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August 31, 2005

Hawaiian Sen. Dan Akaka touts bill's economic value

Topics: National News

US Senator Daniel Akaka (D) from Hawaii is promoting the economic impact of the Akaka Bill. Senator Akaka believes that not passing the bill would result in a loss of some US $59 Million per year in benefits versus a gain of some US $147 Million per year, if the bill passes. Some US $200 Million rides on the outcome of the Akaka Bill.

Senator Akaka justifies the bill with: "Congress has recognized native peoples' inherent right to self-determination and self-governance that existed before there was a United States of America."

We must remember that Hawaii is a state like California, Louisiana and Texas. Although Senator Akaka alludes to self-governance relations between native peoples and the US Congress, he fails to mention the absence of Congress' relations with California, Louisiana and Texas for self-governance. We must recall that people (native or otherwise) existed in the territories of California, Louisiana (from New Orleans to Seattle) and Texas, before these territories were annexed into the United States, and, in fact, before there was a United States. Will the passage of the Akaka Bill empower these peoples to create Governing Entities, as well? I am sure that there are a few former Spaniards or Mexicans that would leap at the opportunity to form the Native Californian Governing Entity or the Native Texan Governing Entity. Do I need to mention the French and pirates in Louisiana?

The Akaka Bill approaches the relationships with other states more than with tribes. Actually, it has been well-argued that Native Hawaiians do not comply with the requirements for classification as a tribe under the Constitution.

Hawaiian Activist "Bumpy" Kenahele believes Senator Akaka is trying to "buy" approval for the bill.

Rotary member Erik Soderholm feels a statewide referendum is warranted before the bill goes before the US Senate.

Posted for HarryTho (via email from Hawaii)

Posted by Richard at August 31, 2005 11:07 PM

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