Rooted in Reason: Nurturing the Seeds of Liberty

Anyone for Honesty? How About Integrity? by grassroothawaii
February 9, 2010, 9:00 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Some of the key people pushing the Akaka bill have screwed up. But they do not know it yet. That is because they are so arrogant. They pulled a back room secret deal to modify the bill; failed in the House Committee and succeeded in the Senate. That gives us two vastly different bills. Because these all too clever people did not consult with their allies such as Governor Lingle and OHA, they have lost support. Even more telling, they have violated trust, having proven themselves undependable.

At present, no one knows what the proposed bill says, much less what it would say if it somehow passed. There are now two bills, numerous proposed amendments and utter confusion. The recent Zogby Poll substantiates the fact that most Hawaii voters oppose the old bill. The new, unknown, backroom generated content is a further turnoff.

In simple terms, all of our elected officials had better step up quick and say:  “ Let us have Congressional hearings  in Hawaii on the Akaka bill. Let’s have open, honest revelation. No more backroom deals”. That should match with the public attitude which asks how the US Congress could possibly vote on a bill that imposes a whole new nation in our midst without even asking or informing the public. Hawaii is one of the 50 states of the USA, it is not a colony. It must be treated as a state. That requires respect for law, as well as honesty and integrity. Do you think we can count on that?


3 Comments so far
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During the August Congressional recess, there were five days of hearings on the Akaka bill at the Blaisdell Auditorium in Honolulu from Monday August 28 through Friday September 1. The event was advertised as a “joint Congressional hearing” of the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources.” However, the only Senators on the joint panel were Hawaii’s two Senators Dan Akaka and Dan Inouye. The only Representatives on the joint panel were Hawaii’s two Representatives Neil Abercrombie and Patsy Mink, plus the Territorial Delegate from American Samoa, Eni Faleomavaega (who was, and is, beholden to the Hawaii delegation for everything he gets from Congress for Samoa). Members of the public were allowed to testify for a few minutes each, and to submit longer written statements.

Testimony was overwhelmingly opposed to the bill, but the Hawaii Senators and Representatives told their colleagues in Washington that the testimony was mostly favorable. Independent reporter Bob Rees attended all five days of the hearing, and published two articles in the Honolulu Weekly saying testimony had been 9-1 against the bill and had been accompanied by raucous outbursts of opposition from the audience. The Rees article of September 5, 2000 can be seen at
and his article of January 17, 2001 is at

Ken Conklin

Comment by grassroothawaii

The Washington Democratic establishment relies on the Hawaii congressional leadership for the truth about what the Hawaiian people think about this bill. The Zogby poll, like the ones GRIH did 3-4 years ago, shows that this is a much more complicated issue, but that information doesn’t get to the Members of Congress unless there is a formal process for it. Hearings in DC don’t do the trick because it is so very difficult for interested people to get information to the committees, especially in person. Docs submitted for the record only go so far.

So you’re right — the solution is formal hearings *in* Hawaii on the substance of this bill. This latest bundle of changes to the bill — first the “substitute amendment” sprung on Congress in mid-December, and then the new set of amendments TO that substitute amendment that were suggested by OHA and Atty Gen Bennett in mid-January — requires a brand new level of public scrutiny. That can’t happen just in DC. It needs to happen in Hawaii.

Do people realize that this December-January set of attempted changes fundamentally change the legal regime that has long been at the heart of the Akaka bill? That one of the items up for negotiation is the scope of civil rights? Of the state’s power to tax and regulate? Of budgetary impacts on state coffers? Of how and when Hawaiian lands might be “taken into trust” to create “Indian country?” These are all being negotiated in these latest attempts at changes.

Hearings. In Hawaii. By Congress. How else can you get a full and open conversation with those most affected?
-Steven Duffield

Comment by grassroothawaii

Hearings or no hearings, the Akaka bill represents race-based discrimination, pure and simple and is blatantly unconstitutional. Inouye, Akaka, Hirono and Abercrombie are engaged in racist behavior and they know it. Shame on them!

Comment by Mike Rethman

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