AKAKA BILL HISTORY FOR THE THREE CRUCIAL DAYS OF JUNE 7, 8, AND 9 OF 2006-- NEWS REPORTS AND COMMENTARIES, IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER. JUNE 7 (Akaka bill cloture petition debate), JUNE 8 (more debate, and then the defeat), JUNE 9 (grieving the loss, analyzing it, wondering what comes next)


** A CLOTURE PETITION WAS FILED IN THE SENATE ON TUESDAY JUNE 6. THE CLOTURE PETITION WAS DEBATED JUNE 7; AND FURTHER DEBATED AND THEN DEFEATED ON THURSDAY JUNE 8. THE TRANSCRIPTS FROM THOSE DEBATES HAVE BEEN COPIED FROM THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WEBSITE AND PLACED ON A DIFFERENT (USER-FRIENDLY) WEBPAGE HERE:
https://www.angelfire.com/planet/bigfiles40/AkakaHistJune2006SenateActionCongRec.html

Akaka bill yeas and nays for the cloture motion vote of June 8, 2006 (56 yea, 41 nay, 3 not voting) are displayed here:
https://www.angelfire.com/planet/bigfiles40/AkakaClotureVoteStats060806.html

SUMMARY OF NEWS REPORTS AND COMMENTARIES, IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER FOR JUNE 7, 8, and 9

June 7: (1) Honolulu Advertiser reports events in Washington, lobbying, Senators Brownback and Collins undecided. "But opponents also have been lobbying against the bill and two leading opponents — Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and John Cornyn, R-Texas — are holding a news conference today. They will be joined by Native Hawaiians who are against the bill, and Gerald A. Reynolds, chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which recommended that Congress reject the bill."; (2) Honolulu Star-Bulletin reports events in Washington; (3) Washington Times reports about some ethnic Hawaiians opposed to Akaka bill and some information (partly wrong) about Hawaiian history; (4) Article in Hawaii Reporter by Ken Conklin regarding inappropriateness of ethnic group spokespersons endorsing Akaka bill; (5) Grassroot Hawaii senior policy analyst provides neutral descriotion of whatthe Akaka bill would actually do based only on what it says, but then says Hawai'i's people deserve a vote on it because it is so important; (6) New York Times editorial entitled "A Chance for Justice in Hawaii" says poor downtrodden ethnic Hawaiians deserve political recognition because the U.S. heped overthrow the monarchy, and the Akaka bill would not lead to balkanization or Zimbabwe-style land grabs.; (7) Rebuttal to New York Times editorial, by National Review (online); (8), (9), 10) Advertiser and Star-Bulletin "breaking news" articles describe Senate floor debate and what comes next; also describe a 30-minute protest against the Akaka bill by ethnic Hawaiians at 'Iolani Palace, in which 10 people took over the throne room while supported by 20 more outside; (11), (12) Ken Conklin essay and Honolulu Advertiser breaking news regarding letter from Department of Justice to Majority Leader Frist saying "The Administration strongly opposes passage of" the Akaka bill. Conklin essay includes full text of DOJ letter with link to photo of official letterhead.

June 8: (1) Malia Zimmerman of Hawaii Reporter quotes Professor Rubellite Kawena Johnson, "who is 50 percent Hawaiian, says she is one of many Hawaiians who have grave concerns about the political and cultural direction Hawaii's top leaders are taking. Ms. Johnson feels a profound sadness because a handful of radical groups with "hate in their hearts," are pushing for sovereignty, secession and a return to the Hawaiian monarchy. Zimmerman describes DOJ letter, lobbying in Washington by Republican state Senator Sam Slom and by ethnin Hawaiians opposed to the bill; (2) Published copy of a deeply personal "Dear John" letter sent to Sen. John McCain by one of his good friends and a fellow prisoner of war in North Vietnam -- Jerry Coffee, a longtime resident of Hawai'i; (3) and (4) Honolulu Advertiser describes opposing viewpoints, including ethnic Hawaiians opposing the Akaka bill, and lobbying efforts on both sides; (5) Honolulu Star-Bulletin describes yesterday's takeover of Iolani palace by ethnic Hawaiians protesting the Akaka bill; (6) Star-Bulletin describes opposing viewpoints in Washington; (7) and (8) Advertiser and Star-Bulletin breaking news report the defeat of the cloture motion.; (9) Link to webpage providing cloture vote yeas, nays, and analysis; (10) KHON TV 6 PM news report: "What's next for native Hawaiian programs" ""If there isn't something like the Akaka Bill if there isn't a federal recognition of Hawaiians in a political sense, I think it's inevitable that the programs that favor Hawaiians in one way or another are going to be ruled unconstitutional," says UH law professor Randy Roth.; (11) KHON TV 7 PM news report: Quotes from Senators Akaka and Alexander; (12) Hawaii Reporter: "Akaka Bill Now 'Deader than Dead' Despite Putting on a Happy Face About Today's Failed Cloture Vote on the Akaka Bill, Republicans Say the Bill Will Never Pass This Session or Any Other While Republicans Dominate the Senate; New National Awareness on the Implications of the Controversial Legislation Stopped it in Its Tracks; Those on the Losing End Chipped Away Their Political Capital"; (13) Senator Akaka says "Majority of U.S. Senate Supports My Akaka Bill"

Top: Honolulu Advertiser cartoon, June 9, 2006, Adair
http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/misc?url=/misc/zoom.pbs&s=M1&Dato=20060609&Kategori=OPINION04&Lopenr=60608004&Ref=AR
Middle: Honolulu Star-Bulletin cartoon, June 9, 2006, Corky
http://starbulletin.com/2006/06/09/news/corky.html

Bottom: Honolulu Weekly cartoon, June 7, 2006, Pritchett (how did he know the bill would fail in a vote on June 8, at the time he created his cartoon in time to publish it in a newspaper that hit the streets on June7 ? The Moschella letter was not even made public until June 7 at 7:15 PM EDT!)




June 9: (1) Washington Times reports defeat of cloture and quotes various Senators and Hawaii politicians; (2) Kona Hawai'i newspaper quotes Inouye -- 'It's over. It is unrealistic to pursue this.' and quotes numerous other Senators and Hawaii politicians; (3) Same Kona newspaper, same datem, different reporter says ""It would be premature to pronounce the Akaka bill dead. There is always tomorrow," Inouye said later in a statement. "; (4) Honolulu Advertiser editorial says "It's time for Plan B"; (5) Star-Bulletin editorial: "Akaka Bill's defeat imperils programs" stressing the Moschella letter; (6) Human Events Online has a strongly worded article by Senator Lamar Alexander "Senate Halts Effort to Dismantle U.S." celebrating the defeat of the Akaka bill, and providing a link to a map of a balkanized Hawai'i; (7) Lingle resolute after bill dies -- Despite the failure of the Akaka Bill in the Senate, the governor seeks other options to accomplish its goals. "Now someone will go in and say, 'Look, they couldn't get federal recognition. That proves that these programs are race-based and therefore illegal,'" she said.; (8) Advertiser Washington reporter says "While the long-stalled Native Hawaiian bill suffered a blow yesterday, with the Senate rejecting an effort to bring it to the floor, supporters vowed to keep up the battle. "I'm going to continue to work on this," said Sen. Daniel K. Akaka, D-Hawai'i, chief sponsor of the bill. "If we don't bring it up again this year, I'll be here next year and offer the bill again."" -- "Regretfully, the (Native Hawaiian) bill can go no further in this Congress, thanks to the 11th-hour intervention and fear mongering by the Bush administration and his Department of Justice," said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev." Congressman Abercrombie, referring to the Moschella letter, said "the letter was a legislative blow in that supporters, including Republican Gov. Lingle, had long sought a White House position on the issue but it showed up only on the eve of the Senate vote, leaving little time to respond. "It's as much a kick in the teeth of the governor as it is to those of us who were trying to pass the legislation in the Congress"" Review of pro and con arguments; (9) Hawaii Tribune-Herald (Hilo) reports about a pure-blood Hawaiian, Robert Keliihoomalu, a member of the House of Nobles with the Kingdom of Hawaii, who is an independence activist who says defeat of the Akaka bill is irrelevant; (10) Advertiser article says defeat of the bill will hurt Akaka's prestige and re-election chances, but won't affect Inouye; review of the major events in the history of the Akaka bill; (11) Lengthy set of Q & A about what would be the consequences of the Akaka bill; (12) Advertiser article reports the reactions of Hawai'i politicians and activists; (13) Advertiser provides lengthy series of quotes from various people supposedly representing the "man on the street", but the people selected were mostly pro-Akaka activists or independence activists, who might not be recognized as such by the general public; and a disproportionately high percentage of ethnic Hawaiians, -- i.e., the Advertiser is trying to skew public opinion. (individual respondents "outed" by Ken Conklin); (14) Advertiser columnist Lee Cataluna uses Hawaiian legend to describe Akaka bill progress over the years -- legend of a woman repeatedly killed by her husband who repeatedly came back to life, only to be killed again.

====================

Akaka bill yeas and nays for the cloture motion vote of June 8, 2006 (56 yea, 41 nay, 3 not voting)

https://www.angelfire.com/planet/bigfiles40/AkakaClotureVoteStats060806.html


DETAILS OF NEWS REPORTS AND COMMENTARY FOR JUNE 7 TO NOW (IN PROGRESS) [about 35 pages for June 7 + 30 pages for June 8]

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060607/NEWS23/606070338/1001/NEWS
Honolulu Advertiser, Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Akaka bill takes step forward

By Dennis Camire
Advertiser Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — The Senate took the first step yesterday in a procedure to force a debate on the Native Hawaiian bill, stalled in the chamber since last summer.

Sen. Mitch McConnell Jr., R-Ky., the assistant majority leader, said the Senate would debate the motion to bring the bill to the floor — known as cloture — for three hours today and vote on the motion sometime tomorrow.

If supporters get the 60 votes necessary to overcome the procedural roadblock, the actual bill could then be brought up for debate and a possible vote.

The bill, originally introduced in 2000, would create a process for a Native Hawaiian government to be recognized by the federal government, similar to the political status given to Native American and Alaskan Native tribes.

Sen. Daniel K. Akaka, D-Hawai'i, chief sponsor of the bill, said he was confident there will be enough votes to pass the motion. "My bill is about process and fairness," Akaka said. "It is time for the Senate to debate this legislation."

Clyde Namu'o, administrator for the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs, said he was "elated" over the Senate's action. "We're all thrilled that this thing is finally going to get a vote," said Namu'o, who is in Washington lobbying for the bill. "We just hope there are a sufficient number of votes to actually pass (the motion)."

Haunani Apoliona, chairwoman of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, called the Senate's action "a promising first step" and said she was optimistic about the bill's chances to pass the Senate. "Nothing is over until it's over," said Apoliona, who also is in Washington meeting with senators about the bill. "Let's get some debate and support for passage."

A number of the bill's supporters have been in Washington lobbying for the bill, focusing especially on Senate Republicans who hold the key to its passage.

But opponents also have been lobbying against the bill and two leading opponents — Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and John Cornyn, R-Texas — are holding a news conference today.

They will be joined by Native Hawaiians who are against the bill, and Gerald A. Reynolds, chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which recommended that Congress reject the bill.

Gov. Linda Lingle, state Attorney General Mark Bennett and Micah Kane, director of the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, said they talked with a number of Republican senators on their lobbying swing.

Lingle said that in visiting the senators, they found a lot of misinformation about the bill. "Once we are able to sit down and actually review the issues with people, they are surprised at what the bill actually is," she said.

Some Republican senators such as Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas who have met with Lingle and the others are still undecided.

"He (Brownback) said he heard enough to say he needed to look at the bill further," Lingle said. "That was a very good meeting in that sense — getting someone to pause a minute to consider something that is not important in their particular state but is important to me."

Another Republican senator, Susan Collins of Maine, said she remains "truly undecided.

"I think it's a highly complicated legal issue," she said. "I have more work to do before I can feel comfortable taking a position."

Lingle gave the bill a 50-50 chance at this point of being successful in passing the Senate. She said the opponents don't see the bill as a state's rights issue or a local issue. "They see it as part of an ideology they have that is against things like affirmative action programs or any sort of preference or set-aside programs," Lingle said.

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http://starbulletin.com/2006/06/07/news/story01.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, June 7, 2006

Akaka Bill faces crucial vote The Senate debates today and decides tomorrow whether to vote on the measure

THE LONG-stalled bill that paves the way for federal recognition of native Hawaiians received a boost in the U.S. Senate yesterday and faces a crucial vote tomorrow.

Late yesterday, Senate Majority Whip Mitch McConnell filed a petition for a cloture vote on the so-called Akaka Bill. The cloture motion essentially forces the Senate to decide whether it will take up the measure.

The Senate scheduled three hours of debate today on the motion and a vote tomorrow on whether to take the Akaka Bill to the Senate floor for further debate and a vote on the bill itself.

AKAKA BILL ROAD

Today: The Senate debates a motion to force a floor vote on the bill.

Tomorrow: 60 Senators must approve the motion for the bill itself to reach the floor for debate and a vote.

And then: Even if the bill passes the Senate, it must still get approved by the U.S. House.

The cloture motion needs the votes of 60 senators to open the way for full Senate consideration. Cloture ends the possibility that opponents could filibuster the bill and prevent a vote.

"I am grateful to the Senate leadership for filing cloture on my bill," said the bill's author, Sen. Daniel Akaka, who has tried for about seven years to bring the issue to a vote. "I look forward to the vote and am confident that many of my colleagues will support the motion to proceed. "My bill is about process and fairness. It is time for the Senate to debate this legislation," Akaka said in a press release.

At the same time he filed the petition on the Akaka Bill, McConnell also filed for a cloture vote on the Estate Tax, also known as the "death tax." Debate on that would precede consideration of cloture for the Akaka bill.

Senate Democrats, led by Akaka, D-Hawaii, appear to have near-unanimous support for his bill, but several Republicans oppose it as an unconstitutional, race-based plan.

The bill, formerly known as the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, would recognize a legal and political relationship between the United States and a native Hawaiian governing entity, giving native Hawaiians self-governing rights similar to those of Native American tribes.

Last year, congressional leaders agreed that the bill would be brought to the Senate floor on or before Aug. 7, but the measure stalled after concerns were raised by several senators. A cloture vote was then set for Sept. 6, but tabled after lawmakers dealt with emergency measures related to the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf Coast.

The bill's opponents say it will create two classes of people in Hawaii and would signal the beginning of the state's secession from the union.

Opponents received two high-profile boosts in Washington recently. The conservative magazine National Review blasted the bill in a cover story with the headline "Shame" this month. And last month the Washington-based U.S. Commission on Civil Rights concluded in a report that the Akaka Bill would "discriminate on the basis of race or national origin, and further subdivide the American people into discrete subgroups accorded varying degrees of privilege."

If the cloture vote succeeds, passage of the Akaka Bill would require only a simple majority. While a cloture vote generally indicates support for a bill, it does not guarantee passage, because opponents sometimes vote for cloture and then vote against the bill itself after further debate.

If the bill does pass in the Senate, it would go to the House for further action.

Gov. Linda Lingle, Hawaiian Homes Commission Chairman Micah Kane and Attorney General Mark Bennett were in Washington this week to gather support for the bill. Akaka thanked them, as well as the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, the National Congress of American Indians, the Alaska Federation of Natives and the American Bar Association for lobbying for his bill.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

----------------

http://www.washingtontimes.com/national/20060607-122638-5703r.htm
The Washington Times, June 7, 2006

Senate to consider letting Hawaiians pursue sovereignty

By Brian DeBose

Hawaii Sen. Daniel K. Akaka thinks Hawaiians should be allowed to govern themselves as Native Americans and Alaskans do, and after seven years of pushing a bill to start the process, the Senate is expected to take it up this week.

Mr. Akaka says the bill is a way to give "indigenous" Hawaiians a sense of pride and a chance for sovereignty for the first time since 1893, when Queen Liliuokalani was deposed and lands were illegally seized by U.S. Marines and a cadre of sugar-plantation businessmen.

"For the first time, if it passes, Hawaiians will have parity and be able to form a government entity to address their concerns, since the overthrow," Mr. Akaka said.

Republican senators annually have blocked the legislation, saying it would violate the Constitution by establishing a sovereign race-based government. It is only coming up now through a deal worked out between Democratic and Republican leaders to move other bills.

Opponents, including many native Hawaiians, say the bill opens up a "Pandora's box" of new race classifications and called the bill ambiguous as to what benefits it will bring.

The bill calls for an Office of Native Hawaiian Relations in the Department of the Interior, and a Native Hawaiian Interagency Coordinating Group to administer programs, a commission that would certify who are indigenous Hawaiians, and provides a process of reorganization of the Native Hawaiian governing entity.

"The bill will not authorize gaming in Hawaii. The bill will not allow private lands to be taken. The bill will not create a reservation in Hawaii," Mr. Akaka said.

The legislation is supported by both Republican and Democratic senators, primarily those from states with substantial Native American and Eskimo populations, as well as the American Bar Association and Alaska Federation of Natives.

Sen. Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican, who has kept the bill from coming to the floor, said the creation of a native Hawaiian government -- composed only of redefined natives and whose members can only be voted in by native Hawaiians -- could divide Hawaii's people.

"Unlike reservation Indians, Native Hawaiians do not live in one area of the State that is set aside for Indians; they live in the same cities and neighborhoods and on the same streets, as other Hawaiians do," Mr. Kyl said.

Reservation Indian tribes have the power to tax, regulate and make laws for members. There are an estimated 400,000 Native Hawaiians living throughout the United States.

Native Hawaiians also say it "too narrowly" redefines who is indigenous.

"It is only for people of Native Hawaiian blood," said 'Ehu Kekahu Cardwell, director of the Koani Foundation, a grass-roots group dedicated to restoring the Hawaiian nation.

"We want it to be for any descendants of kingdom nationals who were loyal to the queen during the time she was deposed. We want everyone to be able to have a say in how this turns out," Mr. Cardwell said.

Leon Siu, a Chinese Hawaiian lobbying against the bill on Capitol Hill, said it has already caused division in Hawaii.

"We reject a race issue being brought into our community; the bill will change the definition of who we are," he said. "Native Hawaiian is not a pure bloodline and ... this bill will introduce a new concept of racial apartheid."

Mr. Siu's father fled China in search of a better life and settled in Hawaii 70 years ago, as did hundreds of thousands of foreign nationals from America, Japan, China, Vietnam, and the Philippines who became Hawaiian citizens.

The Hawaiian monarchy historically never kept anyone from participating in its government structure and did not have a race-specific citizenship definition.

One of the most salient points in the debate will be a history lesson on how Hawaii became a U.S. territory and a state, which Native Hawaiians say was an "illegal annexation."

Queen Liliuokalani, the last Hawaiian monarch, was deposed in 1893 by a collection of sugar exporters doing business on the island with the complicity of the U.S. government.

Hawaii became a U.S. territory under a congressional resolution passed in the late 1890s, but the Constitution states that the U.S. can only acquire land held by sovereign foreign nations through a formal treaty.

The treaty authorized by the Safety Commission -- an illegitimate government established by the sugar plantation owners -- failed in Congress after 38,000 of the 40,000 natives living on the island in 1897 petitioned the Congress to reject it.

Congress formally acknowledged that the coup was unlawful in an apology resolution in 1993.

"This is just the next step in that process of acknowledging the wrong committed against the Native Hawaiian people and recognize them as a sovereign entity," said Donalyn Dela Cruz, spokeswoman for Mr. Akaka.

-------------------

** Note from Ken Conklin: Following is a somewhat altered version of an essay from my website. The full original essay can be seen at:
https://www.angelfire.com/planet/bigfiles40/AkakaEndorseByEthnicSpokes.html

http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?9b63a719-b590-4b95-8a6c-e92124b7edc5
Hawaii Reporter, June 7, 2006

Akaka Bill Endorsements by Ethnic Groups

By Kenneth R. Conklin

From time to time we see newspaper commentaries signed by a few individuals who claim the right to speak on behalf of entire ethnic groups allegedly supporting the Akaka bill.

In some cases those individuals are celebrities like former Governor Ariyoshi or former Governor Cayetano. They use the prestige they gained through being elected by ALL the people to claim to speak on behalf of their particular ethnic group. Do Hawai'i's people of Japanese ancestry acknowledge that George Ariyoshi speaks on behalf of all Hawaii citizens of Japanese ancestry? Do Hawai'i's people of Filipino ancestry give Ben Cayetano the right to speak on behalf of them all?

Of course anyone -- even a celebrity -- can speak on behalf of himself and even perhaps his family. But doesn't it seem odd to imagine that anyone can be a spokesperson for an entire ethnic group with hundreds of thousands of members? Some blacks loudly proclaim that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas most certainly does NOT speak for them!

I think the people of Hawai'i are proud to be Americans, proud of their individual accomplishments, and too smart to blindly follow the opinions of a celebrity elected by others. The fact that a famous white baseball player has his face on a cereal box has never made me feel loyalty to that brand of cereal just because I share the celebrity's ethnicity.

Some recent newspaper commentaries supporting the Akaka bill were signed by heads of ethnic-focused groups like the Japanese American Citizens League, the Fil-American Citizens League, or the National Federation of Filipino American Associations. In such cases there is a measure of credibility. The claim to speak on behalf of an entire ethnic group should be measured by the percentage of members of that entire ethnic group who are also members of the organization. Anyone will quickly see that such ethnic organizations have small membership rosters. Furthermore, the loudness and frequency of advocacy by such organizations seems to be inversely proportional to their size -- small groups make big noises surprisingly often. The Napoleon complex -- little guys feel a need to strut.

In the case of the Akaka bill it must also be noted that organizations endorsing that racist bill are left-wing groups focused on affirmative action, historical grievances, and reparations for their own ethnic groups.

The OHA Akaka bill flier mass-mailed in May/June 2006 listed some groups supporting the Akaka bill -- National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN), Governors' Interstate Indian Council (GIIC), Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, National Indian Education Association, Tribal Education Departments National Asasembly, Virginia Indian Tribal Alliance for Life. All these Indian tribal organizations fear that defeat of the Akaka bill would raise doubts about whether U.S. federal Indian policy might come under closer scrutiny. In particular, the Alaska Federation of Natives is worried that defeat of the Akaka bill would raise doubts about the Constitutional validity of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. Several Alaska native corporations have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement. There must be a reason why! Hawai'i Senators Akaka and Inouye (both Democrats) have traded votes with Alaska Senators Stevens and Murkowski (both Republicans) whereby Akaka and Inouye vote in favor of drilling for oil in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge in return for Stevens and Murkowski voting for the Akaka bill.

The OHA flier also lists these ethnic organizations favoring the Akaka bill -- Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), National Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans, National Organization of Pacific Islanders in America, Organization of Chinese Americans. All of these are focused on race or ethnicity; all see their particular ethnic group as victims of white oppression; all see their particular ethnic group as entitled to reparations for historical grievances, so that passing the Akaka bill would smooth the way for them to get reparations for their own groups.

When government is seen as an unlimited treasure chest of money, land, and power waiting to be plundered in the name of need or grievance; then each group is happy to support other groups demanding "justice" because they imagine their own turn will soon arrive. People who focus on ethnic identity are always happy to see ethnicity being elevated to greater importance than individuality. They thrive when people are given goodies based on race or group affiliation rather than individual accomplishment or individual need. They prefer to balkanize us rather than bring us together.

Two ethnic organizations identified on the OHA flier as supporting the Akaka bill deserve our special attention. They are the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), and Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF). Those organizations, along with MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan), have a longstanding campaign to recognize the Southwest United States as part of a Greater Mexico. They believe that people of Mexican (Aztec indigenous) ancestry should be entitled to freely enter the United States and eventually to reclaim for Mexico those lands that previously were a part of Mexico. They believe that anyone with at least one drop of indigenous Aztec blood, living in the part of Mexico which was engulfed by the United States -- "indigenous" people who never consented to become a part of the United States -- should be entitled to independence from the United States. This theory should sound familiar to the people of Hawai'i.

To pass the Akaka bill is to empower racial identity politics, balkanization, and the eventual breakup of the United States. Non-ethnic-Hawaiians who support the Akaka bill should think carefully whether they want to live as second-class citizens of a shrunken State of Hawai'i, with huge portions of land and money removed for the exclusive use of a hereditary elite. Do Hawai'i citizens of Asian ancestry aspire to become like the Fiji citizens of Asian ancestry, whose grandparents came to Fiji to work on sugar plantations and who now suffer under the yoke of indigenous Fijians guaranteed racial supremacy by law? Many Germans of Jewish ancestry supported Hitler's rise to power for reasons of national pride and economic rejuvenation, and served enthusiastically in his military forces; only to discover later that bad things happen when one group demands racial supremacy.

Asians in Hawai'i have a proud history of overcoming economic hardship and discrimination. In the 1800s some Japanese and Chinese came to Hawai'i as crewmembers on ships, or as skilled craftsmen or businessmen. But most came as indentured servants with contracts to labor on sugar plantations. Very few became naturalized as subjects of the Kingdom of Hawai'i, with voting rights. Then, in 1887 a new Constitution proclaimed by King Kalakaua stripped even those few Asians of voting rights. That Constitution was mostly the work of white property owners who forced it on the King to limit the King's powers. But it is notable that the King signed it to save his own monarchy rather than stand on principle to defend Asian rights. In truth, both the haoles and the Hawaiians were very glad to protect their racial oligarchy against a looming Asian majority. During most of the Territorial period the laws of the United States prevented Asian immigrants from becoming citizens, although Asians born in Hawai'i were citizens and could vote when they became old enough. Eventually the laws were changed. Race became irrelevant to voting rights and property rights.

Asians have now had the same economic and political rights as whites and Hawaiians for more than 5 decades. It is unimaginable that Asians would want to relegate themselves to second-class citizenship once again under the guise of "indigenous" rights.

REFERENCES

The OHA flier mass-mailed in May-June 2006 -- comments and corrections. http://tinyurl.com/hw832

Playing Favorites -- Da Punahele Race http://tinyurl.com/2sa6y

Pride and Prejudice -- What It Means To Be Proud of a Person, Group, Nation, or Race; Racial Profiling, Racial Prejudice, and Racial Supremacy http://tinyurl.com/36fwj

Native Hawaiians as the State Pet or mascot: A Psychological Analysis of Why Hawai'i's People Tolerate and Irrationally Support Racial Separatism and Ethnic Nationalism http://tinyurl.com/3he27

Hawaiian Nationalism, Chicano Nationalism, Black Nationalism, Indian Tribes, and Reparations -- Akaka Bill Sets a Precedent for the Balkanization of America (109th Congress: S.3064, S.147RS and H.R.309) http://tinyurl.com/722l4

Fiji and Hawaii Compared -- Racial Supremacy By Law in Fiji Resembles What Hawaiian Sovereignty Activists Are Seeking (both Akaka bill and independence proposals) [Note that in Fiji the Native Fijians have racial supremacy guaranteed by law over the Asian descendants of sugar plantation workers] http://tinyurl.com/34nvz

Honolulu Advertiser article (July 6, 2003) about Governor Lingle getting an OHA-issued race card (paid for with government money) identifying her as an honorary Hawaiian. http://tinyurl.com/kxpyg

Historian Bryan Mark Rigg recently published a book entitled "Hitler's Jewish Soldiers: The Untold Story of the Nazi Racial Laws and Men of Jewish Descent in the German Military." From personal interviews and archival research, Rigg estimates there were 150,000 Jews who served in Hitler's military, including decorated veterans and high-ranking officers, in return for being designated "honorary Aryans."

Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D., is an independent scholar in Kaneohe, Hawaii. His Web site on Hawaiian Sovereignty is at: https://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty He can be contacted at: Ken_Conklin@yahoo.com

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http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?47950d00-5767-4e34-bc51-e4d5700a0b10
Hawaii Reporter, June 7, 2006

What the Akaka Bill Would Really Do

By Don Newman

If the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, commonly known as the Akaka bill passes a cloture vote in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday May 7, 2006, it will then come up for floor debate and eventually a floor vote. Much has been said about the Akaka bill so it is a good time to look at what the Akaka bill would really do.

Aside from a lengthy list of definitions typically prefaces a bill such as this the Akaka bill basically does four things.

First, it will establish within the office of the Secretary of the Interior the United States Office for Native Hawaiian Relations. This office will act as a liaison between the federal government and its various agencies, the state of Hawaii, pertinent Committees in the U.S. Senate and House and the "Native Hawaiian Interagency Coordinating Group."

Second, is the establishment of the "Native Hawaiian Interagency Coordinating Group." The purpose of the Interagency Coordinating Group is to coordinate federal programs and policies that affect Native Hawaiians. There are a number of programs targeted towards Native Hawaiians spread across a number of federal government agencies. This Interagency Coordinating Group would seek to identify and coordinate these programs as well as facilitate reports to Congress, the Secretary of the Interior and the various federal agencies as to the progress and implementation of these programs.

Third, establish the process for the Reorganization of the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity. The process itself is rather complex. The Secretary of the Interior must appoint a Commission composed of 9 members. These members must qualify under the definition of Native Hawaiian that applies to all who want to participate in the reorganization of the Native Hawaiian government.

This definition according to the bill is as follows:

Resided in the islands that now comprise the state of Hawaii on or before Jan. 1, 1893; Occupied and exercised sovereignty in the Hawaiian archipelago, including the area that now constitutes the state of Hawaii; An individual who is 1 of the indigenous, native people of Hawaii and who was eligible in 1921 for the programs authorized by the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act (42 Stat. 108, chapter 42) or a direct lineal descendant of that individual.

These Commission members must have "not less than 10 years of experience in the study and determination of Native Hawaiian genealogy."

Fourth, certify that the adult members of the Native Hawaiian community that apply for inclusion on the "roll" meet the definition of Native Hawaiian as defined above.

The "roll" is to be submitted to the Secretary of the Interior within 2 years from the date upon which the Commission is fully composed. The Secretary is to publish the roll within 90 days upon receiving it otherwise the Commission is specifically authorized to do so.

The conducting of a referendum by the Interim Council for the purpose of creating organic governing documents along with choosing the members of the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity is the final aspect to the process alluded to earlier. There are 90 day limits to objections and changes by the Secretary of the Interior and the federal, state and Native Hawaiian governments. If the timetables are not met the Native Hawaiian Government automatically comes into existence.

This is a simplified summary but this is all the process really does. The Reorganized Native Hawaiian Government then "negotiates" with the federal and state governments for land, land rights, mineral rights, natural resources or anything else the Native Hawaiian Government may care to lay claim to. It is an empty vessel just waiting to be filled.

No one can say what the eventual outcome could be. No matter what assurances are put forth by our elected officials, the open-ended nature of the language of the bill makes any outcome possible in the final analysis. Not since the vote on statehood has there been a more crucial issue for the people of Hawaii. One would think that they would at least get a vote on the issue.

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: don@grassrootinstitute.org

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http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/07/opinion/07wed3.html
New York Times, June 7, 2006, EDITORIAL

A Chance for Justice in Hawaii

For Native Hawaiians, the last two centuries have been a struggle against extinction. Not long after Captain Cook sailed up in 1778, disease, poverty and political and economic exploitation began pushing their culture toward the vanishing point. One harsh milestone came in 1893, when American and European businessmen backed by United States marines overthrew the Hawaiian kingdom. Annexation by the United States quickly followed.

Hawaii has since thrived as a multiracial society, and its native language and arts have undergone a rebirth in the last generation or two. But if there is a common theme in this resurgent culture, it is an abiding sense of loss. The wrongs done to Native Hawaiians are a wound that never healed.

A tiny minority in the islands dreams, madly, of correcting this injustice by becoming an independent country. But Hawaii's broad mainstream — its Legislature, its current governor and her three living predecessors, its United States senators and two House members, and a solid majority of residents — has lined up behind something far more sensible.

It's a bill sponsored by Senator Daniel Akaka that would extend federal recognition to Native Hawaiians as indigenous people. It would create a governing body for the estimated 400,000 Native Hawaiians that would negotiate with the state and federal governments over land and other resources.

After languishing for years, the bill is heading for a Senate vote. This has prompted outraged editorials and op-ed articles warning that a Pacific paradise will become a balkanized banana republic.

Those worries are misplaced. The bill's central aim is protecting money and resources — inoculating programs for Native Hawaiians from race-based legal challenges. It is based on the entirely defensible conviction that Native Hawaiians — who make up 20 percent of the state's population but are disproportionately poor, sick, homeless and incarcerated — have a distinct identity and deserve the same rights as tribal governments on the mainland.

The Akaka bill does not supersede the Constitution or permit Zimbabwe-style land grabs. It explicitly forbids casinos, a touchy subject in Hawaii. Any changes a Hawaiian government seeks would have to be negotiated with state or federal authorities. As has always been the case on those eight little islands, everyone will have to find a way to get along.

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** REBUTTAL TO NEW YORK TIMES EDITORIAL, BY NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=ZjI1MDRjMzRmZTg0MzAxOTRjNTYyYWUxMzVlOTkzZmI=
National Review online
The Corner
Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The New York Times on Hawaii

by Ramesh Ponnuru

The Times claims that "a solid majority of residents" of Hawaii support the Akaka bill. It doesn't specify what polling it is basing that claim on, but the Grassroots Institute of Hawaii found 67 percent opposition to the bill.

The Times also claims that the bill "explicitly forbids casinos." This is far from the most important issue in this debate, but as far as I can tell, the Times's claim is not true. The bill says that the new native Hawaiian government may not engage in gaming under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. That's not the same thing. IGRA regulates Indian tribes' gambling activities, but does not confer on them the authority to conduct those activities in the first place. If the bill passes, the new government could claim the inherent sovereign right to conduct gaming—and without the restrictions of the IGRA.

The Times writes: "After languishing for years, the bill is heading for a Senate vote. This has prompted outraged editorials and op-ed articles warning that a Pacific paradise will become a balkanized banana republic.

"Those worries are misplaced. The bill's central aim is protecting money and resources — inoculating programs for Native Hawaiians from race-based legal challenges. It is based on the entirely defensible conviction that Native Hawaiians — who make up 20 percent of the state's population but are disproportionately poor, sick, homeless and incarcerated — have a distinct identity and deserve the same rights as tribal governments on the mainland."

We're not supposed to be worried about the potential for racial balkanization, because all the bill does is bless race-based benefits. Somehow I don't find that reassuring. As numerous commentators on the bill have pointed out, native Hawaiians don't meet the usual criteria for recognizing Indian tribal sovereignty: They're not a separate and distinct community that has exercised sovereignty for a long time. They live, shop, work, and pray alongside non-native Hawaiians, and they intermarry at high rates. To this argument the Times responds that native Hawaiians do indeed have a distinct identity, as a "poor, sick, homeless and incarcerated" liberal client group. That's not the kind of thinking that Congress should encourage.

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http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2006/Jun/07/br/br07p.html
Honolulu Advertiser, BREAKING NEWS, Posted at 10:43 a.m., Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Emotions run high during Akaka bill debate

By Dennis Camire
Advertiser Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — Senate floor debate on the long-stalled Native Hawaiian bill opened today with opponents arguing it would establish a new sovereign government in the United States based on race.

"This bill would, for the first time in history, create a new, separate and independent race-based government within our borders," said Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., a leading opponent of the bill. "It is about sovereignty. It is about land and money. It is about race."

Alexander said the bill would set a dangerous precedent for the country.

"It is a reverse of what it means to be an American," he said.

But Sen. Daniel K. Akaka, D-Hawai'i, the chief sponsor of the bill, argued that Native Hawaiians have not been treated equally with the other indigenous peoples of the United States.

"At the heart of it, this bill is about fairness," Akaka said. "What this bill really does is provide a structured process to finally address longstanding issues resulting from a dark period in Hawaiian history — the (1893) overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawai'i."

Akaka said the bill "goes a long way" to uniting the people of Hawai'i to deal with the wounds that have plagued them since 1893.

The three-hour floor debate paves the way for a vote tomorrow on a procedural motion to bring the bill to the floor over opponent's objections — known as cloture. If supporters get the 60 votes necessary to approve the motion, the actual bill could then be brought up for debate and a possible vote.

The bill, originally introduced in 2000, would create a process for a Native Hawaiian government to be recognized by the federal government, similar to the political status given to Native American and Alaskan Native tribes.

Many of the bill's opponents said they were concerned the bill would balkanize the country rather than help keep it unified.

"It's not too much to say the legislation could create a crack in the American ideal of equal rights and color-blind justice," said Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala. "It is a step we must not take."

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http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2006/Jun/07/br/br11p.html
Honolulu Advertiser, BREAKING NEWS Posted at 11:56 a.m., Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Group opposed to Akaka bill leaves Iolani Palace

Advertiser Staff

About 10 protesters affiliated with the anti-Akaka bill organization Hui Pu occupied the second-floor balcony of Iolani Palace, the former seat of government for the Hawaiian monarchy, for more than two hours this morning.

Backed by roughly two dozen supporters on the ground, the group said its goal was the voice its opposition to the Native Hawaiian Reorganization Act, the subject of a cloture debate on the Senate floor in Washington, D.C.

"Mission accomplished," proclaimed Moanakeala Akaka, as the the group left the building peacefully, even receiving permission to exit through the front door and gather on the steps for prayer.

Earlier, Andre Perez, a Hui Pu member, said "Linda Lingle does not speak for Hawaiians. OHA does not speak for Hawaiians. Dan Inouye does not speak for Hawaiians. Senator Akaka does not speak for Hawaiians. We speak for ourselves."

The palace remained open.

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http://starbulletin.com/breaking/breaking.php?id=4534
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, BREAKING NEWS Posted on: Wednesday, June 7, 2006 12:01 PM HST

U.S. Senate begins Akaka Bill debate
The measure granting native Hawaiians special status appears to have broad support

Star-Bulletin staff and news services

Debate began this morning on the floor of the U.S. Senate on a motion that would force a floor-vote on the so-called Akaka Bill, which would establish a process for native Hawaiian self-determination.

Late yesterday, Senate Majority Whip Mitch McConnell filed a petition for a cloture vote on the bill. The cloture motion essentially forces the Senate to decide whether it will take up the measure.

The Senate scheduled three hours of debate today on the motion and a vote tomorrow on whether to take the Akaka Bill to the Senate floor for further debate and a vote on the bill itself.

The cloture motion needs the votes of 60 senators to open the way for full Senate consideration. Cloture ends the possibility that opponents could filibuster the bill and prevent a vote.

Senate Democrats, led by U.S. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, appear to have broad support for the bill, but several Republicans oppose it as an unconstitutional, race-based plan.

“If a bill establishing a Native Hawaiian government passes, it would have the dubious honor of being the first to create a separate nation within the United States,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.

“While Congress has recognized pre-existing American Indian tribes, it has never created one before,” Alexander said.

“If we start down this path, the end may be the disintegration of the United States into ethnic enclaves. This legislation would undermine our national unity by treating Americans differently based on race.

“It would begin to destroy what is most unique about our country. Instead of making us one nation indivisible, it divides us … Instead of our becoming ‘one from many’ we would become ‘many from one.’”

Akaka said, “Whether you are for it or against it, I ask all of you to let this bill come to the floor … We gather here in this chamber to discuss matters of law and governing and of fairness and of human and civil rights because at the heart of it, this bill is about fairness and about creating a process to achieve it.

“Native Hawaiians have been recognized as indigenous people by Congress through more than 160 statutes for more than 100 years. Congress has treated native Hawaiians in a manner similar to American Indians and native Alaskans. But when it comes to having a process on self-government and self-determination, native Hawaiians have not been treated equally,” he said.

“What this bill does is authorize a process to examine whether a policy of self-governance and self-determination can be extended to native Hawaiians, thereby creating parity in the way the United States treats its indigenous peoples.

“What this bill really does is provide a structure process to finally address long-standing issues resulting from a dark period in Hawaii history, the overthrow of the kingdom of Hawaii.”

The bill is supported by Gov. Linda Lingle, who traveled to Washington to lobby for it, as well as the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

About two dozen members of Hui Pu, a coalition of native Hawaiians opposed to the Akaka Bill, held a rally at Iolani Palace today to stage a symbolic reclamation of the royal throne.

Members chanted, sang songs, and hung banners and upside down Hawaiian flags from the second floor of the palace in a peaceful show of protest to the actions in Washington.

“The Akaka Bill is worthless,” said Moanikeala Akaka, former Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee.

The bill, formally known as the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, would recognize a legal and political relationship between the United States and a native Hawaiian governing entity, giving native Hawaiians self-governing rights similar to those of Native American tribes.

Last year, congressional leaders agreed that the bill would be brought to the Senate floor on or before Aug. 7, but the measure stalled after concerns were raised by several senators. A cloture vote was then set for Sept. 6, but tabled after lawmakers dealt with emergency measures related to the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf Coast.

Opponents received two high-profile boosts in Washington recently. The conservative magazine National Review blasted the bill in a cover story with the headline “Shame” this month. And last month the Washington-based U.S. Commission on Civil Rights concluded in a report that the Akaka Bill would “discriminate on the basis of race or national origin, and further subdivide the American people into discrete subgroups accorded varying degrees of privilege.”

If the cloture vote succeeds, passage of the Akaka Bill would require only a simple majority. While a cloture vote generally indicates support for a bill, it does not guarantee passage, because opponents sometimes vote for cloture and then vote against the bill itself after further debate.

If the bill does pass in the Senate, it would go to the House for further action.

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https://www.angelfire.com/planet/bigfiles40/AkakaDOJstrongoppos060706.html

A new letter from the Bush administration on June 7, 2006 strongly opposes the Akaka bill. The opening sentence says:

"The Administration strongly opposes passage of S.147"

The letter is from William E. Moschella, Assistant Attorney General of the United States, addressed to Senator Bill Frist, Majority Leader of the Senate. Some or all of the Moschella letter was read on the floor of the U.S. Senate by Senator Jeff Sessions (R,AL) during an unusual out-of-sequence ten-minute speech approximately 7:15 to 7:25 PM Eastern Daylight Time on Wednesday June 7. Senator Sessions clearly believed it was important to circulate this letter among all the Senators and their constituencies before the crucial cloture vote scheduled for 12:45 PM on June 8.

(1) Attorney General Moschella's letter to Senator Frist; (2) political analysis

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(1) Attorney General Moschella's letter to Senator Frist

June 7, 2006

The Honorable Bill Frist
Majority Leader
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 205 10

Dear Mr. Leader:

The Administration strongly opposes passage of S.147. As noted recently by the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, this bill risks "further subdivid[ing] the American people into discrete subgroups accorded varying degrees of privilege." As the President has said, "we must ... honor the great American tradition of the melting pot, which has made us one nation out of many peoples." This bill would reverse that great American tradition and divide people by their race. Closely related to that policy concern, this bill raises the serious threshold constitutional issues that arise anytime legislation seeks to separate American citizens into race-related classifications rather than "according to [their] own merit[s] and essential qualities." Indeed, in the particular context of native Hawaiians, the Supreme Court and lower Federal courts have invalidated state legislation containing similar race-based qualifications for participation in government entities and programs.

While this legislation seeks to address this issue by affording federal tribal recognition to native Hawaiians, the Supreme Court has noted that whether native Hawaiians are eligible for tribal status is a "matter of dispute" and "of considerable moment and difficulty." Given the substantial historical, structural and cultural differences between native Hawaiians as a group and recognized federal Indian tribes, tribal recognition is inappropriate for native Hawaiians and would still raise difficult constitutional issues.

Sincerely,

William E. Moschella
Assistant Attorney General

CC: The Honorable Harry Reid
Minority Leader

** Note: A photograph of the letter, on letterhead stationery with signature, can be seen at

http://wiki.grassrootinstitute.org/mediawiki/index.php?title=2006-06-07_DOJ_to_Frist

** Additional note: Transcripts of the three-hour Senate debate from Wednesday June 7, plus all further transcripts related to the cloture motion and possible further debate on the Akaka bill, are placed on this website as soon as they become available from the Library of Congress (24-48 hours). See:
https://www.angelfire.com/planet/bigfiles40/AkakaHistJune2006SenateActionCongRec.html
The history of the Akaka bill for 2005-2006, including news reports and commentaries, can be followed at
https://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/AkakaHist109thCong.html

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(2) Political analysis

The letter from the Department of Justice to the Senate Majority Leader clearly shows that Senators Inouye and Akaka were trying to mislead their colleagues to have them believe that the Akaka bill has been approved by DOJ.

Senator Inouye, apparently referring to the new S.3064, said in Wednesday's debate that the bill is the result of successful negotiations with DOJ. However: (a) The bill under consideration for the cloture petition and being debated for over three hours on the floor of the Senate was S.147, not S.3064; and (b) as the new letter from Mr. Moschella shows, DOJ most certainly does NOT approve of even the newer version S.3064. For DOJ to issue such a letter in the evening hours is quite unusual. For Senator Sessions to quote from that letter as soon as possible, and at 7:15 PM local time on the floor of the Senate, shows the urgency of this matter.

On May 25 Senator Akaka finally introduced in the Senate the bill now numbered S.3064, which is the bill he placed on his Senate website in mid-September 2005. At that time the entire Hawai'i delegation made a great noise that this new Akaka bill was the product of negotiations with the Department of Justice which had successfully resolved all concerns. A few days thereafter the DOJ issued a statement saying that there were still major concerns about both the appropriateness of such a policy and the (un)constitutionality of the bill.

Senator Akaka then allowed that alleged amended bill to sit dormant without ever introducing it, until May 25 when it had a "first reading" and received bill number S.3064. That created the impression that S.3064 was now the active version of the bill.

However, on June 6 a cloture motion was made for the older version, S.147. That seemed very strange. It was not an accident. Every reference to the Akaka bill in the cloture motion and the unanimous consent scheduling for the following days referred to S.147.

A logical explanation would be that the alleged amendment S.3064 was simply a decoy posted by Senator Akaka last September for the purpose of fooling DOJ and the Bush administration into thinking that it would become the real Akaka bill. By fooling DOJ with this decoy, the Hawai'i delegation successfully avoided having the Bush administration make any public statement opposing the bill, thereby giving the public the impression that the bill had the President's blessing or at least acquiescence. S.3064 remained a decoy even after being formally introduced on May 25, as shown by the fact that the subject of the cloture petition was S.147, not S.3064.

Let's also recall that the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights reported on S.147; and when their scathing report was issued, the Hawai'i delegation bitterly complained that USCCR had not taken note of the (allegedly) "amended bill." As though anyone should make a determination based on a bill that was never (yet) introduced! Furthermore, the new S.3064 in no way addresses the policy and Constitutional concerns which the DOJ has consistently expressed all along and continues to express in the Moschella letter of June 7.

It now appears that the Hawai'i delegation has been playing fast and loose for several years, trying to deceive both the Bush administration and the general public regarding what the Akaka bill is really all about. The chickens have now, at long last, come home to roost. May this bill now finally get the cremation and burial it so richly deserves.

Shame on Governor Linda Lingle for squandering her political capital in Washington on the Akaka bill when there are so many productive things she might have used it for.

Shame on Attorney General Bennett whose title tells us he surely knew (or should have known) all along that this bill is bad policy and worse law.

Shame on our Legislators for repeatedly voting in favor of resolutions supporting the Akaka bill even when some of them privately said they think it's disgusting. They are cowards, and they also refused to place the issue on the ballot for Hawai'i's people to vote.

Shame on them all, plus the OHA trustees, for spending many millions of dollars of our government money on lobbying, advertising, consultants' fees, postage, first-class travel, etc. Shame on them all for putting us through this wringer for so many years, causing divisiveness in this land of Aloha.

It's time for the people of Hawai'i to stand up and be counted. E ku'e kakou i ka palapala a Akaka, a me na po'e kako'o ana kela. (Let's all stand opposed to the Akaka bill and to the people supporting it).

---------------------------

http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2006/Jun/07/br/br20p.html
Honolulu Advertiser, breaking news, Posted at 5:19 p.m., Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Justice Department advises Senate to reject Akaka bill

By Gordon Y.K. Pang

On the eve of a crucial vote, the U.S. Department of Justice late today issued a letter to Senate leaders stating that the Bush Administration "strongly opposes" passage of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, better known as the Akaka bill.

Assistant Attorney General William E. Moschella cited a report issued last month by the U.S. Civil Rights Commission recommending that senators reject the bill, which initiates a process that would lay the groundwork toward establishing of a federally recognized Native Hawaiian entity.

The report, Moschella noted, said the bill could lead to "further subdivide(ing) the American people into discrete subgroups accorded varying degrees of privilege."

Moschella's two-paragraph letter was addressed to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. A copy was sent to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, who leads the Democratic caucus. A cloture vote set for tomorrow will determine whether the Akaka bill will finally get a Senate vote after a number of failed attempts over the last six years.

Moschella also cited a quote from Bush that said "we must ... honor the great American tradition of the melting pot." Moschella wrote: "This bill would reverse that great American tradition and divide people by their race."

Supporters of the Akaka bill say the bill goes a long way toward rectifying the wrongs of the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy and is necessary to stave off legal challenges raised against programs that give preference to Hawaiians. Some opponents counter that it flies against the concept of equal treatment for all in order to discriminate in favor of Hawaiians. Other opponents maintain that the bill does not go far enough in addressing wrongs tied to the overthrow.

Office of Hawaiian Affairs Administrator Clyde Namu'o said while he was disappointed with Moschella's letter, it is the Office of Management and Budget and not the Justice Department, that speaks for President Bush.

Further, Namu'o said, it is OHA's understanding that Moschella's letter was based on the current draft of the Akaka bill and not a proposed amended version of the bill designed to address the concerns raised by the Justice Department and other opponents.

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The cloture vote on the Hawaiian Government Reorganization bill was 56-41 in favor of cloture. Therefore cloture failed, because 60 votes were required to make it pass. Here's the voting record, organized in several different ways. Remember that Senator Kyl voted yes for cloture only because of an agreement he made two years ago; but he absolutely would have voted no on the bill itself. The other Republican Senators who voted yes really have no excuse -- they are the same ones who often seem to lean sharply to the left. No Democrat voted against cloture. God help us if the elections this November go the wrong way. There is a ray of hope that some who like the Akaka bill might see the light and change their minds. Senator Hatch was a co-sponsor of the Akaka bill in the 108th Congress (2003-2004), at a time when he was also Chair of the Judiciary Committee. But this time around he did not sign up as a cosponsor; and when it came time for the cloture vote, he voted against even allowing the bill to come to the floor. He has grown in his understanding of the bill, and so there's hope that others might do the same. Who knows -- maybe someday there will even be a Democrat who gets it right!

http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=109&session=2&vote=00165#position

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http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?e49ba742-fb8d-423b-9a44-8c879cf2728f
Hawaii Reporter, June 8, 2006

Akaka Bill Debate Tops U.S. Senate Agenda Today

In a Surprise Twist, Bush Administration Announces Strong Opposition to the Bill; Hawaii's Proponents and Opponents Lobby Congress; Political Stakes are High

By Malia Zimmerman

The secrets of a beloved King. That is what Rubellite Kawena Kinney Johnson's grandfather kept close to his heart in the 1880s as a cherished assistant to the native Hawaiian King David Kalakaua. Ms. Johnson's grandfather shared what he could with his family -- ancient history, literature, cultural practices and the importance of treating people with equality and respect, as did his King who was fondly known as "The Merrie Monarch."

The 74-year-old Ms. Johnson, named in 1983 as a "Living Treasure" for her work in translating Kumulipo, the Hawaiian Creation Myth, went on to co-found the University of Hawaii's Hawaiian Studies Program, and like her grandfather, became a revered expert in Polynesian astronomy, geography and ancient cultural practices. The distinguished scholar, who is 50 percent Hawaiian, says she is one of many Hawaiians who have grave concerns about the political and cultural direction Hawaii's top leaders are taking. Ms. Johnson feels a profound sadness because a handful of radical groups with "hate in their hearts," are pushing for sovereignty, secession and a return to the Hawaiian monarchy.

Some of these activists believe they can achieve these goals through the Native Hawaiian Recognition Act, nicknamed the "Akaka Bill" after its sponsor Democratic Sen. Daniel Akaka. Nearly all of Hawaii's elected officials who have stated support for the bill maintain federal legislation is essential to preserving special programs, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and funding for native Hawaiians. Those who are fighting the bill’s passage say the bill will drive a stake through the heart of the Aloha State and divide its culturally diverse population along racial lines.

The Akaka Bill, which the U.S. Senate debated for three hours yesterday, is scheduled for a cloture vote today. Sixty of 100 Senators need to vote for cloture, which would set off 30 hours of debate before a final vote is taken. Some political insiders estimate the vote for cloture could be within one vote with all of the Democrats likely supporting Hawaii Democrat Senators Akaka and Daniel Inouye, who are the major proponents of the legislation, and some of the Republicans succumbing to heavy lobbying efforts by Hawaii’s Republican Gov. Linda Lingle, who reportedly has told them the passage of this legislation will help Republicans in Hawaii.

But opponents may have picked up a few votes against the bill and cloture vote yesterday when the Bush administration came out against the Akaka Bill, saying the Administration “strongly opposes passage of S. 147.”

Citing the recent report from the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, William E. Moschella, the Assistant Attorney General for the U.S. Justice Department says the bill risks "further subdivid[ing] the American people into discrete subgroups accorded varying degrees of privilege."

The Commission came out strongly against the bill on May 4 urging the U.S. Congress to reject the plan, with Commission Chairman Gerald A. Reynolds saying, "This runs counter to the basic American value that the government should not prefer one race over another." Reynolds reiterated the Commission’s views yesterday at a press conference in the nation’s Capitol saying “You would have to have a heart of stone not to sympathize with what happened to Hawaiians in the past, but the Akaka Bill is not the answer.” An African American, Reynolds acknowledged his people have suffered, but adds, “We are in the 21st century now and it is time to move forward. One of the blights on our history is the government’s sanctioning use of racial preferences. We should be moving away from racial preferences. We can address some of the harms that have been done, but the means arejust as important as the ends.”

Moschella sides with Reynolds’ assessment adding: “This bill would reverse that great American tradition and divide people by their race.”

While Hawaii State Attorney General Mark Bennett maintained in a separate press conference yesterday in the nation’s Capitol that the Akaka Bill is absolutely and unequivocally constitutional, Moschella questioned the constitutionality of the bill as many critics of the legislation have in the past: “Closely related to that policy concern, this bill raises the serious threshold constitutional issues that arise anytime legislation seeks to separate American citizens into race-related classifications rather than 'according to [their] own merit[s] and essential qualities.'

“Indeed, in the particular context of native Hawaiians, the Supreme Court and lower Federal courts have invalidated state legislation containing similar race-based qualifications for participation in government entities and programs.”

A Heritage Foundation analysis concludes the Akaka Bill is unconstitutional. "Congress is simply not allowed to create new nations, new governments or new tribes and leave them free from their constitutional responsibilities," says Heritage President Ed Feulner.

Bennett disputes these assessments, and he, the governor who appointed him, Hawaii’s entire congressional delegation, Micah Kane, head of the Hawaiian Homelands Department, and 6 of 9 elected Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustees, are nonetheless in Washington D.C. demanding passage, insisting it will right past wrongs.

Akaka said on the Senate floor yesterday: "Some of my colleagues have questioned Congress’ authority to deal with Native Hawaiians. But after serving for nearly 30 years on the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, with the majority of those years as either Chairman or Vice Chairman, I am well-informed of the law that governs the federal relations with the aboriginal, native people of the United States. Based on my knowledge and experience, Congress has the authority to pass the Akaka bill. Furthermore, the Supreme Court has consistently affirmed the authority of Congress over Indian matters."

Proponents including Bennett and OHA trustees, claim the majority of Hawaii citizens support the bill, and spare no criticism when they complain about the recently released poll by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, that with two automated surveys of 20,000 households, found respondents answered two to one against when asked, "Do you want Congress to approve the Akaka bill?" Some people in Hawaii say determining whether the people are in favor of the Akaka Bill could be solved with a referendum, but Hawaii's leaders refuse to have a public vote on the Akaka Bill, even though they did in 1959 on the issue of statehood, which resulted in more than 90 percent support.

Republican State Sen. Sam Slom, the only elected official in the state to speak out against the measure and who is in Washington D.C. this week to give a different perspective to fellow Republican elected officials, says he offered a resolution calling for a public debate, and statewide vote but his idea wasn't even given a hearing.

Bennett questions how a statewide vote would be taken before the bill is passed, saying there is no legal mechanism in place. He also says the question on the ballot would determine the outcome and wonders who would approve the question people are to vote on. Bennett adds that after the Akaka Bill is passed and an independent Hawaiian government is set up as is provided for in the current version of the law, the public will vote on the proposal by that government.

Slom counters that Hawaii's political leaders have allowed little or no debate and instead have insisted the people "trust" them, but many opponents question whether this is the best strategy considering this history:

* In 1993, Senior U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye promised fellow Senators that the Apology Resolution he authored that year would not be used to grant special status, rights, privileges, reparations, land or money for people of native Hawaiian descent, but now the resolution is being used as justification for the Akaka Bill.

* In 2000, Congressman Neil Abercrombie, D-HI, attached the bill to a list of uncontested housekeeping measures -- it passed. Opponents of the legislation were outraged at such evasive legislating.

* In 2006, Gov. Linda Lingle claims the bill will not lead to secession, however prominent advocates of the bill, including trustees from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA), the primary lobbying entity for the bill, and Mr. Akaka himself, have claimed otherwise saying secession -- and even returning to a monarchy -- is an option.

* Trustees from OHA, which has a trust fund of $3 billion, have been deceptive in their "advocacy," spending millions of dollars on first class trips, parties, local advertising campaigns and pricey mainland lobbyists. OHA refuses to provide a list of its expenditures. Yesterday when questioned about the list of expenditures requested over a year ago by Hawaii Reporter, and how much OHA has spent on travel, lobbying and advertising, OHA chair Haunani Apoliona refused to comment, saying her legal department is researching the request.

Despite this deception, some Republicans mistakenly believe its passage will help the Hawaii GOP and Gov. Linda Lingle's aspirations for a U.S. Senate seat. Other Republicans, including Senators Jon Kyl and Lamar Alexander are leading the fight to defeat the bill, but the final tally will be close, according to Akaka who says he has the votes he needs. Senators Alexander of Tennessee and John Cornyn of Texas held a press conference in the Capitol building yesterday to voice their opposition and they included four native Hawaiian people from Hawaii who are opposed.

Haunani Apoliona of OHA dismissed the native Hawaiians as the minority view. She rallied with native Hawaiians recruited by OHA this morning at the West Lawn at the Capitol to demonstrate support and insist the bill be passed. In attendance were 5 OHA trustees, University of Hawaii President David McClain, Hawaiian Homes Director Micah Kane, U.S. Senator Dan Akaka, OHA Attorney Robert Klein, Congressman Ed Case and congressional candidate Quentin Kawananakoa. Up for re-election in a contentious primary at age 81, Mr. Akaka introduced a slightly revised version on May 25 under a different number, but his older bill is being debated today. Negotiations for the final language of the bill were shrouded in secrecy. Opponents will attempt to dilute the bill through amendments if a cloture vote is invoked. If the bill does pass the Senate, it must also pass the U.S. House again, and be signed by President Bush. Bill Burgess, and native Hawaiians Sandra Puanani Burgess, Leon Siu (a Hawaiian musician) and Clarence Ching (a former trustee for OHA), who are in Washington D.C. lobbying against the bill this week, maintain that before taking even one step down this dangerous path, Congress must ask the people of Hawaii whether they want to break their state into pieces to benefit a new nation that governs Native Hawaiians separately.

Opponents say Congress cannot rely on advocacy of Hawaii's elected officials who have manufactured the appearance of support through a high-priced, taxpayer funded media and public relations campaign. They maintain America's future depends on the political courage of America’s congress members, because if Hawaii goes down this path, radicals in other states will be energized to do the same and America will no longer be one nation united.

Malia Zimmerman, editor and president of Hawaii Reporter, can be reached via email at mailto:Malia@hawaiireporter.com

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http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?052a37cb-2f94-43a2-8283-91624cd15f7d
Hawaii Reporter, June 8, 2006

Grassroot Perspective
GRIH Comment: The following is a copy of a letter sent to Sen. John McCain by one of his good friends and a fellow prisoner of war in North Vietnam during those awful days. His clarity of thought concerning the Akaka bill speaks for itself.

Help - Dangerous Legislation

By Jerry Coffee

Dear John:

This is one last appeal; PLEASE vote NO on the Akaka Bill, S147. I know you find it difficult to go against the elected representatives of Hawaii, but let me explain.

Governor Lingle (with whom I agree on most issues), Hawaii's Congressional delegation and State Legislature are all in favor of the bill because it will guarantee MILLIONS IN CONTINUED FEDERAL FUNDING for over 150 programs specifically for Native Hawaiians (race based) most of which they are eligible for anyway based upon NEED, like anyone else. The legislators view the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) like they view the Hawaii Govt. Employees Union, their patrons and source of MILLIONS IN CAMPAIGN SUPPORT. And they know, as you know, OHA -- like Indian Tribes -- will be exempt from campaign donation limits. Plus most in the legislature are lawyers and their firms will capitalize greatly from the ENDLESS LITIGATION that will inevitably follow the passage of the Bill. It's no wonder they all support the bill.

Akaka has said from the beginning his Bill had the best chance of passing by "keeping it under the radar". He was successful until about two years ago, but now it is above the radar. Last month an independent poll with straight forward questions revealed nearly 70% of Hawaii's voters are AGAINST the bill, AND that the issue should be settled by a STATEWIDE PLEBISCITE rather than being decided in Washington. In 1957 over 90% of Hawaii's citizens voted in favor of statehood (same percentage for Native Hawaiians that voted). Akaka has also admitted the Bill would have "a significant impact on ALL of Hawaii's citizens". To split the state's governing body along racial lines with different rights and privileges would be to undo the statehood vote in spite of the preferences of the state's majority. At least Hawaii's citizens should have the right to vote on a Bill of such import before Congress decides for them.

As recently confirmed by the U.S. Commission on Civil Right, Congress's own advisory body, the Akaka Bill is patently UNCONSTITUTIONAL as race based legislation. The Supreme Court ruled in "Rice vs Cayatano" OHA could not restrict it's governance according to race. The 9th U.S. Circuit recently struck down Bishop Estate's race based admissions policy for Kamehameha Schools. No amount of revisionist history about "illegal overthrow of the monarchy" or Cleveland's or Clinton's apology for said "overthrow" can change the constitutional issue. And you know Dan Inouye lied about his intent when he talked Congress into passing Clinton's apology resolution. He knew it would provide support (from the uninformed) for the Akaka Bill which was on the horizon.

The Akaka Bill will set a terribly dangerous precedent. You saw the writing on the placards during the recent mass demonstrations on immigration by mostly Mexican aliens; "White man YOU are the illegal alien. Get out of our country!" In Southern California a Mexican flag flew ABOVE the American flag over a High School. If the Akaka bill passes, Hispanic minorities throughout the Southwest will be emboldened to clamor for the same "rights". It will commence the further FRAGMENTATION OF AMERICA, the undoing of all that was won in the Civil War, the preservation of the Union. How ironic is this, when our country needs UNITY now more than anytime in our lifetime. Make no mistake, many Native Hawaiians see the Akaka Bill as the first step to complete secession; "Last Star On, First Star Off!" But Akaka only equivocates; "that is something for my grandchildren to decide."

The passage of the Akaka Bill and division of the state government will endanger every one of Hawaii's military bases and training areas at a time when national security is paramount. As you know, the old bombing/firing range on Kahoolawe is now in OHA's control, Makua Valley -- close to Schoefield Barracks and one of the 25th I.D.s primary training areas --- has been reduced to tightly controlled maneuvering with no live ammo because of restraining orders by Hawaiian cultural and environmental groups. The Army's Pohakaloa Training Area--the primary Stryker training ground -- on the Big Isle is in their sights. The Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) on Kauai -- vital to the continued development of our Missile Defense System -- will not be immune. Most Hawaiian activists who could rise to the top of the new "entity's" leadership are vehemently anti U.S. military.

Native Hawaiians have nothing in common with Native Americans on the mainland U.S. or Alaska. They have never lived off to themselves in designated areas like an Indian tribe. With little exception, they are COMPLETELY INTEGRATED INTO HAWAII'S SOCIETY, and 40% of the 400,000 live on the mainland. They have achieved considerable success proportionate to their numbers, from the U.S. Senate and House, to the state governorship and all levels of government -- both elected and appointed -- as well as in all professional disciplines. Congress will be creating a "tribe" where none has ever existed, and race based benefits where they are not warranted.

Contrary to Akaka's assertion that his Bill would bring "unity and reconciliation" to Hawaii's people, just the opposite is assured. Imagine side by side neighbors for years, suddenly governed by separate entities with one neighbor now immune from state taxes, municipal zoning laws, environmental regulations, state and city law enforcement, and the established judicial system. The Native Hawaiian neighbor opens a business and charges less for a product or service because he/she pays no taxes on sales; fair competition? The Native Hawaiian government buys a parcel of land and has it declared a part of "tribal lands" by the BIA and they can use it for anything, regardless of zoning laws. Sound far fetched? This is exactly what's happening on the mainland with Indian tribes and their non tribal neighbors. And state legislatures which should define and maintain limits are bought off by the millions of dollars in tribal gambling profits. Couldn't happen in Hawaii? Hawaii's legislature is bought off by unions daily. The Akaka Bill will guarantee DIVISION, RESENTMENT, AND CONFLICT among the citizens of Hawaii.

The Akaka Bill is about power and money for the few. It is significant that OHA and the state government are spending millions of taxpayer dollars sending delegations to Washington to lobby for the passage of the Bill. And OHA is spending tens of millions on professional lobbyists and lawyers to persuade Senators to vote for the Bill. This is proportional to the resistance proponents know exists among the majority of Hawaii's citizens. If the Bill is really that good for Hawaii, why does it require such a Herculean effort to get it passed?

A group of Hawaii's citizens working against passage of the Akaka Bill calls itself, "Aloha For All!" But as one of the group points out, if the Akaka Bill passes, "it will mean the death of Aloha". And it won't stop there.

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http://honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060608/NEWS01/606080354/1001
Honolulu Advertiser, Thursday, June 8, 2006

Close vote expected today for Akaka bill

By Dennis Camire
Advertiser Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — A Native Hawaiian federal recognition bill took heavy fire yesterday from conservative Republicans in a historic debate in the Senate, with some saying they could not let their respect for Hawai'i's two senators lead them to support a bill they consider dangerous and un-American.

The three-hour debate, the first time the bill has been considered at length in the Senate since it was introduced in 2000, sets the stage for a vote today on whether the bill will proceed. Sens. Daniel K. Akaka and Daniel K. Inouye need 60 votes to overcome a procedural roadblock and bring the bill to the floor for further debate. Several congressional aides predicted the vote will be close.

"Now that my colleagues have begun to hear the arguments, it is my hope that they will join us in voting to move this bill to the floor for an up-or-down vote," Akaka, D-Hawai'i, said after the debate. "I remain optimistic that we have enough votes to make this happen."

The bill has been stalled in the Senate, often through anonymous holds, for nearly seven years, so the debate yesterday was itself a breakthrough. But it also showed that Akaka and Inouye have not been able to satisfy conservative Republicans who insist the bill would create a race-based government in violation of the Constitution.

The U.S. Department of Justice yesterday also sent a letter to Senate leaders saying the Bush administration strongly opposes the bill. The Justice Department under Bush has raised constitutional concerns about the bill but had not said publicly that it opposed it until yesterday.

Gov. Linda Lingle, a Republican, has been asking the Bush administration to at least remain neutral on the bill while it moved through Congress.

Clyde Namu'o, the administrator for the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs, downplayed the Justice Department's letter and said it did not carry the weight of a White House policy statement.

The bill would establish a process for a Native Hawaiian government to be recognized by the federal government, similar to American Indians and Alaska Natives. The more than 400,000 Hawaiians living in the U.S. would have the choice of whether to belong to the new government. Supporters have said the nature of the relationship would be political, not racial, but several Republican senators argued yesterday that the bill would be a step backward on equality.

"This bill would, for the first time in history, create a new, separate and independent race-based government within our borders," said Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn. "It is about sovereignty. It is about land and money. It is about race."

Alexander said the bill would set a dangerous precedent that could be followed by other racial or ethnic groups. "It is a reverse of what it means to be an American," he said.

But Akaka was confident he would overcome the Republican opposition.

'ABOUT FAIRNESS'

"At the heart of it, this bill is about fairness," said Akaka, who said Hawaiians have not been treated equally as indigenous people. "What this bill really does is provide a structured process to finally address long-standing issues resulting from a dark period in Hawaiian history — the (1893) overthrow of the kingdom of Hawai'i."

Akaka said the bill "goes a long way" to unite the people of Hawai'i and deal with the wounds that have plagued Hawaiians since the overthrow.

But many of the bill's opponents said they were concerned the bill would divide the country by race.

"It's not too much to say the legislation could create a crack in the American ideal of equal rights and color-blind justice," said Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala. "It is a step we must not take."

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said the U.S. has made significant progress toward ensuring all citizens are treated equally under the law.

"If we are to embrace for the first time in American history, as a matter of our legislative actions, race-based distinctions for Americans, it will be a day we will long rue and it will be a black mark in our nation's long march toward equal justice," he said.

But Inouye, D-Hawai'i, said Hawaiians would still be subject to the Constitution and state and federal laws if the bill were to become law. Any new Hawaiian rights over land use or other resources would have to be negotiated with the state or federal governments, he said.

"This bill does not secede the state of Hawai'i or any part thereof from the United States," Inouye said. "They can set up businesses, establish schools, but they will never under this bill pass any measure that will be in contravention with the Constitution ... or the laws of the United States."

Lingle, state Attorney General Mark Bennett and several OHA leaders have been on Capitol Hill this week urging the Senate to pass the bill as a matter of justice for Hawaiians. The furious lobbying continued yesterday with opponents holding a news conference to blast the bill as misguided.

Gerald A. Reynolds, chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, said the commission rejected the bill because it would discriminate on the basis of race and divide Americans into subgroups with different privileges.

"One of the bad things, one of the negative things, one of the blights on our history is the government's sanctioning the use of racial preferences," Reynolds said. "In the 21st century, we should be moving away from that."

'TERRIBLE DISTORTION'

Leon Siu, of the Kaua'i-based Koani Foundation, which favors Hawaiian independence, said that Hawaiian culture has always been inclusive of other races and that many Hawaiians oppose the bill's racial classification.

"It's a terrible distortion of what the Hawaiian people really want," he said. "It will drive wedges between Native Hawaiians and non-Native Hawaiians and it will drive wedges within the Native Hawaiian community itself."

Hawai'i's senators and the Lingle administration had worked with the Justice Department on several amendments to make the bill more acceptable to the Bush administration. Akaka agreed to revise the bill to preclude Hawaiians from bringing land claims against the U.S. and to prohibit gambling.

But the department, which endorsed a previous version of the bill under President Clinton, has consistently cited constitutional objections. In the two-paragraph letter to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., the department mentioned the civil-rights commission report and Bush's belief of honoring the nation's melting pot.

"This bill would reverse that great American tradition and divide people by their race," wrote William Moschella, an assistant attorney general.

"Closely related to that policy concern, this bill raises the serious threshold constitutional issues that arise anytime legislation seeks to separate American citizens into race-related classifications rather than 'according to (their) own merit(s) and essential qualities.' "

Official statements of administration policy are issued by the White House Office of Management and Budget, but the Justice Department's letter could be used by Senate Republicans in their arsenal and could be another issue for Akaka and Inouye to overcome.

"The Department of Justice does not speak for the administration. The Office of Management and Budget would be the one that actually would issue a statement of the administration's position," Namu'o said. "So that letter from Moschella is not a statement of administration position."

Jon Van Dyke, a law professor at the University of Hawai'i- Manoa, said the race-based arguments against the bill could be overcome by comparing Hawaiians to other Native Americans. Van Dyke has written in favor of the legislation.

"The U.S. Constitution recognizes the special status of native people at several places and since the founding of our country native people have been given that special and preferential status in many respects," he said.

"We've also, of course, abused native people dramatically in the history of our country but, during the past 30 or 40 years, we've tried to remedy those injustices."

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http://honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060608/NEWS01/606080355/1001
Honolulu Advertiser, Thursday, June 8, 2006

Senators get an earful on Hawaiian recognition bill

By Gordon Y.K. Pang

Representatives from opposing camps in the debate over federal recognition of Native Hawaiians are in Washington, D.C., pushing their positions on senators before a crucial vote on the so-called Akaka bill that's expected today.

Publicity efforts in Honolulu include a flurry of advertisements by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs in support of the bill, and a two-hour "occupation" of the second-floor balcony of 'Iolani Palace by Native Hawaiians who oppose the measure because they think it doesn't go far enough.

Sixty of the 100 senators must agree to a cloture petition to remove blocks placed on the bill by six conservative Republican senators. Once past cloture, 51 votes would be necessary to approve the bill.

Robin Danner, executive director of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, joined contingents led by Gov. Linda Lingle and several key members of her Cabinet and nearly all OHA members in chatting up senators who remain uncommitted.

"I think she's met with the staffs of four of the senators and she's got four more meetings scheduled this week," said Jade Danner, Robin's sister and council vice president.

INFORMATIVE CHATS

Jade Danner said the discussions with the staffers have centered around educating them about the Native Hawaiian plight. "Many American senators need a course in American history," she said.

H. William Burgess of the group Aloha For All, which opposes the bill on the belief that is race-based, said he and three other supporters also have pursued an instructional campaign. Their purpose, however, is "to educate the public and the senators about the perils of the Akaka bill."

Among those working with Burgess is Sen. Sam Slom, R-8th (Kahala, Hawai'i Kai), who is aligned with the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, which also opposes the bill. "We've been making appointments and talking to anybody who will listen," Burgess said.

A network of like-minded individuals also were urged to communicate with key senators, Burgess said.

"We're still bombarding the Senate with calls, faxes and e-mails," he said.

Native Hawaiian groups opposed to the bill on the grounds that they don't believe it goes far enough in addressing wrongs committed against their ancestors, also have been busy. Several appeared at a news conference yesterday with Senate Republicans.

Additionally, the Koani Foundation asked its supporters to contact 15 senators that the group believed were undecided on the bill and express objections.

PALACE PROTEST

About 10 members of Hui Pu, an umbrella organization of Native Hawaiian organizations opposed to the bill, yesterday entered 'Iolani Palace, once the center of the Hawaiian monarchy and still a symbol of sovereignty for Hawaiians, and hung upside-down Hawaiian flags and banners from the second-floor balcony overlooking King Street.

Andre Perez, a Hui Pu spokesman, said the group wanted to make senators and the public aware that a sizeable number of Hawaiians oppose the measure and that government officials from Hawai'i, nearly all of whom support the bill, do not represent their view.

State sheriffs and palace staff declined to make arrests at the gathering so protesters exited peacefully through the front steps of the palace.

"We accomplished our mission, which was to express our opposition to the bill and get some media attention," Perez said.

OHA, meanwhile, has purchased advertisements to remind the public that a good number of people continue to support the bill. The state agency paid $14,000 for a full-page ad that ran in Sunday's Honolulu Advertiser. Additionally, $5,000 was spent on a series of ads placed in The Advertiser that feature former Gov. George Ariyoshi, Hawaiian music icon Genoa Keawe and others.

OHA, which has been ripped by bill critics for spending more than $1 million in lobbying and advertising expenses in support of the measure, also spent about $22,000 to broadcast a one-hour television special on the bill that aired May 28 and Monday, and promotional spots on local television station KGMB.

OHA public information officer Manu Boyd said the goal of the show was to "dispel some of the myths" about the bill.

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http://starbulletin.com/2006/06/08/news/story02.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, June 8, 2006

Akaka Bill opponents occupy Iolani Palace

By B.J. Reyes

While federal lawmakers debated the merits of the Akaka Bill, about two dozen native Hawaiian activists chanted, sang and hung banners and upside-down state flags from the second floor of Iolani Palace to protest the action being taken in Washington.

Members of Hui Pu, a coalition of native Hawaiians opposed to the federal recognition proposal, staged a symbolic reclamation of the royal throne before leaving peacefully after about two hours.

"We're doing this because of the Akaka Bill vote," said Hui Pu member Ikaika Hussey, one of the organizers of the rally. "The way it's going through, the process is anti-democratic."

Hui Pu has criticized lawmakers and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs for not holding more extensive hearings on the bill, which has been revised over the past six years.

Hawaiian sovereignty activists also oppose the bill, saying it does not do enough to grant independence from the U.S. government.

OHA Administrator Clyde Namuo said the bill is needed to protect programs and preferences that already exist for native Hawaiians.

"I think they (critics) need to look at what the bill does," Namuo said by telephone from Washington, D.C. "I think they need to understand what the legal challenges could possibly be if this bill does not pass.

"I think people are fooling themselves if they think there will not be further legal challenges."

Namuo said he was optimistic that today's scheduled vote on cloture -- a move that would bring the bill to the Senate floor for a vote -- would turn out positive for supporters.

He praised Alaska Republican Sens. Ted Stevens and Lisa Murkowski for their arguments yesterday in support of the bill.

While some Republican critics said a native Hawaiian government would be a step toward secession and the breakup of the nation's unity, Stevens recalled hearing similar fears in the past when Congress discussed extending land and programs toward Alaska natives.

"Time has proven them wrong," Stevens said. "This bill will fulfill our federal obligation to these native Hawaiian people."

Namuo also credited Gov. Linda Lingle and Attorney General Mark Bennett for their lobbying efforts on behalf of the Akaka Bill.

"I think for those people who were on the fence, they might have been impacted," he said. "We'll just have to wait and see."

Sovereignty activists remained unconvinced.

"The Akaka Bill is worthless," activist and former OHA trustee Moanikeala Akaka said through a bullhorn from the second floor of Iolani Palace. "It will hurt the Hawaiian people, not help the Hawaiian people."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

** Photo http://starbulletin.com/2006/06/08/news/art2a.jpg

** Photo http://starbulletin.com/2006/06/08/news/art2b.jpg

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http://starbulletin.com/2006/06/08/news/story01.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, June 8, 2008

Senators volley over Akaka Bill
The measure's fate rides on a procedural vote

By Mark Niesse
Associated Press

Hawaii's senators rejected claims yesterday that giving self-government to native Hawaiians would create a race-based, sovereign subnation within the United States.

The U.S. Senate discussed the bill to grant federal recognition to Hawaii's indigenous people, and a vote expected today would take it to the full Senate for consideration.

Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, said his proposal would help right some of the wrongs done by the U.S. government in the 1893 overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy.

"At the heart of it, this bill is about fairness and about creating a process to achieve it," Akaka told the Senate. "Native Hawaiians have not been treated equally."

He said the measure, dubbed the "Akaka Bill," would categorize native Hawaiians in a similar way as American Indians and Alaskan natives.

Senate Democrats appear to have near-unanimous support for the Akaka Bill, but several Republicans oppose it, saying it could divide the United States and give out privileges to people with a native Hawaiian bloodline.

"It is about sovereignty. It is about race," said Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn. "We are taking a step toward being a United Nations and not the United States."

A cloture vote is expected today, which would end the possibility that opponents could filibuster the bill and prevent a full vote. A successful cloture vote generally indicates support for a bill but does not guarantee its passage.

Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, talked about how he was raised in Hawaii with the understanding that the native Hawaiian people had been mistreated by the United States.

"If anything, this will unite the people of Hawaii," Inouye said. "It's time we reach out and correct the wrong that was committed in 1893."

Republicans worry that the bill would create a subgroup with different rights from other Americans, weaken the country and allow the creation of a Hawaiian tribe where one did not exist before.

Alexander said everyone is an American, and he compared Hawaiians to Tennesseans and Oklahomans.

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights recently advised against the bill, saying it was discriminatory.

But Hawaii's Republican Gov. Linda Lingle, its four Democratic congressmen and the state Legislature support the Akaka Bill's passage.

"This gives us an opportunity, I think, not to look backward, but to help all Hawaiians move forward," said Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., who was born and raised in Hawaii.

Some Republican senators said a native Hawaiian government would be a step toward secession and the breakup of the nation's unity.

"We need to make sure everyone who grows up in this country knows what it means to be an American," said Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala. "It's a matter of the greatest nation ... to now be creating sovereign entities within our nation that are based on race."

Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, said he remembers hearing similar fears in the past when Congress discussed extending land and programs toward Alaska natives, but none of those concerns have been borne out.

"Time has proven them wrong," Stevens said. "This bill will fulfill our federal obligation to these native Hawaiian people."

=================

Akaka bill yeas and nays for the cloture motion vote of June 8, 2006 (56 yea, 41 nay, 3 not voting)

https://www.angelfire.com/planet/bigfiles40/AkakaClotureVoteStats060806.html

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http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2006/Jun/08/br/br08p.html
Honolulu Advertiser, BREAKING NEWS, Posted at 8:09 a.m., Thursday, June 8, 2006

Akaka bill fails to move to Senate floor debate

By Dennis Camire
Advertiser Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON - The Senate voted today to reject an effort to bring the Native Hawaiian bill to the floor for debate and a vote.

The 56-41 vote fell short of the 60 votes needed to free the stalled bill, which conservative Republicans have kept from floor consideration since last summer. Three senators did not vote.

Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawai'i, author and chief sponsor of the bill, said before the vote that if it failed to progress to the floor, he'd try again in the current legislative session.

"The bill still stands except that we cannot bring the bill to the floor," he said. "This is what has happened for the past six years."

But even if Akaka gets another chance and is successful, legislative time is running out to get the bill through the House. If it doesn't receive approvals from both chambers, supporters would have to start all over again when a newly elected Congress convenes in January.

The bill, originally introduced in 2000, would create a process for a Native Hawaiian government to be recognized by the federal government, similar to the political status given to Native American and Alaskan Native tribes.

In last minute debate on the measure, Akaka asked senators to allow the bill to be debated and voted on.

"Don't make your decision based on someone else's characterization of the bill," he said. "The people of Hawai'i, native and non-native, deserve more than that. Give us the courtesy of at least a debate on this bill.

But opponents hammered at the bill, saying it would create an unconstitutional, race-based government.

"Nearly every time our government has taken race into account when dealing with its citizens, the effects have been detrimental if not devastating," said Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the assistant majority leader. "Unfortunately, today the Senate is considering a bill that would wreck the progress we have made."

McConnell said the bill "violates the letter and spirit" of the Constitution.

"The way this bill tries to maneuver around this unconstitutionality is by ... creating a new tribe of Native Hawaiians," he said. "But this new tribe is a shell game. As recently as 1998, the state of Hawai'i itself acknowledged that the tribal concept has no historical basis in Hawai'i."

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said Congress couldn't "simply and arbitrarily" create an Indian tribe where none existed before.

"The Constitution does not authorize Congress to make Indian tribes out of subsets of Americans who have no relationship whatsoever to an Indian tribe," he said.

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http://starbulletin.com/breaking/breaking.php?id=4537
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, BREAKING NEWS Posted on: Thursday, June 8, 2006 8:13 AM HST

Akaka Bill fails a vote in the Senate
The measure is not dead but will not be voted on in this session of Congress

Sally Apgar and Gregg Kakesako

In a close 56-41 vote, the U.S. Senate failed to pass a procedural petition this morning that would have brought the Akaka Bill to the floor for debate and a vote.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka said his bill ďfell victim to politics, rhetoric and procedural maneuvering. The central issue of federal recognition for Hawaiiís indigenous people has yet to be given its fair examination.Ē

Office of Hawaiian Affairs administrator Clyde Namuo said, "Obviously this is a setback."

OHA has been lobbying hard in Washington for passage of the bill.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye said he did not expect or anticipate that the Bush administration at the last minute would release what Inouye described as "a misleading letter," which probably swayed the outcome of today's vote.

Inouye said the White House was "grossly disingenuous" in its letter opposing the original version of the bill because everyone knew the bill had been reworked to address all concerns.

"Then the Republican leadership used the letter to urge the majority to vote against the Akaka bill, saying this was the administrationís position."

The cloture petition needed the support of 60 of the 100 senators to allow the bill to go to the floor. To become law, the Akaka Bill needs to pass both the Senate and House in the same two-year session.

Formally known as the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, the controversial measure has been more than six years in the making. It does not create a separate native Hawaiian government. Instead, the measure authorizes an unspecified process that would eventually lead to the formulation of a native Hawaiian governing entity with the authority to negotiate with the U.S. government.

Akaka, D-Hawaii, backed by the Hawaiian congressional delegation and Hawaii's Republican governor, Linda Lingle, argued that the legislation was needed to redress wrongs that have persisted since the U.S. backed overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1893.

Under the current version of the bill, the new body would negotiate with the Department of the Interior. The bill does not give the governing native Hawaiian entity explicit powers, but instead legislates these powers to be granted in the course of future, three-way agreements approved by the federal government, the state of Hawaii and the new native Hawaiian governing body.

Inouye said, "Some of the claims by the Republican opposition were simply outrageous and misleading, to say the least. Here's just one example: It was suggested that the Akaka bill would set an ominous precedent, opening the door for the Amish and Hasidic Jews to establish a separate nation within the United States.

"That's nonsense. The law is very clear: The Congress has the plenary authority to consider and grant government-to-government status with its aboriginal and indigenous natives. The Amish and Hasidic Jews are good people; but they are not aboriginal or indigenous people of the United States. I am certain that most senators would realize that."

Namuo said "there is nothing more to be done this legislative session."

Opponents of the bill were obviously pleased with the vote.

"I think it's a definite victory for all of the individuals, both Hawaiian and non-Hawaiian, who contacted their senators and asked they vote against the cloture petition," said Ikaika Hussey of Hui Pu, a coalition of native Hawaiians opposed to the Akaka bill.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

====================

Akaka bill yeas and nays for the cloture motion vote of June 8, 2006 (56 yea, 41 nay, 3 not voting)

https://www.angelfire.com/planet/bigfiles40/AkakaClotureVoteStats060806.html

-------------------

http://www.khon.com/khon/display.cfm?storyID=14102&sid=1153

KHON TV, Honolulu, June 8, 2006 06:14 PM

What's next for native Hawaiian programs

by Ron Mizutani

The trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs gathered outside the nation's capitol Thursday with other Hawaii leaders, including the bill's author, Senator Daniel Akaka.

Haunani Apoliona, from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs says,"self-determination is necessary to protect and perpetuate native Hawaiian culture, traditional practices, trusts, institutions, native programs, ancestoral lands and resources and rights for today and for the future."

But by day's end the future of those programs was less clear.

"If there isn't something like the Akaka Bill if there isn't a federal recognition of Hawaiians in a political sense, I think it's inevitable that the programs that favor Hawaiians in one way or another are going to be ruled unconstitutional," says UH law professor Randy Roth.

Governor Linda Lingle says, "now someone will go in and say, look they couldn't get federal recognition, that proves that these programs are race based and therefore illegal. and i expect there will be additional challenges."

"Those attacks will probably prevail if there isn't a political recognition of Hawaiians like the Akaka Bill will do," Roth says.

Akaka Bill opponent, Ikaika Hussey says, "i don't think so --- and i don't think we should be operating from the basis of fear."

"It's always been clear that the Akaka Bill would not protect the Hawaiian trusts"

One of those trusts is the Kamehameha schools.

"The Akaka Bill would not protect Kamehameha schools from race based lawsuits," Hussey says.

Roth says, "the admissions policy at Kamehameha will either have to be changed or the trust would lose it's tax exempt status or be subject to these statutory attacks on the old civil rights statute."

Trustees and the CEO of Kamehameha issued a statement regarding the Akaka Bill, saying "we are disappointed but more determined than ever to move forward."

Jon Van Dyke, UH law professor, says "i think the Kamehameha schools can succesfully defend it's program without the bill."

As for Hawaiian homelands, which was established by the federal government -- most feel future legal challenges won't be successful and Hawaiians like Jimmy Akiona will continue to get their land. And some the feel the debate may continue next year.

Dyke says, "i assume it will be tried against next year the composition of the congress may be different may be quite different next year --- and if so then the Akaka Bill may well have a better chance of going through next year."

-----------------

http://khon.com/khon/display.cfm?storyID=14103&sid=1152
KHON TV, Honolulu, June 8, 2006, 7:04 PM

Akaka bill voted on in Senate
Manolo Morales

"The yeahs are 56, the nays are 41."

With that, the bill that Senator Akaka has worked on for seven years, is likely done for the rest of the congressional session. A motion to force lawmakers to take action on the Akaka Bill needed sixty votes. But the senator isn't hanging his head.

"No I'm energized because i should tell you that I was amazed that receiving 13 votes on the other side. But we just didn't have enough," says Akaka.

Thirteen republicans voted in favor along with one independent. The other 42 were democrats. The legislation would have given Native Hawaiians self-governance powers similar to those held by Native Americans. Sen. Akaka blames the defeat on political rhetoric from republican critics, which he addressed at the senate floor before the vote.

"They leave me with little doubt that there are those who use this process for political reasons at the detriment of Hawaii's indigenous peoples and the people of Hawaii," says Akaka.

But critics say the law that allows Native Americans sovereignty doesn't apply to native Hawaiians.

Senator Lamar Alexander says, "it says tribes must be a separate and distinct community. Native Hawaiians are not. They live in every state in the United States of America. 160-thousand live outside of Hawaii."

Senator Akaka says there's a slight hope of reviving the bill this year by tacking it on to an appropriations bill, which congress will be dealing with in the coming months. If not, he says he's still encouraged by the national attention that the bill received. And if he still has the senate seat after this year's election, he'll continue to push to get it passed.

=============

http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?776a58dc-ad25-4db7-aad8-7494c122c56d
Hawaii Reporter, June 8, 2006

Akaka Bill Now 'Deader than Dead'
Despite Putting on a Happy Face About Today's Failed Cloture Vote on the Akaka Bill, Republicans Say the Bill Will Never Pass This Session or Any Other While Republicans Dominate the Senate; New National Awareness on the Implications of the Controversial Legislation Stopped it in Its Tracks; Those on the Losing End Chipped Away Their Political Capital

By Malia Zimmerman

REPORTING FROM WASHINGTON DC: Under the watchful eye of Hawaii’s Senior Senator Daniel Inouye, U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka spoke several times on the Senate floor this week sharing with his fellow 99 Senators why he is passionate about the controversial legislation he fathered -- the Native Hawaiian Recognition Act S. 147 -- which allows native Hawaiians to set up a separate government in the 50th state and act as one tribe of indigenous people, no matter where they live in the world.

Also known as the Akaka Bill, the legislation ultimately died in the Senate Thursday afternoon after Sen. Akaka initiated a cloture vote. Cloture, which forces 30 hours of debate and a second vote on the final measure, was achievable with 60 votes -- Akaka secured just 56.

Part of the problem was that during the two days of debate, the 81-year-old Akaka recently named one of the 5 worst and most ineffective senators in the nation, often wandered in his speech, losing track of his place in his script, while mumbling and repeating himself. The Senator attempted to backtrack on a highly inflammatory statement he made in a 2005 interview on National Public Radio, during which he admitted the Akaka Bill could lead to Hawaii’s secession from the United States. His 2005 statement, which he unsuccessfully attempted to clarify a couple of days later, sent shockwaves throughout political and media circles across the country.

Trying to reassure Republicans who are concerned with passing legislation that could remove one of the 50 stars from the American Flag, Akaka this Wednesday emphasized he is not in favor of secession. However he got himself in more political hot water when he acknowledged once again that succession or return to a Hawaiian monarchy could occur with this legislation. Unfortunately for Akaka, though he couched his statement with a prediction that such a proposal is not likely to get the approval of the state or federal government, his comments only served to increase concerns rather than appease them.

The debate’s momentum only went downhill from there for proponents of the Akaka Bill. Akaka and even the 81-year-old Inouye were no match in the floor debates on Wednesday and Thursday with Republican conservatives and moderates opposed to the bill. Some of the opponents of the measure are lawyers by profession who composed eloquently crafted speeches and delivered them with flair on the unconstitutionality and dangers of the legislation.

The only advocate who was comprehensive and charismatic was Democratic Sen. Barack Obama, D-IL, who shared personal insights as a former resident of Hawaii on how the bill will help Hawaii.

Believing he had the votes, Akaka forced the cloture vote, but was sorely disappointed with the 56 to 41 outcome.

While Akaka maintained in a subsequent press statement that he will be back this session with another version of the Akaka Bill, Republicans maintain he won’t have that opportunity.

Whether Akaka got the message or not, Republicans sent both Hawaii Senators a strong one with the 41 votes in opposition to the cloture vote. These were votes Republicans organized and worked diligently to secure, despite heavy lobbying from Hawaii’s Republican Gov. Linda Lingle and vote trading by Inouye and Akaka.

The 41 votes let Hawaii’s delegation know that the bill will never pass with this current Senate in place. Especially now that the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in May and the U.S. Department of Justice this Wednesday issued strong statements against the Akaka Bill, calling it unconstitutional, divisive and in the case of the Commission, the worst piece of legislation they’d ever reviewed.

Behind the scenes, Republican senior staffers say there were substantially more than 41 Republican members who would vote against the bill if Akaka had somehow eked by the cloture vote.

All Democrat Senators were willing to vote for cloture, but not necessarily for the passage of the final version, according to political staffers.

But Republicans played let’s make a deal with theirs, negotiating up until the very last minute. Organized in caucus beforehand, some Republicans who knew they would kill the cloture vote, cast their ballot in favor of the Akaka Bill because they either served on the Senate Appropriations Committee with Inouye, the co-chair, and wanted to show him the courtesy, or because they’d traded their vote with Inouye in previous sessions. Republican Sen. Jon Kyl, one of the biggest opponents of the bill, promised the Hawaii delegation he would not stand in the way of the cloture vote because of a previous deal he made, but he told them if it passed cloture, he’d be their toughest opponent.

Thursday brought to an end 6 years of work by Akaka to get this legislation passed. Political observers noted several fatal mistakes Hawaii’s top elected officials made in their campaign to get the Akaka Bill through.

* They disregarded the public’s lack of support for the measure and concerned themselves only with recruiting endorsements from Hawaii’s top political leaders.

* They authored legislation that would divide rather than unite, the state’s non-Hawaiian and native Hawaiian communities.

* They seriously misjudged the influence that Gov. Linda Lingle has in swaying Republican Senators and President George W. Bush in favor of the Akaka Bill. She failed in this attempt -- a fact brought home when the Bush administration authored a letter issued Wednesday saying the administration is “strongly opposed” to the legislation.

* Gov. Lingle, Senators say, confided that the Akaka Bill would help Republicans politically in Hawaii -- including her own campaign for governor or U.S. Senate in the future. They, for the most part, did not believe her because the legislation was introduced by a Democrat and does not sit well with the Republican or conservative agendas.

* They underestimated their opponents and personally attacked them rather than addressed their statements with convincing arguments and facts.

* They overestimated the power of government over the power of the people.

* They underestimated the negative reaction mainlanders would have once sunshine was put on the true implications of the bill through more than 50 nationally published opeds and stories.

* Rather than grassroots support, they believed the money they spent lobbying for the bill, buying support from conservatives, advertising dollars spent by the millions to buy off media, and public relations campaigns they ran to promote the bill, would manipulate Hawaii residents into believing that the Akaka Bill is the best legislation for Hawaii. A good bill -- and honestly addressing the legal and constitutional problems in the bill -- would have been much cheaper, easier and saved the taxpayers a bundle.

* They believed secrecy in the negotiations of the final language of the bill was more effective than open negotiations. It wasn’t, as the closed-door negotiations only raised suspicions of opponents.

In the end, there were some political surprises.

While Gov. Linda Lingle was able to secure some Republican support -- especially from some of the female Senators who are more liberal -- she lost a vote she said just weeks ago that she secured from Sen. Elizabeth Dole. And Sen. Lindsay Graham, who is one of the original co-sponsors of the bill, did not even show up to vote.

Despite heavy lobbying against the bill by close associates of Sen. John McCain, he voted in favor of the bill.

Two Democrats did not show up to vote including Chuck Schumer, D-NY, and John Rockefeller, D-WV. But even if they had showed, Democrats would not have made the cloture count.

Akaka is putting on a happy face attempting to spin local media reports in his favor.

But as one senior staffer at the Capitol says, the legislation is “deader than dead.” Republicans strongly dispute Akaka’s claim it could resurface this year.

Should Democrats take over the Senate, the House and the president’s seat, Republicans acknowledge the bill could pass in future sessions, but that isn’t likely, particularly if the fading Akaka loses his re-election bid this year to the 53-year-old energetic Democratic Congressman Ed Case who is challenging him in the primary.

Though Case is in favor of the Akaka Bill, and spoke at a rally in favor early Thursday surrounded by Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustees, Senator Akaka and others, he is not the godfather of the legislation.

Should Case win, he could in fact introduce his own native Hawaiian rights bill that appeases Republican concerns about constitutionality, land division, different tax structures divided by race, gambling on sovereign lands, eminent domain and secession from the United States. A bill that unites the people of Hawaii, rather than creates divisiveness, unrest and drives a stake in the heart of its people’s Aloha Spirit.

One fact is certain: Hawaii’s elected officials who backed the Akaka Bill legislation, staking their political reputations on it, will have to deal with the fallout this election season. These so called leaders managed to disappoint one faction of the Hawaiian people who wanted the bill passed, while getting a “thumbs down” from the Bush administration, the majority of the Senate and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights on legislation so poorly crafted it failed on constitutional grounds and a host of other legal concerns.

-----------------

http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?817cba37-81aa-4469-a737-c691a093b84e
Hawaii Reporter, June 8, 2006

Majority of U.S. Senate Supports My Akaka Bill

By U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii

Washington, D.C. - Today, across this nation, Native Hawaiians have been recognized as an indigenous people deserving of justice, equality and the recognition accorded to the other indigenous peoples of the United States. In the highest halls of our government, senators from all parts of our country and both sides of the aisle took up the cause to bring Native Hawaiians justice. For this, I am extremely grateful and extraordinarily proud.

Sadly, the noble values of equality, fairness and strength in diversity, hallmarks of our state and our country, fell victim to politics, rhetoric and procedural maneuvering. The central issue of federal recognition for Hawaii’s indigenous people has yet to be given its fair examination.

I am disappointed that we did not overcome the procedural obstacles to bring the bill to the floor, but I am heartened by the fact that 56 Senators supported our efforts. I have always said that we had the votes to enact this bill on an up or down vote.

I am extremely proud to have brought this issue to the forefront of the Senate and to have elevated the cause of the Native Hawaiians to a national level. We must continue to move forward for Native Hawaiians, the people of Hawaii and everyone in this country who believe that ours is a nation which treats all of its people with an equitable hand.

While I would like to name each and every individual and organization who supported our efforts, those numbers are too great. I do want to recognize the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, National Education Association, American Bar Association, Japanese American Citizens League, Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs, Alaska Federation of Natives, National Congress of American Indians, and many more, who demonstrate that this issue enjoys support across ethnic, economic and political divides.

The United States Senate voted 56 to 41 on cloture on the motion to proceed to S. 147, the Native Hawaiian Reorganization Act.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka is a Democrat representing Hawaii.

----------------

Top: Honolulu Advertiser cartoon, June 9, 2006, Adair
http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/misc?url=/misc/zoom.pbs&s=M1&Dato=20060609&Kategori=OPINION04&Lopenr=60608004&Ref=AR
Middle: Honolulu Star-Bulletin cartoon, June 9, 2006, Corky
http://starbulletin.com/2006/06/09/news/corky.html

Bottom: Honolulu Weekly cartoon, June 7, 2006, Pritchett (how did he know the bill would fail in a vote on June 8, at the time he created his cartoon in time to publish it in a newspaper that hit the streets on June7 ? The Moschella letter was not even made public until June 7 at 7:15 PM EDT!)




----------------

http://washingtontimes.com/national/20060608-111752-1736r.htm
THE WASHINGTON TIMES, June 9, 2006

Senate blocks floor debate on Hawaiian sovereignty

By Brian DeBose

The Senate yesterday blocked the annual effort to grant Hawaiians the ability to form a sovereign government similar to those operated by American Indians and Alaskans.

The so-called Akaka bill, named for Sen. Daniel K. Akaka, Hawaii Democrat, died on a 56-41 procedural vote, four shy of the 60 needed to allow a floor debate.

Mr. Akaka, who has pushed the bill for seven years, said he was disappointed by the outcome but buoyed by growing support for the legislation.

"Native Hawaiians have been recognized as an indigenous people deserving of justice, equality and the recognition according to the other indigenous peoples of the United States," said Mr. Akaka, who is backed by the Hawaiian congressional delegation and Hawaii's Republican governor.

Opponents, including many Republican Senators, say the bill violates the Constitution by creating a race-based government.

Thirteen Republicans -- including, Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, one of the bill's chief opponents -- voted for a floor debate. Mr. Kyl would not elaborate on why he voted for cloture except to say, "I made a commitment, and I honor my commitments." Two Democrats, Sens. Charles E. Schumer of New York and John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia, did not vote.

Mr. Akaka will have to wait another year to try for a floor debate, but the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act will continue to be discussed in the Senate and in Hawaii, where divisions about the bill's constitutional legality remain sharp.

"The only justification for this bill, to allow what no other group of people would be able to do, is that they are just another Indian tribe," said Sen. Lamar Alexander, Tennessee Republican.

Under U.S. law, Indian tribes can be recognized only if they have operated as a sovereign entity in the past 100 years and lived in a distinct, separate area. Mr. Alexander said, "Native Hawaiians have not."

"This would be the creation of a tribe. This bill would create a new competing government in Hawaii, and it is the wrong way to right the wrongs committed in Hawaii," Mr. Alexander said.

Hawaii Attorney General Mark Bennett, a Republican, said the argument about a lack of sovereign government operation in the past 100 years is moot because the U.S. government acknowledged in a 1993 apology resolution that it illegally overthrew the last Hawaiian monarch.

"The argument that this bill is illegal because it is race-based is a legal non sequitur," Mr. Bennett said. "Race-based programs are presumptively illegal, but those with respect to Native Americans and Alaskans are not; Congress' power to recognize or derecognize a native-indigenous group is exclusive and plenary."

Hawaiians who oppose the legislation cite poor relations between Congress and nations run by American Indians and Alaskans.

"If you look at these negotiations other Native American tribes have had, they are left with 2.2 percent of their land and the situation of poverty and poor education gets worse than they were before the negotiations began," said 'Ehu Kekahu Cardwell, director of the Kohani Foundation, a grass-roots group of Native Hawaiians who oppose the bill.

---------------

http://www.westhawaiitoday.com/articles/2006/06/09/local/local02.txt
West Hawaii Today (Kona), Friday, June 9, 2006

Senate rejects Akaka bill

'It's over. It is unrealistic to pursue this.' -- Sen. Daniel Inouye

by Alison Vekshin And Steve Tetreault
Stephens Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Senate dealt the cause of Native Hawaiian sovereignty a major blow on Thursday when it defeated a bid to allow debate and votes on long-stalled native legislation.

The Akaka bill to authorize formation of a Native Hawaiian government failed to clear a procedural hurdle when senators voted 56-41 to move the bill forward, falling four votes short of the 60 that were needed.

Although he said he was heartened the self-government bill drew a majority vote, sponsoring Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, said it "fell victim to politics, rhetoric and procedural maneuvering."

"I am extremely proud to have brought this issue to the forefront of the Senate and to have elevated the cause of the Native Hawaiians to a national level," he said in a statement.

Earlier in the day, Akaka said he would keep trying to advance the bill this year if it fell short, even as time grows limited in the congressional session. In a statement after the vote, Akaka was silent on that pledge and his office did not respond to a query as to whether that was still the plan.

After the vote, Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, said: "It's over. It is unrealistic to pursue this."

Rep. Ed Case, D-Hawaii, said the bill has dead-ended for the year, but a new Congress taking office next January could breathe new life into it.

"Every Congress has its own chemistry, its own alignment, its own relationships both internally and with the administration," Case said. "I think the representatives of Hawaii at the beginning of the 110th Congress simply have to assess how to go about pursuing federal recognition."

Case, who is challenging Akaka for the Senate this year, said he did not know how Thursday's vote might affect the campaign.

"That's up to the people of Hawaii to assess," he said. "I don't think this is the day for campaigning."

Still, he said: "It is information that the voters are entitled to consider in the campaign."

Inouye, who has supported Akaka in the race, said he did not think it would be a factor.

"Both (Akaka and Case) were supportive (of the bill) and there is no question we tried our best," Inouye said. He said concerted opposition by Republican leaders spelled its demise.

"It was a leadership position on the part of the Republicans to be against it and that was no secret," he said.

The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, more commonly known as the Akaka bill, aims to create a government-to-government relationship between the United States and Native Hawaiians similar to the one established with the country's American Indians and Native Alaskans.

Supporters said Native Hawaiians are indigenous people who should be granted the same rights as other indigenous people and an opportunity finally to regroup after the U.S.-aided overthrow of native Queen Liliuokalani in 1893.

Opponents, who were mostly conservatives, argued the bill seeks to create a "race-based" government that would single out one group of people for special privileges and set a damaging precedent.

A push that began in Congress in 2000 to advance Native Hawaiian recognition hung in the balance during the 30 minutes the Senate conducted its vote.

At times during the voting period, Akaka and Inouye stood alone in the Senate well, as Republicans who had just finished arguing against the Native Hawaiian bill gathered and chatted nearby.

Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, a close Inouye friend, could be seen talking in a scolding voice to bill opponent Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

"This is the same thing as for Native Alaskans," Stevens said and then walked off.

Forty-two Democrats, 13 Republicans and James Jeffords of Vermont, an Independent, voted for the Hawaiian bill. All 41 votes against were cast by Republicans, including Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee.

Inouye said afterward he was surprised and disappointed by Frist, who he had assumed would vote to allow debate to go forward.

Frist "made a big to-do about having this debate and cloture," Inouye said. "Maybe we shouldn't have assumed."

Frist did not comment after the vote. A Senate leadership aide said Frist "promised both (Akaka and Inouye) he would get them a vote on the issue but my understanding is he never promised them he would vote a certain way."

Inouye also expressed dismay at the Bush administration. The Justice Department sent the Senate a letter on Wednesday night opposing the bill, but Inouye said it focused on an earlier version and not the one that had Bush input and would have been substituted for debate.

"It was disingenuous and I think it is not honest," Inouye said. The reworked bill contained protections for the Department of Defense over land use, and sought to clarify that a native government could not open gambling casinos or take private land.

A Justice Department spokesman said he could not obtain an immediate comment on Thursday evening.

Trustees from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and other activists traveled to the Capitol for the vote and left disappointed.

"What we saw today was a political process," said Haunani Apoliona, a leading activist and chairwoman of the Board of Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

"I'm sure people at home who oppose the bill will read what they want into it," Apoliona said. "Us who support the bill are clear that it is constitutional, it does not divide the community and does not set a legal precedent for the country. Native Hawaiian federal recognition is appropriate."

"For people on our end, this will not stop," Apoliona said. "It is important to proceed. Senator Akaka's whole heart and soul was in this initiative. I cannot see where he would give up. Senator Akaka is not a quitter."

During final debate, Akaka pleaded for the Senate to allow for full debate of the measure.

"I ask you at a minimum to give us the opportunity to share more information with you," Akaka said. "I ask all of you to give us the courtesy of at least a debate on this bill."

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., the bill's key opponent, called the legislation a "bad bill" that would create "a new, separate, independent race-based government within the borders of America" for the first time in the nation's history.

Alexander argued Native Hawaiians do not fall into the same category as American Indian tribes.

"The United States government does recognize those tribes, but it has not created any tribes," he said. "This would be the creation, the establishment of a new sovereign government.

"There may be wrongs to address, but this is the wrong way to right a wrong," Alexander said, referring to the toppling of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893.

Inouye said criticism of the bill is "just an attempt to scare our fellow Americans."

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., also defended the bill, saying it is no different than the rights extended to the 22 tribes in his home state.

"We need to treat Hawaii like other states," Reid said.

Early Thursday, members of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Akaka, Case and other Hawaiians gathered on the lawn at the foot of the U.S. Capitol for a rally in support of the bill.

With the U.S. Capitol as a backdrop, University of Hawaii president David McClain told the crowd that federal recognition for Native Hawaiians "is an important step in strengthening Hawaiian society."

Case argued for preserving the Native Hawaiian heritage and the country's cultural diversity.

"We all acknowledge that we are one country," he said. "But that does not mean complete cultural assimilation."

------------------

http://www.westhawaiitoday.com/articles/2006/06/09/local/local05.txt
West Hawaii Today (Kona), Friday, June 9, 2006

Gov. Lingle, others react to the defeat of Akaka bill

by Nancy Cook Lauer
Stephens Media Group

HONOLULU -- With the Akaka bill dead for the foreseeable future, Gov. Linda Lingle said Thursday that she's looking at what can be done on the state level to accomplish the same purpose.

Lingle said she's unsure what tack to take, but will meet with the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs and Department of Hawaiian Home Lands to plan strategy. Among her concerns is that opponents of state programs favoring Hawaiians will file more lawsuits against the state.

"We're going to explore that as well as future efforts on a federal level," Lingle said. "This is not the end of our attempts to achieve both of those things, which is protection of the existing programs that benefit Native Hawaiians and also to create a mechanism, a structure so the Hawaiian people can have the authority and responsibility for their own resources and assets."

The Akaka bill seeks to put in place a process for the estimated 400,000 Native Hawaiians -- about half of whom live in Hawaii -- to form a government entity and win formal recognition from the U.S. government. It would establish an office in the Department of Interior for Hawaiian issues and create an interagency group to monitor programs and policies that affect Native Hawaiians.

Some conservative opponents argue the bill discriminates against non-Hawaiians. But some Hawaiian sovereignty groups also are against the measure, saying the U.S. government -- an "occupation" government -- has no jurisdiction over Native Hawaiian governance.

Ikaika Hussey, a member of Hui Pu, a coalition of Native Hawaiian groups, says the anti-Akaka movement garnered 2,000 signatures on petitions in just a few weeks. The coalition took over Iolani Palace on Wednesday, hanging the state flag upside-down over the balcony in protest of the bill.

Hussey said he can't imagine any legislation he could support on the issue.

Now is the time to forget the bill and come together, he said.

"The bill has been very divisive, but I think people on both sides of the issue genuinely want justice for Native Hawaiians and Hawaii as a whole," Hussey said.

Lingle, who had returned from Washington late Wednesday night, defended her and her staff's work lobbying Congress, even though the results fell four votes short of moving the bill forward.

"I'm not sure a Democratic governor could have gotten any Republican votes," Lingle said. "We did make a big difference."

She named four senators whom she said she brought into the "yes" column, including Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Spector, R-Pa. Lobbying the White House was more along the lines of keeping the Bush administration from speaking out on the bill at all since it had constitutional concerns, she said.

Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, who left the Senate floor saying "It's over. It is unrealistic to pursue this," apparently had second thoughts about giving up once he got over his disappointment.

"It would be premature to pronounce the Akaka bill dead. There is always tomorrow," Inouye said later in a statement. "Given all of the schemes used to derail the Akaka bill, I will not at this time reveal what we might do to advance this important piece of legislation for the first people of Hawaii."

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http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060609/OPINION01/606090326/1105/OPINION
Honolulu Advertiser, Friday, June 9, 2006 EDITORIAL

Akaka bill failure: It's time for Plan B

The failure of the Akaka Hawaiian recognition bill to be cleared for a vote on the Senate floor might signal various things, but one of them is that both the political landscape and a lack of national public sympathy for Hawaiian issues have derailed the Native Hawaiian federal recognition train, at least for now.

The bill's chances for passage this session dropped to practically nil yesterday when the vote fell short by four of the 60 needed for "cloture." That maneuver would have precluded filibustering, so now the measure's many opponents are free to block a final Senate vote.

Two actions are necessary at this point: one to deal with the short-term reality, and one to improve chances for recognition at some point down the road.

For the immediate future, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and other Hawaiian beneficiary agencies that receive public money must consider alternative strategies for helping Native Hawaiians that wouldn't be vulnerable to legal challenge.

The Akaka bill had been seen as a potential shield against lawsuits, still unresolved, that targeted publicly funded programs that base their benefits on racial criteria.

One approach would be to make programs accessible on the basis of need, cultural affinity and factors other than ethnicity. Agencies would be able to address genuine socioeconomic problems within Hawaiian communities, uninterrupted by this kind of litigation.

For the long term, Hawaiians must make the case that they are a political entity — and they don't need the Akaka bill to assert their sovereignty.

The Native Hawaiian registry program known as Kau Inoa represents the first step toward organizing and self-determination.

Washington officials have said in the past that it's more customary for the federal government to recognize a political entity that already exists than to merely set the wheels rolling toward recognition, as the Akaka bill would have done.

Political tides in Washington may some day turn more in favor of Hawaiians, as well as other indigenous people currently taking heat from conservatives. But they should not sit back and wait for that day to happen.

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http://starbulletin.com/2006/06/09/editorial/editorial01.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, June 9, 2006 EDITORIAL

OUR OPINION

Akaka Bill's defeat imperils programs

THE ISSUE
Hawaiian sovereignty has failed to win enough Senate votes to receive final consideration.

SOVEREIGNTY for Hawaiians has been set aside at least for the duration of the Bush administration and might not be achievable beyond then. Yesterday's setback in the Senate should prompt serious discussion about how to shield Hawaiian programs from legal challenges.

The Senate voted 56-41 in favor of proceeding with the Akaka Bill, but 60 votes were needed. More importantly, it fell 11 votes short of being enough to override a veto telegraphed by President Bush. On the eve of the vote, the Bush administration declared that it "strongly opposes" the bill's passage.

William E. Moschella, the assistant attorney general for legislative affairs, had indicated as much three years ago in a letter to Sen. Olympia Snow, R-Maine, chairwoman of the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. That letter said a Senate bill's inclusion of Hawaiians as eligible recipients of small-business startups and expansions for native Americans "raises significant constitutional concerns."

Governor Lingle minimized the letter's importance, saying, "Some person down in an office who wrote a letter does not represent the policy of the Bush administration." Moschella's letter on Wednesday to Majority Leader Bill Frist made clear that the administration opposes Hawaiian recognition because it would "divide people by their race."

The Constitution gives Congress plenary authority to recognize indigenous peoples, but opponents of the Akaka Bill pointed out that the Hawaiian monarchy overthrown in 1893 was multiracial. The fact that the overthrow was spearheaded by Americans living in Hawaii and backed by American troops failed to persuade them.

The bill's opponents implied 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. Distorted as that reasoning might seem, it could be the only way to rescue programs aimed at helping Hawaiians.

Taxpayers cannot challenge federal expenditures in court, and the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last month that state funding also is safe from taxpayer lawsuits. While that should bring an end to a current lawsuit challenging public expenditures on Hawaiian programs, they might be challenged by people claiming to be denied benefits because of race.

A 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled last August that Kamehameha Schools' admission policy is illegally discriminatory against non-Hawaiians. In the absence of Hawaiian sovereignty, Kamehameha might need to broaden admission to include all children who can trace their ancestry in Hawaii to 1844, when Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop wrote her will.

http://www.humaneventsonline.com/article.php?id=15462
Human Events online, June 9, 2006

Senate Halts Effort to Dismantle U.S.

by Sen. Lamar Alexander

There once was a popular newspaper feature called “Ripley’s Believe it or Not.” It highlighted incongruous and astounding things, then showed they were true. In that vein the Senate was discussing a bill that would have carved out of the United States a new sovereign nation based solely on race.

It’s true. The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act would have created a separate, independent, race-based government for Native Hawaiians.

But, you say, Hawaiians are Americans. They are. In 1900 they became U.S. citizens. Ever since, they have saluted the flag, paid U.S. taxes, fought in our wars. In 1959, 94% of all Hawaiians voted in favor of Hawaii becoming a state.

Had this bill won the backing of 60 senators yesterday—it fell four votes short—it would have turned on its head the very definition of what it means to be an American. Every day, in classrooms, at civic gatherings and in Congress, we rise and pledge allegiance to “one nation, indivisible”—not divisible.

Our national motto, e pluribus unum, means “one from many”—not “many from one.” Our Constitution guarantees equal opportunity without regard to race, not because of it.

Going back to the Revolutionary War when George Washington signed and administered to his officers an oath to renounce allegiance to King George III, becoming an American has meant giving up allegiance to one’s previous country and declaring allegiance to the United States of America.

Every year some half a million new Americans take an oath to “...renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen...”

This nation is unique because, under our constitution, becoming an American has nothing to do with ancestry. America is an idea; Americans are a people, not a race. Our founding documents give us the principles that unite us—liberty, representative democracy, the rule of law. These do not come from our various ancestries.

Americans whose ancestors came from many other places celebrate that ancestry, whether it be from Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania, the Americas. In these celebrations they show their pride in where their ancestors came from, but they are most proud of being Americans.

Proponents of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act say that “native Hawaiians” are “different” because they lived on the Hawaiian Islands before Asian and white settlers came and before their government was undermined by Americans. Thus, the proponents claim, they should be treated like an American Indian tribe. The suggested parallel does not exist.

To be recognized as an Indian tribe under U.S. law, a group must have operated as sovereign for the previous 100 years, must be a distinct community, and must have had a preexisting political organization. Native Hawaiians do not meet any of these requirements. The state of Hawaii acknowledged this in a 1998 Supreme Court brief in the Rice vs. Cayetano case, stating, “The tribal concept simply has no place in the context of Hawaiian history.”

Had this bill passed—creating a separate government for “native Hawaiians”—it would have set a dangerous precedent for which there might be no end in sight. Congress has recognized pre-existing American Indian tribes, but it has never created one. If this bill had passed, what would be next? Descendants of Hispanics who lived in Texas before it became a republic in 1836 might seek to create their own tribe, based on claims that their land was seized from Mexico. Amish or Hassidic Jewish groups might seek tribal status to get around First Amendment protections against giving preferences to a particular religion.

This bill was cited by some as a good example of “diversity.” It was no such thing. Diversity is an American strength, but not its most important one. Many other countries are diverse: Iraq, Bosnia, France—to name a few—but their diversity is beset by troubles. What sets the U.S. apart is its ability to mold its multiple ancestries and diversity into a single nation based upon common principles, language and traditions.

The proposed government for “native Hawaiians” would be based solely on race. Surely we have learned our lesson about treating people differently based on race. The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights—created to protect the rights of minorities—opposed the bill because it “...would discriminate on the basis of race or national origin and further subdivide the American people into discrete subgroups according varying degrees of privilege.”

As a nation, we have sought to right old wrongs by guaranteeing respect for each American as an individual, regardless of race. This “native Hawaiian” legislation would have compounded the old wrongs and could have been, unintentionally, the first step in the disuniting of these United States.

Mr. Alexander is a Republican U.S. senator from Tennessee.

** Note that the Akaka Balkanized Map of Hawai'i is also offered alongside the following article, at
http://www.humaneventsonline.com/images/2006-06-07_Akaka_Map.jpg
It's the same map also available at
https://www.angelfire.com/hi5/bigfiles3/AkakaTribeLandsAdv080505.pdf

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http://starbulletin.com/2006/06/09/news/story01.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, June 9, 2006

Lingle resolute after bill dies
Despite the failure of the Akaka Bill in the Senate, the governor seeks other options to accomplish its goals

By Crystal Kua and Gregg K. Kakesako

IT IS TIME to explore ways besides federal legislation to reach the goals sought through the native Hawaiian recognition bill, Gov. Linda Lingle said after the Senate essentially killed the Akaka Bill for the current session.

The governor said she will wait for Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustees and Hawaii Attorney General Mark Bennett to return to Hawaii from Washington to discuss other options.

She declined to say how that would be accomplished but said more legal challenges to native Hawaiian entitlements are inevitable without some kind of protection.

"Now someone will go in and say, 'Look, they couldn't get federal recognition. That proves that these programs are race-based and therefore illegal,'" she said.

Lingle said she is disappointed with a procedural vote that failed to move the Akaka Bill to the Senate floor yesterday, but the vote at least showed that a majority of senators supported the bill. Yesterday's cloture vote needed 60 of 100 senators to allow the bill to move to the Senate floor. It got 56 votes. All the no votes were from Republicans.

"This is not the end for our attempts to achieve both of those things, which is protection of the existing programs that benefit native Hawaiians and also to create a mechanism, a structure so that the Hawaiian people can have the authority and the responsibility for their own resources and assets," Lingle said.

Hawaii's congressional delegation said a last-ditch effort by the Bush administration might have derailed the bill from getting a floor vote.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye said the U.S. Justice Department released a letter on the eve of yesterday's Senate action.

In a written statement, Inouye said he "did not expect or anticipate that the administration of President Bush would issue the sort of misleading letter."

In the letter, William Moschella, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department, cited a report from the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, saying the bill risks "further subdividing the American people into discrete subgroups accorded varying degrees of privilege."

Inouye charged that the Bush administration on Wednesday was "grossly disingenuous" in its letter and based its opposition on the original language of the bill, knowing that it had been reworded to meet past objections.

"Then the Republican leadership used the letter to urge the majority to vote against the Akaka Bill, saying this was the administration's position," Inouye said.

When asked about the letter, Lingle said, "I wish it wouldn't have come out when it did. I don't think it was helpful."

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Randy Iwase cited statements from Lingle during her 2002 campaign saying that as a Republican she would be in a better position to try and persuade members of her party and the Bush administration to support the bill.

"All the boasts in 2002 have not come to fruition," Iwase said. "It is she who made these promises, it is she who made party an issue in 2002 and it is she who said that as a Republican she can get this bill through Congress, and she did not deliver."

Lingle said that her administration has worked hard for more than three years in lobbying both the Republican members of Congress and the White House for the bill's passage.

"I'm not sure a Democratic governor could have gotten any Republicans, frankly. I think we had a very good and positive impact," she said.

She pointed to several Republican senators whom she met with personally -- including Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter R-Pa. -- who later voted to move the bill forward. "We were able to get people to come on board who wouldn't have otherwise had we not gone out," Lingle said.

Akaka said yesterday he still believes he has enough votes to pass the his bill if it can make it to the Senate floor.

"Obviously, this is a setback," said Clyde Namuo, administrator for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, which has been lobbying hard in Washington for passage of the bill.

The Akaka Bill would authorize an unspecified process that would eventually lead to the formulation of a native Hawaiian governing entity with the authority to negotiate with the U.S. government.

Under the current version of the bill, the new body would negotiate with the Department of the Interior. The bill does not give the governing native Hawaiian entity explicit powers, but instead legislates these powers to be granted in the course of future, three-way agreements approved by the federal government, the State of Hawaii and the new native Hawaiian governing body.

Opponents of the bill praised the vote.

"I think it's a definite victory for all of the individuals, both Hawaiian and non-Hawaiian, who contacted their senators and asked they vote against the cloture petition," said Ikaika Hussey, of Hui Pu, a coalition of native Hawaiians opposed to the Akaka Bill.

Star-Bulletin reporters Sally Apgar and B.J. Reyes and the Associated Press contributed to this story.

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http://honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060609/NEWS01/606090359
Honolulu Advertiser, Friday, June 9, 2006

AKAKA BILL: AFTER THE DEFEAT
After bill fails, Akaka vows to try again

Video: Residents discuss Hawaiian recognition
• Measure's rejection could open senator's fresh political wound
• Hawai'i takes consolation, satisfaction from vote
• Residents react to Akaka bill defeat
• How recognition might occur if measure is revived

By Dennis Camire
Advertiser Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — While the long-stalled Native Hawaiian bill suffered a blow yesterday, with the Senate rejecting an effort to bring it to the floor, supporters vowed to keep up the battle.

"I'm going to continue to work on this," said Sen. Daniel K. Akaka, D-Hawai'i, chief sponsor of the bill. "If we don't bring it up again this year, I'll be here next year and offer the bill again."

In a written statement he said, "We must continue to move forward for Native Hawaiians, the people of Hawai'i and everyone in this country who believe that ours is a nation which treats all of its people with an equitable hand."

Haunani Apoliona, chairwoman of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, said supporters were "not going to roll over and give up."

"This is the first time in six years that we got a vote," she said. "It's a setback and it's disappointing but it's not going to bring our efforts to an end."

In Honolulu, Gov. Linda Lingle suggested that the dilemmas faced by Hawaiian preference programs can be solved, possibly without federal recognition, and possibly outside of Capitol Hill entirely.

Lingle, who returned Wednesday from Washington, D.C., where she lobbied a number of Republican senators, said she spoke to Apoliona about some options.

"We started to look forward about steps we could take now to achieve what we were trying to through the Akaka bill, which was to protect all our existing programs that benefit Native Hawaiians as well as creating an entity that will be able to take control of the resources and assets of the Hawaiian people, specifically the Hawaiian home lands and the ceded land revenues," she said.

Asked if such goals could be achieved without federal legislation, she said: "We think that's a possibility and we're going to explore that, as well as future efforts on the federal level."

Lingle declined to offer specifics of what such efforts would entail, noting that Apoliona has asked for a meeting to explore the options.

'CAN GO NO FURTHER'

With last-minute aid from the White House, which announced late Wednesday it opposed the bill, conservative Republicans were able to turn back a strong bipartisan effort in the Senate yesterday to bring the bill to the floor over their objections for debate and a vote.

The final vote was 56-41, with 60 votes needed to have the bill brought to the floor.

"Today, the Senate stopped in its tracks legislation that would have, for the first time, created a new, sovereign government within our borders based solely upon race," said Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., a leading opponent of the bill. "I'm very pleased the Senate sided with the Constitution."

And despite what supporters want to happen with the bill, the Senate leadership appears to believe the battle is over for this year.

"Regretfully, the (Native Hawaiian) bill can go no further in this Congress, thanks to the 11th-hour intervention and fear mongering by the Bush administration and his Department of Justice," said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., also seemed to think the issue was over for this year.

"Sen. Frist made a commitment to bring the bill to the floor for a vote, and he has honored that commitment," said Matt Lehigh, spokesman for Frist.

'ALWAYS TOMORROW'

But Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, D-Hawai'i, the top Democrat on the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee, said it would be "premature" to call the bill — also known as the Akaka bill — dead for this session of Congress.

"There is always tomorrow," he said. "Given all the schemes used to derail the Akaka bill, I will not at this time reveal what we might do to advance this important piece of legislation for the 'First People' of Hawai'i."

Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawai'i, a sponsor of the Native Hawaiian bill in the House, said he already was looking for a way to bring the bill forward, although it was late in this year's congressional session for something to happen.

But Abercrombie said that since the objections were now known, it could be possible to address them in a way that could win over some of the opponents.

"I've got some ideas on that and will see how that plays," he said. "But first we've got to go back to our constituency, explain ... and see if we can get a consensus on it and come back."

LET RESIDENTS VOTE

One Republican sponsor of the bill, Sen. Gordon Smith of Oregon, recognized that a major concern of opponents was whether the people of Hawai'i support the bill, said Chris Matthews, a spokesman for the senator.

Smith hopes that a new version of the bill would address those concerns by allowing the state's residents to vote on a Native Hawaiian government, Matthews said.

The current bill, originally introduced in 2000, would create a process for a Native Hawaiian government to be recognized by the federal government, similar to the political status given to Native American and Alaskan Native tribes.

TOO LATE TO VOTE

In the final tally, 41 Republicans voted against the effort while 43 Democrats, 12 Republicans and one Independent voted for it. Two Democrats — Sens. John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia and Chuck E. Schumer of New York — were out of town and didn't vote.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a co-sponsor of the bill, didn't vote although he had voted on other legislation 45 minutes earlier. Kevin Bishop, his spokesman said the senator "did not make it to the floor in time to vote."

But it could be a sign of the pressure that was being put on Republicans by party leadership and the White House not to support the bill.

The vote came during a week that saw Senate Majority Leader Frist bring several measures to the floor that appealed to the party's conservative core: a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage and a bill to permanently repeal the estate tax.

Although both measures failed to gain enough votes, the objective was to stir up the conservative Republican base to turn out to vote this year and divert attention from less flattering issues such as the Iraq war and rising gasoline prices.

Appealing to that conservative base also could be part of the effort to block the Native Hawaiian bill from coming to a vote.

Among those efforts was a Justice Department letter released late Wednesday that said the Bush administration "strongly opposes" the Native Hawaiian bill.

The letter said that given the substantial differences between Native Hawaiians and federally recognized Indian tribes, it would be "inappropriate" and raise "difficult constitutional issues" to give Native Hawaiians tribal recognition.

'A KICK IN THE TEETH'

Abercrombie said the letter was a legislative blow in that supporters, including Republican Gov. Lingle, had long sought a White House position on the issue but it showed up only on the eve of the Senate vote, leaving little time to respond.

"It's as much a kick in the teeth of the governor as it is to those of us who were trying to pass the legislation in the Congress," he said.

Inouye said Republicans who voted to bring the bill up for debate "were courageous in standing up to intense pressure from the White House and Republican leadership."

The vote came after an intense week of lobbying by the state's senators and other bill supporters. Some of it paid off despite the pressure.

For example, Republican Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, both of Maine, had been undecided but voted for the bill.

Other previously undecided Republican senators, such as Sam Brownback of Kansas and George V. Voinovich of Ohio, voted against the bill.

Chris Paulitz, a spokesman for Voinovich, said the senator had "deep reservations about the wisdom of creating separate governments for certain groups based on race.

"Allowing for the creation of such an entity is contrary to our nation's commitment to the elimination of racial distinctions in the law," Paulitz said. Staff writer Gordon Pang contributed to this report.

ARGUMENTS FOR AND AGAINST AKAKA BILL

PRO

Supporters have said the bill is beneficial because it:

* Will enable Native Hawaiians to direct federal and state programs that benefit them — programs for education, health, housing, small-business development and other needs.

* Will continue the reconciliation between Hawaiians and the federal government, a process that has included the establishment of Hawaiian homesteading and other federal programs and revenue from the former kingdom and crown lands ("ceded lands").

* Lays out a procedure for the organization of a Native Hawaiian government but does not prescribe its form.

* Extends federal recognition of that government as a political entity — a starting point through which Native Hawaiians can more fully exercise their political rights.

* Provides at least a partial shield against court cases that charge that Native Hawaiians are merely a racial group whose entitlements are unconstitutional.

* Allows for a "nation within a nation" concept for Native Hawaiians, preserving their U.S. citizenship while according them a status akin to that of Native Americans and Native Alaskans.

CON

Opponents of the bill include those who say it is too limited. They say the bill:

* Will foreclose options for an independent Hawaiian nation in the future while not precluding further legal challenges of sovereignty.

* Will greatly limit the opportunity for legal claims to land, water and ocean rights in Hawai'i, including the nearly 2 million acres of "ceded lands."

* Will form a government under the broad supervision of the Department of the Interior, which has amassed a spotty record of dealing with Native American concerns.

Others argue it gives Native Hawaiians unwarranted rights. They charge that the bill:

* Sets up a separate, race-based government — wrongly, because the Hawaiian kingdom was multiethnic and institutionalizes government handouts for Native Hawaiians.

* Will confuse lines of criminal and civil jurisdiction in Hawai'i, where Hawaiian lands are scattered throughout integrated communities.

* Siphons resources otherwise available to other needs, and could affect public uses in place on ceded lands.

KEY FIGURES SUPPORTING BILL

U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka: The nation's first part-Hawaiian U.S. senator, he has been the namesake and emotional core of the bill. Last month, he spoke on the bill every day of the legislative session until Republican leaders agreed to place the cloture vote on the calendar.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye: Hawai'i's senior senator and one of the highest-ranking Democrats in the Senate lobbied hard for the bill.

Gov. Linda Lingle: The Republican governor appears to have helped persuade some GOP senators to join with the bill, but President Bush and enough Republicans continued to oppose it.

Haunani Apoliona, chairwoman of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs board of trustees: "We will continue our own process to restore our political heritage and revitalize our cultural tradition that defines our way of life in Hawai'i."

Jade Danner, information and government affairs manager for the Council on Native Hawaiian Advancement: The nonprofit organization warned that at least $70 million annually in federal grants for Native Hawaiian programs are in peril without the measure.

KEY FIGURES OPPOSING THE BILL

U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz.: Previously, he was credited with blocking the bill from coming to a vote on the Senate floor. However, Kyl yesterday voted for the cloture motion, which would have allowed debate on the bill.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn.: He promised Akaka that he would allow the cloture vote to occur, but then voted against moving the Akaka bill forward.

Jon Osorio, director of Hawaiian studies at UH: Like others in the sovereignty movement, Osorio believes it is incorrect for Native Hawaiians to be negotiating with the entity that wronged them.

H. William Burgess, Aloha for All: The lead attorney in the case that challenged federal entitlements for Hawaiians only, Burgess believes the bill could give a new governing entity up to 40 percent of the state's natural assets.

Richard Rowland, president, Grassroot Institute of Hawai'i: The nonprofit group has taken out newspaper ads, conducted polls and hired a high-powered Washington law firm to educate people about what it believes is wrong with the Akaka bill.

Andre Perez, coordinator of Hui Pu: Most of those in the loose-knit group of Native Hawaiian organizations opposed to the bill also favor an independent nation and believe the bill would hinder that movement.

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http://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/articles/2006/06/09/local_news/local03.txt
Hawaii Tribune-Herald (Hilo), June 9, 2006

Activists say bill's defeat means little

by Peter Sur

Tribune-Herald Staff Writer

KALAPANA -- A faded, upside-down Hawaiian flag flaps in the wind here, where the lava miraculously stopped in 1990.

Uncle's Awa Club, where patrons are invited to sip the traditional drink, is owned by Robert Keliihoomalu, a soft-spoken pure-blooded Hawaiian.

Keliihoomalu, 67, is also a member of the House of Nobles with the Kingdom of Hawaii.

The 1893 overthrow and jailing of Queen Liliuokalani and the subsequent annexation by the United States was a turbulent period in Hawaii's history, albeit one that cannot be undone.

Keliihoomalu and thousands of other self-proclaimed subjects of the kingdom would disagree.

Thursday's defeat of the Sen. Daniel Akaka's Hawaiian recognition bill means little, because to them the United States has no right to meddle in the affairs of a sovereign nation. The bill was originally written to protect programs favoring Hawaiians from lawsuits.

"The Akaka Bill is trying to put us with the Native Americans, which we are not," Keliihoomalu said. "We are a nation, not a tribe, and I look at it this way: Akaka could sell his mother down the road.

"They have no authority to make a government for our people. Only those who have the koko (blood) have the right. That's in violation of human rights. ... Shame on them. We not lolo (stupid). We know what's going on. We may look simple but most Hawaiians don't agree with the Akaka Bill."

Keliihoomalu and others would accept nothing less than an independent nation, to right the wrongs of the past.

They have a shadow government in place, of which Keliihoomalu is a member. Under their plan, all positions in a reinstated Hawaiian government would be elected, including the monarch's.

Currently, they are led by Oahu's Henry Noa, the prime minister. Noa spoke at Keliihoomalu's compound last month, detailing his trip to Washington, D.C.

The case for sovereignty has been argued through the 1993 congressional resolution commonly known as the "Apology Bill," and international law. Since March 13, 1999, activists have been planting the seeds of what they hope will lead to a sovereign state.

"We have reinstated our lawful Hawaiian government from exile after the overthrowing of our kingdom in 1893," Keliihoomalu said.

For their next step, the Hawaiian Kingdom plans to issue license plates and business licenses, and conduct peaceful resistance. In recent years they've set up tents in front of the Kamehameha I statue in Hilo, among other places.

Dale Albertson, the kingdom's representative from Puna, slammed the Akaka bill's designation of Native Hawaiians as "natural resources" under the Department of the Interior.

"We're not a natural resource. We are human beings," he said. "This is why they consider us natural resources. If the Akaka Bill passes, the Hawaiians no longer have a right to their land, period.

"Right now, the kingdom has close to 6,000 citizens on all islands, and it's basically growing exponentially now daily," he said.

They will need the support of many more citizens than that before the Hawaiian Kingdom can return to power. But they are hopeful.

"I believe Hawaii can make a difference throughout the whole world to bring aloha in," Keliihoomalu said.

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http://HonoluluAdvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060609/NEWS01/606090357
Honolulu Advertiser, Friday, June 9, 2006

Measure's rejection could open senator's fresh political wound

By Kevin Dayton, Advertiser Big Island Bureau

Yesterday's failure to force a U.S. Senate vote on the federal recognition bill for Native Hawaiians was stinging for U.S. Sens. Daniel K. Akaka and Daniel K. Inouye, but the four-vote loss may do more lasting harm to Akaka than Inouye, political observers said.

Hawai'i pollster and political consultant Don Clegg said yesterday's setback for the Akaka bill could be politically dangerous for Akaka in his effort to fend off the Democratic primary challenge from U.S. Rep. Ed Case.

The setback for the measure, widely known as the Akaka bill since he introduced it in 2000, could be disastrous for Akaka if it reinforces suggestions he is ineffective, Clegg said.

Time magazine this year rated Akaka as one of the five worst members of the Senate, a judgment Akaka said was unfair.

Clegg said he believes much of the support for the Akaka bill among Senate Democrats was designed to pass the measure to boost Akaka's re-election effort. Democrats in Congress, including Inouye, want Akaka to defeat Case in the primary, while Senate Republicans would rather work with Case, Clegg said.

"My take on it is, the success or failure will possibly not revolve around the substance of the bill, but rather the politics in the Senate and the politics of Congress," Clegg said. "Ed Case is not the darling boy of the Democratic hierarchy, either here or in Washington."

The bill for federal recognition of Native Hawaiians has been stalled in the Senate for six years, and yesterday's cloture vote was an effort to send the bill to the floor for an open vote. Supporters needed 60 votes to accomplish that, but the effort failed, 56-41.

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

Critics say the measure would create a race-based government that contradicts American ideals of racial equality, and the U.S. Justice Department notified senators on Wednesday that the Bush administration strongly opposes the bill.

Inouye also put his stature on the line yesterday, urging fellow senators to support an open vote just before the Senate rejected the idea. But Nelson W. Polsby, Heller Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, said that the loss doesn't imply that Inouye's political clout is slipping.

Polsby said the vote points more to the weakness of the minority Democrats in the Congress than any personal loss of influence by Inouye or Akaka within their own party.

"Conditions of partisanship in Congress are severe, and as universally liked and respected as I know Inouye is ... partisan bitterness is far more significant at the moment," Polsby said.

After the election this fall, Polsby said he expects the Democrats to be stronger in the Congress, offering new opportunities for the Hawai'i delegation.

"What it means is when the Senate gets closer to Democratic control, they'll probably have a good chance at it," Polsby said of yesterday's vote. "These guys, and particularly Inouye, are extremely high in status in the Democratic caucus."

There also is a large pool of voters who haven't made up their minds about the Akaka bill, and they will be relieved to have more time to consider the issue, said Ted Hong, a political science lecturer at the University of Hawai'i-Hilo.

Hong said he thinks support of the Akaka bill has become the "politically correct" position in Hawai'i, but many voters remain uneasy about the bill.

"I think a lot of people are going to be relieved that it didn't just go through because it's got Akaka's and Inouye's name on it, and the governor's name on it," he said.

People are reluctant to publicly say they oppose the measure, but many don't understand the bill, and most want the issue put to a statewide vote in some form of referendum before any Native Hawaiian government is established, he said.

Hong, who was co-chair of Lingle's 2002 campaign on the eastern side of the Big Island, said these concerns often are not being openly expressed to pollsters, which means politicians don't really know the depth of public support or opposition to the bill.

"To me, this is the political land mine in this year's election," Hong said. "People are going to campaign based on what they think the majority wants, but on Election Day that's when I think people are going to find out what the majority really wants."

HISTORY OF THE NATIVE HAWAIIAN RECOGNITION BILL


July 2000: Sen. Daniel Akaka and others introduce a bill in Congress to gain federal recognition for Hawaiians. Supporters say the Native Hawaiian recognition bill — dubbed the Akaka bill — would help to right the wrong of the U.S.-backed overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893 and that it is necessary to fight off the legal challenges against programs set up to help Hawaiians. Opponents say the bill creates a separate government entity that is race-based and therefore unconstitutional. Some Hawaiian groups also oppose the bill, saying it does not go far enough.

Summer/fall 2000: The bill passes a vote in the House, but stalls and finally dies in the Senate amid political squabbling about concerns such as its cost and disagreements about the scope of Hawaiian sovereignty.

Summer 2001: The Hawai'i Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights recommends that the federal government take steps to provide more help for Hawaiians, including enacting provisions in the bill. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs begins lobbying in support of the bill.

Spring/summer/fall 2003: The bill remains stalled by Republicans in the House and Senate, some of whom say it will give race-based benefits to Hawaiians.

Fall 2004: The push for federal recognition intensifies in Congress. U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye says he's planning to attach the legislation to one of the 12 appropriations bills still moving through Congress; and a key House committee approves the bill.

January 2005: Although the bill failed to come up for a vote in 2004, Hawai'i's congressional delegation is promised that the bill will get hearings and a vote in 2005.

March 2005: The Senate Indian Affairs Committee unanimously approves the bill and sends it to the full Senate for consideration under an agreement reached with Senate leadership.

June 2005: Congressional leaders schedule a Senate debate and a vote on the bill for the week of July 18; local officials say they expect it to pass.

July 14, 2005: The Department of Justice raises "serious policy concerns" about the bill. Among other issues, the department wants to shorten or eliminate the time allowed for monetary claims by Hawaiians; add language that explicitly prohibits gambling; and allow non-Hawaiians to sit on the panel that would chart the course of a sovereign Hawaiian entity.

July 20, 2005: A group of as many as six Republican senators move to stop the bill from coming to the floor for a debate.

July 29, 2005: Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., starts the cloture procedure that could eventually force a debate and floor vote.

Sept. 6, 2005: A vote scheduled on whether the Akaka bill will get a full airing on the Senate floor is postponed as Congress focuses on the needs of Gulf Coast residents in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Sept. 16, 2005: Akaka issues an amendment to the bill as a means to appease White House officials and some opponents.

May 4: The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights votes to recommend that Congress not pass the bill.

May 8: Akaka vows to take to the Senate floor each day to educate colleagues about the bill and the issue of sovereignty until a cloture vote is scheduled, a promise he kept through May 11.

May 11: Akaka announces on the Senate floor that when the senators return from their May recess, Frist will petition for a cloture to force the bill to the floor despite opponents' objections.

Wednesday: The Senate holds a three-hour debate tied to the petition to bring the bill to the floor, marking the first time it is considered at length in the Senate since it was introduced six years ago.

Yesterday: The Senate votes 56-41 to reject a measure to bring the bill to the floor for debate and a vote. Sixty votes were needed. Akaka said he would try again during the current legislative session. Time is running out, however.

The Akaka bill must pass the Senate and House of Representatives in the same two-year session of Congress for it to become law. The current session runs until the end of 2006.

If it doesn't receive approvals from both chambers, supporters would have to start all over again when a newly elected Congress convenes in January.

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http://HonoluluAdvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060609/NEWS01/606090378
Honolulu Advertiser, Friday, June 9, 2006

How recognition might occur if measure is revived

Advertiser Staff

Despite the Senate's vote yesterday to halt debate and a vote on the proposed Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, the bill's primary sponsor, U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Akaka, said he would try again to bring the so-called Akaka bill before the Senate.

Many questions about the bill's effects cannot be answered. The measure, if revived and approved at a later date, would likely set in motion the process of federal recognition without pinpointing where that process could lead.

Here is what the bill states it would accomplish and some possible outcomes:

Q: If the bill were to become law, would anything change immediately?

A: No. The measure lays out the procedures through which Native Hawaiians could organize a government that the U.S. would recognize. But most of the details of how this would work is left for future negotiations involving the new government and state and federal officials. It is not clear in the law who would represent non-Hawaiians during those discussions. Oversight would occur once legislation needed to carry out the accord is submitted to state and federal lawmakers.

Q: What would happen first?

A: The law might face a court challenge from people who criticize its provision for a Hawaiian-only voter base setting up what amounts to a constitutional convention. This, critics say, could clash with the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in the Rice v. Cayetano case. In that decision, the restriction of voting rights according to race was found to be unconstitutional.

Q: Barring legal challenges, how would the formation of a government start?

A: Within 180 days of enactment, the U.S. secretary of the interior would appoint a nine-member commission to prepare a membership roll and certify that everyone enrolled qualifies under the definition of Native Hawaiian. Commission members must themselves be Native Hawaiians and have expertise in Hawaiian genealogy. The commission would have two years to come up with a certified roll; it would exist until the native government is formed and recognized.

Q: Who would be eligible to be listed on the Native Hawaiian membership roll?

A: Anyone who is age 18 or older could be a member if they can prove their descent from someone with Native Hawaiian blood who lived here on or before Jan. 1, 1893, the year that the monarchy was overthrown. A person also could qualify by proving descent from someone eligible for a Hawaiian homestead under a 1921 federal law.

Q: Once the voter list is set, what would happen next?

A: Those on the roll decide how to elect a Native Hawaiian Interim Governing Council. The elected council would hammer out the framework of a new government, including its structure, criteria for citizenship, proposed powers of the government, civil rights of citizens. The Secretary of the Interior would review and certify these documents, resubmitting them to the council if they haven't adequately outlined the workings of the government.

Q: How would recognition finally happen?

A: Officials of the new government would be elected by a majority of Native Hawaiian voters on the roll; the federal government would then recognize this government as a political entity that would represent Hawaiians in settlement negotiations.

Q: What would be settled in negotiations?

A: Among other things, the agreement would settle what lands, natural resources and other assets the Hawaiian government would own. Amendments to state and federal laws needed to bring this all about would be submitted to the appropriate lawmakers.

Q: Does the bill quickly legalize gambling, similar to what exists on some Indian reservations?

A: No. While the bill's initial language did not expressly prohibit gambling, Akaka introduced an amendment last fall stating that gambling would not be allowed on lands under the jurisdiction of the Native Hawaiian government entity

Other elements of the amendment, intended to appease some concerns expressed by opponents, include:

* Leaving negotiations on claims made by Native Hawaiians against the United States and the state in the hands of a federally recognized Hawaiian governing entity. Individuals and organizations, including the governing entity, would not have the legal basis to file such claims in court.

* Exempting the Department of Defense from participating in discussions and negotiations dealing with the creation of the Native Hawaiian governing entity, effectively ensuring military installations and operations are not affected.

* Making clear that the state and federal governments would retain existing civil and criminal jurisdiction over all lands and people in Hawai'i.

Q: Could Native Hawaiian citizens qualify for Indian programs and services?

A: No. The bill makes Native Hawaiian citizens eligible only for Native Hawaiian programs and money.

Q: What would be the likely assets of a Hawaiian nation?

A: Most people believe it would be a combination of cash assets, including the Native Hawaiian Trust Fund that the Office of Hawaiian Affairs now manages, and real estate. Some lands — Hawaiian Homes property, Kaho'olawe, some of the ceded lands — are commonly predicted as being included.

Q: Would citizens of the Hawaiian nation pay state or federal taxes?

A: If the status of Native American groups were applied here, Hawaiians would be required to pay federal income tax regardless of federal recognition. However, federally recognized tribal members do not pay state income or property tax if they live and work on reservation or trust lands. Some have suggested that a similar exemption could exist for Hawaiians living on Department of Hawaiian Home Lands leasehold homesteads; others have said there would be no such exemption here.

Some tribes, especially those that have found lucrative revenue in gambling operations, have been assessed "payments in lieu of taxes" to state governments to help pay for services to Indians, especially to tribes that have no such source of income. Such an arrangement could be possible here, to pay for state services to Hawaiians.

Q: Would a non-Hawaiian need permission to enter lands controlled by the Native Hawaiian entity?

A: There is legal precedent among federally recognized native nations for access restrictions to be imposed, but this might be impractical where Hawaiian lands exist in smaller parcels.

Q: Membership in a Hawaiian nation would be optional, but would someone have to be a member to benefit from Hawaiian programs?

A: Again, if the Native American model were followed, many programs would not require membership for benefits, but generally one would have to show eligibility for membership through genealogy.

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http://HonoluluAdvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060609/NEWS01/606090358
Honolulu Advertiser, Friday, June 9, 2006

By Gordon Y.K. Pang

The failure of the Native Hawaiian Act (S-147), the so-called Akaka bill, has been called everything from a wake-up call to the political climate in Washington, D.C., to a failed promise of the Lingle administration.

There was joy and disappointment in front of Hawai'i television sets yesterday morning as residents watched senators narrowly defeat a motion that would have cleared the way for debate on the Native Hawaiian recognition bill.

But the response among supporters and opponents was muted, even as one of the most closely watched issues in the state played out on a national stage on Capitol Hill, nearly 5,000 miles away.

Native Hawaiian attorney Beadie Kanahele Dawson, long a supporter of federal recognition, was among those up at dawn to watch the coverage of the proceedings on C-SPAN 2.

Dawson said the vote was a wake-up call for Hawaiians about the political climate in Washington, D.C.

"I think the vote was really a pretty grim indicator of the attitude of so many in the Congress toward Native Hawaiians," she said.

While she is optimistic that a version of the so-called Akaka bill could still be heard by Congress at some point, "there may be other approaches to what the Hawaiians need and want."

Supporters of federal recognition have long held that it is necessary to stave off legal claims against programs that give preference to Native Hawaiians.

Ikaika Hussey of the group Hui Pu, which opposes the bill, arguing that it does not go far enough in addressing the harms caused to Native Hawaiians by U.S. rule, applauded the vote.

Hussey believes opposition to the bill by Hui Pu and other Hawaiians played a role in the vote. At least one senator, during yesterday's debate, mentioned the split in the Hawaiian community.

But Hussey also was philosophical in victory. "Now's the time to heal our wounds, and come together to advance the cause of justice and reconciliation, together."

Former Advertiser publisher Thurston Twigg-Smith, a longtime opponent of federal recognition, also was pleased with the vote, but on very different grounds. Twigg-Smith and groups such as the Grassroot Institute of Hawai'i and Aloha For All believe special treatment of Hawaiians comes at the expense of everyone else.

While bill supporters believe Hawaiians should receive compensation for coming under U.S. control, Twigg-Smith said, "without the revisionism, the history looks pretty good for Hawaiians, certainly not the way they explained it in the Akaka bill."

Hawaiians, he said, have never been treated as second-class citizens.

Others offering comments yesterday:

* State Sen. Colleen Hanabusa, who heads the Senate's Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs Committee, said she takes consolation in knowing a majority of U.S. senators support federal recognition.

* "Definitely this is something that has to be brought back because at stake is a very critical political issue, which is the self-determination process of Native Hawaiians," said Hanabusa, D-21st (Nanakuli, Makaha).

* 'Ehu Cardwell of the Koani Foundation, which opposes the bill, said supporters "need to realize that federal recognition is a failed model and is dead" and look at other options.

* Democratic gubernatorial candidate Randall Iwase said Gov. Linda Lingle, a Republican, failed to keep her 2002 campaign promise to deliver the Akaka bill. A Republican president and Congress approved annexation in 1898 and a GOP president and Senate rejected the Akaka bill, he said. "Nothing has changed."

Lingle said she believes she and her administration was able to make "a big difference," noting that 13 Republicans voted for cloture. "I'm not sure a Democratic governor could've gotten any Republican votes, frankly."

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http://HonoluluAdvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060609/NEWS01/60609005
Honolulu Advertiser, Friday, June 9, 2006

Residents react to Akaka bill defeat
Advertiser Staff

From 'Aiea to Waikiki on O'ahu and the Neighbor Islands, the people of Hawai'i reacted to the latest events in what is popularly known as the Akaka bill. Yesterday, The Advertiser asked residents:

• What do you think the decision means for Hawai'i's future?

• Should federal recognition for Native Hawaiians continue to be pursued?

** Note from Ken Conklin: The following is apparently supposed to represent typical "man on the street" comments. However, keep in mind that this newspaper has repeatedly editorialized in favor of the Akaka bill, and has routinely slanted its news reports to favor it. Many of the individuals whose comments are reported below are actually spokespersons for the Akaka bill or for Hawaiian independence or for institutions dependent on race-based grants, as is well-known to the Advertiser staffers who chose to use the comments of these people rather than "real" people. In cases where I have personal knowledge of the individuals cited below, I will identify them with a comment. Note also that the proportion of ethnic Hawaiians is far larger than their 20% of the general population.**

O'AHU

'AIEA

Ernie Akana
"The bill really doesn't have any teeth anymore. Whether it passes or not, it's just a Band-Aid."
Age: 52
Occupation: Firefighter
Part-Hawaiian

DOWNTOWN HONOLULU

Lynne Matusow
"I think it's a sad day for the Hawaiians. Their nation was stolen from them (by) the United States. I just don't think that the people in Washington get it."
Age: Undisclosed
Occupation: Community activist ** Note -- community "activist" **
Non-Hawaiian

HAWAI'I KAI

Richard "Babe" Bell
"I'm not too akamai on the Akaka bill, but I'm for it. It's a start for us Hawaiians. Without that, we're nowhere. At least if we've got the Akaka bill passed, we're moving somewhere."
Age: 67
Occupation: Conch-shell blower at the Renaissance Ilikai Waikiki Hotel
Part-Hawaiian

HE'EIA

Keali'i Gora
"My general thoughts are (that without the Akaka bill) we don't have any entitlements. There will be more future attacks on Hawaiian programs: education, healthcare, housing programs. We really need these entitlements to continue. We saw a decrease in Hawaiian student enrollment this year."
Age: 41
Occupation: Chairman of international affairs for Ka Lahui Hawai'i
Hawaiian ** Comment: Note his "occupation" -- Ka Lahui purports to be a government ready to rule Hawai'i, with a Constitution limiting voting rights to ethnic Hawaiians. Also, he is the long-time live-in lover of the woman whose comment comes next! And he works as her unofficial assistant at the University, and is also a leader of one of the Hawaiian culture-immersion schools "Halau Ku Mana"

Lilikala Kame'eleihiwa
"America needs to find a way to right the wrong. Federal recognition is one way to right the wrong. For those of us who are looking for a peaceful resolution of our problems with the American government, we suggest federal recognition. If the federal government can't find a way to follow its own laws, it can decolonize and let Hawai'i return to being an independent nation."
Age: 53
Occupation: Professor of Hawaiian Studies, University of Hawai'i
Hawaiian

KAHUKU

Reyna Masoe
"If nothing's broken, then why fix it? We're not going to get any richer."
Age: 37
Occupation: Receptionist
Part-Hawaiian

KAHALU'U

John Reppun
"The families out here will be affected by this. I hope they would be engaged."
Age: 53
Occupation: Community service
Non-Hawaiian
** Comment: He is a taro farmer on government land in Wai'ahole, and a community activist. See also "Waiahole" below where a family member has a comment**

KAILUA

Yuklin Aluli
"The Akaka bill wasn't going to make any magic. We still have the negative statistics. We still have people in jail, and children in foster care and we still have things we have to do as Native Hawaiians. But the majority of people who are living in this community know they want justice done."
Age: 58
Occupation: Lawyer
Part-Hawaiian
** Comment: Aluli focuses on ethnic "Hawaiian rights" cases and is part of a family famous for civil disobedience, including occupying an island to force the U.S. Navy eventually to give up using it. **

Alan Heu
"It's awfully hard because it's so fragmented as far as the Hawaiian people. There's so many different groups all claiming to be the one that knows what's best for all the Hawaiians."
Age: 56
Occupation: Retired/community service
Part-Hawaiian
** Community activist **

MA'ILI

Allan Andrews
"I think rough times are ahead (for) some of the social services that were provided or would be provided under this program. If it (the Akaka bill) doesn't pass, we are going to have to keep on plugging away to see if we can make it happen."
Age: 50
Occupation: Ship fitter
Part-Hawaiian

MANOA

Helen Nakano
"I feel it will be divisive. They need to do a better job of the existing programs that are supposedly for the Hawaiians."
Age: 69
Occupation: Retired
Non-Hawaiian

PACIFIC HEIGHTS

David Cheever
"I think it will be brought up again — and should be. There have been modifications to it that have been good. But I cannot visualize how we can have a government within a government."
Age: 68
Occupation: Semi-retired
Non-Hawaiian

PU'UNUI

Mahealani Wendt
"For me the major concern is that as long as we lack clarity about the formal relationship with the U.S. government, we're vulnerable to challenges based on the notion that our programs are race-based."
Age: 59
Occupation: Executive director, Native Hawaiian Legal Corp.
Part-Hawaiian
** Native Hawaiian Legal Corporationis funded by the State government and focuses exclusively on lawsuits against governments, corporations, and individuals, regarding land ownership and land-use policies.

WAIAHOLE

Laurie Dickson-Reppun
"If everybody would come together and make a stand on what it is about, then maybe it would go forward, but everybody's opinions differ."
Age: Undisclosed
Occupation: Business owner
Part-Hawaiian
** Family member of John Reppun, whose comment was placed under "Kahalu'u" above. Wai'ahole is generally regarded as part of Kahalu'u. Separating the two individuals on this page seems intended to make them seem to be unrelated. **

WAI'ALAE IKI

Bill Meheula
"The Akaka bill is needed for defending current equal protection lawsuits against Kamehameha Schools, OHA (Office of Hawaiian Affairs) and the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. This decision is just going to lead to new lawsuits. With the bill, they would be defeated. Without the bill, it's going to be tougher."
Age: 53
Occupation: Litigator
Part-Hawaiian
** Note his occupation: "litigator." He brought a lawsuit against the State of Hawai'i attempting to claim special rights for ethnic Hawaiians regarding the public lands of the State. **

WAI'ANAE

Pedro Peralta
"Now that we are a state, we are a part of the United States. So, I don't see why we should back off (being a part of) the United States."
Age: 73
Occupation: Retired military (Korean War POW 1951-52)
Part-Hawaiian

WAI'ANAE VALLEY

Tony Mejia
"If the Akaka bill is never passed, they (the Hawaiians) aren't going to get what they should get, you know — what should be coming to them in the first place."
Age: 40
Occupation: Irrigation
Part-Hawaiian

WAIKIKI Jeff Apaka
"It's just so sad. I don't know where this is going to take us, where this will lead us. I'm appalled about it."
Age: 59
Occupation: Community-relations director/entertainer
Part-Hawaiian
** Occupation in public relations **

The Rev. Lane Akiona
"I think it's going to set back a lot of things that people have been wanting. This was the first step for us."
Age: 53
Occupation: Minister at St. Augustine by the Sea Church
Part-Hawaiian

WAIMANALO

Naomi W. Braine
"I'm not for Akaka bill. We don't want to be like the people from Alaska, and the Native Americans. That's my opinion. All my life, I've been working my buns off and it's very difficult. It's very difficult to get anywhere with the U.S. government."
Age: 63
Occupation: Lei maker at Aunty Bella's stand in the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center
Part-Hawaiian

Patrick Ching
"I hope it does continue to be pursued, and I hope it's realized some day."
Age: 44
Occupation: Artist
Non-Hawaiian

Marvalee Healani Klein
"I am also part Indian — Chippewa. So, whatever we can do for my people should be pursued, and I just wish I was educated more at a younger age and not fallen into the Western culture and ate it all up. That's why my children are in Hawaiian immersion. But we're only nicking the surface."
Age: Undisclosed
Occupation: Photographer and salesclerk
Part-Hawaiian

NEIGHBOR ISLANDS

BIG ISLAND

Sandra Scarr
"We now have a better chance of working as a community, building a state and being part of the United States. This was a divisive move."
Age: 69
Occupation: Retired university professor and coffee farmer
Non-Hawaiian

KAUA'I

Patrick Childs
"I don't believe you need the Akaka bill to protect the royal trusts. I agree that Kamehameha Schools, Lili'uokalani Trust and others should be protected. These are estate matters and are perfectly legitimate. The royal families can leave their money to whomever they want. The IRS should review its position on these matters."
Age: 58
Occupation: Business attorney
Non-Hawaiian

Kimo Perry
"This has been the most organized attempt to do things through existing federal channels. If this doesn't work out, we need to look at other options. The more radical versions of sovereignty are out there."
Age: 33
Occupation: Peer assistant program coordinator at Kaua'i Community College Part-Hawaiian
** Many Hawaiian sovereignty activists in the Perry family on Kaua'i.**

MAUI

Isaac Hall
"I'm extremely worried about OHA, Kamehameha Schools, all of the entities that are established to benefit Native Hawaiians. I think the courts have been waiting to see what's going to happen to the Akaka bill before ruling on some of these cases, and now that this vote's been taken, I fear for the worst."
Age: 62
Occupation: Wailuku attorney
Non-Hawaiian

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http://honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060609/COLUMNISTS02/606090364/1120
Honolulu Advertiser, Friday, June 9, 2006

Akaka bill needs new approach

By Lee Cataluna
Advertiser Columnist

Sometimes it takes a long time, much frustration and a series of little deaths to figure out that a relationship just isn't going to work.

In the legend of Kahalaopuna, as King Kalakaua told it, the beautiful daughter of the Manoa wind and rain was betrothed to Kauhi, a man of brutal jealousy and righteous indignation.

Kauhi heard false rumors of Kahalaopuna's unfaithfulness. Unwilling to be convinced of the truth of her virtue, Kauhi took her life.

Five times Kauhi killed Kahalaopuna. Five times she was brought back to life. Each time, she went back to him to try to change his heart — except for the last time. By then, she realized doing the same thing would only bring the same result. Instead, she aligned herself with allies of good conscience and righteous purpose. And she lived.

And so goes the bill that would establish federal recognition for Native Hawaiians. For six years, money, effort and political maneuvering have gone toward turning the hearts of those who refuse to see the history of the overthrow as fact and the current situation of Native Hawaiians as unfair and untenable. It has lived and died and lived again.

This most recent death of the Akaka bill may have been the most brutal yet, with purposeful misinformation fueling attacks of righteous indignation. It was heartbreaking and rage-making to hear some of the made-up arguments being tossed around like truth — like how Hawaiians can't be tribal Indians. Well, no kidding! Oh, but talking crazy is an effective distraction technique.

Surely this latest attempt to breathe life into Akaka's namesake legislation is tied to his re-election campaign. If he wasn't having to run hard against Ed Case and show proof after that snarky Time magazine article, Akaka and his buddies might not have mustered the considerable effort to bring the bill forward. Indeed, Sen. Barack Obama, the Democrats' darling and Hawai'i's "third senator," speaking in favor of the bill, sounded more like a campaign supporter at an Akaka rally, going on about what a great job Akaka has done for Native Hawaiians and all of Hawai'i.

But clearly, going before the same killers will result in the same death. Time for a new approach.

In some versions of the legend of Kahalaopuna, Kauhi is banished from the land but escapes to the sea where he becomes a shark. Though she is warned to keep herself safe, Kahalaopuna goes swimming in the ocean, where Kauhi catches her and ends her life a final time.

And there is a lesson in that sad ending, too: The fight for justice isn't won once; it is a long process that requires endurance, vigilance and flexible strategy.


==================

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