** In June 2006, immediately following defeat of the Akaka bill cloture motion, OHA began planning to implement the process of nation-building even without federal recognition. The result would be a state-recognized ethnic Hawaiian governing entity to which the state would then transfer huge areas of land, hundreds of millions of dollars, and political power. OHA's "Plan B" was contained in a confidential memo leaked to the press, and has been the focus of numerous published news reports and commentaries which are NOT compiled below but instead are compiled on a separate webpage devoted to Plan B at

** In addition, OHA has actually begun building its "nation" by gaining title to large land parcels, planning a headquarters (national capitol?), and considering purchase of a television station. News reports and commentaries about the growth of the "evil empire" are NOT compiled below but instead are compiled at:

The monthly newspaper published by the State of Hawai'i Office of Hawaiian Affairs has a circulation of more than 60,000 copies, mailed free of charge to subscribers at state government expense. The newspaper for July 2006 contains the first "official" reaction of OHA to the defeat of the Akaka bill cloture petition on June 8. Important news reports were published on pages 10 and 11; and important commentaries by several OHA trustees were published by Apoliona p. 17, Carpenter and Dela Cruz p. 18, Stender and Mossman p. 19. The entire newspaper for July 2006 can be downloaded from

July 1: Webpage compiling press releases and news reports that businesses owned by ethnic Hawaiians are booming, and are being created at more than triple the rate of businesses owned by other ethnicities.

July 4: (1) Honolulu Advertiser: "Sovereignty support eroding" reports results of a poll it commissioned. The poll began on the same day when the Akaka bill failed to survive a cloture motion on the floor of the U.S. Senate, which was also immediately after a blitz of TV, radio, and newspaper ads by OHA supporting the Akaka bill. Great timing by a newspaper that repeatedly editorializes in favor of the Akaka bill! And still the newspaper was forced to report "Sovereignty support eroding." (2) Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, apparently on summer vacation in Hilo, writes about "The Disconnect Between Hawaii & America", especially regarding political support for things that are illegal under American law including Kamehameha Schools admissions policy, the Akaka bill, and a law requiring state residency to apply for state or local government jobs.

July 6: Honolulu Advertiser reports "Akaka says he still thinks Native Hawaiian measure can pass" (He was quoted while filing nominating papers in Honolulu to run for re-election to the Senate).

July 12: Jerry Coffee, Republican, has filed papers to run against Dan Akaka for the U.S. Senate. Coffee was a prisoner of war in Viet Nam for 7 years, along with Senator John McCain, and is a personal friend of McCain. Coffee is a strong opponent of the Akaka bill, and wrote a letter to McCain pleading with him to oppose the Akaka bill, shortly before the cloture vote of June 8. During the cloture debate, McCain made a statement, in the Congressional Record, that he was voting in favor of cloture to fulfill an agreement made two years previously, but would vote against the bill if it survived cloture. Provided below are two news reports about Coffee's candidacy, plus links to Coffee's letter to McCain and McCain's statement of opposition to the Akaka bill. [Unfortunately, on August 7, while traveling in Texas, Jerry Coffee suffered heart problems requiring emergency bypass surgery. He thereafter suspended his campaign; thus, it appears there will not be any credible candidate opposing Senator Akaka who opposes the Akaka bill.]

July 15: London Daily Telegraph article "Defiant Hawaiian unfurls the flag of freedom" glorifies Bumpy Kanahele's secessionist movement and Dan Akaka's apartheid proposal.

July 28: Garry Smith notes that politicians in Hawai'i are avoiding any mention of the Akaka bill in their campaign speeches, websites, and printed materials. He guesses they are embarrassed by their earlier votes and lobbying activities that supported the bill.

July 31: Honolulu Advertiser reports that ALL 13 candidates for the open U.S. House seat (being vacated by Senate candidate Ed Case) support the Akaka bill or some sort of federal legislation for federal recognition of an ethnic Hawaiian entity. The only one supporting placing the issue on the ballot for Hawai'i voters is Republican primary election candidate Bob Hogue.

August 2: Powerful essay by Rockne Johnson, "Libertarians and Hawaiians", republished by Hawaii Reporter with author's permission, taken from the Honolulu Star-Bulletin of 1980. At that time, of course, the Akaka bill was not yet created, but a powerful movement was underway demanding Congressional legislation to provide "reparations" to ethnic Hawaiians for the 1893 overthrow of the monarchy.

August 8: Senator Dan Akaka, an ethnic Hawaiian, has a primary election opponent, Congressman Ed Case, who has no Hawaiian native ancestry. Therefore it might be assumed that ethnic Hawaiians would be likely to vote for Senator Akaka. On August 8 a webpage was created containing a memo accusing Case of being anti-Hawaiian. The memo is notable because it was written by an ethnic Hawaiian attorney who has been President of the Native Hawaiian Bar Association and who represents the Office of Hawaiian Affairs in lawsuits against the State of Hawai'i asserting racial rights to government land. The memo is also notable because it is being circulated by a leader of Kamehameha Schools alumni who is generally recognized as a proxy spokesperson for that institution. Since the ethnic Hawaiian establishment is now attacking Ed Case and is clearly supporting Dan Akaka, there is no reason why Ed Case should continue trying to curry favor with that institutional establishment; thus, Case has an opportunity to step forward and oppose the Akaka bill (which is opposed by about half of all ethnic Hawaiians and 67% of the population as a whole). For analysis, and full text of the memo, see:

August 25: Letter to editor: "Racial bill's supporters should be voted out"

August 27: Honolulu Advertiser profile of Senator Akaka's background and accomplishments (or lack thereof) includes analysis that he is criticized as being ineffective in obtaining and maintaining support for the Akaka bill.

August 30: Letter to editor by Stephen Aghjayan: "While the Akaka bill failed by four votes this last time around, that procedural cloture vote count does not tell the whole story. A number of Democratic and Republican senators who voted with Akaka on the cloture vote said they would not have voted for the bill's final passage. Included on this list is Sen. Jon Kyl, Sen. John McCain, Sen. Ted Kennedy and undoubtedly many others. They all felt that the bill was unconstitutional. I have to believe that Sen. Dan Akaka and his staff must have known they did not have the votes to move the bill forward. They also must know that they will not have the votes to pass the bill after the election even if the Democrats control the Senate."

August 31: Televised hour-long debate between Senator Akaka and Congressman Case -- portion of debate transcript consisting of one question regarding the Akaka bill, and their answers.

September 11: Candidate profile of Bob Hogue, running in Republican primary for open seat in U.S. House of Representatives. Hogue is the only candidate (among 10 Democrats and 2 Republicans) who favors allowing Hawai'i's people to vote on whether the Akaka bill should pass or be implemented. Former candidate Jerry Coffee, who strongly opposed the Akaka bill, withdrew from the contest after emergency heart surgery.

September 12: Candidate profile of Quentin Kawananakoa, running in Republican primary for open seat in U.S. House of Representatives. Kawananakoa strongly favors the Akaka bill. He has great wealth, and is often called "Prince" because he is a descendant of the heir-apparent to the throne of the Kingdom of Hawai'i.

September 20 and 21: In the Republican primary contest for an open seat in Congress, Quentin Kawananakoa accuses Bob Hogue of aligning himself with conservative Republicans who oppose the Akaka bill. Hogue replies that he favors federal recognition, but that if the proposal is to make fundamental changes in the structure of government in Hawai'i, then all the people of Hawai'i should have the right to vote on it.

September 21: In the Democrat primary contest for U.S. Senate, challenger Ed Case (who is white) says that incumbent Senator Dan Akaka's aggressive courting of ethnic Hawaiian support has become "incredibly polarizing and divisive. ... Should we elect Sen. Akaka to the Senate just because he is native Hawaiian? I don't believe so, any more than I should be elected to the Senate because I am white," Case said.

September 29: Governor Linda Lingle and her Democrat opponent, Randall Iwase, appeared before the 5th annual convention of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement. Both pledged strong support for the Akaka bill to protect race-based programs against legal attacks. Iwase blamed Lingle for failing to persuade her fellow Republican President Bush to support the Akaka bill or at least to remain neutral. Lingle said OHA knows the bill would never have gotten as far as it did without her active lobbying efforts.

October 6: Letter to editor by Wilbert Wong calls Akaka bill racist and says it would cause great dissention in Hawai'i; run-up to gubernatorial debate describes Lingle as proud of President Bush for proclaiming the Northwest Hawaiian Islands National Monument, but very disappointed in Bush for his last-minute opposition to the Akaka bill.

October 7: Excerpts from news report on the gubernatorial debate between Governor Linda Lingle (R) and challenger Randall Iwase (D). Iwase notes that Lingle claims to be close to President Bush, but Bush torpedoed the Akaka bill and then within a week afterward he proclaimed the Northwest Hawaiian Islands national monument. Iwase speculates that Bush created the monument as a consolation prize, but Lingle says there was no connection.

Sept-Oct 2006 edition of New Zealand Maori-oriented news magazine gives excellent description of Hawaiian independence activist opposition to Akaka bill, giving the activists great credit for blocking the bill; while barely mentioning the strongest opposition, which came from conservative Republican Senators and Hawai'i defenders of unity and equality.

October 13: OHA Administrator Clyde Namu'o responds to October 6 letter from Wilbert Wong which had called the Akaka bill "racist" and said it would cause "great dissention" in Hawai'i.

October 18: Honolulu Advertiser publishes article headed "Federal recognition at forefront for OHA races" saying that the Akaka bill and OHA's proposal for a state-recognized tribal government are the main issues in the election contests for seats on the board of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Advertiser also publishes a related article "What the candidates say about a primary issue facing OHA."

October 29: (1) Martha Ross, Washington D.C. bureau chief for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, publishes lengthy commentary saying "Recognition would bring Hawaiians justice, not special treatment"; (2) Honolulu Star-Bulletin election voter guide special section on OHA, says "Making the push for Hawaiian self-governance to supercede future legal entanglements will be a major mission for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, which has five open spots among its board of trustees ... with 23 candidates overall. ... Chief among the concerns for the new board is the ongoing threat of lawsuits challenging the agency's constitutionality"; (3) Letter to editor asks voters to vote for OHA candidates Bumpy Kanahele and Jackie Burke because they oppose Akaka bill.

October 30: Gallup New Mexico newspaper runs lengthy article based on Arizona Democrat Party webpage about Republican Arizona Senator Jon Kyl's record on Indian issues, saying Kyl's senior policy analyst Joe Matal worked closely with "anti-Indian" organization One Nation United to defeat the Akaka bill.

November 8: Boyd Mossman, who was re-elected as OHA trustee, says his top priority is to pass the Akaka bill; and he is confident newly elected trustee Walter Heen also supports it.

November 10: Both Honolulu daily papers report that Senator Akaka will re-introduce the Akaka bill next year, with the same language as the bill had this year; and he expects the bill to pass easily because the Democrats will control both House and Senate. (But it was unclear whether the bill's language will be the S.147 on which cloture was attempted, or the abortive decoy S.3064 introduced days before the cloture vote as an alleged compromise with the Department of Justice)

November 11: Honolulu Advertiser front page large-type headline for today says: "Renewed hope for Akaka bill" -- despite the fact that a shorter article the previous day had reported similar information, and despite the fact that there is no urgent news event other than the election results from four days previously.

November 14: Honolulu Star-Bulletin editorial jumps onto the bandwagon started by the Advertiser -- editorial notes that the Democrat takeover of Congress will make it easier to overcome Republican obstruction of the Akaka bill; editorial gives some faux legal arguments, such as "Although the Akaka Bill is indeed race-based, Congress has broad authority to determine and grant sovereignty to indigenous societies, such as Indian tribes."

November 15: (1) Advertiser columnist commentary says OHA should move forward with Plan B, because there is no guarantee Congress will pass the Akaka bill despite the new Democrat majority; (2) Letter to editor says Akaka bill needs full disclosure to Hawai'i people and should be voted on the ballot; (3) Star-Bulletin editorial cites Census statistics reported yesterday as evidence that ethnic Hawaiians need the Akaka bill to protect race-based government handouts.

November 18: (1) OHA announces Hawaiian nation-building meeting; (2) The Press-Enterprise (Serving inland Southern California) published a news report about an OHA-sponsored conference at University of California Riverside focusing on the Akaka bill, including signup for the racial registry Kau Inoa.

November 19: Two commentaries in Star-Bulletin question the legitimacy and interpretation of ethnic Hawaiian victimhood data recently published. (1) Hamilton McCubbin, former CEO of kamehameha Schools, notes that all ancestries should be honored, and it's demoralizing to portray Hawaiians as helpless victims; (2) John Goemans, attorney who represented Rice in Rice v. Cayetano, notes that 90% of ethnic Hawaiians have less than 50% native blood, and the victimhood statistics seem to indicate that even a small fragment of the Hawaiian gene is enough to make Hawaiians "victims of a cruel fact of biology."

November 20: Honolulu Advertiser business section has interview with Beadie Dawson, owner of multimillion dollar Dawson Group (construction) -- Dawson is a major player in pushing the Akaka bill, and in the past has described herself as suffering on account of being ethnic Hawaiian.

November 25: President Bush had a layover in Honolulu on his way home after a visit to Asia. He met with the troops, and had conversations with Governor Lingle; but she reports there was no discussion of the Akaka bill despite (or because of) the fact that Bush torpedoed the Akaka bill in the Senate in June.

November 27: Honolulu Advertiser investigative reporter says OHA spent millions of dollars lobbying the Akaka bill, and provides spreadsheet for 2003 to 2006 showing that OHA lobbying was more than 4 times as much as any other Hawaii institution. Reply on Dec. 3 by OHA Administrator Clyde Namu'o

November 30: Letter writer asks: Would passage of the Akaka bill pave the way for legalized gambling?

December 3: OHA Administrator Clyde Namu'o published a commentary in response to investigative reporter Jim Dooley's news report of November 27 regarding OHA's massive lobbying expenditures.

December 4: Senior Policy Analyst for Grassroot Institute publishes commentary: "The High Stakes of the Akaka Bill"

December 6: On December 5 the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals handed down an en-banc decision by a panel of 15 judges. By a vote of 8-7 they reversed a previous 2-1 ruling and upheld the racially exclusionary admissions policy of Kamehameha Schools. Some commentators, including Senator Akaka, believe this decision could have implications favorable to Congressional passage of the Akaka bill, because some of the 8 judges in the majority said the category "Native Hawaiian" is not only racial, but also political.

More December 6: A major speech by Haunani Apoliona, Chair of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, included lengthy commentary on OHA's plans for pushing very hard to pass the Akaka bill in 2007; and for enrolling 200,000 ethnic Hawaiians on a racial registry as part of "nation-building"

December 7: A press release strongly opposing both the Kamehameha Schools court decision and the Akaka bill was published by Project 21, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization of politically conservative African-Americans.

December 9: Letter to editor says Akaka bill and Kamehameha Schools admissions policy are Hawaiian tribalism. Both of them pit one racial group against others; and both are unconstitutional.

December 9: The 109th Congress adjourned permanently, without passing the Akaka bill. The 110th Congress is scheduled to begin on January 3, 2007; and undoubtedly the Akaka bill war will begin again soon thereafer.

December 12: Letter to editor looks to 110th Congress to pass Akaka bill; says that even though the bill might not be perfect, we should not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

December 18: Honolulu Advertiser weekly "Hot Seat" one hour live on-line interactive blog features OHA Chair Haunani Apoliona answering questions. Complete transcript is provided. Most questions focused on the Akaka bill, and the racial registry, and what would happen if ...

December 19 and 20: Illinois Senator Barack Obama visits Hawaii for his annual Christmas visit with his family (he grew up in Honolulu, and the media have called him "Hawaii's third Senator.")




The monthly newspaper published by the State of Hawai'i Office of Hawaiian Affairs has a circulation of more than 60,000 copies, mailed free of charge to subscribers at state government expense. The newspaper for July 2006 contains the first "official" reaction of OHA to the defeat of the Akaka bill cloture petition on June 8. Important news reports were published on pages 10 and 11; and important commentaries by several OHA trustees were published by Apoliona p. 17, Carpenter and Dela Cruz p. 18, Stender and Mossman p. 19. The entire newspaper for July 2006 can be downloaded from


Native Hawaiian Businesses Booming -- U.S. Census Bureau report issued June 2006 shows that Native Hawaiians (and other Pacific islanders) are creating new businesses at triple the rate of other ethnic groups (and they are doing so without federal recognition of an Akaka tribe). Webpage provides the Census Bureau press release, several newspaper articles, and a link to the entire 283-page Census report.


** Note from website editor Ken Conklin: The Honolulu Advertiser hired a local firm specializing in public relations and surveys to do a poll about Hawaiian sovereignty. The newspaper describes the timing of the poll this way: "The Advertiser Hawai'i Poll was conducted on June 8 and from June 21-27. Ward Research Inc. of Honolulu surveyed 602 Hawai'i adult residents, interviewing them by telephone." Look at those dates!! June 8 was the second of two consecutive days when the Akaka bill was being debated on the floor of the U.S. Senate. It was the date when the Akaka bill failed to survive a cloture vote. It followed several weeks of a TV, radio, and newspaper advertising blitz by OHA which included an hour-long prime time TV infomercial broadcast twice within a 7-day period before the poll was taken. The timimg of this poll was extroardinarily favorable to the sovereignty supporters. Note also that there was a very strange and unexplained 13 day pause in polling between June 8 and June 21. Only 602 adults were polled. By contrast, a telephone survey conducted a few weeks previously and released on May 23 obtained more than 20,000 responses to the question "Do you support the Akaka bill?" and 67% said NO.

Honolulu Advertiser, Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Poll: Sovereignty support eroding

By Gordon Y.K. Pang

Support for an independent Native Hawaiian government may have stalled over the past six years, according to the latest Advertiser Hawai'i Poll.

Results from last month's polling show 63 percent of respondents support a recognized Hawaiian entity — marking a decline from the 73 percent who supported it when virtually the same question was asked in November 2000.

The margin of error for the latest poll was 4 percentage points, while the 2000 poll had a margin of error of 4.9 percentage points.

While a majority of respondents supported the idea of a Hawaiian entity "similar to the special recognition given to American Indian tribes," support falls to less than half when a preface to the question refers to "a sovereign Hawaiian nation."

Regina Tauala, 54, of Halawa, is among those polled who supports a Native Hawaiian government. "We gotta start somewhere, and the only way to be recognized is by the United States so that (the Hawaiians) can form something here and so that they can have some kind of rights ..." said Tauala, who is part-Hawaiian. "I know you cannot change history, but at least they should have something," Tauala said. "Just so that there's some respect and dignity for the Hawaiian people."

Andrea Kolander, 66, of Kane'ohe, was among those who disagree with the notion of a Native Hawaiian government separate from the state. Kolander, who moved to Hawai'i in the 1970s, said she previously lived in Arizona and saw how Native Americans have not fared well with special benefits they receive. "I realize things have been done to ruin the Hawaiian people's lands, some of their beliefs and customs," Kolander said. "How do I put this so that it doesn't sound callous? It's just one of those things in life that I just don't think you can do anything about. I just feel like yes, it's unfair ... I just don't think you can go backward."


Magnolia Soares, 61, of 'Ewa Beach, said she cannot support a Native Hawaiian entity, at least not until there can be more agreement among the indigenous people here. "The Hawaiians, they can't get it together," said Soares, who is also part-Hawaiian. "They're always fighting among themselves. They don't agree, and unless you get the Hawaiians together, it'll never happen." Soares said that, in general, she does not particularly support programs designed to help Hawaiians only. While the monarchy was overthrown, "we still had the opportunity to progress like everyone else," Soares said. "We weren't denied our rights."

Some observers said much of the poll's results arose from the way the questions were asked.

"It's a pretty scary thing for a lot of people, to create a nation within a nation," said Donald Clegg, a longtime Hawai'i pollster. The question referencing a sovereign nation, he said, "appears to give more independence to the Hawaiian people" than the second question, which poses recognizing Hawaiians as a distinct group, similar to what Native Americans now receive.

Clyde Namu'o, administrator for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, also believes the phrasing of the "sovereign Hawaiian nation" question was a key reason the "agree" votes were not higher. "You would need to secede from the union to have a sovereign nation," he said, adding that neither federal nor state law allows that. "Clearly, there's a lot of work still to be done in terms of educating our community about what a Native Hawaiian governing entity would look like and how it would affect everyone's lives."

But Thurston Twigg-Smith, who is affiliated with Aloha For All, a group opposed to special federal recognition for Native Hawaiians, contends that the question, in which 48 percent of respondents supported a sovereign Hawaiian nation, was skewed in favor of those who support the concept. Twigg-Smith, a former publisher of The Advertiser, said the preface to the question should not have referred to sovereignty as a proposed benefit for Native Hawaiians. "That's a really loaded question," he said. "It implies that (the federal recognition bill) is a good bill and that being opposed to it means you're opposed to helping Native Hawaiians." Twigg-Smith said he believes the percentage of respondents supporting sovereignty would be much lower if the description of a Hawaiian government were not part of the question.

On a third question, the poll shows overwhelming support for Kamehameha Schools and its Hawaiians-first admissions policy.


Those on various sides of the issue of a Native Hawaiian entity agree that the 10 percent drop in support for a federally recognized Hawaiian entity similar to Native Americans from 2000 to 2006 is not a good sign for those who support the movement.

"I think that people are beginning to understand the problems of the Akaka bill," said Twigg-Smith. When the question was first asked in 2000, he said, not much was known about federal recognition and what it meant. Now, he said, people are more familiar with the pitfalls of the argument for a Native Hawaiian entity "and people are beginning to react to that."

Namu'o, the OHA administrator, acknowledged Twigg-Smith's argument and countered, "With clarity comes a little bit of anxiety" about the powers and authorities such an entity may hold. Supporters need to do a better job of allaying those fears, he said. Despite the apparent decline in support, "60 percent is a respectable number," Namu'o said. "We're very pleased that there are that many people who still support the concept of federal recognition of Native Hawaiians."

Charles Rose, former president of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs, attributes the decline to changing demographics. There are many more residents in Hawai'i who were not born here and are more likely to have less empathy for the plight of Native Hawaiians, Rose said. Nonlocals, he said, don't understand that "Hawaiian people need to have their culture preserved and protected." Native Hawaiians, he said, haven't done a good job explaining that.

Longtime Hawaiian activist Kekuni Blaisdell, who rejects the model of a Hawaiian government within the existing U.S. framework, also believes there is less support for it now that the issue has been widely debated. He said people are starting to realize that a federally recognized entity would be no more than a "puppet government." "It's not really Hawaiian at all, it's American."

An effort to force debate on the Akaka bill on the Senate floor failed this year.

Poll respondents, by a more than 4-to-1 margin, favored keeping the existing Kamehameha Schools' Hawaiians-first admissions policy. Ronald Okura, 63, of lower Makiki, said Kamehameha Schools should be left alone. "The princess made it in the will. And what's in there, they shouldn't change it." A challenge to the admissions policy is under way in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.


The Advertiser Hawai'i Poll was conducted on June 8 and from June 21-27. Ward Research Inc. of Honolulu surveyed 602 Hawai'i adult residents, interviewing them by telephone. Margin of error for the results is plus or minus 4 percentage points.


Real Clear Politics, July 04, 2006

The Disconnect Between Hawaii & America

By Peter Brown

Hilo. Hawaii - Americans who visit Hawaii often feel they are in a foreign country, and if those tourists cared about the island's politics that might make them even more likely to wonder if they really are in the United States.

Three recent developments raise the question of whether the people and politicians in the nation's 50th state have much in common with the traditions and Constitution of the nation of which they are part.

-- The state's political establishment is backing a school that wants to continue openly discriminating on the basis of race in its admissions practices.

-- Hawaii's government has, until rebuked by a federal court, banned the hiring of Americans who are not Hawaii residents from state jobs.

-- Because Congress refused efforts to create self-rule for native Hawaiians, there is a growing movement to set up a native Hawaiian government that would seek billions of dollars in state assets.

Hawaii's demographics - more than two-thirds of residents are of Asian descent -- lead to the cultural differences with the mainland. Its physical isolation exacerbates a sense of Hawaii exceptionalism.

This mentality is best exemplified by the manager of one Marriott hotel, who explained the chain's properties on the islands operate under polices that govern its Asian, not U.S., facilities.

Nothing illustrates the island's political mind-set better than a long-running school admissions case that would likely be laughed out of court elsewhere in America. The arguments made for it - and even embraced by the state's first Republican governor in 40 years - sound eerily familiar to those of 1960s southern segregationists.

For 118 years, the Kamehameha Schools have limited enrollment to those with native-Hawaiian blood. Its highly regarded K-12 schools are funded by an almost $7 billion trust left by 19th century Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop.

Supporters claim that because no tax money is involved discrimination is permissible, although federal courts decades long ago dismissed that same argument in Dixie by segregation academies.

Enrollment is offered to all "qualified" native-Hawaiians. If spaces there left over, members of other races may be considered. But only a handful of the 5,400 students on the school's three campuses are not of native Hawaiian descent.

. School officials say a history of unfair treatment of native Hawaiians justifies the policy. The Supreme Court has allowed racial preferences to compensate for past discrimination in limited cases.

A three-judge panel of the Ninth U.S. Court of Appeals last August said the schools' policy does not meet that criterion. The decision triggered a massive protest demonstration by native Hawaiians.

The full 15-judge Ninth Circuit in June heard an appeal. Regardless of the verdict, the case seems destined for the U.S. Supreme Court.

In another legal matter, a U.S. District judge last month threw out a state prohibition on non-Hawaiian residents applying for state jobs. That rule, if approved by the courts, could have reshaped the relationships between states that have existed for more than two centuries.

Nevertheless, Hawaii Attorney General Mark Bennett will appeal to sustain the law, which was enacted to discourage immigrants, but would seem based on a belief this state is a separate entity, rather than one of 50.

Then there is the drive to create a separate government for the about 20 percent of the state's population who have native-Hawaiian blood. Some believe they deserve special treatment because their monarchy was overthrown more than a century ago in a conspiracy engineered by sugar barons and aided by the U.S. government.

Since Congress refused to give native Hawaiians that status earlier this year, a movement with substantial political clout has surfaced to have a referendum create a separate nation for native Hawaiians.

The goal is an entity that would be unique in the United States to represent native Hawaiians that could negotiate with a friendly state government for billions of dollars in assets.

In this unusual political incubator it can't be dismissed as it would be elsewhere in the USA.

Peter A. Brown is assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. He can be reached at peter.brown@quinnipiac.edu


Honolulu Advertiser, Thursday, July 6, 2006

Akaka says he still thinks Native Hawaiian measure can pass

By Gordon Y.K. Pang

U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Akaka said he believes chances remain good of passing a bill authorizing a federally recognized Native Hawaiian government entity.

"I think people understand that the Akaka bill is very, very important to the future of, not only of Hawaiians, but the future of all people of Hawai'i, and we need to continue to work on that," said Akaka, who filed his nomination papers seeking re-election at the Leiopapa O Kamehameha State Office Tower yesterday.

Supporters of the bill, named after Akaka because he is its chief sponsor, last month failed to gain the necessary 60 votes on a cloture motion that would have forced a debate on the measure. But Akaka said the cause is not lost.

"It was amazing to know that all of the Democrats voted for it and to know that 13 Republicans voted for it," Akaka said. "As far as I'm concerned, that bill is a bipartisan bill ... and we will continue to work on it for the benefit of the people of Hawai'i."

Last week, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs voted unanimously to proceed with a process of establishing a separate government entity without the endorsement of Washington officials. Akaka said yesterday he does not view that move as a signal by OHA that it lacked confidence that the Akaka bill will pass.

"This tells me that they are very anxious to set up some kind of governance," Akaka said, acknowledging he did not know all the details of the OHA plan. He added that he expects the bill to pass in the next session.

"I believe that we need to continue to educate some of our colleagues and the rest of the country about the Hawaiians as an indigenous people of our country," Akaka said. "Our country takes care of indigenous people, and somehow the Hawaiians are not included in that and this is an attempt to bring recognition to the indigenous people of Hawai'i, the Native Hawaiians."

U.S. Rep. Ed Case, D-Hawai'i, Akaka's chief challenger for his seat, said he will continue his support for the bill if he replaces Akaka, but added that he believes Akaka's analysis of the situation is too simplistic.

"The Akaka bill is a lot more problematic than what the senator indicates," Case said. "The opposition of the administration was pretty direct and unambiguous."

Case said he cannot say that he will do a better job of arguing for the bill than Akaka. "What I do know is that he tried, and that his effort was not successful," he said.

His overall approach as a senator would be different, Case said. "I will simply bring a different style to the Senate. I will bring a different energy level to my work, and I believe I would bring a different, overall direction."


** Note from website editor Ken Conklin: The following two articles report that Jerry Coffee has filed to be a Republican candidate for Senate, opposing Senator Akaka. Jerry Coffee is an outspoken opponent of the Akaka bill. He's a Republican in the style of Reagan -- politically conservative, mild-mannered, soft-spoken, self-assured, and inspirational. He's a personal friend of John McCain and, along with McCain, was a prisoner of war in Vietnam for 7 years. Coffee wrote a powerful letter to McCain just before the cloture vote on the Akaka bill (which was June 8) pleading with him to oppose the Akaka bill. Coffee's intensely personal letter was published at:
McCain's statement in the Congressional Record at the time of the debate on the cloture motion for the Akaka bill (June 7) includes the following passage:
"The sponsors reached an agreement in the 108th Congress that they would be afforded an opportunity to bring the bill to the Senate floor during this Congress. To fulfill that agreement, in my capacity as the chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee, I have worked to ensure that the legislation would be reported by the committee. I will also support the motion to proceed to the bill's consideration because of the agreement that was reached in the last Congress. I would like the record to reflect clearly, though, that I am unequivocally opposed to this bill and that I will not support its passage should cloture be invoked."
McCain's complete statement as taken from the Congressional Record can be seen at:


Honolulu Advertiser, Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Vietnam POW Coffee enters U.S. Senate race

By Derrick DePledge
Advertiser Government Writer

Age: 72
Occupation: U.S. Navy, 1957-85; motivational speaker, 1985-present; MidWeek columnist.
Personal: Born in Modesto, Calif.; commercial art degree from the University of California at Los Angeles; married to Susan Page; lives in Aiea.
Web site: www.captaincoffee.com

Jerry Coffee, a decorated U.S. Navy pilot who spent seven years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, announced yesterday he will run in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate.

Coffee, 72, a motivational speaker and MidWeek columnist who lives in 'Aiea Heights, said his background and his perspective on terrorism and national security would give voters an alternative to the winner of the Democratic primary between U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka and U.S. Rep. Ed Case.

"We face an implacable enemy who is totally dedicated to our death and the annihilation of our country and our way of life and the values of Western civilization as we know them today," Coffee said at a morning news conference at the Korean and Vietnam War Memorials near the state Capitol. "In my mind, too many people just don't get it yet. And the direness of the situation needs to be articulated in ways that people understand the alternatives. "And the fact of the matter is there aren't any alternatives. We must win this war."

Gov. Linda Lingle, Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona and other prominent Republicans appeared at Coffee's announcement, indicating he has the full support of the state GOP. But his late entry into the race and his lack of political experience raise doubts about whether he can compete against Akaka or Case.

Coffee came close to upsetting state Rep. Blake Oshiro, D-33rd (Halawa, 'Aiea, Pearlridge), in a House race in 2004, but has no other campaign experience to prepare him for a statewide race.

But Coffee is a nationally recognized speaker with contacts in the influential veterans' community. He told reporters yesterday that U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., a former Vietnam POW, may appear with him in the Islands in August. Coffee said he is scheduled to meet with McCain next week in Washington, D.C., before he leaves with his wife on a monthlong humanitarian trip to Africa.

Neal Milner, a political science professor at the University of Hawai'i-Manoa, said Coffee is not well-known statewide and will have the disadvantage of campaigning in a traditionally Democratic state. "But he's feisty. He'll campaign hard and he'll certainly bring a conservative voice," Milner said.

Case and a spokeswoman for Akaka's campaign recognized Coffee's military service yesterday. Coffee's reconnaissance jet was shot down by enemy fire in North Vietnam in 1966 and he was held and tortured until his release in 1973. He was awarded the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, two Purple Hearts and other decorations and retired from the Navy as a captain.

"Jerry is an inspiration to many, including me," Case said. "He would be a worthy opponent in the general election."

But Case said he did not believe Coffee would have much influence on independent or Republican voters who may choose to vote in the Democratic primary. "Voters that want change, which is most voters, will have a first bite at the apple in my primary on Sept. 23, and I believe they are going to take that bite," he said.

Elisa Yadao, Akaka's campaign spokeswoman, said, "Captain Coffee has a distinguished record of service to our nation and to our state but the Akaka campaign will reserve any further comment on his candidacy at this time. Our efforts are currently fully focused on the primary election."

Coffee has been critical of a Native Hawaiian federal recognition bill that has been supported by Akaka, Case, Lingle and most of Hawai'i's political establishment. He said yesterday that the bill, which would recognize Hawaiians as indigenous people with the right to form their own government, could lead to the creation of two states within Hawai'i.

Coffee said his campaign also would touch on such issues as preventing crime and drug abuse, improving education and using nuclear power as an energy source.


Honolulu Star-Bulletin, July 12, 2006

Ex-POW enters race for U.S. Senate

By Richard Borreca

Jerry Coffee, retired Navy captain and prisoner of war in North Vietnam, will run for the U.S. Senate as a Republican.

Coffee, who was encouraged to run for the state House in 2004 by Gov. Linda Lingle, was supported during yesterday's announcement by Lingle, Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona and a group of local GOP leaders.

"I am a big supporter of Jerry Coffee. I think he is a terrific candidate and will make it a very exciting race," Lingle said. "It is really in the public's interest to have at least one person in Washington who is from the Republican Party, and we could not have a better candidate than Jerry Coffee," Lingle said to reporters.

Already running for the Senate are incumbent Democrat Sen. Dan Akaka and U.S. Rep. Ed Case.

Coffee, who lost to Rep. Blake Oshiro (D, Aiea-Halawa) by 54 votes in 2004, picked the Vietnam and Korean War memorial on the grounds of the state Capitol as the site of his announcement to highlight both his 28-year career as a naval flight officer and a POW in Hanoi for seven years.

Coffee's former prisonmates include Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Orson Swindle, a Republican candidate for Hawaii's 1st Congressional District seat in 1994 and 1996.

"I have seen the face of our enemy up close and personal and that gives me an edge when we talk about our enemy of the present," Coffee said.

Asked about the war in Iraq, Coffee said he supports President Bush's decision to invade and a continued presence until "the people of Iraq can stand on their own two feet with their own army and their own militia, police force and an operating democracy."

Coffee, who writes a column for MidWeek, said he won't start campaigning until August, when he returns from a mission to Africa, serving with an orphanage coordinated through a faith-based organization, Heart for Africa, a commitment he made before deciding to run for the senate.

Coffee also said he thought the native Hawaiian sovereignty bill championed by Akaka will not likely be brought up in the Senate again.


** [Unfortunately, on August 7, while traveling in Texas, Jerry Coffee suffered heart problems requiring emergency bypass surgery. He thereafter suspended his campaign; thus, it appears there will not be any credible candidate opposing Senator Akaka who opposes the Akaka bill.]


The London Daily Telegraph, July 15, 2006

Defiant Hawaiian unfurls the flag of freedom

By Francis Harris in Hawaii

The Stars and Stripes is nowhere to be seen. Among the neat bungalows beneath the steep green mountains of Ko'olau only the flags of the Hawaiian state are on display. They are all upside down.

"It is the international maritime signal of distress," said Bumpy Kanahele, who has devoted much of his life to a seemingly quixotic quest for independence from the United States. "It's saying, 'We're in trouble.' "

A Royal Navy officer working with the Hawaiian king is said to have come up with the design in 1816, placing the Union flag in a prominent position and arguing that the stripes were an acknowledgment of America's role in the islands.

Mr Kanahele, wearing a T-shirt reading "Hawaiian by birth" on the front and "American by force" on the back, is the inspiration behind the beautifully situated village. Mauka is a patch of 45 acres where Hawaii's original inhabitants hold sway and Washington's writ has little force.

Here, among banana and coconut trees and blood red hibiscus, 100 people live a life in contemptuous rejection of the American dream.

"This is not America," Mr Kanahele said. "That is 3,000 miles away."

He has some grounds for complaint. In 1893, Queen Lydia Liliuokalani was deposed in a coup organised by Stanford Dole, an American pineapple magnate, and supported by US marines. Five years later the islands were annexed.

On the coup's anniversary in 1993, America formally apologised "for the overthrow of the kingdom of Hawaii … and the deprivation of the rights of native Hawaiians to self-determination".

Mr Kanahele said that was an admission that the US was illegally occupying Hawaii.

But nurturing a grievance is one thing; overturning decades of history is another. Asked whether Hawaii really could recover its independence, Mr Kanahele affected a breezy confidence: "Oh yeah," he said. "It is inevitable; it could happen within three to five years." At the moment, it seems a remote dream. America treasures its strategic Pacific island state and the hard-line independence movement probably numbers only a few thousand.

Native Hawaiians, even generously defined, number only 20 per cent of the state's 1.2 million population while, on the beaches of Waikiki, smiling Hawaiian girls are everywhere in the company of white American boys. Mixed marriages are commonplace.

However, there are grounds for hope among those seeking independence or a measure of self-government. Opinion polls show that almost two thirds of residents believe that native Hawaiians should be given special status akin to that offered to America's 500 Indian tribes. Many supported an attempt last month by the Hawaiian senator, Daniel Akaka, to create a new native authority, a government within a government for native issues.

The Bill was blocked by a minority of Republican senators using the filibuster technique, but the idea is proving hard to kill. Mr Akaka and many other senators have promised to try again.

Opponents argue that the Hawaiian sovereignty movement strikes at the heart of American democracy: the idea that everyone is equal before the law. They point out that 93 per cent of Hawaiians voted to become America's 50th state in 1959.

William Burgess, a lawyer who founded the anti-sovereignty movement Aloha for All, said: "Sovereignty means that native Hawaiians would be the supreme, absolute rulers of the islands and everyone else would be subservient to them."

The Wall Street Journal decried the plans as "race-based government" and the Right-wing Heritage Foundation think-tank suggested that native Hawaiians were so blended with American society as to be almost non-existent as a distinct group.

Mr Kanahele rejected the race argument. "We never knew what race was until these guys came," he said.


** Letter to editor sent to the Daily Telegraph by Ken Conklin:

Telegraphing the Wrong Message About Apartheid or Secession in Hawai'i

An article by Francis Harris on July 15 seemed to glorify a movement for secession in Hawai'i led by Bumpy Kanahele. The article also glorified a proposal for Hawaiian apartheid by Senator Dan Akaka which Akaka himself agrees could lead to secession.

Your newspaper certainly may allow Mr. Harris to use it as a megaphone to promote racial separatism or ethnic nationalism. But it's quite disappointing to see you publishing numerous false or misleading statements. Let me correct some of those.

The leader of the revolution that overthrew the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893, who then became President of the internationally recognized Republic of Hawaii, was Sanford B. Dole (not Stanford Dole). Even Queen Victoria, a personal friend of ex-queen Lili'uokalani, gave formal diplomatic recognition to President Dole's Republic of Hawai'i. Contrary to Mr. Harris, Dole was not the same man who later established the now-famous pineapple company. There were 162 American sailors who came ashore as peacekeepers to protect American lives and property during the revolution, and to guard against anticipated rioting and arson; but contrary to Mr. Harris, they did not conspire with nor provide support to the revolutionists. See the 808-page report by the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in 1894: http://morganreport.org

Mr. Harris mentions one opinion poll showing "that almost two thirds of residents believe that native Hawaiians should be given special status akin to that offered to America's 500 Indian tribes." He fails to mention that poll contacted only 602 residents and was sponsored by the main lobbyist in favor of the Akaka bill (Office of Hawaiian affairs). Harris never mentions that two opinion polls a year apart, which received over 10,000 responses each, showed that 67% of Hawai'i's people oppose the Akaka bill. He also got wrong the percentage who voted yes for Statehood in the 1959 plebiscite -- it was 94%.


Hawaii Reporter, July 28, 2006

This Election Season, Why Aren't Politicians Still Promoting the Akaka Bill?

By Garry P. Smith

With all political campaigns now in full swing, I wonder what happened to the nearly unanimous support for the failed Akaka Bill?

There is no mention in any campaign literature being mailed or on radio/tv ads, except for OHA candidates about what our politicians are planning to do once elected/re-elected with respect both to the Akaka Bill and for "plan B" by OHA.

Plan "B" to create a race based sovereign government without the need for the Akaka Bill or even permission from the legislature which is required even to properly cross the street in a crosswalk and would create an entire government unlike any that ever existed before.

What happened to the support of 75 of the 76 legislators, support from 85 percent of the native Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians (per an OHA survey) and the Akaka Bill being "the most important piece of federal legislation in Hawaii this year" per our Congressional delegation? Even Senator Akaka, the creator and namesake of the legislation has not mentioned his own bill and what it would do in Hawaii in his political ads.

If creation of a separate government is so locally popular why isn't it the first item our politicians mention in their campaign ads?

Could it be that they know it is unpopular among voters and they were supporting it when they thought they could woo the Hawaiian votes they needed but do not actively support it now that it has been determined to be "racist" by the United States Civil Rights Commission and would be vetoed by President Bush?

There appears to be a belief of safety in numbers when they vote en masse at the legislature to support the bill without constituent input but when it comes down to a personal conviction based on whether or not they are re-elected on the issue they decide maybe to hide, are they shamed? I would like to see our prospective legislators inform their prospective constituents of their support for the creation of a distinct race based government proposed by the Akaka Bill and the new "plan B" created by OHA and what they will do once re-elected.

Since no referendum on the bill or the issue is being allowed, the voters at least should be allowed to know how their politicians stand before they enter the voting booth.


Honolulu Advertiser, Monday, July 31, 2006

Congress candidates back Hawaiian entity

By Gordon Y.K. Pang

All of the major candidates vying for the open 2nd Congressional district seat support the move toward federal recognition of a Native Hawaiian government entity but they differ on how it should be addressed.

Most support legislation that would, at least, stave off legal challenges to the millions of government dollars that go to health, education and other assistance programs aimed at Hawaiians.

Some believe it may be time to re-evaluate the long-stalled Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, dubbed the Akaka bill after its chief sponsor, U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Akaka, D-Hawai'i. First proposed six years ago, the bill sought eventual Hawaiian federal recognition and self-government rights. Despite the tenacious efforts of many of Hawai'i's political leaders, a bid to bring the bill to the Senate floor for debate was rejected last month. But one candidate maintains that issues such as federal recognition should be addressed by Hawai'i voters in a referendum.

Political observers tracking Native Hawaiian issues are not surprised by the support expressed by the candidates for federal recognition and their defense of Hawaiian programs.

Tom Coffman, historian and author of "Nation Within," a book about the 1893 overthrow of Queen Lili'uokalani and the 1898 annexation into the U.S., said the answers "reflect the momentum for federal recognition that was achieved over the last 15 to 20 years." Coffman contends "there's still a pretty solid majority" in Hawai'i for federal recognition. Such support is also based on "an understanding of history and how the United States routinely deals with indigenous people," he said.

H. William Burgess of the group Aloha For All, which believes any legislation designed to help Hawaiians only is discriminatory, also isn't surprised. "Basically, anybody running for office is reluctant to offend any potential voting bloc," Burgess said. "That's sort of the first rule of politics — you don't offend any vocal group, if you can avoid it."

Ikaika Hussey of the group Hui Pu, which opposes the Akaka bill on the grounds it does not do enough for Hawaiians, said there has been "a general approval for increasing self-determination for Native Hawaiians" built up over the past three decades. Hussey said those in his group, as well as others, assert that candidates should be promising more. "What the survey shows is that they've given the easy answer," he said. "But what we're looking for is real courage from the congressional candidates to talk about real self-determination, real justice for Hawaiians which would not be accomplished through federal recognition."

Former state Rep. Quentin Kawananakoa said the history of Hawai'i shows an obligation is owed to Native Hawaiians. "The United States and the state of Hawai'i need to honor their commitment to the Native Hawaiian people," Kawananakoa said, noting that statistics show the need for health and education programs that help Hawaiians. "Native Hawaiians have the worst social indices of any people here in the state.

Former State Sen. Matt Matsunaga echoed those sentiments. "We definitely have a moral and ethical obligation to preserve and protect the host culture," Matsunaga said. Citing statistics showing Hawaiians ranking high in prison population and poor in health categories, he added, "Native Hawaiians still have a significant way to go before we can bring them up and the Akaka bill certainly would have been a way to fend off the attacks in the courts."

State Rep. Brian Schatz said there are two reasons for federal recognition. "The first is to preserve what it means to be Hawai'i — it has to be recognized by the United States government that there is an aboriginal people of the state of Hawai'i and that there was a nation that preceded" annexation and the move toward Hawai'i's statehood in 1959. The second reason for recognition, he said, is to preserve Hawaiian programs and entitlements. Over the past 26 years, more than $1.2 billion in federal money has been distributed to hundreds of Hawaiian programs, according to the office of U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, D-Hawai'i, who is largely credited with steering the money to the state.

State Sen. Colleen Hanabusa said there is "overwhelming support" among Hawai'i residents for federal recognition. A compelling indicator is the support residents have exhibited for Kamehameha Schools as it defends a Hawaiians-first admissions policy in an ongoing court challenge. "I believe these people also feel (federal) programs for Native Hawaiians should be preserved as well, be they in the form of health-related or educational issues," Hanabusa said.

Honolulu City Councilman Nestor Garcia said he strongly supports the Akaka bill. In addition, Garcia wants to fight for more money for programs aimed at helping Hawaiians, particularly programs geared toward post-high-school education opportunities extended through the Native Hawaiian Education Act.

State Sen. Gary Hooser said federal recognition is "a good first step in the right direction and is key to bringing the proper focus to moving the Hawaiian community forward." He also wants to see various health and educational programs maintained and expanded, and would seek guidance from leaders in the Hawaiian community on what is best for Hawaiians.

State Sen. Ron Menor said he supports the Akaka bill "or similar legislation that might be introduced in Congress in the future" that supports Hawaiian programs. He also supports efforts by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to establish a separate government entity without the support of Congress.

Former Lt. Gov. Mazie Hirono said she supports the Akaka bill, but believes an alternative plan suggested by Inouye should perhaps take priority now. Following last month's procedural vote that ensured the Akaka bill would not be voted on this year, Inouye pledged to introduce alternative legislation that would protect Hawaiian program funding without addressing the issue of federal recognition. "First things first, we need to ensure that resources for Native Hawaiian programs are not spent fighting lawsuits against these programs," Hirono said. "So I support Senator Inouye's efforts to draft legislation that would protect these programs from legal attacks."

State Sen. Clayton Hee, a former OHA trustee, said the Akaka bill as presented, tried to do too much. "The Akaka bill was not possible because it was overly broad because it included issues such as sovereignty and land claims," Hee said. "I would suggest that the bill needs to be redrafted and more narrowly focused."

State Sen. Bob Hogue was the lone candidate interviewed who favored a slower approach involving a referendum of all Hawai'i residents, Hawaiian or not.

"Bring the debate back here and talk about all of these concerns that have been brought up and ultimately put it on the ballot and let everybody vote on it," Hogue said.

"There should be some sort of federal recognition," he said, but added that concerns regarding a new government entity's authority need to be thoroughly addressed.

** Chart showing photos of each candidate plus short quote about Akaka bill


Hawaii Reporter, August 2, 2006

Libertarians and Hawaiians

By Rockne H. Johnson

Author's note: This article was published in 1980 in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin in response to a group called the Aboriginal Lands of Hawaiian Ancestry Association (ALOHA) which demanded reparations to native Hawaiians. It is reprinted here with permission.

** Ken Conklin's note: This article was originally published in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin of October 8, 1980 on page A-16. It was published uner the title "Libertarians and Hawaiians." The author Rockne H. Johnson was the candidate of the Libertarian Party of Hawai'i, running for Congress. Mr. Johnson was at that time the husband of Rubellite Kawena Johnson, University of Hawai'i Professor of Hawaiian Language and Literature, who was co-founder of the UH Center for Hawaiian Studies. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs had just been created by the Constitutional Convention of 1978, and the state Legislature had only recently been passing legislation to provide funding for OHA equal to 20% of revenues from the ceded lands. **

REPARATIONS MEANS payment by a defeated nation to a victor as compensation for damage during a war. The word that properly applies to compensating a victim is restitution. The Libertarian Party platform has this to say about restitution: "We support restitution for the victim to the fullest degree possible at the expense of the criminal or wrongdoer."

How does this principle of justice apply to the Hawaiian experience? Have the Hawaiian people suffered injury or loss at the hands of the U.S. government? I answer, "Yes."

But governments have always conducted various forms of war against the populace within their domains. The present government divests us of our property through taxation and inflation, tyrannizes us with myriad regulations, penalizes us by declaring crimes where there are no victims, and even claims a right to the lives of young men by a military draft. Our injuries are truly great and our just claims incalculable.

IN WHAT WAY is the case of the Hawaiian people unique? Simply this: in 1893 and again in 1898, their ancestors exchanged the tyranny of one government for the tyranny of another.

Let us not fool ourselves that the Hawaiian people, maka'ainana and kauwa, were any less victimized by the ali'i than they are by the American government of today. Under the kapu system all crimes were crimes without victims and all punishment was death.

The kapu system was overthrown in the Hawaiian libertarian revolution of 1819, but the domination of the commoners by the chiefs continued. All land was claimed by the king, and the labor of the commoners was claimed by the chiefs. While their gardens lay neglected, the people slaved in sandalwood forests to provide modern comforts to the chiefs. And then whatever they did succeed in producing was taxed at all levels of the chiefly hierarchy.

A general social enlightenment gradually improved the lot of the people, but the ali'i never relinquished their stranglehold on the land. This concentration of land in the hands of the king enabled the present government to continue that stranglehold.

Who lost out in 1893 and 1898? Certainly it was the ali'i who lost the land and power which they had usurped or inherited from earlier usurpers. For the common people the change was a mixed blessing. Who can say whether American or Hawaiian citizenship conferred the lesser disadvantage?

But there is one respect in which ethnic Hawaiians have certainly lost out, and that is through enactment of racially discriminatory legislation.

UNDER THE OLD REGIME, the chiefs owned all the land and allowed the people their kuleanas. But anyone could be thrown out at any time if the chief took a dislike to him or if he wasn't producing enough tax.

Under the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, the government still owns the land, the people still pay the tax, and the children are thrown off the land if they don't have enough Hawaiian blood.

Now, it is bad enough that Hawaiian homesteaders are denied true ownership of their land. What is worse is the psychological effect of telling a race of people that they are not competent to own land, that they cannot be trusted to value it properly, and that they must be taken care of by the government.

This is called a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you treat people as inferior, then you will succeed in convincing them that they are inferior.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is another piece of racially discriminatory legislation which will have the effect of reinstating an ali'i class who will supposedly help the government to take care of the Hawaiian people. I maintain that you cannot help people by urging them to seek substitutes for developing their own potential as productive individuals.

LET ME RETURN to the Libertarian position on restitution. "We support restitution to the victim to the fullest degree possible at the expense of the criminal or wrongdoer."

We are all the victims of government oppression, but by which criminal or wrongdoer will we be repaid?

Not by our members of Congress who presume to govern us. If you demand money from these gentlemen they will not reach for their wallets. Instead they will reach for their guns, otherwise known as the IRS, and proceed to rob all the people in order to make the demanded payment. The government has no money that it does not take, under threat of violence, from someone else.

In fact the government spends money faster than it steals it. But the one thing that the government has not spent faster than it has stolen it is land.

Federal and state governments claim 48 percent of the land in these Islands. We should demand that this land not simply be transferred from one level of government to another but that it be released for settlement and full ownership by people of all races. Homesteading would be one way to do this. We should demand this, not just of government land, but of all lands claimed by ali'i estates solely through right of conquest.

"Ua mau ke ea o ka 'aina I ka pono" was the motto of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Today most politicians would have us believe that the life of the people is preserved in government handouts.

Let me propose another motto, as true today as it would have been 2,000 years ago: Seek ye first a society of free men and its economic opportunity and all things shall be added unto you.

Rockne H. Johnson, whose Ph. D. in geophysics is from the University of Hawaii, was a Libertarian Party candidate for US Senate in 1976 and for US House of Representatives in 1980, 1982, and 1992. He is currently living with his wife Glennis in Sedona, Arizona.


Senator Dan Akaka, an ethnic Hawaiian, has a primary election opponent, Congressman Ed Case, who has no Hawaiian native ancestry. Therefore it might be assumed that ethnic Hawaiians would be likely to vote for Senator Akaka. On August 8 a webpage was created containing a memo accusing Case of being anti-Hawaiian. The memo is notable because it was written by an ethnic Hawaiian attorney who has been President of the Native Hawaiian Bar Association and who represents the Office of Hawaiian Affairs in lawsuits against the State of Hawai'i asserting racial rights to government land. The memo is also notable because it is being circulated by a leader of Kamehameha Schools alumni who is generally recognized as a proxy spokesperson for that institution. Since the ethnic Hawaiian establishment is now attacking Ed Case and is clearly supporting Dan Akaka, there is no reason why Ed Case should continue trying to curry favor with that institutional establishment; thus, Case has an opportunity to step forward and oppose the Akaka bill (which is opposed by about half of all ethnic Hawaiians and 67% of the population as a whole). For analysis, and full text of the memo, see:


Honolulu Star-Bulletin, August 25, 2006, Letter to editor

Racial bill's supporters should be voted out

Voting is a right and an obligation so as to keep our nation great or it will cease to exist as a great nation.

Locally, there are some divisive issues, and politicians who support these issues, which need attention and must be decided by independent-thinking voters before it's too late.

Perhaps one issue would be the Akaka Bill, which is designed to create a fourth form of government in addition to our federal, state and county governments. I feel the Akaka Bill is a racist bill that will benefit only those who have a least 1 percent of Hawaiian blood, and will cause racial discord within our social system. We should vote against all politicians who have endorsed and worked to pass this bill and have stated that they will continue to work toward its passage.

In the Hawaiian kingdom, people of other ethnicities were citizens and members of the Hawaiian government. So if you believe the Akaka Bill conflicts with the actions of the former kingdom, vote to get all the supporters of the racial Akaka Bill out of office.

Wilbert W. Wong


Honolulu Advertiser, Sunday, August 27, 2006


Senator's accomplishments aren't as clear as his friendliness

By Derrick DePledge

** Excerpts related to the Akaka bill, taken from a very lengthy article describing Senator Akaka's overall background and candidacy for re-election to the Senate. [An equally lengthy article about his challenger, Congressman Ed Case, says nothing about the Akaka bill.]

Akaka's kindness and humility have made him among the most likable Democrats in the U.S. Senate but left him in an odd position for someone who has been in politics for three decades. Facing what could be his most difficult campaign, a primary against U.S. Rep. Ed Case, he has learned that many voters have little idea what he has accomplished.

At 81, a time when he could be discussing his legacy, Akaka has instead had to explain why he deserves another six-year term.

His campaign has downplayed the frustrating struggle over his Native Hawaiian federal recognition bill — which was stopped by a procedural vote in June — but he has been subtly using it as a motivator, telling friendly audiences the bill would pass easily if Democrats take control of Congress after the November elections.

U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye and the party's establishment in the Islands and Washington are helping Akaka with money and strategy, while labor unions are complementing the senator's field operation with organizing that could rival any recent campaign.

His most recognizable achievement is a 1993 resolution signed by President Clinton formally apologizing for the U.S. role in the overthrow of the kingdom of Hawai'i. The resolution came on the 100th anniversary of the 1893 overthrow, and has given Akaka the framework to advance federal recognition and a form of self-government for Hawaiians.

Akaka considers himself a loyal Democrat. One of the few times he has differed with the party on an important national issue is his support for oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which has disappointed environmentalists. Hawai'i and Alaska lawmakers have had an alliance over the years in Congress, but Akaka has said he based his decision on a promise he made to the Inupiat who live on the refuge and see drilling as an indigenous right.

Akaka has tried to persuade the Senate for the past six years to approve legislation — known as the Akaka bill — that would recognize Hawaiians as an indigenous people similar to Alaska Natives and American Indians. The bill would give Hawaiians the right to form their own government that could negotiate with the United States and the state of Hawai'i over land use and cultural preservation.

Akaka and Inouye believed in June that they finally had the 60 votes necessary to overcome procedural roadblocks from conservative Republicans who think the bill is race-based and unconstitutional. But they fell four votes short. Akaka has blamed the defeat on a last-minute letter from the U.S. Department of Justice opposing the bill.

"I thought we had the votes," Akaka said, "so I wanted to take it."


But several people who were involved, including some who do not want to criticize Akaka publicly because of the primary, wonder whether Akaka properly locked down the votes or used his full power as a senator as leverage against Republicans. Some also thought Akaka's performance on the Senate floor during the debate was not persuasive.

Akaka has promised to bring the bill back at the first opportunity and predicts it will pass if Democrats pick up seats or retake the Senate after the November elections. But his work on the bill — the issue he is probably known for most among voters — has not been a significant theme in his campaign.

Several people have told The Advertiser that Akaka's allies have discouraged Hawaiians from talking about sovereignty until after the primary because it may hurt the senator among Japanese-American voters who fear the bill might influence private property rights. The Akaka campaign acknowledged this concern in May, after both Inouye and Ariyoshi publicly sought to assure Japanese-Americans that the bill would not take away private property.

Many Hawaiians who have differences with Akaka on federal recognition — including some who oppose it as too weak — remain faithful to the senator as a person and leader.

"How can I explain it? It's like when you have a favorite uncle or favorite grandfather, when you have someone who listens to you," said Jalna Keala, a former government affairs officer for the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs. "Even those people who disagree with the bill, it doesn't mean they don't love him."


Honolulu Advertiser, Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Letters to the Editor


I read with interest the comments in Sunday's paper (Akaka vs. Case) stating that "Akaka has promised to bring the (Akaka) bill back at the first opportunity and predicts it will pass." He says this based upon the prediction that the Senate may go Democratic in the upcoming elections. This would surely be a waste of time and effort.

While the Akaka bill failed by four votes this last time around, that procedural cloture vote count does not tell the whole story. A number of Democratic and Republican senators who voted with Akaka on the cloture vote said they would not have voted for the bill's final passage. Included on this list is Sen. Jon Kyl, Sen. John McCain, Sen. Ted Kennedy and undoubtedly many others. They all felt that the bill was unconstitutional.

I have to believe that Sen. Dan Akaka and his staff must have known they did not have the votes to move the bill forward. They also must know that they will not have the votes to pass the bill after the election even if the Democrats control the Senate.

The whole idea behind the Akaka bill is misguided. Federal Indian policy on the Mainland is in shambles. The last thing most senators want to do is create another constitutionally questionable, race-based, quasi-governmental entity to be managed by the Department of Interior.

Sen. Akaka's position regarding Native Hawaiians is wrong-minded and does not serve the interests of the majority of the residents of Hawai'i or the interests of the country as a whole. The majority of the U.S. Senate understood this and hopefully always will. Maybe it is time for a change.

Stephen Aghjayan



Akaka, Case debate transcript [** Excerpted by Ken Conklin to contain the entire portion of the transcript for the single question dealing with the Akaka bill **]

Posted by Ryan Kawailani Ozawa at 7:26 PM on Aug 31, 2006

The first — and probably only — live, televised debate between Rep. Ed Case and Sen. Daniel Akaka took place tonight. Organized by AARP Hawaii, moderated by UH communications chair Gerald Kato, and broadcast on PBS Hawaii, it was not available online nor via other networks. It will nevertheless be closely watched and heavily reported, as this primary race is remarkable on both the local and national level. HawaiiNews.com has transcribed the debate to benefit those who were unable to watch it live.

MODERATOR: Sen. Akaka, you have the next question. Both you and your opponent supported the Native Hawaiian Government Recognition Act, which stalled last June. What steps would you now take to achieve this federal recognition?

AKAKA: As is history now, my bill went to the floor under a procedural vote on cloture to proceed to the floor. And we're shy four votes out of 60. I feel that we made tremendous gains in the six years to educate the American public and to educate our colleagues as well. And to make it a bipartisan bill that νs supported by the Governor of this state, the Legislature, most of the Hawaiian organizations, and most of the Hawaiians in Hawaii, and the population of Hawaii as well. This bill really brings parity to an indigenous group of Hawaii, the state of Hawaii, which are the Native Hawaiians. The American Indians have that recognition. The Alaska natives have that recognition, and the Hawaiians should have that recognition also. I will continue to strive to move it forward. Talking to the Majority leader at this point. It seems as though we're not going to be able to bring it up to the floor this year, but possible changes in the election in November, we will be able to bring it up to the floor. If not in the remainder of this session, it will be the next session. This bill is very very important to the people of Hawaii and to the Native Hawaii, and it is something that this nation owes them.

MODERATOR: Congressman Case, your response?

CASE: I continue to believe in the establishment of a relationship between our federal government and the indigenous peoples of Hawaii, the Native Hawaiians, which is similar to the relationship that has existed between our federal government and other indigenous peoples of the Mainland and in Alaska for over 150 years. I believe this is not only fair and just for Native Hawaiians, but also good for our Hawaii, because I don't want to live in a Hawaii that does not have a core of the Native Hawaiian peoples and cultures. What and how that relationship would evolve is up for debate and discussion as we go forward. I by the way don't believe that it should end up with any form of independence as Sen. Akaka speculated publicly some months ago. But I do believe in some form of autonomy for Native Hawaiians within Hawaii, similar to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the Department of Hawaiian Homelands. For now, I believe this issue is best left in the Native Hawaiian community, so that they can deal with the failure of the Akaka bill in the U.S. Senate and decide the way forward.


Honolulu Advertiser, Monday, September 11, 2006

** Candidate profile of Bob Hogue, a state government senator running in the Republican primary election for the U.S. House of Representatives seat being vacated by Ed Case. EXCERPTS FOCUSING ON THE AKAKA BILL **

Hogue playing up the positive

By Johnny Brannon

Age: 53
Occupation: State senator since 2000
Experience: Television sportscaster, certified public accountant, basketball coach, sports columnist, Pohai Nani Retirement Center Advisory Council member, volunteer with American Heart Association.

He enjoys high name recognition with Hawai'i voters, partly from the many years he worked here as a television sportscaster before entering politics. He's also a certified public accountant. On the Senate floor, Hogue could be outspoken and adamant without being shrill. Behind the scenes, he could be a peacemaker among fractious colleagues. He's vowed to run a positive campaign and said he strongly believes politics needs to include more positive attitudes and messages. After serving two terms, he now hopes to become the first Republican to represent Hawai'i's 2nd Congressional District, which includes Central, Leeward, Windward and North Shore O'ahu and the Neighbor Islands. Hogue's opponent in the Sept. 23 Republican primary election is former state Rep. Quentin Kawananakoa. Ten Democrats are also competing against one another for that party's nomination. Hogue's campaign had raised about $30,000 by July, according to the Federal Election Commission. That's not much for a congressional race, but Hogue said he's making the most of it and running an aggressive grassroots campaign.

Among the 10 Democrats and two Republicans running for the 2nd Congressional District, Hogue has most sharply questioned Sen. Daniel Akaka's proposal to grant federal recognition to Native Hawaiians.

Hogue said he supports the concept of recognition but believes the Akaka bill is too broad, and that all Hawai'i's residents should have a say in the matter.

"The Akaka bill, as it was written, is very vague in its wording as to the governance issue," he said. "As I went out and talked to a lot of people, people were saying, 'How does this work with property rights, with jurisdiction?' There was a great deal of concern about it."

The Akaka bill would establish a process for federal recognition of a Native Hawaiian governing entity, which could then negotiate with the state and federal governments for rights to property and revenue, and responsibilities. The bill does not immediately grant recognition or specific rights or jurisdictions.


Honolulu Advertiser, Tuesday, September 12, 2006

** Candidate profile of Quentin Kawananakoa, running in the Republican primary election for the U.S. House of Representatives seat being vacated by Ed Case. EXCERPTS FOCUSING ON THE AKAKA BILL **

Kawananakoa eager for comeback

By Johnny Brannon

Age: 44.
Occupation: Attorney.
Experience: State House representative and minority floor leader. Department of Hawaiian Home Lands commissioner. State Supreme Court law clerk.

Quentin Kawananakoa has had his ups and downs in politics, but the lawyer, former state representative and heir to the Campbell Estate fortune said his desire to serve Hawai'i has never waned. Kawananakoa was a rising Republican star when he won election to the state House in 1994, representing the 26th District (Punchbowl-Pauoa). He was a hard-charging opponent of tax increases and won re-election in 1996 by a landslide of 77 percent, then launched a campaign for Congress in 1998 to represent urban O'ahu. He was favored to win the Republican nomination for Congress but abandoned the race less than one month before the primary election, citing hypertension and other health problems. Nowadays, Kawananakoa is highly polished and radiates confidence, and said he's in excellent health. Kawananakoa's opponent in the Sept. 23 Republican primary election is state Sen. Bob Hogue. Ten Democrats also are competing for their party's nomination. Winners from each party will face off in the Nov. 7 general election.

Kawananakoa said he strongly favors federal recognition of Native Hawaiians but does not believe the recognition bill authored by Democratic U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka will ever be passed. Recognition would stand a better chance if Hawai'i's congressional delegation included a Republican, he said.

Kawananakoa was born in Honolulu and is a descendant of Hawaiian royalty. His great-grandfather was Prince David Kawananakoa — who was a cousin of King David Kalakaua — and his great-grandfather's brother was Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana'ole.

Some Hawaiians also consider Quentin Kawananakoa a prince and heir to the Hawaiian monarchy, but he said he neither claims nor rejects the title and it has never been formally bestowed on him. Such a title would be honorific, rather than a source of actual political power, except in the sense that it emphasizes heritage and Island roots, he said.

"I don't allude to myself in that fashion, but I certainly am proud of my forefathers who in fact were of the royal family," he said. "But today what we have is perhaps a remembrance of our culture, and in that respect, I think many Hawaiians do recognize that we do come from our prior ali'i family lines."

Kawananakoa stands to gain an estimated $25 million when the Estate of James Campbell is transformed next year from a $2.3 billion trust to a new entity that's expected to be one of Hawai'i's largest privately held companies. He said he will be a shareholder, but he does not expect to work directly for the firm regardless of whether he's elected to Congress.

He's collected sizable campaign contributions from estate trustees and beneficiaries, and said he expects to spend up to $1 million on the race, including personal loans. He had loaned his campaign a total of $349,000 by last week, and had raised $185,000 more from donors, according to a report filed yesterday with the Federal Election Commission. Hogue, by contrast, had raised slightly more than $70,000 in donations.

Kawananakoa's views, background, good looks and resources have caught the attention of some Washington, D.C., Republicans. "Quentin Kawananakoa is someone who we believe is flying below the radar right now but has a chance to really make a big push for this seat," said National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Alex Burgos.

The group works across the nation on behalf of Republicans running for Congress but does not typically endorse candidates in primary races. It's clear that the committee favors Kawananakoa in this race, however. "To begin with, it's the resources he brings to this race," Burgos said of Kawananakoa's appeal. "He's a former elected official, and it's certainly an interesting personal tale, the fact that he is (an) heir to the Hawai'i throne as well."

Kawananakoa also has a past that's been used against him.

He was arrested for cocaine possession outside a Waikiki nightclub in 1988, when he was a student at the University of Hawai'i, and he later pleaded guilty to a single felony count. He was granted a deferred acceptance of his plea — a form of probation common for first offenders facing similar charges — and stayed out of trouble after that. The case was dismissed after less than three years, leaving his record free of convictions.


KHNL TV News, Hawai'i, September 20, 2006

Republican Candidates Face Off For Second Congressional District

By: Darren Pai

(KHNL) - State Senator Bob Hogue accused his opponent in Saturday's primary election of negative campaigning.

Hogue says Quentin Kawananakoa is trying to mislead voters about his position on Native Hawaiian issues.

Kawananakoa says he's simply stating the facts. A mailer distributed by republican Quentin Kawananakoa says his opponent Bob Hogue is close to activists known to oppose federal recognition of Native Hawaiians.

"My opponent, Mr. Hogue, my colleague, voted yes on the Akaka Bill on the floor of the legislature on the resolution. And now he's surrounded by some very conservative people," said Kawanakoa defending his mailer.

Kawanakoa said he wants to inform voters about Hogue's record on Native Hawaiian issues.

Protecting Native Hawaiian institutions, Hogue says, has always been one of his priorities.

He says he supported the Akaka Bill for that reason, "I have supported that and that has been my position all the way through. So it's unfortunate that there are these distorted mailers that have gone out that has distorted my position."

"If federal recognition results in a change in governance for Hawaiians," Hogue says, "the people of Hawaii should have a say in what happens. We should have a plebiscite, that is everyone should have an opportunity to vote on it because governance is so very important to all of us."


Honolulu Star-Bulletin, September 21, 2006

GOP House rivals clash in debate
Hogue takes issue with Kawananakoa's portrayal of his record

By B.J. Reyes

Two Republicans running to represent rural Oahu and the neighbor islands in the U.S. House tried to separate themselves on various issues, but also traded barbs over negative campaigning.

State Sen. Bob Hogue accused his opponent, former House Minority Leader Quentin Kawananakoa, of "distorting" his record of support for native Hawaiians in a flyer recently mailed to voters in the 2nd Congressional District.

"I just think it's unfortunate when anything like that happens," said Hogue, who has touted himself as an average person running a "positive" campaign. "I think that the electorate is tired of that. They don't appreciate it."

Kawananakoa said he saw nothing wrong or dirty about pointing out an incumbent's voting record. "Sharing someone's legislative record and how they might act in the future -- that's what we're supposed to talk about," he said. "Those are the issues that we want to hear about. "The idea that you can't say anything about someone's legislative history is silly. It's public document."

Hogue and Kawananakoa debated yesterday at the monthly general membership meeting of the Kailua Chamber of Commerce.

Their stance on native Hawaiian sovereignty came in response to a question from the audience on how they would address the issue, with the Akaka Bill now off the table.

"I can tell you that I do support native Hawaiian programs ... we need to protect that with federal recognition," Hogue said. "I've said all along, if there's a change in government, like the vague way that the Akaka Bill was written, that we should have an entire plebiscite (vote) and have everyone get an opportunity to vote on it."

Kawananakoa, in the campaign mailer and at the forum, criticized Hogue for "waffling," adding that he believes the senator has been influenced by "very conservative" groups that oppose Hawaiian sovereignty.

Regarding a resolution in the state Legislature voicing support for the Akaka Bill, Kawananakoa noted that Hogue had voted in support. "Now he's changed his story," Kawananakoa said. "He wants the same story that they (Akaka Bill opponents) believe -- that we have a plebiscite of the whole entire state. "I'm concerned with someone who has flip-flopped for support."

The two GOP candidates have clashed before. Last month, Kawananakoa urged Hogue to voluntarily suspend his weekly newspaper column, on the grounds that it gave him an unfair public forum for campaigning. Hogue refused, noting that the column contributes a substantial part of his income and is devoted to sports and recreation, not politics. The GOP winner will face one of 10 Democrats seeking their party's vote in Saturday's primary. Democrats in the race are: Hanalei Aipoalani, Nestor Garcia, Colleen Hanabusa, Clayton Hee, Mazie Hirono, Gary Hooser, Matt Matsunaga, Ron Menor, Brian Schatz and Joe Zuiker.


http://starbulletin.com/2006/09/21/news/story02.html Honolulu Star-Bulletin, September 21, 2006

Case blasts Akaka's pitches to [ethnic] Hawaiians
The challenger says ethnicity does not guarantee effectiveness

By Richard Borreca

Sen. Dan Akaka's appeals to native Hawaiian voters have become "incredibly polarizing and divisive," Democratic challenger Ed Case said.

Akaka yesterday had a news conference with organizations including the Native Hawaiian Bar Association and the Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce.

Former Gov. John Waihee also praised Akaka. As the first and only native Hawaiian in the Senate, Akaka is an important symbol, said Waihee, the nation's first native Hawaiian governor.

"Someday we may get past all of this, and there may be many more Hawaiian senators, but for right now it is a very important constituency, and Hawaii's should be within his constituency," Waihee said.

Case was not pleased with Akaka's appeal to native Hawaiians.

"Should we elect Sen. Akaka to the Senate just because he is native Hawaiian? I don't believe so, any more than I should be elected to the Senate because I am white," Case said.

"It doesn't take a native Hawaiian in elective office to do a good job for native Hawaiians. I do not believe Sen. Akaka has been an effective advocate for native Hawaiian issues in the U.S. Senate," Case said.

For instance, he said, Akaka was unable to get the native Hawaiian federal recognition bill, dubbed the Akaka Bill, passed this year. "Federal recognition failed because Sen. Akaka didn't leverage his position. And the statements that Sen. Akaka delivered federal money to native Hawaiians is virtually 100 percent because of Senator (Dan) Inouye, not Akaka," Case said. Akaka has insisted that the Akaka Bill was stopped at the last minute by opposition from the White House, and he was unable to move it.

Case says he's concerned that the Akaka campaign is relying on pitches -- like the argument made by fellow Democratic Rep. Neil Abercrombie, who called Akaka "the Hawaiian heart" of the state delegation. Akaka himself tells voters: "You need someone with heart, and someone who cares about the people of Hawaii and reflects the people of Hawaii in Washington."

Asked if he was calling Case someone who couldn't represent Hawaii, Akaka said no. "He was born and raised here, so there is no question he knows Hawaii, but there is so much more to know. I have lived here all these years, and I am still learning about Hawaii.

"I feel strongly that whoever represents us should be reflecting Hawaii, and not themselves," Akaka said. But Case said one does not have to be Hawaiian "to deliver Hawaiian values to Washington."

"We all believe in Hawaii, whether we are native Hawaiian, whether we are like me, who have four generations in the ground here, or whether we arrived yesterday.

"It is not something that only a native Hawaiian can do. I disagree with the underlying premise," Case said.

Akaka's news conference yesterday was not aimed at attacking Case so much as attempting to drum up support among native Hawaiian voters. The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement notes that only about 16 percent of more than 153,000 potential native Hawaiian voters cast ballots in the 2004 election. "Hawaiians should be leading the charge in turning around voter apathy," said Robin Danner, council president.

Waihee said the Hawaiian vote could be key. In his first election as governor, he said, his ability to carry historically native Hawaiian areas was instrumental to his victory in the Democratic primary. "If there is nothing that excites them, then just like any other voting block, they don't come out," Waihee said. "If I were running the campaign, I would be worried about getting out my vote -- and the one constituency that should be about Dan Akaka is the native Hawaiian vote," Waihee said.

Akaka said the campaign has been working to get native Hawaiian voters to support him. "I just hope we can get the Hawaiian vote, because we have been working on it. We have been talking to them, we have been visiting homesteads and we have been canvassing and talking to as many Hawaiians as we can," Akaka said.


Honolulu Advertiser, Friday, September 29, 2006

Lingle, Iwase address [Ethnic] Hawaiian issues

By Derrick DePledge

Gov. Linda Lingle said yesterday it is still important for the federal government to recognize Hawaiians as an indigenous people because it is the right thing to do and because it could protect [ethnic] Hawaiian programs that receive federal money from court challenges.

The Republican governor and her Democratic opponent, former Mililani state Sen. Randall Iwase, spoke at a luncheon sponsored by the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement at the Hawai'i Convention Center.

The appearances might be among the few times Lingle and Iwase are in front of the same audience before the November election, though the governor yesterday also agreed to a televised debate.

Lingle said if she is re-elected, she wants to be more involved in the strategy behind moving the federal recognition bill if the Hawai'i congressional delegation proposes it again next year.

"I am concerned about these legal challenges," Lingle said of claims that Hawaiian programs are based on race and are unconstitutional. "We do need to continue to fight for federal recognition."

Iwase told Hawaiians that the bill would advance if Democrats controlled Congress. He said Lingle failed to keep the Bush administration neutral and blamed a U.S. Department of Justice letter describing the bill as unconstitutional for a procedural defeat in the U.S. Senate in June.

"I'm going to know, if the president of the United States, if I call him my friend, and if I campaign for him, I'm going to know if he's going to submarine me, so that we can take action before that happens," Iwase said, referring to Lingle's ties to President Bush. "That did not happen here. That's what killed this bill."

Lingle and Iwase spoke separately at the luncheon, which was part of the council's annual convention, and answered questions on Hawaiian issues. The questions were provided to the candidates a day in advance, so each had time to prepare.

Lingle agreed yesterday to appear in a one-hour debate with Iwase next Friday that will be shown on the four commercial television networks. The governor also said she would do a joint appearance with Iwase at a Big Island forum with the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce, the League of Women Voters and the Kona Outdoor Circle.

Iwase has called for debates in all four counties, which is unlikely to happen.

Both Lingle and Iwase told Hawaiians yesterday that they strongly support the federal recognition bill, which would recognize Hawaiians as an indigenous people like American Indians or Alaska Natives. The bill would create a process for Hawaiians to form their own government that could negotiate with the state and federal government on land use and cultural issues.

Conservative Republicans in the Senate have blocked the bill since 2000, arguing it is unconstitutional because membership in the new government could be based on race. But U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawai'i, and other supporters of the bill say the relationship would be political, not racial.

Some Republicans in Hawai'i have said there should be a popular vote in the Islands on the bill.

Lingle had been working to keep the Bush administration at least neutral on the legislation and had been in discussions with Senate and House Republicans to reduce opposition. The state Office of Hawaiian Affairs also hired a Washington, D.C., lobbying firm to help.

Lingle said it was the congressional delegation that came up with the legislative strategy. The bill failed to reach the Senate floor in June when Akaka was four votes short on a procedural motion.

"I think that the people at OHA would tell you that the matter would never have come to a vote without our help in the United States Senate," Lingle said after the luncheon.


Honolulu Advertiser, Friday, October 6, 2006
Letters to the Editor


On Sept. 29, The Advertiser reported that both Gov. Linda Lingle and her opponent, Randall Iwase, stated that they support and will work toward passage of the Akaka bill.

Sen. Dan Akaka and his supporters stated that the Akaka bill is not racist. But it is racist because of wording that defines "Native Hawaiian" as "an individual who is one of the indigenous, native people of Hawai'i who is a direct lineal descendent of the aboriginal, native people." This means that only those who have at least 1 percent Hawaiian blood can be a citizen of the Hawaiian government and entitled to all benefits afforded to its citizens.

Racial prejudice within a society causes injustice, disharmony and social conflicts. It leads to unequal distribution of power, prestige, benefits or material wealth in society.

If the Akaka bill passes, the majority of Hawai'i's citizens who are not Native Hawaiians will incur an increased financial burden in having to pay for the cost of operations and various programs of four governments — the federal, state, counties and a racial Native Hawaiian government. This racist bill can be the spark that will cause great dissension within our state.

Wilbert W.W. Wong Sr.


Honolulu Star-Bulletin, October 6, 2006

Lingle and Iwase see debate as crucial
It is the challenger's first and best chance to present his case

By Richard Borreca

The low-key campaign for governor should heat up tonight as Republican Gov. Linda Lingle and former Democratic state Sen. Randy Iwase meet in a live television debate.

The debate is crucial to Iwase, who has little statewide exposure and is facing a well-financed incumbent with a $6 million campaign budget.

To prepare for the debate, Lingle said yesterday she had been reviewing both her administration accomplishments and the missteps.

"I look forward to it. I'm preparing in a couple of ways, mostly understanding what my opponent's record is and then renewing my own recollection of the achievements," Lingle said. "Also recollecting the mistakes that we've made that could be jumped upon by my opponent."

For his part, Iwase said he had slowed down his campaign schedule for the past two days to prepare for the debate. "I have been going over a scrapbook I have kept over the years," Iwase said, "and I have been going over some concepts and the issues that may arise."

Democratic campaign consultant David Wilson also talked to Iwase about preparing for the live debate with Lingle. "My suggestions are to stick to the issues, be gubernatorial and wear a good suit," Wilson said.

Iwase's campaign has a lot of questions to answer, Wilson said. First, Iwase jumped into the race only in May, after all other major Democrats who were considering the race declined. Second, despite a good showing in the primary election, Iwase has not attracted a lot of campaign donations or volunteers, Wilson added.

"In contrast, the Gov. Lingle campaign is very well organized, and it is combat-ready," he said.

But Iwase, an attorney, is "a quick study and is very articulate," Wilson added, "and he has just the right degree of passion and knows the mood of the community."

For Lingle, one of the big political hurdles will be her association with, and support of, Republican President George Bush.

Lingle said Bush has supported and helped Hawaii in some terms and been un-supportive in other areas.

"The designation of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands as a national monument was a really great thing," Lingle said.

But the last-minute opposition of the Bush administration to the native Hawaiian recognition bill was a disappointment, Lingle said.

"We've had great access to be able to get changes in the law that have brought hundreds of millions of dollars into our state in the area of reimbursements for state hospitals, in Medicaid waivers that have enabled us to insure thousands of additional children. So it's been a net plus for us, but there are things that I'm disappointed about, and the Akaka Bill was a big one," Lingle said.


Honolulu Advertiser, October 7, 2006
**EXCERPTS of a news report on the Gubernatorial debate between Governor Linda Lingle and challenger Randall Iwase

Iwase repeatedly invoked Lingle's ties to Bush, pulled out a picture of Lingle and the Republican president together, and noted that Lingle had once referred to Bush as one of the nation's best presidents ever.

Lingle said she was disappointed that Bush had opposed federal recognition for Native Hawaiians but applauded his designation of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands as a marine national monument, and said she is proud of her links to him.

Iwase suggested the monument designation had been a consolation prize for Bush's opposition to the Native Hawaiian recognition bill sponsored by U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka.

"It was within a week of the failure of the Akaka bill," Iwase said. "I think a favor was done to the governor by the president of the United States."

Lingle later told reporters that there had been "absolutely no connection" between the two issues, and that she believed Iwase had raised the issue to diminish the magnitude of the monument designation.


Spasific Magazine, Auckland, NZ
Sept/Oct 2006, Issue #16

Fight for Hawaiian sovereignty shifts .... and gains momentum as Akaka Bill fails

By Ana Currie

** Ken Conklin's note: This article was sent by e-mail to Scott Crawford, a Hawaiian independence activist, who posted it on his blog. The URL for the original source of the article is unknown; but Scott gave the article a URL on his own blog, at:

For those working for and against the so-called Akaka Bill, the events surrounding its recent demise were high drama.

The bill - nicknamed for the senator from Hawaii who introduced the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganisation Act - was originaly introduced in 1999. It has been floundering in Congress for six years amid multiple revisions and much political rhetoric. It proposed a process for a native Hawaiian government to be recognised by the federal government of the United States, giving it a political status similar to Native Amnerican and Alaskan Native tribes.

One of the key developments giving rise to the Akaka bill was the case of Rice v. Cayetano. There, the U.S. Supreme Court declared unconstitutional a system under which non-Native Hawaiians were barred from voting for or serving as trustees of the state's Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA).

The bill's supporters say that it will enable Hawaiians to continue to receive federal and state benefits - or "entitlements" - without fear of constitutional challenges based on race issues. It will also allow for a "nation within a nation" for Hawaiians that will preserve their U.S. citizenship while giving them a starting point for more fully exercising their political rights.

The oponents occupy two camps. First, those who are working to restore the lawful independent Hawaiian nation say that a careful reading of the bill reveals that it will not preserve any entitlements whatsoever. Nor will it protect against legal challenges, while it forecloses important options for true nation-building and will limit any future claims to the 2 million acres of "ceded lands" held in trust for the Hawaiian people. Further, because the Hawaiian kingdom that was unlawfully overthrown was multi-ethnic, they object to the creation of a separate, race-based government.

The other opposition group fears the bill gives native Hawaiians too much unwarranted rights, creates a race-based government that is an affront to the American ideals of equality of all and siphons public resources that might be used otherwise.

The complex issues have created some startling, almost bizarre alliances: Hawaii's Republican governor Linda Lingle, in defiance of her party's administration, joined with staunchly Democratic senators Akaka and Inouye in support of the bill. Meanwhile, Maoli leaders of the movement to re-establish the independent nation of Hawaii found themselves uneasily united in opposition to the bill with key Republican senators and ultra-right- wing groups, such as the Grassroots Institute of Hawaii and Aloha for All.

Three Kanaka Maoli who financed thir own travel to Wahsington D.C. to speak in opposition were Clarence "Ku" Ching, OLeon Siu, and Kili Kekumano. Ching is a former OHA trustee. The three pounded the pavement, visiting as many legislators as possible to give them their reasons. Their efforts were apparently an important factor in the final result.

"It's no wonder," says Ching, "that many senators in D.C. were flabbergasted when individual Hawaiians showed up in opposition to the bill. They were under the mistaken impression - intentionally designed and carried out - that the bill had the support of all Hawaiians."

Many had called for hearings to be held in Hawaii, but only one partial hearing was held there and all subsequent ones in Washington D.C. Hawaiians in opposition to the bill were shocked to find that the hearings in the capital were by invitation only and those who had traveled there to testify in opposition were not allowed to speak.

On the eve of the vote, members of Hui Pu, an umbrella organization of Native Hawaiian organizations and individuals united in their opposition to the bill, occupied 'Iolani Palace in Honolulu and hung upside-down Hawaiian flags - a symbol of a nation in distress - and other banners from the second floor balcony.

"Iolani Palace is more than just a symbol to Kanaka Maoli. It was the residence of Queen Lili'uokalani and the center of Hawaii's government that was unlawfully seized by American troops in 1893. The palace later became Lili'uokalani' s prison after an abortive attempt to restore the lawful Hawaiian government.

Hui Pu spokesman Andre Perez explained that the occupation was to make senators and the public aware that significant numbers of Hawaiians oppose the bill.

"We have total respect for the sanctity of the palace," said Hui Pu member Terri Keko'olani from the scene.

"This is not a museum to us. This is a place where government came together for our people and where we believe we have to continue. We're picking up our nation with a sense of aloha and purpose."

Hina Wong, also present at the event, said, "This is yet another attempt to reaffirm ourselves. The wrongs will never be made right by any form of legislation under the United States."

Police and palace security officers declined to make arrests at the gathering, which was peaceful but powerful. The impact of the message was not lost on the senators in the capitol.

The final vote was 56-41, with 60 votes needed to have the bill brought to the floor. Although this dramatic defeat does not preclude the bill being introduced yet again, a new development has shifted the debate back to Hawaii.

OHA has bounced back with an ambitious proposal to throw its substantial clout - and up to US$10 million - into an effort to go ahead and create the kind of nation-within- a-nation government delineated in the Akaka Bill. This time, however, it will be without any kind of go-ahead from the U.S. Congress.

Frustrated Maoli are appealing for OHA to go back to basics and find out what the Hawaiian people really want rather than ramming a repackaged Akaka-type scenario down their throats. Many find the race-based, "blood quantum" aspect repugnant.

"Let's step back a moment and observe that the 'race' issue does not find its beginnings in things Hawaiian," says Ching. "It was certainly not a pivotal issue in the Hawaiian Kingdom. It is only in the legislative history of the U.S. that race is elevated to the status it holds today."

Siu offers a compelling alternative.

"If it is indeed OHA's purpose to redress the injustices stemming from the 1893 illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom, then the OHA beneficiaries should be the Hawaiian nationals (the remnants of a political entity), not Native Hawaiians, an ethnic sub-group of Hawaiian nationals," he says. "This shift in the beneficiaries from "natives" to "nationals" would provide OHA and other Hawaiian entitlement programs with the bulletproof political entity they have been flailing around to find."


Honolulu Advertiser, Friday, October 13, 2006
Letters to the Editor


Wilbert W.W. Wong mischaracterized the Akaka bill as a form of racial prejudice, and said it would cause "great dissension" in Hawai'i. (Letter, Oct. 6) He's wrong on both counts.

For 2,000 years before Capt. James Cook's arrival in Hawai'i in 1778, Native Hawaiians exercised their sovereignty in these islands. Their political status as Hawai'i's indigenous people has remained constant through the overthrow of their beloved kingdom (achieved with the help of U.S. Marines), annexation and statehood.

During this time, Native Hawaiians lost not only much of their sovereignty and land, but were forced to stop practicing many aspects of their culture, specifically their language.

Over the years, Congress has dealt with Native Hawaiians as a distinct indigenous group through hundreds of congressional acts. Through the Akaka bill, Congress would formally recognize its political relationship with Native Hawaiians, thereby extending a federal status to Native Hawaiians already enjoyed by the two other indigenous groups in the U.S.: Native Americans and Alaska Natives.

The Akaka bill represents justice for Native Hawaiians and would help to heal many of the social wounds inflicted upon them over the past 200 years.

Clyde Namuo
Office of Hawaiian Affairs administrator


Honolulu Advertiser, Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Federal recognition at forefront for OHA races

By Gordon Y.K. Pang

Those who follow Native Hawaiian issues think there's a need for new ideas — and maybe new trustees — on the board of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs in the aftermath of the latest failed bid for federal recognition in Congress.

The "what next?" question involving Hawaiian governance is foremost in the minds of those queried by The Advertiser about the upcoming OHA elections.

Last summer, Congress once again failed to hold a vote on the Akaka bill, which would establish a process that could lead to federal recognition of a Native Hawaiian entity that would represent the interests of Hawaiians. OHA, which strongly backed the measure, has since been proceeding with its own plan for establishing a governing entity that does not need the endorsement of Washington on the front end. That plan has drawn mixed reviews in the Hawaiian community.

But some of those interviewed by The Advertiser said OHA trustees should remember there are many other needs facing Hawaiians, from educational opportunities to housing concerns.

Five of the nine OHA board seats are up for grabs on Nov. 7, including three at-large seats, the O'ahu seat and the Maui seat. All registered voters can vote in all OHA races, regardless of where in Hawai'i they live.

In all, there are 14 candidates for the three at-large seats, seven hopefuls for the O'ahu seat and two people vying for the Maui post. All five incumbents whose current terms are up are seeking re-election: at-large trustees Rowena Akana, Oswald Stender and John Waihe'e IV, Maui trustee Boyd Mossman and O'ahu trustee Dante Carpenter.

They are joined by a number of others with name recognition. Former state Sen. Whitney Anderson, former state Rep. D. Ululani Beirne, former OHA trustee Roy Benham, musician and kumu hula Manu Boyd, and Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement chief executive Jade Danner are among the candidates for the at-large race.

So, too is Pu'uhonua Dennis "Bumpy" Kanahele, head of state of the Nation of Hawai'i.

Kekuni Blaisdell, chairman of the Kanaka Maoli Tribunal Komike, said those favoring independence from the United States and opposing federal recognition have been excluded from the dialogue at OHA.

"We feel very strongly that if OHA represents us, it should be representing all of us, including the independence movement," he said.

How well Kanahele and other independent candidates do can be considered somewhat of a referendum on voters' view of independence, Blaisdell said.

Another interesting battle is shaping up for the O'ahu seat, where retired judge and politician Walter Heen presents a serious challenge to Carpenter. On Maui, Blossom Feteira, founding member of the nonprofit Hawaiian Community Assets, is taking on Mossman.


Tony Sang, chairman of the State Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations since 1998, said federal recognition is a critical issue for the upcoming OHA board. "The bottom line is updating federal recognition to fend off any more lawsuits" from those opposed to programs that benefit Hawaiians, Sang said.

Sang said he's skeptical of OHA's post-Akaka bill plan to seek a governing entity on its own, but added that he would support it if includes a move toward self-determination.

Charles Rose, immediate past president of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs, said he is OK with the notion of moving past federal recognition and having OHA take the lead in pushing forth a Hawaiian entity.

"I think if that is accomplished, a unified Hawaiian people is a very formidable entity that would earn the respect of all of the people," Rose said. "I think we need to find (candidates) who are good communicators, be persuasive and be able to see the big picture."

State Sen. Clayton Hee, a former OHA chairman, said the Akaka bill failed in large part because it was not clearly explained and opponents raised specious arguments. "To me, the biggest challenge has always been in articulating what self-determination means in different facets of the community and different areas of the political landscape," said Hee.

Journalist and historian Tom Coffman said governance status is clearly the top issue facing OHA, and OHA voters, in the coming year. Coffman said it's disingenuous to call the issue "self-determination" unless the discussion is about secession.

"I think what we really most badly need to do is step back and have a renewed dialogue about what (governance status) means and how we go about doing it," Coffman said.

He believes that any proposal resembling the Akaka bill will not be successful under both a Republican administration and a Republican Congress. "Let's use the next two years (the remainder of President Bush's term) to back up and try to get a truer consensus on where we want to go," he said.


Those involved in Native Hawaiian concerns mentioned other issues that they believe are priorities for OHA.

Adrian Kamali'i, president of Pae 'Aina Communications, a public relations firm, said he understands the focus that's been paid to establishing a Hawaiian entity. However, he said, OHA trustees cannot lose sight of the many needs in the Hawaiian community, from finding houses for the homeless to providing assistance to Hawaiian charter schools.

"What we need are people who have the vision and can multitask both those issues — both the governance and the needs of the community."

Sang said his organization wants to see OHA become more involved in the social welfare of Hawaiians by partnering with the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands on housing initiatives. OHA should also be more active in providing healthcare and job training for those who need it most, he said.

Ka'uhane Lee, president of the Ke Ala 'Olino Native Cultural Center, also echoed the call for OHA to be more involved in education, health and business initiatives. Lee, whose group is dedicated to preserving the Hawaiian and other Polynesian cultures through the exchange of cultural and spiritual connections, also said OHA needs to devote more sources toward perpetuating Hawaiian cultural and spiritual practices.

"This is who we are, and what makes Hawai'i Hawai'i," Lee said.

Hee, drawing from his years as a trustee, said "growing the portfolio" is the most critical issue facing trustees. The trustees oversee an annual operating budget of about $28.5 million, and the agency's investment portfolio is estimated at $400 million.

But according to Hee, "there's no shortage of agencies and individuals that are requesting funds."

H. William Burgess of the group Aloha For All, which believes Hawaiians-only programs unfairly exclude others, said voters should find OHA trustees who concern themselves with the welfare of more than just the Hawaiians here.

"As state officials, the OHA trustees have a fiduciary duty to all citizens of the state," Burgess said. "Look for real leaders rather than demogogues who preach racial grievance," he said.

Coffman said it goes back to the federal recognition issue and the need for fresh thinking. "What I would look for from OHA is some open-mindedness and willingness to engage in a new dialogue," Coffman said.

Lee said she wants to see more upbeat vibes from the agency's trustees, "people who are positive, open-minded and encouraging."

Haunani Kay Trask, a professor at the University of Hawai'i-Manoa's Center for Hawaiian Studies, has for years advised people not to vote in the OHA elections. At best, she said, trustees have been self-serving and caught up in in-fighting. "They're much more concerned about protecting power than helping the native people," she said. "What we need are serious leaders who are concerned with the well-being of Hawaiians, and that means enough posturing and get to the things (that were important) in the past."


Honolulu Advertiser, Wednesday, October 18, 2006

What the candidates say about a primary issue facing OHA

Do you favor Hawaiian self-determination? If yes, what form should it take?


Rowena N. Akana
Home: Honolulu
Age: Not given
Occupation: OHA trustee
Yes, I would prefer that it follow a nation-within-a-nation model. However, the model will have to be determined by the delegates that will be elected to the first general assembly, and then ratified by the Hawaiian people.

Whitney T. Anderson
Home: Waimanalo
Age: 74
Occupation: Consultant and small business owner
Yes. I would like to see a consensus of a majority of all Hawaiians, and I believe this is possible.

D. Ululani Beirne
Home: Kahana Bay
Age: 67
Occupation: Consultant, retired from hotel industry
Yes, the Kanaka Maoli voice/choice, through process of voting for independence or status quo, its ratification, it means uniting.

Roy Ilikea Benham
Home: Honolulu
Age: 73
Occupation: Former kupuna educator, Department of Education

I believe the native Hawaiians should form a Native Hawaiian political agency that is established and ratified by the majority of the Native Hawaiian people.

Manu Boyd
Home: Kane'ohe
Age: 44
Occupation: OHA public information officer
Yes. Self-determination is fundamental to democracy. Native Hawaiians are the indigenous people of Hawai'i. That form should be their choice.

Robin Puanani Danner
Home: Anahola
Age: 43
Occupation: President and CEO, Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement
Yes, it's critical for true community change. OHA must support the Akaka bill and empower Hawaiians to organize their government.

Newton deTray Harbottle
Home: Kane'ohe
Age: 64
Occupation: Retired Honolulu Police Department officer
More discussion needs to be done. However, I believe in self-determination.

Leona Mapuana Kalima
Home: Waimanalo
Age: 54
Occupation: Cultural specialist for special projects
Yes. Nationhood within an independence framework, but a reality step is to secure federal recognition. The Hawaiian community must decide.

Melissa M. Guerreiro Lyman
Home: Kapolei
Age: 42
Occupation: Project accountant
Yes. At this time, the only viable option is a nation within a nation.

Oswald Stender
Home: Maunawili
Age: 75
Occupation: Real estate broker and consultant
Yes. A nation within a nation.

John Waihe'e IV
Home: Honolulu
Age: 36
Occupation: OHA trustee
Yes. It should be determined by a representative body, created by, elected by, and composed of Hawaiians. I favor federal recognition.

Arvid Tadao Youngquist
Home: Honolulu
Age: 58
Occupation: State Department of Transportation business management office support staff worker
Yes! City-state within county jurisdiction by county jurisdiction and then a federation.

Candidates Dennis Kanahele and Willy Meyers did not respond to an Advertiser questionnaire.


Jackie Kahookele Burke
Home: Honolulu
Age: 54
Occupation: Publisher / consultant / artist
I favor self-determination in a free association independent model outside of American state departmental or congressional control.

Dante Keala Carpenter
Home: Honolulu
Age: 71
Occupation: Consultant, OHA trustee
OHA should be a strong advocate and facilitate the process through self-determination. Independent nation status similar to U.S. system will provide economic activity and stability.

Walter Meheula Heen
Home: Honolulu
Age: 78
Occupation: Attorney, retired judge
Yes. Should be democratic with elected representatives.

D. Kehaulani Hew Len
Home: Ma'ili
Age: 43
Occupation: Graphic designer / consultant for grant writing
Yes. A nation within a nation. The confirmation of the United States with the Hawaiian nation needs to be a partnership.

M. Kapiolani Reynolds
Home: Honolulu
Age: 44
Occupation: Office clerk
Yes. Nation within a nation.

Candidates Frankie Kay Kawelo and S. Kaui Na'auao did not respond to an Advertiser questionnaire.


Blossom Feiteira
Home: Ha'iku
Age: 47
Occupation: Customer service, Kmart
Yes. Whatever form it takes, it will take all of us, Hawaiian and non-Hawaiian, to make it happen.

Boyd Poki Mossman
Home: Makawao
Age: 63
Occupation: OHA trustee
Yes, I favor a corporate governance similar to the Alaskans. Shareholders, officers and a board of elders would participate.


Honolulu Star-Bulletin, October 29, 2006

Recognition would bring Hawaiians justice, not special treatment

by Martha Ross
[Martha Ross is Washington, D.C., bureau chief for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.]

REPUBLICAN Gov. Linda Lingle and Democratic challenger Randy Iwase have been taken to task for their support of federal recognition of native Hawaiians.

Critics attack both the governor and her challenger by lifting talking points from the Grassroot Institute and other conservative blogs whose aim is to stop Hawaiians in their tracks and then strip recognition already granted to other indigenous groups, such as American Indians and Alaska Natives.

And that's just the start of what they want. The eventual goal of many of these groups is to erode or eliminate all civil rights and affirmative action laws and policies designed to bring about equality.

These groups claim they favor social justice and equality, but then attempt to sweep from our hearts and minds the distinct indigenous status of Hawaiians by slamming a federal recognition policy needed to bring us, as a country, closer to social justice and equality.

They try to confuse us by calling the Akaka Bill racist, ignoring the unique political and legal relationship between the federal government, the state of Hawaii and the indigenous, native people of the 50th state.

A recent critic said, "Racial prejudice within a society causes injustice, disharmony and social conflicts. It leads to unequal distribution of power, prestige, benefits or material wealth in society."

I agree. As a matter of fact, there are countless stories all of us in our world community can tell about racial prejudice and unequal access to power and wealth that we have experienced first hand as the target or witness of prejudice and discrimination. While American Indians, Alaska Natives and native Hawaiians often are the targets of institutional discrimination based on racial prejudice, processes of federal recognition address a different social ill.

Federal recognition of the relationship between the United States and Native Americans is designed to eliminate inequality caused by societal policies and practices that terminated or oppressed Native American self-governance and self-determination, and erode access to lands, waters and other natural blessings essential to Native American existence.

Self-determination, self-governance, decision-making and leadership to protect and access lands, waters, natural blessings, sacred places and group well-being are essential to perpetuation of indigenous Hawaiian culture.

Founding leaders who crafted the U.S. Constitution understood the need to co-exist with indigenous people of these lands, and included this in our U.S. Constitution. Those of us who live in Hawaii know about the past use of force, land grabbing and the "no other options" assimilation policies designed to extinguish the native Hawaiian way of life.

History shows us Hawaiians faced forced termination and methodical assimilation, instead of reconciliation policies that would work toward peaceful coexistence and equality for all.

If we just talk about inequality and do nothing to change policies and practices, the inequality remains the same. For all our families in the United States to experience equality, we must have federal, state and local policies that undo the existing inequality caused by hundreds of years of institutionalized discrimination and destruction of indigenous nations within our country.

Disharmony in our communities flourishes when we pretend a traumatic wrong did not occur. Social conflicts become explosive when we acknowledge traumatic wrong yet continue some forms of overt or covert policies and practices eliminating and devaluing Native American cultures and well-being, by eroding indigenous self-determination, and preventing access, systematically destroying or greedily taking full control of their homelands.

American and world history tells us societal disharmony and conflict build exponentially when social injustice is allowed to compound for decades with no "mutually meaningful" reconciliation of the wrong, and there is a glaring absence of permanently integrated societal policies and values to achieve equality and justice for all.

The United States has acknowledged and apologized for the role of its agents in terminating indigenous governance of Hawaii. We should applaud gubernatorial candidates Randy Iwase and Gov. Linda Lingle for standing up for justice and equality through action.

They know they can't talk about their concern for oppression and racial prejudice out of one side of their mouths, and at the same time speak out against any policy to truly bring about equality out of the other.

They know fairness and justice require that we do the right thing to support the congressional establishment of a process of federal recognition of Hawaiian self-determination.

Martha Ross is Washington, D.C., bureau chief for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.


Honolulu Star-Bulletin, October 29, 2006
Election guide, section focusing on Officeof Hawaiian Affairs

OHA board election will fill 5 seats
The winners and the incumbents have serious tasks to face

By Gene Park

Making the push for Hawaiian self-governance to supercede future legal entanglements will be a major mission for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, which has five open spots among its board of trustees. Three at-large seats and one seat each for Oahu and Maui are up for the general election this year, with 23 candidates overall.

Chief among the concerns for the new board is the ongoing threat of lawsuits challenging the agency's constitutionality, said Deputy Administrator Ron Mun.

The perceived vulnerability stems from a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2000 that threw out Hawaiian-only elections for the board. After that decision, non-native Hawaiians could vote and run for the board.

"I think the second thing, of course, is the fact that we have to begin the plan for nationhood, despite the fact that Congress didn't pass the federal recognition bill," said board member Rowena Akana, who seeks re-election this year. "I don't believe that this is a dead issue."

Akana is referring to what is known as the Akaka Bill in Congress, after U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, which seeks federal recognition and the right for self-governance. Akana said legal action against OHA is costly, and passage of some kind of federal recognition document would stave off future court cases against the agency. "It's a long process, definitely not something that's going to happen overnight," Akana said.

Walter Heen, a retired appellate judge and former Democratic Party chairman, said because the bill was defeated at the federal level, it's important that the board focus on trying to organize sovereignty at the state level. After the bill failed in Congress, OHA drafted a governance plan called the Hoolu Lahui Aloha, or "to raise a beloved nation." This would involve negotiating with the state government in transferring existing Hawaiian assets to a new governing body. The state would then take negotiations on the federal level. Heen also said it's important for the board to reach out to the general community. "It's a question of how OHA can best partner with programs to raise the levels of opportunity for native Hawaiians, and at the same time for the general community," Heen said.

Voters will choose between a wide variety of faces for the OHA board, including incumbents Akana, former Big Island Mayor Dante Carpenter, retired Judge Boyd Mossman, former Bishop Estate trustee Oswald Stender and John Waihee IV.

Also among the candidates is longtime sovereignty activist Dennis "Bumpy" Kanahele, leader of the Nation of Hawaii, and Roy Benham, a former teacher from Kamehameha Schools.

Mun said because of the wide variety of candidates, he advises voters to make sure to vote for all five available seats. "The point is, you have to reside in the area to run for those island seats, but the voter is voting for all of them," Mun said.

Akana, a trustee since 1990, said voters also should be mindful of the candidates' community experience, and how it can translate to benefiting and growing the agency's $400 million trust. "I believe people should know that voting for an OHA trustee is not like voting for a legislator or city council, where your specific duties are spelled out," Akana said. "The candidates have to have worked with the Hawaiian community for any length of time to understand who the Hawaiians are."


Honolulu Star-Bulletin, October 29, 2006, Letter to Editor

Vote for Bumpy and Jackie to OHA seats

I'm asking all voters to vote for exactly two Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee candidates: Bumpy Kanahele and Jackie Burke.

In February 2000 the Supreme Court (Rice v. Cayetano) ordered Hawaii to desegregate voting. All citizens regardless of race can vote for OHA trustees. All Hawaii voters may vote for every seat; even Maui residents can vote for the Oahu seat.

OHA serves an agenda of racial separatism, which I consider reprehensible. But until a court rules it unconstitutional, we're stuck with it. I cannot approve or endorse any candidate, because they all (including Kanahele and Burke) support race-based programs. But we can use our votes to shake things up at OHA. Every now-sitting trustee should be thrown out.

Bumpy Kanahele (at large) and Jackie Burke (Oahu seat) oppose the Akaka Bill.That's why I will vote only for them. I believe they'll demand an honest public accounting of how OHA's money has been spent, and they'll support programs to help needy people instead of spending untold millions on lobbying and advertising the Akaka Bill.

Kenneth R. Conklin


The Gallup Independent [Gallup, New Mexico], October 30, 2006

Kyl disputes claims he's anti-Native
Dems claim senator's staff member affiliated with One Nation United

By Kathy Helms
Dinι Bureau

WINDOW ROCK — The Arizona Democratic Party says it has obtained documents linking a senior staffer for Sen. Jon Kyl with a group attempting to repeal federal tribal recognitions and protections.

Joseph Matal, counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee and an employee of Kyl's Senate office, has met with the group, One Nation United, and is a featured speaker at the group's November conference in Washington, D.C., the Democrats said.

Arizona Democratic Party Chairman David Waid said, "Arizona's Native American communities are among the poorest in the state. It is outrageous that Jon Kyl, who is supposed to be advocating for them, is working secretly back in Washington to cut the legs out from under them."

Kyl's office said the senator has long maintained a strong relationship with Native American Tribes in Arizona. "Kyl has worked to promote economic growth and opportunity for Native Americans, to strengthen the government-to-government relationships that exist between the federal government and the tribes, and to protect the rich Indian culture that is such a treasure to Arizona and the nation," according to Andy Chasin, communications director.

"The Democrat Party recently put out a partisan attack that attempts to distract from Senator Kyl's record of accomplishment. The charge made by the Democrats is that a Kyl staffer has been 'tied to an Anti-Native American group.' The facts demonstrate that this charge is plainly false," Chasin said.

A staffer from Kyl's office did meet with One Nation United, a group which opposes the spread of tribal gaming and the extension of tribal jurisdiction over non-Indians. Staffers from Sen. John McCain's office and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's Office met with the group as well, according to Chasin.

"The Kyl staffer met with this group to discuss Senator Kyl's opposition to the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2005 (S.147), legislation that relates to the establishment of new rights for Native Hawaiians," he said.

The bill would have authorized the creation of a race-based government of 200,000 people in the state of Hawaii. The legislation failed in the Senate.

"Senator Kyl believes that Native American tribes have a unique status in America and that we should not expand that status to other groups without careful consideration," Chasin said.

"The Native Hawaiian legislation would have been an abuse of the tribal sovereignty doctrine that would have had negative implications for Native American tribes in Arizona. Senator Kyl has always acted to support the long-term interests of Native Americans, and he will continue to do so," Chasin said.

The Arizona Democratic Party www.azdem.org said Kyl has repeatedly voted against providing health care to Native Americans "and even voted to end federal recognition of tribes."

** The middle portion of this lengthy article discusses Indian legislation affecting local issues that was sponsored by Senator Kyl, including at the end of the article a list of about $200 Million in local programs.


According to the Arizona Democratic Party, One Nation United advocates repeal of tribal sovereignty and other federal protections through legislative action and lawsuits.

The group asserts that tribes have a negative impact on American life, advance an unconstitutional agenda, and suggests that Native Americans falsify their heritage in order to take new lands.

The Dems said that in One Nation United's statement of principles, the group states: "We should allow no tribal, foreign, or international agenda to negatively impact America or its way of life."

Also, according to the Democrats, in its August 2006 newsletter, One Nation United claims the Native American strategy is to "Choose some good land then claim your great-great grandfather camped there. 'It's true because I say so, and if you don't believe me, you're a racist.' "

The Democrats say Kyl senior staffer Joseph Matal will address One Nation United again during the Nov. 13-14 conference in Washington, D.C.

The group's agenda for that meeting is to discuss "Political Action and how to increase the effectiveness of your individual and our joint lobbying efforts locally and nationally," according to the Arizona Democratic Party.


The Maui News, Wednesday, November 08, 2006, excerpts related to Akaka bill

Mossman wins re-election to OHA

KAHULUI – Retired Circuit Judge Boyd Mossman of Makawao won re-election as Maui trustee to the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs by a going-away margin after the second general election printout at 9:30 Tuesday night.

"I want to express my appreciation of the voters and their recognition of not only what we have been able to do at OHA in the last three-plus years, but also what we can do in the future as a professional group of experienced trustees," Mossman said of the results.

Statewide, Mossman received 77,033 votes, or 66.2 percent of the vote, while challenger Blossom Feiteira of Haiku received 39,328 votes, or 33.8 percent.

Mossman said his top priority remained passage of the Akaka Bill for federal recognition of Native Hawaiians as an indigenous people.

"I will continue to work in Congress to try to secure our identification as Hawaiians. . . . That's my ultimate goal, because once that clears through everything else will fall into place," he said, referring to safeguard of Hawaiian entitlements against lawsuits, and momentum to start a Native Hawaiian governing entity.

Meanwhile, Mossman reacted to the apparent re-election of incumbent OHA Trustees Rowena Akana, John Waihee IV and Oswald "Oz" Stender, and election of two new trustee, fellow retired Judge Walter Heen.

The latter "is not a surprise because he's had so much involvement with the Democratic Party and politics, as well as the law in his career, that he's made connections to get the vote."

Mossman saw Heen as an ally in the drive for federal recognition. "He hasn't come out really strong, but he is in favor of it," he said.


Honolulu Star-Bulletin, November 10, 2006, excerpts related to Akaka bill

Majority power gives new hope for Akaka Bill
But the senator says his first priority is setting a deadline to leave Iraq

By Gene Park

U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka says he will reintroduce the so-called Akaka Bill to provide government recognition for native Hawaiians, now that the Democrats have taken control of Congress.

But before anything, the 82-year-old senator's priority is setting a deadline for getting troops out of Iraq by July. "Coming out of these meetings I had (with Iraqi officials), I felt that we need to put pressure on the Iraqi government to govern itself," Akaka said. "By setting a deadline, at least they have the time to do the work."

After that, and passing a flurry of federal appropriations bills in Congress, his controversial Hawaiian federal recognition bill will be reintroduced.

In June the bill, officially called the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, failed to make it to the floor after a cloture vote. The cloture motion forced the Senate to decide whether it would take up the measure.

Senate Democrats then had near-unanimous support for the bill, which would recognize a legal and political U.S. partnership with a native Hawaiian governing entity, similar to that of American Indian tribes.

However, Republicans then called it an unconstitutional, race-based plan, stating it would create two classes of people in Hawaii and begin the state's secession from the union. U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., a key opponent of the bill, was re-elected Tuesday.

"I would, of course, would want to deal with him on this," Akaka said yesterday. "With the kind of pressures that the American Indian population has been putting on him, there may be changes."

Akaka said he would not be making any changes to the Akaka Bill, citing the work put into it by the five task forces he created, made up of local government officials, native Hawaiians, federal officials, American Indians, Alaskan natives and congressional scholars.

"For me the wisdom of all these different groups really put it together, and I feel it's a really strong bill," Akaka said. "My feeling is if it went to the floor, we can pass it."

Akaka said he is confident he will garner the support he needs among a Democratic majority. About a dozen Republicans supported the bill in his last attempt.

He also does not anticipate another cloture vote, in which 60 votes were needed to bring the bill to the floor. With a Democratic majority, Akaka said, his bill should move to the floor for debate easily. "The ones that I would need to work on are the freshman senators," Akaka said, referring to the new faces in the Democratic majority.

Akaka said with a Democratic majority, he expects to be busy for the next six years, and hopes to stay in Congress "for as long as I can." The senator sighed, then said, "I'm looking forward to this."


Honolulu Advertiser, Friday, November 10, 2006

Bringing troops home tops Akaka's agenda

By Gordon Y.K. Pang

U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Akaka said yesterday that when he goes back to Washington next week, his top priority will be joining those urging President Bush to set a timetable for troops to withdraw from the war in Iraq. Akaka, D-Hawai'i, said that after speaking with top Iraqi government officials during a trip to Iraq in June, "I got the message that they wanted to govern themselves." He said the U.S. should set a deadline to remove military troops by July. Also, Akaka said, the U.S. should press Iraqi officials to do what they can to assist with the exit from the country. "It's something that needs to be done right away," he said, adding that he hopes a deadline can be finalized by the end of the year. Akaka's stance runs contrary to the position of Hawai'i senior Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, who said on Wednesday that he remains opposed to setting a firm deadline for U.S. withdrawal.

Describing himself as "spirited and relaxed" after a tough re-election campaign, Akaka also expressed optimism that with Democrats taking the reins of leadership in the Senate, his signature bill, which seeks federal recognition of a Native Hawaiian government entity, will finally get a debate and vote on the Senate floor.

Earlier this year, Republicans blocked the bill from coming to a vote. In June, a procedural maneuver known as a cloture petition, which would have forced the bill onto the floor, fell short by two votes. ** Note from Ken Conklin: the cloture petition fell short by 4 votes -- it got 56 votes but 60 votes were needed. The newspaper corrected this error the following day.**

With both houses of Congress now controlled by Democrats, "there is, of course, a better opportunity for the passage of the Akaka bill," he said.

Akaka said he would like a vote as early as February, but noted that those prospects are contingent on Congress pushing through some pressing national legislation, such as about a dozen outstanding appropriations bills.

A new Congress means the Akaka bill will have to be reintroduced.

He said he expects the bill to contain similar, if not the same, language as the one that was before Congress this year. Akaka said that he's not inclined to change language in the bill since the substance of it was put together with input from five different task forces.

The measure this year had strong support among most Hawai'i politicians, including the entire Hawai'i congressional delegation and Republican Gov. Linda Lingle.

But the Bush administration raised concerns about the proposed race-based government, maintaining that it would contradict American ideals of racial equality.

Akaka acknowledged that addressing such concerns may remain a hurdle that the bill must overcome. Assuming the bill passes the House and Senate, he said, "by then I hope the president will consider the bill favorably."

With Democrats taking over the Senate, Akaka is looking forward to accepting a larger leadership role in Washington. He is the ranking member of the Veterans Affairs Committee, where he has spent 16 years, and could be its next chairman.

It is an increasingly significant committee, with veterans coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan, he said.

"As chair, I would make every effort to raise the funding for veterans affairs," he said. "It's a cost of war, and we need to give (veterans) the services they need."

He said he also may be in line to head several key subcommittees, including those involving government management, national readiness and national parks.


Honolulu Advertiser, Saturday, November 11, 2006
** HEADLINE ARTICLE (But why did it need to be the headline? There was no news event demanding immediate attention, and the article above had just been published the previous day! Propaganda)

Renewed hope for Akaka bill

By Gordon Y.K. Pang and Dennis Camire

WASHINGTON — With new Democratic majorities in Congress next year, the Akaka bill may have its best chance yet of passing in the Senate, where conservative Republicans have blocked it for years.

Sen. Dan Akaka, D-Hawai'i, the bill's chief sponsor, said he is optimistic that what is officially called the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act will get a debate and vote in the Senate that convenes in January.

After Tuesday's election, Akaka said, "With what has happened in this country and to the U.S. Senate and Congress, there is, of course, a better opportunity for the passage of the Akaka bill."

Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, D-Hawai'i, also said chances of Senate passage "have been improved" by the election outcome.

"We will bring it up, most certainly," said Inouye, who is expected to chair the Senate Commerce Committee next year.

Akaka, who is expected to be chairman of the Senate Veterans Committee next year, said he would like to make another attempt to move the bill through the Senate "as soon as we can," possibly February or March. But he noted that the timeline would depend on Congress dealing first with other matters, such as spending bills for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1.

The Akaka bill, which was first proposed six years ago, would establish a process that could lead to establishment of a Native Hawaiian entity recognized by the federal government. Supporters also believe it would help stave off legal challenges against millions of dollars that go to programs that give preference to Hawaiians.

Some opponents, including the Bush administration, believe such legislation discriminates against non-Hawaiians. On the other end of the spectrum, some Hawaiian groups feel the bill does not go far enough in addressing their issues with the United States.

When supporters made an effort in June to break the Republican procedural block keeping the bill from Senate consideration, Democrats united behind it and had the support of 13 Republicans. But that was only 56 of the 60 votes needed to overcome the roadblock, with 41 Republicans voting to maintain it.

But that outcome could change with a Democratic majority.

Democrats, with two cooperating independents, will control 51 seats in Senate next year.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who is expected to become the Senate majority leader next year, has backed the bill in the past and could put it on the agenda at any time.

All 13 Republican senators who supported a debate and a vote in June are returning, although one — Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz. — is expected to oppose the bill if it comes up again.

The bill may get support from all the Democrats and independents along with 12 Republicans. That would total 63 votes — three more than would be needed to bring the bill to the Senate floor over Republican objections.

Michael McDonald, assistant government and politics professor at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., said that the by-the-numbers scenario indicates that the bill's chances of passage in the new Senate are better than they have been in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Supporters have reached "the magic number," McDonald said.

With the new Congress, the bill also will have to be reintroduced, but Akaka said he is not inclined to make any changes.

"As far as I'm concerned, I'm looking at it the way it is," he said, noting, however, that the latest draft does come with proposed changes designed to overcome Bush administration objections.

Among the changes is a provision that would bar Hawaiians from filing claims in court against the United States and the state after negotiations with the governing entity. Another change would exempt the military from participating in discussions dealing with the creation of a Native Hawaiian government, effectively ensuring military installations and operations are not affected. Another change would make clear that the state and federal governments would retain civil and criminal jurisdiction over all lands and people in Hawai'i.

But the proposed changes did not help in June, when the Bush administration announced it opposed the Akaka bill but stopped short of threatening a veto. In the Senate, 67 votes would be needed to override a veto.

Optimism over the bill's prospects in Washington is drawing mixed reaction from opponents and supporters in Hawai'i.

"We, of course, are more hopeful with the Democrats in control of the House and Senate," said Clyde Namu'o, administrator for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

OHA has spent an average of about $700,000 a year in legal and lobbying fees supporting the bill.

For OHA trustees and other Akaka bill supporters, the issue is not only about federal recognition for a Hawaiian government entity, but staving off legal challenges made to what some have estimated at an annual $70 million in federal funding for programs that primarily benefit Hawaiians.

Namu'o said the board will need to decide whether it will continue spending time and money on that effort. "That's still on the table," Namu'o said.

All nine OHA board members backed the bill, and new member Walter Heen also supports it.

Namu'o said he would also like the Senate to consider amending the bill so that it would essentially include all who can prove they are Hawaiian. The bill now limits recognition to those who can trace their lineage to 1893, the date of the overthrow of Queen Lili'uokalani, or the 1921 enactment of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act.

Kau Inoa, a program originated by OHA that registers Hawaiians, allows all Hawaiians to sign up. Namu'o said that nearly 57,000 have enlisted since the effort began in 2004.

"That would be such a loss — not to use that list of registrants to begin the Akaka bill process," Namu'o said.

Hui Pu, an umbrella group for Native Hawaiian organizations opposed to the bill, is organizing a gathering of groups at the end of the month to discuss the future of the sovereignty movement. Ikaika Hussey, a spokesman for the group, said he is not certain that the bill will get a hearing simply because Democrats have taken over.

"The Senate has been called the most exclusive country club in the United States and it's anyone's guess what happens," Hussey said. "With such a distance between the senators and the people, it's impossible to say."

He said he believes that before a vote, the Senate should hold public hearings across Hawai'i. "That's the minimum requirement in a democracy, that people have a chance to speak on legislation that affects us directly."

Akaka said there is not a pressing need to hold hearings in Hawai'i because the bill is essentially the same as it was when hearings were held at the State Capitol in the summer of 2000.

Citing the changes made to appease the Bush administration this year, Hussey said, "The fact is the bill is substantially worse."

Members of the nonprofit Aloha For All oppose the bill because they contend benefits should not be bestowed on one racial group at the expense of others.

H. William Burgess, a spokesman for the group, said he's not convinced a Democratic majority will ease the road to passing the bill.

"I'm sure the proponents of the bill from here would think it's a different picture, but I wouldn't agree with that," Burgess said. "Democrats have no more interest in partitioning states into racial enclaves than Republicans do." He added, "I don't think it's a Republican issue or a Democratic issue, it's a question of whether the United States is composed of indestructible states."


Honolulu Star-Bulletin, November 14, 2006

Democrats have opportunity for another try at Akaka Bill

Senator Daniel Akaka has said he will ask that his Hawaiian sovereignty bill be considered again by the Senate.

SOVEREIGNTY for Hawaiians appeared to have been shelved for a long duration in June when the Senate voted to block it from proceeding. The proposal has gained new life with the Democratic takeover of Congress, although questions remain about the sentiment of the House and whether President Bush would veto the measure. Those issues need to be put to the test.

Sixty votes in the Senate were needed five months ago to break a filibuster and bring the Akaka Bill to a vote. All Democrats and 13 Republicans voted to end the filibuster, four votes short; Democrats gained six seats in the next Congress. The filibuster should no longer be an obstacle. Eleven of those Republicans did not face re-election this year, and the other two won new terms. (One of those two was Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., the leading opponent of the bill who had agreed to stop blocking it from the Senate floor.)

Under Republican control, the House has been much more conservative than the Senate on social issues, and the Akaka Bill might have faced greater opposition in the lower chamber. Early votes in the coming year might give an indication of how much that has changed; immigration reform should provide a barometer.

On the eve of this year's cloture vote, the White House stated its opposition to the Akaka Bill. A letter to Majority Leader Bill Frist from William Moschella, the assistant attorney general for legislative affairs, asserted that Hawaiian recognition would "divide people by their race."

While sovereignty advocates cite the overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom as justification for such recognition, opponents point out that the kingdom was multiracial. The opposition maintains that any sovereign Hawaiian nation should be extended to all people who can trace their lineage to anyone living in the islands at the time of the overthrow.

U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie suggested prior to last week's election that the Akaka Bill be changed in such a fashion to counter the argument that it is race-based. He pointed out that the number of non-Hawaiians included in sovereignty would be infinitesimal, although the notion of Thurston Twigg-Smith becoming a member of a sovereign Hawaiian nation would leave many people aghast. Twigg-Smith is descended from a chief conspirator of the overthrow and has defended it.

Although the Akaka Bill is indeed race-based, Congress has broad authority to determine and grant sovereignty to indigenous societies, such as Indian tribes. Attorney General Mark Bennett points out that the Founding Fathers defined "tribe" as a "distinct body of people as divided by family or fortune, or any other characteristic." President Bush needs to be convinced that the constitutional issue should be addressed in court rather than be used to justify a veto.


Honolulu Advertiser, Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Commentary by columnist

Akaka bill backers: Better get that Plan B

By David Shapiro

The Democratic takeover of Congress has renewed hopes for passage of the Akaka bill for Native Hawaiian recognition, but it would be a mistake for those seeking to preserve Hawaiian assets from legal challenge to put all of their eggs back in that basket.

The political climate has changed dramatically since the Akaka bill failed to advance to a vote in the U.S. Senate on June 8 — and proponents certainly should take another shot — but the measure still faces major obstacles.

Hawaiians would be well-advised to continue working on a Plan B to protect traditional assets in the event that federal political recognition of native rights is not forthcoming.

The Akaka bill was proposed by Sen. Daniel Akaka in 2000 after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Rice v. Cayetano that Hawaiian-only elections for the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs unconstitutionally granted special privileges based on race.

The decision opened the door to legal challenges of all Hawaiian-only programs, including Hawaiian Homes and ali'i trusts such as Kamehameha Schools.

The Akaka bill sought to defuse the race issue by recognizing Hawaiians as indigenous Americans with political rights, similar to American Indians and Alaskan Natives.

The legislation was tied up for six years by conservative Republicans opposing entitlements they saw as race-based. They fanned fears that the Akaka bill could restrict the property rights of non-Hawaiians and ultimately lead to Hawai'i secession from the union.

Akaka and fellow Hawai'i Sen. Daniel Inouye finally got Republican leaders to bring the bill to the Senate floor this year by trading their votes on a GOP energy bill, but they fell four votes short of the 60 needed to head off a possible filibuster by opponents.

Akaka and Inouye lined up all 43 Democrats behind allowing the bill to be debated, and Gov. Linda Lingle got 13 Republicans to go along, but the effort was done in by a scathing report issued by the Bush administration at the last minute charging that the bill was "subdividing the American people into discrete subgroups accorded varying degrees of privilege."

While the numbers in Congress have changed in favor of the Democrats, opposition remains strong among conservatives, and it's far from guaranteed that Inouye and Akaka could overcome a Republican filibuster and bring the measure to a successful vote in the Senate — or that Hawai'i Reps. Neil Abercrombie and Mazie Hirono could get it through the House.

Even if the Akaka bill does clear both houses of Congress, the margins would likely be too slim to overcome a possible veto by President Bush.

Also working against the measure is the opposition of a vocal segment of Hawaiians who believe the Akaka bill would restrict native rights more than protect them. Thus, the continued need for a Plan B.

Lingle said after the Senate setback that she would work with OHA and Attorney General Mark Bennett to find ways other than federal recognition to protect Native Hawaiian assets, but no details were ever forthcoming.

Inouye said he would introduce a backup bill to protect Hawaiian programs without the complications of Native Hawaiian sovereignty, but again, there have been no details.

OHA stepped up its efforts to form a native Hawaiian government without waiting for federal recognition, but it's far from clear that Hawaiians will accept the leadership of OHA, which has inherent conflicts of interest as a state agency.

What's always seemed backward is that the Akaka bill seeks to create a process for recognizing an undefined sovereign Hawaiian entity that doesn't otherwise exist.

Hawaiians could vastly improve their chances if they approached federal recognition with ideas for a sovereign organization, leadership and agenda already in place.


Honolulu Advertiser, Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Letters to the Editor


Sen. Daniel Akaka says he will introduce his bill in the new Congress and hopes to have it passed. He seems to have the support of the rest of our congressional delegation, the governor, mayor and other politicians, as well as The Honolulu Advertiser.

But how about all of us citizens and taxpayers? We have never been asked what we think about it. And we have never seen the latest version of the bill.

Hawai'i is supposed to be a democracy. This means the citizens tell the the politicians what they want. So if Sen. Akaka is interested in getting his bill passed, he should start by informing the citizens of all the ins and outs of his bill so it can be studied, discussed and eventually voted upon by the citizens. Otherwise it will probably be in the courts for years to come.

Roy E. Moser


Honolulu Star-Bulletin, November 15, 2006

Census survey shows need for assistance to Hawaiians

A new Census Bureau survey shows that Hawaiians are more likely than other residents in the state to be living in poverty.

A U.S. Census Bureau survey unprecedented in its specificity has confirmed what previously had been deduced: Hawaiians are at the bottom of the state's economic ladder as they struggle in court and Congress to maintain government-funded programs aimed at lifting them from intolerable conditions. Those programs need further protection and effort to bring about needed improvement.

Earlier Census surveys assessed conditions for respondents who check self-identification boxes as native Hawaiian or as Pacific islanders. The new 2005 American Community Survey includes the broader alternative of native Hawaiians who consider themselves to be multiracial.

The strictly self-described Hawaiians -- not necessarily 100 percent Hawaiian -- number 75,305 in the state. Combined with self-described multiracial Hawaiians, they total 246,515, nearly one-fifth of the state's population.

Their median age is 24.6 years, compared to the state average of 38.5 years, reflecting multiracial Hawaiians' significantly lower life expectancy. Hawaiians' families are larger -- an average of 3.87 persons -- than the general average of 3.4, but the median family income is less -- $56,449, compared to $66,472.

The Hawaiians' per capita income is $16,932, far less than the statewide average of $25,326. While the poverty rate for all families in the islands is less than 8 percent, the rate for Hawaiians is nearly 15 percent, according to the survey. All other ethnic groups' poverty rates are in single digits.

"While there certainly are success stories, the vast majority of native Hawaiians still find challenges on a daily basis, some even in putting food on the table," Shawn Kana'iaupuni, director of strategic planning and implementation at Kamehameha Schools, told the Star- Bulletin's Christine Donnelly.

Programs receiving state or federal funds are in place to assist Hawaiian families, but they are of limited effectiveness and are under attack as being racially discriminatory. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last year upheld a district judge's dismissal of a challenge to federal programs that assist Hawaiians, and the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in May that taxpayers cannot challenge such state expenditures in court.

Opponents of government-funded programs for Hawaiians still might find non-Hawaiians who could claim discrimination from being denied benefits. Such a claim would be similar to non-Hawaiian children who claimed discrimination from being denied admission to Kamehameha Schools.

Those possible lawsuits are why Hawaiian sovereignty needs to be enacted by Congress to give Hawaiians status at the same level as Indian tribes.

The Akaka Bill is not about balkanizing Hawaii or providing extremists an avenue toward secession. It is about protecting government funds and resources for programs assisting Hawaiians who are disparately poor, homeless, undernourished and driven to crime.


Hawaiian Kingdom blog, November 18, 2006

Hawaiian Nation Building Meeting

FYI, received via email...

From: Marilyn Leimomi Khan
Subject: Hawaiian Nation Building Meeting

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs has announced that it will be holding a "Hawaiian Nation Building Meeting", on Saturday, December 9, 2006, 8:00 a.m. till 11:30 a.m. at the Honolulu International Airport Conference Center.

Background: In a letter dated April 24, 2006, the OHA recognized that Native Hawaiian Coalition participants needed an opportunity to bring closure to the work formulated under the Coalition. Hence, OHA is funding one final large group discussion, which is not exclusive to Coalition members (meaning others may attend). The purpose of the meeting will be to define the nation building steps. The discussion will be led by OHA and facilitators will be assigned. The discussion will adhere to the agenda. The group will use consensus to maintain order. If those present are not able to complete the work or come to any agreement on the process, OHA will continue the discussion with community organizations and members who are able to dialogue and come to a resolution.

A limited number of airfare is available. Deadline for inter-island travel arrangements is November 30th. Contact the following for your respective island:

- Kaua'i Island: Sharon Pomroy: Pomroys001 @ hawaii.rr.com or 822-0287 - Maui Island: Patty Nishiyama: nakupunaoaupuni @ verizon.net or 661-1749 - Hawaii Island: Leimana Damatei: leimana @ fastnethi.com and Soli Niheu: papakihei @ yahoo.com

For other islands, suggest you contact Chantelle Belay at (808) 594-0217.

Agenda is as follows:
7:30 Registration
8:00 Call to Order & Pule wehe
8:05: Review agenda and rules of order
8:10: Facilitators begin discussion
Components: Registration, elections, convention
11:20: Pule Pani and Closing of Meeting
11:30: Conference Center Closed


Native Hawaiian Coalition website is now officially up at


The Press-Enterprise (Serving inland Southern California)
Saturday, November 18, 2006

Hawaii natives' self rule urged

SOVEREIGNTY: A UCR conference focuses on their quest for federal recognition.

The Press-Enterprise

RIVERSIDE - Native Hawaiians hold two things sacred in their state: the people and the land, said Lono Kolcars.

"That's why we deserve the right to make the decisions to protect our land and provide for our people," said the Moreno Valley resident who grew up in Hawaii.

Kolcars worked with other organizers at a UC Riverside conference on Saturday to register Native Hawaiians living in the Inland area.

The registration is part of a nationwide push by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, a state of Hawaii government agency, along with Hawaiian civic groups to give Native Hawaiians the same policy and political recognition as Native Americans. By 10:30 a.m., more than 25 people had been registered using their birth certificates.

"We aren't looking to become a separate nation," said Haunani Apoliona, chairman on the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees. "We want self governance similar to what the indigenous people have had the opportunity to get."

Last year, a proposed bill that would give Native Hawaiians more control died in Congress.

The groups believe that if enough Native Hawaiians sign up for the cause, Congress will be forced to take the issue on again. Numbers from the 2000 Census shows that there are more than 401,000 native Hawaiians in the United States.

A more detailed survey released recently shows that the unemployment rate for Native Hawaiians was higher than the state average, had lower incomes and that 15 percent lived in poverty.

Kolcars said it's the direct result of Native Hawaiians losing 1.8 million acres of land when Hawaii became the 50th state in 1959.

Before U.S. annexation, Hawaii was a monarchy and was treated as an independent sovereign nation by the U.S., according to a report prepared in 2000 by the Department of the Interior and Department of Justice.

In 1893, American and European plantation owners, with the help of the U.S. Minister assigned to Hawaii and the U.S. Navy, overthrew the government. At the time, President Grover Cleveland called the events an act of war and a mistake, the report states.

Earl Sisto, director of Native American Student Programs at UCR, showed up for the conference to support the group.

"We know they have been through a lot," he said. "We share the same experience."

The university's Asian Pacific Student Program agreed to host the conference after they were contacted by Hawaiian organizations. Apoliona said the group heard there was a substantial number of Native Hawaiians living in the area that didn't show up on census studies.


Honolulu Star-Bulletin, November 19, 2006, COMMENTARY

Hawaiians today: Victims of history or resilient, self-determining people?

by Hamilton McCubbin

POVERTY still grips Hawaiians," the headline on a Nov. 14 Star-Bulletin story about data in the Census Bureau's Community Survey, sends a depressing message that Hawaiians as a group, particularly those living in Hawaii, continue to struggle economically, educationally and socially. When compared to other ethnic groups, the Hawaiians' troubling profile is a red flag for even more alarming discussions.

This portrayal of Hawaiians leads one to conclude that Hawaiians have not made measurable progress in spite of the millions and millions of federal and state dollars provided directly or through agencies such as the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands over a period of more than 20 years. The article casts doubt upon the effectiveness of programs designed to improve upon the educational, economic, spiritual and social well-being of the Hawaiian people as a whole.

Worse yet, the story portrays being Hawaiian or part-Hawaiian as the root of these ills and paints a picture of Hawaiians as victims of a society, or at least an island situation, that continues to undermine the best of their intentions to dig themselves out of this seemingly black hole of ineffectiveness. Some will lean on these data as evidence that Hawaiians are not motivated to improve.

STRANGE AS IT might sound, there is reason to have a more optimistic picture of the Hawaiians, for there is more to this story than has been presented. We should be concerned by the conspicuous absence of vitally important data from the same 2005 American Community Survey. For one, nearly half of the Hawaiians live on the continental United States, and their profile is not revealed even though the data are available.

If there is anything the 2000 Census showed, it was the simple fact that the majority of Hawaiians are multiethnic. This fact must be taken into account. For example, when examining the 2000 Census data from the perspective of multiethnicity -- such as being of Hawaiian-Caucasian, Hawaiian-Chinese, Hawaiian-Japanese or Hawaiian-Filipino ancestry -- we discovered a dramatically different profile of poverty, educational attainment, income, housing, family size and employment status.

Along with vulnerability we saw profiles of resilience, efficacy, economic and educational achievement, as well as social and employment strengths in multiethnic Hawaiians. These findings were clearly demonstrated in recently released reports prepared jointly by the Center on the Family at the University of Hawaii-Manoa and the Pacific American Foundation. We have every reason to expect similarly resilient profiles to emerge from the 2005 American Community Survey.

The article's generalizing of Hawaiians does not suggest that it should be dismissed. To the contrary, it is an important analysis that draws our attention to the Hawaiians living in the islands and questions whether they struggle and suffer more at home. There is much more to the story, and the answers might surprise many.

WE MUST FIND answers to the key questions. What programs work? To which services has the money gone? Which services to Hawaiians have made a difference, and which have not? During the past 20 years, what improvements have we made in our programs to increase their effectiveness? If we focus on educating the best and the brightest, will this make a difference in the overall education and poverty profile of Hawaiians?

The data would suggest that a broader range of interventions are needed and targeted to those with potential and in greatest need. We are compelled to move beyond the "poor me" data and drill down to identify the specific Hawaiians at risk, who they are, where they live and what their circumstances are. While dramatic, and the headlines do get our attention, the information as presented in the Star-Bulletin does not guide decision-makers to shape and improve upon our educational and social programs.

Underlying the article is the human price for the Hawaiians' loss of culture, language, land, disrespect for our beliefs, practices, protocols and historical trauma. On one hand, the political conclusion is obviously pointing to the revival of self-determination and self-governance.

WE MUST REMIND ourselves that the Hawaiian population has changed in ways forecast by our kupuna and alii. When Queen Liliuokalani married John Dominis and Bernice Pauahi Bishop married Charles Reed Bishop, both men of European ancestry, they knew that future generations of Hawaiians would evolve into a multiethnic Hawaiian population. The mixture of races has reshaped the landscape of our values and beliefs that we have passed on to our keiki and future generations. Our lifestyles also are different -- shaped by family practices, eating habits, child-rearing practices and aspirations from a mixture of ethnic backgrounds.

We now pay respects to a mixture of ancestors with different languages and protocols. Changing our names from Chinese and European to one more Hawaiian does not change who we really are, our ethnic profile or our heritage.

These obvious facts confirm the need for gathering and presenting multiethnic Hawaiian data as a fundamental requirement if there is any intention of using data to evaluate the impact of programs and to plot the profile of Hawaiians in the years ahead. I for one, a graduate of Kamehameha Schools, socialized in western ways, committed to decolonizing methodologies, have the highest respect for all my ancestors -- Hawaiians, Japanese and Caucasian -- and believe that they together shape my identity.

Hamilton I. McCubbin is a research scientist at the University of Hawaii-Manoa School of Social Work. He is the former chief executive of Kamehameha Schools.


Honolulu Star-Bulletin, November 19, 2006

What is link among poor Hawaiians?

Your Nov. 15 editorial concerning the "need for assistance to Hawaiians" apparently refers to persons with any degree of native Hawaiian ancestry. Because 90 percent of all persons having any Hawaiian ancestry have 50 percent or more of some other ancestry, one is driven to the conclusion that there is some peculiar Hawaiian gene that places Hawaiians "at the bottom of the states' economic ladder," gives them a "significantly lower life expectancy" and "per capita income" and makes them "disparately poor, homeless, undernourished and driven to crime," as your editorial says.

Given your definition of "native Hawaiian," no other explanation is available to explain your assertions. If such other explanation is available you have a duty to your readers of Hawaiian ancestry to make such known lest they continue to face the unavoidable conclusion that they are victims of a cruel fact of biology.

John Goemans
Kamuela, Hawaii


Honolulu Advertiser, Monday, November 20, 2006, Business section, EXCERPTS

Leadership corner

Interviewed by Alan Yonan Jr.
Advertiser Assistant Business Editor


Title: Chief executive officer

Organization: Dawson Group Inc.; counsel to Dwyer Schraff Meyer Grant & Green

Q. Do you think the Akaka bill has a better chance of passing now that the Democrats control both the U.S. House and Senate?

A. I think it still has a difficult road regardless of whether we have a Democratic majority in the House and the Senate. And the reason I say that is Sen. (Jon) Kyl is still there, and it only takes one Senator to put a hold on something. So that is still a very real possibility. And the president had prepared a veto for it before and that is probably a very big possibility.

So while people are hopeful that it can go through, it still has very serious roadblocks it has to go through.

Having said that, I would still like to see the bill streamlined so that it has fewer of the impediments that were put there artificially I think for purposes of simply getting it through.

Q. What was your reaction to a recent study by Kamehameha Schools that concluded Native Hawaiian students performed better when they attended Hawaiian-focused charter schools rather than standard public schools?

A. I've read the study, and I believe it's accurate. I think it reflects what is actually happening in those charter schools.

One of the things that is so great about charter schools and immersion schools is that they have a component of parental participation that doesn't exist in the public schools.

And that parental participation makes all the difference in the world in the development of a child — parental participation plus the creative ways in which the charter schools work. They think out of the box. They go into the 'aina to do their work. They relate things to reality. It's more than just straight book learning. These students not only do well in school, they do progressively better and better. It follows through to their higher education.

Q. How did you become involved in the Native Hawaiian rights movement?

A. In 1993, I was deputy attorney general for the State of Hawai'i when they had that massive 10,000 gathering of Hawaiians at the 'Iolani Palace, and my office was right across the street. Up until that point I had been relatively uninvolved in the issue of Hawaiian sovereignty.

I walked over from my office to the palace ... and I saw these thousands of Hawaiians. I knew many of them had came from all the outlying areas — the North Shore, the Wai'anae area — and a lot of them weren't working people, and I thought here are these people who are putting themselves out there, and why am I not doing the same? Is it because I have too much to lose, that I don't want to make waves?

And I felt so ashamed of myself for not being one of them, to be speaking out as they were doing. And from that moment on I have taken a very, very deep interest in people and those issues.


http://starbulletin.com/2006/11/25/news/story04.html Honolulu Star-Bulletin, November 25, 2006, ** Excerpts

Bush's Hawaii visit was a social one, Lingle says
But she says she did manage to sneak in some talk on politics

By B.J. Reyes

Although it was more of a social gathering, Gov. Linda Lingle said she was able to discuss U.S. foreign policy in Asia and the role of the Hawaii National Guard in the Asia-Pacific region during her brief time with President Bush this week.

Lingle, who spent about an hour and a half with Bush and also sat next to him during dinner at the house of U.S. Pacific Commander Adm. William Fallon, said there was little discussion about politics.

Bush, first lady Laura Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley were in Hawaii for 16 hours Monday and Tuesday on their way back to Washington, D.C., following an eight-day trip to Asia.

"He was very relaxed at night after coming back from Asia," Lingle said yesterday in an interview with the Star-Bulletin. "Dinner conversation was interesting because the secretary of state was there, as well as Adm. Fallon and Hadley.


Honolulu Advertiser, Monday, November 27, 2006

OHA push for Akaka bill topped $2M

** Ken Conklin's note: This article by Advertiser investigative reporter Jim Dooley has a headline saying OHA lobbying for the Akaka bill topped 2 Million dollars. That headline is very misleading, as information in the article itself shows. And in addition to the items mentioned in the article, there were untold millions spent on advertising on TV, radio and newspapers; numerous trips to Washington by OHA trustees and staffers traveling first-class; a massive signup campaign for a racial registry expected to be a membership roll for the Akaka tribe; mainland trips by OHA personnel providing "education" and signup, etc. The news article is accompanied by a PDF file which is a spreadsheet showing how much money was spent on lobbying from 2003-2006 for each Hawaii institution; and OHA has by far the greatest expenditures. The pdf spreadsheet can be downloaded from:
The original link on the Advertiser website for the pdf was:
** End of Conklin comment **

By Jim Dooley

See An analysis of data on the amount spent by local organizations on lobbying efforts in Congress shows OHA leading the list by four times as much as the next highest total. This information was complied from reporting forms that only require precise disclosure of expenditures of more than either $10,000 or more than $20,000. There are two total spending columns, one the minimum possible, the other the maximum.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs spent $2 million on its congressional lobbying efforts for the Akaka bill — a third of all money spent by Hawai'i companies, private citizens and government agencies on Washington lobbying since 2003, according to an analysis of public records.

The OHA expenditure was the highest on the list of total dollars spent on lobbying efforts in Congress, outpacing the second highest expenditure from the University of Hawai'i, which paid $561,000 in Washington lobbying fees in 2003-04 under former president Evan Dobelle, U.S. Senate records show.

OHA's Akaka bill campaign was led by high-powered lobbyists with strong ties to both the Democratic and Republican power structures in Washington, including connections at the highest levels of the White House and the U.S. Senate.

Despite spending four times as much on lobbying as any other Hawai'i entity and the political clout of its lobbying team, the Akaka bill — which would establish a federally recognized Native Hawaiian government entity — failed to garner enough support for passage from 2003 to 2006.

The $2 million total in OHA fees does not include $900,000 spent by the agency since 2003 to operate and staff a "Washington bureau," said OHA administrator Clyde Namu'o, nor does it include costs incurred by regular visits to Washington by OHA and other state officials, including Gov. Linda Lingle, to seek passage of the Akaka bill.

And it does not include $120,000 spent by Maui-based private developer Everett Dowling's company on pro-Akaka bill Washington lobbying. Dowling, who has been involved in several development deals with the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands on Maui, said he spent the money because, "I think federal recognition is important."

Namu'o said he believes the lobbying effort "was worth it" because the Akaka bill was extensively debated on the floor of the Senate this summer for what's called a "cloture" vote, which would have brought the stalled measure to the full Senate for a formal vote.

Sixty votes were needed for cloture and it failed, 56-41, shelving the bill for the remainder of the congressional term.

"Getting to the cloture vote was a major milestone," Namu'o said. "It's the furthest we've ever gotten."

He said the cloture debate "told us exactly what issues there are for the bill by the senators" and "hearing some of those issues and discussions will help Senator Akaka next year" if the bill or a substitute measure is introduced, Namu'o said. The bill may have a better chance of passage now that Democrats are in the majority of both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate.


OHA has refused to disclose detailed records of its Washington lobbying campaign, claiming that because the work was performed by law firms, the records are protected by the attorney-client privilege.

A protest of OHA's refusal to reveal the billing records — itemized accounts of who was lobbied and what expenses were incurred — has been pending before the state Office of Information Practices for more than a year.

OIP executive director Les Kondo said that a formal opinion on the legal issues involved is still being prepared but should be completed soon.

OHA spent $1.8 million on Akaka bill lobbying by a major Washington, D.C., lobbying firm, Patton Boggs, and $300,000 with another D.C. firm, Zell & Cox, which has no other clients except OHA, according to federal lobbying records.

The chairman of Patton Boggs is Thomas H. "Tommy" Boggs Jr., regarded as one of the most influential lobbyists in Washington, with deep family and professional connections to the Democratic Party. When the lobbying contract was signed in May 2003, Boggs was charging $735 per hour for his services, although he told OHA at the time that billing rates were "adjusted" annually.

The other lead lobbyist for OHA at Patton Boggs is Benjamin Ginsberg, an influential attorney for the Republican Party and personal friend of Karl Rove, the White House deputy chief of staff and President Bush's closest political adviser. Ginsberg's billing rate in May 2003 was $500 per hour.

Another partner in the firm, Robert Luskin, is Rove's personal attorney and represented Rove during the 2003-05 federal grand jury investigation of the leaking of CIA operative Valerie Plame's name to news media.

Newsweek magazine reported a year ago that Rove was involved in White House meetings involving OHA and the Akaka bill. The White House declined comment when the magazine asked if there was any policy requiring Rove to disqualify himself from issues connected to the Patton Boggs firm. A spokeswoman said, "All ethical obligations are being met," Newsweek reported.

Boggs and Ginsberg have led a team of some half-dozen lobbyists working on the OHA account, according to disclosure records filed over the past three years in Congress.

The most recent report, filed with the secretary of the Senate Aug. 8, said Patton Boggs received $340,000 during the first six months of this year for OHA lobbying. The agencies that were lobbied during that period, the report said, were the White House, the U.S. House and Senate and the Departments of Interior and Justice.

It was during that period that a last-ditch effort to bring the Akaka bill forward for a Senate vote failed.


During this year's push for a Senate vote on the Akaka bill, Patton Boggs subcontracted part of its lobbying effort to a firm with close connections to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, lobbying records show.

That firm, Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti Inc., was paid $50,000 by Patton Boggs, records show.

Alex Vogel, co-founder of the firm, is former chief counsel to Frist and partner Bruce Mehlman is the brother of Republican Party National Committee chairman Ken Mehlman.

Namu'o said that the firm was brought on board for the OHA lobbying campaign in part because of its ties to Frist. The Akaka bill proponents needed Frist's cooperation to bring the measure to the floor of the Senate for the cloture vote.

Namu'o said the $50,000 paid to Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti came from from fees already paid to Patton Boggs and was not an additional expense to OHA.

Namu'o said the Patton Boggs lobbying contract was "suspended" this summer but may be reactivated once decisions are made on whether to seek reintroduction of the Akaka bill or a similar measure.

Zell & Cox, the other lobbying firm hired by OHA to assist on the Akaka bill, was hired last year under a two-year contract for $150,000 a year.

A partner in the firm is attorney Patricia Zell, a former longtime staffer for the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and chief of staff for the committee when it was chaired by Hawai'i Sen. Daniel K. Inouye.

Zell retired from federal employment at the end of 2004 and went into business with her husband, Michael Cox, also a lawyer and a longtime Washington lobbyist.

The partnership registered with the Senate as an OHA lobbyist in June 2005 and since then has registered no other clients, according to Senate records.

OHA has had a close working relationship with Zell for years. In August 2004, OHA threw a $37,000 retirement party here that honored Zell for "her steadfast support and work in advancing the well-being of Native Hawaiians" during 23 years of service at the Indian Affairs Committee.

The retirement bash was held at the Hilton Hawaiian Village and included presentation of some $1,000 in gifts, lei and commemorative photographs to Zell, records show. Tickets that OHA sold for the event brought in $9,000.

Namu'o said Zell is still working actively for OHA in Washington on lobbying tasks unrelated to the Akaka bill. A one-year extension to her firm's contract was signed in May at the same cost of $150,000, although the Zell & Cox billing rate was reduced from $400 to $350 per hour.

** Note from Ken Conklin: See reply by OHA Administrator Clyde Namu'o on December 3.


Honolulu Advertiser, Thursday, November 30, 2006
Letters to the Editor

Are we heading for casinos in Hawai'i?

Would passage of the Akaka bill pave the way for legalized gambling, or is this just an 800-pound gorilla sitting in my living room?

I noticed the side-by-side articles on the front page of The Advertiser on Nov. 11 — Trump's sold-out condos and the Akaka bill article — thus, the reason for this question. Also, with all the recent press on how to pay for the proposed mass-transit system on O'ahu, poverty among Native Hawaiians, fixing earthquake damage on the Big Island, it looks as if we need a whole lot of money. Would passage of the Akaka bill grease the skids for building casinos here in Hawai'i? And if so, let's begin that discussion while we can, before we're all "sold-out."

Ann C. Williams
Lahaina, Maui


Honolulu Advertiser, Sunday, December 3, 2006

Akaka bill lobbying is part of OHA's mandate

By Clyde W. Namu'o

** Note from Ken Conklin: This commentary by OHA Administrator Clyde Namu'o is in response to the news report of November 27 by investigative reporter Jim Dooley.

The Advertiser's recent front-page story on OHA's Akaka bill lobbying expenditures needs to be viewed in the context of the broader picture.

For the past several years, trustees of the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs have unanimously agreed that federal recognition for Native Hawaiians is the best way to counter the ongoing legal attacks that seek to strip Hawaiians of their existing programs and assets.

If they succeed, these lawsuits would spell disaster not only for Native Hawaiians, but for the people of Hawai'i as a whole, who would have to find some other means to provide for the disadvantaged members of the community who have benefited from a whole host of social service initiatives that would likely be lost. In addition, approximately $50 million to $70 million a year would be lost in federal funding.

For this reason, the trustees consider it their duty to OHA's beneficiaries and the community as a whole to devote substantial fiscal resources toward encouraging the passage of a Hawaiian federal recognition measure in Congress. They do this not only in the name of the Native Hawaiian trust they are charged with safeguarding and the services that OHA provides, but also for the many Hawaiian entities that could suffer if the "race-based" lawsuits were to succeed.

No other trust or organization serving Hawaiians has the mandate to advocate on behalf of Native Hawaiians in public policy matters as OHA does, but they all stand to lose if federal recognition is not achieved.

Given what's at stake, it is inappropriate to compare the money OHA has expended on lobbying for the Akaka bill to the amount spent by the University of Hawai'i on funding issues or private companies to promote their commercial interests. More to the point: The amount OHA has spent on the Akaka bill pales in comparison to the amount it has expended on initiatives that benefit not only Hawaiians but everyone in the state. In the past year alone, OHA has allocated:

# $2.2 million per year for three years in assistance for Hawaiian-focused charter schools.

# $1 million to assist in the governor's homelessness relief plan.

# $2 million to support the Bishop Museum's renovation of Hawaiian Hall.

# $1 million toward improvements at historic Kawai-aha'o Church.

# $800,000 to the Department of Health for Moloka'i General Hospital.

# $6 million in grants and other assistance to community organizations serving the public in such areas as education, health, economic development and environmental protection.

It is incorrect to think of Akaka bill lobbying efforts as having failed because the bill has not yet passed. Federal legislation often takes multiple congressional sessions to succeed, and the trustees consider their lobbying expenditures to be a long-term investment in the bill's eventual passage. It's important to note that more than half of the 100 U.S. senators voted in favor of bringing the bill to the floor in last August's procedural cloture vote. If the vote had been by simple majority instead of the 60 percent required to overcome the procedural blocks that opponents have long used to stymie the bill, the measure would have passed. And with the new Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, the bill's chances for the coming year are looking more positive than ever.

Finally, since the article mentioned $900,000 in funds used by OHA's Washington, D.C., office, it should be noted that that amount covers not only Akaka bill matters, but the work that our Washington staff has done on a wide variety of other projects, including educating federal officials on issues important to Native Hawaiians; monitoring other legislation affecting Hawaiians in a range of areas, from education, health and economic development to burial-site protection and the perpetuation of indigenous languages; Northwestern Hawaiian Islands protection and other environmental issues; advocating for Hawaiian interests in consultations with such agencies as the Department of Defense and the Census Bureau; building relationships with national indigenous and civil rights organizations; and acting as liaison to many Hawaiian organizations in the eastern states.

We hope that your readers will understand that in this day and age, it takes the expenditure of considerable funds to advocate for legislative action at the federal level. OHA's trustees have elected to make this commitment based on what they truly believe is the best interest of the Native Hawaiian community and all those who care for our special island home. As Gov. Linda Lingle has said time and again, what is good for Native Hawaiians is good for Hawai'i.

Clyde W. Namu'o is administrator of the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs. He wrote this commentary for The Advertiser.


Hawaii Reporter, December 4, 2006

The High Stakes of the Akaka Bill

By Don Newman

Jerry Burris at The Honolulu Advertiser has a blog where he comments on the issues of the day and from time to time has some interesting observations. One such case was in a recent blog on Nov. 27, 2006. After a few homey after-Thanksgiving comments he wrote about a recent article in The Honolulu Advertiser that noted that OHA (Office of Hawaiian Affairs) spent over $2 million lobbying for the passage of the Akaka bill.

This does not include travel expenses (which is typically first class), or the $900,000 maintaining a full time office in Washington or other peripheral expenses, so the total amount spent by OHA was, in the final analysis, much greater. He then goes on to make a curious but interesting observation:

"In the newspaper game, we always say follow the money. And that amount of money tells you there are big big stakes at play in the Akaka bill, stakes which we may not yet fully understand."

In one sense one has to wonder what rock he has been living under for the last several years if he didn't already understand that there were "big big stakes at play" in the push to pass the Akaka bill. And in a certain sense it is impossible to "fully understand" what those stakes are because the Akaka bill is such a poorly written open-ended piece of legislation there is no way to know. But it is possible to accurately surmise some of the stakes.

First is land, a little more than 40 percent of the land on the islands is ceded lands. This will be the first stake. If those lands are negotiated away to the new reorganized Native Hawaiian government then they will leave Hawaii state's possession, along with any tax revenues those lands now generate for the state.

If, as is the case with Native American Tribal lands on the mainland, the Hawaiian government decides to charge lower taxes on items like cigarettes or beer, then the state will lose that revenue as buyers flock to Native Hawaiian stores to purchase cheaper, tax discounted products. The revenue loss on cigarettes alone runs from tens of millions to hundreds of millions of dollars in some states.

There are businesses around the islands that are currently on ceded lands. They currently pay taxes to the state but that revenue could become the sole jurisdiction of the Native Hawaiian government.

The loss of revenue for the state of Hawaii will mean taxes will have to be raised on the remaining state residents to continue to provide the services the people have become accustomed to. Tribal members on Native American tribes who work on the reservation pay no federal income tax. They, with rare exceptions, pay no state taxes either since this would result in double taxation, once for the tribe, once for the state.

Since the Native Hawaiian government would be a sovereign government state zoning rules, building codes and other regulations on its lands would no longer apply. The same could be said for business regulations. The Native Hawaiian government would be determining these, not the state government.

There is the issue of mineral rights. Currently all mineral rights are owned by the state, the only state to do so. Presumably these rights would become the property of the Native Hawaiian government land it controlled as well. Geothermal production is considered a mineral right and the state of Hawaii currently gets considerable revenue from the geothermal plant on the Big Island and state law only allows geothermal on that island. There would be no such restriction on a sovereign Native Hawaiian government.

Then there is the issue of marine and fishing rights. Submerged lands are considered ceded lands and could become the exclusive property of the Native Hawaiian government. These areas could then be designated as "off limits" to all who are not part of the new nation or have to pay exorbitant fees for the privilege of using them.

Another aspect of the Akaka bill is that it changes the definition of who is Native Hawaiian in such a way that a person who is 1.5 percent Hawaiian ancestry or less can still be certified as Native Hawaiian. That would make that person eligible to be part of the new nation and the privileges that come with it. It guarantees an ever growing pool of potential Native Hawaiian subjects.

This is just a beginning list of what's at stake if the Akaka bill passes. There could be much more because the Akaka bill only creates a legal entity, the Native Hawaiian government, and leaves nearly everything else to "negotiation" between the federal, state and the Native Hawaiian governments. Even the anti-gaming provision that was added to the bill because of objections by the Bush administration could be "negotiated" away or changed by Congress at a later date.

Considering the lobbying effort by OHA noted at the beginning of this article it's easy to foresee the lobbying effort by the Native Hawaiian government to change the gaming law. With the revenue sources mentioned above the Native Hawaiian government would have plenty of resources with which to lobby.

OHA nominally gets 20 percent of the revenue from ceded lands although the actual amount is in dispute. In 1993 OHA received $130 million in back payments for its share of ceded lands revenue, from 1980 to 1991. It recently agreed to settle for $15 million in annual payments and a lump sum $17.5 million for disputed revenues so it is easy to see the amount of revenue from ceded lands is considerable. Thus $2 million in lobbying money is small potatoes considering what's at stake.

So Burris is right, there are "big big" stakes in whether the Akaka bill passes or not. And the problem is that most residents of this state don't understand at all just how high those stakes really are. If passed the Akaka bill will forever change Hawaii and it isn't likely to be for the better. Hawaii will become a divided place, with different rights and privileges for some and not for others, all depending upon a proverbial "drop of blood."

Don Newman, senior policy analyst for the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, Hawaii's first and only free market public policy institute focused on individual freedom and liberty, can be reached at:




Honolulu Star-Bulletin, December 6, 2006

Akaka: Ruling bodes well for recognition
The appeals court didn't mention sovereignty, but did note the plight of native Hawaiians

By B.J. Reyes

Although yesterday's appellate court ruling on Kamehameha Schools' admission policy did not specifically address the issue of federal recognition for native Hawaiians, U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka says he believes it sent a strong message.

Akaka, the main backer of federal recognition, said, "There is no doubt that today's ruling recognizes the special circumstances of native Hawaiians."

A 15-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 8-7 yesterday in favor of Kamehameha Schools' admissions policy, overturning an earlier decision that said the practice was illegal.

Although the case did not focus on the issue of Hawaiian sovereignty, the majority opinion said that the preference policy was unique because Congress has singled out the plight of native Hawaiians as it has with Alaskan natives and American Indians.

The policy "furthers the urgent need for better education of Native Hawaiians, which Congress has repeatedly identified as necessary," the panel ruled.

Akaka has pushed for federal recognition of native Hawaiians to create a formal, political relationship with the U.S. government similar to that of American Indians. The latest effort fell short in June.

Akaka, who was re-elected last month, pledged to continue his fight.

"I remain committed to working with the Hawaii congressional delegation to enact legislation that will formalize the existing legal and political relationship native Hawaiians have with our federal government," the senator said in a news release.

State Attorney General Mark Bennett, who along with Gov. Linda Lingle backs preferences for native Hawaiians, said it is too early to tell what effect the Kamehameha Schools case could have on federal recognition efforts.

"At this point, really, we have to wait and see," Bennett said. "We have a new Congress coming in -- new leadership in the House and Senate."

Challengers to the schools' admissions policy said they plan to appeal the ruling.

Despite the closeness of the decision, at least one legal analyst said the ruling should be seen as a victory to native Hawaiians.

"The majority (opinion) clearly recognized the appropriateness of Congress recognizing the special status of native Hawaiians, the special relationship that the native Hawaiians have with the United States and the ability of Congress to pass programs for native Hawaiians," said Jon Van Dyke, a constitutional law professor at the University of Hawaii's Richardson School of Law, who supports federal recognition. "This gives the green light, I would think, for Congress to pass the Akaka Bill.

"I think it's clear that the court recognizes the role of Congress in dealing with native people and the appropriateness of Congress passing such legislation."


Honolulu Advertiser, Wednesday, December 6, 2006


Decision a turning point in legal woes

By Rick Daysog

The fate now of Native Hawaiian programs and entitlements, which have come under intense legal scrutiny during the past six years, may be more optimistic in light of yesterday's appellate court ruling upholding the Kamehameha Schools' century-old admissions policy.

While the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' majority opinion is narrowly written to apply only to the school's educational programs, the decision marks a turning point in a series of legal woes set off by the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in the Rice v. Cayetano case in 2000 that abolished Hawaiians-only voting in Office of Hawaiian Affairs elections, legal experts and Hawaiian rights activists said.

"I think this shifts the momentum in the other direction," said Jon Van Dyke, a University of Hawai'i law professor, who assisted Kamehameha's legal team.

In yesterday's ruling, the 9th Circuit ruled that the school's Hawaiian-preference admission policy is permissible to remedy social and economic imbalances suffered by Native Hawaiians and that Congress has passed legislation explicitly recognizing the school's mission.

The ruling reverses last year's decision by a three-judge 9th Circuit panel to strike down Kamehameha Schools' admission policy in a suit filed by an unnamed non-Hawaiian student who didn't get into the school.

It made no specific reference to Hawaiian programs and agencies such as the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the state Department of Hawaiian Homelands.

But the 41-page majority opinion, which was written by 9th Circuit Judge Susan Graber, includes language recognizing the special relationship between the federal government and Native Hawaiians.

A concurring opinion written by 9th Circuit Judge William Fletcher went further by saying that Kamehameha's admissions policy doesn't violate federal civil rights laws since Native Hawaiians aren't "merely a racial classification" but also "are a political classification."

That language is similar to that found in the Akaka bill, which aims to establish a process that could lead to establishment of a Native Hawaiian entity recognized by the federal government. Supporters of the Akaka bill say that such federal recognition would help stave off legal challenges against millions of dollars that go to Hawaiian-preference programs such as OHA and the DHHL.


The Akaka bill is currently stalled in Congress, but Hawai'i's congressional leaders have vowed to push the bill in next year's session.

While Fletcher's concurring opinion isn't binding, it shows that the 9th Circuit would vote to uphold the Akaka bill if it's ever passed by Congress, Van Dyke said.

"That's huge," added Moses Haia, staff attorney for the Native Hawaiian Legal Corp.

"This basically puts Hawaiians on a different footing. This assumes that there's a political relation with the federal government."

Since the Rice decision, Native Hawaiian programs have been the target of a number of lawsuits that alleged that the programs are race-based and discriminate against non-Hawaiians.


Opponents of affirmative action and other racial-preference systems agree that the decision could have broad implications beyond the admissions policy at Kamehameha Schools.

Attorney Eric Grant, who represents the unnamed student who sued to overturn the school's admissions policy, said yesterday's ruling could be applied to the context of the workplace where an employer would be able to justify discriminatory practices against non-Hawaiians.

Grant, who plans to appeal yesterday's decision to the Supreme Court, said employers would be able to violate federal civil rights laws by arguing that their hiring policies aim to remedy socio-economic problems suffered by Hawaiians.

"Anytime a court allows racial discrimination, there's the potential that it will be used as a precedent to justify other discrimination," added Roger Clegg, president and general counsel for the Center for Equal Opportunity, a Sterling, Va., think tank that opposes affirmative action and other race-based programs.

"This is something that ought to concern everyone. Today's politically correct discrimination can come back to haunt all of us."

Appeals Court Judge William Fletcher wrote a 12-page opinion agreeing with Graber's conclusion, but said he would uphold the ruling on an "easier and narrower ground." Appeals Court judges Harry Pregerson, Stephen Reinhardt, Richard Paez and Johnnie Rawlinson joined in the opinion.


Graber's majority opinion assumes Native Hawaiians are a "racial classification." But the admissions policy applies only to persons "descended from the aboriginal people who exercised sovereignty in the Hawaiian Islands prior to 1778." Native Hawaiians are also a "political classification."

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down state law restricting voting for Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee to only Native Hawaiians in the landmark 2000 Rice v. Cayetano case. The high court ruled Native Hawaiians were a racial classification. But that decision dealt with constitutional voting rights, not whether Congress can provide benefit programs for Native Hawaiians.

"Congress has invariably treated 'Native Hawaiian' as a political classification for purposes of providing exclusive educational and other benefits. Under the special relationship doctrine, Congress has the power to do so. I see nothing in (the federal civil rights law) to indicate that Congress intended to impose upon private institutions a more restrictive standard for the provision of benefits to Native Hawaiians than it has imposed upon itself."


Honolulu Advertiser, Wednesday, December 6, 2006
BREAKING NEWS Posted at 1:37 p.m.
** Excerpts focusing on Akaka bill

OHA swears in re-elected trustees

Haunani Apoliona, chairwoman of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs board of trustees, said this morning that she and her colleagues will continue to fight in Congress for federal recognition of a Native Hawaiian entity. And she urged the Native Hawaiian community to unite in that fight. "There is nothing else that is certain to protect native Hawaiian assets in the immediate future; and we cannot accomplish anything if our efforts are not unified."

Apoliona made the remarks this morning in her "State of OHA and the Native Hawaiian Community" speech at Kawaiaha'o Church at the agency's investiture ceremonies to swear-in recently re-elected trustees Rowena Akana, Boyd Mossman, Oswald Stender and John Waihe'e IV, as well as newly elected trustee Walter Heen.

Here is the text of Apoliona's speech, provided by OHA:


The year 2006 presented many challenges. Probably the most difficult of all the challenges was the Akaka Bill and our inability to have the bill survive the "cloture" vote to proceed on the floor of the U.S. Senate this past June. It was truly agonizing to listen to the racist comments made by U.S. Senators on the Senate floor, with their revisionist history and pure disregard for the facts of the history of Native Hawaiians. It was even harder to see Native Hawaiians reveling in celebration with people who support these distortionists.

Although we have not yet been successful in passing the Akaka Bill, we want to thank our U.S. Senators, Daniel Akaka and Daniel Inouye, for their tireless efforts to find a way to protect Native Hawaiian assets and funding for crucial programs. We also appreciate the work of Representatives Neil Abercrombie and Ed Case. We thank Governor Linda Lingle and her cabinet for their assistance with the Republicans in Congress and the White House in Washington, D.C.

Now that the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives have a Democratic majority, we look forward to continuing our work with Senator Akaka, Senator Inouye, Representative Abercrombie, and Representative-elect Mazie Hirono. We also look forward to working with Governor Lingle, our Attorney General, and others in the State administration in our collective effort to pass this major and critical legislation.

While we anticipate that the political climate in the Congress has improved to favor passage of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, we will take nothing for granted. AND ALL OF US, Native Hawaiians and non-Native Hawaiians, who support passage must be diligent and unified in our effort. "I ku'u pono 'a'ole e pau." [Ken Conklin's note: A well-known quote from Kamehameha on his deathbed, saying "My work is not yet finished"] Clearly, the work in Washington D.C. is not finished.

Indeed, we are aware that "conservative ideologues" in Hawai'i and across the U.S. who worked to undermine passage of this Bill are regrouping to work their mischief still, since the November 7 election. They are re-grouping and strategizing ... to "end it for Native Hawaiians." BUT with similar intent, their mischief now includes the undermining of other native people in this country ... American Indians and Alaska Natives. And that's the truth. All native peoples need to maka'ala [K.C. note: maka'ala = be vigilant] to the big picture and work in unified effort.

Where We Need to Go in 2007

The theme of this year's Investiture is, Ho'okele Pololei: to voyage ahead, navigate well, persevere.

If 2005 and 2006 have been years of challenges and turmoil, 2007 will be the year of clarity, focus of political will, and disciplined action by Native Hawaiians.

For OHA, in 2007, we will continue to refine and enhance our role as advocates for the Hawaiian people as we strive to better the conditions of Hawaiians and native Hawaiians. As in the past, our advocacy will take several paths:

OHA will continue to aggressively defend any and all challenges to Hawaiian rights and entitlements. Though we view litigation as the last alternative in resolving disputes, OHA has not hesitated to choose this option when the situation has called for such action. Our lawsuits against NASA and the U.S. Army are examples of this.

We do not seek confrontation with those who file lawsuits to question our existence and that of our sister agencies, but we will not hesitate to aggressively defend against these litigations.

Further, OHA will retain the very best lawyers to assist in these defenses. A top-notch defense is costly. The Arakaki v. Lingle case is an example where OHA has needed to spend thousands of dollars in defense of this legal challenge. We expect a permanent, final dismissal very soon. But we are not naive to think that these plaintiffs, whom we have come to know over these six (6) years, will give up.

Protecting federal and state funding of Hawaiian programs is critical to the survival of certain programs. The Admissions Act, Hawai'i State Constitution, and various Hawai'i Revised Statutes recognize the special relationship Hawaiians have with both the State and Federal government. However, this recognition falls short of having the federal government formally acknowledge a "political and legal relationship" between it and the Hawaiian people.

The need to protect these funding sources and programs remains a high priority for OHA. Trustees have been 'onipa'a (steadfast) in their support of federal recognition for Hawaiians. We expect to remain in support of passage of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act as a prominent item on our federal legislative agenda.

Federal recognition is good for Hawaiians and all people of Hawai'i nei. We urge all to unify behind this effort, for there is nothing else that is certain to protect Native Hawaiian assets in the immediate future; and, we cannot accomplish anything if our efforts are not unified.

Of all the challenges we will face in 2007, the most daunting will be passage of a measure to provide federal recognition for Native Hawaiians. As explained earlier, we fell short in terms of getting our bill to the Senate floor for successful consideration in 2006. Time is running out for us to get this work done. Our attorneys have advised us numerous times that federal recognition will provide a legal shield against the attack on various Hawaiian programs. The year 2007 must be the time to move this initiative forward, and we will work with the Governor, our Congressional delegation, and others to get this done now!

In June 2006, Trustees reviewed a staff proposal that focused on creation of a Hawaiian governing entity. The steps identified are very similar to previous community-identified steps, initiated beginning in 1993, by the Sovereignty Elections Commission, Ha Hawai'i, Native Hawaiian Coalition, and 2006 federal recognition legislation.

KAU INOA is a registration program that has been in existence since January of 2004. However, unlike the Akaka Bill, while sustaining the requirement for lineal descendants of the aboriginal, indigenous people of Hawai'i, it assures less complexity in verifying eligibility to participate in the expected process.

Registration is the foundation, the first building block for building a Native Hawaiian nation. Native Hawaiians, regardless of where they reside, must, must register, with KAU INOA. Hawai'i Maoli, the non-profit arm of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs, is the repository for the KAU INOA database and insures confidentiality of information. We are closing in on 60,000 registrants. Though that is a significant number, our goal is closer to 200,000 Hawaiians across the U.S. and beyond.

In 2007, our objective is to ramp up the registration, reach out in Hawai'i, across the U.S. and the world to register as many Hawaiians as possible and reach the 200,000 mark.

The year 2007 is also the time when we can begin our initial discussions on building a Native Hawaiian government. The summer of 2007 may mark the first milestone phase. Our effort will succeed or fail by the political will of our community. We must advance in this effort or we will recede. And the social, economic, and political tides will not wait for us.

Our kuleana [K.C. note: kuleana = area of combined privilege and responsibility] and the kuleana of our 'ohana [K.C. note: 'ohana = extended family] members is to get out and register family, friends and neighbors, young and old, here in Hawai'i or away from our shores. If the registration is weak in numbers it will be a foundation difficult to build upon for substantive and lasting results. Let each of us commit today to do our personal best to register every Native Hawaiian. Let us by our actions give voice to our kupuna [K.C. note: kupuna = elders, including those who passed away], who have left the work for us to finish.

As counseled by the theme of today's investiture, Ho'okele Pololei: voyage ahead, navigate well, persevere, the success of our voyage will be measured by our capacity to be unified in our direction and disciplined in our actions.

A unified direction is the biggest challenge we face today. In the absence of a clear, unified direction, we will continue to be vulnerable to those who wish to do us harm through the courts and through public policy.

An undeterred unified direction demands a commitment to forward momentum. As King Kamehameha I advised:

I mua, e na poki'i, a inu i ka wai 'awa'awa. 'A'ohe hope e ho'i mai ai.

(Translation Go forward, brothers and sisters, and drink the bitter water. There is no retreat.)

Indeed there is no retreat. If unified, we can move forward with assurance that the outcome will be pono (right).



Black Group Decries Discriminatory Hawaiian Admissions Policy

Court Ruling Allowing Preferential Treatment of Native Hawaiians Greases the Skids for Race-Based Island Government

Press release from Project 21 -- The National leadership Network of Conservative African-Americans

For Release: December 7, 2006
Contact: David Almasi at 202/543-4110 x11
or Project21@nationalcenter.org

Members of the black leadership network Project 21 decry a Ninth Circuit federal court ruling that allows a Hawaiian school to discriminate against non-native Hawaiians, and note that the ruling could jump-start legislation stalled in Congress to create a race-based island government that directly contradicts our nation's "melting pot" tradition of inclusion.

"Responsible lawmakers, jurists and the residents of Hawaii oppose race-based preferences," noted Project 21 chairman Mychal Massie. "This ruling once again shows how a handful of unelected judges can override the will of the people, and how important it is to have judges who strictly interpret our Constitution."

Established in 1887 by the will of the last royal descendent of King Kamehameha, the nonprofit Kamehameha Schools currently give "first right" of admission to those with native Hawaiian ancestry. In a razor-thin 8-7 decision, the federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that this preferential policy could continue. In her majority opinion, Judge Susan Graber said the policy helps "counteract the significant, current educational deficits of native Hawaiian children in Hawaii."

In his dissent, Judge Jay Bybee noted: "I believe the majority's novel approach to statutory interpretation is readily manipulable and would enable courts to rewrite statutes whenever they want to save a particular program, contract or enactment."

The Doe v. Kamehameha Schools ruling is also being seen as a boost for "The Native Hawaiian Government Restoration Act," a bill proposed by Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI) to create a native Hawaiian government with sovereign immunity akin to that enjoyed by Indian tribes. Critics of the legislation say it could create a race-based government that would institute a virtual caste system and overturn federal laws and safety regulations as well as endanger the operations of military bases such as Pearl Harbor.

A May 2006 poll commissioned by the Grassroots Institute of Hawaii found that 67 percent of Hawaiian residents oppose the proposed Akaka bill and 80 percent generally oppose race-based preferences. Despite this overwhelming public rejection, Professor Jon Van Dyke of the University of Hawaii's Richardson School of Law told the Honolulu Star-Bulletin of the ruling, "This gives the green light, I would think, for Congress to pass the Akaka bill."

"All of this is a transparent attempt to create race-based preferences for a select group of people," said Project 21's Massie. "This ruling must be viewed as an incremental attempt to establish a type of sovereignty which would ultimately relieve native Hawaiians of all federal responsibility. Nothing in said formula, however, convinces reasonably-minded persons that the so-called plight of these people would improve."

In 2000, a decisive 7-2 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a "Hawaiians only" voting provision for the state's Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Regarding the record of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the Center for Individual Freedom noted in 2004 that it is "the most reversed court in the country" with 250 percent more unanimous reversals of its decisions appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court than any other circuit at that time.

"The 9th Circuit continues to show its proclivity for ruling from the bench in favor of that which is antithetical to a civil and unified American fabric. This is exactly why it is not only the most reversed court in the history of judicial circuits, but also the most frequently chastised court by the U.S. Supreme Court," said Massie.

Project 21, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization, has been a leading voice of the African-American community since 1992. For more information, contact David Almasi at (202) 543-4110 x11 or Project21@nationalcenter.org, or visit Project 21's website at http://www.project21.org/P21Index.html.


Honolulu Advertiser, Saturday, December 9, 2006
Letters to the Editor


The online encyclopedia Wiki-pedia says this about tribalism:

"The term 'tribalism' taken in the sense of societal structure usually carries a connotation that society is not only divided into smaller groups, but that these groups are actively hostile towards one another. Thus, 'tribalism' as a social structure connotes a society divided in civil conflict between myriad small groups. Tribalism, as a mentality, can and has taken many forms. Since tribalism involves categorizing oneself into a group, it also entails the categorization of others into other groups, often leading to prejudice and, in extreme cases, even genocide."

I see the efforts of those supporting the Akaka bill and all other efforts to divide the state's citizens by race or "tribe" as misguided, unconstitutional and harmful to our society as a whole. I view the recent 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in the Kamehameha Schools admissions policy case in the same light.

Hopefully, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the appeal and reverse the decision.

Stephen Aghjayan


Honolulu Advertiser, Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Letters to the Editor



When the newly elected 110th Congress takes office Jan. 4, the people of the United States will have a historic opportunity to enact the Akaka Bill that formally extends United States recognition to the Native Hawaiians.

The kanaka maoli need this legislation to provide protection for programs that benefit Native Hawaiians. The United States and the state of Hawai'i have maintained a historic obligation to honor the "special trust" that has been continually affirmed since the enactment of the 1920 Hawaiian Homelands Act. The establishment of the Native Hawaiian governing entity will create an organic political institution that will serve to articulate the interests of Native Hawaiians. This will not be easy. However, even though there will be challenges with the Akaka bill, we must not let the perfect become an enemy of the good.

While there are those among us who would argue that the Akaka bill is a misguided effort to "fix the past," it is in fact an example of the genius of the American system. We have the choice to do the right thing, and the enactment of the Akaka Bill will serve as a clear demonstration of our belief in our commitment to "Ua mau ke ea o ka 'aina i ka pono." David Hafner Kailua


Honolulu Advertiser, December 18, 2006

In the Hot Seat: OHA Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona

Welcome to The Hot Seat! OHA Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona joined us live from noon to 1 pm.m today. She answered questions from our readers regarding federal recognition for Native Hawaiians and other issues within OHA's purview.

** Note by Ken Conklin: This was a live on-line discussion. Therefore, before any particular question could be answered, there were sometimes other questions interposing. In addition,there were a few cases when responses produced a comment later, and even a comment to the comment. In the interest of easy readability, I have grouped all material related to any particular question or comment, before continuing with the next one.

Comment from: Jeanne Mariani-Belding [Member]
Aloha Chairwoman Apoliona! To get us started, here's a question sent in earlier:

From Ni:
Haunani, has OHA contacted, polled, or otherwise gotten input from your beneficiaries on what their preference is, if any, for OHA to take part in the federal recognition issue?
As a follow-up, how much of OHA's time, OHA's money, and OHA's resources do you foresee as being spent in the next fiscal biennium to promote federal recognition for Hawaiians?

Aloha, Ni,
Thank you for your question. Yes, we have sought input from our beneficiaries. We have continuously held meetings with leaders and members of Hawaiian organizations. An overwhelming majority of leaders and organizations we have met with support federal recognition.
We also commissioned polls by reputable polling firms over the years. Media outlets have done the same, and time and time again the result is majority support for federal recognition among both Hawaiians and the non-Hawaiian community. A poll taken by Ward Research in 2003 found 78% of non-Hawaiians and 86% of Native Hawaiians support federal recognition.
That's not to say the non-Hawaiian litigators who make the race-based claims, combined with the independence/secession backers who don't believe the Akaka bill goes far enough, aren't having an impact on public opinion. There has been a slight decline in the numbers supporting federal recognition thanks to the controversy fueled by lawsuits and misinformation campaigns by right wing outfits who put out false or skewed information. They are running a "fear campaign." But again the reputable polls find a solid majority of Hawaii's public remain supportive of federal recognition for Native Hawaiians.
OHA is likely to continue spending several million dollars to lobby Congress to approve federal recognition. We feel this amount pales in comparison to the $70 million worth of annual programs that assist Native Hawaiians. Those programs are in jeopardy of disappearing due to legal challenges. We feel it's our duty to protect those programs, and we will continue to push for passage of a bill for federal recognition.
Based on the change in leadership in the Congress, we expect that the amount spent to advance the Akaka Bill may be less than what we spent previously which was an average of $700,000 per year.

Comment from: Bill Punini Prescott [Visitor]
1. Does OHA fully support our soldiers' and National Guardsmen training on terrain they've been training on for over 60 years? And isn't this land a small price to pay (our soldiers are willing to pay with their lives) for the peace and security we enjoy?
2. Is OHA willing to take action, legal if necessary, to end the high turn over of teachers in Hawaiian Home Land schools… to level the playing field for our children, end discrimination on the basis of economics, and give them an equal right of opportunity to succeed in learning? The BOE, DOE, & HSTA acknowledge the high turn over of teachers negatively impacts student success in learning…while also contending that teacher assignment preferences have priority over student needs.

Comment from: Haunani Apoliona [Member]
Aloha, Punini,
Mr. Puinini. Thanks for your questions. Regarding military training, let me state that OHA supports the men and women in uniform and also supports the training designed to keep them safe when they are sent in harm's way. That said, we also have an obligation to our beneficiaries when it comes to the military's use of lands in Hawai'i for training purposes. Some people may call them a pile of rocks, others see desecration. And while we maintain excellent relations with military leaders, there have been instances in the past in which the military frankly hasn't been a good steward of the 'aina. Witness the dumping of munitions off the Leeward Coast.
That happened decades ago, and lessons have been learned. We feel the military can train our soldiers without violating current laws protecting historical sites, and we will continue to monitor that.
Two years ago Adjutant General Lee asked OHA to send Hawaiian flags to the soldiers in Iraq. Those were sent and the members of the military from Hawai'i were extremely grateful to receive them.

Comment from: Bill Punini Prescott [Visitor]
You have a responsibility to us the beneficiaries which takes priority over the lives of our soldiers? Many who are the beneficiaries? A soldier cannot effectively train without live fire Huanani...it will cost him his life in combat...I know!!
** Note by Ken Conklin: Haunani Apoliona did not respond to this.

Comment from: Bill Punini Prescott [Visitor]
Aloha Haunani...Desecration of rocks? Didn't Kamehameha II abolish the Haw'n religion, the kapu, ordered heiaus demolished, god idols burned with blessings of the Kahunas & our ancestors?
Regarding WWII munitions that were dumped into the ocean...it was deemed by our government the only safe way to rid of it at that time...any other would have been too dangerous to life. Military not being good stewards of the aina...as compared to whom? As a VFW(Ret) I'd like to know.
** Note by Ken Conklin: Haunani Apoliona did not respond to this.

Comment from: Bill Burgess [Visitor] · http://www.aloha4all.org
Aloha Haunani, If the Akaka bill should become law, would you want the new Native Hawaiian government to receive any or all of these lands: the 200,000 acres of DHHL lands? Waimea Valley? Kahoolawe and its appurtenant reels and territorial waters? Niihau? the NW Islands?

Comment from: Haunani Apoliona [Member]
Aloha, Bill,
As you know the statute which established Kaho'olawe as a preserve also indicates that the land will be transferred to the Native Hawaiian nation once it is formed. Similar language has been adopted by the OHA trustees in land transactions which they have approved. For example, Waimea Valley and Wao Kele O Puna will be transferred to the nation once the nation is formed. Any transfer of federal and state lands will probably need to be negotiated.

Comment from: Bill Burgess [Visitor] · http://www.aloha4all.org
Thank you Haunani, You said, "Any transfer of federal and state lands will probably need to be negotiated." Which of these State lands would you want the new Native Hawaiian government to seek in the negotiations? The 200,000 acres of DHHL lands? Any reefs and territorial waters? Niihau? the NW Islands? The 360,000 acres of KS/BElands?
** Note by Ken Conklin: Haunani Apoliona did not respond to this.

Comment from: Michael [Visitor]
If federal recognition for Native Hawaiians becomes a reality, will Native Hawaiians be exempt from State taxes?

Comment from: Haunani Apoliona [Member]
Aloha Michael,
No they will not. Native Hawaiians will be subject to state laws just like everyone else in Hawai'i unless, during the negotiating period, taxing authorities seek to and do change the system.

Comment from: Bill Burgess [Visitor] · http://www.aloha4all.org
Hi again Haunani, How many names of adult Native Hawaiians are now registered with Kau Inoa?
How much of the estimated $10 million has OHA now spent on Ho'oulu, to raise a beloved nation?

Comment from: Haunani Apoliona [Member]
Hana hou Bill,
We have approximately 57,000 Native Hawaiians that have signed up for Kau Inoa. We do not currently have the breakdown for adults vs. children. Since the proposal remains in draft form, no funds have been appropriated or spent to advance Ho'oulu Lahui Aloha.

Comment from: Lui Hokoana [Visitor]
Aloha Haunani,
A study by Kamehameha schools found that Native Hawaiians are underrepresented at UH Manoa, take longer to graduate, and are underrepresented in high paying fields with job security. What is OHA doing to address these issues?

Comment from: Haunani Apoliona [Member]
Aloha, Lui (Makua),
Within the last 2 years, OHA, through partner organizations, has given out $1 million dollars in scholarships for higher education. An additional $1 million for higher education scholarships was approved this year. In the same study you cite, financial aid had a positive correlation to increasing graduation rates. As to being underrepresented in high paying fields, OHA has for the last 5 years provided substantial funding for Na Pua No'eau, a program that provides K-12 youth an opportunity to explore careers in high paying fields with job security, like archeology, bioscience, medicine, etc. OHA is committed to education and believe as well-educated population is critical as we begin the process of nation- building.

Comment from: Doug [Visitor] · http://poinography.com
My question for the Chairwoman: If SCOTUS upholds (or declines to review) the recent Kamehameha Schools admissions policy ruling that posits a de facto recognition of Native Hawaiians, doesn't that greatly diminish the urgency to pass the Akaka Bill?

Comment from: Haunani Apoliona [Member]
Mahalo for that question, Doug. Regardless of what happens in that important case, there will continue to be an urgency on other fronts. OHA and DHHL are under legal assault. Also under attack are federal funds earmarked for Native Hawaiians. That's some $60 to $70 million a year coming to the state of Hawai'i. We feel the Akaka bill will provide a legal shield against lawsuits that seek to dismantle OHA and DHHL. We also feel it will help Kamehameha Schools in their admissions court battle. All these lawsuits are part of a national movement, and the litigators do not intend to stop until they dismantle all rights for native peoples and minorities.

Comment from: Steve Doyle [Visitor]
Haunani, a lot of attention has been paid recently to the Kamehameha Schools decision and the possible re-introduction of the Akaka Bill. So instead I would like to pose a question on a mundane but nevertheless important issue.
Part of the Mission Statement of OHA says, "To malama (protect) Hawaii's people...ensuring the perpetuation of the culture". With that in mind, what is OHA doing to assist homeless Native Hawaiian families?

Comment from: Haunani Apoliona [Member]
Aloha, Steve,
Glad you asked that question. This year OHA provided $1 million to help with the Governor's initiative to address the homelessness problem on the Wai'anae Coast. We also funded smaller community-based programs that provide services and counseling to homeless Hawaiians.
For more information on this issue please, visit our web site at
www.oha.org/index.php?option=com content&task=view&id=174&Itemid=2

From Meheroo Jussawalla
1. With the democratic win in the U.S.Congress will the Akaka Bill get passed and if so how will it help native Hawaiians in terms of improving their living conditions, job opporutnities and acquisition of assets?
2. Do you think that the recent judgement from the 9th Circuit Court in favor of restriciting admissions to the Kamehameha Schools will benefit the young people of Hawaii or increase segregation which is against the Constitution? Did the will of the Princess make room for segregation or was it a later development?

Comment from: Haunani Apoliona [Member]
Aloha, Meheroo,
We don't believe the Kamehameha Schools policy is segregationist. We believe the Constitution supports Kamehameha's admissions policy.
Akaka bill can help Hawaiians in many ways. In 2006, the entire Democratic Caucus in the U.S. Senate supported the Akaka Bill.

From Myron Thomspon:
Why do you want to bring gambling to Hawai'i? Will I lose my land if I'm not Hawaiian?

Comment from: Haunani Apoliona [Member]
Aloha, Myron,
The Akaka Bill does not permit gambling in Hawai'i, nor can it. Before there can be gambling in Hawai'i, the State Legislature needs to pass a law approving gambling. There are two states in the U.S. that do not currently allow any form of gambling. Hawai'i is one and the other is Utah.
Many people in Hawaii (including Hawaiians) are not in favor of bringing gambling to Hawai'i. As Native Hawaiians, we recognize the opposition to gambling and are culturally sensitive to other peoples' concerns.
For more information on this issue please, visit our web site at

Comment from: Clark Fields [Visitor]
Aloha Haunani Apoliona,
My question: If the Akaka bill is passed will non Hawaiians lose their land? Mahalo

Comment from: Haunani Apoliona [Member]
Myron & Clark,
No one will lose privately held land. No private land will be affected by the Akaka Bill. The negotiations amongst the U.S., State of Hawai'i, and the Native Hawaiian government may include the return of some Hawai'i public trust or ceded lands currently under the control of the U.S. or the State of Hawai'i but will not affect private land at all.
For more information on this issue please, visit our web site at

From sakurafreedom:
Why should non-Hawaiians carry the financial burden of paying for Hawaiian programs with taxpayer dollars?

Comment from: Haunani Apoliona [Member]
Aloha, Sakurafreedom,
Taxpayer dollars are used to pay government debts. Therefore, it's the right thing to do. The sovereign Kingdom of Hawai'i was overthrown illegally with the assistance of the U.S. government and in violation of several treaties and international law. It is only right that the U.S., the State of Hawai'i, and all their citizens stand up to the obligation to rectify that wrong to the best of its ability.
In 1978, the electorate of the State of Hawai'i voted to establish OHA. In 1980, the State Legislature passed a law allocating a pro rata share of the revenues from ceded lands to be used for the betterment of Hawaiians. Hence, the voters of Hawai'i have recognized the State's obligation and have agreed to honor it. We appreciate the integrity of those commitments. Taxpayers are made of both Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians. Hawaiians are taxpayers, too.

Comment from: Bill Burgess [Visitor] · http://www.aloha4all.org
"Hawaiians are taxpayers, too."
Sure, but Native Hawaiians are eligible for the benefits of their taxes. Everyone else is taxed to support discrimination against themselves. Racial discrimination is divisive, builds resentment, kills incentive and is bad for everyone, most of all the intended beneficiaries.
** Note by Ken Conklin: Haunani Apoliona did not respond to this.

Comment from: Bill Burgess [Visitor] · http://www.aloha4all.org
Hi again Haunani. Thanks for discussing these questions and thanks to Jeanne Mariani-Belding for sponsoring it.
One last question, Does OHA now plan to continue going full speed ahead with Ho'oulu?

Comment from: Haunani Apoliona [Member]
Aloha, Bill,
Ho'oulu proposal is still subject to the approval of the OHA trustees. This matter will not be presented for their formal approval until such time that our attorneys have had an opportunity to review any legal issues which may need to be addressed. Mahalo.

From Hayn Educa8tor
Aloha mai,
The Office of Hawaiian Affairs provides support and funding for programs like Na Pua No'eau, which is geared towards providing enrichment programs to aspire and inspire Hawaiian youth of all ages to achieve their educational goals. What other educational opportunities does OHA support?

Comment from: Haunani Apoliona [Member]
Aloha, Hawaiian Educator,
Yes, OHA provides scholarships for higher education. This year we approved $1.25 million in higher education scholarships. To apply, contact the Hawai'i Community Foundation, the organization that receives and processes applications on our behalf.
We approved $2.2 million per year for three years for Hawaiian-based charter schools. This amounts to $6.6 million for charter schools in the public school system. We allocated $1.25 million for scholarships for higher education. Trustees recently approved $500,000 for scholarships for Native Hawaiian children who are not admitted to Kamehameha to attend private schools. We have given another $5 million to community groups for projects in D.O.E. schools and after-school enrichment.
Further, OHA, the DOE, and other Native Hawaiian education groups have organized a program known as Na Lau Lama Initiative, which is an attempt at identifying best practices as it relates to educating Hawaiian students.
For more information on this issue please, visit our web site at
www.oha.org/index.php?option=com content&task=view&id=213&Itemid=212 or www.oha.org/index.php?option=com content&task=view&id=214&Itemid=212

From Douglas Knight:
Shouldn't we have a referendum first where everyone in Hawaii can vote on the Akaka Bill before it goes to Congress?

Comment from: Haunani Apoliona [Member]
Aloha, Douglas,
Congress has the sole authority to provide federal recognition, and there is no referendum process under State of Hawai'i law. There was no referendum on the overthrow, annexation, or statehood either. Moreover, no other natives in the U.S. were required to have a referendum in their home state as a condition of federal recognition. Nonetheless, the voters of Hawai'i did speak on the issue of protecting Native Hawaiian indigenous status in 1978 when they ratified the Constitution to create OHA.
Voters will have another opportunity to provide input if the Akaka Bill passes because all negotiations will be conducted with officials from all three governments, Federal, State, and Hawaiian. In addition, any negotiations requiring a change in law will need to go through the legislative process where the public has input.
Historically, the voters of Hawai'i also had input when they opted for statehood because statehood was conditioned on acceptance of the special status of Native Hawaiians through assignment of management of Hawaiian Home Lands and a requirement to use a portion of the public trust for the betterment of Native Hawaiians.

Comment from: Bill Burgess [Visitor] · http://www.aloha4all.org
"There was no referendum on ... statehood either."
Correction: Statehood was conditional on approval by the people of Hawaii. Congress asked the people if they wanted one State government, republican in form and with jurisdiction over all the major Hawaiian islands, their reefs and territorial waters. The people voted over 94% Yes.

Comment from: Bill Burgess [Visitor] · http://www.aloha4all.org
Haunani, You said, "there is no referendum process under State of Hawai'i law."
Correction: §12-112(b) Hawaii Revised Statutes, provides that in elections in the State of Hawaii, the ballot may include proposed initiative or referendum issues.
It would be very simple for Congress or the Hawaii Legislature to pass a bill saying, Before the Akaka bill is considered, the people of Hawaii should be asked, "Do you favor breaking up the State of Hawaii and giving away part of it and part of it's governmental authority and civil and criminal jurisdiction to a new race-based government?

Comment from: Ni [Visitor]
Correction right back at you, Bill: there is no such section as "§12-112" in the Hawaii Revised Statutes. Haunani is correct; Hawaii statutes do not provide for the referendum process.

Comment from: Bill Burgess [Visitor] · http://www.aloha4all.org "Aloha Ni: Sorry for the typo. The section is S11-112 HRS, and initiative and referendum questions ARE permitted on ballots in elections in Hawaii."

Comment from: Ni [Visitor] Sorry, but you are wrong again. The section you quote merely discusses what can be put on a ballot, if such a thing were authorized. It does not authorize the State to enact law by either referendum or initiative. The state constitution does not allow either. I believe that the C&C of Honolulu does allow referendum, but the State doesn't.

Comment from: Bill Burgess [Visitor] · http://www.aloha4all.org
Aloha again Ni,
Section 11-112 HRS, "Contents of Ballot" provides, "(b) The ballot may include questions concerning proposed state constitutional amendments, proposed county charter amendments, or proposed initiative or referendum issues."
You seem to think that neither Congress nor the Hawaii Legislature have the power to require the prior consent of the people of Hawaii, by a referendum or plebiscite, before enactment of the Akaka bill (which would sanction the breakup of the State of Hawaii and giveaway of some, maybe all, of its lands, assets, power and jurisdiction to a new Native-Hawaiians-only sovereign government).
I respectfully disagree and challenge you to cite the legal authority supporting your argument.
In a democracy, the power of the government derives from the consent of the people. In my humble opinion, it would be very simple for Congress or the Hawaii Legislature to pass a bill saying, Before the Akaka bill is considered, the people of Hawaii should be asked, "Do you favor breaking up the State of Hawaii and giving away some or all its lands, natural resources, power, authority and jurisdiction to a new race-based government?"

Comment from: Ken Conklin [Visitor] · http://tinyurl.com/ypops
§11-112 HRS specifically says: (b) The ballot may include questions concerning proposed state constitutional amendments, proposed county charter amendments, or proposed initiative or referendum issues."
Ni seems to be digressing into a topic that is not of any interest here. It doesn't matter to the Akaka bill discussion whether a refererdum question, if passed, would automatically enact a law without further action by the legislasture.
The question here is whether the law allows a referendum question to be placed on the ballot. The answer is clearly "Yes." OHA, the Governor and Attorney General, and the Legislature, clearly don't want that to happen, and have tried to fool the people into thinking there is no way to place a referendum question on the ballot.
The legislature has the power to let the people of Hawaii vote on a referendum question such as "Do you want Congress to pass legislation commonly known as the Akaka bill, to authorize creation of a Native Hawaiian Governing Entity empowered to negotiate with the federal and state governments for money, land, and law-making authority?"
The Akaka bill is the most important piece of legislation since the Statehood Act of 1959. Hawaii's people deserve the right to vote on it before we allow our state to be carved up along racial lines.
If the legislature refuses to put the question on the ballot, then Congress should refuse to consider the Akaka bill. Alternatively, Congress could amend the Akaka bill by inserting a sentence saying that nothing in this legislation shall take effect, and this legislation will become a nullity, unless the people of Hawaii ratify their approval of it by way of a referendum at the next general election, under the same provisions of Hawaii law governing voter ratification of state Constitutional amendments. Then we'll see how fast OHA and the legislature can change their minds and allow the people to vote.

Comment from: Myron Thompson [Visitor]
Aloha Haunani,
I have noticed much improvement in OHA over the last couple of years, especially in the leadership. With your newly elected Board, do you feel that you have an even better opportunity to support the Akaka bill? Mahalo, Myron

Comment from: Haunani Apoliona [Member]
Aloha, Myron,
Mahalo for the compliment. I agree with you on the improvements. The Board previously has supported the Akaka Bill and I don't see any change.

Comment from: Kaehu [Visitor]
Aloha Trustee Apoliona,
Congratulations on a new Term!
Who will pick up my daily trash and where will it be taken to when we have this new Hawaiian Nation? What Land will be used- Waimea Valley??? Waokele o Puna???

Comment from: Haunani Apoliona [Member]
Aloha, e Kaehu,
The Akaka Bill does not establish municipal authority. If the Hawaiian Nation is interested in assuming municipal authority, it will have to be negotiated.

Comment from: Kaehu [Visitor]
Mahalo Trustee-
So what exactly does the Akaka Bill establish if "municipal authority" is not apart of the new Hawaiian Nation?
** Note by Ken Conklin: Haunani Apoliona did not respond to this.

Comment from: Jeanne Mariani-Belding [Member]
Here's one from Henry Gomes, sent in on the earlier posting.
The Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs recently passed a resolution requesting that the State of Hawai'i consider building prisons in Hawai'i for several reasons, including retaining money in the state and well as addressing rehabilitation of Hawaiian prisoners. Does OHA feel this is important considering the large number of prisoner who are of Hawaiian descent?

Comment from: Haunani Apoliona [Member]
Aloha, Henry,

An inmate's rehabilitation relies upon family support. Transporting inmates to facilities on the continent deprives them of this crucial rehabilitation element. Therefore, though the OHA trustees have not taken a formal position on locating a facility in Hawai'i, clearly having an institution located here will provide inmates with the much-needed family support they need.

Comment from: makaainana [Visitor]
Aloha Haunani,
What will happen to OHA and its trustees when and if the new government/nation is instituted? Will OHA trustees be our new government leaders? How and what will happen to you all? Mahalo nui for your answer.

Aloha, Maka'ainana,
As has been said numerous times, it is likely that the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and its trust assets will ultimately be transferred to the Native Hawaiian governing entity which will select its own leaders. Individual trustees may choose to seek positions in the Hawaiian government.

Comment from: IntheHawaiianCommunity [Visitor]
Aloha Trustee Apoliona,
I believe we should, but in your opinion, why should Hawaiians have race-based rights and special programs?

Comment from: Haunani Apoliona [Member]
Under the U.S. Constitution and federal law, America's indigenous native people have a political relationship with the U.S. So programs supporting native people are not race-based at all. The programs flow from the unique relationship that exists between the federal government and native governments. The Akaka Bill would provide an opportunity for Native Hawaiians to enjoy the same relationship other natives have with the federal government and protect existing federal and state programs. Both our unique history and status as indigenous people are the basis for continued government help.
For more information on this issue, please visit our web site at

Comment from: john c. kurmudge [Visitor]
This was by far the best discussion you have hosted so far. Thank you.


** Note from Ken Conklin: Illinois Senator Barack Obama grew up in Honolulu, where he takes a vacation and visits family members for a week or two once or twice every year. The news media have called him "Hawaii's third Senator" and, indeed he did give a floor speech in the Senate in June supporting the Akaka bill.

Honolulu Advertiser, Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Obama returns for yule vacation

By Mike Gordon

The nation's newest celebrity senator is home for the holidays and lying low, if such a thing is possible when the words "potential U.S. presidential candidate" are spoken whenever someone mentions your name.

But U.S. Sen. Barack Obama — an Illinois Democrat who was born and educated in Honolulu — is trying to do just that.

No public appearances are planned in Hawai'i, despite the eagerness of local Democrats who want to see Obama run for president. Obama's vacation has been described to Democrats as a time to think over his political future.

"He is going to lay low," said U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawai'i. "There is nothing planned. This is decision-making time. He is definitely here, and maybe for the last time in a long time, to get back together with his local roots, to see folks he has known all his life and whom he knows have his best interests at heart."

And to decide if he wants to run for president.

"It is fair to say, I think, that he will make his mind up while he is here," Abercrombie said.

The exact dates of Obama's Hawai'i arrival remain a little unclear — Saturday, yesterday and even today have all been mentioned.

Abercrombie yesterday said he hadn't been contacted by Obama. "If he isn't here yet, he will be very soon," the congressman said.

The chairman of the Democratic Party of Hawai'i, Mike McCartney, yesterday said Obama was already here.

Party representatives had hoped to meet with Obama during his vacation but have been told the senator wanted "a very private visit," McCartney said.

"We wanted to do something, but we can respect his privacy," he said. "He might be making one of the most important decisions of his life now, right here in Hawai'i. I want him to have the space. It could affect future generations and a lot of the world."

A former Illinois state senator, the 45-year-old Obama was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2004. He has emerged as a leader among Democrats nationwide and attracted a national audience through his speeches and books.

His book — "The Audacity of Hope" — is a best-seller. Autograph signings and appearances have the quality of rock star worship.

But his roots are solid in Hawai'i, where he graduated from Punahou in 1979. His sister and grandmother live here, and he has longtime friends still living in the Islands.

He probably won't be able to go anywhere without being recognized.

Former state Rep. Brian Schatz, who belongs to a group of Hawai'i Democrats who want Obama to run, said these may be Obama's last moments of relative anonymity.

"I still think he stands a chance, if he goes to the North Shore, to find a spot where no one will swarm on him," he said.

Abercrombie said Hawai'i Democrats have received a steady stream of calls from people who want to know if Obama will be making an appearance. They all want to meet him, but the overriding culture of the Islands means they'll keep their distance if that's what Obama wants.

"Everyone knows Hawai'i is famous for not pressuring people," Abercrombie said. "Everyone from Elvis Presley to Tom Selleck. He knows he can come here and ask people to give him a little breathing room."


Honolulu Star-Bulletin, December 20, 2006

Obama set to make '08 call in isles
His family in Hawaii will be the first to know if the senator will run for president

By Brian Charlton
Associated Press

While spending time with family and friends this week in Hawaii, Sen. Barack Obama will decide if he'll run for president in 2008, his sister said yesterday.

"He's going to make his decision here and announce it to us. Then he's probably going to officially announce his decision once he returns," Maya Soetoro told the Associated Press.

Obama, D-Ill., who was born in Hawaii and graduated from Honolulu's private Punahou School in 1979, is staying at a hotel on Oahu with his family for the holidays and plans to spend a lot of time with his grandmother, said Soetoro, who teaches history and social studies at the University of Hawaii Lab School.

She said her brother will stay in the islands for another week and a half. He's due back in Washington the first week of January.

A possible contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, Obama, 45, hasn't scheduled any public events or interviews during his trip and instead will take a break from his busy schedule, play golf and basketball with old buddies and enjoy the ocean, Soetoro said.

"It's a much needed time for reflection. He's got to figure out what he's going to do," she said. "I think he's trying to reconnect with family and get away from the excessive demands of his schedule."

Soetoro said she's already discussed the pros and cons of running for president with her brother, but he hasn't indicated his decision yet.

Soetoro said a few people have asked Obama to pose for pictures and sign autographs, but most have left the senator alone.

"People in Hawaii have been very respectful. They don't intrude," she said.

U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii, said local Democrats are respecting his need to lie low. He said supporters have met and might purchase an ad while he's in town to show that they're behind Obama. A local group last week announced a formal effort to draft Obama for president.

Abercrombie said he believes Obama's roots in Hawaii will influence the campaign, if he runs.

"The diversity and aloha spirit will be important. Our diversity defines us rather than divides us. I think we'll be hearing that a lot," he said.

Obama, elected to the Senate in 2004, has said he is mulling a presidential bid and lining up staff should he decide to run.

In Washington, former Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota said Obama has "almost unlimited potential."

Daschle said he believes Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., is the front-runner for his party's nomination, but several others, including Obama, could potentially beat her.

"His stock is still rising," Daschle said of Obama. "He's one of those rare individuals who has almost unlimited potential and seems to defy most of the laws of political gravity at this point."




(c) Copyright 2006 Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. All rights reserved

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(c) Copyright 2006 Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. All rights reserved