(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
HERE IS THE INDEX OF ITEMS FROM JANUARY 1, 2009 to February 4, 2009. FULL TEXT OF EACH ITEM FOLLOWS THE INDEX, IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER.
January 4, 2009: Whitney Anderson (ethnic Hawaiian former state Senator) says Akaka bill might not be the best path to benefit ethnic Hawaiians, and instead it might be better to amend the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920.
January 8-9: A major study on the economic impact of the Akaka bill was released by Beacon Hill Institute, a public policy economic think-tank at Suffolk University in Boston. 10-minute video of press conference is available.
January 11: Crystal Kua, spokesperson for OHA, says Beacon Hill Institute study on economic impact of Akaka bill is inaccurate, and unreliable because it was sponsored by opponents of OHA.
January 12: Honolulu Advertiser Washington D.C. correspondent describes the legislation priorities of Hawaii's two Senators and two Representatives; but the Akaka bill is apparently not at the top of their list.
January 13: Honolulu Advertiser columnist David Shapiro encourages Legislature to pass a moratorium on ceded land sales until the Akaka bill has been passed and the Akaka tribe can get control of them.
January 15: 2 letters to editor say Crystal Kua (OHA spokesman) was being dishonest in saying Akaka bill costs would be very small, and the bill should have language to make the U.S. pay all costs instead of Hawaii.
January 16: (1) Honolulu Advertiser editorial urges that the same version of the Akaka bill from 2008 should be re-introduced in Congress in 2009; (2) Andrew Walden commentary notes that the point Advertiser is making is that there were 4 important restrictions on the proposed Akaka tribe that were in the 2008 Akaka bill which had resulted from negotiations with the Bush administration, and which Akaka/Inouye might try to remove from the 2009 version. Walden describes the dangers to Hawaii if those restrictions are removed.
January 18: Excerpts from an online public Q&A with Neil Abercrombie (D, HI)
January 19: Akaka bill is all about money and land (quotes from Neil Abercrombie, Hawaii representative in Congress)
January 23: Open letter to President Obama opposing Akaka bill, written by another man who, like Obama, is part-Caucasian, was born and raised in Hawaii, and attended Punahou school.
January 25: 2 letters raise doubts that Akaka bill would be wise.
January 28: TV station reports conversation with Akaka, who says "The inauguration of Barack Hussein Obama 'keiki o ka Aina o Hawaii' will make a huge different not only in the world and the United States, but for the people of Hawaii."
January 30: TV station reports the OHA trustees went to Washington for Obama's inauguration and also lobbied for the Akaka bill while there.
February 2: Honolulu Star-Bulletin editorial says the Hawaii statehood admission act requires 20% of ceded land revenue be used for ethnic Hawaiians exclusively (FALSE!) and that the state should not sell any ceded lands until the Akaka bill passes and ethnic Hawaiian claims have been settled with the Akaka tribe.
February 4: Ken Conklin major article in Hawaii Reporter discusses bills in Legislature to place moratorium on sales of Hawaii public lands until Akaka bill has been passed and Akaka tribe can negotiate with State. Article includes links to webpages disproving claims in the apology resolution which is the main justification for the Akaka bill.
END OF INDEX OF ITEMS FROM JANUARY 1, 2009 to February 4, 2009. FULL TEXT OF EACH ITEM FOLLOWS THE INDEX, IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER.
FULL TEXT OF EACH ITEM, IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, January 4, 2009
Letter to editor
Akaka Bill might not be best route to take
Many Hawaiians in support of the Akaka Bill are present or past officers of the state Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs, or of individual member clubs. Our first delegate to Congress, Prince Kuhio, founded the Hawaiian Civic Club to benefit all Hawaiians, regardless of blood quantum. As our delegate, Prince Kuhio introduced the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920, which he also intended to benefit all Hawaiians regardless of blood quantum; unfortunately, and against the prince's wishes, Congress amended the act before passage limiting benefits to those Hawaiians with at least 50 percent Hawaiian blood. Since then the Akaka Bill and the blood quantum issue have both divided our community.
Rather than reintroducing the Akaka Bill, why not instead amend the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act that's already been passed by Congress? This would better ensure that Hawaiians will receive no less than Native Americans. We must also make certain that any reparations include a trust for all children of Hawaiian ancestry to get a quality education.
It is my hope that President-elect Barack Obama might hear about this suggestion and have his administration look into it. As an active member of the Hawaiian Civic Club for more than 45 years, and as a former president of the state association, I would never suggest anything that might harm our people.
Whitney T. Anderson
*** ON JANUARY 8, 2009 A MAJOR REPORT ABOUT THE AKAKA BILL WAS RELEASED AT A PRESS CONFERENCE AT THE HAWAII STATE CAPITOL BY THE BEACON HILL INSTITUTE, WHICH IS AN ECONOMIC THINK-TANK AT SUFFOLK UNIVERSITY IN BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS. THE REPORT IS ENTITLED: "The Economic Impact of the Akaka Bill: Unintended Consequences for Hawaii".
The full report in pdf format can be downloaded here:
News reports follow.
***** Here is a 10-minute YouTube video of the Beacon Hill Institute press conference held at the Capitol of the State of Hawaii.
Hawaii Reporter, January 8, 2009
Akaka Bill Impact Revealed
New Study Shows Drastic Impact on State's Economy
By Tom McAuliffe
HONOLULU, HAWAII --- The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii (GRIH) has released a new study from the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University.
The Economic Impact of the Akaka Bill: Unintended Consequences for Hawaii estimates that the Akaka bill could cost the state up to $690 million per year in lost revenue.
The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2007 (S.310 and H.R.505) in the 110th Congress, also known as the Akaka Bill after sponsor Senator Daniel Akaka, proposes to create a sovereign Native Hawaiian Governing Entity (NHGE) within the state of Hawaii. This is the first study on the economic impacts of the proposed bill, which is expected to be re-introduced in the new session of Congress.
The Economic Impact of the Akaka Bill: Unintended Consequences for Hawaii is a straightforward look at how passage of the bill would hurt Hawaii business while pitting neighbor against neighbor," said Grassroot Institute President Jamie Story. "Regardless of one’s feelings about the Akaka Bill and its benefits or shortcomings, it is vital to examine the economic impact of the bill on Hawaii’s people. This study demonstrates the irreversible economic damage the Akaka Bill would do to Hawaii, and we hope Washington DC officials will take this into consideration.”
Among the study's findings:
• The bill could exempt Native Hawaiians living or shopping on land ceded from the state from paying state income and sales taxes.
• There may be a transfer of state-owned lands to persons designated as native Hawaiians to the detriment of non-Native Hawaiian taxpayers and, correspondingly, to the state economy. The resulting tax increases would have large, negative impacts on the state's economy leading to a possible reduction of 20,793 private sector jobs, a loss of $417.2 million in investment and a loss of $1,461 in real per-capita disposable personal income annually.
"We've looked at the bill, as introduced in the last session of Congress, from many different angles and have provided an objective in-depth analysis of what the economic impacts might be on Hawaii and its citizens," said Dr. David Tuerck, Executive Director of the Beacon Hill Institute and co-author of the study. "In The Economic Impact of the Akaka Bill: Unintended Consequences for Hawaii we've identified the most likely effects of the Akaka Bill on the Hawaiian economy. By almost any plausible interpretation of the bill, those effects are uniformly negative," adds Paul Bachman, Director of Research at Beacon Hill.
The new The Economic Impact of the Akaka Bill: Unintended Consequences for Hawaii study is available free of charge at the Grassroot Institute web site. Please visit:
for more information.
Tom McAuliffe is the communications director for the GRIH. The mission of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii is to promote individual liberty, free market economic principles and limited, more accountable government.
The Beacon Hill Institute engages in rigorous economic research producing readable analyses of current public policy issues for voters, taxpayers, opinion leaders and policy makers. Please also visit:
http://www.beaconhill.org for more information on that organization.
KITV4 News, January 8, 2009
Group Says Akaka Bill Would Cost State Hundreds Of Millions
Akaka Representative Says Study Misinforms Public
HONOLULU -- A study commissioned by a group opposed to federal recognition of Native Hawaiians, or Akaka Bill, estimated it could cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars.
The Grassroots Institute of Hawaii predicted that a Native Hawaiian government would snatch public land and tax revenues from the state, resulting in losses of state revenues of between $343 million and $690 million per year.
The six-month, $15,000 study was conducted by the public policy think tank Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University.
"The major expense is the transfer of revenues from the state to the new sovereign entity. That includes tax revenues, excise tax and lease fees from the transfer of land," said Paul Bachman of the Beacon Hill Institute.
The survey group said taxpayers would shoulder the burden at a time when individuals are facing many other financial challenges.
"We look at the negatives that people weren't looking at before when we didn't have to take a close look at the economy," Sen. Sam Slom said.
A spokesman for Sen. Daniel Akaka, who is pushing the measure in Congress, said the study is spreading misinformation because the bill does not provide for land transfers or tax breaks.
Akaka will receive his copy of the survey next week, along with other key members of the U.S. Senate.
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, January 8, 2009
Breaking News, posted 2:15 PM.
Akaka Bill would cost millions, group contends
By Associated Press
and Star-Bulletin staff
A study commissioned by a group opposed to federal recognition of Native Hawaiians estimates it could cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars.
The libertarian Grassroot Institute of Hawaii predicts a Native Hawaiian government would snatch public land and tax revenues from the state, resulting in losses of state revenues of between $343 million and $690 million per year.
A spokesman for Sen. Daniel Akaka, who is pushing the measure in Congress, says the study is spreading misinformation because the bill doesn’t provide for land transfers or tax breaks.
The $15,000 study was conducted by the public policy think tank Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University.
A statement by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs questioned the political motives of both the Grassroots Institute and Beacon Hill. OHA officials said the Congressional Budget Office's analysis showed a Native Hawaiian recognition act would cost about $1 million in the first year and $500,000 in subsequent years.
Honolulu Advertiser, Friday, January 9, 2009
Study: Hawaiian government could cost state $690M a year
By Mark Niesse
A study commissioned by a group opposed to a Native Hawaiian government within the United States estimates it would cost the state of Hawai'i hundreds of millions of dollars.
The libertarian Grassroot Institute of Hawai'i's study released yesterday predicts a Native Hawaiian government would snatch public land and up to $690 million in state tax revenues per year.
But the Office of Hawaiian Affairs said the report "is based on fear and spreads misinformation," because the Native Hawaiian legislation pending before Congress doesn't provide for land transfers or tax breaks.
The $15,000 study was conducted by the public policy think tank Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University.
It assumes residents and businesses of a future Native Hawaiian government would be exempt from state income and excise taxes, similar to reservations of American Indians.
"We're going to have a nation carved out of the state of Hawai'i, and we don't know the impact," said Dick Rowland, co-founder of the Grassroot Institute. "It's frightening."
A spokesman for Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawai'i, who is pushing the measure in Congress, said the legislation only spells out a method to create an entity that would represent Hawaiians to the U.S. government.
"Part of the point of the Akaka bill is not to dictate what will happen, but set up a process ... so future leaders can make the decisions themselves," spokesman Jesse Broder Van Dyke said.
The measure would set up a Native Hawaiian governing body that would then negotiate with the federal government to determine its powers and land base. These lands could come from 1.2 million acres once owned by the Hawaiian monarchy and now managed by the state.
The Office of Hawaiian Affairs accused the Beacon Hill Institute of being biased and affiliated with "radical neo-conservatives."
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, January 9, 2009
Akaka Bill's critics say it would be costly to state
By Mark Niesse / Associated Press
A study commissioned by a group opposed to a native Hawaiian government within the United States estimates it would cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars.
The libertarian Grassroot Institute of Hawaii's study, released yesterday, predicts a native Hawaiian government would snatch public land and up to $690 million in state tax revenues per year.
But the Office of Hawaiian Affairs said the report "is based on fear and spreads misinformation," because the native Hawaiian legislation pending before Congress does not provide for land transfers or tax breaks.
The $15,000 study was conducted by the Beacon Hill Institute, a public policy think tank at Suffolk University in Boston. It assumes residents and businesses of a native Hawaiian government would be exempt from state income and excise taxes, similar to American Indians on reservations.
"We're going to have a nation carved out of the state of Hawaii, and we don't know the impact," said Dick Rowland, co-founder of the Grassroot Institute. "It's frightening."
A spokesman for U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, who is pushing the measure in Congress, said the legislation only spells out a method to create an entity that would represent Hawaiians to the U.S. government.
"Part of the point of the Akaka Bill is not to dictate what will happen, but set up a process ... so future leaders can make the decisions themselves," spokesman Jesse Broder Van Dyke said.
The measure would set up a native Hawaiian governing body that would negotiate with the federal government over its powers and land base.
OHA accused the Beacon Hill Institute of being biased and affiliated with "radical neo-conservatives."
"The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act does not cause a loss of tax revenues or a loss of state land," OHA said in a statement. "The bill reaffirms existing political and legal status as native people and sets forth a mechanism of federal recognition for a reorganized native Hawaiian representative governing entity."
** The Star-Bulletin website version of the Associated Press article was accompanied by a video with caption that said "Akaka Bill Awaits Congressional Session. Supporters of the Akaka bill are gearing up for another push for passage in the new Congressional session." The teaser photo from the video, placed right in the middle of the article, shows Senator Akaka sitting at his desk, talking on the phone while using his computer. The video, which was a TV news report by KITV4, can be seen at
** Another video of a TV news report by KGMB9, which actually shows Beacon Hill Institute speakers describing their own report, can be seen at
Written by KGMB9 News - email@example.com
January 08, 2009 10:48 PM
** A video of the excellent news report actually broadcast is included in the TV station's webpage at:
New report says creating a government for Native Hawaiians is a bad idea and would cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars. But others say the study is flawed and untrue. Here's details.
Is it a scare tactic, or a big hit to our state's bottom line? A new 34-page study funded by Akaka bill opponents warns of a major economic impact if the Native Hawaiian recognition act passes.
Economists from The Beacon Hill Institute say the state stands to lose millions by transferring land to a Native Hawaiian governing entity. At stake are lease payments, excise and income taxes.
"We estimate the total revenue loss from these 3 sources to be between approximately 340 and 690 million dollars annually," Sarah Glassman of the Beacon Hill Institute said.
The study also predicts the state would hike taxes to recoup the losses and that could have a ripple effect on jobs.
the State can expect loss of 10-20 thousand private sector jobs which is double the unemployment rate currently.
Senator Akaka's office calls the study a bunch of lies.
"This study is clearly meant to frighten people," Sen. Akaka's poskesperson, Jesse Broder Van Dyke said. "The Akaka Bill does not impose any sort of costs like this group suggests."
The Office of Hawaiian Affairs agrees, saying the Akaka bill "does not cause a loss of tax revenues or loss of state land."
The bill has faced a rough road since it was sponsored in 2000 to create an official process for Native Hawaiians to be recognized by the United States.
However, President-Elect Obama has indicated he supports the Akaka bill.
One other economic impact was mentioned in the report: the possibility of legal gaming similar to what happens on Native American reservations.
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Sunday January 11, 2009
Letter to editor
Fears of Akaka Bill are unwarranted
The report presented last week by the Grassroot Institute and the Beacon Hill Institute is based on fear and spreads misinformation.
The only factual information available on costs related to the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act was prepared by the independent Congressional Budget Office for the 110th and 109th Congress.
In both the 109th and 110th Congresses, the independent analysis indicated the bill's cost would be about $1 million the first year and about $500,000 for subsequent years.
The CBO report also indicates passage of the NHGRA would result in no other cost impact at local, state and federal levels.
The NHGRA does not cause a loss of tax revenues or loss of state land. The bill reaffirms existing political and legal status as native people and sets forth a mechanism of federal recognition for a reorganized Hawaiian representative governing entity, similar to that which exists for American Indians and Alaska Natives.
Any changes, even remotely similar to the misinformation in the Beacon Hill report, would need to be negotiated among the state, federal and recognized Hawaiian representative governing entities, and then proceed through the relevant legislative process.
The Beacon Hill Institute is known as a fiscally conservative research entity affiliated with radical neo-conservatives.
Beacon Hill needs to do more research to better understand each of the peoples of our multicultural Hawaii. People of Hawaii do not refer to Hawaiians as all people living in Hawaii - they know that term is specific to the native, indigenous people of Hawaii, known on the continent as native Hawaiians.
Members of the Grassroot Institute have sued the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and other organizations with the intent of dismantling programs aimed at bettering the conditions of native Hawaiians.
Reporters should question the validity of the report's conclusions by holding both the Grassroot Institute and the Beacon Hill Institute accountable for how they arrived at their results and not take their information at face value.
Office of Hawaiian Affairs
Honolulu Advertiser, Monday, January 12, 2009
Lawmakers focus on recovery
Native Hawaiian bill also ranks high for congressional group
** Excerpts related to Akaka bill
By Dennis Camire
Advertiser Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON — As the new Congress gets under way, Hawai'i lawmakers are focusing on an economic stimulus plan as their immediate priority.
"I don't know that there is much beyond that right now," said Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawai'i. "I look at it less as a stimulus than as a recovery program."
But the state's lawmakers in Washington have a wealth of other issues to pursue, including federal recognition of Native Hawaiians, early childhood education and aid for former prisoners of war who are disabled.
Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, D-Hawai'i, incoming chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, will be heavily involved in the stimulus package but has other issues high on his priority list for the state.
That includes legislation to help Native Hawaiians with healthcare and home ownership, aid to military men and women, and recognition for Filipino veterans who fought with U.S. forces in World War II, according to a statement from Inouye.
Sen. Dan Akaka, D-Hawai'i, also said passing an economic stimulus package and fiscal aid to states lead his priority list.
"The president-elect already has been mentioning some of his ideas," he said. "I think that's the right thing to do, and we hope we can get enough support to bring that about."
Akaka also said he would push for a vote as soon as possible on a bill that creates a process for Native Hawaiian self-government and leads to federal recognition.
"This may be a good time to bring it up again since the president-elect supports it," he said.
The bill, nicknamed the Akaka bill, has been stalled since 2000 in the Senate because of objections from conservative Republicans.
Akaka said he has talked with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., about moving the bill "but I don't have any indication from him yet on when it would be."
Honolulu Advertiser Commentator Blog
by David Shapiro, January 13, 2009
Keep status quo on ceded lands
The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is asking the Legislature for a moratorium on the sale of state ceded lands, and it might be a good stopgap measure to give legal and political tangles over Hawaiian native rights a chance to resolve.
The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments next month on whether the ceded lands — former crown lands transferred to the state as part of the 1959 Admissions Act — are frozen until Hawaiian claims to the land are settled.
The Hawai’i Supreme Court ruled last year that the lands can’t be sold until the Hawaiian claims are resolved, citing the 1993 congressional resolution apologizing for the U.S. role in the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy.
But some 30 states have joined Hawai’i in urging the federal high court to overturn the state ruling, arguing that the apology resolution never intended to cloud state title to the lands.
Separately, incoming President Barack Obama and the resurgent Democratic Congress are just starting to address the Akaka bill for native Hawaiian recognition, which could provide the legal basis for settling the Hawaiian claims.
With so many issues in the air, emotions running high and no significant transfers of ceded lands planned, the Legislature could calm the situation by doing as OHA asks and maintaining the status quo until the path forward is clarified.
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, January 15, 2009
Letters to editor x 2
OHA not being honest about Akaka Bill costs
Crystal Kua, Office of Hawaiian Affairs director of communications, has done her job to spin the report presented by Beacon Hill Institute and the Grassroot Institute exposing the costs of the Akaka Bill to the state of Hawaii (Letters, Jan. 11).
Her misinformation is in her statement that "the bill's cost would be about $1 million the first year and about $500,000 for subsequent years." And she added the figures came from "the independent Congressional Budget Office for the 110th and 109th Congress."
Kua attempted to misinform us, but we all know that the Congressional Budget Office provides cost estimates to the federal government on any legislation. The cost estimates of the Akaka Bill by the CBO do not include the millions or even billions to the state of Hawaii and the four county governments, as the Beacon Hill Institute and the Grassroot Institute pointed out.
Kua must propose to the OHA board, as a state agency, to approve and fund an independent cost study of the estimated impact of the Akaka Bill to the state of Hawaii and its people.
Editor's note: Jimmy Kuroiwa was one of 15 plaintiffs in the 2002 Arakaki v. Lingle case, a lawsuit challenging the existence of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs as a state-supported "race-based" institution.
Any costs from bill should be repaid
If it is true, as Crystal Kua of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs states in her letter to the editor, that the Beacon Hill Study's estimates of the Akaka Bill costs are "misinformation," then why not put language into the Akaka Bill that provides for reimbursement to the state of Hawaii and her citizens if financial losses are suffered due to the bill's passage? Shouldn't the U.S. government pay for the consequences of passing this bill?
Honolulu Advertiser, Friday, January 16, 2009
Isles should send unfettered Akaka Bill for a vote
Certainly, the omens for passing the bill giving federal recognition to Native Hawaiians look better than they have in more than a decade.
That is something to applaud. The Akaka bill, in its essential form, creates a pathway for establishing Hawai'i's indigenous people as a political entity, enabling their reconstitution as a "state within a state" government.
Federal recognition will end the legal challenges to the trust funds derived from part of the revenues from lands that once belonged to the Hawaiian kingdom. And the focus then can turn back to the use of these funds for the benefit of Native Hawaiians, as they were intended.
But to achieve that end, the delegation — led by U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, chief sponsor of the legislation — needs to keep things simple.
That means Hawai'i's senators and representatives, now redrafting the bill, must not bank on more political capital than there really is.
Because of previous opposition from the Bush administration and Capitol Hill Republicans, the bill had been constrained. For example, Native Hawaiians were to be treated the same under criminal and taxation laws as anyone else.
And land claims by Native Hawaiians were to be confined to the negotiations between the state and Native Hawaiian representatives.
Despite objections from some quarters, these changes would help uncomplicate the functioning of government in a state where native and non-native populations intertwine.
And it would make more sense tactically to leave the bill intact. This will make it easier to recommit the votes already in hand from supporters and avoid roiling the opponents.
It's true that there are now more comfortable margins for the majority Democrats in House and Senate to secure passage of the bill. And President-elect Barack Obama already has stated his support for federal recognition, so the White House will send no thumbs-down signals to torpedo the bill.
But the country now is struggling with deep economic malaise. Any excess ballast in the bill could sink it. What's most critical is establishing the political status Hawaiians need to protect program funding from charges of unconstitutionality on the basis of race.
The process of reorganizing will be complex, with logistical and legal hurdles to overcome. But the ultimate goal is to enable the final settlement of grievances dating back more than a century to the overthrow of the monarchy.
And that's a worthwhile aim, in the interest of redressing injustice as well as bringing the unproductive battles over entitlements to a close.
Hawaii Reporter, January 16, 2009
Akaka Bill Rewrite: Tribal Jurisdiction for Hawaii?
By Andrew Walden
The Akaka Bill, authorizing creation of a Hawaiian tribal entity, is being rewritten prior to submission to a vote in the House and Senate. The rewrite has not been in the news, but a January 16, 2009 Advertiser editorial warns the Akaka tribe against overconfidence. Three key sentences in the editorial make it possible for a highly informed reader to understand what Senator Dan Akaka’s (D-HI) staffers are changing:
"Because of previous opposition from the Bush administration and Capitol Hill Republicans, the bill had been constrained. For example, Native Hawaiians were to be treated the same under criminal and taxation laws as anyone else. And land claims by Native Hawaiians were to be confined to the negotiations between the state and Native Hawaiian representatives."
Barack Obama’s repeated pledge to sign the Akaka Bill was the key condition of Hawaii Democrats’ early-money support for his Presidential campaign. The House has easily passed the Akaka Bill twice with little debate. But if the language imposed by the Bush Justice Department in 2005 is written out of what will become the 2009 version of the Akaka Bill, the changes could impact the dynamics of Senate debate.
Quoting from the 2005 DoJ document, the four key changes were:
* First, the legislation should include explicit language clearly precluding potential claims for equitable, monetary or Administrative Procedures Act-based relief, whether asserting an alleged breach of trust, calling for an accounting, or seeking the recovery of or compensation for lands once held by native Hawaiians.
* Second, S. 147 should be amended to make clear that the consultation process contemplated in sections 5(b) and 6(d) may not be applied so as to interfere in any way with the operation of U.S. military facilities on Hawaii or otherwise affect military readiness.
* Third, the legislation should state clearly whether the federal Government, the State of Hawaii, or the native Hawaiian governing entity will have jurisdiction to enforce criminal laws on native Hawaiian lands.
* Fourth, the legislation should clearly provide that the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act will not apply to the native Hawaiian governing entity, and that the governing entity will not have gaming rights.
The issues regarding point two, military bases and military readiness, and point four, gambling, are self-evident. The bill either supports national defense or not. The bill either prohibits gambling or not.
The other items require more analysis. Point one requires that all Hawaiian claims be settled through the establishment of the Akaka Tribe. Without this item being included in the Akaka Bill, there is no end to the constant flow of greenmail lawsuits by OHA-backed activists. An Akaka Bill without this provision settles nothing while increasing the power of the greenmailers exponentially.
Point three prevents the Akaka Tribe from serving as a separate legal jurisdiction as do many mainland Indian tribes. If the Akaka Tribe establishes a separate legal jurisdiction it is guaranteed to serve as a shield for politically corrupt activities. To understand this, readers need to refer back to the “Broken Trust” Bishop Estate Trustees’ 1995 proposal to relocate KSBE’s legal domicile to the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation. In contrast, Alaskan Native corporations are not separate legal jurisdictions and are not immune from US or Alaska law.
An Akaka Tribe with criminal jurisdiction simply recreates the Indian Reservation around the Trust and thereby eliminates the need to leave Hawaii. The so-called ‘sovereignty’ activists, who now pretend to oppose the Akaka Bill, can be counted upon to agitate for a tribe of the most sovereign type within the Ka`u Inoa electorate. Cheyenne River was selected for the Broken Trust trustees by ex-Governor John Waihe`e who continues to play an important behind-the-scenes role in pushing the Akaka Bill forward.
In addition to issues related to political corruption and white collar crime, a legal jurisdiction for the Akaka Tribe brings with it the possibility that reservation Hawaiians will not have the same rights as full American citizens. According to law, the Bill of Rights does not automatically apply under tribal jurisdictions.
OHA is now attempting to prevent the State of Hawaii from exercising its constitutional right to access the courts in the Ceded Lands case. Free speech has also been an OHA target. Haunani Apoliona, writing in her capacity as “Chairperson, Board of Trustees, Office of Hawaiian Affairs” (OHA) went after an internet cartoonist in a Jan. 24, 2008 statement demanding: “The cartoon should be pulled and the secret author publicly identified.” These acts are a hint at the future status of democratic rights under the jurisdiction of the Akaka Tribe.
It will not be clear whether all of the changes made to accommodate the Bush administration demands will be stricken. But given the fact that Sen. Akaka himself spoke of secession by Hawaii in the midst of 2005 Congressional debate on the Akaka Bill, there can be little doubt of the overconfidence of his staffers.
Sixty votes would be required for the Senate to win a vote for cloture of any filibuster attempt. With party unity, Republicans have the votes to support a filibuster, but a handful have supported Akaka’s bill.
In addition to Republican Senators, The Hill April 1, 2008 identified three Democrat Senators which Akaka’s staff had not convinced to support the Akaka Bill. These were:
* Jim Webb (D-VA) http://webb.senate.gov/contact
* Sherrod Brown (D-OH) http://brown.senate.gov/contact
* Bob Casey Jr. (D-PA) http://casey.senate.gov/contact
There are also nine new Senators for 2009, two Republicans and seven Democrats. And a Minnesota Senate seat remains contested as Democrat comedian Al Franken seeks to unseat Republican Senator Norm Coleman.
The contact point for all US Senators is: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
Honolulu Advertiser, January 18, 2009
Each week, Editorial and Opinion Editor Jeanne Mariani-Belding hosts The Hot Seat, our opinion-page blog that brings in elected leaders and people in the news and lets you ask the questions during a live online chat.
On The Hot Seat last week was Congressman Neil Abercrombie, discussing the economy and other issues facing lawmakers in Washington.
Here is an excerpt from that Hot Seat session. To see the full conversation, go to The Hot Seat blog at hotseat.honadvblogs.com.
(Names of questioners are screen names given during our online chat.)
Roselani: What can you tell me about the Akaka bill? Is the rush on to get it passed? Will it be substantially different from the version that was pushed during (and opposed by) the Bush administration?
Abercrombie: The Akaka bill in its various versions has always had as its objective the establishment of a governing instrument to address the issue of the administration of Native Hawaiian assets (i.e. land and money). The Bush administration opposed the bill regardless of its specific provisions. We do not anticipate the same attitude from the Obama administration.
Matt: Going back to the Akaka bill for a moment, were you able to review the Beacon Hill Institute Study regarding the economic impact to Hawai'i of the bill?
Their scenario indicated approximately 20,000 private sector jobs, a loss of $417.2 million in investment and a loss of $1,461 in real per-capita disposable personal income annually for the state of Hawai'i.
Your colleague, Sen. Akaka, stated that the bill doesn't provide for land transfers or tax breaks, but it also doesn't specifically deny transfers or breaks (or gambling operations in potential Native Hawaiian lands).
Would you support adding clearer language to specifically deny state land transfers? Also, would you support a referendum to allow the voters of Hawai'i to approve or deny the passage of the bill?
Abercrombie: The Beacon Hill Institute has its own political agenda. It is not a disinterested party. The Akaka bill is an enabling legislative device. It allows for the formation of a governing instrument to address these questions of land and money.
What transpires will be the result of good-faith negotiations that must be acceptable to the U.S. Department of the Interior. Creating false fears serves no useful purpose.
Honolulu Advertiser, January 19, 2009
Letters to the Editor
Akaka Bill will decide fate of ceded lands
The Office of Hawaiian Affairs has recently attempted to give the impression that passage of the Akaka Bill would not lead to transfers of some or all of the ceded lands from the state to the new Hawaiian government, and that the state would not lose any tax revenue.
Here are two direct quotes from Congressman Neil Abercrombie, from Indian Country Today:
"Those of us who wanted to see this issue resolved put in (introduced) the Akaka Bill to enable and encourage Hawaiians to organize themselves and come to the Interior Department to be recognized as a governing entity and take control of the land and money assets that now exist. We're talking about 2.2 million acres of land. And the capital residing with OHA is between $350 and $500 million, depending on the stock market, with an income stream from leases on ceded land and so on of tens of millions of dollars."
The Akaka Bill "is a bill about control of assets. This is about land, this is about money ... we're talking about 2.2 million acres of land."
Clearly, the intention of Akaka Bill supporters is for some or all of the ceded lands to end up owned by the new Hawaiian government, thus reducing tax revenues available to fund state programs.
Sandra Puanani Burgess
Hawaii Reporter, January 23, 2009
Akaka Bill Promises to Divide Our Homeland By Race
Open Letter to President Obama
By Jere Krischel
Dear President Obama,
With your inauguration behind us, I would like to share with you one very specific hope (and a corollary fear) I have. Although I did not support your candidacy, throughout the Presidential campaign, I greatly admired your rhetoric on race and race relations.
As the first "hapa" U.S. President, you and I share the experience of struggling with the idea of whether or not we were "half" this or "half" that, or a "whole" something else. I believe the answer we both arrived at is that we are "whole" people. beyond "black" and "white." We are both simply "human."
One of the primary reasons I opposed your candidacy was your support for the Akaka Bill, aka the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act. You spoke on the floor before a cloture vote on the Akaka Bill put forth by both Senators Dan Inouye and Dan Akaka, and acting as the "third Hawaiian Senator," you spoke in strong support of their bill.
This, despite the fact the Akaka Bill promises to divide our homeland, the State of Hawaii, into two governments solely on the basis of race. I imagine your support of the Akaka Bill was politically expedient, and I hope it was not based on a thoughtful contemplation of the issue.
I would like for you to imagine for a moment that your mother was Native Hawaiian, and had ancestors in the Hawaiian Islands going back before 1778. Also imagine if your father had never left your mother, and lived with you in Hawaii during your entire time there. Now imagine telling your father he wasn't allowed to vote in an election, but you and your mom could. Imagine telling your father he wasn't allowed to serve in an elected office, but you and your mom could. Imagine telling your father you and your mother had "rights" he was not allowed to have.
This is the exact scenario that promises to play out if the Akaka Bill becomes law. A group of "experts" will decide who is and who is not "Hawaiian" by race, and this group will be asked to institute a government to negotiate rights and resources away from the rest of the public of the State of Hawaii.
The State of Hawaii legislature might resist attempts to take over public lands and put them into the hands of a single race-based government. Then again, the legislature could be co-opted by the unregulated donations available to them from members of this new race-based government, and thus become a willing participant in the reallocation of land and resources based solely on race.
As a fellow hapa haole, born and raised in Hawaii as you were, educated at Punahou as you were, I beg you to turn towards those who are still promoting the Akaka Bill, and with all the grand rhetoric at your disposal, demand they abandon their attempts to divide us as a people based on race. Insist to them that we are "One America," "One People," and we should all live under "One Law."
Make a note of the first constitution of the Kingdom of Hawaii, which nobly declared that all people were "of one blood." Let them know that as a hapa haole, born and raised in Hawaii, you have just as much, if not more, right to claim the Islands as your homeland as some toe-nail native Hawaiian who was born and raised on the Mainland.
Quote from Martin Luther King, Jr.'s speech, and demand that we should be judged on the content of our character, not the color of our skin. Move them with your sincere belief we are all human, first and foremost, and that arbitrary racial distinctions do NOT make the man.
I know your first days in office will be tumultuous ones, with the Middle East burning, the economy tanking, and various special interests groups pounding on your door for their pound of flesh.
But if you could please take the time to make a strong stand against racial division as one of the first acts of your office, you could help heal the wounds in the State of Hawaii that have festered for the past 30 years of the race-based experiment called OHA.
You have the background, the charisma, and the credibility to demand that everyone should be treated equally, regardless of race. You could change the face of Hawaii politics, and move us away from division and towards conciliation with a single, moving speech.
Please, Mr. Obama, give us the hope you promised.
Jere Krischel is a native Hawaiian who now resides in California. Reach him at
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. His commitment to the ideals of equality, and the rejection of the use of racial categories to separate out people for disparate treatment is inspired by his diverse heritage and conviction that first and foremost we are all humans, indigenous to this earth. Please visit
Honolulu Advertiser, Sunday, January 25, 2009
Letters to the Editor (2)
RIGHTS OF 'RECOGNITION' ARE NO GUARANTEE
Your editorial "Isles should send unfettered Akaka bill for a vote" (Jan. 16) makes at least one big assumption that needs mentioning. If the Akaka bill is approved, do you really believe that anti-Hawaiian groups and individuals are just going to throw their hands up and say, "we quit," as to their legal challenges?
Federally recognized American Indian groups within the United States have been challenged in state and federal courts for a long, long time, including many losses in the Supreme Court. Some of these have been in recent years. The rights and reservation system First Peoples have been left with are nothing to brag about.
Federal recognition only holds weight as long as the interests of the hegemony, along with the state of Hawai'i as we see right now, are not at stake. Regarding this bill, sometimes less is more.
TAKE PROPER CARE OF THIS STATE, COUNTRY FIRST
There's been some discussion recently as to whether or not the Akaka bill should go up for a vote, or, as The Honolulu Advertiser said in its editorial (Jan. 16), whether Native Hawaiians should be given "a pathway for establishing Hawai'i's indigenous people as a political entity, enabling their reconstitution as a 'state within a state' government."
Before we even begin to address the Hawaiian issue, my question is this: if we can't even get the economy of the United States of America, arguably the most powerful nation on earth, to work properly, let alone make the economy of Hawai'i a thriving, sustainable place where houses are affordable, energy is cheap and jobs are plentiful, why on earth would we even begin to think that a "state within a state" could have success in this time of decline?
We are literally witnessing America's most challenging moment in our 21st century. My advice to the state and federal government is this: How about proving to us that you can effectively run the United States of America and the state of Hawai'i first before you try to run the destiny and future of Native Hawaiians?
Daniel de Gracia II
KGMB9 TV, January 28, 2009
A Conversation with Hawaii Senator Daniel Akaka
We sat with Senator Akaka to discuss the critical issues he will advance during this current legislative session here in Washington D.C. The senator continues to work passing the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, otherwise known as the Akaka Bill. "I felt that the Hawaiians needed a form of governance. With this form, they would be able to come together with the pride and the passion and the culture."
The bill will clarify and impact significant issues, including the attacks on the ali'i trusts and ceded lands. "If my bill passes, it will indicate that the United States supports the Native Hawaiians and this is so important because then the courts and their rulings will deal with that. And that I feel will save the trust."
The senator also pointed to the importance of having President Obama in office to the bill. "He spotted it in the Senate. And I know he will support it because he passed it through Congress." Senator Akaka believes this new presidency will have an expansive impact. "The inauguration of Barack Hussein Obama 'keiki o ka Aina o Hawaii' will make a huge different not only in the world and the United States, but for the people of Hawaii."
KGMB9 TV, Januaey 30, 2009
OHA Trustees Push Hawaiian Issues in Washington
The trustees for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs were some of those who made it down for the inauguration, and we got a chance to talk to them. Aside from celebrating the inauguration, OHA trustees were in Washington D.C. working on critical issues; the ceded lands case being one. "The arguments are going to be on February 25th, and we'll be back up here then. We've also got other issues in the Senate and the House with the Akaka Bill. We're hopeful that we can push those forward with the current president in place."
The trustees agree that having President Obama in office will be good for Native Hawaiians. "When he was a senator, Obama was very supportive of the Akaka Bill, which of course OHA thinks is important to Hawaiians. And the former administration was not. And the fact that he grew up in Hawaii is important too, because it gives a better focus on Hawaii and the needs of Hawaiians and he's been very sympathetic towards that."
President Obama's love for his childhood home bodes well for our state. "When you look at the history of Native Hawaiians here and the presence in Congress, it's been minimal, almost zero."
This will no doubt change with our own in prominent positions, namely Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Daniel K. Inouye, Secretary of Veterans Affairs General Eric Shinseki and President Barack Obama.
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, February 2, 2009
Ceded lands conflict should be resolved in sovereignty talks
WHILE the U.S. Supreme Court considers a challenge of the state's attempted transfer or sale of virtually any state-owned land, some state legislators are proposing to preempt the court ruling by banning such sales to protect native Hawaiian interests. The controversy more properly should be advanced to negotiations following congressional approval of Hawaiian sovereignty.
The dispute involves the status of 1.2 million acres of former crown land -- about 29 percent of Hawaii's total land area and virtually all state-owned land -- that was taken over by the federal government at annexation and ceded to the state at admission. The Admission Act provided that one-fifth of benefits from those lands be dedicated to improving conditions for native Hawaiians, and 20 percent of rental income has gone to that cause.
The Office of Hawaiian Affairs has challenged development of 500 acres of ceded land on Maui as residential housing, rejecting a check of nearly $5.6 million, a one-fifth share of the land's value. The state Supreme Court ruled a year ago that a 1993 joint resolution by Congress dictated that ceded lands be "preserved" pending resolution of land claims by Hawaiians.
The Apology Resolution called for "a proper foundation for reconciliation between the United States and the native Hawaiian people." The issue of land rights properly belongs in negotiations that will following congressional enactment of the sovereignty bill sponsored by Sen. Daniel Akaka.
The Akaka Bill has stalled in recent years because of largely Republican opposition. Democrats now have more than enough command of Congress to assure enactment, and President Obama has given his support.
Hawaii Reporter, February 4, 2009
Bills in the Legislature Will Interfere With the State's Right to Sell Any Parcels of Ceded Lands
By Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.
There are several bills in the Legislature that would completely prohibit the State of Hawaii from selling any parcels of the ceded lands, or impose a rule that any such sale would require a 2/3 vote in the Legislature. About 95% of all the public lands of Hawaii are ceded lands, so such a prohibition would seriously damage the ability of the State to manage our lands.
For example, the lawsuit that caused all the fuss and awaits oral arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court on February 25 concerns the State's attempt to sell some land to a private developer to build low-income housing. The history of that lawsuit, all principal briefs and amicus briefs on both sides, and a compilation of news reports and commentaries, can be found at
Various organizations, most notably OHA, have insisted that ethnic Hawaiians as a group have a claim on the ceded lands. They say this claim needs to be negotiated and settled before any of the lands should be sold. They say we should wait for the Akaka bill to pass so that the resulting Akaka tribe can negotiate a settlement with the State to carve up the public lands of Hawaii.
Some of the bills now in the Legislature regarding the ceded lands are House bills HB184, HB902, HB1667, HB1805, and their matching Senate bills SB475, SB476, SB1085, SB1677. The text of any bill can be found by putting the bill number into the search window on the Legislature's webpage at
I have submitted testimony on all those bills. Here is some of that testimony.
HAWAII REALLY IS A PART OF THE UNITED STATES
Before briefly recalling the history, let me remind you that if you do not believe Hawaii is legally and morally a part of the United States, then you must immediately resign your position in the Legislature. Before you could run as a candidate or be seated, you were required to take an oath including "I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States." There's no room for quibbling here.
Hawaiian sovereignty activists claim that the revolution of 1893 that overthrew the monarchy was "illegal." They claim that the presence of 162 U.S. peacekeepers constituted an armed invasion (like China invading Tibet or Germany invading Poland), and that the U.S. apology resolution of 1893 is a confession of a crime under international law. They claim the annexation of 1898 was illegal (for many reasons, all bogus). They claim the Statehood vote of 1959 was illegal. They claim the apology resolution of 1993 is a confession of a crime under international law which requires the U.S. to withdraw from Hawaii and provide huge reparations for 116 years of belligerent military occupation of the Hawaiian indigenous homeland.
My dear Legislator, if you believe any of those things you should immediately resign. You are violating your oath of office if you give credence to any of those assertions and, giving the benefit of the doubt to them, you then pass legislation that basically says "here's what we must do just in case this is true." You must stand firm, in public, in front of God and your fellow citizens, and you must say "I am proud to be an American, I have no doubt that Hawaii is the 50th State of the United States, and I will never support any legislation based on any doubt of that or which would in any way violate the U.S. Constitution."
Here are a few places where you can get more information about specific topics addressed above:
Historical Issues Related to Hawaiian Sovereignty -- Revolution (Overthrow of monarchy), Annexation, Statehood, Indigenous Status, Hawaiian Language Ban, Ceded Lands, Etc. This is a webpage whose purpose is to provide links to other webpages on specific historical topics.
What Does the United States Owe to Native Hawaiians? Two reports commissioned by Congress contain the answers (Morgan Report of 1894 about the revolution of 1893, and Native Hawaiians Study Commission report of 1983). Links to the full text of both reports, which are many hundreds of pages and well-documented.
The 1993 apology resolution is filled with factual errors and distortions. Constitutional law scholar, attorney Bruce Fein, wrote a monograph which includes extensive, point-by-point refutation of it. See "Hawaii Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand" at
Following the creation of the Republic of Hawaii in July 1894 by publication of its Constitution, there were Emperors, Kings, Queens, and Presidents of 20 nations on 4 continents who personally signed official letters recognizing the Republic as the rightful government of Hawaii de jure. Photos of the original letters in the state archives, plus Liliuokalani's letter of abdication and oath of loyalty to the Republic, can all be seen at
Lili'uokalani Loses A Big One (The Crown Lands) -- Liliuokalani v. United States, 45 Ct. Cl. 418 (1910)
THE PUBLIC LANDS OF HAWAII (INCLUDING THE "CEDED LANDS") BELONGED TO ALL THE SUBJECTS (CITIZENS) OF THE MULTIRACIAL KINGDOM OF HAWAII AND THE REPUBLIC OF HAWAII WITHOUT RACIAL DISTINCTION; WERE SET ASIDE BY THE U.S. AS A PUBLIC TRUST SOLELY TO BENEFIT ALL THE PEOPLE OF HAWAII WITHOUT RACIAL DISTINCTION DURING THE TERRITORIAL PERIOD; AND ONCE AGAIN BELONG TO ALL THE CITIZENS OF THE STATE OF HAWAII WITHOUT RACIAL DISTINCTION.
The Crown lands originally were set aside in the Mahele (1838) as the King's private property. But in 1865 the Kingdom Legislature passed a law to take government ownership of the crown lands in return for the government's issuance of bonds to pay off a mortgage the King had placed on the crown lands, which mortgage was in danger of foreclosure; and the King happily signed that law.
From that point forward the crown lands were merged with the government lands and became jointly the "public lands" except that the income from the crown lands was set aside by statute for the purpose of financing the official functions of the head of state (at that time the King). After the revolution there was no more monarch, so the "crown land" revenues went to support the functions of government in the same way as the old "government land" revenues.
Please note that throughout the history of the Kingdom of Hawaii there was never any racial set-aside of any lands communally for native Hawaiians as a group. There were crown lands, government lands, and private lands; but there were never any "Native Hawaiian" lands.
In 1909 ex-queen Lili'uokalani filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Claims demanding money for herself as compensation for the "confiscation" of "her" crown lands resulting from the annexation. In 1910 the court ruled that Liliuokalani had never personally owned the crown lands and therefore was not entitled to any compensation. Today's Hawaiian activists would do well to note that their hero Lili'uokalani never asserted that the ceded lands belonged communally to ethnic Hawaiians; and if she had won her lawsuit the money would have been paid to her personally and not to ethnic Hawaiians communally.
SECTION 5(f) OF THE 1959 STATEHOOD ADMISSION ACT DOES NOT REQUIRE THAT ONE PENNY MUST BE SPENT SPECIFICALLY FOR ETHNIC HAWAIIANS TO THE EXCLUSION OF OTHERS. ETHNIC HAWAIIANS HAVE ZERO CLAIM TO ANY RACIAL SET-ASIDES.
Section 5(f) says ceded land revenues can be spent for ANY ONE OR MORE of 5 purposes. One of those purposes is public education; and for the first 20 years of statehood virtually all the ceded land revenues was given to the public schools. Since 26% of the school children were ethnic Hawaiians, therefore ethnic Hawaiians received 26% of the ceded land revenues without any explicit racial set-aside.
One of the five purposes identified in section 5(f) is "for the betterment of native Hawaiians as defined in the Hawaii Homes Commission Act of 1921." The reason for including that among the 5 purposes was to allow ceded land revenues to be used to support the Hawaiian Homesteads, which are restricted to Hawaiians of at least 50% native blood quantum.
It may well be that HHCA of 1921 was unconstitutional. It is likely that section 5(f) of the Admission Act is unconstitutional to the extent that it is construed as giving the State of Hawaii permission to violate the 14th Amendment by setting aside some or all of the ceded land revenues to be used for a racially exclusionary purpose.
In any case, the racial set-aside apparently allowed under section 5(f) is exclusively for Hawaiians of 50% native blood quantum, and does not require or even contemplate any racial set-aside for all "one-drop" Hawaiians (the class eligible to sign up for Kau Inoa and join the much-anticipated Akaka tribe).
It is ludicrous to imagine that "Hawaiians" or "Native Hawaiians" as a group (as defined by statute according to the one-drop rule) have any legal or moral claim to the ceded lands. There are no legal or moral race-based claims which needs to be resolved before parcels of ceded lands can be sold. The only way such claims might be established is if you, the Legislature, decide to create such claims. Please don't do that. Just say no.
THE BIG PICTURE
I believe the single most important issue facing Hawai'i in the foreseeable future is the imminent and continuing threat that the lands, resources, government and people of Hawai'i will be divided along racial lines.
The Legislature has repeatedly passed resolutions favoring the Akaka bill to create a racially exclusionary government empowered to negotiate with YOU, the legislators. It is expected that you will give away massive amounts of land, money, and jurisdictional authority.
Numerous bills in the Legislature in recent years have tried to implement massive give-aways even before the tribe is created, and before any negotiations have started. That's absurd! No responsible negotiator gives away important concessions before the opponents even arrive at the table.
Please read "Hawaiian Apartheid: Racial Separatism and Ethnic Nationalism in the Aloha State" at
THE PROPOSAL TO REQUIRE A 2/3 VOTE TO AUTHORIZE A SALE OF CEDED LANDS
The Legislature in session this year cannot bind any Legislatures of future years. Any future Legislature could, by simple majority vote, repeal this 2/3 requirement and make its own decision whether to sell ceded lands and by what voting process to authorize such a sale. The only way to bind future Legislatures is to pass a Constitutional amendment.
Also, there is something terribly unbalanced about this proposal, because it prohibits the state or any of its agencies from selling any ceded lands without a 2/3 vote, but it does not impose any restriction on the state transferring public lands to the control of OHA or to the control of a future Akaka tribe aka "Native Hawaiian Governing Entity."
I find it legally unconstitutional and morally reprehensible for the State of Hawaii, or any of its agencies, to give any public lands to any government or private entity which practices racial discrimination or exclusion, even if such racial discrimination occurs under the euphemism of "indigenous people." Therefore, if you choose to pass this bill despite the fact that you cannot bind future Legislatures, then please at least amend this bill to add the following language in the appropriate place (or words to this effect):
The State of Hawaii, and any of its agencies, are hereby prohibited from selling or giving away or leasing any of the public lands of Hawaii (including the ceded lands) to any government or private agency or institution which practices racial discrimination or racial exclusion, including providing benefits or services to beneficiaries who are restricted according to race, gender, or national origin.
This is a guest editorial. Send comments or questions to:
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