INDEX OF NEWS REPORTS AND COMMENTARIES; FULL TEXT OF EACH ITEM IS BELOW THE INDEX IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER
Oct. 24: News report in Hawaii Reporter (online) that on October 14 Senator Inouye started a stealth maneuver in a Senate committee draft of a large appropriations bill. Full details, text of devious language inserted into appropriations bill, and links to lengthy committee document are provided.
Oct 26: (1) Hawaii Reporter guest editorial says that using backdoor methods to sneak the Akaka bill through Congress violates the need for sunshine, public discussion, and full disclosure on this highly controversial issue; (2) Honolulu Advertiser reporter writes a newspaper-owned blog about politics. The blog is not included in the printed newspaper and is read by only a small audience. Two days after the Hawaii Reporter article about the Inouye stealth tactics, the ddpledge blog briefly reported on it, but declined to post reader comments. The printed newspaper and the online version did not report the stealth maneuver, except in the obscure blog.
Oct 27: 3 days after Hawaii Reporter published a detailed report about Inouye's stealth maneuver, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser finally reported it briefly in a low-profile "newswatch" item.
Oct 28: John Carroll, candidate for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, published a blistering attack against his rival Linda Lingle, calling her a RINO and expressing his own pride in being a genuine Republican who opposes the Akaka bill.
Oct 30: (1) Honolulu Star-Advertiser major news report by Derek DePledge describes the new strategy of breaking Akaka bill into pieces and inserting the pieces into other bills as riders; then negotiating with Republicans to pass each others' bill riders. Article claims (falsely) that this is the way other Indian tribes have gotten federal recognition.; (2) Hawaii Free Press editor Andrew Walden article describes new Inouye stealth tactic and role of former Governor John Waihee in organizing a membership roll for the state-recognized tribe under Act 195; (3) Ken Conklin says "New Akaka Bill Stealth Strategy is Actually Old", recalls a nearly identical Inouye maneuver from 2001, and says it's too bad Inouye is sullying his legacy as he approaches the end of his career.; (4) Ken Conklin says Hawaii news media engage in propaganda by reporting falsehoods as though they are commonly accepted facts, and cites Dereck DePledge's Star-Advertiser article of October 30 as a prime example.
Oct 31: (1) "Human Events" publishes brief notice about Akaka bill stealth maneuver by Brian Darling, senior fellow for Government Studies at The Heritage Foundation; (2) Honolulu Star-Advertiser mini-editorial "Once more into the breach for Akaka Bill"
November 1, 2011: (1) Richard Borreca, long-time commentator for Honolulu Star-Advertiser, writes "Hawaiian sovereignty, one sentence at a time" starting with "With a knowing smile, Hawaii's Sen. Daniel K. Inouye leans back in his chair and says: 'As has been said since the time of Adam, there are many different ways to skin a cat.'"; (2) Honolulu Star-Advertiser online poll has only four percent of 813 respondents saying the odds are good that Congress will pass the Akaka bill.
Nov 8: Commentary in "American Spectator" about the Voting Rights Act says Hawaii is more deserving nowadays than Alabama or Mississippi of being monitored by the federal government for racial discrimination in voting; citing the 2000 Supreme Court decision in Rice v. Cayetano and the current Inouye stealth maneuver regarding the Akaka bill.
Nov 17: Ilya Shapiro, an attorney with the Cato Institute, describes the Inouye stealth maneuver and explains why Hawaii issues are important for Constitutional law affecting all of the U.S.
Nov 21: 1st Congressional District Rep. Colleen ... Hanabusa is standing with her arm around Sen. Daniel Akaka, her voice lower than usual as she speaks. "You think we going to be able to get it through the Interior?" she asks him.
Hanabusa is referring to ... the controversial Akaka Bill, which would provide federal recognition to Native Hawaiians. ... the latest strategy to pass the measure came from Sen. Daniel Inouye, who inserted recognition language into a larger Department of the Interior spending bill. "I hope so," Akaka says. "It's tough." Hanabusa nods. "It is tough," she says. "Anywhere we can tack it." "It's sneaky," Akaka says with a smile. "It's not sneaky," Hanabusa replies. "It's what it takes, man. We got to get it through."
December 1, 2011: OHA monthly newspaper reports on annual convention of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs, including a major panel discussion about Hawaii Act 195 to create a state-recognized tribe, and how that will facilitate the Akaka bill.
Dec. 7: Honolulu Weekly article describes tension among ethnic Hawaiians over whether to support Act 195 and Akaka bill, or whether to support total independence. But article fails to mention the option favored by most people: unity, equality, and aloha for all.
Dec 14: (1) Honolulu Star-Advertiser editorial says U.S. Supreme Court should refuse to consider a taxpayer lawsuit about racial discrimination in property tax rates, because if they hear the case and overrule the Hawaii state Supreme Court, it would take away a measure of sovereignty currently enjoyed by ethnic Hawaiians. Editorial emphasizes that the cure to the problem is to pass the Akaka bill; (2) Honolulu Star-Advertiser online poll for today: "Do you think providing state government benefits to Native Hawaiians is valid under the U.S. Constitution?" No 67%, Yes 33%.; (3) Honolulu Civil Beat blog quotes OHA chair Colette Machado: “Within the last year, OHA has started to open up alternate legislative and executive routes in coordination with Senator Daniel Akaka, Senator Daniel Inouye and the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs,” she said today at OHA’s annual investiture. “President Barack Obama is a strong partner in this effort. OHA will aggressively pursue these legislative and executive paths throughout the next year.”; (4) Ken Conklin lengthy letter to editor in Honolulu Weekly says Zogby poll shows most people oppose Akaka bill, and we should support unity, equality, and aloha for all.
Dec 16-17: 3 news reports tell how Republicans in the House, during negotiations for final language of an omnibus year-end bill to keep the government running, forced removal of the sentence providing federal recognition of the Akaka tribe which Senator Inouye had previously inserted into an Interior Department appropriations bill. Also a commentary by John Carroll, candidate for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, who opposes the Akaka bill.
Dec 20: Ken Conklin published article summarizes and provides links to informal polls and scientific surveys showing that a majority of Hawaii's people oppose racial entitlements and the Akaka bill.
Dec 21: Honolulu Star-Advertiser mini-editorial says Akaka bill deserves a straight up-or-down vote in Congress and should not be merely a bargaining chip in an omnibus spending bill.
Dec 23: "Indian Country Today" summarizes the news about the failure of Inouye's stealth maneuver on the Akaka bill.
Dec 27: "Indian Country Today" interviews Senator Akaka, who says "I will fight until my last day in office to secure passage of this [Akaka] bill" and expresses pride in getting the apology resolution passed by Congress in 1993 and signed by President Clinton. Akaka is also pleased that President Obama has signed the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
December 30: "Bringing Mainland Tribal Troubles to Hawaii" published article provides links to 13 news reports from around the mainland illustrating the terrible conflicts between Indian tribes vs. states and counties; such conflicts would occur in Hawaii if the Akaka bill passes Congress or if the Hawaii Act 195 tribe is given land or jurisdictional authority.
FULL TEXT OF EACH ITEM, IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER
Hawaii Reporter, October 24, 2011
Inouye, Akaka Push Federal Indian Tribe Recognition for Native Hawaiians in New Interior Bill
BY MALIA ZIMMERMAN - The Native Hawaiian Recognition Act, or Akaka Bill as it is nicknamed in honor of U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka, D-HI, has been floundering in Congress for more than a decade.
The proposed legislation, which would set up a framework for a separate native Hawaiian nation within the United States, has been extremely controversial in the islands and in Congress. Native Hawaiians on both sides have been fighting over the language and intent.
The legislation passed the U.S. House three times, even with strong opposition by conservatives both in and out of the U.S. House.
However, the legislation, which has taken on many forms, has never passed the U.S. Senate.
This despite the power that U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye, D-HI, has as appropriations chair and as President pro tempore of the U.S. Senate.
But the intrepid Senator hasn't given up.
On October 14, 2011, the Senate Appropriations Committee released a proposed draft of its Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, which includes legislation to recognize Native Hawaiians as a federal Indian Tribe.
Peter Boylan, spokesperson for Sen. Inouye, said: “The Hawaii Congressional delegation is committed to federally recognizing Native Hawaiians in the 112th Congress, with the strong support of the Governor and Hawaii State Legislature. We will continue to pursue a variety of options to effectuate passage."
Historically, Native Hawaiians have never been in a tribe, so the proposal, which has been floated in the past, has angered opponents of the legislation who found it insulting. Other native Hawaiians support the concept, which allows the Secretary of Interior to recognize Native Hawaiians as a federal Indian tribe (Full text is here).
The bill reads: HAWAIIAN RECOGNITION: SEC. 420. Now and hereafter, in exercise of the authority delegated under sections 441, 442, 463 and 465 of the Revised Statutes (43 U.S.C. 1457, 25 U.S.C. 2 and 9), the community recognized by and enrolled pursuant to Act 195 (26th Haw. Leg. Sess. (2011)) may be recognized and listed under section 104 of Public Law 103–454 but not entitled to programs and services available to entities thereunder unless a statute governing such a program or service expressly provides otherwise."
* The legislation gives power of the Secretary of the Interior to recognize tribes.
* Section 104 of P.L. 103-454
is the requirement that the Secretary of the Interior create and maintain a list of federally-recognized Indian tribes.
* Hawaii legislators earlier this year passed Hawaii's "Act 195", or the state version of the "Akaka Bill", which authorizes the creation of a roll of members, but does not include federal recognition. This bill would work with the local legislation, but no specifics were offered today by Boylan.
Steven Duffield, former chief counsel to Sen. Jon Kyl, R-AZ, said: "For many years, the Akaka Bill advocates insisted that the law would just allow a process for those of 'Native Hawaiian' blood to decide a path forward. That was always a farce, and this new provision proves it. The appropriations language would lead to only one result: Native Hawaiians becoming an Indian tribe, with all the public expense and jurisdictional nightmares that go with that status."
Opponents argue that the purported limitation ("not entitled to programs and services...unless a statute...expressly provides") is a weak limitation because so many of the programs and statutes already list Native Hawaiians.
They also note that this is arguably "more" radical version of the original Akaka Bill, because the new Appropriations language has no public involvement at the state or congressional level after this bill, it contains none of the limitations that have been negotiated in the past by then-Gov. Lingle, and it simply "turns the switch and invents a tribe."
Duffield said that "it's worth remembering that every professional poll has shown that Hawaiian citizens are highly skeptical of this race-based scheme."
"Commonsense Members of Congress will take all of that into account when deciding whether to allow this language to remain in the bill," Duffield said.
Leon Siu, a native Hawaiian activist and popular Hawaiian entertainer, has opposed the Akaka Bill legislation in Congress and has even traveled to Washington DC to meet with House and Senate members about his concerns.
Siu said in an earlier letter to Hawaii Reporter that Senator Akaka made a key tactical error last December when he amended the bill to create a "tribe" and take away state oversight, because that set off a chain of events that led to the bill's failure.
That included leading then Republican Gov. Linda Lingle's withdraw state’s support for the measure. In addition, Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who was in Congress at the time, failed to embrace the amendments Akaka proposed, Siu said, leaving two different versions of the bill.
Then Akaka changed his bill back to the pre-December 2009 version, Siu said, getting the governor back on board with the Senate bill, but not the still unacceptable Abercrombie version in the House.
In addition to native Hawaiian sovereignty activists who don't want federal authority over them, conservative organizations, such as the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute, and several Republican Congress members, have opposed the bill.
Supporting the legislation are native Hawaiian organizations such as the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the Department of Hawaiian Homelands, both state agencies that provide services and housing to native Hawaiians.
Hawaii Reporter, October 26, 2011
Newest Akaka Bill Effort Highlights Need for “Sunlight” in Politics
BY MALIA HILL -- Rumors of the death of the Akaka Bill have been highly exaggerated.
Of course, in Hawaii, where the Office of Hawaiian Affairs is proceeding with its plan to create a “roll” of Native Hawaiians to be part of an eventual Reorganization (as envisioned in various ways in the different iterations of the Akaka Bill, or Native Hawaiian Reorganization Act), this is not exactly a surprise.
But in Washington, DC, which should be long inured to backdoors dealing and “hidden” legislation, there was still some surprise when it was discovered that Senator Dan Inouye had added an Akaka Bill-like provision to an appropriations bill. Specifically, Section 420 of the proposed draft of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriations bill would grant the Secretary of the Interior authority to recognize Native Hawaiians as a federal Indian tribe. This particular version of the Akaka Bill has been called, “even more radical,” than previous efforts, as it lacks reference to future Congressional or state action and contains none of the compromises and limits of earlier versions.
It is well known that the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii has long opposed all versions of a Native Hawaiian Reorganization Act. It is our position that such legislation would be a route to larger, more intrusive government at all levels, culturally divisive and economically damaging to Hawaii. However, even those who support the Akaka Bill in some form should be concerned about Senator Inouye’s latest gambit.
Putting aside the question of whether it is a good idea to go about creating a Native Hawaiian tribe at all, or even whether you think it would be a good thing for Native Hawaiians to be managed as the federal government has managed American Indian tribes—it cannot be denied that this bill would have a significant and transformative effect on Hawaii. Nor can we ignore the fact that there is far from a public consensus on the bill—which is why so many support the idea of a public referendum on Reorganization before any Congressional action is taken.
That is why attempting to use “backdoor” legislation to pass such a controversial measure leaves so many people in Hawaii questioning whether their concerns are really being heard by Hawaii’s Congressional delegation.
Fortunately, there is still time to let your feelings be known is this issue. No matter where you stand on the Akaka Bill, you can still contact Senators Inouye and Cochran (ranking Republican member of the Appropriations committee) and tell them what you think about creating a Native Hawaiian “tribe” under the Department of the Interior (or any other Native Hawaiian Reorganization plan).
To contact Senator Inouye’s office, you can call his office at 808-541-2542 or 202-224-3934 and you can email him through his website here.
To contact Senator Cochran, you can call his office at 202-224-5054 or email him through his website here.
The lobbyists and special interest groups have all had plenty of opportunities to state their case on the Akaka Bill. Millions of dollars have been spent lobbying politicians on the issue. If this is an issue you care about, this is your opportunity to make sure your own voice is heard. The more these Senators here from the people ofHawaiion this issue, the better informed they will be when it comes time to vote on it.
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, October 26, 2011, ddpledge blog
Online blog not in printed newspaper, not very widely read.
U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, has slipped language into a draft of the interior appropriations bill that would federally recognize Native Hawaiians like American Indian tribes.
A Native Hawaiian federal recognition bill has stalled in the U.S. Senate for a decade, and advocates are shifting strategy, trying to advance key provisions of the bill in pieces. The bill is known as the Akaka bill for its main sponsor, U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii.
The language in the interior appropriations bill builds off a state Native Hawaiian recognition bill approved by lawmakers and signed into law by Gov. Neil Abercrombie this year.
“The Hawaii congressional delegation is committed to federally recognizing Native Hawaiians in the 112th Congress, with the strong support of the governor and Hawaii State Legislature,” Peter Boylan, a spokesman for Inouye, said in a statement. “We will continue to pursue a variety of options to effectuate passage.”
Inserting the language into a spending bill may make it easier to advance than forcing another debate on a stand-alone Native Hawaiian federal recognition bill. But opponents have already flagged the language. One told Hawaii Reporter that allowing Hawaiians to be recognized as an Indian tribe would involve “all the public expense and jurisdictional nightmares that go with that status.”
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, October 27, 2011, Newswatch
Akaka Bill inserted into spending measure
U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, has inserted language into a draft of a U.S. Department of the Interior appropriations bill that would federally recognize Native Hawaiians like American Indian tribes.
A Native Hawaiian federal recognition bill has stalled in the U.S. Senate for a decade, and advocates are shifting strategy, trying to advance key provisions of the bill in pieces. The bill is known as "the Akaka Bill" in reference to its main sponsor, U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii.
The language in the Interior appropriations bill builds off a state Native Hawaiian recognition bill approved by lawmakers and signed into law this year by Gov. Neil Abercrombie.
"The Hawaii congressional delegation is committed to federally recognizing Native Hawaiians in the 112th Congress, with the strong support of the governor and Hawaii state Legislature," Peter Boylan, a spokesman for Inouye, said in a statement. "We will continue to pursue a variety of options to effectuate passage."
Inserting the language into a spending bill might make it easier to advance than forcing another debate on a stand-alone Native Hawaiian federal recognition bill. But opponents have already flagged the language.
Hawaii Reporter, October 28, 2011
Why It's Not OK to Be a RINO
BY JOHN CARROLL - There is a recent article by Josh Lederman in “The Hill” entitled “Former Gov. Lingle not running from RINO tag.” In it, Mr. Lederman states, “For most Republican politicians, there is no smear more loathed, more insulting or more politically perilous than to be called a RINO — a Republican in Name Only. Not for Linda Lingle.” He goes on to quote Lingle, “I’ve been called a RINO before, which I don’t mind.”
I disagree with Lingle's cavalier dismissal of the label. “RINO” implies fraud.
Does Linda Lingle see's the Republican Party in Hawaii as something to be used as a base of operations from which to get elected rather than as a movement with cherished ideals to nurture and lead? The fact that she tolerates the term RINO is insulting to those of us who still think that the Republican Party, the party of Ronald Reagan, still stands for something, something considerably more important than personal political ambition.
While compromise and moderation has its place, so does standing up for what you truly believe in. Lingle offers a grey, lukewarm set of principles that are designed to placate and absorb a vast, indifferent mass of voters. She offers little for those who passionately believe in traditional conservative values and the core principles of our party platform.
I don't need a focus group or a survey to tell me what I should say. I don't measure every word for its possible negative impact on marginal voters or contributor backlash. I say what I believe.
My contributions from Alexander & Baldwin and Matson (of which I have none) don't dissuade me from taking action against the archaic, protectionist Jones Act that drives up the cost of living for every family in Hawaii in order to profit a select few.
I'm not concerned about being called a Christian because I believe in the right to life. The Bill of Rights guarantees all of us “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” and it does not put an age limit on it one way or the other.
I believe that the failure to follow settled environmental law left the Superferry vulnerable to its opponents. The Lingle administration was just plain inept. I would have followed the letter of the law and we would still have the Superferry.
I believe we are overtaxed in Hawaii, and if I had been governor, would not have allowed the largest tax increase in memory to slip through while I looked the other way.
I think that the Akaka Bill is based on the restoration of the concept of division by race that our constitution and decades of the civil rights movement have fought to abolish. Individual Hawaiian's would be better served by receiving their birthright homestead lands in fee and not doled out by a self-serving bureaucracy.
Those are five big differences between me and Linda Lingle. They're also five big differences between Linda Lingle and most real Republicans.
Next year's Republican primary will not be a preemptory coronation of Linda Lingle in her quest for the U.S. Senate. It should be a determination by Republicans as to what they really stand for, what they're willing to fight for and what principles they wish to have represented in Washington, D.C. during the ongoing debate on our nation's future.
A Republican In Name Only isn't going to cut it.
John S. Carroll is a Republican Candidate for the U.S. Senate
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, October 30, 2011
Akaka OKs Native Hawaiian recognition strategy
By Derrick DePledge
U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, who patiently sought a vote on a Native Hawaiian federal recognition bill in the Senate for a decade, has signed off on a more aggressive strategy to advance the idea before he retires in January 2013.
A policy rider inserted by U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye into the Senate's draft of a Department of the Interior spending bill would allow the federal government to recognize Native Hawaiians in a way similar to how it recognizes American Indian tribes. Federal recognition is the core of the Akaka Bill, so establishing the concept in federal law would lay the foundation for a movement toward self-governance.
The strategy to advance the Akaka Bill in pieces, rather than as stand-alone legislation, is an acknowledgement of the political reality in Washington, D.C. Democrats have a majority in the Senate, but Republicans who think the bill is unconstitutional, race-based discrimination are able to use the chamber's unique procedural rules to prevent a vote without the consent of 60 of 100 senators. Republicans control the House -- where the bill has passed three times over the past decade -- and would reject the bill if it came to a vote again.
"We continue to look for options," Akaka said Friday after speaking at the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs convention at Turtle Bay Resort.
The 87-year-old Hawaii Democrat is not seeking another term next year after serving for more than two decades in the Senate and 13 years in the House. The policy rider might be one of the last opportunities to make Native Hawaiian federal recognition part of his legacy before he retires.
Congressional staffers, speaking privately, describe the potential for a "perfect storm" behind an idea that looked all but dead when Senate Democrats lost their filibuster-proof supermajority and Republicans won control of the House last year.
Inouye, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, inserted the policy rider into the Senate's draft of the fiscal year 2012 spending bill for the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency and related federal agencies. The rider would allow the secretary of the interior to recognize Native Hawaiians in the way American Indians and Alaska Natives are recognized. Hawaiians would not immediately be entitled to new federal benefits -- such as the Indian Health Service, the federal health program for American Indians and Alaska Natives -- but existing federal programs for Native Hawaiians would have greater legal protection.
Fiscal year 2012 for the federal government started in October without a budget agreement, so lawmakers approved a six-week extension in spending through Nov. 18 to keep the government functioning. House and Senate lawmakers are in negotiations over the 12 appropriations bills -- including the Department of Interior spending bill -- needed to operate the government.
Dozens of policy riders favored by both Democrats and Republicans are on the table in the appropriations bills, providing Inouye -- the Senate's senior member -- with leverage to include Native Hawaiian recognition in a compromise.
Negotiations over the bill might focus on several House Republican policy riders that would restrict the regulatory power of the EPA in areas such as greenhouse gas emissions. With the pressure to adopt a budget, and the national attention on more sweeping policy riders, congressional staffers believe Native Hawaiian recognition could survive.
Richard Rowland, president of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, a conservative-to-libertarian public policy group critical of the Akaka Bill, believes a policy rider is not the appropriate track for an issue of such consequence.
"It's a terrible thing to try to do it like this and to kind of sneak up on it," said Rowland, who also asks why Hawaiians would want to be treated like American Indians by the federal government. "What we ought to have is a vote in Hawaii of the people."
Native Hawaiians who want independence from the United States also oppose federal and state recognition as threats to sovereignty, but their voices have been in the minority.
The state version of the Akaka Bill appeared largely symbolic when Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed it into law in July, because federal recognition has long been the target, but it is a critical component of the new strategy in Washington.
A five-member commission, led by former Gov. John Waihee, will prepare a roll of qualified adult Hawaiians who are either descendents of the aboriginal people who lived in the islands before 1778 or are eligible for homestead leases under the federal Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, passed in 1921. The Hawaiians must also have maintained significant cultural, social or civic connections to the Native Hawaiian community.
It would be these Hawaiians, recognized in state law as indigenous people with the right to self-government, who would be eligible for federal recognition by the Interior Department.
State Sen. Malama Solomon (D, Hilo-Honokaa) said Hawaiians belonged to a kingdom, not an Indian tribe, so it has been difficult to fit Hawaiians into federal Indian policy for purposes of recognition.
"This is really a unification bill," she said of the state law. "It will start to really identify the nation, because in all of our conversations about sovereignty and self-governance, that is the entity that has been missing, in terms of recognizing who the nation is. And I think that this bill would bring a lot of that to rest."
While Native Hawaiian federal recognition is a priority, Akaka, who serves as chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, also has several other policy goals for his final year in office.
Akaka hopes to pass legislation to respond to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2009 that prohibits the Interior Department from acquiring and holding land in trust for Indian tribes that were not federally recognized when the Indian Reorganization Act was enacted in 1934. The senator has said the court's ruling will lead to inequities in federal Indian policy if allowed to stand.
The senator supports bills to promote culture-based education and to allow Indians to lease their land for economic development without prior approval from the Interior Department.
Akaka plans to introduce a bill this week to strengthen tribal jurisdiction over domestic violence and sexual assault to help better protect native women from abuse.
His mission, he said, has been to "try to upgrade the quality of life for the indigenous peoples. And I see it coming. But I also and you also know that there have been many laws that have not been enforced that are there. So I'm looking at that, too."
Akaka said he intends to stay neutral and not endorse a candidate in the Democratic primary to replace him, although he attended a labor fundraiser for U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, who is facing former congressman Ed Case, and has been complimentary.
"I think her experience in the House, it will help her in her work in the Senate as well, because she's come to know the system," he said of Hirono. "And it will help her do things for Hawaii."
Many of Akaka's friends and allies are still upset over Case's primary challenge to Akaka in 2006, but the genial senator has been more forgiving and cordial.
Akaka also said he appreciated former Gov. Linda Lingle, the Republican contender for his Senate seat, for her support of some versions of Native Hawaiian federal recognition.
"But of course, as a Democrat, I'd like to see us keep the majority," he said. "You know how narrow it is now."
After Akaka's speech to the Hawaiian civic clubs, Hawaiians stood in line near the stage to wish him well, share memories, or pose for pictures. His words may not come as quickly as they once did, his gait may be slower, but his aloha spirit remains a powerful force.
"I hope that they feel that I served Hawaii well," he said. "And I served Hawaii with aloha."
Hawaii Free Press, Sunday, October 30, 2011
Sneak Attack: Inouye hides Akaka Bill in Policy Rider -- just after “Grazing Permits”
By Andrew Walden
Dan Inouye’s Akaka Bill sneak attack was smacked down in December, 2009 and again in December, 2010—but he’s back for one more try.
Inouye’s latest version of the Akaka Bill popped up October 14. It is a single paragraph. Buried on page 124 in a proposed Senate Appropriations Committee draft bill for “Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations” it comes just after “Extension of Grazing Permits”:
SEC. 420. Now and hereafter, in exercise of the authority delegated under sections 441, 442, 463 and 465 of the Revised Statutes (43 U.S.C. 1457, 25 U.S.C. 2 and 9), the community recognized by and enrolled pursuant to Act 195 (26th Haw. Leg. Sess. (2011)) may be recognized and listed under section 104 of Public Law 103–454 but not entitled to programs and services available to entities thereunder unless a statute governing such a program or service expressly provides otherwise.
Section 104 of Public Law 103-454, also known as the “Federally Recognized Indian Tribe Act of 1994” requires the Secretary of the Interior to maintain a list of Federally Recognized Indian Tribes.
Act 195 created a five-member commission—now headed by gambling advocate, Clinton Asian Money Scandal player, and Broken Trust figure John Waihee--to enroll “Qualified” native Hawaiian constituents according to a long list of criteria which exclude about 73% of native Hawaiians.
Stephen Duffield, former Chief Counsel to Sen. John Kyl (R-AZ) told Hawaii Reporter October 24:
"For many years, the Akaka Bill advocates insisted that the law would just allow a process for those of 'Native Hawaiian' blood to decide a path forward. That was always a farce, and this new provision proves it. The appropriations language would lead to only one result: Native Hawaiians becoming an Indian tribe, with all the public expense and jurisdictional nightmares that go with that status."
Inouye’s version, in conjunction with Act 195, creates an instant Indian tribe with no restriction on the right to claim legal jurisdiction and exclude state law enforcement over its members. It was these characteristics, introduced beginning with the 2009 version of the Akaka Bill, which forced long-time Akaka Bill supporters Governor Linda Lingle and Attorney General Mark Bennett to reverse their stance and come out in opposition.
When native Hawaiian protesters accused Inouye of trying to sneak the Akaka Bill into a 2009 defense appropriations bill, Inouye called the allegation “nonsensical” and claimed the process for the Akaka Bill “has been fully transparent.” Senator Akaka told reporters: "It is very frustrating that opponents intentionally seek to spread misinformation about the bill. This should call their credibility into question once again." But two years later the Star-Advertiser headline is: “Akaka OKs Native Hawaiian recognition strategy.”
In the text of his statement Thursday, October 27 to a convention of the Hawaiian Civic Clubs, Akaka told convention-goers: “As a result of the enrollment process which is already beginning under Act 195, I am now reviewing my bill and looking for ways to streamline it.”
Akaka didn’t see fit to mention that his bill had two weeks earlier been “streamlined” down to a single paragraph and slipped in right after Grazing Permits by Senator “Transparency”.
The only thing that is “transparent” is the admission by Akaka Gang leaders that the Akaka Tribe is not a tribe. Hawaiians are not and never have been tribal.
Inouye’s one-paragraph Akaka Bill refers to a ”community”, not a tribe. This follows several months of candid admissions by Akaka Gang leaders. The Star-Advertiser editorialized July 11:
…passing the state law is, in fact, a declaration spoken through representative government, codification of a longstanding majority position that Native Hawaiians represent Hawaii's "first nation," that regardless of the nontribal organization of the Hawaiian kingdom, they are as deserving of recognition as indigenous people as any tribe or Native Alaskan corporation….
…becoming a "qualified Native Hawaiian" eligible for the roll also means a person has maintained "a significant cultural, social or civic connection to the Native Hawaiian community and wishes to participate in the organization of the Native Hawaiian government entity."
This definition is a more recent variant, and an improvement on purely race-based criteria. National identity should require some cultural affinity; it's the bond that holds people together and help sustain the process of government-making through its inevitable conflict.
The Hawaii Tribune Herald July 17 explains:
Maui Rep. Gil Keith-Agaran, said the effort was intended to create a political distinction, rather than a racial one. "If you look at the (Hawaiian recognition) bills, it was capital-N "Native Hawaiian" rather than the small-N "native Hawaiian," which deals more with blood quanta, Keith-Agaran said. "We stayed away from the 50 percent or whatever blood quantum" requirements that appear elsewhere.
Sen. Malama Solomon, an Akaka Gang leader, self-described “friend” of the Big Island’s largest methamphetamines importer, and gambling advocate recently busted for bulldozing Hawaiian archaeological sites, explained July 1: “Hawaiians are very different from the American tribes; we had a kingdom that was recognized by the United States and many other nations around the world before the overthrow.”
Solomon made similar comments in today’s Star-Advertiser:
Hawaiians belonged to a kingdom, not an Indian tribe, so it has been difficult to fit Hawaiians into federal Indian policy for purposes of recognition.
"This is really a unification bill," she said of the state law. "It will start to really identify the nation, because in all of our conversations about sovereignty and self-governance, that is the entity that has been missing, in terms of recognizing who the nation is. And I think that this bill would bring a lot of that to rest."
Solomon’s comments echo her statement
And who will be in charge of deciding which Hawaiians are “qualified”. Abercrombie has appointed a five-member roll commission headed by Broken Trust figure John Waihee. Akamai readers will of course instantly recognize Waihee as the author of a 1995 proposal to relocate the Broken Trust Bishop Estate Headquarters to the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation. Instead of moving to an Indian Reservation the Broken Trust gang is trying to assemble an Indian reservation around themselves—and Waihee is in charge of ensuring that only politically trustworthy cronies are deemed “qualified.”
Now, with a single paragraph slipped into page 124 of an 181 page bill, Senator Dan Inouye is attempting to trick Congress into ratifying the entire scheme. And once again, Hawaii is depending on Republican Senators to save us from our own Congressional Delegation.
Hawaii Reporter, October 30, 2011
New Akaka Bill Stealth Strategy is Actually Old
BY KENNETH R. CONKLIN, PH.D. -- On October 24, 2011 Malia Zimmerman, editor of Hawaii Reporter, described a new stealth maneuver by Senator Dan Inouye (D, HI) to pass the Akaka bill. She reported that the Senate Appropriations Committee (which Inouye chairs) is considering a bill to appropriate billions of dollars for the Department of Interior. She described how, on October 14, Inouye quietly exercised his prerogative as Chair to insert a new Section 420, consisting of a single sentence, which says that the group of people being assembled under Hawaii Act 195 of 2011 (the state-recognized ethnic Hawaiian group) is now to be placed on the list of federally recognized tribes. For details, including the exact language, see
For information about Act 195, see
On October 26, Malia Hill wrote that Inouye's stealth maneuver is "backdoor dealing and 'hidden' legislation" which is unethical and needs sunlight. She says the Akaka bill "would have a significant and transformative effect on Hawaii. Nor can we ignore the fact that there is far from a public consensus on the bill -- which is why so many support the idea of a public referendum"
This particular manner of passing the Akaka bill is even more dangerous than previous attempts because the newly created tribe would have none of the limitations which all previous versions of the bill have placed on it. Even Governor Lingle, who had aggressively lobbied for the bill many times, refused in 2009 to support the most recent radical version introduced again in 2011 by the Congressional delegation until they agreed to restore some protections for the people of Hawaii.
The tribe created by Inouye's stealth maneuver would now be free to play the state and federal governments against each other. The very compliant state legislature would be free to hand over half the lands of Hawaii to the tribe, along with hundreds of millions of dollars and astonishing levels of jurisdictional authority. Meanwhile existing federal law and future acts of Congress would grant the same powers to the Hawaii tribe that all federally recognized tribes possess, whether the state legislature likes it or not.
Some commentators are saying the Congressional delegation plans to break up the Akaka bill into pieces, with each piece to be inserted as a rider into various must-pass bills (much like a shotgun sends pellets of shrapnel into several different bodies). But that's not necessary. This single rider would get the entire job done (like a rifle bullet to the heart). A likely strategy might be to insert the same rider into several different bills (several rifle shots) in hopes one might get through unnoticed, or might be successfully negotiated with opponents in some obscure "you help me, I help you" conference committee at the end of the session. We might recall that at the end of 2010 there was a huge omnibus appropriations bill with several thousand earmarks, which died from embarrassment. This time around there's a "super committee" of 6 House and 6 Senate members who must reduce the budget deficit by more than a trillion dollars to avoid massive rescissions.
In December 2009 there was a loud public protest against the Akaka bill spurred by credible reports that Inouye was planning to sneak it into a Defense Department appropriations bill. On December 14 2009 numerous news media quoted Senator Inouye responding as follows:
"I have never suggested that the Akaka Native Hawaiian Recognition Bill be passed and adopted as part of the defense appropriations process. I don't know where this nonsensical suggestion originated. The Akaka Bill for the past many years has been considered under what we call the regular order. It has had hours upon hours of hearings, many, many revisions and amendments and has gone through the scrutiny of three administrations. We have had hearings in Washington and in Hawaii. It is not a measure that has been shepherded in the dark of the night. It has been fully transparent."
Well, Senator Inouye, what you called "nonsensical" then should still be nonsensical now. Why are you going back on your word?
Perhaps one reason he is going back on his word is that he was actually lying when he said in 2009 that "I have never suggested that the Akaka Native Hawaiian Recognition Bill be passed and adopted as part of the defense appropriations process" and "It is not a measure that has been shepherded in the dark of the night. It has been fully transparent."
As a matter of fact, Inouye has repeatedly used stealth tactics for 11 years, including one especially outrageous event in December 2001 when he secretly inserted a one-sentence rider into a Defense Department appropriations bill!!! Here is that sentence in December 2001, buried in the massive Defense Appropriations bill HR.3338: "SEC. 8132. The provisions of S. 746 of the 107th Congress, as reported to the Senate on September 21, 2001, are hereby enacted into law." That bill actually passed with the rider unnoticed inside, until the rider was surgically removed by a special resolution passed on the last day of that session. Inouye's fellow Senators warned him that it violates Senate rules to insert controversial policy legislation into an appropriations bill as though it's merely an "earmark" for some local project to benefit a constituent. For all the gory details see
Inouye's stealth maneuver in 2001 was a very dishonorable thing, violating Senate rules and the trust of his colleagues. More recently Inouye has told falsehoods about Hawaiian history on the floor of the U.S. Senate while pushing the Akaka bill, including the claim that U.S. troops invaded Iolani palace during the Hawaiian revolution, arrested the Queen, and imprisoned her there. For proof from the Congressional Record of what he said, and an explanation of what really happened, see
Inouye has told other lies about Hawaiian history, saying on several different occasions (including on the Senate floor) that the Hawaiian flag hauled down from the Palace at the time of annexation was publicly torn into pieces given as souvenirs to the haoles, in order to humiliate the Hawaiians. See
Senator Inouye now wears the Medal of Honor he certainly deserves, awarded to him by a bill to upgrade WW2 medals for Japanese Americans (authored by Senator Akaka). Yet he's doing the very same dishonorable thing all over again in 2011 that he did ten years previously. The Akaka bill itself is a dirty, disgusting thing, totally lacking in pono. And so are the methods Inouye has repeatedly used for trying to push it through Congress. It's a shame that a man who served his nation with great bravery, and has done many important things to benefit Hawaii's people, is sullying his legacy as he approaches the end of his career.
Hawaii Reporter, October 30, 2011
Hawaii News Media Reporting Falsehoods as Though They are Commonly Accepted Facts
BY KENNETH R. CONKLIN, PH.D. -- Sometimes newspapers publish falsehoods by accident. They might use press releases from trusted sources without checking the facts; or they might repeat commonly believed myths.
But sometimes a newspaper knowingly expresses an editorial viewpoint inside what appears to be a neutral news report. One very effective way to do this is to tell a falsehood as though it is a commonly accepted fact, and to mention it merely in passing, in the context of reporting about a related but different topic.
Two recently published news reports are examined below. Readers can decide for themselves whether the truth is murdered with malice aforethought, or whether it is accidental manslaughter.
1. On Sunday October 30 the Honolulu Star-Advertiser published an article by political reporter Derrick DePledge, entitled "Akaka OKs Native Hawaiian recognition strategy." For those who are subscribers or pay the online entry fee, the article can be seen at
DePledge has many years with the newspaper including several as its Washington D.C. reporter, who frequently wrote about ethnic Hawaiian issues such as the Akaka bill and Supreme Court consideration of whether to hear a desegregation lawsuit against Kamehameha Schools. He clearly has detailed knowledge about such topics. This newspaper, and both of its predecessors (Advertiser and Star-Bulletin), have repeatedly editorialized in favor of the Akaka bill.
This article describes a one-sentence rider inserted into a Department of Interior appropriations bill that would place the ethnic Hawaiian tribe state-recognized under Act 195 onto the list of federally recognized tribes, thus in effect passing the Akaka bill with no testimony or debate.
DePledge asserts one falsehood in 2 different places in his article. In the 11 year history of the Akaka bill it's the first time this falsehood has been asserted; but apparently we're now going to hear it over and over again, just like so many other lies.
Derrick DePledge says the rider would allow the federal government to recognize ethnic Hawaiians "in a way similar to how it recognizes American Indian tribes" or "in the way American Indians and Alaska Natives are recognized."
He reports that as though it's a matter of fact, although he should be reporting that it's (merely) what Inouye/Akaka are claiming. The claim is put forward to lull us into thinking there's nothing unusual or irregular about the stealth procedure. After all, ethnic Hawaiians deserve to be treated just like America's other "indigenous peoples"; and this is the normal way for tribes to get recognition.
But like so many other things Inouye/Akaka have said about history and law, that's false. And like so many other things in news reports in this newspaper, the falsehood is asserted in a sneaky way, as though it's merely a reminder of something well-known and obviously true.
Every federally recognized tribe got federally recognized in one of two ways. In most cases it was done by a petition to the Bureau of Indian Affairs proving that the tribe meets every one of 7 mandatory criteria for getting federal recognition spelled out in 25 CFR 83.7. ("Native Hawaiians" would fail on several of them and thus be rejected). In a few cases Congress passed a bill to recognize the tribe, similar to the Akaka bill -- but always a free-standing bill publicly debated, not some sneaky piece of garbage buried as a couple of sentences in the middle of an appropriations bill.
To the best of my knowledge there is no tribe that got federal recognition in the manner now being attempted by the newest Inouye/Akaka stealth procedure.
2. On Sunday October 23, 2011 the Hawaii Tribune-Herald (Hilo) published a news report by staff writer Peter Sur describing a long-delayed birthday celebration for Queen Liliuokalani. The article is at http://tinyurl.com/3dzlqlp
A false sentence in the middle of the article says "Queen Lili'uokalani, the younger sister of King Kalakaua, ruled Hawaii between 1891 and 1893, when she was deposed by a group of Americans in a coup."
That same day I sent by e-mail a letter to editor, with a copy to Peter Sur, and also requesting that a correction should be printed in the newspaper. Neither the editor nor the reporter replied to me; and neither my letter nor any correction was published. Here's my letter, which is well within the length allowed by the newspaper:
** TITLE: There were only 4 Americans among the 13 leaders of the Hawaiian revolution of 1893.
Peter Sur's October 23 news report about the belated birthday bash for Lili'uokalani has a major error.
The article says "Queen Lili'uokalani ... was deposed by a group of Americans in a coup."
That pernicious falsehood stirs anti-American and anti-Caucasian resentment which fuels the Hawaiian sovereignty movement today. It's not only Peter Sur who believes that falsehood -- our public schools are brainwashing the kids with this propaganda in the mandatory "History of Hawaii" course. It was NOT a group of Americans who overthrew Lili'uokalani.
Ralph S. Kuykendal, "The Hawaiian Kingdom" Volume 3 page 597 says: "The Committee of Safety as first appointed was composed of the chairman H.E. Cooper, F.W. McChesney, T.F. Lansing, and J.A. McCandless, who were Americans; W.O. Smith, L.A. Thurston, W.R. Castle and A.S. Wilcox, who were Hawaiian born of American parents; W.C. Wilder, American, C. Bolte, German, and Henry Waterhouse, Tasmanian, who were naturalized Hawaiian citizens; Andrew Brown, Scotchman, and H.F. Glade, German, who were not."
Thus, among the thirteen-member Committee of Safety, only four were Americans. Seven (a majority) were either native-born or naturalized subjects of the Kingdom with all the rights of natives, and the remaining two were citizens of Scotland and Germany.
You should also note that of the 5500 members of the Annexation Club in Honolulu, only 22% were Americans. An almost equal number were native Hawaiians. The largest number were Portuguese (41%). In 1893, President Grover Cleveland's "fact finder" to Hawai'i, James H. Blount, wrote in his report that the 5,500 members of the city's Annexation Club at that time included 1,218 Americans (22 percent of the club); 1,022 Native Hawaiians (19 percent); 251 Englishmen (5 percent); 2,261 Portuguese (41 percent); 69 Norwegians (1 percent); 351 Germans (6 percent), along with 328 persons unclassified but making up the balance.
3. Some other examples of false propaganda masquerading as fact in "news reports"
"Forced assimilation may hurt Hawaiians" published by reporter Gordon Pang in the Honolulu Advertiser of June 20, 2005. Full text, with detailed analysis, at
Full text of several dozen published news reports and editorials falsely claiming that Hawaiian language was made illegal or was suppressed after the Hawaiian revolution of 1893 and throughout the Territorial and early Statehood periods. Extensive analysis and disproof of that scurrilous claim at
The Goebbels Award For Outstanding Use of Media for Propaganda Disguised As Fact -- Honolulu Star-Bulletin Wednesday April 23 2008, page 2 (The newspaper falsely stated that President Grover Cleveland signed a proclamation in 1894 that set April 30th as a day of prayer and remembrance for Queen Liliuokalani and the overthrown monarchy of Hawaii; and the newspaper refused to publish a correction despite being given proof of falsehood).
"... the only place in Hawaii [Mauna Ala, the Royal Mausoleum] where neither state nor federal land laws apply. These peaceful 3.5 acres are the last surviving remnant of the Kingdom of Hawaii." And also Mauna Ala remains "royal land under the Hawaiian flag" and when entering the gates of Mauna Ala "the Western world and its laws and customs are left behind on Nu'uanu Avenue."
The article about that was published in Midweek newspaper in two installments: Volume 20, No. 4 of May 19, 2004 and Volume 20, No. 5 of May 26, 2004. An additional, related article was published in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin of Sunday October 30, 2005. Full text of articles, plus detailed analysis (dis)proving the falsehoods, is at
Human Events, Monday October 31, 2011
Legislative Lowdown, No. 4 of 5 items
by Brian Darling
The Senate Appropriations Committee released a draft of its appropriations bill for the Interior Department earlier this month. Section 420 contains a provision allowing the secretary of the Interior Department to recognize "Native Hawaiians" as a federally recognized Indian tribe. This is a version of the “Akaka Bill,” and an effort to create a race-based government for individuals classified as native Hawaiians.
This is a radical measure that would force even more separation on the American people into different ethnic groups. This is also a measure that many native Hawaiians oppose, because they feel that the people claiming to represent their interests are enriching themselves at the expense of the true interests of those of Hawaiian heritage as wells as traditional fishing rights.
Brian H. Darling writes the "Legislative Lowdown" column for Human Events and is senior fellow for Government Studies at The Heritage Foundation. Follow him at Twitter: brianhdarling
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, October 31, 2011, Off the News (mini-editorials)
Once more into the breach for Akaka Bill
As time runs out, federal legislation to grant sovereignty to Native Hawaiians is being given consideration as longtime sponsor U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka prepares to empty his Capitol Hill desk.
U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye has inserted the heated measure, known as the Akaka Bill, into a draft of the Interior Department appropriations bill. The measure that has been debated in Congress for the past debate would recognize Native Hawaiians at the same status as American Indian tribes. Opposing Republicans are aware of the move and are expected to stand again in the way of the clause's passage.
Akaka is finishing his final term in the Senate. Candidates for his seat are Democratic U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono and former U.S. Rep. Ed Case and Republican former Gov. Linda Lingle, all of whom have endorsed Hawaiian sovereignty.
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, November 1, 2011, COMMENTARY
Hawaiian sovereignty, one sentence at a time
By Richard Borreca
With a knowing smile, Hawaii's Sen. Daniel K. Inouye leans back in his chair and says: "As has been said since the time of Adam, there are many different ways to skin a cat."
The feline under consideration is the Native Hawaiian sovereignty recognition bill, which in various forms has been slogging its way through Congress since 2000.
As chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Inouye had a single sentence inserted into the Interior Department budget bill. It allows the federal government to recognize Native Hawaiians in the same way that American Indians and Native Alaskans are recognized, but without immediate benefits for federal programs.
In an interview last week, I asked Inouye how something like this could pass without a vote, Inouye noted that the insertion still has to make it through the Senate and then go to the House.
"It is not over yet because the House bill doesn't have the same language.It would be subject to conference," Inouye said.
Why would House Republicans, already not a group that sees life the same ways as Senate Democrats do, want to go along with this?
Inouye, relying on Republican support in the Senate, says that "in conference, we are able to tell our House counterparts, 'This measure is bipartisan, unless you consider the Republicans in the Senate to be something less than Republican.'"
The bill has more history than support and there have been fears that it will pass through the back room without a vote.
In 2009, Native Hawaiians who opposed the Akaka Bill claimed that Inouye was readying a plan to insert the bill into a defense spending bill. At that time, Inouye denied that, calling it "nonsensical."
In Inouye's mind, however, the idea of federal recognition of a sovereign entity for Native Hawaiians, whose ancestors saw their nation disappear with the help of the U.S., has had enough discussion.
Inouye said the bill had hours of hearings, multiple revisions and amendments.
"We have had hearings in Washington and Hawaii. It is not a measure that has been shepherded in the dark of night," Inouye said in 2009.
Today, Inouye insists this new effort is "not a new concept."
"This gives you an opportunity; it authorizes you to begin the process," Inouye said last week. Specifically, how that process would work is still unclear. Congress has a set of 12 appropriations bills needed to keep the federal government running, including the Interior Department spending bill. So for the Inouye insertion to survive, it must first clear the Senate and then be taken up by the House.
Inouye is betting that in a conference committee, he will be able to trade off other appropriation items for the single sentence. The fall-back reasoning could be that this just starts a long process and nothing is really changed.
Back in 2005, during another more straightforward attempt to push the bill, conservative commentator Michelle Malkin called the Akaka Bill "the worst bill you've never heard of."
Then, the Akaka Bill had the strong support of the state Legislature and Republican Gov. Linda Lingle. Even with special visits by Lingle, the bill failed to move in the Senate, as one Republican senator after another put a choke hold on the bill.
Second-guessing Inouye's strategic thinking is probably a losing proposition, but this attempt appears to be more a Hail Mary pass than a methodical strategy.
It speaks to the issue that Sen. Daniel K. Akaka retires in 2013 and there is neither time nor support for a controversial bill, mostly important just to Hawaii.
HONOLULU STAR-ADVERTISER POLL ARCHIVE
What are the chances Congress will pass the resurrected Akaka Bill, which calls for Native Hawaiian federal recognition?
C. Not good (81%, 661 Votes)
B. 50-50 (15%, 126 Votes)
A. Good (4%, 27 Votes)
Total Voters: 813
Start Date: November 1, 2011 @ 12:00 am
End Date: November 1, 2011 @ 4:00 pm
American Spectator, November 8, 2011
The Problem With Hawaii
Why give it a free pass for its violations of the Voting Rights Act while continuing to punish select states that abide by it better than most?
By JACK PARK
** Excerpts relevant to the Akaka bill, taken from a much more lengthy essay.
Hawaii is a very pretty place. I know because I've been there. But, pretty as it is, it belongs in the penalty box.
The penalty box I'm talking about is Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. In 1965, Congress put nearly all of the Southern States under the thumb of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act because they were good at discriminating against their African-American citizens when they tried to vote. Congress devised a formula that captured only those States that it wanted to penalize, states like Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia. ...
So, an apples-to-apples comparison of states would look at voter registration and participation data. That's where Hawaii comes in. If we looked at only the last three presidential elections before 2006 instead of looking at 40-year old elections, Hawaii would be the only state covered.
Congress brushed aside the suggestion that the coverage formula be updated when it extended Section 5 for another 25 years. Some said it was inappropriate to compare Hawaii with the covered jurisdictions, thinking that Hawaii doesn't have a history of voting discrimination.
But, that's not entirely true. In 2000, the Supreme Court held that Hawaii violated the 15th Amendment by allowing only those that it defined as being of Hawaiian "ancestry" to vote for the trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. In Rice v. Cayetano, the Supreme Court concluded that Hawaii was improperly using "ancestry as a racial definition and for a racial purpose."
That's not all. For the past several years, Congress has been considering the proposed Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, also known as the "Akaka Bill," whose co-sponsors include Senators Akaka and Inouye of Hawaii. That bill would end-run Rice v. Cayetano and treat native Hawaiians like Indian tribes. As National Review pointed out, an effect of the bill would be to "partly disenfranchise a portion of the state's residents …." "[P]artly disenfranchis[ing]" some of a state's residents in violation of the 15th Amendment got the covered jurisdictions into trouble in 1965. Somehow, trying to do that isn't enough to put Hawaii into the penalty box.
Moreover, with the proposed Akaka Bill stalled in Congress, Senator Inouye is apparently working on a fix. A paragraph in the Senate Appropriations Committee's draft bill for Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations would pave the way for making Native Hawaiians an Indian tribe, even though Hawaiians belonged to a kingdom, not an Indian tribe. Senator Inouye's current move comes after he called allegations that he was trying to sneak the Akaka Bill into a 2009 Defense Appropriation bill "nonsensical" and claimed that the process for enacting the Akaka Bill was "fully transparent."
Maybe, the Voting Rights Act is really about politics, not whether Hawaii should be a covered jurisdiction. There is no way that reliable Democrats like Senators Akaka and Inouye, who apparently believe it's OK to "partly disenfranchise" some of Hawaii's residents, would make Hawaii submit all changes in its voting standards, practices and procedures to the Department of Justice for approval. The same holds true for any other Democratic Senators from non-covered jurisdictions; they could never vote for a formula that would include their home states. It's far easier for them to tell other states to do it.
Capturing states that have long since improved and leaving out states that should be included is a serious geographic mismatch that runs afoul of what the Supreme Court has called "the fundamental principle of equal sovereignty." The States enter the Union on an equal footing and must be treated equally afterwards unless Congress has a good reason not to. Congress had such a reason in 1965, but it's not 1965 anymore. Even so, Congress still treats Alabama differently from Tennessee and Mississippi differently from Hawaii.
Some suggest that, when Congress decides to treat States differently, it doesn't have to act with surgical precision. Maybe they're right, but a surgeon who removed six good toes and left one bad one would be guilty of malpractice.
cato@liberty, November 17, 2011
Sneaking Race-Based Government Through the Tropical Back Door
Posted by Ilya Shapiro
Those of you who follow this blog know of the special place in my heart for Hawaiian constitutional issues. Cato has even filed several Hawaii-related amicus briefs; here’s my post
about the latest one,
last month. This is in part because thinking about the Constitution and individual liberty is even more fun in the context of palm trees, trade winds, and tiki bars, but more than that, developments in Hawaii tend to get overlooked or dismissed as parochial and “not really” relevant to the American project.
Unfortunately, that sort of benign neglect plays into the hands of those who want to wreak all sorts of havoc with our constitutional order. And once those who don’t care about limited government, individual liberty, and equality under the law gain a toehold anywhere, Honolulu as much as Hartford, that creates a dangerous precedent — a political and jurisprudential tsunami, if you will, that threatens to swamp the mainland.
Such is the case with the infamous Akaka Bill (which I most recently covered in a blogpost
that links to my previous work on the subject). This bill, introduced in every Congress since 2000, would create a race-based governing entity that would negotiate with the federal and state governments over all sorts of issues — effectively carving out a system of racial spoils.
Now, Hawaii’s senators, Daniel Akaka and Daniel Inouye, have long said that their pursuit of this legislation would always be above-board and transparent… until a couple of weeks ago when Inouye, as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, had a sentence inserted into the massive Interior Department funding bill allowing the federal government to recognize Native Hawaiians in the same way that American Indians and Native Alaskans are recognized (but without immediate federal benefits). This, combined with a state resolution labeling the “Native Hawaiian people” as the only indigenous Hawaiians, is part of a piecemeal strategy to get the Akaka Bill in through the backdoor.
For more coverage of these developments, see this report,
as well as these two articles ($).
For Hawaii’s fuzzy relationship with the Voting Rights Act, see this article.
For reasons on why this is all not just sneaky but a terrible idea — and unconstitutional — again, see my previous writings.
At base, Hawaiians have a very different history and political sociology from the tribes that were accommodated in our (dubious and counterproductive) Indian law, which itself is a unique compromise with pre-constitutional reality. It would be a shame to destroy that beautiful state’s spirit of aloha (welcome).
Honolulu Civil Beat, Monday, November 21st, 2011
A Day on the Hill: Colleen Hanabusa
By Adrienne LaFrance
** Excerpts related to the Akaka bill
We've asked each of Hawaii's congressional delegates to let us spend a day with them. Our next stop is 1st Congressional District Rep. Colleen Hanabusa's office.
Hanabusa is standing with her arm around Sen. Daniel Akaka, her voice lower than usual as she speaks.
"You think we going to be able to get it through the Interior?" she asks him.
Hanabusa is referring to a legislative strategy aimed at passing the controversial Akaka Bill, which would provide federal recognition to Native Hawaiians.
While a stand-alone bill has failed to pass in Congress, the latest strategy to pass the measure came from Sen. Daniel Inouye, who inserted recognition language into a larger Department of the Interior spending bill.
"I hope so," Akaka says. "It's tough."
"It is tough," she says. "Anywhere we can tack it."
"It's sneaky," Akaka says with a smile.
"It's not sneaky," Hanabusa replies. "It's what it takes, man. We got to get it through."
Akaka thanks her for the help, and the two continue posing for photos.
On the walk back toward her office, Hanabusa describes the challenges that still remain in passing legislation that recognizes Native Hawaiians as indigenous people.
"If people could just vote on whether it's right — whether this is the right thing to do — then it wouldn't be an issue," Hanabusa says. "But unfortunately, it's getting caught up, I think, in the politics of the whole situation. I'd like to think that's going to have a better chance, simply because this just gives broad recognition, which is really what we need. A lot of it's going to depend on, really, whether it becomes part of somebody's radar, and what issue people are going to make of it."
Ka Wai Ola (OHA monthly newspaper), December 2011,
pages 5 and 10 and 33
Civic clubs display unity in action at annual convention
By Naomi Sodetani
** Excerpts related to Akaka bill
A panel discussion also explored the significance of Act 195, which recognizes Native Hawaiians as “the only indigenous, aboriginal, maoli population of Hawai‘i.” Panelists were State Sens. Clayton Hee and Malama Solomon, OHA Trustee Peter Apo and former Gov. John Waihe‘e III. Former AHCC President Bruss Keppeler served as moderator.
“We are the true native people of this land, no one needs to tell us that,” said Solomon, who, with Hee, led the charge in the Legislature to pass Senate Bill 1520 into law as Act 195. “But to have formal recognition by the people of Hawai‘i as accomplished here through legislative action is all important to the process as we embark on our journey together.”
OHA Trustee Peter Apo said state recognition “signals a major shift in the ground. It will bring the effort home by answering the first question in nation
building, which is, ‘Who are its citizens?’ ”
The new state law provides for a process of enrolling qualified Native Hawaiians who meet various criteria certifying their maoli ancestry. Established within OHA for administrative purposes only, a five-member
Native Hawaiian Roll Commission appointed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie will prepare, maintain, update and publish the Native Hawaiian Roll. Enrollees will be able to participate in a convention for Native Hawaiians to organize themselves. After publication of the roll, the commission will be dissolved, having completed its work.
The enrollment process is “not intended to be any kind of voter registration at this time,” Apo said. “But it will tell us who the Hawaiians are and where they are – and that is the first solid step toward nationhood.”
Act 195 is “an acknowledgment of the Hawaiian people’s unrelinquished sovereignty, said Waihe‘e, who chairs the Roll Commission. The former Governor called for Native Hawaiians to step forward and take part in the “reunification” process. “Sovereignty belongs to us; we need to exercise it, because the next stage is the restoration of the nation.”
For Hee, Native Hawaiian nationhood, past and future, is as close as blood. “My grandfather was born in 1888, five years before the overthrow. My
grandmother was born in 1900. Both of them are two generations from me,” said Hee, a former OHA Trustee. “I can touch them. I remember them. They are indelible marks in me. That’s how close the Kingdom of Hawai‘i is to us.”
State recognition strategically dovetails with ongoing efforts to achieve federal recognition for Native Hawaiians, said Solomon. “More than 20 other
states have recognized native entities, tribes, clans and pueblo, and a number of state-recognized entities have gone on to gain federal recognition. And this is our intention.”
With the federal recognition bill pending in Congress, Sen. Daniel Akaka told the gathering he is “reviewing and looking for ways to streamline” the bill
and realign it with the state recognition process. The Chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, Akaka vowed to “continue to fight to ensure Native
Hawaiians are afforded the same rights as the other indigenous peoples in this country, and (I’ll) use all avenues available to me to make parity a reality.”
Proclamations honored Senator Akaka and OHA Chief Executive Clyde Nämu‘o for their distinguished service. Many other community leaders, cultural
practitioners and organizations were also recognized for their service and contributions, including OHA Trustee Haunani Apoliona and former OHA staffer Gladys Rodenhurst, who only missed one convention
since the annual event began in 1959.
Three new clubs chartered at the convention join the growing confederation of now-63 Hawaiian civic clubs located throughout Hawai‘i and 15 other states and the District of Columbia, where the 2012 convention will be held. ...
Honolulu Weekly, December 7, 2011
Hawaiian Roll Call
BY JOAN CONROW
As Sen. Daniel Inouye struggles to keep the Akaka Bill afloat by slipping it into a spending measure drafted by his Appropriations Committee, the state is embarking on a parallel process for Native Hawaiian recognition through Act 195.
Signed into law on July 6, 2011, by Gov. Neil Abercrombie, a staunch supporter of the Akaka Bill, Act 195 officially acknowledges Native Hawaiians as the sole indigenous people of the Islands.
It also establishes a governor-appointed commission charged with determining just who is Native Hawaiian. The goal is to create a roll of persons eligible to participate in a process that could lead to the formation of a self-governing entity.
To qualify for the roll, individuals must be over age 18 and must be able to prove they are related to the aboriginal peoples who inhabited the Islands prior to 1778. They also must demonstrate “a significant cultural, social or civic connection to the Native Hawaiian community,” and either meet the 50 percent blood quantum set by the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act or be a direct lineal descendent of someone who did.
Former Gov. John Waihee, who was named the at-large member of the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission and later chosen as its chair, has dubbed it the “reunification commission,” saying it’s “laying a foundation here for establishing the sovereignty of the Hawaiian people.”
Waihee declined to be interviewed by the Weekly, saying he wants to wait until Commission members are more “jelled” before making public statements. He did, however, make comments on a Nov. 6 radio show hosted by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA), which has provided the Commission with office space and $380,000 for operating expenses.
In the same radio program, OHA chief advocate Esther Kiaaina said the Akaka Bill “establishes a process for creating an entity akin to what is being done now. [Act 195] complements the efforts at the federal recognition level. Being part of a Native Hawaiian roll is a big part of setting up a governing entity.”
Therein lies much of the opposition to Act 195, as articulated by P. Kaanohi Kaleikini in testimony delivered last April to the Senate Finance Committee: “I oppose this measure because, like the Federal level Akaka bill, they would set up a Native Hawaiian governing mechanism that would further ensnare and entrench Hawaii into the US system by turning the Hawaiian people into an American Indian tribe, ‘indigenous’ to the US. This would further the US goal of extinguishing Hawaiian Nationals’ claims to our lands and our national identity.”
Others see the Roll Commission as effectively disenfranchising large numbers of kanaka maoli, who have been struggling for years toward independence.
“As you all must know, there are many who stand in very strong opposition to this process, just as many of us oppose federal recognition as a means to sovereignty,” Laulani Teale, an Oahu community activist and cultural peacemaker, testified at the Roll Commission’s first meeting on Oct. 14. “I believe that we all know that the strong-spirited warriors of the independence movement, like our kupuna before us, and many of whom have been fighting against the occupation and colonization of Hawaiʻi for decades, will not change their views, nor participate in a ‘roll’ under any circumstances. These are the front-line warriors whose voices and actions have brought us to where we are today. I think we all know that any form of nation built without these voices would simply not be pono.”
Some Hawaiians, however, clearly do support the bill, including members of the state Legislature as well as the Department of Hawaiian Homelands, Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs, ‘Aha Kiole Advisory Committee and OHA.
“This measure is the first step in us as a state taking some action to rectify this very bad situation,” said Maui Sen. J. Kalani English in testimony before the Senate. “Not waiting for the federal government, not waiting for Congress, not waiting for the [United Nations], not waiting for some outside agency, but us.”
But other Hawaiians and their supporters object to the state, which they view as illegal, creating the framework for a native governing entity.
As Ehu Cardwell of the pro-independence Koani Foundation explained in testimony to the Senate, “It boils down to this: You cannot ‘cede’ lands you do not own. You cannot transfer jurisdiction you do not have. Therefore, the ‘state of Hawaii,’ having no lawful lands or jurisdiction, cannot go forward with this Akaka-like, ‘Native Hawaiian (or First Nation) Government Reorganization’ scheme.”
They fear the state-sponsored process set forth by Act 195 will usurp the longstanding efforts of various sovereignty groups, a concern that Waihee tried to dismiss in his radio interview.
“It’s not like the state of Hawaii’s forming this government for us,” he said. “What the government is doing is recognizing we are the indigenous people and giving us the opportunity, through the kindness of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, to have the means to go and do that, to ultimately form our own government.”
And that’s precisely the kind of connection that has some kanaka maoli very concerned, as the commission, which must make a status report to the Legislature 20 days prior to the start of the 2012 session, goes about its business.
** Ken Conklin's online comment:
Support unity, equality, and aloha for all
The only credible poll about the Akaka bill was done by Zogby in November 2009. It showed that a majority of Hawaii's people oppose the Akaka bill, and an even larger majority demand a referendum on the ballot, comparable to ratification of a state Constitutional amendment. Yet every Democrat running for the House or Senate, and also ex-Governor Lingle (the likely Republican nominee for Senate), support the Akaka bill. All of them insist on ramming it down our throats as an unfunded federal mandate, whether we like it or not, without putting it on the ballot.
Joan Conrow's article of December 7 describes only two viewpoints about the federal Akaka bill and state Act 195. Neither view represents what most of Hawaii's people, and probably most ethnic Hawaiians, want. Both views ignore what's best for Hawaii and focus only on how ethnic Hawaiians can get the most goodies.
#1: Ethnic nationalism. Rip the 50th star off the flag. Re-establish Hawaii as an independent nation. But unlike the historical Kingdom where all citizens had equal voting and property rights regardless of race, the reinstated nation would give superior rights to ethnic Hawaiians on account of the "rights of indigenous people" under modern "international law." Hawaiians are children of the gods and brothers to the land in a way nobody else ever can be. First class citizenship for people who have a drop of the magic blood; back of the bus for everyone else.
#2: Racial separatism. Use Act 195, or the Akaka bill, to create a race-based phony Indian tribe and transfer huge amounts of money, land, and jurisdictional authority to it. #2 would get gobs of goodies quickly, but would undermine hope for #1 because ethnic Hawaiians who sign up for the tribe are thereby acknowledging that the federal and state governments have sovereignty.
Conrow clearly favors #1. But she lacks the magic blood, so she exercises political correctness by not explicitly saying so.
Conrow totally ignores the option most of Hawaii's people favor, and probably most ethnic Hawaiians as well. #3: Unity, equality, and aloha for all. Hawaii remains united with the U.S., and our people and lands remain unified under the undivided sovereignty of the State of Hawaii. Everyone is equal in the eyes of God regardless of race, and gets treated equally under the law. To quote that famous street philosopher Rodney King: "Can't we all just get along?"
Please read the book "Hawaiian Apartheid: Racial Separatism and Ethnic Nationalism in the Aloha State." 27 copies are available in the public library system, and portions are available for free on the internet at
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, December 14, 2011
High court should decline case
Even as U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka's bill to grant recognition of Hawaiian sovereignty sits stalled in Congress, Native Hawaiians' present recognition faces a serious legal challenge. The U.S. Supreme Court is giving serious consideration on whether to consider stripping legal tax exemptions from Hawaiian homelands lessees, a case that could have a devastating effect.
In April, the Hawaii Supreme Court rejected the argument by five non-Hawaiians who challenged Hawaiian property tax exemptions as race-based civil rights violations — but the case is being appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. If the high court decides to hear it, then rules in favor of non-Hawaiian residents' attempt to dismantle property tax exemptions to Native Hawaiian lessees, the result could ripple throughout the native community by dashing conditions set by the Hawaiian Homes Act passed by Congress in 1921 and codified in the Hawaii Constitution.
The lawsuit relies largely on a 2000 federal high court ruling in Rice v. Cayetano that struck down the requirement that only Native Hawaiians can cast votes in Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee elections.
The issue of native rights also lies at the heart of the Akaka Bill, which would grant rights similar to those of American Indian tribes. But Hawaiians' history differs significantly from those of Indian tribes, which were granted rights through treaties and have been recognized in courts as "domestic dependent nations." Unique remedy is due Native Hawaiians because of the complex history between the U.S. and Hawaii, including overthrow of the monarchy and seizure of Hawaiian lands.
THE U.S. Supreme Court sometimes asks the opinion of the U.S. Justice Department's solicitor general, who represents the administration before the high court, if a petition has a federal consequence. The solicitor general was asked by the high court this week to provide such advice.
While the request to the solicitor general may cause concern that the court is taking a step toward hearing the case, the result of past inquiries could be reassuring to Native Hawaiians. While the high court grants only one in 100 petitions that ask to hear issues in lower court rulings, a 1992 study found that it granted 88 percent of petitions where the solicitor general filed a brief supporting the petitioner and denied 60 percent of petitions where the solicitor general opposed the petitioner.
ANOTHER — perhaps the most — encouraging sign is that the Obama administration has supported the Akaka Bill and the cause of native self-determination. Sam Hirsch, deputy associate attorney general, told a Senate committee two years ago that indigenous Hawaiians have much in common with Indian tribes, pointing out that they exercised self-rule prior to the arrival of Western explorers and have worked to preserve traditional culture. Therefore, the solicitor general is likely to urge the Supreme Court to reject the petition, according to the past records.
However, the court's Republican majority could easily choose to align with the previous administration. That is because the George W. Bush administration threatened to veto the Akaka Bill four years ago, saying it would "formally divide sovereign United States power along suspect lines of race and ethnicity." The lawsuit at hand is supported by politically conservative or libertarian groups such as the Pacific Legal Foundation, the Cato Institute, the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii and the Goldwater Institute.
While Republicans dominate the Supreme Court, former Gov. Linda Lingle's administration supported Hawaiian sovereignty and her attorney general, Mark Bennett, told the Star-Advertiser's Ken Kobayashi that he hopes and expects the high court to deny review of the case. We echo that sentiment.
The failure over the past decade by Congress to approve the Akaka Bill has been disappointing, but hopes persist that the deserved legislation eventually is approved and signed into law. In the meantime, steps in the opposite direction would be more frustrating and could stand in the way of eventual success for deserved Hawaiian sovereignty.
HONOLULU STAR-ADVERTISER POLL ARCHIVE
Do you think providing state government benefits to Native Hawaiians is valid under the U.S. Constitution?
B. No (67%, 718 Votes)
A. Yes (33%, 352 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,065
Start Date: December 14, 2011 @ 12:00 am
End Date: December 14, 2011 @ 4:00 pm
Honolulu Civil Beat, December 14, 2011
Chad Blair blog
Machado: OHA Will ‘Aggressively’ Push Akaka Bill
“Within the last year, OHA has started to open up alternate legislative and executive routes in coordination with Senator Daniel Akaka, Senator Daniel Inouye and the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs,” she said today at OHA’s annual investiture. “President Barack Obama is a strong partner in this effort. OHA will aggressively pursue these legislative and executive paths throughout the next year.”
Honolulu Weekly, December 14, 2011, Letter to editor
Support unity, equality and aloha for all.
The only credible poll on the Akaka bill was done by Zogby in November 2009. It showed that the majority of Hawaii’s people oppose the Akaka bill, and an even larger majority demand a referendum on the ballot, comparable to ratification of a state Constitutional amendment. Yet every Democrat running for the House or Senate, and also ex-Gov. Lingle (the likely Republican nominee for Senate), supports the Akaka bill. All of them insist on ramming it down our throats as an unfunded federal mandate, whether we like it or not, without putting it on the ballot.
Joan Conrow’s Dec. 7 article [“Hawaiian Roll Call”] describes only two viewpoints about the federal Akaka bill and state Act 195. Neither view represents what most of Hawaii’s people, and probably most ethnic Hawaiians, want. Both views ignore what’s best for Hawaii and focus only on how ethnic Hawaiians can get the most goodies.
Viewpoint number one: Ethnic nationalism. Rip the 50th star off the flag. Re-establish Hawaii as an independent nation. But unlike the historical Kingdom where all citizens had equal voting and property rights regardless of race, the reinstated nation would give superior rights to ethnic Hawaiians on account of the “rights of indigenous people” under modern “international law.” Hawaiians are children of the gods and brothers to the land in a way nobody else ever can be. First class citizenship for people who have a drop of the magic blood; back of the bus for everyone else.
Viewpoint number two: Racial separatism. Use Act 195 or the Akaka bill to create a race-based phony Indian tribe and transfer huge amounts of money, land and jurisdictional authority to it. This would get gobs of goodies quickly, but would undermine hope for the first because ethnic Hawaiians who sign up for the tribe are thereby acknowledging that the federal and state governments have sovereignty.
Conrow clearly favors viewpoint number one. But she lacks the magic blood, so she exercises political correctness by not explicitly saying so.
Conrow totally ignores the option most of Hawaii’s people favor, and probably most ethnic Hawaiians as well. Viewpoint number three: Unity, equality and aloha for all. Hawaii remains united with the US, and our people and lands remain unified under the undivided sovereignty of the state of Hawaii. Everyone is equal in the eyes of God regardless of race and gets treated equally under the law. To quote that famous street philosopher Rodney King: “Can’t we all just get along?”
Please read the book “Hawaiian Apartheid: Racial Separatism and Ethnic Nationalism in the Aloha State.” Twenty-seven copies are available in the public library system, and portions are available for free on the internet.
Honolulu Civil Beat, December 16, 2011
Another Setback for Hawaiian Recognition
By Chad Blair
U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye is fond of saying, "There's more than one way to skin a cat."
Hawaii's senior senator is referring to his skill in maneuvering legislation favorable to the islands.
This week, however, the cat remained un-skinned as members of the U.S. House killed a provision in a bill that could have led to federal recognition of Native Hawaiians.
"This provision remained an active item of discussion between the members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committee until the very end," the senator said in a statement released Friday. "Unfortunately, it was opposed by members of the House, who wanted a variety of devastating anti-environmental riders which, if the Senate accepted, would have set back our nation’s air and water protections for many years to come."
Recognition By Other Means
Inouye inserted the provision into a draft of a funding bill for the U.S. Department of the Interior in late October.
Language in the provision referenced legislation passed by the 2011 Hawaii Legislature that called for state recognition of Native Hawaiians as the indigenous people of the islands. The measure, which was signed into law by Gov. Neil Abercrombie in July, also sets up a roll call process for registering Hawaiians.
In key ways, the Hawaii law accomplishes at a local level what the Akaka bill would do at the federal level. That bill has been stalled in the U.S. Senate by Republicans who say it is unconstitutional and racially divisive.
While not the equivalent of the Akaka bill, Inouye's provision, if it had passed, would have been a significant step toward accomplishing the Akaka bill's chief aim — the establishment of a Native Hawaiian government.
"The Hawaiian recognition provision embraced the excellent work of the State Legislature in beginning the process of Native Hawaiian self-determination and recognition," Inouye said in his statement.
The provision was killed in the same week in which the Office of Hawaiian Affairs called for renewed recognition efforts.
In a speech delivered Wednesday in Honolulu, OHA Chair Colette Machado said, "OHA spent 10 years pursuing the passage of the 'Akaka bill' and dealt with multiple obstacles along every step. We will not give up. We are committed to gaining federal protection of Kanaka Oiwi rights."
Machado said OHA has been working with Inouye and U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka "to open up alternate legislative and executive routes" and would "aggressively pursue these legislative and executive paths throughout the next year."
The renewed efforts come in a year in which Akaka, for whom the bill is named, will retire from the Senate. The leading contenders to replace him — Democrats Ed Case and Mazie Hirono and Republican Linda Lingle — support the Akaka bill, though Lingle opposes the most recent draft of the bill.
For now, the partisan battles in the 112th Congress will make make Hawaiian recognition a difficult task.
"I am very disappointed to report that I was compelled to give up our recognition provision at the end of the Conference," said Inouye. "It was very difficult, but it needed to be done to conclude the negotiations and send an Omnibus appropriations package to the President for his signature. I will continue to fight for federal recognition for Native Hawaiians and I will work with the other members of the Hawaii delegation to plan our next move."
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, December 16, 2011
Breaking News, published at 10:26 AM updated at 2:29 PM
Hawaiian recognition provision left out of House budget bill
By Star-Advertiser staff and wire reports
Enabling language that would have been the first step toward federal recognition for native Hawaiians was left out of the $1 trillion-plus budget bill approved today by the U.S. House of Representatives.
The provision would have recognized native Hawaiians as an indigenous people of the United States and began a process of self-determination and recognition similar to state legislation adopted earlier this year.
"This provision remained an active item of discussion between the members of the House and Senate Appropriations committee until the very end," U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye said in a statement. "Unfortunately, it was opposed by members of the House, who wanted a variety of devastating anti-environmental riders which, if the Senate accepted, would have set back our nation's air and water protections for many years to come.
"I am very disappointed to report that I was compelled to give up our recognition provision at the end of the conference. It was very difficult, but it needed to be done to conclude the negotiations and send an omnibus appropriations package to the president for his signature."
Negotiators reached an agreement last night on the omnibus budget package that pays for day-to-day budgets of 10 Cabinet departments and averts a government shutdown.
House members approved the budget by a 296-121 vote and sending it to the Senate, which was expected to pass it on Saturday. Lawmakers are also seeking compromise on separate legislation to renew jobless benefits and a cut in payroll taxes.
The language for native Hawaiians was being sought in the budget for the Department of the Interior.
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, December 17, 2911 (hardcopy newspaper)
Native Hawaiian provision cut from bill
By B.J. Reyes
Despite being unable to get the Akaka Bill included in a $1 trillion-plus spending bill, U.S. Sen. Daniel Ino uye vows to continue pursuing other avenues toward gaining federal recognition for Native Hawaiians.
Enabling language that would have been the first step toward federal recognition for Native Hawaiians was left out of the omnibus spending bill approved Friday by the House and expected to be approved by the Senate today.
The broadly worded provision would have recognized Native Hawaiians as an indigenous people of the United States, allowing them to begin a process of self-determination and recognition at the federal level similar to state legislation adopted earlier this year.
"I will work with the other members of the Hawaii delegation to plan our next move," Inouye said in a statement Friday.
Inouye said the provision was a point of bargaining until the very end.
"Unfortunately, it was opposed by members of the House, who wanted a variety of devastating anti-environmental riders which, if the Senate accepted, would have set back our nation's air and water protections for many years to come," he said.
Negotiators reached an agreement late Thursday on the omnibus budget package that pays for day-to-day budgets of 10 Cabinet departments and averts a government shutdown.
House members approved the budget by a 296-121 vote, sending it to the Senate.
The language for Native Hawaiians was being sought in the budget for the Department of the Interior.
U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa said the bill still contains more than $500 million for military construction around the state, as well as funding for community services, primary health care services and facilities, and Native Hawaiian education.
"Nobody got everything they wanted, which is probably an indication that this is a fair bill," Hanabusa said in a statement. "I would have liked to see Native Hawaiian recognition stay in the bill to the end, but we are going to keep working on that until we get it through."
The most recent version of the Akaka Bill, a proposal to grant Native Hawaiians federal recognition similar to that of American Indians and Alaska Natives, advanced from the Senate Indian Affairs Committee in April.
Since it was first introduced in 1999, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act has never faced a straight up-or-down vote in the Senate, something its chief sponsor, U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, aims to change.
"As chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee, Sen. Akaka is pursuing all available options to bring federal recognition to a Native Hawaiian governing entity during this 112th Congress, before he retires in 2013," said Jesse Broder Van Dyke, a spokesman for Akaka.
Carroll4Senate [John Carroll campaign for U.S. Senate Republican nomination]
December 16, 2011
Akaka Bill by “Addendum” was the wrong thing to attempt in the first place.
By John S. Carroll
Senator Akaka is one of the most kind and compassionate men I have ever known. He has served Hawaii well in the US House and Senate. This letter is written with respect for all he and Senator Inouye have done, not only for Native Hawaiians, but also for all the people of Hawaii.
To withhold my comments out of respect for these gentlemen would violate my pursuit of justice for Native Hawaiians. (I have children, grandchildren and eight great grandchildren, each of whom is Native Hawaiian.)
Senator Inouye just recently abandoned his plan to piggy-back the Akaka Bill to an Interior Department spending bill in an attempt to get over the procedural hurdle which has blocked its passage for the past eleven years.
This bill should have never been contemplated in the first place.
The Bill seeks RECOGNITION OF NATIVE HAWAIIANS. Given the history of Hawaii, to suggest that Hawaiians need recognition is absurd. It is ironic, indeed, that these Senators are seeking something that the “Native Hawaiians” achieved as early as 1840 when the first Constitution of the Hawaiian Kingdom was issued by King Kamehameha the Third. It clearly declares “God hath made of one blood all nations of men to dwell on the earth in unity and blessedness.” The Hawaiian Kingdom was recognized internationally by the execution of more than twenty treaties and by international tribunals in dealing with the British attempt to colonize Hawaii.
Creating a race based, sovereign nation within the eleven thousand square miles of these islands, quite frankly, is ludicrous! Republican leadership, under Chairman Kaauwai in this State has finally gotten a resolution against passage of the Akaka Bill, a resolution Mrs. Lingle stifled while Governor and titular head of the Party.
The Kingdom had a bi-cameral legislature, Houses of Commons and Alii, both Houses dominated by “Native Hawaiians”. The Kingdom not only assimilated persons of all races, but actively promoted bringing them to Hawaii, giving them citizenship or denizenship and integrating them into the racial fabric of this land.
No Indian tribe that I know of has ever received recognition at this level. To compare “Native Hawaiians” to Maoris, Cherokee, Arapahoe, Aleut nations borders on absurdity.
Everyone interested in Native Hawaiian history with respect to “racial issues” should read the dicta in Rex v. Booth, and see what justices appointed by the Alii had to say about the intrinsic equality of man. This was written prior to the end of the US Civil War.
However well intended, the Akaka Bill seeks to reinstate the concept of division by race that our constitution and decades of the civil rights movement have sought to erase. By drawing false parallels to Native Americans the bill distorts the true and unique history of Hawaii’s people. Further, the tactical expediency of attaching this bill to an expenditure bill so as to avoid open and honest debate would have honored neither Hawaiians nor other citizens of this state and country.
Note [by candidate on his webpage]: John Carroll believes that all Hawaiians who qualify for homestead lands should be awarded those properties in fee. The system of term leases “administrated” by a governmental bureaucracy is inefficient, prone to fraud and ultimately unfair to individual Hawaiians. Ruby Johnson advises Mr. Carroll on Hawaiian cultural and legal matters.
Hawaii Reporter, December 20, 2011
Hawaii Public Opinion About Racial Entitlements and the Akaka Bill
BY KENNETH R. CONKLIN, PH.D.
Recently news reports and commentaries have been published about the Akaka bill and about a lawsuit against racial discrimination in property tax rates which has reached the Supreme Court. With the state Legislature gearing up for a big 2012 session and Senators Inouye/Akaka up to their old tricks in Congress again, it's time to review Hawaii public opinion on these topics.
On December 14, 2011 the Honolulu Star-Advertiser ran an informal online poll asking "Do you think providing state government benefits to Native Hawaiians is valid under the U.S. Constitution?" 67% of more than a thousand respondents answered "No." The poll archive is at
That was a resounding public rejection of the newspaper's editorial that had been published on the same day. Readers had the editorial right in front of them when they voted on the poll. The editorial urged the U.S. Supreme Court not to hear an appeal of a Hawaii state Supreme Court decision which had unanimously rejected a taxpayer lawsuit (Corboy) against racial discrimination on property tax rates by Hawaii counties. The counties grant zero or extremely low property tax bills to all "homestead" lessees, who are required to have a minimum percentage of Hawaiian native blood in order to get a lease. A webpage provides details and analysis by lawyers about the Corboy lawsuit, plus text of the newspaper editorial and a letter to editor deploring the editorial.
In 2003 the newspaper's predecessor, Honolulu Advertiser, paid for a more scientific survey by Ward Research, and separately reported results of another survey paid for by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and conducted by SMS Research. Those surveys asked people to rank the relative importance of various priorities when the state government spends money. Both surveys produced remarkably similar results. Peoples' top priorities are education, healthcare, housing, the environment, and traffic. The lowest priorities are Native Hawaiian rights, race-based handouts -- and, lowest of all -- ethnic Hawaiian "nationhood" (i.e., the federal Akaka bill or state Act 195). Furthermore, the results were nearly the same for ethnic Hawaiians as for the general public, showing that most ethnic Hawaiians have the same priorities as everyone else and don't want to rip apart the State of Hawaii in order to get government handouts. See a detailed report and analysis at
Government services such as police, fire department, roads, schools, water and sewage must be paid for from government revenues including property tax, income tax, land leases, etc. If one racial group gets free goods and services without paying taxes, that comes at the expense of higher taxes for everyone else who must make up the difference. Or else superior services for the favored group must be paid for by reducing services for everyone else. The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii has identified more than 800 racial entitlement programs.
Since Summer of 2000 the Akaka bill has been sitting in Congress like an unexploded bomb. Its stated purpose is to create an Indian tribe for ethnic Hawaiians. It's real purpose is to insulate Hawaii's racial entitlement programs against lawsuits like Corboy which seek to dismantle them on grounds they are unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment Equal Protection clause. The Akaka bill's long-term consequences (and also state Act 195) will be to permanently divide the lands and people of Hawaii along racial lines; to give land, money, and jurisdictional authority to ethnic Hawaiians collectively at everyone else's expense; and to empower a race-based government whose leaders spew rhetoric about the "illegal overthrow and annexation." That rhetoric clearly shows an intention to eventually rip the 50th star off the flag and make all of Hawaii an independent nation. Even Senator Akaka himself has confessed that secession is an option for his grandchildren to choose and that the Akaka bill does not stand in the way of that choice. Several years ago the Hawaii Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, at that time controlled by Charles Maxwell and other sovereignty activists, wrote a report supporting both the Akaka bill and secession. That report, along with secessionist statements by Senator Akaka and others can be found at
Several surveys and polls show that most of Hawaii's people, including probably most ethnic Hawaiians, oppose the Akaka bill. An even larger majority wants there to be a ballot referendum in Hawaii before the Akaka bill can be rammed down our throats by Congress as an unfunded federal mandate, without our permission.
75% of respondents opposed the Akaka bill in an on-line poll conducted by the Honolulu Star-Bulletin newspaper in March 2005. In response to "Would you like to see the Akaka bill become law?" the answers were "Yes" 436 and "No" 1301. This poll is especially significant because the Star-Bulletin repeatedly editorialized in favor of the Akaka bill for several years. See:
As noted earlier, on December 14, 2011 67% of respondents to a newspaper's unscientific online poll oppose Hawaii's racial entitlement programs. That result was matched in two surveys conducted by a professional mainland polling company in 2005 and 2006, which called all 290,000 publicly listed phone number in Hawaii. Both surveys found that 67% oppose the Akaka bill. 45% feel strongly enough about this issue that they are less likely to vote for any politician who supports the bill. Large majorities want a vote of all Hawaii's people before Congress considers the bill. Even a majority of the minority who support the Akaka bill want a vote in Hawaii first. Some questions asked about racial preferences (most people oppose them), and whether people would vote in favor of Statehood for Hawaii if it were on the ballot. Opponents of the Akaka bill are strongly in favor of Statehood, but supporters of the Akaka bill are far less supportive of Statehood (thus confirming the impression that the Akaka bill is a step toward secession). Details, including the survey questions and spreadsheets showing raw totals and percentages are at
The most important, most highly credible scientific survey on the Akaka bill was done by Zogby in November 2009. A press release and full report on Zogby stationery includes text of the questions along with statistical analysis and professional interpretation of the results. Once again it showed that a majority of Hawaii's people oppose the Akaka bill, and an even larger majority want a ballot referendum on the question.
Left-leaning Hawaii newspapers keep up a steady drumbeat for race-based sovereignty. They try to create a sense of urgency for people to choose between two alternatives: an independent nation of Hawaii (with racial supremacy for ethnic Hawaiians) vs. racial separatism (such as the Akaka bill or Act 195). They fail to allow the choice most of Hawaii's people prefer, including probably most ethnic Hawaiians: the Aloha Choice.
The Aloha Choice for Hawaiian sovereignty is unity, equality and aloha for all. Hawaii remains united with the US, and our people and lands remain unified under the undivided sovereignty of the state of Hawaii. Everyone is equal in the eyes of God regardless of race and gets treated equally under the law. This concept that we have three choices for sovereignty, not just two, was first made clear in an article in Honolulu Advertiser on July 20, 2001:
then another in Hawaii Reporter on April 26, 2004:
and most recently in Honolulu Weekly on December 14, 2011:
The fundamental principles of the Aloha Choice are explained at
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, December 21, 2011
Off the News [mini editorial]
Give Akaka Bill vote it deserves
Language that would have advanced the cause of Native Hawaiian sovereignty was stripped out of a $1 trillion-plus spending bill during negotiations to get the bill through the U.S. House late last week.
Perhaps it's just as well. The notion that Native Hawaiian sovereignty has been reduced to a bargaining chip — and an expendable one at that — seems, well, undignified.
Better that the Akaka Bill gets what its namesake, U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, is shooting for: a straight up-or-down vote.
Indian Country Today, December 23, 2011
Native Hawaiian Recognition Suffers Latest Setback
By Rob Capriccioso
WASHINGTON – Native Hawaiians who want to be federally recognized as sovereign entities, much like American Indian tribal citizens, have suffered another setback from a U.S. Congress that just doesn’t seem to want to reconcile the unique history of the indigenous population of the island state.
Despite all their attention to payroll tax cuts and pipeline provisions, U.S. House members the week of December 12 still managed to notice and then hamper a provision attached to a bill that could have started the ball rolling toward federal recognition for Native Hawaiians. And they quickly found a way to weed it out by linking it to other provisions that could not pass the Senate.
Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, had inserted a provision into a draft of a funding bill for the U.S. Department of the Interior in October. The provision referenced legislation passed this year by the Hawaii legislature that called for state recognition of Native Hawaiians as the indigenous people of the Hawaiian islands. That measure was signed into law by Democratic Gov. Neil Abercrombie in July.
Importantly, the state-focused legislation established a process for registering Hawaiians—a step that would be needed under any federal recognition plan as well.
Inouye and other supporters saw the provision as a way to build momentum toward the well-known Akaka bill, which unabashedly calls for Native Hawaiian federal sovereign recognition, and has been stalled in Congress in one form or another since 2000. Some Republicans have called that bill controversial and racially dividing. The possibility of an introduction of Native gaming on the island has also been a concern raised by some detractors.
Inouye lamented the failure of the latest bill in a statement, saying, “The Hawaiian recognition provision embraced the excellent work of the State Legislature in beginning the process of Native Hawaiian self-determination and recognition…. Unfortunately, it was opposed by members of the House, who wanted a variety of devastating anti-environmental riders which, if the Senate accepted, would have set back our nation’s air and water protections for many years to come.
“I am very disappointed to report that I was compelled to give up our recognition provision at the end of the Conference,” added Inouye. “It was very difficult, but it needed to be done to conclude the negotiations and send an Omnibus appropriations package to the President for his signature. I will continue to fight for federal recognition for Native Hawaiians and I will work with the other members of the Hawaii delegation to plan our next move.”
Pushes for recognition are ongoing in the state, with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs recently calling for renewed federal recognition efforts. As reported by the Honolulu Civil Beat publication, OHA Chair Colette Machado recently said in a speech, “OHA spent 10 years pursuing the passage of the ‘Akaka bill’ and dealt with multiple obstacles along every step. We will not give up. We are committed to gaining federal protection of Kanaka Oiwi rights.”
Machado reportedly added that OHA has been working with Inouye and Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, ”to open up alternate legislative and executive routes” and would “aggressively pursue these legislative and executive paths throughout the next year.”
Akaka will retire from the Senate at the end of his term in January 2013, and he is expected to strongly push his Native Hawaiian federal recognition effort in 2012. He currently chairs the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.
“I will continue to educate my colleagues and seek every option for passing this bill,” Akaka told Indian Country Today Media Network in an interview. “I have worked on this bill for over a decade, on this cause for over two decades, and I will fight until my last day in office to secure passage of this bill.”
If Akaka for some reason proves unsuccessful, Democrats Ed Case and Mazie Hirono and Republican Linda Lingle are thus far the top contenders to replace Akaka in the Senate. They all support Native Hawaiian federal recognition, though Lingle is concerned about sovereign immunity lawsuit issues for Native Hawaiian entities.
Indian Country Today, December 27, 2011
Akaka Looks Back at 2011 and Looks Forward to Last Year in Congress
By Rob Capriccioso
** Excerpts relevant to Akaka bill, from a far longer article
WASHINGTON – When Indians learned in March that Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, was retiring at the end of his term in January 2013, they knew that they were losing one of the strongest advocates on Native issues in Congress. Coupled with the loss to retirement of Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., at the beginning of 2011 (as well as several other major retirements in both the House and Senate), some major shoes are left to be filled. But Akaka, in an exclusive year-end interview with Indian Country Today Media Network, says not to worry—new and old advocates will step up, he predicts. Plus, he’s not gone yet—and he’s got a lot of big plans in store for Natives in 2012.
In looking back on your past year leading the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, what memories stand out brightest to you? What has been your biggest accomplishment on Indian affairs this year?
I am very proud that under my leadership the SAVE Native Women Act, Native CLASS Act and the Carcieri fix bill have been approved by the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. ... Although these bills have not yet had their day on the floor, we have built a strong legislative record, which will support future passage.
What has been your biggest regret in terms of Indian affairs legislation that hasn’t been accomplished this year?
We are still working to secure passage of my two top legislative priorities, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act and the Carcieri Fix legislation, by the full Senate before this Congress ends in 2013. These measures are critically important, and I will continue to work tirelessly to see them passed.
When you retire in January 2013, Indians will lose a major advocate in Congress. Do you think that Natives have enough really strong political advocates in Washington, D.C.?
Mahalo, thank you, for your kind words. Working on Native issues has been a passion of mine for as long as I’ve served in Congress. But there are certainly other champions of Native issues in the Congress, including members of the Native American Caucus and the Indian Affairs Committee.
Can you explain your strategy for achieving a Native Hawaiian federal recognition bill before your retirement?
The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act is a matter of justice and parity. I will continue to educate my colleagues and seek every option for passing this bill. I have worked on this bill for over a decade, on this cause for over two decades, and I will fight until my last day in office to secure passage of this bill.
Why has passage of Native Hawaiian recognition been so hard to achieve?
Native Hawaiians have been federally recognized as a Native people for over 90 years. The Congress has exercised its Indian Affairs powers where they are concerned in over 150 pieces of legislation. The challenge, however, has been that several of my colleagues do not understand Hawaii’s unique history, and for some, the larger history of the United States and its Native peoples generally. I believe my bill would pass a simple up or down vote on the Senate floor. However, Senate procedural rules have not allowed the bill to be called up for a vote in over ten years due to the reservations of just a few of my colleagues.
What has been the highlight of your career in working on Native issues?
Throughout my career, I have sought to share the aloha spirit in Washington, and I have used it to get things done. As a Native Hawaiian, doing things with aloha, and being pono – right and just – in my dealings with colleagues and constituents is part of who I am. I believe I am proof that being who we are, as Native peoples, can be effective.
I believe that consensus building is important to passing meaningful legislation. Even though it can sometimes take a long time to develop a consensus in Washington, I am proud to have been a strong voice on issues important to Indian country, helping to move important legislation forward.
I am honored to have had a role in securing an apology from Congress and President Clinton to the Native Hawaiian community in 1993 for the United States’ role in overthrowing the Kingdom of Hawaii’s government and the subsequent loss of their right to self-determination. I believe this apology paved the way for Native American Apology Resolution, which President Obama signed in 2009.
I am also proud of the advocacy work that I put forth with the United Nations’ Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. I championed the declaration while it was still a draft. I saw that UNDRIP would set a precedent of human rights for Indigenous Peoples worldwide, and I am pleased that our country has signed on to the declaration.
We may not solve everything this Congress, but in my capacity as Chairman I can contribute to the dialogue that will lead to future solutions.
Hawaii Reporter, Friday December 30, 2011
Bringing Mainland Tribal Troubles to Hawaii
by Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.
The sovereignty possessed by Indian tribes is a source of frequent nasty disputes and lawsuits between tribal governments and state or local governments. In addition, tribal membership strips people of basic civil rights they would normally expect to have as Americans.
Below are headlines and links to 13 news reports illustrating such disputes, published in various states during the last three months of 2011. A new webpage provides excerpts from those reports that have clear relevance to Hawaii; see
A webpage compiled in 2000 has links to hundreds of these controversies; some links might now be dead after 12 years, but the widespread nature of the troubles is clearly exhibited.
Federal recognition of "Native Hawaiians" could come if Congress passes any version of the Akaka bill pending in Congress from 2000 to now; or in the form of the recent stealth maneuver (one sentence in a huge appropriations bill) to add "Native Hawaiians" to the list of federally recognized tribes. The Hawaii legislature has repeatedly passed resolutions supporting the Akaka bill, and only a single one of the 76 legislators has ever voted no (Senator Sam Slom). Meantime the legislature has passed Act 195 to begin creating a membership roll for a state-recognized tribe.
Hawaii legislators, and the people who vote for them, need to consider the horrendous troubles tribal recognition will bring to Hawaii (whether from the federal Akaka bill or implementation of the state Act 195).
Hawaii issue: Promises or contracts made by the Hawaiian tribe cannot be enforced on account of tribal sovereignty.
Article title: "There can be no ‘agreement’ with the tribe"
Santa Ynez Valley News, Thursday, October 13, 2011
Hawaii issue: Counties cannot assess taxes on tribal property nor use foreclosure to collect taxes.
Article title: "Madison County, Oneida Indian Nation claim foreclosure case victory"
Oneida Dispatch, Madison County NY, October 21, 2011
Hawaii issue: Counties cannot assess or collect taxes on gasoline purchased or used on Hawaiian tribe lands which is used or purchased on non-tribal lands.
Article title: "Seminoles Ask Supreme Court to Hear Gas Tax Dispute"
WCTV2 (Florida), October 22, 2011
Hawaii issue: A Hawaiian tribe could purchase land and have the Bureau of Indian Affairs put it into federal land trust, thereby removing all tribal businesses on that land from local taxation; and neither the state nor counties can stop the BIA from doing so.
(1) Article title: "Tribe seeks to shelter land holdings -- If OK'd, Agua Caliente wouldn't have to pay tax on future businesses there"
The Desert Sun (California), December 1, 2011
(2) Article title: "Tribal annexation would take huge financial toll"
Santa Ynez Valley News, Thursday, December 8, 2011
Hawaii issue: If a member of the Hawaiian tribe is raped or beaten up by a spouse or friend in a house on tribal land, should a tribal court have jurisdiction to put the spouse or friend on trial and send him to jail even though that spouse or friend has no Hawaiian native blood or is not a tribal member?
Article title: "Tribal courts lack power over non-Indian abusers" [but should have such power]
The Rapid City Journal [South Dakota], November 11, 2011
Hawaii issue: A Hawaiian tribe, either through neglect or intentional policy, could allow its lands to become a sanctuary for criminal activity which state and county governments would be powerless to stop.
Article title: "Deep divisions seen in Unkechaug tribe" [Suffolk County, NY] Newsday, December 11, 2011
Hawaii issue: Should the Hawaiian tribe be given a large tract of undeveloped land because the tribe claims to be the rightful owner and/or because it promises to be a good steward of the land?
Article title: "A Land Claim With Strings Attached -- Indian Group Vies for Control of California Wilderness by Agreeing to Restrictions"
Wall Street Journal, November 15, 2011
Hawaii issue: A state-recognized tribe might spend many years unsuccessfully seeking federal recognition, and is likely to break promises and engage in corrupt practices while seeking federal recognition or a casino.
Article title: "Lumbees to choose new leader in Tuesday's tribal election"
The Fayetteville Observer, Fayetteville, NC, Mon Nov 14, 2011
Hawaii issue: State recognition of a Hawaiian tribe could lead to federal recognition with unexpected consequences including casinos.
Article title: "Bill to recognize Indian tribes in New Jersey stalls amid fears of tribal casinos"
Hawaii issue: A Hawaiian tribe might have priority over non-tribal businesses when a casino is to be created; and such a priority if enacted by a state legislature might be unconstitutional.
Article title: "Developer cries foul on Native American casino carve-out"
The Boston Herald, November 17, 2011
Hawaii issue: Once the Hawaiian tribe has published its roll of members and has been recognized, the tribal council can enroll or disenroll people for no good reason; and sovereignty ensures no state or federal court can interfere.
Article title: "Ousted tribal members want Congress to help
North County Times (San Diego and Riverside Counties, California)
Hawaii issue: Members of the Hawaiian tribe have no right to freedom of speech.
Article title: "Resigning from reservation job"
The Bismarck Tribune [North Dakota], Saturday, October 15, 2011
Hawaii issue: The tribal council might kick out of the tribe dissident members who support a different slate of candidates for the next tribal election, thus "fixing" the election; and the dissidents have no way to appeal their disenrollment except in a tribal court controlled by the existing council.
Article title: Panel weighs sides in Little Shell Tribe leadership dispute
Great Falls Tribune [Montana], December 11, 2011
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Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.
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