Isn’t anyone curious why a small, privately funded organization (Grassroot Institute of Hawaii) is under attack by a huge, publicly funded organization
(Office of Hawaiian Affairs) for its efforts to educate the people of Hawaii
and the legislators in Washington, DC about pending legislation that
concerns Hawaii? Why is OHA spending Hawaii taxpayer money to lobby Congress
and oppose the shedding of sunshine on an issue in Hawaii that some feel is
as important as Statehood?

The Grassroot Institute has not taken a position for or against the bill.
The Institute has raised questions about the possible impact on the people
of Hawaii that, in all fairness, should be publicly discussed and debated
both in DC and here in Hawaii.

Our governor and our Congressional Delegation are ignoring or
misrepresenting the potential impact of S147/HR309 in its present form. Our
governor says that the bill does not allow gambling, however, it does not
specifically exclude it and Sen. Akaka, the bill’s author is unwilling to
amend the bill to eliminate that possibility. Why? How about the potential
of the new Hawaiian Sovereign entity seceding from the United States of
America? Think this sounds crazy? Sen. Akaka has said
it’s an option and seems to say that it may not be a bad thing! Again,
efforts to amend the bill to specifically exclude this possibility have been

How will this bill impact private property rights, zoning, taxation, and
businesses? What would happen if Kamehameha Schools with its six billion in
assets decides to be under the jurisdiction and governed by the new entity?
These issues are all open for “negotiation” and The Grassroot Institute of
Hawaii believes these questions deserve to be publicly debated. To her
credit, Gov. Lingle recently said the same thing.

Regardless of how one feels about Native Hawaiian Sovereignty, shouldn’t all
sides be examined? Without Grassroot Institute’s educational campaign I
question how many others would even be aware of the issue.

”’Walt Harvey is a board member for the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. Reach him via email at”’

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