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History of the Hawaiian Government Reorganization bill from February 4, 2009 through April 30, 2009. Akaka bill formally introduced into the 111th Congress is a very radical version introduced more than 8 years ago, before the Bush administration Dept. of Justice and Republican opposition caused bill supporters to make amendments that protected the people of Hawaii by placing significant restrictions on the future Akaka tribe. President Obama reaffirms support for Akaka bill during White House meeting with reporters. Bill numbers after a March 25 new version are S.708 and H.R.1711. Supreme Court ceded lands decision on March 31 might have an impact on the Akaka bill.


(c) Copyright 2009 Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. All rights reserved

The history of the Akaka bill during the entire 111th Congress, January 2009 to December 2010, is divided into subpages covering several time-periods. The index of topics for the entire 111th Congress, with links to the subpages, can be found at
http://www.angelfire.com/big09a/AkakaHist111thCong.html

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HERE IS THE INDEX OF ITEMS FROM FEBRUARY 4, 2009 THROUGH APRIL 30, 2009. FULL TEXT OF EACH ITEM FOLLOWS THE INDEX, IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER.

February 4, 2009: Honolulu Advertiser and Honolulu Star-Bulletin and Pacific Business news report that the Akaka bill has been formally introduced into the 111th Congress, and it is a radical version of the bill from more than 8 years ago, before the Bush administration came into power and before the bill was modified to address concerns of the Department of Justice and Republican opposition.

** NOTE FROM KEN CONKLIN: THE BILL NUMBERS AS INTRODUCED ON FEBRUARY 4 WERE S.381 and H.R.862 (BUT NEW BILL NUMBERS WERE GIVEN TO A MODIFIED VERSION INTRODUCED ON MARCH 25: S.708 AND H.R.1711). In the Senate the bill has been referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs, where both Hawaii Senators Inouye and Akaka are members. In the House the bill has been referred to both the Committee on Resources (which has jurisdiction over all Indian legislation) and the Committee on Judiciary. This is the first time in the bill's 9 year history that the bill has been referred to the Judiciary Committee, although once before the House Judiciary subcommittee on the Constitution (under Republican control) pre-emptively held a hearing on the bill in order to place on the record its concerns that the bill is unconstitutional. (THE VERSION INTRODUCED MARCH 25 IN THE HOUSE WAS REFERRED ONLY TO THE RESOURCES COMMITTEE AND NOT THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE) Full text of the FEBRUARY 4 bill is available at
http://www.angelfire.com/big09a/Akaka020409S381HR862.html
The bill is also available in pdf format, including page numbers and line numbers, produced by the Government Printing Office. Download here:
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=111_cong_bills&docid=f:s381is.txt.pdf

February 5: (1) More reporting about the new/old Akaka bill in the local media, taking note that the 2009 version of the bill is missing the restrictions and limitations on the proposed Akaka tribe which worked their way into the bill during the 8 years of President Bush's term in office (such as a prohibition on gambling casinos, a prohibition on taking land into trust to create "Indian country", and a prohibition on claims against military lands); (2) Commentary by minister says it's wrong to ordain special privileges for one racial group, and everyone can and should play by the same set of rules to reach success.

February 6: Governor Lingle says she is unhappy that the prohibition against gambling has been removed from the Akaka bill, and she is silent on whether that will cause her to stop supporting the bill.

February 8: Honolulu Star-Bulletin editorial (for the bazillionth time in 9 years) urges passage of Akaka bill, now unfettered by Bush administration amendments, noting that the Akaka tribe could make megabucks by opening gambling casinos in other states.

February 9: Honolulu Advertiser editorial says the Akaka bill deserves to be passed, but supporters must be prepared to compromise by re-inserting some of the limits on the Akaka tribe that worked their way into the bill during the past 8 years.

February 10: (1) Washington [D.C.] Times reports Akaka bill is back and likely to pass, but the bill is extremely vague on details, so chaos might ensue. (2) Indian Country Today reports the new/old Akaka bill has been introduced, and includes several falsehoods in its article (for example, "Native Hawaiians" collectively did not own any of the ceded lands; and the Akaka bill does not require any negotiations with the state government or local residents in order for the Akaka tribe to take control of lands or jurisdiction.

February 11: Article in Forbes Magazine about the controversy over gambling in Hawaii notes that the Akaka bill has removed the prohibition on gambling by the Akaka tribe, and that Governor Lingle wants the prohibition reinstated.

February 15: HONOLULU ADVERTISER WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT REPORTS THAT PRESIDENT OBAMA REAFFIRMED HIS SUPPORT FOR THE AKAKA BILL DURING A MEETING WITH REPORTERS IN THE WHITE HOUSE ON FEBRUARY 11.

February 18: (1) Honolulu Star-Bulletin reports that Lingle plans to discuss the Akaka bill and gambling with Senator Akaka during the National Governors Conference in Washington D.C. next week. (2) Honolulu Advertiser reports that Senator Inouye says now is the time to pass the Akaka bill. "If we can't do it now, we're going to have a hell of a time. But we're going to do our best."

February 22: Major article by Andrew Walden explores the history of greed and corruption behind the Akaka bill: "The Akaka Bill: A Cash Cow for Democrats"

February 23: Jere Krischel writes about the concept of special rights for "indigenous" people in the Akaka bill; concludes that it's essentially meaningless, and perhaps we should have a "Native Human Government."

February 27: Three commentaries about the U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments in the ceded lands case and how the likely outcome of that ruling will interact with the Akaka bill

March 1: Maui News lengthy article describes main reasons supporting the Akaka bill from the perspective of ethnic Hawaiians who want protection from lawsuits regarding racial entitlements, and main reasons opposing Akaka bill from the perspective of ethnic Hawaiians who want total independence from the U.S.; but no dicsussion of mainstream civil rights opposition from the perspective of seeking to protect unity and equality under the law.

March 2: Maui News editorial favors Akaka bill and urges secessionists to stop complaining against it because if they stop the bill then ethnic Hawaiians might get nothing at all.

March 6: Letter to editor in Maui News, from Ken Conklin, protests the fact that the news report of March 1 and editorial of March 2 refer only to ethnic Hawaiians who support the Akaka bill because they are racial separatists or oppose the Akaka bill because they are secessionists, but totally ignore the majority of ethnic Hawaiians and everybody else who are proud to be Americans and who hate the idea of racial separatism.

March 15: (1) Letter to editor in The Washington Times (D.C.) by Ken Conklin notes that the Akaka bill would be 50% more devastating for Hawaii than the creation of a 40-million-member African-American tribe would be for all of America; (2) Open letter to President Obama (webpage) asking him to oppose Akaka bill based on his ideals stated in his Berlin Wall speech, his knowledge of the struggle between racial separatists vs. integrationists in the African-American community, and his expertise as a former professor of Constitutional law.

March 16: Honolulu Advertiser reports: "Akaka bill waiting for breathing room. Senator optimistic about its chances, but national issues are taking precedence now"

March 25, 2009: NEW VERSION OF AKAKA BILL INTRODUCED; S.708 AND H.R.1711, for the sole purpose of adding a provision that allegedly prohibits the Akaka tribe from gambling. Official press release on U.S. Senate webpage for Senator Akaka.

March 26: News reports about new version of Akaka bill

March 29: Webpage by Ken Conklin "New version of Akaka bill -- multiple layers of deception"

March 30: Letter by Ken Conklin in Honolulu Advertiser says gambling is the least important issue in Akaka bill and even if all protections from previous years were restored, the bill is still immoral and unconstitutional.

March 31: (1) and (2) U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Hawaii ceded lands case has implications for the Akaka bill: press release by Grassroot Institute of Hawaii and analysis by an attorney with the CATO institute; (3) Letter notes that Akaka bill new protection against gambling does not provide any protection for tribal/state conflict over criminal and civil law.

April 1: Ted Hong, Hilo attorney, says Supreme Court's ceded lands decision tells us all Hawaii's people have a stake in how the ceded lands are used, and that applies to the Akaka bill as well -- we all have a right to participate in deciding our future.

April 2: Letter says Hawaii Congressional delegation propaganda accompanying new version of Akaka bill was incorrect when it said the U.S. had overthrown the Hawaiian monarchy.

April 5: "Duke" Aiona, Hawaii Lieutenant Governor and candidate for Governor in 2010, confirms that he supported the state's position on the ceded lands lawsuit and also supports the Akaka bill

April 6: Entertainer Keith Haugen says if the Akaka billpasses, Hawaii would become the state with the largest number of native Americans.

April 15: Major commentary opposing the Akaka bill, in the form of a letter to President Obama, written by independence activists (secessionists) Kekuni Blaisdell, Lynette Cruz, George Flores, and many others. The commentary is published April 15 in the national leftwing magazine "Commentary, and reprinted on April 21 in both the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and Hawaii Reporter.

April 24: Honolulu Star-Bulletin runs a commentary by two Kamehameha School alumni supporting the Akaka bill and rebutting the Blaisdell secessionist commentary.

April 28: (1) Major open letter to President Obama opposing the Akaka bill, by Ken Conklin, published in Hawaii Reporter. (2) University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Journalism Students Win FOX News Challenge for their news video on Native Hawaiian independence and the Akaka Bill.

END OF INDEX OF ITEMS FROM FEBRUARY 4, 2009 THROUGH APRIL 30, 2009. FULL TEXT OF EACH ITEM FOLLOWS THE INDEX, IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER.

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FULL TEXT OF EACH ITEM, IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090204/BREAKING01/90204058/-1
Honolulu Advertiser, Wednesday February 4, 2009
BREAKING NEWS/UPDATES Updated at 2:10 p.m., Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Akaka bill supporters launch new effort

By Dennis Camire
Advertiser Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — Supported by a Hawaii-born president friendly to their cause and an increased Democratic majority in Congress, Senate and House sponsors introduced bills today to create a process for Native Hawaiian self-government, opening the latest round of a battle started in 2000 for approval of the idea.

Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii, a House sponsor, said the legislation was important not only to Native Hawaiians but to everyone in Hawai`i. "It provides a process to address longstanding issues facing Hawai`i's indigenous peoples and the state of Hawai`i," he said.

The bills introduced in the House and Senate are identical to a Native Hawaiian bill the House approved in 2000 only to see Republican opposition stall it in the Senate.

Sen. Dan Akaka, D-Hawaii, a Senate sponsor, said it was necessary that Native Hawaiians be allowed to reorganize a government and enter into discussion with the federal and state governments. "My bill would ensure there is a structured process by which Native Hawaiians and the people of Hawai`i can come together, resolve ... complicated issues and move forward together as a state," said Akaka, who is of Native Hawaiian ancestry.

Supporters might have their best chance ever of passing the bill in this Congress because Democrats increased their majorities in both the House and Senate, and Obama committed during his presidential campaign to sign it.

As a senator, Obama, who was born in Hawaii and graduated from Punahou School, voted in 2006 to bring the bill up for a debate and vote.

Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, D-Hawaii, said the Native Hawaiian bill was a "good bill and long overdue." "The Hawaii congressional delegation will do its utmost to successfully pass this measure," he said.

The bill would create 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 the disposition of Native Hawaiian land, natural resources and other assets.

The new bill discards changes made during the Bush administration to address some concerns the Justice Department raised. The changes included a prohibition against Native Hawaiians bringing land claims against the United States and a bar against a Native Hawaiian government authorizing gambling.

Republican opponents believe the legislation would create a race-based government for Native Hawaiians, setting a precedent for racial division and ethnic separatism.

But supporters, including Rep. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, another sponsor, said the bill was a matter of fairness. "It is a matter of decency — of human and civil rights — for the Congress to provide for a process of self-determination for an indigenous, native people," Hirono said.

Although the bill has passed the House twice — in 2000 and 2007 — Senate Republicans have used procedural roadblocks to stop action on it.

The closest the bill's supporters came in getting Senate action was in 2006 when they failed to garner the 60 votes needed to break a Republican filibuster that kept the bill from coming to the floor for a debate and vote.

Even through the chances are better for the bill in this Congress, it has a long way to go because it must start over. That means the bill must first get the approval of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, where Akaka and Inouye are both members, before it can be brought to the floor there.

Once through the committee, the bill's supporters will have to compete with other legislation to have it scheduled for debate and a vote by the full chamber.

That may pose a problem because Congress has a full agenda of issues from completing an economic stimulus plan to dealing with the nation's budget for next year.

Jesse Broder Van Dyke, spokesman for Akaka, said no timeline has yet been established for getting the bill to the floor. "The Senate is working on a number of matters important to the country dealing with the economic crisis," he said. "But we anticipate it coming to the floor sometime this Congress."

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http://www.starbulletin.com/news/bulletin/39114809.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, February 4, 2009 breaking news posted at 3:12 PM

Akaka Bill back before Congress
The new version no longer bans a Hawaiian government entity from running a gambling operation

By Star-Bulletin staff
and The Associated Press

Sen. Daniel K. Akaka today reintroduced his bill that would start the process of forming a Native Hawaiian government.

The Hawaii Democrat introduced The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009 with Sen. Daniel K. Inouye as a cosponsor.

A new version of the bill no longer specifically bans a Hawaiian government entity from running a gambling operation or from setting up a reservation similar to those established for Native Americans, and it provides no special exemption for the Pentagon.

During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama said he would sign the bill into law if it Congress passes it.

In the House, Rep. Neil Abercrombie introduced a companion bill with fellow Hawaii Democrat Rep. Mazie Hirono cosponsoring.

The “Akaka Bill” passed in the House in 2000, but has not got past the Senate. Two years ago, Akaka attempted to bring the bill to the Senate floor for an up-or-down vote by the full chamber. The motion, known as cloture, fell four votes shy of the 60 needed to force a vote.

According to Akaka’s office, the bill would begin a process to form a Native Hawaiian government that could negotiate with the state and federal government on behalf of Hawaii's indigenous people.

Any agreements would require implementing legislation by the state or federal government; no jurisdiction would be changed without approval. The bill would provide parity in federal policies that empower other indigenous peoples, American Indians and Alaska Natives, to participate in a government-to-government relationship with the United States.

The Senate bill will go to the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and the House bill to the House Committee on Natural Resources.

The legislation’s latest incarnation is the same as the one Hawaii lawmakers pushed in 2000, and somewhat different from the 2007 version, which included some language that was meant to satisfy the Bush administration.

The 2007 version explicitly banned a future Native Hawaiian government from taking private land or setting up casinos. The version introduced Wednesday doesn’t explicitly ban gambling, but Akaka aides said that since gambling already is illegal in Hawaii, such a provision is unnecessary.

Similarly, Native Hawaiians aren’t barred in the new bill from forming reservations, but the bill requires a negotiation process with the state and federal governments — and implementing legislation — before any agreements could be reached, including on land issues.

The 2007 version also exempted the Defense Department from the legislation’s reach while the current version treats the Pentagon like any other federal agency.

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http://pacific.bizjournals.com/pacific/stories/2009/02/02/daily45.html
Pacific Business News (Honolulu), Wednesday, February 4, 2009, 2:38pm HAST

Congress to revisit Akaka Bill

Hawaii Sen. Daniel Akaka on Wednesday re-introduced a bill in the U.S. Senate that could lead to establishment of a federally recognized Hawaiian government.

A companion bill was introduced by Congressman Neil Abercrombie and Congresswoman Mazie Hirono in the U.S. House.

The bill, which is identical to one that was introduced in the House in 2000, has the support of Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye, a Democrat like Akaka, Hirono and Abercrombie.

The Akaka Bill, as it is known, passed the House twice but fell short of garnering enough support in the Senate. President Bush’s administration also opposed the measure.

Sen. Akaka believes his bill now has a better chance under President Obama, a Democrat with Hawaii ties who has previously expressed his support for the bill, and in a Congress that increased its Democratic majority last year.

The Akaka Bill would begin a process to form a Native Hawaiian government that could negotiate with the state and federal government on behalf of Hawaii’s indigenous people.

The bill would permit the Hawaiian government to participate in a government-to-government relationship with the United States similar to federal policies that apply to American Indians and Alaska Natives.

Opponents of the Akaka Bill have argued that it is unconstitutional because it discriminates on the basis of race. Some say passage of the bill also could lead to Hawaii seceding from the United States.

Hawaii’s monarchy was overthrown in 1893, and the territory was annexed by the United States in 1898.

But supporters say the bill does not allow secession, nor the taking of private lands, the authorization of gaming or the creation of a reservation.

“This process is important for all people of Hawaii, so we can finally resolve the long-standing issues resulting from the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii and move forward together to provide a better future for the children of Hawaii,” said Akaka, who has Hawaiian ancestry. “We have an established record of the United States’ commitment to reconciliation with Native Hawaiians. This legislation is a necessary next step to build upon that foundation and honor that commitment.”

The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act is supported by Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle, a Republican, and the Democrat-controlled Hawaii Legislature.

Organizations such as the American Bar Association, the Japanese American Citizen League and the National Indian Education Association support of the measure, as do the National Congress of American Indians and the Alaska Federation of Natives.

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http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090205/NEWS21/902050371
Honolulu Advertiser, Thursday, February 5, 2009

Native Hawaiian self-government bills relaunched in Congress
Stars aligned now for self-government effort for Native Hawaiians

By Dennis Camire
Advertiser Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — Supported by a Hawai'i-born president friendly to their cause and a larger Democratic majority in Congress, Akaka bill proponents yesterday opened the latest round of a battle started in 2000.

The Akaka bill would create a process for Native Hawaiian self-government and is named after its chief sponsor, U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawai'i.

Supporters might have their best chance ever of passing the bill in this Congress because Democrats increased their majorities in both the House and Senate, and President Obama committed during his campaign to sign it. As a senator, Obama, who graduated from Punahou School, voted in 2006 to bring the bill up for a debate and vote.

U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawai'i, a House sponsor, said the legislation was important not only to Native Hawaiians but to everyone in Hawai'i. "It provides a process to address long-standing issues facing Hawai'i's indigenous peoples and the state of Hawai'i," he said. "In addressing these matters, we have begun a process of healing, a process of reconciliation not only between the United States and the native people of Hawai'i but within the state."

The bills introduced yesterday in the House and Senate are identical to a Native Hawaiian bill the House approved in 2000 only to see Republican opposition stall it in the Senate.

Akaka said it was necessary that Native Hawaiians be allowed to reorganize a government and enter into discussion with the federal and state governments. "My bill would ensure there is a structured process by which Native Hawaiians and the people of Hawai'i can come together, resolve ... complicated issues and move forward together as a state," said Akaka, who is of Native Hawaiian ancestry.

However, the bill has a long way to go. It must first get the approval of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, where Akaka and U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, D-Hawai'i, are both members, before it can be brought to the floor there. Once through the committee, the bill's supporters will have to compete with backers of other legislation to have it scheduled for debate and a vote by the full chamber. That may pose a problem because Congress has a full agenda of issues, from completing an economic stimulus plan to dealing with the nation's budget for next year.

'LONG OVERDUE'

Inouye said the Native Hawaiian bill was a "good bill and long overdue." "The Hawai'i congressional delegation will do its utmost to successfully pass this measure," he said.

The bill would create 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 the disposition of Native Hawaiian land, natural resources and other assets.

The new bill discards changes made during the Bush administration to address some concerns the Justice Department raised. The changes included a prohibition against Native Hawaiians bringing land claims against the United States and a bar against a Native Hawaiian government authorizing gambling.

Republican opponents say the legislation would create a race-based government for Native Hawaiians, setting a precedent for racial division and ethnic separatism.

But supporters, including U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawai'i, said the bill was a matter of fairness. "It is a matter of decency — of human and civil rights — for the Congress to provide for a process of self-determination for an indigenous, native people," Hirono said.

Although the bill has passed the House twice — in 2000 and 2007 — Senate Republicans have used procedural roadblocks to stop action on it. The closest the bill's supporters came to getting Senate action was in 2006, when they failed to garner the 60 votes needed to break a Republican filibuster that kept the bill from coming to the floor for a debate and vote.

Jesse Broder Van Dyke, spokesman for Akaka, said no time line has been established for getting the bill to the floor this time around. "The Senate is working on a number of matters important to the country dealing with the economic crisis," he said. "But we anticipate it coming to the floor sometime this Congress."

MIXED LOCAL REACTION

Local reaction to the news was predictable.

OHA spokeswoman Crystal Kua, in a prepared statement, said the bill is "moving forward with a Congress that is friendlier to indigenous issues, an administration which has a greater understanding of Native Hawaiian issues and a president who has expressed support for the bill."

State Senate President Colleen Hanabusa also said she was pleased. "I think it's got the best chance of becoming law and I'm very hopeful that our congressional delegation will ensure its passage," Hanabusa said. "This will be the major step to reconciliation with Native Hawaiian people, our host culture, and it's long overdue."

Jamie Story, president of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, said her organization continues to have a number of concerns about the measure. "Chiefly that it is so vaguely written that I don't know how many people in Congress know what it's saying," Story said. "If in fact this is just about the recognition of Hawaiians, then outline that specifically — this is what the bill can do and does not do. When you don't do that, that leaves everybody afraid of what the bill can do, and what the consequences can be."

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http://www.starbulletin.com/news/20090205_Akaka_Bill_lacking_ban_on_gambling_is_revived.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, February 5, 2009

Akaka Bill, lacking ban on gambling, is revived
Some say it harms Hawaiians; others say it hurts non-Hawaiians

STORY SUMMARY
The Akaka Bill, stalled for nine years in Congress, was reintroduced yesterday with supporters hoping for a quick ride to the desk of Hawaii-born President Obama, who supports it. U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka introduced a Senate bill that allows 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. U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie offered a companion bill in the House of Representatives. Back to its original text, the bill no longer bans a Hawaiian government entity from running a gambling operation or from setting up a reservation similar to those established for American Indians. Local opponents renewed their complaints that it discriminates against the majority of Hawaii residents and would cost the state up to $600 million in annual tax revenues.

FULL STORY

By Star-Bulletin Staff and News Services

The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act is before Congress again with U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka telling his colleagues yesterday it is a necessary step to resolve issues lingering since the 1893 overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy.

"This benefits all the people of Hawaii," said Akaka, D-Hawaii. Hawaii's other three federal lawmakers back the measure that Akaka launched in 2000.

The bill would set up a process for native Hawaiians to participate in the creation of a permanent governing entity similar to American Indian tribal governments. This would allow native Hawaiians to negotiate directly with local, state and federal governments over such issues as control of natural resources, lands and assets.

Previous versions have passed the House, most recently in 2007, and the bill also passed a Senate committee in 2007. But Senate leaders shelved it in face of opposition from the Bush administration, which contended the measure would divide Americans "along suspect lines of race and ethnicity."

President Obama, by contrast, declared while campaigning for president that the legislation would fulfill the promise of "liberty, justice and freedom" for native Hawaiians.

But some Hawaiians and other Hawaii residents see pitfalls in the measure, which has had the backing of Gov. Linda Lingle, the American Bar Association, the Japanese American Citizens League and the National Congress of American Indians, according to a release from Akaka.

Ikaika Hussey, an organizer of Hui Pu, which opposes the measure, said the bill could lead native Hawaiians to lose their claims on land and resources. "One problem is that old versions of the bill required that after negotiations are complete, then no further claims could be brought up," he said. "I can't imagine the state of Hawaii leaving the table with less than it starts with, and the federal government doesn't intend to lose its possession of military bases. What it means, either way, is that the state and federal government win. "Hawaiians never relinquished the right to be a free, self-governing country, but if the Akaka Bill were to pass, I imagine some people would let that go," Hussey said.

Attorney William Burgess calls the Akaka Bill discriminatory. It "creates a group of people selected only because of their race and gives them rights, political power and entitlements that it denies to all other citizens." The attorney, who founded Aloha for All and has filed lawsuits challenging the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, said "it defies logic."

Jamie Story, president of Grassroots Institute, said, "Depending on how much land is transferred (to a native Hawaiian government), we are talking about the state losing up to $600 million a year in tax revenues. Our main problem is how vague it is."

Lilikala Kame'eleihiwa, a professor in the University of Hawaii Hawaiian Studies Program, said, "I hope the Congress will move on the matter immediately and that President Obama will sign it as soon as possible."

She said speedy passage would derail a case due to be heard before the U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 25. The court will hear the Lingle administration's appeal of a Hawaii Supreme Court ruling that the state cannot sell or transfer ceded lands until native Hawaiian claims are settled. The state has built on and collected rents from the ceded lands, 1.2 million acres formerly held by the Hawaiian monarchy, for decades.

The 2007 version of Akaka's bill explicitly banned a future native Hawaiian government from taking private land or setting up casinos. Yesterday's version does not explicitly ban gambling, but Akaka aides said that since gambling already is illegal in Hawaii, such a provision is unnecessary.

Similarly, native Hawaiians are not barred in the new bill from forming reservations, but the bill requires a negotiation process with the state and federal governments - and implementing legislation - before any agreements could be reached, including on land issues.

The 2007 version also exempted the Defense Department from the legislation's reach, while the current version treats the Pentagon like any other federal agency.

The rights of native Hawaiians have been an issue since the 1893 coup by American businessmen drove Queen Liliuokalani from the throne.

In 1959, when Hawaii became a state, the federal government pledged to use lands and assets to the benefit of native Hawaiians. In 1993, on the 100th anniversary of the coup, Congress approved a resolution apologizing for the illegal overthrow and acknowledging that native Hawaiians never directly relinquished their claims to sovereignty over their lands.

Native Hawaiians would not gain new eligibility under the bill for programs and services now available to American Indians.

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http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?fab9923e-11c6-4cb6-b3d1-530a828e0732
Hawaii Reporter, February 5, 2009

Don't Go Native On Us
A Free Market Case Against The Akaka Bill And More Government

By Rev. Daniel Paul de Gracia, II and Sarah Ann Hunt

One of the top New Year's resolutions of many elected officials in Hawaii's local government is to see the realization of the Native Hawaiian Government Act which seeks to create what the Honolulu Advertiser characterized in a January 16 editorial as "a pathway for establishing Hawaii's indigenous people as a political entity, enabling their reconstitution as a 'state within a state' government." It has been argued that without a native government, the Hawaiian people can never succeed and never attain their highest dreams.

In truth, in the present crisis that faces not just the Hawaiian people but all residents of the State of Hawaii, government is not the solution to our problems, government is our problem. Hawaii's existing government has already proven its inability to provide quality education, promote a healthy economy, and present a job market that keeps people employed and tax revenues flowing – are we really to believe that another government can magically create prosperity for Native Hawaiians?

Hawaiians don't need a state within a state to succeed, what they need is the same thing that everyone else in Hawaii needs: home ownership and employment in a stable job that provides income and opportunities for them to spend today and invest in tomorrow. According to the Corporation For Enterprise Development (CFED) Opportunity and Assets 2007-2008 scorecard, Hawaii ranks 48th in home ownership, 49th in median mortgage debt, 46th in net worth of households, and 44th in affordability of homes. Under such circumstances as these, any group of people will feel as though they have no future and no upward social mobility.

America was birthed out of our Founding Fathers' desire for individual property ownership and financial freedom, and it was that desire that led them to place pen to parchment in declaring that "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Today in Hawaii, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are encumbered not because of the absence of a monarch or because of any racial barrier, but because the combined effect of a regime of high taxes, excessive environmental regulation, and government's insistence in picking winners and losers in every aspect of the local market, not the least of which include education, medical care, housing, energy, industry, and transportation.

Ordaining privileges to one race over another undermines the core values of our American independence which is based on the perception that we are all created equal. Across America's history, people from sea to shining sea have braved difficulty, challenge, and tragedy to build their dreams, yet the sum of these hardships have served to unite us as one United States of America. To create a "state within a state" for the purpose of bettering Hawaiians at the cost of Americans would be an affront to all that we and countless souls before us have struggled, sacrificed, and even died for. America has been historically prosperous not because of its government, but because of it's founding values of human empowerment, not entitlement.

The key to restoring the honor of Hawaiians is not in political solutions but allowing the free market to reign. In 1982, Ronald Reagan said at the State of the Union Address that "I promised the American people to bring their tax rates down and to keep them down, to provide them incentives to rebuild our economy, to save, to invest in America's future. I will stand by my word. Tonight I'm urging the American people: Seize these new opportunities to produce, to save, to invest, and together we'll make this economy a mighty engine of freedom, hope, and prosperity again." In Hawaii, local government would do well to duplicate this promise. Hawaii has seen the power of overgovernance and become witness to the dysfunction that abandonment of the free market brings. We have created a poisonous environment for those that wish to create jobs and we have in place created an institution that rewards corrupt business practice and promotes failure.

For Hawaiians to own homes, they will need access and opportunity to have rewarding, well paying private jobs. The only way we can provide those jobs for Hawaiians is to allow businesses and entrepreneurs – the creators of wealth and jobs – to do what they do best and that is innovate and produce without the restrictions of control freak environmental regulations and high taxes. For individuals, we must give them a reason and opportunity to save and invest by repealing the taxes on food and medicine and eliminating the personal income tax. The difference between the first world and the third world is that the poorest countries have little to no individual property ownership and wealth generation. Before government seeks to go native on us, it's time to look to the values of our independence and set our state back on track for prosperity.

The only money that our state and federal government has ever had was given to them by American taxpayers. For government to turn that around and fund another government – a state within a state – would be a travesty of the highest order and backwards to the moral compass that this great nation was founded upon.

We believe that we are safe in speaking for all of Hawaii's people, Native Hawaiian or otherwise, when we say that none of us are predestined or foreordained to fail, we like everyone else are created to prosper and to excel when given the opportunity and space by government to do so. We believe that Native Hawaiian confidence and American confidence was never in question to begin with. We're confident in our values, confident in our dreams, and confident in ourselves, which ultimately means that we are confident in the free market. The real question then when it comes to the Akaka Bill is this: is our government confident in us?

Rev. Daniel Paul de Gracia is an ordained minister and a political scientist who resides in Waipahu. Sarah Ann Hunt is the host of the new television program "Better Government." Both also work at the Hawaii State Legislature. A shorter version appeared in the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii's Grass In Review

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http://www.khnl.com/Global/story.asp?S=9804760
KHNL8 TV, and Associated Press, Friday February 6, 2009
and also
http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090206/BREAKING01/90206077/-1
Honolulu Advertiser, February 6, 2009, breaking news
And also
http://www.mauinews.com/page/content.detail/id/514673.html?nav=5031 The Maui News, February 9, 2009

Lingle wants gambling ban in Akaka bill

HONOLULU (AP) - Gov. Linda Lingle says she is unhappy that Democratic Sen. Daniel Akaka removed a provision from his Native Hawaiian recognition bill that would ban gambling by the governing entity the measure would create.

Akaka introduced the legislation this week in hopes that it finally will pass Congress and be signed by a president who was reared in Hawaii.

But one change he made from past Senate versions was to remove language that bars gaming.

Lingle says she asked for that provision in previous bills and supported those measures.

She says she will talk with Akaka about the latest change when she is in Washington D.C. in two weeks. But she demurs when asked if she will oppose the bill if a gambling ban is not reinstated.

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http://www.starbulletin.com/editorials/20090208_Pass_sovereignty_bill_restored_to_original.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Sunday February 8, 2009
EDIORIAL

Pass sovereignty bill restored to original

Unfettered by concessions made to the Bush administration, the Akaka Bill - the original - should get the prompt approval of Congress and the signature of President Obama. Unlike the most recent version, the bill will provide long-delayed Hawaiian sovereignty on a level with American Indian tribes on the mainland.

Sen. Daniel Akaka first introduced the bill in 2000 and altered it in an attempt to satisfy President Bush by exempting the Defense Department from future land-use negotiations and denying Hawaiians the right to open gambling operations.

Still, it received unfounded opposition by Bush's Justice Department, which maintained that it would "divide people by their race." The weakened bill passed the House but was successfully filibustered by Senate Republicans in 2006 by a four-vote margin.

Since then, the Senate makeup has changed drastically, and the bill should have no problem attracting the 60 votes needed to bring a final vote to the floor. An even more comfortable margin is expected in the House.

The gambling provision in the 2006 version of the Akaka Bill denied the Hawaiian government rights given to American Indian tribes more than a half-century ago by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. The law allows tribes to set up gambling facilities in states where gambling is allowed.

Tribes received nearly $30 billion in casino revenue in 2006, according to the National Indian Gaming Association. The Akaka Bill could provide a lucrative source of revenue to Hawaiians by opening casinos in mainland states that allow gambling. The federal regulatory act does not allow such activity by tribes in states, including Hawaii, where gambling is illegal and should remain that way.

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http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090209/OPINION01/902090307/1105
Honolulu Advertiser, Monday, February 9, 2009
EDITORIAL

Essence of Akaka bill should be kept paramount

Among his many writings, Voltaire had this favorite maxim: Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

That cautionary note fits to a T the legislation known as the Akaka bill.

The Akaka bill, which would enable the re-forming of a Native Hawaiian government with a measure of sovereignty, has been buffeted by political winds for about a decade. It was first the subject of hearings in the Islands before it passed the U.S. House of Representatives in 2000; it has never passed the U.S. Senate.

The latest form of the bill, re-introduced last week, mirrors the 2000 version, and not the more constrained edition that emerged, battle-scarred, from encounters with the Bush administration.

Its chief sponsor, U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, wanted to restore the bill to a less restrictive form, given that the Obama administration is far more sympathetic to the idea of self-determination for indigenous people of Hawai'i.

But proponents have to be ready to deal on aspects that were stumbling blocks for Republicans leery of the bill. The election in November brought in more Democrats to fill seats, but it also saw the departure of more moderate Republicans who had been allies.

So getting the required 60 votes to avoid a Senate filibuster is not guaranteed. Some compromise may be necessary — and should be considered — to get the bill through Congress.

For instance, the previous administration wanted language that specifically excluded Native Hawaiians from launching gambling operations similar to those allowed for Native American tribes. It also excluded Hawaiians from federal funds earmarked for Native Americans.

That language has been stripped from this bill, under the assumption that gambling is banned in Hawai'i anyway. But bill backers should allow Native Hawaiians to be excluded from operating casinos and from Native American benefits; those provisions may assure support from House and Senate members in states affected by those issues.

Similarly, the new bill eliminates assurances that Native Hawaiians would come under the same criminal and civil court jurisdiction as other Hawai'i residents. But those assurances were reasonable: The state government is almost sure to insist that the native and non-native populations, which are intertwined, be subject to the same laws.

Native Hawaiians are less likely to bend on other points, such as the way their member class is defined. Most would be forced under the present bill to document their descent from indigenous people at the time of the overthrow, and some lack the birth registration records they'd need. That rule should be relaxed.

What's most important is that those who rightly see the Akaka bill as a means to settling long-standing injustices be willing to unify behind the measure without breaking apart over its lesser provisions. If the Akaka bill can't be passed in some form under the current, near-ideal political conditions, it might never become law.

Losing this legal safeguard for Native Hawaiian lands, rights and resources would be a misfortune for all who want to see Hawai'i's host people given the political status they, like all indigenous Americans, deserve.

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http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/feb/10/akakas-sovereignty-fight-garners-obamas-backing/
Washington Times, Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Akaka's sovereignty fight garners Obama's backing

by Valerie Richardson

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. | The stars finally may have aligned for Sen. Daniel K. Akaka's effort to win sovereignty for Native Hawaiians.

Last week, Mr. Akaka, Hawaii Democrat, reintroduced the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, better known as the Akaka bill. The proposal would give Native Hawaiians, those who can trace their ancestry to the arrival of Capt. James Cook, the explorer, in 1778 similar status to that of American Indians by allowing them to acquire public lands and form their own semisovereign government.

Lining up in support of the Akaka bill are House and Senate Democrats, the Hawaiian Legislature, the governor of Hawaii and President Obama, himself a native-born Hawaiian, albeit not a Native Hawaiian, who said during the campaign that he would sign the bill.

Waging a frantic campaign to stop the bill are a cluster of conservative think tanks, a few Republican lawmakers and a handful of conservative columnists. If it doesn't seem like a fair fight, that's because it's probably not.

"We're optimistic about passage, sure," said Akaka spokesman Jesse Broder Van Dyke. "It's certainly helpful to have a president who supports it." The bill's backers argue that Native Hawaiians deserve the same rights of self-governance and self-determination as other indigenous people. They point to the overthrow of the kingdom of Hawaii by American and European businessmen in 1893, calling it a wrong that needs to be addressed by repatriating lands and sovereignty to Native Hawaiians.

"This process is important for all people of Hawaii, so we can finally resolve the long-standing issues resulting from the overthrow of the kingdom of Hawaii and move forward together to provide a better future for the children of Hawaii," Mr. Akaka said in his Feb. 4 remarks introducing this year's bill. The Akaka bill has passed the House twice, most recently in 2007 but was narrowly defeated in 2006, when it came up short on a cloture vote. One problem was that President Bush had made it clear he would veto the bill. Without the threat of the Bush veto, and in the absence of organized Republican opposition, the bill's critics fear it could sail through despite what they describe as a host of unintended but nonetheless dire consequences. "The devil's in the details, or not in the details, as the case may be," said Jamie Story, president of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, a think tank opposing the Akaka bill.

The Akaka bill doesn't say how much land would be turned over to a newly formed Native Hawaiian government, only that no private lands would be confiscated. That leaves about 2 million acres, now controlled by the federal and state governments, that could be up for grabs, or about 38 percent of the island's landmass.

A study conducted by the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University and released Monday estimates that the bill could cost the state up to $690 million a year in lost revenue, given the loss of land and tax base.

The Akaka bill doesn't explicitly say that Native Hawaiians, who number about 400,000, or 20 percent of the state's population, would be exempt from state income and sales taxes, but that's the expectation among supporters.

"Lots of people who would normally be opposed to something like this are looking at it and because it's so vague, they don't think it's that worrisome," Miss Story said. "It feels good, it sounds good, and people say, 'Oh, we want to support Native Hawaiians.' "

At a recent conference here at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, sponsored by the Federalist Society, critics said the Akaka bill's passage could lead to similar separatist movements by other distinct racial minorities, such as those of Mexican ancestry in the Southwest or Cajuns in Louisiana. There's also the fear that the bill could lead Hawaii to break from the union, although Mr. Akaka insisted the legislation allows neither secession nor the authorization of gambling.

"If ethnic Hawaiians can be an Indian tribe, then why not Chicanos in the American Southwest? There are people who firmly believe that the Southwest United States is part of Aztlan," said Gail Heriot, a University of San Diego School of Law professor. "What about the Amish? Who's going to have the political will to draw the line here?"

Not Hawaiian Republicans, she said, noting that Gov. Linda Lingle, a Republican, has come out in favor of the bill and lobbied on its behalf on Capitol Hill. In the Senate, the bill's most vocal foe has been Sen. Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican.

"This is not the Republican Party's finest hour," Miss Heriot said.

This comes despite polls showing that most Hawaiians oppose the bill and even Native Hawaiians are divided when told that they would be subject to a different legal and tax system, she said.

Davianna McGregor, a professor at the University of Hawaii, said the bill would allow Native Hawaiians to reclaim their "rightful inheritance" and address some of their social problems. Native Hawaiians have higher rates of unemployment and incarceration than other Hawaiian subgroups, she said. "As a way to address these historic injuries, the widespread population acknowledges that Native Hawaiians have rights to these historic lands," Miss McGregor said.

However, critics argue that without a plan in place, the result could be mayhem.

"Suddenly the state of Hawaii won't have this money any more. Then there's the question of which services the state of Hawaii will no longer be provided to Native Hawaiians," Miss Heriot said. "It's going to be chaotic, but the bill itself cheerily goes on."

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http://indiancountrynews.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5676&Itemid=116
Indian Country Today, Tuesday February 10, 2009

Revised Akaka bill is introduced in Congress

By Erica Werner

Hawaii lawmakers renewed their push in Congress on Feb. 4 to restore some of the self-governance powers Native Hawaiians lost when the islands’ queen was overthrown more than a century ago.

A new version of the bill no longer specifically bans a Hawaiian government entity from running a gambling operation or from setting up a reservation similar to those established for Native Americans, and it provides no special exemption for the Pentagon.

With Hawaii-born Barack Obama in the White House, supporters are hopeful that this time they will finally succeed. Obama promised during the presidential campaign that he would sign the bill if elected.

“This benefits all the people of Hawaii,” chief sponsor Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, said in prepared remarks upon reintroducing his Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act. “My bill would ensure there is a structured process by which Native Hawaiians and the people of Hawaii can come together,” he said.

Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, co-sponsored the bill in the Senate, while companion legislation was introduced in the House by Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii, and co-sponsored by Rep. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii.

The bill would set up a process for Native Hawaiians to participate in the creation of a permanent governing entity similar to Native American tribal governments. This would allow Native Hawaiians to negotiate directly with local, state and federal governments over such issues as control of natural resources, lands and assets.

Akaka has been pushing the legislation for years without seeing it enacted into law. Previous versions have passed the House, including in 2007, and the bill also passed a Senate committee in 2007. But Senate leaders shelved it in face of opposition from the Bush administration, which contended the measure would divide Americans “along suspect lines of race and ethnicity.”

Obama, by contrast, declared while campaigning for president that the legislation would fulfill the promise of “liberty, justice and freedom” for Native Hawaiians.

There are some 400,000 people nationwide of Native Hawaiian ancestry.

The legislation’s latest incarnation is the same as the one Hawaii lawmakers pushed in 2000, and somewhat different from the 2007 version, which included some language that was meant to satisfy the Bush administration.

The 2007 version explicitly banned a future Native Hawaiian government from taking private land or setting up casinos. The version introduced Wednesday doesn’t explicitly ban gambling, but Akaka aides said that since gambling already is illegal in Hawaii, such a provision is unnecessary.

Similarly, Native Hawaiians aren’t barred in the new bill from forming reservations, but the bill requires a negotiation process with the state and federal governments – and implementing legislation – before any agreements could be reached, including on land issues.

The 2007 version also exempted the Defense Department from the legislation’s reach while the current version treats the Pentagon like any other federal agency.

The rights of Native Hawaiians have been an issue since the 1893 coup that drove Queen Liliuokalani from the thrown.

In 1959, when Hawaii became a state, the federal government pledged to use lands and assets to the benefit of Native Hawaiians. In 1993, on the 100th anniversary of the coup, Congress approved a resolution apologizing for the illegal overthrow and acknowledging that Native Hawaiians never directly relinquished their claims to sovereignty over their lands.

Native Hawaiians have ceded close to 2 million acres of land since the overthrow, according to advocates.

Native Hawaiians would not gain new eligibility under the bill for programs and services now available to American Indians.

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http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2009/02/11/ap6041334.html
Forbes Magazine, February 11, 2009
Associated Press

Critics blast Hawaii's gambling proposals

Honolulu police, prosecutors and members of the Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling are lobbying lawmakers at the state Capitol to block legalized gaming proposals.

But they may have already reached their goal, since even gambling advocates believe the Legislature is unlikely to tackle the subject this year. "Does Hawaii really need one more addiction?" city prosecutor Peter Carlisle asked at a press conference Tuesday.

Some critics contend that legalized gaming would lead to more crime and corruption. Others say passage of a gambling measure this year would require years of preparation before gaming could actually start, and thus would not help alleviate the state's short-term budget woes.

"You can't gamble your way out of prosperity," said John Kindt, a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, who was in Honolulu to lobby against gambling bills. "It's such an outrageous drain on the economy."

Spurred by the state's budget woes, legislators have introduced eight bills that would legalize gaming in one form or another. Hawaii is among at least 14 states seeking to permit or expand slots or casinos as a means to raise revenues and plug budget gaps.

Hawaii and Utah are the only states to prohibit all forms of gambling.

Honolulu police captains Lester Hite and Louis Kealoha, who run the narcotics/vice unit, said the department cannot support any measure that would generate crime, as they assert legalized gambling would. "Because of the lure of easy money and big paydays, it will attract organized crime and encourage public corruption," Kealoha said.

But some of the money that Hawaii residents spend gambling in Las Vegas or other venues could be captured in the state, said Sen. Fred Hemmings, R-Lanikai-Waimanalo. Nevada is among the most popular tourist destinations for Hawaii residents. "People are going to gamble anyway, so if we can utilize gaming in a focused way, let's try it out," Hemmings said.

Rep. Joe Souki, D-Waihee-Wailuku, said legalized gambling critics are trying to frighten people. "They are treating us like children," the longtime gambling proponent added. But even gambling advocates admit they have little chance of success this year. Sen. Donna Mercado Kim, D-Kalihi Valley-Halawa, backs gambling but acknowledges the measures are unlikely to even get a hearing this year.

Legalized gambling has also arisen in the context of a bill in Congress by U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, that would start the process of creating a governing entity for Native Hawaiians. Previous versions of the bill contained a provision banning the entity from establishing gaming.

But Akaka's latest version removed that provision. Gov. Linda Lingle has said she will seek to have the provision reinstated.

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http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090215/NEWS21/902150380/1001
Honolulu Advertiser, Sunday, February 15, 2009

Obama would push Native Hawaiian bill
President says he's willing to go to bat for self-government

By Dennis Camire and John Yaukey
Advertiser Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — President Obama has pledged to work for a bill to create a process for Native Hawaiian self-government, if necessary.

"When the time is right and there's been progress in the Senate and it becomes necessary for me to weigh in, I will be willing to do so," Obama said at a Wednesday meeting with reporters at the White House.

The week before, Native Hawaiian bills were again introduced in both the Senate and House in a battle that started in 2000 to win congressional approval.

The bills discard changes made during the Bush administration to address concerns raised by the Justice Department. The changes include a prohibition against Native Hawaiians bringing land claims against the United States and against a Native Hawaiian government authorizing gambling.

U.S. Sen. Dan Akaka, D-Hawai'i, the prime sponsor of the Senate bill, said he was "pleased" with the president's support and looked forward to working with him.

"He is a man of his word," Akaka said.

In the meeting with reporters, Obama said he is in "strong support" of the bill, as he has been in the past.

"If it lands on my desk, I'm going to sign it," said Obama, who pledged during the campaign to sign the legislation if Congress approves it.

But in the current environment, the Native Hawaiian bill is far from being a priority, Obama said.

"Now, I won't lie to my former neighbors and friends — with an economy in free-fall, two wars going on, housing foreclosures at record levels, 600,000 jobs lost last month — I have not spent a lot of time in these first few weeks focused on that bill," Obama said.

But when the time is right, the president said, he is willing to push for the bill.

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http://www.starbulletin.com/news/20090218_Lingle_to_go_local_in_Obama_meeting.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Wednesday February 18, 2009, EXCERPTS

Lingle to go local in Obama meeting

By B.J. Reyes

When she finally gets the chance to meet President Obama, Gov. Linda Lingle said she expects any discussion to steer clear of policy. "I expect we would simply probably talk about Hawaii," Lingle said in an interview yesterday. "I don't think there would be any big policy discussions. "Most of that kind of work really goes on at the Cabinet level, talking with people who are the directors - Cabinet members - as well as the staff."

Toward that end, Lingle plans to have a full entourage of state officials in tow as she embarks for Washington on a nine-day trip that begins tomorrow.

Lingle is scheduled to attend the annual winter meetings of the National Governors Association from Saturday through Monday, but also has scheduled appointments with various federal agencies to talk about Hawaii issues, particularly how the state can benefit from the $787 billion economic stimulus package.

"The three issues we listed as our highest priorities were our broadband initiative, renewable energy and our highway modernization," Lingle said. "All three of those dovetail really well with what President Obama is saying are his priorities, so we know that there's funding available there."

Lingle plans to meet extensively with Sen. Daniel Inouye and his staff on the implementation of the stimulus package for Hawaii.

She also has scheduled a meeting with Sen. Daniel Akaka to discuss the bill for native Hawaiian recognition. The latest version of the so-called "Akaka Bill" reverts to a previous bill that was introduced in 2000, and no longer bans a Hawaiian government entity from running a gambling operation or from setting up a reservation similar to those established for American Indians.

"I have not spoken to him about it yet, so I want to understand what his plans are with that," Lingle said.

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http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090218/NEWS01/902180418/1001
Wednesday, February 18, 2009, EXCERPTS

Hawaii senator says even more stimulus may be needed
$787B stimulus package may not be enough to stem tide, senator says

By Derrick DePledge
Advertiser Government Writer

U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye said yesterday that another federal stimulus may be necessary if the nation's economy does not improve.

The $787 billion stimulus package, signed into law yesterday by President Obama, will bring Hawai'i $678 million in formula-based spending and upward of $2 billion when tax credits, Medicaid reimbursements and extended unemployment benefits are counted. Long-promised payments to Filipino World War II veterans were also authorized by the package.

Inouye, D-Hawai'i, privately briefed state House lawmakers yesterday on the stimulus package and plans to talk with the state Senate today before returning to Washington, D.C., on Friday.

The senator, the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said it would likely take six months to a year before it is known whether the stimulus package is working. He said another stimulus may be needed. "That's discussion item No. 1 now in Washington," the senator told reporters at the state Capitol. "Some people are calling this bill the stimulus No. 1.

The Republican governor, along with other governors, will have the opportunity to meet with Obama, members of his Cabinet and congressional leaders. Lingle, who did not lobby for the stimulus package, is also expected to meet with Inouye and U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawai'i.

Inouye, responding to questions from reporters yesterday, said he did not have any thoughts about the ceded lands case scheduled for arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court next week. The Lingle administration is appealing a Hawai'i Supreme Court ruling halting the sale of former crown lands until Native Hawaiian claims are resolved.

Inouye, however, said now might be the best opportunity to advance a Native Hawaiian federal recognition bill sponsored by Akaka. The bill would create a process for Hawaiians to form their own government, similar to those of American Indians and Alaska Natives.

Democrats have the majority in both the House and Senate and Obama supports the bill.

"If we can't do it now, we're going to have a hell of a time," the senator said. "But we're going to do our best."

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http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/02/the_akaka_bill_a_cash_cow_for.html
The American Thinker, February 22, 2009

The Akaka Bill: A Cash Cow for Democrats

By Andrew Walden

Eat your heart out Jack Abramoff. President Obama looks forward to a guaranteed supply of Democrat campaign money which will make the imprisoned Republican fundraiser look like the small time operator he was. And better yet, Obama's multi-billion dollar nationwide scheme to circumvent campaign spending laws comes neatly disguised as a Hawaii-only deal for "reconciliation" and "justice". "Campaign finance" isn't even in the bill's description. It is called the Akaka Bill.

Reintroduced February 4 for the 2009 Congressional session as S381 and HR862, the Akaka Bill creates a process to establish a Native Hawaiian Tribal Government. If it reaches his desk, America's first black president has pledged to sign a bill which is justified in Hawaii as protection of the private multi-billion dollar Kamehameha Schools' right to exclude African-American and other non-Hawaiian students. That pledge launched Obama's climb to the Presidency at a series of meetings with Hawaii Democrats in December, 2004 -- immediately after he won his Illinois Senate seat.

This week, on February 25, the US Supreme Court will be hearing Office of Hawaiian Affairs v. Housing and Community Dev. Corp. of Hawaii, which will decide whether the Hawaii Supreme Court was correct to rule that a 1993 Congressional Resolution apologizing for the 1893 overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom gives native Hawaiians a claim on 1.2 million acres of Hawaii real estate known as the ‘ceded lands.' These lands, so named because the US ‘ceded' them back to the State upon admission in 1959, comprise 29% of the State's total land mass and almost all of the land owned by the State of Hawaii.

But this is not the story of a one-state political deal. Hawaiians have never been a tribe. The Hawaiian nationality was created by the Hawaiian Kingdom -- a national state. Based on the Akaka Bill model, symbolic Congressional resolutions such as the 1993 Apology Resolution become the legal basis for the creation of Tribal Governments where no tribe has ever existed. If the Hawaii Supreme Court ruling is upheld, states could find themselves besieged by self-professed "tribes" with grievances, demanding reconciliation in the form of land and money.

All federally-recognized tribes, including the proposed Akaka Tribe, are exempt from campaign spending limits, disclosure requirements, and many other campaign spending laws. The reach of most Indian Tribes is limited by their poverty. But the Akaka Tribe would likely provide a tribal jurisdiction for the $9 billion Kamehameha Schools -- Hawaii's largest private landowner. Billions of dollars worth of Hawaii real estate would likely be transferred to the Akaka tribe from the State of Hawaii's ‘ceded lands'. All of these resources would be under the control of a well-known Hawaii-based political gang which played a key early-money role in advancing both Barack Obama and Bill Clinton to the Presidency.

With Hawaii as the model, the apology machine is already in motion. House Resolution 194 passed July 29, 2008 apologizing for slavery and segregation, in spite of the fact that Americans paid the highest price for the abolition of slavery of any nation -- expending 600,000 lives to defeat the Democrats' Confederacy. The resolution, passed only by the House, "expresses its commitment to rectify the lingering consequences of the misdeeds committed against African Americans under slavery and Jim Crow...." Bills introduced in 2004 and 2008 would have apologized to American Indians and "encourage(ed) all State governments similarly to work toward reconciling relationships with Indian tribes." Hawaii Democrat Senators Dan Akaka and Dan Inouye were both co-sponsors of the 2004 proposed Senate Indian Apology. Hawaii Democrat Reps Neil Abercrombie and Mazie Hirono both cosponsored the House Apology for Slavery.

Bill Clinton rewarded Hawaii Democrats' early-money primary campaign support with the 1993 passage of the original "Apology Bill" (PL 103-150). After Clinton was safely reelected, the multi-part PBS documentary Frontline: The Fixers in 1997 exposed the central role played by Clinton's early-money Hawaii Democrat operatives in the Asian money scandals swirling around the Clinton administration.

While public debate on the Akaka Bill focuses on claims of past injustice, Rep Neil Abercrombie (D-HI) explained to the House Natural Resources Committee May 2, 2007: "The bottom line here is that this is a bill about the control of assets. This is about land, this is about money, and this is about who has the administrative authority and responsibility over it."

Hawaii's ‘ceded lands' appeal to the Supreme Court is backed by an Amicus Brief signed by Democrat and Republican Attorneys General of 32 other States. The states' brief underlines the national land grab potential if the decision of the Hawaii Supreme Court were upheld. Hawaiian ethnicity is tied to the formation of a national state-the Hawaiian Kingdom-not a tribe. Since the Akaka Bill seeks to create a tribe where none has ever existed, the potential is that Congress could be imposing all manner of legal and financial obligations on the states and on the federal government by passing such symbolic resolutions of apology. The states argue that the Hawaii State Supreme Court decision elevates these types of symbolic resolutions above the Admission Acts of the various states, writing:

"If...through a post-statehood resolution like the Apology Resolution the United States recognized claims that cloud title and eliminate authority to sell lands granted at statehood -- then the legal force of state admission acts becomes doubtful and state sovereignty can be fundamentally undermined. The practical harm to the amici states would be significant, because the states rely on state lands to fund schools, institutions, and vital state programs.... An apology, such as the Apology Resolution, should not be held to undermine the grant of lands that formed a sovereign state of the Union....Congress should not be viewed as wielding power in a manner that would destroy a state."

Barack Obama has indicated his support for further apologies. The Honolulu Star-Bulletin reported on Obama speaking to hundreds of cheering journalists at the Unity '08 conference in Chicago last July:

The Hawaii-born senator, who has told local reporters that he supports the federal recognition bill for native Hawaiians drafted by U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, noted other ethnic groups but did not mention native Hawaiians when answering a question about his thoughts on a formal U.S. apology to American Indians.

"I personally would want to see our tragic history, or the tragic elements of our history, acknowledged," the Democratic presidential hopeful said. "I consistently believe that when it comes to whether it's Native Americans or African-American issues or reparations, the most important thing for the U.S. government to do is not just offer words, but offer deeds."

The Amicus brief reflects debate on the Apology Resolution in 1993. Senator Dan Inouye (D-HI) in 1993 claimed the Apology Resolution was "a simple apology" with no further effect. The same lies are being told today regarding the Slavery Apology and the Indian Apology.

But Sen. Slade Gorton (R-WA) didn't buy the pitch, voting against the Apology Resolution and correctly pointing out: "The logical consequences of this resolution would be independence." In 2005 Sen. Dan Akaka (D-HI) had this exchange with NPR:

Akaka: It creates a government-to-government relationship with the United States.

NPR: Democratic Senator Dan Akaka, himself a native, wants Congress to let Hawaiians re-establish their national identity. He says his bill would give them a kind of legal parity with tribal governments on the mainland, but he says this sovereignty could eventually go further, perhaps even leading to outright independence.

Akaka: That could be. As far as what's going to happen at the other end, I'm leaving it up to my grandchildren and great-grandchildren."

In 2005 tough negotiations with the Department of Justice under the Bush administration forced Akaka to insert four changes into his namesake bill. But with Democrats in charge of both houses of Congress and Obama in the White House, Akaka's 2009 bill is the pre-Bush version. The items reinstated in the text of the Akaka Bill allow creation of a tribal legal jurisdiction, allow the tribe to claim US military bases and other federal assets in Hawaii, allow gaming if agreed by the State, and leave the door open to what Bush's Assistant Attorney General William J. Moschella in 2005 called "a flood of litigation."

US military bases in Hawaii are federal property located almost entirely on lands once owned by the Hawaiian Kingdom and then the Republic which were not ‘ceded' back to the State of Hawaii upon Statehood. In addition to the language of the Akaka Bill, a failure of the US Supreme Court to overturn the Hawaii Supreme Court decision would open up the possibility of the Akaka Tribe claiming ownership of federal military bases. The 1993 Apology Resolution puts Congress in the position of claiming the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom was "illegal" and claims "indigenous Hawaiian people never directly relinquished their claims to their inherent sovereignty as a people or over their national lands...." (emphasis added) Note the two issues: national sovereignty and ownership of the government lands of the Hawaiian Kingdom-exactly the issues posed by the Akaka Bill and the ‘ceded lands' case.

Did Hawaiians "relinquish their claims"? On January 24, 1895, after hapa-Hawaiian rebel Robert Wilcox failed in the only attempt at forcible restoration of the monarchy, the deposed and then-imprisoned Queen Liliuokalani formally abdicated her throne without any of the conditions contained in her earlier and today highly-publicized 1893 abdication. Signing a document recognizing the sovereignty of the Hawaii Republic, she wrote: "the Government of the Republic of Hawaii is the only lawful Government of the Hawaiian Islands, and that the late Hawaiian monarchy is finally and forever ended, and no longer of any legal or actual validity, force or effect whatsoever...."

In the same document, Queen Liliuokalani renounced: "...all claims or pretensions whatsoever to the late throne of Hawaii, or to the late monarchy of Hawaii...whether the same consist of pecuniary or property considerations, or of personal status, hereby forever renouncing, disowning and disclaiming all rights... save and excepting only such rights and privileges as belong to me in common with all private citizens of, or residents in the Republic of Hawaii." (emphasis added)

After the Republic was annexed to the United States, citizen Liliuokalani Dominis filed the 1909 lawsuit Liliuokalani v. United States, (45 Ct. Cl. 418 (1910)). In it the former Queen claimed personal ownership of the former government lands of the Hawaiian Kingdom and demanded payment for the lands. The Court ruled against her on May 16, 1910 finding that an 1865 Act agreed to by King Kamehameha III had transferred the lands from ownership by Kamehameha III as an individual to ownership by the Hawaiian Kingdom government. This had been done in exchange for the government assuming the Kamehameha III's underlying mortgages.

These facts show that the chain of title of the ‘ceded' lands is completely unbroken and unclouded and that the claims contained within the 1993 Apology Resolution had been adjudicated 83 years earlier by a US court which had been accepted as legitimate by private citizen Liliuokalani Dominis. Queen Liliuokalani's separate personal properties were never seized by the Republic nor by the United States and are preserved today for the benefit of Hawaiian orphans as the 6,362 acre Liliuokalani Trust.

Oral arguments on the ceded lands case are scheduled for February 25, 2009. This modern rework of Liliuokalani v United States stems from a dispute between the State of Hawaii and the State Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) over a 1990 Waihee administration plan to sell ceded lands for affordable housing projects at Lahaina, Maui and Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. OHA's suit blocking the project was filed in 1995 under another Democrat Governor, Ben Cayetano. The final appeal is being pursued by the Republican Linda Lingle administration. Lack of affordable housing is a primary reason why nearly 10,000 residents left Hawaii in 2007-a rate of exodus proportionally greater than that of communist Cuba. This is but one example of how OHA/Akaka policy directly harms native Hawaiians.

US Solicitor General Edwin S Kneedler, a highly-respected Bush Administration holdover, has joined the State in its appeal and will be presenting oral arguments alongside Hawaii Attorney General Mark Bennett. Knowing that its defeat is imminent before the Court, OHA-organized demonstrators have demanded that the State abandon its right to access the courts. Failing that, the Hawaii legislature is advancing legislation abandoning its right to sell ceded lands-in violation of its obligations under the 1959 Admission Act. Governor Lingle has indicated she would likely sign the legislation depending on its details. She argues that Hawaiians have a moral claim on the ceded lands, but not a legal one.

If a reservation with its own legal jurisdiction is formed, the few Hawaiians who actually join the Akaka Tribe will be second class citizens lacking the protection of the US Constitution, because the Bill of Rights does not automatically apply on sovereign Indian Reservations. Future "Broken Trust" trustees will not be under the jurisdiction of future State Attorneys General. Not only will they be able to buy politicians nationwide because campaign spending laws do not apply but they will be able to strip the $9 billion Kamehameha Schools trust clean and nobody outside their Akaka Tribe will have legal authority stop them.

This all has a precedent. In 1995 the corrupt "Broken Trust" Kamehameha Schools trustees commissioned ex-Governor Waihee to consider re-location of Kamehameha Schools' legal domicile out of Hawaii in order to shield their illegal activities from State and federal investigators. His choice? The Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation--the most 'sovereign' reservation in the US.

In The Cheating of America Cayetano's Attorney General Margery Bronster explains the corrupt Trustees' motivations: "Their main motivation was to avoid oversight from the state attorney general and the IRS." Senator Akaka's only comment on the years-long scandal? He complained the corrupt Trustees' $1-million-per-year salaries were not high enough. The move to Cheyenne River was never made and the trustees were finally forced to resign in 1999 when the IRS threatened to revoke Kamehameha Schools' tax-exempt status. Six months after the IRS ousted the trustees, the first version of the Akaka Bill was introduced in Congress. Instead of moving to the reservation, they would build a reservation around themselves.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs has for years funded a so-called ‘sovereignty movement' comprised largely of convicted criminals who intimidate other native Hawaiians. These OHA goons pretend to oppose the Akaka Bill by creating the illusion of a movement for independence. In reality, their function is to serve as enforcers among Hawaiians now and under the future tribe. Within the tribal electorate set up by the Akaka Bill, the sovereignty activists will demand formation of the most ‘sovereign' type of tribal government--just like the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian reservation.

Kamehameha Schools' ability to serve native Hawaiian children could be not only protected, but expanded with a statewide school voucher system. The schools would then be able to end their discriminatory admission policy without excluding any Hawaiian children. But vouchers are not on the political agenda in a state where the largest and wealthiest single private landowner is a private school. Why? A voucher system cannot exempt the political and economic machinations of Kamehameha Schools trustees from State or Federal legal jurisdiction.

Just as it is in Indian Country, poverty, corruption, and petty dictatorship will be the legacy of the Akaka Tribe and any other Apology Tribe. In that sense the establishment of tribes out of political interest groups is only an extension of the already atrocious conditions created in Democrat-run minority communities such as Barack Obama's South Chicago, Illinois Senate District. Because of the Tribal exemption from campaign finance laws, and the billions of dollars of real estate at question, the apology movement threatens to place American politics under the financial control of the suddenly-wealthy petty-dictatorial political bosses who run such communities. This scam is a dagger pointed at the very heart of the American political system.

From Hell, Saul Alinsky looks up in awe.

RELATED: Akaka Bill Reading List

http://www.hawaiifreepress.com/main/ArticlesMain/tabid/56/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/316/Akaka-Bill-Reading-List.aspx

Andrew Walden edits hawaiifreepress.com.

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http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?b632c4c7-e7c4-40bc-be92-742cb50a0d70
Hawaii Reporter, February 23, 2009

Special Indigenous Privileges?
The Native Human Government Reorganization Act

By Jere Krischel

Everybody is theoretically "indigenous" to somewhere, and the very word is linked to the idea of location. It may even be the case that people are "indigenous" to multiple places, in the case of mixed ancestry. But for some, "indigenous" also defines a special class of people, who deserve different treatment from others, based on their association with a particular location for a certain timeframe.

Some have claimed that the U.S. Congress has recognized "indigenous" people in the United States as deserving of special privileges, and are using this rationale to justify the Akaka Bill. The Akaka Bill would put together a committee to decide who is and who is not Native Hawaiian ("indigenous" to the Hawaiian Islands), and then form a special government for that group. Their reliance on any definition of "indigenous" is problematic, however.

Federal tribal recognition has never been based on the idea of giving special rights to "indigenous" peoples. Tribes have not been recognized simply because their members are "indigenous," but because they have had some sort of pre-existing government to government relationship with the United States. This recognition has continued even after the tribe has moved to a new location (often times by force), and has included tribal members who do not have any "indigenous" blood (such as the Cherokee Freedmen).

Although one may justify giving special privileges to a group with a long history in a given place, this begs the question as to whether or not these special privileges should be transferable to other locations. Certainly with forced migration the question may be easier to answer, but it is still not simple. For example, one might consider the Saxons as "indigenous" to Europe, and based on that status, deserving of special privileges in Germany -Saxon-only schools, or Saxon-only tax benefits, for example. But one would hardly expect these "Native Europeans" to demand those same privileges in France, where the Gauls would be the ones with the "indigenous" claim.

Using a similar example across the Atlantic, it seems puzzling that the Oneida Tribe, "indigenous" to New York, would maintain special privileges once they moved into the territory of the Winnebago in Wisconsin. On its face, there is some justification (the Oneida were forcibly relocated), but it leaves open the question as to what the geographical limits of this translocation would be. Could the Oneida have been relocated to Hawaii and still maintained special "indigenous" privileges? Or could they have been relocated to the Philippines, and still maintained their "indigenous" status? Or would they be considered "immigrants" and "occupiers" of Hawaii or the Philippine Islands? Should they be considered today "immigrants" and "occupiers" of ancestral Winnebago lands?

Another puzzling question for determining where any given person is "indigenous" to is how far back to go. Any member of the Oneida Tribe may in fact have had ancestors who lived on the West Coast, or in Alaska, or Asia. Some Oneida may have roots to the Winnebago in Wisconsin, and others might not. Every human has ancestors from the origin of the species in Africa. But is it permissible for an Oneida tribal member to insist that they have "indigenous" roots all the way back to India, and therefore should have special privileges that a recent immigrant to Bombay who only has ancestry from Africa does not?

Just as everyone in Hawaii, "native" Hawaiians immigrated there from somewhere else. The most recent wave of colonization before Western contact was from Tahiti, and before that from the Marquesas. Can Native Hawaiians claim "indigenous" Marquesan rights? Can Native Hawaiians claim "indigenous" Tahitian rights? We can trace Polynesian migration to Tahiti and the Marquesas back even further, through the South Pacific, and back to Asia. Can Tahitians claim "indigenous" Indonesian rights? Can Marquesans claim "indigenous" Filipino rights?

As lobbying moves forward for the Akaka Bill, and proponents use the "indigenous" label to justify their positions, I’d like to pose them a question. When a Native Hawaiian takes advantage of special privileges bestowed upon them by the federal government, and gets an education grant to attend some college in New York which sits upon the ancestral lands of the Oneida, should the Oneida consider them as "immigrants" and "occupiers?" Should that Native Hawaiian be obligated to pay some sort of reparation to the Oneida they are complicit in displacing and exploiting?

Of course, the world is a lot simpler to deal with if we simply treat everybody as equal under the eyes of the law, no matter who their ancestors were. I propose that we create a new bill, called the "Native Human Government Reorganization Act," which will create a "tribe" out of all human Americans, and force the government to give all the rights that any one member has to all other members. If there exists a special federal education program for Native Alaskan humans, then all other humans in the Human Government will also be eligible. If there exists a separate government for all Native Hawaiian humans, then all other humans in the Human Government will also be allowed to participate. If there are special tax breaks for Oneida humans, then all other humans in the Human Government will also get those tax breaks.

It could very well be that the "Native Human Government" is the last new government we need.

Grassroot Institute member Jere Krischel is a volunteer historian and civil rights activist who has been discussing and studying the Akaka Bill and its historical basis online and in print since 2004. Born and raised in Hawaii, he attended Punahou and later graduated from the University of Southern California.

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http://www.inversecondemnation.com/inversecondemnation/2009/02/argument-to-scotus-dont-taze-me-bro-what-was-really-going-on-in-the-ceded-lands-oral-arguments.html

Inversecondemnation blog

Argument To SCOTUS: "Don't Taze Me, Bro!" -- What Was Really Going On In The "Ceded Lands" Oral Arguments?

by Robert H. Thomas [attorney for Pacific Legal Foundation]

At first, it was a bit odd to see Washington, D.C. attorney Kannon Shanmugam, counsel for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs in the "ceded lands" case immediately concede in oral argument that the U.S. Supreme Court should rule against OHA -- and hold the Apology Resolution was simply a symbolic statement of regret -- if the Hawaii Supreme Court's decision relied on it. Responding to a question from Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, he stated:

Let me -- let me be clear about this, Justice Ginsburg, if the Hawaii Supreme Court's opinion is read to construe the Apology Resolution as creating some affirmative duty or obligation as a matter of Federal law, we agree that that would be erroneous. And if the Court -- Tr. at 31. Later, Shanmugam again conceded the point:

And it's for that reason, Justice Ginsburg, that we freely concede that if the Hawaii Supreme Court had relied on the Apology Resolution as creating some Federal duty, that would be problematic. That would be not --

Tr. at 36. These ready concessions were somewhat of a surprise since they reduced the issue before the Supreme Court to a factual question, easily resolved against OHA: was the Hawaii Supreme Court's opinion based on the Apology Resolution? It is a factual question OHA is almost certain to lose since the court's opinion could not be clearer. It plainly and repeatedly stated the result was compelled by the Apology Resolution, which recognized Native Hawaiian claims to the ceded lands. For example, the Hawaii Supreme Court framed the issue as:

The primary question before this court on appeal is whether, in light of the Apology Resolution, this court should issue an injunction to require the State, as trustee, to preserve the corpus of the ceded lands in the public lands trust until such time as the claims of the native Hawaiian people to the ceded lands are resolved.

Office of Hawaiian Office of Hawaiian Affairs v. Housing and Community Dev. Corp. of Hawaii, 117 Haw. 174, 210, 177 P.3d 884, 929 (2008). Naturally then, every Justice -- with the possible exception of Justice Stevens -- voiced strong skepticism with OHA's claim the Hawaii Supreme Court based its decision only on state law, and Shanmugam only halfheartedly attempted to defend it. He acknowledged the Hawaii Supreme Court repeatedly referenced the Apology Resolution, but argued the court's citations were only background (the "factual predicate" to the state law duty), or were merely additional support for the state law supporting the injunction. If their questions and comments were any indication, however, the Justices weren't buying it.

OHA's tepid defense of the argument appears all the more unusual after considering the arguments in its brief, a recent resolution from the Hawaii legislature, and two Honolulu Advertiser op-eds by OHA's attorneys and amici (posted here and here), which all strongly asserted the Hawaii Supreme Court based its decision only on state law, and not the Apology Resolution. Why would OHA stake its entire case on an issue it is willing to only lukewarmly defend, is easily rebuttable, and which it is almost certain to lose?

Damage control, most likely. It appears that somewhere along the line OHA reached the difficult conclusion that the Supreme Court is going to rule against it -- most likely by a wide margin -- and in response crafted an interesting strategy: ask the Court to limit the consequences of the decision by ruling against it on the narrowest rationale possible even though it means conceding a loss -- the legal version of "don't taze me, bro!"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XWijwmvGU4

The predicament OHA finds itself in is one almost entirely of its own making. Its unusual U.S. Supreme Court strategy was made necessary by its overwhelming victory in the Hawaii Supreme Court (the court ruled unanimously against the State), where it argued successfully that the Apology Resolution provided all of the answers. But in prevailing on that basis, OHA opened the door to the state and federal government's arguments which -- if accepted by a majority of the Supreme Court -- at the very least will shift the venue for resolution of land claims from OHA's preferred forum, state courts, to the political branches of state government. As a general proposition, it may be simpler to prevail in litigation where you only need to convince three Justices, than in the legislative and executive branches, especially when those branches are subject to public control by the electorate.

It is speculation, of course, but a reasonable inference is OHA calculated that when it prevailed in the Hawaii Supreme Court, either the Lingle Administration was unlikely to seek further review or that the U.S. Supreme Court was unlikely to agree to take the case. While the second calculation is always a good bet given the fact the U.S. Supreme Court agrees to review only a handful of cases each term, the first assumption seems somewhat more reckless because of the amount of land involved (29% of the total land area of Hawaii are ceded lands). With those kind of stakes, the state, supported by the federal government, really had no choice but to seek to remove the cloud placed on the state's title by the Hawaii Supreme Court's decision by seeking further review, and to urge the U.S. Supreme court to look beyond the narrow issue of whether the Hawaii court relied on federal law.

While it seems that most everyone is predicting a win for the state, the real question lies in the scope of the Court's eventual ruling, and whether it will address any of the issues OHA appears fiercely to want to avoid -- even if it means losing the case.

We know this is a departure from our usual avoidance of predicting the results of appellate oral arguments, but are not alone; other more august commentators agree here,
http://turtletalk.wordpress.com/2009/02/26/commentary-on-the-hawaii-v-office-of-hawaiian-affairs-oral-argument/
here,
http://editorial.honadvblogs.com/2009/02/26/on-ceded-lands-we-agree/ and here.
http://planetkauai.blogspot.com/2009/02/my-thoughts-on-ceded-lands-arguments.html

Disclosure: I helped author an amicus brief supporting the State's arguments.

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http://www.mauinews.com/page/content.detail/id/515431.html?nav=9
The Maui News, February 27, 2009
EDITORIAL

Leave ceded lands alone

From a Western perspective, it may be difficult to understand the connection between the land and the Hawaiian people. In the most simple terms, land, or nature, is one corner of the Hawaiian trinity. The other two are the gods and the people. Each corner must care for the other two.

Land also gives an indigenous people a sense of identity, literally a place to stand. Mix in the history of how the islands came to be part of the United States and ownership of land becomes a highly charged emotional issue.

By definition, emotion has no commanding role in the Western legal system and land that once was controlled - or owned, according to Western precepts - by Hawaiian royalty is the subject of a legal dispute between the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs and Gov. Linda Lingle's administration.

The dispute will be decided by what is arguably the most hair-splitting, word-defining intellectual body in the country - the U.S. Supreme Court. Lingle wants the ability to sell or trade pieces of 1.2 million acres that the federal government took command of at the time of annexation and "ceded" to the state 50 years ago.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs wants the lands left intact until after a recognized form of Hawaiian government is established. A process to do that would be established by the Akaka Bill, which has languished in Congress for more than a decade. Until the issue of self-rule by Native Hawaiians is decided, the state should hold the lands in trust.

History can be argued but the results are what they are, no matter how much advocates of Hawaiian sovereignty might like to think otherwise. At the same time, historical, cultural and spiritual ties to the land should be recognized and honored by the state even if the U.S. Supreme Court arrives at a legal decision that is contrary to the wishes of nearly all Native Hawaiians.

The past cannot be changed but a fair and just future for Native Hawaiians is still within reach.

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http://www.starbulletin.com/editorials/20090227_Ceded_land_case_should_lead_to_fair_allocation.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, February 27, 2009
EDITORIAL

Ceded land case should lead to fair allocation

Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court gave every indication through their questioning of lawyers this week that they will overturn the state high court's freeze on the transfer or sale of ceded lands by the state. What looks to be an end to the 14-year court battle should lead to fair negotiations following establishment of Hawaiian sovereignty.

In last year's decision banning the state's transfer of lands that were ceded back to the state when it was admitted to the union, Hawaii Chief Justice Ronald Moon wrote that the 1993 joint resolution by Congress apologizing for the overthrow of the kingdom "dictates that the ceded lands should be preserved" until reconciliation is achieved.

The Apology Resolution says nothing of the kind. "Now I have read this Apology Resolution about six times, and I certainly didn't see anything like that," remarked Justice Stephen Breyer. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said Hawaii's Supreme Court used the Apology Resolution as a federal "crutch" in the absence of any state directive.

Describing the word "dictates" as "very fear language," Ginsburg questioned whether the Apology Resolution "is distinguishable in any way" from President Gerald Ford's 1976 proclamation that the World War II internment of Japanese-Americans was "wrong." That proclamation "had no substantive effect, " she noted, until Congress passed legislation providing compensation to internees in 1988.

Ginsburg and Breyer are part of the court's liberal bloc considered to be most sympathetic with Hawaiian claims. Ginsburg cast one of the two dissenting votes in the court's 2000 ruling that struck down the Office of Hawaiian Affairs' Hawaiians-only voting for OHA trustees.

State Attorney General Mark Bennett was correct in telling the justices that "perfect title" to the 1.2 million acres of land was transferred to the federal government upon annexation and then ceded to the state in 1959. However, the Admission Act provided that ceded lands and derivative income must be devoted to five purposes, one of which is the betterment native Hawaiians.

In compliance with that provision, the state wrote a check to OHA in 1995 for nearly $5.6 million, one-fifth of the value of 500 acres of ceded land on Maui to be developed as residential housing. OHA rejected the check for the land and filed the lawsuit that was the subject of Wednesday's argument before the Supreme Court.

With the expected enactment of Sen. Daniel Akaka's bill to observe Hawaiian sovereignty and subsequent creation of a Hawaiian sovereign entity on the horizon, OHA hopes for a ruling to provide leverage in negotiations over land ownership. Adherence to the spirit of the Admission Act alone should give it the leverage that is needed for a fair settlement of land and its value.

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http://www.mauinews.com/page/content.detail/id/515489.html
The Maui News, March 1, 2009

Akaka Bill may have a shot at law
Opposition continues, but sympathetic new president could be key

By KEKOA ENOMOTO, Staff Writer

WAILUKU - Nine years after it was first conceived, a bill giving self-determination to Native Hawaiians may finally have a shot at becoming law, according to the office of U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka.

But instead of bringing consensus, the passage of time seems to have only deepened divisions over whether the so-called Akaka Bill is the right thing for Hawaiians. Both sides say they want Native Hawaiians to govern themselves, but while supporters believe the Akaka Bill will give them the tools for self-determination, opponents call the measure a "fraud."

Akaka's Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009 was introduced Feb. 4 in both chambers of the 111th Congress, said Jesse Broder Van Dyke, Akaka's press secretary. Senate Bill 381 was referred to the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, while the accompanying H.R. 862 was referred to the House Natural Resources Committee.

The Akaka Bill would do a number of things, including provide a process for Native Hawaiians to attain self-determination and self-governance; enable Native Hawaiians to be recognized officially as the indigenous people of the Hawaiian archipelago; and affirm a trust relationship of Native Hawaiians and their eventual governing entity with the U.S. government.

Despite the country's ongoing economic crisis and a plethora of other priorities, Van Dyke indicated the tenor on Capitol Hill was positive toward the nine-year-old piece of legislation.

"We're very excited," he said Wednesday by phone from Washington, D.C. "We have a president who is a strong supporter, and who's pledged to sign it if it passes."

Race-based or move toward nationhood?

The Akaka Bill is "one of the most important pieces of federal legislation for Hawaii in the last 50 years since statehood," said Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement Chief Executive Officer Robin Puanani Danner.

Danner sees the Akaka Bill as a way for Hawaiians to move away from a race-based system toward a form of nationhood. She said the Akaka Bill is a federal document that "would make it the law of the land for our federal government to recognize Native Hawaiians not as race-based, but as a political collective."

"For 50 years since statehood, we've been in purgatory as a people," Danner said. "The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act doesn't tell us what to do. It tells the federal government what to do if we as Hawaiians decide to reorganize and decide to become a political entity. That bill requires every federal government agency, every office, the federal government itself, to see our entity as we decide it; that will be the will of the people."

But a Kahului resident, whose great-great-grandfather helped draft 1839 documents of the Hawaiian kingdom, said he opposes the Akaka Bill "mind, body and soul."

"The Akaka Bill is a race-based bill," said Foster Ampong, an advocate for Hawaiian independence. "Because you're talking about Native Hawaiians, as defined by law - 50 percent or greater Hawaiian blood."

Ampong said the Akaka Bill does not address the most critical legal issue for Hawaiians: nationhood.

"The Akaka Bill is another attempt at creating a fraud or appearance that the Hawaiian Islands and people were acquired by the U.S. lawfully - and in essence and in fact it wasn't," he said. "For me, it's my passion. It's what I really, sincerely believe: We are Hawaiian nationals, not just Native Hawaiians by blood or ethnicity. . . . We have our very own bill of rights that formed our lahui, our nation," Ampong said.

Likewise, another Akaka Bill opponent points out that the kingdom of Hawaii had a relationship as a co-equal with "England, France, Russia, Belgium, Netherlands, all the powers of the world."

Kaleikoa Ka'eo, Hawaiian studies instructor at Maui Community College, said of the Akaka Bill: "I am actively involved to organize against its passage" because the bill would diminish Hawaii's international standing, making it "go to the back of the line" and give up a status it already had. "It's like saying you attained citizenship - and now you give yourselves the right to attain a green card as an alien," he said.

Land an issue for some

For Ka'eo, a major issue "is that the so-called Akaka Bill provides no land, not one acre of land, and no access to water - that's not really self-determination," he said.

A Central Maui minister agreed.

"Akaka Bill, OHA, DHHL are all in my opinion a compromise of true reconciliation, a total distraction to overt giving back what was stolen," said Kahu Hanalei Colleado, kahuna pule, or priest, of Pu'uhonua 'O 'Iao, referring to the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.

On the other hand, a Wailuku pastor and community organizer said the Akaka Bill was not about assets, but process.

"The Akaka Bill allows us to set up our nation," said the Rev. Tasha Kama, who serves as executive officer of the Sovereign Council of the Hawaiian Homelands Assembly. "We should work with that process, fine-tune it as we go along. It does allow us to establish our nation within the U.S. Constitution," she said.

For purists who balk at any process that operates under the U.S. Constitution, she added: "Better half a loaf than no loaf. At least if we have something, we can protect what we have left," she said, referring to a slew of lawsuits filed in the past decade challenging Native Hawaiian trusts and entitlements.

"It's not perfect, nothing is perfect," Kama said. "All we can do is go from where we are now; working toward sovereignty, independence; keep working, keep talking, keep aloha flowing among the Hawaiian people. When the time comes, yes, let us all call ourselves sovereign."

Providing protection from barrage of suits

Some leaders support the Akaka Bill because they feel federal recognition could protect Hawaiian rights against that barrage of lawsuits. Some suits have succeeded in overturning special programs for Native Hawaiians because the plaintiffs argued the programs were race-based - and therefore unconstitutional.

"Lack of 'official' recognition has caused us to become the brunt of litigation," said Hau'oli Tomoso, executive director of Hui No Ke Ola Pono, a Native Hawaiian health agency. "That talk about 'race-based' is something that other native peoples don't have to worry about. They're nations, they're entities in a way that we're not."

Retired 2nd Circuit Judge Boyd Mossman agreed that federal recognition of Native Hawaiians as an indigenous group will ensure the same rights that hundreds of Native American Indian tribes and Alaska Natives already enjoy.

"Failure to pass this bill will be the beginning of the end of legal battles in the courts," Mossman, the Maui trustee for OHA, said. "Loss after loss will likely result, because of no federal recognition to legally shield Hawaiians from the incessant attacks by those who don't see Hawaiians as indigenous and therefore only another race-based group receiving benefits from the government."

Yet a former Hana resident said he doesn't support the Akaka Bill because it seeks to place Native Hawaiians in the same "Native American" category as Native American Indians and Alaska Natives - who he felt sold out their birthright.

"We were a recognized, sovereign, independent nation," said Henry Noa, co-founder and leader of the nearly 10-year-old Reinstated Hawaiian Government. "For us to agree to be given a new definition, a new description of our identity - that really saddens me. That we have today Hawaiians that just take that lightly, that I see them support the Akaka Bill - it's as if they're willing to compromise their inheritance (for) handouts from the United States of America.

"When I look into the Alaska Native Act, when Alaskans made their deal with the United States government they gave up 392 million acres of land that they had control over because they wanted to be reclassified as Native American Alaskans," he said.

Critics question public input for bill

Some critics also say not enough input from the Hawaiian community went into drafting the Akaka Bill - raising the question of whether it truly reflects Hawaiian self-determination.

Andre Perez, a coordinator of the activist group Hui Pu who formerly worked for the Kaho'olawe Island Reserve Commission, maintains insufficient input from Native Hawaiians invalidates the Akaka Bill. "We Hawaiians never even conceived the name 'Akaka Bill,' " he said. "Most Hawaiians don't have a clear idea, don't even know the Akaka Bill."

But others said they had worked on formulating the Akaka Bill, saying they met repeatedly with the senator, who also attended a Sovereign Council of the Hawaiian Homelands Assembly convention to seek input.

Kahu Charles Kauluwehi Maxwell Sr., chairman of the Maui/Lanai Islands Burial Council, said he served on a six-member Akaka task force with lawyer Mililani Trask to forge an original draft of the bill.

Danner noted the bill was first introduced in Congress in 2000. "The notion that the content, the concept has not been fully deliberated over a nine-year period is a little disingenuous," she said.

Van Dyke, Akaka's spokesman, said the senator had "fought hard for Native Hawaiians for many years." "What happened in 1893 was wrong, but unfortunately cannot be undone," he said, referring to the U.S. overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy. "Senator Akaka feels this is the best way forward to perpetuate Hawaiian culture and for Hawaiians to determine their own destiny - and with the reality that Hawaii is going to remain a part of the United States."

Fact Box
Provisions of the Akaka Bill

The United States recognizes and reaffirms that Native Hawaiians are a unique and distinct aboriginal, indigenous, native people, with whom the United States has a political and legal relationship; that Native Hawaiians have never relinquished their claims to sovereignty or their sovereign lands; and that Native Hawaiians have an inherent right to self-determination and self-governance.

A nine-member Native Hawaiian commission will certify that all those on a roll, who want to organize a Native Hawaiian government and to elect its officers, are of Native Hawaiian descent.

A Native Hawaiian Interim Governing Council will conduct a referendum to determine the organic governing documents and powers of a Native Hawaiian government, and will hold elections for its officers.

The secretary of the interior will certify that the organic governing documents are consistent with applicable federal law, and authorize the Native Hawaiian government to negotiate with federal, state and local governments.

"Nothing in this act is intended to serve as a settlement of any claims against the United States, or to affect the rights of the Native Hawaiian people under international law."

To read the full text, visit:
www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=s111-381

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

http://www.mauinews.com/page/category.detail/nav/9/Editorial.html
The Maui News, March 2, 2009
EDITORIAL

Akaka Bill a positive step

The all-or-nothing opposition to the Akaka Bill - a small but noisy segment of the Native Hawaiian community - is an impediment to improving the future of all Native Hawaiians.

Senate Bill 381 begins by saying it is "a bill to express the policy of the United States regarding the United States relationship with Native Hawaiians, to provide a process for the reorganization of a Native Hawaiian government and the recognition by the United States of the Native Hawaiian government, and for other purposes."

The all-or-nothing opposition will, of course, jump on the last four words of that statement, ignoring "provide a process for the reorganization of a Native Hawaii government and recognition by the United States of the Native Hawaiian government."

Whatever their true motives may be, there are those who believe it is possible to cut the islands away from the United States and return to what Hawaii was in 1893. History cannot be undone, but the future of keiki o ka aina - children of the land - can include a level of self-determination that perpetuates Native Hawaiians as a distinct people with distinct cultural values.

SB381 explicitly recognizes that "Native Hawaiians have never relinquished their claims to sovereignty or their sovereign lands; and that Native Hawaiians have an inherent right to self-determination and self-governance."

All who live in Hawaii owe much to the Hawaiian culture. One small example is public ownership of all beaches and public access to all shorelines. Knowledgeable non-Hawaiian residents of the islands support Hawaiian self-determination.

SB381, the Akaka Bill, is not a complete redress of old wrongs, but it does set up a mechanism that would prevent future wrongs. Those who consider themselves the rightful rulers of the islands have a choice between working within the existing system of laws or remaining outside in a vain attempt to roll back the clock. The all-or-nothing opposition can only lead to nothing being gained by the lineal descendants of Queen Lili'uokalani's loyal subjects.

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

http://www.mauinews.com/page/content.detail/id/515749.html?nav=18
The Maui News, March 6, 2009, letter to editor

Akaka Bill report, editorial ignored majority

The Maui News story March 1 quoted ethnic Hawaiians who support the Akaka Bill to protect race-based government handouts and establish a racially exclusionary government. The story also quoted ethnic Hawaiians who oppose the Akaka Bill because it seems contrary to their effort to rip the 50th star off the flag and declare Hawaii an independent nation.

"Today's Editorial" March 2 warned the secessionists against interfering with the separatists. The publisher apparently feels half a loaf is better than none; seeking total control of Hawaii interferes with getting partial control and might result in complete failure to rip off anything at all. Yikes!

The news report and editorial both ignore the vast majority of ethnic Hawaiians who are proud to be Americans and who support unity and equality under the law. After more than five years and untold millions of dollars in advertising, fewer than 25 percent of those eligible have signed up on the Kau Inoa racial registry. By 3-to-1 this silent majority refuses to support bigotry or sell their civil rights for a T-shirt.

One courageous Hawaiian you ignore is Kumu Rubellite Kawena Johnson, professor emerita of Hawaiian language and literature, direct descendant of Kamehameha The Great, and Living Treasure of Hawaii. See
tinyurl.com/3mdmv.

Even if a majority of ethnic Hawaiians were to support the Akaka Bill, the remaining 80 percent of our citizens have every right to be counted. Your news report and editorial ignore us. But we will not go quietly into that long dark night.

Kenneth Conklin
Kaneohe

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

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/mar/15/supporting-racial-separatism/
The Washington Times, Sunday, March 15, 2009
LETTER TO EDITOR:

Supporting racial separatism?

Would it be good to round up all 40 million African-Americans, defined by the one-drop rule, and declare that they are a tribe with the power to create a racially exclusionary government and negotiate for money, land and legal jurisdiction? Would that be consistent with the dream of Martin Luther King? Or does it sound more like a nightmare?

There is a bill in Congress whose racial divisiveness would be 50 percent worse for Hawaii than creation of an African-American tribe would be for all of America: the Hawaiian Government Reorganization bill, S.381 and H.R.862. The percentage of Hawaii's people who are ethnic Hawaiian (20 percent) is 50 percent larger than the percentage of the U.S. population who are African-American (13 percent), all according to the same one-drop rule used in the Hawaiian bill.

President Obama said during his campaign that he supports the Hawaiian bill. For details about what's wrong with the bill, please see an open letter to President Obama asking him to oppose it, at http://tinyurl.com/bl9rvv.

KENNETH R. CONKLIN
Kane'ohe, Hawaii

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

March 15, 2009: Open letter to President Obama (webpage) asking him to oppose Akaka bill based on his ideals stated in his Berlin Wall speech, his knowledge of the struggle between racial separatists vs. integrationists in the African-American community, and his expertise as a former professor of Constitutional law. See webpage at
http://www.angelfire.com/big09a/AkakaObamaOpenLetter.html
and YouTube 9-minute video at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z77Xl-E2YOI

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

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090316/NEWS01/903160344
Honolulu Advertiser, Monday, March 16, 2009

Akaka bill waiting for breathing room
Senator optimistic about its chances, but national issues are taking precedence now

By John Yaukey
Advertiser Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — The Hawai'i congressional delegation faces a conundrum as it seeks to pass long-awaited legislation that would create a process for Native Hawaiian self-governance.

Congress and the White House have never been more receptive to the idea.

But at the same time, lawmakers and President Obama are preoccupied with a raft of high-priority national issues from war to the failing economy and from healthcare reform to the budget.

Democratic Sen. Daniel Akaka, author of the legislation, widely known as the Akaka bill, said he is looking for the right window of opportunity to move it through the Senate, which can be a cumbersome process.

"I'm very optimistic about its chances now because of the support from President Obama," Akaka said in an interview Friday. "I'm trying to move it as soon I can — maybe when we get a little stability."

BEST CHANCES YET

Supporters might have their best chance of passing the bill in this Congress because Democrats have increased their majorities in both the House and Senate, and Obama committed during his presidential campaign to signing it.

The Justice Department under President Bush opposed the legislation, claiming it created a racial preference.

As a senator, Obama, who was born in Hawai'i and graduated from Punahou School, voted in 2006 to bring the bill up for a debate and vote. But it narrowly failed to get the 60 votes it needed to clear a procedural hurdle often used in the Senate, and it languished.

At a recent press briefing, Obama said, "If Danny gets me a bill, I'll sign it."

But he added that for now, the Native Hawaiian bill is far from a priority, underscoring the challenge the Hawai'i delegation faces.

"Now, I won't lie to my former neighbors and friends — with an economy in free-fall, two wars going on, housing foreclosures at record levels — I have not spent a lot of time in these first few weeks focused on that bill," Obama said.

The bill would create a process for reorganizing a Native Hawaiian government, including the election of an interim governing council. Once the government receives federal recognition, negotiations could take place on the disposition of Native Hawaiian land, natural resources and other assets.

The legislation comes up as the Supreme Court is weighing a case involving attempts by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to block the state from selling some of the so-called ceded lands set aside for public benefit, including for the Hawaiian people. It's not yet clear how that case, to be ruled on by early summer, could affect the Native Hawaiian legislation.

PROCESS JUST BEGUN

So far, the legislation is still at the starting blocks. Native Hawaiian bills have been introduced in both the House and the Senate, but they have yet to move through any of the vetting committees.

The House has passed similar legislation twice since 2000 when it was first written, with little opposition.

"We have no reason to believe it won't pass again," said Dave Helfert, spokesman for Rep. Neil Abercrombie, who has led the effort to pass the bill in the House. Like Akaka, Abercrombie is waiting for breathing space in the legislative schedule before moving on the legislation. "It's all about timing now," Helfert said.

Akaka said the Senate bill has sufficient support in the Indian Affairs Committee, which must clear the bill for it to get a full Senate vote.

Senate passage is not assured. But Democrats picked up a handful of Senate seats in 2008, giving them 56, along with two independents who consistently vote with them. Several Republicans have voted in favor of the legislation in the past, so it appears Akaka may get the 60 votes he'll need when the time comes.

Native Hawaiian bills have gone through several incarnations over the years.

But the latest Senate and House versions resemble their original 2000 form, with some provisions inserted to win Republican support several years ago removed.

For example, the latest bills no longer contain a prohibition against Native Hawaiians bringing land claims against the United States.

Another provision barring any Native Hawaiian government from authorizing gambling also has been dropped.

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

http://akaka.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=home.WeeklyReport&release_id=2598
U.S. Senate website for Senator Akaka, press release
March 25, 2009

Gambling Issues in Akaka Bill Clarified by Hawaii Congressional Delegation
New version introduced to specifically ban gaming, already illegal per Hawaii law

Washington D.C. - U.S. Senators Daniel K. Akaka and Daniel K. Inouye and U.S. Representatives Neil Abercrombie and Mazie K. Hirono today introduced a slightly modified version of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act that clarifies that gambling will not be permitted, in accordance with Hawaii state law.

The entire Hawaii Delegation made the following statement: "As an indigenous people that exercised governance until the U.S. overthrow, Native Hawaiians deserve the same opportunity to preserve their culture, language and traditions as indigenous people on the mainland. This change in the legislation should make the bill's intent clear and remove any distractions from its thoughtful consideration."

The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act would provide a process for federal recognition of Native Hawaiians, similar to the government-to-government relationship provided to American Indians and Alaska Natives. All forms of gambling are illegal in Hawaii and the Native Hawaiian Government will be subject to all state and federal laws. The delegation reintroduced the bill with specific language prohibiting gaming in an effort to clarify that the intent of the bill is not to legalize gambling. The gaming prohibition language was derived from legislation introduced in the 110th Congress (S. 310/H.R. 505). Other than this one provision, the bill is identical to the version introduced on February 4, 2009.

For more information on the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, click here.

http://akaka.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Issues.Home&issue=Akaka%20Bill&content_id=24#Akaka%20Bill
** Press release continues

On March 25, 2009, Senator Akaka along with the other members of the Hawaii Congressional Delegation introduced the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009.

The bill text is identical to S. 381/H.R. 862 introduced on February 4, 2009, with the inclusion of language explicitly prohibiting gaming. While gambling is illegal in Hawaii and the Native Hawaiian Government will be subject to state and federal laws, this additional language clarifies that the intent of this bill is not to legalize gambling. The gaming prohibition clarifies that Native Hawaiians and the Native Hawaiian government cannot conduct gambling within the State of Hawaii, any other state, or the U.S. Territories.

While Congress has traditionally treated Native Hawaiians in a manner parallel to American Indians and Alaska Natives, the federal policy of self-governance and self-determination has not been formally extended to Native Hawaiians. The bill itself does not extend federal recognition - it authorizes the process for federal recognition.

Opponents to the bill have sought to spread misinformation about the legislation.

The bill does NOT allow Hawaii to secede from the United States.
The bill does NOT allow private lands to be taken.
The bill does NOT authorize gaming in Hawaii.
The bill does NOT create a reservation in Hawaii.

Instead, the bill sets up a process for the reorganization of the Native Hawaiian government for the purposes of a federally recognized government-to-government relationship with the United States. This provides parity in the federal policies towards the indigenous peoples who exercised governance over lands which later became part of the United States.

At the local level, the bill enjoys strong bipartisan support by Hawaii's Governor, Linda Lingle and the Hawaii State legislature has passed three resolutions in support of federal recognition for Native Hawaiians.

Further, there is widespread support by both Native Hawaiians and non-Native Hawaiians. Members of both the oldest and largest national Indian organization, the National Congress of American Indians, and the largest organization representing the Native people of Alaska, the Alaska Federation of Natives, have consistently expressed their strong support for enactment of a bill to provide for recognition by the United States of a Native Hawaiian governing entity. National organizations such as the American Bar Association, Japanese American Citizen League, and the National Indian Education Association have also passed resolutions in support of federal recognition for Hawaii's indigenous peoples. Senator Akaka greatly appreciates the efforts of everyone involved who is working to enact this bill.

The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act does three things:

It establishes the Office within the Department of the Interior to serve as a liaison between Native Hawaiians and the United States.

It establishes the Native Hawaiian Task Force to be composed of federal officials from agencies which administer Native Hawaiian programs. The Task Force will be lead by the Department of Interior and Department of Justice.

It provides a process of reorganization of a Native Hawaiian government for the purpose of a federally recognized government-to-government relationship with the United States.

This inclusive, democratic negotiations process represents both Native Hawaiians and non-Native Hawaiians. Negotiations between the recognized Native Hawaiian government, the United States, and the state of Hawaii will address issues such as criminal and civil jurisdiction, historical grievances, and jurisdiction and control of natural resources, lands, and assets. While the bill provides structure, it also provides the Native Hawaiian community with the flexibility to truly reorganize its government.

Senator Akaka sees this process as important for all people of Hawaii so that we can finally resolve the longstanding issues resulting from the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii and move forward to provide the best future that we can for the children of Hawaii.

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

** NOTE FROM WEBSITE EDITOR KEN CONKLIN: The new version of the Akaka bill is S.708 and H.R.1711. Full text of the bill is available at
http://www.angelfire.com/big09a/Akaka032509S708HR1711.html

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

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090326/NEWS23/903260330/1001
Honolulu Advertiser, Thursday, March 26, 2009

Gambling ban made clear in Native Hawaiian recognition bill
Congress gets new version of the Native Hawaiian federal recognition act

By Gordon Y.K. Pang

Responding to public concerns raised that it would clear the way for gambling here, Hawai'i's congressional delegation yesterday introduced a new version of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act to clarify that gaming won't be permitted under the legislation.

In a statement, the four-member delegation of U.S. Sens. Daniel K. Akaka and Daniel K. Inouye and U.S. Reps. Neil Abercrombie and Mazie Hirono said: "As an indigenous people that exercised governance until the U.S. overthrow, Native Hawaiians deserve the same opportunity to preserve their culture, language and traditions as indigenous people on the Mainland. This change in the legislation should make the bill's intent clear and remove any distractions from its thoughtful consideration."

The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, better known as the Akaka bill in honor of its lead sponsor, would provide a process for federal recognition of Native Hawaiians, similar to the government-to-government relationship provided to American Indians and Alaska Natives.

Jesse Broder Van Dyke, Akaka's spokesman, said the bill was not changed to appease any particular individuals or groups.

Media outlets, including The Honolulu Advertiser, "highlighted the gambling issue and a number of other people raised that concern," Van Dyke said. "We just wanted to clarify that the point of the bill is not to have gambling."

Last year, the Akaka bill was altered with a number of provisions, including one explicitly barring gambling, in an effort to make it more palatable to the then-Bush administration. The concessions were made in the wake of the Department of Justice's public opposition to the legislation. Nonetheless, that effort failed when the bill made it through the House but not the Senate.

With President Obama and a new Congress expected to look more favorably on the Akaka bill, it was reintroduced in its original form in early February without any of those provisions.

"That provision was taken out because it was considered not necessary because gambling already is illegal in Hawai'i and there's no way the Native Hawaiian entity could have gambling in Hawa'i unless the state of Hawai'i decided to change course and legalize it for everybody," Van Dyke said.

"But public opinion is very important and considering that gambling was not going to be a part of it either way, they thought that bringing in that provision would help clarify that."

The additional provision is not expected to alter the timeline for passage of the bill, since committees have not yet scheduled any hearings on the measure, Van Dyke said.

Akaka's office, on its Web site, also pointed out that despite "misinformation" spread by bill opponents, the bill also does not: allow Hawai'i to secede, create a reservation in Hawai'i or allow private lands to be taken.

Obama earlier this month said he supports the bill but was not sure when it would be taken up by Congress given the present focus in Washington on the economic situation.

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

http://www.starbulletin.com/news/hawaiinews/20090327_Akaka_Bill_is_amended_to_block_legal_gambling.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, March 26, 2009

Akaka Bill is amended to block legal gambling

By Associated Press

U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka has amended his bill that would start the process of creating a governing entity for native Hawaiians so it specifically bans legalized gambling.

Akaka reintroduced the measure earlier this year without the specific prohibition, unlike versions considered in previous years.

But the absence of that provision generated criticism that a native Hawaiian governing entity could establish gaming in a state that otherwise bars all forms of gambling. Gambling casinos are operated by several American Indian tribes on the mainland.

"As an indigenous people that exercised governance until the U.S. overthrow (in 1893), native Hawaiians deserve the same opportunity to preserve their culture, language and traditions as indigenous people on the mainland. This change in the legislation should make the bill's intent clear and remove any distractions from its thoughtful consideration," Akaka and the three other members of Hawaii's all-Democratic congressional delegation said in a prepared statement that was released yesterday.

Akaka, Sen. Daniel Inouye and Reps. Neil Abercrombie and Mazie Hirono introduced the slightly modified version of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act.

The measure would provide a process for federal recognition of native Hawaiians, similar to the government-to-government relationship provided to American Indians and Alaska natives. That would allow native Hawaiians to negotiate directly with local, state and federal governments over such issues as control of natural resources, lands and assets.

Republican Gov. Linda Lingle was unhappy when the so-called Akaka Bill was reintroduced in February, because the anti-gambling provision had been removed. Lingle said at the time that she asked for that provision in previous versions of the bill and supported those measures.

With Hawaii-born Barack Obama in the White House, supporters of the bill are hopeful it will now become law. Obama promised during the presidential campaign that he would sign the measure if it passes while he is president.

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

** See webpage produced March 29, 2009: "New version of Akaka bill introduced March 25, 2009 -- multiple layers of deception"

http://www.angelfire.com/big09a/Akaka032509Deceptions.html

SUMMARY:
The Akaka bill never authorized gambling. But everyone knew tribes can get casinos; so Akaka decided to soothe worries by inserting protections against gambling. In previous years the Civil Rights Commission, Department of Justice, and House Judiciary Committee were worried about more important "normal" consequences of tribal recognition including: takeovers of government and private lands; jurisdiction over criminal and civil law for both members and non-members; zoning; taxation; labor rights; need for time limit for final settlement of historical grievances; etc. The original Akaka bill never mentioned those things, and neither does the latest version. But experts warned about terrible consequences, forcing Akaka to put protections into the bill. All protections have now been stripped out because Akaka hopes a sympathetic President and larger Democrat Congressional majority will help enact this dangerous bill without those protections. Apparently Governor Lingle's only worry is gambling. So Akaka restores the gambling protection to distract us from the more dangerous issues. Shibai! In any case the basic concept of racial separatism in the Akaka bill is so unconstitutional and morally repugnant that no amount of "protections" on various topics can make it acceptable.

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

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090330/OPINION02/903300310/1108
Honolulu Advertiser, March 30, 2009, Letter to Editor

AKAKA BILL
'PROTECTIONS' DON'T MAKE IT ACCEPTABLE

The Akaka bill never authorized gambling. But everyone knew tribes can get casinos; so Akaka decided to soothe worries by inserting protections against gambling.

In previous years the Civil Rights Commission, Department of Justice, and House Judiciary Committee were worried about more important "normal" consequences of tribal recognition including: takeovers of government and private lands; jurisdiction over criminal and civil law for both members and nonmembers; zoning; taxation; labor rights; need for time limit for final settlement of historical grievances; etc.

The original Akaka bill never mentioned those things, and neither does the latest version. But experts warned about terrible consequences, forcing Akaka to put protections into the bill. All protections have now been stripped out because Akaka hopes a sympathetic president and larger Democrat congressional majority will help enact this dangerous bill without those protections. Apparently Gov. Lingle's only worry is gambling. So Akaka restores the gambling protection to distract us from the more dangerous issues. Shibai!

In any case the basic concept of racial separatism in the Akaka bill is so unconstitutional and morally repugnant that no amount of "protections" on various topics can make it acceptable.

Ken Conklin
Kane'ohe

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

http://www.grassrootinstitute.org
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

Grassroot Statement: SCOTUS Public Lands Decision

March 31, 2009

Supreme Court Decision Benefits All Citizens of Hawaii and Raises Akaka Bill Questions

Honolulu, HI.—The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, which filed an amicus brief in support of the State of Hawaii in the U.S. Supreme Court case Hawaii v. Office of Hawaiian Affairs, issues the following statements with today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision.

President Jamie Story, Grassroot Institute:

"We are indeed gratified that the US Supreme Court ruling today unanimously finds that the resolution Congress passed in 1993 to apologize for U.S. involvement in the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy—a determination that remains controversial among historians—did not affect Hawaii’s sovereign authority to sell or transfer the lands that the United States had returned to the State at the time of its admission to the Union," said Jamie Story, President of the Grassroot Institute. "It is also important to note that in addition to the Apology Resolution not creating substantive rights, the court held that the 37 'whereas' clauses would 'raise grave constitutional concerns' if they are read to retroactively 'recognize' that the native Hawaiian people have unrelinquished claims over the ceded lands. We hope Senator Akaka, OHA and others who would divide our state, are listening. The cloud created by the Apology resolution suggesting that one class of citizens has special claim to the State’s public lands, has been removed."

Attorney William Burgess, Aloha For All:

"Over 28 other state attorneys general across the country as well as the Solicitor General of the United States, and numerous national public interest law firms and policy institutes, filed Amicus Briefs in support of the State of Hawaii’s stance seeking reversal of the Hawaii Supreme Court’s ceded lands decision,” said H. William Burgess lead attorney in the Amicus brief filed by Grassroot and the Southeastern Legal Foundation. "From the time it was first written in 1840, the Constitution of the Kingdom of Hawaii provided that all men are of one blood to dwell on the Earth in unity; and the Kingdom’s civil laws gave all persons born or naturalized in Hawaii, whatever their ancestry, the same rights as natives. During the years of the Kingdom, and ever since then, all of Hawaii’s public lands, including the 1.2 million acres known as the ceded lands, have been held in trust for all the people of Hawaii," he explained. "Thus, the Hawaii Supreme Court’s decision violates the ideals of aloha and equal opportunity for every individual embraced by the founding fathers of both the Kingdom of Hawaii (Kamehameha I, II and III) and the United States of America. That decision has now been vacated and the Apology resolution has been blown out of the water."

The mission of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii is to promote individual liberty, free market economic principles and limited, more accountable government. With research papers, policy briefings, commentaries and conferences, the Institute seeks to educate and inform Hawaii's citizens and policymakers on issues vital to Hawaii's future. Please visit:
www.grassrootinstitute.org

MEDIA CONTACT:
Tom McAuliffe, Communications Director
PH: 808.282.8478
eMail: tom@grassrootinstitute.org

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

http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?7bd23895-475b-4579-8119-27f4bc1ba19f
Hawaii Reporter, March 31, 2009

High Court Vindicates Property Rights and Hawaiian State Sovereignty

By Ilya Shapiro

Today the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the resolution Congress passed in 1993 to apologize for U.S. involvement in the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy — a determination that remains controversial among historians — did not affect Hawaii’s sovereign authority to sell or transfer the lands that the United States had granted to the State at the time of its admission to the Union.

In an opinion by Justice Alito, the Court correctly explained that the words of the Apology Resolution were conciliatory and hortatory, creating no substantive rights—and indeed the resolution’s operative clauses differ starkly from those which provided compensation to, for example, the Japanese-Americans interned during World War II. Importantly, the Court also noted that it would “raise grave constitutional concerns” if any act of Congress purported to cloud Hawaii’s title to sovereign lands so long after its admission to the Union.

This last point is perhaps most important to the ongoing debate over the “Akaka Bill,” which would create a race-based entity to extract political and economic concessions from the state and federal governments on behalf of ill-defined “native Hawaiians.” It is delicious irony that Hawaii’s attorney general, Mark Bennett, an Akaka Bill supporter, secured this victory.

Just as Hawaii is now allowed to develop state lands for the benefit of all its citizens, hopefully Congress will in future refrain from inflaming racial divisions and instead treat all Hawaiians, regardless of race, with the legal equality to which they are entitled.

Ilya Shapiro is a Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies and Editor-in-Chief of the Cato Supreme Court Review at the Cato Institute in Washington, DC. Reach him at mailto:ishapiro@cato.org and see more at
http://www.cato.org/people/shapiro.html

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http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090331/OPINION02/903310309/1108
Honolulu Advertiser, Tuesday, March 31, 2009, Letter to editor

Akaka bill
ENLIGHTEN US ON PART ON LAW NEGOTIATIONS

It is good to learn that Sen. Akaka has added back to his Native Hawaiian sovereignty bill provisions assuring us that the new Hawaiian government will not be allowed to bring gambling to Hawai'i.

Perhaps the senator could now explain to us the intention of the part of his bill that requires "negotiations" between the new government, the state, and the federal government over "civil and criminal law."

Clearly, such language would not be in the bill if it was intended that native Hawaiian citizens of the proposed new government would continue to be subject to all existing Hawai'i and federal civil and criminal law.

So just which existing civil and criminal laws does the senator think need to be changed? And why?

T. J. Macdonald
Kane'ohe

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http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?cebbe118-d975-46e3-ac38-c7c94910210c
Hawaii Reporter, April 1, 2009

Hawaii v. OHA: We’re All in This Together

By Ted H.S. Hong

In between the hand wringing, the finger pointing and protesting after today’s United States Supreme Court decision in Hawaii v. OHA, No. 07-1372, we need to take a deep breath, a step back and reflect on what the Court’s decision really means. There are several major points that need to be recognized.

OHA filed the lawsuit and started this process that resulted in the Supreme Court’s decision. In advising my clients about filing a lawsuits, I tell them there are generally three possible outcomes. You could win, you could lose or you could settle the lawsuit.

After years of neglect by prior Governors, the Lingle Administration reached a historic settlement with the OHA Trustees. After agreeing to the settlement, OHA got an earful from its beneficiaries who weren’t consulted and didn’t agree to the settlement. As a result, OHA reneged on the settlement and decided to pursue its lawsuit against the State.

Today’s decision was unanimous. Justices from all political perspectives, expansive to strict constructionist, agreed on the reasoning and outcome of the decision. This is important because despite the temptation to blame this decision on "politics" there was nothing political about it. The Court’s decision was clear, concise and narrow in its application.

The easiest point that the Court decided was that the Apology Resolution of Congress was simply an apology without any reparations or binding legal effect. That language was clear from its own text. No surprises there.

The Court also decided the legal implications of Hawaii’s annexation and Statehood. Upon annexation, whether you agree with what happened and how it happened or not, the United States received clear title over former crown lands. Upon statehood, the United States government, as a "cosovereign" gave clear title over the "ceded" lands to our State government. Our state constitution and laws govern what our State government may do with those lands.

But the most striking part of the decision was contained in the last paragraph. Basically, the Court said that we, as the citizens of this State, regardless of heritage, have a role to play in "an issue that is of great importance to the people of the State." In the ongoing debate over Hawaiian sovereignty, it is something that we, all of us, have input into and have the opportunity to participate in.

Many people I know consider the Akaka Bill and the Sovereignty issue as unique to the Hawaiian Community and have stayed on the sidelines of this debate. In today’s decision, the U.S. Supreme Court, clearly and from opposing political points of view, told us that kind of thinking is wrong. The Court is telling us that we’re all in this important, exciting and unique political discussion, together. I welcome that opportunity.

Ted Hong is an attorney in Hilo, Hawaii

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http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?899fa973-a6c9-41c7-9df0-3e65ce806b94
Hawaii Reporter, April 2, 2009

Hawaii Congressional Delegation Misrepresenting Hawaiian Historical Facts in Backing of Akaka Bill

By Frank Scott Jr.

It is disconcerting that the members of the Hawaii Congressional Delegation appear to have misrepresented historical facts in their support of the Akaka Bill.

An Associated Press release (3/25/09) concerning a revision to the Akaka Bill to prohibit gambling reports that all members of the Hawaii Congressional Delegation in a prepared statement alluded to the U.S. overthrow (of the government of Hawaii) in 1893.

This would imply the U.S. instigated the overthrow. This interpretation of events is indicated to provide justification for the 1993 Apology Resolution and the current Akaka Bill.

My review of historical data does not support the reported views of the Hawaii delegation. The 1894 Morgan Report, based on an investigation of the overthrow by the the U.S. Congress, clears the U.S. of involvement. The Morgan report in effect replaces and negates the earlier Blount report ordered by President Cleveland, which is based in large part on the opinions of the deposed Queen and her cabinet.

A review of historical data indicates that the only action taken by any U.S. representatives during the overthrow was by John Stevens, Minister to Hawaii, who ordered a small number of troops from the USS Boston to come ashore to protect American personnel and property in case of need.

According to reports, this is all that happened insofar as the U.S. is concerned. This would indicate that the assumption of U.S. involvement in the overthrow is based on speculation. Since there appear to be no documented facts for attributing the overthrow to the U.S. Government any policy based on that assumption would seem to be ill conceived.

Frank Scott Jr. is a resident of Kailua, Hawaii

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http://www.starbulletin.com/editorials/Despite_ruling_commitment_to_Hawaiians_is_still_strong.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, April 5, 2009, Commentary

Despite ruling, commitment to Hawaiians is still strong

By James "Duke" Aiona

Last week's U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding ceded lands should not be looked at in terms of "winners" or "losers." Rather, it should serve as a clear reminder that we, as a community, must commit to reaching a fair and lasting resolution on ceded lands. Despite the disappointment being felt by some, the court's decision does not in any way affect our administration's ongoing commitment to the Hawaiian community.

I am proud to be a native Hawaiian, and I remain committed to preserving and protecting Hawaiian rights, entitlements and programs. I have been a vocal advocate for the passing of the Akaka Bill, both at home and in Washington, D.C. I have also proudly marched in defense of the Kamehameha Schools admission policy, and have continually supported the unique and enduring role of our alii trusts. I remain committed to working directly with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and other stakeholders in the Hawaiian community to advance a full and fair settlement to the longstanding ceded land claims.

Contrary to the misinformation being circulated by a few individuals, our administration has no intention of selling or transferring any particular ceded lands.

The current lawsuit that reached the U.S. Supreme Court did not begin with this administration. It began with the Waihee administration's efforts to sell ceded land on Maui and Hawaii island back in the late 1980s and early 1990s to provide affordable housing. OHA and others ultimately sued the Waihee administration, and in January of 2008, the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled that the 2003 Congressional Apology Resolution dictated that ceded lands could not be sold or transferred until the unrelinquished claims by the Hawaiian community were fully resolved. The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision correctly held that the Hawaii Supreme Court ruling was incorrect.

As a person of Hawaiian ancestry, the Apology Resolution is significant to me. It is a document that both acknowledges past wrongs and represents hope for a brighter future. Those who diminish the role of the Apology Resolution as being merely a "symbolic" gesture are wrong, and I believe such rhetoric is insensitive to the Hawaiian community. I also understand that native Hawaiians have a spiritual and emotional connection to the aina that is rightly recognized by the Apology Resolution and, in some cases, codified by Hawaii law.

However, despite what the Apology Resolution means to me as a native Hawaiian, I simply could not agree that it had any effect on the legal status of ceded lands. After repeated analysis, I found nothing on the face of the Apology Resolution that supported the Hawaii Supreme Court's decision.

Regardless of the U.S. Supreme Court decision, my longstanding belief has been that the resolution of the ceded land issue is a political question, not a judicial question. The legislative branch, not the courts, should determine how, or if, reparations must be made to the Hawaiian people. Indeed, the Akaka Bill and the Apology Resolution (both legislative instruments) contemplate future negotiations between the state, the federal government and a native Hawaiian governing entity.

Neither the Akaka Bill nor the Apology Resolution contemplates a lawsuit that clouds the state's title to ceded lands, nullifies the Admission Act and diminishes the state's ability to fully negotiate as the clear and absolute title holder to public lands. After all, if the state does not hold clear title to its lands, what authority can it have to negotiate any settlement with Hawaiians?

From the onset of this controversy, my position has remained consistent. I will not support the sale or transfer of any particular ceded lands. I also remain a steadfast supporter of the Akaka Bill, and I look forward with great enthusiasm to its expected passage by Congress. The U.S. Supreme Court decision serves as a clear reminder of the task at hand. There will be no "losers" if we, as a community, seize this valuable opportunity to achieve a fair and lasting settlement for the Hawaiian community.

James "Duke" Aiona, Hawaii's lieutenant governor, has announced his intention to run for governor in 2010.

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http://www.starbulletin.com/editorials/guesteditorials/20090406_Hawaii_could_become_No_1_in_Native_American_population.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, April 6, 2009, COMMENTARY

Hawaii could become No. 1 in Native American population

By Keith Haugen

There are always some categories in which Hawaii ranks No. 1 among the 50 states. Some statistics are good; others not so.

One, of course, is that we have more Hawaiians living in the islands than live in any of the other 49 states and the District of Columbia.

And, if the Akaka Bill changes the legal status of Hawaiians to make them Native Americans, we might become No.1 in both the percentage of Native Americans in our population, and the total number. Currently, Oklahoma ranks first with 179,524 Native Americans, while Hawaii is 46th, with only 2,663 who show up in the most recent census projections as Native Americans.

But we have more than 200,000 Hawaiians living in the islands. If the Census Bureau uses the 50 percent blood quantum to identify Hawaiians, which was established by Congress when the Hawaiian Homes Act was passed nearly a century ago, we would still be low on the list.

If, on the other hand, all persons with any percentage of Hawaiian blood are counted by the federal government as "Native Americans," Hawaii will have more Native Americans than any other state, followed by Oklahoma, New Mexico, North Carolina, California, Arizona, Washington, Alaska, South Dakota and Wisconsin rounding out the top 10.

Alaska earned its spot in the top 10 because the government does count all Alaskan natives — Indian, Eskimo and Aleut — as Native Americans.

Which states have the fewest Native Americans?

Currently, only Vermont, Rhode Island, the District of Columbia, West Virginia and New Hampshire (numbered 47 through 51) have fewer Native Americans than does Hawaii. New Hampshire has fewer than 1,000 Native Americans, based on Census Bureau projections in 2000.

Based on the 1990 census, the largest single group of Native Americans are the Cherokee with 369,035 Americans boasting Cherokee blood. If Hawaiians become Native Americans, they would rank second nationally only to the Cherokees, and would be followed closely by 225,298 Navajos, with Sioux and Chippewa the only other tribes with populations of more than 100,000. Alaska's largest tribes are Tlingit and Alaskan Athabaskans with slightly more than 14,000 each.

There are currently 561 federally recognized tribal governments in the United States.

These tribes possess the right to form their own government, to enforce laws (both civil and criminal), to tax, to establish requirements for membership, to license and regulate activities, to zone and to exclude persons from tribal territories.

Limitations on tribal powers of self-government include the same limitations applicable to states. For example, neither tribes nor states have the power to make war, engage in foreign relations, or coin money (this includes paper currency).

And, based upon the revised bill submitted by Sen. Daniel K. Akaka in March, even if recognized as Native Americans, Hawaiians would not be permitted to establish gambling operations, since gambling is illegal in Hawaii.

* C. Keith Haugen is a musician, composer and teacher who lives in Honolulu.

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http://www.counterpunch.org/blaisdell04152009.html
Counterpunch, April 15, 2009
Also
http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?8efcfa37-8c5a-45d2-a8e9-253ca4cdacb1
Hawaii Reporter, April 21, 2009
and
http://www.starbulletin.com/editorials/20090421_No_to_Akaka_Bill.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, April 21, 2009

An Urgent Open Letter to Barack Obama

Why the Native Hawaiian Reorganization Act Must be Rejected

By KEKUNI BLAISDELL, LYNETTE HI'ILANI CRUZ, GEORGE KAHUMOKU FLORES, et al.

Mr. President:

We, the undersigned Kanaka Maoli (indigenous Hawaiians) kupuna (elders), kumu (educators), and representatives address this letter to you on behalf of our people and nation, as well as of other Hawaiian Kingdom heirs. At our invitation, a number of our kako‘o (supporters) have also added their names to this letter.

Our primary purpose for contacting you, Mr. President, is to solemnly inform you of our categorical opposition to the proposed legislation now before the U.S. Senate and House that is entitled The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, which is commonly referred to as the “Akaka Bill.” This legislation, first introduced in the U.S. Congress in 2000—and now confusingly existing in four versions (S. 381; S. 708; H.R. 862; H.R. 1711)—proposes that the U.S. Government recognize a “Native Hawaiian Government” that is to be certified by the U.S. Department of the Interior in conformity with U.S. federal law and practice regarding Native American tribal nations.

We reject this Akaka Bill for weighty reasons. To begin with, the historical harm the United States first committed in Hawai’i in 1893 brought down, not a “Native Hawaiian Government”, but the independent Hawaiian Kingdom composed of Kanaka Maoli as well as non-Kanaka Maoli subjects. Consequently, the Kanaka Maoli people and other Hawaiian Kingdom heirs have, since that time, accumulated fundamental political and other claims against the United States under international law that the United States must recognize rather than hope to dispel via the enactment of this Bill. Indeed, in our view, the passage of this Bill would constitute nothing less than a second illegal denial of our Kanaka Maoli people’s right to self-determination and the Kingdom heirs’ right to sovereignty. The first outrage, we note, has already been formally admitted by the U.S. Congress in its Apology Resolution of 1993 which, furthermore, pledged to right that original wrong. Not only does the Akaka Bill not follow through on that pledge, it in fact attempts to sabotage the rightful return of our people to our status prior to 1893-98 by imposing on us a colonial U.S. “wardship” that is anchored in the U.S. judicial doctrine of the plenary power of Congress over Native American nations.

Moreover, we submit that, presuming on the good faith of your Administration, Hawai‘i’s Congressional delegation is now trying to ram through the Akaka Bill in the U.S. Congress before the latter can inform itself fully of the vehement and ever-growing opposition to the Bill in Hawai‘i among Kanaka Maoli, other Kingdom heirs, as well as kako‘o. We use the term “ram through” advisedly because, among other things, the delegation has held but ONE 5-day hearing, back in 2000, on the Bill since its inception, and only on the single island of O‘ahu. Moreover, while the video record of that lone hearing shows overwhelming opposition to the Bill, the delegation disingenuously reported the opposite to Congress.

In 1993, our Hawai‘i International People’s Tribunal—composed of world human rights leaders, including three eminent U.S. law professors—heard evidence on our main islands and found the following U.S. actions to be violations of international law: its intervention in the 1893 overthrow of our independent government; its 1898 annexation and military occupation of our homeland; its conduct of the fraudulent 1959 Hawai‘i statehood vote; and its ongoing seizure of our national lands with resulting ethnocidal effect on our people. These findings have been widely disseminated and embraced in our homeland.

That same year, the 1993 U.S. Apology Resolution (103d Congress Joint Resolution 19, P.L. 103-150, November 28, 1993) was signed by President William Clinton. The Apology acknowledges the role of U.S. Minister John Stevens and of the U.S. military in the overthrow of our Queen Lili‘uokalani in 1893 in direct contravention of bilateral treaties then binding on the United States and the Hawaiian Kingdom. The Resolution further recognizes that “the indigenous Hawaiian people never directly relinquished their claims to their inherent sovereignty as a people or over their national lands to the United States, either through their monarchy or through a plebiscite or referendum.” Moreover, it pledges the United States to acknowledge the ramifications of the 1893 overthrow so as to identify a basis for reconciliation between the U.S. government and the Kanaka Maoli people. Shamefully, the Akaka Bill moves in a direction opposite to that pledge.

The Bill arrogantly attempts to unilaterally characterize the historical transgressions of the United States against our people and kingdom, and to unilaterally specify their remedy. We insist otherwise. U.S. crimes against our Kanaka Maoli people and other Kingdom heirs from 1893 on require, for their redress, that a mechanism composed of U.S. agents and wholly independent representatives of Kanaka Maoli and Kingdom heirs be bilaterally set up by your Administration and us to make findings of fact and conclusions of international law that could serve as a road-map for the resolution of the political and legal issues now outstanding between our two parties.

We look forward to working as soon as possible with your Administration on such a mechanism. In the meantime, we respectfully request that, as head of the U.S. Democratic Party, you ask its Congressional leaders as well as Hawai‘i’s Congressional delegation to immediately withdraw the Akaka Bill from consideration. In the highly unfortunate event that they should not do so, and the Akaka Bill passes, we urge you — in the interest of future good relations between the United States and the Hawaiian nation, and also of sparing your Administration the embarrassment of having to execute a Bill that our people will roundly reject — to veto the Bill.

Me ka mana‘olana no ka huli me ka pono (With hope for change with justice),

Kekuni Blaisdell, M.D. Professor Emeritus of Medicine, Consultant, Department of Native Hawaiian Health, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawai‘i; Convenor, Kanaka Maoli Tribunal Komike; Hawaiian Independence Alliance, Honolulu

Lynette Hi‘ilani Cruz, Ph.D., Kupuna of O‘ahu, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Hawai‘i Pacific University; President, Ka Lei Maile Ali‘i Hawaiian Civic Club; Hawaiian Independence Alliance, Honolulu

George Kahumoku Flores, Kupuna of O‘ahu; Hawaiian Independence Alliance, D.M.Z., Honolulu

Kukauakahi (Clarence Ku Ching) J.D., Huaka‘i i na ‘Aina Mauna, OHA trustee '86 - '90

Puhipau, Kupuna of Na‘alehu, Hawai‘i; Na Maka o ka ‘Aina (Film Production)

Pua Nani Rogers, Kupuna o Kaua‘i, Ahupua‘a o Kealia, Member of Na Kupuna o Manokalanipo, Founder of the Ho‘okipa Network, Kapa‘a, Kaua‘i

Maivan Clech Lam, M.A., M.Ph., , J.D., L.L.M., Professor of International Law (ret.), City University of New York Graduate Center, New York

J. Kehaulani Kauanui, Ph.D., Associate Professor of American Studies and Anthropology, Center for the Americas, Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut

Jonathan Kamakawiwo‘ole Osorio, Ph.D., Professor, School of Hawaiian Knowledge, University of Hawai‘i Manoa, Honolulu

Terrilee Napua Kekoolani, Founder of ‘Ohana Koa, Hawai‘i. Chapter of Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific, Honolulu

Ikaika Hussey, Founder of MANA (The Movement for Aloha No Ka ‘Aina), Honolulu

Kyle Kajihiro, Program Director, American Friends Service Committee Hawai‘i Program (for title identification only), Honolulu

Donna Hewahewa Holt Burns, Artist, Hawaiian Independence Alliance, Honolulu

Noelani Goodyear-Ka‘opua, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Hawai‘i Manoa, Honolulu

Eiko Kosasa, Ph.D., Lecturer, Social Sciences Division, Leeward Community College, Pearl City; Hawaiian Independence Alliance, Honolulu

Dean Saranillio, Doctoral Candidate, Program in American Culture, University of Michigan; Hawaiian Independence Alliance, Honolulu

Al Kuahi Wong, Kupuna; Hui Anuenue of New England; Director, Koani Foundation, Anahola, Kaua‘i

Kai‘opua Fyfe, Kupuna, Delegate to Native Hawaiian Convention from Lihu‘e, Kaua‘i; Director, Koani Foundation; Intervenor, UN Human Rights Council, Treaty Bodies, Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues; Charter Appointee to Native Hawaiian and Kaua‘i Island Education Councils, Anahola, Kaua‘i

David Ingham, Director, Koani Foundation, Anahola, Kaua‘i

‘Ehu Kekahu Cardwell, Director, Koani Foundation, Anahola, Kaua‘i

Kunani Nihipali, Ekolu Wale No

E. A. Ho‘oipo K. Pa, Esq., Ekolu Wale No

Hans Peter Jensen, III, Maoli Media

Hanale Delovio, Hui Anuenue of New England

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http://www.starbulletin.com/editorials/20090424_Akaka_Bill_deserves_support.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, April 24, 2009, commentary

Akaka Bill deserves support

We were disappointed to read Tuesday's commentary piece ("Open letter to U.S. President Barack Obama: 'No' to Akaka Bill") signed by several opponents of the Akaka Bill. We support the Akaka Bill and believe Hawaiian destiny must be shaped by Hawaiian hands as we focus on moving forward.

It is our firm belief that the majority of Hawaiians do not want to be independent from the U.S. We support the Akaka Bill to perpetuate language, cultural practices, sustain Hawai'i, protect existing programs and rebuild a beloved nation — to honor our ancestors and for current and future generations. Hawaiians deserve no less than what is already in place for American Indians and Alaska natives.

Yes, the 1893 Overthrow was illegal and that is why Congress passed the 1993 Apology Resolution. Like so many others, they want to make this situation pono (right). The bill can help us bring about that positive change. It facilitates self-determination by reaffirming the special legal and political relationship the U.S. has with native Hawaiians. It simply establishes a process for federal recognition, leaving it up to native Hawaiians to decide whether and how to proceed — consistent with the U.S. Constitution. It is the beginning of formal relations with the U.S. and gets us a step closer to reconciliation and resolution.

The Akaka Bill is not being rammed through Congress. Over nine years and several iterations, it has been thoroughly vetted and discussed. Many individuals had input at the 2000 hearings and throughout the years. This remains an issue that virtually all native Hawaiians are aware of, while maintaining high visibility amongst Hawai'i's non-native residents.

In 2005, over 2,000 people and organizations publicly expressed their support in a full-page newspaper ad. We know, and are assured, that widespread and overwhelming support still exists among thoughtful people of all racial and political varieties, as the proper course of long-awaited justice.

Finally, the current version of the Akaka Bill is not confusing. While there are four bills, they act as companions, meaning an almost-identical bill is introduced in the Senate and House. There are effectively two versions: one from January and one from March.

We urge President Obama to support the Akaka Bill and sign it as soon as it reaches his desk — for native Hawaiians and for justice.

Me ka ha'aha'a (with humility),

Robert J. Moore (Kamehameha Schools '53) and Paulette P. Moore (KS '52) Pearl City

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http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?1e62f64d-6905-4bd6-8439-71e2688bb1b2
Hawaii Reporter, April 28, 2009

Open letter to President Obama Regarding the Racist Akaka Bill Pending in Congress
Analogy: Consider the divisiveness of creating a government and lands exclusively for 40 Million African-Americans.

By Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.

Aloha Mr. President, from Hawai'i, the place of your birth.

You have said you want to hear all opinions and you are willing to change your mind based on ideas newly brought to your attention.

I'm writing to ask you to oppose the Akaka bill: the Hawaiian Government Reorganization bill, S.708 and H.R.1711 in the 111th Congress.

There are many reasons why anybody should oppose it. But in this message I'm appealing to you based on three things that uniquely define who is Barack Obama: ideals you have publicly espoused; your personal and racial background; and your expertise from being a professor of Constitutional law.

APPEALING TO YOUR IDEALS -- TEAR DOWN WALLS THAT DIVIDE US INSTEAD OF ERECTING A NEW WALL OF APARTHEID

In your Berlin speech in July 2008 you gave a ringing endorsement of the ideal of inter-racial unity, making clear that divisiveness and tribalsim must come to an end. Here's what you said in the shadow of the Berlin wall: "... 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."

The whole purpose of the Akaka bill is to divide the lands and people of Hawaii along racial lines -- to declare that the descendants of natives should be a hereditary elite with a racially exclusionary government walling out all who lack a drop of the magic blood.

Why should such an abomination be inflicted on us in the very place where King Kauikeaouli Kamehameha III proclaimed racial unity and equality as law? In the first sentence of the first Constitution (1840) of the multiracial Kingdom of Hawaii, the King wrote: "God hath made of one blood all races of people to dwell on this Earth in unity and blessedness." Why should we now erect a wall of racial separatism in the land of aloha? Please, Mr. President, help bring us together instead of ripping us apart.

YOUR PERSONAL SEARCH FOR IDENTITY IN A BLACK COMMUNITY WHERE GOOD PEOPLE SEEKING FULL INTEGRATION STRUGGLED AGAINST AN IDEOLOGY OF RACIAL SEPARATISM AND HATRED

Sir, I'm going to accept the challenge recently posed by your Attorney General, Eric Holder, to speak openly and honestly about race.

You have a deep personal understanding of the quest for racial identity because of your own black/white heritage You know the historical struggle for identity within the African-American community. Elijah Muhammad's Nation of Islam, and the early Malcolm X, advocated racial separatism and portrayed the white man as a devil. Some radicals called for setting aside several southern states for a Nation of New Africa. Fortunately Martin Luther King used Gandhi's spiritual tool of non-violence to appeal to people's inner goodness, which led to full integration. After his pilgrimage to Mecca Malcolm X understood the universal brotherhood of people of all races, but was gunned down by the separatists when he tried to persuade them to pursue integration.

In your extensive work as a community organizer you saw how some demagogues use racial grievances to stir up hatred, and leaders use victimhood statistics to build wealthy and powerful institutions on the backs of needy people who end up getting very little help. During your campaign for the Presidency the whole nation saw your heart-rending decision to reject the outrageously divisive black liberation theology in the rhetoric of the pastor whose church you had belonged to for 20 years.

THERE'S A SIMILAR STRUGGLE IN THE HAWAIIAN COMMUNITY

Sir, the same struggles go on within the ethnic Hawaiian community. The Akaka bill would empower the demagogues and racial separatists. The Akaka bill is supported primarily by large, wealthy institutions; not by the actual people they claim to represent. Institutions like the $400 Million Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and the $9 Billion Kamehameha Schools, seek to entrench their political power. They want an exemption from the 14th Amendment requirement that all persons be given the equal protection of the laws regardless of race.

But Hawaiians are voting with their feet against the Akaka bill. After five years and untold millions of dollars in advertising, fewer than one-fourth of those eligible have signed up for the Kau Inoa racial registry likely to be used as a membership roll for the Akaka tribe. Sadly, if the bill passes then the separatists will be able to create their tribe even though the majority of ethnic Hawaiians oppose the idea. And 80% of Hawaii's people, having no native blood, will see our beautiful Hawaii carved up without even asking us.

WOULD YOU SUPPORT CREATION OF A RACE-BASED GOVERNMENT FOR 40 MILLION AFRICAN-AMERICANS? THE AKAKA BILL'S IMPACT ON HAWAII WOULD BE 50% MORE DEVASTATING THAN THAT

Mr. President, please bear with me while I ask a very strange question about race, and then explain its relevance.

Would it be good to round up all 40 million African-Americans, defined by the one-drop rule, and declare that they are a tribe with the power to create a racially exclusionary government and negotiate for money, land, and legal jurisdiction? Would that be good for America? Would it be good for African-Americans? Would it be consistent with the dream of Martin Luther King? Or does it sound more like a nightmare?

The racial divisiveness of the Akaka bill would be 50% more devastating for Hawaii than the creation of the African-American tribe would be for all of America. Here's why. According to the U.S. Census American Community Survey for the most recent 3-year period (2005-2007), 13.1% of all the people of America are at least partly African-American. And about 20% of the people of Hawaii are at least partly native Hawaiian. Thus the impact the Akaka tribe would have on Hawaii is 50% more devastating and divisive than the impact on America of creating an African-American tribe, because the percentage of Hawaii's people who are ethnic Hawaiian is 50% larger than the percentage of the U.S. population who are African-Americans, all according to the same one-drop rule used in the Akaka bill.

''THE AKAKA BILL WOULD CREATE AMERICA'S BIGGEST "INDIAN TRIBE" COMPETING AGAINST THE GENUINE TRIBES FOR A DIMINISHING POT OF FEDERAL MONEY'

The Akaka tribe would be the largest tribe in America. In Census 2000 there were more than 401,000 people who checked the box as having Hawaiian ancestry (Current estimates are much larger, but the Census Bureau groups ethnic Hawaiians with other Pacific islanders making it hard to separate them).

By contrast, in 2005-2007 Census ACS, the three largest tribal groups are Cherokee tribal grouping (including several different tribes) at 298,510, Navajo tribal grouping 288,682, Chippewa tribal grouping 108,880. In the Bureau of Indian Affairs the phony Akaka tribe will be the elephant in the room, grabbing federal money that formerly went to the real tribes.

That same "elephant" issue is also true for some of the states. According to Census 2000, more than 60,000 ethnic Hawaiians lived in California (recent estimates say 65,000). The Akaka tribe would probably be the largest tribe in California! An additional 100,000 were living in the other 48 states outside Hawaii. Local branches of the Akaka tribe would be formed in every state and might buy land, put it into federal trust, operate tax exempt businesses, and build casinos competing against gambling operations owned by states, local governments, private corporations, and Indian tribes. Although the Akaka bill was amended in March with language that allegedly prohibits the tribe from gambling, Western-state Senators in previous years expressed concern that the language was not sufficient to actually prohibit gambling.

THE KINGDOM OF HAWAII HAD FULL RACIAL INTEGRATION FROM THE START. THERE NEVER WAS A RACIALLY EXCLUSIONARY GOVERNMENT LIKE THE AKAKA BILL PROPOSES TO "REORGANIZE." TODAY ALL RACES ARE FULLY INTEGRATED IN HAWAII'S RAINBOW SOCIETY

There never was a unified nation of Hawaii that included all the islands and had only ethnic Hawaiians as members and high-ranking leaders.

At the beginning John Young, Englishman, was a leader in the forces of the conqueror Kamehameha The Great. He was appointed Governor of Kamehameha's home island; his son was second in rank to Kamehameha II; his granddaughter was Queen Emma (wife of Kamehameha IV); and he is buried with the kings in the Royal Mausoleum. His tomb is the only one marked by a raised stone platform resembling an ancient heiau (temple), and is the only tomb guarded by a pair of pulo'ulo'u (sacred taboo sticks).

Caucasians and Asians were subjects of the Hawaiian Kingdom when they were either native-born or naturalized. Throughout the Kingdom's history most cabinet ministers, most judges, nearly all department heads, and sometimes 1/4 to 1/3 of the legislators were Caucasian. The majority of the population at the end of the Kingdom were Asians working on the sugar plantations or as owners of small businesses. Only 40% of Hawaii's people at the time of the revolution in 1893 had a drop of native blood. Ethnic Hawaiians today are fully integrated and widely dispersed throughout the entire population in all neighborhoods. They are not separate and distinct from non-natives. Most of them have low native blood quantum. 40% of them live outside Hawaii.

Why then would you support a bill which claims to "reorganize" a racially exclusionary native government in a place that never had one? Why build a wall of racial separatism when you said in Berlin that your ideal is to tear down such walls?

THE CONSTITUTION DOES NOT ALLOW CONGRESS TO SINGLE OUT A RACIAL GROUP, CREATE A SEPARATIST GOVERNMENT FOR IT, AND ARBITRARILY CALL IT AN INDIAN TRIBE

Mr. President, you have a strong academic background in Constitutional law, and were a professor of that subject for several years at the University of Chicago. The Akaka bill is unconstitutional.

The Constitution gives Congress the power to recognize Indian tribes that already exist, but not to create new ones out of thin air. The Akaka bill is based on a whole new theory of the Constitution, that would say Congress has the power to single out any group of so-called "indigenous" people and create a racially exclusionary government for them, empowering that government to negotiate with state and federal governments for money, land, and jurisdictional authority. An "indigenous" person under the Akaka bill is defined as anyone with at least one drop of native blood from an ancestor who lived in Hawaii before Captain Cook came in 1778.

If such a theory were adopted, then all people of Mexican ancestry (who have a drop of indigenous Aztec or Mayan blood) would be eligible to create a Nation of Aztlan and demand jurisdiction over most of the lands of several Southwestern states that formerly belonged to Mexico. Just as the Akaka bill allows anyone with a drop of native Hawaiian blood, anywhere in the world, to join the tribe and come to Hawaii, so the theory of the bill would allow anyone with Mexican ancestry, living anywhere in the world, to join the Nation of Aztlan and come to America.

Supporters of the Akaka bill point out that tribes are defined by race. But tribes are also defined by their political history as separate and distinct groups living apart from surrounding populations and having a government that exercised substantial authority over them continuously from before Western contact right up to now. In the Akaka bill the ONLY requirement for membership is race. The Akaka "tribe" fails to satisfy several of the seven mandatory criteria for federal recognition found in 25 CFR 83.7.

Supporters of the Akaka bill say ethnic Hawaiians deserve the same federal recognition given to Native Americans and Native Alaskans. But if the racial theory of the Akaka bill were followed on the mainland and in Alaska, then all Native Americans would be grouped together as one single tribe because they all have the same race; and the same is true for all Native Alaskans.

The Constitution does not give Congress the power to turn a racial group into a tribe. It only gives Congress the power to recognize tribes that already exist as separate and distinct political groups. Supporters of the Akaka bill say the Supreme Court's decision in Lara gave Congress the power to create a tribe. But that's not true. It only gave the government the right to re-recognize a tribe that had been previously recognized and then decertified; but not to create a new tribe where none had existed before.

THANK YOU MR. PRESIDENT

Mr. President, I have taken a lot of your time. But if this message prevents you from making a terrible mistake, it's been worthwhile. Thank you for thinking about this issue. Please let the word go out that you oppose the Akaka bill, and will veto it if it dares to soil your desk with its racism. If you or your advisors have more time to study the Akaka bill, please consider the following.

A FEW SUGGESTED READINGS

Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. "Hawaiian Apartheid: Racial Separatism and Ethnic Nationalism in the Aloha State" (book, 302 pages).
http://tinyurl.com/2a9fqa

U.S. Commission on Civil Rights -- Report Opposing the Akaka bill
http://tinyurl.com/ocap3

Akaka bill hearing before the U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, in Washington D.C., on Tuesday July 19, 2005
http://tinyurl.com/c3kg9

What Does the United States Owe to Native Hawaiians? Two reports commissioned by Congress contain the answers, which are directly applicable to the Akaka bill. The Morgan Report (U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, 1894, 808 pages) concluded the U.S. did not conspire with the revolutionists to overthrow the Hawaiian monarchy, and did not help them while it was underway. The Native Hawaiians Study Commission was delivered to Senate and House committees in 1983, and concluded there is no historical, legal, or moral obligation for the United States to provide race-based benefits, group rights, or political sovereignty to ethnic Hawaiians.
http://tinyurl.com/f4cqt
Bruce Fein, "Hawaii Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand" http://tinyurl.com/7d6xq Bruce Fein is a nationally known attorney specializing in Constitutional law. He publicly called for the impeachment of President Bush for violating the Constitution on matters related to the war in Iraq, separation of powers, Guantanamo detainees, and warrantless searches of private communications. His monograph includes an extensive point-by-point rebuttal of the 1993 apology resolution which the Akaka bill repeatedly cites as its primary justification.

A series of hard-hitting one-minute audio messages oppose the Akaka bill, accompanied by corresponding YouTube videos and transcripts. Each item focuses on one historical figure who is of major importance in Hawaiian history or culture but would not be recognized as Hawaiian according to the Akaka bill; or one aspect of the Akaka bill that is contrary to the ideals of unity, equality, and aloha.
http://akakabill.org/audio-downloads/

Major Articles Opposing the Hawaiian Government Reorganization bill (Akaka bill), 2000-2009 -- index.
http://tinyurl.com/5eflp

The Akaka Bill And Secession: The Hawaiian Government Reorganization bill (Akaka bill) is seen by its supporters as a step toward total independence for all of Hawai'i
http://tinyurl.com/4cho6

Dr. Conklin wrote the print-on-demand book "Hawaiian Apartheid: Racial Separatism and Ethnic Nationalism in the Aloha State." 27 copies are available in the Hawaii Public Library system; or see
http://tinyurl.com/2a9fqa

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http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090428/GETPUBLISHED/90428038/-1/sportsfront
Honolulu Advertiser, Tuesday April 28, 2009
Reader-submitted blog

University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Journalism Students Win FOX News Challenge Two University of Hawai'i at Mānoa journalism seniors have won a national award of $10,000 in the Sixth Annual Fox News Channel College Challenge for their news video on Native Hawaiian independence and the Akaka Bill.

The students, Casey Chin and Meghan Lopez, will receive their award on Friday, April 24, 2009, during a live taping of the "Fox and Friends" morning show in New York. They are scheduled to appear sometime between 8:30-9 a.m. EST with the shows anchors. During their appearance on the show, they will talk about their winning entry and their experiences.

Chin and Lopez will be accompanied by Jay Hartwell, publications adviser for the student newspaper, Ka Leo O Hawai'i. They receive the $10,000 scholarship awarded to the winning team and an additional $10,000 to support student journalism programs at UH Mānoa.

The Fox News Channel College Challenge requires teams of two to four students to report, write and produce an objective broadcast news story. A panel from Fox News Channel judged the dozens of entries submitted from universities and colleges across the country.

Chin, 23, of Sacramento, Calif., and Lopez, 21, of Littleton, Colo., are broadcast journalism majors who heard about the contest last year, and decided to work on a story about Native Hawaiian sovereignty and the controversy over the Akaka Bill.

Working with resources provided by the UH Mānoa School of Communications' Media Lab and Ka Leo O Hawai'i, the two—with assistance from fellow student Steven Tonthat—used Sony PD-170 cameras to shoot more than 13 hours of tape. They logged and edited what they had down to a three-minutes story to meet the requirements of the Fox competition.

"We had really good interviews that we had to let go because we couldn't fit it into the package," Chin said.

"The hardest part was summarizing the entire history of the Hawaiian sovereignty movement and presenting it to a national audience that knows nothing about the United States' illegal overthrow of the [native monarchy]," said Lopez, who came to Hawai'i as a freshman four years ago.

The two met at the School of Communications journalism program and at Ka Leo, the student-run multi-media program, where Lopez and Chin worked as desk editors for a year before deciding to focus on broadcast journalism.

They used cameras and microphones from the Media Lab and a Final Cut Pro editing studio at Ka Leo. They worked three months on the project, even traveling to the Lakota Nation in South Dakota during the winter break to interview Native Americans about the importance of the Native Hawaiian sovereignty movement.

"It was fun and the worst part of my life," Chin said. "There were times that we were in there [editing] for 12 hours."

"The best part about the experience was being able to work on a story that went into more depth than a minute and a half, normal news project," Lopez said. "[This issue] is something that affects pretty much everybody in Hawai'i."

Lopez, who was an intern at 9News (KUSA) in Denver last summer, also is one of three college journalists selected to join 12 professionals to travel as fellows through Germany this summer in a program sponsored by Radio and Television News Directors Foundation and RIAS Berlin Kommission. Afterward, Lopez hopes to become a backpack journalist. "I want to be able to travel around the world and explore culture, social and political issues within whatever community I am visiting."

Chin, a Society of Professional Journalists' intern with Hawai'i Business magazine last summer, said he also hopes to travel as a reporter.

"I really hope that our recognition will stir a more serious conversation about our journalism program," Lopez said. "It's absolutely important to have a journalism program at UH."

The Fox News Channel College Challenge award is among a number of honors awarded to UH journalism students this year. Ka Leo this month was awarded the first place award for college newspapers in the 2009 Hawai'i Publishers Association competition.

The University of Hawai'i at Mānoa serves approximately 20,000 students pursuing 225 different degrees. Coming from every Hawaiian island, every state in the nation, and more than 100 countries, UHM students matriculate in an enriching environment for the global exchange of ideas. For more information, visit http://manoa.hawaii.edu.


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