“Ken Conklin Image”

The best survey on the Akaka bill would be a
yes/no vote on the ballot at the next Hawai’i general
election. Such a vote is in the best interests of
democracy in Hawai’i; it is essential in view of the
extraordinary importance of this issue; and it would
put to rest the conflicting results of various surveys
which have tried to “read the tea leaves.” Why, for
goodness sake, do we persist in the hocus-pocus of
trying to sample public opinion when there’s a very
easy way to find out what it really is — ”’Vote.”’

Following is valuable information about several
surveys by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, OHA, ”’The Honolulu
Advertiser,”’ and the ”’Honolulu Star-Bulletin,”’ over the
past several years. A call-to-action is then
proposed.

On July 5, 2005, the Grassroot Institute of
Hawaii released the results of a survey it
commissioned on the Akaka bill. Ten thousand people were
contacted: 67 percent of those who responded to the question
said they oppose the Akaka bill; 45 percent feel strongly
enough about this issue that they said they are less
likely to vote for any politician who supports the
bill.

The press release by GRIH, a spreadsheet showing
the results, and the order and wording of all the
questions in the survey can be seen at:
http://tinyurl.com/cwxgg

In March, 2005 the ”’Honolulu Star-Bulletin”’
conducted an online public opinion poll, which asked
“Would you like to see the Akaka bill become law?”
The votes were “Yes” 436 and “No” 1301 — a resounding
75 percent opposed. See: http://tinyurl.com/6e6dx

In June it was reported that fewer than 5 percent of the
401,000 ethnic Hawaiians had signed up on “Kau Inoa,”
a racial registry sponsored by OHA, after 17 months of
intensive (and expensive) advertising and community
outreach throughout Hawaii and the mainland U.S.
This racial registry is likely to become the basis for
a membership roll for the Akaka tribe if the Akaka
bill passes. Fewer than 5 percent signed up after 17 months
of massive advertising, sign-up rallies in parks and
shopping centers, free T-shirts, etc. That’s a
pretty good “survey” showing lack of support for the
Akaka bill among ethnic Hawaiians. See:
http://tinyurl.com/d8yzg

In 2003, two different scientific surveys were
done to discover the relative importance of various
priorities as ranked by the people of Hawaii in
general, and by ethnic Hawaiians in particular. The
top priorities are education, healthcare, housing, the
environment, and traffic; in that order. The lowest
priorities are Native Hawaiian rights, race-based
handouts — and, lowest of all — ethnic Hawaiian
“nationhood” (i.e., the Akaka bill). One survey was
paid for by ”’The Honolulu Advertiser”’ newspaper, and
conducted by the professional data-gathering and
analysis company Ward Research. The other survey was
paid for by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs — it
included data gathered both at public long-range
planning meetings hosted by OHA in numerous
neighborhoods, and also a survey conducted by the
professional data-gathering and analysis company SMS
Research which is frequently hired by OHA to do
in-house surveys. Both surveys produced remarkably
similar results, and the results were remarkably
similar for ethnic Hawaiians and for the general
population as a whole.

See: “Ethnic Hawaiians and Non-Hawaiians Rank
Priorities Similarly — Education, Health, Housing,
Environment Are Far More Important Than Native
Hawaiian Rights, Racial Entitlements, and Ethnic
Hawaiian Nationhood” at: http://tinyurl.com/2hc3d

Those who favor the Akaka bill say their own
surveys prove the bill has broad and high support.
Those who oppose the Akaka bill say their own surveys
prove the bill is opposed by large majorities. Each
side accuses the other of bias in the way the survey
questions are worded and the order the questions are
asked. OHA is always very secretive about its surveys
— it required a freedom-of-information action to pry
the results out of OHA which is, after all, a state
government public agency spending our government money
to take its bogus surveys. By contrast, the GRIH
survey results were made available to the public,
including the order and wording of the questions. And
let’s give thanks to Grassroot Institute of Hawaii
for commissioning this survey, and to those who
contribute to GRIH to support its research and public
education activities.

There is one right way to take a survey on this
very important matter — ”’Put It On The Ballot.”’ But
our politicians are scared to death of letting our
people decide this issue — the most important issue
to face Hawaii since Statehood in 1959. Amazingly,
the Akaka bill does not require any vote by ethnic
Hawaiians or by the people of Hawaii at any time —
not to approve the concept of the bill, not to empower
or implement the bill, and not to approve the results
of eventual negotiations on how to carve up the land
and resources of Hawaii between the new race-based
government and the continuing (but greatly shrunken)
government of all the people.

We urgently need to phone or fax Senators from
other states to beg them to save us from our
pork-barrel politicians, and to save America from
legislation that will serve as a precedent for racial
balkanization throughout our nation. For talking
points and documentation, see:
http://tinyurl.com/5jp5r

The bill is likely to be debated on the floor of the
Senate very soon, with a vote expected between July 12
and Aug. 7. Our politicians tell us they have the
votes to pass it. We must not allow that to happen.

In August 2000 the only public hearings ever to
be held on the Akaka bill in Hawaii took place at the
Blaisdell. For 5 days citizens of Hawaii gave
testimony. But the only ones from Congress at the
“joint hearings” were our two Senators, two
Representatives, and the Samoa delegate who is totally
under the thumb of our delegation. There was massive
testimony and anger against the bill. Yet our
politicians lied to Congress, telling them the
hearings provided mostly support for the Akaka bill.
Independent reporter Bob Rees attended all five days
of testimony. He published an article the following
week entitled “Hearings Theft” reporting sentiment was
9 to 1 in opposition. See: http://tinyurl.com/44kev

Here’s what we need:

(1) An amendment to the Akaka bill to require
that the bill cannot be implemented until a yes/no
vote on the ballot in a general election confirms that
a majority of voters approve of it (remember, blank
ballots count as “no.”);

(2) An amendment to the Akaka bill to require
that the bill cannot be implemented, and there is no
federal recognition for any ethnic Hawaiian governing
entity, until at least half of all ethnic Hawaiians
age 18 or older have signed up to join the entity.
Census 2000 says there were 401,162 who checked the
box for “Native Hawaiian (there’d be lots more today);
and 253,007 were age 18 and over. Therefore the Akaka
bill should not be implementable until at least
126,504 ethnic Hawaiians age 18 or older have signed
up on the membership roll and been certified as
meeting the race and age requirements;

(3) Televised congressional hearings in Hawaii
where the public can give testimony, where Senators
and Representatives other than our own biased sponsors
of the bill are in attendance; and

(4) After the televised hearings have been held
and genuine public debates are held allowing strong
opponents of the bill an equal chance with supporters,
then the question should be placed on the ballot in
the next general election: Yes or No: Do you favor
enacting into law the “Native Hawaiian Government
Reorganization” bill, S.147 (or whatever its title and
bill number might be by that time).

”’Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D., is an independent scholar in Kaneohe, Hawaii. His Web site on Hawaiian Sovereignty is at:”’ http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty ”’He can be contacted at:”’ mailto:Ken_Conklin@yahoo.com

”’HawaiiReporter.com reports the real news, and prints all editorials submitted, even if they do not represent the viewpoint of the editors, as long as they are written clearly. Send editorials to”’ mailto:Malia@HawaiiReporter.com

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