History of The Akaka Bill October 2005
- 1 Synopsis
- 2 SUMMARY OF CONTENTS, IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER
- 3 DETAILS OF NEWS REPORTS AND COMMENTARY FOR OCTOBER 2005
- 3.1 West Hawaii Today (Kona), Saturday October 1, 2005
- 3.2 The Heartland Institute, 10/01/2005
- 3.3 The Washington Times, October 3, 2005
- 3.4 Honolulu Advertiser, Monday, October 3, 2005
- 3.5 Honolulu Star-Bulletin, October 4, 2005
- 3.6 October 5, 2005 - Akaka Bill Amendment Formally Introduced
- 3.7 24 Hour Sit-in
- 3.7.1 Honolulu Advertiser, Friday, October 7, 2005
- 3.7.2 Honolulu Advertiser, Breaking News, Posted at 11:30 a.m., Friday, October 7, 2005
- 3.7.3 KITV, Honolulu, POSTED: 8:55 am HST October 7, 2005
- 3.7.4 KITV, Honolulu, POSTED: 1:44 pm HST October 7, 2005
- 3.7.5 KHNL TV, Honolulu
- 3.7.6 October 7, 2005 - Statement by Hui Pu
- 3.7.7 Honolulu Advertiser, Saturday, October 8, 2005
- 3.7.8 Honolulu Star-Bulletin, October 8, 2005
- 3.8 Maui News, Saturday October 8, 2005
- 3.9 Hawaii Reporter, Friday October 14, 2005
- 3.10 Honolulu Advertiser, Friday, October 14, 2005
- 3.11 Hawaii Reporter, October 14, 2005
- 3.12 Minnesota Daily Articles
- 3.13 October 14 - 21
- 3.14 The Maui News, Friday, October 21, 2005
- 3.15 Honolulu Advertiser, Saturday, October 22, 2005
- 3.16 Honolulu Star-Bulletin, letter to editor, October 23, 2005
- 3.17 Hawaii Reporter, October 25, 2005
- 3.18 Hawaii Reporter, October 27, 2005
- 3.19 October 26, 2005 Proposed Amendement
- 3.20 Hawaii Reporter, October 28, 2005
- 3.21 October 30 - How to Circumvent Unfavorable Court Decisions
- 3.22 Hawaii Reporter, October 31, 2005
- 3.23 Past Issues of OHA Monthly Newspaper
White House raises concerns over treating ethnic Hawaiians like Indian tribes in military contracting preferences; conservative Senator Brownback (R,KS) officially proposes amendment; ethnic Hawaiian group stages 24-hour sit-in at OHA headquarters to protest Akaka bill; group of native Hawaiians with 50%+ native blood quantum file lawsuit against OHA for improperly spending ceded land revenue to lobby for Akaka bill; Former U.S. Supreme Court Nominee Harriet Miers Advised President Bush on Akaka Bill as shown by Her Senate Questionnaire
SUMMARY OF CONTENTS, IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER
(about 65 pages of details follow the list of contents)
- October 1: Stephens Media News Washington Bureau reports that the White House raises concerns over treating ethnic Hawaiians like Indian tribes in military contracting preferences. The Heartland Institute (Chicago), in its nationally circulated "Budget and Tax News", reports on the dangers of the Akaka bill.
- October 3: (1) Washington Times Editorial: "Separate but equal, Hawaiian-style" notes that the Akaka bill's alleged purpose of reconciliation and healing does exactly the opposite by promoting racial separatism in the interest of overturning the February 2000 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Rice v. Cayetano, and protecting race-based programs. (2) Honolulu Advertiser article about "Operation Offset": a proposal by the U.S. House Republican Study Committee, that would cut $40 Million in "Native Hawaiian" programs as part of a long list of program cuts to make up for huge expenditures related to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Advertiser article notes that the high profile of the Akaka bill has raised the visibility of "Native Hawaiian" programs and the fact that they are race-based.
- October 4: Star-Bulletin says: "Last week, the Bush administration's Office of Management and Budget cited Justice Department questions about the constitutionality of native Hawaiian program funding in the military appropriations bill, H.R. 2863."
- October 5: An amendment to the Akaka bill was formally introduced on the floor of the Senate by conservative Republican Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas on September 28, but nobody noticed until October 5! Why did media ignore this for a week? Why did Senator Akaka not yet officially introduce his own alleged revision of Akaka bill published on his Senate website 3 weeks previously accompanied by great publicity? An article published in Hawaii Reporter by Ken Conklin on October 5 was the first publication to take note of the amendment. Conklin's article discusses these questions, and includes the text of Senator Brownback's proposed amendment. See: http://www.angelfire.com/hi5/bigfiles3/AkakaBrownbackIndianApologyAmend092805.html
- October 6-7: A 24-HOUR (OVERNIGHT) SIT-IN TOOK PLACE AT THE HEADQUARTERS OF OHA (OFFICE OF HAWAIIAN AFFAIRS) FROM 10 AM THURSDAY OCTOBER 6 THROUGH 10 AM FRIDAY OCTOBER 7. THE ENTIRE PURPOSE OF THE SIT-IN WAS TO PROTEST OHA SUPPORT FOR THE AKAKA BILL AND TO DEMAND THAT OHA WITHDRAW THAT SUPPORT. FOLLOWING ARE NEWSPAPER AND TELEVISION REPORTS ABOUT THAT EVENT, PLUS A PUBLIC STATEMENT ISSUED FRIDAY BY "HUI PU", THE GROUP THAT STAGED THE SIT-IN.
- October 8: Honolulu Star-Bulletin editorial takes note of anti-Akaka-bill protest at OHA but says (for the bazillionth time) that Akaka/Inouye should continue pushing the bill because most people support it (but if most people support it, then why does Star-Bulletin feel it's necessary to keep publishing such editorials?). Maui News letter to editor from OHA Administrator Clyde Namu'o responds to part of Ken Conklin's letter of September 29; Namu'o says Congress should pass Akaka bill and let courts decide its (un)constitutionality; also Native Hawaiians are the only group of indigenous people not yet given federal recognition (see reply by Conklin on October 12)
- October 12: Maui News letter from Ken Conklin responds to OHA Administrator Clyde Namu'o's letter of October 8.
- October 14: (1) Bureau of Indian Affairs denies federal recognition to 2 Connecticut "tribes" -- implications for Akaka bill. (2) Group of native Hawaiians with 50%+ native blood quantum file lawsuit against OHA for improperly spending ceded land revenues to lobby for Akaka bill (ceded land revenues are earmarked by law for 50%+ native Hawaiians, and Akaka bill would dilute the blood quantum down to one drop).
- Also October 14: A series of three articles was published in the Minnesota Daily regarding Kamehameha Schools and the Akaka bill. The articles were published October 10, 14, and 28 and are gathered at October 14 because that was the article that raised the issue of Minnesota Senator Mark Coleman supporting the Akaka bill and speculated Coleman's support is for reasons similar to those stated in the October 10 article for supporting Kamehameha Schools racially exclusionary admissions policy. Kamehameha's official spokesman Kekoa Paulsen replied on October 28 defending both Kamehameha and the Akaka bill.
- There was no news about the Akaka bill between October 14 and October 21
- October 21: The Maui News published an editorial commentary pointing out that the State of Hawai'i, with the help of the U.S. Navy, has long pledged that the entire island of Kaho'olawe (formerly a Navy practice-bombing target), will be turned over to a sovereign Native Hawaiian entity as soon as such entity achieves federal recognition (Congress previously appropriated $400 Million to clean up ordnance on the island, as part of that agreement). Furthermore, in September 2005 the State of Hawai'i acquired 25,856 acres of land in Puna (with OHA contrinuting a small portion of the purchase price) and has turned over management of the entire parcel to OHA with the understanding that the parcel will eventually be turned over entirely to a sovereign Native Hawaiian entity. Congress approved the funding through the U.S. Forest Service for that land to be given to the state. Thus, it appears the federal government is already acknowledging there will be a sovereign Native Hawaiian entity even though the Akaka bill has been stalled in Congress for more than 5 years.
- October 22: Honolulu Advertiser reports "Akaka bill remains on back burner"
- October 23: Honolulu Star-Bulletin letter to editor, responding to editorial of October 8 (!!) questions why this newspaper publishes so many editorials supporing the Akaka bill if the newspaper truly believes the OHA surveys purporting to show that most people support the bill. Letter says a ballot vote would be the best survey.
- October 25 article in Hawaii Reporter says it would be dangerous to forget about the Akaka bill, even though at the moment nothing seems to be happening. Forgetting about the bill would allow the bill's supporters to return to the stealth tactics used previously. Also, without the great attention to the bill during July, the bill would not have been amended and thus might have been passed with the very bad consequences the amendments are designed to avoid. [But note from Ken Conklin: the bill has not actually been amended!! Akaka has put proposed new language for the bill on his website, but had not yet actually introduced the amended version even though many weeks have gone by since he announced the "amended" version.]
- October 27: Earl Arakaki writes in Hawaii Reporter "Navajo Nation Demands $440 Million for Pipeline Right-of-Way; Hawaii Ratepayers Could Face the Same Situation if the Akaka Bill Passes"
- October 28: Attorney H. William Burgess circulated an announcement to the Aloha For All group he heads, showing that on October 26 Senator Jeff Sessions (R,AL) proposed an amendment to an appropriations bill that would eliminate funding for the University of Hawaii School of Law for a Center of Excellence in Native Hawaiian law. Mr. Burgess believes Senator Sessions introduced the amendment because Sessions is concerned the money would be used to support the Akaka bill and race-based government programs which are contrary to law.
- Also October 28: "Former U.S. Supreme Court Nominee Harriet Miers Advised President Bush on Akaka Bill. Her Senate Questionnaire Confirms She Reviewed the Bill With the President, But Miers Would Not Disclose Her Advice on Whether or Not to Support the Controversial Measure." The fact that President Bush was actively discussing the Akaka bill is very significant, as this Hawaii Reporter article explains.
- October 30: Hawaii State Legislature Hearings on How to Circumvent Court Decisions Unfavorable to OHA and Kamehameha Schools, October 2005 -- webpage published October 30, 2005 includes news reports, analysis, and some of the testimony presented during 8 hearings on 5 islands during a period of 9 days as Hawai'i Senate and House committees on Hawaiian affairs held community meetings to discuss what laws the Legislature might pass to negate or circumvent decisions by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court in the Arakaki and Kamehameha lawsuits; hoping to prevent damage until the Akaka bill passes (they hope!). See: http://www.angelfire.com/hi5/bigfiles3/HawnAffrsLegislHrngOct2005.html
- October 31: Elaine Willman writes in Hawaii Reporter that evidence of why the Akaka bill should be defeated can be found in the monthly newsletter of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, where anti-American content is routinely published, at the expense of the treasury of the State of Hawai'i.
DETAILS OF NEWS REPORTS AND COMMENTARY FOR OCTOBER 2005
(about 65 pages)
West Hawaii Today (Kona), Saturday October 1, 2005
Akaka Bill questioned -- white house argues benefit status
by Samantha Young
Stephens Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON -- The White House on Friday objected to a Pentagon spending bill in part because it provides benefits to Native Hawaiians.
White House officials questioned whether Congress can give benefits to Hawaiian-owned businesses, echoing concerns that have been expressed about other Native initiatives -- most notably a sovereignty bill sponsored by Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii.
"The Department of Justice advises that there is a substantial, unresolved question whether Congress has authority to deal with Native Hawaiians as it does Indian tribes," White House officials wrote in a five-page statement on a Defense Department spending bill the Senate is considering.
The White House objected to a provision in the bill that bestows special benefits on businesses owned by American Indian tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations.
"To the extent the definition of 'Native Hawaiian' constitutes a racial, rather than political, classification, such programs would be subject to strict scrutiny in Federal courts," according to the statement.
The Bush Justice Department has consistently questioned whether Congress can recognize Native Hawaiians as an indigenous people similar to Indian tribes and Alaska Natives. That position is the foundation of the Akaka sovereignty bill awaiting Senate debate. The bill would establish legal guidelines for roughly 400,000 Native Hawaiians to organize and negotiate for self-rule from the state and federal governments.
Hawaii's four Democratic lawmakers and Republican Gov. Linda Lingle have lobbied the Bush administration to support their effort. Earlier this month, the congressional delegation rewrote the bill in hopes of satisfying Justice Department concerns over gaming, settlement claims and the legal jurisdictions of any new Hawaiian entity.
Despite the revisions, Justice attorneys continue to question whether the bill would pass Constitutional muster.
According to critics, the bill would establish a Hawaiian-only government based on bloodlines, a standard the Supreme Court rejected in 2000 regarding exclusive state elections for Hawaiians.
Akaka said Friday his bill would address the White House's concerns by clarifying the political and legal relationship between Native Hawaiians and the United States. "The time has come for Native Hawaiians to be recognized by the federal government and I am committed to getting passage of my bill by Congress to ensure that takes place," Akaka said in a statement.
The Heartland Institute, 10/01/2005
THE HEARTLAND INSTITUTE 19 South LaSalle Street #903 Chicago, IL 60603 phone 312/377-4000 · fax 312/377-5000 http://www.heartland.org
Budget and Tax News
Bill Would Divide Hawaii by Race, Dole Out Entitlements
Author: Steve Stanek
Steve Stanek (firstname.lastname@example.org) is managing editor of Budget & Tax News.
Published: The Hearland Institute 10/01/2005
Legislation to divide Hawaii along racial lines and hand out race-based government benefits to as much as 20 percent of the state's population is moving through Congress, having attracted almost no attention outside the state, despite its implications.
S. 147, the Native Hawaiian Reorganization Act, more commonly known as the "Akaka bill," would "extend the federal policy of self-governance and self-determination to Native Hawaiians," according to the official statement of the bill's chief sponsor, Sen. Daniel Akaka (D) of Hawaii.
"My intent in drafting this bill is to provide Native Hawaiians with the opportunity to reorganize their governing entity for the purposes of a federally recognized government-to-government relationship with the United States," Akaka says in his statement. "This is important because it provides parity in the way the federal government deals with the indigenous peoples who inhabited the lands which have become the United States."
Critics of the bill say it would lead to the balkanization of Hawaii and other states, because it would set a precedent for virtually anyone with any amount of "native" blood in their lineage to claim special status.
Creates State Within State
The act would do three things, according to Akaka's statement: "It establishes the Office of Native Hawaiian Relations in the Department of the Interior to serve as a liaison between Native Hawaiians and the United States. It establishes the Native Hawaiian Interagency Coordinating Group to be composed of federal officials from agencies which administer Native Hawaiian programs. Both of these provisions are intended to increase coordination between the Native Hawaiians and the federal government. And third, the bill provides a process of reorganization of the Native Hawaiian governing entity."
Billions of dollars are at stake, as are state lands and the laws of Hawaii and the federal government.
Court Ruling Spurred Bill
In 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court voted 7-2 to strike down a Hawaiian law requiring that trustees of the state's Office of Hawaiian Affairs be Native Hawaiians and elected only by other Native Hawaiians.
"There can be no such thing as either a creditor or a debtor race," wrote Justice Antonin Scalia in striking down the law as discriminatory. "In the eyes of government, we are just one race, it is American."
Akaka filed his bill soon after that ruling. It has been reintroduced in every session of Congress since and is currently pending in the 109th Congress as S.147/H.R.309. The Senate was scheduled to consider the bill September 6, but the emergency caused by the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama pushed back action on the bill.
The bill would require the federal government to recognize Native Hawaiians in the same way it recognizes separate governments for American Indians and Alaska natives. The bill specifies Native Hawaiians would have federal programs that are separate from the Indian programs and services.
"We have never intended to 'cut into the pie' of funding for Indian programs and services," Akaka said in his statement.
Senate Bill Has Votes
Akaka says on his Web site he believes "we have the necessary votes in the United States Senate to pass the bill," adding, "we have had the full support of our Democratic colleagues for the past six years. In addition, we have support from a number of our colleagues across the aisle."
Hawaii's Republican governor, Linda Lingle, has publicly endorsed the bill and lobbied the Bush administration on its behalf. The Bush administration has remained neutral.
Some Native Hawaiians strongly oppose it. "All versions of the bill have been based on the proposition that Congress should protect unconstitutional race-based entitlements [such as subsidized housing, health care, and tuition] against court challenges by converting an entire racial group into a make-believe Indian tribe," said Sandra Puanani Burgess, a Native Hawaiian and one of 14 plaintiffs in Arakaki v. Lingle, a lawsuit she and her husband, H. William Burgess, have filed challenging the validity of the state's Office of Hawaiian Affairs and Department of Hawaiian Home Lands programs.
Those two programs have doled out more than $1 billion to Native Hawaiians since 1990, according to the Burgesses. The lawsuit is pending in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
"If that suit is ultimately successful it will benefit the State of Hawaii treasury by billions and would pave the way for challenges to the federal entitlements," said Mr. Burgess, an attorney who is handling the case. "By contrast, if the Akaka bill becomes law and 'saves' the entitlements, as the Akaka bill's proponents claim it will, those billions will continue to flow."
Bill Sets 'Dangerous Precedent'
The Akaka bill would set a dangerous precedent for all states, said Ken Conklin, who finished fourth among 20 candidates for an at-large seat on the board of trustees for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs in 2000.
"The Akaka bill would be devastating to Hawaii, but it is also dangerous for the rest of America. That's because the bill breaks new legal ground with a theory of the Constitution that would speed up the balkanization of our nation," Conklin said.
"The theory is that any racial group whose members have at least one drop of 'indigenous' ancestry can create a government with its own set of laws and its own exclusive lands--for example, residents of America who have Mexican ancestry with at least one drop of Mayan or Aztec blood," Conklin noted.
Overturns Previous Consensus
Supporters of the Akaka bill estimate 20 percent of Hawaii's residents have some Native Hawaiian blood. Conklin notes no other state has an Indian tribe consisting of such a large portion of its people.
"There are more than 400,000 'Native Hawaiians,' which would make them America's largest tribe," Conklin said. "Two hundred forty thousand live in Hawaii, 60,000 in California, and 100,000 among the other 48 states."
In a July 18 column for The Wall Street Journal, John Fund, one of the few mainstream reporters at a major news organization to take note of the bill, said it "would create an independent state within a state that would lie outside the Constitution and laws of the United States as well as those of the state of Hawaii. The Akaka bill would also authorize the transfer of a portion of Hawaii's state-owned lands, natural resources and other assets to the new race-based government (at no cost to that new government, of course).
"Hawaiians would also be unable to fight back, as the state does not allow for referendums," Fund continued. "And, just as on American Indian land, a shopkeeper who is part Hawaiian could claim exemption from state taxes and other laws, giving him an advantage over his next-door, non-Native Hawaiian competitor."
Fund noted the bill flies in the face of the state's history.
"When the islands became a state in 1959," Fund wrote, "there was a broad consensus in Congress that Native Hawaiians would not be treated as a separate racial group, and that they would not be transformed into an 'Indian tribe.'"
The Washington Times, October 3, 2005
Separate but equal, Hawaiian-style
The Akaka bill on Native Hawaiian sovereignty, often portrayed by its critics as multiculturalism run amok, is gaining steam and portending the break-up of the union. In reality, the measure is more segregation and self-interest than symbolism or secession. Sen. Daniel Akaka, Hawaii Democrat, championed the bill as a way to "bring unity in the State by providing an inclusive process for... Native Hawaiians and non-Native Hawaiians to finally address the consequences of our painful history." Mr. Akaka first introduced a version of this legislation in 2000, predicated on the notion that the formal apology signed in 1993 by President Clinton, which acknowledged the overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom in 1893, was no longer sufficient among his constituents. The 2005 bill had been scheduled for a cloture vote in August, but was postponed indefinitely because of the situation caused by Hurricane Katrina. The motion, Mr. Akaka's office hopes, will be rescheduled later this month, and given strong Democratic support and the bill's five Republican cosponsors, the bill will likely pass if proponents are able to force a vote.
The cloak of rhetorical "reconciliation and healing" -- that the bill would restore stolen lands and usurped sovereignty -- belies a more tangible and pragmatic goal. This legislation was introduced in 2000. This occurred primarily not in response to the formal apology Mr. Clinton signed seven years prior (nor to the overthrow of the kingdom 100 years before that) but as a rebuttal to the consequential Supreme Court ruling in Rice v. Cayetano, also in 2000.
In that case, the Supreme Court overturned a Ninth Circuit Court ruling and, in a 7-2 decision, correctly struck down the "Hawaiian only" voting restriction that permitted only Native Hawaiians to vote for trustees of the state's Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA). Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing the majority opinion, strongly decried this practice as the unconstitutional construction of a race-based government, in violation of the Fifteenth Amendment guarantee of equal voting rights. Subsequent court decisions have adhered to the tone set by the Supreme Court. Most recently, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (perhaps noting that its ruling in Rice v. Cayetano had been overturned) declared the exclusively Native Hawaiian Kamehameha Schools also in violation of federal civil-rights laws.
The OHA funds many programs for the betterment of Native Hawaiians from revenue derived from specially designated "ceded" land in Hawaii, and from its nearly $380 million in reserve. There is more land in dispute -- around 1.8 million acres -- from which OHA now gets about $9.5 million a year, but the potential revenue is in the hundreds of millions of dollars -- a substantial sum considering the Census Bureau reports that there are only approximately 68,000 Native Hawaiians living in Hawaii.
Enter the Akaka bill as a possible solution: congressional recognition of Native Hawaiians not as a race, but as an indigenous, American Indian-like group, with the same privileges and exclusions. Supreme Court precedent recognizes a difference in these designations (though manifestly there isn't one), finding an exclusive government of the latter constitutional, but not of the former. Hence the court can rule the Jim Crow laws unconstitutional and American Indian sovereignty constitutional without contradicting itself.
Passing the Akaka bill may not be tantamount to dissolving the union, but it would almost certainly allow OHA to return to its practice of a racially (now dubbed indigenously) exclusive voting register. And the Kamehameha School could resume its race-based admissions policy. The Akaka bill also provides the framework by which the OHA can negotiate with the Department of the Interior to tap into more of the revenue from the disputed land.
What seems most sorely lacking is the achievement of Mr. Akaka's goal of an "inclusive process for... Native Hawaiians and non-Native Hawaiians." Indeed, the Akaka bill would have the opposite effect -- bringing back the segregation that the Supreme Court struck down, only now with congressional approval.
Honolulu Advertiser, Monday, October 3, 2005
State may lose $40M in funding
By Gordon Y.K. Pang
Some $40 million in annual funding for Native Hawaiian programs is on the laundry list of areas that conservative Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are recommending be chopped from the federal budget to help offset the enormous cost of aid to Hurricane Katrina victims.
But Hawai'i's congressional delegation, taking their lead from House Republican leaders, do not appear to be taking the threatened loss in funding too seriously.
The $40 million in annual appropriations go toward "various health and educational programs for Native Hawaiians," according to the Republican Study Committee's "Operation Offset." All told, the report released last week calls for cuts of $70.7 billion in fiscal 2006 and $526 billion over 10 years in everything from public transportation to endowments for the arts.
In justifying the cut in Native Hawaiian funding, the report states "Native Hawaiians are a racial group, not a tribe, and dispensing benefits to them would likely be subject to strict scrutiny in federal courts."
Supporters of the so-called Akaka bill — which would establish an independent Native Hawaiian government entity and reaffirm the relationship between the federal government and Native Hawaiians that existed before annexation — think it would stop assaults on Hawaiians-only programs such as what's being proposed in Operation Offset.
The Akaka bill has been stalled in Congress, largely as a result of arguments made by conservative interests that the legislation is race-based.
Staff with Hawai'i's congressional delegation, who oppose eliminating the Native Hawaiian funding, said they are monitoring the progress of Operation Offset, but note it is has not received a warm reception, not even by GOP leaders in the House.
Michael Slackman, spokesman for U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawai'i, pointed out that none of the proposals have surfaced in any bill before Congress. "The Republican Study Group is one faction of the Republican Party in the House," Slackman said. "And they are on the more extreme, conservative end of the spectrum." Nonetheless, Slackman said, "Anytime anyone takes programs that are of particular importance to the constituents of your state and puts them on a list for elimination and publishes it, you keep an eye on what they're doing."
The cut in Native Hawaiian funding is just one of dozens of suggestions on the list. Among some of the other proposals: # Postponing by a year Medicare's upcoming prescription drug program, which would save nearly $31 billion. # Canceling President Bush's recent initiative to send manned missions to the moon and Mars, saving $44 billion over 10 years.
Ken Conklin, a researcher for the group Aloha for All, said he supports the notion of eliminating funding for programs designed to help Native Hawaiians exclusively. "It's both illegal and immoral to have racially exclusionary programs," Conklin said.
The likelihood of Operation Offset and its suggestions becoming law are slim, he acknowledged. However, Conklin said he is heartened that such programs are now on the radar of those who may be empathetic to his cause, and he credited the attention being given to the Akaka bill.
"I don't think that Native Hawaiian programs would have been on such a list if it were not for the Akaka bill being pushed forth so aggressively," he said.
Clyde Namu'o, administrator of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, said elimination of the funding would deliver a crippling blow to programs essential for maintaining the well-being and culture of Hawaiians. "Our position is, given the dire plight of many of our local Hawaiian programs, to take away federal support could terminate some of these programs and we certainly would be opposed to that," Namu'o said.
- Akaka Bill Controversy Draws Congressional Attention to Illegal Native Hawaiian Entitlements - House Republican Study Committee Proposes Killing $40 Million Per Year
"The nail that sticks up is the one that gets pounded down."
For four years the Akaka bill kept a low profile in Congress. At first our federal delegation hoped to sneak the bill through, like an octopus gliding silently under the coral from one dark hole to another. But in 2005 the Akaka bill has gotten lots of attention in the national media. Sunshine on the bill is also lighting up the race-based programs the bill is intended to protect. Members of Congress are now finally beginning to challenge those programs.
Thus pushing the Akaka bill, which would create a racial separatist government, might paradoxically be helping to restore unity and equality to Hawai'i by focusing political attention on the need to dismantle long-standing racially exclusionary programs.
Here are (1) A news report about a proposal in Congress on September 21, 2005 to eliminate $40 Million per year in "Native Hawaiian" programs; (2) Analysis of why it is important to dismantle Hawai'i's race-based programs; (3) Further information documenting the change in tactics by Hawai'i's federal delegation and Governor from stealth to open confrontation, as deception has been replaced by straightforward obstruction and bold-faced lying; (4) Evidence that Senator Akaka, Senator Inouye, Governor Lingle, and Attorney General Bennett are betraying the United States and the people of Hawai'i by recklessly supporting a bill whose language they clearly know does not protect the United States and all Hawai'i's people against very real threats posed by a future Akaka tribe to our security, resources, property rights, and economic stability; and (5) Evidence that the House Republican Study Committee proposal to cut "Native Hawaiian" programs was not merely a fluke -- On October 1, Stephens Media group reported that the White House "objected to a Pentagon spending bill in part because it provides benefits to Native Hawaiians. ... The White House objected to a provision in the bill that bestows special benefits on businesses owned by American Indian tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations. 'To the extent the definition of 'Native Hawaiian' constitutes a racial, rather than political, classification, such programs would be subject to strict scrutiny in Federal courts,' according to the statement."
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, October 4, 2005
Entitlements still at issue in Akaka Bill
By Richard Borreca
The Justice Department and the White House continue to raise questions about the constitutionality of federal programs to help native Hawaiians.
Last week, the Bush administration's Office of Management and Budget cited Justice Department questions about the constitutionality of native Hawaiian program funding in the military appropriations bill, H.R. 2863. The administration has raised similar questions about programs for native Hawaiians every year since 2002.
"The Department of Justice advises that there is a substantial, unresolved question whether Congress has authority to deal with Native Hawaiians as it does with Indian tribes. To the extent the definition of 'Native Hawaiian' constitutes a racial, rather than political, classification, such programs would be subject to strict scrutiny in Federal courts," OMB officials wrote last week.
Supporters of native Hawaiian recognition say the Justice Department is just looking for court guidance on the issues, and doesn't necessarily oppose passage of the measure known as the Akaka Bill, although it has harbored similar questions.
Spokespersons for Hawaii Sens. Daniel Akaka and Daniel Inouye interpreted the note to mean the administration is continuing to raise concerns, but not threatening to veto the bill. "In its statement, the administration is noting that it is not objecting to the provision. If you read the paragraph closely, it referred to 'unresolved questions,'" said Mike Yuen, Inouye's press secretary.
Donalyn Dela Cruz, spokeswoman for Akaka, noted that the Akaka Bill is designed to answer concerns about the constitutionality of native Hawaiian programs. "The Akaka Bill is working to establish a political and legal relationship with the United States," she said.
The Justice Department has brought up the same concerns in discussing the Akaka Bill, saying that the courts have never dealt with the issue of Congress extending sovereignty to native Hawaiians.
Robert Klein, a former Hawaii Supreme Court justice and attorney for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, also said the Akaka Bill was developed to handle such worries. "It would be a concern if the administration had acted on the issue and denied the appropriation, but that has never happened. They are pointing out the question, can Congress extend this recognition? "It is an open question, and we won't know the answer until a court of law answers it," Klein said.
October 5, 2005 - Akaka Bill Amendment Formally Introduced
October 5: An amendment to the Akaka bill was formally introduced on the floor of the Senate by conservative Republican Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas on September 28, but nobody noticed until October 5! Why did media ignore this for a week? Why did Senator Akaka not yet officially introduce his own alleged revision of Akaka bill published on his Senate website 3 weeks previously accompanied by great publicity? An article published in Hawaii Reporter by Ken Conklin on October 5 was the first publication to take note of the amendment. Conklin's article discusses these questions, and includes the text of Senator Brownback's proposed amendment. See: http://www.angelfire.com/hi5/bigfiles3/AkakaBrownbackIndianApologyAmend092805.html
24 Hour Sit-in
A 24-HOUR (OVERNIGHT) SIT-IN TOOK PLACE AT THE HEADQUARTERS OF OHA (OFFICE OF HAWAIIAN AFFAIRS) FROM 10 AM THURSDAY OCTOBER 6 THROUGH 10 AM FRIDAY OCTOBER 7. THE ENTIRE PURPOSE OF THE SIT-IN WAS TO PROTEST OHA SUPPORT FOR THE AKAKA BILL AND TO DEMAND THAT OHA WITHDRAW THAT SUPPORT. FOLLOWING ARE NEWSPAPER AND TELEVISION REPORTS ABOUT THAT EVENT, PLUS A PUBLIC STATEMENT ISSUED FRIDAY BY "HUI PU", THE GROUP THAT STAGED THE SIT-IN.
Honolulu Advertiser, Friday, October 7, 2005
Group urges OHA to drop support
By Curtis Lum and James Gonser
A group of Native Hawaiians and supporters held an overnight sit-in yesterday in the fifth-floor lobby of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, hoping to sway its trustees to withdraw their support for the Akaka bill.
The protesters, who included 17 adults and three young children, began their 24-hour vigil in the hallway of OHA's Kaka'ako offices at 10 a.m. under the threat of arrest. As of 10:30 p.m. no arrests had been made, after OHA asked building management of 711 Kapi'olani to allow the group, Hui Pu, to stay overnight.
Bathrooms were left unlocked and OHA trustee John Waihe'e IV gave Hui Pu members two plastic bags of bentos at about 5:30 p.m.
The group planned to end the sit-in at 10 a.m. today, Hui Pu member Ikaika Hussey said.
The members of Hui Pu, an umbrella group of Native Hawaiians opposed to the Akaka bill, began their sit-in after meeting with the OHA trustees earlier in the day and demanding that they rescind their support for the bill. When the board refused, the group began a non-violent protest by occupying the office.
At 4:30 p.m., Ron Mun, OHA deputy administrator, told the group that the building was closed and the protesters should leave. Mun said he respected Hui Pu's position, but said members could be arrested for trespassing if they stayed.
The protesters refused, locked arms and began to sing and chant in anticipation of their arrest. But at 6:30 p.m., Mun returned and told the group that he had asked building security to allow Hui Pu to remain in the building after hours.
Hussey said he was relieved that it appeared there would be no arrests. "Our job is not to talk to the police. Our job is to talk to the trustees," Hussey said. "Our goal is for the trustees to reverse their decision. So the arrest is just a possible consequence of us asking for the trustees to do that."
Earlier yesterday, Hussey read a four-page statement to the trustees saying the amendments recently added to the bill make its passage "more dangerous than beneficial to our Hawaiian community."
"These amendments are built on a legal and political framework which is as shaky as it is dangerous for our people," Hussey said. "There is no guarantee that the bill will protect the Hawaiian institutions it claims to protect."
He said Hui Pu objects to OHA's "single-minded" support of the bill and its "high-budget marketing of the bill to the exclusion of other perspectives."
The Akaka bill starts a process that would lead to federal recognition of a Native Hawaiian entity. Supporters say it is necessary not just to address wrongs committed by the U.S. government, but will help stave off legal challenges to programs — including OHA and Kamehameha Schools — that give preference to Hawaiians.
Several trustees agreed that the amendments troubled them, but each said they would continue to support the bill.
"Only time will tell whether we made the right decision," trustee Rowena Akana said.
Board chairwoman Haunani Apoliona said the amendments are only proposed and not final. She said the board continues to support the bill and could not take a vote on changing their stand even if it wanted to because it was not on the agenda for the meeting.
"Our position has not changed," Apoliona said. "That is not the way to settle differing points of view. We like people to be respectful. We are respectful of them."
When the meeting ended about 2 p.m., the protesters were locked out of the meeting room, so they moved up to the 12th-floor elevator lobby of the office tower where trustees have their individual offices. But that floor is shared with other businesses who complained to building security that their access was being blocked, and the police were called. Police moved the Hui Pu members back to the 5th floor.
The protesters carried stones from different areas of O'ahu to symbolize the commitment of their opposition to the Akaka bill.
Honolulu Advertiser, Breaking News, Posted at 11:30 a.m., Friday, October 7, 2005
Sit-in at OHA ends with prayers, chants
BY MIKE GORDON
An overnight sit-in at the lobby of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs ended peacefully this morning as a small group of Native Hawaiians who oppose the Akaka bill prayed, chanted and sang "Hawai'i Pono'i" before leaving.
About 10 members of Hui Pu spent the night, watched most of the time by a state deputy sheriff. Their ranks had grown to as much as 17 yesterday, when the sit-in began at 10:30 a.m. The sit-in lasted 24 hours.
The group wants OHA to withdraw its support for the Akaka bill. Today, the group expressed satisfaction that their opinions were heard.
"Spiritually, we were successful," said Hinaleimoana Wong. "Emotionally, we were successful. When the day comes that our Hawaiian voice is stifled by the confines of our own mind, we have lost."
KITV, Honolulu, POSTED: 8:55 am HST October 7, 2005
Protesters Stage Sit-In At OHA Offices
Hui Pu Wants OHA To Pull Support For Akaka Bill
HONOLULU -- About a dozen Hawaiian activists are spent the night outside of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs by staging a sit-in to protest OHA's support of the recently-amended Akaka Bill.
The group Hui Pu moved in at 10 a.m. Thursday. They left after making a statement Friday morning.
OHA provided a sheriff overnight to watch over the situation.
"Our goal is to change the minds of the OHA trustees and help them do the right thing, do the right thing for the people, so us being here is how we can do that," said Ikaika Hussey, of Hui Pu.
Hussey said the right thing would be for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to not support the Native Hawaiian Recognition Act, or Akaka Bill.
Hui Pu believes there have been too many detrimental revisions to the bill for OHA to stand behind it.
"The Office of Hawaiian Affairs, by stepping back, will signal that the Hawaiian community does not support this. Right now, they are misrepresenting the Hawaiian community by putting so much money and resources behind this bill," Hussey said.
OHA said its research shows the majority of Hawaiians continue to support the bill. With another vote in Washington scheduled in a couple of weeks, it's too late for OHA to change its official position, representatives said.
"Even if the trustees wanted to change their position or even discuss the possibility of changing their position, that would not have been possible because it was not on the agenda," OHA administrator Clyde Namuo said.
The agenda Namuo referred to is that of a trustee meeting held Thursday morning.
Namuo said OHA may have another chance later on to weigh on the Akaka Bill, but for now OHA stands behind it.
"It's regrettable that it's come to this. And, I don't know what this group hopes to accomplish by sitting in our lobby," Namuo said.
OHA's administrator offered to talk with Hui Pu in his office several times, but the group was only willing to meet if it could do it sitting on the floor of the hallway, where it held its vigil.
KITV, Honolulu, POSTED: 1:44 pm HST October 7, 2005
Protesters End Sit-In At OHA Offices
HONOLULU -- Hawaiian activists ended their 24-hour protest at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Friday morning. Some members of the group Hui Pu spent the night in OHA's lobby. OHA provided a sheriff overnight to watch over the situation.
The group Hui Pu moved in at 10 a.m. Thursday. They left after making a statement Friday morning. They are against OHA's support of the Native Hawaiian Recognition Act, or Akaka Bill, which would give federal recognition to Native Hawaiians.
They said the bill has too many revisions and shuts off rights to land and sovereignty.
"At no point do Hawaiians get to speak out on this. There have been no hearings on this since 2000. That was five years ago and many versions of the bill ago," said Ikaika Hussey, of Hui Pu.
"I'm very pleased there was no incident. No one was arrested and I hope the group is satisfied that their message was delivered. I'm not sure whether or not the trustees will react to it," OHA administrator Clyde Namuo said.
OHA allowed the activists to camp out and even gave them parking validation. OHA hopes Congress will vote and approve of the bill later this month.
OHA's administrator offered to talk with Hui Pu in his office several times, but the group was only willing to meet if it could do it sitting on the floor of the hallway, where it held its vigil.
KHNL TV, Honolulu
Group Spends Night at OHA to Protest Support of Akaka Bill
HONOLULU (AP) - A Native Hawaiian group opposed to the federal Hawaiian recognition bill spent the night at the headquarters of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
Hui Pu spokesman Ikaika Hussey says the group ended their protest at 10 am Firday morning. That's 24 hours after they demanded that OHA trustees withdraw their support of the so-called Akaka bill.
The measure would grant federal recognition to Native Hawaiians similar to the recognition afforded American Indians and Alaska Natives.
Board chairwoman Haunani Apoliona says the board continues to support the bill. She says trustees couldn't vote on changing OHA's stand, even if they wanted to, because it wasn't on the agenda for the trustees' meeting.
Hussey says amendments recently proposed for the bill make it more dangerous than beneficial to the Hawaiian community.
The revisions negotiated with the Bush administration were made to meet concerns over gambling, criminal jurisdiction, military readiness and federal liability.
October 7, 2005 - Statement by Hui Pu
Statement on conclusion of peaceful 24-hr vigil urging OHA to reconsider Akaka Bill
by Ikaika Hussey, spokesman for Hui Pu
We came to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs 24 hours ago out of a deep concern for the effects of the Akaka Bill on the Kanaka Maoli community and all the people of Hawaii. This bill removes self-determination, and replaces it with federal determination; it gives Kanaka Maoli a false sense of security, for it will not stop legal assaults; and it attempts to close off important rights to land and sovereignty. Recent amendments hasten the extinguishing of those rights, and facilitate the militarization of our land. We spoke to the Board of Trustees about our concerns with the† bill, and asked the Trustees to please, with the evidence at hand, to please withdraw their support for the bill. Although the Board was not able to officially reconsider their vote because of Sunshine Law requirements for changes in the agenda, several Trustees spoke candidly about their concerns with the bill and the new amendments. Hui Pu appreciates their candor and honesty.
Throughout the evening and into the early morning hours, we conducted a peaceful vigil on the fifth floor of this building, accompanied by a sheriff from the State Department of Public Safety. At the beginning of each hour, we chanted traditional Hawaiian mele and pule, and recited the names of our kupuna who in 1897 signed the Hui Aloha Aina petitions, which led to the successful defeat of a treaty to annex Hawaii to the United States.
We were also heartened to receive messages of support from throughout Hawaii and the continental US for our vigil, and for our message that OHA must reconsider its position. Mahalo to Kaleikoa Kaeo of Maui, Skippy Kelii Ioane of Hawaii, Former OHA Trustee Moanikeala Akaka of Hawaii, Erleen Eaton-Rezilla and her brother Dutchie, Noe Arista in Boston, Massachusetts, our families, OHA employees, and others who telephoned in and emailed their support.
It is not too late for the Hawaiian community to regain a position of dignity in regards to this bill, which has long been beyond the control of the Kanaka Maoli community. According to an OHA press release on September 26, Senator Akaka has reached a compromise on the new amendments, which will drastically limit the rights of Hawaiian Homesteaders, and will facilitate the current round of military expansion. Senator Inouye also concurred with the compromise in a September 16 statement. Unfortunately, these statements are a glance into Washington DC politics, and reflect deals which are unacceptable to Kanaka Maoli values. It is yet further indication that the Akaka Bill places the determination of our future on Pennsylvania Avenue in DC, and not on King Street, Waianae Valley Road, or the Hana Highway. This is not our bill. And because of the dangers and harms that it may bring, it is only prudent that the Congressional Delegation take it off the table, and that our Trustees here withdraw their support. There are many other paths available to our community besides the treacherous avenue of US Indian Law, and we look forward to working together with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and other groups to bring those opportunities to fruition. Now is the time to wipe the slate clean of this dubious experiment with federal recognition, and to build a better future for our people, together. Ua mau ke ea o ka aina i ka pono.
Honolulu Advertiser, Saturday, October 8, 2005
Vigil in OHA office ends in prayer, song
By Mike Gordon
An overnight sit-in protest in the lobby of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs ended peacefully yesterday as a small group of Native Hawaiians who oppose the Akaka bill prayed, sang "Hawai'i Ponoi" and got their parking tickets validated by the office receptionist.
The group, Hui Pu, began the sit-in after meeting with the OHA trustees Thursday and demanding that they rescind support for the Akaka bill. When the board refused, the group began a non-violent protest by occupying OHA's fifth-floor lobby at 10 a.m. under threat of arrest. There were no incidents and no arrests, however.
"Spiritually, we were successful," said protester Hinaleimoana Wong. "Emotionally, we were successful. When the day comes that our Hawaiian voice is stifled by the confines of our own mind, we have lost."
About 10 members of Hui Pu spent the night, watched most of the time by a state deputy sheriff. Their ranks included 17 adults at one point Thursday.
Throughout the evening and into the early morning hours, group members would join in traditional Hawaiian chants and read aloud the names of some of the 38,000 Hawaiians who signed an 1897 petition opposing annexation of Hawai'i to the United States.
Hui Pu objects to what it calls OHA's "single-minded" support of the bill and its "high-budget marketing of the bill to the exclusion of other perspectives."
"This is not our bill," group spokesman Ikaika Hussey said as the protest ended. "And because of the dangers and harms that it may bring, it is only prudent that the congressional delegation take it off the table and that our trustees here withdraw their support."
The Akaka bill starts a process that would lead to federal recognition of a Native Hawaiian entity. Supporters say it is necessary not just to address wrongs committed by the U.S. government, but will help stave off legal challenges to programs — including OHA and Kamehameha Schools — that give preference to Hawaiians.
None of the OHA trustees was in the lobby when the protest ended, but OHA spokesman Manu Boyd said Hui Pu conducted itself respectfully and that OHA was glad it could work with the building's owners to allow the overnight sit-in. "They had a right to be here," Boyd said. "They had a voice and they had a message and we need to support that, too." He called the sit-in an example of "true Hawaiian communication and sensitivity." "I think there was a lot of aloha here today," Boyd said.
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, October 8, 2005
Akaka Bill merits continued support
A sit-in by dissidents failed to persuade Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustees to drop their support of the Hawaiian recognition bill.
HAWAIIAN opponents of the Hawaiian recognition bill staged a sit-in at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, but the proposal continues to have broad support by OHA and most residents, both Hawaiian and non-Hawaiian. Senators Akaka and Inouye should continue to seek Senate passage of the bill by the end of this year.
Amendments offered by Akaka last month prohibit gambling operations anywhere in the United States by Hawaiians, ensure existing federal and state jurisdiction in criminal matters, protect Defense Department operations and ensure against the bill's use to settle Hawaiian claims against the government. The changes were made to satisfy concerns of the Bush administration.
The changes demolish the results of a distorted poll taken earlier this year by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, a conservative organization opposed to the Akaka Bill. In its telephone survey, the group asked 10,000 residents whether they want Congress to approval a bill that "would allow native Hawaiians to create their own government not subject to all the same laws, regulations and taxes that apply to other citizens of Hawaii."
A surprisingly high 20 percent said they would support such a bill and 41 percent said they would not. The phrasing of the question is tantamount to asking people if they would be in favor of repealing the Bill of Rights.
Polls commissioned by OHA in 2003 and in August provide a more accurate sample of opinion. The poll, conducted by Ward Research, a professional survey company, posed the following to 401 random respondents: "The Akaka Bill provides federal recognition for native Hawaiians. It begins a process for native Hawaiians to form a governing entity similar to the governing entities indigenous groups now have within every state. Do you believe that native Hawaiians should have a right to self-governance similar to the way other indigenous groups now do?"
Sixty-eight percent said they would support such a bill; 17 would oppose it. The margin of error is 4.9 percent.
Maui News, Saturday October 8, 2005
LETTERS TO EDITOR
Constitutionality is up to courts, not the Department of Justice
Kenneth Conklin's Sept. 29 begs correction on some issues. All of the Akaka Bill concerns raised by the Department of Justice have been addressed, including military readiness, sovereign immunity, gambling and land. There are no conflicts over civil or criminal jurisdiction as the state and federal governments will have full opportunity to negotiate (or not negotiate) jurisdiction.
It is the courts, not the Department of Justice, who determine whether legislation is constitutional. Moreover, any agreements made during negotiations but which are inconsistent with state or federal law will require new federal and/or state law to make them binding so elected representatives will have ample opportunity to represent Mr. Conklin's point of view.
We commend our congressional delegation and governor for recognizing the injustice committed against Hawaiians and seeking a way to rectify it. The U.S. has long established federal recognition as a way to right the wrongs committed against its indigenous people.
It is only right that a policy extended to American Indians and Alaska Natives be extended to Native Hawaiians as well. We are the only indigenous group within the 50 states of the U.S. who has not been given the protections that federal recognition will provide.
Clyde Namu'o, Administrator
Office of Hawaiian Affairs
October 12, 2005 Maui News, letter to editor submitted by Ken Conklin
October 12 Maui News letter to editor by Ken Conklin replying to Clyde Namu'o's letter of October 8. First, Conklin's letter as submitted. Then the letter as cut and published.
TITLE: OHA Administrator's Letter Misleading
Clyde Namu'o's October 8 letter has many errors. Here are two.
1. Namu'o: "We're the only indigenous group within the 50 states of the U.S. who has not been given the protections that federal recognition will provide." Wrong. About a thousand Indian groups applied. Many were refused. Hundreds still wait (some decades later). Most Indians are not tribal members.
2. Namu'o: "It's the courts, not the Department of Justice, who determine whether legislation is constitutional." Misleading. Three steps:
A. Do we want this bill? A survey called every Hawai'i household. 2/3 who answered said "No." Namu'o dislikes the survey? The best survey is a yes/no ballot question. Namu'o refuses.
B. Should Congress pass the bill, even if we want it? The House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution says it's unconstitutional. The Department of Justice also objects. Passing the buck to the courts violates every Senator's oath to uphold the Constitution.
C. If we and Congress both say yes, the courts can still say no. The Supreme Court ruled OHA's segregated elections unconstitutional after 20 years! This time the damage is irreparable. Namu'o says the courts can put Humpty Dumpty back together again later. Nonsense.
October 12, 2005 Maui News, letter to editor as published
The Maui News, Wednesday, October 12, 2005
LETTERS TO EDITOR
OHA administrator's letter about Akaka Bill largely misleading
Here are two of the many errors in an Oct. 8 letter written by Clyde Namu'o of the Office of Hawaiian affairs:
Namu'o: "We're the only indigenous group within the 50 states of the U.S. who has not been given the protections that federal recognition will provide." Wrong. About a thousand Indian groups applied. Many were refused. Hundreds still wait some decades later. Most Indians are not tribal members.
Namu'o: "It's the courts, not the Department of Justice, who determine whether legislation is constitutional." Misleading. There are three steps involved.
Do we want this bill? A survey resulted in two-thirds of those participating saying "No."
Should Congress pass the bill, even if we want it? The House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution says it's unconstitutional. The Department of Justice also objects. Passing the buck to the courts violates every senator's oath to uphold the Constitution.
If we and Congress both say yes, the courts can still say no. The Supreme Court ruled OHA's segregated elections unconstitutional after 20 years! This time the damage is irreparable. Namu'o says the courts can put Humpty Dumpty back together again later. Nonsense.
Kenneth R. Conklin
Hawaii Reporter, Friday October 14, 2005
Federal Recognition Denied to Two Indian 'Tribes' in Connecticut -- Implications for the Akaka Bill
By Kenneth R. Conklin
On Oct. 12, 2005 the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) gave final notification to two Indian "tribes" in Connecticut that their applications for federal recognition have been denied. See two articles from the Hartford Courant for Oct. 12 and 13 reporting the details, at http://tinyurl.com/db9hc and http://tinyurl.com/cxh6r and also a "Timeline of Eastern Pequots and Schaghticoke petitions" at http://tinyurl.com/94mrw
These two Connecticut "tribes" have been seeking federal recognition for about 25 years. The BIA had previously notified one of them, in June 2002, that a "final determination" had been made granting it recognition. But the governor of Connecticut, and many other local officials, fought very hard to reverse that decision. Now, in October 2005, the people of Connecticut have successfully fought the federal bureaucracy and two well-financed "tribes."
There are three reasons why this news is important for Hawaii as we struggle to defeat the Akaka bill.
- (1) We must understand that many communities and states which already were severely impacted by Indian tribes are strongly opposed to creating (phony) additional tribes in their area. "Fight like hell" is their rallying cry -- a good slogan for the people of Hawaii. For discussion of the impact of tribal recognition on local communities and businesses; and numerous examples of community opposition; see: http://tinyurl.com/dzj84
The history of tribal recognition struggles in Connecticut is of special interest to Hawaii.
The Mashantucket Pequot "tribe" of Connecticut, a phony new tribe unable to qualify for federal recognition according to the usual requirements, successfully lobbied Congress to get a special bill passed (similar to the Akaka bill). Sen. Dan Inouye, then chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee, was primarily responsible for getting that tribe recognized. Inouye accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the tribe and its affiliated contractors (tribes are sovereign and therefore exempt from campaign spending laws). Once recognized, that tribe built the world's largest gambling casino (Foxwoods) in a residential suburban area, causing tremendous hardship to the community. A book written by Jeff Benedict describes the corrupt process leading to the Congressional recognition: "Without Reservation: The Making of America's Most Powerful Indian Tribe and the World's Largest Casino."
The huge profits generated by the phony new tribe encouraged other alleged tribes in Connecticut to redouble their efforts to get recognized, including the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation of Kent and the Eastern Pequots of North Stonington. The Eastern Pequots were in fact granted recognition by the BIA. But there was such an outcry of opposition from the Connecticut attorney general, governor, and both U.S. Senators, that the BIA reconsidered its decision and ultimately reversed it this past Wednesday. For some background information about Connecticut's opposition to Indian tribes, and Jeff Benedict's book, see: http://tinyurl.com/47589
- (2) Our federal Congressional delegation, plus OHA and other supporters of the Akaka bill, constantly say that Native Hawaiians are the only indigenous group in the United States who lack federal recognition. They make it sound as though Native Hawaiians are somehow singled out to be discriminated against; and that they deserve parity with other "indigenous" groups.
Most recently, on Oct. 8, 2005, OHA Administrator Clyde Namuo repeated that lie in an article in the Maui News: "It is only right that a policy extended to American Indians and Alaska Natives be extended to Native Hawaiians as well. We are the only indigenous group within the 50 states of the U.S. who has not been given the protections that federal recognition will provide." http://tinyurl.com/8jfyj
Is Namuo saying that "American Indians" and "Alaska Natives" are two groups that have been federally recognized? If so, he's wrong. Over 560 tribes, bands, rancherias, or native groups have been recognized. It is not the racial group of "American Indians" as a whole which gets recognized. Each tribe is a political entity whose tribal government has exercised substantial authority over the daily lives of its members from before European contact continuously through the present time, living separate and apart from surrounding non-native communities.
Federal law contains seven "mandatory criteria," which the Bureau of Indian Affairs must use in deciding whether any particular group is eligible for federal recognition. The criteria are spelled out at great length. Voluminous research and documentation must be submitted by any group applying for recognition, to prove that every requirement is met.
Many "indigenous groups" have been denied recognition because they failed just one (or more) of the requirements. The seven criteria, and some examples of groups which were denied recognition a few years ago, can be seen at: http://tinyurl.com/74496
The great majority of American Indians do not belong to any tribe, and would not be eligible to join one. There are hundreds of Indian groups now seeking federal recognition, some for decades; and most fail to get it. For example, on March 29, 2004, the New York Times published an article saying, "There are now 291 groups seeking federal recognition as tribes, and many have already signed with investors ... Among the dozen or so groups awaiting final determinations from the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs, two-thirds have casino investors bankrolling them ... If their risk is huge - most would-be tribes have been turned down for recognition - so is their potential payoff." http://tinyurl.com/9plu9
- (3) It's important to understand that the Akaka bill proposes an entirely new theory of the Constitution that is dangerous to the entire United States. "Native Hawaiians" have never tried to get federal recognition through the long-established procedures of the Bureau of Indian Affaits. That's because everyone knows "Native Hawaiians" could never meet the seven mandatory criteria.
The Indian Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution is Article 1, Section 8, paragraph 3: "The Congress shall have power ... To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes." That clause is clearly discussing the power of Congress to regulate commerce with political entities, which existed before the United States came into being, and which continue to exercise authority over their members.
But the theory of the Akaka bill is that the Indian Commerce Clause gives Congress the power to single out any group of "indigenous people" (only one drop of native blood required) and artificially create a brand new political entity by creating a government exclusively for them. That's not what the Indian Commerce Clause says.
If Congress can do that, then it can grant recognition to all those Indian groups who already applied for recognition and were denied, plus thousands more groups who may apply in the future, plus groups which Congress might arbitrarily assemble even though they have not applied for recognition and do not even consider themselves to be a coherent group.
Imagine America with many thousands of Indian tribes negotiating directly with the federal government for housing, healthcare, education, and other welfare benefits. Each tribe gets goodies in proportion to its political influence (and campaign contributions) -- sort of like individual public schools in Hawaii today lobby the Legislature directly for capital improvement funds. Imagine Mexican-Americans (including "illegal" aliens) having their own "nation within a nation" on the grounds that they are an "indigenous" people (most Mexicans have at least one drop of Aztec or Mayan blood). How about African-Americans as a tribe?
Instead of one nation, America might become merely a shell or holding-company for many thousands of subsidiary nations. Instead of one nation indivisible, with unity; we might become many identity groups thoroughly balkanized and each exercising governmental powers in multifaceted jurisdictional disputes.
Instead of 50 stars on a field of blue, our flag might have thousands of stars whose pointilist montage of tiny white dots would totally hide any hint of blue.
Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D., is an independent scholar in Kaneohe, Hawaii. His Web site on Hawaiian Sovereignty is at: http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty. He can be contacted at: Ken_Conklin@yahoo.com
Honolulu Advertiser, Friday, October 14, 2005
Native blood quantum at issue in federal suit
By Gordon Y.K. Pang
A lawsuit filed by five Hawaiians claims that the Office of Hawaiian Affairs is illegally spending dollars reserved for the benefit of those with 50 percent Hawaiian blood or more.
All nine OHA trustees as well as two former trustees are named in the suit, which states that they "expended trust funds without regard to the blood quantum contained in the definition of native Hawaiians" as spelled out in the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920.
The lawsuit was filed yesterday in U.S. District Court.
OHA administrator Clyde Namu'o said he wanted to discuss the points of the litigation with attorneys to determine whether the case has merit. He declined to comment on the specifics of the lawsuit until then.
The trustees, the lawsuit said, have spent trust funds in lobbying Congress for passage of the Akaka bill, which seeks to create a government entity that would represent all with Hawaiian blood regardless of their quantum. Additionally, the trustees have "expended trust funds for all-expense-paid vacations and political junkets for themselves and their staff in the guise of lobbying for passage of the Akaka bill," the lawsuit said.
OHA trustees have previously stated that they have spent at least $1 million lobbying for the Akaka bill.
The lawsuit also challenged OHA's funding of the nonprofit Native Hawaiian Legal Corp. and Na Pua No'eau Education Program, saying it goes beyond what is allowed in the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, language that was later incorporated into the state constitution.
Attorney Walter Schoettle said lobbying for the Akaka bill was a clear example of illegal spending because the legislation gives a "diluted, open-ended and constitutionally overbroad definition of 'Native Hawaiian.' "
Under the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, money generated by the so-called ceded lands — former Hawaiian crown and government lands — is supposed to benefit those with 50 percent blood quantum.
A federal appeals court last month upheld OHA's spending of ceded land revenues, but found constitutional problems with the agency's race-based use of state tax revenues from the general fund.
Currently, about 10 percent of OHA's $28.5 million in funding comes from state taxes, with the rest from ceded lands.
According to OHA's own Web site: "The mix of trust funds, earmarked for Hawaiians of at least 50 percent blood quantum, and general funds, provided annually by the Legislature, allows OHA to serve Hawaiians of any blood quantum."
Namu'o said yesterday that it would be difficult to guess exactly how much of ceded land revenues are used to benefit those with less than 50 percent Hawaiian blood. "I'd need to do the research first," he said.
Asked what percentage of OHA's funding he believes is being spent illegally, Schoettle replied: "That's what we're going to find out. They don't exactly keep very good track. It's all mixed up."
Schoettle said his clients are beneficiaries of OHA and each is at least 50 percent Hawaiian.
Hawaii Reporter, October 14, 2005
Native Hawaiians Take Their Case to Court
Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustees Waste Beneficiaries Funds Lobbying for Akaka Bill and on Themselves, Lawsuit Says
By Malia Zimmerman
Five native Hawaiians filed a lawsuit against nine current trustees and two former trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, saying they were elected to safeguard the trust, yet unfairly benefited personally, wasted funds lobbying for the Akaka Bill and otherwise misappropriated funds to programs not beneficial to Hawaiians.
Virgule Day, El Hoomanawa-Nui, Josiah Hoohuli, Patrick Kahawaiolaa and Samuel Kealoha Jr. filed the lawsuit Oct. 13, 2005, in First Circuit Court as beneficiaries of the OHA trust.
The plaintiffs specifically filed the lawsuit against Haunani Apoliona, chair of OHA; Trustees Rowena Akana, Dante Carpenter, Donald Cataluna, Linda Dela Cruz, Colette Machado, Boyd Mossman, Oswald Stender and John Waihee IV; and former trustees Clayton Hee (now in the state Senate) and Charles Ota.
Among the charges, the plaintiffs claim OHA trustees have:
- Lobbied for the Akaka Bill in Washington D.C. since 2000 – a bill that purports to help native Hawaiians without regard to blood quantum established for OHA. The Akaka Bill, now pending consideration in Congress, would grant native Hawaiians a similar status to that of Native Americans. The plaintiffs argue if the Akaka Bill is enacted in its current draft without a blood quantum identical to OHA trust requirements, the trustees are depriving native Hawaiian beneficiaries of their rights under the Admissions Act, the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act and the equal protection clause under the Fourteenth Amendment;
- Expended trust funds for all expense paid vacations and political junkets for themselves and their staff in the guise of lobbying for the Akaka Bill; * Supported the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation and Na Pua No'eau Education Program, organizations that are not limited in its use of those funds for the betterment of native Hawaiians;
The plaintiffs are asking the court to order the trustees to stop lobbying for the Akaka Bill in its present form and to ensure trust funds are only being spent for the betterment of native Hawaiians.
They also requested that the trustees disclose how much they have spent for these specific categories, something that has not been disclosed publicly despite numerous requests by local media including Hawaii Reporter.
In the 11-page filing, the plaintiffs also demanded the misappropriated funds be reimbursed to the trust.
No one from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs would comment on the lawsuit because "they have not been served."
Minnesota Daily Articles
On October 10, 14, and 28, a series of three articles were published in the Minnesota Daily. The first article, October 10, was by one of the newspaper's columnists praising Kamehameha Schools and defending its race-based admissions policy on the grounds that it is good for society to improve the well-being of a disadvantaged minority. The second article, on October 14 by Ken Conklin, explained that Kamehameha is a powerful, wealthy institution serving a very select group of talented students, and that separate but equal is not good for society. Conklin's article also points out that Minnesota Senator Mark Coleman is a co-sponsor of the Akaka bill, perhaps believing the same theory put forward by the newspaper columnist. Then on October 28, Kamehameha Schools official spokesman replied that Kamehameha helps poor downtrodden ethnic Hawaiians, and the Akaka bill is a good idea. All three articles are copied here, out of chronological order, to keep them together
THE MINNESOTA DAILY (Minneapolis & St. Paul) October 10, 2005
Education section, commentary
Hawaiian native-only schools are justifiable
The justness of discriminatory admission policies should be assessed on their consequences for society, not the current standard.
By Jason Ketola
Unless you're from Hawaii, you probably haven't heard of the native-only Kamehameha Schools or the controversy surrounding them today. A non-native teenager recently sued the schools for denying him admission for not being able to prove native bloodlines. He won the case in a 2-1 ruling stating that the schools' admission policy violates civil rights law. Should the current appeal by Kamehameha go through, the appeals court should consider the consequences the Kamehameha Schools have on society rather than support a double standard on discriminatory admission.
Kamehameha is well-known for its quality of education and it serves the important purpose of protecting Hawaiian culture and helping to remedy the inequalities that have befallen native Hawaiians since their monarchy fell in 1893 to U.S. businesses and sugar planters. The schools argue that they are remedying the tremendous inequality which befell the natives. If so, they are justifiable on that basis. I'll explain this below from a position that doesn't usually come up in affirmative action-type debates.
You can almost always guarantee that two specific positions will be raised whenever selective hiring or admission based on race or sex is discussed. One side will argue that it's a racist and sexist practice that merely reverses the tide of discrimination it's supposed to stop. The other side will point to the sexual and racial inequalities that they argue exist because of discrimination.
In a way, both sides are right. Sexual and racial inequalities exist that are most plausibly explained by discrimination. This is obvious in Hawaii where natives have experienced a history of discrimination much like minorities in the continental United States. Yet, the very practice of giving preference to native Hawaiians for admission meets the definition of discrimination itself.
Assuming one thinks that current inequality, as a result of discrimination, is wrong, should we be appalled that discriminatory practices are used to rectify the situation? We can resolutely answer -- no.
To see why I say that, let's first ask why we would want to rectify the racial inequalities that exist. Potential answers include that access to better education reduces economic disparity, thus decreasing crime, or that better education gives natives a greater political voice, which they could use right now given that the Akaka bill before Congress relates to their potential sovereignty. The consequences of rectifying the inequalities between natives and non-natives would benefit both groups. While reducing inequality here has good consequences, can we discriminate in order to achieve these good consequences?
Consider a different example. Admission to medical school relies on a certain set of criteria, including an MCAT score. Admitting people with high MCAT scores to medical school ensures that our society will have the best doctors and other medical professionals possible. In fact, the Association of American Medical Colleges requires medical schools to set thresholds for admittance in order for the schools to be accredited. The consequences again drive the selection procedure, because we think a society with the best possible doctors is a desirable one.
Think for a minute about these two scenarios. In both cases, the consequences of having a better society affect how we discriminate among the candidates for the Kamehameha Schools and for medical school. In what way is discriminating based on race versus MCAT scores different -- such that many of us see the former as bad and yet have no problem with the latter?
To answer that question, we should further ask whether race or medical aptitude entitles one to be treated a certain way. We can all agree that one's race does not mean one is better than another person of a different race or that one inherently deserves more consideration because of his/her race. Similarly, there is nothing that says those who can score well on the MCAT ought to get into medical school.
The admission policy for Kamehameha operates based on its consequences, just as medical school admissions policies were developed based on their consequences. Only native Hawaiians are accepted to the Kamehameha Schools, which may be better for society.
So, those opposing discriminatory admission policy on the grounds that it's racist better own up to the fact that discrimination on ability, a characteristic on which people innately differ, occurs all over the place. In other words, to say that selection based on race is wrong is also to say that merit-based selection is wrong.
On the other side, those supporting Kamehameha might as well admit that the practice is discriminatory and get to the crux of the argument for it -- it can make for a better society.
Granted it's possible that the Kamehameha Schools are not having a good effect in Hawaii. It would take research to assess their consequences. That's exactly how the court should decide this case, not on the spurious position that discrimination based on race is always wrong while other types of discrimination are OK.
If the Kamehameha Schools continue to have good consequences by reducing the inequality between native and non-native Hawaiians, their discriminatory admissions policy is justifiable. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals should recognize this if it accepts Kamehameha's appeal.
The Minnesota Daily (Minneapolis & St. Paul) October 14, 2005
Jason Ketola's Oct. 10 column, "Hawaiian native-only schools are justifiable," defended racial segregation at Kamehameha Schools. Ketola's theories might explain why Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., is cosponsoring a bill to create Hawaiian apartheid. Kamehameha is not some small school helping poor kids — it's worth $6 billion to $15 billion. It's Hawaii's largest private landowner, with huge investments in mainland real estate and the stock markets.
Kamehameha screens out all but the academically talented. It requires native Hawaiian ancestry, but most students probably have less than 25 percent native blood. The "natives only" rule racially excludes 80 percent of Hawaii's children and 99.9 percent of America's.
Race is what brings Kamehameha kids together. The school's focus is racial pride and ethnic nationalism. Kids learn they're genetically entitled to special rights, including political control of Hawaii. The curriculum blames white people and the United States for historical grievances, continuing oppression of their culture and colonial occupation of their indigenous homeland. Ketola says discrimination by race is OK because society benefits from helping downtrodden minorities rise to economic and social equality. If helping society is the standard, is separate but equal good for society?
Ketola says ethnic Hawaiians have been discriminated against. False. Ethnic Hawaiians are 20 percent of the state population. Every politician eagerly caters to this powerful swing vote. Twelve percent have incomes greater than $100,000. More than 160 government programs and exclusionary institutions cater exclusively to this racial group. All illegal. The "Akaka bill" in Congress (S.147) would help ethnic Hawaiians create a racially exclusionary government — Hawaiian apartheid. Coleman seems to agree with Ketola that racial discrimination and separatism are good for society. Minnesota voters should tell him otherwise. For a five-paragraph summary of what's wrong with the Akaka bill, with extensive additional documentation, see: http://tinyurl.com/5jp5r.
Kenneth R. Conklin
The Minnesota Daily, October 28, 2005
It required a couple of weeks for the massive, highly-paid bureaucracy at Kamehameha Schools to produce a response to Ken Conklin's letter of October 14. Here is that response, published October 28, written by the official spokesman for Kamehameha.
Native school a bright light for Hawaii
Bigotry and prejudice are wrong no matter the context in American society.
By Kekoa Paulsen
Hawaii professor Ken Conklin's rip on the Daily's Jason Ketola is another sad illustration of his personal crusade against federal recognition for Native Hawaiians. Conklin chooses to ignore what has happened to the natives of Hawaii in the past two centuries. This is an important discussion, but what's more important is to make sure we're grounded in facts, not prejudice.
For comprehensive, factual information regarding S. 147 — the "Akaka Bill" — go to www.oha.org or www.cnha.org. While Conklin pursues canceling public support for Hawaii's most at-risk ethnic group, Conklin crosses a line when he allows his anti-Hawaiian zeal to spill over into an attack on a private Native Hawaiian trust, the Kamehameha Schools. This is a 120-year-old private educational institution, established and funded entirely through private resources, that is dedicated to improving the capability and well-being of the Hawaiian people through education.
Ironically, Kamehameha was founded specifically to help slow and reverse the decline of a people who, for 1,000 years prior to contact, had thrived. Kamehameha is a wonderful gift left to Native Hawaiians by one of their ali'i — rulers — Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. Princess Pauahi left her ancestral land for the foundation and perpetual operation of the Kamehameha Schools with the belief that education would help Native Hawaiians overcome marginalization. Generations of Hawaii residents, native and nonnative, recognize and respect Kamehameha as vital to the restoration of the Hawaiian people and their culture. Kamehameha graduates strengthen Native Hawaiian well-being and the larger community.
While Kamehameha enrolls more than 5,400 students at its three K-12 campuses, its classrooms still fit only a finite number. With 75,000 Native Hawaiian school-age children in the state, Native Hawaiian need always outstrips the services available. Still, Kamehameha strives to fulfill the vision of its founder. Conklin wants to end this, too, apparently because services for Native Hawaiians represent services he cannot have. Bigotry and prejudice are wrong no matter what the context, and American society roundly rejects both. Conklin's racist attitudes, though couched within jargon-laden academese and junk science, are no less reprehensible.
Kekoa Paulsen is the spokesman for Kamehemeha Schools.
October 14 - 21
There was no news about the Akaka bill between October 14 and October 21.
The Maui News, Friday, October 21, 2005
By EDWIN TANJI, City Editor
For most people in Maui County, the announcement on Sept. 12 was of little concern since it involved a chunk of Big Island land that would shift from private to public ownership, but remain in conservation use.
Even ardent Native Hawaiian sovereignty advocates took little notice since the announcement involved the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, which for many is little more than an arm of the state government.
Those are folks who likely view Kahoolawe as just another piece of land controlled by a state agency.
On Sept. 12, Gov. Linda Lingle joined OHA trustees, Land Board Chairman Peter Young and representatives of the Trust for Public Land in reporting an agreement for the state to acquire 25,856 acres of Wao Kele o Puna, a mostly undeveloped piece of Hawaiian forest lands bordering the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
OHA provided some of the funding needed to complete the purchase from the Campbell Estate and will eventually acquire the parcel to maintain it as a protected natural and cultural resource.
It is the first piece of land to which OHA will be claiming title, which is something of a historic event. More significantly, in taking title to the land, OHA also made clear that it is "to ensure that OHA can pass it on to a sovereign governing entity."
Some future historians might consider it to be an anomaly of politics that while the U.S. Senate and some agencies in the U.S. administration were blocking efforts to provide federal recognition of a sovereign Native Hawaiian governing entity, the Congress and other federal administrative agencies were helping Hawaiians acquire the beginnings of their own land base – at some point to be held by a sovereign Native Hawaiian governing entity.
The island of Kahoolawe was first. Designated a natural and cultural preserve, the state mandated that when the 28,000-acre island was returned to the State of Hawaii, it would be held in trust to be transferred "to the sovereign native Hawaiian entity upon its recognition by the United States and the State of Hawaii." (Hawaii Revised Statutes, 6K-9)
Now, the Board of Land and Natural Resources and OHA have committed another 25,856 acres of protected forest land to an eventual sovereign Hawaiian governing entity.
No one can say what form that sovereign entity might take. It's pretty clear, just based on how the United States government is maneuvering through the formation of a sovereign government in Iraq, that Hawaiian sovereignty groups that have declared themselves to date probably won't win recognition, which is probably just as well since they declare that they don't need federal government recognition.
Ka Lahui Hawaii (www.hawaii-nation.org) is probably the closest to being an organization acceptable to the federal government. There was a democratically held election and the promulgation of a constitution to formally establish what had been a grass-roots Hawaiian initiative. But Ka Lahui is not inclined to beg for federal recognition through Sen. Daniel Akaka's Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, nor is the organization inclined to settle for less than a 50 percent share of the 1.3 million acres of ceded lands – the former lands of the monarchy claimed by the Republic of Hawaii after the overthrow of Queen Lili'uokalani.
Kahoolawe and Wao Kele o Puna would be almost irrelevant to Ka Lahui's claims, except that in receiving those lands, the State of Hawaii has made clear it expects to recognize a sovereign Native Hawaiian government at some point in the future.
When the Navy returned Kahoolawe to the state, the agreement included the state's statutory promise to maintain the island as a cultural and natural preserve to be turned over to a sovereign Hawaiian entity. When Congress approved and the U.S. Forest Service released $3.4 million to purchase Wao Kele o Puna, it was with the understanding it would be preserved as a natural area to be turned over to a sovereign Hawaiian entity.
Land Board Chairman Young was excited at the prospects, saying that state forest managers will be working with OHA to provide assistance in restoration and management of the resources of the native forest.
"One of the things that OHA is looking at is establishing a land base for a sovereign nation," he said.
The land base so far is culturally significant with little commercial, revenue-generating value. Beyond the cultural and natural resources, the two properties help to establish that a federally recognized sovereign Hawaiian entity is a matter of when will it happen, not if.
Edwin Tanji, city editor of The Maui News, can be reached at email@example.com. "Haku Mo'olelo," referring to a story writer, appears every Friday.
Honolulu Advertiser, Saturday, October 22, 2005
Akaka bill remains on back burner
By Gordon Y.K. Pang
With the clock ticking toward the end of this year's congressional session, supporters and opponents of the Akaka bill can agree on one thing:
Neither side has a good idea of when, or if, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, also known as the Akaka bill in honor of lead author U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, will get a vote on the floor of the Senate before this year's session ends.
Efforts by Akaka and fellow Hawai'i Sen. Daniel K. Inouye to get the bill moving in recent months have been stymied — first by conservative Republican senators and then a suddenly hectic fall congressional agenda that included disaster relief efforts, skyrocketing gasoline prices and two Supreme Court nominations.
The situation has been compounded by the turmoil in the House leadership precipitated by the troubles of now former House Majority leader Tom DeLay.
Akaka, in a prepared statement, said that he met Thursday with Senate leadership "to continue working with them to find time for (the Akaka bill) during this very busy Senate schedule."
He will "make an announcement" when a time is scheduled, he said.
Clyde Namu'o, administrator for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, had hoped the bill could be heard at the end of this month. But yesterday, Namu'o said he had received nothing definitive from Patton Boggs, the Washington-based company doing legal and lobbying work for OHA.
The good news for bill supporters, Namu'o said, is that Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist "indicates that he is still committed to resolving this matter before the Congress adjourns in 2005."
Congress initially was to adjourn in early October, but its Web site now says the target adjournment date is "to be announced."
Opponents of the bill said they were equally clueless about the situation.
"The fact is the schedule now, in the Senate, is so much in turmoil because of Katrina, and because of the Supreme Court vacancy, and because of the budget deficit and gasoline prices, the schedule is moving on almost a day-by-day basis," said Washington attorney Bruce Fein, who until recently had been working on behalf of Akaka bill opponents. "It certainly is possible that it could come up; it's possible that nothing will happen," Fein said. "It's just too volatile in the Senate to know because the political situation has become so fluid."
Richard Rowland, president of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, which opposes the bill, also said he's received no clear word on when it might come up.
"Not a peep, I haven't heard a thing," said William Burgess of Aloha For All, another group that opposes the bill.
The Akaka bill would establish a process for the United States to formally recognize the nation's 400,000 Native Hawaiians as an indigenous people. Native Hawaiians would then decide whether to pursue a sovereign government that could negotiate with the United States and the state of Hawai'i over land use and other rights.
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, letter to editor, October 23, 2005
Why all the editorials about Akaka Bill?
Another Star-Bulletin editorial (Oct. 8) supporting the Akaka Bill? How many such editorials have there been?
You again tout a twisted small Office of Hawaiian Affairs survey allegedly showing a huge majority favor the Akaka Bill. You slam the Grassroot Institute survey that phoned 10,000 residents and found 67 percent of respondents saying "No."
The most accurate, unbiased survey would be a yes/no vote at the ballot box. You should support taking such a vote -- just think of all the advertising revenue you'd get from OHA! Why should we have to read the tea leaves and listen to statistical soothsayers when we can easily get the exact percentage?
If the Star-Bulletin is so sure the OHA surveys are accurate, then why must you constantly beat the drum with more and more editorials supporting the bill? You're worried.
Take a vote to see whether Hawaii wants the Akaka Bill. Then let senators and representatives decide whether it's good for America to let Hawaii practice apartheid, and consistent with their oath to support and defend the Constitution. Then the courts will decide Hawaii and Congress were wrong.
Note from Ken Conklin: My letter to editor was submitted on October 8, the same day the newspaper editorial was published, so there's no reason the letter's publication should have been delayed until October 23. The newspaper editors also changed a very important sentence. The sentence as I submitted it said:
- "You slam the Grassroot survey that phoned every Hawai'i household and found 67% of respondents saying "No.""
Instead, the newspaper went out of its way to weaken the content (length remained the same) by making it read:
- "You slam the Grassroot Institute survey that phoned 10,000 residents and found 67 percent of respondents saying "No.""
Indeed, the Grassroot survey called all 290,000 households. The first Grassroot survey called 10,000 households. When Akaka bill supporters complained that's too small a sample, a followup survey called all remaining 280,000 households for a total of 290,000. That followup survey was widely reported, so the newspaper surely knew about it but nevertheless changed the number to 10,000. See the results of both Grassroot surveys, plus other surveys, at http://www.angelfire.com/hi5/bigfiles3/AkakaScientificSurvey070505.html
Hawaii Reporter, October 25, 2005
Don't Lose Sight of the Akaka Bill
By Don Newman
The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, commonly known as the Akaka bill, was recently revised to remedy objections by the U.S. Department of Justice. That this was done raises a whole raft of questions about whether the changes are actually an improvement in the bill and why it was proposed in its previously flawed state in the first place. Suppose it had passed earlier in the year before the changes were made, would we now be stuck with a seriously flawed bill. Perhaps.
The main question that is raised is; if the bill was flawed before, how do we know it isn't now? The insistence of Senator Akaka and members of the Lingle administration that the bill is constitutional when the Justice Department expresses reservations otherwise is undercut by the necessity to amend the bill in the first place. If the bill was good as written why did it need to be changed?
The Akaka bill is currently under the radar having been put on the back burner because of Katrina, then Rita, and then a series of other issues that have distracted capital hill. This is good on the one hand and bad on the other. The longer the Akaka bill is stalled, the less likely it will be voted on. But the quieter the issue the more likely it could be snuck through when few are looking. After all, far too often this is the way things are done in our nation's capitol.
For it to be passed in such a quiet fashion would be unfortunate. The issue needs to remain visible and the people of Hawaii need to demand that a statewide vote precede any adoption of the bill, should it pass. Despite the claims of supporters, the bill has much opposition in both the general population and the Native Hawaiian communities.
Greater than the opposition in whatever community is the overall lack of knowledge and understanding of the bill by the general populace. Many people know nothing about the bill at all. This explains the widely varying results of polls on the subject. If a person knows nothing about the bill then a clearly worded question can elicit a specific response. An equally clearly worded question could elicit the opposite response and yet both would be accurate. Without an overall understanding of the actual bill, responding to a single question reveals nothing.
The problem is the people of the state of Hawaii are mostly getting information tailored to just one side of the issue. Both our U.S. senators, our U.S. representatives, the governor and her administration, the vast majority of the local print media and OHA, which has a vested interest in the bill, all strongly support the Akaka bill. The arguments in the public arena are all one sided.
Aloha for All, the Hawaiian Sovereignty groups and a small handful of others, strange bedfellows to say the least, question, if not oppose outright, the Akaka bill, each for their own reasons. These sides deserve to be heard as well. The question is: Are we having an honest debate on the matter?
When an issue such as this rises from the people it is nearly always lauded as a good thing because it is a "Grassroots" issue. In the case of the Akaka bill it is the opposite, it is being imposed from the top down. Our legislators and elected officials have decided what is best for the people and they are going to implement it, come hell or high water. Isn't this a bad thing by contrast? Why is a plebiscite, a statewide vote, not considered in this case? Do our elected officials fear the result? That being the case, who are they truly representing? Who stands to gain? Who stands to lose?
As noted earlier, this is a dangerous time. The Akaka bill has slipped below the radar. It has become a stealth bill once again. But the people of Hawaii shouldn't let this happen. They need to keep the focus on the bill and demand a thorough public hearing and debate. Something so momentous that would affect so many people should not pass unnoticed and unchallenged.
The Akaka bill as originally introduced had flaws otherwise, there would have been no need to amend it. Now that it has been amended is it any better? How would we know? The Justice Department doesn't seem to think so. Do the people think so? Isn't it time for a vote on this issue in this state? Let the people decide and let the chips fall where they may.
Hawaii Reporter, October 27, 2005
Navajo Nation Demands $440 Million for Pipeline Right-of-Way
Hawaii Ratepayers Could Face the Same Situation if the Akaka Bill Passes
By Earl Arakaki
An article entitled "Navajo Nation, Gas Company Feud Over Pipeline Renewal" in the October 24, 2005, Las Vegas Review-Journal, reports the Indian Nation is demanding $440 million over the next 20 years for the right of way.
The gas company will pay the higher costs by charging higher rates to its customers.
If the Akaka bill becomes law, it will not only divide us by race, but will bring higher utility costs. The Governor says it is a given that at least the 200,000 acres of Hawaiian home lands, will go to the new governing entity.
Look at the map of these lands and visualize the transmission lines for electricity, telephone, gas, cable, water, sewer, storm drain, traffic lights and street lights.
Every one that crosses the territory of the Native Hawaiian governing entity will be fair game for right of way charges or interruption of service.
Imagine the effect on your home utility bill. You will pay more, not because you receive more or better service, but only because a sovereign has the right to charge for or withhold transmission over its territory.
Ditto for utilities to business, military, emergency services, airports, harbors, parks, military bases, national parks, the University of Hawaii and the summit of Mauna Kea.
Earl F. Arakaki is a resident of Ewa Beach, Home of the 2005 Little League World Series Champions. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
October 26, 2005 Proposed Amendement
October 28, 2005: Attorney H. William Burgess circulated the following announcement to the Aloha For All group he heads, showing that on October 26 Senator Jeff Sessions (R,AL) proposed an amendment to an appropriations bill to eliminate funding for the University of Hawaii School of Law for a Center of Excellence in Native Hawaiian law. Mr. Burgess believes Senator Sessions introduced the amendment because Sessions is concerned the money would be used to support the Akaka bill and race-based government programs which are contrary to law.
From the Congressional record:
TEXT OF AMENDMENTS -- (Congressional Record for the Senate - October 26, 2005) [Page: S11924] [Page: S11940]
SA 2302. Mr. SESSIONS submitted an amendment intended to be proposed by him to the bill H.R. 3010, making appropriations for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2006, and for other purposes; which was ordered to lie on the table; as follows:
On page 182, beginning on line 4, strike ", and $1,250,000 shall be for a grant to the University of Hawaii School of Law for a Center of Excellence in Native Hawaiian law.
Mr. Burgess' analysis:
Melody MacKenzie is the director of the new Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law created last year. She was the chief editor of the Native Hawaiian Rights Handbook published in 1991 and is generally acknowledged to be the chief author of the erroneous Apology Resolution adopted without hearings or presentation of evidence in 1993 (which has been cited repeatedly ever since then as a confession of guilt by the United States for the "illegal" overthrow). She is also, among other things, one of the attorneys for Office of Hawaiian Affairs "OHA" in our Arakaki v. Lingle now pending in the Ninth Circuit.
(Arakaki v. Lingle is a suit by a multi-ethnic group of 14 Hawaii residents seeking, as state taxpayers and beneficiaries of Hawaii's public land trust, to dismantle OHA and the Hawaiian Homes program, the two major programs by which the government of the State of Hawaii discriminates in favor of some, and against other, of its citizens based solely on their ancestry.) Senator Sessions' amendment is both wise and prudent since OHA's advocacy, litigation and lobbying are already generously funded by State of Hawaii tax dollars. (Over $900K to date for Patton Boggs; untold amounts for attorneys and lavish PR efforts and staging anti-American protests.) When the Nation is under attack by terrorists and reeling from natural disasters, higher priorities take precedence.
Hawaii Reporter, October 28, 2005
Former U.S. Supreme Court Nominee Harriet Miers Advised President Bush on Akaka Bill
Her Senate Questionnaire Confirms She Reviewed the Bill With the President, But Miers Would Not Disclose Her Advice on Whether or Not to Support the Controversial Measure
By Malia Zimmerman
Before she withdrew her nomination on Oct. 27, 2005 to the U.S. Supreme Court, Bush's Chief Legal Advisor Harriet Miers acknowledged to a Senate Judiciary Panel that she advised President George W. Bush on the Native Hawaiian Recognition bill, known as the Akaka Bill, now pending before the U.S. Senate.
However, she would not discuss whether she recommended that the president support or oppose the bill, nor would she disclose her personal views on Native Hawaiian recognition.
In fact, a review of her questionnaire shows that when first asked by Senate Judiciary Committee members about her position on the bill, now pending before the U.S. Senate, Miers did not respond and left the question blank.
This prompted Senators to follow up with Miers saying, "This question was designed to help the committee learn more about your experience with constitutional law, and if most of it was gained during your years in the White House, it is important that we know more about the specifics of that experience."
Miers later confirmed that she dealt with "Issues concerning whether Congress may treat Native Hawaiians as an Indian Tribe, and therefore afford them special benefits without running afoul of the equal protection component of the Fifth Amendment's Due Process Clause."
When pressed on the issue she would not discuss it further and in fact when she resigned, both she and Bush blamed her withdrawal on calls in the Senate for the release of internal White House documents.
"As you know, members of the Senate have indicated their intention to seek documents about my service in the White House in order to judge whether to support me," Miers wrote in her letter to the President. "I have been informed repeatedly that in lieu of records, I would be expected to testify about my service in the White House to demonstrate my experience and judicial philosophy."
In the President's statement announcing the withdrawal, he said, "I understand and share her concern, however, about the current state of the Supreme Court confirmation process. It is clear that Senators would not be satisfied until they gained access to internal documents concerning advice provided during her tenure at the White House – disclosures that would undermine a President's ability to receive candid counsel."
But just Miers' admission that she discussed the Akaka Bill with the president is significant because while the White House has maintained publicly it is remaining neutral on the controversial measure, Miers response shows the president was serious enough about considering the bill's passage that he consulted extensively about it with Miers, his top legal advisor.
Though the president's administrators were reportedly quietly pushing for the Akaka Bill, primarily at the request of Hawaii's Republican Gov. Linda Lingle who aggressively lobbied him for his support on several occasions, Department of Justice officials and conservative Congressman have raised a number of concerns about the constitutionality of the bill. Those concerns are detailed in Hawaii Reporter here:
"U.S. Department of Justice on the Akaka Bill" http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?title=U.S.+Department+of+Justice+on+the+Akaka+Bill
In response to the Justice Department, Gov. Linda Lingle, state Attorney General Mark Bennett and U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka said they would work with the Justice Department to revise the Akaka Bill to make it more palatable, however, no changes have been formally recorded in the Senate record.
Named after its sponsor, U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, the bill would enable native Hawaiians to have federal recognition similar to native Americans and Native Alaskans, but with even more benefits and rights.
A cloture vote on the bill was set for Sept. 6, 2005, in the U.S. Senate but was delayed by Senate Republican leadership after a series of Hurricanes hit the Gulf Coast causing massive devastation, and two U.S. Supreme Court Justices needed to be replaced.
The bill has caused a huge racial and emotional divide in Hawaii. Proponents say native Hawaiians deserve federal recognition while opponents say the bill would entitle native Hawaiians to additional lands and funds, create a separate class system in the state based on race, create a separate tax system, and potentially bring legalized gambling to the state.
Bush's most recent nominee to the Supreme Court, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., also had a tie to the Native Hawaiian Recognition issue. He argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the state of Hawaii in Rice v. Cayetano. He lost the case by a 7-2 vote in February 2000 and all registered voters in Hawaii were then subsequently allowed to vote for Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustees and run for that office, regardless of whether they had native Hawaiian blood.
Reach Malia Zimmerman, president and editor of Hawaii Reporter, via email at Malia@hawaiireporter.com
October 30 - How to Circumvent Unfavorable Court Decisions
October 30: Hawaii State Legislature Hearings on How to Circumvent Court Decisions Unfavorable to OHA and Kamehameha Schools, October 2005 -- webpage published October 30, 2005 includes news reports, analysis, and some of the testimony presented during 8 hearings on 5 islands during a period of 9 days as Hawai'i Senate and House committees on Hawaiian affairs held community meetings to discuss what laws the Legislature might pass to negate or circumvent decisions by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court in the Arakaki and Kamehameha lawsuits; hoping to prevent damage until the Akaka bill passes (they hope!). See: http://www.angelfire.com/hi5/bigfiles3/HawnAffrsLegislHrngOct2005.html
Hawaii Reporter, October 31, 2005
Why The Akaka Bill -- And A Hawaiian State Agency's Propaganda -- Are So Dangerous
By Elaine Willman
In a monthly publication by a State agency of the State of Hawaii, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA), an office funded by federal and state dollars, is the following lead, "Letter to the Editor":
"The U.S. is returning Iraq's sovereignty, what about Hawaii?
Assuming that my thoughts are correct, when the U.S. government recently overthrew tyrant Saddam Hussein in Iraq, there was a period of time when the phrase "returning their sovereignty" became an important issue to the U.S. occupation. This is too similar to the situation that is in place in Hawaii nei, and yet Iraq's sovereignty restoration is close to completion.
Our peaceful queen, under duress and threatened by the same U.S. occupation over 100 years ago, relinquished the throne not understanding the insatiable nature of the beast, thinking the U.S. would fairly reassess the overthrow in a timely manner as they would later do in Iraq and return her to the throne.
I think it is past due to demand now that President Bush reinstate our sovereignty, free Hawai'i, as well as immediately initiate a de-occupation of our islands. This would be a step in the right direction. Although the thought of war here is unpleasant, I really think there are no other options. The United States' continued stealing is like the Energizer rabbit that keeps going (taking) and going (taking) and going (taking).'
The concept is a simple one: further association with and occupation by the U.S. is absolutely not what I believe Hawaiians need to be looking at to fulfill their dreams. After all, should that table ever be turned, "putting all Hawaiian lands in Hawaiian hands," it would make Hawaiians the wealthiest indigenous people on earth. Why would we want it to be any other way (for instance, being categorized like Indians or Native Alaskans), when if the cards are played properly, we could have our cake and eat it too?
Debra Kekaualua, Wailua Homesteads, Kuau'i, Source: Ka Wai Ola Monthly Newsletter, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, November 2005, Vol. 22, No. 11
Immediately beneath this Letter-to-the-Editor is the following disclaimer: "OHA reserves the right to edit all letters for length, defamatory and libelous material, and other objectionable content, and reserve the right not to print any submission."
Apparently, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, an agency of the State of Hawaii, finds nothing defamatory, libelous (how about treasonous?) or objectionable to statements like, "although the thought of war here is unpleasant...," or characterizing the United Stats as an "insatiable beast." Having a "right not to print any submission," this letter was the prioritized letter—the first thing a reader sees when opening the November OHA monthly newsletter to Page 2.
As though to further endorse and nail down such ethnocentric radicalism under the banner of a State agency, OHA, the second letter-to-the editor on the same page, is entitled, Knowing Our Enemy, and supports a vitriolic personal attack upon a very prominent Hawaiian citizen who dares oppose the Akaka Bill.
Our youngest State is under clear and present internal siege by radicals who have overpowered the Governor's Office, the State legislature and all local elected officials. It is utterly naive to contemplate the future of these small Hawaiian Islands, were they no longer under the full protection of the United States.
Do these radicals truly believe that no other country in the world would quickly overpower defenseless islands in the middle of the Pacific, inhabited only by Native Hawaiians? Do they truly think any other country would give the smallest consideration to their one-drop of Hawaiian blood genetics? Under attack by some other radical regime, would such indigenous islanders not immediately scream for America's help and rescue?
There is no better example of the dangerous concoction of greed and racism to utterly blind an entire culture hell-bent on its future self-destruction, absent respect for, and the protection of, the United States. Should these radical dreams come true, and some Hawaiian Nirvana be obtained that is absent the presence of the United States on the Hawaiian islands, the foreseeable Deja Vó of December 7th, 1941 is a foregone conclusion.
Or, have OHA and the radicals pre-arranged surreptitious support with some country adversarial to the United States to assist them in such a "war"? The first step to save such misguided American citizens from themselves is for Congress to overwhelming oppose Senate Bill 147 and its House companion bill H.R. 309. This bill is currently dormant but likely to be slipped into a major Appropriation bill under the cloak of darkness by its Sponsors. That maneuver was attempted and nearly successful in 2003.
Surely, all cultures in America can abundantly promote and respect themselves without trampling upon our country and its Constitutional system that affords them this very opportunity. Does the principle of equality have no place in Native Hawaiian hearts? Hatred for the United States and its flag has spawned the motto: Last Star On - First Star Off! These folks best hope their dreams do not come true. It would soon become their worst nightmare.
Elaine Willman, MPA, is Chair of Citizens Equal Rights Alliance (CERA) a national organization of community education groups and citizens in 25 states who reside within or near federally recognized Indian reservations. Ms. Willman is a former City of Ojai assistant administrator, teaches in the Masters in Public and Business Administration programs for a university, and is pursuing a doctoral in federal Indian policy. Contact her via email at email@example.com
Past Issues of OHA Monthly Newspaper
Note from Ken Conklin: Past issues of the monthly newspaper of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs are available at http://www.oha.org/cat.asp?catid=51
The November 2005 edition has not yet been posted on the website, but soon will be. Anyone in the U.S. may have a free subscription by requesting it by e-mail from firstname.lastname@example.org.
This newspaper has a circulation of more than 60,000, all paid for from the treasury of the State of Hawai'i. The newspaper is filled with extreme racial partisanship, and sometimes the language is strongly anti-American. It's a real eye opener to read this newspaper each month.