(c) Copyright 2008
Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.
All rights reserved
The history of the Akaka bill during the entire 110th Congress, January 2007 through December 2008, is divided into subpages covering several time-periods. The index of topics for the entire 110th Congress, with links to the subpages, can be found at
This is a subpage covering the history for the period from September 1, 2008 through December 31, 2008.
INDEX OF ITEMS FROM SEPTEMBER 1, 2008 THROUGH DECEMBER 31, 2008 (FULL TEXT OF EACH ITEM FOLLOWS THE INDEX, IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER).
September 2, 2008: (1) Honolulu Advertiser reports that Hawaii Republicans attending the Republican National Convention are refraining from pushing the Akaka bill because they know it's disliked by the party leadership.; (2) Stephens Media reports on the infighting inside the Republican platform committee concerning including "Native Hawaiians" in its adoption of a plank saying "We support efforts to ensure equitable participation in federal programs by Native Americans, including Alaska natives and Native Hawaiians, and to preserve their culture and languages."
September 5: Rush Limbaugh, nationally syndicated radio talk-show, discussed Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (Republican Vice Presidential candidate) alleged support for Alaska secession, and contrasted that with Obama and Biden Senate votes in favor of Akaka bill.
September 9: Hawaii TV station reports that Hawaii Democrats, and the Republican Governor, are disappointed by McCain's opposition to the Akaka bill but hope to persuade him to change his mind.
September 12: Honolulu Star-Bulletin editorial notes that Republican Vice-Presidential nominee Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska, opposes some aspects of Alaskan Native tribal sovereignty but has not publicly stated any position regarding Hawaiian sovereignty or the Akaka bill.
September 24: Governor Lingle will campaign for McCain in several states, and will serve as surrogate for Vice-Presidential nominee Sarah Palin in connection with the Vice-Presidential debate. Hawaii Democrats oppose Lingle campaigning for McCain and Palin, because McCain and Palin oppose the Akaka bill.
September 30: "American Spectator" major article trashes the Akaka bill. "The Akaka Bill's effects would devastate Hawaii: it would shatter the racial harmony of the most diverse state, and would flout the ideals of the Constitution. It would make a mockery of property rights, both public and private, while laying the groundwork for secession."
October 2: Forbes Magazine reports on the U.S. Supreme Court granting of certiorari regarding the appeal by the state of Hawaii against the Hawaii Supreme Court's (unanimous!) decision that the state cannot sell ceded lands until the (alleged) claims to the ceded lands by ethnic Hawaiians have been resolved. Passage of the Akaka bill would lead to establishment of a tribal government authorized to negotiate a final resolution of claims to the ceded lands.
October 6: Honolulu Star-Bulletin editorial about the U.S. Supreme Court decision to accept certiorari on state's appeal of state supreme court decision prohibiting sale of ceded lands. Editorial once again seizes opportunity to push Akaka bill on grounds it would help state achieve reconciliation with ethnic Hawaiians (this time regarding the ceded lands).
October 19: Honolulu Star-Bulletin editorial tells voters to vote against holding a state Constitutional Convention. Editorial says major changes can be made without a con-con; for example, the likelihood that the Akaka bill will pass sometime in the next few months under President Obama and a more strongly Democrat Congress.
October 20: Colin Kippen, candidate for OHA trustee running against OHA chair Haunani Apoliona, attacks OHA leadership for using the Kau Inoa racial registry in support of Akaka bill in violation of pledges made to those who sign the registry; and for other reasons.
October 25: Honolulu Star-Bulletin editorial criticized Governor Lingle for her campaigning on behalf of the McCain/Palin ticket, and especially for her public assertion that Obama is not really a "local" Hawaii person. Editorial once again notes that Obama supports the Akaka bill while McCain opposes it, so Lingle is out of step with what (the newspaper says) Hawaii wants.
October 26: Honolulu Advertiser publishes side-by-side articles by Brian Schatz (Obama Hawaii campaign manager) and Jerry Coffee (McCain Hawaii campaign manager) describing their views on major issues, including Akaka bill.
November 3: Article in "The New Yorker" discusses Hawaii's multiracial culture and opposition to the Akaka bill by Andy Blom, who is executive director of McCain's campaign in Hawaii.
November 4 and 5: All incumbents won their elections for trustee of Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Haunani Apoliona, chairperson, reaffirmed her commitment to push for the Akaka bill.
November 5: Letter to editor notes concerns about zoning regulations in Honolulu, and points out that if the Akaka bill passes then the Akaka tribe's sovereignty would allow it to ignore the zoning laws of the neighborhoods where the tribe owns land.
November 7: Ken Conklin publishes major essay in Hawaii Reporter online newspaper describing the likelihood the Akaka bill will be passed and signed into law early in 2009, in view of election results; but offering hope that it might be defeated, and reminding readers that civil rights activists have traditionally used the courts to defend against executive and legislative violations of civil rights.
November 11: Letter in Maui News says the main force behind Akaka bill is Alaska oil, Alaska Senator Ted Stevens, and Alaska native corporations.
November 18: "The Hill" (Washington D.D. newspaper dedicated to covering Congress) says "Hawaii stands ready to become the Big Kahuna in Washington" and "The Hawaiian punch in Washington is about to get a lot stronger." because of Senator Inouye's great seniority and power, and the larger Democrat majority.
November 19: Haunani Apoliona, OHA chair, rehashes reasons why Akaka bill and the Kau Inoa racial registry are important.
November 26: Honolulu Star-Bulletin editorial says if the Akaka bill passes, that would nullify the forthcoming Supreme Court ruling on the ceded lands case which is expected to say that the apology resolution does NOT prohibit the state from selling ceded lands (and which might go further and declare that government handouts based on race are unconstitutional).
December 1: (1) William Perry Pendley, President and Chief Legal Officer at the Mountain States Legal Foundation, essay in Townhall.com links the apology resolution, Akaka bill, and Supreme Court case on whether the State of Hawaii can sell ceded lands without permission from ethnic Hawaiians; (2) Guest editorial "Tyranny and Evil Exposed" in the OHA monthly newspaper opposes Akaka bill on grounds that Hawaii should be an independent nation
December 3: Webpage "Hawaiian Sovereignty, Zionism, and Governor Lingle" proves that Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle's main motive for supporting the Akaka bill, OHA, race-based entitlements, and Kamehameha Schools' racially exclusionary admissions policy is her strong support for Zionism and her mistaken belief that the Hawaiian sovereignty movement is comparable to the struggle to establish and maintain a Jewish nation of Israel.
December 8: Honolulu Advertiser Washington D.C. reporter says chances of enacting Akaka bill are very favorable in 2009. [This newspaper itself is very favorable to the bill, so has biased its report. But see December 9]
December 9: The Maui News carries an Associated Press report, distributed nationwide, saying that Obama's election and larger Democrat majorities in Congress will make it easier to pass the Akaka bill in 2009; but there will be fierce resistance from Senate Republicans who might actually be able to block the bill with a filibuster.
December 22: Honolulu Advertiser reports "The arrival of a new Democratic administration in Washington, coupled with Democratic control of Congress, has given renewed hope to supporters of federal recognition for native Hawaiians." But Grassroot Institute President Emeritus says Congress will be focused intently on the economic issues, and Democrats won't want to waste their political capital on akaka bill until late 2009.
December 24: Congresswoman Mazie Hirono (D, HI) says the new Democrat President and larger Democrat majorities in Congress make it likely the Akaka bill will pass; but the very large number of newly elected Representatives give her a big job to "educate" them about the bill.
December 29: Honolulu Star-Bulletin editorial makes a guess about how many votes there will be in the Senate for cloture on the Akaka bill in 2009, and then concludes the bill's backers should press for early action
December 30: Richard Rowland, founder of Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, short commentary says Akaka bill is going to become law in 2009. It is vague, but one thing for sure -- it will establish a new government in Hawaii, and our people should be allowed to vote on it before it is done without their consent.
FULL TEXT OF NEWS REPORTS AND COMMENTARIES FROM SEPTEMBER 1, 2008 THROUGH DECEMBER 31, 2008; IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER
Honolulu Advertiser, September 2, 2008
Lingle tapped to tell Palin's story
Island leader says she's one of the few people who 'traveled her road'
By Derrick DePledge
Advertiser Government Writer
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Gov. Linda Lingle, whose political background is similar to that of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin — the GOP's vice presidential choice — is being deployed at the Republican National Convention to tell Palin's story to delegates and the news media.
** EXCERPT RELATED TO AKAKA BILL
The convention, meanwhile, opened yesterday with a truncated afternoon session where delegates organized and approved the party's platform.
The platform includes language backing equal participation in federal programs by Native Hawaiians, Alaska Natives and American Indians, and the importance of preserving native cultures and languages.
The platform also recognizes the military service of American Indians.
"We honor the sacrifices of all Native Americans serving in the military today and in years past and will ensure that all veterans receive the care and respect they have earned through their service to America," the platform states.
Democrats, at their convention in Denver last week, approved a platform that endorsed Native Hawaiian self-determination consistent with the 1993 apology resolution and the Native Hawaiian federal recognition bill sponsored by Akaka.
Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona, a delegate, said Hawai'i Republicans who favor the Akaka bill chose not to push the issue because of concerns among national Republicans.
"I think the problem is we're still trying to convince some of our Republican leaders that it's the right thing to do," Aiona said. "We still have some of these old fallacies going around right now, some of these old arguments that it's unconstitutional.
"It's tough to change that way of thinking, so we're still working on that."
McCain has opposed the Akaka bill, arguing that it would divide the Islands by race and lead to conflict. Lingle told local reporters yesterday that she had not discussed the issue with Palin, but believed there might be some opportunity with her and noted that her husband is an Alaska Native.
West Hawaii Today (Kona), Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Republican convention platform nods to Native Hawaiians
by Nancy Cook Lauer
Stephens Media Capitol Bureau
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Republican Party platform includes a nod to Native Hawaiians, but it did not happen without a fight, a state party official said Monday. The party's platform on issues facing the nation was adopted with little fanfare on Monday during the first day of the pared-down Republican National Convention.
But some members of the GOP Platform Committee tried to remove language that vowed equity for Native Hawaiians and Alaska natives, said Hawaii Republican Party Chairman Willes Lee, one of two state representatives on the panel.
Lee said he could not recall who raised the objection, but the argument was whether the party was endorsing special rights for a group of people based on their race. That argument has been raised repeatedly by critics of Native Hawaiian organizations that have been seeking federal recognition and a measure of sovereignty from Congress.
Lee said the complaint evaporated after it was pointed out that such language was not uncommon in the party's platforms.
The platform committee, composed of two members from each state and U.S. territory, met Wednesday to finalize the document, which is considered a statement of Republican principles as opposed to a specific roadmap that GOP presidential candidate John McCain would have to follow if he is elected.
"I am very pleased that once again, the Republicans have offered their support for Native Hawaiians," Lee said.
The platform states: "We support efforts to ensure equitable participation in federal programs by Native Americans, including Alaska natives and Native Hawaiians, and to preserve their culture and languages."
The Republican document doesn't go as far as the Democratic platform, which endorsed efforts toward self-determination and sovereignty for Hawaiian natives, and specifically mentions the so-called Akaka bill for native rights.
The Bush administration in fact has opposed Native Hawaiian legislation despite lobbying from Hawaii's Republican Gov. Linda Lingle.
The Democrats also promised to "increase federal resources for economic development, education, health and other important services. We will respect Native Hawaiian culture rights and sacred places."
Lee noted that language addressing Native Hawaiians has been in the Republican platform since at least 1996, and possibly as early as 1984. The Democrats, on the other hand, did not include language in their 2004 platform.
Lingle, speaking with Hawaii newspaper reporters earlier in the day, said she hasn't discussed native issues with presumed vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, whose home state of Alaska also includes natives who have sought indigenous rights.
Lingle has traveled often to Washington, D.C., lobbying fellow Republicans on behalf of Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, who has repeatedly introduced a bill in Congress to pave the way for federal recognition and Native Hawaiian self-governance.
"It's not a subject I've ever discussed with her," Lingle said, referring to Palin. "But it certainly opens up new opportunities, I think, to partner up on this issue."
Rush Limbaugh nationally syndicated radio program
September 5, 2008
Todd Palin? Obama, Biden Voted for a Path to Hawaii Secession
RUSH: Jerry in Milwaukee, welcome, sir, to the Rush Limbaugh program. Hello.
CALLER: Hi. Thanks for taking my call, Rush. This pick by Senator McCain, I believe it was kind of a desperate pick because he picked someone much more conservative than him to appeal to the far right. His campaign admitted they didn't really fully vet her because they wanted they wanted to keep it a secret and things are coming out after the last week and a half. Imagine if Michelle Obama had connections to a secessionist party like Todd Palin, the husband has connections to a secessionist party, you would call her un-American, you would say that she hates America --
RUSH: Hey, hey, hey.
CALLER: -- with those connections.
RUSH: Jerry, let me try to set you state. Her husband had flirtings with the secessionist party, she didn't. Michelle Obama took her kids every Sunday to Jeremiah Wright's church where her kids got to hear some of the most anti-American drivel hate speech ever. This pick, you're dead wrong about it. You're living in fear. This pick by McCain was brilliant because this pick is not to the far right. There is no far right of any size and substance. This pick unified the conservative base in the Republican Party to the party. McCain could not do that on his own. He can't win without Republicans, conservatives excited about the ticket, and they are. He's now free to go out and be who he is, campaign for his precious moderates and independents and so forth. It was smart pick. It was more than that. That is why on this program his name has recently been morphed and changed into John McBrilliant.
RUSH: This secession business is one of the lamest straws, the lamest little twigs that the left have out there to try to go after Sarah Palin on the basis that her husband Todd supported secession for Alaska. Now, two things. Look at me on this. Follow me. Two things. Now, I don't support secession, obviously, but I can damn-well understand why people in Alaska feel put out. Here you have a bunch of elite, city slicker liberals in New York and California and elsewhere. They don't like liberals in these rural areas. They don't like liberal politicians telling them when, how, and where they can explore for and drill for their own natural resources. They don't like having to hear Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi tell them when and where they can't do things.
They don't like hearing it from Obama. They don't like being told that they can't use their habitats and all of that. Now, I don't support secession for Alaska, but I understand why people get ticked off up there. But can we go back to the recent past? There was a piece by John Fund on June 12th of 2006 in the Wall Street Journal. Senator Akaka [from Hawaii "undermined his own bill last year when he made statements to National Public Radio that the sovereignty granted Native Hawaiians in the [Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act] bill could eventually lead to secession. 'That could be,' he said. 'As far as what's going to happen at the other end, I'm leaving it up to my grandchildren and great-grandchildren.'" Obama and Biden both voted for Akaka's bill that opened the way for Hawaii to leave the union! And when this bill came up, we were all talking about how this is going to potentially lead to secession," and Obama and Biden both voted for it! Now, this is a clear example of a double standard.
Alaska hasn't done anything like this. They certainly haven't had a member of their congressional delegation propose it. But Daniel A-ka-ka (I love pronouncing that name) Daniel A-ka-ka from Hawaii not only proposed it but it was debated and almost passed voted for by Obama and Biden. So what is this? The double standard just reigns extreme. But, see, we don't live in a monopoly anymore -- and the left cannot seem to get it through its head that we have researchers and that we have an archive of the stupid, contradictory, hypocritical things that they have and said how they've voted. The rope-a-dope again: "Okay, you want to go after Todd Palin for flirting with Alaskan secession? Fine! Obama and Biden voted for a bill that could lead to that very thing in Hawaii, by the sponsor's own admission, Daniel Akaka."
KITV4 Television, September 9, 2008
McCain's Position On Bill Disappoints Hawaii Delegation
HONOLULU -- Republican Presidential Candidate Sen. John McCain has disappointed the Hawaii congressional delegation by coming out strongly against the Akaka Bill and Hawaiian self-determination.
That could make passage of the bill almost impossible if he sticks to that position as president.
Akaka Bill supporters think he can still be talked into it.
When Gov. Linda Lingle led a lobbying delegation to Washington three years ago she found an important ally in Sen. John McCain.
“She’s done a great job on this resolution and she's meeting with senators of both parties and we're going to do what we can to push this thing. Does it look hopeful? I am hopeful yes,” McCain said.
McCain voted to support a floor vote, but never had to vote on the bill itself. As he accepted the nomination for president his campaign made it clear he is now fully opposed to Hawaii self-determination.
“I think that John McCain’s position on the Akaka Bill is very appealing to the people of Hawaii. He does not believe that native Hawaiians should strive for their own government. He feels it’s very divisive,” McCain Hawaii Chairman Jerry Coffee said.
McCain said he supports programs like Hawaiian homelands and land revenue to OHA.
“He doesn't want to see native Hawaiians lose the benefits that they have now but it doesn't take the Akaka bill to maintain those benefits,” Coffee said.
The Lingle administration refused to criticize McCain for his apparent change of position and they continue to say even if he is elected president they still have high hopes for the bill.
“It’s incumbent on us as an administration and as supporters of Sen. McCain to educate him on that and persuade him to see it our way. We are not giving up,” said Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona, R-Hawaii.
Democrats said they have similar sentiments hoping if elected McCain will return to his old flexibility.
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, September 12, 2008, EDITORIAL
Palin appears opposed to native sovereignty
GOP vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin has not stated her position on Hawaiian sovereignty, opposed by John McCain.
Sarah Palin introduced her husband, Todd, at last week's Republican National Convention as being part Yup'ik Eskimo, but that does not necessarily make her sympathetic to indigenous peoples. Sen. John McCain has stated his opposition to Hawaiian sovereignty, and his running mate in the presidential race appears to be in lockstep.
When Sen. Daniel Akaka's Hawaiian sovereignty bill went to the Senate floor two years ago, McCain voted to end a filibuster and allow it to be considered for a vote, because he had promised to do so. He added in a floor speech, "I would like the record to reflect clearly, though, that I am unequivocally opposed to this bill and that I will not support its passage should cloture be invoked."
Sarah Palin was 7 years old when Congress granted sovereignty to native Alaskan tribes in 1971. However, as governor, she has earned the ire of indigenous Alaskans, according to a blog by Sara Marie Ortiz, an Acoma Pueblo writer and graduate student at Antioch University in Los Angeles. Described on her MySpace page as an advocate of indigenous women and children, she plans to enter law school next year at New Mexico University, where she has been accepted.
In a detailed treatise copied onto the Barack Obama campaign Web site, Ortiz has documented Palin's attempt as Alaska governor to narrow federal protection of native Alaskan subsistence fishing and hunting. Her arguments, which would enhance sport fishing and hunting, have been rejected by federal judges and are on appeal.
Palin "does not technically challenge" native Alaskan sovereignty, but has tried to block tribal jurisdiction over the welfare of native children, according to Ortiz. State and federal courts have struck down Palin's policy, and the issue is on appeal in the federal court system.
Honolulu Advertiser, Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Lingle to campaign for ticket in 6 states
Democrats critical, citing McCain stance on abortion, Akaka bill
By Derrick DePledge
Advertiser Government Writer
Gov. Linda Lingle said yesterday she would campaign in six states on the Mainland for the GOP presidential ticket of U.S. Sen. John McCain and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
The Republican governor also will serve as a surrogate for Palin after the vice presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis on Oct. 2.
Lingle told reporters at a news conference at the state Capitol that she is scheduled to campaign for the GOP ticket in Michigan, Ohio, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts and Missouri.
Lingle said the Mainland swing, paid for by the McCain campaign, would be beneficial for Hawai'i because she will inevitably speak about the state at her appearances.
Lingle has been a national campaign surrogate for Palin, a friend she met through the Republican Governors Association, and spoke about Palin in a prime-time address at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., earlier this month.
Some Democrats have questioned why Lingle has been willing to be such a visible advocate for McCain, an opponent of a Native Hawaiian federal recognition bill, and for Palin, who unlike Lingle opposes abortion rights.
Democrats also say Lingle's activism puts her out of step with local voters who support Hawai'i-born U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, the Democrats' presidential nominee.
Lingle said that being involved in the national campaign puts her in a better position to have access if McCain is elected president. The governor campaigned on the Mainland for President Bush during his 2004 re-election.
Lingle also said she believes McCain is the better choice.
"Senator McCain, overall, is just a much better person to lead the country, so I'm very comfortable being out speaking on his behalf," she said.
"I think his record is clear and superior to Obama's record. So while I guess you could pick any one issue on either side, if you weigh the candidates side by side, clearly Sen. McCain is better for our state."
Brian Schatz, chairman of the Democratic Party of Hawai'i, said it is surprising that Lingle would be campaigning so aggressively for candidates "who don't represent Hawai'i's interests on some of our largest issues.
"To be pushing for a ticket that wants to overturn Roe and will reject the Akaka bill is hard to take for some of us," he said, referring to the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion and to the Native Hawaiian recognition bill.
** Remainder of article deleted because not relevant to Akaka bill.
American Spectator, September 30, 2008
Trouble in Paradise
By Joseph Lawler
In 1993, Dennis "Bumpy" Kanahele, a Native Hawaiian ex-convict, blocked off the Makapuu Beach on Oahu to traffic until the governor gave him a 45-acre parcel of land on which to found an ethnic Hawaiian entity. To people in the continental U.S., the appeasement of Bumpy is outrageous. Sen. Daniel Akaka of Hawaii, however, has a plan to help people like Bumpy that should anger them even more.
Bumpy's separatist movement has some traction among the 20 percent of Hawaii residents who are ethnically Hawaiian. August 16 of this year marked the 49th anniversary of Hawaiian statehood, but there was no celebration in Hawaii. Instead, a group of separatist ethnic Hawaiians broke into Iolani Palace, the traditional seat of the Hawaiian monarch, in protest of Hawaii's membership in the U.S.
Sen. Akaka hopes to mollify the sovereignty movement while maintaining U.S. statehood. He has proposed a bill that would establish a race-based Native Hawaiian government within Hawaii, with powers and rights similar to those of autonomous Native American tribes. A House version of the "Akaka Bill," sponsored by Hawaii Rep. Neil Abercrombie, also of Hawaii, passed last October. The bill works under the assumption (codified in the spurious 1993 Apology Resolution signed by President Bill Clinton) that the U.S. wrested control of the islands from an ethnic Hawaiian nation in 1893, and is in Hawaii as an occupying force today.
The Akaka Bill would allow the Native Hawaiian government to negotiate with the U.S. government as a foreign entity. It would set up a council staffed by Native Hawaiians who would determine the constitution of their native government as well as the criteria for citizenship -- most likely a "one-drop" rule whereby anyone with any ethnic Hawaiian blood is eligible. The bill would limit some votes -- impacting everyone in the state -- to ethnic Hawaiians.
The new government would also supervise the transfer of wrongfully taken lands and resources to ethnic Hawaiians. The transfers would likely include state and federal lands as well as the Kamehameha School system, an ethnic-Hawaiians-only school system bequeathed by Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop -- and the largest landowner on the Hawaiian Islands, boasting an endowment of over $9 billion.
According to Ken Conklin, a retired schoolteacher who was a plaintiff in a case against OHA -- the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, a major advocate of such land transfers -- the main backers of the bill are "huge, powerful, racially exclusive institutions like Kamehameha Schools, the OHA, and the Department of Hawaiian Homelands. There are over 160 federally funded racially exclusive programs, all of which are unconstitutional."
Of these institutions, OHA is the biggest. It was created in 1978 to administer the land ceded to native Hawaiians after Hawaii became a state in 1959. Since then it has overstepped its mandate, redirecting billions of dollars from public spending to ethnic Hawaiians, fostering a system of cronyism under the guise of multiculturalism.
This system was threatened when in 2000 the Supreme Court, in Rice vs. Cayetano, decided against OHA, forcing OHA to allow non-ethnic Hawaiians on its board. The Akaka Bill would ensure that OHA and other such programs would never be at the mercy of the law again.
IN ORDER TO KEEP the handouts coming, the originators of the bill aren't afraid to inject racialism into Hawaii's famously harmonious multiculturalism. Furthermore, the bill's premise -- that the U.S. is a foreign force oppressing a marginalized ethnic group -- is shaky.
Jamie Story, president of the Grassroot Institute, a Hawaii-based public policy center, thinks so. She told TAS, "The Kingdom of Hawaii was never purely native Hawaiian." Rather, "it was created by a multi-racial coalition and finally unified in 1810, and the United States remained completely neutral throughout the Hawaiian Revolution of 1893."
Nor are native Hawaiians a tribe. "Assigning all native Hawaiians to a single tribe would be similar to combining the Navajo, Cherokee, Sioux and Crow tribes into a single governing entity," Story noted. The Native Hawaiians wouldn't have anything in common with the tribes of Native Americans recognized by Congress. They would share the same corrupt basis as casino tribes, without any of the legitimacy.
Instead of restoring a usurped nation, Story says, the bill is "an unapologetic attempt to undo the holdings of the Supreme Court of the United States."
The Akaka Bill's effects would devastate Hawaii: it would shatter the racial harmony of the most diverse state, and would flout the ideals of the Constitution. It would make a mockery of property rights, both public and private, while laying the groundwork for secession.
The fallout would not be limited to the Hawaiian Islands. The bill's passage would assert that "Congress has the authority to single out any indigenous people and to help them create a government," warned Conklin.
That would set a dangerous precedent for the mainland U.S. Conklin gave as an example the MEChA movement, a group of ethnic Chicanos who claim that most of the American Southwest was stolen from them in the Mexican-American War -- and whose case may be more legitimate than the Native Hawaiians'.
THAT DIRE SCENARIO may be tested soon. Although the Akaka Bill likely won't reach a vote in the Senate before the new president is installed, it came perilously close to passing in 2006, falling just four votes short of a final vote. A large Democratic majority in the Senate could easily pass the bill. Republican opposition, unfortunately, could waver -- the Republican governor of Hawaii, Linda Lingle, endorsed the bill for no apparent reason, which earned her the "Dunce of the Week" from Forbes.
John McCain has stated that he opposes the Akaka Bill and would likely veto it. Barack Obama, however, often called "Hawaii's third Senator," benefited from early funding from Hawaiian sovereignty groups and pledged in January to support the Akaka Bill's passage.
Joseph Lawler is the Collegiate Network Fellow at The American Spectator.
Forbes Magazine, October 2, 2008
US Supreme Court to rule on Hawaiian lands
By HERBERT A. SAMPLE
HONOLULU - The U.S. Supreme Court has decided to hear a case that will determine if the state of Hawaii can sell or exchange land once owned by the former Hawaiian monarchy or have to wait until the claims of Native Hawaiians are resolved.
The justices will rule on an appeal of an injunction last January by the Hawaii Supreme Court that barred the state from disposing of 1.2 million acres on Maui and the Big Island until those claims are settled.
"We believe the Hawaii Supreme Court was incorrect in its holding," Hawaii Attorney General Mark Bennett said in a statement. "Prudent management of those lands for the benefit of all of Hawaii's citizens must include, on occasion, the right to sell or exchange land."
But a leader of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, which brought the original suit against the state on behalf of Native Hawaiians, said she expects the high court to back up the Hawaii court's ruling.
"We firmly stand behind the state Supreme Court's opinion, which says the state should keep the ceded land trust intact until Native Hawaiian claims to these lands are settled," said Haunani Apoliona, OHA board chairwoman.
The underlying lawsuit started in 1994 when OHA and four individuals sought to force the state to retain the lands until native claims were settled. At the time, the state was planning to sell about 1,500 acres on Maui and the Big Island. Royal lands make up about 29 percent of the state and include almost all state-owned lands.
The unanimous Hawaii Supreme Court ruling prohibited the state from selling or otherwise disposing of the properties to private parties, based on a 1993 action by Congress known as the Apology Resolution. In it, Congress acknowledged wrongdoing in the federal government's participation in the 1893 overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy and recognized the inherent sovereignty of indigenous islanders over their land.
The state appealed the injunction to the U.S. Supreme Court, supported by 29 other states that filed a friend-of-the-court brief in June. They contended that the Apology Resolution was symbolic and thus has no bearing on how Hawaii determines the future of the lands.
The court decision on Wednesday to hear the case, titled Hawaii v. Office of Hawaiian Affairs, was made without comment. Oral arguments are likely to occur early next year, with a decision expected by June.
Legislation pending in Congress would create a federally recognized Native Hawaiian government, giving Hawaiians autonomy rights similar to those provided American Indians and Native Alaskans. The proposal passed the U.S. House of Representatives last year and awaits a vote in the Senate.
Bennett said the measure would not resolve Native Hawaiian land claims, but would establish a framework by which they would be negotiated. That process could take several years.
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, October 6, 2008
Court should reverse freeze on land sales
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review a state ruling on the use of ceded land.
THE Lingle administration should be encouraged by the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to review an unconscionable state ruling that prohibits the sale or transfer of virtually all state-owned land in Hawaii. Overturning of the ruling would restore the successful formula for devoting part of the land sales revenue to improving conditions for native Hawaiians.
The Hawaii Supreme Court ruled in January that the 1993 congressional apology for the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy prohibits the sale of any of the 1.2 million acres of former crown land that was taken over by the federal government and ceded to Hawaii at statehood.
The case was among 10 that the nation's high court agreed to review of about 2,000 appeals that had accumulated over its summer break. A final ruling is expected by the end of the court's term in June.
The Office of Hawaiian Affairs challenged the state's decision to develop 500 acres of ceded land on Maui as affordable housing. OHA rejected the state's offer of nearly $5.6 million in compliance with the Admission Act's provision that one-fifth of the benefits from ceded land be dedicating to improving conditions for Hawaiians.
In the state high court's ruling, Chief Justice Ronald Moon wrote that the Apology Resolution "dictates that the ceded lands should be preserved" until reconciliation between the United States and the native Hawaiian people is achieved. The Apology Resolution does not precisely say that.
Reconciliation will not be achieved until Congress approves Sen. Daniel Akaka's Hawaiian sovereignty bill and it is signed into law by the next president. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has agreed to do so, but Republican candidate John McCain has declared his opposition.
** Note from website editor Ken Conklin:
This editorial contains falsehoods and distortions which the Star-Bulletin has also printed on previous occasions. Whoever wrote it is either ignorant of the facts or is knowingly telling lies in order to propagandize for the Akaka bill. Editorial says "... the Admission Act's provision that one-fifth of the benefits from ceded land be dedicating to improving conditions for Hawaiians." FALSE. The Admission Act says ceded land revenues can be used for ANY ONE OR MORE of five purposes. None of the money is required to be used for any particular purpose. When OHA was created in 1978, the Legislature passed a law to give OHA 20% of ceded land revenue. That law can be repealed anytime the Legislature chooses to do so, and that would be a good way to produce "reconciliation." Editorial says "Reconciliation will not be achieved until Congress approves Sen. Daniel Akaka's Hawaiian sovereignty bill and it is signed into law by the next president." FALSE. Reconciliation can be achieved when the Legislature repeals the law to give OHA 20% of revenues, and when the upcoming Constitutional Convention abolishes OHA, and when the university and the newspapers stop cheering for racial separatism and ethnic nationalism.
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, October 19, 2008
No compelling need to convene a Con Con
HAWAII voters will have a once-in-a-decade opportunity in November to call for a convention to rewrite the state's Constitution. Proponents of a Constitutional Convention have yet to provide a need for such an overhaul, and the timing of such a gathering would be wrong both politically and economically. Voters should reject a Con Con.
With only 11 of Hawaii's 76 legislative seats, the Republican Party has been unable to push its desired constitutional changes onto the ballot. Most notably, Gov. Linda Lingle's proposal to replace the state's single school district with local boards has been kept from voters.
Other possible issues at a Con Con are land issues, public financing of election candidacies, term limits for legislators, legalized gambling, a unicameral Legislature and initiative and referendum, ad infinitum. Such issues might be worth considering, but an agenda of sorts should be clarified before embarking on a no-holds-barred assembly. The Stop Rail Now organization has shown that a convention is not necessary to challenge decisions by legislative bodies.
A Con Con would not be limited and could serve as a vehicle for fixing problems that don't need repair. For some, it could be a feel-good session for addressing any and all issues they identify as problems.
The notion that direct citizen involvement in political decision-making is ideal suggests that anything less than that is undemocratic. That argument flies in the face of representative democracy, the American norm. If a voter disagrees with his representative, he should vote for his or her defeat in the next election.
Within what we hope will be only a few months, Hawaii might deal with a major change in the political landscape. A bill proposed by Sen. Daniel Akaka to grant Hawaiian sovereignty has stalled in Congress. Democratic nominee Barack Obama, the current favorite in the presidential race, has endorsed the bill, and its enactment appears more likely than ever.
At the same time, Hawaii's state government is trying to cope with major budget problems in the midst of a national financial crisis. The state can't afford to siphon off more than $40 million that would be needed to pay for a Con Con. If and when a convention is needed, it should be provided adequate funding. This is not the time.
** Comment by Ken Conklin
The editorial says "Within what we hope will be only a few months, Hawaii might deal with a major change in the political landscape. A bill proposed by Sen. Daniel Akaka to grant Hawaiian sovereignty has stalled in Congress. Democratic nominee Barack Obama, the current favorite in the presidential race, has endorsed the bill, and its enactment appears more likely than ever."
Well, there's a very important reason why we need a con-con.
Our Legislators are hell-bent on creating a racial separatist government and then, according to the Kaka bill, the Legislature will then be able to give away all the ceded lands to the new Akaka tribe.
I guess the Star-Bulletin thinks that's terrific, but I don't.
A Constitutional Convention could protect us by inserting language that "the ceded lands belong to all Hawaii's people without racial distinction." A con-con could also insert language that "no state-owned land can be given to, or placed under the management of, a race-based institution"
Hawaii Reporter, October 20, 2008
Exposing Deception of Office of Hawaiian Affairs Leaders Over Kau Inoa Registry
By Colin Kippen
Trustee At Large Candidate Colin Kippen, former Deputy Administrator at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, conducted a press conference on Wednesday, October 8, 2008 at 12 noon to release documents exposing manifest and explicit deceit by OHA under Trustee Apoliona leadership regarding the Kau Inoa registry process. Kippen continued his call for Apoliona to defend her credibility and truthfulness in light of these disclosures in a public sponsored debate. Here is his statement, which can also be seen on video at
I am Colin Kippen and I am running for OHA trustee. I am challenging the present Chair, Haunani Apoliona, because of OHA’s callous disregard of the needs of the Hawaiian people the state agency is mandated to serve, outrageous spending on lobbyists and mainland junkets while Hawaiians here in Hawaii suffer, and deceptive tactics regarding OHA’s Kau Inoa registration process under her leadership. I am challenging her to defend her actions in a public sponsored debate because all Hawaii voters vote in the OHA elections and we are all in the dark about what is going on at OHA.
OHA has spent millions of dollars annually on slick advertising, commercials, and mainland initiatives to get people to sign up in their Kau Inoa process. They have attempted to sell Hawaiians on this idea, telling them that the Kau Inoa roll is completely independent of the Hawaiian federal recognition bill currently before the US Congress.
When asked the question, “What is OHA’s role?” OHA has answered, “The Office of Hawaiian Affairs role in this process is as a facilitator only, providing funding and logistical help. OHA’s leadership intends to support, not direct, this community driven effort.”
These statements are far from the truth and were intended to dupe Hawaiians into signing up on the Kau Inoa registry. My intention is to rip away OHA’s veil of secrecy so that light may shine in.
In January 2007, OHA under Chair Apoliona leadership, in an executive session, submitted and discussed an action item requesting that the Akaka bill be amended to automatically enable individuals on the Kau Inoa list to become part of the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity established under the Akaka bill. We are in the dark here, and have a number of questions.
• Why did the discussion and vetting of this action item occur in an executive session called by Apoliona as board chair, with only the vote occurring in public after the OHA board came out of executive session? Why couldn’t this discussion about converting the Kau Inoa rosters to become part of the Akaka bill rosters be held in an open, public session? What was Apoliona trying to hide?
• Why did OHA, under Apoliona’s leadership, continue to maintain- - -even after adopting this so called confidential action item- - -that Kau Inoa and the Akaka bill were separate- - -even though at that very moment OHA under Apoliona’s leadership was secretly attempting to amend the Akaka bill so that Kau Inoa registrants could automatically become part of the registrant rolls of the Akaka bill?
• Why did OHA, under Apoliona’s leadership, engage in these actions to change the language of the Akaka bill while misleading Hawaiians saying that OHA only intended to “support and not direct this community driven effort?” Why has Apoliona as OHA’s Board Chair never confessed OHA’s failed attempt to merge the Kau Inoa rosters and the Akaka bill, even though it is now patently obvious that that was always OHA’s intention under her leadership? Why did OHA’s leadership attempt to mislead and deceive Hawaiians in this fashion?
OHA has created a public expectation that the Kau Inoa registration records are confidential and under the protection, possession and control of Hawaii Maoli Inc., a non profit arm of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs. Attached emails demonstrate that OHA staff routinely had access to these confidential Kau Inoa registrations. In fact, it appears that all OHA had to do was ask, and these confidential registrations would be immediately provided to them without question. We are in the dark here and have a number of questions:
• Why was OHA given access to these confidential records by Hawaii Maoli? How often was access provided and for what purposes? Did Hawaii Maoli obtain the consent of the Kau Inoa registrants before turning over their names to OHA? If and when access was granted by Hawaii Maoli to OHA, what were the steps to document the information conveyed and the purposes for which such information was sought? Where are these records of access granted, and how may this information of access granted be obtained by the public?
• Why was Hawaii Maoli so compliant with the requests for names by OHA staff? How much has OHA paid Hawaii Maoli and for what purposes? How many times has the Hawaii Maoli contract been extended by OHA? Had Hawaii Maoli objected to these requests for information, what is the likelihood that they would have been continued as a vendor for OHA under Apoliona’s leadership and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs?
• Why hasn’t OHA told Kau Inoa registrants that their records are not confidential and that OHA staff have free and unfettered access to them whenever they want?
The examples contained in this press release are merely the tip of the iceberg and are symptomatic of a manipulative, cynical, and secretive style of OHA leadership that no longer works. Voters are in the dark and want answers. I continue to call on Apoliona to answer these questions in a public forum with me. It is time for change.
For more information contact Colin Kippen at (808) 861-6577 or via email at
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Oct 25, 2008, EDITORIAL
Lingle's attack on Obama is unfair and downright silly
Gov. Linda Lingle has questioned Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama's character and his connection to Hawaii.
Dazzled by her welcome involvement in the presidential campaign of Republican Sen. John McCain, Gov. Linda Lingle has questioned the sincerity of Sen. Barack Obama's connection to Hawaii. The doubt flies in the face of the reality that many people have lifelong attachments to the city, state or country where they were born and raised, especially where relatives remain.
When Obama, D-Ill., was campaigning in Colorado three weeks ago, he joked that he connects to the West because one cannot go further west in the United States than his native Hawaii. Lingle later campaigned for McCain in Colorado and commented, without humor, that Obama had spent only a few years in Hawaii during high school and his claim that Hawaii is one of his home states was "not genuine," the Greeley Tribune reported.
Much of Obama's 1995 memoir, "Dreams of My Father," is about his years in Hawaii, where he was born and spent 14 of the first 18 years of his life, graduating from Punahou School in 1979. His sister, brother-in-law, niece and maternal grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, live in Hawaii.
"If you read his materials about Hawaii, he certainly illustrates how it was important in his life," said Neal Milner, a political analyst at the University of Hawaii.
Obama vacationed in Honolulu in August to be with family and took a leave from the home stretch of the campaign yesterday to visit Dunham, 85, who is reported to be gravely ill. In the dedication of his 2006 book, "The Audacity of Hope," Obama paid homage to "Tutu, who's been a rock of stability throughout my life."
Lingle also has joined the McCain camp in its questioning of what retired Secretary of State Colin Powell correctly described as Obama's "very, very limited relationship" with 1960s radical William Ayers, with whom Obama sat on an education committee in Chicago in the 1990s. Endorsing Obama a week ago, Republican Powell called it "inappropriate" to connect Obama to "some kind of terrorist feelings."
In campaigning for McCain, Lingle has ignored real issues that are important in Hawaii. A strong proponent of Hawaiian sovereignty, she has said nothing about McCain's unequivocal opposition to the Akaka Bill, which would grant such sovereignty. Obama has supported the bill.
Nor has she commented on McCain's health care plan. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Business Roundtable have opposed the plan, warning that it would unravel the employer-based health coverage pioneered and widely acclaimed in Hawaii and copied by many other states.
Asked by the Star-Bulletin's editorial board more than two weeks ago about whether McCain's health plan would essentially pre-empt Hawaii's health care system, Lingle said, "I don't want to answer for sure. I can find out and get back to you."
Honolulu Advertiser, Sunday, October 26, 2008
Island son Obama has vision, energy we need
By Brian Schatz
Brian Schatz is manager of the Obama campaign in Hawai'i. He wrote this commentary for The Advertiser.
America faces challenges that require the right combination of steady, visionary and optimistic leadership. Sen. Barack Obama has shown he has the temperament, the judgment and the strength of character to get us through these hard times and reclaim America's leadership position in the world.
It's with particular pride that we elect a president from Hawai'i, who will periodically return here to see family and friends, enjoy a shave ice and some fun in the ocean. Others are surprisingly dismissive of this aspect of Obama's candidacy, but it has to be said: Senator Obama has Hawai'i in his head and in his heart. We heard it in his message of inclusiveness. We see it in his fair and open style, and his complete ease with diversity. And most of all we feel that Barack knows that we all have more in common than we have dividing us — that we are all in this together.
Barack Obama will bring America energy, intellect, vision and a steady hand. He is a remarkable leader, just a vote away.
"As Americans, we pride ourselves on safeguarding the practice and ideals of liberty, justice, and freedom. By enacting (the Akaka bill), we can continue this great American tradition and fulfill this promise for Native Hawaiians and ensure that they are not left behind as Hawai'i continues to progress.This is an important bill and if it is not signed into law this year, I commit to supporting it as president."
— Barack Obama
Honolulu Advertiser, Sunday, October 26, 2008
McCain best choice for Hawaii on many levels
By Jerry Coffee
Jerry Coffee is campaign manger for the McCain campaign in Hawai'i. He wrote this commentary for The Advertiser.
Sen. John McCain is a good friend to Hawai'i. He frequently speaks of his warm Hawai'i memories, including meeting his wife, Cindy, their honeymoon and numerous vacations on Maui.
But his friendship is also based upon the reality of Hawai'i's strategic geographic position and its attendant vulnerability, the fragility of our economy and its dependence upon external energy sources, and the impact of further taxing the already fifth-highest taxed state in the nation (10.8 percent state and local).
McCain's historical advocacy of a strong national defense is well known and bodes well for Hawai'i from both a security and an economic standpoint. Our Pearl Harbor shipyard barely escaped the knife of the last BRAC (closure). McCain would never let that happen. He is committed to the success of our Kaua'i supported (Pacific Missile Range Facility) anti-missile defense system, Hawai'i's only hope for survival in the face of an intercontinental ballistic missile attack from the increasingly bellicose countries of Russia, China and North Korea.
"Sen. McCain honors the multi racial culture and traditions of Hawai'i, and supports the continuation of all government programs benefiting Native Hawaiians — including Hawaiian Home Lands and ceded lands income — that are based upon 'need' rather than 'race'. He believes the Akaka bill is race-based, runs contrary to the spirit of Hawai'i's first constitution — 'all men are of one blood' — would be terribly divisive, set neighbor against neighbor, undermine Hawai'i's economy, bond rating and desirability as a tourist destination and, in any case, is unconstitutional."
— Jerry Coffee, campaign manager for the McCain campaign in Hawai'i
"The New Yorker" online, November 3, 2008
ELECTION 2008: NO MAN IS AN ISLAND
On the eve of the election, I spoke with the writer Tara Bray Smith, who grew up in Hawaii, where Barack Obama spent most of his childhood. Smith wrote about Hawaii for “State by State: A Panoramic Portrait of America,” edited by Matt Weiland and Sean Wilsey (Ecco). (I also spoke with the novelist Lydia Millet, on Arizona and John McCain.)
LIGAYA MISHAN: You graduated from the same school in Hawaii as Barack Obama—which I attended as well—and, like Obama (and I), live elsewhere as an adult. What is your relationship to Hawaii now?
TARA BRAY SMITH: I called my stepmother last week from Berlin. She is a passionate Obama supporter, as am I, and we were discussing Linda Lingle, the state’s Republican governor, who has recently been stumping for McCain. In a quiet voice I have heard my stepmother use only when she was about to ground me, she said that Lingle had suggested that Obama wasn’t really from Hawaii. According to news reports, what Lingle actually said was that Obama’s claim, made while campaigning in Colorado, that he understood some of the issues facing Western states because he too was from the West was “amusing” and “not genuine.” The executive director of McCain’s Hawaii campaign, Andy Blom, took it a step further, saying, “We certainly don’t feel that Barack Obama represents Hawaii or shows any particular interest or concern for Hawaii that we would expect from a true Hawaii native.”
This goes to the heart of my own relationship to Hawaii. It has something to do with authenticity and belonging—the Hawaii version of Sarah Palin’s “real America.”
When Blom speaks of “a true Hawaii native,” whom is he talking about? Lingle, who was born in Missouri, lived in California, and made her way to Hawaii in the late seventies? My late father’s hundred-per-cent Japanese girlfriend, a strong Lingle supporter, whose family came to Hawaii in the eighteen-eighties to work on the sugar plantations? My cousin Cari, a Native Hawaiian, Filipino, and Chinese hapa (mixed) woman who now lives in Seattle? Or maybe Blom himself, who has come out against the Akaka Bill—the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2007, now before the Senate, which authorizes indigenous Hawaiians to begin the process for federal recognition—because, as he stated on a panel at the Cato Institute this May, “Aloha means hello, I love you and goodbye. After the passage of the Akaka Bill, it will only mean goodbye, because you will not be welcome any more.” (Obama has said that he will sign the bill.)
MISHAN: Do you think that Obama is representative of Hawaii?
SMITH: Yes. But so is my cousin in Seattle, and so is my brother-in-law from Kansas, a Marine and Iraq veteran stationed at K-Bay, in Kaneohe, who will probably be voting for McCain. Obama was born there, he was raised there, his sister and grandmother still live there. To the extent that I understand Hawaii, he is expressive of its paradoxes, its opposite-of-monolithic character, its ethnic nuances—at least thirty per cent of all marriages are interracial there—and its colonialist past, in which generations of Hawaiian residents were on the receiving end of American power. This summer, when Cokie Roberts blithely said that Obama should have gone on vacation to a less exotic, less “foreign” place—Myrtle Beach—I was ashamed. I’m like, hey, Cokie, remember Pearl Harbor?
MISHAN: Hawaii is a minority-majority state, with more Asians than Caucasians, and a sizable percentage of the population claims mixed-race ancestry. How do you think this might have shaped Obama, and might shape the country if he’s elected President?
SMITH: Obama embodies America at its best: a country where the concepts of native and foreigner, “pure” and “mixed,” black and white, hapa and hundred per cent are so complex that the claim of belonging because of blood quantum or family tree must be set against the argument that what defines an American is not the place or the circumstances of his birth but his allegiance to his country’s laws and ideals. Hawaii, by virtue of its exceptionally diverse population, is a place where these questions are explicit. I am consistently heartened by Obama’s hope for union in the face of seemingly irreconcilable differences, and his deep belief in the human capacity for change.
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, November 4, 2008
Incumbents hold firm in OHA races
By Rosemarie Bernardo
Name recognition ruled in the Office of Hawaiian Affairs election today.
Trustees Haunani Apoliona, Robert K. Lindsey and Colette Machado held significant leads against their challengers.
Apoliona, OHA trustee and chairwoman, won the at-large seat against challengers Helene Honda, Colin Kippen and Sol Nalua‘i.
This will be Apoliona’s fourth term with the agency.
“This is such a crucial time for Hawaiians,” said Apoliona.
She said she will focus on pushing for passage of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act and the values and mission of the agency for its beneficiaries.
“We need to move in a unified direction that will benefit all of Hawaii,” Apoliona said.
Apoliona had said passage of the act will enable Hawaiians to unify in establishing an entity to resolve questions on ceded lands and other ongoing issues.
Kippen, executive director of the Native Hawaiian Education Council, said he focused his campaign on the needs of the people and transparency of the agency. He opposed the agency’s plan to construct a cultural center and headquarters in Kakaako.
Funds could be better spent on education, housing, health and economic development for communities, Kippen said.
In the race for the Big Island seat, trustee Robert Lindsey had a major lead over challenger William Meyers, a mental health technician and former chairman of the agency’s Hawaiian Historical Preservation Council. Lindsey hopes that effective changes for beneficiaries will be done in his upcoming term.
“We need to communicate with our folks,” he said.
Lindsey noted that they are making progress in housing with the agency’s collaboration with the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. He plans to seek more resources relating to health issues for native Hawaiians.
“It’s an area where I think OHA hasn’t given enough focus,” he said. “Hopefully, we can put more resources in that area.”
For the Molokai seat, trustee Colette Machado, who is seeking a fourth term, leads challenger Waipa Purdy. Machado said she would provide stability based on her experience.
Since 1999, she has served as chairwoman of the agency’s Governmental Affairs Committee. For the past four years, she has also served as chairwoman of the Beneficiary Advocacy and Empowerment Committee. Machado said she will continue to press for the passage of the Akaka Bill so Hawaiians can be recognized as a political class.
Machado, who supported the luxury development at Laau Point in West Molokai, said the project would provide many jobs for isle residents. The island suffered a major hit with the shutdown of Molokai Ranch.
“If you’re going to live on Molokai, you need people to earn a living wage. There is no economic engine,” she said.
Purdy, who is against development at Laau Point, said the project would have had an adverse effect on the community. “We didn’t want our lifestyle to change,” Purdy said.
For the Kauai seat, trustee Donald Cataluna ran unopposed.
Honolulu Advertiser, Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Four incumbents earn voters' seal of approval
By Gordon Y.K. Pang
Office of Hawaiian Affairs board Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona held off a challenge from former OHA deputy administrator Colin Kippen last night, winning her fourth term.
With Kippen hitting hard against Apoliona and OHA's current administration, the race was seen as a referendum on the policy direction of the agency, which has been a lightning rod for Hawaiian issues.
Three other incumbents on yesterday's ballot also easily won re-election: Bob Lindsey, Colette Machado and Don Cataluna.
Kippen, who ran a late series of TV and radio ads featuring supporters that included OHA trustee Rowena Akana and Hawaiian activist Dennis "Bumpy" Pu'uhonua Kanahele, questioned OHA's spending priorities.
Among his criticism was that millions of dollars were being spent on the Mainland in support of pushing through a bill in Congress federally recognizing a Hawaiian government entity, although Kippen said he supports what has come to be known as the Akaka bill.
Apoliona said the money spent on advocacy of the Akaka bill and the Kau Inoa registry are justified, and based on priorities set by the entire nine-member board. In addition, the OHA administration said it has been the most transparent in its nearly three-decade history.
Running behind Apoliona and Kippen for the at-large seat were Helene Honda, a counselor from McCully, and Sol Nalua'i, a Kane'ohe scientist.
On the Big Isle, incumbent Lindsey beat William (Willy) Meyers, a mental health technician.
For the Moloka'i-Lana'i seat, incumbent Machado of Puko'o beat back a challenge by Waipa Purdy, an airline customer service agent. Machado is a longtime community activist.
Cataluna, a retired plantation executive and Koloa resident, needed only one vote cast for him to return to the board.
All registered Hawai'i voters are eligible to vote in the four OHA elections, regardless of residency or ethnic background. That's a consequence of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Rice v. Cayetano eight years ago, which opened OHA elections to all voters. Previously, only Hawaiian voters were eligible.
But a large number of Isle voters chose not to take part in the OHA elections: 50 percent didn't vote in the Moloka'i-Lana'i race, 45 percent in the Big Island race, 44.5 percent in the Kaua'i race and 31 percent in the at-large race.
Trustees serve four-year terms.
The seats for the other five trustees — at-large members Akana, Oswald Stender and John Waihe'e IV; O'ahu trustee Walter Heen; and Maui trustee Boyd Mossman — are up in 2010.
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, November 5, 2008
Native entity wouldn't have to follow laws
The Star-Bulletin Nov. 1 edition featured the "Whatever Happened to ..." column with a headline "Strict building codes dull interest in Moiliili site." The article revealed that the old Stadium Bowl-O-Drome site is owned by the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and the 1.89 acre property is subject to building code, sewer and other environmental restrictions, which severely limit its development possibilities.
But if the pending Akaka Bill becomes law, a native Hawaiian governing entity would be formed. The property in question would likely be absorbed into the NHGE and would be part of a "sovereign nation" and immune from such restrictions. As for the neighborhood, look out! No state excise tax would be required. How's that for a good business deal? What a great casino site that would be! So right there in Moiliili a separate sovereign enclave where state, city and county zoning, health, safety, fire and police protection, drug laws, homeland security laws and tax laws probably would not apply. Who gains and who loses?
Some might say the Akaka Bill does not specify any of those things. Perhaps, but the Akaka Bill creates the NHGE, which is entirely sovereign. Anything could happen. So, when someone says to you, "That could not happen under the Akaka Bill," your answer should be, "Great, put it in the bill!"
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii
Hawaii Reporter, November 7, 2008
The Proposed Akaka Bill Gets a Boost from 2008 Elections
By Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.
The election of 2008 produced results disturbing and disheartening to supporters of unity and equality. Hawaii civil rights activists are facing an uncertain future. Both federal and state results are troubling. But all is not lost. Hope lives on. Let's look at how Congress and President Obama are likely to deal with the Akaka bill, what's happening inside Hawaii, and how the courts will play an important role. It's important to realize that civil rights are not only for African-Americans, or ethnic Hawaiians -- civil rights are for Asians and Caucasians as well. The essence of civil rights is that fundamental principles and laws should apply equally to all people regardless of race. Obama seems to agree, if we take his rhetoric seriously.
CONGRESS AND THE AKAKA BILL IN THE COMING YEAR 2009
The Hawaiian Government Reorganization bill, known informally as the Akaka bill, seems likely to be enacted and signed into law early in 2009.
The U.S. House passed the Akaka bill on October 24, 2007 by a vote of 261-153, which included every Democrat voting in lock-step plus a surprising number of left-leaning Republicans.
The Senate has never voted on the Akaka bill directly, throughout the entire history of the bill from 2000 through 2008. However, in June 2006 the Senate voted on a cloture motion to stop a Republican filibuster against the bill. Every Democrat Senator voted in favor of stopping the filibuster, plus several left-leaning Republicans (not counting a few Republicans who were bound by a vote-trading agreement from 2005 to vote in favor of cloture). There were 56 votes in favor of stopping the filibuster, but 60 votes were required; and as a result the bill remained bottled up. In 2007 the Akaka bill passed the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, but has never been scheduled for floor debate (because of holds initially placed on it by Republican opponents and failure later to schedule it for a vote).
As a result of the election of November 2008, the Democrat majority in the House seems likely to increase by about 20. There's no way to stop the bill in the House in 2009.
It appears there will be at least 55 Democrat Senators, plus two independents who have always caucused with the Democrats. Three of the four Republican Senators whose contests for re-election remain too close to call the day after the election are actually co-sponsors of the Akaka bill: Norm Coleman (Minnesota), Gordon Smith (Oregon), and Ted Stevens (Alaska). So it would seem to make no difference for the Akaka bill whether those three so-called Republicans are re-elected or replaced by Democrats. Add the two RINOs (Republicans in name only) from Maine (Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe), and it might seem likely that the 60 votes needed for cloture will be available in 2009, even without a couple of other Republicans who previously voted for cloture. However, the Democrats newly elected in 2006 are thus far untested on the Akaka bill -- they and the Democrats newly elected in 2008 might be open to persuasion. There were also a few Democrats who voted in favor of cloture in 2006 but who indicated informally at that time that they might oppose the bill itself if it came to the floor. Senators Coleman and Smith might also be educable, because it was never clear why they originally agreed to co-sponsor the bill and they might not know very much about it.
Considering all the evidence, there is a small but significant possibility that cloture on the Akaka bill can be defeated in 2009 in the Senate, even with the increased Democrat majority.
If there wasn't already enough to worry about, consider this. The Akaka bill that passed the House and stalled in the Senate in the now-concluding 110th Congress was not the most dangerous version of the bill. The current version resulted from "negotiations" during 2005 and 2006 between the Bush administration's Department of Justice and the bill's supporters. The current version includes language that limits the powers of the proposed Akaka tribe in ways not found in previous versions.
It says the Akaka tribe must get the approval of the state Legislature before it can get legal jurisdiction over any lands, or build a gambling casino; and that it cannot make claims for land or jurisdiction against military bases. It imposes legal restrictions prohibiting the federal government from "taking land into trust" and prohibiting Hawaii land from being treated as "Indian country." Considering how the state Legislature and Governor have always given the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and Kamehameha Schools whatever they want, these restrictions might not have much real effect in limiting tribal power.
But previous versions of the Akaka bill were less restrictive. The version to be introduced in 2009 is likely to be much more "muscular" than the current one, or even more muscular than any previous version; because the increased Democrat majority in Congress and President Obama's pledge to support the bill will embolden the racial separatists to "shoot the moon" or "go for broke".
PRESIDENT OBAMA AND THE AKAKA BILL
Senator Barack Obama has repeatedly made public statements supporting the Akaka bill. During the debate on the cloture motion in June 2006 Obama made a short speech on the Senate floor supporting the bill. And during the primary campaign of early to mid 2008 he repeated his pledge to support the bill if elected. But consider Obama's publicly stated basic beliefs, below, which are clearly contrary to the Akaka bill. Is he a hypocrite, making pretty speeches whose principles he does not actually support? Or does he really believe in his statements of principle? Could he be persuaded that the Akaka bill is morally wrong? Here are some things Obama said publicly on two important recent occasions.
In Berlin in July 2008, in a speech attended by 200,000 cheering Germans in the shadow of the Berlin Wall, Obama said: "... the greatest danger of all is to allow new walls to divide us from one another. ... The walls between races and tribes; natives and immigrants; Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand. These now are the walls we must tear down. ... Not only have walls come down in Berlin, but they have come down in Belfast, where Protestant and Catholic found a way to live together; in the Balkans, where our Atlantic alliance ended wars and brought savage war criminals to justice; and in South Africa, where the struggle of a courageous people defeated apartheid."
In his election victory speech in Chicago's Grant Park on November 4-5, 2008, televised to all America and around the world, Obama said: "If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer. ... more than two centuries later, a government of the people, by the people and for the people has not perished from this Earth. ... The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even in one term. But, America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you, we as a people will get there. ... I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. ... In this country, we rise or fall as one nation, as one people. ... Let's remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House, a party founded on the values of self-reliance and individual liberty and national unity. Those are values that we all share. And while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress. As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, we are not enemies but friends. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. ... This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time, to ... reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can."
It is inconceivable that a President who truly believes in these fundamental principles could allow the Akaka bill to become law. Regardless of our misgivings about his true beliefs, we civil rights activists in Hawaii must take President Obama at his word and work to persuade him to oppose this racist, terribly divisive bill.
HAWAII ELECTION RESULTS SOLIDIFY RACIAL SEPARATISM
The already-huge Democrat majority increased: it will now be 45-6 in the House in 2009, and 23-2 in the Senate. Not all Democrats are racial separatists. Several have said privately that they oppose the Akaka bill but dare not say so publicly. However, it doesn't really matter what they believe in their hearts or what they say privately -- what matters politically is only what they say in public and how they vote on bills and resolutions. The Hawaii Legislature has repeatedly passed resolutions supporting the Akaka bill unanimously except for one or two votes on one or two occasions. Governor Lingle (a RINO) has zealously pushed the Akaka bill, and has two more years in office. OHA has adopted a policy of pursuing "Plan B" -- a plan for implementing the Akaka bill inside the State of Hawaii, creating a state-recognized tribe, even if the bill does not pass Congress. The legislative and executive branches have repeatedly passed bills, resolutions, and amicus briefs giving land, money, power, and political support to racially exclusionary institutions and programs.
The state Constitution forces the government to put on the ballot once every ten years the question whether there should be a state Constitutional Convention for the purpose of proposing amendments to the Constitution to be ratified by the people in a later election. In November 2008 the voters had a chance to force a Con-Con. But powerful groups including labor unions and Office of Hawaiian Affairs opposed it, and persuaded voters that a Con-Con would cost too much money and would endanger their "rights." A Con-Con might have abolished the office of Hawaiian Affairs. It might have proposed amendments such as: "no public lands, money, or legal jurisdiction shall be given to public or private institutions which are racially exclusionary"; or: "the public lands of Hawaii belong to all the people of Hawaii without racial distinction." But the opportunity for a Con-Con has now been lost and will probably not be offered again until 2018.
Four incumbent trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs were on the ballot for re-election. Three of them had opponents. The chairperson of OHA, Haunani Aponiona, had the strongest opponent she has ever faced. Colin Kippen ran on a platform opposing OHA's expenditures for lobbying the Akaka bill (although he favors the bill itself) and opposing OHA expenditures for advertising for the Kau Inoa racial registry; and pledging to clean up the corruption and nepotism at OHA. Kippen had numerous ads on TV, radio, and newspapers. But in the end all four incumbents won re-election by wide margins.
Hawaii election results said "Don't rock the boat" and "Give us even more of the same."
THE COURTS, AND MAINLAND INSTITUTIONS, OFFER HOPE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS IN HAWAII
The civil rights movement on the mainland, from the 1950s through the present, relied heavily on lawsuits. When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1954 that schools in the South must desegregate, several Southern states resisted mightily. Governors "stood in the schoolhouse door" to stop black students from entering. Legislatures tried to convert public schools into private schools to avoid desegregation. The public used the power of the ballot to elect racist legislators and to exercise initiative or referendum to create racist laws. But courts ruled that segregationist laws were unconstitutional. In later decades Northern cities, where local school districts were all-black or all-white because of neighborhoods that were racially homogeneous, were ordered by federal judges to use buses to send children long distances across district lines in order to promote racial integration.
Courts have authority to overturn both executive decisions and legislated laws, if they are unconstitutional. When Southern state legislatures passed laws, or governors created regulations or administrative procedures, to protect segregation, courts over-ruled them. In recent years it has become more difficult for courts to intervene, because of increased restrictions on who has "standing" to bring lawsuits. It has become fashionable for some judges to dismiss civil rights lawsuits on grounds that certain issues are "political questions" where the courts must give way to decisions made by voters or legislatures. In a recent lawsuit to dismantle OHA, a misguided federal judge actually dismissed the case by ruling that the mere fact that the Akaka bill was sitting in Congress awaiting possible action made the existence of OHA a "political question" which the court should not consider. Nevertheless, the Marbury v. Madison Supreme Court decision from 1803 established the right of courts to review and overturn executive and legislative decisions; and such judicial review has a long and distinguished history of protecting civil rights. No matter how large a majority might try to strip groups or individuals of their civil rights, the courts have the authority to protect those rights.
In February 2000 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Rice v. Cayetano that it was unconstitutional for the State of Hawaii to prohibit people with no Hawaiian native blood from voting for trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Thus the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a provision of the Constitution of the State of Hawaii that had been approved by a vote of the people on a ballot proposal coming from the state Constitutional Convention of 1978. Later in 2000 a federal court took another piece out of the state Constitution by ruling that race cannot be used to prohibit someone with no native blood from running as a candidate for OHA trustee. That should have been obvious from the Rice decision, but OHA and the state government fought tooth and nail against it until rulings came down from the U.S. District Court in Honolulu and, on appeal by the State, from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco).
On December 5, 2002 Hawaii circuit court judge Sabrina McKenna ruled against OHA, concluding that the State of Hawaii has a right to sell ceded lands. OHA appealed Judge McKenna's decision. On January 31, 2008 the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled 5-0 that Judge McKenna was mistaken. The Hawaii Supreme Court ruled that the State of Hawaii is permanently prohibited from selling any ceded lands until such time as a settlement has been reached regarding the claims of Native Hawaiians, as suggested by the apology resolution passed by Congress in 1993. The State of Hawaii filed a petition for certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court asking it to review and overturn the state Supreme Court decision. Twenty-nine other states shortly thereafter filed an amicus brief supporting Hawaii's petition for certiorari. On October 1, 2008 the U.S. Supreme Court granted the petition for certiorari, and will probably hear oral arguments (and perhaps issue a ruling) during the term that ends in June 2009.
The U.S. Supreme Court decision desegregating voting for OHA trustees, and federal court decisions on candidacy for OHA trustee, and Supreme Court decision to make a ruling in the ceded lands case, show that federal courts will come to the rescue to protect civil rights in Hawaii even when the voters, the state Legislature, or state Supreme Court try to violate those rights.
Mainland law firms and institutions have become increasingly involved in supporting civil rights in Hawaii. Local civil rights activists lost the Rice v. Cayetano voting rights case at both the U.S. District Court in Honolulu and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. Fortunately a mainland law firm led the way to victory at the U.S. Supreme Court. In the followup Arakaki lawsuit regarding candidacy, the Pacific Legal Foundation headquartered in California provided an important amicus brief. Mainland law firms and institutions helped with the Kamehameha Schools desegregation lawsuits. Attorneys General of 29 states filed an amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to take up the ceded lands case. U.S. Senators and Representatives have spoken against the Akaka bill and have fought valiantly to defeat it. The Heritage Foundation has repeatedly helped. The U.S. Civil Rights Commission held hearings and published a lengthy report opposing the Akaka bill. Numerous nationally syndicated magazine and newspaper writers have published articles opposing it.
The willingness of federal courts and mainland institutions to intervene on racial issues in the State of Hawaii shows an understanding that a violation of civil rights anywhere in America is a matter of great concern for all America's people. Civil rights activists in Hawaii do the same thing civil rights activists have done elsewhere: we speak truth to power and use the courts when necessary to defend our rights.
So even if the Akaka bill is enacted by Congress and signed by President Obama; even if the state Legislature tries to recognize an Akaka tribe or hand over money, land, and political power to a racially exclusionary government; we will fight in the courts and can reasonably hope to win. We will never give up. As OHA chair Haunani Apoliona wrote in a song she composed with opposite intent (E Mau Ana Ka Ha'aheo: Let the Pride Endure Forever): "E ho'a kakou i ka lama kupono no na hulu Hawai'i. E kukulu a'e kakou no ke ea o ka 'aina, me ke aloha a me ke ahonui." (Let's light the torch of justice for Hawaiians. Let's build up sovereignty, with love and patience.)
Maui News, November 11, 2008
Letter to editor
Akaka Bill an illusion pushed in Congress
Watching the election returns: Boyd Mossman, an Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee and proponent of the illusionary Akaka Bill, was very boastful and you might say arrogant in his demeanor.
He guaranteed that because Obama was elected the Akaka Bill will be passed. He may be right. You see, when you spend millions of the kanaka maoli's money without permission from the beneficiaries and are backed by Alaska oil, Native Alaskan corporations, etc., to lobby, or bribe, congressmen, it's a given they will bow to the dollar. It's the American way.
The OHA board and Kau Inoa are extremely unethical and have no sense of decency or integrity. You must understand that the Akaka Bill is actually the Stevens-Akaka Bill. Stevens is the senator from Alaska who was recently convicted on seven felony charges of making false statements. You see, OHA won't tell you this because they believe we are stupid and the name Akaka will bring support to this illusion.
I have tried to tell you many times to read and understand what is being shoved down your throats. E-mail me at Kukaiaupueo@wisperhawaii.com and I will send info on what is really taking place behind the scenes of this illusion. Greed and deceit have no boundaries.
The Hill (Washington D.C. newspaper solely covering Congress)
November 18, 2008
LEADING THE NEWS
Hawaii stands ready to become the Big Kahuna in Washington
By Walter Alarkon
The Hawaiian punch in Washington is about to get a lot stronger.
Sen. Daniel Inouye (D) is taking over the gavel of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee. Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D) and Sen. Daniel Akaka (D) have begun to wield the legislative clout that comes with seniority. And Barack Obama, a native son who understands the 50th state’s needs and reflects the Pacific islands’ multicultural ethos, is about to become the 44th president of the United States.
The power shift for the Aloha State, among the nation’s smallest with 1.3 million people, is poised to win more federal money and gain influence it has long lacked.
Having the added clout could result in the federal government footing a portion of the estimated $5 billion cost for an elevated rail project approved through a voter referendum this month. With Obama headed to the White House, Akaka and Inouye may finally win the recognition for Native Hawaiians that had been opposed by the Bush administration and stalled by Republican senators. And federal money can also serve to boost the state’s year-round tourism industry and its attempts to buffer itself from rising oil costs.
“To have a president that has that background and understanding and [for Inouye] to have the most powerful position in the Congress legislatively ... that combo is incredibly powerful,” said Abercrombie, a founding member of the House Progressive Caucus who emerged this Congress as a bipartisan broker on energy legislation and war funding in Iraq.
Inouye’s new post will help him increase the substantial amount of money from Washington that he and the rest of the delegation win. In fiscal 2008, Hawaii received $283 million in earmarks, or $221 per capita, the second most of any state, according to Citizens Against Government Waste. As the successor to Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) as Appropriations Committee chairman, Inouye will often have the final say over other lawmakers’ earmark requests. The only state to receive more earmark money per person, Alaska, is likely to see its leverage decrease now that Sen. Ted Stevens (R) is on the verge of being ousted from the Senate and possibly going to jail.
Hawaii can also benefit from a president who understands the state’s issues. Obama, who went to high school in Honolulu and lived with his grandparents there, has already come out in support of efforts to win federal recognition for 400,000 Native Hawaiians, some of whom have pushed for sovereignty.
An Akaka-sponsored bill that would grant that recognition had passed the House but stalled in the Senate under opposition from Republican lawmakers and the Bush administration. The new administration and a larger Democratic majority in the Senate could get the issue moving again.
Another priority for the state is reducing its dependence on oil, which fuels 90 percent of Hawaiians’ electricity, said Ira Rohter, a University of Hawaii political scientist. High oil prices this summer and the troubled economy prompted Gov. Linda Lingle (R) to tell her department heads to expect 20 percent cuts in their budgets.
Abercrombie pushed for an energy bill that would allow some of the offshore oil drilling that Republicans hankered for while providing more money for renewable energy sources and coastal states. A watered-down version of the bill, which lacked the provision sending money from oil companies to states, passed the House with bipartisan support in September but stalled in the other chamber.
But legislative victories are not the only benefits of having influence in Washington. Hawaiians see an Obama presidency as great publicity. The election of a black man to the White House is symbolic for the whole country and a milestone for African-Americans. For Hawaiians, Obama shares their roots and is of mixed race, like one-fifth of the state’s population.
“It’s not just a question of [Obama] being born here,” said former Rep. Ed Case (D-Hawaii). “It’s also having been raised here during his formative years, having absorbed Hawaii’s view of the world.”
Maui News, November 19, 2008
OHA fighting to protect Hawaiian programs
The misinformation contained in the Nov. 11 letter by Gaby Gouveia on the Office of Hawaiian Affairs needs to be corrected. Gouveia says the OHA board and Kau Inoa "are extremely unethical and have no sense of decency or integrity."
If OHA has misused Kau Inoa, show us examples. Instead, Gouveia and others can only badmouth OHA's efforts to help protect programs for Hawaiians. Kau Inoa is the first step in building a Native Hawaiian governing body by gathering a list of people of Hawaiian ancestry who are willing to participate in the process.
It is not tied to the Akaka Bill, which seeks federal recognition of Native Hawaiians as an indigenous people. OHA's support of the Akaka Bill will never please all. But the Akaka Bill has bipartisan support in Congress and in Hawaii. And, every credible poll finds majority support for the measure in both the Hawaiian and non-Hawaiian communities in our state.
Without some form of federal recognition, programs that help Hawaiians are in jeopardy. Should OHA lie down and allow litigators to have their way in the courts when they sue to halt programs that assist Native Hawaiians? Should OHA stop awarding grants, scholarships and business loans to hundreds of deserving Hawaiians?
OHA's mission is to better the conditions of Native Hawaiians while perpetuating the Native Hawaiian culture and building a strong and healthy Hawaiian people and nation with benefit to all Hawaii.
The OHA Board of Trustees is committed to this. For more information, go to
Haunani Apoliona, Chair
Board of Trustees
Office of Hawaiian Affairs
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, November 26, 2008
Hawaiian sovereignty will nullify Supreme Court ruling
OHA backers have protested the state's appeal of a ruling that blocks transfer of state lands.
Some Hawaiians are overly pessimistic in protesting a move to reverse a court decision that now blocks the state from transferring or selling virtually any state-owned land. The likelihood is that such a ruling would have a brief and limited effect, as the issue of what to do with state lands once owned by the Hawaiian monarchy ultimately - and shortly - should be decided in negotiations between Hawaiians and the state.
When Hawaii became a state, Congress gave it "title" to the ceded lands - the 1.2 million acres of crown land taken over by the federal government and amounting to nearly all state-owned land. The only caveat was that the land or income from it be directed at five purposes, one of which was "betterment of conditions for native Hawaiians." Thus, the state provides the Office of Hawaiian Affairs 20 percent of the profits from ceded land.
However, the 1993 Apology Resolution approved by Congress said the ceded land should be "preserved" until "a proper foundation for reconciliation between the United States and the native Hawaiian people" is achieved. That should occur following enactment of the Hawaiian sovereignty bill, expected early in the next Congress with the support of President-elect Barack Obama.
In February, the state Supreme Court interpreted the Apology Resolution, which as a joint resolution has the force of law, as a ban on the sale or transfer of ceded land. Chief Justice Ronald Moon wrote that the resolution "dictates that the ceded lands should be preserved pending a reconciliation between the United States and the native Hawaiian people," even though it does not explicitly say that.
The state high court implemented that interpretation by blocking the transfer of a Maui plot to the state affordable housing agency, even with the payment of $5.8 million to OHA as one-fifth of the property's value. OHA had rejected the offer and took the state to court, and the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case in the current session.
Hawaiian groups protesting the state's position expressed concern that overturning the state court's ruling could go the extra mile in deciding whether OHA unconstitutionally discriminates by giving benefits to Hawaiians only.
The Supreme Court already has ruled that Hawaiians lack the legal standing of American Indian tribes by ruling in 2000 that the Hawaiians-only restriction in voting for OHA trustees was unconstitutional racial discrimination. Enactment of the sovereignty bill sponsored by Sen. Daniel Akaka would settle the issue essentially by giving Hawaiians tribal status.
An absolute freeze on transfer or sale of state lands would hinder important uses of parcels of land for public purposes while waiting for the Akaka Bill to be enacted and ceded land negotiations to go forward.
Townhall.com, Monday, December 01, 2008
One Consequence of a "Sorry" Congress; More to Come!
by William Perry Pendley
In 1993, Congress adopted an "Apology Resolution" expressing regret to "Native Hawaiians" for the federal government's role in ending the Hawaiian monarchy. There was one problem: nearly every paragraph was either false or misleading, including one stating that "Native Hawaiians" were targets of any American mischief—in fact, since creation of the Hawaii Kingdom in 1810, there never was a race-based government. More significantly: why was Congress apologizing for ending a monarchy and moving toward republican government? As U.S. Senator Hank Brown (R-CO) put it: "We ought to be clear that we are not here apologizing for democracy or the concept of private property."
Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI) said his only purposes were "to educate . . . the American public on events [and] provide for reconciliation between the United States and the native Hawaiian people." Senator Slade Gorton (R-WA) was dubious. What were the bill's "ramifications," he asked, other than "divid[ing] the citizens of  Hawaii . . . into two distinct groups, Native Hawaiians and all other citizens." "[I]s this," continued Gorton, "some form of claim, some form of different  treatment for those who can trace a single ancestor back to 1778 in Hawaii . . . ?" No, responded Inouye; Native Hawaiians' objective was "simple:" "we believe that our country is big enough and great enough to recognize wrong and admit it."
Turns out, Gorton was right; Inouye was wrong. Armed with Congress's Apology, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA), which receives a portion of the income from state lands to benefit Native Hawaiians, challenged Hawaii's affordable housing authority's plan to use a 500-acre parcel in West Maui. By state law, OHA would receive 20 percent of the land's value, nearly $6 million. OHA refused the check; instead, it demanded a disclaimer on the deed that the conveyance did not waive or diminish Native Hawaiians' claims to the land.
In December 2001, a trial court rejected OHA's claim that the Apology Resolution bars Hawaii from selling its lands. In January 2008, Hawaii's Supreme Court reversed, holding that the Resolution prohibits the State from selling, exchanging, or transferring 1.2 million acres of State land—almost all of the State's land and nearly one-third of Hawaii—until it reaches a political settlement on the "unrelinquished [land] claims" of Native Hawaiians. On October 1, 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court granted Hawaii's petition for review.
Given the schizophrenic nature of the State of Hawaii—it includes land management agencies and the OHA—the question presented the Court asks only if Congress's "symbolic resolution strips Hawaii of its sovereign authority" to dispose of land until it makes a deal with Native Hawaiians. When oral arguments occur early next year, however, the elephant in the courtroom will be the question asked by Senator Gorton, answered by the Supreme Court in 2000, and on the minds of most Americans with the swearing in of the first African-American and Hawaiian-born president.
The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. called the Declaration of Independence, an unpaid "promissory note" to all Americans. In fact, it was not until 1995 that the Court ruled 5-4, in Justice Scalia's words, "In the eyes of government, we are just one race here. It is American." Five years, later, in Rice v. Cayetano, by 7-2, the Court struck down Hawaii's law that only "Native Hawaiians" could elect OHA trustees; the Constitution bars such classifications, held the Court, rejecting the argument that Native Hawaiians are akin to American Indian tribes.
When the Court rules this time, it must speak with one voice, for pending is a bill by Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI) that circumvents Rice and converts "Native Hawaiians" into a political entity, which allows them to constitute a government, determine its members, and demand a government-to-government relationship with Hawaii and the United States. Thus, what Congress did by accident with its Apology, it will do on purpose with the Akaka bill.
William Perry Pendley is President and Chief Legal Officer at the Mountain States Legal Foundation
Ka Wai Ola (Monthly newspaper of the State of Hawaii Office of Hawaiian Affairs), December, 2008, paper edition page 22, pdf file page 21.
Tyranny and Evil Exposed
An open letter to President-elect Barack Obama
By Alika Poe Silva
Kahu Kulaiwi, Koa Mana,
Kupukaaina o Wai‘anae Wahipana,
O‘ahu, Hawaiian National
Aloha nö President-elect Barack Obama, remember what tütü Queen Lili‘uokalani visualized, practiced and taught us that 10 sharp paddles cannot match one sharp pencil to create the people’s message. Our hopes, dreams and strength are in lökahi (harmony) and in pono kaulike (equality and justice for all)! These are the values imbued in “Aloha, love for each other and Aloha ‘äina, love for our land.” Mana këia, congratulations! We have watched your campaign with pride, respect and great hope.
We are aware from various news reports that you favor the Akaka Bill. We ask that you reconsider your position on this bill. There’s considerable opposition among Hawaiians to the Akaka Bill. We want to provide you with a list of küpuna and other leaders for you to talk to. We want to provide a bibliography of pertinent and vital material. We would like to invite you to learn more about this issue of vital importance to Hawai‘i and the world.
It must be made clear that the majority of American-Hawaiians cannot remove the rights of the minority Hawaiian Nationals. We ask for ethics and equality to save the Hawaiian culture, tradition, religion and national treasures. Making sure that all the people of Hawai‘i understand the diversity of Hawai‘i. It’s important that the people recognize that it is a rich culture of knowledge and diversities. There are regional and genealogical differences between Hawaiians that continue today. The Käne religion must be understood to be a part of world heritage, and its traditions and sacred places must be preserved. You cannot get the information from one book or one organization such as the State of Hawai‘i’s Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) or the U.S. Army’s cultural resources manager. Obviously, many Hawaiians feel international self-determination applies to them. And you cannot get a fair point of view only from the state or federal government. You have to get it from the opposing Hawaiian organizations’ representatives. It is obvious that the Hawaiian people are the minority people in their own land today. And that the minority includes the Hawaiian Nationals and their point of view!Including these minority groups outside of the OHA or the U.S. military helps guarantee their civil and international law rights! The Hawaiian people, culture and histories are as complex as those of any other nations. To follow the party line of any one element of a nation in Hawai‘i is to risk ignoring or even the loss of critical parts of world heritage and treasures!
On a short note, the U.S. Army issues are still very shameful. They are determined to practice insensitivity and desecration of our sacred sites at Mäkua Valley and Lïhu‘e, in Wai‘anae and Wahiawä. The Army is destroying our Hawaiian war memorials in Mäkua Valley and Lïhu‘e. These memorials in
Mäkua represent Kamehameha’s two famous battle launches from Mäkua, Wai‘anae, for Kaua‘i to unite the Hawaiian Kingdom and islands. Kamehameha was well aware that Mäkua Valley is the sacred land of the god Käne, called
“Kane-huna-moku” (the garden of Eden for our first parents Ki‘i and La‘ila‘i). And before Kamehameha went back to Waikïkï, Honolulu, he ordered his Army and people to protect the Käne religion, temples, sites and his war memorials. The U.S. Army has been notified and educated on these sacred sites and their cultural values as world and national treasures. Yet, the Army chose to practice war games on and around them, which tells you a lot about their insensitivity and lack of good faith. Numerous objections to the U.S. Army were made. Their response is to allow, participate in and establish an alien
religion in the Army-controlled Mäkua Valley. Also, the desecrations to our sacred sits in Lïhu‘e, Wahiawä, are very stressful and unfortunate. We will always remain hopeful that this abuse will stop, and healing, redress and good faith between our nations succeeds. Recent agreements (8/10/06, Col. Killian) were made between the Army and our ‘ohana’s representatives to perform Section 106 Traditional Cultural Property (TCP) Model Studies. This has not been done for adversely affected areas, and many great Hawaiian
treasures have been damaged and/ or destroyed. The American people clearly voted or change, and for real hope in American’s conduct in the world today. We as Hawaiian Nationals share in the American hope for a bright future and a just relationship and just world.
Remember, our küpuna taught us how important it is in this land of Aloha not to discriminate, and the failure to do so is a serious leadership and ethical mater. Consequently, Hawaiian Nationals object to the Akaka Bill’s present
language. ‘Ike maka, see more information at hawaiiankingdom.org and learn more about the continually existing Hawaiian nation. Aloha and mahalo nö, I‘o lako Obama ‘ohana (God provide for your family) and always keep your spirit of Aloha in your course of good work. The world has long prayed and waited for you to come. Kökua and call upon us to assist in these matters, and “yes
we can” and yes we must for the keiki yet to come. Ua mau ke ea o ka ‘äina i ka pono.
** Webpage posted December 3, 2008:
Hawaiian Sovereignty, Zionism, and Governor Lingle -- Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle's main motive for supporting the Akaka bill, OHA, race-based entitlements, and Kamehameha Schools' racially exclusionary admissions policy is her strong support for Zionism and her mistaken belief that the Hawaiian sovereignty movement is comparable to the struggle to establish and maintain a Jewish nation of Israel.
Honolulu Advertiser, December 8, 2008
Chances of passing Hawaii's Akaka bill are better than ever
It'll again come down to whether Senate Republicans block vote
By DENNIS CAMIRE
Advertiser Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON — With a larger Democratic majority in the new Congress and an incoming Democratic administration headed by a Hawai'i native, the Akaka bill seems to have its best chance yet of passage.
But supporters of the bill also fear that Republicans may erect procedural roadblocks that they have used before to prevent the full Senate from voting on the bill since it was first introduced in 2000.
"I can say we're hopeful" about passage, said Haunani Apoliona, chairwoman of the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs. "It's an improved situation and it gives us more optimism."
The Akaka bill, nicknamed after its lead sponsor in the Senate, Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawai'i, would create a process for a Native Hawaiian government to get federal recognition.
Akaka said he was optimistic about the country's direction under the new Congress and President-elect Barack Obama, who spent most of his childhood in Hawai'i.
"I am optimistic about working with President-elect Obama, who supports federal recognition and understands Hawai'i's unique history," Akaka said.
Akaka and Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawai'i, the lead sponsor in the House, are expected to introduce the legislation in the new Congress, which begins in early January.
Abercrombie said he has "every expectation" that the House will approve the bill. The chamber did so in 2000 and again last year, only to see it stall in the Senate.
"I think some of the barriers that have been put up in the Senate can be overcome this time," Abercrombie said.
If Congress approves the legislation, Obama is expected to sign it, a commitment he made during his presidential campaign.
"This is an important bill, and if it is not signed into law this year, I commit to supporting it as president," Obama said back in January when he was campaigning. As a senator, Obama voted in 2006 to bring the bill up for a debate and vote.
But with Congress focused on reforms for the nation's financial system and other pressing issues, Abercrombie and Akaka are not expected to push for action on the bill right away.
The bill creates a process for reorganizing a Native Hawaiian government, including development of a roll of Native Hawaiians and election of an interim governing council. Once the government receives federal recognition, negotiations could take place on disposition of Native Hawaiian land, natural resources and other assets.
Abercrombie said he was reviewing the most recent version of the bill with his staff to see if any changes are needed.
Many changes were already made to the bill to deal with some of the Justice Department's concerns. Among the changes, the current version would prohibit Native Hawaiians from bringing land claims against the United States and bar a Native Hawaiian government from authorizing gambling.
Ira Rohter, a political scientist at the University of Hawai'i, said the current bill has problems, and needs to be reassessed and discussed at new public hearings.
"It has changed enormously from when it was originally introduced," Rohter said. "A lot of people in the Hawaiian community who were proponents have peeled away from it."
Abercrombie defended the bill, saying "it's fundamentally the same bill in the sense of trying to enable Hawaiians to be able to organize themselves into a governing instrument that will allow them to address the question of their assets — the land and the funds."
The only time supporters had a chance to overcome the procedural obstacles that blocked full Senate consideration of the bill was in June 2006.
They needed 60 votes to bring the bill up for a vote, but fell four short in a 56-41 tally. All Democrats in the Senate united behind the bill and 13 Republicans joined them. All the votes against were from Republicans.
In the new Congress, Senate Democrats will have at least 56 seats and can usually count on the support of two independents who caucus with them.
One of the independents, Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, who was a Democrat in 2006, supported the bill at the time. The other independent, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, was a House member when the 2006 vote was held.
In the new Senate, Republicans will have at least 41 seats, enough to block legislation if all vote together.
But nine of the Republicans who voted for the bill in 2006 remain in the Senate, and some may support it again.
For example, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, has co-sponsored the bill several times and voted to bring it up for Senate debate. Another Republican co-sponsor, Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota, is leading in a recount of ballots in a close Senate race with Democratic challenger Al Franken.
Toni-Michelle Travis, a government and politics expert at George Mason University in Virginia, said she thinks the chances of the Akaka bill getting through the new Congress are "pretty good."
"I think that climate of opinion is such right now that this is the kind of bill that would go through," she said. If the Senate did block it again, she said, "it would be a huge embarrassment" for Obama.
The Maui News, December 9, 2008
Native Hawaiians bill could pass in 2009
By HERBERT A. SAMPLE, The Associated Press
HONOLULU - The political stars for long-stalled efforts to boost the status of Native Hawaiians appear to be aligning nicely.
With Barack Obama set to take over the White House and Democrats ready to claim larger majorities in Congress next month, legislation to create a governmental entity to represent Native Hawaiians could finally win passage.
''I am optimistic about working with President-elect Obama, who supports federal recognition and understands Hawaii's unique history,'' U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, the bill's main's sponsor, told The Honolulu Advertiser. Critics agree that the Akaka Bill has a better chance of passage next year after being opposed by most Senate Republicans and the Bush Administration in recent attempts to get it through Congress.
But they insist that if it gets far in Congress next year, a furious reaction from conservatives and other critics will force Democratic leaders and the new Obama administration to hesitate about pursuing its approval.
''Why would the national leaders like (Senate Democratic leader Harry) Reid (of Nevada) or Obama be willing to spend three days, a week, whatever it will take, to get through this,'' asked Todd Gaziano, director of the Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at the conservative Heritage Foundation.
This year's version of the measure would set up a process for Native Hawaiians to participate in the creation of a permanent entity similar to Native American tribal governments.
That entity would be empowered to represent the interests of Native Hawaiians and negotiate on their behalf with local, state and federal officials.
The legislation would bar establishment of a reservation or gambling operations. It also would ban the taking of private property and exempt the Defense Department from its provisions.
The bill was passed by a Senate committee in 2007, but when the Bush Administration made clear that the measure would be vetoed, Reid shelved it.
November's elections, however, changed the political dynamics in Washington. For one, Obama during his campaign committed himself to supporting Akaka's bill as president.
Akaka is expected to reintroduce the measure again next year in the Senate, though it may be months before it moves very far in a Congress confronting difficult economic and military issues.
The House may not be much of a problem, said Hawaii Democratic Rep. Neil Abercrombie, who will reintroduce the bill there. The House passed previous versions in 2000 and 2007.
A dozen Senate Republicans and most Democrats backed the measure in an unsuccessful 2006 vote to get it onto the Senate floor. At least four of those Republicans will not be in office next year.
Still, Abercrombie told The Advertiser that ''some of the barriers that have been put up in the Senate can be overcome this time.''
But Gaziano said in an interview that if the bill appears on track for passage in the Senate, critics will gear up to force a delay. While it is strongly supported in Hawaii, it is not a hot-button nationwide, he contended.
''It would be different if this were a major priority of Obama's,'' such as health care reform, Gaziano added.
''I could tick off 10 more important issues. This is one that fits a different category,'' he said. ''It will be intensely opposed, at least by a minority, but it doesn't really do a lot for the broad-based liberal constituency or for a number of Americans.''
But Akaka spokesman Jesse Broder Van Dyke said there are influential interests supporting the measure, too, such as the American Bar Association.
''Rush Limbaugh might go ahead and oppose it again,'' Broder Van Dyke said. ''But he opposes a lot of good things up here.''
Broder Van Dyke said Akaka will settle on the precise version of the bill to pursue next year after meeting with fellow Hawaii delegation members.
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Monday, December 22, 2008
Akaka Bill backers like the new odds
The U.S. Senate's 58 Democrats should lift the measure's chances
By B.J. Reyes
The arrival of a new Democratic administration in Washington, coupled with Democratic control of Congress, has given renewed hope to supporters of federal recognition for native Hawaiians.
"The results of the presidential and congressional elections open a window of opportunity for native Hawaiian initiatives and Hawaii initiatives," Office of Hawaiian Affairs Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona said in her recent State of OHA speech. "Based on previous expressed support for the Akaka Bill by President-elect (Barack) Obama, a smoother and timely passage and enactment of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act is anticipated."
During his campaign, Obama said he would support native Hawaiian recognition if a bill were to reach his desk.
The legislation would allow for the formation of a governing body for native Hawaiians, similar to that of American Indians, that would negotiate with state and federal governments over land and other resources.
Opponents say the measure is racially discriminatory and divisive. Native Hawaiian sovereignty groups also oppose the legislation, saying it does not go far enough to grant Hawaii independence from the U.S. government.
To date, no version of the Akaka Bill -- named after its primary sponsor, U.S. Sen. Dan Akaka (D, Hawaii) -- has made it out of Congress.
Although the U.S. House this year approved a version of the bill, it stalled in the Senate, where Republicans have stalled the measure time and again. Additionally, President Bush has opposed the legislation.
Two years ago, Akaka attempted to bring the bill to the Senate floor for an up-or-down vote by the full chamber. The motion fell four votes shy of the 60 needed to force a vote.
But Nov. 4 brought change to Capitol Hill. In addition to Obama's victory, Democrats also will control at least 58 of the 100 seats when the next Congress opens.
"I am looking forward to working with President-elect Obama and meeting with my newly elected Senate colleagues to discuss my bill and the many other important matters that will come before the upcoming Congress," Akaka said in a statement provided by his office. "The U.S. has formally recognized American Indians and Alaska natives and should provide parity for Hawaii's indigenous people."
Jon Van Dyke, a constitutional law professor at the University of Hawaii who supports the Akaka Bill, said "the stars seem to be aligned" in the bill's favor. "With the increase in Democrats in the Senate, plus some of the key Republicans that have always supported it ... still there, it seems like the votes should be there to pass it," he said.
Because of the new Congress, the legislation would have to be reintroduced and go through the formal hearing process again in both chambers. Akaka said he plans to introduce a bill.
At least one opponent said he does not expect the Akaka Bill to be a priority for lawmakers when they convene the next Congress. Given the country's financial troubles and the focus likely to be paid to an economic stimulus plan, any discussion of the Akaka Bill would be best left for several months down the road, said Richard Rowland, president of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii.
"I don't think that Mr. Obama and his administration want to use any of their capital on this," Rowland said. "Why should they? From their standpoint it looks like they've got it as a slam dunk.
"So why wouldn't they wait till next September or October, or even 2010?"
In the meantime, the institute, which opposes racially based preferences, will continue to inform the public about the bill, he said.
"My feeling is that with some more education -- education on what the implications are -- that rational people can all look at it and say, 'This is just not very healthy,'" Rowland said.
The Garden Island News (Kaua'i), December 24, 2008
** Excerpts related to Akaka bill
Rep. Mazie Hirono ‘hopeful’ about second term
U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono, a Democrat of Hawai‘i’s second district, spent a chunk of Monday afternoon standing alongside new Kaua‘i Mayor Bernard Carvalho, ringing a Salvation Army bell in front of Wal-Mart and wishing happy holidays to the voters that overwhelmingly elected her to a second term in Congress last month.
But Hirono’s Christmas break at home in Hawai‘i has not been all fun and sun. Before helping out with the Red Kettle campaign, she toured the Westside to assess some of the damage from a storm system that rolled through the islands last week, causing flash floods and even a brief tornado warning.
Hirono will be sworn in for her second term in Washington on Jan. 6, and will have a host of new colleagues. The 111th Congress will have 52 new representatives, none of whom Hirono knows well.
She said the large freshman class will need to be quickly brought up to speed on a host of issues, with the economic stimulus package as the obvious “first order of business.”
She said she will again be pushing for the proposed Akaka bill, which passed the House previously, but not the Senate, and would be a significant step in the relationship between the state of Hawai‘i and its native people.
While having Obama in the White House rather than current president George W. Bush will help matters — Hirono called the difference between them a “sea change” — and more support in both houses of congress make Hirono optimistic about the chances of passing the Akaka bill, she stressed the importance of educating the new representatives with the help of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
“It always helps if there’s someone in the (freshman) class to be a cheerleader,” she said, noting proudly she had educated her fellow freshman classmates on the issue previously, and had cultivated a large plurality of support.
When asked for her thoughts on Obama’s nomination of Gen. Eric Shinseki for the post of secretary of veterans affairs, Hirono said Shinseki is an “excellent choice.”
“It shows Obama’s faith in (Shinseki’s) judgment and experience,” Hirono said, commenting that her conversations with Shinseki, when he had always introduced himself as a soldier, had led her to believe he is very humble.
“Coming from Kaua‘i doesn’t hurt, either,” she said with a smile.
When asked if she had any plans to make another run for governor when Lingle leaves office in 2010, Hirono demurred, saying only, “I’m just focused on doing the best job in the House.”
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Dec 29, 2008
Push for early action on sovereignty bill
HAWAIIAN sovereignty could be on an early agenda in the U.S. Senate after having been successfully filibustered by opponents two years ago. Democrats, all of whom support the bill, gained seats in the 2006 and 2008 elections and are likely to prevail on the issue in the upcoming congressional session, with President-elect Barack Obama agreeing to sign it into law.
The Senate voted 56-41 in June 2006 to proceed with a vote on the Akaka Bill itself, short of the 60 needed for cloture. Democrats, including the two independents who caucus with the party, were unanimous in voting for cloture and will have grown in the Senate from 45 to 58 from the past two elections, with the Minnesota case yet to be decided.
Success of the Akaka Bill seems all but assured. However, while 13 Republicans voted to move the bill forward in 2006, Arizona's two Republican senators -- Jon Kyle and John McCain, both returning senators who opposed the bill -- cast votes in favor of cloture by prior agreement. That deal no longer exists.
Of the other 11 Republicans who voted for cloture, five will be replaced by Democrats, further reducing the 13 GOP senators who voted for cloture in 2006 to six. That is more than offset by the replacement by Democrats of 10 Republicans who voted against cloture that year.
While short of a landslide, it should result in a comfortable victory, especially if Sens. John D. Rockefeller, D-W.V., and John Schumer, D-N.Y., decide to vote, which they failed to do two years ago. If past supporting votes are maintained, nothing should prevent Sen. Daniel Akaka from moving the bill to the Senate floor early in the session. The House should pass the bill easily, as it did last year.
Richard Rowland, president of Grassroot Institute, agrees but suggests Obama might not want to use any of his "capital" on the issue so early in his presidency. Little "capital" will be expended on a bill that has interest only in the president-elect's native state.
Hawaii Reporter, December 30, 2008
Akaka Very Likely to Become Law in 2009, but Are We Ready for a New Hawaiian Nation?
By Richard O. Rowland
The so-called Akaka bill, which will be re-introduced in the new 2009 US Congress, is very likely to become law since most Democrats favor it and soon-to-be President Obama has promised to sign it.
The proposed law is very short on specific provisions except for one area. There can be no doubt that the law, if passed, will create a new nation called the “Native Hawaiian Governing Entity."
Thus, there will be a new government carved out inside the State of Hawaii. All of the who, what, when, where, how, etc will be negotiated later and as they please by government appointed officials.
There will be no vote of Hawaii’s people on whether we want a new government in addition to the federal, state and city/county we already endure. It will simply be forced from above.
Hawaii’s people voted for statehood in 1959 ( 94+% said yes ) before Hawaii became a state. If this lack of an approving or rejecting vote seems improper to you, please consider taking four actions:
Go to http://www.grassrootinstitute.org - click on the 'Let Us Vote' button on the right hand side - and register your concern.
Contact your Senator, Daniel Inouye or Daniel Akaka, and your Representative, Mazie Hirano or Neil Abercrombie, and let them know your thoughts.
You may also contact your State Senator and Representative and express your concerns.
We LUV Hawaii---let us vote!
Richard O Rowland is the co-founder of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii
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Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.
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