(c) Copyright December 1, 2010 by
Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.
All rights reserved
SEE IMPORTANT ADDENDUM AT BOTTOM: 4 U.S. SENATORS ISSUED PRESS RELEASE ON DECEMBER 2, THE DAY AFTER THIS WEBPAGE WAS POSTED, DEPLORING INOUYE'S PLANNED STEALTH MANEUVER ON THE AKAKA BILL. ON DECEMBER 7 THE U.S. COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS SENT A LETTER TO THE SENATE WARNING ABOUT INOUYE'S STEALTH MANEUVER AND REAFFIRMING ITS PREVIOUS STRONG OPPOSITION TO THE AKAKA BILL. ON DECEMBER 9, THE U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL AND SECRETARY OF INTERIOR JOINTLY SENT A LETTER TO SENATE LEADERS SUPPORTING THE AKAKA BILL.
Sources in the Senate report that Sen. Inouye is personally working to jam through the Akaka Bill this month. He would do it by attaching the bill to an omnibus spending bill that his staff is writing in secret. According to Senate sources, Inouye would wait to offer that secret bill until just before the "continuing resolution" funding the government is set to expire. His colleagues would then be forced to either vote for the porked-up omnibus bill (with no public comment, little opportunity for debate, and certainly no chance of amendment) or reject the whole bill and deny the government the funding it needs to stay open. It's a game of chicken.
Every lame duck session features an omnibus spending bill, sometimes called "the Christmas tree," used by Senators and Representatives to give expensive gifts to their campaign contributors in the form of earmarks and riders. But attaching controversial and dangerous new policy legislation to an appropriations bill is unusual and unethical, especially when there's no floor debate on it.
It's unclear which version of the Akaka bill Sen. Inouye plans to sneak through. The so-called Lingle compromise bill S.3945 was promised for several months but never delivered to the Senate until November 15. S.3945 has never had a hearing in any committee or on the floor of either the House or Senate.
The most recent previous version H.R.2314 actually passed the House. If the Senate passes it by itself or as an attachment, President Obama will sign it. H.R.2314 is so radical and dangerous that even Governor Lingle, who had aggressively supported the Akaka bill for seven years, sent a letter to all 100 Senators asking them to oppose it.
The long delay in introducing the Lingle compromise S.3945 confirms suspicions that it is merely a decoy to lull Senators into thinking Lingle supports the Akaka bill H.R.2314 which is the version likely to be actually attached. The decoy theory is bolstered by the fact that Hawaii's powerful race-based institutions strongly preferred the radical H.R.2314 but reluctantly acquiesced in the compromise when told there were not enough votes for cloture.
The new Governor Abercrombie takes office December 6 -- the same Congressman Abercrombie who pushed H.R.2314 through the House. He dreams of becoming the "Great White Father" of the Akakakanaka Tribe. It's easy to imagine Abercrombie asking his friends in the Senate to hold their noses and let the House bill go through. "Forget about the issues raised by Lingle; she's now merely a worn-out former Governor."
This is the time of year when Inouye likes to make sneak attacks through stealth maneuvers. On December 15, 2009 an article in the Honolulu Advertiser reported on accusations by Hawaiian sovereignty activists that Sen. Inouye "is trying to avoid public scrutiny of legislation that would grant them historic new status by hiding it in a defense bill." Sen. Inouye was quoted in that article as responding "I have never suggested that the Akaka bill be passed and adopted as part of the defense appropriations process. I don't know where this nonsensical suggestion originated." The article said Akaka was as unhappy as Inouye about the accusations. "'It is very frustrating that opponents intentionally seek to spread misinformation about the bill,' Akaka said last night. 'This should call their credibility into question once again.'"
But it's the credibility of Akaka and Inouye that is really destroyed by their track record of stealth, deception, and outright lies. Despite Inouye's claim in the above quote that he never suggested passing the Akaka bill as an attachment to a defense appropriations bill, that's exactly what he tried to do on several occasions going back to 2000. Even the concept of using a decoy is not new. In 2006 a decoy new version of the Akaka bill was introduced only 9 days before a cloture motion was filed for a different previous version of the bill! For documented proof of these things, and predictions by this writer four months ago which are now coming true, see "Akaka bill maneuvers coming up from September through December 2010" at
That webpage includes much more besides proof of Sen. Inouye's abuse of appropriations bills in several lame duck sessions. It also includes
Congressional Record quotes of Senator Inouye's lies on the Senate floor when he told his colleagues that U.S. troops invaded 'Iolani Palace in January 1893, arrested the Queen, and imprisoned her there; and also another time when he told his colleagues that in 1898, when the Hawaiian flag was hauled down from the Palace at the ceremony of Annexation, the flag was publicly cut into pieces which were distributed to the annexationists as souvenirs of their final victory over the Hawaiians.
It's especially shameful when a Medal of Honor recipient behaves so dishonorably. Let's hope that his colleagues will call him to account without excusing him on grounds of age, infirmity, or ignorance.
***** IMPORTANT ADDENDA
DECEMBER 2, 2010 PRESS RELEASE FROM SENATORS KYL, ALEXANDER, CORNYN, COBURN DEPLORING INOUYE STEALTH MANEUVER ON AKAKA BILL
For Immediate Release: December 2, 2010
Ryan Patmintra (Kyl) (202) 224-2206
Jim Jeffries (Alexander) (202) 224-7154
Charles Chamberlayne (Cornyn) 202-224-0703
John Hart (Coburn) 202-228-5357
Kyl, Alexander, Cornyn, Coburn: Don't Slip Controversial Measure Into Bill to Keep the Gov't Open and Funded
GOP senators respond to reports that Native Hawaiian Gov't Reorganization Act may be added to Omnibus or CR
WASHINGTON – Senators Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) today released the following statements in response to reports that the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act – legislation that would establish a new governing entity for individuals of native Hawaiian descent – may be added to an Omnibus Appropriations Bill or a Continuing Resolution, one of which must pass Congress and be signed by the president this month, or the federal government will not have the funding to operate.
"Legislation as highly complex and divisive as the native Hawaiian bill requires vigorous discussion, debate, and amendments," Kyl said. "An attempt to include it in unrelated legislation to keep the government operating is a breach of process and is an example of what the American people are tired of – back room deals that are inserted in secret packages written behind closed doors."
"I'm concerned by reports that a special Native Hawaiian bill, or any other controversial measure, might be quietly inserted into must-pass legislation that's needed to keep the government open," Alexander said. "If the Democratic majority wishes to pass legislation that would create a new, sovereign government within our borders based solely upon race, it should be brought up separately and debated openly on the Senate floor with the opportunity for amendment."
"This November, Americans spoke and we listened," said Cornyn. "Unfortunately, some of my Senate colleagues did not hear the resounding message that rejected secret backroom deals and controversial legislative distractions like this, which have no place in important bills that we need to pass keep our government running. I sincerely hope that Senator Reid will not slip this bill into the omnibus bill and reassess his legislative priorities to reflect the wishes of the American people."
"Any efforts to circumvent the thorough vetting process of Congress to pass Native Hawaiian legislation is an affront to taxpayers and the U.S. Constitution," Coburn said. "The federal government has already established a process for recognizing tribal groups. Recognizing Native Hawaiians as an Indian tribe and sovereign entity by circumventing the established process not only creates a parallel sovereign government in the State of Hawaii, but will set a dangerous precedent that could threaten the framework of our nation."
# # #
National Review Online, December 2, 2010
Lame-duck Akaka Bill?
By Roger Clegg
The word is that Sen. Inouye (D., Hawaii) is hoping to sneak the infamous Akaka bill through the Senate in the next few weeks, by attaching it as a rider to an omnibus spending bill. Supporters of this bill have played that kind of game in the past. The bill has been the subject of a scathing National Review cover story and numerous NRO postings (here's an editorial condemning it),
and has been formally criticized by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights as well. It aims to turn Native Hawaiians into an Indian tribe so that racial preferences given them can be more easily defended in constitutional litigation. But Native Hawaiians are not an Indian tribe, and racial discrimination is racial discrimination.
National Review Online, December 2, 2010
Re: Lame-duck Akaka Bill
By Robert Costa
Roger: Sen. Daniel Inouye (D., Hawaii) tells NRO that he would like to bring it forward, but "it depends on if we can work out something with amendments."
"We've been working on this for over a decade now," Inouye says, listing the bill's numerous past committee hearings. "No one can say that we've been hiding this."
** Online comment
Haven't been hiding this? The history of the Akaka Bill has been one backroom deal after another!
The current text of the Akaka Bill was introduced in November 2010. That's right -- 2 weeks ago. Despite the claims that it's the result of a deal with lame-duck HI Gov. Lingle that was cut in July, the Hawaii Senators refused to put that deal into formal legislation until just before Thanksgiving. Who knew if it was real? (Moreover, Gov. Lingle's position on this is in the minority of Hawaiians, the majority of which oppose the bill based on Zogby polling.)
Why does this matter? It's because the text is dramatically different than the text that was considered by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee in late 2009, and it is also different than the Akaka Bill that was passed by the House in February of 2010. This has been a moving target for a decade.
There have been no hearings on the current language of the bill. There have been no public forums on this new bill in Hawaii. We have no information about how it will impact the volatile racial environment in Hawaii, how the changes affect its already-shaky constitutionality, and how much the State of Hawaii will lose in terms of tax and regulatory power if it passes.
It's a new bill. It has no business being jammed into a log-rolled appropriations bill.
Hawaii Reporter, December 3. 2010
Inouye Not Planning to ‘Jam Through' Akaka Bill Via an Appropriations Measure, Spokesperson Says
By Malia Zimmerman, editor
A spokesman for U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-HI, on Thursday denied accusations from well-placed Capitol sources that the powerful appropriations chair is working to "jam through" the Native Hawaiian Reorganization Act by the end of the year by attaching the controversial measure to an a omnibus spending bill that his staff is writing in secret.
The "Akaka Bill", named for U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka, creates a native Hawaiian sovereign government within the state. The accusations about Inouye's plan, which would surmount to forcing his colleagues to either vote for the porked-up omnibus bill with no public comment, debate, or amendment, or reject the whole bill and deny the government the funding it needs to operate, were highlighted in part in a National Review column on Thursday.
Peter Boylan, media spokesperson for Hawaii's senior senator, says he doesn't know where the National Review information came from, because no sources were named. But Boylan maintains that as one of Inouye's staff, he does not know of such a plan and has heard nothing to indicate that it is true.
In 2009, a group of native Hawaiian activists opposed to the proposed Act accused Inouye of planning to hide the legislation in a defense appropriations bill.
At the time, Inouye told The Honolulu Advertiser "I have never suggested that the Akaka bill be passed and adopted as part of the defense appropriations process. I don't know where this nonsensical suggestion originated."
Boylan told Hawaii Reporter that as far as he knows, Inouye is remaining consistent on his pledge not to hide the legislation in an appropriations bill.
The legislation, which was opposed by President George W. Bush and his Justice Department, but is supported by President Barack Obama, a former Hawaii resident, is fiercely debated among native Hawaiian groups and in political circles.
Native Hawaiian activists who are against the bill say they don't want the federal government to have authority over them. They believe the Hawaiian government was illegally overthrown in the late 1800s and don't recognize the state and federal government as authorities. They want Hawaii to revert to a sovereign government.
Conservatives and libertarians who strongly oppose the Akaka Bill believe the legislation is racially divisive, unconstitutional, and problematic on a several levels. The U.S. Civil Rights commission condemned the bill. The Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute, and in Hawaii, the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, along with many others public policy institute, have expressed strong concerns over the measure.
Pushing for the bill are all four members of Hawaii's congressional delegation, Hawaii's Republican governor and lieutenant governor, elected officers of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and their supporters. The majority of Hawaii lawmakers also back the legislation.
Congress has taken up the Akaka Bill more than a half a dozen times since 2000, the year the Akaka Bill was introduced. While it passed the House twice, the Senate never voted on the measure. Critics point out that the bill language has been changed many times since it was introduced, all in private negotiations behind closed doors; that there have been no hearings on the current language of the bill; and there have been no public forums on this new bill in Hawaii.
Democrats and other Akaka bill advocates are concerned they won't get the votes they need in the House and Senate when the newly-elected Congress is sworn in this coming January, and have pushed for more than a decade-old legislation to pass before 2011.
National Review Online, December 3, 2010
The Discriminatory Akaka Bill: ‘Infamous' Indeed
By Hans A. von Spakovsky
Yesterday in the Corner, Roger Clegg termed the Akaka bill "infamous." And rightly so. This odious legislation is nothing more than an attempt to institutionalize outright racial discrimination in Hawaii. How? By implementing a "Native" Hawaiian government.
U.S. Civil Rights Commissioner and Corner regular Peter Kirsanow calls it "the worst piece of proposed legislation ever reviewed by the Commission." The purpose of the bill is to shore up the Hawaiian government's ability to discriminate in favor of — and confer special benefits on — those it considers to be "ethnic" Hawaiians. Of course, this would all be to the detriment of Hawaiians of African, Asian, European, or other descent. (How many drops of ethnic blood must one have to be considered an eligible "Native"? The bill doesn't stipulate, but I am sure there are some old laws from the time of the Confederacy that the "Native" Hawaiian government could use to help make that determination.)
The bill is intended to do an end-run around court decisions and preserve Hawaii's current practice of conferring government benefits on "Native" Hawaiians, including special home loans and business loans, as well as housing and educational programs. As one witness testified at the Commission hearing, the Akaka bill would permanently segregate the state of Hawaii and its people. It would legalize discrimination between citizens of the United States based solely on ancestry.
I find it simply amazing that in 2010, such a morally indefensible bill could even be considered by the United States Congress, much less be close to passage. But Sens. Daniel Akaka and Dan Inouye (both D., Hawaii) have helped it along by short-circuiting the normal legislative process and trying to stick it into a "must pass" appropriations bill.
Then again, desperate times call for desperate measures, and the two senatorial Dans seem hell-bent on pushing this bill through during the lame-duck session. But if truth in advertising laws applied to legislation, the bill's sponsors would be required to begin any floor remarks about the bill by saying "Discrimination now, discrimination tomorrow, discrimination forever," because that is exactly what the Akaka bill represents.
** On December 7, 2010 the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights sent a letter to the U.S. Senate saying
Dear President [of the Senate] Biden and Distinguished Senators:
We understand that there is a possibility that the new and significantly revised version of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act will be tacked onto the spending bill in the next week or so. We hope that this does not happen. A bill as important as this deserves careful consideration. It would be a matter for concern if it were to be made law without a hearing on its new provisions.
The current version of the legislation may create new problems and exacerbate those previously identified, but because the changes to the bill do not eliminate the serious constitutional concerns identified in previous communications, our position remains the same. We therefore attach a copy of a letter we wrote opposing an earlier version of the bill.
** This new letter on official stationery with handwritten signatures can be seen at
** The previous letter of August 28, 2009, which was attached, was very strongly worded and included language from the Hawaiian Kingdom Constitution of 1840 proclaiming that "God has made of one blood all races of people to dwell upon this Earth in unity and blessedness." That letter on official stationery with handwritten signatures can be seen at
THE FACT THAT THE AKAKA BILL REMAINS VERY MUCH ALIVE IS PROVED BY WHAT HAPPENED DECEMBER 9. A letter supporting S.3945, the Akaka bill version newly introduced on November 15, was sent to Senate leaders from two Obama cabinet officers. The letter was on official stationery with the seals of both the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Interior; and was signed by both Attorney General Eric H. Holder and Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar. One letter was sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, with copies to Committee on Indian Affairs Chair Senator Byron Dorgan and Vice Chair Senator John Barrasso (see below); and the same letter was also sent separately to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell with the same seals and signatures. The letter to Majority Leader Reid in pdf format can be downloaded at
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(c) Copyright December 1, 2010 Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. All rights reserved