BY KENNETH R. CONKLIN, PH.D. — Recently news reports and commentaries have been published about the Akaka bill and about a lawsuit against racial discrimination in property tax rates which has reached the Supreme Court. With the state Legislature gearing up for a big 2012 session and Senators Inouye/Akaka up to their old tricks in Congress again, it’s time to review Hawaii public opinion on these topics.
On December 14, 2011 the Honolulu Star-Advertiser ran an informal online poll asking “Do you think providing state government benefits to Native Hawaiians is valid under the U.S. Constitution?” 67% of more than a thousand respondents answered “No.” The poll archive is at
That was a resounding public rejection of the newspaper’s editorial that had been published on the same day. Readers had the editorial right in front of them when they voted on the poll. The editorial urged the U.S. Supreme Court not to hear an appeal of a Hawaii state Supreme Court decision which had unanimously rejected a taxpayer lawsuit (Corboy) against racial discrimination on property tax rates by Hawaii counties. The counties grant zero or extremely low property tax bills to all “homestead” lessees, who are required to have a minimum percentage of Hawaiian native blood in order to get a lease. A webpage provides details and analysis by lawyers about the Corboy lawsuit, plus text of the newspaper editorial and a letter to editor deploring the editorial.
In 2003 the newspaper’s predecessor, Honolulu Advertiser, paid for a more scientific survey by Ward Research, and separately reported results of another survey paid for by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and conducted by SMS Research. Those surveys asked people to rank the relative importance of various priorities when the state government spends money. Both surveys produced remarkably similar results. Peoples’ top priorities are education, healthcare, housing, the environment, and traffic. The lowest priorities are Native Hawaiian rights, race-based handouts — and, lowest of all — ethnic Hawaiian “nationhood” (i.e., the federal Akaka bill or state Act 195). Furthermore, the results were nearly the same for ethnic Hawaiians as for the general public, showing that most ethnic Hawaiians have the same priorities as everyone else and don’t want to rip apart the State of Hawaii in order to get government handouts. See a detailed report and analysis at
Government services such as police, fire department, roads, schools, water and sewage must be paid for from government revenues including property tax, income tax, land leases, etc. If one racial group gets free goods and services without paying taxes, that comes at the expense of higher taxes for everyone else who must make up the difference. Or else superior services for the favored group must be paid for by reducing services for everyone else. The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii has identified more than 800 racial entitlement programs.
Since Summer of 2000 the Akaka bill has been sitting in Congress like an unexploded bomb. Its stated purpose is to create an Indian tribe for ethnic Hawaiians. It’s real purpose is to insulate Hawaii’s racial entitlement programs against lawsuits like Corboy which seek to dismantle them on grounds they are unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment Equal Protection clause. The Akaka bill’s long-term consequences (and also state Act 195) will be to permanently divide the lands and people of Hawaii along racial lines; to give land, money, and jurisdictional authority to ethnic Hawaiians collectively at everyone else’s expense; and to empower a race-based government whose leaders spew rhetoric about the “illegal overthrow and annexation.” That rhetoric clearly shows an intention to eventually rip the 50th star off the flag and make all of Hawaii an independent nation. Even Senator Akaka himself has confessed that secession is an option for his grandchildren to choose and that the Akaka bill does not stand in the way of that choice. Several years ago the Hawaii Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, at that time controlled by Charles Maxwell and other sovereignty activists, wrote a report supporting both the Akaka bill and secession. That report, along with secessionist statements by Senator Akaka and others can be found at
Several surveys and polls show that most of Hawaii’s people, including probably most ethnic Hawaiians, oppose the Akaka bill. An even larger majority wants there to be a ballot referendum in Hawaii before the Akaka bill can be rammed down our throats by Congress as an unfunded federal mandate, without our permission.
75% of respondents opposed the Akaka bill in an on-line poll conducted by the Honolulu Star-Bulletin newspaper in March 2005. In response to “Would you like to see the Akaka bill become law?” the answers were “Yes” 436 and “No” 1301. This poll is especially significant because the Star-Bulletin repeatedly editorialized in favor of the Akaka bill for several years. See:
As noted earlier, on December 14, 2011 67% of respondents to a newspaper’s unscientific online poll oppose Hawaii’s racial entitlement programs. That result was matched in two surveys conducted by a professional mainland polling company in 2005 and 2006, which called all 290,000 publicly listed phone number in Hawaii. Both surveys found that 67% oppose the Akaka bill. 45% feel strongly enough about this issue that they are less likely to vote for any politician who supports the bill. Large majorities want a vote of all Hawaii’s people before Congress considers the bill. Even a majority of the minority who support the Akaka bill want a vote in Hawaii first. Some questions asked about racial preferences (most people oppose them), and whether people would vote in favor of Statehood for Hawaii if it were on the ballot. Opponents of the Akaka bill are strongly in favor of Statehood, but supporters of the Akaka bill are far less supportive of Statehood (thus confirming the impression that the Akaka bill is a step toward secession). Details, including the survey questions and spreadsheets showing raw totals and percentages are at
The most important, most highly credible scientific survey on the Akaka bill was done by Zogby in November 2009. A press release and full report on Zogby stationery includes text of the questions along with statistical analysis and professional interpretation of the results. Once again it showed that a majority of Hawaii’s people oppose the Akaka bill, and an even larger majority want a ballot referendum on the question.
Left-leaning Hawaii newspapers keep up a steady drumbeat for race-based sovereignty. They try to create a sense of urgency for people to choose between two alternatives: an independent nation of Hawaii (with racial supremacy for ethnic Hawaiians) vs. racial separatism (such as the Akaka bill or Act 195). They fail to allow the choice most of Hawaii’s people prefer, including probably most ethnic Hawaiians: the Aloha Choice.
The Aloha Choice for Hawaiian sovereignty is unity, equality and aloha for all. Hawaii remains united with the US, and our people and lands remain unified under the undivided sovereignty of the state of Hawaii. Everyone is equal in the eyes of God regardless of race and gets treated equally under the law. This concept that we have three choices for sovereignty, not just two, was first made clear in an article in Honolulu Advertiser on July 20, 2001;
then another in Hawaii Reporter on April 26, 2004
and most recently in Honolulu Weekly on December 14, 2011
The fundamental principles of the Aloha Choice are explained at