History of the Hawaiian Government Reorganization bill from September 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009. Washington Times Sept 8 editorial blasts Akaka bill. Congressman Abercrombie announces he will resign in a few weeks to run for Governor, but waiting until important Congressional business is done. House and Senate committees suddenly schedule markup meetings and votes. ZOGBY POLL SHOWS HAWAII PEOPLE STRONGLY OPPOSE THE BILL AND WANT HEARINGS IN HAWAII. DEC. 16 ABERCROMBIE TRIED TO RAM DANGEROUS MAJOR AMENDMENTS THROUGH HOUSE COMMITTEE MARKUP AT LAST MINUTE, BUT HAWAII GOVERNOR AND ATTORNEY GENERAL FOUND OUT AND STRONGLY PROTESTED, SO ABERCROMBIE BACKED OFF AND THE UNAMENDED VERSION PASSED EASILY. DEC. 17 SENATE COMMITTEE PASSED THE VERSION INCLUDING THE DANGEROUS AMENDMENTS.


(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 SEPTEMBER 1, 2009 AND CONTINUING. FULL TEXT OF EACH ITEM FOLLOWS THE INDEX, IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER.

September 1, 2009: (1) and (2) Two minority members of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights publish a letter to Congressional leaders supporting the Akaka bill and disagreeing with the letter a few days ago by 6 Commissioners who opposed the bill; (3) Southern Poverty Law Center article in its quarterly "Intelligence Report" for Fall 2009 describes anti-Caucasian racial hate crimes in Hawaii, and webpage by Ken Conklin analyzes the article.

Sept. 4: OHA trustee Oswald Stender commentary says "U.S. Commission on Civil Rights skewed. Panel composed of members who have agendas of their own"

Sept 5: Honolulu Star-Bulletin editorial says the U.S. Civil Rights Commission letter opposing the Akaka bill should be ignored because, the newspaper says (incorrectly), the USCCR is entirely a holdover from the Bush administration.

Sept 6: (1) Commentary by two Hawaiian independence activists: "Akaka Bill supporter [Jon Van Dyke, August 24] ignores inherent Kanaka Maoli rights"; (2) Pablo Wegesend, of German, Hispanic, and Portuguese ancestry, but no Hawaiian native blood, makes objection to Hawaiians who say non-Hawaiians have somewhere else to "go back" to: "Lifelong Hawaii resident has no other place to call home"; (3) Hawaiian independence activist notes that the Kingdom was multiracial, and citizenship should not be conflated with race.

Sept 7: Andrew Walden analyzes infighting among factions of ethnic Hawaiians regarding how the Akaka bill should be amended, and wonders whether the bill will implode.

Sept 8: WASHINGTON TIMES EDITORIAL BLASTS AKAKA BILL.

Sept 11: Honolulu Star-Bulletin mini-editorial notes that Census data on health insurance coverage gives ammunition to opponents of Akaka bill because ethnic Hawaiians have only 18% who lack coverage, whereas Native Americans and Native Alaskans have 31% who lack coverage.

Sept 13: (1) Letter responds to Stender's commentary by saying ethnic Hawaiians are nothing like an Indian tribe, and there are major reasons why Akaka bill is unconstitutional; (2) President of Native Hawaiian Bar Association commentary demanding changes to Akaka bill to remove restrictions on ability to sue the federal and state governments for past and future grievances and remove protections for the U.S. military against intrusiveness from the Akaka tribe.

Sept 16: Five-hour meeting about the Akaka bill in a labor union hall on Hawaii Island turns nasty as ethnic Hawaiians opposing the bill seem to outnumber those supporting it and heatedly debate them (union leadership supports the bill).

Sept 21: Commentary says the Akaka bill is an unfunded federal mandate. The U.S. confesses in the 1993 apology resolution that it committed a crime against Hawaii in 1893; and in the Akaka bill the U.S. reiterates that confession but then lays the burden on Hawaii to pay restitution by carving up the public lands of Hawaii.

Sept 22: Commentary "Three Eloquent Reasons to Just Say No to the Akaka Bill and the Secessionists" [Supreme Court tells Hawaii the Constitution is part of our heritage; Justice Scalia said there can be no debtor or creditor race; King Kamehameha III said God has made of one blood all races of people]

Sept 25: Article describes how Senator Inouye introduced legislation that "Native American Sovereignty Should Equal That of States"

Sept 27: Honolulu Advertiser editorial praises reorganization plan announced by Office of Hawaiian Affairs, saying it is a good move regardless whether the Akaka bill passes this year or not.

October 9: (1) "Politico" syndicated column describes Senator Akaka as Mr. Congeniality, whose pleasant low-key demeanor is his way of exercising influence; (2) Honolulu Star-Bulletin interviews former governor Ben Cayetano about his recent autobiography, including comments about the Supreme Court's Rice v. Cayetano decision and his belief that it has been clear ever since that decision in 2000 that the Akaka bill is unconstitutional.

Oct 13 and 14: Conklin letter to editor in Star-Bulletin, and longer guest editorial in Hawaii Reporter, notes that newly canonized Saint Damien gave his life to help leprosy patients, most of whom were native Hawaiians; and OHA calls Damien the "patron saint of Native Hawaiians"; but Damien would be prohibited from joining the Akaka tribe because he lacks Hawaiian blood.

October 18: Rebuttal letter to October 13 by Puakea Nogelmeier (Hawaiian language expert) says the Akaka bill is flawed because it should include all descendants of Kingdom subjects regardless of race, and the issue of Damien is irrelevant to the Akaka bill because Damien never applied for citizenship.

October 19: Rebuttal letter to October 13 by Alfred Bloom (expert on Buddhism), says it is reprehensible to politicize Damien's elevation to sainthood; and in any case Damien "would have stood on the side of justice and redressing a wrong, without regard to personal benefit to himself."

October 20: Conklin letter about Saint Damien (somewhat longer version) published in The Maui News

Amazingly, there were no published items about the Akaka bill from October 20 to November 20 !!

November 20: Attorney Paul M. Sullivan updated his 65-page point-by-point rebuttal to the Akaka bill, including cartoons by Daryl Cagle.

December 1: OHA trustee Walter Heen writes a column in the monthly OHA newspaper saying that "It's clear that the 'Akaka Bill' will become law before too long" and describing the process that will take place after it passes, whereby a Native Hawaiian Governing Entity will become established.

December 9: The U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs had set a business meeting for December 9, which was then postponed to December 17. The agenda, on official committee letterhead, lists the Akaka bill as one of two topics to be discussed. However, it would be very difficult for anyone interested solely in the Akaka bill to know that it was included on the agenda, because nowhere on the committee website does it indicate the Akaka bill was to be discussed, unless someone blindly downloads the letterhead agenda not knowing what is on it.

December 10: OHA chair Haunani Apoliona gave her annual "State of OHA" speech, in which she said OHA will work to build readiness for when the Akaka bill passes. OHA Administrator Clyde Namuo said he expects the U.S. Senate to take up the matter early next year, with a vote by late January or February.

December 11: News scoop in Hawaii Reporter (online newspaper): "Akaka Bill Committee Actions for This Coming Week. House committee markup Wednesday December 16; Senate committee meeting on Thursday December 17." Full details, plus a short history of the Akaka bill.

December 12: (1) Andrew Walden in Hawaii Free Press (online) scathingly describes the two committee hearings scheduled for next week, and some details about which ethnic Hawaiian groups have opposed the language of the bill for what reasons; (2) Honolulu Star-Bulletin reports that the House committee hearing is set for next week, but totally neglects to say anything about Senate committee meeting also scheduled for next week even though a large part of the newspaper's report was based an interview with Senator Akaka's spokesman Jesse Broder Van Dyke.

December 13: "Breaking news" reports protest planned tomorrow against Akaka Bill 'sneak attack'

December 14: (1) KITV television "Group Protests Akaka Bill At Capitol; Leaders Say Senators Trying To Push Bill Through Appropriations; (2) KGMB/KHNL TV "Opponents of Akaka Bill stage protest, accuse senator of ‘back-door' tactics"; (3) Honolulu Advertiser breaking news "Sen. Inouye responds to charges of Akaka Bill 'sneak attack'"; (4) National Review online reports Democrat plan to sneak the Akaka bill through before Christmas, and repeats powerful NRO editorial against the bill from 2006; (5) Andrew Breitbart BIG GOVERNMENT blog publishes lengthy essay opposing Akaka bill by Brian Darling of Heritage Foundation

December 15 Part 1 (before major news): (1) Honolulu Advertiser Washington correspondent reports Sens Akaka and Inouye's rebuttals to accusations of "sneak attack" and says there have been negotiations between Obama's Dept. of Justice and the Hawaii delegation; (2) Honolulu Star-Bulletin reports on protest by 100 Native Hawaiians against the Akaka bill, and emphasizes their demand to have local hearings on the bill in Hawaii; (3) The Washington Examiner regular commentary staff writer says "The bill is mind-bendingly bad in its intent and likely effects, but it has a serious chance of passage."; (4) A leader of the protest at the Capitol publishes lengthy essay saying the sneak attack was stopped by the publicity about the plans for it, and there should be hearings on the bill in Hawaii; (5) CQ Politics, State Track notes that Rep. Abercrombie's early resignation increases the chances for a Republican to win the seat, since a special election is winner-take-all and several popular Democrat candidates might split the vote allowing the lone Republican to win with less than 50%.

DECEMBER 15 PART 2. 2 MAJOR NEWS ITEMS:
(A) ZOGBY POLL ON AKAKA BILL, INCLUDING PDF FILE WITH FULL TEXT OF THE QUESTIONS AND PERCENTAGES OF EACH RESPONSE; AND
(B) DISCLOSURE THAT SECRET NEGOTIATIONS AMONG DEMOCRATS HAVE PRODUCED MAJOR AMENDMENTS TO THE BILL THAT WILL BE RAMMED THROUGH THE MARKUPS IN THE HOUSE AND SENATE COMMITTEES THIS WEEK, AND HAWAII'S GOVERNOR AND ATTORNEY GENERAL STRONGLY OPPOSE THOSE AMENDMENTS. SOME OF THE TEXT OF THE AMENDMENTS IS INCLUDED IN THE AG LETTER AND THE DANGERS ARE DISCUSSED THERE.

December 16: (1) Honolulu Advertiser reports Governor Lingle opposes the amended version of the Akaka bill which Abercrombie plans to substitute during the committee meeting today.; (2) Maui News, and Honolulu Star-Bulletin, report that Attorney General Bennet wrote to the committee that changes proposed by Abercrombie would unacceptably alter the relationships between federal and state governments and the native Hawaiian governing entity the measure would create. "This creates a whole set of unknowns," Bennett said in an interview yesterday. "We welcome an opportunity to have a discussion (about) the changes and the impact, but were never afforded that."; (3) Associated Press report printed in hundreds of newspaper (including Taiwan!): Bennett said authority granted the new government entity originally was intended to come about only after negotiations and after the passage of legislation enacted by Congress, and when applicable, by the state. But an amended version of the bill makes immediate changes that are not subject to negotiation and none of which (to our knowledge) has been evaluated for its impact on Hawaii. Congressional aides said that changes being proposed to the bill were sought by lawyers at the Justice Department.; (4) Press release from committee's top Republican complains "Democrat Majority Proceeds with Markup of Native Hawaiian Bill Despite Strong Opposition"; (5) "Breaking news" says Abercrombie still pushing new version of bill but will let Attorney General Bennett talk with him about it before the full House votes on it; (6) New Orleans TV station gives lengthy report on Abercrombie vs. Bennett; (7) Abercrombie official statement says committee passed the bill "as I introduced it earlier this year, without change or amendment."; (8) Doc Hastings, top Republican on committee, issues statement "It was the correct course of action for Democrats to abandon their rush to adopt the proposed changes to the Akaka Bill at today’s hastily-scheduled markup."; (9) KITV4 News: "The opposition of revised legislation to grant federal recognition to Native Hawaiians has prompted finger pointing and division from Honolulu to Capitol Hill."; (10) Columnist who favors Akaka bill says slow down and think carefully; (11) Widely distributed AP news report says Abercrombie promised that he would work with state officials to address concerns that the measure doesn't protect the state's rights and interests as the new government is formed.; (12) Official minutes of the committee meeting (Akaka portion only); (13) Chairman Rahall's press release expressing his personal views as top Democrat.

December 17: (1) WALL STREET JOURNAL editorial against the Akaka bill. "Aloha, Segregation. The Akaka bill would create a race-based state in Hawaii."; (2) Honolulu Advertiser (morning) reports Abercrombie withdrew his amended version and the House committee yesterday passed the Akaka bill without any amendments; (3) Advertiser breaking news later reports the Senate committee has passed an amended version of the Akaka bill unanimously on a voice vote -- presumably the same amended version Abercrombie had tried and failed to pass yesterday in the House committee; (4) KIV4 reports the Senate committee passed the amended version of the Akaka bill, which Governor Lingle opposes, and Akaka promises to meet with Lingle to discuss is.

December 18: (1) Honolulu Advertiser reports the Senate committee yesterday passed the Akaka bill in a version as amended with help on the dradfting of the amendments from the Obama administration, and Akaka and Inouye promised to work with Lingle to resolve the State's concerns before the bill goes to the Senate floor; (2) Honolulu Advertiser editorial says "Congress, state need unity on Akaka bill" and notes some of the very important changes suddenly placed in the bill; (3) Honolulu Star-Bulletin short AP article merely says Akaka bill has passed both committees but does not mention that the two versions are very different; (4) Human Events magazine (online) gives detailed report on the overall Akaka bill and the differences between the two versions; and the opposition of Hawaii's Governor and Attorney General; and the Zogby poll showing most Hawaii people oppose the bill; (5) Letter to editor says many Hawaii people oppose Akaka bill, and we need hearings in Hawaii for public testimony.

December 19: (1) Honolulu Advertiser reports that the new version of the Akaka bill passed by the Senate committee is strongly opposed by Governor Lingle, who also complains she was never consulted about it.; (2) Honolulu Star-Bulletin provides additional details; (3) Attorney John Vecchione, writing on "The Frum Forum" blog, says he is a political conservative and explains why conservatives should support the Akaka bill as an exercise in self-determination and because America should keep its word.

December 20: (1) Senator Dan Akaka writes commentary in Honolulu Advertiser defending his newly amended version of the Akaka bill which passed the Senate committee on December 17; (2) Hawaii Attorney General Mark Bennett writes commentary in Honolulu Advertiser criticizing the newly amended version of the Akaka bill, saying "The new provisions have never been the subject of a public hearing or public testimony, and there has been no public explanation or discussion of the impact of the new provisions on Hawai'i and our citizens. ... At the very least, public hearings should be held on the drastic changes being proposed so their impact on Hawai'i can be fully discussed, debated, and understood."; (3) Honolulu Star-Bulletin editorial calls for public hearings on the Akaka bill in Hawaii during the holiday recess.; (4) Letter notes that Inouye's protest that he would never try to pass Akaka bill as part of a defense appropriations bill is silly, because that's exactly what Inouye has often done.; (5) Andrew Walden article in Hawaii Free Press examines requirements for membership in the Akaka tribe as described in the version of the bill that passed the Senate committee, and concludes "More than 73% of Hawaiians not "Qualified" for membership in Akaka Tribe."; (6) Andrew Walden article in Hawaii Free Press notes that many Indian tribes have been dis-enrolling numerous members in order to increase the dollar payout per person, from casino revenues and other sources, to remaining members.

December 23: (1) Honolulu Advertiser columnist Jerry Burris raises questions about how the new version of the Akaka bill came to be proposed, and describes some of its differences with the older version.; (2) A past president of the Hawaii Council American Indian Nations says Hawaiians were never anything like an Indian tribe; (3) Letter says "An American citizen is just that. Any attempt to classify us otherwise is wrong. Any attempt to create a separate government within our present constitutional structure to contain a particular ethnic entity is wrong and should not even be contemplated."

December 24: Honolulu Advertiser editorial advises Senator Akaka to withdraw his amended version of the bill that passed the Senate committee, because the earlier version would preserve good will by allowing Native Hawaiian rights to be negotiated instead of imposed.

December 25: Honolulu Star-Bulletin and other newspapers affiliated with Associated Press (including The Fresno Bee) report on President Obama's arrival in Kailua at his rented vacation home, and the presence of roadside protesters holding signs opposing the Akaka bill.

December 26: Letter to editor says if assimilationists who oppose the Akaka bill succeed in defeating it, they risk the wrath of the United Nations for violating the rights of an indigenous people.

December 31, 2009: Inouye confident Akaka Bill issues will be resolved. Discussions ongoing with Hawaii Governor regarding changes in the bill.

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

FULL TEXT OF EACH ITEM, IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER

http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?bf9a8eb2-ee6c-46e1-818c-76e6784fe2e3
Hawaii Reporter, September 1, 2009

Two Minority Members of US Civil Rights Commission Issue Letter in Support of Akaka Bill

By Arlan D. Melendez and Michael Yaki

** The actual letter on official stationery is displayed in the Hawaii Reporter article, but in an encrypted pdf format that does not permit copying.

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http://www.starbulletin.com/news/breaking/56661782.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, September 1, 2009
BREAKING NEWS posted at 12:24 PM

2 members of civil rights panel voice support for Akaka Bill

By Associated Press

Two members of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights are announcing support for legislation in Congress that would create a process for establishing an independent government for Native Hawaiians.

Last week, a majority of six commissioners signed a letter reiterating their opposition to the Akaka Bill, named for it's chief sponsor, U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii.

The commission chairman and three other Republican members signed the letter along with two independents. The panel voted in 2006 to oppose a previous version of the measure.

But yesterday, Democrats Arlan Melendez and Michael Yaki wrote their own letter. The commissioners called the bill a "momentous step" toward reconciliation between the federal government and Native Hawaiians.

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** An important article about Hawaii appeared in the Fall 2009 issue of the quarterly magazine "Intelligence Report" published by The Southern Poverty Law Center.

"Prejudice in Paradise -- Hawaii Has a Racism Problem" by Larry Keller
http://www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/article.jsp?aid=1081

A webpage analyzing the article, with small but significant application to the Akaka bill, is
"Anti-Caucasian Racial Hate Crimes in Hawaii -- Southern Poverty Law Center brings the issue to national awareness in a flawed but valuable Intelligence Report article."
http://www.angelfire.com/big09a/RacialHateCrimesHawSPLC.html

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http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090904/OPINION03/909040340/U.S.+Commission+on+Civil+Rights+skewed
Honolulu Advertiser, Friday, September 4, 2009

U.S. Commission on Civil Rights skewed
Panel composed of members who have agendas of their own

By Oswald Stender

In their zeal to defeat a process of federal recognition for Native Hawaiians, opponents of the Akaka bill have once again reached out to their cohorts at the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

Six of the eight commissioners reiterated their 2006 opposition to federal recognition in an Aug. 28 letter to Congressional leaders. It is part of an effort to derail the legislation pending in Congress that President Obama has vowed to sign.

In 2006, I was a member of the Hawai'i Advisory Committee to the USCCR. I was in HSAC for more than 15 years. In 2006, when the USCCR reviewed the Akaka bill, it purposely left out input from its HSAC because HSAC had supported the bill. I strongly objected publicly to the 2006 USCCR process of reviewing the Akaka bill, preparing a report and taking a position because its process and outcome was obviously biased, flawed, inaccurate and pre-determined to oppose the bill.

As with any group, it is important to know the lineup of the players and their ties to local anti-federal-recognition groups.

The USCCR letter of Aug. 28, 2009 was signed by four Republicans appointed by former President Bush — Chairman Gerald Reynolds, Vice Chair Abigail Thernstrom, and commissioners Peter Kirsanow and Ashley Taylor Jr.

Joining them are the two commission "independents." Todd Gaziano is a senior fellow on the conservative Heritage Foundation. Gaziano has an anti-Akaka-bill video clip on the Web site of an anti-Native American organization ("Citizens for Equal Rights Alliance"). The other independent, Gail Heriot, testified against the Akaka bill by saying it could lead to granting tribal status to "Chicanos," "Cajuns," "Orthodox Jews in New York" and "Mormons in Utah."

Commissioners Arlan Melendez and Michael Yaki rightly called that "inflammatory scare tactics" in an Aug. 31 response letter. They add: "Such statements, especially in the absence of positive suggestions on how to improve relations between Native Hawaiians and the federal government, just make the process of reconciliation harder. Denial of the distinct history of Native Hawaiians does not heal existing divisions. More should be expected of the Commission on Civil Rights."

That doesn't stop the USCCR and local opponents of the Akaka bill that include litigators and members of the Grassroot Institute of Hawai'i from repeating the same rhetoric that the Akaka bill is "race-based."

But the Akaka bill is not about race. It's about acknowledging that Native Hawaiians, like American Indians and Alaska Natives, are the aboriginal, indigenous native people whose ancestors exercised sovereignty in these lands predating the founding of the colonies and the United States.

Yaki and Melendez make the same point about their fellow commissioners: "In their zeal to condemn racial divisions among Americans, they have not first stopped to listen to the concerns of the Native Hawaiian community, distinguished racial issues from the question of political status, and have acted in a way that leads to further divisions."

Finally, it's important to understand the role of the local advisory group HSAC to the USCCR. The Bush-appointed USCCR ignored the HSAC in 2006 when it supported federal recognition, and then, in 2007, stacked HSAC with anti-Akaka-bill opponents, including two members who are involved in litigation that would be affected by the outcome of the Akaka bill.

Fortunately, that effort fell short when the anti-Akaka-bill members of HSAC were unable to muster enough votes to pass a resolution opposing federal recognition.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs compiled a comprehensive report on this accelerating conservative agenda hostile to indigenous peoples' civil and human rights. It's all part of a larger effort by conservative fundraisers, politicians, think tanks, law centers, advocacy groups and judges to dismantle significant aspects of the civil rights edifice of the 1960s, as documented in the book "Assault on Diversity" by Lee Cokorinos. The report, "Correcting the Records: USCCR and Justice for Native Hawaiians," can be downloaded at www.nativehawaiians.com/?p=62.

Oswald Stender is a trustee for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. He wrote this commentary for The Advertiser.

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http://www.starbulletin.com/editorials/20090905_Politics_behind_Akaka_Bill_stance.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, September 5, 2009
EDITORIAL

Politics behind Akaka Bill stance

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights' opposition to Hawaiian sovereignty would be considered a setback for the bill were it not for the fact that the commission is entirely a holdover from the Bush administration. The GOP, with some exceptions, has been opposed to the Akaka Bill since its inception and President George W. Bush indicated he would veto it. The commission's opposition should be ignored as party politics.

The Bush-dominated commission set the stage for its opposition two years ago when it revamped its advisory committee on the Hawaiian sovereignty question. Haunani Apoliona, chairwoman of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, pointed out that nine of the 17 members were on record as opposing the Akaka Bill.

Bush reconstructed the commission itself five years ago by appointing conservatives to replace liberals whose six-year terms expired. The commission changed from a 5-3 liberal majority to the present 6-2 conservative control.

Four of the present commissioners were appointed by Bush, two by Republican Senate and House leaders and two by Democratic congressional leaders. The Bush-appointed chairman, Gerald A. Reynolds, told the Star-Bulletin editorial board in 2007 that he regarded the Akaka Bill as unconstitutional.

That has been the Republican party line — despite the strong dissent by Gov. Linda Lingle — against Hawaiians being granted the same sovereignty status as American Indian tribes and native Alaskan cultures. In testimony before a U.S. House committee in June, Bush-appointee Gail Heriot mockingly likened the bill to granting "tribal status" to Chicanos, Cajuns, "Orthodox Jews in New York" or "Mormons in Utah."

The six GOP-named commissioners reiterated their 2007 opposition in a letter to House leaders last week. They challenged the bill's constitutionality, pointing out that the kingdom overthrown in 1893 had a "multiracial legislature." The bill would grant sovereignty to indigenous Hawaiians but cites the overthrow.

In their own letter to congressional leaders, Democratic-appointed Commissioners Arlan D. Melendez and Michael Yaki argued that native Hawaiians "were a self-sufficient, organized society with their own rich culture, religion, language and land tenure system" before Europeans arrived in 1778. The two commissioners did not address the issue of the subsequent kingdom being multiracial.

The bill, if enacted and signed into law by President Barack Obama as expected, is certain to be challenged in court. OHA has prudently suggested that the bill be changed to emphasize Captain James Cook stepping foot on the islands in 1778 rather than the overthrow. That would eliminate the kingdom's multiracial makeup as a legal issue.

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http://www.starbulletin.com/editorials/guesteditorials/20090906_Akaka_Bill_supporter_ignores_inherent_Kanaka_Maoli_rights.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, September 6, 2009
COMMENTARY

Akaka Bill supporter ignores inherent Kanaka Maoli rights

By Kihei Soli Niheu and J. Kehaulani Kauanui, Ph.D.

As supporters of Hawaiian Independence, we wish to acknowledge Gov. Linda Lingle's decision to somberly commemorate rather than callously celebrate what for Kanaka Maoli and other Hawaiian kingdom heirs was the third major crime committed against us by the U.S. when it fraudulently incorporated our country in 1959, its 1893 overthrow of our monarchy and 1898 annexation of our territory having already paved the way.

In contrast to the governor's respectful stance, the piece on the Akaka Bill penned in your paper by Professor Jon Van Dyke ("Akaka Bill would be 'win-win'," Star-Bulletin, Aug. 24) -- who needs to reveal what fees he has received for his decade-long work on and for the Akaka Bill since he regularly comments on it -- exudes condescension and misinformation.

Van Dyke says the bill will "allow the Hawaiian people" to "govern themselves." As an international lawyer and settler in our homeland, he should know that self-determination is inherent, not "allowed," and that we call ourselves Kanaka Maoli. He then relates that the Hawaiian kingdom was racially discriminatory and seething with struggles for power but obliterates the fact that it was white plutocrats who launched discrimination, power grabs, the Bayonet Constitution and then went on to engineer, with U.S. agents, the overthrow of Queen Lili'uokalani when she sought to abrogate that infamous document.

We also find it ironic that Van Dyke tells us to emulate the Maori experience with the Waitangi Tribunal when a) Our Maori cousins tell us the opposite, and b) He promotes an Akaka Bill that will shut down all U.S. court doors to Kanaka Maoli claims: "It is the general effect of section 8 (c)(2)(B) [of the Bill] that any claims that may already have accrued and might be brought against the United States ... be rendered nonjusticiable in suits brought by plaintiffs other than the Federal Government."

Finally, Professor Van Dyke artlessly uses possessive articles to advance a false identity of interests between settlers like himself and we who are the heirs of the kingdom: "our islands" (ours not his), "our national government" (his not ours). Equally gauche is the paragraph that praises our culture when its writer does all to frustrate the political independence that alone could still save us from U.S. ethnocide.

Kihei Soli Niheu, Moku o Keawe, lives in Waimea, Hawaii; and J. Kehaulani Kauanui, Ph.D., lives in Middletown, Conn.

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http://www.starbulletin.com/editorials/guesteditorials/20090906_Lifelong_Hawaii_resident_has_no_other_place_to_call_home.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, September 6, 2009
COMMENTARY

Lifelong Hawaii resident has no other place to call home

By Pablo Wegesend

Here we go again, another letter writer claimed that a non-native Hawaii resident "has a place to return to; Hawaiians do not "Subdued event reflected reality," Star-Bulletin, Aug. 31).

I have a "place to return to"? I never lived anywhere else. So where am I supposed to "return to"? Am I supposed to return to Mexico? Puerto Rico? Spain? Portugal? Germany?

What about those who are part-Japanese/part-Filipino? Or those who are part-Tongan/part-Irish? Where do they "return to"?

This "non-natives have a place to return to" rhetoric is ridiculous. The reality is that many who grew up away from their ancestral lands would have extreme difficulty fitting in their ancestral lands.

For example, some Japanese moved to Latin America about a century ago. When their Latin American born descendants moved to Japan, they faced major issues. Though their DNA was Japanese, they were too culturally Latin-American to be accepted by the mainstream Japanese society.

This was also true of those who migrated to the U.S. as children, joined a gang, committed a felony and were deported to their birthplace. They included Cambodian and Salvadoran ex-cons who had a hard time fitting into their birthplace after spending a decade or two in the U.S.

This idea of "non-natives have a place to return to" is a part of a larger mentality of "this is our land, the rest are intruders."

This mentality isn't limited to the vocal minority here in Hawaii. It was also present in the land where my last name came from -- Germany. The Nazis felt Germany was the land of their ethnic group and others were intruders. This led to a mass murder of Jews, Gypsies and other groups. Some modern Europeans still have that "this is our land, others are intruders" attitude, leading to hate crimes against immigrants from the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Now, let's talk about another of my ancestral lands -- Latin America. The natives were conquered by the Spanish. But the descendants of the conquerors are there to stay. The descendants of the conquered, conquerors, imported slaves and settlers are accepted as a part of the modern Latin American social fabric.

Most people in Hawaii, native Hawaiians and non-native, have accepted that the descendants of the conquered, conquerors and other settlers are part of the modern Hawaii social fabric.

Those without native Hawaiian ancestry need to respect native Hawaiian culture. And the xenophobic minority who say "non-natives have a place to return to" need to accept that non-natives aren't going to go away.

As Rodney King has said: "Can't we all just get along?"

Pablo Wegesend is a lifelong Honolulu resident who occasionally writes letters and guest editorials. You can check out more of his writings at
http://pablowegesend.blogspot.com

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http://www.starbulletin.com/editorials/letters/20090906_Letters_to_the_Editor.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, September 6, 2009
Letters to editor

Blood conflated with citizenship

The Civil Rights Commission's opposition to the Akaka Bill is surprisingly appropriate. The Hawaiian kingdom, as a constitutional monarchy, was based on citizenship, not blood. All aboriginal Hawaiians in the kingdom were citizens, and so were others, those born to citizens or those who were naturalized. By Hawaiian law, all citizens were Hawaiian subjects; they owed allegiance to their Hawaiian sovereign and lived under the protection of kingdom laws.

For over 100 years, blood has intentionally been conflated with citizenship. Today, the largest institutions and the common people are equally confused. Pauahi Bishop left her estate to make schools for the children of the kingdom, and the heirs to that legacy are the descendants of those Hawaiian subjects, whether the estate pursues that legal foundation or not.

The kingdom of Hawaii was seized from its citizens, most of whom were of aboriginal blood, but any effort to seek historical justice must address all the citizens of that time and their descendants today. Any framework that relies on the conflation of bloodline and citizenship is an injustice to all, past, present and future.

Umi Sai
Kahaluu

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http://www.hawaiifreepress.com/main/ArticlesMain/tabid/56/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/1100/Itrsquos-SeptemberDo-you-know-where-your-Akaka-Bill-is.aspx
Hawaii Free Press, Monday, September 07, 2009

It's September--Do you know where your Akaka Bill is?

By Andrew Walden

The US Senate reconvenes Tuesday, September 8. Senator Dan Inouye told the Kona Kohala Chamber of Commerce August 18 that the Akaka Bill "…is something Congress will address within its first week back in session after the August recess…."

At the 50th Anniversary Hawaii Statehood Conference Hawaiian Cultural navigation plenary session, Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustee Oswald Stender told the eight panelists that "This is our one and only chance—this year" for passage of the Akaka Bill.

But is the Bill ready? Or more to the point--with it all on the line, are Hawaiian leaders ready to accept the Akaka Bill?

Since the June 11 House Committee on Natural Resources hearing on HR 2314, the Akaka Bill has been the subject of an intense battle--largely un-reported in the pages of the Honolulu Advertiser and Star-Bulletin, even as the various players battle it out with op-eds. The August 6 hearing of the US Senate Indian Affairs Committee showed no progress in resolving the dispute.

On one side, the so-called "sovereignty" activists, a disgusting gaggle of ex-cons, child abusers, mortgage scammers, drug pushers, and other miscellaneous convicted criminals--plus a few professors and lawyers--whose dreams of riches and glory now hinge on the "cultural" PASH-based greenmail shake down schemes aimed at developers, landowners and even single family homeowners.

On the other side, the OHA gang, which subsidizes many of the sovereignty activists and their legal organ the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation, but seeks control of billions of dollars worth of Hawaii real estate via formation of the Akaka Tribe.

Forcing them to choose between the two paths: the Obama Administration and Senator Inouye backed by Governor Lingle.

The Native Hawaiian Bar Association (NHBA) earlier this summer argued:

"The bill's provisions on claims and federal sovereign immunity appear to be overly broad and may prohibit lawsuits by individual Native Hawaiians for claims that could be pursued by any other member of the general population."

With the Senate about to reconvene, has any progress been made to resolve the impasse? A sharply-worded September 6 Star-Bulletin commentary by Kihei Soli Niheu and J. Kehaulani Kauanui, Ph.D. suggests not. The two long-time sovereignty leaders take issue with an August 24 commentary by Jon M Van Dyke, author of "Who owns the Crown lands of Hawaii?" They bitterly complain that Van Dyke:

"promotes an Akaka Bill that will shut down all U.S. court doors to Kanaka Maoli claims: 'It is the general effect of section 8 (c)(2)(B) [of the Bill] that any claims that may already have accrued and might be brought against the United States ... be rendered nonjusticiable in suits brought by plaintiffs other than the Federal Government.'"

They are not the only ones attacking Section 8(c). In her August 6 Senate Indian Affairs Committee testimony Robin Danner of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA) demanded 8(c) be replaced with language stating:

"Nothing in this Act is intended to serve as a settlement of any claims against the United States or the State of Hawaii."

This creates a direct challenge to Inouye and to Obama's DoJ represented figuratively and literally at the August 6 Senate Indian Affairs committee hearing, by Sam Hirsch, a former Dan Inouye staffer appointed by Obama to the US Department of Justice. Hirsch emphasized:

"…the legislation contains provisions that specifically state that Congress does not intend to create any new legal claims against the United States. The Department supports these provisions and believes they should remain in the bill. In particular, the Department supports section 8(c) in S. 1011, which provides that nothing in the bill creates a cause of action against or waives the sovereign immunity of the United States."

The full US House has twice voted its approval of the Akaka Bill, but something stopped the House Committee on Natural Resources dead in its tracks when it was scheduled to "mark up" the Akaka Bill to the full House July 9. The July 8 Advertiser explained:

"The vote postponement follows some written criticisms of the bill by prominent members of the Native Hawaiian legal community. In a four-page analysis of the legislation sent to the Natural Resources Committee, the Native Hawaiian Bar Association voiced concern that some provisions would grant the federal government too much immunity against potential claims by Native Hawaiians, especially for land."

And this is only one of several issues under dispute. Is this a showdown or a circular firing squad? Will the Senate also choke? We will likely find out very soon.

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http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/sep/08/shakedown-at-the-luau/
The Washington Times, September 8, 2009
EDITORIAL:

Shakedown at the luau
Congress tries to carve up Hawaii

Imagine what would happen if Congress proposed setting up a special, sovereign government for any descendant, anywhere in the country, of the mix of Cajuns and American Indians who lived before the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 in what is now the state of Louisiana. Imagine if the law created a new Office of Native Cajun Affairs that would own one-fifth of the land in Louisiana and would have the power, independently from the state, to write and enforce laws, punish offenders, tax its members and seize private land for the new sovereign entity -- without the full protections of the Bill of Rights.

People nationwide would laugh at the absurd proposition. Non-Cajun Louisianans would be up in arms at the seizure of the state's lands. Black Louisianans whose families arrived after 1803 would yell from the rooftops against the obvious racial discrimination. The bill, rightly, would never receive a hearing.

Substitute "Native Hawaiian" for "Native Cajun," however, and this is exactly what the House and Senate leadership plans to ram through a slumbering Congress this month. This unwise legislation shreds both common sense and the Constitution. Known as the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, or H.R. 2314, the bill is racist in intent and operation. It must be defeated.

According to this act, it would become U.S. policy that "Native Hawaiians have an inherent right to autonomy in their internal affairs" and that "the United States shall continue to engage in a process of reconciliation and political relations with the Native Hawaiian people." This claim to the right of autonomy is based on the demonstrably false notion that "Native Hawaiians" are culturally and ethnically a tribe like the Cherokee, Chippewa or Sioux. They are not. The bill could count as "Native Hawaiian" anybody with a single drop of ethnic Hawaiian blood. More than 60 percent of the "tribe" will have genetic roots that are less than half original islander.

Even if they had been a tribe at one point in the ways traditionally recognized by U.S. law, they gave up any pretense of separate status decades ago. As for the legislation's promise of "reconciliation," we are wondering what or who exactly is in need of reconciliation. When Hawaii accepted statehood in 1959, a mind-bending 94.3 percent of Hawaiian voters cast ballots in favor of joining the union. They did so because statehood brought great benefits, not burdens meriting reconciliation.

What's really at issue are 1.4 million acres of land from which "native" Hawaiians could profit without sharing the benefits with those classified as being of Caucasian, black, Asian or other descent, even if the others have lived in Hawaii continuously for half a century or more. This is race-based expropriation, pure and simple, and the principle runs afoul of multiple provisions of the U.S. Constitution.

The U.S. Civil Rights Commission has blasted H.R. 2314. "The Constitution... cannot be circumvented so easily," the commissioners wrote to Congress in an Aug. 28 letter. "Even if it could be, we would oppose passing legislation with the purpose of shoring up a system of racially exclusive benefits."

Appropriately, the commissioners noted that the former Hawaiian kingdom's 1840 Constitution begins with these words: "God has made of one blood all races of people to dwell upon this Earth in unity and blessedness." That's well put. With that historical Hawaiian sentiment in mind, how could Congress defend the expropriation of parts of this Earth for the benefit of just one race?

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http://www.starbulletin.com/editorials/20090911_Brief_asides.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, September 11, 2009
Brief mini-editorial

Hawaiians fare best among native groups

The latest Census data on health insurance coverage in the U.S. gives ammunition to Akaka Bill opponents, as native Hawaiians fared much better than Alaska natives and American Indians -- who already have the special federal recognition outlined in the bill. The Census found that 18.5 percent of native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, counted nationwide, lacked health insurance. That contrasted with 31.7 percent of Alaska natives and Native Americans who lacked coverage, the second-worst percentage among any group.

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http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090913/OPINION02/909130332/1108
Honolulu Advertiser, September 13, 2009
Letter to Editor

NATIVE HAWAIIANS NOT LIKE INDIAN TRIBES

Whether Republicans or Democrats on the U.S. Civil Rights Commission support or oppose the Akaka bill is not the real issue, Mr. Stender (Commentary, Sept. 4).

The real issue is that passage of the bill would violate the Constitution's 14th and 15th amendments, Title VI of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and Article I, Section 5 of the Hawai'i State Constitution, all of which prohibit discrimination against people or abridgement of their civil rights because of their ancestry, race, or national origin.

Akaka bill supporters vainly try to make the case that Hawaiians are like Indian tribes, which have a special relationship as wards of the federal government. But Congress has no power to create tribes out of thin air. It may only recognize self-governing groups in distinctly Indian communities that have existed continuously from historic times to the present.

The more than 400,000 Native Hawaiians, as defined by the Akaka Bill, are dispersed throughout the world, and have been assimilated into the communities and governed by the laws where they reside. In no sense can those more than 400,000 people be considered to reside in a separate and self-governing distinctly Hawaiian community.

Tom Macdonald and Bill Burgess
Members of the Hawai'i Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

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http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090913/OPINION03/909130334/Akaka+bill+needs+critical+changes
Honolulu Advertiser, Sunday, September 13, 2009

Akaka bill needs critical changes

By Richard Naiwieha Wurdeman

As members of the Native Hawaiian Bar Association board of directors, we support federal recognition for Native Hawaiians. Until critical changes are made to the current version of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act (the "Akaka bill"), we cannot give it our unqualified support.

The NHBA is a membership organization of Native Hawaiian attorneys, former judges and legal professionals that advocates on behalf of the Native Hawaiian community and promotes unity, cooperation and the exchange of ideas among its members and within the broader legal community. The NHBA has closely monitored the Akaka bill and worked very hard to secure a resolution from the American Bar Association supporting Native Hawaiian federal recognition.

We ask Hawai'i's congressional delegation to heed our call, and indeed the call of other Hawaiian organizations, for amendments to the current version of the bill. This version, largely negotiated with the Bush administration, contains harsh and unnecessary provisions that undermine reconciliation and self-determination.

As attorneys, we believe that the provisions prohibiting Native Hawaiians from bringing claims against the federal government are flawed. They are overly broad and may prohibit lawsuits by individual Native Hawaiians for claims that could be pursued by any other member of the general public, thereby violating the Equal Protection clause.

In one section, the federal government revokes any preexisting right to bring suit. This provision applies to claims of individual Native Hawaiians, not just possible claims of a Native Hawaiian government.

Thus, a Native Hawaiian who owns land next to a U.S. government facility and wishes to bring an action to clarify boundaries with the U.S. would be foreclosed from doing so, but any other person in similar circumstances could bring an action. Under a literal reading, this would be the result whether or not the property is located in Hawai'i.

The negative impacts of this provision are amplified in another section applying the prohibition to "claims of a similar nature and claims arising out of the same nucleus of operative facts."

The provision goes on to state that such claims cannot be brought by anyone "other than the federal government." Thus, only the U.S. can bring claims against itself. This is surely an anomalous result and one that cannot have been purposefully intended.

Most important for Native Hawaiians, should a negotiation process with the federal and state governments fail to reach a just and equitable resolution addressing injustices and harms dating back to the illegal overthrow of 1893, Native Hawaiians must have access to federal and state courts to pursue claims.

Given the role of the U.S. Department of Defense in Hawai'i and the effect that many of its decisions have on the Native Hawaiian community, there is no reason to exempt the DOD from consultative and coordinating entities established by the bill.

Evidently, the Bush administration was concerned that the DOD not be burdened with any additional requirements that might affect military readiness. But the inclusion of the DOD in consultative processes is required by other federal laws and is reasonable given the DOD's substantial presence in Hawai'i and its many decisions impacting the Native Hawaiian community.

The participation of federal agencies, including the DOD, is a common practice and beneficial to the overall federal relationship with various communities in our nation. Recent examples include the Interagency Group on Insular Areas and the Interagency Working Group on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The IGIA provides advice on federal policies concerning U.S. territories; the IWG advises on improving access to federal opportunities for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The DOD participates in both interagency groups.

The bill should include a provision, found in previous versions, that authorizes a U.S. Department of Justice representative to assist in implementing and protecting the rights of Native Hawaiians and the future Native Hawaiian government in the political, legal and trust relationship with the United States. Given the history of federal treatment toward Native Hawaiians, including the inconsistency in federal policy on self-determination and federal programs, it is important to clarify that the DOJ has a mandatory role to safeguard the rights of Native Hawaiians in the federal-Native Hawaiian relationship.

Changes to the Akaka bill will make it stronger and achieve a fairer and more just result for Native Hawaiians and the broader community. We believe that is what our congressional delegation seeks. We call upon the delegation to work with us, and our community, to make these critical changes before the legislation reaches the Senate or House floor.

Richard Naiwieha Wurdeman, Esq., president of the Native Hawaiian Bar Association, wrote this commentary for The Advertiser on behalf of the association's board of directors.

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http://www.bigislandweekly.com/articles/2009/09/16/read/news/news01.txt
The Big Island Weekly, Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Who speaks for Hawaiians?
A meeting on the Akaka Bill reveals a divided community

By Alan D. Mcnarie

"We don't want nobody to give huhu," said ILWU business agent Wallace Ishibashi. "We agree to disagree on that issue...."

"That issue" was the Akaka Bill, which would set up a framework for creating a native Hawaiian governmental body that the U.S. would recognize. With the Obama Administration's support, the long-stymied bill now appears to be headed for passage. Ishibashi had organized a series of meetings with native Hawaiian leaders at the ILWU's leadership hall to disseminate information and exchange views about the bill. The ILWU's state leadership supports the bill, but the Hilo meetings recognized both sides of the issue. In one meeting, union members had talked with OHA Trustee Bob Lindsey, who supports the bill; another had tapped the views of Hawaiian sovereignty groups that opposed it.

The Sept. 7 meeting, where Ishibashi made his "no huhu" remark, brought the opposing sides together: Lindsey shared the podium with Jade and Robin Danner of Hawaiian Homestead Technology, Inc., who had testified on the bill and who supported the it with some amendments; the audience held far more sovereignty activists than union members. The idea of the meeting was for the Danner sisters to brief everyone on the exact contents of the current bill, which had undergone major revisions over its 10-year history. But Ishibashi's "no huhu" dream was quickly shattered, as the meeting turned from a briefing session into an acrimonious debate, and sometimes into a literal shouting match between supporters and opponents.

"That's treasonous," said one sovereignty activist of the bill. "You're creating a native uprising among our countrymen."

Over the course of the five-and-a-half-hour meeting, the Danners outlined how the bill would grant recognition to a government formed by Native Hawaiians. First, the U. S. Secretary of the Interior would appoint a nine-member commission to create a list of eligible Native Hawaiian voters who wanted to participate in the new government. "Native Hawaiian," here, is defined by a 27-line-long description, but basically would be determined by whether or not someone could prove he had an aboriginal ancestor in Hawaii prior to the overthrow, or who could trace an ancestor who was "eligible in 1921 for the programs authorized in the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act." No blood quantum would be involved. Those Native Hawaiian voters would then elect an assembly to create a constitution, which would then have to be ratified by the voters on the eligibility roll and accepted by the Secretary of the Interior. After that, a native Hawaiian "governing entity" would be elected, whose powers would include authorization to negotiate with the "federal, state and local governments and other entities," to protect the civil rights of participating Native Hawaiians, and to "prevent the sale, disposition, lease or encumbrance of lands, interests in lands, or other assets of the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity."

That "governing entity" would still fall well short of a sovereign state, however. It could not, for instance, negotiate treaties with foreign governments or raise a standing army. And, thanks to a Bush-era concession, it could not authorize gambling.

The Danners' presentation was repeatedly interrupted by sovereignty supporters who disagreed with the bill's language and/or content. The Danners and audience members sometimes argued over who had interrupted whom.

Kale Gumapac of the Kanaka Council said that the account of Hawaiian history included in the bill skipped a large section of history that was key to the case for sovereignty. Others asked why the document hadn't been translated into Hawaiian, why kupuna councils hadn't been consulted, and why the nine appointed commission members were not required to be Hawaiians themselves. The answer, according to Jade Danner: Originally, the panel members were required to be Hawaiian, but that language was deleted in order to avoid a legal challenge, such as the ones Kamehameha Schools and OHA had faced about racial discrimination. Instead, the bill requires a person to know the Hawaiian language and to have at least "10 years of experience in the study and determination of Native Hawaiian geneology." Most of all, the bill's opponents challenged the right of any government to take over lands and assets that, they claimed, belonged to the Kingdom of Hawai'i.

Among those assets, according to Lindsey, would be those controlled by OHA, which gets revenues from former crown and government lands -- lands usually called "ceded lands," but which some sovereigns call the "Mahele Land Trust."

"The Office of Hawaiian Affairs, once this government is created, disappears. It will be absorbed," Lindsey said, though Jade Danner disagreed that OHA's demise was inevitable.

"That is a likely outcome of the negotiations, but it's not an absolute," she told the Big Island Weekly afterward.

Also up for negotiation could be the property administered by Department of Hawaiian Homelands -- which raises the stakes for everyone in the state, because of the DHHL's habit of leasing its land for public and commercial facilities. In Hilo, for instance, DHHL land sits beneath the airport, the sewage treatment plant, and Prince Kuhio Plaza, Wal-Mart, Office Max, Ross, Home Depot, and the future Safeway and Target sites, among other assets.

Many sovereignty supporters maintain that those assets still belong to the Kingdom of Hawai'i, which they claim was illegally overthrown and so, according to international law, still exists.

They disagree among themselves about who exactly the legal heir to the kingdom is -- several different groups claim to be the true successors -- but few people in the union hall audience seemed to think that those assets should belong to a government set up under the Akaka Bill.

The Danners argued that the bill would not extinguish any claims of the Kingdom; that it was federal law, dealing with the assets and problems of Native Hawaiians under an existing federal framework.

Jade Danner said she supported the reinstatement of the Kingdom of Hawai'i. But she argued that re-recognition of the kingdom was a long-term project that could take a century or more. When one Hawaiian elder suggested that "What we need is the blue hats (United Nations peacekeepers)" to come in and enforce Hawaiians' rights, Danner said currently 75 percent of the "blue hats" were U.S. troops, and the U.S. was hardly likely to send them in to fight its own troops. A long-term campaign was needed, she said, to change the American peoples' minds.

In the mean time, she contended, Native Hawaiians could use the Akaka Bill to tackle problems such as the high rate of diabetes among their people, and give legal weight to their own customs, such as the reconciliation process of ho'oponopono.

She didn't appear to win many converts.

"You're actually allowing the perpetuity of an illegal system," argued one sovereignty supporter.

"It's just another form of capture," said another of the Akaka Bill framework.

"It's as though you're creating a wholly separate government for a fictitious Hawaiian people," said Gumapac.

"The people who are pushing this bill are trying to divide the Hawaiian people," contended Rev. Ron Fujimoto, a non-Hawaiian who has worked for years with Hawaiian groups.

But others recognized that Hawaiians were already divided, and their internal conflicts were making them easier for outsiders to exploit.

"As long as we are as divided as we are, Congress is saying, hey, let us go...." said one elder. "There is a wealth of knowledge here. Let us come together as one common force.

But as the meeting broke up, that unity had yet to be achieved. Toward its end, when one Hawaiian corrected another about the origins of the Hawaiian flag, Ishibashi sighed.

"We can't even get together on one flag," he said.

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http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?ce4ea37e-b06d-4cef-986c-6a5bb6dfc9da
Hawaii Reporter, September 21, 2009

Feds to Hawaii: We did the crime, now you do the time
Two unfunded federal mandates single out Hawaii: Micronesian healthcare and Akaka bill

By Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.

State and local politicians have complained for many years about unfunded federal mandates. That means that Congress passes laws, or bureaucrats in the administrative branch adopt regulations by posting them in the Federal Register, which impose obligations on state and local governments but do not provide the money needed to carry out those obligations.

This essay examines two such federal mandates that single out Hawaii.

(1) Treaties allow Micronesians to enter the U.S. without visas, and to live and work wherever they wish. In actual practice, the impact falls primarily on Hawaii. The failure of the federal government to provide funding for welfare benefits for the Micronesians forces the taxpayers of Hawaii to pay the bills.

(2) The Akaka bill relies heavily on the 1993 apology resolution as a justification. That resolution is an apology from the U.S. government to Native Hawaiians for U.S. action in sending 162 peacekeepers ashore in 1893, whose presence might have caused the Queen to surrender to the local revolutionaries without a fight. But the impact of the Akaka bill falls most heavily on the people of Hawaii, not the U.S. government which issued the apology. It is the public lands of Hawaii which the Akaka bill encourages the Akaka tribe to grab. If the U.S. apologized for what the U.S. did to the people of Hawaii, why should the people of Hawaii have to pay the restitution?

** The lengthy portion of this essay devoted to Micronesian healthcare is omitted, and the portion devoted to the Akaka bill follows:

(2). THE AKAKA BILL, WHICH IS FEDERAL LEGISLATION, WOULD FORCE THE PEOPLE OF HAWAII TO PAY FOR AN EVENT IN 1893 FOR WHICH THE U.S. GOVERNMENT HAS TAKEN THE BLAME AND APOLOGIZED.

The Akaka bill, S.1011 and H.R.2314, is federal legislation now pending in Congress. It includes strong language in its preambles justifying the bill as a step toward the reconciliation called for in the 1993 apology resolution, which was also federal legislation.

The apology resolution says the U.S. is to blame for the fact that the Hawaiian monarchy was overthrown in 1893, and that the U.S. should begin a process of reconciliation to make things right with Native Hawaiians. But the Akaka bill places nearly all the burden of restitution on the people of Hawaii, not the government of the United States. It is the lands of Hawaii which are to be taken away from the multiracial population of Hawaii to be given to the racially exclusionary Akaka tribe. Thus, in passing the Akaka bill, the federal government would lay a huge unfunded mandate on the state and the people of Hawaii. Why should Hawaii be forced to pay for alleged wrongs committed against Hawaii by the U.S. government?

Here is some of the relevant language from the apology resolution and the Akaka bill, clearly giving the blame to the U.S. and placing the burden on Hawaii to pay restitution.

Apology resolution:

"Congress ... apologizes to Native Hawaiians on behalf of the people of the United States for the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii on January 17, 1893 with the participation of agents and citizens of the United States, and the deprivation of the rights of Native Hawaiians to self-determination; expresses its commitment to acknowledge the ramifications of the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii, in order to provide a proper foundation for reconciliation between the United States and the Native Hawaiian people ..."

Akaka bill portion citing the apology resolution as justification and laying the blame on the U.S.:

Sec 2, Findings:

"(12) on November 23, 1993, Public Law 103-150 (107 Stat. 1510) (commonly known as the `Apology Resolution') was enacted into law, extending an apology on behalf of the United States to the native people of Hawaii for the United States role in the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii;

(13) the Apology Resolution acknowledges that the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii occurred with the active participation of agents and citizens of the United States and further acknowledges that the Native Hawaiian people never directly relinquished to the United States their claims to their inherent sovereignty as a people over their national lands, either through the Kingdom of Hawaii or through a plebiscite or referendum;

(14) the Apology Resolution expresses the commitment of Congress and the President--

(A) to acknowledge the ramifications of the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii;

(B) to support reconciliation efforts between the United States and Native Hawaiians; and

(C) to consult with Native Hawaiians on the reconciliation process as called for in the Apology Resolution"

Akaka bill portion placing the burden on Hawaii to pay restitution:

Sec 8(b)(1):

"... the United States and the State of Hawaii may enter into negotiations with the Native Hawaiian governing entity designed to lead to an agreement addressing such matters as--

(A) the transfer of lands, natural resources, and other assets, and the protection of existing rights related to such lands or resources;

(B) the exercise of governmental authority over any transferred lands, natural resources, and other assets, including land use;

(C) the exercise of civil and criminal jurisdiction;

(D) the delegation of governmental powers and authorities to the Native Hawaiian governing entity by the United States and the State of Hawaii;

(E) any residual responsibilities of the United States and the State of Hawaii; and

(F) grievances regarding assertions of historical wrongs committed against Native Hawaiians by the United States or by the State of Hawaii."

Certainly there would be some federal lands which the Akaka tribe would demand, so some of the burden would fall on the federal government. For example, national parks might be turned over to the Akaka tribe: Pu'ukohola Heiau; Pu'uhonua O Honaunau (place of refuge); Volcano National Park (home of the goddess Pele); and the 1200-mile-long Papahanumokuakea (Northwest Hawaiian Islands National Monument). Military bases might be turned over to the Akaka tribe when they are no longer needed.

But most of the lands and resources demanded by the Akaka tribe would come from the 1.8 million acres of the "ceded lands" which comprise about 95% of all the public lands of the State of Hawaii; plus streams, underground water, lakes, airports, harbors, reefs, fishing grounds, etc.

The federal government's attitude in imposing the unfunded mandates in the cases of both the Micronesian kidney dialysis and the Akaka bill is: "We did the crime; now you, Hawaii, do the time."

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http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?6ad23c2b-86a4-4ca3-a23d-0418da1b6f8d
Hawaii Reporter, September 22, 2009

Three Eloquent Reasons to Just Say No to the Akaka Bill and the Secessionists

By Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.

The 50th anniversary of our 50th state saw no celebration. There were two kinds of fireworks: Anti-Americans publicly bashed the head off an effigy of Uncle Sam, cut the 50th star off our beloved flag, and burned it. Fiery rhetoric in all the media denounced annexation and statehood as crimes. Passing the Akaka bill would send money, land, and political power to such anti-Americans. To those who disrespect our nation and desecrate our flag, I quote the closing paragraph of the U.S. Supreme Court Rice v. Cayetano decision:

"When the culture and way of life of a people are all but engulfed by a history beyond their control, their sense of loss may extend down through generations; and their dismay may be shared by many members of the larger community. As the State of Hawaii attempts to address these realities, it must, as always, seek the political consensus that begins with a sense of shared purpose. One of the necessary beginning points is this principle: The Constitution of the United States, too, has become the heritage of all the citizens of Hawaii."

The Akaka bill, OHA, Kamehameha Schools, and other racially exclusionary tycoons of the Hawaiian grievance industry love to portray ethnic Hawaiians as the victims of colonial oppression, armed invasion and occupation. They stereotype ethnic Hawaiians as likely to suffer drug abuse, alcoholism, incarceration, spouse abuse, heart disease, cancer, etc. They say everyone else, especially Caucasians but now also Asian "settler colonialists", owe them a debt of reparations too huge to ever be paid. I answer them in the words of Justice Antonin Scalia in the 1995 Supreme Court decision in Adarand vs. Pena:

"[U]nder our Constitution there can be no such thing as either a creditor or a debtor race. That concept is alien to the Constitution's focus upon the individual ... To pursue the concept of racial entitlement -- even for the most admirable and benign of purposes -- is to reinforce and preserve for future mischief the way of thinking that produced race slavery, race privilege and race hatred. In the eyes of government, we are just one race here. It is American."

Over 160 federal programs, three branches of the state government, plus numerous wealthy private institutions are all racially segregated to benefit ethnic Hawaiians. They now demand Congress create a racially exclusionary government to protect them. Meanwhile blood nationalists demand to make all of Hawaii an independent nation where only ethnic Hawaiians would be first-class citizens. Everyone else would be second-class citizens with voting rights only on limited topics and property rights only in limited land areas. Books and forums now demand that all Hawaii residents of Asian ancestry, including families born and raised here for even 5 or 6 generations, have a duty to throw away their U.S. citizenship and hard-won equal rights, and kow-tow in support of ethnic Hawaiian "indigenous" (i.e., racial) supremacy. King Kauikeaouli Kamehameha III answered them in the first sentence of the first Constitution of the Kingdom (1840):

"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 modern English, it says: "God has made of one blood all races of people to dwell upon this Earth in unity and blessedness." Let's heed those beautiful words.

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

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http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?8e4a75c2-f2fc-458d-a3f1-cda8b343c1a8
Hawaii Reporter, September 25, 2009

Senator Inouye: "Native American Sovereignty Should Equal That of States"

By Tom Macdonald

As Hawaii's citizens wonder what the impact of the Akaka Bill will be if it becomes law this year, it is instructive to review US Senator Daniel Inouye's view on the range of powers native American governments should have. In 2003, Senator Inouye introduced Senate Bill 578 in the U.S. Senate. The Bill was intended to expand the authority of tribal governments so that they would have powers equal to that of states.

The Senator explicitly stated that tribes "should be as sovereign as any State in the Union." His goal was to override recent rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court that limited the ability of tribal governments to apply tribal civil and criminal law to non-Indians who lived on or visited tribal lands. Essentially the Court ruled that federal and state law, not tribal law, would apply to non-Indians when they are on tribal lands.

Senator Inouye chose the Homeland Security Act as the vehicle for expanding tribal authority, He proposed to amend the Act in literally dozens of places by inserting the word "tribe" or "tribal" wherever the word "State" appeared, thus giving tribes the same powers as States. And, of course, this would terminate the sovereignty that States formerly had over non-Indians while they were on tribal lands.

Strong objections from civil rights groups forced Inouye to withdraw the Bill.

On January 25, 2005 Senator Inouye, one of the most powerful U.S. Senators, conceded that Federal Indian law does not provide the authority for Congress to create a Native Hawaiian governing entity.

Nevertheless, Akaka bill supporters' main argument remains that the bill would only give Native Hawaiians the same recognition as given to Native Americans. But the shared ancestry Native Hawaiians claim is not sufficient.

Congress only has the authority to recognize existing tribes: self-governing groups in distinctly Indian communities that have existed continuously from historic times to the present. But in no sense can Native Hawaiians as defined in the Akaka bill be considered to be a separate and distinct self governing group. They are dispersed throughout the world and have assimilated into the thousands of different places where they reside and are governed.

Clearly, despite Senator Inouye's candid 2005 admission, Akaka supporters will argue that the situation that existed between States and Indian tribes exactly parallels what will be the case in Hawaii if the Akaka Bill passes. And under Section 8 of the Bill, negotiations will occur between the new Native

Hawaiian entity, the State of Hawaii, and the federal government over "the exercise of civil and criminal jurisdiction" and "the delegation of governmental powers and authorities" to the new Hawaiian government. And Senator Inouye, as one of the most powerful U.S. Senators, will have significant influence on just what powers and authority any new Hawaiian government will have.

So those who are concerned about the Akaka Bill splitting the State of Hawaii into a crazy quilt of separate sovereign pieces need to carefully watch any such negotiations if the Akaka Bill becomes law.

Tom Macdonald is the Communications Director for Aloha for All

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http://www.starbulletin.com/editorials/20090927_OHA_strategy_hedges_Akaka_bet.html
Honolulu Advertiser, September 27, 2009
EDITORIAL

OHA strategy hedges Akaka bet

The reorganization at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs positions the agency for the eventual passage of the Akaka Bill, which would pave the way for native Hawaiians to achieve a limited form of self-rule similar to that of American Indians and Alaska natives.

OHA's 2010-2016 strategic plan distills the agency's diffused focus on numerous small initiatives that help individual Hawaiians into a broad, clear vision more suitable for a governing body. It streamlines the organization around three main objectives: advocacy for native Hawaiians, research and assets management.

Rather than being premature, this new approach -- which aims for the deepest positive impact among the largest number of people -- is the correct step whether or not the Akaka Bill becomes law this year, bringing with it the federal recognition that would allow Hawaiians to organize their own government within the existing U.S. and state ones.

The shift comes as OHA, like the rest of the state, suffers through the recession. The agency's $32 million operating budget -- which comes from investment income, state funding and ceded land revenues -- will be trimmed by about $500,000 a year, achieved by eliminating 28 of 178 jobs, including 16 vacant positions.

OHA administrator Clyde Namuo insists that budget stress did not inspire the new strategy, but is simply a reality factored into the path the agency has chosen to pursue as the best way to help the most native Hawaiians.

The plan focuses on improvement in six key areas: education, health, culture, governance, economic self-sufficiency and natural resources (land and water).

In education, for example, OHA researchers could investigate why native Hawaiian students as a whole tend to lag behind other ethnic groups in school achievement and use that data to improve policies, methods and curriculums at a variety of educational institutions, thereby helping the largest number of Hawaiian students, no matter where they go to school.

That's in contrast to OHA's current, more individual, approach. For example, last year the agency spent about $2.3 million on 2,000 Hawaiian children in charter schools -- which works out to about $1,150 per child -- when there are 65,000 Hawaiian students in regular public schools.

The agency, established by the Constitutional Convention in 1978, recognizes that it can maximize its impact by prioritizing its efforts.

The research-based, results-oriented approach de-emphasizes the personal lobbying that can end up with the most vociferous opponents or proponents of a particular program winning the day, whether or not their desires are best for the largest segment of the Hawaiian population.

The new strategy also reflects OHA's optimism that the Akaka Bill will pass, and puts the agency at the forefront in the creation of a native Hawaiian governing entity.

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

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1009/27975.html
Politico nationally syndicated column, as printed in
the Charleston Gazette on October 9, 2009

Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii)
By
Politico Contributor

Bio

Age: 85, Hometown: Honolulu, Entered the Senate: 1990, Up for reelection: 2012, Result of last election (2006): Akaka (D) 61.8%, Cynthia Thielen (R) 36.4%, Campaign cash on hand: $93,213

Five biggest industry contributors

Lawyers/law firms: $209,550, Retired: $152,632, Leadership PACs: $130,600, Public-sector unions: $102,000, Transportation unions: $101,425

Biggest triumphs

This spring, Akaka achieved what once was considered impossible: getting his committee to give early, two-year approval for veterans health care appropriations — way ahead of the usual timetable. If, as expected, the bill completes its tour through Congress, it will be a major accomplishment for the man who made Time's Five Worst Senators list in 2006 for sponsoring only minor legislation.

With requests for $45 billion next year and $48 billion in 2011, the Department of Veterans Affairs' health care system is one of the largest in the world. Approving the appropriations early ensures that the backlogs and glitches common to the agency, which has passed its budget on schedule only three times in the past 20 years, runs more smoothly, said Dennis Cullinan, legislative director for Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Achilles' heel

He's too nice. If Akaka's supporters could give him anything, it would be a pair of prosthetic elbows and the will to throw them. Case in point: In the last Congress, North Carolina's Sen. Richard Burr, newly appointed as the committee's ranking Republican, threatened a cloture vote to oppose a measure Akaka supported that would make Filipinos who served in World War II eligible for health benefits. Instead of fighting back with equally aggressive tactics, Akaka, one of three remaining World War II veterans in the Senate, pushed for his legislation by simply asking — nicely — for it to be passed. And eventually, it was.

Why supporters love him

He's soooo nice. Mention Akaka, and the most hard-bitten Washingtonians wax eloquent about the "spirit of Aloha." In a Capitol where even prayer breakfasts are divided by party, Akaka crosses the aisle, showing up to worship with Republicans. He refuses to be dragged into the muck by insults, instead wearing down the opposition with optimism and winning respect for his steadfastness. And he's inspiring a new generation: Patrick Campbell, legislative director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, says he's learning from Akaka's soft diplomacy. "You don't have to hit someone over the head with a club if you can ask them to do it."

Although Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) received the lion's share of credit for passing one of the most significant pieces of legislation last year — the Post-9/11 GI Bill — observers say the bill would not have moved forward without Akaka's support. And Akaka and his staff continue to help the VA iron out the kinks, many of which have yet to materialize because the bill was passed so quickly into law.

Why oppnents don't

As a target, he's too easy. Railroading Akaka is "like running over a bunny," said one Senate aide, adding that foes soon tire of taking advantage of him and wind up being won over — or totally exasperated — by his refusal to rise to any kind of bait.

The Charleston Gazette is a member of the Politico Network.

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

http://www.starbulletin.com/editorials/20091009_Ben_Cayetano.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, October 9, 2009

NAME IN THE NEWS

Ben Cayetano

The candid former governor shares his views on the fiscal crisis, rail transit and the 2010 election

By Christine Donnelly

** Excerpts related to Akaka bill

Ben Cayetano might have another book in him. The former Hawaii governor, whose revealing memoir, "Ben: A Memoir, from Street Kid to Governor," was published early this year, is considering tackling a historical novel, covering the decades after the 1954 Democratic revolution that brought sweeping changes to the islands.

"There's a lot of material, that's for sure, if not for me, for somebody," Cayetano, who turns 70 next month, said in an interview Wednesday at the Waialae Iki home he shares with his wife, business executive Vicky.

The iconoclastic Democrat, whose second gubernatorial term ended in 2002, spent about three years researching and writing the memoir, revisiting his Kalihi youth and sometimes bumpy political rise to become the first Filipino-American governor in the United States. Always an avid reader, the Farrington High School graduate found he relished writing as well.

Cayetano, who participates in a panel discussion tomorrow at the main library in celebration of Filipino-American History Month, sat down to discuss how he would have dealt with the state's current fiscal crisis, his picks in some hot political races, and the pitfalls of naming names.

Q: Also in the book, you emphasize the importance of native Hawaiian issues but conclude that it will take a strong, charismatic native Hawaiian leader to openly address them. Did you have someone in mind?

A: No. I don't see anyone like that on the horizon. The conclusion that I reached was that the activists ... have been successful in creating these expectations. The revisionist history that they've been teaching at the university has made it very difficult politically for Hawaiian leaders who understand what Rice v. Cayetano meant, for example, that sovereignty is probably something that's not achievable. Because I can't see for the life of me our federal government approving any scheme that's going to allow people to elect members of this entity on a race basis. You read Rice. To me it's very clear.

Q: So you don't think the Akaka Bill will stand up, even if it passes?

A: I think the Akaka Bill will be declared unconstitutional, if it passes. Clearly the president has said he will sign it. First thing that will happen (after that) is that you're going to have people who are going to challenge it. Meanwhile, OHA is talking about cutting positions. I wonder if they are cutting anything from their lobbying budget or the PR budget that they have, which is highly unusual for a state agency. What people don't understand is that the 20 percent that everybody's talking about (to help native Hawaiians) is set by general law. The Legislature could amend the law to make it 100 percent or 1 percent. But the 20 percent has sort of taken on a life of its own.

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

http://www.starbulletin.com/editorials/letters/20091013_Letters_to_the_Editor.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, October 13, 2009
Letters to the Editor

Bill would not help St. Damien

The headline of your editorial for Oct. 11 says, "Damien a hero to all."

Really?

St. Damien spent his adult life serving leprosy patients, most of whom were native Hawaiians. He spoke Hawaiian fluently. The cover of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs newspaper for October has a beautiful painting of Damien with Molokai in the background, headlined "Father Damien: Patron Saint of Native Hawaiians."

But if St. Damien were alive today, he would not be allowed to sign the Kau Inoa registry, because Damien lacks a drop of the magic blood. Damien would be excluded from the Akaka tribe as ruthlessly as haoles are excluded from Kamehameha School.

Sen. Akaka was seated in the front row inside St. Peter's in Rome for the canonization Mass while hundreds of Hawaii pilgrims were forced to sit outside in the rain. Akaka was the worst person to be at that ceremony, because of the profound disrespect for Damien in the whole concept of the Akaka Bill. What penance should Akaka perform? Withdraw the Akaka Bill.

Kenneth R. Conklin
Kaneohe

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http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?13ab4fc6-b417-4750-88e6-4000048ce4ab
Hawaii Reporter, October 14, 2009

Saint Damien, Hawaiian Sovereignty, and the Akaka Bill

By Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.

The cover of the OHA newspaper for October has a beautiful painting of Damien with Moloka'i in the background, with the headline "Father Damien: Patron Saint of Native Hawaiians." http://tinyurl.com/ygr7fgm Really? Patron saint of Native Hawaiians? But if Saint Damien were alive today, he would not be allowed to sign up for the Kau Inoa racial registry sponsored by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. That's because Damien lacks a drop of the magic blood. OHA's attitude toward people today who have no native blood (and by extension their attitude toward Saint Damien), seems to be "Please come help us. Spend your life serving our needs, and dying from a horrible disease you catch from us. But you will never truly be one of us and we will always deny you full participation in our lives."

At the canonization mass celebrated by the Pope on Sunday October 11, 2009 in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, Hawaii Senator Dan Akaka was seated in the front row while hundreds of Hawaii pilgrims were forced to sit outside in the rain. Apparently Senator Akaka felt that he should attend as a representative of Hawaii and especially because Akaka has Hawaiian native blood like most of the lepers helped by Damien.

Akaka got front-row indoor seating because he's an alii. Let the makaainana sit ouside in the rain. "They have no bread? Let them eat cake." (famous words of French Princess Marie Antoinette). He could have shown the Aloha Spirit (described by his brother the late Abraham Akaka), and a measure of personal charity, by giving his ticket to one of the pilgrims from Molokai who spent their life savings to attend and ended up watching the sacred ceremony on a Jumbotron with no better view than we Hawaiians who watched it on TV in the comfort of our homes. Surely one of Senator Akaka's servant-retainers with no native blood (perhaps Jesse Broder Van Dyke) would have held an umbrella over his head.

But let's set aside Senator Akaka's uncharacteristic arrogance on this occasion, which he was probably not aware of and might actually regret if it is pointed out to him.

Senator Akaka was exactly the most inappropriate person in the world to be at that ceremony, on account of what he represents. The heart of the Akaka bill he has been pushing for nearly ten years is a concept of racial exclusion. Anyone lacking a drop of Hawaiian native blood is denied membership in the Akaka tribe.

Saint Damien would be excluded from the Akaka tribe as ruthlessly as haoles are excluded from Kamehameha School and for exactly the same reason -- race. Please see this powerful one-minute video about Saint Damien's exclusion from the Akaka tribe, produced and narrated by Jere Krischel:
http://tinyurl.com/yenndv7

Akaka's presence at the canonization mass was hewa (grossly inappropriate or sinful), not because he tried to show respect to Damien by attending, but because the core concept of legislation that defines his political career is profoundly disrespectful to a Saint who lived among Hawaiian natives for three decades, spoke their language fluently, and knowingly risked dying of a horrible disease by helping them.

What penance should Akaka perform? Withdraw the Akaka bill and solemnly vow to Saint Damien never to reintroduce it.

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

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http://www.starbulletin.com/editorials/letters/20091018_Letters_to_the_Editor.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, October 18, 2009

Wrong to link Damien with bill

Kenneth Conklin's letter of Oct. 13 derides the earlier editorial "Damien a Hero to All" (Star-Bulletin, Oct. 11) as hypocrisy, but he's conflating mountain apples and mock orange trees. Heroism is not connected to citizenship — Damien dedicating his life to a distant nation without seeking personal gain only accents his heroism.

Hawaii's many heroes are recognized for actions, not political standing.

Joseph de Veuster, Father Damien, is not on the Hawaiian registry of naturalized subjects. He could have applied for citizenship but likely chose to maintain his status as a foreign subject. Mother Marianne Cope apparently did the same. Neither sought to be a Hawaiian subject or lobbied about getting their share of what belonged to Hawaiians.

The Akaka Bill is flawed, based on indigenous bloodline rather than subject status. The occupied nation must be addressed, including the 10 percent who were not of Hawaiian blood, for it is the descendants of that nation whose legacy is withheld. All others here, historically and now, whether tolerated or beloved, are not owed political consideration in this issue. Damien's heroism is unrelated.

Puakea Nogelmeier
Kalihi

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http://www.starbulletin.com/editorials/letters/20091019_Letters_to_the_Editor.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Monday, October 19, 2009

Akaka Bill critic was out of line

Ken Conklin's letter concerning St. Damien's exclusion from those benefiting from the passage of the Akaka Bill ("Bill would not help St. Damien," Star-Bulletin, Oct. 13) hardly deserves to be dignified with a response.

However, it is reprehensible to politicize the elevation of Father Damien to sainthood with the alleged discrimination Mr. Conklin sees in the Akaka Bill.

I cannot understand the brazen discrimination in the effort by Mr. Conklin and his associates to thwart the passage of the Akaka Bill. That bill and other efforts by the Hawaiian people aim at rectifying, in some measure, the theft of their nation by a group of conspirators with assistance from the U.S. military.

I believe that Father Damien would have stood on the side of justice and redressing a wrong, without regard to personal benefit to himself.

Alfred Bloom
Kailua

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http://www.mauinews.com/page/content.detail/id/524945.html?nav=18
The Maui News, October 20, 2009

Damien not welcome in the 'Akaka tribe'

The kingdom government established the leprosy colony on Molokai in 1866. Kamehameha V, Lunalilo, Kalakaua and Lili'uokalani exercised sovereign self-determination on behalf of Native Hawaiians to maintain a policy of quarantine and exile. They destroyed ohana by separating leprosy victims from their spouses and sending them to die in a remote place. Their government provided almost no medical care, housing, food or clothing. Some alii sponsored collections, but most donors were Caucasian and Asian businessmen.

St. Damien spent his life serving leprosy victims. Most were Native Hawaiians. He spoke Hawaiian fluently. The cover of the OHA newspaper for October has a beautiful painting of Damien with Molokai in the background, headlined "Father Damien: Patron Saint of Native Hawaiians."

But if St. Damien were alive today, he would not be allowed to sign the OHA-sponsored Kau Inoa registry, because Damien lacks a drop of the magic blood. Damien would be excluded from the Akaka tribe as ruthlessly as Caucasians are excluded from Kamehameha School - for no reason other than race.

Sen. Daniel Akaka was seated in the front row inside St. Peter's Basilica in Rome for the canonization Mass, while hundreds of Hawaii pilgrims were forced to sit outside in the rain. Akaka was the worst person to be at that ceremony because of the profound disrespect for Damien in the whole concept of his Akaka Bill.

What penance should Akaka perform? Withdraw the Akaka Bill.

Kenneth R. Conklin
Kaneohe

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

** Note from Ken Conklin: The absence of any items from October 20 to November 20 is not an oversight. There were zero published items about the Akaka bill for an entire month!

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

November 20, 2009: Attorney Paul M. Sullivan has updated his 65-page monograph analyzing the Akaka bill, including cartoons by Daryl Cagle. "Killing Aloha" -- The 'Akaka Bill' is wrong for Native Hawaiians, wrong for the State of Hawai'i and wrong for the United States. Here's why." It can be downloaded in pdf format at
http://bigfiles90.angelfire.com/AkakaSullivanKA111CongS1011HR2314Aug2009.pdf

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http://www.oha.org/kwo/2009/12/kwo0912.pdf
Ka Wai Ola (OHA monthly newspaper), December, 2009, page 21

The Journey Ahead

Walter M. Heen
Trustee, O‘ahu

It's clear that the "Akaka Bill" will become law before too long. Therefore, we need to understand what the journey ahead will entail.

Remember that the bill does not "re-establish" the Native Hawaiian government that existed before the 1893 overthrow. Rather, it provides a "process" for establishing a "Native Hawaiian Governing Entity" (NHGE). In this limited space I would like to cover the highlights of the "process" as I understand them.

COMMISSION

The bill establishes an Office for Native Hawaiian Relations in the U.S. Interior Department, and for the Interior Secretary to form a Commission of nine members (Commission) which will prepare and certify to the Secretary a roll (Roll) of adult Native Hawaiians who meet the definition of Native Hawaiian in the bill and elect to participate in the reorganization of the NHGE. The only requirements for membership on the Commission are 10 years of experience in studying Native Hawaiian genealogy and ability to read and translate documents from Hawaiian to English. Native Hawaiian organizations may recommend names to the Secretary for appointment.

The Commission is authorized to establish the kind of documentation needed to establish a person's eligibility for inclusion on the Roll and to that end may consult with Native Hawaiian organizations and agencies of the state government, including the Department of Home Lands and OHA. Upon completion, the Secretary "shall" publish the Roll. Those persons listed on the Roll will be eligible to participate in the reorganization of the NHGE, and may establish criteria for election to the Native Hawaiian Interim Government Council (Council), the structure of the Council, and elect members from the Roll to the Council.

COUNCIL

Once elected, the Council may conduct a referendum among the persons on the Roll to determine the proposed elements of the organic governing documents of the NHGE. Those elements may include: the criteria for citizenship; the proposed powers and authorities to be exercised by the NHGE; the proposed civil rights of the citizens of the NHGE "and all persons affected by the exercise of governmental powers and authorities of the" NHGE; and any other issues.

Based on the referendum, the Council may develop proposed organic governing documents for the NHGE and distribute them along with a brief description to those listed on the Roll. Then the Council may hold elections for ratifying the proposed governing documents. When the documents are ratified and certified by the Secretary, the Council may hold elections to fill the offices of the NHGE.

GOVERNING ENTITY

After the NHGE is reorganized and the organic governing documents are adopted the Council will submit the governing documents to the Secretary, who is to certify that the governing documents (1) establish the criteria for citizenship in the NHGE; (2) met the legal requirements for their adoption; (3) provide the authority for the NHGE to negotiate with the Federal, State and "local" governments; (4) provide for exercise of governmental authority by the NHGE; (5) "prevent the sale, disposition, lease, or encumbrance of lands, interests in lands, or other assets of the" NHGE "without the consent of the" NHGE; (6) provide protection of the civil rights of the citizens of the NHGE and others affected by governmental actions of the NHGE; and (7) are consistent with applicable Federal law and the special relationship between the U. S. and its indigenous native people.

NEGOTIATIONS

After all of that, the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity will be able to enter into negotiations with the other governments regarding transfer of lands; exercise of governmental authority over those lands and natural resources, and land use; exercise of civil and criminal jurisdiction; delegation of governmental powers to the NHGE by the federal and state government; residual responsibilities of the federal and state governments; and grievances regarding historical wrongs committed against Native Hawaiians by the United States and the State of Hawai‘i.

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

** Note by website editor Ken Conklin

The U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs set the date of a routine business meeting for Wednesday December 9. However, that business meeting was then postponed to Thursday December 17 (probably the last day before the holiday recess)

In a stealth maneuver, the committee leadership scheduled the Akaka bill on the agenda but did not list it in the agenda in any way that would be easily visible to the public.

To see the Akaka bill listed on official letterhead stationery as one of the two items to be discussed at the meeting originally set for December 9, download a pdf file of the letter at
http://indian.senate.gov/public/_files/1209agenda.pdf

To see the postponement of the meeting from December 9 to December 17 (but not mentioning what was on the agenda), see the top line of
http://indian.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Hearings.Hearing&Hearing_ID=04d68f35-e168-4733-857e-91ac0624374a

There is no indication whether there will be any witnesses, nor whether the meeting will be webcast.

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http://www.starbulletin.com/news/20091210_oha_leaders_confident_akaka_bill_will_be_approved_soon.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, December 10, 2009

OHA leaders confident Akaka Bill will be approved soon

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is "fine-tuning" itself and its mission amid tight economic conditions and the potentially historic passage of federal legislation to recognize a native Hawaiian governing entity.

Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona outlined the agency's strategic vision for the immediate future yesterday in the seventh "State of OHA" address at St. Andrew's Cathedral.

After working the last nine years on passage of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, better known as the Akaka Bill, OHA heads into 2010 with expectations of finally seeing the bill signed by President Barack Obama.

With Democratic majorities in both chambers of Congress and a previous declaration of support from the president, Apoliona said the agency will work with the native Hawaiian community to build readiness for "when" the bill passes.

"When enacted, it will be up to all native Hawaiians, whether residing in or outside Hawaii, to ensure the enabling process is one that includes all native Hawaiians who wish to participate," Apoliona said.

OHA Administrator Clyde Namuo said he expects the U.S. Senate to take up the matter early next year, with a vote by late January or February. The bill still would require approval from the House, which passed a similar version of the legislation last year.

"I think right now it's an issue of fine-tuning language," Namuo said.

He said communities and organizations will have to cooperate on implementing the bill.

"I think, given the fact that the bill probably will not include an appropriation, the only way that that issue could move forward is through agencies, such as OHA, coming up with some resource to move it ahead," he said.

Apoliona also spoke of the agency's new strategic plan for the next six years.

OHA announced the plan in September, saying it would focus on improving six areas for Hawaiians: education, health, culture, governance, economic self-sufficiency, and land and water.

The plan eliminates 28 of 178 positions, including 16 vacant positions, and saves about $500,000 a year. Namuo already has selected a chief operating officer and four business directors. The restructuring is expected to be completed by January.

** Note by website editor Ken Conklin: Full text of Haunani Apoliona's message, including a supplement with some details, is at
http://oha.org/pdf/091209_SOOHA_Apoliona.pdf

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http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?1f71885c-5e5f-498b-9564-eb4d06940af4
Hawaii Reporter, December 11, 2009

Akaka Bill Committee Actions for This Coming Week

House committee markup Wednesday December 16; Senate committee meeting on Thursday December 17.

By Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.

The Akaka bill is scheduled for important committee actions in both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate this coming week. None of Hawaii's print newspapers, or TV or radio stations, have reported what is about to happen.

HOUSE COMMITTEE MARKUP MEETING DECEMBER 16, 2009

The House Natural Resources Committee will meet on Wednesday December 16, at 10 AM (5 AM Hawaii time) for full committee markup of six bills. The markup session will probably be webcast live -- a link on the committee's website allows access to hearings beginning ten minutes before the scheduled time. Details of the agenda, including titles and descriptions of all six bills, and a link to the live webcast, are on the committee's webpage for this meeting at
http://tinyurl.com/ya8mgkl

Five of the bills are non-controversial and of small importance, as can be seen on the agenda. Including the highly controversial Akaka bill on the same agenda with the other five bills is reminiscent of how the bill passed the House in 2000. On September 26, 2000 the Akaka bill was included in a group of eight non-controversial bills which all passed by voice vote under suspension of the rules at the dinner hour in a nearly empty chamber. The bill immediately before was for purchase of a historic house in the area of the Gettysburg National Park, and the bill immediately following was to acquire a small parcel of land near the CIA headquarters. For details about what happened on September 26, see
http://tinyurl.com/7yclb

SENATE COMMITTEE BUSINESS MEETING (MARKUP?) DECEMBER 17, 2009

The U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs set the date of a routine business meeting for Wednesday December 9 with an agenda of two items, including the Akaka bill. However, that business meeting was then postponed to Thursday December 17 (possibly the last day before the holiday recess)

In a stealth maneuver, the committee leadership scheduled the Akaka bill on the agenda for December 9 (later moved to December 17) but did not list it in the agenda in any way that would be easily visible to the public. The original December 9 agenda that includes the Akaka bill has been available since December 1 for anyone who knew where to look for it; but either none of the news media found it, or else they decided not to report it.

To see the Akaka bill listed on official letterhead stationery as one of the two items to be discussed at the meeting originally set for December 9, download a pdf file of the letter at
http://tinyurl.com/yekcdqc

To see the postponement of the meeting from December 9 to December 17 (but not mentioning what was on the agenda), see the top line of
http://tinyurl.com/yfkghk9

There is no indication whether there will be any witnesses, nor whether the meeting will be webcast.

SHORT HISTORY OF THE AKAKA BILL

The Akaka bill has been introduced in every session of Congress since 2000. There have been more than a dozen different versions of it because the Hawaii delegation has scrambled to respond to numerous pressures. Although Senators Akaka and Inouye have both served for many years on the Committee on Indian Affairs (Hawaii is the only state that has both of its Senators serving on this committee), they seemed strangely incapable of understanding the consequences of the bill language they were submitting; or perhaps they did understand those consequences but pretended not to.

There has been opposition from America's Indian tribes regarding possible competition from gambling casinos; opposition from the Bush administration's Department of Justice regarding issues of civil rights and sovereignty; opposition from Hawaii's race-based ethnic Hawaiian institutions concerned about too many restrictions on the future tribe; opposition from radical ethnic Hawaiians demanding the right to secede to make the entire State of Hawaii an independent nation; opposition from ethnic Hawaiians with greater than 50% native blood quantum who fear dilution of their special rights; and opposition from Hawaii civil rights activists seeking to protect equality under the law for all people regardless of race.

For a detailed history of the Akaka bill during 2009, with links to detailed histories for earlier years, see
http://tinyurl.com/adentr

Three matched pair versions of the bill were introduced in the current House and Senate of the 111th Congress (six bills in total) between January and May, 2009. The latest version was introduced in both the House and Senate on May 7, 2009, and is now apparently the "real" bill.

The House Committee on Natural Resources held a hearing on H.R.2314 on June 11. A meeting of the committee to mark up the bill was scheduled for July 9, but cancelled without explanation on the afternoon of July 8. The explanation became clear later.

After a bill has had a hearing, then the committee must meet to mark up the bill; i.e., to revise the language in the bill in light of the hearing, and make sure to "cross all the t's and dot all the i's." There could be important changes not only in the details of the bill's language but also in its major concepts.

Around the time of the June 11 hearing, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation publicly expressed strong opposition to the restrictions that the language of the bill would place on the resultant Akaka tribe, and also some concerns about the procedures in the bill for setting up the tribe, including the method for certifying who is "Native Hawaiian." Presumably the markup meeting will accommodate the concerns of OHA and NHLC, and might go so far as to strip out of the bill important protections for civil rights and sovereignty which were put into the bill during the past several years in response to objections from the Bush administration Department of Justice.

The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs held a hearing on S.1011 on August 6, and has been dormant on the Akaka bill since then.

The fact that both the House and Senate committees are meeting on the Akaka bill in the same week indicates that disputes among the large race-based institutions and Hawaii's political power brokers have probably been resolved, and there will be a major effort to pass the bill in the early months of 2010.

An additional element of urgency comes from Congressman Abercrombie's announcement that he will soon resign his seat in order to run for Governor. On September 27, 2000, the day after Abercrombie successfully pushed the Akaka bill through the House on a stealth maneuver, the Honolulu Advertiser quoted him thusly: "My heart is pounding; I am so happy," Abercrombie said after the House vote. "This is the biggest thing that has ever happened to me in my legislative career. Forty-one years ago, I came to Hawaii without any idea of serving in Congress on behalf of Hawaii's people. What I owe to Hawaii in some small measure has been repaid today. It justifies my life in public service."

It would not be surprising if Rep. Abercrombie times his impending resignation from Congress to coincide with passage of the Akaka bill. Then, as Governor, he could preside over the sweetheart-deal "negotiations" whereby the State of Hawaii hands over most or all of the public lands to the Akaka tribe, along with jurisdictional authority for taxation, law enforcement, zoning, divorce and child custody, etc.

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

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

http://resourcescommittee.house.gov/index.php?option=com_jcalpro&Itemid=27&extmode=view&extid=313
U.S. House Natural Resources Committee, Markup Announcement

Full Committee Markup
Date: Wednesday, December 16, 2009 At 10:00:00 AM

The House Natural Resources Committee, led by Chairman Nick J. Rahall (D-WV), will meet in open markup session to mark up the following bills: H.R. 725 (Pastor): To protect Indian arts and crafts through the improvement of applicable criminal proceedings, and for other purposes. "Indian Arts and Crafts Amendments Act of 2009"

H.R. 2288 (Salazar): To amend Public Law 106-392 to maintain annual base funding for the Upper Colorado and San Juan fish recovery programs through fiscal year 2023. "Endangered Fish Recovery Programs Improvement Act of 2009"

H.R. 2476 (DeGette): To amend the National Forest Ski Area Permit Act of 1986 to clarify the authority of the Secretary of Agriculture regarding additional recreational uses of National Forest System land that are subject to ski area permits, and for other purposes. "Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Enhancement Act of 2009"

H.R. 3726 (Christensen): To establish the Castle Nugent National Historic Site at St. Croix, United States Virgin Islands, and for other purposes. "Castle Nugent National Historic Site Establishment Act of 2009"

H.R. 3538 (Simpson):To authorize the continued use of certain water diversions located on National Forest System land in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness and the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness in the State of Idaho, and for other purposes. "Idaho Wilderness Water Resources Protection Act"

H.R. 2314 (Abercrombie): To express the policy of the United States regarding the United States relationship with Native Hawaiians and to provide a process for the recognition by the United States of the Native Hawaiian governing entity. "Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009"

Subject:
House Natural Resources Committee
Full Committee Markup

When:
Wednesday, December 16, 2009, at 10:00 a.m.

Where:
Room 1324 Longworth House Office Building

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

http://www.hawaiifreepress.com/main/ArticlesMain/tabid/56/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/1426/Akaka-Bill-to-be-voted-by-House-and-Senate-Committees.aspx
Hawaii Free Press (online), Saturday, December 12, 2009

Akaka Bill to be voted by House and Senate Committees

By Andrew Walden

Neil Abercrombie apparently can't leave Congress without taking one last swipe at forcing Native Hawaiians to become second class tribal citizens under the domination of an Akaka Tribe controlled by OHA cronies.

On Wednesday December 16 Abercrombie's House Natural Resources subcommittee will vote on HR 2314, the "Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009" better known as the Akaka Bill. The committee will meet at 10AM EST (5AM HST) in room 1324 Longworth.

The following day at 2:15PM EST (9:15AM HST) the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, meeting in Dirksen room 628, is scheduled to vote on the companion bill--S1011. The vote had been originally scheduled for December 9 but has been rescheduled to the 17th.

According to House minority staff, "(House) Committee Republicans have received word that an agreement on this bill has been reached, however we have still not been provided a copy of this agreement."

With Democrats in control of both Houses and President Obama pledged to sign the Akaka Bill if it reaches his desk, 2010 should have been a great opportunity for the OHA gang to win the bill's passage. But House and Senate hearings this summer exposed a deep fracture.

On one side, the so-called "sovereignty" activists, a disgusting gaggle of ex-cons, child abusers, mortgage scammers, drug pushers, and other miscellaneous convicted criminals--plus a few professors and lawyers--whose dreams of riches and glory now hinge on the "cultural" PASH-based greenmail shake down schemes aimed at developers, landowners and even single family homeowners.

On the other side, the OHA gang, which subsidizes many of the sovereignty activists and their legal organ the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation, but seeks control of billions of dollars worth of Hawaii real estate via formation of the Akaka Tribe.

Forcing them to choose between the two paths: the Obama Administration and Senator Inouye backed by Governor Lingle.

The Native Hawaiian Bar Association (NHBA) earlier this summer argued:

"The bill's provisions on claims and federal sovereign immunity appear to be overly broad and may prohibit lawsuits by individual Native Hawaiians for claims that could be pursued by any other member of the general population."

With the Senate about to reconvene, has any progress been made to resolve the impasse? A sharply-worded September 6 Star-Bulletin commentary by Kihei Soli Niheu and J. Kehaulani Kauanui, Ph.D. suggests not. The two long-time sovereignty leaders take issue with an August 24 commentary by Jon M Van Dyke, author of "Who owns the Crown lands of Hawaii?" They bitterly complain that Van Dyke:

"promotes an Akaka Bill that will shut down all U.S. court doors to Kanaka Maoli claims: 'It is the general effect of section 8 (c)(2)(B) [of the Bill] that any claims that may already have accrued and might be brought against the United States ... be rendered nonjusticiable in suits brought by plaintiffs other than the Federal Government.'"

They are not the only ones attacking Section 8(c). In her August 6 Senate Indian Affairs Committee testimony Robin Danner of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA) demanded 8(c) be replaced with language stating:

"Nothing in this Act is intended to serve as a settlement of any claims against the United States or the State of Hawaii."

This creates a direct challenge to Inouye and to Obama's DoJ represented figuratively and literally at the August 6 Senate Indian Affairs committee hearing, by Sam Hirsch, a former Dan Inouye staffer appointed by Obama to the US Department of Justice. Hirsch emphasized:

"…the legislation contains provisions that specifically state that Congress does not intend to create any new legal claims against the United States. The Department supports these provisions and believes they should remain in the bill. In particular, the Department supports section 8(c) in S. 1011, which provides that nothing in the bill creates a cause of action against or waives the sovereign immunity of the United States."

The full US House has twice voted its approval of the Akaka Bill, but something stopped the House Committee on Natural Resources dead in its tracks when it was scheduled to "mark up" the Akaka Bill to the full House July 9. The July 8 Advertiser explained:

"The vote postponement follows some written criticisms of the bill by prominent members of the Native Hawaiian legal community. In a four-page analysis of the legislation sent to the Natural Resources Committee, the Native Hawaiian Bar Association voiced concern that some provisions would grant the federal government too much immunity against potential claims by Native Hawaiians, especially for land."

And this is only one of several issues under dispute.

Since September, there has been little Hawaii media coverage of these very important hearings and votes.

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

http://www.starbulletin.com/news/20091212_akaka_bill_debate_begins_again_soon.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, December 12, 2009

Akaka Bill debate begins again soon

By Gary T. Kubota

Debate restarts in Congress next week on the so-called Akaka Bill in a year in which the bill's prognosis for passage seems better than ever.

There will be a hearing Wednesday before the House Committee on Natural Resources.

The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act would allow for the formation of a governing body for native Hawaiians, similar to that of American Indians, that would negotiate with state and federal governments over land and other resources.

The House passed the bill in 2000 and 2007, but the bill has stalled in the Senate -- most recently when President George W. Bush's administration opposed it and there were insufficient votes to bring it to the Senate floor.

With President Barack Obama's support and more Democrats in the Senate than during Bush's last term, chances appear to have improved for its passage, according to political observers.

"We believe the atmosphere is different now," said David Helfert, spokesman for U.S. Rep Neil Abercrombie, D-Urban Honolulu.

Helfert said if the committee approves the bill Wednesday, it could be sent to the House floor.

Obama is on the record saying he will sign the bill.

In the Senate the bill is before the Committee on Indian Affairs, which held a hearing on it earlier this year but did not vote, said Jesse Broder Van Dyke, spokesman for U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka.

Van Dyke said the U.S. Department of Justice, under the Obama administration, supports the measure, which is a reversal of its position when Bush was in charge. "With the new Justice Department, from our perspective it's on track," Van Dyke said. Van Dyke said the previous Congress had a narrow Democratic majority, not enough to bring the bill for a floor vote. He said the new Congress has 60 votes on the Democratic side and bipartisan support for the Akaka Bill from Republican Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Van Dyke said Akaka has been talking with members of the Indian Affairs Committee about supporting the bill.

Opponents have charged that the bill is race-based.

Some opponents in Hawaii say the bill would thwart efforts to restore an independent Hawaiian nation.

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

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20091213/BREAKING01/91213044/Protest+planned+tomorrow+against+Akaka+Bill++sneak+attack+
Honolulu Advertiser, Sunday, December 13, 2009
BREAKING NEWS/UPDATES, Updated at 4:22 p.m.

Protest planned tomorrow against Akaka Bill 'sneak attack'

Advertiser Staff

More than 100 people are expected tomorrow morning to protest efforts by Hawai'i's two U.S. senators to insert the so-called Akaka bill into one of the federal appropriations bills coming up next, according to a spokesman for the Koani Foundation, which calls the effort a "sneak attack."

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, is planning to insert the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009 into the Defense Appropriations Bill or one of several others coming before Congress this week, according to Ehu Cardwell, spokesman for the Koani Foundation.

The effort would virtually guarantee passage of the Akaka bill through a "back door" tactic, thus circumventing any public review or input, Cardwell said in a statement today.

Protestors will gather at 7 a.m. tomorrow by the Hawaii State Capitol.

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

http://www.kitv.com/news/21965103/detail.html
KITV 4, Honolulu, Monday December 14

Group Protests Akaka Bill At Capitol
Leaders Say Senators Trying To Push Bill Through Appropriations

HONOLULU -- Native Hawaiians who oppose the Akaka Bill (Native Hawaiian Recognition Act) started Monday with a public protest.

The morning demonstration was designed to show outrage over alleged attempts by Hawaii's U.S. senators to piggyback the bill onto one of the large federal appropriations bills scheduled for hearing this week.

It reduces Native Hawaiians to a tribal status and does not address the true issue of the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom, opponents of the bill said. "We see this as an act of desperation on the part of proponents of the bill because it's been 10 years already in the making and they haven't been able to move it over their goal line," said Leon Siu, of Hawaiian Independence Action Alliance said.

"I have never suggested that the Akaka Native Hawaiian Recognition Bill be passed and adopted as part of the defense appropriations process. I don't know where this nonsensical suggestion originated. The Akaka Bill for the past many years has been considered under what we call the regular order. It has had hours upon hours of hearings, many, many revisions and amendments and has gone through the scrutiny of three administrations. We have had hearings in Washington and in Hawaii. It is not a measure that has been shepherded in the dark of the night. It has been fully transparent," U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye said in a statement.

The bill is scheduled for a markup in the House Natural Resource Committee on Wednesday and the Senate Indian Affairs Committee on Thursday.

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

http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/global/story.asp?s=11676367
KGMB & KHNL combined TV station news, Monday December 14, 2009

Opponents of Akaka Bill stage protest, accuse senator of ‘back-door' tactics

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Opponents of the Akaka Bill staged a protest Monday morning near the Hawaii State Capitol, accusing Senator Daniel Inouye of planning to "jam" the Native Hawaiian recognition bill into a defense spending measure, virtually guaranteeing its passage. Senator Inouye's office responded quickly, calling the suggestion "nonsensical".

Ehu Cardwell of the Koani Foundation said in a statement that Inouye was "planning to insert the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009 into the Defense Appropriations Bill or one of several others coming before Congress this week.

"The effort would virtually guarantee passage of the Akaka bill through a "back-door" tactic, thus circumventing any public review or input" Cardwell said.

"I have never suggested that the Akaka Native Hawaiian Recognition Bill be passed and adopted as part of the defense appropriations process. I don't know where this nonsensical suggestion originated" said Inouye in a statement.

In his statement, Inouye referenced the numerous hearings and proposed amendments that the bill has undergone since it was originally proposed in 2000. He said the proposed law "has gone through the scrutiny of three administrations…it has been fully transparent."

The Akaka Bill is officially known as the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009. It would establish a process whereby Native Hawaiians would be able to set up a governing entity similar to those of numerous Native American nations on the mainland.

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

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20091214/BREAKING01/91214061?source=rss_breaking
Honolulu Advertiser, BREAKING NEWS/UPDATES
Updated at 1:52 p.m., Monday, December 14, 2009

Sen. Inouye responds to charges of Akaka Bill 'sneak attack'

U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye issued a statement in response to a protest today by Native Hawaiian groups at the state Capitol over the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009, also known as the Akaka Bill.

The groups claimed that Inouye is trying to "sneak" the so-called Akaka Bill into spending bills to get its passage.

"I have never suggested that the Akaka Native Hawaiian Recognition Bill be passed and adopted as part of the defense appropriations process," Inouye said in his statement. "I don't know where this nonsensical suggestion originated. The Akaka bill for the past many years has been considered under what we call the regular order. It has had hours upon hours of hearings, many, many revisions and amendments and has gone through the scrutiny of three administrations. We have had hearings in Washington and in Hawaii. It is not a measure that has been shepherded in the dark of the night. It has been fully transparent."

The Akaka bill is scheduled for a markup in the House Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday and the Senate Indian Affairs Committee on Thursday.

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

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NWZmOWFhM2Y1MGJlZDM0OWVkN2ZlNjBiMDljNTY0YjE=
Monday, December 14, 2009

It's Not Just the Obamas Going to Hawaii This December

by Kathryn Jean Lopez

For years (since 1999), Daniel Akaka has been trying to make the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act law. On Friday afternoon, the minority on the House Natural Resources Committee got word that there will be a mark-up on it on Wednesday. Apparently there's an agreement on the bill, but Republicans on the committee haven't seen it.

The Hill rumor is that Democrats plan to attach Akaka to the Department of Defense funding bill before this session ends — basically, sneaking it in at a busy, contentious time of year to avoid full debate.

Here's how we editorialized about the Akaka bill in 2006:

The Akaka bill is a terrible piece of legislation. Every aspect of it—from its premises to its goals to its methods—undermines the American belief that we are one people from many. It would create a separate government for "native" Hawaiians, who would in all likelihood be determined almost exclusively by bloodlines. The new government would be able to conduct sovereign-to-sovereign relations with the United States, much as Indian tribes do today. Although no one knows what the final form of the government would be, presumably some 400,000 "natives" would be invited to weigh in—even a resident of New Hampshire who has never stepped foot in Hawaii and has but a trace of Hawaiian blood would get a say in forming the new government. The most pernicious outcome is perhaps the only one that is assured: The governing entity would lead to a permanent hereditary caste in Hawaii, where natives—defined however the interim government chooses to define them—enjoy at least some rights that non-natives do not. Tax-exempt status and immunity from Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations are two possibilities.

Akaka would be an unconstitutional, race-based mistake. It shouldn't pass. And it really shouldn't be snuck in as Christmas gift to Daniel Akaka.

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

http://biggovernment.com/2009/12/14/race-based-government-established-at-expense-of-troops/
Andrew Breitbart Presents BIG GOVERNMENT

Race-Based Government Established at Expense of Troops?

by Brian Darling

The House and Senate are wrapping up work on the last appropriations bill of the year and rumors are swirling that the controversial Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, also known as the "Akaka Bill," will be included in the Defense Appropriations bill. The defense measure is proving to be controversial, because House and Senate appropriators are using it to carry non related matters like a $1.9 trillion debt limit increase, an extension of unemployment benefits and the Native Hawaiian measure.

The Native Hawaiian bill, a long time priority of Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI), would set up a race based government of "indigenous, native people of Hawaii." Opponents argue that this bill is unconstitutional and unwise. National Review Online sounded the alarm bells today and sources on Capitol Hill confirmed to Big Government that a version of the Native Hawaiian Bill may end up in the Defense Appropriations bill. According to NROnline:
The Hill rumor is that Democrats plan to attach Akaka to the Department of Defense funding bill before this session ends — basically, sneaking it in at a busy, contentious time of year to avoid full debate.

The bill would create a race based government to solicit federal monies and create programs to benefit individuals who fit the definition of "Native Hawaiian." A United States Office for Native Hawaiian Relations would be created to negotiate a special political and legal relationship between Native Hawaiians and the United States. The supporters of this bill argue that Native Hawaiians are similar to an Indian tribe and they should be declared a sovereign entity so they can negotiate benefits from the U.S. government. The fact of the matter is that Hawaii was a kingdom with a monarch before becoming a state, unlike American Indian Tribes. Furthermore, the Tribes recognized by the Bureau of Indian Affairs are not racially exclusive and the Native Hawaiian government would be race based.

Many in Hawaii are concerned that they would be unconstitutionally excluded from the new governing entity, because they will not racially qualify to participate. The Supreme Court case, Rice v. Cayetano (2000), declared unconstitutional a state sponsored vote in Hawaii, limited to individuals who could prove Native Hawaiian decent, to a board overseeing Native Hawaiian issues. There was a strict racial classification and an individual who was deemed not racially eligible to vote challenged the constitutionality of the vote under the 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution. He won. Many of the same constitutional concerns apply to the Akaka Bill and a court may deem this bill unconstitutional when there is a determination of the qualifications to participate in the new Native Hawaiian Government.

Many Native Hawaiians have lost faith in the governing entity, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA), to represent the will of Native Hawaiians. OHA will become the defacto governing entity of Native Hawaiians and they seem more interested in lobbying for more and more federal money as the solution to all of the problems in the Native Hawaiian community. Some Native Hawaiians don't want federal monies, because they don't want to give far away Washington, D.C. more and more control over lands in Hawaii. There are Hawaiians who object on the grounds that they would be racially excluded from the new governing entity, even though they have lived their whole lives in Hawaii.

This is yet another example of politicians in Washington, D.C. trying to pull a fast one. For those who have a distaste for big government, like me, this is yet further evidence that politicians are pushing unpopular and potentially unconstitutional ideas in the hope that you are not paying attention.

Late today, Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, released the following statement: I have never suggested that the Akaka Native Hawaiian Recognition Bill be passed and adopted as part of the defense appropriations process. I don't know where this nonsensical suggestion originated. The Akaka Bill for the past many years has been considered under what we call the regular order. It has had hours upon hours of hearings, many, many revisions and amendments and has gone through the scrutiny of three administrations. We have had hearings in Washington and in Hawaii. It is not a measure that has been shepherded in the dark of the night. It has been fully transparent.

Transparency and pressure may have backed off the supporters of this bill, yet one should not be confident that some version of the Native Hawaiian Bill will be put into the Defense Appropriations Bill until they read the bill.

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http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20091215/NEWS21/912150347/+Sneak+attack++claims+dismissed
Honolulu Advertiser, December 15, 2009

'Sneak attack' claims dismissed

By John Yaukey
Gannett Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — Sen. Daniel K. Inouye denied accusations yesterday by a group of mostly Native Hawaiians that he is trying to avoid public scrutiny of legislation that would grant them historic new status by hiding it in a defense bill.

The legislation in question — known as the Akaka bill for its author, Hawai'i Sen. Daniel Akaka — would grant Native Hawaiians the same status as American Indians. It would create a process for Native Hawaiian self-governance.

"I have never suggested that the Akaka bill be passed and adopted as part of the defense appropriations process," Inouye said. "I don't know where this nonsensical suggestion originated."

The accusations and response come as the decade-old Akaka bill approaches perhaps its best chance for passage yet.

It is scheduled to come before key House and Senate committees this week for votes that would open it up for full congressional consideration. President Obama has promised to sign it.

The group of critical Native Hawaiians, which includes separatists, accused Inouye of a "sneak attack" yesterday and said he was trying to avoid "any public review or input" on the bill.

About 100 people gathered for a demonstration opposing the Akaka bill process yesterday morning at the state Capitol.

'Ehu Cardwell, a spokes-man for the group, said protesters want Hawai'i's lawmakers to hold public hearings on the Akaka bill in Hawai'i.

"We need to get the feedback of the people," he said. "What we're asking for is a transparent process."

Akaka was as unhappy as Inouye about the accusations.

"It is very frustrating that opponents intentionally seek to spread misinformation about the bill," Akaka said last night. "This should call their credibility into question once again."

The Akaka bill has strong support among some Native Hawaiians, but others oppose it for multiple reasons. Separatists, who believe Hawai'i should be released from statehood, don't believe it goes far enough.

Other critics say they are worried about how claims for land under the Akaka bill would be handled.

The legislation would develop a process for organizing a Native Hawaiian government. It would rewrite the political landscape in Hawai'i, giving Native Hawaiians virtually the same rights conferred on American Indians and Native Alaskans. Eventually, it could give Native Hawaiians greater control over their highly valuable ancestral lands — some 1.8 million acres annexed in 1898.

Some prominent members of the Native Hawaiian legal community have issues with the Akaka bill, although their objections focus on details and not the overall thrust of the legislation.

In a four-page analysis of the legislation, the Native Hawaiian Bar Association said some provisions would grant the federal government too much immunity against potential claims by Native Hawaiians, especially for land.

"The bill's provisions on claims and federal sovereign immunity appear to be overly broad and may prohibit lawsuits by individual Native Hawaiians," the bar association wrote. "They create an extraordinarily unusual circumstance in which Native Hawaiians are barred from bringing an action."

Congress has taken up the legislation seven times since it was first introduced in 2000. The bill has passed the House twice but has never cleared the Senate, where legislation sometimes requires 60 of 100 votes, and where a single senator can place a hold on a bill.

Akaka has said he expects he'll need 60 votes to eventually pass the bill.

Opponents of the legislation, which has changed shape several times, say 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 that the Akaka bill would "divide people by their race."

Justice Department officials from the Obama administration have been negotiating with the Hawai'i delegation about fine points in the bill, but the department supports it.

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

http://www.starbulletin.com/news/20091215_Akaka_Bill_foes_want_hearing.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Tuesday December 15, 2009

Akaka Bill foes want hearing

By B.J. Reyes

** Photo caption The sun cast the shadows of Leon Siu, Hinaleimoana Falemei and Palani Vaughn yesterday against the Hawaiian flag they stood in front of on the corner of Beretania and Punchbowl streets. The three are members of the sovereignty group Koani Foundation, which opposes the Akaka Bill. "Where is the voice of the people in the process?" asked Siu, a protest organizer.

Opponents of federal recognition for native Hawaiians are urging Hawaii's congressional delegation to hold hearings in Hawaii on the latest version of the Akaka Bill, which is being discussed in Congress this week.

"The only hearing on this bill in Hawaii was 10 years ago on Oahu," said Ehu Cardwell, a spokesman for the Koani Foundation, a sovereignty group that opposes the legislation.

"Since then there have been no hearings -- not one -- in Hawaii. There have been so many iterations of it we don't know what's in this bill," he added. "We want the opportunity to give him feedback."

The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, better known as the Akaka Bill, is scheduled for a markup tomorrow in the House Natural Resources Committee and the Senate Indian Affairs Committee on Thursday.

The foundation organized a rally at the state Capitol yesterday to protest what it said was a potential "sneak attack" by U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye.

Opponents alleged that Inouye would try to insert the legislation into a separate defense appropriations bill, or some other piece of legislation, coming up for votes this week in Congress -- denying a proper public discussion of the proposal.

Inouye, in a statement released by his office, said he had no intention of attaching the Akaka Bill onto other legislation, calling the notion "nonsensical."

"I don't know where this nonsensical suggestion originated," Inouye said. "The Akaka Bill for the past many years has been considered under what we call the regular order. It has had hours upon hours of hearings, many, many revisions and amendments and has gone through the scrutiny of three administrations.

"We have had hearings in Washington and in Hawaii. It is not a measure that has been shepherded in the dark of the night. It has been fully transparent."

The Akaka Bill would allow for the formation of a governing body for native Hawaiians, similar to that of American Indians, to negotiate with state and federal governments over land and other resources.

Protest organizers said they still are hopeful to have the bill vetted further.

"We thank Sen. Inouye for his statement and accept his word the Akaka Bill will not be attached to any other legislation," said Leon Siu, one of the protest organizers. "Maybe now the senator will actually hold open congressional hearings on the bill in Hawaii in 2010 and find out what people really think about this legislation.

"I can tell you this: It will be an eye-opener."

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

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/Heads-up-Native-Hawaiian-bill-is-back-79275257.html
The Washington Examiner, December 15, 2009
Beltway Confidential

Heads up: Native Hawaiian bill is back

By: DAVID FREDDOSO
Commentary Staff Writer

The so-called Akaka Bill, which would recognize native Hawaiians as an Indian tribe and create a new governing entity for them with vaguely defined powers, will receive a markup in the House Natural Resources Committee tomorrow.

The bill is mind-bendingly bad in its intent and likely effects, but it has a serious chance of passage. Nothing has really changed about it since I wrote this summary about four years ago:

The bill would create an open-ended negotiation process between a proposed native-Hawaiian governing entity and the federal and state governments. The process could ultimately give this entity the powers of taxation and law enforcement, hundreds of thousands of acres of Hawaiian land and the right to discriminate based on race. Members of the tribe would be enrolled based on race, and the tribe's governing entity could become immune from civil rights laws, much like American Indian tribal authorities, which are permitted to establish state religions and discriminate based on race and sex.

Sen. Daniel Akaka, D, Hawaii, has been promoting the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act for a very, very long time. What's more, the state's Office of Hawaiian Affairs, a quasi-independent agency created by the state constitution that would likely take on the role of the native Hawaiian governing entity, has spent $770,000 in just the last two years on lobbyists. This bill is the sole item on its lobbying agenda.

In 2005, Akaka had five Republican co-sponsors for this bill in the Senate, two of whom are still there -- Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. In the House, the bill is carried by Hawaiian Democratic Rep. Neil Abercrombie, who recently announced he will resign from Congress to run for governor.

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http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?05b87437-f2eb-43f0-9edd-90a3e4fbc3ab
Hawaii Reporter, December 15, 2009

Protest Against the Akaka Bill at Hawaii State Capitol Solicits Immediate Action

By Leon Siu

On Monday, December 14, a large group of protesters assembled at the corner of Beretania and Punchbowl to display the message: AKAKA BILL - SNEAK ATTACK for passing motorists in the early morning rush hours. The action was to protest the attempt by Hawai‘i's US senators to sneak the Akaka bill into one of the large US federal appropriations bills scheduled for this coming week.

The purpose of the protest was to expose and stop this sneaky maneuver from being used.

THE PROTEST WAS A HUGE SUCCESS! CHALK UP ANOTHER VICTORY!

At the same time of the protest in Honolulu, far away in Washington, D.C., Senator Inouye hurriedly issued a press statement denying trying to attach the Akaka bill onto an appropriations bill.

Inouye's statement said, "I have never suggested that the Akaka Native Hawaiian Recognition Bill be passed and adopted as part of the defense appropriations process. I don't know where this nonsensical suggestion originated."

This "nonsensical suggestion" actually springs from the reputation, the track record, the modus operandi of Senator Inouye. He is famous for and proud of his uncanny skill to "work the system." That's how he brings home the pork (and lots of it) year after year.

His instant and strong denial is like that of someone caught with his hand in the cookie jar. If he wasn't planning to do it, why such a vehement denial? I think we hit a nerve. As Shakespeare put it: 'Methinks thou doth protest too much.'

In essence, Inouye's denial means that he has publicly and categorically disavowed any intention of using this back-door tactic with regard to the Akaka Bill. This is a big victory for those opposed to the bill.

Inouye's press statement also exposes a few other lies that can be used to his discredit. He said there were "hours upon hours of hearings, many, many revisions and amendments and has gone through the scrutiny of three administrations." This is true, but the fact is, its all been done surreptitiously in Washington, D.C. As far as the implied approval by three administrations, the Bush administration opposed the measure and President Bush vowed a veto should Congress dare to pass it.

Inouye claims, "We have had hearings in Washington and in Hawaii." First part true, lots of hearings in DC. Second part, not true. There has not been a single hearing in Hawaii by any congressional committee regarding any of the numerous versions of the Akaka bill introduced over the past 10 years.

Senator Inouye says, "It is not a measure that has been shepherded in the dark of the night. It has been fully transparent."

But the record clearly shows the opposite to be true. Those opposing the Akaka bill were carefully kept in the dark and until recently, been denied access to testifying before congressional committees in Washington. Meanwhile, deceit, smoke and mirrors, arm-twisting, horse-trading and other persuasive devices were employed "in the dark" by the powerful Inouye to get the bill passed. So much for being "fully transparent."

However, now that Inouye's statements have committed him to upholding basic democratic practices (open hearings, transparency, people's input and consent), we could parlay this into having Inouye agree to hold real congressional hearings in Hawaii. This would 1) Stall the Akaka Bill from being passed immediately, and 2) Give the people of Hawaii the chance to voice their thoughts of the bill.

There is still the matter of "markups" being held this week in the House Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday and the Senate Indian Affairs Committee on Thursday. A "markup" is a meeting during which committee members offer and vote on proposed changes (amendments) to the bill's language before submitting it to the full house or senate for a floor vote. They intend this markup to be a routine rubber-stamp session.

Perhaps there will be enough gutsy opposition by members of the House and Senate in Washington, DC to shut down the Akaka bill... One can hope.

Leon Siu is a Hawaiian entertainer and Hawaiian sovereignty advocate.

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

http://www.cqpolitics.com/wmspage.cfm?parm1=5&docID=news-000003267489
CQ TODAY ONLINE NEWS
CQ Politics, State Track
Dec. 15, 2009

Rating Change: GOP Says Aloha to Hawaii Special Election

By Shira Toeplitz, CQ-Roll Call

Rep. Neil Abercrombie 's imminent resignation has left his otherwise-safe Democratic House seat more vulnerable to a takeover in a special election in the coming months, prompting CQ Politics to change the rating of Hawaii's 1st district race from Likely Democratic to Leans Democratic.

Abercrombie's announcement last week that he is leaving Congress early to focus on his 2010 gubernatorial campaign leaves Democrats in a bind and officials in Hawaii fumbling to figure out when to schedule a special election.

Abercrombie, who made his official announcement over the weekend, has declined to say when exactly he will leave Congress, only that he will set a date in the next few weeks.

"He's told the leadership and he's told the White House that his intention is to be here through the vote on health care, and he also has the Akaka bill," Abercrombie spokesman Dave Helfert said.

It's unclear when the bill sponsored by Sen. Daniel K. Akaka (D-Hawaii), which essentially recognizes native Hawaiians with the same status as Native Americans, will be passed, but it is scheduled to be marked up in both the House and Senate this week. More importantly, it's unclear when Democrats will bring health care legislation to the floor for final passage, and Abercrombie's single vote could be pivotal in passing the bill.

Regardless of when the special election takes place, Abercrombie's move has put the seat in play for Republicans. State law dictates that a special election would be a winner-take-all contest with candidates from all parties, and House Democrats already have two well-known candidates in the race.

Democrats win more often than Republicans in the Honolulu-based district, and President Barack Obama carried the district with 70 percent last year. However, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) only won the district with 53 percent in 2004. Without Obama on the ballot, a strong Republican candidate has a good shot in this district — especially with two Democrats dividing the party in a likely low-turnout special election.

** Lengthy article truncated because there was nothing more about the Akaka bill in it.

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

DECEMBER 15 PART 2. 2 MAJOR NEWS ITEMS: br> (A) ZOGBY POLL ON AKAKA BILL, INCLUDING PDF FILE WITH FULL TEXT OF THE QUESTIONS AND PERCENTAGES OF EACH RESPONSE; AND br> (B) DISCLOSURE THAT SECRET NEGOTIATIONS AMONG DEMOCRATS HAVE PRODUCED MAJOR AMENDMENTS TO THE BILL THAT WILL BE RAMMED THROUGH THE MARKUPS IN THE HOUSE AND SENATE COMMITTEES THIS WEEK, AND HAWAII'S GOVERNOR AND ATTORNEY GENERAL STRONGLY OPPOSE THOSE AMENDMENTS. SOME OF THE TEXT OF THE AMENDMENTS IS INCLUDED IN THE AG LETTER AND THE DANGERS ARE DISCUSSED THERE.

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

http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?15b6ea0e-f51c-4fa4-899f-9b2ee790caa5 Hawaii Reporter, December 15, 2009

New Zogby Poll: Hawaii Voters Opposed to the Akaka Bill
Zogby International poll confirms majority opposition to race-based government

By Jamie Story

December 15, 2009--A new poll of registered Hawaii voters, conducted by Zogby International, has found that a majority of those surveyed oppose the Akaka Bill, while 76 percent oppose higher taxes to pay for the nation-tribe proposed in the bill. The poll was sponsored by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii and conducted from November 18 to 23, 2009.

For the poll, Zogby International surveyed more than 500 registered voters in Hawaii. The results reveal strong opposition to the establishment of a separate nation inside of Hawaii for native Hawaiians. Highlights include:

TAXES:
76% oppose higher taxes to pay for such a nation-tribe.

LAWS:
48% oppose separate laws and regulations for a new native government.
7% favor that.
44% do not know or are not sure.

CEDED LANDS:
60% say the ceded lands are for all of the people of Hawaii.
21% say they should be for native Hawaiians only.
19% are not sure.

DISCRIMINATION:
40% say the bill is racially discriminatory.
28% say it is fair.
32% are not sure.

ADDRESSING THE BILL ITSELF:
60% of those with an opinion oppose the bill.
Overall, 51% oppose the bill, 34% support it and 15% are not sure.

WANTING VOTERS TO HAVE A SAY:
58% say yes for a vote in Hawaii before the bill can become law.
28% say no for a vote.
13% are not sure.

The text of the questions and a summary of results may be found at
http://grassrootinstitute.org/press-releases/2009_akakapoll

"This poll shows that most of our local elected officials are out of touch with their constituents on this issue. This should be a wake-up call to each of them" said Richard Rowland, co-founder and President Emeritus of the Grassroot Institute. "According to the results, Hawaii's Congressional delegation has been misleading their fellow Senators and Representatives about Hawaii public opinion on this issue."

Zogby International previously conducted the State's 50th Anniversary of Statehood poll in August 2009. Among other findings, that poll revealed that the people of Hawaii were very concerned about economic issues. That concern relates directly to a Grassroot Institute of Hawaii commissioned study that was conducted by the Beacon Hill Institute and released in January 2009. This economic analysis projected a loss of over 20,000 jobs in Hawaii if the Akaka bill were to become law. Under current economic circumstances, the results would likely be worse.

"The Grassroot Institute asks all elected officials to call for a suspension of any and all action to impose a new separate nation into the midst of our State until there are extensive Congressional Hearings within Hawaii that result in a clear understanding by Congress and the State Legislature of the impact of the proposed legislation," said Jamie Story, the Institute's President. "This is the least they should do in light of these poll results."

The Grassroot Institute supports more public discussion, debate and education on the Akaka Bill issue and other policy issues affecting the state. The mission of the Institute is to promote individual liberty, the free market and limited, more accountable government.

Jamie Story is the President of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii.

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

** IMPORTANT NOTE FROM WEBPAGE EDITOR KEN CONKLIN: FULL TEXT OF THE POLL RESULTS, INCLUDING TEXT OF THE QUESTIONS AND PERCENTAGES OF EACH RESPONSE, ARE AVAILABLE IN A BEAUTIFULLY FORMATTED PDF FILE WHICH LOSES ITS FORMATTING AND DOCUMENTATION IF COPIED INTO PLAIN TEXT. THEREFORE, PLEASE SEE THE PDF FILE, AT

http://grassrootinstitute.org/system/attachments/31/FINAL_topline_Grassroot_Institute_of_Hawaii_11-30-2.pdf

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

http://republicans.resourcescommittee.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=162782
U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources
Minority [Republican] caucus
December 15, 2009

Also available as a pdf at
http://republicans.resourcescommittee.house.gov/UploadedFiles/12.15.09-AGLetterOnHR2314.pdf

Hawaii Attorney General and Governor Express Opposition to Altered Version of Native Hawaiian Recognition Bill
Hastings: "Consideration of this bill should not go forward"

WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec 15 - Hawaii Attorney General Mark Bennett sent a letter to House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Nick Rahall and Ranking Member Doc Hastings stating his and Governor Linda Lingle's "strong opposition" to the latest version of H.R. 2314, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009, which is slated to be offered as a substitute amendment by Rep. Neil Abercrombie during a full committee markup tomorrow. Both Governor Lingle and Attorney General Bennett have been active, outspoken advocates of the original text of H.R. 2314, which has been rewritten and unveiled only after the Committee suddenly announced its intention last Friday to markup and advance the altered text.

Ranking Member Hastings will be sending a letter tonight to Chairman Rahall requesting that H.R. 2314 be removed from consideration at tomorrow's markup.

"Although many Committee Republicans have fundamental concerns with the Native Hawaiian Recognition Bill, the Governor and Attorney General of Hawaii's strong opposition to the rewritten bill is extremely disconcerting and raises serious red flags," said Ranking Member Doc Hastings. "Consideration of this bill should not go forward when the people and government officials who would be directly impacted by this legislation have raised serious objections and have not even had a chance to properly review the text. Rather than rushing this bill through a hasty markup, Chairman Rahall must move consideration to a future date that will allow the rewritten text to be thoroughly analyzed and vetted by all parties."

Text of the letter from the Hawaii Attorney General:

** Note from website editor Ken Conklin: The following letter was offered in pdf format on official State of Hawaii stationery, in the form of a link at this point; and the pdf version includes footnotes not visible here. For that pdf on official stationery including footnotes, see
http://republicans.resourcescommittee.house.gov/UploadedFiles/12.15.09BennettLttrtoHCNR.pdf

The Honorable Nick J. Rahall, II, Chair
The Honorable Doc Hastings Ranking Minority Member
House Committee on Natural Resources
1324 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

Re: H.R. 2314 -Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act

Dear Chair Rahall and Ranking Minority Member Hastings:

As Hawaii's Attorney General and chief legal officer, I write to express the strong opposition of Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle and myself to many of the proposed changes (in a "markup") to the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, H.R. 2314, also known as the "Akaka Bill." It my understanding that H.R. 2314 will be marked-up in the House committee on Natural Resources on Wednesday, December 16, 2009. We were only provided copies of the proposed changes today by the Committee's Minority Staff (yesterday we received an informal copy of two sections of the new bill). None of the changes were drafted with our input or knowledge. As noted, we strongly oppose a number of the changes, but note we have not had the opportunity to carefully study and analyze many of the changes in the new bill.

Governor Lingle and I have been strong advocates and supporters of the Akaka Bill for seven years. We have worked with the Hawaii Congressional Delegation to craft a bill that had strong bipartisan support. The version of the Akaka Bill which we support is the current version of H.R. 2314.

The changes under consideration will completely change the nature of the Native Hawaiian governing entity. The current version of the bill states (in section 8(b)(3)):

"Any governmental authority or power to be exercised by the Native Hawaiian governing entity which is currently exercised by the State or Federal Governments shall be exercised by the Native Hawaiian governing entity only as agreed to in negotiations pursuant to section 8(b)(1) of this Act and beginning on the date on which legislation to implement such agreement has been enacted by the United States Congress, when applicable, and by the State of Hawaii, when applicable. This includes any required modifications to the Hawaii State Constitution in accordance with the Hawaii Revised Statutes." (Emphasis added).

Section 9(b)(3) of the proposed new bill will change the above quoted language to the following wholly different language:

"The Native Hawaiian governing entity shall be vested with the inherent powers and privileges of self-government of a native government under existing law, except as set forth in section 10 (a). Said powers and privileges may be modified by agreement between the Native Hawaiian governing entity, the United States, and the State pursuant to paragraph (1), subject to the limit described by section l0 (a). Unless so agreed, nothing in this Act shall preempt Federal or State authority over Native Hawaiians or their property under existing law or authorize the State to tax or regulate the Native Hawaiian governing entity." (Emphasis added).

The following language in the current bill (in section 9(e)) will be removed its entirety:

"(e) Jurisdiction-Nothing in this Act alters the civil or criminal jurisdiction of the United States or the State of Hawaii over lands and persons within the State of Hawaii. The status quo of Federal and State jurisdiction can change only as a result of further legislation, if any, enacted after the conclusion, in relevant part, of the negotiation process established in section 8(b)." (Emphasis added).

The new bill will also provide in section l0(c) that "The [Native Hawaiian Interim Governing] council and the subsequent governing entity recognized under this Act shall be an Indian tribe [pursuant to certain sections of the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968] ...." (Emphasis added).

These changes, taken together, change the bill from one where the status quo and the relations between the United States, the State of Hawaii, and the Native Hawaiian governing entity can be changed only after negotiations and after passage of implementing legislation, to a model in which the status quo immediately changes, pursuant to an Indian law model.

The magnitude and potential impact of such changes cannot be overstated. The present version of the bill preserves all the rights and interests of the State of Hawaii until the Congress and the State Legislature can evaluate the result of negotiations. The proposed revisions make immediate changes to the rights and interests of the State of Hawaii. These changes may immediately incorporate into the law governing Native Hawaiians a vast body of Indian law, much of which is unsuited for the State of Hawaii, and none of which (to our knowledge) has been evaluated for its impact on Hawaii.

These changes are extensive, have been not part of any bill which we have supported, and have an enormous potential to negatively impact Hawaii and its citizens. We note, moreover, that there has been no public hearing reflecting this new model in at least the last seven years. The views of Hawaii's citizens, native Hawaiian and non-native Hawaiian alike, have not been heard (certainly not recently) with regard to this new model.

The implications of forever changing the relationship between native Hawaiians and the State of Hawaii, and simply deciding native Hawaiians are an Indian tribe (for at least some purposes), are potentially enormous. We oppose these changes. And, we do so mindful of the fact that Governor Lingle and I have been among the strongest supporters of the Akaka Bill for seven years.

We also note that the new bill has a new term "Qualified Native Hawaiian Constituent"—which is defined in six pages of the bill. There have never been public hearings on this new term and its significance, and we have not had the opportunity to study it in detail.

We also oppose other changes to the bill, including removing the current language in section 8(c) (3) which sets forth the State of Hawaii's complete retention of its sovereign immunity (unless waived in accord with State law), and which makes clear that nothing in the bill shall be construed to constitute an override of Hawaii's Eleventh Amendment sovereign immunity pursuant to section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment.

We continue to believe the Akaka Bill in its present form is important and needed legislation that has strong bipartisan support. We also believe that the changes we oppose will affect and erode the basis for such support.

We respectfully ask that the changes to the Akaka Bill which we oppose not be made. We also respectfully ask the Committee to hold a public hearing with testimony, as the pew bill is so different from the current version. We are available to discuss the Akaka Bill and this letter at your convenience, and thank you in advance for your consideration of this letter.

Very truly yours,
/s
Mark J. Bennett
Attorney General
State of Hawaii

cc: Members of the House Committee on Natural Resources Committee
The Honorable Neil Abercrombie
The Honorable Mazie K. Hirono
The Honorable Daniel K. Akaka
The Honorable Daniel K. Inouye
Governor Linda Lingle

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

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20091216/NEWS01/912160333
Honolulu Advertiser, Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Hawaii governor opposes Akaka bill revisions Governor opposes latest draft, which would make Hawaiians an Indian tribe

By Derrick DePledge
Advertiser Government Writer

The Lingle administration, which has consistently backed federal recognition for Native Hawaiians, opposes changes to the bill pending before Congress because of "potentially enormous" implications to the relationship between Hawaiians and the state.

State Attorney General Mark Bennett, on behalf of Gov. Linda Lingle, sent a letter yesterday to the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee expressing strong opposition to changes to the bill the committee is scheduled to review today.

Bennett said the changes would give Native Hawaiians the inherent powers and privileges of self-determination, and that a new governing authority would be recognized as an Indian tribe. The powers of the new government could be modified through negotiations between Hawaiians, and the federal and state governments.

The existing bill, by comparison, would grant governing authority to Hawaiians only after negotiations with the federal and state governments.

"The implications of forever changing the relationship between Native Hawaiians and the state of Hawai'i, and simply deciding Native Hawaiians are an Indian tribe (for at least some purposes), are potentially enormous," Bennett wrote.

U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawai'i, who was expected to offer the changes to the bill today before the committee, said he shared Bennett's concerns.

"His concerns are real," Abercrombie said after speaking to Bennett last night.

Abercrombie said he hopes the bill will move out of committee today, and then Hawai'i lawmakers can work collaboratively with Bennett, the Obama administration and others to possibly amend the bill when it reaches the House floor.

The congressman said "there is no greater friend" to the bill than Bennett and questioned why the attorney general was not given copies of the proposed changes until the past few days.

Versions of the bill, commonly known as the Akaka bill for its sponsor, U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawai'i, have been pending before Congress since 2000.

Most of Hawai'i's political establishment has supported the Akaka bill as a long-delayed recognition of Native Hawaiians as an indigenous people with the right to self-determination, similar to American Indians and Native Alaskans.

But the Bush administration opposed the bill as unconstitutional, race-based discrimination because it recognized Hawaiians for special treatment.

President Obama embraced the Akaka bill and, with a Democratic majority in Congress, Hawai'i lawmakers believe the bill now has its best chance of becoming law.

AKAKA'S POSITION

Jesse Broder Van Dyke, a spokesman for Akaka, said last night that the changes are being proposed after talks with the Obama administration, the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, and others.

Broder said Akaka planned to offer the changes when the bill comes before the Senate Indian Affairs Committee tomorrow. He said the Obama administration, in particular, believes it is important that Hawaiians be treated the same as other indigenous people.

Robin Danner, the president of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, described the new opposition from the Lingle administration as "stunning."

"On the eve of the House markup of the bill in Resources, it is unbelievable that the governor would reverse course and oppose not only Native Hawaiians, but the opportunities that the Akaka bill presents for the entire state," she said in an e-mail.

Conservatives, both nationally and in Hawai'i, quickly circulated Bennett's letter. Republicans on the House Natural Resources Committee posted it on their Web site.

"Although many committee Republicans have fundamental concerns with the Native Hawaiian Recognition Bill, the governor and attorney general of Hawai'i's strong opposition to the rewritten bill is extremely disconcerting and raises serious red flags," said U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., the ranking member on the committee, in a statement. "Consideration of this bill should not go forward when the people and government officials who would be directly impacted by this legislation have raised serious objections and have not even had a chance to properly review the text."

BALLOT FAVORED

The Grassroot Institute of Hawai'i, a conservative-to- libertarian public policy group that has opposed the Akaka bill, released a new poll yesterday that found 54 percent of those surveyed wanted the Akaka bill to go before voters for approval. The poll was conducted by Zogby International from Nov. 18 to Nov. 23 among 500 registered voters. The margin of error is 4.5 percentage points.

"I'm glad she's looking at it critically, that's for sure," Jamie Story, the president of the Grassroot Institute, said of Lingle's opposition. "I hope that her opposition will cause others to look at the bill more closely."

Lingle, a Republican, has tried to steer the state GOP away from harsh condemnations of the Akaka bill and has consistently reached out to Native Hawaiians.

The Lingle administration's critique comes after several Native Hawaiians who believe the Akaka bill weakens the chance for sovereignty accused Hawai'i lawmakers of trying to rush the bill through without adequate public scrutiny.

Bennett, in an interview last night, stressed that the Lingle administration was still supportive of self-determination for Native Hawaiians. He said the state wants the opportunity to work with lawmakers on new language.

"We support the Akaka bill. We support the current version of the Akaka bill. And we support the basic process of establishing and recognizing a Native Hawaiian governing entity as we have for the last seven years," he said.

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

http://www.mauinews.com/page/content.detail/id/526758.html?nav=5031
The Maui News, December 16, 2009
Lingle letter opposes Akaka Bill changes
Abercrombie proposals create ‘a whole set of unknowns,' says AG

[Nearly identical article at
http://www.starbulletin.com/news/20091216_Lingle_fights_Akaka_Bill_changes.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, December 16, 2009
Lingle fights Akaka Bill changes]

By Herbert A. Sample / Associated Press

Gov. Linda Lingle strongly opposes proposed changes to legislation in Congress that would grant federal recognition to native Hawaiians, state Attorney General Mark Bennett said yesterday.

In a letter to the ranking Republican on the House Natural Resources Committee, Bennett said he and Lingle have long supported the so-called Akaka Bill, named after U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, the measure's chief sponsor.

But he said changes proposed by U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie to the House version of the bill would unacceptably alter the relationships between federal and state governments and the native Hawaiian governing entity the measure would create.

"This creates a whole set of unknowns," Bennett said in an interview yesterday. "We welcome an opportunity to have a discussion (about) the changes and the impact, but were never afforded that."

Lingle spokesman Russell Pang referred all questions to Bennett.

The natural resources panel is due to vote on the legislation today, one day before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs is to consider a similar version.

Bennett's letter prompted the House committee's top Republican, Rep. Doc Hastings of Washington state, to call for a delay in the vote. A determination on the possible delay has not yet been made.

Abercrombie is the measure's top House sponsor and a member of the committee.

The Lingle administration has for years actively participated in negotiations over the Akaka Bill, Bennett said. But the Governor's Office received two of Abercrombie's proposed amendments on Monday and the rest from Republican committee aides yesterday, he said.

The current bill would require negotiations between the U.S. government, the state and the native Hawaiian governing entity to determine how they would relate to each other, and what rights each would have.

One of the proposed changes would immediately give the native Hawaiian entity many of the rights that American Indian tribal governments enjoy. That change has "enormous potential to negatively impact Hawaii and its citizens," Bennett said.

He did not provide examples of those rights, but said the proposed amendments would not grant native Hawaiians the ability to offer legalized gambling.

Abercrombie's proposals also would eliminate the current measure's language that retains the state's sovereign immunity from lawsuits, and would add more provisions detailing how a person could qualify as a native Hawaiian, Bennett said.

The changes also could generate new disputes over the status of some Hawaii land, he added.

The amendments should be defeated, Bennett said. But if they are accepted, the committee should hold another hearing with testimony to more thoroughly understand the new bill before it is sent to the House floor, he said.

Abercrombie's office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The state Office of Hawaiian Affairs, in a statement, congratulated Abercrombie for moving the legislation forward.

AP writer Kevin Freking in Washington, D.C., contributed to this report.

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

** Note by webpage editor Ken Conklin: This appears to be the standard Associated Press story about the upcoming committee action on the Akaka bill. It will no doubt be published in hundreds of newspapers. It came to me first from TAIWAN because it's already tomorrow there.

http://www.etaiwannews.com/etn/news_content.php?id=1133926&lang=eng_news
The Taiwan News, December 16, 2009
Also at
http://airamerica.com/breakingnews/13264/
Air America, December 16, 2009
At noon on December 16 the Honolulu Advertiser published a nearly identical item (with the order of some paragraphs switched) as "breaking news"!!!

Native Hawaiian bill poised to pass 2 committees

By KEVIN FREKING
Associated Press

Two congressional committees are considering legislation this week that would let native Hawaiians establish their own government, much like those organized by hundreds of Indian tribes.

The House Natural Resources Committee takes first crack at the bill on Wednesday. The Senate Indian Affairs Committee takes up the legislation on Thursday.

The legislation had been expected to easily win the committees' approval, but Hawaii's governor and attorney general voiced objections late Tuesday to some of the changes that sponsors plan to propose. In light of the objections, Republican lawmakers have asked for a delay. Democrats, however, sensing they have the votes to prevail, are determined to proceed.

"Consideration of this bill should not go forward when the people and government officials who would be directly impacted by this legislation have raised serious objections and have not even had a chance to properly review the text," said Rep. Doc Hastings of Washington state, the ranking Republican on the House Natural Resources Committee.

The legislation, known as the Akaka bill after its lead sponsor, Hawaii Democratic Sen. Daniel Akaka, has a long history. The bill would provide a road map to gradually establish a Native Hawaiian government.

Once established, the Native Hawaiian government would negotiate with the state and the federal government over which assets it would own. Currently, the state administers 1.2 million acres (480,000 hectares) of former monarchy land. Some of that land, which is quite valuable, could eventually revert to the new government.

Supporters say the bill is about righting an injustice to Native Hawaiians that occurred when Hawaii's monarchy was overthrown in 1893. They note that Indian tribes and Alaska Natives have the right to self-governance.

"I believe we must provide parity between Native Hawaiians and our country's other indigenous people," said Akaka.

Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle and state Attorney General Mark Bennett have been supporters of the Akaka bill in the past. However, in a letter to federal lawmakers, Bennett said that changes being made to the legislation are "detrimental to the state."

Bennett said authority granted the new government entity originally was intended to come about only after negotiations and after the passage of legislation enacted by Congress, and when applicable, by the state. But an amended version of the bill makes immediate changes that are not subject to negotiation.

"These changes may immediately incorporate into the law governing Native Hawaiians a vast body of Indian law, much of which is unsuited for the state of Hawaii, and none of which (to our knowledge) has been evaluated for its impact on Hawaii," Bennett said.

Congressional aides said that changes being proposed to the bill were sought by lawyers at the Justice Department.

"The Obama administration requested that we make it consistent with U.S. policy toward other native groups," said Jesse Broder Van Dyke, a spokesman for Akaka.

The legislation allowing for a Native Hawaiian government has passed the House on two occasions, including most recently in October 2007, but it routinely has stumbled in the Senate. While the Bush administration opposed the bill, the support of President Barack Obama, who was born in Hawaii, has changed the political dynamic.

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

http://republicans.resourcescommittee.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=163062
U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources
Minority (Republican) webpage
Press release for December 16, 2009

Democrat Majority Proceeds with Markup of Native Hawaiian Bill Despite Strong Opposition

WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec 16 - Today, House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Doc Hastings offered a motion to postpone the markup of H.R. 2314, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009, until February 24, 2010 – allowing interested parties 60 days to thoroughly review proposed changes to the bill. Last night, Hawaii Attorney General Mark Bennett on behalf of Governor Linda Lingle sent a letter stating "strong opposition" to the latest version of the bill, which was unveiled only after the Committee suddenly announced its intention last Friday to markup and advance the altered text.

The Democrat Majority defeated the motion to postpone and the Committee will proceed this afternoon with consideration of the bill.

Ranking Member Hastings delivered the following statement:

"Mr. Chairman, under clause 4 of Rule 16 I move that the consideration of the bill be postponed until February 24, 2010.

To explain, to postponing consideration of this bill until Wednesday, February 24th will allow 60 days for all parties to thoroughly review and analyze this bill, as well as provide this Committee with sufficient time to hold a public hearing, or public hearings, on the proposed changes reflected in the Abercrombie amendment in the nature of a substitute that has been filed to H.R. 2314.

This substitute rewrites significant portions of the bill and time is needed to understand the changes and hear from people who will be impacted. This includes allowing time for the Governor and Attorney General of the State of Hawaii to fully review this bill. Each member of the Committee has received a copy of the letter sent last night to Chairman Rahall and myself by the Attorney General of Hawaii on behalf of the Governor that expresses their "strong opposition" to the proposed changes. Their opposition is especially concerning considering these two leaders have been active and vocal advocates of the original text of H.R. 2314 for many, many years. They've worked hand-in-hand with the Hawaii Congressional delegation in support of the original text of the bill. Over the years, they've both traveled here to Washington, D.C. and testified to Congress in favor of the original text of the bill. Now that the bill has been substantially rewritten behind closed doors, they've been compelled to send a five-page letter expressing opposition to the proposed changes the Committee is scheduled to consider today. The Attorney General and Governor have only had the full text of the proposed changes for a matter of, literally, hours. Postponing until February 24th will allow them time to fully review the changes and have their concerns understood and considered by this Committee.

Postponing consideration until February 24th ensures that this Committee does not attempt to rush these proposed changes through this hastily-scheduled markup and prevent a fair opportunity for the rewritten text to be thoroughly analyzed and vetted by all affected and interested parties.

To repeat my motion, I move that the Committee postpone consideration of the bill until February 24, 2010."

PDF version of this statement, on letterhead, available at
http://republicans.resourcescommittee.house.gov/UploadedFiles/12.16.09-MajorityProceedsWithHR2314.pdf

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

http://www.starbulletin.com/news/breaking/79436432.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, December 16, 2009
Breaking News at 10:33 AM

Abercrombie moving Akaka Bill along but says state concerns will be addressed

By Associated Press

WASHINGTON >> A bill that would let native Hawaiians establish their own government won't be rushed to the House floor without state officials getting the chance to address newfound concerns, Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii, assured colleagues today.

The bill appeared on track for passage early next year, with House and Senate committees scheduled to vote on the measure this week. But changes offered by Hawaii's lawmakers set off alarms with Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle and Attorney General Mark Bennett.

Bennett told federal lawmakers by letter that the changes stripped away language ensuring that the state's rights and interests were protected as the new Native Hawaiian government formed.

Republicans said Bennett's letter reinforced their own misgivings, and they would try to block passage of the legislation.

Regardless, Abercrombie said he hoped to move the bill through the committee today. He promised that Bennett would have a chance to negotiate alternative language before the full House votes.

(The Office of Hawaiian Affairs, meanwhile, issued a statement last night congratulating and thanking Abercrombie for moving the Akaka Bill forward in the House. "We believe the bill is evolving and we are confident the state's concerns will be addressed," OHA statement's said.)

The legislation would provide a road map to gradually establish a native Hawaiian government.

Once established, the native Hawaiian government would negotiate with the state and the federal government over which assets it would own. Currently, the state administers 1.2 million acres of land that once belonged to the Hawaiian monarchy. Some of that land, which is quite valuable, could eventually revert to the new government.

Supporters say the bill is about righting an injustice to native Hawaiians that occurred when Hawaii's monarchy was overthrown in 1893. They note that Indian tribes and Alaska natives have the right to self-governance.

"I believe we must provide parity between native Hawaiians and our country's other indigenous people," said Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, the bill's lead sponsor in the Senate.

Lingle and Bennett have supported the bill in the past. But the Obama administration proposed some changes designed to address concerns about the legislation's constitutionality that Bennett finds detrimental to the state's interests.

"These changes may immediately incorporate into the law governing Native Hawaiians a vast body of Indian law, much of which is unsuited for the state of Hawaii, and none of which (to our knowledge) has been evaluated for its impact on Hawaii," Bennett said.

The legislation allowing for a Native Hawaiian government has passed the House on two occasions, in 2000 and most recently in October 2007, but it routinely has stumbled in the Senate. While the Bush administration opposed the bill, President Barack Obama, who was born and raised in Hawaii, supports it.

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http://www.wwltv.com/news/national/79431677.html
WWLTV, New Orleans, December 16, 2009

Native Hawaiian bill poised to pass 2 committees

WASHINGTON (AP) — A bill that would let native Hawaiians establish their own government won't be rushed to the House floor without state officials getting the chance to address newfound concerns, Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii, assured colleagues on Wednesday.

The bill appeared on track for passage early next year, with House and Senate committees scheduled to vote on the measure this week. But changes offered by Hawaii's lawmakers set off alarms with Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle and Attorney General Mark Bennett.

Bennett told federal lawmakers by letter that the changes stripped away language ensuring that the state's rights and interests were protected as the new Native Hawaiian government formed.

Republicans said Bennett's letter reinforced their own misgivings, and they would try to block passage of the legislation.

Regardless, Abercrombie said he hoped to move the bill through the committee on Wednesday. He promised that Bennett would have a chance to negotiate alternative language before the full House votes.

The legislation would provide a road map to gradually establish a native Hawaiian government.

Once established, the native Hawaiian government would negotiate with the state and the federal government over which assets it would own. Currently, the state administers 1.2 million acres of land that once belonged to the Hawaiian monarchy. Some of that land, which is quite valuable, could eventually revert to the new government.

Supporters say the bill is about righting an injustice to native Hawaiians that occurred when Hawaii's monarchy was overthrown in 1893. They note that Indian tribes and Alaska natives have the right to self-governance. "I believe we must provide parity between native Hawaiians and our country's other indigenous people," said Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, the bill's lead sponsor in the Senate.

Lingle and Bennett have supported the bill in the past. But the Obama administration proposed some changes designed to address concerns about the legislation's constitutionality that Bennett finds detrimental to the state's interests.

"These changes may immediately incorporate into the law governing Native Hawaiians a vast body of Indian law, much of which is unsuited for the state of Hawaii, and none of which (to our knowledge) has been evaluated for its impact on Hawaii," Bennett said.

The legislation allowing for a Native Hawaiian government has passed the House on two occasions, in 2000 and most recently in October 2007, but it routinely has stumbled in the Senate. While the Bush administration opposed the bill, President Barack Obama, who was born and raised in Hawaii, supports it.

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http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?11c12ca2-ba37-451d-a8c9-798778b63e2c
Honolulu Reporter, December 16, 2009

Akaka Bill Wins House Committee Approval

By Dave Helfert

(WASHINGTON, DC) - The U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources today approved the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, known as the Akaka Bill, introduced by Rep. Neil Abercrombie.

“I am pleased that the Natural Resources Committee has voted to approve the Akaka Bill. The next step in the House will be to bring this legislation to the floor, where we won passage for it in 2000 and 2007,” said Abercrombie. “The bill approved by the committee today was as I introduced it earlier this year, without change or amendment. We will be working with the State of Hawaii and the Obama Administration to determine the best way to proceed.”

“The House Committee's approval is an important step towards our goal of passing this legislation into law in 2010,” said Senator Daniel K. Akaka, who is scheduled to bring the bill to the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs tomorrow. “I thank Congressman Abercrombie for his work to bring the bill before the Committee today, and for his advocacy for Native Hawaiian recognition over the years.”

Dave Helfert is with Rep. Abercrombie's office

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http://republicans.resourcescommittee.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=163263
House Committee on Natural Resources, Minority (Republican) press release
December 16, 2009

After Rewrite of Akaka Bill is Abandoned, Democrats Pass Original Text of Native Hawaiian Recognition Bill out of House Committee

Hastings: “Rush to adopt rewrite was stopped, but constitutional concerns remain.”

WASHINGTON, DC –House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Doc Hastings (WA-04) released the following statement today following Committee passage of H.R. 2314, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009:

“It was the correct course of action for Democrats to abandon their rush to adopt the proposed changes to the Akaka Bill at today’s hastily-scheduled markup.

“With both the Attorney General and Governor of Hawaii announcing their strong opposition to the proposed revisions to this bill, moving forward would have been irresponsible and highly alarming.

“Regardless of the fact that the proposed rewrite was dealt a blow at today’s Committee hearing, fundamental concerns about the unconstitutionality of this legislation remain. These questions must be squarely addressed and I intend to ask the U.S. Attorney General to directly state the views of the Department of Justice on the constitutionality of the Akaka bill.

“At the outset of the hearing, Republicans expressed their fundamental constitutional concerns with this effort to create a separate governing entity for Native Hawaiians, and served full notice to Committee Democrats that we intended to use every House rule and parliamentary tool available to us to insist our concerns be heard. Until Representative Abercrombie stated his intentions to not push forward the proposed changes, Republicans demonstrated their dedication to using all tools available to them.

“As my colleagues continue to work on this legislation, I hope they not only address these constitutional concerns but do so in a manner that allows everyone the opportunity to thoroughly review and comment on any changes that are proposed.”

** PDF version of press release is at
http://republicans.resourcescommittee.house.gov/UploadedFiles/12.16.09-HastingsRemarksonHR2314.pdf

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** NOTE from website editor Ken Conklin: The committee chairman Rep. Rahall published both an official minutes of the meeting and also his press release in his capacity as top Democrat. Both of those items became available on the committee website only after several additional news reports; so those two items are the last two in the December 16 zone. It is not known at this time whether transcripts will become available; but looking at "full committee markups" from previous months shows there were no transcripts for them.

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http://www.kitv.com/politics/21985577/detail.html
KITV4, Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Akaka Bill Changes Spark Conflict Among Supporters
House Committee Passes Legislation To Full Congress

HONOLULU -- The opposition of revised legislation to grant federal recognition to Native Hawaiians has prompted finger pointing and division from Honolulu to Capitol Hill.

Gov. Linda Lingle and Attorney General Mark Bennett voiced opposition to the proposed changes to the Native Hawaiian Recognition Act, the so-called Akaka Bill.

In a letter to the ranking Republican on the House Natural Resources Committee, Bennett said he and Lingle support the Akaka Bill, but they oppose the extensive amendments that were received Tuesday. The proposals would unacceptably alter the relationship that would exist between state and federal governments and a Native Hawaiian governing entity if the legislation was enacted, Bennett said. He said the changes would immediately alter the rights and interests of the state.

Rep. Neil Abercrombie raised the previous version of the Akaka Bill in the committee on Wednesday. Members of the Natural Resources Committee voted 26-13 to pass the measure on to the full House.

"The bill approved by the committee today was as I introduced it earlier this year, without change or amendment. We will be working with the state of Hawaii and the Obama Administration to determine the best way to proceed," Abercrombie said.

"The events of the past 24 hours were totally unexpected. I was very surprised. I was not aware that the revisions to the bill being discussed between Sen. Daniel Akaka's office and President Barack Obama's administration were not shared with Gov. Linda Lingle. I am in the process of trying to determine what happened and the best course forward," Sen. Daniel Inouye said in a written statement.

The Senate Indian Affairs committee is scheduled to consider a similar bill on Thursday.

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http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?7b4ffb34-30fd-4a69-ba27-1d278d062f12
Altered Version of Akaka Bill Needs Time for Review

By Bob Jones

It would be unconscionable for either the U.S. House today (Wednesday) or the Senate tomorrow (Thursday) to mark up legislation which tacks on an altered version of the so-called Akaka Bill. I say altered because that's what the state attorney general and the governor say this current version is. There's new language there that the state has not been able to examine and which might alter the state's legal obligations. There's also a new definition of a beneficiary and some troubling references that would seem to treat Native Hawaiians under terms used for Indian tribes.

Nothing could be further apart in legal terms than Hawaiians and American Indians in their relationship to the U.S. government. And I see things in the new version that might open up the potential for Native Hawaiians to demand the right to operate gambling casinos.

But why the rush by Congressman Abercrombie and Senator Inouye?

Why push a mark up on a bill just a couple of days after a copy was provided to the governor's office? It's not as if the governor has opposed a Native Hawaiian bill.

I'd be furious if somebody slipped in new language on me and took it for granted I'd go along with it.

Let this one sit, simmer and be examined for a month or so.

That's the right way to do it.

Bob Jones is a MidWeek columnist.

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http://www.starbulletin.com/news/breaking/Abercrombie_moving_Akaka_Bill_along_but_says_state_concerns_will_be_addressed.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Wednesday December 16, 2009
Breaking News posted at 10:33 a.m
** Identical news report posted as "breaking news 3 hours later at Advertiser!
http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20091216/BREAKING01/91216037/House+committee+passes+Akaka+bill
BREAKING NEWS/UPDATES
Updated at 1:46 p.m., Wednesday, December 16, 2009

House committee passes Akaka bill

By KEVIN FREKING
Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A House committee approved legislation Wednesday that would let Native Hawaiians establish their own government, but supporters acknowledge that some behind-the-scenes negotiations are still in order before the bill progresses to the full House.

The legislation would provide a road map to gradually establish a Native Hawaiian government that would operate in much the same way that hundreds of Native American tribal governments operate. Nearly 240,000 people in the state identify themselves as Native Hawaiians.

The bill has passed the House during previous Congresses but faltered in the Senate. Supporters sense the time for passage has finally arrived with President Obama's backing.

Sponsors attempted some refinements to the measure to deal with legal concerns. When state officials objected to the changes, Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii, decided to continue with his original measure.

The committee approved the bill by a vote of 26-13. Abercrombie promised that he would work with state officials to address concerns that the measure doesn't protect the state's rights and interests as the new government is formed. A Senate committee will take up the legislation on Thursday and is expected to pass it as well.

Supporters said the legislation is about righting an injustice to Native Hawaiians that occurred when Hawaii's monarchy was overthrown in 1893. They should be recognized as an indigenous people and given the chance to govern their own affairs, supporters said.

"It is time that Native Hawaiians be treated in the same manner as American Indians and Alaska natives," said Rep. Nick Rahall, the Democratic chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee.

Opponents criticized the measure as attempting to set up a separate government for people based on race — an effort they predicted would be deemed unconstitutional.

"There is no more effective way to destroy a nation than divide its people by race." said Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif.

Abercrombie said an effort to establish a Native Hawaiian government has widespread support in Hawaii.

"This is to bring us together," he said to McClintock. "It's precisely why we are doing this."

Once established, the Native Hawaiian government would negotiate with the state and the federal government over which assets it would own. Currently, the state administers 1.2 million acres of land that once belonged to the Hawaiian monarchy. Some of that land could eventually revert to the new government.

Abercrombie was quite emotional after the vote as colleagues saluted him for his work on the committee over the years. The mark-up of the bill was his last as a member of the Natural Resources Committee. He recently announced his resignation to run for Hawaii governor.

"To have (the final vote) revolve around Native Hawaiian issues is something I couldn't have calculated and must have been fated," Abercrombie told colleagues.

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http://resourcescommittee.house.gov/index.php?option=com_jcalpro&Itemid=27&extmode=view&extid=313
** Official minutes of the meetingof December 16 for the portion of the meeting devoted to the Akaka bill.

H.R. 2314 (Abercrombie), To express the policy of the United States regarding the United States relationship with Native Hawaiians and to provide a process for the recognition by the United States of the Native Hawaiian governing entity. "Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009"

A motion to postpone consideration of HR 2314 until February 24, 2010 made by Mr. Hastings was NOT AGREED TO by a roll call vote of 9 yeas and 25 nays.

A motion to reconsider the vote was made by Mr. Hastings.

A motion to table the motion to reconsider made by Mr. Miller was AGREED TO by a roll call vote of 23 yeas and 8 nays.

An amendment offered by Mr. Lamborn was NOT AGREED TO by voice vote.

An amendment offered by Mr. Broun was NOT AGREED TO by voice vote.

An amendment offered by Mr. Hastings was NOT AGREED TO by voice vote.

Favorably reported to the House of Representatives by a roll call vote of 26 yeas and 13 nays.

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http://resourcescommittee.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=610&Itemid=27
** Press release by committee chairman Rayhall on behalf of the Democrat majority

Committee Approves Bill to Recognize Native Hawaiians

December 16, 2009

CONTACT: Allyson Groff or Blake Androff, 202-226-9019

The House Natural Resources Committee, led by Chairman Nick J. Rahall (D-WV), Wednesday approved the "Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009" (H.R. 2314), introduced by Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI), by a vote of 26-13.

Background on H.R. 2314:

H.R. 2314 would provide a process for the reorganization of a Native Hawaiian government entity and to reaffirm the special political and legal relationship between the United States and the Native Hawaiian governing entity. Native Hawaiians are the indigenous people of the Hawaiian archipelago, now the State of Hawaii, which had their own government until the 19th century. For over 200 years, Congress, the Executive Branch, and the United States Supreme Court have recognized certain legal rights and protections for America's indigenous people. Since America's founding, Congress has exercised constitutional authority over indigenous affairs and has undertaken an enhanced duty of care for America's indigenous peoples. ongress' constitutional authority is premised upon the state of the indigenous people as the original inhabitants of this Nation who occupied and exercised dominion and control over the lands which eventually became the United States. The Committee on Natural Resources has reported similar measures during four of the last five Congress, and the House of Representatives has passed similar measures twice.

The Committee voted down each of the following amendments to H.R. 2314:

Rep. Lamborn (CO)/Rep. Hastings (WA) Amendment #1: This amendment would have required approval of the organic governing documents of the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity by a referendum of all Hawaiian citizens. Not only are referendums not authorized by Hawaii State law, but this Republican amendment would have also treated the Native Hawaiian governing entity differently than other federally recognized Native governments. Not agreed to by voice vote.

Rep. Broun(GA)/Rep. Hastings (WA) Amendment #5: This amendment would have granted the Supreme Court of the United States original and exclusive jurisdiction over any Constitutional challenges to any section or provision of the underlying Act. In effect, this harmful amendment would have prevented other courts from developing a detailed record. Not agreed to by voice vote.

Rep. Hastings (WA) Amendment #4. This amendment would have eliminated the gaming prohibition clause. This provision was specifically included upon agreement by Native Hawaiians, and the state and federal government. Although gaming is currently prohibited in the State of Hawaii, it is necessary for this clause to remain in case there is any future change in Hawaii law. Not agreed to by voice vote.


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

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203917304574412832314714444.html
Wall Street Journal, Thursday December 17, 2009

Aloha, Segregation
The Akaka bill would create a race-based state in Hawaii.

President Obama speaks proudly of his childhood in Hawaii, so we wonder what the state's voters think of his support for a bill that would redistribute its wealth based on race. That's what would happen under the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, which Congress is trying to sneak through in its final days this year.

Sponsored by Senator Daniel Akaka, the bill would transfer a percentage of public-owned lands to a native Hawaiian government within the state of Hawaii. The legislation would collect some 400,000 ethnic Hawaiians scattered across the country into a newly affiliated tribe, eventually endowed with the powers of a sovereign state, including freedom from state taxes and regulations and separate police power.

Proponents say the plan would duplicate the legal scenario set up for Native Americans, but the Akaka bill carves out new territory. Unlike Indian tribes made up of tightly knit populations that have lived together continuously, participation in the new group would be available to nearly anyone able to trace their roots back to a Native Hawaiian ancestor, no matter where they now reside. U.S. Civil Rights Commission member Gail Heriot told Congress in June that, "If ethnic Hawaiians can be accorded tribal status, why not Chicanos in the Southwest? Or Cajuns in Louisiana?"

Under the Akaka bill, someone will have to divine exactly who qualifies as a Native Hawaiian. In the bill's current version, the determination would be handled by a nine member commission staffed by experts in native Hawaiian genealogy. That, says the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, amounts to racial discrimination and would "subdivide the American People into discrete subgroups accorded varying degrees of privilege."

The Supreme Court has already ruled that elections based on a blood quota violate the Fifteenth Amendment's ban on restricting voting along racial lines. In its 2000 decision in Rice v. Cayetano, the Court held that the Office of Hawaiian Affairs could not hold elections limited to ethnic Hawaiians. "Ancestry can be a proxy for race," the court wrote, "and is that proxy here."

While the current version of the Akaka bill doesn't offer specifics on which lands and natural resources would be transferred to a new sovereign Hawaiian state, earlier versions contained striking demands by Native Hawaiian groups. According to Tom MacDonald at Aloha for All, which opposes the Akaka bill, original demands included the transfer of all lands taken by the U.S. government including military bases and national parks which could be leased back at market value.

With some 38% of the state falling under public ownership and thus theoretically available for transfer, the benefits accruing to racial Hawaiians could be significant. For those without a drop of Hawaiian blood, the amount of lost tax revenue and other costs will also be sizable. According to a study by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii and the Beacon Hill Institute, the total amount of state tax and land lease revenue lost annually could range from $342.8 million to $689.7 million, depending on the percentage of public land ceded to the project.

The state could also expect to lose as many as 20,000 private sector jobs and more than $200 million in investment. The burden will fall on non-Native taxpayers, costing the average taxpayer between $705 and $1,461 in real disposable income a year.

Perhaps that's why polls show that despite the support of the Congressional delegation, Hawaiians themselves have mixed feelings. According to a Zogby poll this week, a majority of Hawaiians oppose the bill and 76% oppose higher taxes to pay for the new nation tribe. Even Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle, a longtime proponent of the legislation, has been having second thoughts about her support after proposed changes to the text this week.

Senator Akaka clearly hopes a Democratic Congress will push through the bill that has failed many times. But Hawaii was created in a spirit contrary to the racial exclusivity shaping the legislation, and Congress shouldn't let that history fall victim to victimhood.

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http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20091217/NEWS21/912170362/Native+Hawaiian+bill+moves+ahead+without+revision+that+upset+state
Honolulu Advertiser, Thursday, December 17, 2009

Native Hawaiian bill moves ahead without revision that upset state

By JOHN YAUKEY and Derrick DePledge
Advertiser Government Writers

WASHINGTON — A Native Hawaiian federal recognition bill moved forward in the House yesterday without the proposed changes that have drawn opposition from Gov. Linda Lingle.

The bill, which creates a process for Hawaiians to form their own government similar to American Indians and Alaska Natives, was approved by the House Natural Resources Committee and now goes to the full House.

Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawai'i, chose not to offer an amendment to the bill that had prompted objections from Lingle and state Attorney General Mark Bennett. The amendment would have granted governing authority to Hawaiians prior to — instead of after — negotiations with the federal and state governments and would have treated Hawaiians as an Indian tribe in some cases.

Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawai'i, the bill's main sponsor, will decide whether to offer the amendment when the bill comes before the Senate Indian Affairs Committee today.

The sudden opposition by the Lingle administration, which has previously supported the Akaka bill, led to confusion about how the proposed changes were developed and questions about why the state was not fully consulted.

Abercrombie said on Tuesday night that he was surprised the state received the proposed changes only in the past few days.

Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, D-Hawai'i, issued an even stronger statement yesterday. "The events of the past 24 hours were totally unexpected," he said. "I was very surprised.

"I was not aware that the revisions to the bill being discussed between Sen. Akaka's office and President Obama's administration were not shared with Gov. Linda Lingle. I am in the process of trying to determine what happened and the best course forward."

Jesse Broder Van Dyke, a spokesman for Akaka, said the Obama administration worked on the draft of the proposed changes. The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement and the Native Hawaiian Bar Association also had input.

The amendment was not finalized until last week, he said, and the text was not widely released until Monday.

Even if Akaka chooses to abandon the amendment today, he said, negotiations with the Obama administration would continue as the bill moves to the House and Senate floors.

The episode is the first real crack in the otherwise unified front on the Akaka bill between Democrats in the Hawai'i congressional delegation and the Republican governor.

Closing Ranks

Hawai'i lawmakers, who wanted the bill to have an easy path, now have to do some damage control.

"The bill approved by the committee today was as I introduced it earlier this year, without change or amendment," Abercrombie said in a statement after the committee vote. "We will be working with the state of Hawai'i and the Obama administration to determine the best way to proceed."

House Republicans, who question whether the Akaka bill is constitutional because it divides people by race, also claimed partial victory.

"It was the correct course of action for Democrats to abandon their rush to adopt the proposed changes to the Akaka bill at today's hastily scheduled markup," Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., the ranking member of the committee, said in a statement.

"With both the attorney general and governor of Hawai'i announcing their strong opposition to the proposed revisions to this bill, moving forward would have been irresponsible and highly alarming."

Bennett said he was pleased by Abercrombie's decision. He said the Lingle administration is prepared to work with Hawai'i lawmakers and the Obama administration to address any concerns about the bill.

"Our support for it is undiminished by the recent events," he said.

Challenge in Senate

The House has passed versions of the Akaka bill twice since it was first introduced in 2000. But the bill has always faced problems in the Senate, where opponents can use procedural tools to delay bills until 60 of the chamber's 100 senators agree to move forward.

The Akaka bill could rewrite the political landscape in Hawai'i, potentially giving Native Hawaiians greater rights over land use and cultural issues, including control over 1.8 million acres annexed by the United States in 1898.

The state Office of Hawaiian Affairs and many Hawaiians support the bill as a measure of self-determination for an indigenous people, but some Hawaiians believe it would weaken claims of sovereignty.

Other opponents of the legislation, including many conservatives, say the bill challenges the American principle of equality and opens the door to political volatility among Native Hawaiians.

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

Justice Department officials from the Obama administration have been negotiating with the Hawai'i delegation about fine points in the bill, but the department has supported the bill.

Akaka has said he expects he will need 60 votes in the Senate to eventually pass the bill.

"It looks like that's the route we'll have to go," he said.

John Yaukey reported from Washington, D.C. Derrick DePledge reported from Honolulu. Reach Yaukey at jyaukey@gannett.com.

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http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20091217/BREAKING01/91217027/Akaka+bill+passes+Senate+committee++heads+to+full+Senate+vote+next+year
Honolulu Advertiser, Thursday, December 17, 2009
BREAKING NEWS/UPDATES Updated at 10:59 a.m.

Akaka bill passes Senate committee, heads to full Senate vote next year PDF: Akaka Bill Amendment

By ERIN KELLY
Gannett Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON – The Senate Indian Affairs Committee today approved a Native Hawaiian federal recognition bill, clearing the way for the legislation to come to a vote in the full Senate next year.

"I respectfully ask that the committee pass this bill in the interest of this generation and future generations of Native Hawaiians," Sen. Daniel Akaka, the bill's main sponsor, asked the panel minutes before the unanimous voice vote. "It is so critical and important to all people of the State of Hawaii."

The vote came just one day after a companion bill was passed by the House Natural Resources Committee. That bill is expected to pass the full House next year. However, its fate in the Senate is uncertain. Previous attempts to pass the bill have stalled there when supporters were unable to garner the 60 votes needed to overcome a Republican filibuster.

Akaka's spokesman, Jesse Broder Van Dyke, said the senator sees this session of Congress as the best chance yet to pass the bill.

Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents make up 60 votes. Also, Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska supports the legislation.

"Sen. Akaka isn't taking any votes for granted, but he's optimistic," Van Dyke said.

The bill approved today by the Senate committee includes an amendment that Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii, dropped from the House version Wednesday because of objections from Gov. Linda Lingle and state Attorney General Mark Bennett.

The amendment grants governing authority to Hawaiians prior to — instead of after — negotiations with the federal and state governments and would treat Native Hawaiians as an Indian tribe in some cases.

Akaka said he spoke to Lingle this morning and would continue to work with her and Bennett to resolve their concerns before the bill comes before the full Senate.

PDF: Akaka Bill Amendment passed by SIAC 12/17/09
http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/assets/pdf/M11487071217.PDF

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http://www.kitv.com/politics/21998801/detail.html
KITV4, December 17, 2009

Senate Committee Passes Akaka Bill With Changes

Senator Plans To Meet With Officials To Work Out Concerns

HONOLULU -- The U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee on Thursday approved changes in the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act that would provide a much faster route to a sovereign Native Hawaiian government.

At the request of Sen. Daniel Akaka the committee accepted changes proposed by President Barack Obama's Justice Department. The changes would provide Native Hawaiians with recognition, rights and protections similar to Native American tribes.

Gov. Linda Lingle opposes that idea. Those changes are not part of the so-called Akaka Bill in the U.S. House.

"We know that there are some differences and we will be working on this as well," Akaka said. "Our present President Obama has mentioned that he will support it and sign it. So, this is our best chance we have of passing it."

The competing proposals now go for votes in both the full House and Senate.

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http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20091218/NEWS03/912180353/Senate+panel+OKs+amended+Akaka+bill
Honolulu Advertiser, Friday, December 18, 2009

Senate panel OKs amended Akaka bill
Committee's move paves way for full Senate vote in 2010

By Erin Kelly and Derrick DePledge
Advertiser Government Writers

WASHINGTON — The Senate Indian Affairs Committee approved a revised Native Hawaiian federal recognition bill yesterday, clearing the way for the legislation to come to a vote in the full Senate next year.

Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawai'i, the bill's main sponsor, opted to amend the bill with changes drafted with the help of the Obama administration but strongly opposed by Gov. Linda Lingle.

"I respectfully ask that the committee pass this bill in the interest of this generation and future generations of Native Hawaiians," Akaka asked the panel minutes before the unanimous voice vote. "It is so critical and important to all people of the state of Hawai'i."

Akaka spoke to Lingle and state Attorney General Mark Bennett yesterday and said he would continue to work with them to resolve the state's concerns before the bill reaches the Senate floor.

The amendment grants governing authority to Hawaiians prior to — instead of after — negotiations with the federal and state governments and would treat Native Hawaiians as an Indian tribe for some purposes.

The Senate committee vote came one day after a companion bill was passed by the House Natural Resources Committee. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawai'i, dropped the amendment from the House version because of the objections from Lingle and Bennett.

Bennett said yesterday he was disappointed that Akaka pressed forward with the changes, which did not have a previous public hearing and were only released to the state earlier this week.

Bennett said he would accept Akaka's offer to talk with the senator's staff and U.S. Department of Justice officials about the changes. But he said such discussions should have occurred before the bill moved forward.

"I think it hurts its chances of ultimate passage. And I believe that's very unfortunate," Bennett said.

Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, D-Hawai'i, said there would be a "meaningful opportunity" to address the state's concerns with the Obama administration and Hawai'i lawmakers.

"This is not a closed book," he said in a statement. "The time to act will be early in the new year and we must move swiftly to ensure Native Hawaiians regain their rights of self-determination and self-governance."

The Akaka bill, which was approved by the House twice since 2000, is expected to pass the full House again next year.

However, its fate in the Senate is uncertain. Previous attempts to pass the bill stalled when Hawai'i lawmakers were unable to get the 60 votes needed to overcome Republican opposition.

Akaka spokesman Jesse Broder Van Dyke said the senator sees this session of Congress as the best chance yet to pass the bill.

Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents make up 60 votes. Also, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, supports the legislation.

"Sen. Akaka isn't taking any votes for granted, but he's optimistic," he said.

Akaka and Inouye have been trying to break Republican roadblocks for a decade.

"If there was ever a definition of relentless in the U.S. Congress, it is the efforts of the two senators from Hawai'i," said Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-North Dakota, who chairs the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.

The legislation would develop a process for organizing a Native Hawaiian government. It would recognize Native Hawaiians as an indigenous people, similar to American Indians and Alaska Natives, and give Hawaiians the right to negotiate for greater control over land and cultural issues.

Many opponents of the legislation believe the bill is unconstitutional because it would recognize Hawaiians based on race.

Advertiser Washington Bureau reporter John Yaukey contributed to this report. Erin Kelly reported from Washington. Derrick DePledge reported from Honolulu. Contact Erin Kelly at ekelly@gannett.com. Reach Derrick DePledge at 525-8070.

Reach Derrick DePledge at ddepledge@honoluluadvertiser.com.

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http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20091218/OPINION01/912180324/Congress++state+need+unity+on+Akaka+bill
Honolulu Advertiser, Friday, December 18, 2009
EDITORIAL

Congress, state need unity on Akaka bill

The much-needed bill for federal recognition of Native Hawaiians has gone through a flurry of last-minute and significant changes that have created an added hurdle to its smooth passage into law.

Critics may object to the changes themselves, and to the way they were put into place.

The bill's chief sponsor, U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Akaka, should have brought key members of Gov. Linda Lingle's leadership team into discussions of the "substitute amendment" negotiated with the Obama administration far sooner than he did.

Not surprisingly, the state objected. And that's a big problem: It's essential that state officials support the push for passage, because discord at the top level will be exploited by the bill's opponents, who have already pounced on this discord as an excuse to kill the legislation.

The amendment was added to what's popularly known as the Akaka bill and passed out of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs yesterday. A companion measure passed a U.S. House Committee on Wednesday, but Hawai'i senior Rep. Neil Abercrombie stripped out the amendment after hearing of objections from the Lingle administration, which only received the amendment on Monday.

The amendment contains major changes that should have been fully vetted in advance.

They include language equating the relationship between a reorganized Hawaiian nation and the federal government with the way an Indian tribe relates to the U.S. That will rile Native Hawaiians who never describe themselves that way.

At the center of the state's protest are some more substantive changes. The amendment would give sovereign rights to Hawaiians up front, whereas past bills required negotiations with the state and federal governments to happen first.

Also, the bill now no longer addresses future claims that Hawaiians may make against the state or federal government — it leaves any definition or limitation on claims for separate legislation.

Also, there is new language refining how one qualifies as a member of a Native Hawaiian nation, to include cultural practices as well as ethnic heritage. Department of Justice lawyers favor keeping the recognition bill separate so that legal disputes over the claims language won't endanger the main legislation, an Akaka spokesman said.

Finally, lawyers maintain that defining Hawaiians in broader terms helps make the case that Hawaiians are a distinct people with national history, language and culture. This leaves the future government less vulnerable to constitutional attacks as a race-based entity, he said.

Akaka now pledges to fully involve state officials in the necessary discussions of these changes. That's good. Of course, involving them at the beginning — three months ago — would have been better.

The bill is seen as having its best chance of being passed under a Democratic federal administration, but that can't be taken for granted. It's been a long road to get this far; there's no room for mistakes now.

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http://www.starbulletin.com/news/20091218_Akaka_Bill_clears_Senate_committee.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, December 18, 2009

Akaka Bill clears Senate committee

By Associated Press

WASHINGTON » A U.S. Senate committee has unanimously passed legislation to let native Hawaiians establish their own government. The new government would operate much like those formed by Indian tribes.

The Senate Indian Affairs Committee approved yesterday the bill sponsored by Sen. Daniel Akaka.

The Hawaii Democrat has authored similar legislation during previous congressional sessions but has yet to get the measure passed by the full Senate. The bill included new language opposed by Gov. Linda Lingle and Attorney General Mark Bennett, who have been longtime supporters of his effort. Akaka said he would try to address their concerns before bringing the bill to the full Senate for a vote.

Just one day earlier, a House committee also approved what is referred to as the Akaka Bill.

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http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=34895
Human Events, December 18, 2009

Only 34 Percent of Hawaiians Support Akaka Bill

by Valerie Richardson

With President Bush no longer wielding a veto and a Hawaiian in the White House, Democrats would need to stumble badly to botch the passage of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act. Fortunately for conservatives, that's exactly what's happening.

Better known as the Akaka Bill, the act would create a separate race-based government for indigenous Hawaiians. While critics view it as a noxious brew of racial pandering and political deal-making, the bill has for years enjoyed the solid support of Hawaii's ruling class, led by the congressional delegation, the governor and the state legislature.

In the days leading up to this week's House and Senate committee votes, however, Hawaii Democrats, with a big assist from the White House, threw their longstanding political coalition into chaos. They alienated the governor. They sparked a protest rally back in Honolulu. Democratic Sen. Daniel Inouye (Hi.), the delegation's elder statesman, was forced to admit twice in three days that he didn't know what was going on, but that he planned to find out.

The trouble started when the White House got involved. According to multiple accounts, the White House, the bill's chief sponsor Sen. Daniel Akaka (Hi.), and the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement privately crafted a series of amendments aimed at expanding and redefining the bill.

The revised bill immediately gives the proposed Native Hawaiian government inherent powers and privileges of self-determination, saying it would be "an Indian tribe." The original bill set up a procedure in which governing authority would be granted only after negotiations with the federal and state government.

Gov. Linda Lingle and Attorney General Mark Bennett, both Republicans, say they didn't learn of the revisions until late Tuesday, just hours before the bill was scheduled to go before the House Natural Resources Committee. That evening, they stunned the delegation by withdrawing their support.

"These changes are extensive, have been not part of any bill which we have supported, and have an enormous potential to negatively impact Hawaii and its citizens," said Mr. Bennett in a letter to the committee. "The views of Hawaii's citizens, native Hawaiian and non-Native Hawaiian alike, have not been heard (certainly not recently) with regard to this new model."

The next morning, Republican Rep. Doc Hastings (Wa.), the committee's ranking Republican, moved to postpone the vote for two months, saying more time was needed to review the extensive changes, and promised to keep lawmakers buried in procedural votes if they refused.

In legislative years, two months isn't long. But it's an eternity to Hawaii Rep. Neil Abercrombie (Hi.), the bill's House sponsor, who plans to leave Congress in the next few weeks to run for governor. Abercrombie badly wants to help make history by casting one of the votes that helps transform the bill into law.

His predicament left Hastings unmoved.

"This is a serious issue. I understand the gentleman is going to run for governor and going to resign . . . but this issue has been around for nine years," said Mr. Hastings, who added that he would vote against the bill in either form. "If there are issues that need to be resolved, I think the proper way is not to move something that has baggage."

Abercrombie compromised. He agreed to remove the amendments for purposes of the committee vote, although they could be added later in conference committee or on the House floor. That day, the House committee approved the bill 26-13.

The Senate Indian Affairs Committee muddied the waters further Thursday by passing the newly amended version of the Akaka Bill by voice vote. The move all but guarantees further turmoil as Hawaii Democrats attempt to reconcile the House and Senate versions.

"While there may have been recent misunderstandings and confusion about what we are doing here today. I want to reiterate that I spoke to Hawaii's Governor this morning and will continue to work with her, her Attorney General and our other valued partners," said Mr. Akaka.

Peppered by questions about the last-minute amendments, Inouye insisted in a statement he didn't know why the governor was kept in the dark.

"The events of the past 24 hours were totally unexpected. I was very surprised. I was not aware that the revisions to the bill being discussed between Senator Akaka’s office and President Obama’s administration were not shared with Governor Linda Lingle. I am in the process of trying to determine what happened and the best course forward,” said Inouye.

The senator found himself in a similar jab Monday following reports that Democrats planned to stage a "sneak attack" by inserting the Akaka Bill into the Defense Appropriations bill, thus making it impracticable for Republicans to vote against it.

Those rumors prompted a protest in Honolulu by Akaka Bill opponents, who accused Democrats of orchestrating a "sneak attack." Inouye responded by insisting that the rumors were false and that "I don't know where this nonsensical suggestion originated."

"We have had hearings in Washington and in Hawaii," said Inouye. "It is not a measure that has been shepherded in the dark of night. It has been fully transparent."

What's not fully transparent is the extent of the White House's involvement. If the Obama administration continues to push for a more expansive bill, it could upset the coalition's careful balance and trigger a backlash in Hawaii, where the bill isn't as popular as it is on Capitol Hill.

A Zogby International poll released Tuesday found that only 34 percent of Hawaiians support the Akaka Bill, while 51 percent oppose it and 15 percent aren't sure. Of those who do have an opinion, 60 percent are opposed.

A clear majority, 58 percent, want to see the state hold a referendum on the issue, while 28 percent are opposed to a vote and 13 percent aren’t sure. The survey was conducted for the Grassroot[sic] Institute of Hawaii, a libertarian policy center that opposes the Akaka Bill.

“This poll shows that most of our local elected officials are out of touch with their constituents on this issue. This should be a wake-up call to each of them” said Grassroot Institute co-founder Richard Rowland. “According to the results, Hawaii’s congressional delegation has been misleading their fellow senators and representatives about Hawaii public opinion on this issue.”

Ironically, some of the bill's staunchest opponents are Native Hawaiians. Monday's protest wasn't staged by Republicans or conservatives, but by a coalition of Native Hawaiian sovereignty groups dedicated to defeating the Akaka Bill, which they call "a Hawaiian land grab."

Their concern is that the Akaka Bill will preempt their efforts to secede from the union and form the Kingdom of Hawaii in its place. It's unlikely such groups represent a majority of the state's estimated 240,000 Native Hawaiians, but they clearly include many of the most vocal ones.

"They hate the Akaka Bill worse than we do," said Andy Blum, president of Hawaiian Values.US, a Hawaii-based conservative group that opposes the Akaka Bill.

Foes of the Akaka Bill want a new set of state hearings on the issue--the last hearings took place seven years ago. Better yet, they want a referendum election, although the state legislature refuses to approve it. If the Democrats continue to bungle the bill in Congress, those calls will become harder to ignore.

Valerie Richardson has covered the Western United States for the Washington Times for 20 years.

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http://www.starbulletin.com/editorials/letters/20091218_Letters_to_the_editor.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, December 18, 2009, LETTER TO EDITOR

Akaka Bill opposed by many in Hawaii

Public hearings for the Akaka Bill were held only on Aug. 28 to Sept. 1, 2000, Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Neil Blaisdell Center. Public hearings scheduled to be held on the neighbor islands were canceled on Aug. 26 due to Sen. Dan Akaka's hip replacement surgery on Aug. 3, 2000. Those from the neighbor islands could fly to Oahu to give oral testimony or submit written testimony. There was an overwhelming opposition to the Akaka Bill voiced by native Hawaiians and other Hawaii residents. This tried the patience of the senators who preferred the support of the native Hawaiians and the rest of the community before meeting with the Senate in Washington on Sept. 3, 2000, in hopes of moving this bill forward.

Since then, there have been a myriad of amendments: changes, retitling of the bill and concessions to make it palatable for Congress to accept. Each time we have opposed the bill and have asked for hearings on all the islands and would have to approve the final draft of the bill as written without any additional hidden changes. Hawaiian subjects/nationals not of kanaka maoli blood who have been snubbed by the U.S. are also in the national movement that oppose this disingenuous bill. Others who oppose this bill do it for different reasons.

Many use imagined arguments to support their positions real or not. Blood quantum is a U.S. American thing that derives from racist doctrines of Manifest Destiny as does the Akaka Bill. Since 2000, there has not been a public hearing held on all the islands and it should be done before the senators submit their bill.

David M. K. Inciong, II
Pearl City

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http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20091219/NEWS01/91219001/Akaka+bill+changes+%E2%80%98drastic%E2%80%99
Honolulu Advertiser, Saturday, December 19, 2009

Akaka bill changes 'drastic'
Governor objects to Senate version, says state was not consulted

By Derrick DePledge
Advertiser Government Writer

Gov. Linda Lingle yesterday said she is "extremely disappointed" with changes to a Native Hawaiian federal recognition bill in the U.S. Senate and will oppose the bill if the state's concerns are not addressed.

The governor described the changes as "drastic," but beyond the substance, she also complained the state was not consulted and the changes were made by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee without adequate public notice.

"The version that passed out of the Senate would not be something that we could support, nor could I ask the people of the state to support it, which is very disappointing because I have supported this bill since I was elected to office," Lingle told reporters at the state Capitol.

"I think it was good for all the people of the state. I went out and I shared my views with people and I think, generally speaking in the community — not everyone, but generally speaking — people thought this was a fair and a just thing to do."

Lingle said the U.S. House version of the bill — known as the Akaka bill for its main sponsor, U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawai'i — is important because it may help deter lawsuits challenging Hawaiian programs as racially discriminatory and create a process for recognizing a Hawaiian government.

The bill would recognize Native Hawaiians as an indigenous people with the right to self-determination, much like American Indians and Alaska Natives.

The amended bill in the Senate grants governing authority to Hawaiians prior to — instead of after — negotiations with the federal and state governments and would treat Native Hawaiians as an Indian tribe for some purposes.

Many conservative opponents of the Akaka bill believe it is unconstitutional because it recognizes Hawaiians based on race.

Lingle said Akaka was very apologetic when she spoke to him on Thursday for not consulting with the state but said the senator did not explain why the changes were made.

Jon Yoshimura, the communications director for Akaka, said the changes were developed in consultation with the Obama administration.

State Attorney General Mark Bennett spoke with U.S. Department of Justice officials about the changes in the Senate version yesterday. He would not disclose the details but described the conversation as good and said talks would continue.

Yoshimura said Akaka hopes the dialogue between the state, Hawai'i lawmakers and the Obama administration will lead to an understanding.

"The senator really wants to make this thing pono," he said.

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http://www.starbulletin.com/news/20091219_akaka_bill_changes_catch_state_off_guard.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, December 19, 2009

Akaka Bill changes catch state off guard

By B.J. Reyes

U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka's office is taking responsibility for a lack of communication with Gov. Linda Lingle that resulted in her administration voicing objections to an amended version of the Akaka Bill that was taken up in House and Senate committees this week.

"We didn't get the substitute amendment language to them on a timely basis," Akaka spokesman Jon Yoshimura said from Washington. "This was not intentional at all.

"Basically it was a very tight timetable, and we didn't do all of the things we should have done. We take responsibility for that."

Attorney General Mark Bennett said his office did not receive word of the proposed changes until Monday and Tuesday of this week, days before the congressional committees took up the bill.

The objections prompted U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, chief sponsor of the House version, to stick with the original version, which passed out of the House Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday.

An amended version passed out of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee on Thursday with Akaka pledging to further discuss the concerns raised by Lingle and Bennett.

The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act would establish a native Hawaiian governing entity that would then negotiate with state and federal agencies over assets such as land.

Lingle's concerns focus on whether the state's rights and interests would be protected as the new government is formed. One proposed change would immediately give the native Hawaiian governing entity many of the rights given to American Indian tribal governments.

Native Hawaiians also would be defined by more than just blood quantum, setting forth a minimum age of 18 and requiring participants to show evidence of a significant cultural, social or civic connection with the native Hawaiian community.

Additionally, the term "native Hawaiian" would be replaced by "Qualified Native Hawaiian Constituent" in the bill.

Changes were proposed by President Barack Obama's administration and negotiated by the Justice Department and the state's congressional delegation, Yoshimura said.

"They wanted to make sure the bill would stand all constitutional objections," Yoshimura said.

Bennett said he had "no idea they were coming" until he received a copy of some of the changes Monday.

"I knew the bill was being marked up, but I had no idea this was the model the bill was going to and that there had been substantive negotiations on this bill that I had not been a part of, nor the governor," he said.

Lingle said she spoke briefly to Akaka yesterday.

"He was very apologetic for not contacting us but really didn't explain why these changes were made," she said.

Lingle, who has supported the Akaka Bill in the past, said she was disappointed by what she called the "drastic" changes, adding that the new version "would not be something that we could support, nor could I ask the people of the state to support."

Bennett said he spoke yesterday with "high-level" members of the Justice Department and other congressional representatives yesterday, but declined to discuss the nature or substance of the talks.

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http://www.frumforum.com/a-conservative-vote-for-hawaiian-freedom
The Frum Forum, December 19, 2009

A Conservative Vote for Hawaiian Freedom

by JOHN VECCHIONE

The Democrats may succeed in passing a conservative law for Hawaii that the Republicans rejected. The “Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act” failed in a Republican Senate. It has been reintroduced by Senator Akaka. The Act is needed to restore to native Hawaiians rights unjustly revoked. The Wall Street Journal attacked the bill as a return to segregation. The Journal simply refuses to see the assault on self-governance, fairness and settled principles of property that Senator Akaka is attempting to redress.

The Supreme Court in Rice v. Cayetano overturned 100 years of Hawaiians of indigenous descent governing certain land trusts. These trusts were created shortly after the annexation of Hawaii and placed in the care of a state body. Its trustees were chosen by the votes of descendants of the original inhabitants of the islands, but the date of being an “original inhabitant” was 1890 when Hawaii was already multi-ethnic but under the rule of the Hawaiian Monarch. The Supreme Court ruled that the 15th amendment to the Constitution prohibited a practice law, time and custom had established. As explained by the Court, these trusts and practices were ratified, first by Congress, and then by state decrees and by the acts of all of the Hawaiian people, indigenous or not, that implemented Hawaiian statehood in 1959.

More than 100 years after the abdication of the last Queen of Hawaii and almost 50 years after statehood, the act of every Congress, every elected state government and of all of the people of Hawaii regarding the trusts was abrogated by the Supreme Court. The Court did so citing an amendment designed to allow former slaves to vote.

Congress wishes to restore these rights agreed to by every act of the people of Hawaii since before statehood. Using constitutional powers granted at the founding of the republic, Congress attempted to restore the status quo ante. Amazingly, this has stirred conservative opposition. This opposition maintains that the Act (1) sets a precedent for racial exclusivity, (2) sets up a separate sovereignty that could secede, and, 3) also removes land and resources from the state of Hawaii. All of this is nonsense.

The recognition of Indian tribes is part of the written Constitution. Article I gives full power to Congress to recognize and govern relations with “Indian tribes”. Some argue that there is no “Hawaiian Tribe” because the Hawaiians had a monarchical government. In this flawed understanding, the “Indian tribes” of Hawaii are to be penalized because they had reached a state of political development beyond that of the Plains Indians.

Congress is free to recognize this longstanding indigenous governing polity as a “tribe.” Moreover, once Congress does so recognize a tribe, that political entity, like every other tribe in America, can define its own membership. The Sioux are free to make members who are not Sioux at birth. There is no racial bar to membership.

The suggestion that the Act will lead to secession is risible. Saul Bellow inquired “Who is the Proust of Papuans?” We are entitled to ask who is the Lee of Lanai? While it would be amusing to hear “Dixie” played on a ukulele, such a spectacle is not in the offing. The Hawaiian Trusts improved the lot of and obtained native Hawaiians’ accession to annexation and statehood. Restoring to native Hawaiians the rights they have always had restores Hawaii to its condition when it joined the Union. It is the Supreme Court that decreed a radical new structure imposed on the state that was never approved by Hawaiians. Over a quarter of the state of Arizona is sovereign Indian lands. It remains stubbornly attached to the Union. States with large reservations have thus far resisted secession. Hawaii will too.

Racial groups will not be granted “sovereignty.” American Blacks can not be deemed “Indian tribes” because they were not here before Columbus. The same is true for Mexico. It is a polity not derived from pre-Columbian tribes, and indeed the pre-Columbian tribes in the jurisdiction ceded to the U.S. by Mexico have already been recognized.

Every major elected official in Hawaii is for the Act. The people of Hawaii can protect their own sovereignty. Hawaii is one of the most overly taxed and overly regulated states in the Union. Any competition for a less onerous tax and business climate should be welcomed. A multiplicity of jurisdictions, each operating in its legitimate sphere, is a main bulwark of liberty under federalist theory. So it will be in Hawaii.

The Act should be passed because the United States must keep its word. In the Winstar cases the Court prohibited the government from unilaterally revoking the property rights of banks that relied on its word in entering a contract. Indigenous Hawaiians should be able to insist they get the same “deal” they have had for a hundred years from that same government and that was made a condition of joining the Union. Similarly, conservatives have rightly been furious at the Kelo decision allowing the government to take people’s property for the private gain of others. Here an exclusive right in trust property was taken by the Supreme Court with no compensation at all. Congress is right to return it and conservatives are wrong to oppose that return.

Attorney John Vecchione has no professional involvement or interest in the Hawaiian trusts litigation.

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http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20091220/OPINION03/912200330/Granting+government+status+is+right+thing+to+do
Honolulu Advertiser, Sunday, December 20, 2009

Granting government status is right thing to do

By Daniel K. Akaka

The substitute amendment to the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act negotiated between the Hawai'i congressional delegation, the White House, and the Departments of Justice and the Interior simply provides that the basic rights of self-governance of the Native Hawaiian governing entity are on par with what other native governments have in Alaska and on the Mainland. This is a matter of fairness and common sense. Native Hawaiians should be afforded the same opportunity of governing their own affairs as do other native governments that have been recognized under federal law.

The substitute amendment, which was adopted by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee on Thursday, contains other important clarifications to the language of the bill. Native Hawaiians seeking to participate in the reorganization process must be U.S. citizens, at least 18 years of age, and certify that they maintain a significant cultural, social or civic connection to the Native Hawaiian community by meeting at least two of 10 listed criteria, which include: Being the child or grandchild of an eligible beneficiary of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act; being a member of a Native Hawaiian membership organization; or being regarded as Native Hawaiian as evidenced by sworn affidavits. Like Alaska Natives and American Indians, it will be up to these constituents to define their membership after the initial reorganization.

I hope this puts a rest to the misleading and offensive claims that the bill is about racial preference. It is not. It is about recognition of our nation's first people and their distinctly native communities, who exercised governance on lands that predated the formation of the United States. Consistent with the federal policy of self-governance and self-determination, this legislation helps us respect the rights of Native Hawaiians, while encouraging the perpetuation of their culture and traditions.

As this is a bill to reorganize the Native Hawaiian government, and not a claims bill, we sought to make the bill neutral on claims. Language was included to clarify that past claims already adjudicated cannot be revived, future claims are not affected, and defenses to future claims are not affected. This protects the Native Hawaiian governing entity, the United States and the state of Hawai'i by ensuring that no party has any advantages or rights it would not otherwise have.

Once federally recognized, the Native Hawaiian governing entity enters into negotiations with the United States and state of Hawai'i to settle issues such as civil and criminal jurisdiction. S. 1011 prohibited the Native Hawaiian governing entity from exercising any aspect of governmental power that is exercised by federal or state governments until the negotiations are complete. Thus, the governing entity may have been precluded from acting in furtherance of traditional laws and justice systems, which includes providing basic services such as caring for the welfare of children. Similar to other federal statutes, the substitute amendment vests the Native Hawaiian governing entity with existing powers of native governments. This inherent authority includes the right to determine the form of government, the power to determine membership, the power to operate the native government and carry out native responsibilities, and the power to approve or veto the use or disposition of native government assets.

Unchanged in the bill: The Native Hawaiian government cannot pass laws in conflict with state and federal laws, any transfers of land or other assets still require approval of state and federal enacting legislation, no private property will be affected, and gambling is specifically prohibited. All these provisions are maintained in the substitute amendment.

Reports surfaced this week about Gov. Linda Lingle and Attorney General Mark Bennett's opposition to the substitute amendment. The governor has been a valuable supporter of the bill for many years. She and Attorney General Bennett have testified in support of the legislation at numerous Congressional hearings. When I heard of their concerns I spoke to both of them personally and vowed I would keep them informed as we move forward..

In 1893, the Native Hawaiian government led by Queen Lili'uokalani was illegally overthrown by agents of the U.S. and U.S. military force. The overthrow has resulted in generations of Native Hawaiians being disenfranchised from their government, culture, land and way of life.

It is fitting that the United States and the state of Hawai'i continue the legacy of serving as a partner with the Native Hawaiian people with enactment of the substitute amendment. It is imperative that the Native Hawaiians as aboriginal, indigenous, native people be recognized as having a special political and legal relationship through their Native Hawaiian governing entity with the United States.

Daniel K. Akaka, U.S. senator from Hawai'i, wrote this commentary for The Advertiser.

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http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20091220/OPINION03/912200335/State+could+end+up+losing+revenue++legal+protection
Honolulu Advertiser, Sunday, December 20, 2009

State could end up losing revenue, legal protection

By Mark Bennett

Since we have been in office, Gov. Linda Lingle and I have strongly supported the Akaka bill, which creates a Native Hawaiian Governing Entity. This legislation has been the subject of thoughtful, extensive debate and negotiation. Last Thursday, at the request of Sen. Daniel K. Akaka, the U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee approved and sent to the Senate floor an entirely new Akaka bill. The new bill, unlike any prior version, explicitly makes the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity an Indian tribe for many purposes. The new provisions have never been the subject of a public hearing or public testimony, and there has been no public explanation or discussion of the impact of the new provisions on Hawai'i and our citizens.

Gov. Lingle and I oppose the newly added amendments and believe they should be removed or significantly modified. We played no role in drafting the amendments, and we were not even informed of them prior to last week, though we had been involved (at the request of Sen. Akaka) in the drafting of and negotiations relating to the Akaka bill for seven years.

The Akaka bill that Gov. Lingle and I supported provided for creation of a Native Hawaiian Governing Entity, followed by negotiations between the Governing Entity, the United States and the state of Hawai'i to establish the powers and jurisdiction of the Governing Entity. The new provisions reverse that process, and set up the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity immediately as an Indian tribe.

Let me explain the reasons Gov. Lingle and I strongly oppose these new provisions: First, the change that designates Native Hawaiians as an Indian tribe has not had a public hearing. This major change was sent to the Senate floor without any notice, testimony or explanation. No one has had the opportunity to comment on or testify about this change.

Second, the establishment of an Indian tribe in Hawai'i has immediate and lasting (perhaps permanent) consequences.

Litigation throughout the nation has concerned the power of states and municipalities (like Hawai'i's four counties) to regulate and tax Indian tribes, their lands and their businesses. The new bill explicitly states that it gives the state of Hawai'i no authority to tax or regulate the new tribe, while ambiguously stating that nothing in the bill will itself preempt state authority over Native Hawaiians or their property.

Such a provision would guarantee years, if not decades, of litigation. It could deny the state and counties substantial revenue they now enjoy. It could provide some businesses substantial competitive advantages (especially if free from taxation or regulation to which others are subject). And it could create lands or zones free from state or county environmental, shoreline and development regulation.

The prior version of the Akaka bill explicitly stated:

"Nothing in this Act alters the civil or criminal jurisdiction of the United States or the state of Hawai'i over lands and persons within the state of Hawai'i. The status quo of federal and state jurisdiction can change only as a result of further legislation, if any, enacted after the conclusion, in relevant part, of the negotiation process ."

This important provision has been deleted from the new bill.

Indian tribes and their businesses are also generally immune from lawsuits, even from ordinary tort lawsuits (like auto accident suits) and ordinary breach of contract claims. While Congress has the power to explicitly waive this immunity, the new bill does not do so. And, the new bill deletes a provision expressly preserving the state of Hawai'i's sovereign immunity unless waived in accordance with state law. This virtually guarantees new lawsuits against the state.

These are the kinds of issues that are raised by the new bill. Gov. Lingle and I strongly support the previous version of the Akaka bill, but oppose the new provisions, and we respectfully urge Sen. Akaka to reconsider his action altering the prior bill. At the very least, public hearings should be held on the drastic changes being proposed so their impact on Hawai'i can be fully discussed, debated, and understood. Native Hawaiian recognition is fair and just; leaping into the Indian tribe model of government without any public hearing or public input is not.

Mark Bennett is the attorney general for the state of Hawai'i. He wrote this commentary for The Advertiser.

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http://www.starbulletin.com/editorials/20091220_Akaka_Bill_needs_airing.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, December 20, 2009
EDITORIAL

Akaka Bill needs airing

Sen. Daniel Akaka surprised observers of the Hawaiian sovereignty bill bearing his name by injecting controversial changes that drew opposition from Gov. Linda Lingle, a longtime supporter of the bill. The congressional delegation needs to conduct hearings during the present holiday recess to clear the air and, if it can, justify the bill's changes.

Akaka appears to have left many in the dark about the changes to the bill in the days preceding action by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. Rep. Neil Abercrombie decided against presenting the changes to the House Natural Resources Committee, which approved the bill in its original form, following a blistering letter by Hawaii Attorney General Mark Bennett and an extraordinary rebuke of Akaka by Sen. Daniel Inouye.

In a prepared statement on the eve of the House committee action, Inouye said "events of the past 24 hours were totally unexpected." He added that he was "very surprised" that the revisions "were not shared" with Lingle. Inouye did not say whether he had been aware of the pending changes.

The Akaka Bill has been regarded in recent years as one that would give Hawaiians sovereignty similar to that of Indian tribes, while retaining federal and state jurisdiction of civil and criminal laws. The changes just passed by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee would recognize the Hawaiian governing council as "an Indian tribe," with all that comes with that status except legalized gambling. For example, many Indian laws rather than state or federal laws are enforced on their reservations.

"These changes may immediately incorporate into the law governing native Hawaiians a vast body of Indian law, much of which is unsuited for the state of Hawaii, and none of which (to our knowledge) has been evaluated for its impact on Hawaii," Bennett asserted in a letter to House committee leaders. The changes "will certainly engender new disputes over the status of much of the land in Hawaii," he added.

Bennett, who received the changes on the eve of the House committee action from Republican committee staffers, also noted that the newly-changed Senate bill has a new term -- "Qualified Native Hawaiian Constituent" -- defined in six pages of the bill. No public hearings on that term have ever been conducted.

"This is not a closed book," Inouye commented in a statement released by Akaka's office after the Senate committee's approval of the changed bill. "The time to act will be early in the new year and we must move swiftly to ensure native Hawaiians regain their rights of self-determination and self-governance."

Akaka says he talked with Lingle and Bennett prior to the Senate committee action and is "committed to working with them on these issues as we move forward." That is not enough. Akaka and other members of the delegation should heed Bennett's call for "a public hearing, with testimony" on the new Akaka Bill.

The congressional committees now lack jurisdiction over the bills, which are on their way to the Senate and House floors. But nothing should keep the Hawaii delegation from conducting a hearing during the holiday recess, which ends Jan. 12.

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http://www.starbulletin.com/editorials/letters/20091220_Letters_to_the_Editor.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, December 20, 2009
Letters to Editor

Inouye's own history is basis for allegation

U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye blustered, "I have never suggested that the Akaka Native Hawaiian Recognition Bill be passed and adopted as part of the defense appropriations process. I don't know where this nonsensical suggestion originated."

This "nonsensical suggestion" actually springs from the reputation, track record and modus operandi of Sen. Inouye. He is famous for, and even proud of, his uncanny skill to work the system, tacking on various and sundry earmarks to unrelated appropriations bills. That's how he brings home the pork, and lots of it, year after year.

The very next day, we learn that Gov. Linda Lingle is miffed about being excluded from back-room secret talks on amendments to the Akaka Bill. Welcome to the club, governor. Now you know how the people of Hawaii have felt for the past 10 years, being left out of the process in this classic example of back-room politics. The Akaka Bill epitomizes Inouye's crafty, "nonsensical" style.

Leon Siu
Aiea

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http://www.hawaiifreepress.com/main/ArticlesMain/tabid/56/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/1465/Akaka-Bill-More-than-73-of-Hawaiians-not-quotQualifiedquot-for-membership-in-Akaka-Tribe.aspx
Hawaii Free Press, Sunday, December 20, 2009

Akaka Bill: More than 73% of Hawaiians not "Qualified" for membership in Akaka Tribe

By Andrew Walden

You may be Hawaiian--but chances are you are not "Qualified" to become a member of the allegedly "Hawaiian" Indian Tribe proposed under Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI) and Sen. Dan Akaka's (D-HI) newly revised version of S1011/Akaka Bill.

If created under US law, the Akaka Tribe will negotiate to take control of land and other assets which are supposedly the property of all native Hawaiian people--but the majority of native Hawaiians will be excluded from participating in the organization of the Native Hawaiian Interim Governing Council. They could remain excluded from the Tribe that the Interim Governing Council organizes.

On one hand, Section 4(a)(4) of the Senate Akaka Bill states: "Native Hawaiians have an inherent right to autonomy in their internal affairs (and) and inherent right of self-determination and self-governance (and) the right to reorganize a Native Hawaiian governing entity...."

But Section 8(a) recognizes only: "The right of the qualified Native Hawaiian constituents to reorganize the single Native Hawaiian governing entity...."

Who are allowed to become "Qualified Native Hawaiian Constituents" will be determined by a "commission" of nine members. There are exactly nine OHA Trustees.

"Qualified Native Hawaiian Constituents" is a brand new classification which has not been used in any previous version of the Akaka Bill. The inclusion of this new category was noted by Governor Linda Lingle and Hawaii Attorney General Mark Bennett--who have supported previous versions of the Akaka Bill--in their December 15 statement expressing "strong opposition" to the new version of the Akaka Bill.

Only these so-called "Qualified Hawaiians" may participate in electing the Native Hawaiian Interim Governing Council. This Interim Council will propose rules for the Tribe as a whole, --including rules about who may or may not become members. Since a smaller Tribe means more money for each individual member and easier control by political cronies a bias will exist in favor of keeping as many Hawaiians as possible out of the tribe. Many mainland Indian tribes have cut down their tribal rolls by changing the rules of membership in order to grab a larger share of gaming revenues for each of the remaining members.

The Interim Council is itself considered an Indian Tribe according to Section 10(c) and so it operates under the same Federal Indian Laws which have allowed several California gaming tribes to expel hundreds of members in a grab for gambling profits.

Neil Abercrombie is a candidate for Governor of Hawaii. The Akaka Bill mandates three-way negotiations to establish the Tribe. If Abercrombie is elected, the three-way negotiations to establish the Tribe will be conducted between Governor Abercrombie, the Obama Department of Justice, and the Native Hawaiian Interim Governing Council--all three of which are committed to the small and divisive Akaka Tribe envisioned in the new version of the Akaka Bill passed December 17 by the US Senate Indian Affairs Committee.

Although House Natural Resources Committee Democrats were forced by Republicans to pass the old version of HR2314/Akaka Bill, the differences between the US Senate and US House versions will be worked out in a Conference Committee stacked by Democrats who favored the new version. Senators Inouye and Akaka claim that they are open to amendments in order to regain the support of Governor Lingle and State Attorney General Bennett, but Akaka and Inouye lied in 1993 in order to get the Apology Resolution passed so it is logical to assume they will lie again to get its successor--the Akaka Bill--passed.

Under the conditions set forth in S1011, Section 3(12), for an Hawaiian to become a "Qualified Native Hawaiian Constituent" all five of the following conditions must be met:

(A) Must be direct lineal descendant of indigenous people living in Hawaii on or before January 1, 1893 or of a person eligible in 1921 for Hawaiian Homelands.
(B) Wishes to participate in the reorganization of the Native Hawaiian governing entity
(C) is 18 years of age or older;
(D) is a citizen of the United States; and
(E) maintains a significant cultural, social, or civic connection to the Native Hawaiian community, as evidenced by satisfying 2 or more of 10 criteria

Of the five, Parts (B) and (E) are the most likely to exclude Hawaiians from becoming "Qualified" to participate in the Tribe. Part (B) most likely means excluding all persons who do not sign up for Kau Inoa. The December, 2009 Kau Inoa Newsblog proudly announces: "Those who register in Kau Inoa will help shape the Hawaiian nation to come....We are happy to share that at the end of November 2009, 108,118 people were registered in the Kau Inoa Native Hawaiian Registry...."

The 2000 US Census counted over 401,000 Hawaiians in the US. A 2004 estimate by the US Census Bureau counted 279,651 Hawaiians in Hawaii, down from 283,430 in 2000. The out-migration of Hawaiians is a direct result of the lack of economic opportunity created by OHA-funded shake-down artists and their environmentalist allies. The Kau Inoa number is less than 27% of all Native Hawaiians, but it gets worse.

Rule (E) excludes many of the roughly 122,000 Hawaiians living outside of Hawaii. Exceptions are made for for college students, military personnel, federal employees (such as Congressional staffers) and their dependents, Hawaiian Homelands beneficiaries, their children and grandchildren.

By making "Native Hawaiian Membership Organization" into the following two separate rules, an activist or other OHA operative who has been a member of two Native Hawaiian Membership Organizations thereby meets the "two of ten" qualification in Part (E):

(viii) Has been a member since September 30, 2009, of at least 1 Native Hawaiian Membership Organization.
(ix) Has been a member since September 30, 2009, of at least 2 Native Hawaiian Membership Organizations.
The bill does not contain a list of such organizations, leaving the door open to all sorts of games as some organizations are accepted and others are not.

The last rule could be utilized to "Qualify" people who have no Hawaiian ancestry if such person is also allowed to sign up on Kau Inoa and the "sworn affidavits" are considered evidence that the "Qualified" non-Hawaiian Hawaiian meets the requirement of Part (A).

(x) Is regarded as a Native Hawaiian and whose mother or father is (or if deceased, was) regarded as a Native Hawaiian by the Native Hawaiian community, as evidenced by sworn affidavits from 2 or more qualified Native Hawaiian constituents certified by the Commission as possessing expertise in the social, cultural, and civic affairs of the Native Hawaiian community. These rules are allegedly designed to avoid creation of a Tribe whose membership is designated simply by race--without regard for any affirmative affiliation to the tribe. If created, the rump Akaka Tribe will be dominated by the corrupt political operators who looted Kamehameha Schools and are responsible for so much of Hawaii's corrupt political and business dealings.

Whether these rules are enough to defeat lawsuits challenging creation of the Tribe will be up to the courts. The one unavoidable fact is that the so-called Sovereignty movement was manufactured from whole cloth by 1970s student protesters--including Neil Abercrombie--at UH Manoa. It has absolutely no continuity with the Hawaiian Kingdom whose resistance ended with the disintegration of the Home Rule Party after Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole agreed in 1902 to represent the Territory of Hawaii as a Republican in the US Congress.

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

http://www.hawaiifreepress.com/main/ArticlesMain/tabid/56/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/1463/Akaka-Bill-Preview-Tribes-Boot-Members-Keep-Loot.aspx
Hawaii Free Press, Sunday, December 20, 2009

Akaka Bill Preview: Tribes Boot Members Keep Loot

By Andrew Walden

Are you Hawaiian? Perhaps not for long.

California Indian tribes are giving Hawaii a preview of what can be expected under the Office of Hawaiian Affairs’ proposed Akaka Tribe. They are throwing out members—and some say it is all about money.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle on April 20, 2008: “From San Diego to Clear Lake, 57 tribes are cashing in on the annual $7.7 billion California Indian gambling boom, and some are throwing out many of their own members - all, critics say, so those remaining can pocket more cash. In many cases, that amounts to monthly allowances of up to $30,000 per person. The numbers of those receiving shares were relatively small to begin with - only an estimated 39,000 of the 350,000 American Indians in this state, according to studies by the state attorney general, the U.S. Census Bureau and others.”

If the Akaka Bill becomes law, Hawaiians will be forced into something King Kamehameha abolished in creating the Hawaiian Kingdom—a tribe. And that tribe will have authority over who is or is not officially allowed to enroll.

At stake will be land and shares in revenues from Akaka Tribe ownership of thousands of acres of valuable Hawaii real estate. Nobody explains this better than the Akaka Bill’s chief proponent in the U.S. House Rep. Neil Abercrombie.

Speaking to the House Committee on Natural Resources on May 2, 2007, Abercrombie explained: “The bottom line here is that this is a bill about the control of assets. This is about land, this is about money, and this is about who has the administrative authority and responsibility over it.”

The Chronicle points out: “Because of the tribes' sovereign status, there is little outside oversight of how the money is divvied up and used. Under Proposition 1A, passed by voters in 2000, casino tribes have to contribute to a statewide pot that allocates individual grants of $1.1 million to each of the state's 51 other tribes that do no gambling. But they are not required to give anything for the rest of California's Indian population that is not enrolled in tribes - roughly 89 percent.”

Already the Office of Hawaiian Affairs is embarked on a process by which many Hawaiians will be excluded from the body politic of the Akaka Tribe. By requiring Hawaiians to sign up on the “Kau Inoa” roll—funded and ‘facilitated’ by OHA--those nearly 50% of Hawaiians who oppose the Akaka Bill tend to be excluded. Under the Akaka Bill the Department of the Interior is directed to assemble, "a roll of the adult members of the native Hawaiian community who elect to participate in the reorganization of the native Hawaiian governing entity." The Akaka Tribal electorate in turn determines the requirements for membership in the Akaka Tribe.

How many could be excluded? The Picayune Chukchansi tribe of California has expelled almost half of its 1,500 members. According to the Chronicle, “It's the biggest disenrollment of any tribe in California….The (tribal) council explains it as a readjustment of records to more accurately reflect who deserves to be a Picayune Chukchansi and an official member of the tribe.

"’Each tribe, under sovereignty, has the right to set its own membership, and that may be difficult at times, but it is necessary,’ said Chanel Wright, a spokeswoman for the tribe. ‘It's about doing what's best for the tribe.’

“But (77-year-old former tribal vice-chair Mary) Martinez and the 600 other outcasts say it's all about greed. They blame the Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino, a gigantic building of neon, slot machines and card tables that for five years has reeled in millions of dollars for those lucky enough to call themselves tribal members.

“‘They kicked me to the curb so they could keep more money for themselves,’ Martinez said, tearing up as she visited the historic grinding rock, used by local Indians for millennia, near the tribe's rancheria. ‘Our ancestors would roll over in their graves if they knew.’"

But the tribal governments aren’t kicking everybody out. Because tribes have sovereignty and government-to-government relations with the US government, they are exempt from state law and many federal laws. One rare exception was the 2006 Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act which according to John Gramlich of Stateline.org, “would give state law enforcers unprecedented authority to monitor child molesters living on tribal land (in six states).”

Gramlich reports in a May 15, 2008 article: “There are more than 636,000 registered sex offenders in the United States, but there are no reliable estimates for how many live on American Indian land, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The Indian Health Service, a federal agency that seeks to improve health in tribal territories, estimates that one in four girls and one in seven boys will fall victim to sex abuse on American Indian lands.”

So what is the response of tribal authorities?

According to Stateline, “Tribal officials are raising objections because they see the provision as an erosion of their sovereignty…. 75 Native American communities in the six states…last year petitioned the U.S. Justice Department (to opt out).” Fortunately for the pedophiles’ victims, an Act of Congress would be required.

Criminals wanted by off-reservation police become especially beholden to tribal authorities. Since tribal authorities could at any moment hand a criminal over to the State police, criminals are likely to do whatever the tribal authorities require of them.

That is just the type of electorate needed to ensure that the authorities get their way. Once enough law-abiding tribal members become ‘disenrolled’, the criminal element becomes an intimidating factor over the rest and the tribal authorities control the criminals.

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

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20091223/COLUMNISTS20/912230341/1156/COLUMNISTS/Revision+to+Akaka+bill+raises+the+stakes
Honolulu Advertiser, Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Revision to Akaka bill raises the stakes

By Jerry Burris, Advertiser Columnist

One of the big political mysteries of this waning year and the start of the New Year is what is happening with the Akaka bill.

Somehow, late in the going, the measure was changed in a fundamental way. As sold to Congress and members of the public, the bill was described as a measure that would recognize Hawaiians as a political entity, entitled to negotiate with the state and federal governments over various rights of self-determination.

That could mean anything from control of certain lands to setting up Hawaiian-style legal institutions to resolve disputes, particularly when traditional Hawaiian rights or practices are involved.

As pitched to somewhat doubtful members of Congress and local political figures, the Akaka bill was described as simply a means of recognizing inherent Hawaiian sovereignty, the details of which would be negotiated over time with the state and federal governments. In other words, nothing changes unless the Hawai'i state government and/or Uncle Sam agree to the changes.

Thus, the measure was largely symbolic. Hawaiians would gain rights only insofar as overlaying levels of government came to the conclusion it made sense to grant those rights.

In fact, that is why some Hawaiians opposed the Akaka bill. Why, they asked, should we be forced to negotiate what should be our inherent rights as sovereigns?

Politics is the art of the possible. And it became clear that the best sales pitch to the doubtful was to construct a measure that says nothing changes unless everyone agrees it should change. And indeed, many people of good will might have agreed to a measure of Hawaiian self-determination following the passage of a bill allowing the negotiation of such status.

Then, late in the going, according to Attorney General Mark Bennett and others, the measure was turned on its head. Hawaiians would be treated much as Native American tribes, with inherent rights of self-government some of which might — if everyone thought it made sense — be negotiated away with the state or federal government.

In short, the first version had Hawaiians enabled to negotiate self-government rights and powers with the state and federal government. The latest version set up a system in which Hawaiians might choose to negotiate away certain rights in pursuit of the larger good. For instance, it is likely that a Hawaiian "nation" would cede to the federal government certain powers of national defense.

How did this sea change come about? Some say the new, activist Department of Justice under the Obama administration was convinced by activists in Hawai'i that shifting the status of Hawaiians to something akin to an Indian tribe made good sense. Rather than negotiating for each and every aspect of sovereignty, the bill would accept sovereignty and contemplate Hawaiians granting back some aspects to overlapping systems of government. A side effect, not insignificant, is that this new version would set the Office of Hawaiian Affairs on the back burner as the default Hawaiian political entity.

Once Bennett raised the alarm, Rep. Neil Abercrombie quickly pulled back, setting the measure for passage in the House in its previous form. In the Senate, Akaka held fast to the latest version while promising to work with the Lingle administration and others on their concerns.

This is no small matter, since the goal right now is to get the bill out of the House and Senate and into conference. But the stakes have grown considerably. This is no longer a matter of reconciling technical differences. It has become a matter of deciding where the ultimate power to decide the future of the Hawaiian people resides.

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

http://www.starbulletin.com/editorials/20091223_Letters_to_the_editor.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, December 23, 2009, LETTERS

Hawaiian 'tribes' a false claim

For those of us who are students of Hawaiian history, it came as a surprise to learn that the Hawaiians were a tribe or tribes. Who were these tribes and where were they located? Did they speak different dialects and have different cultures and customs as the American Indian?

A quick trip to Bishop Museum and this claim is immediately proven false. There is no evidence of this. Unfortunately, this is another "shibai" by dishonest politicians to force the so-called Akaka Bill down the throats of Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians alike.

With numerous Hawaiian groups fighting among themselves, who would run a Hawaiian government?

David Bohn
Past president, Hawaii Council American Indian Nations

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http://www.kauaiworld.com/articles/2009/12/23/opinion/letters_to_the_editor/doc4b31d00f31fc5797112759.txt
The Garden Island (Kaua'i)
Letters for Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Akaka bill and American citizenship

The present discussion of our Native Hawaiian population as an Indian tribe is ridiculous. Once again it brings up the idea of different classes of American citizenship.

This is reminiscent of the situation of naturalized citizens of Japanese ancestry before World War 2. There was a concept called dual citizen ship in which naturalized Japanese retained their Japanese citizenship.

The bombing of Pearl Harbor put an end to this and resulted in many residents of Japanese ancestry being interned in America’s version of concentration camps.

An American citizen is just that. Any attempt to classify us otherwise is wrong. Any attempt to create a separate government within our present constitutional structure to contain a particular ethnic entity is wrong and should not even be contemplated.

Native Hawaiians should be infuriated that anyone, especially a U.S. Senator from Hawai‘i, would imply that they were not Americans in every sense of the word.

Harry Boranian, Lihu‘e

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http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20091224/OPINION01/912240306/Hawaiian+rights+in+bill+must+be+negotiated
Honolulu Advertiser, Thursday, December 24, 2009, EDITORIAL

Hawaiian rights in bill must be negotiated

The success of the so-called Akaka bill depends, in no small measure, on the comfort level and goodwill of the people on Capitol Hill who will have to approve it and those here in the Islands, who will live with the realignment it produces.

The congressional delegation is on the precipice of losing support — both locally and in Washington — if they persist in a recent push to amend the bill. The legislation, which would give Native Hawaiians the federal recognition as a sovereign political entity that they deserve, now includes several major changes that never were discussed in hearings held earlier this year by House and Senate committees.

The amended version, offered by Hawai'i's Sen. Daniel Akaka, is the one that passed the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and awaits a hearing on the floor.

Akaka would be wise to withdraw the amendment. The House version, the better option, is essentially the same bill that was vetted in the previous congressional session, when it garnered bipartisan support.

And bipartisan support is going to be needed. Assuming that everyone in the Democratic caucus will back this bill is not a safe bet.

The principal bone of contention in the amendment concerns the powers that will vest in the Native Hawaiian government, once it's recognized. One amendment would accord, up front, rights that are accorded to Native Americans and Native Alaskans.

There is wisdom in the original plan of the House bill, which would involve state and federal authorities in negotiating these rights.

Native Hawaiians have a history distinct from other American indigenous groups, one in which they have lived intertwined with the larger Island society for more than a century.

And that larger society should have a place at the table where the relationship of the native, state and federal governments can be discussed.

Trying to rush through ill-considered amendments in legislation as important as the Akaka bill is risky on its face. And the resulting bill would lose the backing and trust that supporters of Native Hawaiian federal recognition worked so hard to secure.

It would be far more prudent to enact a bill that creates a collaborative foundation for a new Native Hawaiian government.

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http://www.starbulletin.com/news/20091225_locals_and_visitors_want_to_impart_messages_of_welcome_and_politics.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, December 25, 2009

Locals and visitors want to impart messages, of welcome and politics

By Rob Shikina

** Excerpts

Obama's motorcade arrived in Kailua at 3:33 p.m. to cheers and shaka signs.

A Hawaiian separatist group set up on the corner of Kalaheo Avenue and Mokapu Road, where they spelled out in large letters on separate boards: "end U.S. occupation of Hawaii."

Lynette Cruz, a member of the Hawaiian Independence Action Alliance, said she hoped the message would reach other parts of the nation.

"We wanted to make sure that we gave Obama something to think about," she said. "Our history tells us we're not part of the United States; we never were."

Kekuni Blaisdell, another group member, said he opposes the Akaka Bill, which Obama has supported, because it would designate Hawaiians as native Americans, which he said they are not.

**Note from website editor Ken Conklin: A widely distributed AP News story about Obama's arrival in Hawaii includes the following paragraphs; for example, the Fresno Bee at
http://www.fresnobee.com/news/national-politics/story/1760641.html

People carrying cameras, dogs and children lined the streets along the road as his motorcade made its way to Kailua from the air base.

Some flashed the shaka or "hang loose" sign at the nation's first Hawaii-born president. Others held placards wishing the Obama family a Merry Christmas.

A group of Hawaiian sovereignty activists standing near Pinky's restaurant in Kailua spelled out "End US Occupation of Hawaii."

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http://www.starbulletin.com/editorials/20091226_letters_to_the_editor.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, December 26, 2009, LETTERS

Assimilationists risk U.N. wrath

Opponents of the recognition of native Hawaiians as a people, instead of just a population, in effect seek the erasure of Hawaiians through assimilation. Yet Native Americans and native Alaskans have received recognition from the federal government.

The Hawaiian Kingdom was a recognized, sovereign nation before its overthrow and illegal U.S. annexation. The title to crown lands has not legally been extinguished, nor has the people's consciousness as a nation been erased.

If assimilationists who oppose the Akaka Bill succeed, that would be discriminatory, and the United Nations should become involved, in accordance with the 2007 Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

David Chappell
Kaneohe

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http://www.starbulletin.com/news/20091231_inouye_confident_akaka_bill_issues_will_be_resolved.html
Honolulu Advertiser, December 31, 2009

Inouye confident Akaka Bill issues will be resolved

By Mary Adamski

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye said changes in the Akaka Bill that drew opposition from the state administration earlier this month are being ironed out in Honolulu meetings during the congressional holiday recess.

"It has been worked out," Inouye told reporters yesterday. "There is a group working on it right now, from the Governor's Office, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the congressional delegation."

Inouye said once agreement is reached, a Senate vote on an amended Akaka Bill could come in February.

"Certain changes had to be made because of constitutionality," said Inouye. "There was a slight misunderstanding," he said of revisions that included application of the 1968 Indian Civil Rights Bill to the Hawaiian sovereignty issue.

Gov. Linda Lingle has supported the bill, which will authorize native Hawaiians to form a government that would deal with the state and federal government, but balked when Sen. Daniel Akaka changed language in the bill that bears his name.

"I don't blame the Governor's Office because they were not fully apprised of what was happening," Inouye said.

** Article truncated because remainder is about other topics.


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

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