Site hosted by Angelfire.com: Build your free website today!

History of the Hawaiian Government Reorganization bill from May 1 through June 30, 2009. New (old) version of Akaka bill (re)introduced on May 7: S.1011 and HR2314. There are now three pairs of the bill active in Senate and House. House Committee on Natural Resources hearing on June 11 (Kamehameha Day) with 6 invited witnesses.


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

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

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

HERE IS THE INDEX OF ITEMS FROM MAY 1 through June 30, 2009. FULL TEXT OF EACH ITEM FOLLOWS THE INDEX, IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER.

May 6, 2009: (1) Hawaii legislature passes bill making it hard for State to sell any ceded lands, causing State and OHA to agree to dismiss the ceded lands lawsuit remanded to state supreme court, and opponents Attorney General bennett and OHA Chair Haunani Apoliona agree they can now work together to pass the Akaka bill.; (2) "Indian Country Today" interview with Native American Rights Fund head John Echohawk discusses three U.S. Supreme Court decisions, and hope the Akaka bill will pass because restoration of independent nationhood is unlikely.

May 7: Honolulu Star-Bulletin editorial says "Let Akaka Bill reconcile ceded lands issue."

May 8: Both Honolulu dailies report that another version of the Akaka bill has been introduced [the third one this year!] and say the reason is to prohibit gambling by the Akaka tribe. They say the bill is one previously introduced in 2007 which passed the House.

** NOTE BY WEBSITE EDITOR KEN CONKLIN:
The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization bill introduced in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives on MAY 7, 2009. In the Senate the bill is S.1011. In the House the bill is H.R.2314. The bills have identical content. FULL TEXT OF THE BILLS IS AT
http://www.angelfire.com/big09a/Akaka050709S1011HR2314.html
Commentary by Ken Conklin:
Akaka Bill Shell Game, May 2009 -- 3 versions are now active in both the House and Senate, but which is the real one?
http://www.angelfire.com/big09a/AkakaShellGameMay2009.html

May 11: Mini-editorial in Honolulu Star-Bulletin once again touts the anti-gambling provision in the May 7 bill as though it is something new, even though the anti-gambling provision in the March 25 version of the bill was identical with the May 7 version.

May 13: (1) "Akaka Bill Shell Game, May 2009 -- 3 versions are now active in both the House and Senate, but which is the real one?" [Hawaii Reporter]; (2) Sacramento Indians hope bill will restore sovereignty -- in Hawaii [Sacramento Bee]; (3) Divided state GOP prepares for annual convention [KPUA Radio AM 670, Hilo Hawaii]

May 30: AP news report: Hawaiian Bill Unlikely Before State's Anniversary [i.e., after Congressional August recess]

June 3 (1) Honolulu Star-Bulletin reports the House Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on the Akaka bill -- but fails to tell the date, time, or place of the hearing and which version of the bill will be considered! (2) Honolulu Advertiser reports "breaking news": A full-length documentary, "Hawaii - A Voice for Sovereignty," premieres tomorrow night at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center to an invited audience of writers, pundits, Washington power brokers and lawmakers. [Ken Conklin's note: This is where the Kamehameha statue formerly in Statuary Hall has now been relocated; there will probably be a lei draping, prayer, and chant.]

June 4: Honolulu Advertiser reports "breaking news" that there will be a hearing on the Akaka bill in the House Natural Resources Committee on Thursday morning June 11 [Kamehameha Day].

June 5: (1) Honolulu Star-Bulletin published a puff piece interview of Clyde Namu'o, OHA Administrator: "With the Akaka Bill set to be heard Thursday by a U.S. House committee, the administrator of OHA talks about prospects for passage"; (2) Honolulu Advertiser reports that OHA trustees have voted to support the Akaka bill [what a shock!] but want some important changes.

June 7: (1) Honolulu Advertiser reports: "Sovereignty documentary debuts in D.C. Filmmaker says Hawaii project changed her life." Film trailer and info website about the film provided in comment by Ken Conklin; (2) Maui News publishes Associated Press report that there are no hearings yet scheduled for Akaka bill -- several days after it became public knowledge that such a hearing has been scheduled for June 11.

June 8: (1) House committee hearing on the Akaka bill set for Thursday June 11 will be webcast live (witness list included); (2) Honolulu Advertiser reports the hearing will be Thursday, noting that's Kamehameha Day; (3) Advertiser reports "With traditional hula and flower lei, more than 400 people gathered in the nation's Capitol yesterday to observe the birthday of King Kamehameha and praise his legacy as a warrior and unifier of the Hawaiian people."

June 9: Honolulu Advertiser editorial urges "Akaka Bill revisions should make it inclusive" by which they mean to agree with OHA's request to amend the bill to include an additional definition of who is eligible to join the Akaka tribe to include anyone descended from a resident of Hawaii before 1778.

June 10: On the day before the House committee hearing, Associated Press circulated an article published in many newspapers and TV newscasts throughout America, describing the Akaka bill and the hopes for its passage.

June 12, 2009: 5 news reports and 2 editorials about the hearing on the Akaka bill on June 11 in the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources: (1) Hawaii Reporter "Akaka Bill Hearing: Video and Written Testimony by Invited Witnesses in the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources on June 11, 2009"; (2) Honolulu Star-Bulletin "Akaka Bill's legality debated: The bill gets a new airing with improved odds, but critics charge it is unconstitutional"; (3) The Maui News "Akaka Bill opponents found in the islands, too" and article with identical content in The Cherokee Phoenix "Akaka Bill debate renewed"; (4) The Honolulu Advertiser Headline in the physical newspaper is: ALLIES DEFEND AKAKA BILL. Article title and subtitle are: "Native Hawaiian bill in Congress defended as not 'race-based' -- Isle delegation rebuts racial claims on legislation as Congress renews debate"; (5) Committee on Natural Resources ranking member Rep. Doc Hastings news release and YouTube video "Statement on the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act"; (6) Hawaii Reporter guest editorial "What Kamehameha Hath Joined Together, Let Not Akaka Rip Asunder" (by Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.); (7) Honolulu Star-Bulletin editorial "Akaka Bill should pass with new amendments"

June 13: Maui News editorial says Kamehameha resolved old conflicts by unifying the islands and the Akaka bill will resolve modern conflicts.

June 14: Honolulu Advertiser letter says Obama's stance in favor of Akaka bill weakens his unaugural address calling for unity.

June 16: (1) Very thoughtful analysis of the Akaka bill, including the analogy to a Chicano Nation of Aztlan, written from the perspective of Indian tribes and published in the online magazine "Indian Country Today"; (2) Letter says Akaka bill is racist

June 18: 2 letters to editor note that the Kingdom (unlike the Akaka bill) was not racially exclusionary; and wondering what Rep. Abercrombie was talking about during the House committee hearing when he sais the bill is needed to protect against some nefarious group taking over big pieces of Hawaii's public lands.

June 19: Regular Friday columnist in The Maui News views Akaka bill as a compromise between polar opposites of those who favor full sovereign independence vs. those who oppose race-based special rights.

June 20: New York Times editor describes that Hawaii has fallen on hard times (economy, North Korean missile threat, global warming, endangered species, etc.) and then concludes Congress should pass the Akaka bill.

June 21: Ken Conklin letter in The Maui News entitled "Akaka bill splits what Kamehameha joined."

June 24: (1) Bob Jones, long-time columnist for MidWeek newspaper, says it might be time to kill the Akaka bill, and eventually OHA, and if it passes the Supreme Court will probably rule it unconstitutional; See also July 1 for major rebuttal from OHA chair Haunani Apolions, and July 8 letter defending Jones; (2) Professor J. Kehaulani Kauanui (Wesleyan University; secessionist) letter in Honolulu Weekly wants that "alternative" newspaper to provide opposition to the Akaka bill since both Honolulu daily papers support it.

June 25: Two letters in Maui News: (1) Akaka bill seeks to manufacture consent of native Hawaiians to transfer of their lands to U.S.; (2) The U.S. received stolen property in Hawaii and owes Hawaiians $100 trillion in damages.

June 28: Letter in Maui News says Akaka bill converts a multiracial nationality (Hawaiian) into a racial group, thus perpetuating the racialization started in the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1921.

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

FULL TEXT OF EACH ITEM, IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER

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

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090506/NEWS23/905060377/1001
Honolulu Advertiser, Wednesday, May 6, 2009

State, OHA, 3 plaintiffs settle ceded lands suit
Unresolved is how much revenue Office of Hawaiian Affairs gets

By Gordon Y.K. Pang

A deal on the sale of ceded lands was reached yesterday.

The state Office of Hawaiian Affairs and three of four Native Hawaiian plaintiffs agreed to settle their 15-year-old lawsuit with the state over ceded lands in the wake of the Legislature's passage yesterday of a bill requiring Hawai'i governors to get approval from lawmakers before selling ceded lands.

OHA and the other plaintiffs had sued to block the state from selling portions of ceded lands — 1.2 million acres held in trust by the state — until claims by Native Hawaiians to those lands are resolved.

The measure, Senate Bill 1677, requires a two-thirds vote by both chambers of the Legislature before most ceded lands can be sold.

OHA and three of the four individual plaintiffs reached "an agreement on a set of steps that will resolve all or almost all of the lawsuit filed by OHA and the private plaintiffs in 1994," OHA said in a statement.

Yet to be resolved is the issue of how much OHA should receive from revenues derived from ceded lands. A bill to address this issue failed last Friday.

University of Hawai'i professor Jonathan Osorio, one of the plaintiffs, did not join in the settlement. Osorio could not be reached for comment yesterday. "If professor Jonathan Osorio chooses to proceed with this case, both OHA and the state believe it likely that his claims will also be dismissed without prejudice," OHA said.

OHA Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona and state Attorney General Mark Bennett said in a joint statement: "There is no question that OHA and the state had significant differences with regard to this lawsuit. This settlement resolves those differences in a way we believe is beneficial to all citizens of Hawai'i. We can now concentrate on working together on matters we all believe are crucially important to Hawai'i, including the Akaka bill. We look forward to doing so."

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

** Note from website editor Ken Conklin: The following article comments on three Supreme Court decisions, and mentions the Akaka bill only briefly. However, the commentary on all three decisions illustrates issues that will arise in Hawaii if the Akaka bill passes.

http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/national/44129317.html
Indian Country Today, May 6, 2009

Interview with John Echohawk

By Gale Courey Toensing

John Echohawk, executive director of the Native American Rights Fund, made an appearance at the National Indian Gaming Association's Indian Gaming '09 Trade Show and Convention in mid-April in Phoenix where Indian Country Today had an opportunity to interview him about recent legal issues.

Echohawk provided an update on three current U.S. Supreme Court decisions: Carcieri v. Salazar, in which the court ruled that the interior secretary could not take land into trust for tribes not "under federal jurisdiction" in 1934; State of Hawaii v. Office of Hawaiian Affairs, in which the court ruled that Congress' Apology Resolution for overthrowing the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893 bears no moral, political or legal weight in stopping the state from selling 1.2 million acres of land seized during the illegal regime change before resolving land claims by Native Hawaiians; and United States v. Navajo Nation, in which the court ruled that the nation could not sue the federal government for breach of trust in the 1984 renegotiation of coal royalties with the Peabody Coal Company.

Indian Country Today: Let's start with Carcieri.

Echohawk: The Supreme Court in that decision reversed 70 years of administrative interpretation of that language in the Indian Reorganization Act (1934) about who the government could take land into trust for. They interpreted the phrase "now under federal jurisdiction" to mean the time the act was passed in 1934; to be eligible you had to have been under federal jurisdiction in 1934. So that raised all kinds of questions about, well, who was and who wasn't under federal jurisdiction in 1934?

In the Carcieri case they ruled the Narragansetts were not under federal jurisdiction in 1934. So who else might fit in that category too is kind of up in the air and some of the tribes that didn't have their federal recognition in 1934 are worried that means them and that they won't be able to take land into trust in the future, or if they've already had land into trust for them maybe that may be undone. It just creates all kinds of problems.

We're continuing to work with all the tribes and their lawyers in trying to come up with legislative language for Congress to fix this problem, and that's basically saying from now on, land could be taken into trust for any tribe that has federal recognition. For land that has already been taken into trust, those acquisitions are hereby ratified. So that would remove any potential for litigation over lands that we have taken into trust for tribes that were not under federal jurisdiction in 1934.

ICT: But are you also questioning what "under federal jurisdiction" means because in Connecticut there are five state-recognized tribes that were all on the 1934 list, but none were federally recognized at the time. All of them had land in trust under the state. Two have since become federally recognized and three aren't recognized, but they still have reservation lands. So what happens to tribes like that? Were they "under federal jurisdiction" because they were on that 1934 list of tribes?

Echohawk: Yes, it opens up all those questions. I think we'd really rather not go there. We'd rather have a fix and have Congress say that this applies to all tribes and any transactions going back to 1934 where land was taken into trust is hereby ratified, so we just eliminate all those questions. If we're not able to do that we'd have to rely on the interpretation of what that means. But if we have to do that, we'd be arguing that since the federal government has exclusive authority over all Indians, all tribes under the Constitution, basically, that takes care of everything – if you're a tribe then you're under federal jurisdiction, any tribe, anywhere, is under federal jurisdiction. Period. And it's not necessary to have that formal federal recognition. Of course, that's part of the process you can go through that formalizes it, but still you're under that jurisdiction and we'd argue for that broader interpretation. The states have no power or authority to deal with Indian tribes. It's completely federal. So to us it means we're under federal jurisdiction.

ICT: How does it relate to inherent sovereignty to have another sovereign come and say, "We now have this jurisdiction over you?" Is anyone challenging Congress' claim to plenary power over the nations?

Echohawk: Yes, but of course under the law of this country, the way all that's been interpreted and the way it's been litigated is the tribes are domestic dependent nations and that's just the way things are and you go to court and that's what they'll tell you. Tribes have been trying forever to get recognition internationally as international sovereigns, but that's never happened.

ICT: Do you have hope that it will happen?

Echohawk: Well, that was kind of a bone of contention with the approval the United Nations gave to the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, about whether that gave us a right to international recognition as nations or not, and the way that's been interpreted is that it doesn't, but it forces nations to recognize that we have rights under international law short of being able to secede from a state and become a separate state. That was the concern that was present in all of those discussions over the whole 30-year period to get that through and some indigenous peoples were not happy with that, but most of them thought that overall the recognition under international law that they got for indigenous rights was worth approval of the declaration.

ICT: And now you're pursuing the American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (being drafted by the Organization of American States). Do you think it would provide more power, more leverage for the nations?

Echohawk: We're hoping that it will reinforce the U.N. Declaration, maybe be a little stronger, maybe a little more specific as it would apply to the indigenous nations of the western hemisphere.

ICT: In the State of Hawaii v. the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, have you considered the nationalist position that Native Hawaiians never gave up their right to the land, and that the idea of ‘ceded lands' is kind of a fiction. I wonder why American Indian nations don't support that position. If the Akaka Bill goes through, those indigenous lands will be taken into trust by the federal government and that's not always a positive situation for American Indians.

Echohawk: The amicus brief we filed in the case was filed late in the whole process. Of course, we coordinated all the briefing and everything was covered until right at the end when some of these right-wing groups filed friend-of-the-court briefs arguing that Congress didn't have the authority to pass the Apology Resolution since there was no Native Hawaiian entity or sovereign nation, and that Native Hawaiians are a race, so Congress doesn't have any authority to pass legislation that favors one race over another, but they can pass bills relating to tribes because tribes are sovereign nations. So that's fine, but the Native Hawaiian nation doesn't qualify for the same treatment.

ICT: But that's demonstrably not true, because they were a sovereign nation state before the U.S.

Echohawk: That's why we jumped in and filed that brief and said, wait a minute, there is a Native Hawaiian nation that does exist and Congress has this authority to set up this process to reconcile with the nation because they are a sovereign people. They may not have that recognition now, but they have the right to organize and petition and do that – that's part of reconciliation and that's where the Akaka Bill comes in. More power to them if they can get that international recognition, but the experience of Indian nations here is that's not going to happen in the foreseeable future.

ICT: So is there any fix for the Navajo decision?

Echohawk: I suppose Congress could consider some kind of fix to the Navajo case, some kind of reparation bill, a law that would recognize that what happened was wrong and the U.S. should be held liable. But we don't represent the Navajos on that. We were involved through the Tribal Supreme Court Project with the NCAI, primarily on coordination.

ICT: What's the best thing about your job?

Echohawk: I've been doing this for a long time and the reason is I feel very strongly about these issues, very dedicated to try to achieve justice for our people. Our track record shows over the years we've been able to do that a lot. We've basically got a whole country to cover that we feel a responsibility for and whatever those legal needs are, we're probably going to be there because oftentimes if we're not there nobody's going to be there. So that's our job and that's what we do and it keeps me going.

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

http://www.starbulletin.com/editorials/20090507_Let_Akaka_Bill_reconcile_ceded_lands_issue.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, May 7, 2009
EDITORIAL

Let Akaka Bill reconcile ceded lands issue

A dispute about ownership of Hawaiian ceded lands that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court has resulted in a settlement that should have been reached long ago. The final resolution of the issue should be achieved in negotiations resulting from enactment of U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka's Hawaiian sovereignty bill.

The high court ruled unanimously in March that the congressional Apology Resolution of 1993 for the overthrow of the monarchy does not block sales or transfers of former crown land that was taken over by the federal government and ceded to Hawaii at statehood.

Intrinsic to the settlement between the state and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the chief plaintiff in the case, is the Legislature's enactment of Senate Bill 1677 that provides for a freeze on land transfers unless approved by a two-thirds vote of both chambers. Such a land-transfer vote is not foreseen.

Gov. Linda Lingle should sign the bill into law, having agreed that decisions about state lands are "absolutely in the Legislature's authority." Her administration has no wish to sell or transfer any parcel of the 1.2 million acres, which encompass 29 percent of Hawaii's land and virtually all of state-owned land.

The state under the Cayetano administration had planned to develop 500 acres of ceded land on Maui as residential housing. OHA rejected a compensating check for nearly $5.6 million, about 20 percent of the land's value, and challenged the land transfer. The Admission Act of 1959 provides that one-fifth of benefits from ceded land be dedicated to improving conditions for native Hawaiians.

The federal high court overruled the state Supreme Court's ruling that the Apology Resolution calls for the preservation of ceded lands until "a proper foundation for reconciliation" can resolve the issue of property claims. However, the reconciliation still should be provided by the Akaka Bill; the last two congressional elections and President Barack Obama's endorsement virtually assure its enactment.

Without the settlement, the federal high court's ruling would have returned the case to the state courts, where OHA would have maintained rights according to state statutes, as suggested by the federal justices. The issue of whether those laws are unconstitutionally discriminatory would have been argued at that level. The issue will be eliminated only after the Akaka Bill provides Hawaiians the same tribal status as indigenous peoples on the mainland.

In creating a framework for a native Hawaiian government, the Akaka Bill would authorize it to enter into negotiations with the state and federal governments. The issue of claims to ceded lands, including the validity of the Admission Act's provision, is certain to be at the top of the agenda.

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

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090508/NEWS21/905080360/1171
Honolulu Advertiser, Friday, May 8, 2009

2007 Akaka bill gets reintroduced
Hawaii delegation hopeful for passage after years of hurdles

By John Yaukey
Advertiser Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — The Hawai'i congressional delegation yesterday reintroduced long-awaited legislation in both chambers of Congress that would create a process for Native Hawaiian self-governance.

The move was a formality that entailed filing the legislation with the clerks on Capitol Hill, but it started a process that could transform the political landscape of Hawai'i.

"We have been working together to enact the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act which is critical to the future of our state," the four-member congressional delegation said in a joint statement.

If passed, the Akaka bill — named for Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawai'i — would create a process for reorganizing a Native Hawaiian government, including the election of an interim governing council.

Once the government receives federal recognition, negotiations could take place on the disposition of Native Hawaiian land, natural resources and other assets.

The bill must now go through the proper congressional vetting committees and then face votes in the full House and Senate.

The legislation was originally introduced in 2000, but it hit hurdles over the years in the Bush administration, where Justice Department officials said it created a racial preference.

Its chances of passage now in the heavily Democratic Congress have never been better. President Obama, who was born in Hawai'i and graduated from Punahou School, has promised to sign the legislation if it makes it to his desk.

The legislation came closest to passing in 2007 when it cleared the full House, but was never brought to the Senate floor for a full vote.

The delegation reintroduced the 2007 version yesterday.

This version contains a provision barring any new Native Hawaiian government from authorizing gambling. The provision was included to ease fears that newly empowered Native Hawaiians would set up gambling operations. Gambling is illegal in Hawai'i.

"After careful consideration, we have decided to move forward with the version of the bill which was approved by the relevant congressional committees and the full House in 2007," the delegation said in its statement.

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

http://www.starbulletin.com/news/hawaiinews/20090508_Hawaii_delegation_recalibrates_Akaka_Bill.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, May 8, 2009

Hawaii delegation recalibrates Akaka Bill
The new measure forbids any native group from starting a gaming operation

By Associated Press

Hawaii's congressional delegation has decided to turn to the past to advance a measure that would give native Hawaiians federal recognition similar to that of American Indians.

Yesterday, the four island Democrats reintroduced the version of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act approved by the House and the Senate Indian Affairs Committee in 2007.

The version contains a specific prohibition on gaming by a native Hawaiian governing entity that would be created by the measure. All forms of gambling already are outlawed in Hawaii.

Sens. Daniel Akaka and Daniel Inouye reintroduced the so-called Akaka Bill in the Senate, while Reps. Neil Abercrombie and Mazie Hirono did the same in the House.

"We have been working together to enact the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, which is critical for the future of our state," the four lawmakers said in a joint news release issued in Washington. "After careful consideration, we have decided to move forward with the version of the bill which was approved by the relevant congressional committees and the full House in 2007."

In March, Akaka amended the then-current version of his bill so it would specifically ban legalized gambling. He had introduced the measure earlier this year without the specific prohibition, unlike versions considered in previous years.

But the absence of the anti-gambling provision generated criticism that the governing entity could establish gaming in the islands. Gambling casinos are operated by several American Indian tribes on the mainland.

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

** NOTE BY WEBSITE EDITOR KEN CONKLIN:

The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization bill introduced in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives on May 7, 2009. In the Senate the bill is S.1011. In the House the bill is H.R.2314. The bills have identical content. FULL TEXT OF THE BILLS IS AT
http://www.angelfire.com/big09a/Akaka050709S1011HR2314.html

Commentary by Ken Conklin:

Akaka Bill Shell Game, May 2009 -- 3 versions are now active in both the House and Senate, but which is the real one?
http://www.angelfire.com/big09a/AkakaShellGameMay2009.html

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

http://www.starbulletin.com/editorials/20090511_Brief_asides.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, May 11, 2009
** Mini-editorial (this newspaper has begun publishing short snide remarks; this one was entitled "Bill Fold")

With gambling out, Akaka Bill looks promising

With a supportive president in the White House and Democrats controlling Congress, prospects for passage of the Akaka Bill have never been better.

That political reality delights proponents and alarms opponents of the bill, which would grant native Hawaiians federal recognition similar to that of American Indians. Hawaii's congressional delegation wisely reintroduced a version of the measure that forbids any future native Hawaiian government from legalizing gambling. Many mainland tribes rake in big bucks from casinos, and a now-shelved version of the bill lacking the anti-gambling provision had raised that as a prospect in Hawaii, as well.

** Ken Conklin's note: Once again, this newspaper touts the anti-gambling provision as though it is new, even though that provision is the same in this version of the bill as it was in the second version of the year which was introduced March 25). The shell game continues.

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

http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?b3d01fc4-250a-431e-acaa-f4418b790e97
Hawaii Reporter, May 13, 2009

Akaka Bill Shell Game, May 2009
3 versions are now active in both the House and Senate, but which is the real one?

By Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.

Three different versions of the Akaka bill have been introduced in the 111th Congress in the three months from February 4 through May 7, 2009. But which one is the "real" bill? Why can't these clowns get their act together? There's much more to the story than what the media are telling.

The last time the Akaka bill came up on the floor of the Senate, in June 2006, there were two active versions of the bill. Akaka/Inouye tried a last-minute switcheroo but failed to fool their watchful colleagues. This time around there are three versions, offering even more possible shenanigans in a shell game vastly more complex than the simple 2006 switcheroo between two versions.

We've all seen the shell game, at least in movies. It's an unfair gambling game where a con artist takes a victim's money by cheating. The con man puts three shells, or overturned cups, on a box. In plain sight he appears to put a pea or marble under one of the shells. He moves the shells around while everyone watches, and then asks a gambler to choose which shell has the pea under it. The gambler puts his money on the table, and points to one of the shells. If he chooses correctly, he gets double his money back. If he chooses incorrectly, the con artist keeps the gambler's money. But of course the con artist conceals the pea in his hand, so he has full control over whether to put it under the shell chosen by the gambler. The con artist might let some gamblers win in order to build their confidence and encourage higher bets from them or others in the crowd.

First let's review what happened in 2006 with the Akaka bill switcheroo. Then we'll discuss the shell game now underway.

There was a version of the Akaka bill, S.147, already in play in the Senate in 2005. That version was scheduled for a cloture petition and floor debate immediately following the 2005 August recess. But Hurricane Katrina blew away the Senate calendar. The cloture petition scheduled for vote on Tuesday September 6, 2005 was vitiated that morning by unanimous consent because the Senate needed to devote all its attention to the hurricane emergency.

S.147 had brought forth many objections from civil rights groups and the Department of Justice. On September 16, 2005, ten days after the cloture petition was vitiated, Akaka/Inouye announced a "new and improved" version of the bill. A news release signed by both Hawaii Senators and both Hawaii Representatives was published with great fanfare in newspapers hither and yon, touting the new bill as a "negotiated settlement" with the Department of Justice that would resolve previous DOJ objections. The so-called new bill, not yet actually introduced, was immediately posted on Senator Akaka's official website. However, six days later, on September 22, DOJ greatly embarrassed the Hawaii delegation by issuing its own statement saying DOJ still had major objections and the newly proposed bill would not settle them.

The so-called new bill sat on Senator Akaka's website, publicly available for everyone to see, like a shining star on top of a Christmas tree. Akaka/Inouye made frequent mention of the new version and how it (allegedly) resolved DOJ objections. But this new version was never officially introduced in Congress until eight months later in May 2006. At that time Akaka/Inouye reached a scheduling agreement with majority leader Bill Frist (R, TN) to file a cloture petition intended to break a "hold" and stop an expected filibuster and force the Akaka bill to the Senate floor. Once the scheduling agreement was in place, Akaka/Inouye officially introduced the "new and improved" bill, S.3064, on Thursday May 25, 2006. On Friday May 26, S.3064 was given a "second reading" and placed on the calendar in the Senate, in the closing moments before adjournment for the 9-day Memorial Day recess. Naturally everyone expected the new S.3064 to be the active version of the Akaka bill.

But then Akaka/Inouye did their switcheroo. A cloture petition was filed on June 6 for debate on June 7 and vote on June 8. However, THE CLOTURE PETITION WAS FOR THE OLDER VERSION S.147, not the newer version S.3064 that had just been introduced. This peculiar development showed that S.3064 had been merely a decoy all along! S.147 contained none of the protections in S.3064 which had allegedly been negotiated with the Department of Justice, and which had been ballyhooed during the news release the previous September. During floor debate on the cloture petition, Akaka/Inouye kept telling their colleagues about the new and improved version, and complaining that criticisms of the Akaka bill did not take account of the improvements made to it. Akaka/Inouye clearly never had any intention of trying to pass the new version -- it had merely sat on Akaka's website for eight months as a decoy, and in the end was officially introduced in the Senate like a magician drawing the audience's attention by waving a magic wand in one hand while doing a switcheroo with the other hand. Isn't that amazing! Luckily Senators opposed to the bill were not as dumb as the victims of the con artist who was running a shell game a few blocks away in the slums of D.C.

Well, that was then (109th Congress). But this is now (111th Congress, 3 years later).

There are three versions of the Akaka bill, all of which are now active in both the House and Senate. Bill numbers and full text for all three versions are available at the end of this essay. Protection against allowing gambling operations by the Akaka tribe was the only reason for moving from the first version of February 4 to the second version of March 25 -- the only new language in the bill was two sentences prohibiting the Akaka tribe from benefiting from the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act or from any claim to inherent authority for tribal gambling; and extending that prohibition to all 50 states (but of course there are other ways tribes can get gambling, so the future Akaka tribe can probably squeeze through a loophole which only an expert on Indian law would know about).

The third version of May 7 has exactly the same two sentences to prohibit gambling as the second version of March 25; so protection against gambling has nothing to do with why the third version was introduced. Yet gambling is the only reason specifically cited by the Hawaii delegation for introducing the May 7 version; and the only reason mentioned in any of the media reports.

Here's the entire joint press release from Hawaii's Congressional delegation on May 7 explaining why they introduced the third version:

"We have been working together to enact the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act which is critical for the future of our state. After careful consideration, we have decided to move forward with the version of the bill which was approved by the relevant Congressional committees and the full House in 2007. This version of the bill contains a prohibition on gaming by the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity. All forms of gambling are already illegal under Hawaii State law."

Clearly there are things happening behind the scenes but kept hidden by both the delegation and the media. Reporters who could easily do a little research are at least negligent in accepting the Hawaii delegation's cover-story about gambling without actually comparing the bills or making further inquiry. Beyond journalistic negligence, reporters might be knowingly collaborating in a cover-up. Suspicion of a cover-up by reporters and editors is reasonable since their bosses --the publishers of all the news media -- have repeatedly and vigorously editorialized in favor of the Akaka bill and have sold millions of dollars of advertising for nine years of propaganda from racial separatist institutions including OHA, Bishop Estate (Kamehameha Schools), the Kau Inoa racial registry, etc.

The first version of the Akaka bill in the 111th Congress, introduced February 4, 2009, was what Akaka/Inouye really wanted. They've had nine years to get it right. They had the December holidays and all of January to consult with their racial separatist client groups before introducing the bill in the new 111th Congress. They could have waited longer if they needed more time to get it right. They made a strategic decision that they could pass the most powerful (i.e., most dangerous) version of the Akaka bill among the multitude of different versions that had been introduced during a nine year period. They expect to get whatever they want simply because the Democrat majority has increased in both the House and Senate, and no Democrat has ever voted against the Akaka bill, and newly elected President Obama had said both during his campaign and after his election that he would sign the bill if Congress passes it.

But during the seven weeks after the bill was introduced, Akaka/Inouye no doubt heard a lot of opposition from Senators in states where gambling casinos are an important part of the economy for state and local governments and for Indian tribes. Senators from those states don't care very much whether gambling happens in Hawaii. But they do care deeply that the Akaka tribe would be the largest tribe in America, with 65,000 members in California and more than 100,000 members in the other 48 states outside Hawaii. The Akaka tribe could buy land in any or all of those states, put it into trust, and open competing gambling casinos. That's why Akaka/Inouye felt compelled to introduce another version of the Akaka bill on March 25, whose only change was a new section purporting to prohibit the Akaka tribe from engaging in gambling operations either in Hawaii or in any other state.

Nothing has been published about pressure behind the scenes to change the bill after March 25. The version introduced on May 7 came as a complete surprise. There must be an explanation for it, but the media have blindly parroted the Hawaii delegation's nonsense about gambling, which we have seen cannot be the reason.

The May 7 version was introduced with only the Hawaii delegation as cosponsors. It seems the Hawaii delegation made a sudden decision and felt some urgency to introduce the May 7 version without waiting to obtain the 6 non-Hawaii cosponsors in the House and 3 non-Hawaii cosponsors in the Senate who had signed on to both the February 4 and March 25 versions. Of course those cosponsors can always add their names later; but their absence on May 7 would seem to indicate the Hawaii delegation had some hidden reason for hurrying.

The Senate has had nine years to learn about the evils of the Akaka bill. Senators are increasingly aware of the threats posed by the Akaka bill not just in Hawaii but throughout America; and not only regarding gambling. For example, the Akaka bill would undermine the U.S. Constitution and worsen racial balkanization by empowering Congress to single out any particular racial group to have its own government and to acquire land and legal jurisdiction based solely on race.

A letter to editor in the Washington Times, and expanded letter to President Obama, points out that the Akaka bill would be 50% more devastating for racial balkanization in Hawaii than it would be to create a government for all 40 Million African-Americans and empower that government to negotiate with federal and state governments for money, land, and jurisdictional authority. The vastly greater proportional devastation to Hawaii comes because only 13 percent of America's people have at least one drop of African blood, whereas 20% of Hawaii's people have at least one drop of Hawaiian native blood (the sole requirement for membership in the Akaka tribe).

Maybe some Senators are angry over the switcheroo attempted in June 2006 when Akaka/Inouye called for cloture on a nastier version of the bill while trying to fool people into thinking it was the highly publicized new version introduced at the last minute as a decoy.

Indeed, that decoy is the version just now (re)introduced on May 7. And maybe the reason for introducing it at this time is to use it as a decoy once again.

The May 7 version is the one that has most of the protections forced into the bill by the Department of Justice and civil rights groups during the bill's nine year history -- protections stripped away in both the February 4 and March 25 versions. Did other Senators pressure Akaka/Inouye by saying they would support only this version, on account of the protections? Will Akaka/Inouye now actually try to pass it? Or did Akaka/Inouye introduce it once again as merely a decoy, hoping to actually pass either the February 4 or March 25 version while keeping attention focused on the May 7 version?

Here's one final note about the shell game being played by the Hawaii delegation. When any new bill is introduced the full text of the bill is normally printed in the Congressional Record covering that day, which is then available the following day on the Library of Congress website. But the Congressional Record for May 7 barely mentions S.1011 and H.R.2314 being introduced and does not provide the bill's text, even though bill text is provided there for other bills introduced both before and after it. All bills also have their text available within a day or two through the internal search engine on the Library of Congress website. Other bills introduced both immediately before and immediately after the Akaka bill, in both the Senate and the House, have their text available that way -- but not the Akaka bill. A clerk at the LOC explains that the bill must first be printed by the Government Printing Office, but that if a Senator or Representative fails to deliver it to GPO, then there's no way for GPO or LOC to get it. So it would appear that Senator Akaka and Representative Abercrombie are deliberately withholding the bills from public scrutiny.

The press release of May 7 said that the May 7 bill is identical to "the version of the bill which was approved by the relevant Congressional committees and the full House in 2007." That would indicate H.R.505 from the 110th Congress, which was also the decoy S.3064 used in June 2006 in the 109th Congress, has now become the newest S.1011 and H.R.2314 introduced on May 7 in the 111th Congress after two more powerful versions had already been introduced which the Hawaii delegation clearly prefers.

And so, dear readers, keep your eyes on which shell actually has the pea, and what the con artist is doing with both hands. In any case, even the protections in the May 7 version of the Akaka bill fail to deal with the most important issues of unconstitutionality, racial balkanization, empowerment of a secessionist movement, etc. The fundamental concept of the Akaka bill is evil and dangerous, no matter which version comes up for a vote.

REFERENCES

A five paragraph summary of what's bad about the Akaka bill, followed by extensive references documenting all the main points.
http://www.angelfire.com/planet/bigfiles40/AkakaNationalSummary.html

Open letter to President Obama regarding the Akaka bill (Hawaiian Government Reorganization bill)
http://www.angelfire.com/big09a/AkakaObamaOpenLetter.html

302-page book: "Hawaiian Apartheid: Racial Separatism and Ethnic Nationalism in the Aloha State"
http://tinyurl.com/2a9fqa

A detailed history of the Akaka bill for the 109th Congress (many hundreds of pages) contains full text all significant news reports, commentaries, and versions of the Akaka bill for the period January 2005 through December 2006, including transcripts of five hours of Senate floor debates and the yeas and nays on the cloture petition. See
http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/AkakaHist109thCong.html

Here is full text of all 3 versions of the Akaka bill now formally introduced in 111th Congress:
(1) February 4, 2009 identical Senate and House bills S.381 and H.R.862
http://www.angelfire.com/big09a/Akaka020409S381HR862.html
(2) March 25, 2009 identical Senate and House bills S.708 and H.R.1711
http://www.angelfire.com/big09a/Akaka032509S708HR1711.html
(3)May 7, 2009 identical Senate and House bills S.1011 and H.R.2314
http://www.angelfire.com/big09a/Akaka050709S1011HR2314.html

The text of the May 7 bills is not yet available for the public to see. But according to the May 7 press release from the Hawaii Congressional delegation, it is the same as H.R. 505 from the 110th Congress, which can be found at
http://www.angelfire.com/planet/bigfiles40/Akaka110s310hr505.html

Hawaii Congressional delegation's joint press release of May 7, 2009 explaining why they introduced the third version of the Akaka bill in three months; from Senator Akaka's government website:
http://akaka.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressReleases.Home&month=5&year=2009&release_id=2672

Honolulu attorney Paul M. Sullivan updated his lengthy point-by-point analysis of the Akaka bill H.R.505 in March 2007, including cartoons by Daryl Cagle. Since the new May 7, 2009 version of the Akaka bill is the same as that one, according to the Congressional delegation, it is almost certain that all the same section numbers and line numbers will be valid for the new May 7, 2009 bill.
http://www.angelfire.com/planet/bigfiles40/AkakaSullivanKA110Cong.pdf

A detailed history of the Akaka bill for the current 111th Congress contains full text all significant news reports, commentaries, and versions of the Akaka bill for the period beginning January 2009 and continuing (through December 2010)
http://www.angelfire.com/big09a/AkakaHist111thCong.html

Commentary: Akaka bill deja vu. The Akaka bill introduced February 4, 2009 is identical to the one from 2000-2001. It strips away all protections inserted in multiple amendments since then. A description of many of these protections and why they are important.
http://www.angelfire.com/big09a/AkakaDejaVuFeb2009.html

Commentary: New version of Akaka bill introduced March 25, 2009 -- multiple layers of deception. This version includes language allegedly prohibiting the Akaka tribe from having gambling operations, but still strips all the other protections inserted during nine years and still includes language contemplating Hawaii secession from the United States.
http://www.angelfire.com/big09a/Akaka032509Deceptions.html

Dr. Conklin's book "Hawaiian Apartheid: Racial Separatism and Ethnic Nationalism in the Aloha State" is in the library or can be viewed and ordered at
http://tinyurl.com/2a9fqa/

Dr. Conklin can be reached at Ken_Conklin@yahoo.com

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

http://www.sacbee.com/capitolandcalifornia/story/1856567.html
Sacramento Bee, May 13, 2009

Sacramento Indians hope bill will restore sovereignty -- in Hawaii

By Stephen Magagnini

The Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians celebrated the grand opening of their Red Hawk Casino last December with native dances – and Hawaiian songs.

Most of the tribe's 478 members trace their roots to Hawaiians and Indians who built Sacramento and married during the Gold Rush.

Now they, like many of the 21,000 area residents with Hawaiian ancestry, are closely following a bill in Congress to grant native Hawaiians sovereignty similar to that enjoyed by California's 106 federally recognized Indian nations.

They hope to play a role in a reborn Hawaiian government, and the bill, by Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, would give them that chance. It has twice stalled in the Senate but now has the backing of President Barack Obama, a Hawaii native.

"The time for this is overdue," said Akaka's press secretary, Jesse Van Broder Dyke.

Sovereignty search unites cultures

The legislation would allow native Hawaiians to set up a government and negotiate with the state of Hawaii and the U.S. government for land rights – but not for gambling, which was removed from the bill to defuse critics.

If it passes, a council would certify voters for the first election. Anyone with native Hawaiian ancestry would be able to participate, Van Broder Dyke said.

Many local Hawaiians, including those on the Shingle Springs rancheria, feel passionately about rights stolen from their ancestors when Hawaii's kingdom was overthrown by U.S. troops in 1893.

"I think they should have the same rights as native Americans – they are native Americans," said Hannah Adams, 23, who serves on Shingle Springs' tribal gaming commission.

The tribe is keenly aware of the power of sovereignty, which has given them access to land, federal health and education money, and the right to make their own laws and establish casinos.

"Sovereignty is very important – we had to fight for ours," added Hannah Adams' father, tribal historian Rick Adams. "Two years ago, this was the Shingle Springs Band of homeless Indians."

If Hawaiian sovereignty is restored, "we'll pack up and just go," declares Adams, 55, who teaches Nisenan – their native Indian language – as well as Hawaiian songs, dances and culture to local tribes.

Members of the Shingle Springs Band say they owe their survival to their Hawaiian ancestors who married Indians and, in doing so, saved them from extermination. The Adams family, tribal Chairman Nick Fonesca and others proudly claim they're among those descended from Swiss entrepreneur John Sutter's original 10 Hawaiians. After losing their way in the Sacramento and Feather rivers, the group came ashore near 28th and C streets in 1839 and founded "New Helvetia," which became Sacramento.

Sutter's Indian ambassadors

For nearly a century, Spanish missionaries and American mountain men had failed to settle the wild Sacramento Valley by force, said Steve Beck, director of education at Sutter's Fort State Park.

"Sutter didn't have any force, but he did have 10 Hawaiians, one of whom, Manuiki, was his paramour," Beck said.

"They're tattooed, they're pierced, they're half naked, they're dark-complected," he said, "and they don't look a whole lot different from the Indians in the Central Valley."

That resemblance helped the Hawaiians on Sutter's payroll convince 35 local Indian villages that Sutter was going to pay them to work, not enslave them.

In his memoirs, Sutter recalled the Hawaiians, using a name then common to describe Hawaiian workers, "I could not have settled the country without the aid of these Kanakas."

They also built the first settlers' homes in Sacramento – grass shacks, or hale pili, made with California willow and bamboo, similar to the grass huts at the Maidu Interpretive Center in Roseville where Rick Adams teaches.

Along the way, one of Sutter's Hawaiians, O'Ka'i-ana, learned Maidu and married the daughter of a Maidu Indian chief.

Forced onto 'Trail of Tears'

Adams said his tribe and hundreds of other California Indians wouldn't be alive today if they hadn't married Hawaiians, who had far more legal rights than California Indians through U.S. diplomatic relations with Hawaii.

"My grandmother Pamela Clemso Adams married three Hawaiians so the state couldn't take her children away," he said.

After gold was discovered at Sutter's Mill along the American River at Coloma in 1848, the Sacramento Valley had become a magnet for hundreds more Hawaiians, excellent divers who fished out gold nuggets. Many settled at Kanaka Diggings northeast of Coloma, according to historian Hank Meals. California's first "Good Humor" man, Charlie O'Kaaina, even sold ice cream from his ice wagon in the Sierra foothills.

But, in 1863, the U.S. cavalry rounded up 450 indigenous people from Sacramento to Butte and forced them on "California's Trail of Tears" – a 100-mile trek to the Round Valley Reservation in Mendocino. O'Ka'i-ana and his Maidu wife and children were among those herded into Round Valley, but he wrote to Hawaiian King Kamehameha V, who got the U.S. government to release them.

Rick Adams' own grandmother eventually wound up at Verona, a Hawaiian-Indian fishing village on the Feather River north of current-day Verona. Sustained by striped bass and salmon, Verona had boarding houses, gambling halls, saloons, shops, a bowling alley and a post office. In 1916, a federal Indian agent said the Verona colony would be susceptible to a "white man's disease" if it wasn't relocated to one of dozens of rancherias established for "landless Indians."

Thus was born the 160-acre Shingle Springs Rancheria. But lacking roads and electricity, it was no magnet for the Verona colony. It wasn't until 1970 that former residents of the colony, and their descendants – who include Maidu, Miwok and other bands – finally began moving there, Adams said.

Hawaiians, Indians sign pact

In the rancheria's community center one recent evening, Adams sang a Hawaiian song, "River Of Sorrows," while his daughter, Hannah, played his Hawaiian gourd drum, engraved with Hawaiian and American Indian faces: "Another man who broke his word … and the truth could not be heard," he sang. "When I see the rain fall from the skies I get down on my knees and I cry … somebody's going to have to pay and it looks like you and me." The tale it tells of stolen lands resonates with many tribal members.

"Sovereignty means pride, but it's hard to get these days," said Carmen Stivers, 46, who performs the hula. "There's not very much space in Hawaii for them to have their own land, but they could have their own government."

Last summer, Hawaiians from Sacramento signed a palm-print contract on an animal skin with Indians from Shingle Springs and other tribes granting Hawaiians water rights on Indian land. "They allow us to use their waters for our outrigger canoes," said Mona Foster, founder of Hui O Hawaii of Sacramento Inc., a 38-year-old Hawaiian cultural organization with about 300 members. "For us it was a very emotional and sacred blessing," Foster said.

Miwok Indians from Ione and Indians from Shingle Springs also have been advocating here and in Washington for the passage of the Akaka bill, Foster said. "We're working together as indigenous people in this country," she said, "and it was wonderful to have their acceptance."

The Sacramento-Hawaiian connection is so deep that Cody Pueo Pata, a Hawaiian-Maidu from Sacramento, has become a renowned Hawaiian singer in the islands.

In turn, many Hawaiians come here for jobs and college, said Sacramento social worker Jason Keliihohokula Lindo.

Lindo, 49, said some California Hawaiians advocate secession from the United States because they think the Akaka bill is watered down. And, he said, some think membership in the new nation should be based on percentage of Hawaiian blood.

"But it's very unHawaiian to say we've lost our identity," Lindo said. "Almost half of our people live outside the state of Hawaii and we have kept up our cultural ties, and we still feel the pain of knowing we've lost our country, our form of government and our language."

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

http://www.kpua.net/news.php?id=17949
KPUA Radio AM 670, Hilo Hawaii
Wednesday, May 13th

Divided state GOP prepares for annual convention

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) — As Republican Gov. Linda Lingle begins her last 18 months in office, the state party she once chaired finds itself at a crossroads.

In that way, it is not unlike the national Republican Party, buffeted internally by differing views on the path it should take and facing an emboldened Democratic Party. Only in Hawaii, Republicans are wrestling with even worse circumstances.

Only eight of the Hawaii Legislature's 76 members, and none of the state's four members of Congress, are Republicans. Its likely 2010 gubernatorial nominee — Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona — is widely regarded as an underdog despite eight years of being groomed to succeed Lingle.

And, while GOP officeholders and activists have recently coalesced in opposition to tax increases that Democrats approved last week over Lingle's veto, under-the-radar dissension remains over the direction of the state party and contentious policy issues, such as federal legislation to establish a governing body for Native Hawaiians.

Those and other challenges will confront an expected 300 GOP members on Saturday when the party holds its annual convention on the Big Island. The highlight of the gathering is likely to be the contest among at least four candidates for the volunteer post of party chairman — the first contested election for the job in a decade.

Lingering on the sidelines is Lingle. Barred by term limits from seeking reelection, she has announced no plans to seek another post in 2010. Party chairwoman from 1999 to 2002, she has not publicly weighed in on Saturday's contest. It is unclear what impact Lingle would have if she did jump into the fray.

Some Republicans, even her allies, concede that the state GOP has weakened in recent years and something novel is needed to make the party relevant again to voters. "We need to find new ways to do things because I think it has become clear from the results of the past elections that what we have done in those elections simply has not worked," said Brennon Morioka, a former state party chairman and now the Lingle-appointed director of the state Transportation Department.

Even Willes Lee, the current chairman, acknowledged bubbling dissatisfaction among the party faithful with him, other party leaders and the party's dismal electoral record of recent years. "With our inability to support Linda Lingle (by electing enough Republican legislators to uphold a veto,) we've pretty much wasted this opportunity," he said.

The four announced candidates for chairman are Jonah Kaauwai, a former deputy chief of staff to Aiona; Jimmy Kuroiwa, the Honolulu County party chair in the late 1990s; Mike Palcic, a Republican activist and owner of a Honolulu computer shop, and Paul Smith, head of a new conservative grassroots group called the Hawaii Republican Assembly.

Lee has yet to announce whether he will seek the post again, and he or others have until Saturday morning to submit candidacy papers.

The contender with the most high-profile endorsements is Kaauwai, 36, who is backed by Aiona, House Minority Leader Lynn Finnegan and Senate Minority Leader Fred Hemmings. In an interview, Kaauwai said his strength lies in his age and understanding of Internet-era communications tools. "We're bringing in a greater youthful energy into the party," he said.

Hemmings points to Kaauwai's mixed ethnicity — he is German and Hawaiian with a bit of Mexican — as a trait that will aid the party during the era of Hawaii-born Democrat Barack Obama, the country's first African American president. "Republicans have been unfairly stereotyped in the past (as) middle-aged, better-off haoles," said Hemmings, of Lanikai-Waimanalo. "Kaauwai represents, along with many people, the great cross-section of Hawaii's ethnic diversity."

But rivals contend Kaauwai, who has never held a party post, is too inexperienced for the top job. They assert he will continue focusing party resources on Lingle and, increasingly, Aiona, at the expense of the grassroots and legislative candidates.

"Jonah has not had that experience, and he is moving in the same direction that we feel ... is making the party again a campaign committee for a top candidate," said 66-year-old Kuroiwa.

Kuroiwa said he wants the state party to highlight opposition to issues such as same-sex civil unions and the so-called Akaka bill, the measure in Congress that Lingle supports that would establish a Native Hawaiian government. "The Republicans are not bringing those issues up," said Kuroiwa, the lead plaintiff in a federal lawsuit alleging that the goals of the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs are discriminatory toward non-Native Hawaiians.

Palcic said a prime motivation for his candidacy was the unwillingness of state GOP leaders to allow consideration of changes to the party platform at last year's convention. An amendment he sought would have expressed opposition to a 2004 law allowing Honolulu to hike the general excise tax to help finance its rail transit project.

Such a plank would have amounted to implicit criticism of Lingle, who allowed the tax measure become law without her signature. "They just shoved the platform down our throats," said Palcic, 60. "It made it obvious to me how far the party had drifted away from Republican principles."

Smith opted not to comment about his candidacy.

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

http://www.kitv.com/news/19612305/detail.html
KITV 4 News, May 30, 2009

Hawaiian Bill Unlikely Before State's Anniversary

HONOLULU -- A national measure to give Native Hawaiians similar rights as American Indians could be approved this year, but other national priorities are likely to delay action by Congress until after the 50th state's 50th anniversary in August.

Despite the support of Hawaii-born President Barack Obama, legislation restoring some of the self-governance powers Native Hawaiians lost when the islands' queen was overthrown in 1893 may have to wait a little longer.

The latest filing of the legislation came in early May.

But it hasn't been scheduled for committee hearings yet as Congress deals with the economic meltdown, a Supreme Court nomination, climate change legislation, health care reform and other priorities.

The so-called Akaka Bill, named after Hawaii Sen. Daniel Akaka, was first introduced in Congress in 2000 and brought up every session since.

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

http://www.starbulletin.com/news/newswatch/20090603_Newswatch.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Newswatch For Wednesday, June 3, 2009

House panel to hear Akaka Bill

By Star-Bulletin Staff and News Services

The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on the latest version of a bill designed to give native Hawaiians federal recognition similar to that of American Indians.

The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act was approved by the House and only cleared the Senate Indian Affairs Committee in 2007.

Sens. Daniel Akaka and Daniel Inouye reintroduced the so-called Akaka Bill in the Senate, while Reps. Neil Abercrombie and Mazie Hirono did the same in the House.

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

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090603/BREAKING01/90603072/Hawaiian+sovereignty+film+to+debut+in+Washington++D.C.
Honolulu Advertiser, BREAKING NEWS/UPDATES
Updated at 1:56 p.m., Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Hawaiian sovereignty film to debut in Washington, D.C.

By JOHN YAUKEY
Gannett Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON - Photographer Catherine Bauknight first went to Hawai'i in 1980 for some peace and quiet.

She found more.

On Thursday evening, her full-length documentary, "Hawaii - A Voice for Sovereignty," premieres at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center to an invited audience of writers, pundits, Washington power brokers and lawmakers.

It opens as Congress is weighing long-awaited legislation that would create a process for Native Hawaiian self-governance.

Bauknight's 83-minute film documents what she calls the journey of Native Hawaiians to sustain their culture and spirituality - all deeply rooted in the land.

The film was four years in the making. The oral history includes interviews with Native Hawaiians - leaders and "people of the land" - in their homes and at sacred sites.

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

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090604/BREAKING01/90604051/-1/RSS01?source=rss_breaking
Honolulu Advertiser, BREAKING NEWS/UPDATES
Updated at 3:34 p.m., Thursday, June 4, 2009

Congress to take up Akaka bill

By JOHN YAUKEY
Gannet Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — Congress begins deliberations next Thursday on the "Akaka bill," which would create a process for Native Hawaiian self-governance.

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

The legislation, written by Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, must first go through the proper congressional vetting committees before it faces votes in the full House and Senate and then goes before the president.

The House Natural Resources Committee has scheduled a morning hearing next Thursday on the bill.

That committee, where Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii, sits as a senior member, has not yet released a witness list.

The Senate has not yet scheduled a hearing. But the Akaka bill's first test in that chamber would be before the Indian Affairs Committee, where Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, is a senior member.

Originally introduced in 2000, the bill has cleared the House before, but never the Senate.

The legislation hit hurdles in the Bush administration, where Justice Department officials said that it created a racial preference.

The legislation came closest to passing in 2007 when it cleared the full House, but was never brought to the Senate floor for a full vote.

President Obama, who was born in Hawaii and graduated from Punahou School, has promised to sign the legislation if it makes it to his desk.

The delegation reintroduced the 2007 version several weeks ago.

This version contains a provision barring any new Native Hawaiian government from authorizing gambling.

The provision was included to ease fears that newly empowered Native Hawaiians would set up gambling operations. But gambling is already illegal in Hawaii.

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

http://www.starbulletin.com/editorials/20090605_OHA_administrator_Clyde_Namuo_talks_about_the_Akaka_Bill.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, June 5, 2009

NAME IN THE NEWS
Clyde Namu'o

With the Akaka Bill set to be heard Thursday by a U.S. House committee, the administrator of OHA talks about prospects for passage

By Christine Donnelly

Nearly a decade after it was first introduced, a bill that would allow native Hawaiians to form their own limited government has its best chance of becoming law.

With a Democratic-controlled Congress, a friendly president and an especially powerful Hawaii senator — Daniel Inouye is chairman of the Appropriations Committee — the federal recognition bill's previous failures don't predict its current prospects. That fact delights supporters, worries opponents and makes it a good time to review the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, commonly known as the Akaka Bill, which will be heard by the House Natural Resources Committee on Thursday.

Clyde Namu'o, 57, administrator of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, spoke Wednesday about OHA's support for the bill, its efforts to preserve native land rights and expand the bill's definition of native Hawaiian, and what comes next.

Question: How would you characterize native Hawaiian support for the bill?

Answer: Over the last five years we have had at least three (Ward Research) surveys to gauge whether or not Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians support federal recognition and in all three surveys we have found that there is broad support ... We also have done focus groups to find out what the concerns are.

Q: What are the concerns?

A: Generally (fear of) the unknown. Some people are afraid that there would be reservations, for example. This bill does not prescribe that. Or that the governing entity could do whatever it wants. This (new native Hawaiian governing) entity will exist within federal and state law.

Q: What are the bill's chances for passage this year?

A: I think it has a very good chance of passing ... We need 60 votes in the Senate to bring it to cloture (and avoid the "hold" that killed the bill in years past) and indications are that there are sufficient votes ... We are concerned that Sen. (Edward) Kennedy and Sen. (Robert) Byrd may not always be physically present to vote (because of ill health). We have less Republican support (Gordon Smith of Oregon and Ted Stevens of Alaska are no longer in the Senate) so when the cloture vote comes up, we would just hope that enough supportive senators are present ... President Obama has said that if this bill was presented to him that he would sign it. So we are hopeful and optimistic.

Q: Any idea on the timing?

A: We would like to see this happen before the Senate goes out on its August recess. When they come back in September, a lot of their time is spent on appropriation bills. Q: Who would be considered native Hawaiian under the bill?

A: As the bill is currently structured, there are two ways to satisfy the definition (both requiring documentation of aboriginal, indigenous ancestry). The OHA trustees ... have encouraged the Hawaii delegation to add a third date, (tracing indigenous ancestry to) 1778, which is of course the date of the first Western contact. ... The 1778 definition is actually the definition used by 150 existing federal programs for native Hawaiians and would include (anyone with an ancestor in Hawaii prior to Western contact).

Q: Some native Hawaiians who oppose this bill say it would relegate them to second-class status, makes them wards of the U.S. Department of the Interior and ultimately diminish their authority, over natural resources, especially. What do you say to that?

A: I would say that when we look at the language currently in these bills, we see that there is a specific prohibition of the Department of Interior taking our land into trust. I think that is very significant. That has been a problem for American Indian land. This bill specifically prohibits that in Hawaii. Regarding wardship ... the power of the native Hawaiian governing entity or the lack of power is all based on negotiations that would occur with the federal government. If native Hawaiians are concerned about whether we will have enough power to govern our own affairs then I would encourage them to become part of the process to create the governing entity. The risks of not having federal recognition are huge. Without it we could end up forfeiting anywhere from $64 million to $75 million (in annual federal funding) that comes to Hawaii for programs for native Hawaiians.

Q: Conversely, other opponents say the bill gives native Hawaiians superior status and makes everyone else second-class citizens, in particular ignoring the (descendants of) people who were citizens of Hawaii prior to the overthrow, but were not indigenous and therefore have no rights under this bill.

A: I guess my response would be that federal policy really deals only with indigenous people, that is American Indians, Alaska natives and native Hawaiians. ... This bill is not about restoring the kingdom ... it's about extending the federal recognition policy to the final group of indigenous people, the native Hawaiians. That's all we're asking for.

Q: If the bill passes, what happens to agencies like OHA and the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands? Would they be absorbed into the new entity, or cease to exist?

A: We have tried to avoid having too lengthy a discussion about what's going to happen after the bill passes, to avoid people having the feeling that anything is preconceived. All those things are yet to be decided. What is this government going to look like? What will the land mass look like? What will be the power and authority? I think at OHA we are at the point where we are going to give some serious thought about what's next. ... I think people are going to have to dream and look to models that exist in Indian Country and also Alaska to see what would be most appropriate for us.

Q: Rice v. Cayetano (which invalidated Hawaiians-only OHA voting as an illegal racial exclusion) galvanized the drive for federal recognition. But it's been 10 years since the ruling, and Hawaiian programs are still standing. Is federal recognition still critical?

A: Yes ... We certainly want to stop using our resources to defend lawsuits. Once the bill passes, the status of Hawaiians will be clear and the legal challenges should come to an end.

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

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090605/BREAKING01/90605074/-1/RSS01?source=rss_breaking
Honolulu Advertiser, BREAKING NEWS/UPDATES
Updated at 3:47 p.m., Friday, June 5, 2009

OHA trustees vote to support Akaka Bill

Advertiser Staff

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees voted yesterday to support the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009, also known as the Akaka Bill, named for its sponsor, U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka.

The trustees also voted to urge Hawai'i's congressional delegation to support three amendments to the current version of H.R. 2314 and S. 1011.

OHA recommends:

Changing the definition of "Native Hawaiian" to include the 1778 definition to support a broader and more inclusive definition of "Native Hawaiian."

Deleting all references to "Commission." American Indians and Alaska Natives apparently have not been required to form such a commission and the role of the "commission" will be duplicative of what Native Hawaiians will be required to do themselves.

Reviewing sections of the bill that seek to address any claims of the Native Hawaiian people to determine necessary amendments. OHA stands ready to assist in the review.

In a separate vote, the trustees also approved reduced budgets for the next two fiscal years beginning July 1.

For fiscal year 2010, the trustees approved an operating budget of $39.6 million. The budget reflects nearly $2.5 million in cuts, including a 20 percent reduction by the state Legislature in general fund appropriations and a lower value of OHA's investment portfolio.

The trustees also approved a fiscal year 2011 budget of $39.5 million after $1.7 million in cuts.

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

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090607/LIFE/906070323/Sovereignty+documentary+debuts+in+D.C.
Honolulu Advertiser, Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sovereignty documentary debuts in D.C.
Filmmaker says Hawaii project changed her life

By John Yaukey
Gannett Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — Photographer Catherine Bauknight first went to Hawai'i in 1980 for some peace and quiet.

She found more.

On Thursday evening, her full-length documentary, "Hawaii — A Voice for Sovereignty," premiered at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center to an invited audience of writers, pundits, Washington power brokers and lawmakers.

Its opening comes as Congress is weighing long-awaited legislation that would create a process for Native Hawaiian self-governance. Bauknight's 83-minute film documents what she calls the journey of Native Hawaiians to sustain their culture and spirituality — all deeply rooted in the land. It took four years to make the film, an oral history that includes interviews with Native Hawaiians — leaders and "people of the land" — in their homes and at sacred sites.

This is the first film for the Pasadena, Calif., resident. But her career as a still photographer has taken her around the world. In 1989, she was one of a handful of international photographers who chronicled — up close — the bloody pro-democracy demonstrations at China's Tiananmen Square. She has shot photos for Time, Newsweek, Rolling Stone and other familiar publications.

Bauknight spoke with Gannett Washington Bureau on Wednesday about the film that changed her life.

Q. What did you want to say in this film?

A. I wanted the voice of the Native Hawaiian people to be heard. I believe that in their message there's an education for all of us. They have a deep connection to their ancient history. It comes from a powerful, abiding and spiritual respect for the environment.

When I started this, I was told — and eventually learned for myself — you cannot talk about the Native Hawaiian culture without talking about their spirituality and the land. It's all connected.

It became a journey for me from the ancient Hawaiian culture to the takeover to the renaissance in the 1970s and '80s to the sovereignty movement.

Q. What brought you to this project?

A. Culture is what I've been interested in all my career. I would go to Hawai'i to try and relax, but it turned out I was more inclined to find out about that culture than any culture anywhere I have ever been.

When I was visiting Hawai'i, I would ask people, "Where are the (Native) Hawaiians?" People would shrug their shoulders all the time and tell me, "I don't know."

At first, I thought, "What's happened? Why are they not visible as the host culture?"

Nobody knew. That was a red flag to me, and I started to feel this calling — that I was going to do a documentary on these people and what their story was.

It took a while to get everything together. I was finally in a position in 2005 to go ahead. Then I just started calling people. I knew this was going to take a lot of research.

Q. What was the toughest part about making this film?

A. People would not talk to me in the beginning. I am an outsider — an Anglo-Caucasian. They said to me that their story has been twisted so many times and manipulated. They would say, "Why should we talk to you? You're going to write your own story anyway." I got this from many people.

But I told them this story would be in their own words. I had to let it be their voice.

Originally, I thought the structure would be a traditional documentary, and I would narrate some of it. But it became obvious I could not tell this story. I do a little narration. But it could only be told by the Hawaiian people. It had to be their true story.

Once they understood that, little by little, they started trusting in this process. They started talking about their family histories, about how their land had been taken away from their families ... and about the pain this has caused them.

Q. What struck you most about what you learned?

A. It was a renaissance for me, not only in my professional life, but in my personal life as well. It has taken me to a higher awareness about how people are connected to the land and the environment.

It goes back to the history of Native Hawaiians being stewards of the land. They were conscious of the seasons for fishing and when it was appropriate to take from the ocean, and then when to leave the ocean to care for itself, naturally.

The same was true up in the valleys. They were stewards of the water, to make sure it was clean. It became a system of caring for each other within a process of caring for the land. It became a complete cycle.

Q. Does what you've learned have any special relevance beyond Hawai'i?

A. Absolutely. Ancient knowledge can work with the present possibilities — especially now with wind solar energy — as we look to become sustainable.

** Note from website editor Ken Conklin: A lengthy video of snippets from the film can be seen here, plus written comments filled with historical falsehoods and propaganda; plus information about the filmmaker and the project.

www.catherinebauknight.com/

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

** Note from Ken Conklin: This AP news report was published in the Maui News on Sunday June 7, several days after it was known that a hearing would be held on the Akaka bill in a U.S. House committee on Thursday June 11. This article is laughable because it says no hearings have yet been scheduled. So either Associated Press is woefully ignorant, or Maui News is woefully slow in publishing "news."

http://www.mauinews.com/page/content.detail/id/519442.html
Maui News, Sunday June 7, 2009

Akaka Bill unlikely before Hawaii's anniversary

By MARK NIESSE, The Associated Press

HONOLULU - A national measure to give Native Hawaiians similar rights as American Indians could still be approved this year, but other national priorities are likely to delay action by Congress until after the 50th state's 50th anniversary in August.

Despite the support of Hawaii-born President Barack Obama, legislation restoring some of the self-governance powers Native Hawaiians lost when the islands' queen was overthrown in 1893 may have to wait a little longer.

The latest filing of the legislation came early last month, but it hasn't been scheduled for committee hearings yet as Congress deals with the economic meltdown, a Supreme Court nomination, climate change legislation, health care reform and other priorities.

"There's no question that the prospects have improved considerably," said Boyd Mossman, a trustee for the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs from Maui. "We don't count our chickens, but we fully expect there will be a bill passed this year."

The so-called Akaka Bill has a long and frustrating history. Named after Hawaii Sen. Daniel Akaka, it was first introduced in Congress in 2000 and has been brought up every session since. It passed the House last session but failed to advance in the Senate when the Bush administration said it would divide Americans by race and ethnicity.

"The entire delegation is optimistic because we have a president from Hawaii who understands the need for the bill," said Akaka's spokesman, Jesse Broder Van Dyke. "He will sign it when it comes across his desk, but his priority is to deal with two wars and the U.S. economy."

Most of the expressed opposition to the proposal comes from the extremes: conservatives see it as giving a racial preference to Hawaiians, and Hawaiian sovereignty activists believe it would sell out their claims as an independent nation.

Some Hawaiians say passage of the Akaka Bill would further distance the islands from the international independence they enjoyed as the Hawaiian Kingdom.

''The Akaka Bill defines Native Hawaiians as indigenous to the United States, and therefore, like American Indians and Alaskan Natives, wards of a domestic dependent nation under the plenary power of the U.S. Congress. We object strongly to that,'' said sovereignty supporter Kekuni Blaisdell. ''Our people never relinquished our claims to our inherent sovereignty over our national lands.''

Backers of the measure, which include nearly all elected officials in the islands and the state agency representing Native Hawaiian interests, say the mainstream majority of Hawaiians want the Akaka Bill because it's the best chance for a realistic resolution.

"There is tremendous support in the community at large for the Akaka Bill because it does provide some measure of dignity for Hawaiians," said Beadie Kanahele Dawson, a Native Hawaiian attorney who helped draft the original Akaka Bill. "As of this point in time, when the 50th anniversary of statehood is being celebrated, it is appropriate to discuss these critical issues."

The Hawaiian government was overthrown when a group of white businessmen forced Queen Lili'uokalani to abdicate while uniformed U.S. Marines came ashore. Hawaii became a state Aug. 21, 1959.

The Akaka Bill sets up the process for a Hawaiian "nation within a nation."

Membership, elections and laws governing the entity would be negotiated after the bill passed. Roughly 400,000 people claim Native Hawaiian ancestry nationwide; more than half of them live in the islands.

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

http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?c2de2ca4-b04b-440e-9fcb-dbe4d1e7f80a
Hawaii Reporter, June 8, 2009

Akaka Bill Congressional Hearing to be Webcast Live on June 11

By Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.

The Akaka bill will have a hearing before the full Natural Resources Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday, June 11. The hearing can be watched live as a webcast, and will probably also be available as an archived video for at least several days thereafter. The hearing will be on Thursday, June 11, at 10 AM D.C. time (i.e., 4 AM Hawaii time), in Room 1324 of the Longworth House Office Building.

Three versions of the Akaka bill have been introduced so far this year. The version scheduled for hearing is H.R. 2314, which was introduced on May 7. Full text of the bill can be seen at
http://tinyurl.com/py93l5

A 66-page point-by-point analysis of this bill was written by attorney Paul M. Sullivan two years ago, when the bill was S.310 and H.R.505 in the 110th Congress. The current bill H.R. 2314 has identical content and format; therefore Mr. Sullivan's analysis remains valid on each point. Mr. Sullivan's analysis (including cartoons by Daryl Cagle) can be downloaded in pdf format at
http://tinyurl.com/3ydth9

At the present time the list of witnesses who will testify at the hearing has not yet been posted. However, a witness list does get posted, it can be found on the committee's webpage at
http://tinyurl.com/n8shpn

To watch the hearing live at 4 AM HST on June 11, go to the committee webpage (above), and look halfway down the left-hand column, immediately above the calendar, where there is a button to "View Live WebCasts."

In case anyone has trouble getting out of bed at 4 AM: Archived videos of hearings held last week are currently available, so it is reasonable to expect that an archived video of the Akaka bill hearing will remain on the committee website for at least a few days. However, it might take a few hours or a day after the hearing before a link gets posted.

The committee does not seem interested in receiving testimony from anyone other than invited witnesses; because there is no procedure for submitting testimony. Nevertheless, those who wish to submit testimony in favor of the bill might send it to Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D,HI) who is the bill's chief sponsor.

Those opposed should not send testimony to ranking Republican member Don Young (R,AK) because he favors the bill. In 2007 Rep. Jeff Flake (R,AZ) organized the opposition to the bill during floor debate. He is a member of the committee that will be hearing the bill. His D.C. office can be reached by phone at (202) 225-2635, or written comments might be faxed to him at (202) 226-4386. His e-mail contact is through a webform intended for use only by his own constituents in Arizona.

** Note from website editor Ken Conklin: Later on June 8 the witness list appeared on the committee webpage.

Witnesses:

Panel 1

The Honorable Mazie K. Hirono
U.S. Congresswoman, Hawaii 2nd District

Panel 2

The Honorable Micah Kane
Chairman
Department of Hawaiian Homelands
Kapolei, HI

The Honorable Haunani Apoliana
Chairwoman
Office of Hawaiian Affairs
Honolulu, HI

Ms. Gail Heriot
Commissioner
U.S. Commission on Civil Rights
San Diego, CA

Mr. Michael Yaki
Commissioner
U.S. Commission on Civil Rights
San Diego, CA

Mr. H. Christopher Bartolumucci
Partner
Hogan & Hartson
Washington, DC

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

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090608/NEWS21/906080337/Akaka+bill+back+in+play
Honolulu Advertiser, Monday, June 8, 2009

Akaka bill back in play
On Kamehameha Day, House natural resources panel is to hold hearing

By John Yaukey
Advertiser Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — Congress begins deliberations Thursday — Kamehameha Day — on the Akaka bill, which would create a process for Native Hawaiian self-governance.

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

The legislation, written by U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawai'i, must first go through congressional vetting committees before it faces votes in the full House and Senate and — if approved — then goes before the president.

The House Natural Resources Committee has scheduled a Thursday morning hearing on the bill.

That committee, where U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawai'i, sits as a senior member, has not yet released a witness list.

The Senate has not yet set a hearing. But the Akaka bill's first test in that chamber would be before the Indian Affairs Committee, where U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawai'i, is a senior member.

Originally introduced in 2000, the bill has cleared the House before, but never the Senate.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs' board of trustees voted last week to support passage of the bill but recommended some amendments.

One would broaden the definition of "Native Hawaiian." Another asks Congress to delete all references to a "commission."

The OHA vote was 6-0, with three members absent.

The bill hit hurdles during the Bush administration, when Justice Department officials said that it would create a racial preference.

The legislation came closest to passing in 2007 when it cleared the full House but was never brought to the Senate floor for a full vote.

President Obama, who was born in Hawai'i, has promised to sign the legislation if it makes it to his desk.

The Hawai'i delegation reintroduced the 2007 version several weeks ago.

This version contains a provision barring any new Native Hawaiian government from authorizing gambling.

The provision was included to ease fears that newly empowered Native Hawaiians would set up gambling operations. But gambling is already illegal in Hawai'i.

Advertiser Staff writer Gordon Y.K. Pang contributed to this report. Reach John Yaukey at jyaukey@gannett.com.

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

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090608/NEWS01/906080335&s=d&page=1#pluckcomments
Honolulu Advertiser, Monday, June 8, 2009

Kamehameha's legacy praised
Unifier's birthday celebrated in nation's Capitol

By John Yaukey
Gannett Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — With traditional hula and flower lei, more than 400 people gathered in the nation's Capitol yesterday to observe the birthday of King Kamehameha and praise his legacy as a warrior and unifier of the Hawaiian people.

"I was totally amazed," said O'ahu native Darlene Butts, who helped organize the event.

The event was held in the new half-billion dollar Capitol Visitors Center around the bronze and gold statue of Kamehameha, who unified the Hawaiian Islands under his rule in 1810.

"This is the time for Hawaiians," said Harry Hempstead, a Virginia resident raised in Honolulu. "We need to stand now with each other. No one knows who we are. This is a powerful political moment for us."

Yesterday's ceremony came as Congress prepares to weigh legislation that would create a pro- cess for Native Hawaiian self-governance.

"This is so special for those of us now who worry about the future of the Hawaiian people," said Carla Hotuna, who traveled from Hilo to attend yesterday's event. "Just to see this statue reminds me that Hawai'i is there. We're still alive and kicking. ... Look at the king."

The 12-foot-tall statue of Kamehameha, unveiled in 1969, now stands under glass skylights. The dark bronze statue is clad in gilded regalia that Kamehameha would have worn as king, including a feathered helmet and cloak. The statue weighs more than 6 tons with its solid granite base, according to the architect of the Capitol. It is one of the heaviest objects in the National Statuary Hall Collection and needed to be put in a spot where the floor could support it.

** Ken Conklin's note: See webpage "Kamehameha vs. Akaka -- Kamehameha unified Hawai'i 200 years ago; Akaka bill's main purpose is to divide Hawai'i"
http://tinyurl.com/bszgr

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

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090609/OPINION01/906090306/Akaka+Bill+revisions+should+make+it+inclusive
Honolulu Advertiser, Tuesday, June 9, 2009
EDITORIAL

Akaka Bill revisions should make it inclusive

Many who have witnessed the tortuous advance and retreat of bills enabling federal recognition of Native Hawaiians would agree: The so-called Akaka Bill, named for sponsoring U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, stands its best chance of passage under the Obama administration.

The Hawai'i-born president has voiced support for the measure, which faces a House hearing on Thursday. Obama's support removes a major impediment, but another one has taken its place: distraction.

Although the political landscape has improved greatly — the Bush administration had found the Akaka Bill too racially divisive — the preoccupation at the White House and on Capitol Hill has been about responding to the economy and the wars on two fronts. Even among elected leaders who support the bill, the more worrisome burdens loom larger.

So the object should be to craft a bill that has a broad base of support at home and is unfettered by lightning-rod issues likely to get it shot down.

Fortunately, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009 has been moving in that general direction over the past few months. For example, one provision that raised constitutional concerns has been deleted. It would have required that commissioners named to certify the genealogy of a Native Hawaiian electorate be indigenous Hawaiians themselves.

But the bills in House and Senate could exclude many part-Hawaiians who are unable to prove direct descent from a Native Hawaiian living here before 1893 or from a Hawaiian homestead beneficiary; spotty recordkeeping can make documentation impossible.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is right that the definition needs to be worded to be more inclusive of indigenous Hawaiian descendants.

The hope for the bill is sure to fade if it cannot pass in the next few months, before budgetary matters completely overwhelm the Congressional calendar.

The principle aim should be to pass a bill that gives the broadest swath of Native Hawaiians rights similar to those of other indigenous peoples. They should be able to govern and manage resources that, under a plethora of state and federal laws, belong to them.

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

http://www.wkrg.com/associated_press/article/native-hawaiian-bill-gets-new-airing/98741/
WKRG 5 News, Mobile(AL)-Pensacole(FL), June 10, 2009

Native Hawaiian bill gets new airing

WASHINGTON Prospects have never looked more promising for a bill that would give Native Hawaiians the chance to establish their own government and eventually gain control over valuable land and resources.

Hawaii's congressional delegation has for several years sponsored legislation that lays out how a Native Hawaiian government could be recognized by the United States, much like the arrangement that has occurred with 562 Native American tribes and Alaska Natives. The legislation twice passed the House of Representatives, including most recently in October 2007, but it routinely has stumbled in the Senate.

The election of President Barack Obama has changed the political dynamic though. The Bush administration made it clear it opposed the bill. Meanwhile, Obama, who was born in Hawaii, promises to sign the legislation if he gets the chance.

"It's very, very favorable for us," said Democratic Rep. Neil Abercrombie. "The president is well aware of Hawaii. It's not an exotic outpost or extraction, as it is for so many people. He understands the rationale ..." The House Committee on Natural Resources takes up the bill, named for Democratic Sen. Daniel Akaka on Thursday. A vote is not expected, but Abercrombie said he believes that Congress will pass the legislation before the end of the year, in part because 2009 marks the 50th anniversary of Hawaii becoming a state.

The bill would not automatically establish a Native Hawaiian government. Rather, it would provide a roadmap for how Native Hawaiians could organize such a government.

"It's providing them with an opportunity to help themselves, giving them some self-determination as indigenous Hawaiians," Akaka said.

Once established, the new government would negotiate with the state and the federal government over which assets the new government would own. Currently, the state administers 1.2 million acres of former monarchy land, and some of that land could revert to the new Native Hawaiian government. "It's essentially an enabling act" that would allow Native Hawaiians the chance to manage land and assets as they see fit, Abercrombie said. "When the land wasn't worth anything and there was no money, nobody cared. Now that the land is worth a considerable amount of money, now all of a sudden, everybody is interested."

In 2006, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights recommended against passage of comparable legislation. The commission said it opposed any bill that would "discriminate on the basis of race or national origin and further subdivide the American people into discrete subgroups accorded varying degrees of privilege."

Analysts say passage of the legislation would certainly lead to a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of conferring benefits based on race.

Akaka said any land transfer that does occur would need the approval of the Hawaii Legislature.

** Nearly identical news reports were published in many places, including

http://www.pddnet.com/news-ap-hl-lawmakers-see-improved-prospects-for-creation-o-061009/
Product Design and Development Network, Rockaway NJ, June 10, 2009

and
http://www.pr-inside.com/native-hawaiian-bill-gets-new-airing-r1314541.htm PR Newswire (AP)
PR Newswire

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

June 12, 2009: 5 news reports and 2 editorials about the hearing on the Akaka bill on June 11 in the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources: (1) Hawaii Reporter "Akaka Bill Hearing: Video and Written Testimony by Invited Witnesses in the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources on June 11, 2009"; (2) Honolulu Star-Bulletin "Akaka Bill's legality debated: The bill gets a new airing with improved odds, but critics charge it is unconstitutional"; (3) The Maui News "Akaka Bill opponents found in the islands, too" and article with identical content in The Cherokee Phoenix "Akaka Bill debate renewed"; (4) The Honolulu Advertiser Headline in the physical newspaper is: ALLIES DEFEND AKAKA BILL. Article title and subtitle are: "Native Hawaiian bill in Congress defended as not 'race-based' -- Isle delegation rebuts racial claims on legislation as Congress renews debate"; (5) Committee on Natural Resources ranking member Rep. Doc Hastings news release and YouTube video "Statement on the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act"; (6) Hawaii Reporter guest editorial "What Kamehameha Hath Joined Together, Let Not Akaka Rip Asunder" (by Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.); (7) Honolulu Star-Bulletin editorial "Akaka Bill should pass with new amendments"

http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?d06dba43-7fc7-444e-b7f9-b1c78c038425
Hawaii Reporter, June 12, 2009

Akaka Bill Hearing: Video and Written Testimony by Invited Witnesses in the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources on June 11, 2009

By Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.

On Thursday June 11, 2009 the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources held a hearing on the Akaka bill H.R.2314. The hearing ran from 10:00 AM to 12:10 (D.C. time), when a recess was called so that Representatives could go to the House floor to vote. The committee resumed questioning of witnesses at 12:45 and then adjourned at 1:33 PM.

The committee's homepage is
http://resourcescommittee.house.gov/index.php

The committee's webpage devoted to the hearing on the Akaka bill, including the witness list, links to the written testimony submitted previously by each witness, and a link to the video of the entire hearing, is at
http://tinyurl.com/n8shpn

Direct links to the video and all six written testimonies are provided below.

The only testimony accompanied by an additional attachment was from Michael Yaki. He was a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights when it held a hearing in 2006 on the Akaka bill and voted to strongly oppose its passage, saying "The Commission recommends against passage of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2005, or any other legislation that would discriminate on the basis of race or national origin and further subdivide the American people into discrete subgroups accorded varying degrees of privilege."

Mr. Yaki was one of two Commissioners who wrote a minority report in 2006 favoring the Akaka bill and excoriating the majority members. Mr. Yaki's attachment to today's testimony is his dissent from that report. Mr. Yaki demanded very strenuously at the time that a lengthy list of findings of fact by the Commission should be deleted. The majority of members tried to placate him by deleting the "findings" from the final report; whereupon Mr. Yaki nevertheless voted against the report and then filed his minority dissent. The absence of findings from the final report has been repeatedly mentioned, including in today's testimony, as a reason why the report's conclusion opposing the Akaka bill should be ignored (because it is not supported by findings of fact). For that reason, here is a link to the uncensored report, including the findings of fact on pages 16-18 which were deleted to placate Mr. Yaki.
http://tinyurl.com/m6lsba

The only witness at today's hearing who is opposed to the Akaka bill was Professor Gail Heriot, who is also a current member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights alongside Mr. Yaki. As the sole witness opposing the bill, she was severely cross-examined by members of the committee who favor the bill.

For those who prefer direct links to the video of the hearing and the written testimonies by today's six witnesses, here they are:

The video of the hearing is at
http://tinyurl.com/m4u8w2

The witnesses in the order they were called, and the written testimony previously submitted by each witness, are as follows:

The Honorable Mazie K. Hirono
U.S. Congresswoman,
Hawaii 2nd District
http://tinyurl.com/lpwyor

The Honorable Micah Kane
Chairman
Department of Hawaiian Homelands
Kapolei, HI
http://tinyurl.com/m5oaar

The Honorable Haunani Apoliona
Chairwoman
Office of Hawaiian Affairs
Honolulu, HI
http://tinyurl.com/n872su

Ms. Gail Heriot
Commissioner
U.S. Commission on Civil Rights
San Diego, CA
http://tinyurl.com/n4hqtv

Mr. Michael Yaki(attachment)
Commissioner
U.S. Commission on Civil Rights
San Diego, CA
Main testimony
http://tinyurl.com/kkads7
Attachment to testimony
http://tinyurl.com/kly9rk

Mr. H. Christopher Bartolomucci
Partner
Hogan & Hartson
Washington, DC
http://tinyurl.com/nfpxel

The committee gave the witnesses 10 days to submit additional information and/or to respond to questions from committee members, before the record is closed.

* Dr. Conklin's book "Hawaiian Apartheid: Racial Separatism and Ethnic Nationalism in the Aloha State" is in the library or can be viewed and ordered at
http://tinyurl.com/2a9fqa

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

http://www.starbulletin.com/news/hawaiinews/20090612_Akaka_Bills_legality_debated.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, June 12, 2009

Akaka Bill's legality debated
The bill gets a new airing with improved odds, but critics charge it is unconstitutional

By Kevin Freking
Associated Press

WASHINGTON » Granting native Hawaiians the chance to form their own government, like those established by many of the nation's 562 American Indian tribes and Alaska natives, would break new ground and eventually be ruled unconstitutional, critics of the proposal said yesterday.

Hawaii's congressional delegation has fought for much of the past decade for the so-called Akaka Bill, which would allow for the reorganization of a native Hawaiian government and federal recognition of that government. Their prospects for success have never looked better with President Barack Obama saying he supports the measure, which a House panel reviewed yesterday morning.

Rep. Doc Hastings of Washington, the ranking Republican on the House Natural Resources Committee, said legal precedent "cast a larger shadow than ever before on the doubtful proposition that Congress can and should extend recognition to a governing entity for native Hawaiians."

Also, Gail Heriot, a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, said that granting ethnic Hawaiians tribal status for purposes of forming their own government would be comparable to letting Chicanos in the Southwest or Cajuns in Louisiana gain that same recognition.

Supporters of the bill, including members of the state's congressional delegation, argued that a long line of legal cases have granted indigenous populations a special relationship and recognition with the United States. They said that native Hawaiians are the only indigenous group of people in the country without their own governing entity.

"We've never viewed this as a race-based issue," said Rep. Mazie Hirono, emphasizing that lawmakers from both parties in the islands support the measure, named after Sen. Daniel Akaka, who authored the bill.

The legislation allowing for a native Hawaiian government passed the House on two occasions, most recently in October 2007, but it routinely has stumbled in the Senate. The Bush administration opposed the bill. Obama's support has changed the political dynamic, however, and some supporters say they believe the bill can be passed before the year's end.

The bill would not automatically establish a native Hawaiian government. Rather, it would provide a road map for how native Hawaiians could organize such a government. Once established, the new government would negotiate with the state and the federal governments over which assets the new government would own. Currently, the state administers 1.2 million acres of former monarchy land, and some of that land could revert to the new native Hawaiian government.

Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii, said it would allow native Hawaiians a chance to manage land and assets as they see fit.

"When the land wasn't worth anything and there was no money, nobody cared," Abercrombie said. "Now that the land is worth a considerable amount of money, now, all of a sudden, everybody is interested."

Abercrombie, who sponsored the bill in the House, scheduled the hearing for yesterday, King Kamehameha I Day, a state holiday in Hawaii.

In 2006 the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights recommended against passage of comparable legislation. The commission said it opposed any bill that would "discriminate on the basis of race or national origin and further subdivide the American people into discrete subgroups accorded varying degrees of privilege."

But Michael Yaki, a member of that commission, said little work went into the recommendation and that Congress should ignore it.

He said a resolution apologizing for the U.S. government's role in the overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani in 1893 also was never part of the commission's review. He said that warnings of race-based government are spread simply to instill unwarranted fear and opposition to the bill.

Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., and the committee's chairman, called the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1893 a dark chapter in U.S. history.

"I can assure you that the committee will continue to press forward with re-establishment of a government-to-government relationship with the native Hawaiians," he said.

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

http://www.mauinews.com/page/content.detail/id/519659.html?nav=5031
The Maui News, Friday June 12, 2009
Article headline "Akaka Bill opponents found in the islands, too"
Identical article published in
http://www.cherokeephoenix.org/3748/Article.aspx
The Cherokee Phoenix, Friday June 12, 2009
Article headline "Akaka Bill debate renewed"

By Mark Niesse
Associated Press Writer

HONOLULU (AP) — Opposition to a proposed Native Hawaiian government comes from those who fear race-based privileges and Hawaiians who believe it would forfeit their 116-year-old claims to independence.

Most mainstream groups, including the state government's Hawaiian agency and leaders of both political parties, support passage of the legislation, which began moving through Congress again this year with its first committee hearing Thursday. But even they would like to make changes to it.

Backers of the Akaka Bill, named after Hawaii Sen. Daniel Akaka, say the measure has never stood a better chance of becoming law since it was first introduced in Congress in 2000 and brought up every session since. Hawaii-born President Barack Obama has said he would sign the bill.

The measure would create a Hawaiian government like those established for American Indian tribes and Alaska Natives.

Opponents say its approval would perpetuate wrongs rooted in the 1893 overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy.

"We're continuing in a situation of occupation, which is promoted by the Akaka Bill supporters," said Kawika Liu, a Hawaiian physician who favors independence. "To be a Hawaiian independent nation is not an option with the Akaka Bill. It replicates a colonial mentality."

An advocacy group against the Akaka Bill, the free market Grassroot Institute, doesn't want taxpayers to have to provide additional benefits based on Hawaiian ancestry, said spokesman Tom McAuliffe.

"The whole idea of dividing people along racial lines, along bloodlines, is wrong. Are we not all in this together, as Americans and as Hawaiians, to move this state forward?" he said.

The official state agency representing Hawaiians, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, has long pushed for the Akaka Bill to become law.

OHA has gathered about 101,000 signatures for Kau Inoa, a drive to register Hawaiians to establish a list of voters who would be eligible for elections associated with a Hawaiian government entity.

The agency's trustees voted last week to support the bill, but with a few suggested adjustments.

One of the proposed amendments seeks to change the definition of "Native Hawaiian" so that it means only those who can trace their lineage to the original inhabitants of the islands before Captain James Cook established Western contact in 1778. The current language of the bill links Hawaiians more to the former kingdom than to their ethnicity by defining "Native Hawaiians" as those with indigenous lineage who resided in the islands before 1893.

"The Office of Hawaiian Affairs believes the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act is part of a long road to reconciliation and a path of healing," OHA said in a statement.

The Native Hawaiian Bar Association is also supporting the bill, but the group is submitting testimony asking that the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Defense be included to protect the rights and resources of Hawaiians.

"Self determination is a critical issue for our Hawaiian community," according to the group's testimony.

It's possible that the measure could pass Congress as soon as this year, the 50th anniversary of Hawaii's statehood.

The committee that considered the bill Thursday, the House Natural Resources Committee, will need to take a vote to advance it to the full House. The Senate Indian Affairs Committee has not yet scheduled a hearing on the measure.

"There stars are better aligned for the passage of the Akaka Bill by the United States Congress than ever before," said Hawaii Democratic Party Chairman Brian Schatz.

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

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090612/NEWS21/906120366/Native+Hawaiian+bill+in+Congress+defended+as+not+++race-based+
Honolulu Advertiser, Friday, June 12, 2009

** Headline in the physical newspaper is:
ALLIES DEFEND AKAKA BILL

Native Hawaiian bill in Congress defended as not 'race-based'
Isle delegation rebuts racial claims on legislation as Congress renews debate

By John Yaukey
Advertiser Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — Congress began deliberations yesterday on the "Akaka bill," which would create a process for Native Hawaiian self-governance, as Hawai'i's congressional delegation sought to confront arguments that the legislation is "race-based."

The bill, written by Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawai'i, would develop a process for reorganizing a Native Hawaiian government. If passed, the legislation could reshape the political landscape in Hawai'i, giving Native Hawaiians virtually the same rights as those established by many of the nation's 562 American Indian tribes and Native Alaskans.

Eventually, it could give Native Hawaiians greater control over their highly valuable ancestral lands.

"The Native Hawaiian people are an indigenous people — this is not race-based legislation," Rep. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawai'i, told the House Natural Resources Committee at a morning hearing yesterday. The panel could have the first vote on the legislation in coming weeks.

Hirono kicked off what looks to be a summer of debate over an issue with potential racial, political and financial overtones.

The hearing came on King Kamehameha Day, the state holiday in Hawai'i in honor of the warrior-king who unified the Hawaiian people.

The Akaka bill's mostly Republican opponents — who have quashed the legislation in the past — face a Democrat-controlled Congress and Hawai'i-born President Obama, who has vowed to sign the bill if it reaches his desk.

Opponents of the 9-year-old legislation that has been revised several times contend that the bill challenges the American principle of equality and opens doors to political volatility among Native Hawaiians.

In 2006, the Justice Department under President George W. Bush argued the Akaka bill would "divide people by their race."

"It is clear that many ethnic Hawaiians will not regard the new government as deriving its powers solely from federal delegation," said Gail Heroit, a Republican appointee on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. "Rather, they will argue that it derives its power from their own inherent sovereignty and is thus not subject to any of the limitations on power found in the U.S. Constitution."

1.8 MILLION ACRES OF LAND

At stake, in addition to the political future of the Native Hawaiian people, is control over some 1.8 million acres of land that many Native Hawaiians believe was taken from them illegally in the United States' annexation of Hawai'i in 1898.

Passage of the Akaka bill would provide for negotiations on the disposition of Native Hawaiian land, natural resources and other assets.

Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawai'i, drove the financial point of the debate home in yesterday's hearing when he said opponents of the Akaka bill have their eyes fixed more on some of the nation's most prized Pacific real estate than on any legal issues.

"This has nothing to do with the Constitution," said Abercrombie, who is running for governor and who sponsored the Akaka legislation in the House. "It has to do with the land."

It has to do with the Senate as well.

Originally proposed in 2000, the Akaka bill has been passed repeatedly in the House but has hit walls in the Senate, where single lawmakers can hold up bills at will.

The Senate has not yet scheduled a hearing on the legislation.

The Akaka bill's first test in that chamber would be before the Indian Affairs Committee, where Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, D-Hawai'i, is a senior member.

The legislation came closest to passing in 2007 when it cleared the full House, but it was never brought to the Senate floor for a vote.

The delegation reintroduced the 2007 version several weeks ago.

This version contains a provision barring any new Native Hawaiian government from authorizing gambling. The provision was included to ease fears that newly empowered Native Hawaiians would set up gambling operations. But gambling already is illegal in Hawai'i.

2006 RECOMMENDATION

In 2006, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights recommended against passage of comparable legislation. The commission said it opposed any bill that would "discriminate on the basis of race or national origin and further subdivide the American people into discrete subgroups accorded varying degrees of privilege."

But Michael Yaki, a member of that commission, said little work went into the recommendation and that Congress should ignore it.

He said a resolution apologizing for the U.S. government's role in the overthrow of Queen Lili'uokalani in 1893 also were never part of the commission's review. In the end, he said that warnings of race-based government is spread simply to instill unwarranted fear and opposition to the bill.

Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., and the committee's chairman, called the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawai'i in 1893 a dark chapter in U.S. history.

"I can assure you that the committee will continue to press forward with re-establishment of a government-to-government relationship with the Native Hawaiians," he said.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Emily Lawrimore or Jill Strait
Thursday, June 11, 2009
202-226-2311

Ranking Member Hastings' Statement on the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Doc Hastings delivered the following statement today during the Full Committee hearing on H.R. 2314, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009. Click here to watch.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRQCirwQM6s

"Mr. Chairman, thank you for scheduling this hearing on H.R. 2314, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009 sponsored by our good friend from Hawaii, Mr. Abercrombie.

If effort and persistence were all that were necessary to enact a bill, this would have become law the first year Mr. Abercrombie sponsored it. Because of my high regard for him and his bipartisanship in pursuing enactment of this bill, it is with a sense of regret that I find myself in the opposition.

Mr. Chairman, the House debated identical legislation in the 110th Congress in Committee and on the Floor, subsequent to which the full House passed it. At the time, I was a Member of the Rules Committee and managed the Rule for the consideration of this bill for the Republicans.

As in the last Congress, I am opposed to enacting this bill for the same reasons I described on the Floor then. No new circumstantial or legal evidence has come to light to change my opinion.

If anything, the latest 9-0 Supreme Court ruling in Hawaii v. Office of Hawaiian Affairs, decided March 31, 2009, casts a larger shadow than before on the doubtful proposition that Congress constitutionally can and should extend recognition to a governing entity for Native Hawaiians.

It bears noting that the Bush Administration threatened to veto the bill. Though President Obama is not bound by this, the previous Administration's position largely rested on constitutional concerns raised by the Department of Justice, constitutional concerns with granting recognition to an entity that is effectively based on race.

Unfortunately, because no one from the Departments of Justice and Interior and the White House are here today, we really have no idea how President Obama came to the conclusion that this bill does not cross a constitutional boundary line separating recognition of an Indian tribe from recognition of a race-based government prohibited under the 14th Amendment.

In 2006, the Department of Justice sent letters to the Senate expressing deep concern that this legislation would ‘divide people by their race' and that the Supreme Court and lower Federal Courts have been invalidating certain state laws providing race-based qualifications for certain state programs.

It would be helpful to have someone from the Justice Department present today to expand on these concerns. Their absence only makes one wonder if the White House does not want the Justice Department's prior legal analysis to trump the President's political support for Native Hawaiian recognition."

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

http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?2291485d-3384-46d5-b96b-90229e6f3a87
Hawaii Reporter, June 12, 2009

June 11 is Kamehameha Day -- an official holiday of the State of Hawaii. On the weekend there will be parades featuring men, women, horses, and vehicles, all adorned with fresh flower leis. The Royal Hawaiian Band will play, hulas will be performed on decorated flatbed trucks rolling down the street; and people will enjoy poi, sushi, manapua, malasadas, shave ice, and all the foods of Hawaii's beautiful rainbow of races and cultures.

The greatest accomplishment of King Kamehameha The Great was to unify all the Hawaiian islands under a single government in 1810, putting an end to centuries of warfare and the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of native Hawaiian men, women and children.

But now once again we are threatened with the Akaka bill in Congress, whose primary purpose is to rip us apart along racial lines. It would authorize creation of a racially exclusionary government empowered to negotiate with federal, state and local governments for money, land, and legal jurisdiction. It would spawn new wars in courtrooms throughout America, and especially in Hawaii, as lawyers get rich fighting over all the elements of sovereignty including land ownership, voting rights, labor laws, zoning regulations, child custody when one parent has Hawaiian blood and the other does not; etc. There's no simple way to divide Hawaii's lands racially, because ethnic Hawaiians are thoroughly intermarried and assimilated throughout all neighborhoods. In Hawaii there are rich neighborhoods and poor ones, professionals and laborers; but always there are "Hawaiians" and "non-Hawaiians" working, playing, and praying side by side. Separate governments by race in Hawaii would create great injustice and social upheaval, reminiscent of the splitting apart of India to create Pakistan and the subsequent exchange of populations, land, and houses. Today's relations between India and Pakistan might characterize how things would turn out in Hawaii.

The Kingdom founded by Kamehameha was multiracial in all aspects. The reason he succeeded when all previous warrior chiefs for 1500 years had failed, was because he used British-supplied ships, guns, and cannons; together with the expertise of English sailors John Young and Isaac Davis. A grateful Kamehameha gave Young and Davis chiefly rank. He appointed Davis as Governor of O'ahu. More importantly, Kamehameha appointed John Young (Hawaiian name Olohana) as Governor of Kamehameha's home island (Hawaii Island), gave him land and a house immediately next to the great Pu'ukohola Heiau, gave him a daughter to be his wife, and gave him a seat next to himself in the ruling council of chiefs. John Young II (Hawaiian name Keoni Ana) was Kuhina Nui under Kauikeaouli Kamehameha III -- the second-highest office in the nation. Every law was required to be signed by both the King and the Kuhina Nui, who in effect had veto power over the King. The granddaughter of John Young was Queen Emma, wife of Alexander Liholiho Kamehameha IV, and founder of Queen's Hospital and St. Andrews Cathedral.

John Young 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). Yet the Akaka bill would deny John Young membership in the Akaka tribe.

For short videos and audios about John Young, Father Damien (soon to be Saint Damien), navigator Mau Piailug, and other Hawaiian cultural heroes who lack Hawaiian blood and would be excluded under the Akaka bill, see
http://akakabill.org/audio-downloads/

The first Constitution of Hawaii was proclaimed by an all-powerful King in 1840 and bears two signatures: Kamehameha Rex (Kauikeaouli Kamehameha III) and Keoni Ana (John Young Jr.).

The first sentence of that first Constitution, known to historians as the kokokahi sentence, was written on advice of American missionary William Richards. It is perhaps the most beautiful expression of unity and equality ever spoken or written: "Ua hana mai ke Akua i na lahuikanaka a pau i ke koko hookahi, e noho like lakou ma ka honua nei me ke kuikahi, a me ka pomaikai." 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." For further information see "The Aloha Spirit -- what it is, who possess it, and why it is important" at
http://tinyurl.com/66w4m2

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.

Instead of one Hawaii there would be two. A government composed exclusively of ethnic Hawaiians would constantly demand more and more money, land, and special rights to be taken away from the ever-diminishing government representing all Hawaii's people. Ethnic Hawaiians would vote for State Senators and Representatives at the same time they are voting for tribal leaders who will sit across the bargaining table from them. This dual voting is far more serious in Hawaii than in any other state, because ethnic Hawaiians comprise 20% of the State's population, and politicians generally kow-tow to them out of fear of racial bloc voting. For example, Clayton Hee was head of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs for many years, and now sits as head of the state Senate committee that handles Hawaiian affairs. His thumb will weigh heavy on the scale when he decides how much of the State of Hawaii should be given to the Akaka tribe. 22 out of 51 members of the House belong to the "Hawaiian" caucus.

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). Nearly all government department heads and judges were Caucasian. At the time the monarchy was overthrown in 1893 only 40% of Hawaii's people had a drop of Hawaiian native blood; and by the time of the first U.S. Census (1900) after Annexation, only 26% were full or part Hawaiian. The Hawaiian Government Reorganization bill (Akaka bill) proposes a government of, by, and for ethnic Hawaiians alone. 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.

The Reform Constitution of 1887 (bayonet Constitution) had the primary purpose of fighting corruption by severely limiting the power of the King. It was actually a revolution, since a mob of 1500 armed men gave the King the choice of signing the Constitution or being ousted. One part of that Constitution denied voting rights to Asians. It was the first time in the history of Hawaii that voting rights were denied on the basis of race. But that evil in 1887 was embraced by Kalakaua and the natives just as much as it was embraced by the Caucasians, because both groups saw the rapidly rising Asian population as a threat to their joint hegemony. The number of Asian immigrants who gave up citizenship in the land of their birth to become naturalized subjects of the Kingdom was small. But Asians were rapidly becoming the majority race. All their babies born on Hawaiian soil were automatically subjects of the Kingdom and would become eligible to vote 20 years later unless something was done. That's why Kalakaua never protested the disenfranchisement of Asians, and signed the new Constitution to hang onto his crown at their expense. Today we once again have Hawaiian sovereignty activists telling Asians that they are merely settlers in an ethnic Hawaiian plantation even if their families have been here for seven generations. The activists demand that Asians know their place, which is to be subservient to anyone with a drop of Hawaiian blood; and to help ethnic Hawaiians overthrow the yoke of American occupation and oppression. See a book review of "Asian Settler Colonialism" (UH Press, 2008) at
http://tinyurl.com/8mkdmj

Today, everyone born or naturalized in Hawaii or anywhere else in the U.S. is a citizen of the U.S. with full voting rights, full property rights, and equal protection under the law. We can keep it that way only by defeating the Akaka bill. Please see "Hawaiian Apartheid: Racial Separatism and Ethnic Nationalism in the Aloha State" at
http://tinyurl.com/2a9fqa

A letter to President Obama asks him to consider the evils of the Akaka bill in light of African-American history and aspirations. Suppose we create a government exclusively for all 40 Million Americans who have at least one drop of African blood, and empower that Nation of New Africa to negotiate for money, land, and jurisdictional authority. Would that be good for America? Would it be good for African-Americans? The impact on Hawaii of passing the Akaka bill would be far worse than the impact on all of America of creating a New-Africa tribe. That's because only 13% of Americans have at least one drop of African blood, whereas 20% of Hawaii's people have at least a drop of Hawaiian blood. America had a racial separatist movement, just as the Akaka bill heads the list of Hawaiian separatist proposals. But the black separatists like Elijah Muhammad, Louis Farrakhan, the Black Panthers, and Malcolm X (before his pilgrimage to Mecca), fortunately lost the battle for hearts and minds to integrationists like Martin Luther King. The letter to President Obama can be seen at
http://tinyurl.com/bl9rvv

On Wednesday, June 15, 2005 the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii (a local think-tank) published an advertisement in the Honolulu Advertiser that took up almost the entirety of page 14. The ad featured a huge photo of the Kamehameha Statue at Ali'iolani Hale, together with text (below). The beautiful ad, in shades of gold, brown, red, and white, can be downloaded in pdf format at:
http://tinyurl.com/agafh

Here is the text of the ad: "Kamehameha united us all. Long before he unified the islands in 1810, Kamehameha the Great brought non-natives on to his team and into his family. Ever since then, non-natives have continued to intermarry, assimilate and contribute to the social, economic and political life of Hawaii. Most Native Hawaiians today are mostly of other ancestries and Hawaii's racial blending has become a model for the world. Akaka would divide us forever. The Akaka bill would impose on the people of Hawaii an unprecedented separate government to be created by Native Hawaiians only. It would require the U.S. to recognize the new government as the governing body of ALL of the Native Hawaiian people whether a majority of Hawaiians agreed or not---no vote, no referendum, no chance to debate. On his deathbed, King Kamehameha the Great said, "I have given you -- the greatest good: peace. And a kingdom which -- is all one -- a kingdom of all the islands." The Akaka Bill would divide the people of Hawaii forever and undo the unification which made Kamehameha not only the greatest of the Hawaiian chiefs, but one of the great men of world history."

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.

** An earlier webpage on this topic provides more information including photos of the Kamehameha statue, Senator Akaka, Senator Inouye, and the famous painting by Herb Kane showing the Battle of Nu'uanu where Kamehameha pushed the army of O'ahu King Kalanikupule over a precipice to their deaths. See "Kamehameha vs. Akaka -- Kamehameha unified Hawai'i 200 years ago; Akaka bill's main purpose is to divide Hawai'i" at
http://www.angelfire.com/hi5/bigfiles3/AkakaKamehamehaKing.html

* Dr. Conklin's book "Hawaiian Apartheid: Racial Separatism and Ethnic Nationalism in the Aloha State" is in the library or can be viewed and ordered at
http://tinyurl.com/2a9fqa

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

http://www.starbulletin.com/editorials/20090612_Akaka_Bill_should_pass_with_new_amendments.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, June 12, 2009
EDITORIAL

Akaka Bill should pass with new amendments

Congress has begun to renew consideration of a bill granting tribal status to native Hawaiians — and supporters have reason to be confident of approval. A more difficult contest could occur in the courts, and every effort should be made to satisfy constitutional questions before the bill's enactment.

Democrats have been the major supporters of the bill in Congress, where it was narrowly stopped by a Senate filibuster in 2006. Since then, Democrats have increased their numbers in the Senate from 45 to 58. While President George W. Bush probably would have vetoed the bill, President Barack Obama has assured his signature.

The House Natural Resources Committee heard testimony yesterday, and the only opposition came from Gail Heriot, a member of the Bush-packed Commission on Civil Rights that opposed the bill three years ago along party lines. She and other opponents argue that the bill is race-based while pegged largely to the overthrow of a multi-racial kingdom.

Indeed, Sen. Daniel Akaka's sovereignty bill emphasizes the 1893 overthrow, "the active participation of agents and citizens of the United States" and the "ramifications" of the overthrow. The bill defines native Hawaiians as those who can trace their ancestry to "aboriginal, indigenous, native people" who lived in Hawaii in 1893.

In a report for the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Washington lawyer H. Christopher Bartolomucci maintains that the argument that the Hawaiian kingdom was multi-racial should not undermine the indigenous requirement for inclusion.

"Taken to its logical endpoint," he asserts, "this argument suggests that any sovereign political group that permits outsiders into its ranks surrenders its sovereignty; this clearly cannot be."

Bartolomucci, who focuses on appellate and U.S. Supreme Court litigation, further argues that non-Hawaiian participation in the kingdom's government "was at least in part the result of direct pressure by Europeans and Americans who sought increased influence over Hawaiian affairs."

In her testimony, Heriot argued the "the greatest irony" would be that native Hawaiians as defined in the bill could include, through intermarriage over the years, descendants of "those 19th-century white settlers (who) are the ones who wronged the 19th-century ethnic Hawaiians."

Those messy arguments should not have to be made in Congress or, more importantly, the courts. Instead, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs now suggests that the Akaka Bill's definition of native Hawaiian be pegged to 1778, the year that English explorer Captain James Cook became the first non-Hawaiian to set foot on the islands. That is among three new amendments to H.R. 2314 and S. 1011 that OHA is urging Hawaii's congressional delegation to support.

Haunani Apoliona, chairwoman of the OHA board of trustees, says the 1778 definition would conform more with the native American and Alaskan tribes, which have the sovereignty that Hawaiians now seek. Heinous as the overthrow was, citing it as the reason for granting sovereignty to indigenous Hawaiians could create a legal risk that should be avoided.

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

http://www.mauinews.com/page/content.detail/id/519709.html?nav=9
The Maui News, June 13, 2009

Akaka Bill a vital step

Kamehameha the Great forged a kingdom by uniting all of the islands under one rule. The chiefs who had been waging war against each other all gave allegiance to one monarch. After hundreds of years of periodic warfare, there was peace in the islands.

A different kind of contention exists in the islands today, although the principle battleground is some 5,000 miles away in Washington, D.C. With the encouragement of Hawaii-born President Barack Obama, proponents of the Akaka Bill are optimistic about passage through Congress. The measure would set up a process that would allow Hawaiians to establish a legal entity that could negotiate on even terms with the federal and state governments.

At issue is control of up to 1.2 million acres of crown land now administered by the state, and the political and legal status of individuals whose ancestors lived in the islands before the overthrow of the monarchy in 1893.

Opposition in Congress includes fears the Akaka Bill would set a dangerous precedent that might, for example, allow Chicanos in the Southwest or Cajuns in Louisiana to seek the same sort of recognition. There's one major difference. Hawaii was a sovereign nation when it was annexed. The U.S. acquired the Southwest and Louisiana through treaties with Mexico and France.

There are those in the islands who believe Hawaiians should demand nothing less than complete independence and restoration of the monarchy. How that could be achieved is impossible to imagine. The Akaka Bill is a step - just a step - toward recognizing the moral and legal rights of kanaka maoli. The step can be taken more quickly if all keiki o ka 'aina, children of the land, remember how the unity forged by Kamehameha brought peace to the islands.

It is impossible to provide complete redress for all the wrongs of the past. It is only possible to create an equitable, honorable and peaceful future - for Hawaiians and those who support them.

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

http://www.starbulletin.com/editorials/letters/20090614_Letters_to_the_Editor.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, June 14, 2009, Letter to editor

Akaka Bill stance weakens Obama

In his very moving inaugural address, President Barack Obama said, "... We cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself. ..."

How can these noble words be reconciled with Mr. Obama's support of the Akaka Bill, which will establish a new native Hawaiian "tribe," will divide Hawaii's people along ethnic lines and will stir up old hatreds?

Tom Macdonald
Kaneohe

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

http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/opinion/48089317.html
Indian Country Today, June 16, 2009

Russell: Got indigenous?

By Steve Russell
Indian Country Today

Legal arguments often revolve around competing analogies. The parties claim the case is more like known case A or known case B and whoever wins the war of analogy wins the lawsuit. If the Cherokee freedmen case is about the right of a tribe to determine citizenship, the racists win. If it is about the sanctity of treaties, the freedmen win. Framing the issue floats outside of "right and wrong" because it's the law that tribes determine their own citizenship standards and that treaties should be honored.

If you are a Native Hawaiian, is your status more like American Indians or more like an ethnic minority? Addressing this question inevitably requires drawing conclusions about the legal status of American Indians, and this has not escaped the notice of people who oppose Hawaiian sovereignty. Indeed, they are often the same people who opposed Indian sovereignty on the ground that it is a racial special privilege that disadvantages white people.

Once more, the bill to recognize Native Hawaiians as having the same sovereign status as Indian nations is pending in Congress. In the world of right and wrong, the only opponents with a leg to stand on are the minority of Native Hawaiians who oppose the bill because they want their full sovereignty back. Should a majority of Native Hawaiians adopt that position, the bill should be opposed simply because the politics of the Hawaiian relationship with the United States is Hawaiian business.

As long as the argument of the status of Native Hawaiians persists in Congress or in the courts, Indians have a dog in the fight. If Native Hawaiians win, the legal sovereignty of American Indian tribes is more secure. David Yeagley, the rightwing Comanche activist, recognized this when he wrote an op-ed opposing the Hawaiians. Indians who think the current understanding of tribal sovereignty is not worth maintaining should oppose the Hawaiians just like the white people who consider tribal sovereignty to be "race privilege" that disadvantages them.

An Associated Press report on the Native Hawaiian bill quotes Gail Heriot, a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights as saying that granting sovereign status to Native Hawaiians would be like doing the same for Cajuns in Louisiana or Chicanos in the Southwest. This appears to be the Republican Party line. Sound familiar?

Nothing I am about to say should be construed as opposing civil rights for any ethnic group. I have nothing but respect for the mainstream civil rights movement by and for African-Americans, and the same for the civil rights of the people I am about to discuss. All I'm saying is that American Indians and Native Hawaiians (and Native Alaskans) are indigenous peoples, and that makes all the difference.

Cajuns, or Acadians, were predominantly French colonists who were in a fight with British colonists called, in this country, the French and Indian War and in Europe, the Seven Years War. They emigrated from Canada to Louisiana thinking that they were staying on French soil when, in fact, France had secretly ceded Louisiana to Spain.

All of this is quite tragic if you don't take into account that at the time, Louisiana was and had been from time immemorial occupied by American Indians to whom the French and Spanish and British and - in 1803, Americans - were just different sets of colonizers, trespassers on Indian land.

Yes, the Cajuns did intermarry with Indians, but so did all the colonists. The Cajun culture is what it is, which is delightful, but it is not indigenous. Yes, the Cajuns were and sometimes are abused, but not because they originally owned Louisiana.

Chicanos in the Southwest are a little harder because their blood is primarily indigenous. How do we know this? Because the Spanish kept very good records and Mexican society was quite racist. A higher degree of indigenous blood meant lower social status. Having Spanish ancestors was very important, and the Spanish ruthlessly suppressed tribalism.

Chicanos have in the past and do to this day in some places suffer from outrageous discrimination. There were the "No dogs or Mexicans" signs on restaurants in the '50s. There was the attempt to "desegregate" the public schools in Corpus Christi by mixing brown kids and black kids so as not to contaminate the white kids.

Nowadays, there is a political tendency that infests both major political parties but practically runs the Republican Party that could be called, in shorthand, "hate the Mexicans." Economy in the toilet? Hate the Mexicans! Lousy schools? Hate the Mexicans! Health care too expensive? Hate the Mexicans! The spokesmen for this movement are Tom Tancredo, who compared the National Council of La Raza to the KKK and Lou Dobbs, who warns of the Brown Peril nightly on CNN.

The policy prescriptions these bozos push are aimed at Hispanics but they almost always cause collateral damage among American Indians. They want to give local police authority to make brown people prove their citizenship, and that means Indians get rousted. They want to make the public use of any language but English illegal. They target Spanish but they hit tribal languages. When they attack bilingual education, they force tribal language preservation programs away from public funding. And if a public worker can't be paid to interpret Spanish, she can't be paid to interpret Navajo.

Sociologists call this politics "nativist," which provides Indians a bit of comic relief, since all the people pushing it are descendants of colonists. The "nativists" want persons of Mexican descent to "go back where they came from." Apparently, the nativist history books don't teach about the Mexican War, because lots of those Mexican-Americans were in Mexico when the border moved and put them in the United States.

At the end of that war, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo said:

"Mexicans now established in territories previously belonging to Mexico, and which remain for the future within the limits of the United States, as defined by the present treaty, shall be free to continue where they now reside, or to remove at any time to the Mexican Republic, retaining the property which they possess in the said territories...

"Those who shall prefer to remain in the said territories may either retain the title and rights of Mexican citizens, or acquire those of citizens of the United States."

If this treaty means anything, Mexican-Americans living in the Southwest have the full civil rights of American citizens. Like in the case of the Cajuns, these people are abused because they are caught in a struggle between two colonial governments, in this case the U.S. and Mexico. Abusing them is wrong, but abuse does not make them indigenous and neither does intermarriage unless it is coupled with maintaining tribal relations.

Most Native Hawaiians are living where they have lived from time immemorial. Like us, they struggle to preserve their language and customs but their language and customs are not "foreign" - they run with the land. Like us, they have been dispossessed by the colonists. They had an indigenous government that was overthrown by the U.S. government. Native Hawaiians have in common with us that the trespassers seek to treat them as trespassers. That practically defines indigenous, and that is the basis for claims that, like Indian claims, go far beyond equal treatment as citizens.

Steve Russell, Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, is a Texas trial court judge by assignment and an associate professor of criminal justice at Indiana University. He is a columnist for Indian Country Today. He lives in Bloomington and can be reached at swrussel@indiana.edu.

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

http://www.mauinews.com/page/content.detail/id/519830.html?nav=18
The Maui News, June 16, Letter to editor

Akaka Bill just amounts to false promises and racism

When will the misinformation ("Akaka Bill a vital step," Today's Editorial, June 13) stop about how great the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009 is?

The writer, as do many proponents, contends: "It is only possible to create an equitable, honorable and peaceful future for Hawaiians and those who support them" through the passage of S.1011. The written facts prove otherwise.

Between the legalese, fancy play and placement of inspiring words in this bill, if passed by the United States Congress it will have manufactured the illusion Hawaiians are giving consent to the terms in this bill. The "Native Hawaiians" in this bill are subject to the definition in The Hawaiian Homes Act of 1920, Section 201: any descendant of not less than one-half part of the blood of the races inhabiting the Hawaiian Islands previous to 1778.

Aside from the blood quantum language (genocidal), how come the United States government does not legally recognize the years and accomplishments after 1778? No matter how pleasant to our ears the Akaka Bill is played, it clearly resounds with false promises and racism.

Until society is willing and acts definitively to change the laws that by definition are racist, the United States of America will always be a racist society.

Foster Ampong
Kahului

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

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090618/OPINION02/906180310/1108
Honolulu Advertiser, June 18, 2009

AKAKA BILL
EXCLUSION WASN'T KALAKAUA'S WAY

Our Hawaiian culture places great importance — and rightly so — on the concept of pono, meaning upright, fair and proper.

Yet what is pono about a reorganized Hawaiian government that seeks to exclude the descendants of royal subjects who were naturalized, foreign-born?

Is it the belief of the authors of the Akaka bill that King Kalakaua had it all wrong when he decreed that naturalized citizens "shall be entitled to all the rights, privileges and immunities of a Hawaiian subject"?

And what of the "keiki o ka 'aina" — born and raised in Hawai'i, but of immigrant ancestry? Are they not de facto naturalized citizens?

It was clear in the days of Kalakaua that all of the citizens of Hawai'i were Hawaiian, irrespective of race! In its proposed new government, the Akaka bill would allow only those who qualify as "aboriginal, indigenous" while excluding all others. Coincidence of birth should not entitle me or anyone else to rights and privileges unavailable to those who embrace the beauty and culture of Hawai'i, but do not meet a dubious blood quantum standard.

William H. D. King
Kula, Maui

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

http://www.starbulletin.com/editorials/letters/20090618_Letters_to_the_Editor.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, June 18, 2009

Akaka Bill needs more transparency

As the Star-Bulletin has reported, the Akaka Bill is once again moving through Congress.

The bill has been carefully crafted so that its consequences will not be known until after it has become law. But Rep. Neil Abercrombie has said on several occasions that the bill is "about land and about money." He has admitted that the bill's intent to transfer some or all of the state's lands ("ceded lands") and other state assets to a new sovereign Hawaiian government, where the assets will be used only for the benefit of those who have at least one drop of Hawaiian blood.

At last week's hearing before the House Natural Resources Committee, Abercrombie suggested that it is critical that native Hawaiians gain title to these lands because some nefarious, but unidentified, group is plotting to take them away from the state.

I, and I suspect many others, would be most interested in learning the identity of these plotters so that their plan could be foiled and these state lands could continue to benefit all citizens of Hawaii, regardless of race or ancestry.

Tom Macdonald
Kaneohe

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

http://www.mauinews.com/page/content.detail/id/519973.html?nav=16
The Maui News, June 19, 2009

If two wrongs don't make a right, two rights don't necessarily make a wrong.

Haku Mo'oleleo (regular Friday column)
By EDWIN TANJI, For The Maui News

If anything, when opposing sides have valid positions, the best option is compromise. That is what the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act attempts, even as opposing extremes on the issue of Hawaiian sovereign rights argue there is no reason to compromise.

The issue is whether Hawaiians have sovereign rights.

Sen. Daniel Akaka, supported by most of Hawaii's elected officialdom, holds that Hawaiians do, defining a Hawaiian as anyone tracing lineage to the "aboriginal, indigenous, native people" who lived in and "exercised sovereignty" over the islands prior to 1893.

On one side, sovereignty claimants argue that the Hawaiian monarch was deposed with assistance of United States citizens supported by a U.S. military unit and that the subsequent Republic of Hawaii was an illegal entity.

On the other, advocates for the legality of the Republic of Hawaii argue that the deposing of Queen Lili'uokalani was an action forced by Lili'uokalani's defiance of the constitution that limited the authority of the monarchy. The coup d'etat of Jan. 17, 1893, was supported by both Hawaiian and non-Hawaiian citizens of the islands.

Examination of the historic events will find evidence to support both arguments, albeit the evidence is largely writings by opposing sides expressing their version of the events.

Eyewitnesses to history can have divergent views. Those who prevail in achieving power usually get to promote their version, but history has a way of proceeding, whatever interpretation might be placed on it.

The June 12 issue of The Maui News displayed an observance of Kamehameha Day alongside a pair of stories on critics of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009. The editor who made the choice may not have seen an incongruity, but few would.

No one today questions the actions of Kamehameha I in taking control of the islands by brute force. He is honored for his place in history as the individual who unified the islands, with a few stories about the bloody battles through which he managed unification in 1810.

No one goes to Kepaniwai in Iao Valley to honor the Maui warriors slain as they defended their island from an invading force. Certainly no one accuses Kamehameha I and his successors of holding sovereign power as a result of an illegal act of war.

No one discusses what might have been if Kahekili, the chief of Maui who had established suzerainty over the islands of Molokai and Oahu, had not died in 1794.

There are those, cited in the news stories on the Akaka Bill, who argue that the overthrow of Queen Lili'uokalani was an illegal act that invalidates everything that has happened since.

There are those who argue that Lili'uokalani was blocked in committing an illegal act and the sovereignty of Hawaii is not an issue since citizens of Hawaii chose annexation and statehood.

Beyond the house arrest of Lili'uokalani for defying the constitution imposed on Kalakaua, Hawaiians retained their rights to participate in governing the islands. The election of Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana'ole as a delegate to Congress in 1902 demonstrates Hawaiians were actively involved in the government.

At the same time, the government has recognized a special place for those who can claim to be "aboriginal, indigenous, native." Federal, state and county governments recognize Hawaiian rights to cultural and traditional practices - such as rights to gather and fish even in otherwise protected zones.

Prince Kuhio's Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920 was a clear recognition by the federal government that the "Native Hawaiian" warrants special consideration.

There are those arguing that no special consideration is warranted, sometimes playing a race card that is ignorant of the issues in Hawaii - but is based on the political implications for other indigenous groups around the U.S.

There are those arguing that the islands should be restored to the monarchy of Jan. 16, 1893, with multiple claimants to the title of reigning monarch and no way to decide among them.

If the question is who is right, there is no absolute answer. An unsatisfactory one may have to do.

* Edwin Tanji is a former city editor of The Maui News. He can be reached at moolelo@earthlink.net. "Haku Mo'olelo," "writing stories," is about stories that are being written or have been written. It appears every Friday.

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

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/20/opinion/20sat4.html
New York Times, June 20, 2009

EDITORIAL NOTEBOOK

Hawaii Blues

By LAWRENCE DOWNES

The state of Hawaii turns 50 this year (it joined the union on Aug. 21, 1959). People there should be happy. But it's hard.

The economy is really bad. The housing market and construction industry are in deep slumps. Tourism has been hammered by the recession and swine flu. Unemployment is double what it was a year ago. To close a $688 million budget gap, the governor announced the most drastic furlough program in the country. She's closing state offices three days a month, for two years. Aloha Friday, where people go to work in aloha shirts and muumuus, is going to be Furlough Friday, where they stay home in pajamas and look for jobs on the Internet.

And now, to top everything off, a communist dictator supposedly wants to blow up Hawaii. A Japanese newspaper, The Yomiuri Shimbun, reported this week that North Korea planned to launch a ballistic missile in Hawaii's direction around the Fourth of July.

You can take the threat for what it's worth. Hawaii isn't panicking. But then, while no one wants to think of extinction, the word is far less of an abstraction in Hawaii than in other places. The islands have seen the disappearance of the Hawaiian kingdom, the decimation of its people and language. Today, Hawaii is the world's hottest hot spot for threatened and endangered species. As the only island state, it's the only one that faces an existential threat from global warming and rising oceans.

For years, financially squeezed Hawaii residents have been leaving in droves, setting up colonies in places they can afford, like the moonscapes of the Las Vegas suburbs. They're exiles from paradise. Many people assume Hawaiian music is sweet and happy. Actually, much of it is solemn and melancholy. To hear Bla Pahinui sing his version of "Waimanalo Blues" — "the beaches they sell, to build their hotels," is to glimpse the depths of the Hawaiian sense of loss.

Visitors go to Hawaii to get happy and tan, and they carry home with them vast measures of good will, serenity and memories of joy and peace. Maybe it's time to give some of that back to the suffering 50th state. How? Maybe by telling your representatives in Congress to support the Akaka bill, to give Native Hawaiians a measure of lost sovereignty, and right some old injustices.

There's a great July Fourth parade in Kailua, on Oahu's windward side. It's normally followed by fireworks, but they were canceled this year: too expensive. Some residents are trying to raise money to keep the tradition alive. Since 1948, people have sat on the warm sands of Kailua Beach, oohing and aahing as fireworks burst over black water. Now they can't, in their state's golden anniversary year. Could anything be sadder than that?

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

http://www.mauinews.com/page/content.detail/id/520042.html?nav=18
The Maui News, June 21, 2009

Akaka Bill splits what Kamehameha joined

Today's Editorial in The Maui News June 13 was absurd. You celebrate Kamehameha's unification of all Hawaii but somehow conclude that Congress should pass the Akaka Bill to divide our people and lands by race.

The Kingdom of Hawaii was multiracial from beginning to end. Isaac Davis and John Young - British - were so important to Kamehameha's success that he named them to be governors of Oahu and Hawaii Island. John Young's tomb is in the Royal Mausoleum along with six monarchs. His is the only one that looks like a miniature heiau and is guarded with a pair of sacred taboo sticks.

The first sentence of the first constitution (1840) says: "God has made of one blood all races of people, to dwell on Earth in unity and blessedness." Not God has made Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians to dwell under racially separate governments.

Most cabinet ministers from 1840-1893 were Caucasian, so were most government department heads, most judges, and one-quarter to one-third of the members of the Legislature. Everyone born in Hawaii, or naturalized, was a subject of the kingdom fully equal with natives. In 1893 only 40 percent of Hawaii's people had any Hawaiian blood.

There has never been a unified nation of Hawaii where the only people in the government or exercising voting rights were ethnic Hawaiians. Kamehameha, unifier of Hawaii, must be turning in his grave at the divisiveness of the Akaka Bill. What Kamehameha hath joined together, let not Akaka rip asunder.

Kenneth Conklin
Kaneohe

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

http://www.midweek.com/content/columns/justthoughts_article/is_it_time_to_kill_the_akaka_bill/
Midweek (Oahu weekly newspaper), June 24, 2009

Is It Time To Kill The Akaka Bill?

By Bob Jones (Midweek columnist)

I just can't seem to get my sympathies wrapped around what's commonly called the Akaka Bill - more properly a Native Hawaiian Government Recognition Proposal.

At best, I tend to say go ahead and pass it, but the chances are heavy that the U.S. Supreme Court will strike it down because Hawaiians don't have the recognized standing of our 562 American Indian and Eskimo/Aleut tribes. Hawaii was an independent kingdom/nation.

U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie has tried to paint the anti-bill forces as people who don't want to give Native Hawaiians control of parcels of ancestral land that are now very valuable.

I read that as a ploy in his governor's run to woo Hawaiian votes that traditionally go to Republicans.

U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono says this is not race-based legislation, but clearly it is. That Native Hawaiians are indigenous to the Islands is not at issue.

It's that a lot has changed since they first came here. Hawaii is multi-ethnic and a state with a constitution and one person, one vote. Giving separate governance to one blood line is ... well, basing governance on race.

If we go the Akaka Bill route, we'll surely hear the most activist of Hawaiian sovereignty advocates insisting that any native government derives its power from this federal law and not from the U.S. Constitution. Bedlam!

I realize that the Akaka Bill doesn't create a Hawaiian government; it merely authorizes Hawaiians to negotiate governance alongside the state.

But there are deep divisions in the Hawaiian movement and I'd expect those negotiations to devolve into chaos.

There are many groups such as the Hawaiian Independence Alliance that oppose the Akaka solution.

They believe Hawaii is illegally occupied by America, period. Actually, there are several Hawaiian groups that oppose the Akaka Bill because they believe sovereignty is a right, not a privilege to be negotiated.

My central objection is over trying to rewrite history. We are today what we are. We can't go back to Capt. Cook's time, or even 1893, and reconstitute the Kingdom of Hawaii.

No, we'd be better off continuing to integrate Hawaiians into the fabric of the state and eventually dismantling the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

I know saying that is not going to get me elected governor. Luckily, I have no political ambition, so I'm free to say what seems to make good sense and not just what collects votes.

** Note from website editor Ken Conklin: See lengthy commentary in rebuttal on July 1 by OHA Chair Haunani Apoliona

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

http://honoluluweekly.com/letters/2009/06/seeking-an-alternative/
Honolulu Weekly, June 24, 2009, Letter to editor

Seeking an alternative

I am writing to inquire about coverage of the Akaka bill. When will Honolulu Weekly represent the political opposition to the legislation that stems from those who support the restoration of an independent Hawaiian nation? Last week, the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources held a hearing on HR 2314, "Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009." The companion bill, S. 1011 (introduced just last month), has been referred to the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and has its own hearing soon.

Given that both the Honolulu Advertiser and the Honolulu Star-Bulletin have taken the position of the state government in support of this legislation when reporting on this bill, I write to ask where the journalist inquiry is on this problematic proposal. If passed, the legislation threatens to forever change the political status of the Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) people and negatively impact our national claims under international law.

I hope Honolulu Weekly will live up to its name as an "alternative" news source in Hawaii and provide some critical coverage of this legislation currently being fast tracked by Senator Daniel Inouye and Senator Daniel Akaka, and the rest of Hawaii's congressional delegates, under the Obama administration.

J. Kehaulani Kauanui Center for the Americas Wesleyan University Middletown, Conn.

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

http://www.mauinews.com/page/content.detail/id/520201.html?nav=18
The Maui News, June 25, 2009

Consent of owners is the missing link in title chain

Today's Editorial in The Maui News ("Akaka Bill a vital step," June 13) is correct. There is a major difference between the southwest United States, which was granted to the U.S. by treaty, and Hawaii, which was "annexed" by a unilateral act of Congress without the consent of the owners, the kingdom government or its people.

Although the writer finds it "impossible to imagine" how to achieve "complete independence," the solution is mentioned in the same paragraph. Since the US. refused to reinstate the queen as she demanded, her government must be restored.

It is difficult to imagine that the U.S. will magnanimously give back seized kingdom lands. That's why the Akaka Bill is a vital step for the U.S. and the state, not the kanaka maoli. The only way to remove the cloud on U.S. "title" to kingdom lands is to acquire the missing link in their chain of title. That missing link is the consent of the owners.

The Akaka Bill is a belligerent attempt to reorganize the kingdom government with or without its people's consent. Kau Inoa is an attempt to gain consent from one ethnic portion of the people.

Reorganization and restoration are diametrically opposed solutions to the wrongs of the past. Reorganization attempts to complete the "act of war . . . in violation of treaties . . . and international law." Restoration of the kingdom government would indeed "create an equitable, honorable and peaceful future."

The question remains: Why would Native Hawaiians consent to the U.S. retaining their stolen kingdom so they can negotiate for handouts?

Dan Taylor
Haiku

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

http://www.mauinews.com/page/content.detail/id/520202.html?nav=18
The Maui News, June 25, 2009

Original people are reclaiming Hawaii

The U.S. received stolen property in Hawaii and owes Hawaiians $100 trillion in damages. I'm letting the entire world know we kanaka maoli Polynesians have the right to govern ourselves. Yes, we are in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

I am multiracial. One of my great, great-grandfathers was from China. The U.S. owes China $1 trillion to $2 trillion. So, beware Mexico, Texas and California, you might become part of China. The U.S. thinks more debt is fine. They don't need to worry because you will pay. Ask the banks.

The U.S. came to Hawaii and took over ownership and jurisdiction. However, the tide has turned. Hawaii is going back to its kanaka maoli people.

Gary Wood
Kaupo

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

http://www.mauinews.com/page/content.detail/id/520354.html?nav=18
The Maui News, June 28, 2009

Akaka Bill using an old ethnic definition

No, Kenneth Conklin (Letters, June 1), saying the Akaka Bill splits what Kamehameha joined is artifice. The Akaka Bill exacerbates what your country is solely responsible for and that is creating the "legal" definition of a Native Hawaiian.

Its intent and pursued effect is to denationalize back to a tribal status ethnic Hawaiian Kingdom nationals only through blood quantum and not recognizing Hawaii politically after 1778. See for yourself:

Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1920. Act of July 9, 1921, c 42, 42 Stat 108. Title 2; Hawaiian Homes Commission. 201. "Definitions . . . "Native Hawaiian" means any descendant of not less than one-half part of the blood of the races inhabiting the Hawaiian Islands previous to 1778."

Foster Ampong
Kahului


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

Send comments or questions to:
Ken_Conklin@yahoo.com

You may now

GO TO THE INDEX OF TOPICS FOR THE HISTORY OF THE AKAKA BILL FOR THE ENTIRE 111TH CONGRESS, JANUARY 1, 2009 THROUGH DECEMBER 31, 2010, WITH LINKS TO SUBPAGES COVERING EACH PERIOD OF TIME

or

SEE MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE HAWAIIAN GOVERNMENT REORGANIZATION BILL (AKAKA BILL)

or

GO BACK TO OTHER TOPICS ON THIS WEBSITE


(c) Copyright 2009 - 2010 Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. All rights reserved