about 2.2 million acres of land..."

It's not just about "preserving Hawaiian culture." It's about getting land back from the haoles who "stole" it in 1893.

The big question now is — assuming the polls correctly predict we will have a Democrat president in 2009 who will sign the Akaka bill — how willing is the Legislature to give away these ceded lands.

If the Legislature accepts the entire current Lingle land transfer package, it will be a sign that under Akaka bill negotiations in 2009, it will give away at least 20 percent of the ceded lands, and probably a lot more.

The state Constitution and the federal government only require the state to use the ceded lands for any of five purposes, including public education and Native Hawaiian causes, among others. The Legislature chose the 20 percent figure itself. It could have decided on 5 percent or 1 percent.

This will be a hugely significant legislative decision for the 80 percent of Hawai'i's citizens who are not Native Hawaiian.

Tom Macdonald


Hawaii Reporter, February 8, 2008

AKAKA BILL: Grassroot Perspectives By Richard O. Rowland

The website
provides an opportunity to sign on to a petition that says there should me a vote on the Akaka bill by the people of Hawaii before it could become law. There is also a place for comments.

Virtually every person that has signed on has also submitted remarks. Below is a sampling of them:

"To foist upon the most integrated State of the Union, a race-based government, much less without the approval of the citizens of the State of Hawaii, is simply evil. Put it to a vote so we can end this madness." "One is born into a race by utter accident. To discriminate on that basis instead of merit is irrational. Unconstitutional too."

"I respectfully ask that the Hawaii legislature protect my Constitutional rights and seek my consent to be governed. Any Native Hawaiian governing entity would certainly impact my life as a resident of Kauai. I can't see how such a government can be imposed upon me without my consent. The whole racial preference concept is incompatible with the principles this country was founded on and should be rejected."

The Akaka Bill is now pending a vote in the U.S. Senate after passing the House of Representatives in 2007.

Please visit the website
and share your thoughts. Your identity will not be revealed - as you can see above.

Richard O. Rowland is the president of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. See more at


KITV 4 television, February 14, 2008

Clinton Makes Push For Hawaii Delegates
Chelsea To Campaign In Islands

HONOLULU -- With four days to go before Hawaii's Democratic Caucus, presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton began making a major push in the state.

Her daughter Chelsea arrives on Friday for three days of campaigning. On Thursday, Clinton made herself available to the local media via satellite. Hawaii is a player in this race for the Democratic party's presidential nomination compared to previous years when the nomination was wrapped up.

That is why the Clinton campaign has now taken a huge interest in Tuesday's caucus.

"We're obviously interested in Hawaii. We love Hawaii, and I want to make sure my supporters know we care about the state, that we care about what I can do as president," Clinton said.

While Hawaii-born Sen. Barack Obama has played ads and his sister has been going around the state, Clinton's campaign has been rather quiet. However, that changed with the interviews and Chelsea's visit to the 50th state. "There's a lot I want to do for Hawaii and I want to people to know that. That's why my daughter will be there over the weekend," Clinton said. During the 5-minute interview, Clinton continued to pound home the same points.

"To get the economy going, to do more for tourism, to have a clean renewable energy future that will get prices down for energy on Hawaii, create more jobs, move towards universal health care as well, fulfilling the promise of the federal government to put more money into the Hawaiian education system," she said.

"If you are elected president and the Akaka Bill (Native Hawaiian Recognition Act) reaches your desk, will you sign it?" KITV anchor Dan Meisenzahl asked. "Yes I would. I've been supporting Sen. (Daniel) Akaka's bill. I think it remedies an injustice and I would sign it as president," Clinton said.


Honolulu Advertiser, Thursday, February 14, 2008

Isle vote an 'uphill battle'

By Derrick DePledge
Advertiser Government Writer

U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York said yesterday that if elected president she would sign a Native Hawaiian federal recognition bill, maintain military spending in the Islands, and support federal funding for a Honolulu mass transit project.

Clinton, in a telephone conference call with Hawai'i newspaper reporters, acknowledged that the Hawai'i Democratic caucuses on Tuesday will be a challenge. U.S. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, her rival for the nomination, was born here and graduated from Punahou School.

"I know we face an uphill battle in the state, but we plan to run a vigorous and successful campaign," the New York Democrat said during a break from campaigning in Texas.

** news report truncated here


Indian Country Today, February 15, 2008

Restore federal trust for Hawaiian Natives

by: Editors Report / Indian Country Today

Contemporary Native Hawaiians are at a crossroads. A battery of recent court cases is putting pressure on Native Hawaiians to establish and clarify their trust relations with the federal government and state of Hawaii. Native Hawaiians have a history of self-government, land ownership and distinct cultures that precede the formation of the United States. Native Hawaiians are not parties to the U.S. Constitution. Under most definitions, Native Hawaiians are indigenous people like American Indian tribes.

Since the United States has gained control of Hawaii, the question arises about the legal and political status of Native Hawaiians. The Hawaiian government, before 1893, negotiated several commercial and diplomatic treaties with the United States. In 1893, sugar plantation owners, who were also descendants of Calvinist missionaries, overthrew, with the help of the U.S. Navy and troops, Queen Lili'uokalani. The plantation owners felt the Hawaiian government was an impediment to business enterprise. The Queen abdicated to the United States, pending investigation. U.S. authorities quickly recognized Hawaii as a protectorate, although an official investigation, the Blount Report, supported Native Hawaiian claims to the illegality of the takeover. Subsequent administrations ignored the report and annexed Hawaii as a U.S. territory in 1898. In the Hawaiian Organic Act of 1900, Native Hawaiians were not recognized as distinct indigenous people and were included as U.S. citizens of Hawaii.

Since Native Hawaiians lost control over considerable amounts of land, some members of the royal Hawaiian line and community members lobbied for land and protection to provide opportunities for many economically and culturally depressed Native Hawaiians. The plantation interests obstructed Congressional actions to provide support or aid for Native Hawaiians. In 1921, Congress passed the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, which set aside 203,500 acres of land for Native Hawaiians of 50 percent or more blood. The act was analogous to Indian policy for upholding Indian reservations or for providing Indian allotted lands under federal trust. The HHCA established a permanent land base for use by Native Hawaiians, supporting their long term land tenancy, and providing water and infrastructure. In addition, the act enabled to the Hawaiian Homes Commission to promote economic self-sufficiency, ''community-based development, [as well as] the traditions, culture, and quality of life of native Hawaiians ...''

During the 1920s, U.S. Indian policies dismantled Indian reservations by allotment of lands, boarding school education and discouraging autonomous tribal government and expression of culture. A trust relation between Native Hawaiians and the federal government was clarified during the years leading to statehood.

During the 1930s and '40s, legal doctrines of trust and tribal sovereignty were developed by tribal leaders and codified in the Handbook of American Indian Law, authored by Felix Cohen and associates, at the Department of Interior. The Hawaiian Homes Commission, part of the Hawaiian territorial government, managed affairs concerning Native Hawaiians, somewhat like the Office of Indians Affairs in those days. When Hawaii became a state in 1959, the Admissions Act transferred the obligations of the HHCA to the state of Hawaii. Along with the administration of lands and well-being for qualified Native Hawaiians, the state of Hawaii, through the Hawaiian Homes Commission, administered a trust fund that managed assets derived from ceded Hawaiian lands annexed by the United States.

American Indian policy during the late 1950s saw tribal communities mobilizing and ultimately defeating termination policy, which was designed to withdraw federal trust relations with American Indian communities and delegate responsibilities to state and local governments. The transfer of responsibilities of the Hawaiian Homes Commission to the state of Hawaii was in effect the termination of federal trust relations with Native Hawaiians. In contrast, none of the Alaska Native communities were terminated with the admission of Alaska to the union in 1958.

The termination of federal trust relations with Native Hawaiians has caused considerable difficulties for them. The Rice v. Cayetano case [528 U.S. 495 (2000)] challenged the voting by and election of Native Hawaiians only to administer the Hawaiian trust assets. Relying on the 15th Amendment of the Constitution, the Supreme Court ruled that the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, established in 1978 to promote Native self-determination, could not exclude other state citizens from voting and holding office on the OHA board of directors, which administers Hawaiian trust and land assets. The case generated considerable consternation throughout the Native Hawaiian community, since the decision inhibited self-determination. Several bills aimed at gaining federal recognition for Native Hawaiians have been submitted to Congress, generally known as variations of the Akaka bill, named after the junior Hawaiian senator, Daniel Akaka.

The Akaka bill uses the Commerce Clause in the U.S. Constitution to argue that Native Hawaiians are indigenous peoples; the expression ''Indian tribes'' is interpreted to include Native Hawaiians. The bill seeks to support Native Hawaiian status as an indigenous people, and put them on the road to federal recognition through the Office of Federal Acknowledgment, which is a long and difficult task. Native Hawaiians should be supported as an indigenous tribe in their use of the commerce clause. Since the termination period, however, most of the 110 Indian tribes terminated have been restored to trust relations with the federal government. Native Hawaiians should be restored to federal trust relations after their termination expressed in the Hawaiian statehood act. Restoring federal trust relations will withdraw trust responsibility from the state of Hawaii, reestablish government to government relations, and promote greater possibilities for self-determination, self-sufficiency and cultural continuity. The Native Hawaiians need a bill for restoration of federal trust to remedy their termination, not a bill for establishing a right to pursue federal recognition as an unrecognized indigenous community.


Hawaii Reporter, February 28, 2008

Broken Rainbow: Hawaii's Racial Separatism Threatens America's Fundamental Principles

By Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.

Among the 50 states, Hawaii is the most diverse. All ethnic groups are minorities. Intermarriage is commonplace. All races live, work, play and pray side by side. But despite the Aloha Spirit, institutional racism has become entrenched in Hawaii, causing huge problems. Hawaii is rapidly building a bridge to the Nineteenth Century.

Hawaii has "affirmative action" on steroids. The favorite racial group is the 20% who have at least one drop of Hawaiian native blood. Two state government agencies serve "Native Hawaiians" exclusively.

The state's largest private landowner is Kamehameha Schools, with assets of $8 billion to $15 billion, serving only ethnic Hawaiians. It recently paid $7 million "hush" money to settle a desegregation lawsuit just hours before the U.S. Supreme Court would probably have taken the case.

The State of Hawaii Office of Hawaiian Affairs openly boasts there are more than 160 federally funded programs exclusively for ethnic Hawaiians.

Nearly every politician supports Hawaii's apartheid system because federal megabucks flow throughout the economy. Wealthy racial separatist institutions (government and private) are so powerful that is extremely rare for a politician to dare to defy them.

How did so many unconstitutional programs get established? Hawaii is the only state both of whose Senators served for decades on the Indian Affairs Committee -- although Hawaii has no Indian tribes.

When bills passed through that committee providing housing, healthcare, or education to genuine Indian tribes, Senators Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka quietly inserted "and Native Hawaiians."

Civil rights lawsuits have recently attacked "Hawaiians"-only programs. That's why a bill was introduced in Congress eight years ago to arbitrarily declare ethnic Hawaiians an Indian tribe, giving immunity against 14th Amendment challenges.

The "Akaka bill" passed the U.S. House in 2007 with every Democrat voting yes. Its Senate clone, S.310, awaits floor action whenever Majority Leader Harry Reid calls it up. Two years ago every Democrat Senator supported it.

Ethnic Hawaiians are nothing like an Indian tribe. That's why S.310 relies on a dangerous new theory of the Constitution that Congress has power to single out any group of so-called "indigenous" people and create a tribal government for them out of thin air.

If that theory were enacted, get ready for thousands more new tribes composed of the vast majority of Indians not currently eligible to join one. Also get ready for a "tribe" consisting of all Americans of Mexican ancestry, since they have a drop of Aztec or Mayan "indigenous" blood. Their activists already demand a "Nation of Aztlan" comprising the states that formerly were part of Mexico.

Once the Akaka tribe is created, S.310 empowers its leaders to negotiate with state and federal governments for money, land, and jurisdictional authority. Agreements between leaders need approval only from the tribal council and state legislature, requiring neither a vote of tribal members nor a state ballot question. Sweetheart deals will give away massive state resources without voter approval.

No other state has 20 percent of its people being "Native American," let alone 20 percent eligible to join a single tribe laying claim to half the state's land.

To envision the proportional impact of such apartheid on Hawaii, imagine 60 million African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans combined being lumped together, electing a tribal council, and negotiating against the U.S. government and all states for money and ethnic homelands with laws different from nearby communities.

The members of this huge "tribe" also remain citizens of the U.S. and of their states, sitting on both sides of negotiations and making campaign contributions not limited by federal or state law.

What are the worst racial separatist problems already facing Hawaii?

OHA has begun "Plan B" to implement the Akaka bill and establish its own Hawaiian government even if the federal legislation never passes.

The Hawaii State Legislature seems eager to pass some truly outrageous OHA bills in the name of "protecting Hawaiian culture" or "paying our overdue debts." Some of these Include:

* Giving OHA ownership of several valuable parcels of land, including Hilo's waterfront where numerous large hotels have only a few years left on their land leases.

* Giving OHA management and eventual ownership of a huge portion of a suburban residential valley for a "cultural preserve." (OHA was previously given the entire valley containing Waimea Falls park, plus 40 square miles of forrest on Hawaii Island).

* Declaring that all naturally occurring plants and animals on public and private land now belong to the state; no small samples can be taken for biological research without government permits; the permitting authority must have a guaranteed majority of ethnic Hawaiians; and a large portion of revenues generated from commercial applications of biological research must be given to OHA as payment for "indigenous intellectual property rights."

* The state Supreme Court ruled January 31, 2008, that the state cannot sell any "ceded lands" (about 95% of government lands) until such time as "claims" by ethnic Hawaiians can be resolved, based on a misguided 1993 U.S. apology to the Hawaiians pushed by U.S. Senator Inouye under false pretenses.

The only way to stop this dangerous trend is if the U.S. Senate defeats the Akaka Bill; if the state holds a Constitutional Convention before 2010 and the Concon delegates vote to curb OHA's power, implement government reforms including legalizing referendum and initiative as well as recall so elected officials who betray the public trust can be removed from office.

-- Dr. Conklin is a retired professor of philosophy. He recently published "Hawaiian Apartheid: Racial Separatism and ethnic Nationalism in the Aloha State" (302 pages) available through Amazon.com, portions available free at


"Hawaiian Apartheid: Racial Separatism and Ethnic Nationalism in the Aloha State" 302 pages, paperback. Chapter 1, detailed table of contents, and link to publisher's online bookstore:

505 http://tinyurl.com/yhhz7o

Office of Hawaiian Affairs -- Watching the Moves It Makes to Expand the Evil Empire

OHA/Lingle 2008 legislation for $200 Million settlement of so-called back rent for ceded lands

Hawaii Supreme Court ruled on January 31, 2008 that the State of Hawaii cannot sell any ceded lands until it resolves the claims of ethnic Hawaiians based on the apology resolution of 1993.

Ceded Lands Belong to All the People of Hawai'i; There Should Be No Racial Allocation of Ceded Lands or Their Revenues

Text of bill in 2008 Legislature converting Haiku Valley (Oahu) into a cultural preserve to be managed by a commission with a guaranteed majority of ethnic Hawaiians, under control of OHA, and automatic transfer of ownership to a future "Native Hawaiian" nation recognized through the Akaka bill.
Compiled testimony on the bill

Hawaii Bioprospecting -- Hearings by the Temporary Advisory Committee on Bioprospecting (late 2007), and testimony by Ken Conklin

Indigenous Intellectual Property Rights -- The General Theory, and Why It Does Not Apply in Hawaii


Indian Country Today, March 14, 2008

Washington in brief

by: Jerry Reynolds

** Excerpted portion relevant to Akaka bill

Apology resolution has backers in the House

Fresh from amending Senate Bill 1200, the hard-fought Indian Health Care Improvement Act reauthorization, in the Senate, the apology resolution of Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., has won backers in the House of Representatives, where it is known as House Joint Resolution 68. An ''H.J.'' resolution can become law if it passes the House (having already passed the Senate) and is signed by the president.

Rep. Dan Boren, D-Okla., Chickasaw by birthright though not enrolled, has taken up the resolution in the House. It is identical to the Senate version and would be attached to the House version of the IHCIA.

Some opinion leaders within Indian country have raised their voices against a congressional apology to Native peoples that doesn't include reparations or a secondary resolution against future dispossession of Indian nations.

But Ben Nighthorse Campbell, the retired Northern Cheyenne senator from Colorado, in Washington on the health bill that he spearheaded for years, said symbols are important in America. ''And this [apology] is a symbol of the tragedy that befell American Indians. ... It's a kind of atonement.''

Campbell said many lawmakers are concerned that once an apology is approved, the other shoe will fall in the form of demands for reparations. With a precedent set, reparations could then be expected from blacks, the Irish, etc., Campbell said, describing the thinking on Capitol Hill. ''That's also one of the things that's holding up the Akaka Bill [for federal recognition of a Native Hawaiian governing entity, after Hawaii Democratic Sen. Daniel Akaka] ... as well as the Lumbee [recognition] bill down in the Carolinas.''

Boren's press secretary, Cole Perryman, said the apology resolution closes with a disclaimer that ''Nothing in this section 1) authorizes or supports any claim against the United States; or 2) serves as a settlement of any claim against the United States.'' He declined to assess the resolution's chances in the House, saying it would be speculation at this stage.


March 22, 2008
by Andrew Walden
Pajamas Media, March 22, 2008


Dancing for dollars

The bill to create a Hawaiian Indian reservation is a financial boondoggle, writes Andrew Walden. But state bigwigs hope contributions will persuade Obama or Clinton to sign it if elected.

by Andrew Walden

With Tony Rezko on trial, the national media is beginning to skim the surface of the dirty deals paving the rapid ascent of Democratic presidential frontrunner Barack Obama. But Chicago, Syria, and Iraq are not the only places to look. There is also a $9-billion story in Hawaii and in spite of Obama’s recent 3-1 victory in the Hawaii Democratic caucuses, both Obama and Clinton are still clawing for the prize.

Obama’s Hawaii supporters sought to leverage the limited contribution pool of their small state by latching on early. Calling Obama “Hawaii’s third senator”, they began raising early money for a presidential bid as soon as Obama won his Illinois Senate seat in 2004. But of course they want something in return. At the top of their agenda in discussions with Obama in December 2004 was the multi-billion-dollar tropical land and money grab which would be made possible by passage of the so-called Akaka Bill.

Congress is now considering another “Apology Resolution” — for American Indians. The degree to which the Hawaiian Apology Resolution and the fight for the Akaka Bill have distorted the presidential race should be a sharp warning against passage. The Indian Apology Resolution is amended to S 1200 by Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS). The House version is contained in House Joint Resolution 68 being pushed by Rep. Dan Boren (D-OK).

The Akaka Bill (Senate Bill 310 and House Bill 505) would create a Hawaiian Indian reservation. Its backers claim they are righting historical wrongs done to Hawaiians. Its opponents claim the Akaka Bill is racially discriminatory. Both groups miss the point. A more accurate assessment comes from the Akaka Bill’s chief proponent in the House of Representatives, Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Honolulu). Abercrombie explained to the House Committee on Natural Resources on May 2, 2007, “The bottom line here is that this is a bill about the control of assets. This is about land, this is about money, and this is about who has the administrative authority and responsibility over it.”

The bill in different forms has passed the House several times since 2000most recently on October 24, 2007. It is now again before the Senate after coming up four votes short in 2006.

Contrary to popular opinion, Indian reservations have a history in Hawaii. An Oct. 12, 1999, article in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin describes the 1995 efforts by corrupt trustees controlling America’s largest charitable trust — Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate (KSBE) — to evade state and federal oversight. And not without reason: trustees’ salaries were over $1 million per year. KSBE money, along with trustees’ personal funds, had been invested in a pornographic website. Spending on the Kamehameha School was being cut. One trustee was running rampant in the school, micromanaging teachers and administrators. The trustees’ self-dealing and their investments with Goldman Sachs — at the time headed by current New Jersey Democratic Governor John Corzine — had brought losses of $264 million in 1994 alone. Investigators were starting to ask questions. Hawaiians were beginning to protest. The trustees’ plan? Get the IRS and the state attorney general off their backs by moving KSBE’s legal domicile to an Indian reservation.

The Star-Bulletin on October 12, 1999, explains:

Verner Liipfert, whose local office was at the time headed by former Gov. John Waihee, identified the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation as the top relocation prospect.


Gregg Bourland, chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux tribal council … said there is good reason for an entity like the Bishop Estate to make inquiries about changing its domicile to the South Dakota reservation.


Since the 1800s, the Cheyenne River Sioux have had a government-to-government relationship with the United States, which allows them to operate their own police force, court system, and legislative functions.

It would be politically impossible to remove KSBE — the estate of Hawaiian Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop — from Hawaii. Nothing ever came of the effort and it remains a little-noted footnote in recent Hawaii history. By 1999 state and IRS investigations and protests by native Hawaiians forced the removal of all five trustees. The affair became known as “Broken Trust” and is the topic of a Hawaii best-selling book of the same name.

Within a few months of the trustees’ ouster, the first version of the Akaka Bill was introduced into the U.S. House and Senate. Sen. Akaka, who introduced his namesake bill in the U.S. Senate, had for years been a low-key defender of the corrupt trustees. Rep. Abercrombie, who introduced the House version of the Akaka Bill, had been a close associate of disgraced KSBE trustee Dickie Wong. If the trustees could not move KSBE to an Indian reservation, they were going to build an Indian reservation around themselves.

When Obama was a longshot, his valuable early-money Hawaii support came from a group of Democrat politicos including Waihee cronies, officers of Hawaiian Electric — a company deeply interconnected with KSBE — Abercrombie, failed Democrat congressional candidate Brian Schatz, and all coordinated by Andy Winer, former chief of Senator Daniel Akaka’s 2006 campaign.

Their effort closely parallels the high-risk/high-reward gamble Waihee took as an early-money backer of Bill Clinton’s successful 1992 bid for the White House. But the “old boys” have all their bases covered. Although Waihee cronies are prominent among Obama backers, Waihee himself is still loyal to Clinton, as is Hawaii’s senior senator Daniel Inouye (D). Hawaii’s other two representatives, Senator Akaka and Rep. Mazie Hirono (D-rural Hawaii), are remaining neutral until the dust clears.

As told in the 1997 PBS Frontline special “The Fixers,” the story of Clinton’s Hawaii early-money support begins in the late 1980s and early 1990s with poor Hawaiian farmers’ leasehold homes being bulldozed and cattle being slaughtered as Honolulu police stand by with fraudulent eviction notices. The evictions made way for the Maunawili Valley Oahu golf course funded by Japanese investors overflowing with yen at the top of Japan’s bubble economy.

The Maunawili Valley deal was the beginning of a long run for Waihee “fixers” Gene and Nora Lum. They bought support for the project in the Hawaii state legislature with $50,000 in contributions. Governor Waihee’s 1985 signature on the Lums’ bill declaring golf courses to be a legitimate use of agricultural land raised the value of the Maunawili property by about $43 million overnight.

Within a few years the Lums were recruited by Ron Brown — later named Clinton’s commerce secretary — to spearhead efforts to raise Clinton donations from Asian sources. Their gamble on Clinton’s candidacy even as the Maunawili evictions were ongoing in 1990 and 1991 raised thousands from Waihee associates.

PBS’ “The Fixers” ends with President Clinton in 1996, ten days after winning his second presidential term, stopping in Honolulu on his way to Asia and insisting on playing a full 18 holes of golf with Waihee in the pouring rain on the Maunawili Valley course where it all started.

The Lums ended up in prison in 1997, but backing Clinton paid off handsomely for Waihee and his cronies. Clinton in 1993 signed the so-called “Apology Resolution,” which fixes a single government-dictated interpretation of history and formally admits a U.S. role in the 1893 overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom. It also apologizes for the overthrow, thus implicitly placing Hawaii statehood in question and making the U.S. liable to native Hawaiians — or more accurately, to those who claim to represent them.

The Apology Resolution, in 1993 dishonestly pitched to Congress by Senator Daniel Inouye as “a simple resolution of apology,” has over the years provided the justification for politically motivated intimidation by gangs of thugs and for connected Hawaii political operators to capture ownership of tens of thousands of acres and rake in millions operating lucrative state and federally funded programs, and even private companies pretending to benefit native Hawaiians by claiming to address what Congress and President Clinton had admitted were past wrongs.

One deal alone, Sandwich Isles Communications, got $500 million in federal funds to provide nearly useless fiber optic connections to tens of thousands of Hawaiian Homelands residential lots — most of which are undeveloped. Costs are estimated at $278,000 per utilized connection.

The Hawaii state legislature is now considering handing over even more valuable shoreline acreage to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) this session. Meanwhile, rising real estate costs are driving native Hawaiian families to live in tents on the beach. Last year ten thousand locals left Hawaii for opportunity on the mainland. About half of native Hawaiians are gone from the state. One might ask just what does it take to drive people out of Hawaii? At a recent OHA public hearing in Hilo, protesters gave a partial answer by shouting and carrying signs demanding: “OHA stop stealing from Hawaiians.”

But Sandwich Isles is small potatoes compared with the operations potentially enabled under a highly sovereign Hawaiian tribal government with government-to-government relations modeled on those of the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation. Not only could such a government shield trustees of KSBE from state and federal oversight, but it could also end up owning anywhere from 10% to 40% of Hawaii’s highly valuable real estate under the formulas being discussed.

The Apology Resolution is the cornerstone of the case for the Akaka Bill, despite Sen. Akaka’s floor statement during the 1993 debate: “Are Native Hawaiians Native Americans? This resolution has nothing to do with that.” In fact the record of the very short 1993 Senate debate contains a point-by-point litany of denials from Akaka and Inouye of almost everything which has since come to pass.

Just as the Apology Resolution was the return favor given to Hawaii Democrats by Clinton for their early-money support, Hawaii early-money supporters of Obama are hoping that a President Obama would be quick to repay the support they gave him when he was a long shot by signing the Akaka Bill. Obama has pledged to sign the Akaka Bill in order to “establish a federally recognized government-to-government relationship with the United States.”

What the trustees need is an indebted president — and Obama is their man. Meanwhile, what Hawaii needs is a brigade of lean and hungry federal prosecutors, a multi-pronged civil rights investigation by the Department of Justice, and prison space to house much of the state’s political and economic elite for the next 10-20 years.

Let us hope that Congress has learned its lesson.

Andrew Walden is Editor of the Hawai`i Free Press in Hilo, HI and may be reached at andrewwalden@email.com.


U.S. News and World Report
March 24, 2008

Akaka's Hawaiian Sovereignty Plan a Bad Idea

by Michael Barone

Here is an interesting denunciation in Pajamas Media of the Hawaiian sovereignty legislation long sponsored by the state's otherwise obscure junior senator, Daniel Akaka. I have blogged on this subject before. Akaka's idea is to give native Hawaiians something like the status of Indian tribes. There are just a few problems. Like who exactly is a native Hawaiian (there are very few people who are descended only from native Hawaiians and many with varying percentages of native Hawaiian ancestors)? And has the Indian reservation model worked so very well? This is a move toward racial separatism that comes to us just as we have been getting accustomed to the preachings of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, which Barack Obama went out of his way for 20 years to listen to.

Michael Barone is a senior writer for U.S.News & World Report and principal coauthor of The Almanac of American Politics. He has written for many publications—including the Economist and the New York Times.


THE HILL [Washington D.C. newspaper focusing on Congress] April 1, 2008


Freshman senators hold key to Native Hawaiian bill's hopes

By Jordy Yager

Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) is leaning on his party’s freshman senators to move legislation that would give Native Hawaiians the power to form their own government and negotiate with state and federal governments.

The effort to federally recognize the 50th state’s indigenous population has been a struggle, despite a nearly decade-long effort by Akaka and others on Capitol Hill. The last attempt came during the 109th Congress, when 41 Senate Republicans opposed calling up the legislation — enough in a chamber that needs 60 votes to advance contentious bills.

Akaka, a Native Hawaiian himself and the bill’s sponsor, says his people deserve the same rights as Native Americans and Native Alaskans. He’s hoping that Democratic control of both chambers and the departure of six Senate Republicans who voted to block the measure last time will translate into success. All he needs to do is convince four of the chamber’s six freshman Democrats who replaced them to back the measure. He’s nearly there. Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) have already signed up. If he can muster commitments from undecided Sens. Jim Webb (D-Va.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Bob Casey Jr. (D-Pa.), the bill has a fighting chance.

A companion bill sponsored by Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii) passed the House in October, 261–153, and is on the Senate calendar. Akaka’s version was approved by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee last May, but is one of many measures on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) list to bring to the floor in an election year.

Opponents, including the White House, say the proposal is unconstitutional on the grounds that it grants voting privileges based on race and therefore violates the 15th Amendment.

Akaka said that the bill calls for no policy shifts other than providing Native Hawaiians with the platform to negotiate with state and federal officials — the same right Native Americans and Alaskans have. He has garnered four Republican co-sponsors — including both Alaskan senators.

“Opponents of the legislation have sought to spread misinformation about the bill,” Akaka said in an e-mail interview. “This bill is about the rights of indigenous people, not race. … All governmental power and authority currently held by the federal and state governments remain, unless otherwise negotiated and voted into law by those elected bodies.”

Abercrombie, frustrated with the Senate’s filibuster capacity, said he does not understand why senators would vote against the bill.

“What on earth possesses you to [oppose] this?” said Abercrombie, a 17-year House veteran. “What the hell did the Hawaiians ever do to you? How does this affect your constituents? And don’t give me some highfalutin argument about how the Constitution is about to tumble into the abyss.”

Even with enough votes, the measure faces opposition from the Bush administration.

A veto threat was issued last fall in a Statement of Administration Policy.

“Given the substantial historical and cultural differences between Native Hawaiians as a group and members of federally recognized Indian tribes, the administration believes that tribal recognition is inappropriate and unwise for Native Hawaiians and would raise serious constitutional concerns. The administration strongly opposes any bill that would formally divide sovereign United States power along suspect lines of race and ethnicity,” the administration stated.

Opponents say the measure discriminates against non-native Hawaiians.

Leading the criticism is syndicated columnist George Will, who compared the bill’s racial preference to those employed by Nazi Germany against Jews. If approved, Will wrote, the measure would set a precedent for other indigenous groups to gain federal recognition.

“Imagine the lesson that some descendants of Hispanics who lived in the Southwest before 1848 would learn from it,” Will wrote, alluding to the impact the bill could have on the nation’s immigration debate.

In an attempt to ward off potential attacks, Akaka has included language in his bill prohibiting gaming (currently illegal in Hawaii) and maintaining that civil and criminal jurisdiction currently held by state and federal governments remain unless otherwise negotiated with the Native Hawaiian governing entity after the bill’s passage.

Many wonder if 1.8 million acres of land ceded to Native Hawaiians by Congress is at the heart of Akaka’s bill because it would be the first step towards giving Native Hawaiians the legal ground to manage the trust.

Akaka admits this may occur in the future but said the bill itself has no bearing on the land’s management.

“While future negotiations may involve the land trust, no land transfers occur automatically,” Akaka said, adding: “No property owned by private citizens will be affected in this process.”

Republican Gov. Linda Lingle has long been a supporter of the measure and has lobbied the White House on the bill’s behalf over the years.

If the bill has a hope to pass in this Congress, it is likely to move to the Senate floor within the next eight weeks before the Memorial Day recess. After that, congressional and presidential campaigns will gain more of a focus.


Hawaii Reporter, April 3, 2008

Akaka Inequality

By Paul Jacob

Hawaii was the last state to join the union. But it was first in something important.

Way back, long before statehood, when a guy named King Kamehameha was in charge, Hawaii established equal rights without regard to race. Its first written constitution declared all men to be “of one blood.”

That was before our Civil War.

So, it is more than a little sad to see, after all the suffering racism has caused — and after the slow progress we’ve made — the first . . . er, fiftieth state, slide backwards.

A bill introduced into the U.S. Senate by Senator Daniel Akaka would create a new Native Hawaiian government, basing citizenship on racial identity. A person with one drop of pre-1778 native Hawaiian blood would be held separate from all others who live their lives in Hawaii.

Before the Hawaii Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Jere Krischel testified against the racial classification in the Akaka Bill:

My family has been in Hawaii for over 100 years. My extended family has been in Hawaii since before 1778. And all of my family deserves to be treated equally. Civil rights do not discriminate.

But race-obsessed politicians like Senator Akaka do discriminate. What would King Kamehameha say?

Paul Jacob is on the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii's Board of Advisors, as well as Senior Advisor at the Sam Adams Alliance and host of the national radio show "Common Sense."


Honolulu Advertiser, Saturday, April 5, 2008

Native Hawaiian bill to get its turn in Senate
House already passed measure but it could still face presidential veto

By Dennis Camire
Advertiser Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — Changes in the membership of the U.S. Senate seem to give the Akaka bill a better chance of passage this year than when it was blocked repeatedly in the past.

The bill, which sets up a process for Native Hawaiian self-government, will be considered by the full Senate this year, said a spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. "It will come up this year, I just don't have an exact timing on it yet," said spokeswoman Regan Lachappelle.

The House has twice passed the legislation, nicknamed the Akaka bill, but it has been stymied in the Senate.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawai'i, sponsor of the legislation, said he hopes that the addition of more Democrats to the Senate in the 2006 election has created enough votes for passage.

"It would seem that with the increase in Democratic senators, the chances of the bill passing increases," said Haunani Apoliona, chairwoman of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

She said she hopes that means it will move out soon.

However, the Bush administration opposes the bill and the president may veto it if it passes.

The bill's best chance of becoming law could come if a Democratic president is elected.

The two leading Democratic presidential contenders — U.S. Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama — both voted for the bill in 2006 and recently reiterated their support for it.

Only the presumptive Republican nominee, U.S. Sen. John McCain, can't be counted as a supporter.

The legislation creates a process for organizing a Native Hawaiian government, including development of a roll of Native Hawaiians and the election of an interim governing council. The council would develop the documents on which the government would be based.

Once the United States recognizes the new government, negotiations would take place on the disposition of Native Hawaiian land, natural resources and other assets.

Akaka has been pushing Reid for almost 11 months to schedule the bill for Senate floor action. "I will continue to work with him to find an appropriate time," he said.

But a crowded Senate schedule dealing with the Iraq war, immigration, health insurance and more recently the mortgage crisis has kept the bill in the background.

An expected filibuster from some Republicans in the Senate means Reid would have to make time for lengthy debate.

The House originally approved the bill in 2000 and passed it again in October.

If Akaka can get the bill on the Senate calendar, he stands a good chance of mustering the 60 votes needed to break the Republican filibuster that stopped the bill last time.

When the bill was last before the Senate in June 2006, he had the unanimous support of all the Democrats voting and 13 Republicans, but the 56-41 vote was still short of the 60 needed for a cloture motion to overcome the Republican filibuster. Since then, more Democrats and an independent have taken seats in the Senate, giving the party a 51-49 edge.

All 13 Republicans who voted for cloture are still in the Senate, but two of them, McCain and Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., are expected to oppose the bill.

If Akaka can keep the other 11 Republicans — four are co-sponsoring the bill this year — and again gain unanimous Democratic support, he could have 62 votes, more than enough to break a filibuster and bring the bill up for a final vote.

Akaka said he is optimistic that he will have the "bipartisan support necessary for a debate and up-or-down vote." "I continue to reach out to my colleagues to share with them the unique history of Hawai'i and the long overdue need for federal recognition," Akaka said.

At least four of the new Democratic senators have supported the bill, but the others haven't made up their minds yet.

But even if Akaka and other supporters gain Senate passage, the bill still faces a possible presidential veto.

The White House Office of Management and Budget said the bill was "divisive" and discriminatory and raised "significant constitutional concerns." If the bill went to the president, "his senior advisers would recommend that he veto" it, the statement said.

A veto override requires a two-thirds majority in both the House and the Senate, an unlikely prospect given that only one of Bush's vetoes has been overcome.


Honolulu Advertiser, BREAKING NEWS/UPDATES Updated at 3:02 a.m., Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Seminar to discuss 'Akaka Bill' set for April 24

The Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce will host a seminar on the Akaka Bill, also known as the Native Hawaiian Recognition Billl, from noon to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, April 24, at the Chamber's Manoa Grand Ballroom Lounge at 2454 S. Beretania St.

Registration fee is $25 and includes lunch. For more information or to register call 949-5531 or visit the Chambers website at


4/24/2008 Native Hawaiian Recognition "Akaka" Bill Seminar
Learn about the background of the Akaka Bill and the legal, economic, & social implications of the bill if it is passed.

Native Hawaiian Recognition Bill (aka Akaka Bill) Seminar Presented by Jon M. Van Dyke, University of Hawaii at Manoa Professor of Law.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. (11:45 a.m. registration)
Manoa Grand Ballroom Lounge
$25.00 (includes program and lunch)

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Honolulu Advertiser, Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Might not be wise to push for Akaka bill vote

You have to wonder about U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka's strategy in pushing for a vote this year on his bill for Native Hawaiian political recognition despite the certainty of a veto by President Bush if it passes.

It might be wiser to wait until after the election and hope for a Democratic president who is open to resolving indigenous claims of land and sovereignty stemming from the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy and U.S. annexation of Hawai'i.

Or least a Republican president who has displayed less personal antagonism toward Native Hawaiians than the incumbent.

What's to gain from a Senate victory on the Akaka bill this year (it's already passed the House) that would be purely symbolic after a Bush veto?

Akaka would have to burn serious political capital with Majority Leader Harry Reid to get floor time for debate and a vote when there are so many other pressing issues before the Senate.

He can't even guarantee the 60 votes needed to stop a likely Republican filibuster, and he'd be in a much stronger position next year if Democrats increase their narrow Senate majority.

If the bill is either defeated in the Senate this year or shot down by a veto, it will be difficult to get it back on the floor in the future with opponents arguing that the matter has already been settled.

A veto would allow Bush and the conservative ideologues in his Justice Department and U.S. Civil Rights Commission to lay down a permanent record of vitriol against Hawaiians that could come into play if the measure is ever passed by Congress and appealed to the courts.

So why pick a fight with Bush that can't be won when Democratic Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton both say they'd sign the bill, making the road to passage considerably easier next year if one of them is elected president?

Sen. John McCain, the Republican nominee, is believed to oppose the Akaka bill, but he's not nearly as wed to the ideological conservatives and hasn't displayed the kind of dogmatic animosity against Native Hawaiians as has come from the Bush administration.

Perhaps our Republican Gov. Linda Lingle, who supports the Akaka bill, could be more persuasive with McCain than she's been with Bush — if she hasn't already blown the relationship by waiting to endorse him until long after his nomination was assured.

Hawaiians have been at a similar crossroads before.

The Native Hawaiian sovereignty movement was born in the 1970s after Alaskan natives reached a native claims settlement with the federal government for $962.5 million and more than a tenth of the state's land.

Hawai'i's congressional delegates passed a bill seeking a similar deal for Hawaiians via a study commission at the end of the Carter administration, and the Democratic president appointed a panel that likely would have been very sympathetic to the Hawaiian cause.

But when Republican Ronald Reagan moved into the White House, one of his first acts was to abolish Carter's Hawaiian claims commission.

Instead of letting it go and waiting for a more favorable political climate, the Hawai'i GOP tried to score points with Hawaiians by prevailing on Reagan to appoint a new commission.

He did, but filled it with conservative wonks from federal agencies. Hawaiians lacked the oil card that gave Alaskan natives leverage, and the Reagan panel came to the foregone conclusion that Hawaiians had no legitimate native claims.

The issue has been dead in the water ever since, and pushing the matter this year instead of being patient until the politics change could well have the same result.


Hawaii Reporter, April 11, 2008

Akaka Bill Deadline: Memorial Day

Special from Hawaii Free Press

By Andrew Walden

The Akaka Bill, according to an April 1 article in The Hill, must come to the floor of the US Senate between now and Memorial Day to have a chance of passage in this Election Year.

Six Republicans who opposed the Akaka Bill were ousted in 2006. With Democrats in the majority, Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-HI) reports he has won the support of three of their Democratic replacements (Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Jon Tester (D-MT)) and his efforts to gather a 51 vote majority are now focused on recruiting the other three new Democratic Senators. (An article in The Honolulu Advertiser, April 5, claims new Akaka Bill support from four Senators, but doesn’t name them)

It is not clear if Akaka has 60 votes for ‘cloture’ to overcome a filibuster. Senators who oppose the Akaka Bill might still vote for cloture.

Although this bill would likely face a veto from President Bush, passage this year in the Senate could create a precedent for easier Senate passage of the Akaka Bill in future attempts. The US House passage of the Akaka Bill on September 26, 2000 has been easily repeated several times in subsequent Congresses. If elected President, Senators Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Barack Obama (D-IL) have pledged to sign the Akaka Bill. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) opposes it.

The three as-yet-undecided Senators named by The Hill need to hear from Hawaii residents. They can be contacted through the following web mail sites:

Sens. Jim Webb (D-VA) http://webb.senate.gov/contact
Sherrod Brown (D-OH) http://brown.senate.gov/contact
Bob Casey Jr. (D-PA) http://casey.senate.gov/contact
Contact all US Senators:

The three new Akaka Bill supporters and the three being targeted for conversion by Akaka’s staff, likely have very little honest information about the impacts of the Akaka Bill on Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians in Hawai`i. As freshmen, they have not been party to the previous Senate debates on the issue. Hawaii’s political class is nearly unanimous in its public support for the Akaka Bill—but polls show 66.8% opposition among the general public and 43% opposition among native Hawaiians as well.

LINK: http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?afba19b6-cb1c-4377-84b0-0f62d89b7a4e

The Akaka Bill is not a one-state issue. It sets a precedent for creating a ‘tribal’ government which falsely appropriates the name of an ethnic group which is not tribal. The large fake “Indian reservations” created would be a massive playground for future Jack Abramoffs.

The nature of the Akaka Tribe government is not a mystery. The Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) are preparing the Kau Inoa ‘tribal’ roll and intend to transition themselves to become the government of the Akaka Tribe.

OHA’s venal record indicates the future direction of the Akaka tribal government. The recent public testimony of native Hawaiians against OHA is part of the evidence against the Akaka Bill.

The results of the Grassroot Institute’s two polls should also be an important part of educating Senators and the public about the attitudes of Hawaiians and Hawaii residents to the Akaka Bill.

What type of sovereignty will Hawaii and Hawaiians live under? Under law and protected by the U.S. Constitution, all Americans—including Hawaiian Americans—are sovereign in their personal affairs. That personal sovereignty can be greatly increased through school choice and fee simple home ownership—both strongly discouraged by the Trustees of the various institutions under which Hawaiians live.

The Akaka Bill would weaken this personal sovereignty by placing Hawaiians and a substantial portion of Hawaii under the dictatorial sovereignty of the Trustees with no constitutional safeguards to protect the individuals living under the ‘tribe’.

The Trustees have one goal in mind—expanding their personal power. Rep Neil Abercrombie (D-HI), speaking to the House Committee on Natural Resources on May 2, 2007, explained: “The bottom line here is that this is a bill about the control of assets. This is about land, this is about money, and this is about who has the administrative authority and responsibility over it.”

Visualize OHA Trustees with even more authority over land and assets—and authority over Kamehameha Schools and Hawaiian Homelands—then write a letter to the Senators.





Poll results on the Akaka Bill:


Status of Akaka Bill in Senate;


Andrew Walden is the publisher and editor of Hawaii Free Press, a Big Island-based newspaper. He can be reached via email at


Hawaii Reporter, April 14, 2008

It's All About the Akaka Bill
An Epic Tale of the Denial of People Power at Hawaii G.O.P. Headquarters

By Eric Ryan

This past Saturday morning was perhaps the lowest point ever reached by the currently Linda Lingle-controlled Republican Party of Hawaii in perhaps 25 years. During a surreal and highly disturbing two-hour meeting which revealed the worst in party politics, Lingle's empire struck back against the party's own official platform committee charged with revising and updating the governing document which sets forth official Republican policies for the State of Hawaii.

The committee was formally shut down and disbanded and its members were told that despite the weeks of hard work they put in, their services would no longer be needed. As a result, the party's existing platform, described by many as liberal and watered down, would be retained verbatim in favor of the changes proposed by reformers who were ready to do battle with long-time party insiders and, in particular, those on the official Lingle administration gravy train.

Several weeks ago, these platform committee members (including me), who were selected from 51 state house districts at precinct caucuses and district meetings statewide, began thoughtfully deliberating about which positions the party and its candidates should take on virtually every issue affecting Hawaii. These so-called 'planks' of the platform run the complete gamut of societal challenges: from jobs and the economy to the environment and government affairs; from affordable housing and social services to education and health care; from crime and public safety to senior citizens and native Hawaiian issues.

After 54 unbroken years of Democrat party domination of Hawaii's State Legislature, a majority of the members who showed up for these meetings week after week -- and at specially scheduled meetings in-between those weekly ones, not to mention hundreds of e-mails and phone calls back and forth -- expressed a clear and overwhelming desire to return to the party's conservative roots; favoring smaller government, lower taxes, greater preference for private sector solutions to social problems, increased transparency in what government does and what government spends, plus equal rights for all who call Hawaii home. It was this very last issue which was the most controversial, as a large number of delegates to the platform committee desired to amend the party's current "Native Hawaiian plank" which essentially favors the Akaka Government Reorganization Bill (currently pending before the U.S. Senate); legislation which would break up the state along ethnic lines and create a new, ethnically-exclusive Hawaiians-only OHA government funded by all taxpayers; a whole new layer of politicians and bureaucracy which would duplicate most, if not all, services and departments provided by existing county, state and federal governments . . . the only difference being that the 50th State's part-Hawaiian citizens (no matter how intermarried they are with non-Hawaiians here and abroad) would forever receive entitlements based on their ancestry, while non-Hawaiians would forever pick up the tab for such largesse. This was the pro-Akaka Bill position of Governor Lingle and everyone knew it would be hard to change.

Adding to the controversy, caused by the platform committee's willingness to even consider changing the party's position while Lingle kept her tight grip on the party's power structure, were the revelations that at least one member of the platform committee - Bruss Keppeler, an activist lawyer, a major player in the sovereignty movement and a friend of Lingle - was an active contributor to Democrat campaigns and an active endorser of Democrats who ran against Republicans.

This controversy heated up platform committee meetings and fueled a constant, furious spate of e-mails between committee members on this subject alone. I, Eric Ryan, filed an official complaint with party chair Willes Lee about the propriety of having someone who actively plays for the other team help write our official playbook. To the justifiable horror of many, Lee made it abundantly clear in a variety of ways that he was under orders from Linda Lingle to circle the wagons around major Akaka-contributor Keppeler, since he was personally responsible for adding Lingle's pro-Akaka Bill language to our party's platform several years earlier . . . and that Lee was supposed to keep Keppeler on the committee to protect that policy endorsement during the group's deliberations . . . even though Lee had to go out of his way to pretend that he didn't know about the explicit party rules against party leaders like Keppeler who clearly engaged in traitorous behavior to actively defeat Republicans.

Tensions grew even higher during the last few weeks alone as reformers of the platform (and of the party) strived to reposition and reenergize the party so that its candidates would stop losing in election after election. Despite the prolonged, Lingle-mandated experimentation with pandering to local voters by trying to be "Lite versions of Democrats" while intentionally opting not to use marketing and grassroots activity to persuade voters that Republican ideas deserve a chance, defenders of the status quo platform (and of the party status quo in general) argued that Lingle's close first term election victory in 2002 and her coast to re-election (outspending her unknown opponent 20-to-1) in 2006 were evidence enough that the platform should be left alone.

The insiders' analysis conveniently overlooks the consistently poor showing by party challengers who take on incumbent Democrats year after year, and overlooks the consistent losing streak of elected Republicans who can't hang onto their seats when challenged by unknown Democrat challengers year after year. In other words, it doesn't matter how badly Republicans overall are losing, so long as Lingle is doing O.K. That was the entire justification for leaving the platform as is.

As for what specifically took place on Saturday, the hardworking platform committee members showed up at 9:30 a.m. for what was expected to be a productive meeting, during which several newly-developed 'planks' would be discussed and adopted. Instead, these brave members looked around and saw a couple dozen people who had never before shown up to meetings during the previous month or so; people with clear connections to the governor and who actually claimed to be voting members of the platform committee.

Lingle's leaders of the G.O.P., including party chair Willes Lee, platform committee chair Darwin Ching and vice chair Kay Ahina - who like all the remaining vice-chairs of the party are all Lingle appointees to government posts - quickly approved credentials and gave seats to these sudden newcomers as if they were old friends invited to dinner after many years (along with a few new acquaintances whose favors were being called in).

One of these people, Terry Thomason, is the party's attorney and husband of a Lingle former appointee at the Department of Accounting and General Services (DAGS). Shortly after the meeting started, chairman Ching recognized first time attendee Mr. Thomason, who wasted no time in making a motion to end all further consideration of the platform by the committee, to throw away all their hard work, to consider no changes offered by the current committee (not a single one), and to adopt the existing Lingle-endorsed platform verbatim.

This motion, by a person who didn't even care to inquire about the changes which were being considered and championed by the current platform committee (e.g. "Hey everyone, since I've just shown up for the first time, can you tell me what ideas have y'all come up with over the past month?"), led to a loud and lively discussion about the offensive nature of this motion to rubber stamp the existing, Democrat Lite platform. Even a couple of the hardworking, actively participating members of the committee who admittedly were less-inclined to substantially change the platform during the month-long process by the working group found themselves speaking out against this overt, top-down, muscle-flexing by the governor's shameless underlings to stifle debate.

And so, once everyone had an opportunity to speak their mind, including yours truly, the empire struck back. By a vote of 26 to 19, the platform committee was shut down ahead of schedule because of the distinct possibility of changes being approved that Lingle didn't want . . . and made possible by a bizarre yet unsurprising influx of warm bodies, courtesy of the Lingle campaign. In addition to the new, unfamiliar faces in person, there were new, unfamiliar voices on a conference call from the neighbor islands, joining together in a highly-choreographed dance of death for the party's integrity and its promise for the future. It was frighteningly well-rehearsed and it was executed like clockwork.

"It's all about the Akaka Bill, that's why they're shutting down our committee," were the words on the lips of delegates and alternates to the platform committee. "Lingle doesn't want us to express the will of Republican voters statewide." After watching Lingle's men and women circle the wagons around an admitted Democrat supporter, Keppeler -- who worked to defeat Democrat Dan Akaka's Republican challenger Cynthia Thielen as recently as 2006, and who donated to Abercrombie and Akaka even more recently than that -- and then watching these Lingle loyalists work feverishly, in an unprecedented and offensive manner, to shut down the one committee which lets party regulars have their say about issues of the day, it became clear that the Republican Party of Hawaii was being stepped on and exploited to fulfill secret campaign promises made behind closed doors by Linda Lingle to the likes of OHA's Haunani Apoliona and even Senator Dan Inouye.

For years, the political buzz was that Lingle secretly made a deal with OHA and leaders of the ethnic separatist movement which led to an understanding that they would support her run for governor if she would embrace the liberal Democrat policies of creating a separate, unnecessary government for part-Hawaiians merely by pretending that Hawaiians were a lost Indian tribe. The same kind of shafting of Republican principles which was in evidence when Lingle lent her support to the tax increases and big spending associated with rail transit, the abandonment of tax cuts, and the giveaways to government employee unions.

As an encore to the party's dance of death, just thirty minutes after the curtain came down on the platform committee and its members were kicked to the curb and told their help would no longer be needed, party chair Willes Lee sent out a misleading e-blast to thousands of Republicans in Hawaii which was intentionally worded to leave the false impression that the members of the platform committee were so happy with the existing document adopted two years earlier that the committee was happily calling it quits to embrace that document after weeks of consideration.

Word has it that these aforementioned warm bodies who made this unholy 'rubber stamp' vote possible were rounded up by a phone tree at party headquarters during the days leading up to Saturday's travesty and were given explicit instructions to show up and vote for Mr. Thomason's motion without hesitation. Some were even given encouragement to speak derisively to those reformers in attendance, who were clearly outmaneuvered by their own party leaders. These so-called leaders, all of whom report to Linda Lingle, are fully expected to utilize spin doctoring against the Democrats. But this weekend, they were using that spin against the party's own rank and file membership. These hacks obviously know which side their bread is buttered on.

Looking back, watching Willes "Slick Willie" Lee working in concert with Lingle's underlings, puppets and minions in a well-choreographed attempt to stifle debate, squelch free speech and dismiss alternate ideas through shutting down the rank-and-file members of the party that served on this now-defunct platform committee was like being witness to the final act of betrayal by people sworn to advance the interests of an entire party, not just the selfish interests of one female governor - a governor who's not yet done using the party as her own campaign committee . . . this time for the U.S. Senate.

Clearly, it is Linda Lingle's intention to maintain total control of her 'party of one' while trying to be perceived as being above the fray. But Lingle's filthy fingerprints were all over this incident and her self-serving act of manipulating an important policymaking process will cause lasting if not permanent damage to our party, which I joined right out of high school. Astute observers know that Lingle has routinely put her political interests before anyone and anything else. But how many consecutive defeats at the ballot box by Republican candidates will it take for her most sycophantic political supporters to know when enough is enough; that the party exists to help all of its candidates to win rather than just its matriarch-du-jour?

In case I've not made my feelings clear, I feel that the co-opting of our party is disheartening and disgusting. We've been taken hostage, and before today we barely realized it because we were so excited to finally have a governor with an "R" after her name, even though the results have hardly been Republican. Now, however, that spell cast over many Republicans in Hawaii is broken. We are fully aware what's been going on, and we don't like it one bit.

So what's next for the reformers? Well, the sky's the limit now that Lingle leads a lame duck empire and since the line has now been clearly drawn in the sand by Darth Lingle and her stormtroopers. As volunteers with nothing but good intentions and sincere hope for what a well-run party can do to make our state a better place, we just have to work that much harder to fix a party which is completely broken, yet viciously defended by selfish individuals who have taken servitude and patronage to Lingle to extreme new depths of brown-nosing combined with depraved indifference and outright sabotage of the party's future. Mark my words, the battle for the soul of the Republican Party of Hawaii has just begun. We will prevail and we will work to ensure that the G.O.P. will soon be able to promote an agenda which is clearly different than the agenda and record of the Democrats which have dominated Hawaii for the past 54 years. Even if Linda Lingle and her cronies don't want us to.

Eric Ryan, a Republican who lives in Ewa Beach, Hawaii, can be reached via email at mailto:ericryan@hawaii.rr.com


Republic of Hawaii Was Recognized Worldwide as the Legitimate Government of These Islands
Photos of letters of recognition personally signed by 19 foreign rulers in 1894 discredit the apology resolution, undermine the Akaka bill, and confirm that the ceded lands belong to all Hawaii's people without racial distinction.

By Dr. Ken Conklin

** The most complete version of this essay was published in
Hawaii Reporter, April 16, 2008 at
** Other versions were published in
The Maui News, April 15, 2008 at
The Garden Island News (Kaua'i), April 16, 2008 at

Do historical facts matter in current debates about the apology resolution, Akaka bill, and ceded lands?

At least nineteen nations sent formal letters to President Sanford B. Dole granting full-fledged (de jure) diplomatic recognition to the Republic as the legitimate government of Hawaii. These were not the tentative de facto recognitions given by local consuls in Honolulu in January 1893 to the temporary Provisional Government.

These letters in late 1894 were sent from national capitols in Europe, Asia, North America, and South America, welcoming the permanent government of the Republic of Hawaii into the family of nations.

The letters were personally signed by Queen Victoria, President Grover Cleveland, Tsar Alexander III, two princes on behalf of Emperor Kuangsu (China), President Casimir Perier (France), King Don Alfonso XIII and Queen Dona Maria Christina (Spain), President Porfirio Diaz (Mexico), and 12 others.

Photographs of the letters, including some English translations, can be seen at

Historical significance and implications for statehood, Akaka bill, and ceded lands; are provided at http://tinyurl.com/2pxqgz along with a detailed example of the Hawaiian sovereignty lie that such letters do not exist.

The Kingdom of Hawaii also recognized the Republic in the same way as those other nineteen nations. Ex-queen Liliuokalani personally signed a five-page letter of abdication, and a one-page oath of loyalty to the Republic of Hawaii, on January 24, 1895; in consultation with and witnessed by her personal attorney and former cabinet members she had appointed. Photographs on the same webpage. Among other things, Liliuokalani says:

"I hereby do fully and unequivocally admit and declare that the Government of the Republic of Hawaii is the only lawful Government of the Hawaiian Islands ... I hereby declare to [everyone] that I consider them as bound in duty and honor henceforth to support and sustain the Government of the Republic of Hawaii."

Consensus among nations determined what was "international law" in 1893-1898. No nation ever protested the Hawaiian revolution of 1893 nor the annexation of 1898. No nation ever refused to do business with the Provisional Government, Republic of Hawaii, or United States as having sovereignty in Hawaii.

Every local consul in Honolulu in January 1893 gave immediate de facto recognition to the Provisional Government. At least 19 nations sent formal letters of de jure recognition from their head of state to Republic of Hawaii President Sanford B. Dole.

So what?

Thanks to recognition the Republic had standing under international law to offer treaties, including a treaty of annexation to the United States. The Republic had the right to make a deal ceding the public lands of Hawaii in exchange for payment of Hawaii's national debt. Never again can Hawaiian secessionists say that the Republic of Hawaii was illegal, had only de facto recognition, or was merely a U.S. puppet regime.

By never protesting the overthrow and by recognizing the successor Republic, those nations condoned the revolution of 1893 as legal, thus disdrediting the 1993 apology resolution which referred to "the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy."

The Akaka bill is undermined because it relies on the apology resolution and repeatedly cites it. Discrediting the apology resolution also eliminates the primary reason given by the Hawaii Supreme Court for prohibiting the State of Hawaii from selling any ceded lands without first reaching a "settlement" with a racial group.

The time has come for Hawaii politicians to stop playing with the fires of racial separatism and ethnic nationalism. Let's boldly make policy decisions based on facts: the revolution that overthrew the monarchy was a good thing condoned as legitimate by the international community; Hawaii is rightfully a state of the United States; the ceded lands belong to all Hawaii's people without racial distinction; the unity and equality of Hawaii's people are worth defending and nurturing.

Dr. Ken Conklin is a retired professor of philosophy. He recently published "Hawaiian Apartheid: Racial Separatism and ethnic Nationalism in the Aloha State" (302 pages) available through Amazon.com, portions available free at http://tinyurl.com/2a9fqa . Dr. Conklin offers this essay "in grateful tribute to the Honorable Sanford B. Dole, President of the Republic of Hawaii, born at Punahou on April 23, 1844, to whom the letters of diplomatic recognition were addressed.


Hawaii Reporter, April 16, 2008

A Hawaii Republican Platform Without Candidates?

Special from Hawaii Free Press
By Andrew Walden

The drama unfolding in the Hawaii Republican Party platform committee over whether or not to continue Hawaii Republicans’ official support for the Akaka Bill is a reflection of narrow confines into which Hawaii’s entire body politic has been placed.

The battle over the Akaka Bill does not belong in a committee meeting. It is an issue over which elections should be fought. Yet, in spite of the apparent unpopularity of the Akaka Bill—with two massive statewide polls showing over 67% opposition--statewide scant few candidates and only one elected official publicly oppose it.

To become a State Senator or Representative all that is required is to be reasonably presentable, raise money, buy three pairs of shoes, acquire campaign know-how, and work from now until November 4 knocking on the door of every voter in the district. It is a lot of hard work but the process is simple.

In spite of this, so far only 12 non-incumbent Republicans have pulled papers to run in 63 legislative races. Nineteen House Districts in which over 65% of the electorate voted for Governor Lingle are in Democratic hands. Nineteen more Republicans in the House would create a GOP majority for the first time since Hiram Fong lost the House Speaker position in 1954.

Where are all the anti-Akaka Bill Republicans hungry to take over the Legislature? Polls show they represent as much as 78% of the GOP electorate.

Where are all those Lingle-Akaka voters? This should be their moment to step forward to build a Republican majority in their image.

Democrats don’t win elections in Hawaii. Republicans choose to lose them. The contrast between the weak GOP legislative campaign effort and the intense battle over the GOP platform is just more evidence of misplaced GOP priorities on both sides of the debate.

The last day to file papers to run for office is July 22. Serious candidates need to pull papers now.


2006 Election results by District compared with Party of House Rep.

Candidate Filing Report:

Poll results on the Akaka Bill:

Andrew Walden is the publisher and editor of Hawaii Free Press, a Big Island-based newspaper. He can be reached via email at


The Garden Island (Kaua'i), April 27, 2008

Media and the Akaka Bill

If all the citzens of Hawai‘i were to vote using secret ballots on the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act (Akaka Bill), it would not pass. Just pick 10 people off the streets of Lihu‘e at random for your own poll.

But regardless of where you stand on this issue of tremendous implications for all Americans, Elizabeth Langer’s article (“Famous are the Flowers — Hawaiian Resistance Then and Now”) in the current issue of Nation magazine is a must-read. Columnist Jerry Burris’ blog in the April 24 Honolulu-Advertiser admits the article “reads for the most part the way one could expect for a magazine described as ‘the flagship of the Left.’” More importantly, with figurative open-mouth, he writes that the author “points out correctly that the Akaka Bill is quite silent on what would happen if a Hawaiian entity is recognized ... (it) also recognizes the potentially ‘staggering implications’ of the bill on the future of ceded lands in the islands. ...”


That caught my attention, so I waded through the article’s historical stuff (not totally accurate, but who’s counting?) to get to the bottom line — 1.8 million acres at stake, among other issues, and Akaka’s own foot-in-mouth statement that maybe it will be up to his grandkids to reinstate Hawai‘i sovereignty. (Or my five cousins of Native Hawaiian ancestry?)

Well, Honolulu-based Grassroots Institute’s President Richard Rowland feels that for the media even to concede that the Akaka Bill gives cause for pause is a step toward sanity. Or as one Kauaian said tongue-in-cheek to me in January, “Maybe Danny didn’t bring it down from Mauna Kea on tablets of stone after all.”

Ray Smith
Wheaton, Illi.


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