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Akaka urges Senate to pass recognition bill in Inouye's honor

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 03:43 a.m. HST, Dec 21, 2012

The retiring U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka took to the Senate floor today and urged his colleagues to approve a Native Hawaiian federal recognition bill in honor of the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye.

The bill, known as the Akaka bill, has passed the House three times but has stalled in the Senate since 2000 because of opposition from conservative Republicans who consider it race-based discrimination. The bill would recognize Native Hawaiians as an indigenous people with the right to self-determination, similar to American Indians and Alaska Natives.

Akaka made the request as Inouye's body was lying in state in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol.

"Today, in Dan’s honor, and for all the people of Hawaii, I am asking the Senate to pass the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act," Akaka, D-Hawaii, said in a prepared statement. "Dan and I developed our bill to create a process that could address the many issues that continue to persist as a result of the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1893.

"As you know, Dan Inouye was a champion for Hawaii and worked every day of his honorable life to solve problems and help our island state.

"Dan also served on the Indian Affairs Committee for over 30 years and chaired it twice. He was an unwavering advocate for the United States’ government-to-government relationships with Native Nations. He constantly reminded our colleagues in the Senate about our Nation’s trust responsibilities — and our treaty obligations — to America’s first peoples.

"Dan believed that through self-determination and self-governance, these communities could thrive and contribute to the greatness of the United States."

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, one of the few Republican supporters of Native Hawaiian recognition, echoed Akaka's appeal for the bill to be passed.


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Remembering Senator Daniel Inouye Part II

Remembering Sen. Daniel Inouye Part III

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false wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on December 20,2012 | 12:57PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
False, Inouye was for the Akaka bill and fought for it. It's liken to Inouyes service to his country, but not recognized back then as an American. Why? Because he looked like the enemy. He fought for equality over his career.
on December 20,2012 | 01:20PM
Changalang wrote:
" The Star-Advertiser’s Richard Borreca, November 21, blames Obama’s US Justice Department: “The Akaka Bill ran into unspecified trouble last year with the Obama representatives in the U.S. Justice Department, who wanted changes to the bill.” Outgoing OHA Trustee Walter Heen December 2 also blames the Obama administration. . . The White House may be the most convenient punching bag, but it is not that simple. The DoJ’s point man on the Akaka Bill, Deputy Associate US Attorney General Sam Hirsch, in not an Obama loyalist. His ties are to Inouye. Hirsch got his start as a political appointee back in 1987 as a press aide to Senator Daniel Inouye’s Senate Select Committee on Secret Military Assistance to Iran and the Nicaraguan Opposition. How important was this relatively minor appointment to Hirsch? When he testified on behalf of the US DoJ at the August 6, 2009 Hearing on S1011 Akaka Bill, his wife and children were in the audience. The always-grandfatherly Senator Dan Akaka invited Hirsch to “introduce your family and brag on them a little bit.” Hirsch waved his arm and said, “there they are” and instead of introducing them, launched into what may be Washington’s smarmiest-ever expression of bootlicking thanks to Senator Inouye for hiring him all those years ago. Publicly, Inouye offered no resistance as Abercrombie and Akaka re-wrote the Akaka Bill to establish instant criminal and civil jurisdiction and limit membership to “Qualified Native Hawaiian Constituents”--potentially excluding more than 73% of all Native Hawaiians. This maneuver, conducted behind the back of Governor Lingle—and according to Heen, behind the backs of OHA--cost the Akaka Bill’s is last best chance for passage by forcing Lingle and Bennett to come out in opposition. " (02MAR2011; Hawaii Free Press; A. Walden) That is how they do it, D.C. Style.
on December 20,2012 | 06:35PM
scooters wrote:
on December 20,2012 | 01:46PM
8082062424 wrote:
Im all for the akaka bill, but i agree this is very much shameful. it would be funny as hell if they do it.
on December 20,2012 | 03:25PM
Ken_Conklin wrote:
A slightly different video clip of 8 minutes 42 seconds is on the CSPAN website, which includes a bit of verbal and procedural stumbling by Senator Akaka. Apparently the Star-Advertiser editors decided to save Senator Akaka some embarrassment by censoring some of his stumbling. http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/310045-17
on December 20,2012 | 05:10PM
Sully77 wrote:
on December 20,2012 | 01:28PM
inverse wrote:
False is TRUE
on December 20,2012 | 02:24PM
Sully77 wrote:
on December 20,2012 | 01:29PM
Mythman wrote:
strange - before he passed away, Inouye said instead of the bill, just add the native Hawaiian tribe to the list published annually of those acknowledged as eligible for federal assistance because they are Indian tribes?
on December 20,2012 | 02:01PM
libertylover wrote:
The Akaka bill would be a stain on the legacy of anyone who votes for it and Inouye's support for it was mis-quided. The last thing Hawaii needs is another layer of government trying to carve up the limited amount of resources we have. In our multi racial and multi cultural society it would be a mistake to single out any one group for special treatment.
on December 20,2012 | 02:03PM
LanaUlulani wrote:
It is NOT special treatment. American government is using it to STEAL more... this time from Hawaiians and Hawaiian Nationals. Hawaiian Nationals are NOT Americans.

Libertarians understand that American government is being used to exert force on people in order to redistribute Hawaiians lands. Whether Hawaiian or non-Hawaiian stealing private property is WRONG!
on December 20,2012 | 03:32PM
DiverDave wrote:
Please define "Hawaiian Nationals".
on December 20,2012 | 09:28PM
libertylover wrote:
Oh man this talk about stealing is getting old. Nobody stole anything. Your queen messed up and the subjects revolted.
on December 21,2012 | 09:49AM
loquaciousone wrote:
Nice try Danny boy but no cigar. Isn't it a little crass to be using your "friend's" body as a podium for your agenda?
on December 20,2012 | 02:13PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
That was my reaction, too. Twenty years of failure and now he tries to use the loss folks feel about Inouye to stick save this legislation? Greasy,
on December 20,2012 | 02:42PM
allie wrote:
i predicted this would happen
on December 20,2012 | 02:53PM
8082062424 wrote:
yada yada yada you would just die huh allie if it did happen
on December 20,2012 | 03:31PM
inverse wrote:
In Inouye's death, the rats and weasels are coming out of the woodwork and believing like the Mayan's there is no tomorrow!
on December 20,2012 | 02:27PM
MizuInOz wrote:
Although the idea and intent are admirable - the result (as has been mentioned here already) in a multi-cultural society may create problems that are difficult to solve. The thing to consider in relation to the Native American (1st Nation) "list" is that there is a need for bonafide proof of blood line. How many 1/8th - 1/16th - 1/32nd blood Hawaiians would qualify and yet they (we) are part of the Ohana. Maybe the real solution is to treat everyone like you want to be treated - valued, respected and supported in your own life. Nah - we've already had to live through one fantasy - It is Friday here in Australia and the world is still spinning. Seeing Native Hawaiians gain recognition and self governing rights has been hoped for since those rights were stolen from us in 1893. Who really thinks that the invaders and thieves will actually go along with that? The only reason we are not confined to a "res" is the land here is too valuable and there isn't enough desert to force us on. Just a thought. Aloha Kakou
on December 20,2012 | 02:49PM
Kaleo744 wrote:
In all due respect to the continuance of Senator Inouye's replacement Schatzs and Espero I give them effort for being ambitious but talent at that level? please no way in hell!! Replacing the Senator will not be an easy task, but if truly he wanted Congresswoman Hanabusa to step in his shoes then out of respect for the late senator, the Democratic party should honor him by electing her the next Senator, and at least let her prove her self until the next election. With the fiscal cliff around the corner I dont think her presence is gonna make much difference anyway also being a lame duck session anyway.
on December 20,2012 | 02:50PM
Graham wrote:
You must be kidding... this America one does not appoint his or her successor no matter how revered he or she may be... IRT: Akaka Bill-it is deplorarble that Sen. Akaka would even suggest passing the Bill this way; as noted in an earlier commnet the Bill should be passed on its' own merits..FYI-I am of Hawaiian ancestry.
on December 20,2012 | 03:13PM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
"Akaka urges Senate to pass recognition bill in Inouye's honor"

I think the Senate should pass it, or not pass it, based on it merits.

I will say that if the Dans couldn't get it passed when they were the most senior and powerful Senators in DC, the odds on getting it passed now that they are gone is going to be pretty low.
on December 20,2012 | 03:13PM
LanaUlulani wrote:

With all due respect to Senator Akaka, Hawaiians and Hawaiian Nationals need LESS American government intervention not more!

My grandmothers all of whom were Hawaiian thrived WITHOUT American government. They did NOT count on American government to do what they did themselves! How disrespectful to use Inouye's untimely death as an opportunity to ALLOW American government to dictate to us WHO we are and use the Akaka Bill to reorganize Hawaiian lands in order to reorganize their lands and royal patents without their consent. That is STEALING! Stealing is WRONG!

For Republicans reading this... PLEASE SHUT DOWN THE AKAKA BILL ONE AND FOR ALL!


on December 20,2012 | 03:23PM
Changalang wrote:
Did any of your grandmothers marry into the invader namesakes like the last sitting Queen of the Great One's lineage? Just curious. Queen Dominis surrendered as wife first, then as deposed monarch to the Provisional Government and Honolulu Rifles. To the victors go the spoils. To the losers go the crying towel. Sad, but true. With Queen's abdication of the to local competing government officials; so did the crown lands pass into Trusts and non-profits. Sleeping with the devil often leads to getting burned in the process. Too late now. Take the OHA hush money and be a good conquered subject. The KAKA bill will never pass YOUR master's approval. LOL. Keep it real.
on December 20,2012 | 09:35PM
lee1957 wrote:
What an absolutely shameless ploy.
on December 20,2012 | 03:59PM
brian606 wrote:
"Hey, Dan here, I'm retiring and Dan Inouye just passed away, so please pass the bill with my name on it. It would be a great honor to Dan (Akaka)."
on December 20,2012 | 04:50PM
Ronin006 wrote:
Bills should not be passed to honor senators, past or present. They should be passed based on their merits.
on December 20,2012 | 04:54PM
kennie1933 wrote:
Wow...I was all ready to watch Senator Akaka ride off into the sunset as the true "Mr. Aloha" of the U.S. Senate, a man of integrity and honor. And I suppose for the most part, he was. But this final (hopefully) act to try to pass the Akaka bill using Senator Inouye's name is, frankly, deplorable. The rest of congress must have had good reason not to pass this bill though repeatedly brought up time and time again. No matter how the bill was worded, no matter how hard both Dan's tried to push for it, congress refused to pass it. If the bill was not a good one all this time in the eyes of congress, then it is still not a good one regardless of Inouye's passing.
on December 20,2012 | 05:18PM
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