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History of the Hawaiian Government Reorganization bill from March 1, 2010 through April 30, 2010. Senate committee report accompanying Akaka bill is published. Governor Lingle sends letter to all 100 Senators reconfirming her strong objections to this version of the bill. Hawaii Republican Party platform committee removes decade-long support for Akaka bill. Honolulu City Council considers resolution to support Akaka bill but encounters strong testimony in opposition (See published article on April 27 which includes YouTube videos of entire 29 minutes spent on Akaka bill in the Council meeting).


(c) Copyright 2010 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 MAY 1, 2009 AND CONTINUING. FULL TEXT OF EACH ITEM FOLLOWS THE INDEX, IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER.

May 1, 2010: 4 important commentaries in the OHA monthly newspaper for May: (1) Hawaii Lieutenant Governor James 'Duke' Aiona says he wants Congress to pass the current version of the Akaka bill even though it has problems and he knows there will be difficult negotiations and protracted litigation afterward; (2) OHA trustee Rowena Akaka briefly reviews the 10-year history of the Akaka bill and supports its passage because failure of the bill would result in continuing litigation against race-based entitlements; (3) OHA trustee and Vice Chair Walter Heen, a retired judge, completely supports the latest version of the Akaka bill because it will immediately give sovereignty to the Akaka tribe before negotiations, even though the Governor and Attorney General oppose it for that reason; OHA trustee Boyd Mossman, a retired judge, supports the current version of the bill even though it was sprung upon OHA trustees by surprise.

May 2: Honolulu Star-Bulletin publishes the views on the Akaka bill by all 14 candidates in the upcoming special election for Congress (to replace Rep. Abercrombie who retired to run for Governor).

May 3: (1) Honolulu Advertiser says a new poll by Ward Research shows 66% of Hawaii people approve the Akaka bill; (2) Ken Conklin article in Hawaii Reporter compares credibility of Zogby poll and Ward poll, concludes the best poll would be a ballot question, and describes how the Akaka bill could be amended to require such a ballot question be passed before anything in the bill could take effect; (3) TV news reports OHA/Advertiser poll on Akaka bill, and lengthy reply from Hawaii Attorney General mark Bennett explaining his opposition to the current version of the bill and noting that the wording of the question probably prompted the favorable response in the poll.

May 4: (1) Honolulu Star-Bulletin news report on May 3 TV Akaka bill debate says "Three candidates running in the special election for the 1st Congressional District seat agreed native Hawaiians should receive some form of federal recognition similar to American Indians. But City Councilman Charles Djou and former U.S. Rep. Ed Case said they opposed the federal recognition bill pending in the U.S. Senate, while state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa supports it."; (2) Commentary says the Ward poll on Akaka bill released yesterday was misleading because the question asked merely whether Native Hawaiians should be recognized as indigenous people rather than asking whether they should have a sovereign race-based government.

May 9: (1) Letter to editor says there's no reason to trust that negotiations called for in Akaka bill will produce fair and reasonable results; therefore, negotiations should come first, before passing the bill.; (2) Andrew Walden commentary: "Hawaii's new political reality: Akaka Bill becomes an election issue."

May 10: The OHA poll on the Akaka bill (see May 3) asked a "mom and apple pie" question to which well-meaning people would automatically answer yes, but that is not the real question posed by the Akaka bill.

May 14: The Akaka bill purports to help ethnic Hawaiians; but do the existing Hawaiians-only programs actually help them?

May 19: Letter to editor, and new webpage, says that ethnic Hawaiians should not serve as high officials in the state or county governments because passage of the Akaka bill would create a conflict of interest for ethnic Hawaiian officials who would decide how much government money, land, and jurisdictional authority to give away to their own blood brotherhood. For a webpage exploring in depth the issue of ethnic Hawaiian conflict of interest and recusal, see
http://tinyurl.com/24ohwpw

May 24: Same letter as May 19, with different editing, published in Honolulu Star-Bulletin

May 26: A more detailed version of the May 19 letter, including section headings from the related webpage

May 28: "Akaka Bill: The Big Gamble" (guest editorial discussing the fact that the Akaka bill's alleged prohibition on tribal gambling might not actually be effective)

June 1: OHA monthly newspaper includes twi irems on the Akaka bill: (1) A brief greeting from CEO Clyde Namu'o, says the Akaka bill "is up for final passage by the U.S. Congress" and "Once NHGRA becomes law, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) will provide information and act as a liaison, facilitating an open, fair, democratic and inclusive process in which a Native Hawaiian governing entity will be reorganized – by, and for, Native Hawaiians."; (2) Trustee Walter Heen (a retired judge) describes "Negotiations with the state and federal governments after formation and recognition of the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity" saying they will be difficult and contentious.

June 11: Two articles in honor of Kamehameha Day: (1) Haunani Apoliona, chair of OHA, notes that Kamehameha unified all the Hawaiian islands and says that the work of unification will continue through passage of the Akaka bill; (2) Ken Conklin notes that the Hawaiian Kingdom was multiracial in its founding and thriving but the Akaka bill is racially divisive -- "What Kamehameha hath joined together, let not Akaka rip asunder." (a longer version was published on June 13 in Hawaii Reporter)

June 19: Letter says "Congress intends to take away the kingdom's sovereignty and assets by gaining forgiveness for keeping stolen property while repairing nothing, compensating no one and denying kanaka maoli any chance whatsoever of restoring themselves or kingdom property to its rightful owners."

June 22: Elaine WWillman, President of Citizens Equal Rights Alliance, writes "Indian Casinos – The NEW Industry that is ‘Too Big To Fail!’" and specifically mentions the need to defeat the Akaka bill.

June 28: Newsmax reports that following the death of Senator Harry Byrd, Hawaii Senator Dan Inouye is now President ProTem of the Senate and is 3rd in the line of succession to the Presidency. And he favors racial separatism which would affect not only Hawaii but all of America.

July 1, 2010: OHA monthly newspaper for July contains 4 articles focused on the Akaka bill: (1) CEO Clyde Namu'o describes major lobbying activity in Washington D.C. surrounding ceremonies in June for Kamehameha Day, including a historic White House briefing on Native Hawaiian issues, where a White House official reaffirmed that President Obama is ready to sign the bill after approval by the U.S. Senate.; (2) Sarah Peters (intern in OHA’s Washington, D.C., bureau) describes in detail the White House briefing, including names of institutions and individuals who participated; (3) OHA chair Haunani Apoliona describes the Washington lobbying and White House briefing, with extensive excerpts from her speech outlining work to be done after the Akaka bill passes; (4) OHA trustee Walter Heen describes the personal decisions each ethnic Hawaiian must make after the Akaka bill passes.

July 2: (1) HONOLULU STAR-ADVERTISER FRONT PAGE HEADLINE STORY reports that Senator Akaka has been advised he should not delay pushing the Akaka bill, and he has been advised to amend it to get support from Governor Lingle and some Republican Senators; (2) Andrew Walden, Hawaii Free Press, analyzes the Star-Advertiser report.

July 7, 2010: A compromise was reached between Senator Inouye and Governor Lingle whereby the Akaka bill will be amended to accommodate Lingle's objections, and Lingle will send a letter to all Senators expressing her support for the bill. 7 news reports are provided, some of which contradict others, especially regarding the question whether the Akaka tribe will have full sovereignty immediately or only after negotiations with the State.

July 8: (1) Hawaii Reporter describes the compromise, and gives at least some of the actual language in the amendment as provided to the newspaper by Governor Lingle; (2) Honolulu Star-Advertiser front-page headline news report which supposedly consolidates its two conflicting breaking news stories from the previous day; (3) Honolulu Star-Advertiser editorial says "it's do-or-die" time so let's get going; (4) Andrew Walden article "Amended Akaka Bill: A Trojan horse for Tribal immunity?" says the Lingle/Inouye amended bill might be passed in the Senate but then, during the House-Senate conference to agree on final language the House version which Lingle opposed would simply replace the compromise version anyway and thus Lingle's support would have been purchased for zero cost to what Akaka/Inouye really want.

July 9: (1) Article in both the Hilo and Kona newspapers reports the Akaka bill compromise and includes reactions from some residents of Hawaii island; (2) Letter by sovereignty activist in Honolulu Star-Advertiser says "The amendments to the Akaka Bill are ludicrous. Under the amended version, Hawaiians have no control of their national lands or natural resources and they cannot challenge the United States for the illegal overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii during 1893."

July 11: Letter says "Rushed Akaka Bill will cause Hawaii discord"

July 13: (1) Governor Linda Lingle news release and full text of letter she wrote to all 100 U.S. Senators announcing her support for Akaka bill with amendments she recently negotiated; (2) Honolulu Star-Bulletin breaking news report about Lingle's letter; (3) KITV news report

July 14: (1) Honolulu Star-Advertiser print edition reports "Lingle declares Akaka Bill support -- A letter to the U.S. Senate comes after Akaka and Inouye vow to amend the measure"; (2) Star-Advertiser commentator says the Hawaiian independence movement has no chance of succeeding, whereas the Akaka bill offers real protections to ethnic Hawaiians.

July 15: (1) Letter to editor from ethnic Hawaiian former Hawaii state Senator tells why he favored the original Akaka bill 10 years ago, opposed it starting 6 years ago, supported the radical version that passed the House this year, and opposes the amended version in the compromise between Inouye and Lingle; (2) Senator Inouye is trying to woo the 4 Republican Senators who are female, to support the Akaka bill: Maine Senators Collins and Snowe, Texas Senator Hutchison, Alaska Senator Murkowski.

July 16: (1) OHA trustees vote to support the Lingle/Inouye amended version of the Akaka bill -- two somewhat different news reports in the Hilo and Kona newspapers; (2) An online petition opposing the Akaka bill is announced.

July 17: (1) RedState Insider [a conservative Republican opinion journal] severely criticizes Senator Lisa Murkowski (Republican of Alaska), who is up for re-election, on account of her co-sponsorship of the Akaka bill; (2) Letter to editor of Honolulu Star-Advertiser opposes Akaka bill because ethnic Hawaiians are fully assimilated and have no history comparable to the Indians living separate and apart from surrounding non-Indians.

July 19: (1) Article discusses Hawaii history and politics, asking "Will The U.S. Congress Succeed in Institutionalizing Racism Where A Monarchy Failed?"; (2) Lengthy Associated Press article, nationally syndicated, says "Vote on Native Hawaiian government coming soon -- Inouye to push for Senate action by August recess" and describes the three main views; (3) Heritage Foundation director of Senate relations says "Thank you President Obama" for unifying Republicans and Tea Party activists against the "racist bill for Native Hawaiians."

July 21: (1) Former Hawaii Governor John D. Waihee III newspaper commentary uses all the usual platitudes to support the Akaka bill; (2) Letter to editor supports Akaka bill because "it gives federal recognition to Hawaiians as an indegenous group in America ... they deserve compensation. Lands conducive toward farming should be given to Native Hawaiians. Then they can go back to the lands and farm taro and sweet potatoes."

July 23: Leon Siu, a Hawaiian ethnic nationalist, who personally lobbied against the Akaka bill in Washington D.C. during the cloture attempt in June 2006, explains why he thinks chances of passing the bill this year are "slim to none."

July 26: (1) Lieutenant Governor Aiona, Republican candidate for Governor: "The state, he said, should not be discriminating against or favoring any group ... [But] passage of the Akaka Bill in Congress, speeding up ceded-land payments and encouraging the work of the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands would be priorities for him."; (2) TV news reports that the Department of Hawaiian Homelands is supporting the Akaka bill; (3) Newspaper online "breaking news" reports DHHL support for Akaka bill, including a few details not reported the following day in the print edition.

July 27: Newspaper reports the Department of Hawaiian Homelands supports the Akaka bill because "It gives us that right to exist. But most importantly, it also helps to protect our trust and our trust assets moving forward,"

July 30 (1) Honolulu Star-Advertiser political commentator says time is growing sort, and the Senate calendar is crowded. If the Akaka bill has nor passed by the August recess (1 more week), it might be all over.; (2) Letter to editor by UH Professor Lilikala Kame'eleihiwa says passing Akaka bill would bring peace to Hawaii.

August 1: (1) Walter Heen, OHA trustee, attacks a letter from 12 Senators opposing the Akaka bill on grounds that it would be contrary to color blindness and race neutrality; (2) Boyd Mossman, OHA trustee, attacks the usual meaning of "e pluribus unum" as inappropriate to the need for a distinctive identity for ethnic Hawaiians.

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FULL TEXT OF EACH ITEM, IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER

http://www.oha.org/kwo/2010/05/KWO1005.pdf
Ka Wai Ola [OHA monthly newspaper]
May, 2010, pp. 5 and 20

Straight talk about the Akaka Bill

By Lt. Gov. James R. “Duke” Aiona

With a widely anticipated vote in the U.S. Senate, discussion regarding the 2010 Akaka Bill has reached a fevered pitch in our community. Despite concerns over recent amendments to the Akaka Bill, I believe it is important that we come together in support of federal recognition for Native Hawaiians.

For me, it’s been an issue of careful analysis and discussion for many years. As Lieutenant Governor, I recognize that federal recognition and self-determination will benefit all of Hawai‘i’s citizens.

I have always believed that what is best for Native Hawaiians is best for Hawai‘i. What this means to me is that in order to bring balance to the relationship between the indigenous people of these islands and the local, state and federal government, Native Hawaiians must be recognized on par with other indigenous peoples of the United States and be allowed their right to selfdetermination.

Passage of the Akaka Bill would create a process to establish a Native Hawaiian governing entity that would represent Native Hawaiians on a government-to-government level and preserve and protect such vital Native Hawaiian programs as Kamehameha Schools, Hawaiian Homelands and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, which remain under constant threat.

I was honored to be part of a State and local delegation that rallied Congressional support for the 2006 version of the Akaka Bill. Unfortunately, the 2006 version was recently amended without first fully discussing the changes with the people of the State of Hawai‘i.

Ultimately, I believe the 2010 version will pass, but there are significant legal concerns surrounding the bill; and the last-minute maneuvering by some, regardless of their intentions, is not representative of how we should conduct business in Hawai‘i.

I share valid concerns with the 2010 Akaka Bill, including its limited definition of whom qualifies to be recognized as a member of the Native Hawaiian community; its ill-defined relationship between the Native Hawaiian governing entity and local, state and federal government; and its immediate

** continuation on page 20

establishment of sovereignty prior to further negotiations that could address outstanding issues like public safety, healthcare and property rights.

To achieve the type of broad-based support that this landmark legislation deserves, the amendments contained within the 2010 Akaka Bill should be fully vetted and resolved in the community through open and inclusive public hearings.

As an attorney and former state judge, I recognize that opponents of the 2010 Akaka Bill have rightly pointed out that failure to properly address these issues beforehand will likely result in difficult negotiations and protracted litigation following passage.

While my preference is for Congressional leaders to work out these issues before passing the 2010 Akaka Bill, I will continue to support the bill with reservations and work immediately to address any outstanding issues if elected Governor.

As a keiki o ka ‘äina, I am confident that we will come together to address these issues in a manner that exemplifies the fundamental values of our community – aloha, pono, laulima, lökahi, ha‘aha‘a and kuleana.

Our Native Hawaiian community, with tremendous support from people of all ethnic backgrounds throughout the state and nation, has overcome many obstacles over a long period of time to get this close to achieving federal recognition as an indigenous people.

We have worked too hard for too long, and we owe it to those who came before us to press forward. The opportunity exists to continue the process of reconciliation for the Native Hawaiian people, and I am committed to seeing this process through.

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http://www.oha.org/kwo/2010/05/KWO1005.pdf
Ka Wai Ola [OHA monthly newspaper]
May, 2010, p 16., Monthly commentary by each trustee

Supporting passage of H.R. 2314, Native Hawaiian Government
Reorganization Act of 2010

by Rowena Akana, Trustee at-large

More than 50 years after statehood, the long-awaited reconciliation between the Native Hawaiian people and the United States Federal Government took a major step closer to reality as the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved H.R. 2314 on Feb. 23, 2010.

This was the third time that former United States Representative Neil Abercrombie has passed such a bill out of the U.S. House of Representatives since he was first elected to Congress on Nov. 6, 1990.

H.R. 2314 makes it clear that Native Hawaiians will have the inherent powers and privileges of a native government, including self-determination, with the exception of the right to conduct gaming.

Hawai‘i’s Congressional Delegation has strongly supported negotiating at the federal level for a resolution on Hawaiian issues, which remain after the overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani.

Since the year 2000, United States Senator Daniel K. Akaka has introduced legislation, now popularly known as the “Akaka Bill,” to provide a structured process for all Hawai‘i residents to come together and begin the process of bringing about meaningful reconciliation and healing within the Native Hawaiian community.

On Feb. 22, 2010, the Hawai‘i Congressional Delegation released the final text of H.R. 2314, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2010, which was fine-tuned in consultation between the Hawai‘i’s Congressional Delegation and the White House, the U.S. Departments of Justice and Interior, the State of Hawai‘i and stakeholders in the Native Hawaiian community.

The changes to H.R. 2314 clarify the authority and powers of the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity prior to negotiations, while ensuring that the final bill is legally sound and consistent with U.S. policy toward indigenous people and their native governments.

These clarifications represent a genuine effort to address the State of Hawai‘i’s concerns while maintaining the original purpose of the bill, which is to establish federal recognition for Native Hawaiians.

H.R. 2314 provides Native Hawaiians with an opportunity for self-determination and cultural preservation, while empowering them to be an equal partner with the state and federal government.

H.R. 2314 does not alter the sovereign immunity of the United States or the State of Hawai‘i nor does it transfer any lands to the Native Hawaiian governing entity.

Hawai‘i’s entire Congressional Delegation: Senator Daniel Inouye, Senator Daniel K. Akaka, former Congressman Neil Abercrombie, and Congresswoman Mazie Hirono, along with Hawai‘i’s Lieutenant Governor James Duke Aiona, have all proclaimed their support for recognition of a Native Hawaiian governing entity, demonstrating the high priority of this issue for the people of Hawai‘i and its importance over and beyond any political party affiliations.

Failure to secure the passage of federal recognition for Native Hawaiians would result in continuing legal challenges to Hawaiian programs and the loss of millions of dollars the state currently receives from the federal government for programs that perpetuate the Native Hawaiian culture, language and traditions.

Until the next time. Aloha pumehana.

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http://www.oha.org/kwo/2010/05/KWO1005.pdf
Ka Wai Ola [OHA monthly newspaper]
May, 2010, p 16., Monthly commentary by each trustee

Support Senator Akaka

by Walter M. Heen, Vice Chair; Trustee, O'ahu

The amended Native Hawaiian Reorganization Bill (Bill) proposed in December ’09 in the U.S. Senate by Senators Akaka and Inouye has created quite a stir in the whole island community. In the larger general community the usual response ranged from “ho hum” to “are they still at that?” In the Hawaiian community some people were completely upset because they had fought for years against being classified as an “Indian tribe,” which the amendment impliedly does.

When people came to understand that, like all other indigenous governments in the United States, the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity (NHGE) fostered by the bill would enjoy full governmental authority from the outset of its existence, the anti-tribal opposition quieted down considerably; however, when Governor Lingle and Attorney General Bennett began challenging provisions of the bill regarding sovereign immunity, they stirred up a stormy following consisting primarily of people who oppose the essential concept of self-governance for Native Hawaiians. The Governor has now written a letter to all of the U.S. Senate Republicans voicing her opposition to the bill. That action has created much apprehension that the Republican Senators who had supported Senator Akaka’s initiative would now back off, leaving the bill in jeopardy.

The previous form of the bill, which was supported by the Governor, did not accord to the NHGE any true governmental authority. It required the NHGE, once formed, to negotiate with the Federal and State governments as to what powers and authorities they would agree to allow the NHGE to handle within their communities. The Governor liked this because she could say to the NHGE, “No you can’t do that because I don’t believe you are capable of handling such governmental functions,” or “because I think they would be harmful to the ambitions of the general community.” Under the amended bill, the NHGE would come out of the “starting gate” with complete authority over any matters that a recognized government would have. Thereafter, it would negotiate with the State and the Federal government over whether those powers should be diminished, altered or eliminated. Historically, with all of the differences between the power of the United States, the states and the Indian tribes, the process for allocating governmental authority has created an acceptable balance of power among them.

In a recent newspaper article, Senator Akaka stated that he has amended the bill to address most of the Governor’s concerns. The one area of continuing disagreement is the issue of whether the NHGE would, or should, be accorded sovereign immunity. Senator Akaka noted that:

“[T]here were some issues which, despite our best efforts, we simply could not come to agreement on, primarily sovereign immunity. This is a right to which every native government and every state government, including Hawai‘i, is entitled. Without this protection, the entity would most certainly face a barrage of lawsuits beginning on Day One, before they have even begun to set up an office. This would put Native Hawaiians on unequal footing with other native peoples, and would create legal problems by deviating from existing federal policies, leading to more litigation. To me, a big part of the value of this bill is that it will lead to negotiations and agreements, not lawsuits.”

I have faith in Senator Akaka’s political judgment that he can muster the 60 votes needed for Senate approval of the measure and support him completely. Other organizations, such as the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs and the Native Hawaiian Bar Association have expressed their support of Senator Akaka’s actions in this matter.

Thus far, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, much to my disappointment, has not expressed such support, encouraging instead continuing discussions and efforts at final agreement. Hopefully, this will change.

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http://www.oha.org/kwo/2010/05/KWO1005.pdf
Ka Wai Ola [OHA monthly newspaper]
May, 2010, pp. 17 and 21, Monthly commentary by each trustee

Let common sense prevail in seeking passage of Akaka Bill

by Boyd P. Mossman, Trustee, Maui

Since 2002 I have been committed to passage of the Akaka Bill and the recognition by Congress of the Hawaiian people. This battle has been going on for more than 10 years by OHA and other Hawaiian organizations who realize the need for recognition not only in the interest of reconciliation for past deeds but more importantly to protect Hawaiians from legal demise as a result of the incessant lawsuits and threats by those accusing us of race discrimination. Hawaiians have been subject to these unjust and unfair attacks over the past 20 years and this will get worse unless we secure the legal shield of recognition from Congress. And “Hawaiians,” besides our people, must include OHA, the Kamehameha Schools and any other organization that gives preference to Hawaiians over all others.

In the meantime, as OHA has led the battle in the courts, the Congress and the community to defend our identity and legal existence, there have been those who are adamant that Hawai‘i must be returned to the Hawaiians and not merely become a “nation within a nation.” These groups are led by determined individuals who have designated themselves the heads of a variety of governments with many different origins and sources of authority. These and their supporters will not accept that any ill can come from Hawaiians losing in the courts but that such loss would likely only strengthen their positions of independence from the United States. Sadly, this idealism and ostrich defense leaves the battle against our antagonists for the rest of us to fight. Though this may be a detriment to Hawaiian unity, we must still press forward for the betterment of all and as Kamehameha encouraged his warriors, “ ‘a‘ohe hope e ho‘i mai ai,” there is no retreat.

** Continuation on p. 21

In November of this past year, we at OHA read in the news of significant changes in the Akaka Bill, which caught not only OHA but the state and even some members of our congressional delegation by surprise. We tried to determine their origin and purpose in light of the fact that we and our lobbyists have been working for years to ensure the votes needed in Congress. In 2002, the Justice Department confounded our efforts. In 2010, the Justice Department seems to have had a hand in these changes. Suffice it to say that we reacted as fast as possible and sought to offer some changes to the new legislation at the same time as did the State Attorney General. At no time did we collaborate with him in his proposed changes, and in the end many of our changes were made and some of his. Nevertheless, the state, contrary to supporting this bill for the last eight years is now against the bill because of its alleged adverse effect on the people and government of Hawai‘i. And so now we also have the state to deal with as well as those who contributed to the recent changes; thus when considering the votes in Congress, we have a much greater ,challenge than we had in November of last year, before the changes.

It has become an expectation for me to expect the unexpected when it comes to the Akaka Bill, and so we persevere and we work and we try harder to achieve some degree of recognition that will be perfected over the coming years by congressional amendments. The point is, the bill needs to pass and the political cards couldn’t have been better than now. With the state’s opposition, we need to see where the votes in Congress will fall. Whatever the content of the bill, we should seek its passage, but let us exercise practicality, common sense and reason in doing so.

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http://www.starbulletin.com/news/20100502_2_TV_debates_might_be_the_key_to_victory.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Sunday May 2, 2010

2 TV debates might be the key to victory
A total of 14 candidates—from seasoned political veterans to first-timers—are on the ballot as voters begin selecting their choice to fill the vacancy in Hawaii's 1st Congressional District.

By B.J. Reyes

About 316,000 ballots in the mail-in special election were sent to voters Friday.

Headlining the ballot are the three major candidates: Democrats Ed Case and Colleen Hanabusa and Republican Charles Djou.

"Two articulate, hard campaigning Democrats are splitting the vote against a personable GOP opponent," said Hawaii Pacific University political science professor John Hart. "One of the more interesting races we've seen here in a while."

The rest of the field includes a coterie of political novices—including attorneys, a minister, educators and a tech consultant, among others—all seeking to fill out the term vacated by Neil Abercrombie, who is running for governor.

A permanent successor will be chosen in the November general election.

A recent mainland poll indicated the race was a statistical tie among Djou, Case and Hanabusa, with 7 percent undecided. The candidates could separate themselves in a pair of televised debates scheduled for tomorrow and Friday.

"(There are) probably more undecided voters than polls indicate," Hart said. "This race is still fluid. Opportunity to be had in the two televised debates."

Profile capsules of the candidates running in the special election for Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District:

** In alphabetical order; EXCERPTS RELATED TO AKAKA BILL

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C. Kaui Jochanan Amsterdam
Republican
Age: 66
Profession or current employment: Educator, health care professional, president of the Zionland Foundation.
Other pertinent experience: 35 years of humanitarian service, locally (Hawaii), nationally (continent/mainland), and internationally (Europe and Israel/Middle East), educated at eight universities in America, Europe and Israel/Middle East.

What is your stance on the Akaka Bill?
Although Sen. Dan Inouye creatively originated it and Sen. Dan Akaka creatively marketed it, it is another minority program, which is insufficient because, among other things, it eliminates the vital Judicial Branch and jurisdiction of the Hawaiian Kingdom and thereby undermines serious Hawaiian self-determination.

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Jim Brewer
Non-partisan
Age: 70
Profession or current employment: Self-directed dedicated political educator and advocate for employee families, for peace, the environment and democracy. Executive producer of a one-hour television program entitled EmployeesTODAY, on OLELO. I also maintain a website
www.employeestoday.org
along with an occasional online magazine called ETMag.

What is your stance on the Akaka Bill?
I believe deeply that justice requires land and self-determination as indigenous Hawaiians’ basic human rights. I have studied the concepts of truth, reconciliation, reparations, justice and moving on. I have concluded that justice can be achieved with the Akaka Bill. I also am convinced from what I’ve read from and about Queen Liliuokalani that she would see this in a positive light.

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Vinny Browne
Democrat
Age: 29
Profession or Current Employment: Minister
Other pertinent experience: None listed.

What is your stance on the Akaka Bill?
I believe that Hawaii’s native people have every right to expect and receive the same rights and privileges that are afforded to other indigenous people in our country. I will support any, and all, legislation that will grant Hawaii’s native people those rights and privileges.

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Ed Case
Democrat
Age: 57
Profession/current employment: Attorney, Bays Deaver Lung Rose & Holma Other pertinent experience: None listed.

What is your stance on the Akaka Bill?
I support federal recognition for native Hawaiians, because I believe that (1) native Hawaiians are indigenous peoples just as are other Native Americans and, as such, should have the same basic status as have other Native Americans for well over a century, and (2) federal recognition will ensure the sustainability of our native Hawaiian people and culture and thereby benefit all of us. However, I share the concern that the most recent version of the bill leaves too much uncertainty in the details of federal recognition and risks another generation of litigation.

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Charles (Googie) Collins
Republican
Age: Not given.
Profession or current employment: Not given.
Other pertinent experience: None listed.

I am not asking for donations but would respectfully ask for your vote. The truth always comes out in the end. I see normalization of relations with China through trade as the main issue facing the country, and the transition to globalization as the natural, and consequence of necessitated shared resource, course of world events. Thank you for your consideration.

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Douglas Crum
Republican
Age: 53
Profession or current employment: IT / Medium Size Law Firms Consultant / Fortune 100
Other pertinent experience: Worked for a U.S. congressman for approximately 18 years on his campaign side and IT support. Served three years on U.S. Postal Council, 10 years on the (President) Board of Directors of NetWare Users International, two years State of Florida Board of Realtors, two years board of directors of Pinellas Realtors Association.

What is your stance on the Akaka Bill?
The Akaka Bill has three amendments and makes a difference. It will require a vote of residents in Hawaii. I am in favor of the bill, however, if it goes to a state vote. I suspect it will not pass unless they do a better job educating the public. I suggest forums with civil discussion of pros and cons in multiple locations to be effective.

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Rafael (Del) Del Castillo
Democrat
Age: 62
Profession or current employment: Lawyer
Other pertinent experience: Union member 14 years; public school teacher 8 years; economic development planning commissioner 2 years; community services planner/evaluator/surveyor 20 years; health benefits litigation 10 years

What is your stance on the Akaka Bill?
First, it is essential to recognize that the Akaka Bill, as amended, bears a wan resemblance to the Akaka Bill of 1994 inasmuch as the protections and assurances the 1994 bill provided have been watered down materially based upon political wrangling in D.C., instead of being based on issues and concerns of local Hawaiian organizations. I fundamentally object to the unspoken underlying premise of the latest iteration of the bill that there was legitimacy to the invasion and annexation of the lands of indigenous peoples on the U.S. mainland. ... Regrettably, the Akaka Bill in its present formulation perpetuates the denial of how the United States came to possess those lands and the Hawaiian archipelago.

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Charles Djou
Republican
Age: 39
Profession or Current Employment: City Council member
Other pertinent experience: None listed.

What is your stance on the Akaka Bill?
I support some form of federal recognition of native Hawaiians similar to what has been accorded Native Americans. The delineation of powers for any new native Hawaiian governing entity should be defined, however, only after negotiation with the Hawaii state government. I also believe there should be public hearings on the Akaka Bill in Hawaii before any enactment.

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John (Raghu) Giuffre
Republican
Age: Not given.
Profession or current employment: Congregational development
Other pertinent experience: Realtor for six years, import/export for three years, congregational development programs five years, Author of two books on economic reform.

What is your stance on the Akaka Bill?
The Akaka Bill is geared to prying back the lands and country of the Hawaiian people from the control of the U.S. government. ... We should try another package side by side with the Akaka Bill that showcases all the benefits of having a Hawaiian Kingdom. We call this the Mission of the Hawaii Kingdom. ... In short, the Hawaiian Kingdom would offer more economic returns as a nation in its own right then just some background like any other beach front destination.

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Colleen Hanabusa
Democrat
Age: 58
Profession or current employment: Attorney and state senator
Other pertinent experience: Elected to the state Senate in 1998 and beginning with the 2007 session, was elected by my colleagues to be president of the Senate, the first woman to lead either house of the Hawaii State Legislature.

What is your stance on the Akaka Bill?
I support the current version of the Akaka Bill.

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Philmund (Phil) Lee
Democrat
Age: 56
Profession or current employment:Veteran legislative attorney/staffer, public interest advocate. Former deputy corporation counsel and university professor.
Other pertinent experience: International humanitarian and human rights advocate for the International Red Cross in Geneva, Switzerland, and humanitarian relief for refugees and victims of the Holocaust in Lebanon; Expert on Middle-Eastern and World Affairs; associate editor of the Fil-Am Courier.

What is your stance on the Akaka Bill?
I support the original version of the Akaka Bill to give Hawaiians some degree of self-determination over ceded lands, etc. However, I do not support treating Hawaiians as Native American Indian tribes. Although, it might be easier for those in Washington, D.C., to understand and support the American Indian concept, it is totally unsuitable for Hawaiians as the history of Native Americans is total different from that of the native Hawaiians.

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Karl F. Moseley
Age: 60
Profession or current employment: Hieromonk, barrister and naturopath Other pertinent experience (list briefly): Transsexual 1974

What is your stance on the Akaka Bill?
Cultural Balkanization is the same as dividing the house so it cannot stand. We must respect each other and preserve humanity rather than mere prestige or self-interest.

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Kaleloa Strode
Nonpartisan
Age: 63
Profession or current employment: Teamsters Local 996 movie driver Other pertinent experience: 25 years as an assistant director in Hollywood

What is your stance on the Akaka Bill?
The Akaka Bill is between native Hawaiians and the federal government, which is a good thing. The problem I have with it, and most other native Hawaiians have, is that this bill seems to be substituting for a treaty of annexation in an attempt to transfer de jure Hawaiian Kingdom sovereignty to the United States. The Akaka Bill is not a transfer of sovereignty for several reasons: 1) native Hawaiians were not the only members of the Kingdom of Hawaii - there were American and European citizens as well; 2) The damage was done not just to native Hawaiians but to all descendants of the citizens of the kingdom prior to 1893; 3) There is no annexation treaty and never was one - a joint resolution has no jurisdiction in the transfer of sovereignty. As long as the Akaka Bill is not considered a transfer of sovereignty, but only a pipeline between native Hawaiians and the federal government structure, I’m for it.

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Steve Tataii
Nonpartisan
Age: 60
Professional or current employment: Independent conflict resolution consultant. Author of three recent books on Iraq Wars related to Kurds and Kurdistan, and need to finish the job of promoting the books.
Other pertinent experience: I have run for state House seats in 1988,1990, 1994, 1996, 1998, while filed one election contest. I have run for Honolulu City Council in 2000. My U.S. Congress candidacy experiences have been in 1992, when I challenged the late Congresswoman Patsy Mink. I challenged her again in the 2002 elections. Challenged U.S. Sen. Akaka in 2006 and U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie in 2008.

What is your stance on the Akaka Bill?
I was one of the first participants in Akaka Bill’s Oahu observers during the feedback sessions from our communities. I have commented on this question in several post Akaka Bill elections’ questionnaires sent by OHA. My stance will not be publicized until I study the last amendment to the bill, and read some outside opinions in Congress as well.

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http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20100503/NEWS01/5030350/66++of+Hawaii+residents+favor+recognition+for+Native+Hawaiians
Honolulu Advertiser, Monday, May 3, 2010

66% of Hawaii residents favor recognition for Native Hawaiians
Poll shows slight uptick from 2006, when 63% approved

PDF: Details of Akaka bill poll
http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/assets/pdf/M1156849430.PDF

By Gordon Y.K. Pang
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawai'i residents still favor federal recognition of Native Hawaiians by a 2-to-1 margin, the latest Advertiser Hawai'i Poll numbers show.

Polling conducted last week found that 66 percent of the participants support Native Hawaiians being "recognized by Congress and the federal government as a distinct group, similar to the special recognition given to American Indians and Alaskan Natives."

Such recognition could come about under a process created by the Akaka bill, formally known as the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009. The bill passed the U.S. House in February and is awaiting a vote in the Senate.

The Hawai'i Poll appears to indicate that, in recent years, a large segment of Hawai'i residents have settled into how they think about federal recognition and the Akaka bill. In 2000, the Advertiser Hawai'i Poll showed 73 percent in favor of federal recognition. That support appeared to dip in the latter part of the decade, when in 2006 the poll showed 63 percent of respondents in favor of recognition.

The poll was conducted by locally based Ward Research Inc. with a sampling size of 604 respondents.

Over the course of the last decade, during the administrations of President George W. Bush and President Obama, language in the Akaka bill has been widely debated and amended in the effort to get it passed.

Gov. Linda Lingle and her administration oppose the current version of the bill. Lingle had been a strong and influential supporter of the bill, but now believes this version grants too much authority to the Native Hawaiian entity at the onset of negotiations that would take place among the entity and the state and the federal governments.

For instance, it would grant "sovereign immunity" to the entity and its employees from the state's criminal, public health, child safety and environmental laws.

Clyde Nāmu'o, administrator of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, said he is "not surprised and actually pleased" by the latest poll numbers, especially given the new opposition by Lingle and others.

"It's fairly consistent with the polls that we did," Nāmu'o said. "Obviously, there's still a majority of the people who still support" federal recognition.

Two of three major candidates in the 1st Congressional District special election, Democrat Ed Case and Republican Charles Djou, have said they do not support the current language of the bill that passed the House, leaving Democrat Colleen Hanabusa as the sole staunch supporter.

'NOBODY KNOWS'

Longtime opponents of the Akaka bill and/or federal recognition said the Hawai'i Poll numbers show only that a majority of Hawai'i's residents don't know what federal recognition means.

"I think the big problem is nobody knows what's inside the bill," said Thurston Twigg-Smith, former Honolulu Advertiser owner. "They keep changing it, people don't have a chance to read it."

Congress should hold hearings on the measure in Hawai'i so the public can get a better understanding of the language, he said.

Hawaiian rights activist Dennis Pu'uhonua "Bumpy" Kanahele said the poll "only tells me that people aren't even aware of what the Akaka bill is all about."

The state's politicians and "mainstream Hawaiian organizations" support the bill and not other models of self-determination, such as complete independence from the U.S. government, he said.

Kanahele said that's why he's been pushing for a constitutional convention, so Hawaiians can look at the different models and determine what's best.

Among the 115 poll respondents who identified themselves as Native Hawaiians, 82 percent said they support federal recognition. Among other ethnic groups, 66 percent of those describing themselves as Japanese support it, while 61 percent of Filipinos and Caucasians indicated support.

Only 58 percent of those who identified themselves as 55 and older support federal recognition, while 72 percent of those ages 35 to 54 support it, and 79 percent of those under 35 do.

Source: The survey of 604 O'ahu registered voters was conducted April 23 to 28 by Ward Research Inc. of Honolulu. The margin of error is 4.0 percentage points, which means a survey of all O'ahu registered voters would not be likely to produce a result more than 4.0 percentage points above or below the poll results.

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http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?5a1a8691-71f4-4063-bea1-4c6e6d62a25b
Hawaii Reporter, May 3, 2010

Should you believe Zogby or Ward poll on Akaka bill?
Ballot referendum is possible and far more credible than any poll

By Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.

On Monday May 3, 2010, the headline of an article in the Honolulu Advertiser, front page and above the fold, screamed "66% of Hawaii residents favor recognition for Native Hawaiians." See
http://tinyurl.com/32s8pm8
The article gave a link entitled "PDF: Details of Akaka bill poll." That pdf file contained only question #8 and its results. The so-called "details" were the breakdown by island, gender, ethnicity, age, income, political party affiliation, and union membership.

The so-called "details" provided to the public did NOT include the wording and results for the seven questions that came before #8, nor any questions that might have come afterward.

Ward Research is a local company, frequently hired by both OHA and the Honolulu Advertiser to do private polling.

OHA has been pushing the Akaka bill for 10 years.

The Honolulu Advertiser has repeatedly editorialized in favor of the bill.

Is anyone surprised when the poll results turn out the way the sponsors like?

On previous occasions Advertiser has published polls on the Akaka bill, also done by Ward Research, where the questions were worded, and arranged in a sequence, so as to elicit the desired answers. Some of those polls were done face-to-face, or with local people using the phone to ask other local people the questions, making it unlikely that respondents would give "politically incorrect" or "wrong" answers. We also don't know whether Ward Research keeps on re-using the same panel of carefully selected respondents for one poll after another over the years.

This time the poll results are announced in the morning when an important political debate will be televised live in the evening. That debate, sponsored by OHA and the Advertiser, will spend 90 minutes asking the top three candidates in the special election for Congress to answer questions in front of a carefully selected audience. OHA is paying for the debate, and for the television time to broadcast it on three channels, and to broadcast it again on the weekend. In other words, it's an infomercial (think Sham-Wow, or how to make money buying and selling foreclosed real estate). One of the main purposes of the debate is to get the candidates to pander to ethnic Hawaiian vested interests. Candidates will be asked many questions about racial entitlement programs and the Akaka bill -- not only to let OHA supporters know whom to vote for but also to put the eventual winner on record as promising to do things OHA wants them to do.

In December 2009 a Zogby poll was released, which shows that a majority of Hawaii's people oppose the Akaka bill and an even larger majority want Hawaii's people to be able to vote on the Akaka bill in a ballot referendum.

The wording of all the questions on the Zogby poll was made public, along with the order they were asked and the percentages of respondents who strongly favored, somewhat favored, somewhat opposed, or strongly opposed. See
http://tinyurl.com/y9x9q7u

So, who will you believe? The internationally respected Zogby company, or local polling company Ward Research which behaves as a captive subsidiary often hired by (makes big money from) OHA and the Honolulu Advertiser?

The best poll is to let Hawaii's people vote on a ballot question. Yes or no: Do you approve the Akaka bill? Let's describe how that might happen.

The Legislature has the power to place referendum questions on the ballot. In recent years we have had ballot referenda about relatively minor topics such as the standard of proof required for convicting someone of child molestation. This year there will be a referendum on whether the Governor should appoint the members of the Board of Education (instead of having them elected).

The Akaka bill is without any doubt the most important issue facing the people of Hawaii since the Statehood referendum in 1959. Although he wasn't writing about Hawaii, Shakespeare got it right in "Hamlet" when he wrote "To be or not to be? That is the question." Should Hawaii be chopped up into pieces along racial lines, or should we keep a unified government for all of Hawaii for all people regardless of race?

The Akaka bill should not be an unfunded federal mandate rammed down the throats of Hawaii's people whether we like it or not. The Akaka bill should be like the Statehood bill. Congress can pass a bill making an offer but authorizing Hawaii's people to make the final decision. The Akaka bill can easily be amended to do that. One of the problems with the Akaka bill is that it keeps changing, so it's almost impossible for everyday people to know what it really says or what its consequences would be. The amendment should require the specific bill number to be included in the Hawaii ballot referendum, so that we can have a period of public discussion allowing the people to learn all about exactly what is in the actual bill.

Congress would not be "requiring" Hawaii to hold a referendum. Instead, Congress would be making an offer to Hawaii and specifying that the way Hawaii can respond (if it chooses to do so) is with a referendum. The bill would then automatically take effect if the voters accept it by passing the referendum. Survey Shmurvey. Forget the pollsters and let the people decide in the privacy of the voting booth without worrying about real or implied intimidation during personal interviews.

The Akaka bill is far more important and far-reaching than any amendment ever proposed to the state Constitution. That's why voter approval should require the same standard as used for ratification of a state Constitutional amendment (i.e., the number of "yes" votes must be larger than the combined number of "no" votes and blank votes).

For example, if HR2314 is the final version offered for voter approval, then the amendment might read as follows:

"Nothing in this bill shall take effect until such time as a question has been placed on the ballot in a statewide Hawaii election asking whether the people approve this specific bill HR2314, and the people have approved it according to the same rules applying to voter ratification of a state Constitutional amendment."

Some might object, saying that no Indian tribe has ever required approval by voter referendum in order to get federal recognition. But of course the situation in Hawaii is totally different from the mainland. In Hawaii, 20% of our population are eligible to join the Akaka tribe; whereas no state on the mainland has 20% of its people with Indian blood let alone 20% of its people eligible to join any particular tribe. So in Hawaii we're talking about a 20% voting bloc who will not only be members of the tribe but will also continue to participate in state and county elections to choose the politicians who will decide how much land to give to the Akaka tribe.

Is there evidence besides the Zogby poll that Hawaii's people oppose the Akaka bill?

A webpage was published in 2006 entitled "Akaka Bill -- Roundup of Evidence Showing Most Hawaii People and Most Ethnic Hawaiians Oppose It" And that covered only the period from 2000 to 2006. There were scientific surveys in both 2005 and 2006 which phoned every household in Hawaii having a listed telephone number and, on both occasions, 67% who responded opposed the Akaka bill. Details of the questions and response data are provided.

Several polls were done before then, and more recently, by the Honolulu and Maui newspapers with similar results. Previous surveys by Ward Research and the newspapers asked people to rank the importance of various goals and government programs -- both ethnic Hawaiians and the general population ranked healthcare, housing, education, and even traffic congestion as being far more important than the last-place item: nationhood or sovereignty for ethnic Hawaiians. After 5 years and untold millions of dollars for advertising and free T-shirts, only about 1/4 of ethnic Hawaiians have bothered to sign up on the racial registry "Kau Inoa" which might serve as an initial membership roll for the Akaka tribe.

The roundup of evidence up to 2006 is at
http://tinyurl.com/omewe

Dr. Conklin's book "Hawaiian Apartheid: Racial Separatism and Ethnic Nationalism in the Aloha State" is in the Hawaii Public Library, and also at
http://tinyurl.com/2a9fqa

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http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/Global/story.asp?S=12420735
Hawaii News Now (3 TV stations), May 3, 2010

Poll shows support for Hawaiian recognition

By Tim Sakahara

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - By a two to one margin people think Hawaiians should get special recognition from Congress. Younger people are far more supportive and not surprisingly so are Native Hawaiians.

Ward Research asked 604 people, "Do you think Hawaiians should be recognized by Congress and the federal government as a distinct group, similar to the special recognition given to American Indians and Alaskan Natives?" 66 percent responded yes. 23 percent said no and 11 percent don't know.

"To me it's a clear message that it's time to move along with the legislation," said Clyde Namuo, Office of Hawaiian Affairs Administrator.

Attorney General Mark Bennett says he's all for federal recognition, but he's against the newest changes to the Akaka Bill which says the Native Hawaiian government is exempt from following state and county laws.

"Under the new version of the Akaka Bill laws that protect environment, laws that protect against certain types of development even possibly some criminal laws, they could all be laws that the entity, its officers and employees could be exempt from and we think that isn't the direction to go in," said Mark Bennett, State of Hawaii Attorney General.

Bennett says if the question asked should the Native Hawaiian government follow different laws than everyone else fewer people would support it.

"I think there will always be a little bit of anxiety not knowing exactly what federal recognition actually means for the state of Hawaii. It doesn't surprise me that people are a little bit concerned. Rightfully everyone should be concerned because there will be sweeping changes that will occur in our community once federal recognition is actually accomplished," said Namuo.

Senator Daniel Akaka has tried to ease concerns by saying Native Hawaiians will have the same level of sovereign immunity already given to 500 other native governments in the United States. But the attorney general says Hawaii's case is different because unlike tribal reserves, Native Hawaiians live throughout the islands.

"The difference with the other entities is they almost all have a land base where they exercise sovereignty. The Hawaiian governing entity with up to 200,000 members is not going to start off with a land base so what you'll have is two different sets of rules over people that are living next door to each other. You're going to have 20 percent of Hawaii's people being subject to a government that may be exempt from the laws that the other million of Hawaii's people are subject to," said Bennett.

"There is some concern that exactly what are those powers that Hawaiians would actually experience and when we look at other indigenous people, Alaska Natives and Native Americans those powers are not abused," said Namuo. "Some of the concerns that have been raised by Mr. Bennett and others can be addressed in the future."

The Akaka Bill already passed the House of Representatives in February. Senator Akaka is trying to get it to a vote in the senate this year.

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http://www.starbulletin.com/news/20100504_Akaka_Bill_splits_candidates.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, May 4, 2010

Akaka Bill splits candidates
Verbal barbs pepper the debate among the top 1st Congressional District hopefuls

By Gary T. Kubota

Three candidates running in the special election for the 1st Congressional District seat agreed native Hawaiians should receive some form of federal recognition similar to American Indians.

But City Councilman Charles Djou and former U.S. Rep. Ed Case said they opposed the federal recognition bill pending in the U.S. Senate, while state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa supports it.

The debate, sponsored by the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs and broadcast on KGMB, KHNL and KFVE, sometimes became personal, with candidates exchanging verbal barbs.

At one point Djou, a Republican, said he was proud of his record of never voting for a tax increase for the past 10 years as a city councilman.

"It must be nice when everything is so simple," said Case, a Democrat.

Djou later criticized Case for leaving his 2nd Congressional District seat to unsuccessfully run against U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, saying, "Ed, things are simple when you put principle ahead of ambition."

Djou also attacked Hanabusa and Case for running in a congressional district where they are not residents.

The candidates argued a wide range of issues from President Obama's economic reform to the Akaka Bill.

Djou said the bill should define native sovereignty only after talks have taken place with the state, and Case said the most recent version of the Akaka Bill leaves too much uncertainty in interpretation and the potential for litigation.

Hanabusa said the bill supports recognition similar to American Indians' and that there is enough case law to interpret the relationship between native Hawaiians and government entities.

Hanabusa, who has the backing of Akaka and U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, said she had the kind of experience as state Senate president to get legislation passed in Congress.

Hanabusa said she supports Obama's financial reforms, while Case emphasized his experience as a former congressman and a political moderate who can work with Republicans and Democrats.

Djou said Obama's economic reform is not working and that he is against the continuation of excessive government spending.

Djou said Hawaii needs someone with a record of opposing higher taxes and wasteful government spending.

Case said he is for economic reform that prevents the recurrence of economic regulatory failures.

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http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?3a2e8036-0e29-401c-b2dc-ce7466226458
Hawaii Reporter, May 4, 2010

Akaka Poll Misleading

By Frank Scott

The May 3, 2010, article in the Honolulu Advertiser entitled "66% favor special recognition of Native Hawaiians by U.S." grossly misrepresents the AKAKA BILL.

The concept of recognition, which seems to be the only item addressed in the survey, is of secondary significance and misleading at best. All it would do is formalize the recognition that already exists.

As presented in the question, it is understandable that most of the people interviewed would have little understanding of the reason and need for so called recognition of native hawaiians.

And the response might be expected to be positive as the survey indicates since the question of recognition alone seems fair and doesn't seem to imply controversy. The critical issue that should have been addressed is that the Akaka Bill would create a separate government entity with membership limited to anyone with a trace of Hawaiian Ancestry, regardless of domicile or place of birth.

Permitted membership not only brings up the issue of racial preference but is complicated by the fact that 90 percent of indigenous Hawaiians are reported to have less than 10 percent Hawaiian ancestry. The bill could have a negative impact on The State of Hawaii in the sense that it specifies that the new government would be eligible to negotiate for ownership of large land areas of the state. In addition, the bill would grant sovereign immunity from such state regulations as public health, child safety and environmental laws.

This would inevitably lead to serious problems in a society where the eligible members of the new government are largely intermarried and completely integrated with the rest of society. In earlier surveys, where these aspects of the bill were presented, two thirds of Hawaii residents were opposed to the Akaka Bill.

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http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20100509/OPINION02/5090318/1108
Honolulu Advertiser, May 9, 2010, Letter to editor

Akaka bill
Negotiation must occur before signing

Proponents of the Akaka bill (The Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act) are asking lawmakers to sign into law a bill whose provisions will be negotiated by others at a future time. These proponents say, in effect, "Have no fear — these negotiations will be just and reasonable."

I wonder if these proponents would be willing to give me their signed personal blank checks if I assure them that what I fill in on the checks will be "just and reasonable"?

There must be a better way to address these issues which affect ownership of 40 percent of the land in Hawai'i and 100 percent of its population.

Bob Henninger
Honolulu

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http://www.hawaiifreepress.com/main/ArticlesMain/tabid/56/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/2130/Hawaiis-new-political-reality-Akaka-Bill-becomes-an-election-issue.aspx
Hawaii Free Press, Sunday May 9, 2010

Hawaii's new political reality: Akaka Bill becomes an election issue

By Andrew Walden

As the Akaka Bill, S 1011, languishes before the US Senate, the Special Election Hawaii First Congressional District race marks the first time a Hawaii election has been fought between major candidates with differing views on the Akaka Bill. It is telling that the candidate who favors the bill's current version--Colleen Hanabusa--appears to be far behind.

In the midst of Hanabusa's collapsing poll numbers, the Honolulu Advertiser and Hawaii News Now May 3 published results of a poll purportedly showing support for creation of the Akaka Tribe. The poll's wording is a throwback to the days in which the Akaka Bill was not a subject for political campaigns.

Two-thirds of 604 Hawaii voters questioned by Honolulu-based Ward Research answered "yes" to this question:

"And, regarding federal legislation recognizing Hawaiians as an indigenous people....Do you think Hawaiians should be recognized by Congress and the Federal government as a distinct group, similar to the special recognition given to American Indians and Alaskan natives?"

The Advertiser immediately jumped on the poll results, crowing: Such recognition could come about under a process created by the Akaka bill, formally known as the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009. The bill passed the U.S. House in February and is awaiting a vote in the Senate.

Which is the more accurate reflection of public sentiment? An analysis of this and other Akaka Bill polls leads to a clear answer--and points the way forward for political candidates trying to find their way in uncharted waters.

With open electoral debate occurring in the Hawaii body politic, it is time to pick apart some of the previously accepted terms of the previous non-debate. For instance the Advertiser asserts that "recognition could come about." But Hawaiians are already "recognized by Congress and the Federal government as a distinct group, similar to the special recognition given to American Indians and Alaskan natives." Hawaiians have been federally recognized since the 1920 Hawaiian Homes Commission Act. This recognition was reaffirmed by the inclusion of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act in the text of the 1959 Hawaii Admission Act and, again reaffirmed with each of what text of S1011 [Section 4(a)(3)(A)(iii)] describes as,"150 other Federal laws addressing the conditions of Native Hawaiians." It is hardly surprising that two-thirds of a state's population support a policy which has been in place for 90 years and which makes up part of the foundation of Hawaii Statehood.

It is pure deceit to translate such a poll question into support for the Akaka Bill. Were any of the poll respondents asked about the fact that 73% of native Hawaiians will be excluded from the tribe under the current wording of S1011? Of course not. But political debate exists in large part because Rep Neil Abercrombie and Sen. Dan Akaka made a point of re-writing the bill is such a way as not to guarantee membership to any Hawaiian unless they sign the highly controversial Kau Inoa registry--a political test for a political tribe, not the consanguinity (blood) test of a real tribe.

The key difference between the existing form of Hawaiian and Alaskan recognition and that of American Indians is that Alaskans and Hawaiians have no tribal governments. Alaskan natives are stockholders in Alaskan Native Corporations which own land and natural resources as agreed under the 1971 Alaskan Native Claims Settlement Act. They are governed by the same laws as any other corporation.

Instead of being corporate stockholders, Hawaiians are the beneficiaries of various government obligations. Thus there are currently three different models of federal recognition: Indian, Alaskan, and Hawaiian. It is not Hawaiian recognition which stands in opposition to the other two. If anything, it is Indian recognition--with tribal governments--which stands in sharp contrast to that of Hawaiians and Alaskans. And of the three groups, Indians are by far the worst off--yet the Akaka Gang is determined to adopt the Indian Tribe model with its own legal jurisdiction and sovereign immunity from prosecution. Some Hawaii political leaders and newspaper editors seem surprised by this--but the Broken Trust gang has been working to this end ever since John Waihee's 1995 proposal to domicile Bishop Estate HQ to the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation.

When Hawaii voters are asked directly about the Akaka Bill by name, pollsters get an entirely different result. A November, 2009 Zogby Poll used the term "Akaka Bill" and found 51% of 501 Hawaii voters oppose it while 34% support and 15% not sure. Also using the term "Akaka Bill" instead of the amorphous phrase "recognized by Congress," Grassroot Institute found majorities opposed to the Akaka Bill in surveys conducted in June, 2005 and May, 2006.

At the core of argumentation over the Akaka Bill supporters and many opponents falsely equate the defeat of the Akaka Bill to the abolition of Hawaiian entitlements. As the first version of the Akaka Bill was introduced in 2000, Manu Boyd argued it presented the "most viable antidote to the feared unraveling of entitlements for Hawaiians." This falsehood has since been repeated endlessly.

Contradicting this line of argument, the unanimous October, 2008 "ceded lands" decision of the US Supreme Court established that the Admission Act of a State is a law which cannot easily be tinkered with. The 9-0 US Supreme Court majority reversed the unanimous 5-0 Hawaii Supreme Court and demolished the previous widely-held belief that the 1993 Apology Resolution had legal effect on such fundamental issues as the State's ownership of land. The US Supreme Court cited Idaho v. United States in a key passage from its decision:

"[T]he consequences of admission are instantaneous, and it ignores the uniquely sovereign character of that event...to suggest that subsequent events somehow can diminish what has already been bestowed."

Thus the inclusion of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act within the Admission Act gives it far better protection than any inclusion within a tumultuous and erratic Akaka Tribe. To understand the risks of placing DHHL under tribal law, one need look no further than the California gaming tribes who are expelling members by the hundreds in order to share gaming revenues among a smaller number of people.

The issue of Kamehameha School admissions could be dealt by many possible "Plan B" scenarios. This writer's favorite would be creation of a statewide voucher system which would allow Kamehameha a revenue stream which would allow it to admit every native Hawaiian child who wishes to go--and, having accomplished that goal, then admit non-Hawaiians, thus eliminating the cause for action of the discrimination suits. Vouchers may be a radical solution, but they are less radical than creating an Indian tribe in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Solutions more attuned to Hawaii's sad political reality might involve recognition of the fact that Kamehameha is already teaching substantial numbers of non-Hawaiian students through its work with DoE schools along the Waianae coast and elsewhere. Another solution would be to admit a limited number of non-Hawaiians within the existing three-campus framework which would then allow KS to once again begin accepting federal funds and thereby expand its enrollment resulting in a net increase in admission of Hawaiian students. Both of these plans benefit Hawaiian students immensely whereas even the most cursory examination of the facts shows that creation of the Akaka Tribe with its own tribal jurisdiction would guarantee a return to the Broken Trust days.

For Hawaiians, the best thing that can be done with OHA is to abolish it. But after a decade of post-Rice litigation, not a single OHA program has been knocked down by the courts. That is a strong signal that they will not be. As exposed in public hearing after hearing, many Native Hawaiians hate and distrust OHA and see the agency as stealing their inheritance. OHA has created Hawaiian welfare which weakens Hawaiian families and makes Hawaiians dependent on government. Power and money grabbing OHA trustees again and again act against the interest of native Hawaiians. (See: OHA driving Hawaiians out of Hawaii)

The deceptive argumentation for the Akaka Tribe is too well calibrated to not be poll driven. The internals of the November, 2009 Zogby Poll light a path leading logically to the precise arguments chosen by Akaka Tribe backers. The same poll also shows that opponents of the Akaka Bill are largely using the most ineffective lines of argumentation available to them.

Zogby’s poll results (question 10) reveal that:

"two-thirds (68%) agree that the federally and state-funded programs for Native Hawaiians in the areas of health, education, employment, economic development, and housing should continue, however a quarter (25%) disagree."

This shows that any effort to equate opposition to the Akaka Bill with opposition to Hawaiian entitlements will produce greater support for formation of the Akaka Tribe. Yet for years, the primary (non-Sovereignty) opponents of the Akaka Bill did exactly that. OHA couldn't have asked for better PR help.

This is reinforced by the result of question five in the Zogby Poll. The 501 Hawaii voters were asked to choose what they felt was the best argument in favor of the Akaka Bill. 46% chose "It is only fair that native Hawaiians receive the same privileges as those granted American Indians and indigenous Alaskans. Another 25% chose "It ensures that the native culture and practices will be preserved."

Obviously these results indicate that opponents of the Akaka Bill must:

1. expose the fact that membership in the Akaka Tribe will be no "privilege" and would be deeply unfair to those Hawaiians who do join,

2. point out the Akaka Tribe's erstwhile leaders often act in opposition to the interests of the majority of Hawaiian people and

3. show how Hawaiian culture is being manipulated and distorted for the power and profit of OHA Trustees and associated hangers-on

4. show how Hawaiian culture is not defended by the Trustees etal. where there is no profit to be had.

In another poll question, Hawaii voters are asked to choose the best arguments against the Akaka Bill. The argument deemed least effective--picked by only 14%--was "The people of Hawaii have never been asked to vote on the Akaka Bill, so its public acceptance cannot be predicted."

But at least "Let us Vote" does not bring in the "fair play" and "entitlements" issues like the second to least effective argument, picked by 21%:

"It is discriminatory, favoring residents with Hawaiian ancestry over all others."

But another 22% picked a closely related version of the same argument:

"It is likely to carry costs that will have to be borne by non-Native Hawaiian taxpayers."

This means that discrimination was favored by 43% of respondents. But that does not mean that claims of discrimination are the most effective at undermining support for the Akaka Bill. In fact the "fairness" and "cultural preservation" answers indicate exactly the opposite. In selecting argumentation, it is far more important to undermine the other side's justifications than it is to continually re-state your own.

The most popular single argument was picked by 27%:

"It creates a separate government which would amount to a state within a state."

This argument hints at the abusive nature of Tribal Governments and thus dovetails perfectly with an effort to pull apart the flawed reasoning behind the two most popular reasons for supporting the Akaka Bill.

This "state within a state" argument also corresponds with the central issue raised by Governor Lingle, Congressional Candidates Charles Djou and Ed Case, and the editorial boards of the Star-Bulletin and Advertiser all of whom since December have come out in opposition to the new version of the Akaka Bill--with its instant tribal immunity from prosecution--being foisted upon Hawaii as a parting shot by Rep Neil Abercrombie and by Senator Dan Akaka.

Rep. Neil Abercrombie crammed the new version of the Akaka Bill through the US House. He is campaigning to become the Governor who will preside over its implementation. He already shares Hanabusa's taste for shady political deals. And Abercrombie could actually become the new Colleen Hanabusa—a last place finisher--if his gubernatorial opponents took positions as clear as those of Charles Djou and Ed Case.

The Akaka Bill is about handing the Hawaiian patrimony over to a corrupt class of trustee-thieves who will use the tribal jurisdiction to line their own pockets at the expense of Native Hawaiians. Instead of being distracted from this reality by those who point to past injustices, we need to concern ourselves with avoiding this future injustice.

In the new political reality, the Akaka Bill is a political issue and elections are fought over it. Candidates who come to grips with that reality are being rewarded at the polls.

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

http://rootedinreason.com/2010/05/10/construct-or-destruct/#comment-95
Rooted In Reason (blog), May 10, 2010

CONSTRUCT OR DESTRUCT?

By Dick Rowland

If you were asked “ Do you approve of the idea of having the US Government say it respects our native Hawaiian friends?”, How would you respond? Almost all of us would say yes, of course. What if the question was reworded to read “recognizes” in place of “respects”? Same thing, huh? In fact, don’t you think it would be a 90% “yes” result either way?

OHA just asked the “recognizes” question and got a 66% positive result. Only 66%? That is only 2 out of 3. It seems to me there is something wrong here. Maybe a good many thought “Akaka bill” when they saw recognition and voted no. OHA bragged about the result and said it reflected support for the Akaka bill. That is sloppy thinking. If they really want to know, why don’t they directly ask in a frank and honest manner?

For instance: “Do you favor the passage of the Akaka bill which would form an Indian Tribe of native Hawaiians inside of Hawaii?”.

My prediction of the result would be at least 66% no. Hawaiian Aloha for All is expressed in asking the recognition question while splitting or fracturing society is the Akaka bill message. So it is simple: Construct or destruct, take your choice. OHA masked that stark choice and then bragged about it. The press bought in. Go figure.

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http://boss.hawaiireporter.com/is-the-hawaii-government-really-helping-hawaiians/
Hawaii Reporter, May 14, 2010

Is the Hawaii Government Really Helping Hawaiians?

by Malia Blom Hill

In a state deeply embroiled in a debate over the Akaka Bill, it is no wonder that a large percentage of the public favors some (so far undefined) form of “recognition” of Native Hawaiians.

Putting aside the historical inaccuracies, the troubling economic concerns, and the profound cultural issues that surround Akaka, it is clear that many of us in the Islands respect Native Hawaiian culture and believe that for a lot of Native Hawaiians, things can be tough, socio-economically speaking. After all, the poverty rate among Native Hawaiians is higher than average, as is the percentage of Native Hawaiians without health insurance.

Native Hawaiians are below the national average in attainment of bachelor’s and graduate degrees. Not to mention that measures of health and general well-being of Native Hawaiians shows a greater risk of death from cancer, heart disease, diabetes . . . and just about everything else save, “drowning in champagne on your own yacht.”

But beware the persuasive writer (or politician) bearing statistics, as they tell only part of the story.

According to the U.S. Census, in 2002 there were 28,948 businesses in the US owned by Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (2415 of which were in Honolulu), generating $4.3 billion in annual receipts. What’s more, despite the impression you might take from those with a political axe to grind, there is help out there for Native Hawaiians. You would be surprised at how much. The 4 Hawaiians Only research project from the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii has been cataloguing grants intended to help Native Hawaiians. (That is, those grants where the primary purpose is to aid the Native Hawaiian population, as opposed to those that might unintentionally and disproportionately benefit Native Hawaiians.

These are grants made specifically with an eye to helping Native Hawaiian families, preserving Native Hawaiian culture, promoting Native Hawaiian businesses, etc.) Looking only at grants made since fiscal year 2007, we’ve found more than 680 federal, state, and OHA grants totaling more than $200 million in funding to improve the lives of Native Hawaiians. And we’re still adding more grants from 2009 and 2010.

So the obvious question becomes not, “How can we help Native Hawaiians?”, but “Are we actually doing a good job at helping them?” This is not an easy one to answer, and is part of the reason the 4 Hawaiians Only project exists. Some of the grants seem like important, even necessary awards—like providing health access for Hawaiians living in a remote and inaccessible part of Maui.

Others make you wonder whether someone’s cousin might have a bit too large an influence in the grants department. (Like well-funded efforts to make canoes and grow organic vegetables.) More than once we’ve pondered whether the creation of a near-industry to provide government aid takes advantage of Hawaiians and wrongly portrays them as helpless victims. And therein lies the ultimate point of our effort. As we continue to learn more about these grants and programs, we hope to provide the public with more information about where there money is going, so that they can determine which programs are worthy and which are not.

We hope that others will let us know about their own experiences and knowledge of these programs, for good or bad, so that we can spread the word about them and improve transparency in what has traditionally been a very obscure area.

Yes, the taxpayers deserve to know, but the Native Hawaiians deserve even more to be able to see and judge what is being done in their name. You can visit the 4 Hawaiians Only website at
http://www.4hawaiiansonly.com
Please also visit our blog and join us on Facebook. Or, email us with questions, comments, or information at
4hawaiiansonly@gmail.com

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

http://www.westhawaiitoday.com/articles/2010/05/19/opinion/letters_-_your_voice/letters05.txt
West Hawaii Today (Kona), May 19, 2010

Akaka bill
Conflict of interest may arise if bill is passed

Conflict of interest over Akaka Bill means no ethnic Hawaiians should serve as high officials of state or county government.

Should a judge preside over a lawsuit where his family stands to gain megabucks? Should a governor, mayor, or senator decide to route a new highway to a family-owned shopping center, or award construction contracts to his family's business?

The Akaka Bill recognizes ethnic Hawaiians as a tribe. State and county officials then negotiate how much of our land, money, and jurisdictional authority to give that tribe. Government officials who are ethnic Hawaiian have a huge conflict of interest deciding how much of our stuff to give to their own blood brotherhood.

Executives, legislators, and judges must recuse themselves and not participate in decisions where they have conflict of interest. Normally recusal is rare. But if the Akaka Bill passes, most government decision-making will focus on how much to give the tribe.

Someone should not hold a job where ethics rules demand recusal from most of his work.

If the Akaka Bill passes, no ethnic Hawaiian should hold high office in the executive, legislative, or judicial branches of state or county government.

Officials serve multiple years. No ethnic Hawaiian should be elected or appointed to high office so long as an Akaka Bill might pass. See
http://tinyurl.com/24ohwpw

Kenneth R. Conklin
Kaneohe

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http://www.starbulletin.com/editorials/letters/20100524_letters_to_the_editor.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, May 24, 2010
Letter to editor

Akaka Bill poses ethics conflicts

Should a judge preside over a lawsuit where his family stands to gain megabucks? Should a governor, mayor or senator decide to route a new highway to a family-owned shopping center, or award construction contracts to his family's business?

The Akaka Bill recognizes ethnic Hawaiians as a tribe. State and county officials then negotiate how much of our land, money and jurisdictional authority to give that tribe. Government officials who are ethnic Hawaiian have a huge conflict of interest deciding how much of our stuff to give to their own blood brotherhood.

Executives, legislators and judges must recuse themselves and not participate in decisions where they have conflict of interest. Normally recusal is rare. But if the Akaka Bill passes, most government decision-making will focus on how much to give the tribe. Someone should not hold a job where ethics rules demand recusal from most of his work.

Kenneth R. Conklin
Kaneohe

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http://boss.hawaiireporter.com/should-native-hawaiians-serve-in-government-leadership-positions-if-akaka-bill-passes/
Hawaii Reporter, May 26, 2010

Should Native Hawaiians Serve in Government Leadership Positions if Akaka Bill Passes?

By: Kenneth R Conklin PhD

Should a judge preside over a lawsuit where his family stands to gain megabucks? Should a governor, mayor, or senator decide to route a new highway to a family-owned shopping center, or award construction contracts to his family’s business?

The proposed federal legislation known as the Akaka bill recognizes ethnic Hawaiians as a tribe. State and county officials then negotiate how much of our land, money, and jurisdictional authority to give that tribe. Government officials who are ethnic Hawaiian have a huge conflict of interest deciding how much of our stuff to give to their own blood brotherhood.

Executives, legislators, and judges must recuse themselves and not participate in decisions where they have conflict of interest. Normally recusal is rare. But if the Akaka bill passes, most government decision-making will focus on how much to give the tribe. Someone should not hold a job where ethics rules demand recusal from most of his work.

If the Akaka bill passes, no ethnic Hawaiian should hold high office in the executive, legislative, or judicial branches of state or county government. Officials serve multiple years; therefore, no ethnic Hawaiian should be elected or appointed to high office so long as an Akaka bill might pass.

For a webpage exploring in depth the issue of ethnic Hawaiian conflict of interest and recusal, see
http://tinyurl.com/24ohwpw

Here are the section headings for the webpage:

SUMMARY

CONFLICT OF INTEREST AND RECUSAL IN GENERAL, AND REGARDING ETHNIC HAWAIIANS SPECIFICALLY

RECENT EXAMPLES OF CONFLICT OF INTEREST INVOLVING ETHNIC HAWAIIANS (AB)USING GOVERNMENTAL POWER TO BENEFIT THEIR BLOOD BROTHERHOOD: WALTER HEEN; BOYD MOSSMAN; DANTE CARPENTER; ROBERT KLEIN; MELE CARROLL; CLAYTON HEE; NATIVE HAWAIIAN CAUCUS IN THE LEGISLATURE; HONOLULU CITY COUNCIL PURCHASE OF WAIMEA VALLEY AND TRANSFER TO OHA.

ANALOGIES BETWEEN CARVING UP HAWAII ALONG ETHNIC LINES TO CREATE A RACE-BASED AKAKA TRIBE, AND THE FOLLOWING: CARVING UP INDIA TO CREATE PAKISTAN; TAPEWORMS IN HUMAN INTESTINES; PARASITIC WASP EGGS DEPOSITED INTO CATERPILLARS AND EATING THEIR INSIDES UNTIL EMERGING AT MATURITY; FRENCH CITIZEN FIFTH COLUMNISTS WORKING INSIDE FRANCE; AMERICAN CITIZEN SPIES TURNING OVER ATOMIC WEAPONS SECRETS TO AMERICA’S ENEMIES; NEIL ABERCROMBIE SPENDING 10 YEARS IN CONGRESS CREATING THE AKAKA TRIBE AND THEN BECOMING GOVERNOR TO PRESIDE OVER THE TRANSFER OF HAWAII’S ASSETS TO THE TRIBE

TRIBE VS. STATE: WHY HAWAIIAN TRIBAL LOYALTY IS LIKELY TO DAMAGE STATE GOVERNMENT FAR MORE SERIOUSLY THAN ANY DAMAGE SOME PEOPLE MIGHT IMAGINE COULD HAPPEN TO AMERICA BECAUSE OF RELIGIOUS OR ETHNIC LOYALTY BY CATHOLICS OR JEWS ON ISSUES SUCH AS ABORTION OR AMERICAN POLICY TOWARD ISRAEL OR IRAN.

ON APRIL 21, 2010 THE ISSUES OF CONFLICT OF INTEREST AND AN ACCOMPANYING DEMAND FOR RECUSAL WERE RAISED FOR THE FIRST TIME REGARDING THE TOPIC OF HAWAIIAN SOVEREIGNTY, DURING TESTIMONY BY KEN CONKLIN BEFORE THE HONOLULU CITY COUNCIL.

CONCLUSION

This is a guest editorial. See Dr. Conklin’s book “Hawaiian Apartheid: Racial Separatism and Ethnic Nationalism in the Aloha State” in the Hawaii Public Library or read more on the web: http://tinyurl.com/2a9fqa

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http://boss.hawaiireporter.com/akaka-bill-the-big-gamble/
Hawaii Reporter, May 28, 2010

Akaka Bill: The Big Gamble

by Malia Blom Hill

It’s alright everyone. The currently pending version of the Akaka Bill promises that the new Hawaiian Government will not have the power to introduce casino gaming to the islands. Granted, that’s a rare moment of specificity in a piece of legislation that is curiously vague on the other powers that the Hawaiian government would have. Will Native Hawaiians be tried for criminal acts under a separate court system? Don’t know. Will they be subject to the same federal and state taxes? Who can say? But at least there will be no casino gambling.

Because if you can’t trust a vague and constitutionally troublesome piece of Congressional legislation, what can you trust?

To some extent, the only thing anyone can know for certain about the state of Hawaii after the passage of the Akaka Bill is that it’s going to be a golden era for lawyers. There’s the question of whether Congress even has the power to create the Native Hawaiian government. There’s the question of what will happen to the ceded lands. There’s the mystery of how they’ll determine who gets to be part of the new Hawaiian “tribe.” (And if you don’t think there are a bunch of lawsuits waiting to happen there, than I have a nice piece of ceded land that I’d like to sell you.) And then there’s the gaming issue.

If you think that the prohibition in the Akaka Bill forbidding the introduction of gaming makes this a moot point, then I have some bad news for you. There’s no such thing as a moot point when hundreds of millions of dollars (possibly exempt from federal income taxes) are at stake. Or are we all so impressed by the generosity and impeachable ethics of the OHA trustees that this is unimaginable? (What does OHA have to do with anything? Well, guess who’s currently registering Hawaiians to be part of the new government reorganization?)

Money is a powerful lure. In some tribes on the mainland, there have even been efforts on the part of tribal governments to cut down the tribal rolls—all the better to minimize the number of people earning a share of the casino earnings. Even without the gaming questions, this is something for Native Hawaiians to be wary of post-Akaka. But the legal uncertainties surrounding the creation of the Native Hawaiian government provide loopholes for the enterprising casino operator: 1.) One could take the government to court, arguing that it doesn’t have the power to place the “no casinos” limitation on the sovereign Native Hawaiian government, that it conflicts with existing US law granting that right to federally recognized tribes, and that the casino ban should be reversed; 2.) One could lobby Congress to amend the law to remove the prohibition on gaming, bypassing any state opposition to gambling, and leaving the fate of gaming in Hawaii up to who has better resources for influencing a vote in Washington, DC; or 3.) One could go ahead and file suit against the federal government, claiming the right to operate casinos on Hawaiian land, file for an injunction against that portion of the law, and then run your casinos through the years it will take to move the case through courts, raking in money all the while.

In reality, casinos or not, the Akaka Bill is a huge gamble for all of us, Native Hawaiians and all. Locals who aren’t part of the Native Hawaiian government will learn that the islands will no longer be a whole community, subject to the same laws and influences. The State of Hawaii will have new internal borders. Its courts, taxes, county codes, and so on, will not necessarily apply to your neighbor. And the Native Hawaiians, believe it or not, will be taking an even bigger gamble in turning over a larger part of their rights, future, and birthright to a new government. For those who think this is an unmitigated good, a long, honest look at the fate of other native tribes might be in order. It’s not always a happy story. Except for the tales about the wealth brought in by casino gambling. Which brings us right back to where we started.

Malia Blom Hill is a Research Fellow of Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, where one of her major projects is centered on www.4hawaiiansonly.com Please visit and consider helping by adding your research, commentary, or support. Malia may be contacted by email at
4hawaiiansonly@gmail.com

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

http://www.oha.org/kwo/2010/06/KWO1006.pdf
Ka Wai Ola (OHA monthly newspaper), Vol. 27, No. 6, June 2010, page 3

message from the CEO
Clyde W. Na-mu‘o
Chief Executive Officer

Aloha mai kakou,

We are on the brink of an exciting new era for Native Hawaiians, one that not only addresses past wrongs but also enables us to build a bright future by re-establishing self-determination and self-governance for Native Hawaiian people.

The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act (NHGRA) – which grants Native Hawaiians a process of federal recognition that many have longdesired and richly deserve – is up for final passage by the U.S. Congress.

When passed and becomes law, this historic piece of legislation – also called the “Akaka Bill” named after Hawai‘i U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka – provides a framework to reorganize a Native Hawaiian governing entity, and upon official Federal recognition by the United States, may negotiate for land, rights and resources to reconcile past wrongs. This entity will also help to perpetuate Hawaiian culture, which is central to Native Hawaiians as a unique people.

Perhaps most importantly, NHGRA will enable Native Hawaiians to create a better future for themselves and their heirs. It will also benefit all of Hawai‘i by finally bringing closure to an issue that has prevented our community from realizing its full potential.

Once NHGRA becomes law, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) will provide information and act as a liaison, facilitating an open, fair, democratic and inclusive process in which a Native Hawaiian governing entity will be reorganized – by, and for, Native Hawaiians.

We encourage Native Hawaiians to get – and stay – involved at every step along the way. No matter at what level individuals may choose to participate – whether as an appointed Commissioner, candidate for Council or a committed member of the certified roll that plays an active role in the reorganization of the governing entity – we want every Native Hawaiian to know that your participation matters.

At OHA, we are humbled and honored to help guide this monumental task, and will do our utmost to meet – and, I believe, exceed – the hopes and dreams of Native Hawaiians around the world.

If we can provide any information or answer any questions, please do not hesitate to call or email us at nhgra@oha.org or 1-808-594-0242. Or, please visit our website at www.oha.org, and www.nhgra.org specifically for Federal recognition updates.

Me ka ‘oia‘i‘o,

Clyde W. Na¯mu‘o
Chief Executive Officer

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http://www.oha.org/kwo/2010/06/KWO1006.pdf
Ka Wai Ola (OHA monthly newspaper), Vol. 27, No. 6, June 2010, pages 24 and 27

Negotiations with the state and federal governments after formation and recognition of the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity

by Walter M. Heen
Trustee, O‘ahu

After the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act (the Act) is enacted and the Interior Secretary has certified that the fundamental governing documents and the election of the officers of the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity (NHGE) created there conform to the requirements of the legislation, the NHGE will be recognized by the United States Government and become vested with the “inherent powers and privileges of self-government of a native government under existing law[.]”

However, those powers and privileges may be modified by negotiations, required by the Act, between the NHGE and state and federal governments. So what are those powers and privileges?

The phrase “native government” refers to the government of Native Indian tribes, and the nature and extent of those “inherent” powers have been established by federal/ Indian treaties, federal statutes and federal judicial opinions. Those legal precedents generally provide that the tribes are sovereign and state law will not apply to tribal members and non-members within the boundaries of the tribal lands.

And as sovereign nations the rights to land and self-government are reserved to them without regard to their situation within the United States. In accordance with those principles the federal courts can be expected to construe the Act in favor of the existence of the NHGE’s governmental rights and the rights of its members. Of course, Congress always has the plenary power to abrogate the rights established in the Act.

Bargaining strengths

Those fundamental guarantees will strengthen the NHGE against the powers of the state and federal governments. Without them, the NHGE will be bargaining from a far weaker position. The Act’s commitment to federal financial assistance will also strengthen the NHGE’s bargaining position.

On the other hand, the absence of a land base will weaken the NHGE. The state, particularly, will want to know where the NHGE will be exercising its planning and zoning authority. A possible solution is to transfer immediately to the NHGE all Hawaiian Homestead lands, whether under the Act of 1920 or the laws authorizing 999-year leases. With that beginning, the governments can negotiate the transfer of ceded lands and federal surplus lands and other issues as outlined in the Act and as may come within the purview of a native government’s legal authority.

[begin page 27]

Negotiation issues

Governor Lingle has raised some cloudy issues regarding the doctrine of sovereign immunity. She seems to have nightmares about Native Hawaiians, under claim of immunity, going berserk in various places and claiming immunity from prosecution. Her argument is ridiculous. That doctrine only applies to a government’s lawful activities and to its officers acting in their legal capacities. It does not apply to that government’s individual citizens’ activities outside the sovereign’s territory.

The transfer of lands and natural resources from the state and federal governments to the NHGE will be a highly volatile subject for negotiation. OHA’s unsuccessful attempts to obtain land from the state as payment for past-due rents together with the state’s vigorous defense to our legal action to limit the state’s sale of ceded lands indicate how contentious the issue of land ownership will be. Indeed, even before we get there, there will be serious discussion within the Native Hawaiian community about which ceded lands (if not all) should be transferred. In addition, the Act requires consideration of the existing rights related to such lands and assets and the exercise of governmental authority over them. Here we can expect there to be discussion of planning and zoning. Other issues involved here include mineral rights, water rights and biological resource protection.

Other issues to be covered in negotiations will be civil and criminal jurisdiction by the NHGE. Will Native Hawaiian courts be established for legal matters within the NHGE territory, and what laws will be applied? And, of course, there will be heated negotiations over the extent of the taxing authority, if any, of the NHGE.

There is a “kicker” in the Act which is somewhat troublesome to me: the Act provides that “other powers and authorities that are recognized by the United States as powers and authorities typically exercised by governments representing indigenous, native people of the United States[,]” can be subject to negotiations. That language suggests the possibility that some of the NHGE’s inherent powers might be whittled away. We can expect an attempt to do so. We need to remember, however, that negotiation is a process that involves “give and take.” If you want to take something away, we might consider that if you are willing to give something in return.

The final establishment of a working governmental entity will be subject to rough passage over a stormy sea. It’s a good thing Native Hawaiians are seafaring people.

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http://www.staradvertiser.com/editorials/guesteditorials/20100611_Kamehamehas_legacy_looms_large_200_years_later.html
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, June 11, 2010

Kamehameha's legacy looms large 200 years later

By Haunani Apoliona

This year marks a milestone within our Hawaiian community. As we celebrate the life of King Kamehameha the Great this week, we reflect with pride and reverence on the 200th anniversary of his achievement to unify the Hawaiian Islands into one nation, under one governance.

His leadership and legacy continue to offer many lessons on the current challenges and opportunities that face our Hawaiian community.

Last Sunday, I was privileged to speak at the Kamehameha Day Lei Draping Ceremony honoring King Kamehameha in Washington, D.C. It is heartening to know that King Kamehameha is rightfully remembered and honored from Hawaii to our nation's capital, and around the world. From his birth at Kokoiki to his death in Kona, King Kamehameha has undoubtedly made a lasting impact in Hawaii's history. His successful efforts to unify Hawaii, culminating with the Battle of Nuuanu in 1795, and the peaceful transition he secured with Kauai's king, Kaumualii, to finalize the unification of all of the Hawaiian Islands in 1810, are just a few of the details comprising the life of this great and inspirational leader who forever changed the destiny of Hawaii.

Coinciding with the bicentennial of King Kamehameha's unification of the Hawaiian Kingdom, three of the largest traditional Ku images have been reunited in Hawaii for the first time in more than 150 years. Ku images originally stood at Ahuena Heiau in Kona. After his reunification efforts in 1810, King Kamehameha restored Ahuena Heiau and refurbished it with gods of healing and reconciliation, which these Ku images represent.

The Bishop Museum, the British Museum, and the Peabody Essex Museum have partnered to mount this new exhibition - "E Ku Ana Ka Paia: Unification, Responsibility and the Ku Images" - which opened on June 5 at Bishop Museum's recently renovated Hawaiian Hall.

The unification of these Ku images provides an unprecedented opportunity for us as a community to renew our spiritual strength and to focus on our cultural identity and our community kuleana (responsibility).

In 2010, we anticipate passage of the long-sought Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, or NHGRA. Upon its passage, native Hawaiians will reorganize a native Hawaiian governing entity that will foster peace and advance Hawaiian self-determination. Seeing federal recognition coming to fruition has required extreme patience and perseverance over the past decade.

However, the challenging work begins after the bill passes out of Congress and is signed into law by President Barack Obama. The reorganization of our governing entity will require extraordinary resolve and patience, as well as inclusive and informed participation by native Hawaiians. It will also require hard work, commitment, unity of spirit and encouragement by all of the people of Hawaii.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs stands ready to assist our Hawaiian community, the federal government and the state of Hawaii with this reorganization process to ensure it is fair, democratic, inclusive of all native Hawaiians and transparent to the public.

This year, more than ever, our will and spiritual strength as native Hawaiians will be put to the test.

I believe firmly that our deliberations and decisions can - and will - be grounded in the Hawaiian values our ancestors, such as King Kamehameha, have passed on to us. In honoring our ancestors we lay the foundation for ensuring the well-being of future generations of both Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians alike.

Let us work together with resolve and perseverance, in truth with compassion, humility and patience.

Let us mark this milestone year as a successful 21st century laying the foundation for peace, prosperity and the well-being of future generations.

'A'ohe hope e ho'i mai ai. Imua.

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http://historymystery.grassrootinstitute.org/2010/06/11/kamehameha-day-2010-what-kamehameha-hath-joined-together-let-not-akaka-rip-asunder/
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii blog, June 11, 2010

Kamehameha Day 2010 — What Kamehameha hath joined together, let not Akaka rip asunder

by Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.

June 11 is Kamehameha Day — an official holiday of the State of Hawaii.

The greatest accomplishment of King Kamehameha The Great was to unify all the Hawaiian islands under a single government 200 years ago.

But now once again we are threatened with the Akaka bill in Congress, whose primary purpose is to rip us apart along racial lines.

The Kingdom founded by Kamehameha was multiracial in all aspects. John Young (Englishman) was so important to the founding of the Kingdom that his tomb is in Mauna Ala (the Royal Mausoleum on Nu’uanu Ave.), where it is the only tomb built to resemble a heiau, and is guarded by a pair of pulo’ulo’u (sacred taboo sticks). His bones are the oldest bones in Mauna Ala. Yet the Akaka bill would deny John Young membership in the Akaka tribe. The first sentence of Hawaii’s first Constitution (1840), known to historians as the kokokahi sentence, was written on advice of American missionary William Richards. In English, it can be translated into modern usage as follows: “God has made of one blood all races of people to dwell upon this Earth in unity and blessedness.”

The Akaka bill would do exactly the opposite of the one-blood concept, ripping us apart for no reason other than race, establishing a binary opposition of “us vs. them,” dividing Hawaiian children from non-Hawaiian parents, spawning jealousies between members of the Akaka tribe and their cousins who are not allowed to belong. This is not aloha.

The Kingdom of Hawaii was founded by people of different races working together on the battlefield and in the government. That cooperation continued throughout the Kingdom’s history. Every person born in the Kingdom, regardless of race, was thereby a subject of the Kingdom with all the same rights as ethnic Hawaiians. Immigrants could become naturalized subjects of the Kingdom, with full rights; and many Asians and Caucasians did so. From 1850 to 1893, about 1/4 to 1/3 of the members of the Legislature at various times were Caucasians appointed by the King to the House of Nobles and also elected to the House of Representatives (and later elected to the House of Nobles after a Constitutional change).

There has never been a unified government for all the Hawaiian islands that included only ethnic Hawaiians, either among the leaders or among the people.

We’ve all heard the closing line spoken by ministers presiding over weddings: “What God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.” Today, in honor of Kamehameha Day, let’s say: What Kamehameha hath joined together, let not Akaka rip asunder.

A more detailed version of this essay is at:
http://tinyurl.com/2c3ue8v

** NOTE: A longer version of this essay was published on June 13 in Hawaii Reporter, at
http://boss.hawaiireporter.com/what-kamehameha-joined-together-dont-let-akaka-rip-apart/

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http://www.mauinews.com/page/content.detail/id/532608.html?nav=18
The Maui News, June 19, 2010, Letter to Editor

REORGANIZATION ACT DOES NOT BENEFIT HAWAIIANS

The intent of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act is to reorganize the Hawaii kingdom government by reconciliation with Native Hawaiians without repairing anything, offering no reparation for damages or injury, while denying kanaka maoli repatriation and replevin through restitution.

Consider these definitions.

Reorganization: Act or process of organizing again or anew; when one corporation acquires another in a merger or acquisition.

Reconciliation: The renewal of amicable relations between two people who had been at enmity or variance, usually implying forgiveness of injuries on one or both sides.

Repair: To mend, remedy, restore.

Reparation: Payment for an injury or damage; redress for a wrong done.

Repatriation: The return or restoration of a person or object to his or its country of origin.

Replevin: An action whereby the owner or person entitled to repossession of goods or chattel may recover those goods from one who has taken or who wrongfully detains such goods or chattel.

Restitution: An equitable remedy under which a person is restored to his or her original position prior to loss or injury, or placed in the position he or she would have been had the breach not occurred.

Congress intends to take away the kingdom's sovereignty and assets by gaining forgiveness for keeping stolen property while repairing nothing, compensating no one and denying kanaka maoli any chance whatsoever of restoring themselves or kingdom property to its rightful owners.

The lawful Hawaiian government controlled kingdom assets before. Kanaka maoli, unite now and restore your government and nation.

Dan Taylor
Haiku

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http://boss.hawaiireporter.com/indian-casinos-–-the-new-industry-that-is-too-big-to-fail/
Hawaii Reporter, June 22, 2010

Indian Casinos – The NEW Industry that is ‘Too Big To Fail!’

BY ELAINE WILLMAN

Imagine a major Indian casino, the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut, reporting that its slot revenues reported to the state in April have “stabilized,” slipping only 1 percent.

The same casino reported $1.3 billion (with a “B”) in gross revenue for 2009. However, the economy is still dark, customers have less disposable income to slough into the tax-exempt slots, and the casino is facing a $15 million lawsuit for a head-on wreck caused by a drunken customer.

So every member of Connecticut’s congressional officials (except for one on travel) wants to ensure that the Mohegan Sun does not fail; that its “job creation” is always protected. These fool elected officials have promoted and now awarded Stimulus funding of $54 MILLION dollars) in the form of a guaranteed loan from USDA to this mega-wealthy tribe.

And if they default? No problem. Tribes have sovereign immunity. Taxpayers whose taxes are already annually subsidizing this and 565 other Indian tribes in 35 states for all basic needs—housing, health, law enforcement, roads, environment, scholarships, language, cultural preservation—Yes, you and I, our children and grandchildren, will just continually pay off the casino debts in perpetuity across the country.

Taxpayers get to:
1) annually fund all basic needs of tribal governments:
2) cover all tribal uncollectible debt due to “sovereign immunity;” and
3) keep throwing dollars into tax-exempt tribal slot machines across the country so our local economics get sufficiently and systematically drained of tax revenues and small businesses.

To make this work, taxpayers must faithfully commit to frequenting tax-exempt tribal government businesses. But now it doesn’t matter if you choose not. They’re too big to fail; the federal agencies will step in and bill you for their losses, anyway.

There are 245 other tribes in the lower 48 states entitled to the same perks as the Mohegan Sun. Fortunately, the 228 tribes in Alaska who receive the basic-needs funding, at least don’t have casinos yet. Alaskan tribes are non-profit corporations without jurisdictional authority or gaming so they focus almost entirely on their culture. What a concept!

First a few facts: 565 federally recognized (tax-exempt) tribes are located in 35 hosts states, of which 246 tribes are gaming under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988. Every host state to numerous tribal tax-exempt and tax-eroding tribal governments and reservations are coincidentally the states experiencing the largest state budget deficits.

The impossibility is calculating the annual cost of this race-based socialist system spreading across the country. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke reports $94 million in Stimulus Funding for the tribes in Washington State alone. We’re hearing 4 billion annually just for tribal health care; many more billions for housing, law enforcement, etc. And these dollars do not include the “Tribal Priority Allocations” doled out annually by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. There are 29 federal agencies – each with a separate budget for funding the 565 tribes. And worse, state governments that have no “trust relationship” with Indian tribes (such as Washington, Oregon, Montana and others) have set up separate state budgets to supplement federal dollars going out to tribes. Strike Two for taxpayers. All of these federal and state dollars are serving less than 1 million enrolled tribal members of our 300+ million American population.

Who can blame the Native Hawaiians for wanting in on this lucrative industry, forever chaining down American citizens to the galley oars of a feudal federal Indian policy system? Pray that the Akaka Bill (Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act) fails again in Congress this year, or these numbers will considerably worsen.

Since the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 federal Indian policy has been a 76-year private conversation between federal agencies, elected officials and tribal leaders, with the whopping bills deducted from your federal and state tax contributions annually. We simply can no longer afford to sustain and grow this socialist erosion spreading across 35 and perhaps 36 (Hawaii) states.

One of our astute Supreme Court Justices assessed our predicament accurately when he noted the following, over 15 years ago: “Individuals who have been wronged by unlawful racial discrimination should be made whole; but under our Constitution there can be no such thing as either a creditor or a debtor race. That concept is alien to the Constitution’s focus upon the individual. …To pursue the concept of racial entitlement – even for the most admirable and benign of purposes – is to reinforce and preserve for future mischief the way of thinking that produced race slavery, race privilege and race hatred. In the eyes of government, we are just one race here. It is American.” Justice Antonin Scalia, Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Mineta, 534 U.S. 103 (1995)

Here is the problem: Over 35 years ago, in 1975 Congress passed the Indian Self-Determination and Education (IDEA) Act to promote economic self-sufficiency for tribal governments. Apparently this was not working well enough, so 22 years ago, Congress added the economic steroid of a tax-free gaming monopoly for Indian tribes when it passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act in 1988.

In March of this year, George Skibine, an Assistant Secretary at the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) was a keynote speaker at the 2010 Citizens Equal Rights Alliance (CERA) conference in Washington, D.C. Mr. Skibine was asked: “Has the Department of Interior (DOI) or Bureau of Indian Affairs ever developed criteria or measuring systems by which a tribal government might be deemed economically self-sufficient, and no longer in need of federal funds?” The answer was no. Not in 35 years so far. Not even with a gaming monopoly. The follow-up question: Does the DOI/BIA have any interest in establishing such economic indicators so that federal subsidies could be redirected to either write down our national deficit, or redirected to the poorest tribes? The answer was no again. Why should they? The behemoth BIA bureaucracy grows as the number and needs of tribes grow. Also at the CERA Conference Mr. Skibine was asked if the BIA or federal government could ascertain the total annual federal funds expended for tribal governments? His response: “We tried to do that once, but were unable to.” Astounding! No one knows the annual bottomless pit of taxpayer dollars supporting tribal governments.

So there you have it. We are enslaved forever by our Congressmen to a burgeoning number of private tax-exempt governments that we are forced to fund unknown annual billions in perpetuity. And now we must assume the responsibility for all failed tribal government debts. This is on top of the disastrous oil spill, the failing housing and banking industry, and government takeover of health care.

What can you do? Try any or all these suggestions:
1) Howl at every talking head on radio and television.
2) Get firm commitments from incumbents or candidates to put a “sunset” or end game in place for this tax-enslavement.
3) Get federal legislation that prohibits gaming tribes from receiving stimulus funds of any sort.
4) Get legislation in place that ends any further “federal recognition” of wannabe tribes.
5) Educate everyone you know by circulating this article, and getting it web-posted everywhere you can.

We are stuck with the horrendous oil spill disaster. We are stuck with the present administration throwing more huge tax dollars out to tribes. We are stuck with the government takeover of multiple industries in this country under the present administration.

We are not stuck with our elected officials. We can get responsible commitments from federal and state elected officials, or get them out office, beginning in November 2010. We are not helpless. And we best get busy. Tribal governments claim to plan for seven generations. That is a long time for Americans to be subservient custodians of our fellow U.S. citizens. Menominee Tribal leader, Ada Deer once said, “We use the system to beat the system.” It is time to end the abuse of the “system.”

Elaine Willman, MPA, is the author of Going to Pieces…the dismantling of the United States of America. Ms. Willman is past Chair and current Board member of Citizens Equal Rights Alliance, an organization focused on the equal rights of tribal members who have no protections under the 14th Amendment, and serve at the mercy of private tax-exempt governments annually subsidized without inquiry or consent of American taxpayers. Reach her at
toppin@aol.com

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http://www.newsmax.com/InsideCover/inouye-hawaii-native-rights/2010/06/28/id/363321
Newsmax, Monday June 28, 2010

Inouye, Third in Line to Presidency, Backs Hawaii Separatism

By: Jim Meyers

With the death of longtime Sen. Robert Byrd, the position of president pro tempore of the Senate — third in line to the presidency — has gone to Daniel Inouye, who staunchly supports a bill that would in effect create two Hawaiis.

Byrd, a West Virginia Democrat, died Monday morning at age 92, and Hawaii Democrat Inouye, 85, was sworn in as the president pro tem early Monday afternoon because he is now the longest-serving member of the majority party.

Inouye was first elected in 1962, and as president pro tem, he is constitutionally recognized as third in line to the presidency behind Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Inouye backs the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, which has passed the House and awaits consideration in the Senate. The bill would create two Hawaiis, one governed by the state of Hawaii and the other governed by those who identify themselves as natives — direct lineal descendants of Hawaiians before Hawaii was annexed to the United States in 1898.

According to the 2000 Census, 401,162 people identified themselves as being "native Hawaiian" alone or in any combination, and 140,652 people identified themselves as being "native Hawaiian" alone.

The new government of native Hawaiians would be autonomous yet have no geographic borders, with its citizens living under separate laws and institutions throughout Hawaii and the United States, Newsmax magazine reported in the May issue.

In effect, native Hawaiians would become a tribe and have the ability to levy taxes and exercise eminent domain.

The bill would also grant native Hawaiians the right to negotiate for control over 1.8 million acres of land that the federal government ceded to the state when Hawaii was granted statehood in 1959.

In a Wall Street Journal opinion piece published in late February, Gail Heriot and Peter Kirsanow — members of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights — said the bill “might turn out to be this Congress’ single most calamitous decision.”

But Inouye has been one of the bill’s most ardent supporters. During an August 2009 Senate hearing on the bill, he noted in a statement that he and fellow Hawaiian Sen. Daniel Akaka “have worked tirelessly” on the bill “for the past 10 years.”

He also cited the “illegal overthrow” of the native Hawaiian government by the U.S. in 1893, and stated:

“As one who has served the citizens of Hawaii for over 50 years, as a member of the Territorial Legislature, a member of Congress, and now a member of the United States Senate, I believe that there is broad-based support in our State for what the Native people are seeking, full restoration of the government to government relationship they had with the United States . . .

“Reconciliation is long overdue and I look forward to continuing to work with the Administration and my colleagues to ensure that the Native Hawaiian people are given their right to self-determination and self-governance back.” Among the bill’s other supporters: President Barack Obama, who was born in Hawaii.

===========

http://www.oha.org/kwo/2010/07/KWO1007.pdf
Ka Wai Ola (OHA monthly newspaper), July 2010
page 3

Message from the CEO

by Clyde Namuo

Aloha mai kakou,

Beneath the long title of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act (NHGRA) lies the crucial key to a brighter future for Native Hawaiians. Known as the Akaka Bill, the measure would reaffirm Hawaiian sovereignty and allow for a process for federal recognition, similar to what our Alaska Native and Native American brothers and sisters enjoy.

In essence, it would give Hawaiians more say in how our land is used, how we want to be governed and what kind of future we envision for ourselves and for generations to come.

To this end, I was part of a team of executives and Trustees from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs that traveled to Washington, D.C., June 4 to 9, to urge passage of NHGRA. With a firm belief that the window of opportunity for passage is now, we attended a historic White House briefing on Native Hawaiian issues, where a White House official reaffirmed that President Obama is ready to sign the bill after approval by the U.S. Senate. A story on the historic Obama Administration briefing appears on page 5.

But what would happen next, after the legislation is signed? To our colleagues, friends and appointed and elected officials in Washington, D.C., OHA offered our assistance as liaison in the implementation of the bill.

Given OHA’s state constitutional and statutory obligations, resources and mission to advocate to better the conditions of Native Hawaiians, OHA is uniquely positioned to assist the parties involved – the Hawai‘i congressional delegation, federal government, State of Hawai‘i and Hawaiian community – as a liaison to facilitate implementation of the NHGRA. OHA seeks to formalize our role in this matter. Our goal is to ensure a fair, democratic, inclusive process in which the Native Hawaiian governing entity will be reorganized by – and for – Native Hawaiians.

A government by and for Native Hawaiians. It is fitting that Hawaiians are on the brink of formalizing our collective voices in how we are governed in this bicentennial year of Kamehameha the Great’s unification of the islands under one Kingdom. As President Obama once again showed his aloha for Hawai‘i and all its people by proclaiming June 11, 2010, Kamehameha Day, our OHA delegation witnessed and co-sponsored the Kamehameha the Great Lei-Draping Ceremony, coordinated by the Hawai‘i State Society of Washington, D.C., authorized by U.S. Congressional Resolution and held at Emancipation Hall in the U.S. Capitol complex.

E ala ë.

Me ka ‘oia‘i‘o,

Clyde W. Namu‘o
Chief Executive Officer

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http://www.oha.org/kwo/2010/07/KWO1007.pdf
Ka Wai Ola (OHA monthly newspaper), July 2010
pages 5 and 9

White House hosts historic Native Hawaiian briefing

By Sarah Peters (intern in OHA’s Washington, D.C., bureau.)

In what is believed to be a historic first, White House officials appointed by President Obama met with a large contingent of Native Hawaiians and members of the D.C.-area Hawai‘i community at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building for a special briefing on Native Hawaiian issues.

Hosted by The White House Office of Public Engagement, White House Liaison to the Asian Pacific Island community, the June 4 meeting allowed Obama Administration officials to present Administration initiatives and discuss issues of concern to the Hawaiian community.

The briefing, organized through the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and Ke Ali‘i Maka‘äinana Hawaiian Civic Club, coincided with a June 6 celebration of the Kamehameha the Great Lei-Draping Ceremony and quarterly meeting of the Mainland Council of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs.

“It is the mission of Ke Ali‘i Maka‘äinana Hawaiian Civic Club to work for the betterment of Native Hawaiians in Hawai‘i nei and on the continent. That advocacy comes through “he alo a he alo” (face-to-face) discussions with decision makers, policy brokers, legislators, staff, friends and foe,” said Darlene Kehaulani Butts, an organizer of the meeting and President of Ke Ali‘i Maka‘äinana Hawaiian Civic Club of Washington, D.C. “The leadership of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs and Pelekikena (presidents) from the 13 Hawaiian Civic Clubs of the Mainland Council witnessed a first step in fortifying these relationships – education, our most powerful advocacy tool. We are encouraged by today’s meeting and look to mälamalama the advocacy process as we move forward. Our community extends a fond mahalo to Kalpen Modi, Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, under the leadership of Director Christine Tchen, for opening the door to Native Hawaiian inclusion in the White House community outreach efforts.”

The panelists at the briefing, hosted by Miti Sathe, White House Office of Public Engagement Liaison to the Asian Pacific Island Community, included Kimberly Teehee, Senior Policy Advisor for Native American Affairs with the White House Domestic Policy Council; Kimo Kaloi, Director of the U.S. Interior Department’s Office of Hawaiian Relations, and Kiran Ahuja, Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders within the U.S. Department of Education. Also present was Jodi Gillette, White House Deputy Associate Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, Tribal Governments.

The panelists discussed the Administration’s role in developing the legislative language in H.R. 2314, which establishes a process leading to federal recognition for Native Hawaiians. As Sathe, the host, reaffirmed at the briefing, President Obama is ready to sign the legislation following Senate approval.

Another key focus of the briefing was President Obama’s October 2009 signing of Executive Order 13515, re-establishing the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The initiative works to improve opportunities and the quality of life for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders through increased access and participation in federal programs. It was emphasized that prior recommendations and reports of the initiative would be a focus for implementation. Through the initiative, White House officials encourage the inclusion of Native Hawaiians for federal government management positions.

Increased representation of Native Hawaiians in federal government positions was a topic of each panelist.

The White House hopes to have more events that will continue this dialogue between the Administration and Native Hawaiians, including web chats, in the near future.

Eighty-eight members of the Native Hawaiian and Hawai‘i community attended the briefing, including the Chairperson and CEO of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs; the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs President; the Board of the Mainland Council Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs, club Presidents and Directors; the President of the Hawai‘i State Society; members of the Kamehameha Schools Alumni Association-East Coast Chapter; Kamehameha Publishing; students from Kamehameha Schools; members of the University of Hawai‘i Alumni Association-National Capitol Region; the Hawai‘i Daughters Guild; members of the Asian Pacific Islander American Health Forum; representatives from ‘Aha Pünana Leo; and D.C. local Hälau O ‘Aulani. Also present from Hawai‘i were members of Hälau Hula Nä Po‘e Ao Hiwa and Hälau o Kawaipuilani.

“We are truly grateful to this Administration for their outreach to our community, as shown not just by hosting this briefing, but by their continuing inclusion of Native Hawaiians in the larger dialogue about improving health outcomes, improving education, reaching higher employment levels and supporting small business, among other things,” said Tim Johnson, OHA Washington, D.C., Bureau Chief. “OHA looks forward to continued partnering with the White House, federal agencies and the Hawaiian and Hawai‘i communities to ensure that Native Hawaiian concerns are addressed.”

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http://www.oha.org/kwo/2010/07/KWO1007.pdf
Ka Wai Ola (OHA monthly newspaper), July 2010
Trustee monthly column, pages 26 and 31

E hui ana nä moku

by Haunani Apoliona, MSW
Chairperson, Trustee, At-large

Aloha e nä ‘öiwi ‘ölino mai Hawai‘i a Ni‘ihau a puni ke ao mälamalama.

On Sunday, June 6, 2010, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs joined with the Hawai‘i State Society of Washington, D.C., Ke Ali‘i Maka‘äinana Hawaiian Civic Club, the Mainland Council of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs, AOHCC President, the Kamehameha Alumni Association East Coast, the University of Hawai‘i, hälau hula and hui of the Washington, D.C., metro area, kama‘äina and malihini to celebrate the 41st annual rededication and lei draping of the Kamehameha Statue, in Emancipation Hall.

The spirit of Hawai‘i and the celebration of Kamehameha’s legacy embraced the hundreds of participants with its 2010 theme “Nänä iä Kamehameha, E alaka‘i a mälama i ka lähui Hawai‘i, na läkou e ho‘olaha i ka pömaika‘i no käkou a pau – Look to Kamehameha, lead and care for the people of our land so that they might increase the blessings and prosperity of all.”

The following are excerpts from remarks I presented: “2010 marks a milestone, the 200th anniversary of King Kamehameha the Great’s achievement of unifying the islands into one nation, under one governance. Stories recall his birth at Kokoiki to his death in Kona, as this native leader stands prominent in this Visitor Center proclaimed in the light of Hawai‘i and this nation as ‘the first King of all Hawai‘i, united the island chiefdoms into a peaceful kingdom.’

“2010 is the year for enactment of the long-sought Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act. Native Hawaiians will reorganize Native Hawaiian governance to foster peace and advance Hawaiian self determination. As a matter of public policy it is imperative, the United States affirm. the special legal and political status of Native Hawaiians as aboriginal, indigenous, native people, afforded similarly to American Indians and Alaska Natives. Passage has required extreme patience and perseverance and still requires continued focus and commitment as we have been at it intensely since 2003.

“The implementation work of the legislation and reorganization of our governing entity will require extraordinary resolve, inclusive and informed participation by Native Hawaiians, a fair and transparent process, unity of spirit and support and encouragement by the non-Native community. The real challenge begins after the bill passes out of Congress and is signed into law by President Obama. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs stands ready to assist the Hawaiian community, the Federal government and the State of Hawai‘i with this reorganization process to make sure it is fair, democratic and inclusive of ALL Hawaiians, and transparent to the public.

“We must muster the strength of sprit to complete the task ahead. Our will and spiritual strength as Native Hawaiians will be put to the test in reorganizing our Native Hawaiian governing entity. With the opportunity will come extreme responsibility, individually and collectively, to be informed, to participate in the process, to think not just in the present moment but to envision our Hawaiian community generations forward.

Our deliberations and decisions must be grounded in the Hawaiian values our ancestors, our küpuna, have passed to us these same values that we believe can save the world. So when it is time to launch the work and the journey to organize the Native Hawaiian governing entity, let us not shy away, let us not leave it for someone else to do, rather let us work together with resolve and perseverance, let us work together in truth with humility and patience so that we will mark a successful 21st century unification of Native Hawaiian governance honoring our ancestors and laying the foundation for the well-being of future generations.” Imua e nä pöki‘i a inu i ka wai ‘awa‘awa ‘a‘ohe hope e ho‘i mai ai.”

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http://www.oha.org/kwo/2010/07/KWO1007.pdf
Ka Wai Ola (OHA monthly newspaper), July 2010
Trustee monthly column, pages 26 and 31

What is your responsibility?

by Walter M. Heen, Trustee, O'ahu

When Congress passes the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, every Native Hawaiian will be required to make certain personal decisions. In this column, I would like to discuss some of those decisions, what those decisions will require of you and their possible ramifications for you.

Become a constituent of the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity (NHGE)?

The first decision you will need to make is whether you in fact want to be active in the formation of the NHGE as a constituent.

Enrollment as a constituent in the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity (NHGE) is not automatic and is not guaranteed. Even though your name is enrolled in OHA’s Hawaiian Registry or in Kau Inoa you will not automatically be a constituent of the NHGE. You must submit your name to the Commission that will be formed under the Act along with documentation that will show to the Commission that you meet the various criteria for enrollment as a “qualified Native Hawaiian constituent” (NHC). So, even though you may know you are Hawaiian, and for the most part we all do, we must meet the Act’s criteria for enrollment as an NHC. There is one interesting provision here: the Act provides that a “non-Hawaiian” may be eligible as a qualified Native Hawaiian constituent if that person can show that he and his parents are considered as Native Hawaiian by the Native Hawaiian community and he meets the other requirements in the Act. Interesting, huh? Who says the Act and the NHGE are “race based?”

Other requirements must be met; however, the point is that your individual involvement in the NHGE is entirely up to you.

Participate in community meetings

Once the Commission has established the NHC roll, it is required to hold at least three meetings with the NHC, each lasting at least two days, to develop criteria for candidates to be elected to serve on the Council, the number of members of the Council, and its structure. The Council will develop the governing documents for the NHGE, which will determine, for example, criteria for membership in the NHGE, and the powers and authorities to be exercised by the NHGE. It needs to be noted that the Act requires that membership in the NHGE must be voluntary and can be relinquished.

So, if you become enrolled as an NHC, you need to determine what qualities and qualifications you believe a member of the Council should have in order to represent you in formulating the governing documents for the NHGE, and express your views at the public meetings.

The meetings will undoubtedly make for creative and probably heated debate. For example, what criteria should the Council members meet? Should they be steeped in Native Hawaiian customs, practices and traditions? Must they be fluent in the Hawaiian language? Should they have knowledge or experience in Western governmental structure and practice? And the structure of the NHGE will also engender considerable discussion. You should be willing to express whether you favor a Western form of government, perhaps consisting of a central body to determine codes and regulations applicable to all NHC, or a more dispersed authority among the various communities of NHC and regulating NHC activities in smaller areas, perhaps like an ahupua‘a. Participation in those meetings is extremely important.

Participate in the elections to ratify the governing documents

Once the governing documents are drafted by the Council they will be distributed to the NHC and an election will be held for their ratification. At this point, obviously, you must study the documents and determine whether they comport with your ideas, ambitions and requirements for an NHGE and whether they will, in fact provide a solid basis for the improvement of the conditions of the NHC. If so, then you should vote to ratify the governing documents. If they do not conform to your views, then you should vote not to ratify them.

IT’S UP TO YOU!

After all is said and done, the NHGRA provides the framework for Native Hawaiians to have a strong voice in the establishment, function and operation of the NHGE. Like everything else in life it will work only if we all make the effort to understand the initiatives set forth there, determine whether we want to participate in this monumentally historic moment, and PARTICIPATE!

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http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/20100702_Dont_dally_with_bill_Akaka_told.html
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, July 2, 2010
FRONT PAGE HEADLINE ARTICLE

Don't dally with bill, Akaka told
The senator also has been advised to amend the native Hawaiian recognition measure

By Derrick DePledge

U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka has been advised he must act quickly on a native Hawaiian federal recognition bill or lose the chance to bring it to a vote before the November elections change the political composition of the Senate.

Akaka, the bill's main sponsor, also has been told privately by allies that he should consider amendments to win back the support of Gov. Linda Lingle and help attract moderate Senate Republicans. But sources familiar with the negotiations question whether the Republican governor could deliver any additional GOP votes.

The bill, pending in Congress for the past decade, would grant native Hawaiians sovereign authority similar to American Indians and Alaska natives and establish a process for Hawaiians to form their own government. Akaka needs 60 votes in the Senate to break procedural roadblocks from conservative Senate Republicans who oppose the bill as race-based discrimination.

Lingle, who has supported previous versions of the bill, opposes the current version because it would give Hawaiians sovereign authority prior to, instead of after, negotiations with the federal and state governments on land use and cultural issues. Akaka agreed to the current version after consultation with the Obama administration, which wants to treat Hawaiians similarly to American Indians and Alaska natives from the start.

U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd's death and an unexpectedly competitive Senate primary in Alaska have also created new challenges for Akaka.

Akaka, D-Hawaii, had been counting on all Democrats and two independents who typically vote with Democrats to get to 59 votes. He lost a vote when Byrd, a Democrat from West Virginia, died on Monday. West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, a Democrat, will appoint Byrd's replacement but has said he will likely not make a decision until at least next week.

Akaka is also relying on a Republican, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who has carried on the traditional alliance between Hawaii and Alaska on home-state issues. But Murkowski is facing an Aug. 24 primary against Joe Miller, a conservative Fairbanks lawyer who has been endorsed by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and the Tea Party Express.

While native Hawaiian recognition has not come up in the primary, Miller has criticized Murkowski as a moderate who too often votes with Democrats.

"I am confident that the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act will pass and be signed into law," Akaka said in a statement yesterday. "The Senate has many bills pending, but I am working to bring the bill to the floor when time is available. I look forward to the opportunity to have an up-or-down vote on the bill. It is time for the United States to finally extend federal recognition to native Hawaiians similar to the more than 500 other indigenous groups already recognized by the United States."

Akaka would like commitments from more than 60 senators as insurance against any absences on the Senate floor. Possible allies include two moderate Republicans—U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe and U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine—and other Republicans who might agree to help break procedural roadblocks even though they might vote against the bill.

But Akaka might have difficulty as long as Lingle remains opposed. The senator also has to contend with the Senate's calendar. The Senate will be in recess for much of August and has a full plate of spending bills and other matters in September. The Senate is likely to break in October as many senators return home to campaign in the November elections. Majority Democrats could lose seats in the Senate after the elections, which would make it even harder for Akaka to advance the bill.

Jennifer Goto Sabas, the chief of staff in Honolulu to U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, said Akaka's staff has been told that waiting until September could be too late. The best chance, she said, is to try to bring the bill to the Senate floor this month.

Two attorneys close to Inouye, Akaka and the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs have discussed potential amendments with state Attorney General Mark Bennett in the hopes Lingle will again support the bill. The draft language has been provided to Akaka's staff.

"What we expressed was that if the language that we discussed were put in the bill, then we would continue to support native Hawaiian sovereignty and the bill," Bennett said.

But sources familiar with the discussions said Lingle's previous support was not enough to overcome Senate Republican and Bush administration opposition. If the Senate adopts an amended version, the bill would also have to be reconciled with the version that passed the House in February.

Several conservative Senate Republicans who oppose the bill wrote a June 14 letter to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., warning that it "poses an exceptionally dangerous threat to our nation's core values." The letter also noted Lingle's opposition.

"Presumptive color-blindness and race-neutrality is now at the core of our legal system and cultural environment, and represents one of the most important American achievements of the 20th century," the Republicans wrote. "It would be remarkable if Congress cheapened this achievement by enacting explicitly race-based legislation that would undoubtedly pit native Hawaiians against other Hawaiian residents."

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http://www.hawaiifreepress.com/main/ArticlesMain/tabid/56/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/2435/Inouye-pressures-Akaka-Tribe-Akaka-pushes-back.aspxe/ArticleView/articleId/2391/Lingle-seeks-public-comment-on-nominees-for-Hawaii-Supreme-Court-Chief-Justice.aspx
Hawaii Free Press, Friday, July 02, 2010

Inouye pressures Akaka Tribe: Akaka pushes back

By Andrew Walden

Once again Hawaii may be saved from the immune-from-prosecution rump Akaka Tribe by Republican US Senators from other states. With Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) dead and buried, and sometime Akaka Bill supporter Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) facing strong opposition in the August 24 Alaska GOP Primary, Sen Akaka finds himself short on votes and short on time.

This fall Democrats are widely expected to lose ground in both the US House and the US Senate—possibly losing control of one or both chambers. Hence today’s Star-Advertiser decision to reveal on the front page some of the secret Akaka Tribe negotiations among Hawaii’s so-called elites. Here is the annotated version rearranged for your reading pleasure:

The Senate will be in recess for much of August and has a full plate of spending bills and other matters in September. The Senate is likely to break in October as many senators return home to campaign in the November elections.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka has been advised he must act quickly on a native Hawaiian federal recognition bill or lose the chance to bring it to a vote before the November elections change the political composition of the Senate.

Jennifer Goto Sabas, the chief of staff in Honolulu to U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, said Akaka's staff has been told that waiting until September could be too late. The best chance, she said, is to try to bring the bill to the Senate floor this month.

To be fair, Hawaii has heard this “now or never” claim almost every year since the Akaka Bill was first introduced in 2000. This timeline is part of an effort to pressure those on Akaka’s staff, in OHA, and at UH who are holding out for the “instant Indian tribe” version (with instant immunity from prosecution for drug dealers, trustees, mafia, and other fine worthies designated by the Tribe) which was forced through the House as Neil Abercrombie’s final act and is currently before the Senate as S1011. Instant immunity from prosecution is an key goal of the Akaka Tribe. The Akaka Bill was first introduced the wake of the Broken Trustees being ousted by the IRS an effort to create a tribal jurisdiction to shield future Trustees from future State or Federal investigations.

Here is the argument for compromise by the Akaka Tribe. The “allies” are likely Inouye staffers. The “sources” are likely Akaka staffers. The “attorneys” are likely on the OHA payroll:

Akaka, the bill's main sponsor, also has been told privately by allies that he should consider amendments to win back the support of Gov. Linda Lingle and help attract moderate Senate Republicans. But sources familiar with the negotiations question whether the Republican governor could deliver any additional GOP votes.

Two attorneys close to Inouye, Akaka and the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs have discussed potential amendments with state Attorney General Mark Bennett in the hopes Lingle will again support the bill. The draft language has been provided to Akaka's staff.

"What we expressed was that if the language that we discussed were put in the bill, then we would continue to support native Hawaiian sovereignty and the bill," Bennett said.

And here is the argument against compromise. These “sources” are likely Akaka staffers:

(S)ources familiar with the discussions said Lingle's previous support was not enough to overcome Senate Republican and Bush administration opposition. If the Senate adopts an amended version, the bill would also have to be reconciled with the version that passed the House in February.

(S)ources familiar with the negotiations question whether the Republican governor could deliver any additional GOP votes.

The GOP’s warning to Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) was revealed June 16 in the little-read On Politics Blog which the Star-Advertiser has so far kept on the old Star-Bulletin site:

We respectfully request that you give careful consideration to our concerns before seeking to carve out time on an already busy Senate calendar for this bill.

In fairness, we want you to know that we would oppose cloture on a motion to proceed. In the unlikely event that cloture nonetheless should be invoked, we would expect a lengthy debate and open amendment process that allows us to make changes necessary to protect the nation from the harms this bill would bring.

In other words the Republicans are promising to filibuster—which requires 60 votes to break--and are promising to force vote after vote on amendments to the bill in the unlikely event that a filibuster is broken. And Akaka also has to contend with disinterest on the part of his Democrat colleagues:

Akaka would like commitments from more than 60 senators as insurance against any absences on the Senate floor.

The real question that should be asked is: Why did Sen. Inouye allow Akaka and Abercrombie to charge forward with the “instant immunity from prosecution” version of the Akaka Bill which also creates a political definition for tribal membership which will exclude the 73% of native Hawaiians who decline to sign OHA’s highly controversial Kau Inoa?

By allowing these changes, Inouye let Abercrombie and Akaka snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in a Congress where the Democrats had finally captured everything. Inouye’s acquiescence to Akaka and Abercrombie’s demands--which Inouye probably had to brush back every year since 2000--may have been designed to force into the open the true nature of the Akaka gang’s goals for the public and Hawaii’s elite to see.

Sound far fetched? It is all exposed in print. Inouye’s Honolulu chief Sabas is looking at her watch saying “this month”. Akaka and his staff don’t want to change the bill and they have plenty of answers about why it isn’t going to pass anyway to those who say “now or never”.

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

** note from website editor Ken Conklin: On Wednesday July 7, 2010 it was reported that Senator Inouye, and perhaps Akaka, has reached agreement with Governor Lingle on new language for the Akaka bill that will resolve her concerns and result in her wholehearted support for the bill. But there was great confusion in the media regarding exactly what were the terms of the agreement. In an extraordinarily bizarre case of bad journalism and apparent knuckling-under to political pressure, Honolulu's sole daily newspaper, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, published two different breaking news reports a couple of hours apart which flatly contradicted each other on major points. The second version over-wrote the first version and used the original timestamp in an attempt to erase it from existence, and the reporter's name (Daryl DePledge) listed on the first version was replaced by an anonymous "Star-Advertiser staff" on the second version. Either Senator Inouye spoke in a garbled and confusing way at a news conference, or else Mr. DePledge accurately reported what he said but was then contacted by Inouye's staff or OHA etc. and told to change or conceal several major points.

The Star-Advertiser initially ignored the fact that a lame-duck session is likely to happen, in which Senators who lost their seats effective in January will nevertheless remain seated through all of November and December when they will still have their huge majority and are likely to try to ram through all the bills they know could never be passed in 2011.

Below are seven news reports from July 7, 2010, so the contents can be compared. They are so contradictory and confused that it seems reasonable to believe that there is actually no final version of the Akaka bill yet written down, and whatever deal may have been made is so unclear that it could easily blow up before any "final" new version is actually introduced in the Senate.

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

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2010-07-07-Hawaii_N.htm
USA Today, July 7, 2010, breaking news at 2:58 PM

Deal struck on Native Hawaiian recognition

HONOLULU (AP) — A measure allowing Native Hawaiians to form their own government could come to a vote in the U.S. Senate this month following a deal with Hawaii's Republican governor, Sen. Daniel Inouye said Wednesday. Gov. Linda Lingle will support the bill after changes are made to clarify that a Hawaiian government wouldn't have sovereign authority until after negotiations between the state and federal government are completed, said Inouye, D-Hawaii.

Lingle will write a letter to the nation's senators telling them she has changed her position and now supports the bill, Inouye said.

"If that happens, I think we can move ahead," Inouye said following a public hearing on federal stimulus spending at the Hawaii Capitol. "I'm glad we came to an understanding."

Native Hawaiians are the last remaining indigenous people in the United States that haven't been allowed to establish their own government, a right already extended to Alaska Natives and Native American tribes.

A Lingle spokesman confirmed that the governor has agreed to changes in the bill and plans to write a letter to both Republicans and Democrats in Congress.

Inouye, the Senate's most senior member, said he will notify the White House of the developments Thursday, and he will push for a vote before the Senate recesses in August. Hawaii-born President Barack Obama supports the measure.

But Inouye said the Senate has so many other issues to deal with that the Native Hawaiian recognition legislation — known as the "Akaka Bill," after U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii — might get left out.

"A project such as the Akaka Bill is going to take two or three days. The leadership might say, 'We don't have the time for that,'" Inouye said.

Lingle has long backed recognition for Native Hawaiians, but she withdrew her support earlier this year over concerns that the legislation exempts the Native Hawaiian governing entity from state criminal, public health, child safety and environmental laws, and local building and traffic safety ordinances.

A new version of the bill will address her concerns, Inouye said.

"In broad words, it says while they're organizing, the laws of Hawaii will apply," Inouye said. "They will be subject to our criminal laws."

The bill passed the House of Representatives in February. If amended and passed in the Senate, it would need to return to the House for a final vote.

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http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/97983139.html
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, July 7, 2010, Breaking news at 1:23 PM
** First of two versions posted with that time-stamp

Lingle drops opposition to Akaka bill after changes

By Derrick DePledge

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye said today that an agreement has been reached with Gov. Linda Lingle on a Native Hawaiian federal recognition bill.

The new version of the bill would grant sovereign authority to Native Hawaiians after, rather than prior to, negotiations with the federal and state governments on land use and cultural issues. Lingle, who had objected to granting sovereign authority prior to negotiations, is now expected to write to Senate Republicans and declare her support for the bill.

Inouye said he is scheduled to speak to the White House about the new version tomorrow. The Obama administration had backed granting sovereign authority to Native Hawaiians prior to negotiations so Hawaiians would be treated similarly to federally recognized American Indians and Native Alaskans.

Inouye, D-Hawaii, said he hopes the bill can now come to a Senate vote this month.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, the bill's main sponsor, has been pushing for a vote this year and was urged by Inouye and others to act quickly because time is running out before the November elections, which could change the political composition of the Senate. The bill has been pending in Congress for a decade and has stalled because of opposition from Senate Republicans who see it as race-based discrimination.

Akaka informed state Attorney General Mark Bennett on Friday that he and Inouye had accepted the amendments to the bill.

Bennett said today that the amendments would allow the Lingle administration to once again support the bill.

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

** A couple hours later the reporter's name was removed and the contents changed, while keeping the same timestamp. Did someone pressure the newspaper to change it? The most important change between the first and second versions is: Does the revised bill give sovereign authority to the tribe immediately? First version says no, second version says yes! Compare against other news reports.

Lingle drops opposition to Akaka bill after changes

By Star-Advertiser staff

POSTED: 01:23 p.m. HST, Jul 07, 2010
** False. Actually posted at least an hour or two later than that, but used the same time-stamp in order to delete the first version.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye said today that an agreement has been reached with Gov. Linda Lingle on a native Hawaiian federal recognition bill.

The new version of the bill would still grant sovereign authority to native Hawaiians prior to, rather than after, negotiations with the federal and state governments on land use and cultural issues. But it would allow the state to maintain its ability to regulate for health and safety issues and make clear that members of a new Hawaiian government entity are not immune from criminal prosecution. Lingle had objected to granting Hawaiians sovereign authority prior to negotiations, but is satisfied with the state protections in the new version.

Inouye said he is scheduled to speak to the White House about the new version tomorrow. The Obama administration had backed granting sovereign authority to native Hawaiians prior to negotiations so Hawaiians would be treated similarly to federally recognized American Indians and native Alaskans.

Inouye, D-Hawaii, said he hopes the bill can now come to a Senate vote this month.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, the bill's main sponsor, has been pushing for a vote this year and was urged by Inouye and others to act quickly because time is running out before the November elections, which could change the political composition of the Senate. The bill has been pending in Congress for a decade and has stalled because of opposition from Senate Republicans who see it as race-based discrimination.

Akaka informed state Attorney General Mark Bennett on Friday that he and Inouye had accepted the amendments to the bill.

Bennett said today that the amendments would allow the Lingle administration to once again support the bill.

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http://www.kitv.com/politics/24175925/detail.html
KITV4 TV
July 7, 2010 1:33 PM

Inouye Says Lingle Agrees To Akaka Bill
Senator Says Changes Made To Measure

HONOLULU -- A vote in the U.S. Senate on allowing Native Hawaiians to form their own government could come this month following a deal between Hawaii's Democratic senators and Republican Gov. Linda Lingle.

When changes were made, Lingle withdrew her support of the so-called Akaka Bill, named after Sen. Daniel Akaka, who introduced the measure. Sen. Daniel Inouye said Wednesday that Lingle will support the Native Hawaiian recognition measure after changes are made to the bill clarifying that a Hawaiian government would not have sovereign authority until after negotiations are completed.

Lingle said she was concerned that the previous changes would have given power to a Native Hawaiian entity first and would have exempted it from state and county regulations.

Native Hawaiians are the last remaining indigenous group in the United States that has not been allowed to establish their own government, a right already extended to Alaska Natives and Native American tribes.

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http://www.khon2.com/news/local/story/Akaka-Bill-gets-support-of-governor-vote-expected/eTb-h8jir0GnIePCcrJ7Nw.cspx
KHON2 TV
July 7, 2010, updated at 5:02 pm

Akaka Bill gets support of governor, vote expected soon

Senators Daniel Akaka and Daniel Inouye announced today that they have reached an agreement with Governor Linda Lingle that will secure the Governor's full support for the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, also known as the Akaka Bill.

Senator Akaka says he spoke with Attorney General Mark Bennett late Friday and with the White House this morning before announcing the agreement.

Senators Akaka and Inouye will offer an amendment that will make changes affecting the powers and authorities of the Native Hawaiian governing entity during the period before legislation is enacted to implement agreements reached during three party negotiations. Although the current bill which passed the U.S. House of Representatives in February was drafted in consultation with the state and included nearly all of its proposed amendments, there were a few unresolved issues. The amendment announced today addresses the state's outstanding concerns.

"We need to act quickly to ensure the bill passes the Senate and is signed into law this year," Akaka said in a statement. "I remain optimistic that the United States will finally extend federal recognition to Native Hawaiians and end over a century of inequality in its treatment of its indigenous peoples."

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http://www.khon2.com/news/local/story/Akaka-Inouye-Lingle-Reach-Agreement-on-Akaka-Bill/9QiJVg2s-0GVUf1wIAMH1Q.cspx
KHON2 TV
July 7, 2010, updated at 10:21 pm

Akaka, Inouye, Lingle Reach Agreement on 'Akaka Bill'

Reported by: Brianne Randle

The Native Hawaiian Reorganization Act, known as the Akaka Bill, could soon be on it's way to a vote in the U.S Senate.

"Because on this day all the stars lined up - all agreed that the Akaka bill should become law," said U.S. Senator Dan Inouye, (D) Hawaii.

Senators Dan Inouye and Dan Akaka celebrated the opening of Inouye's campaign headquarters with the big announcement.

They have sided with the state to address concerns Governor Linda Lingle had with the Akaka Bill.

An amended version ensures that the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity will be subject to the State's authority affecting public health and safety until a temporary agreement can be reached.

The bill also now states clearly that a Native Hawaiian Governing Entity will not be immune from State law.

"This is what the Governor wanted and we feel that it's important too, it doesn't change the intent of the bill and that is to bring Federal recognition to the Native Hawaiians," said U.S. Senator Dan Akaka, (D) Hawaii.

Lingle said in a statement: "I have assured Senators Akaka and Inouye that I will strongly support a bill with the changes...and will write to Senators of both parties expressing my support. I sincerely hope the bill will become law in 2010."

A 180(degree) from March of this year, when she wrote asking them to reject the bill in it's prior form.

"I'm just satisfied there has been a meeting of the minds that the Senators have agreed to language that will make the Governor comfortable," said Clyde Namuo, Office of Hawaiian Affairs Executive Officer.

Both Akaka and Inouye say they will push to bring the bill for a vote on the Senate floor before the end of the 2010 session.

"There's a real good chance this will go for a vote hopefully by the end of the month," said Namuo.

"The big hurdle will now be in the Senate and we'll have to convince them we should take up the bill right away," said Sen. Inouye.

"We've always have been on a deadline, it's just that we're running out of time," said Sen. Akaka.

If the amended version of the Akaka bill passes in the Senate, it would need to go back to the House floor for a final vote.

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http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/3413eaec7fef4f568be9cf5dc4ad6459/US--Native_Hawaiians/
The Republic
Posted: July 07, 2010 at 6:55 pm, Updated: July 08, 2010 at 12:24 am

US Senate could vote this month on bill letting Native Hawaiians form their own government

MARK NIESSE Associated Press Writer

HONOLULU — A measure allowing Native Hawaiians to form their own government could come to a vote in the U.S. Senate this month following a deal struck Wednesday with Hawaii's Republican governor.

Gov. Linda Lingle announced she will support the bill after it's changed to clarify that a future Hawaiian government wouldn't provide immunity from the state's laws unless Congress agrees following negotiations.

Native Hawaiians are the last remaining indigenous people in the United States that haven't been allowed to establish their own government, a right already extended to Alaska Natives and Native American tribes.

Lingle's backing will be important in getting votes from Republican senators, some of whom see it as race-based discrimination.

"I will strongly support a bill with the changes ... and will write to senators of both parties expressing my support," Lingle said. "I sincerely hope the bill will become law in 2010."

With Hawaii-born President Barack Obama on their side, a vote this month may be the best chance for the legislation to pass after years of efforts, said Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii.

"We need to act quickly to ensure the bill passes the Senate and is signed into law this year," Akaka said. "I remain optimistic that the United States will finally extend federal recognition to Native Hawaiians and end over a century of inequality in its treatment of indigenous peoples."

If senators don't vote on the bill this month, it's unlikely they would take up the measure before November's elections, when Democrats in favor of the measure could get voted out of office.

The Native Hawaiian recognition bill passed the U.S. House in February. If amended and passed in the Senate, it would need to return to the House for a final vote.

"We're thrilled. After so many years, we feel this is probably one of the last opportunities we have to get this bill through," said Clyde Namuo, chief executive officer for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. "This is a critical time."

Lingle had long backed the Native Hawaiians recognition bill until late last year, when the legislation was revised to immediately vest a governing entity with ill-defined powers instead of allowing those powers to be negotiated between the new government, the federal government and the state.

The amendments to the bill announced Wednesday allow the state to regulate Native Hawaiian government activities to protect public health or safety until negotiations conclude, and the state's criminal laws would apply to the officers and employees of a Hawaiian government, as well as its members.

Once a Native Hawaiian government is formed and given land, then Congress could decide to give the new government authority over its territory.

The last time a version of the Native Hawaiian recognition bill came before the Senate in June 2006, it fell four votes short of the 60 needed to end debate and move on to an up-or-down vote on the bill itself. At the time, the Senate voted 56-41 to end debate, with 12 Republicans in support.

This year, there are 58 Democrats in the Senate, meaning at least a few Republicans would have to support the bill even if every Democrat backs it.

Regardless of how many senators would vote for the measure, known as the "Akaka Bill," the Senate has so many other issues to deal with that the Native Hawaiian recognition legislation might get left out.

"A project such as the Akaka Bill is going to take two or three days. The leadership might say, 'We don't have the time for that,'" said Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii.

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

http://boss.hawaiireporter.com/gov-lingle-sens-inouye-and-akaka-reach-agreement-on-akaka-bill-amendments/
Hawaii Reporter, Thursday, July 8th, 2010

Gov. Lingle, Sens. Inouye and Akaka, Reach Agreement on Akaka Bill Amendments

HONOLULU – Governor Linda Lingle announced today she is pleased that Senators Dan Inouye and Dan Akaka have publicly indicated that the Native Hawaiian Reorganization Act, the Akaka Bill, will be amended to address concerns expressed by the State. Attorney General Mark Bennett represented the State in discussions with the senators’ staffs regarding three changes to the language approved by the U.S. House of Representatives in HR 2314.

First, language that explicitly exempts the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity from certain State (and County) regulation (section 9(c)(3)(I)) will now read:

“(I) Governmental, nonbusiness, noncommercial activities undertaken by the Native Hawaiian governing entity, or by a corporation or other association or entity wholly owned by the Native Hawaiian governing entity, shall not be subject to the regulatory or taxation authority of the State of Hawaii, except shall be subject to the State’s authority to regulate activities for the protection of the public health or safety until such time as the Native Hawaiian governing entity and the State of Hawaii come to an interim agreement approved by the secretary governing the extent of such regulation and based on the Secretary’s determination that the interim agreement is consistent with applicable federal law.”

The current (unamended) language states:

”Governmental, nonbusiness, noncommercial activities undertaken by the Native Hawaiian governing entity, or by a corporation or other association or entity wholly owned by the Native Hawaiian governing entity, shall not be subject to the regulatory or taxation authority of the State of Hawaii, provided that nothing in this subparagraph shall exempt any natural person (except an officer or employee of the Native Hawaiian governing entity, acting within the scope of his or her authority), from the regulatory, taxation, or other authority of the State of Hawaii. In determining whether an activity is covered by this subparagraph, due consideration shall be given to the constraints described in subparagraphs (A), (F), and (G).”

Second, the provisions of the bill granting the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity limited sovereign immunity will explicitly provide: “The Native Hawaiian governing entity shall not be immune from any law suit brought by the State of Hawaii to enforce the State’s regulatory authority recognized in this Act.”

Finally, a new provision will be added to the bill stating:

“Any other provision of this Act notwithstanding, the officers and employees of the Native Hawaiian governing entity shall not be immune from the criminal laws of the State of Hawaii, and the State of Hawaii shall retain its authority to prosecute any violation of the State’s criminal laws.”

These provisions are the result of extensive discussions and are a compromise. Governor Lingle and Attorney General Bennett believe these new provisions are appropriate and will: 1) allow the State (and the Counties) to enforce their laws and regulations that protect the health and safety of the people of Hawaii, and 2) explicitly provide that the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act will provide no person immunity from any of the State’s criminal laws.

“I am very glad the Akaka Bill will be amended to reflect the State’s concerns,” Governor Lingle stated. “I have assured Senators Akaka and Inouye that I will strongly support a bill with the changes described above, and will write to Senators of both parties expressing my support. I sincerely hope the bill will become law in 2010.”

Report submitted by governor’s office

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http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/20100708_Lingle_backs_Akaka_Bill_changes.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, July 8, 2010

Lingle backs Akaka Bill changes
The governor's support is viewed as key to overcoming Republican opposition

By Derrick DePledge

Gov. Linda Lingle has agreed to strongly support a native Hawaiian federal recognition bill after U.S. Sens. Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka promised to insert changes to protect the state's regulatory power.

The Republican governor said she will send letters to senators expressing her support, which Inouye and Akaka hope will help persuade the Senate to vote as soon as this month to break procedural roadblocks by Senate Republicans. The Hawaii Democrats need 60 of the Senate's 100 members to overcome the roadblocks and advance the bill, which has been held up for a decade by opponents who believe it is race-based discrimination.

The new version of the bill would still grant Hawaiians sovereign authority prior to negotiations with the federal and state governments on land use and cultural issues. But it would recognize the state's authority to regulate activities by a new Hawaiian government to protect the public's health and safety during the negotiations.

The changes also make clear that a new Hawaiian government would not be immune from state lawsuits to enforce the state's regulatory power.

The bill also now clarifies that officers or employees of a new Hawaiian government would not be immune from the state's criminal laws.

The Obama administration wants Hawaiians to have sovereign authority prior to negotiations -- rather than after, like in previous versions of the bill -- so Hawaiians would be treated similarly to federally recognized American Indians and Alaska natives. But Lingle objected in December and withdrew her long-standing support. The bill passed the U.S. House in February but it did not appear it would advance in the Senate without the governor as an ally. Akaka informed the White House yesterday about the changes. Inouye is expected to speak to the White House today.

"I am very glad the Akaka Bill will be amended to reflect the state's concerns," Lingle said in a statement, adding that she hopes the bill becomes federal law this year.

Akaka, the bill's main sponsor, has pushed for a Senate vote this year while Democrats still hold a strong majority.

Inouye and others have urged Akaka to act soon, and to accept amendments to win back Lingle's support, or risk losing an oppor- tunity since the political composition of the Senate could change after the November elections.

Inouye and Akaka said they would try to get time on the Senate floor this month, before the Senate goes into an August recess.

"I think we're on our way," Inouye told reporters yesterday after a Senate Appropriations Committee field hearing on federal stimulus spending at the state Capitol.

Inouye said the Senate will likely be consumed with spending bills in September and will likely break in October so senators can return home to prepare for the elections. The Senate will likely hold a lame-duck session after the elections, but Senate staffers and other observers believe it is too risky to wait.

"The problem is that, at this date, time is of the essence," Inouye said.

Akaka initially resisted amending the bill, several sources said privately, since the bill had been drafted with help from the Obama administration and had passed the House. But Akaka also recognized the need to act quickly and to secure enough Senate votes to overcome procedural roadblocks.

Several Senate Republicans wrote to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., in June reaffirming their opposition and citing Lingle's objections.

Two attorneys close to Inouye, Akaka and the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs worked with state Attorney General Mark Bennett on the changes. Akaka informed Bennett on Friday that he and Inouye would accept the amendments.

"After a thorough review of the state's most recent proposal, I determined that the changes will not diminish the bill's intent to establish a federally recognized government-to-government relationship with the United States," Akaka said in a statement.

"I believe these changes will help secure additional votes in the Senate to overcome procedural hurdles and receive an up-or-down vote on the bill. We need to act quickly to ensure the bill passes the Senate and is signed into law this year.

"I remain optimistic that the United States will finally extend federal recognition to native Hawaiians and end over a century of inequality in its treatment of its indigenous peoples."

Bennett said Lingle has long supported the principle of native Hawaiian sovereignty. "I think it's fair to say that these provisions are a compromise on everybody's part," he said.

The bill will have to be amended on the Senate floor. If it passes, it would have to be reconciled with the House version before it could go to Obama. The Hawaii-born Obama has said he would sign a Hawaiian recognition bill into law.

Clyde Namuo, OHA's chief executive officer, also described the new version of the bill as a compromise.

"It may not be perfect. It at least is closer to the self-determination concept that we would support, that we would want to see," he said. "And I think there is still time to tweak the language in future congresses if we need to.

"I think, again, because the window of opportunity seems so short, I think getting it passed is the primary objective."

FIND DETAILS ONLINE

» For the text of the amendment:
akaka.senate.gov/upload/amdt_HR2314.pdf
** NOTE: The document has also been stored on this website in case it someday vanishes from Akaka's website:
http://big09a.angelfire.com/AkakaInouyeLingleCompromise070710.pdf

» For the text of HR 2314, as passed by the House of Representatives in February:
akaka.senate.gov/upload/hr2314.pdf

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http://www.staradvertiser.com/editorials/sbeditorials/20100708_Do-or-die_time_for_Akaka_Bill.html
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, July 8, 2010, EDITORIAL

Do-or-die time for Akaka Bill

Congressional passage of the Hawaiian sovereignty bill has become possible with yesterday's dropping of controversial alterations of the legislation that were made in December. Those changes had cost the support of Gov. Linda Lingle and possibly crucial bipartisan support of any kind. Sen. Daniel Akaka and the rest of Hawaii's congressional delegation have prudently agreed to eliminate the objectionable changes, and Lingle is back on board favoring enactment.

"Now is the time to act," Sen. Daniel Inouye wrote in a Fourth of July column in Sunday's Star-Advertiser, "even if it may require compromise to, at long last, adopt a measure that begins the process of self-determination" of native Hawaiians.

The altered bill, approved by the House in February, would have recognized the Hawaiian governing council as "an Indian tribe." Much of what that entailed was "unsuited for the state of Hawaii" and "will certainly engender new disputes over the status of much of the land in Hawaii," objected Hawaii Attorney General Mark Bennett.

For example, Indian laws rather than state or federal statutes typically govern Indian reservations. Hawaii has no similar land bases. Lingle, expressing opposition to the altered bill to all Senate Republicans, had asserted that the bill would set the native Hawaiian governing entity and the state "on a jurisdictional collision course" that would result in costly litigation and "remedial legislation" by Congress.

Inouye expressed concern about the changes when he became aware of them. He said they were "totally unexpected" and he was "very surprised" that the revisions were not shared with the Lingle administration. Akaka rejected holding hearings in Hawaii on the changes, as we urged.

Two attorneys close to Inouye, Akaka and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs discussed possible amendments recently with Bennett aimed at restoring Lingle's support. Bennett told the Star-Advertiser's Derrick DePledge that the administration would support the bill "if the language that we discussed were put in the bill."

The Senate fell four votes short of the 60 needed to overcome a filibuster in 2006, but that was when Republicans were in control. Democratic senators now number 58, but Lingle's opposition could have resulted in defeat. Furthermore, Republicans are expected to regain seats in the November election.

Time is running out. The Senate will be in recess much of August and will be busy with spending bills in September. Senators will be consumed with campaigns after that. Clearly, the best opportunity to take a vote is this month, as Akaka has been advised, leaving time for the House to approve the improved bill.

For the long-delayed and so-close Akaka Bill, survival demanded this compromise. Given the shifting political winds, it's do-or-die time.

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http://www.hawaiifreepress.com/main/ArticlesMain/tabid/56/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/2460/Amended-Akaka-Bill-A-Trojan-horse-for-Tribal-immunity.aspx
Hawaii Free Press (blog), Thursday, July 8, 2010

Amended Akaka Bill: A Trojan horse for Tribal immunity?

By Andrew Walden

With the Senate clock running down and Americans preparing to elect a Republican majority in one or both houses this November, Hawaii’s political elites have found a way to get back on the same page in support of the Akaka Bill. Sen. Akaka has been arm-twisted into proposing an amendment to S1011 removing provisions which would have granted instant immunity from prosecution to Tribal officials and the Tribe itself.

Immunity from prosecution has been a goal of the Akaka Gang ever since the corrupt 'Broken Trust' Trustees of Kamehameha Schools commissioned former Gov. John Waihee to consider possible sites for relocation of KSBE's "domicile" out of Hawaii. Waihee's answer: The Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation--the most "sovereign" of all Indian Reservations--with its own Tribal Police, Courts, and Legislature. Today, the same forces are working to build an Indian Reservation around themselves in order to shield their criminal activities from all State prosecutions and many Federal prosecutions as well. If they cannot get immediate immunity, they will work to get it via the negotiation process. And none of the three gubernatorial candidates have shown the slightest willingness to stand up against such demands.

The immunity provisions remain in Neil Abercrombie’s version HR2314 which passed the House on his last day in office. If the Senate passes the amended version, the differences would have to be hashed out in a House-Senate Conference Committee before being re-voted by both houses. This does not mean that OHA has abandoned its effort to provide immunity from prosecution for drug dealers, KSBE Trustees, mortgage scammers, OHA Trustees and other similar types. Clyde Namuo, OHA's chief executive officer explained:

"It may not be perfect. It at least is closer to the self-determination concept that we would support, that we would want to see. And I think there is still time to tweak the language in future congresses if we need to. I think, again, because the window of opportunity seems so short, I think getting it passed is the primary objective."

Last December, Neil Abercrombie passed a previous immunity-free version of the Akaka Bill as a Trojan Horse to get through the House Committee on Natural Resources. He then amended the bill by substitution on the House floor. Governor Lingle responded by sending a March 24 letter to all US Senators explaining:

“The explicit sovereign immunity and exemption from regulation provisions in the present bill allow the Native Hawaiian governing entity, and its leaders, to conduct activities anywhere in Hawai‘i (and potentially any other state) in a way that is inconsistent with State criminal statutes otherwise applicable to all citizens, and state laws governing narcotics and dangerous drugs; civil defense; alcohol and tobacco; fire and building codes necessary for public safety; traffic safety; landlord-tenant matters; clean air, clean water, hazardous waste (and other state pollution statutes); child welfare, child protection, and child safety; public health; food and drugs; and virtually every other conceivable law that serves to protect the public. It is not clear how the State could enforce its interests against unlawful or irresponsible actions by the governing entity or its elected leaders or employees."

Would Akaka pass a no-immunity version through the Senate and then use the House-Senate Conference Committee to change it back? Of course he would—everything about the underhanded and secretive way the new version of Akaka Bill was created shows that is possible.

Nonetheless the amendment has won the support of the Lingle administration. Attorney General Mark Bennett told HNN:

"So these amendments make clear that the state retains the full authority to regulate to protect public health and safety and also make clear that this bill doesn’t provide anybody immunity from any criminal prosecution, we think those are good changes, they address our concerns and with these changes we can fully support the bill again and we are very happy about that."

Not addressed in Sen Akaka’s amendment is the “Qualified Native Hawaiian Constituent” (QNHC) classification which effectively makes tribal membership contingent not on a blood quantum, but on willingness to sign OHA’s highly controversial Kau Inoa registry. This QNHC category, newly created in this latest Abercrombie-Akaka version, effectively excludes 73% of Native Hawaiians from tribal membership. If either version becomes law, the Akaka Tribe would be the only US Indian Tribe ever recognized which defines membership on this type of political affiliation rather than a blood quantum.

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http://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/articles/2010/07/09/local_news/local03.txt
Hawaii Tribune-Herald (Hilo), July 9, 2010

Akaka bill's details sought
Legislation must be explained before it passes, some say

AND

http://www.westhawaiitoday.com/articles/2010/07/09/local/local04.txt
West Hawaii Today (Kona), July 9, 2010

Akaka Bill details questioned

by Peter Sur
Tribune-Herald Staff Writer

HILO -- The governor's endorsement of a bill allowing Hawaiians to form their own federally recognized government has caught the attention of some community leaders.

Gov. Linda Lingle announced her support for the bill following an agreement with Sen. Daniel Akaka that it would be amended to clarify that a future Hawaiian government wouldn't provide people immunity from state laws unless Congress agrees, following negotiations.

The House of Representatives has already passed H.R. 2314, the so-called Akaka Bill, but Republicans in the Senate have stalled the bill, claiming it would create a race-based government. President Obama has said he will sign the bill if it reaches his desk, but with Senate Democrats preparing for losses in November, they may recognize that now is their best chance to win over a couple of Republicans and overcome an expected filibuster.

If it passes, the bill would recognize Hawaiians as "a unique and distinct, indigenous, native people with whom the United States has a special political relationship" and sets them on the path to self-governance. It was created to shield Hawaiian programs from lawsuits in the wake of the Supreme Court's Rice v. Cayetano decision, although Waimea rancher Freddy Rice has said recently he expects future court challenges if the bill becomes law.

Lingle had strongly supported previous versions of the bill until last May, when she urged senators to reject it when it became apparent the bill would give power to a Hawaiian governing entity and exempt it from state and county regulations.

The newly amended version will satisfy the Lingle administration's concerns and hopefully win enough Republican votes to become law, but someone forgot to ask the Hawaiians, contends Patrick Kahawaiolaa, president of the Keaukaha Community Association.

"We took a stand on (the Akaka Bill) back in '99 that at first we needed a referendum vote to resolve it," Kahawaiolaa said. He says a referendum is needed because, as Hawaiian Home Lands beneficiaries, the Keaukaha community would likely be those most affected by the bill.

As a term-limited governor, Lingle shouldn't have any say on the bill, Kahawaiolaa said.

"The Akaka Bill should be left to the next administration, as opposed to a lame duck that's going," he said. "She shouldn't have anything to do with it. She's got less than eight months and she's going out. ... I'd rather it just stay there until the next administration."

Kahawaiolaa would prefer that someone come and explain the impacts of the bill before it is passed, not after.

"We as Native Hawaiians don't really know how it's going to affect us," he said.

State Rep. Faye Hanohano, who represents Puna, said she was aware of the new amendments but needed to analyze it further before forming an opinion.

"I would have to really look at it more closely" because the change of a few words can radically reshape the meaning of the bill, Hanohano said. In general, she is in favor of Hawaiian recognition by the federal government.

Moanikeala Akaka, a former Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee and a longtime supporter of Hawaiian rights, criticized the governor for her previous opposition to the Akaka bill.

"She was saying for health and safety reasons she was concerned," said Akaka, who is not related to the senator. "We Native Hawaiians are very concerned about health and safety laws as well."

Moanikeala Akaka also said Lingle "was foolish to think that we Native Hawaiians are not concerned about the health and safety of our people," and that she thought Hawaiians should have fewer rights than native Alaskans and Native Americans. Instead, because Hawaii was a sovereign nation prior to 1893 members of the new government should have more rights, she said.

Regarding the bill amendments, Akaka said she did not have an opportunity to examine it in detail, but added it was much better than the "watered-down, dilured and polluted" version that was debated during the Bush administration.

If this bill is successfully amended it would need to return to the House for a final vote.

OHA's chief executive officer, Clyde Namuo, has expressed his support for the amendments, and said now is a "critical time" for passage of the bill.

The Associated Press contributed to this story. E-mail Peter Sur at psur@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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http://www.staradvertiser.com/editorials/letters/20100709_Letters_to_the_Editor.html
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, July 9, Letter to editor

Akaka Bill will divide Hawaiians

The amendments to the Akaka Bill are ludicrous. Under the amended version, Hawaiians have no control of their national lands or natural resources and they cannot challenge the United States for the illegal overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii during 1893.

Hawaiians had better read the updated version of H.R. 2314 and object to U.S. Sens. Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs making crucial decisions relative to their culture without their consent. The bill will divide the Hawaiian community even more than it is now. It will make it more difficult to claim the crown lands, konohiki lands and the kuleana lands. I urge Congress not to pass H.R. 2314 until a true vote is instigated by the Hawaiian community.

Eric Poohina
Kailua

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http://www.staradvertiser.com/editorials/letters/20100711_Letters_to_the_Editor.html
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, July 11, 2010, Letter to editor

Rushed Akaka Bill will cause Hawaii discord

The Akaka Bill's passage is assured now that our Republican governor agrees with the current version that grants the state authority over certain "Hawaiian government" activities. Imagine, with an apartheid arrangement, two governments, one race-based, existing cheek by jowl in a society that used to be advertised as a model of racial blending and cultural assimilation for the whole world.

Yes, the political stars are aligned, so hurry and get it passed before there is any serious discussion in Congress or locally as to what the possible ramifications might be. If nothing else, expect heightened ethnic disharmony and "native rights" litigation ad nauseam.

Tom Freitas
Hawaii Kai

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http://hawaii.gov/gov/news/releases/2010-news-releases/governor-lingle-sends-letter-to-u.s.-senators-encouraging-support-of-akaka-bill

State of Hawaii, Governor's office, News Release
July 13, 2010

GOVERNOR LINGLE SENDS LETTER TO U.S. SENATORS ENCOURAGING SUPPORT OF AKAKA BILL

For Immediate Release: July 13, 2010

HONOLULU – Governor Linda Lingle today sent a letter to all U.S. Senators affirming her strong support of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, also known as the Akaka Bill, and encouraging them to support bringing the bill to a vote in the Senate and to vote to enact it into law.

The Governor sent the letter after reaching an agreement with Senators Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka on changes to the bill (H.R. 2314) that address concerns she had after the Akaka Bill was amended late last year and earlier this year. Those amendments caused Governor Lingle to reluctantly withdraw her support for the bill, despite being a strong proponent of previous versions throughout her almost eight years as Governor.

In March of this year, she sent a letter to the U.S. Senators expressing her concerns about the material changes that had been made to the bill, primarily the exemption of the Native Hawaiian governing entity, its officers and employees, from the reach of many of Hawai‘i’s state laws that protect the health and safety of Hawai‘i’s citizens.

In the letter sent today, Governor Lingle said the agreed upon changes to the bill between her and Sens. Inouye and Akaka “return the bill to a form that protects health and safety in Hawaii, while providing explicit federal recognition to the only native people in the United States who lack that recognition – Native Hawaiians.”

The Governor also wrote that passage of the Akaka Bill will, “put Hawaii on an equal footing with its forty-nine sister states, and will recognize Native Hawaiians just as America recognizes it other indigenous groups. It is fair and just – nothing more, nothing less.”

Governor Lingle’s letter also said, “The Akaka Bill is constitutional, is good public policy, is (in its to-be-amended form) supported by Hawaii’s citizens, is consistent with Congress’ approach to recognition of other native peoples of America, and is just and fair.”

Attachment: Letter to Senators

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http://hawaii.gov/gov/news/releases/news-release-attachments/Akaka%20Bill%20letter%20to%20U.S.%20Senators%207.13.10.PDF

** On official stationery [using letter to Senator Lamar Alexander as example]

July 13. 2010
The Honorable Lamar Alexander
United States Senate
455 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Re: Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, H.R. 2314, the “Akaka Bill”

Dear Senator Alexander,

I wrote to you and your Senate colleagues on March 23. 2010. reluctantly expressing my opposition to H.R. 2314. the “Akaka Bill.” that would afford federal recognition to Native Hawaiians. My opposition followed years of strong and active support of previous versions of the bill during my almost eight years as Hawaii’s Governor. Substantial differences between prior versions of the bill I had previously supported and the bill that passed the House justified that opposition.

The primary reason for that opposition, as I expressed to you in my letter, was the exemption of the Native Hawaiian governing entity, and its officers and employees, from the reach of many of the laws of the State of Hawaii that protect the health and safety of Hawaii’s citizens.

After discussions between our Attorney General and Senate staff. Hawaii’s Senators Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka have agreed to and will propose to the Senate changes to H.R. 2314 (attached), that address the concerns I raised.

The agreed upon changes are as follows. First, the bill will now explicitly provide that activities of the Native Hawaiian governing entity will be fully subject to all of the State’s laws that protect the public health and safety (unless and until the State agrees otherwise or the Congress decides otherwise). Second. the bill gives the State the explicit authority to sue the Native Hawaiian governing entity to enforce the regulatory authority recognized in the bill. And third, the bill explicitly provides that officers and employees of the Native Hawaiian governing entity shall have no immunity from the criminal laws of the State. (The bill had already provided that members of the entity remained fully subject to the State’s criminal laws).

I believe these provisions return the bill to a form that protects health and safety in Hawaii, while providing explicit federal recognition to the only native people in the United States who lack that recognition -- Native Hawaiians.

As I and my administration have said in previous communications to the Congress, Native Hawaiians have fought and died for this country in wars dating back almost 100 years. They fight today for this country in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Akaka Bill will not change the patriotism or valor of Native Hawaiians. It will not set up a foreign nation in Hawaii. It will, however, put Hawaii on an equal footing with its forty-nine sister states, and it will recognize Native Hawaiians just as America recognizes its other indigenous groups. It is fair and just -- nothing more, and nothing less.

I believe that the Akaka Bill is constitutional, is good public policy, is (in its to-be-amended form) supported by Hawaii’s citizens, is consistent with the Congress’s approach to recognition of the other native peoples of America, and is just and fair. I strongly support it, and I respectfully urge you to support bringing it to a vote in the Senate, and then to vote to enact it into law. I thank you very much for your consideration of this letter.

Very truly yours,

LINDA LINGLE
Governor, State of Hawaii

** The amendment to be proposed by Senators Akaka and Inouye is then attached to the letter (although not the full text of the bill as it will read after the pieces of the amendment's language are inserted in several places)

akaka.senate.gov/upload/amdt_HR2314.pdf

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http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/breaking/98374684.html
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, July 13, 2010, Breaking news at 2:00 PM

Lingle urges senators to pass Akaka Bill

Members of the U.S. Senate will receive letters from Gov. Linda Lingle asking for their support of the Akaka Bill.

Lingle reached agreement last week with Sen. Daniel Akaka and Sen. Daniel Inouye on revised language to the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, and the two senators want a vote on the bill this summer.

In her letter that went out today, the governor wrote, “The Akaka Bill is constitutional, is good public policy, is (in its to-be-amended form) supported by Hawaii’s citizens, is consistent with Congress’ approach to recognition of other native peoples of American, and is just and fair.”

The Governor also wrote that passage of the bill would, “put Hawaii on an equal footing with its forty-nine sister states, and will recognize Native Hawaiians just as America recognizes it other indigenous groups. It is fair and just – nothing more, nothing less.”

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http://www.kitv.com/politics/24249950/detail.html
KITV4, July 13, 2010

Lingle Urges Congress To Pass Akaka Bill
Governor Supports Measure After Changes

HONOLULU -- Gov. Linda Lingle sent a letter to all U.S. senators urging them to pass a law granting Native Hawaiians the federal recognition afforded to other indigenous groups.

When changes were made, Lingle had withdrawn her support of the so-called Akaka Bill, named after Sen. Daniel Akaka, who introduced the measure. The Republican governor's letter sent Tuesday urges the Senate to vote and approve the Native Hawaiian legislation, which would put Hawaii on "equal footing" with other states that allow Native American tribes and Alaska Natives to establish their own government.

Lingle lent her support to the bill after Hawaii's senators agreed to amend it to clarify that a Native Hawaiian government wouldn't provide immunity from the state's laws that protect health and safety. Lingle and Attorney General Mark Bennett withdrew support when initial changes were made to the bill. The Senate could vote on the amended legislation as soon as this month.

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http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/20100714_Lingle_declares_Akaka_Bill_support.html
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, July 14, 2010

Lingle declares Akaka Bill support
A letter to the U.S. Senate comes after Akaka and Inouye vow to amend the measure

By Derrick DePledge

Gov. Linda Lingle, in a letter yesterday to the U.S. Senate in favor of a native Hawaiian federal recognition bill, said the bill is "fair and just" and would treat Hawaiians like other indigenous people.

Lingle described the bill—known as the Akaka Bill for its main sponsor, U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka—as constitutional, good public policy and consistent with how Congress has recognized native groups such as American Indians and Alaska natives.

"Native Hawaiians have fought and died for this country in wars dating back almost 100 years. They fight today for this country in Iraq and Afghanistan," she wrote. "The Akaka Bill will not change the patriotism or valor of native Hawaiians. It will not set up a foreign nation in Hawaii.

"It will, however, put Hawaii on an equal footing with its 49 sister states, and it will recognize native Hawaiians just as America recognizes its other indigenous groups. It is fair and just—nothing more, and nothing less."

The bill would create a process for Hawaiians to form their own governing entity and negotiate with the federal and state governments on land use and cultural issues.

Lingle agreed to send the letter to senators after Akaka and U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye pledged to amend the bill to protect the state's regulatory power over public health and safety during the negotiations.

The letter reverses a March message from Lingle to the Senate opposing the version of the bill that passed the U.S. House in February. The Hawaii Dem-ocrats hope the Republican governor's support will help convince senators to break procedural roadblocks from Senate Republicans who believe the bill is race-based discrimination.

"I am very grateful to the governor for her letter of support to our Senate colleagues," Akaka said.

Akaka and Inouye are meeting with other senators to try to secure the 60 votes necessary to overcome Republican roadblocks and bring the bill to the Senate floor for a vote. The bill has passed the House three times but has stalled in the Senate for a decade.

The Hawaii Democrats are pushing for a vote this year while Democrats still hold a strong Senate majority. The November elections could change the political composition of the Senate. President Obama, who was born in Hawaii, has said he would sign a native Hawaiian recognition bill into federal law.

The Akaka Bill has broad support within Hawaii's political establishment, including from the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs, along with the backing of many Hawaiian civic groups. A poll taken in April for The Honolulu Advertiser found that 66 percent of those interviewed statewide favored granting Hawaiians federal recognition similar to American Indians and Alaska natives.

Many Republicans, however, oppose the bill as unconstitutional race-based discrimination because it would treat Hawaiians differently from other state residents. Some Hawaiian sovereignty activists are against the bill because they believe it would interfere with the potential restoration of an independent kingdom.

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http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/20100714_Akaka_Bill_not_nationhood_protects_Hawaiians_future.html
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, July 14, 2010, COLUMNIST COMMENTARY

Akaka Bill, not nationhood, protects Hawaiians' future

By David Shapiro

Criticism of the Akaka Bill for native Hawaiian recognition has focused mainly on the concerns of the political right, which considers the legislation race-based preferential treatment.

But there is also opposition from many Hawaiians, especially nationalists who believe the bill would kill chances of restoring the independent Hawaiian kingdom that existed before the 1893 overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani.

This group was rankled more than ever by amendments advanced by Sen. Daniel Akaka at the behest of the Obama administration to give Hawaiians similar legal standing to Indian tribes, a comparison that left many Hawaiians insulted.

"Hawaiians are not a tribe," one sovereignty group said. "They are a nation—and their nation is occupied."

That sentiment is deserving of respect as the Akaka Bill moves closer to passage now that Gov. Linda Lingle is back on board after the latest tweaks.

It's not for me to tell Hawaiians what they should want for themselves. But as a practical matter, there's no realistic chance of Hawaii ever becoming independent from the United States, whether the Akaka Bill passes or not.

The nationalist groups are many, often working at cross-purposes, with conflicting claims to the throne. Support for any of the groups is scattered, with no leadership or agenda that is widely accepted within the Hawaiian community.

There are deep divisions between some 50 percent Hawaiians who are Hawaiian Home Lands beneficiaries and those with less native blood. The broader community would never accept a split from the United States.

If U.S. leaders decided to give Hawaii back to the Hawaiians, who would they give it to? There's no accepted governing entity—now or on the horizon.

I've always supported the original intent of the Akaka Bill, which was less about nationhood and more about protecting Hawaiian assets such as the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Hawaiian Home Lands and Kamehameha Schools after the U.S. Supreme Court left them vulnerable to legal challenge with the Rice v. Cayetano ruling that Hawaiians are a racial minority and not an indigenous people with special rights.

Hawaiian Homes and Kamehameha Schools existed long before statehood, and OHA was created to give Hawaiians their share of state ceded lands guaranteed by the 1959 Admission Act.

These Hawaiians-only assets were part of the deal when Hawaii voted to become a state, and it's grossly unfair to come back a half-century later and disallow them under U.S. law.

But wrong or not, it's the reality of what could happen.

If something like the Akaka Bill isn't enacted to clarify that Hawaiians are an indigenous people with the same political rights as other indigenous Americans, Hawaiians could not only fail to achieve nationhood, but also lose control of the most important assets for perpetuating their culture.

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http://www.staradvertiser.com/editorials/letters/20100715_Letters_to_the_Editor.html
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, July 15, 2010, LETTER TO EDITOR

Make Akaka Bill fair to everyone

When the Akaka Bill was first introduced 10 years ago, I supported it. Six years later, when I ran for OHA, I was opposed to the bill, and I remain opposed today because Sen. Daniel Akaka amended the bill to the extent that Hawaiians will receive less than other indigenous American peoples. Recent amendments made by the Obama administration to correct some of these wrongs should have gone through.

The Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920 was written to define native Hawaiian as a person of at least 50 percent Hawaiian blood. This was done with the intent of splitting our people. Rather than writing new legislation, why not amend the existing HHCA to correct this and other limitations? This way we could ensure that our people receive no less than already recognized indigenous Americans, and that our people are not split any more than we already are today.

Whitney Anderson
Waimanalo

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http://boss.hawaiireporter.com/inouye-courting-republican-women-2/
Hawaii Reporter, July 15, 2010

Inouye Courting Republican Women

BY LEON SIU

It has been reported that Senator Daniel Inouye is actively courting the four women Republican Senators to get their support for the highly controversial, race-based, Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009 (a.k.a. the “Akaka Bill”). For Inouye and Senator Daniel Akaka, it’s “do or die” time. They have to pass this bill before the August recess, or it really dies and becomes their albatross.

Despite the recent spinning and posturing in the press, the likelihood of the “Akaka Bill” passing in the Senate this month is nil…unless…a few votes can be wrangled from the Republican side to break any Republican “hold” and stop time-consuming amendments.

So, apparently Inouye is going to try to sweet-talk the four women Republican Senators, and, as the chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, he can really talk sweet! Picture promises of diamond earmarks…chocolate covered stimulus…gift packages of pork… The question is: Will Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine, fall for Inouye’s eleventh hour courtship? Or will they, as they should, take offense at the obvious sexist “weaker gender” ruse being employed? Inouye and Akaka’s legacies are riding on this bill. Ten years after this scheme was hatched, the window of opportunity is closing. Resorting to this kind of desperation courtship is unbecoming of senior legislators, not to mention insulting to the women they are trying to woo. Ladies, don’t fall for these advances, it’s not worth it.

Leon Siu is an Hawaiian activist and entertainer.

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http://www.westhawaiitoday.com/articles/2010/07/16/local/local03.txt
West Hawaii Today (Kona), July 16, 2010

OHA trustees unanimously back Akaka Bill

by Nancy Cook Lauer

HILO -- A bill granting federal recognition to Native Hawaiians received the unanimous endorsement Thursday of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees.

The vote came after a closed-door session where the board conferred by telephone with its attorneys.

It was fitting that the OHA board brought the so-called "Akaka Bill" to the Big Island, home to the highest percentage of Hawaiians in the state.

"Our sentiment is 'mahalo,'" Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona, referring to the Hawaiian word for "thank you," told reporters after the vote.

The OHA board was in Hilo for an annual community meeting, and the community had plenty to say. More than 50 people attended a Wednesday evening session and some returned for the Thursday meeting, as well.

Not all Hawaiians are happy with the Akaka Bill.

"This is the worst treaty of surrender I have ever seen. ... We have rights that are being violated. Not just personal rights of the kanaka (native subjects of the Kingdom of Hawaii), but government rights," said Keonipaa Choy. "This is a foreign country coming in and dictating to us what we can do and what we cannot do."

That brought agreement, but also a reality check from Trustee Oswald Stender.

"People throughout the world have been unjustly displaced by an occupying country. The question is how do you fix it," Stender said. "Talking about it isn't going to make it right or make it go away unless we have an army bigger than the United States Army -- and that's not going to happen."

The bill is named after U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, who has been trying for a decade to get a bill passed.

It could come up before the full Senate this month, following a deal struck last week with Republican Gov. Linda Lingle. Senate Republicans have blocked passage, some of them citing-the bill as racial discrimination, but advocates hope Lingle's assistance will move the bill forward.

The bill passed the House in February, but it will have to return to the House for another vote if the Senate approves the revised version.

President Barack Obama has said he supports the measure.

The revised bill differs in two major areas, sovereign immunity and inherent sovereignty, said OHA Chief Executive Officer Clyde Namuo. The bill sets up the process for Native Hawaiian self-governance, but it clarifies that a future Hawaiian government couldn't provide immunity from state laws unless Congress agrees.

Some 11.2 percent of Hawaii Island's 176,399 residents report themselves as Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, compared to 9.1 percent statewide, according to a 2008 Census Bureau report, the latest data available.

Native Americans and Alaska Natives have already been granted self-governing status, leaving Native Hawaiians the last remaining indigenous people not allowed to govern themselves.

OHA, meanwhile, has started its own self-governance plan as a fallback measure. No matter which tack is ultimately taken, Hawaiians need to work together, Apoliona said.

"Certainly it's going to be very challenging for the Native Hawaiian community to gather and come together on the future development of this community," Apoliona said. "This is the time to move ... Hawaiians working together will make a difference for generations to come."

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http://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/articles/2010/07/16/local_news/local03.txt
Hawaii Tribune-Herald (Hilo), July 16, 2010

OHA backs latest Akaka bill

by Peter Sur
Tribune-Herald Staff Writer

Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs on Thursday threw their support behind a bill that would let Hawaiians form their own government.

OHA trustees join the bill's author, Sen. Daniel Akaka, and Gov. Linda Lingle in urging that the U.S. Senate approve the bill and send it to President Obama for signing.

If the bill survives the legislative process this term, an interim period would begin, during which Hawaii state law would apply as critical negotiations begin for the formation of a new Hawaiian government.

OHA has strongly backed efforts for Hawaiian self-governance, and in past years pushed for its own self-governing initiative, called Ho'oulu Lahui Aloha, when attempts in Congress failed.

OHA trustees meeting in Hilo voted unanimously to support the most recent version of the Akaka bill.

The trustees were in Hilo for an annual community meeting, and the community had plenty to say. More than 50 people attended a session held Wednesday evening, and some returned for Thursday's meeting as well.

Not all Hawaiians are happy with the Akaka bill.

"This is the worst treaty of surrender I have ever seen. ... We have rights that are being violated. Not just personal rights of the kanaka (native subjects of the Kingdom of Hawaii), but government rights," said Keonipaa Choy. "This is a foreign country coming in and dictating to us what we can do and what we cannot do."

That brought agreement, but also a reality check from Trustee Oswald Stender.

"People throughout the world have been unjustly displaced by an occupying country. The question is how do you fix it," Stender said. "Talking about it isn't going to make it right or make it go away unless we have an army bigger than the United States Army -- and that's not going to happen."

Meeting in the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel, trustees discussed the bill in executive session with their attorneys before voting 8-0, with Trustee Donald Cataluna excused.

It was fitting that the OHA board meeting was in Hilo, since the Big Island is home to the highest percentage of Hawaiians in the state.

"Our sentiment is 'mahalo,'" Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona, referring to the Hawaiian word for "thank you," told reporters after the vote.

CEO Clyde Namu'o said his staff had compiled a side-by-side comparison of the Akaka bill and the amended version, and put it on the Internet (see http://www.oha.org/nhgra). He circulated a new brochure that outlined the steps needed for Hawaiian self-government, but was cautious not to celebrate too early.

"We certainly do not want to jinx anything. The bill has not been passed," he said.

The bill could come up before the full Senate this month, following a deal struck last week with Lingle. She supported the self-government process throughout much of her eight-year term, but revisions to the bill earlier this year caused her to withdraw her support.

That lack of support appeared to spell certain doom for the Akaka bill, until the agreement was reached to amend it to overcome Lingle's objections.

The revised bill differs in two major areas, sovereign immunity and inherent sovereignty, said Namu'o. The bill sets up the process for Native Hawaiian self-governance, but it clarifies that a future Hawaiian government couldn't provide immunity from state laws unless Congress agrees.

Senate Republicans have blocked passage of the bill, some of them citing the bill as racial discrimination, but advocates hope Lingle's assistance will move the bill forward.

The bill passed the House in February, but it will have to return to the House for another vote if the Senate approves the revised version.

Also during the meeting, trustees voted unanimously in favor of urging the United States to support the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This declaration, adopted in 2007, states among other things that indigenous people around the world have the right to self-determination and to form their own government.

"Hawaiians working together will make a difference for generations to come," Apoliona said after the meeting. "It will be challenging, but inspiring work."

Hawaiians remain the only native people in the United States who lack federal recognition. If the Akaka bill becomes law, OHA is expected to be succeeded by the new Hawaiian government.

Some 11.2 percent of Hawaii Island's 176,399 residents report themselves as Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, compared to 9.1 percent statewide, according to a 2008 Census Bureau report, the latest data available.

Nancy Cook Lauer contributed.

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http://boss.hawaiireporter.com/akaka-bill-petition-calls-for-congressional-hearings-and-vote-in-hawaii/
Hawaii Reporter, July 16, 2010

Akaka Bill Petition Calls for Congressional Hearings and Vote in Hawaii

by Richard Rowland

There is an important petition for you to consider signing that calls for Congressional hearings in Hawaii on the Akaka bill. Congress plans to pass the bill with no input from Hawaii’s people. There is also space for comments. The following is recommended:

“No further action by Congress should be taken until hearings are held in Hawaii by Congress. That should be followed by a vote of Hawaii’s people. If that vote is affirmative, further action might be considered, if not, the proposal should die.”

You will find the petition at

www.ipetitions.com/petition/stopakakabill/

After you sign and comment (comment not required), you will be offered an opportunity to contribute money to the website owner. There is no requirement to do that. If you do not, your signature will still count.

Please sign the petition and ask others to do so.

Richard Rowland is the president emeritus of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, a non-profit think tank.

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http://www.redstate.com/rs_insider/2010/07/17/senator-lisa-murkowski-sells-out-conservatives-again/
RedState Insider, July 17, 2010

Senator Lisa Murkowski Sells Out Conservatives — Again

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) has done it again. Earlier this week we learned that Lisa Murkowski opposes the repeal of ObamaCare.

RS Insider has been informed that there is a strong push by Senate Appropriations Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) to pass S. 1011, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, also known as the “Akaka Bill,” this year with the active support of Senator Murkowski. The bill, sponsored by Senator Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), sets up an unconstitutional race based separate government entity for Native Hawaiians The lone Republican co-sponsor is none other than Senator Lisa Murkowski. This is the same Lisa Murkowski who was elected Vice Chairwoman of the whole Republican Conference in June of last year and is supposed to lead against terrible liberal ideas — not for them.

Over the past week the left has slandered the Tea Party movement with charges of racism. News has broken that the New Black Panther Movement has been given preferential treatment by lawyers at the Justice Department. The Akaka Bill will further inflame racial separatism and divide the nation.

This bill enables fully assimilated ”aboriginal” people to withdraw from the jurisdiction of Hawaii into an ethnic enclave with its own government powers and immunities. Supporters of this idea argue that it enables the ethnically “Hawaiian” (those with a single drop of “aboriginal” blood) to have their own government. Conservatives argue that this bill is unconstitutional and promotes racial separatism.

Another faction of opposition to the idea are Native Hawaiians who don’t like the bill for some different reasons. Native Hawaiians who support Native Hawaiian separatism and others who mistrust federal bureaucrats oppose this bill, because the legislation empowers the Office of Native Hawaiian Affairs, housed in the Department of U.S. Interior, to play a significant role in governing them. Most Native Hawaiians just want to be left alone by the federal government and they don’t trust Washington, D.C. to protect Native Hawaiian’s proud history and heritage. They further argue that the federal government wants to buy up Hawaiian lands in the name of protecting Native Hawaiians. These two camps have legitimate concerns.

Senator Murkowski supports this measure and Senators Inouye and Akaka are counting on her leadership skills to bring along other Republican Senators. Alaska has a community of Native Alaskans who lived in geographically and culturally separate communities and this may explain why she agreed to support the measure initially. One would hope that under further review, Senator Murkowski would reconsider her support for this constitutionally offensive proposed law.

The Murkowski position today is preposterous. Native Alaskans in her own state, and Indian Tribes for that matter, lived in distinct communities, did not intermarry at significant rates, and typically maintained some kind of local or tribal government since Western contact. Our Constitution contemplated dealing with Indian tribes in the light of that history. Congress regularly dealt with these issues when admitting new states. To establish a new law that would cut up the nation based on race flies in the face of the history of dealing with Native Alaskans and Indian Tribes.

Hawaii is very different from the Alaska example. Hawaii is a melting pot. Hawaii has a history of being a monarchy, then a territory of the United States prior to annexation. The aboriginal peoples of Hawaii were long ago absorbed into the mainstream culture. There was never a distinct tribe or any kind of native organization since becoming an American territory. Tribal rights were not part of negotiations when Hawaii became a state in 1959. Hawaii came into the United States proudly touting its interracial marriage rates and racial harmony.

The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act would have Hawaii go in just the opposite direction. The legislation Murkowski supports would have 20 percent of Hawaii’s population sucked into a made-up “Indian tribe,” give them their own government, and make it impossible for neighbors who can’t pass the tribe’s racial test to deal with them on equal footing. Furthermore, Native Hawaiians live in all 50 states and you would have a new “tribe” that would span the continental U.S., territories, Alaska and Hawaii. This new Native Hawaiian Government would be subject to different laws and would not be held to account in Hawaii’s courts. These are serious concerns that Senator Murkowski may not have considered.

If Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) pulls the trigger and moves to proceed to the bill, Senator Murkowski may be the 60th vote to join liberal Democrats to break a filibuster. This bill has passed in committee and sits on the Senate Calendar ready for full Senate floor consideration. Murkowski may be the deciding vote and has been called on by the Senators from Hawaii to help round up Republican support.

There has always been an odd alliance between the Senators from Hawaii and Alaska on these types of issues. There are those who worry that the only reason Senator Murkowski supports the Akaka Bill is to get increased Alaskan pork from Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Inouye. There are others who say that she supports it because she genuinely believes in the policy of dividing up Hawaii based on race. It is difficult to say which is worse: craven pork-barreling and back-scratching, or utter indifference to racial division. Either way, her current position is inconsistent with the constitution and conservatism. The sad truth is that this is yet another example of Senator Murkowski turning her back on the Conservative movement.

One fear on the part of sources for Red State Insider is that Senator Inouye may try to put this bill in one of the massive appropriations measures scheduled to pass later this year. As an appropriator, Senator Inouye has great power to load up approps bills and he may try and bury this legislation in the dark of night in a must pass bill to fund the government into 2011. If Senator Murkowski is complicit in this strategy, then she has zero respect for conservatives who want to see this bill fail in the light of day with Senators being forced to cast and up or down vote on a free standing Native Hawaiian Reorganization Act.

It gets worse. A source that closely follows progress of the Native Hawaiian bill tells Red State Insider that “despite the recent spinning and posturing in the press, the likelihood of the (Native Hawaiian Bill) passing in the Senate this year is nil … unless .. a few votes can be wrangled from the Republican side to break any Republican (threat of a filibuster) and stop time-consuming amendments.” The Senator who is tasked to round up votes is Murkowski, and sources tell me that she has been specifically tasked with rounding up the votes of the other three Republican women Senators.

My source jokes that ”apparently Inouye is going to try to sweet-talk the four women Republican Senators, and, as the chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, he can really talk sweet! Picture promises of diamond earmarks…chocolate covered stimulus…gift packages of pork.” Murkowski will help to round up moderate Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine). Maybe Murkowski will take a run at moderate Senator Kay Baily Hutchison (R-TX). If it is true that Senator Murkowski is the point person to round up votes, now that should be highly offensive to conservative minded constituents in Alaska.

The Senators from Hawaii know that the window is closing and they are desperate to railroad this bill through the Senate while they have time. They will try to pass the bill with Murkowski’s help either by passing the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act on the Senate floor or, with Murkowski’s support, bury the legislation in a must pass appropriations bill. Dems may lose a number of seats in the Senate and this may be the last time that the liberals have a chance to set up this new race based government for Native Hawaiian people.

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http://www.staradvertiser.com/editorials/letters/20100717_letters_to_the_editor.html
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, July 17, 2010, Letter to editor

Expedience advances Akaka Bill

With passage of the Akaka Bill, Hawaii will become a "Hawaiian nation" and "American" at the same time. The argument that Hawaiians are a tribe like the American Indians with similar rights is baseless. American Indians live on reservations that are geographically clearly defined, which supports the notion of "tribe."

Hawaiians on the other hand are scattered all over the world. The argument that Hawaiian children will have a bleak future if Hawaiians do not acquire sovereignty status is also baseless. Hawaiians are fully integrated into the social fabric of Hawaii as are other resident ethnic groups and have excelled in many career fields.

Arguments for the passage of Hawaiian sovereignty should be based on an in-depth evaluation of its merits as it affects the state as a whole rather than the apparent move by Hawaii's senators to capitalize on the fact that Democrats control Congress. The treatment of sovereignty has been narrowed down to the sole task of satisfying the cultural interests of a minority group by any means.

Alfred Freitas Jr.
Honolulu

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http://boss.hawaiireporter.com/will-the-u-s-congress-succeed-in-institutionalizing-racism-where-a-monarchy-failed/
Hawaii Reporter, July 19, 2010

Will The U.S. Congress Succeed in Institutionalizing Racism Where A Monarchy Failed?

BY JAMES W. COX

For a second time in history, the government in power over Hawaii is trying to divide the people living on these small islands by race.

The last time was in January 1893 when Queen Liliuokalani permanently adjourned the legislature and tried to implement a new constitution reserving suffrage solely to persons with Hawaiian blood. The result of that attempt was civil action by citizens born in Hawaii who would have been disenfranchised by the revised constitution. Those citizens overthrew the ruling Monarchy and established a Republic. Because they believed in democratic principles and in the form of government established by the United States of America, these same citizens succeeded in having the Islands annexed to the U.S.

This past week, Senators Inouye & Akaka reached agreement with Governor Lingle on modifications to a bill for creating a sovereign Hawaiian government (commonly referred to as the “Akaka Bill”). They have reportedly decided to focus on a strong push to slip it thru Congress during the next month. With the Akaka Bill, special interests are trying to accomplish what the ruling Monarchy could not 117 years ago. Their actions are misguided and on the wrong side of history. Senator Inouye published a revealing editorial encouraging quick passage of the Akaka Bill in the July 4th Honolulu Star Advertiser equating mistreatment of Slaves, Native Americans, Japanese Americans and Filipinos with some unspecified injustice done by the United States of America to “Native Hawaiians.” The assertion is not factually correct.

From tribal times, Hawaii openly accepted Non-Polynesians. American and other western participants provided technology, know-how and weapons that were used by Chief Kamehameha to unify the Islands in bloody and ruthless wars after the U.S. War of Independence. His winning tribe adopted a monarchy as its form of government (i.e., trying to cement its power by copying the British system) during the 1800’s. The royal families, for their own benefit, married with Non-Polynesians who instituted different concepts of land ownership and economic development. That resulted in a plantation system in Hawaii, which concentrated economic power in a handful of families. The plantations imported thousands of Chinese, Japanese and Filipinos. When the Monarchy started to lose control to the new majority, it attempted to change the rules to stay in power.

The Monarchy lost, and democracy won. For those who believe in American principles, that was a good outcome, not a bad one. Any wrong to the “Native Hawaiians” was committed by the Monarchy during their brief 83 years of ruling the Islands (73 over Kauai), not by the United States of America. Royal families lost some of their great privileges, but no citizen alive today has lost rights due to that long-ago change of government.

For recent generations, the plantation system is only history and we now live together in a more just and integrated society that should serve as a model for the World. Thanks to the foresight, the struggles and the sacrifices of Americans who came before us (on the Mainland and in Hawaii), we all share equal rights and opportunities under law. Persons who identify themselves as Native Hawaiian have experienced a rich cultural rebirth in the past few decades while fully participating in civil society without discrimination or restriction. All manner of persons living in Hawaii join in cultural activities from the many ancestries weaving the Hawaiian Quilt.

Americans are now being asked by apologists to ignore our principles and reverse our accomplishments to divide one State in the Union by race. Why do the Akaka Bill’s promoters oppose having current Hawaii residents vote on this issue? It would clearly fail. [In contrast, Governor Lingle just vetoed the State’s Civil Unions (same sex marriage) bill, asserting that Citizens should vote directly on any such momentous change.] Rather, they would force upon U.S. Citizens in Hawaii (and the rest of our Country) the granting of special rights to one group based on race.

We should not divide the State on the basis of blood or ancestry, as a matter of principle. As a matter of practicality, it will not work. [e.g., How do you define “Native Hawaiian”? How do we live on one island with two sets of governments? There are almost no “pure blood Hawaiians”; do the ones with a little Polynesian blood get to choose when to be governed under which set of laws? How can any decisions be made for the islands; by treaty? Can our society handle more radical and reckless actions with the resulting economic uncertainty right now? Where do we set the time machine: Pre-Captain Cook, Pre-Unification, Pre-Royalty, or Pre-Democracy?

Should the new Hawaiian government be a tribal system, a monarchy (which royal family), or something “new age”? Should our society be made to suffer these artificial divisions and the resulting decades of litigation?].

It is important to remember that the Akaka Bill was originally submitted to “fix” a legal case lost in the U.S. Supreme Court by the Bill’s proponents. The Hawaii State government had established The Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) to promote benefits solely for persons with Hawaiian blood. OHA used State of Hawaii funds but was administered by persons with Hawaiian blood, elected by persons with Hawaiian blood. Rightly, the law was struck down, but OHA still exists with slight modifications and is using State of Hawaii money to press for “Hawaiian Sovereignty.”

These special interest groups also pushed through the so-called Apology Resolution, which they tried to use as a basis to take real property away from the Hawaii State Government. That attempt was also struck down by a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court.

Now, the same persons who lost those cases are trying to again use the Apology Resolution to rewrite history (claiming an “illegal” overthrow of the Hawaiian government – it was clearly a political act). They proffer a carefully romanticized revision of the Islands’ history in an attempt to justify control over valuable public and private land, moneys and programs solely on the basis of their selected designation as “Native Hawaiian”. The Akaka Bill is for private benefit and will not only formalize the power desired by a small group of people; it will diminish the United States of America and reduce the rights of all U.S. Citizens.

My adult son was born here well over half a century after his Grandparents came to the Islands to work on the plantations. Those who support the Akaka Bill would allocate some of his rights and benefits of citizenship to other persons, simply because his ancestors are from Asia, North America and Europe, but not from Polynesia.

The Monarchy is gone…the plantations are gone. Hawaii has been an integral part of the United States for a long time. We should not be mislead by those who would go back 117 years to assert claims against the United States in order to obtain special privileges for some undefined group based solely upon race.

James W. Cox is a resident of Kailua, Hawaii.

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http://www.mauinews.com/page/content.detail/id/533545.html?nav=5031
The Maui News, July 19, 2010

Vote on Native Hawaiian government coming soon
Inouye to push for Senate action by August recess

By MARK NIESSE, The Associated Press

HONOLULU - Native Hawaiians could finally be treated the same as the nation's other indigenous groups if Hawaii's senators can push a vote on the legislation during the next few weeks, before it's too late.

Unless the U.S. Senate votes before this fall's elections change the political climate in Washington, it could take years - if ever - to again line up so much support for a Native Hawaiian government called a ''nation within a nation.''

Hawaiians are the last indigenous people in the United States who haven't been granted federal recognition, a right already extended to Alaska Natives and Native American tribes. The legislation would start negotiations for a new Native Hawaiian government and the land, money and power that come with it.

''The stars are aligned, and I think our chances for seeing this legislation passed is better than it's every been,'' said Clyde Namuo, chief executive officer for the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs. ''If there's a will, there certainly will be a way.''

Supporters of the bill say now is their best hope for passage because it has the support of Hawaii-born President Barack Obama, powerful Hawaii Democratic Sen. Daniel Inouye and Congress' Democratic majority. Also, Republican Gov. Linda Lingle recently jumped on board after it was amended, and she is urging GOP senators to do so as well.

After November's elections, Democrats may lose seats and term-limited Lingle will leave office.

More than 117 years have passed since the Hawaiian kingdom was overthrown, and this measure is an effort to begin reconciling with the nation's 400,000 Native Hawaiians.

The bill's critics, including a minority of Native Hawaiians who want complete independence and some Republicans who see it as race-based discrimination, don't want it to ever come to a vote.

''I'm praying for a miracle that everyone comes to their senses and says, 'Why separate the most integrated spot on Earth?' '' said Sandra Puanani Burgess, who is Hawaiian, Chinese and Filipino and co-founded the opposition group Aloha for All. ''I don't want to end up as an Indian tribe.''

Hawaii's senators are seeking a vote before a recess begins Aug. 6, appropriations bills are considered in September and elections approach in October and November.

But finding room on the Senate's calendar will be difficult as it votes on extending unemployment insurance, a small-business loan program and the confirmation of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. A vote could be delayed until after November's elections, but before the new Congress takes office in January.

''It's important that we do it now, because I feel the purpose of this legislation is to provide parity in the United States' treatment of its indigenous people,'' said Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, the first senator of Hawaiian ancestry. ''We're really pressing it with the leadership to try to get a spot.''

At 85, Inouye wields power as the Senate's most senior member, and the 85-year-old Akaka has championed the bill for a decade. Inouye said earlier this month that he'll seek a vote before the Senate recesses in August.

Independence-minded Native Hawaiians oppose the bill because they see it as a sellout of their claims to sovereignty.

''I prefer the return of the Hawaiian kingdom, that it would be the nation it was prior to the overthrow,'' said Leon Siu, a Hawaiian activist and musician. ''The U.S. has no authority to dispense these lands to a new Native Hawaiian entity because they're not their lands in the first place.''

Native Hawaiians who back the legislation view it as a practical compromise that would protect indigenous programs from lawsuits and preserve their culture.

''Ultimate justice would of course return Hawaii to independence. That's not going to happen in my lifetime, and I believe we need to accomplish this,'' said Bruss Keppeler, an attorney and chairman of government relations for the Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce. ''This may just be a step in the right direction.''

The bill last came before the Senate in June 2006, when it fell four votes short of the 60 needed to end debate and move on to an up-or-down vote on the bill itself. Thirteen Republicans and most Democrats supported the motion. This year, Democrats control 58 seats in the Senate, compared to just 44 in 2006.

The House passed the measure in February on a 245-164 vote, but representatives would have to vote again if the Senate passes the bill because it was amended to address concerns raised by Lingle.

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http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=38097
Human Events, July 19, 2010; excerpts related to Akaka bill

Thank You, President Obama (Part II)

by Brian Darling

On September 21 of last year, in an article titled “Thank You, President Obama,” I wrote: “I love President Barack Obama. No kidding. I love the guy. Barack Obama is the best community organizer of conservatives since Ronald Reagan.”

It’s time to amplify that point. In 2010 President Obama has done even more to unify Democrats, Republicans and Independents into a coalition against his policies. The Tea Party movement should thank you, Mr. President and all the rest of us conservatives, thank you for your excellent work. We could not have done this without you.

Racist Bill for Native Hawaiians

Sen. Daniel Inouye (D.-Hawaii) is working feverishly to pass a bill, sponsored by Sen. Daniel Akaka (D.-Hawaii) that would set up a race-based government for Native Hawaiians. The legislation, (S. 1011), has passed the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and is sitting on the Senate calendar. This bill would set up a separate government entity to govern the “indigenous, native people of Hawaii.” Prior attempts by the proponents of a race-based government for Native Hawaiians have been struck down by the Supreme Court and many conservatives believe that this bill is yet another unconstitutional separation of races in the United States.

Hill sources tell HUMAN EVENTS that Sen. Daniel Inouye is actively courting the four women Republican senators to get their support for the highly controversial, race-based, Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009 (a.k.a. the “Akaka Bill”). For Inouye and Akaka, it’s ‘do or die’ time. They have to pass this bill before the August recess, or it really dies and becomes their albatross. Conservatives worry that Inouye will use his power as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee to hide this bill in one of the appropriations measures scheduled for approval this fall.

The President’s actions in pushing an extremist to run Obamacare and letting his congressional allies press to create race-based government for native Hawaiians is further evidence that President Obama does not get it. This President has been tone-deaf to the needs of the American people and his actions may soon lead to his being considered, effectively, a lame-duck President who is steering the Democratic Party to political disaster this fall.

Brian Darling is director of U.S. Senate Relations at The Heritage Foundation.

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http://www.staradvertiser.com/editorials/20100721_Passage_of_Akaka_Bill_will_benefit_all_Hawaii.html
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, July 21, 2010
COMMENTARY

Passage of Akaka Bill will benefit all Hawaii

By John D. Waihee III [note by Ken Conklin: Waihee is a former Governor of Hawaii, ending in 1994, who then worked as a lobbyist with a Washington D.C. law firm. His son, John D. Waihee IV, is a former bartender who is now an OHA trustee]

The drafting of the Akaka Bill has been a challenging 11-year process, but we now have a carefully written piece of legislation that should be enacted into law. Its passage will benefit everyone in the state by establishing a formal process to address the injustices resulting from the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii and the continuing disenfranchisement of native Hawaiians. By officially recognizing native Hawaiians as indigenous people of the United States, it will protect the federal programs for native Hawaiians that bring millions of dollars into the state annually.

The Akaka Bill -- formally called the native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act -- was passed by the U.S. House of Representative in February and now awaits passage by the Senate. It will provide a framework to allow native Hawaiians to create a government similar to the 562 federally recognized indigenous groups in the United States. After that phase is completed, negotiations will begin for the return of land and resources currently held in trust by the state and federal governments.

During the past year, revisions have been made to the bill based on input from groups such as the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the native Hawaiian Bar Association, the Council of Native Hawaiian Advancement, the U.S. Justice Department and Hawaii's Department of the Attorney General. Sen. Daniel Akaka revised the bill to give the native Hawaiian government sovereign immunity based on the strong recommendation of the Justice Department lawyers who wanted the bill to be consistent with existing federal policy toward indigenous peoples.

These changes have strengthened the legal foundation of the bill by conforming the structure of the native Hawaiian government to the structure of hundreds of native governments already established across the United States. Gov. Linda Lingle and Attorney General Mark Bennett, who have been consistent supporters of the Akaka Bill and of federal recognition of native Hawaiians as indigenous peoples, wanted some additional clarifications regarding the relationship between the native Hawaiian government and the state of Hawaii during the transitional period, and these clarifications have now been included in additional amendments to the bill. Obviously, the native Hawaiian government and the state will need to work together during this transitional period, but the bill ensures that native Hawaiians will have rights and responsibilities similar to those of other native peoples in Alaska and the continental United States.

With the changes agreed to earlier this month, the Senate is poised to pass this law. The House will need to agree to the clarifications, and then it will proceed to President Barack Obama's desk for signature, and a new era will begin for native Hawaiians and the people of Hawaii.

The United States has recognized Alaska Natives and American Indians as indigenous people for many years, and Canada has been systematically restoring the rights of its First Nation people. New Zealand has been going through a similar process during the past 35 years with its indigenous people, the Maori. During this time, the rich cultural heritage of the Maori, a unique Polynesian culture like the Hawaiians, has been protected; lands, resources, factories, fishing rights, and ships have been transferred to Maori tribes; and Maori are now partners in many economic activities with the other New Zealanders. With the passage of the Akaka Bill, we can look forward to a similar partnership that will bring together all the people of Hawaii to promote economic prosperity while protecting the traditions and cultural heritage of native Hawaiians and ensuring that Hawaiians have a voice in guiding the future of our community.

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http://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/articles/2010/07/21/opinion/your_views/letters04.txt
Hawaii Tribune-Herald, July 21, 2010
Letter to editor

Pass the bill

After several changes to the Akaka bill, I strongly feel it is now conducive to the Native Hawaiians' way of life. First of all, it gives federal recognition to Hawaiians as an indegenous group in America. Coming with the bill is land and money. Hawaiians were gracious hosts of the lands in Hawaii and they deserve compensation.

Lands conducive toward farming should be given to Native Hawaiians. Then they can go back to the lands and farm taro and sweet potatoes. Arts and craft can also flourish with Hawaiian cultural centers as a goal.

All in all, the Akaka bill in its present form gives the Hawaiians a legal way to make a living. It would be great if the Hawaiian culture can come back in a big way for it would be good for tourism. It's a win-win scenario with the Akaka bill.

Dean Nagasako
Hilo

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http://boss.hawaiireporter.com/akaka-bill-beating-a-dead-horse/
Hawaii Reporter, July 23, 2010

Akaka Bill: Beating a Dead Horse

BY LEON SIU- A friend asked yesterday for my take on the new developments with the Akaka bill. Below is my response of its prospects from a strictly pragmatic point of view…

Despite the recent drum-beating and posturing in the press, the likelihood of the Akaka bill passing is slim to zero. Inouye and Akaka are beating a dead horse.

It was much better last December when they were about to charge out of the starting gates. But Akaka tried at the last-minute to “doctor” his horse and blew it big time!

The bill choked, stalled and crashed. They may have Gov. Lingle on board again, but it took 7 long months to get her back! Meanwhile, the circumstances have changed in Congress and the Akaka bill has missed its window of opportunity.

Senator Akaka made a tactical error last December when he amended the bill that caused Lingle to withdraw the state’s support (What was he thinking?). Rep. Abercrombie balked and failed to embrace the amendments Akaka proposed, leaving by the end of the year, two disparate versions of the bill, and no governor/state support. In desperation (to keep his promise to pass the bill before resigning to run for governor), Abercrombie at the end of February, got a version passed in the House that squared with the Senate bill, thus making both versions odious to the governor. Now Akaka has changed his bill back to the pre-December 09 version, getting the governor back on board with the Senate bill, but not the still unacceptable Abercrombie version in the House. Are you following this?

So what happens now? In order for the Senate bill to be considered before Congress’ August recess, Inouye will have to somehow convince Senator Harry Reed and other Senate leaders that this ten-year-albatross of a bill is of such urgency, such high priority, that they have to carve off a week of the Senate’s precious time to wrangle this through.

Frankly, I don’t see it happening. The bill is too high maintenance. It will consume too much time and political capital, resources the Democrats cannot afford if they are to have any chance of getting the rest of their screwball agenda (cap ‘n trade, immigration reform, raising taxes, more stimulus, climate change, etc.) through Congress before they lose their majority in November.

Even if Inouye were to unleash his full arsenal of political persuasion, it would be suicidal for the Democratic senators to take up the bill. There is staunch opposition. At least two Republican senators have indicated they will place a “hold” on the bill. With the vacancy left by the late Democrat Senator Byrd and the ascendancy of Republican Scott Brown, the Democrats are at best two votes short of being able to overcome a “hold” with a cloture vote.

In addition, Democrat leaders know that Republicans will demand numerous amendments, the vetting process of which will consume precious time…time they don’t have to squander on a bill that is so flawed that it hasn’t passed in ten years! That’s the high stakes risk Inouye/Akaka are asking their colleagues to take. Will they do it?

If Inouye persuades the Senate Democrats to fall on their swords for him and they sacrifice their political careers and pass the Akaka bill, the disparate House version would still need to be reconciled with the Senate version… All this before the August recess? I don’t think so…! And then there’s the looming certainty that even if they manage to lug this horse across the finish line, racial discrimination lawsuits will render the whole Native Hawaiian Tribe scheme unconstitutional and those lawmakers will have sacrificed so much for nothing.

Leon Siu is a native Hawaiian activist and well known Hawaiian musician.

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http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/hawaiinews/20100726_Aiona_sees_objectivity_as_key_to_election_win.html
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, July 26, 2010

Aiona sees objectivity as key to election win

By Richard Borreca
COLUMNIST
* Excerpt related to Akaka bill

If elected, Aiona would be the state's second native Hawaiian governor. Asked about the actions of the first native Hawaiian governor, John Waihee, who on Jan. 17, 1993 -- the 100th anniversary of the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii -- ordered that the American flag be lowered from the state Capitol while Hawaii's flag still flew, Aiona said he did not remember it.

"I am not in favor of an independent sovereign nation, nor I am I in favor of seceding from the United States," says Aiona. "I want what is best for the people of Hawaii. I firmly believe that what is best for the Hawaiian people is best for Hawaii, because this is Hawaii."

Aiona said passage of the Akaka Bill in Congress, speeding up ceded-land payments and encouraging the work of the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands would be priorities for him.

The state, he said, should not be discriminating against or favoring any group.

"I will always support both native Hawaiians and the people of Hawaii and any other ethnic group in the state of Hawaii," he said.

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http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/Global/story.asp?S=12873981
Hawaii News Now (3 TV stations), July 26, 2010

Akaka Bill gains more support

By Duane Shimogawa

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Two more groups gave the nod to the Akaka Bill.

Now both the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the Department of Hawaiian Homelands hope for a speedy passage of the bill.

It would allow Native Hawaiians to form their own governing entity to negotiate with the U.S. Government.

But don't expect to see any public meetings. Both organizations are urging people to go their respective Web sites to see the Akaka Bill and if you have any questions, you can call them.

They've posted side by side comparisons of the old bill and the new one, which includes some changes.

As far as a timeline for passage goes, supporters say they hope it passes through the Senate before they go into recess the entire month of August.

Now if it does pass the senate, it would go back to the house for a final vote and with the president's support, it's possible the measure could become law this year.

"There are a lot of issues on the plate of the Senate, but if there is a little bit of downtime, of course, this bill would be the perfect filler and we certainly hope they would consider doing that," OHA CEO Clyde Namuo said.

Just weeks ago, Governor Linda Lingle gave her support for the Akaka Bill. She even sent letters to all U.S. Senators, urging them to pass it.

In a Hawaii News Now poll, 66 percent of Hawaii residents support Federal Recognition for Native Hawaiians.

Opponents say the bill is "racist" and they promise opposition if it passes.

For more information on the Akaka Bill, go to
www.oha.org/nhgra or
www.hawaii.gov/dhhl.

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http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/breaking/99285819.html
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, July 26, 2010
Breaking news at 4:17 p.m.

Hawaiian Homes Commission supports Akaka Bill

By Associated Press

The Hawaiian Homes Commission has voted unanimously to support a measure that would give federal recognition to native Hawaiians.

Commission Chairman Kaulana Park said today the bill before Congress would protect Hawaiian Home Lands.

Park is asking for homestead communities and leadership and those on homestead waiting lists to support the legislation.

The commission voted Tuesday to support the bill, which is named the Akaka Bill after its main sponsor U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka.

Office of Hawaiian Affairs administrator Clyde Namuo hopes the Senate will pass the bill before it recesses next month.

But he noted the Senate should still have time before the end of the year to take up the legislation if it doesn't pass the bill in the next few weeks.

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http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/20100727_Hawaiian_Homes_Commission_backs_new_version_of_Akaka_Bill.html
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, July 27, 2010

Hawaiian Homes Commission backs new version of Akaka Bill

By Star-Advertiser staff

The state Hawaiian Homes Commission has voted to support a new version of a native Hawaiian federal recognition bill and is urging the bill's passage in the U.S. Senate.

"It gives us that right to exist. But most importantly, it also helps to protect our trust and our trust assets moving forward," said Kaulana Park, chairman of the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, which is governed by the commission.

The commission joins the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs and other Hawaiian groups that back the bill, known as the Akaka Bill for its main sponsor, U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii.

The bill would create a process for native Hawaiians to form their own government and negotiate with the federal and state governments on land use and cultural issues. Akaka has agreed to amendments to win back the support of Gov. Linda Lingle. The amendments protect the state's regulatory powers over health and safety activities while the negotiations are in progress.

"We believe that we are probably closer than we have ever been to getting this bill actually enacted into law," said Clyde Namuo, chief executive officer of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

Akaka and U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, hope to get a Senate vote on the bill this year. If the bill is amended by the Senate, it would have to be reconciled with the version that passed the U.S. House in February. President Obama has said he would sign the bill into law.

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http://www.staradvertiser.com/editorials/20100730_For_the_Akaka_Bill_time_is_rapidly_running_out.html
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, July 30, 2010
COMMENTARY

For the Akaka Bill, time is rapidly running out

By Richard Borreca

In politics it appears that timing is everything, except when it's not.

Hawaii's senior Sen. Dan Inouye knows the legislative calendar better than most. So last year when he started saying now was the time to move the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act—dubbed the Akaka Bill after its sponsor, Sen. Dan Akaka—people were wise to start circling dates on the 2010 calendar.

It now appears that it is time to pull out the Wite-Out because those circled dates are passing.

The fumbling started when Senate Democrats lost an assured 60-vote majority when Massachusetts voters put Republican Scott Brown in the U.S. Senate.

Even arithmetically challenged reporters know there are 100 senators and a simple majority is 51, so the question is, why does it takes 60 votes to pass most bills in the Senate?

The reason that sloths and glaciers move faster than the U.S. Senate is because any senator can stop any piece of legislation by putting a "hold" on it. To end debate and force a vote, 60 senators must sign on. In its 10-year history, the Akaka Bill has had so many holds placed on it, it must have grown handles by now.

PART OF common Hawaii political folklore is that Dan Akaka is the nation's most beloved senator. Next to him in the pantheon of Hawaii senators is Inouye, rippling with legislative might as chairman of the Appropriations Committee and bulked up with more seniority than any of the other 99. Regardless, neither has ever been able to get 60 votes to push the bill for a floor vote.

The Akaka Bill is rapidly becoming like the famous Norwegian Blue parrot in the Monty Python comedy sketch.

"He's a stiff! Bereft of life, he's resting in peace ... His metabolic processes are now history! He's off the twig! He's kicked the bucket, he's shuffled off his mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisible!" says John Cleese.

"No, no, he's not dead, he's, he's resting! Remarkable bird, the Norwegian Blue ..." argues Michael Palin.

Today the Senate is inching toward its August recess. All this year Inouye has predicted the Akaka bill cannot be taken up in the fall because there is too much to do before the November elections.

Now the Senate GOP minority may still be able to block the bill. If Akaka and Inouye try to delay the vote until next year, things will be more difficult because there will likely be more Republicans in both chambers after the election.

Although the Akaka bill would fundamentally change Hawaii, it is on no one's Washington radar. Only on slow days will conservative alarmists such as Michelle Malkin give it a toss; for the rest, it is a matter of whether Inouye and Akaka can find 60 votes and time in the next two weeks to conclude a decade-long debate.

The Senate is looking at starting the August recess either Aug. 6 or 13. If the bill has not cleared the Senate by then and moved back to the House for a second vote, this exercise may be pau.

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http://www.staradvertiser.com/editorials/letters/20100730_Letters_to_the_Editor.html
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, July 30, 2010
Letter to editor

Akaka Bill would promote peace

When the revered kupuna and master educator, Gladys Kamakakuokalani Ainoa Brandt, gave her name to the UH-Manoa Center for Hawaiian Studies, she did so with the proviso that we Hawaiian academic activists needed to find a peaceful resolution to the political conflict between the American government and the Hawaiian people.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka's Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act is one step in that peaceful direction, and I ask all people of America to support its passage.

Yes, we had hoped that the Akaka Bill would follow the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, which gave Alaska natives both money and land in compensation for taking their homeland, and it does not.

However, our federal recognition bill allows native Hawaiians to form their own government and negotiate for lands and monies over time, and in harmony with our neighbors.

Alaska natives have amended their bill more than 30 times; no doubt we will do so, too. So let's support equity for Hawaiians and pass the Akaka Bill.

Lilikala Kameeleihiwa
Professor, Kamakakuokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies

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http://www.oha.org/kwo/2010/08/KWO1008.pdf
Ka Wai Ola (OHA monthly newspaper), August, 2010, pages 28 and 31

Response to GOP Senators Re: Native Hawaiian Reorganization Bill

by Walter M. Heen, Trustee, O'ahu

On June 14, 2010, twelve Republican United States Senators wrote to Sen. Harry Reid, the majority leader of the U.S. Senate, voicing “firm opposition to consideration of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009 (S1011).” They cite a letter from Gov. Linda Lingle voicing her opposition to the bill as most recently amended in December, 2009. I am compelled to respond to the Senators.

First, the Senators label the bill as being “explicitly race-based legislation” that pits Native Hawaiians against other Hawai‘i residents. That is pure and simple HOGWASH! The bill seeks to reorganize as effectively as possible a Hawaiian government that was independent and recognized by all nations, including the U.S. The Hawaiian government, at the time of the overthrow by the United States, was composed of Native Hawaiians and those residents who chose to be citizens. My Chinese grandfather chose to be and was a citizen of that government. The bill requires proof of historic ancestry as a Native Hawaiian and self-recognition as such through certain activities and connections to Hawaiian culture. But it goes beyond that. It allows for individuals who can show that they are “regarded as Native Hawaiians” to be eligible for enrollment in the process for forming the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity. Furthermore, the Act authorizes the Council, to be established under the Act and given the responsibility for writing the governing documents, to provide the criteria for future membership in the NHGE. And that membership must be purely “voluntary and can be relinquished.”

The Senators also argue that the bill would be contrary to the presumption of “color-blindness and race-neutrality” that they claim “is now at the core of our legal system and cultural environment[.]” Every student of American history understands that those two phrases were invented by those in the community who still oppose the Civil Rights laws, and particularly the Affirmative Action requirements developed in compliance with them. We need to recognize that those expressions are simply camouflage and are meant to hide the retention of economic power by those interests that have always had it and who see their positions threatened by the Civil Rights movement and Affirmative Action. This is more than HOGWASH – it is EYEWASH.

The Senators assert that the so-called “Indian Tribes” clause of the U.S. Constitution cannot support enactment of the legislation. They claim that Congress only has the power to “recognize” tribes that have always had “a separate and distinct community, cultural cohesiveness, and some form of political organization.” That’s about as vacuous an argument as one could state. Of course there is no existing Hawaiian political organization in existence today! It was destroyed by the overthrow! And its native culture was almost entirely wiped out by virtual fiat from the conspirators and their successors.

The Senators warn that the legislation will lead to “serious and well-funded constitutional challenges.” Tell us something new. And the challenges will come from the same deeply entrenched economic powers that have dreamed up the smoke screen of “color blindness and race-based neutrality” who are truly in league with the Senators.

The Senators decry the fact that the latest version of the bill would grant governmental sovereignty before any negotiations with the State. They prefer that the extent of the new entity’s sovereignty would be based upon negotiations with the state and federal governments. I find that process to be utterly demeaning! The NHGE’s position would be akin to that of a poor penitent petitioning his sovereign to “please accord me some kind of freedom to determine my own destiny and the manner in which I manage my own affairs.” The NHGE would be negotiating from a position of such weakness that bargaining would be rendered almost meaningless.

Finally, the Senators support a “state-wide referendum,” claiming that there is mounting evidence that the vast majority of “Hawaiians” oppose the legislation. I cannot be sure whom the Senators are referring to as “Hawaiians.” However, we who “live on the ground” know that that observation is completely unfounded. Yes, there is not total agreement regarding the bill or the process. But is there ever total agreement in the community on any proposition that may be under discussion? They assert that Native Hawaiians may seek “tribal recognition” through the process established by the federal government. Anyone who is aware of the history of American Indian tribal matters knows of the pitfalls and impenetrable marshes that frustrate the tribes at every turn in the trail.

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http://www.oha.org/kwo/2010/08/KWO1008.pdf
Ka Wai Ola (OHA monthly newspaper), August, 2010, pages 29 and 31

E pluribus unum

by Boyd P. Mossman, Trustee, Maui

Aloha käkou,

The opportunity for Hawaiians to have a say in their own destinies is NOW since the Akaka Bill is back on track. Senator Akaka and the Obama Administration agreed to changes that put us back closer to where we were prior to November of last year. Since that time, Congress has not been friendly toward the bill; however, now we stand a fighting chance of getting it passed. If we don’t, the political horizon is bleak as pertains to the bill passing anytime in the foreseeable future. Now is the time and time is of the essence. Hopefully by the time you read this, the bill will have gone to the Senate floor. If not, we still have a tiny window of time to seek passage before the end of the year. This time around, however, we will need to go back to the House and that is not a slam dunk. Suffice it to say, our Congressional Delegation has the ball and hopefully will carry it over the goal line … in time.

The phrase “E pluribus unum” is found on the seal of the United States and on every dollar bill. It means, “Out of many, one.” The phrase has been used by detractors of the Akaka Bill who claim that the bill is divisive, racist and illegal. They are of the persuasion that we come from many diverse racial backgrounds and, in America, should become one in a rainbow of unity. There’s nothing wrong with that; but to ignore the benefits of diversity and its contribution to the strength of our nation by demanding we be all of one mold, is to accept mediocrity in the name of equality, and uniformity in the name of a color-blind society. These detractors will be flaunting the words “e pluribus unum” in the halls of Congress loudly this month seeking to kill the Akaka Bill as contrary to this motto. As applied to the Hawaiian people, this argument is without merit since the vast majority of us do support the United States and are united with all other Americans in doing so; thus, we are one. However, as an indigenous people, we are also a First Nation with distinct differences and unique attributes common to no others. We have an obligation to perpetuate our culture and traditions, our ‘ölelo and our mo‘olelo. In doing so and in governing ourselves within the one nation to which we all belong as citizens, we are able to be one, yet still retain our unique identities as Hawaiians.

When applying the phrase “e pluribus unum” to our State, we can also say that as Hawaiians we are one with the residents of our State in seeking to make Hawai‘i the best state of the 50. We are a diverse population but are united and one in seeking to make this a better place to live. I have taken an oath to support the Constitution of the United States and the State of Hawai‘i. Many others have done likewise. Many others pledge to do so. As residents of Hawai‘i, we have an obligation to the people who are our neighbors and friends and this keeps us within the parameters of being one people without losing our identity. Federal recognition will secure for us the privilege of being one yet distinct via the indigenous connection we have to our ancestors and the ‘äina.

As applied to our Hawaiian people, “e pluribus unum” needs some work. We are divided in our loyalties to our nation and State. We are divided in our understanding and support of federal recognition. We are divided as to the authenticity of government rule and class structure. We are many and have yet to become one. A governing entity in whatever form will offer Hawaiians the best chance to become one amongst ourselves while remaining one with our nation and our State.


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