Akaka Tribe Bill Back in the News

by Richard Rowland

The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009 (S1011/ HR2314), otherwise known as the Akaka Bill, is now before the 111th Congress. In a recent edition of The Honolulu Advertiser, the lead headline was “Allies defend Akaka Bill”. The story reported that Rep. Nick Rahall, (D. W. Va.) the Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources called the revolution of 1893  overthrowing the Kingdom of Hawaii “a dark chapter in U.S. history”. Based on his statement, you would think Rep. Rahall would be calling for the U.S. government to provide large reparations, perhaps in the billions, to atone for these alleged misdeeds.  Instead, he is supporting the Akaka Bill, which imposes huge costs on the citizens of the State of Hawaii, even though they had nothing to do with anything that occurred over 100 years ago. Rep. Rahall, with no skin in this game, wants you, me, and thee to pay for his loose talk and poor reasoning. Talk is cheap and thinking is hard, Congressman.

The June 11 U.S. House hearing about the proposed Akaka Bill was a cruel joke on the democratic concept of public hearings (speaking of which there has not been any public hearings on this Bill and the last time it was even officially discussed in Hawaii was 2005). The deck was stacked 5-to-1… five testifiers for the Bill and only one testifying against the measure. It was blatant and arrogant. Representative Abercrombie, now running for Governor of Hawaii, stated “It has to do with the land.” Yes, indeed, the persons who perceive themselves to be part of the future governing elite in the new Akaka Tribe see the tribal government controlling much of Hawaii’s valuable land. What they do not see is any of their subjects (serfs) in the new government personally owning any of it. They plan no fee-simple ownership nor do they really want any individual self-government. No, they plan on “governing” their serfs, just as American Indian Tribal members are governed.

Mr. Abercrombie sees himself becoming Governor with a new Akaka Tribe forming in Hawaii. This will allow him to carve out thousands of acres of valuable public land and give it all to the Tribe. His legacy? A divided and poorer state filled with racial tensions.

To find out more please read the first economic study ever done on the Akaka Bill in our   report;

The Economic Impact of the Akaka Bill: Unintended Consequences for Hawaii