Akaka Bill: Dead Horse in a Dead Duck Session

Illustration by John Pritchett
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Illustration by John Pritchett

BY LEON SIU – With the meltdown Obama is experiencing on every front in this dead-duck session, what are his people (Attorney General Holder and Secretary of Interior Salazar) doing trying to resuscitate the Akaka Bill?


Apparently they are not aware that this horse won’t run because this horse is dead. Somebody show them the memo from Judge Walter Heen saying, “I maintain that the (Akaka) bill has been dead for some time now.”

On top of that, they apparently they are not aware that the new, amended Akaka bill no longer squares with the one version that then Congressman Neil Abercrombie, who is now Hawaii’s governor, frantically passed 10 months ago in the House. That means, even if by some miracle they were able to get Akaka passed in the US Senate in the next week, there is no time before the end of the year for the US House to reconcile it to their version and vote on it.

But hold your horses! We just found out today that ol’ “earmarks” Inouye has put provisions for a “Native Hawaiian Study” (a.k.a. Akaka) into the ominous Omnibus Bill, which could be voted on this week.

It seems, dead-ducks or dead-horses matter not to Inouye. You gotta admire the guy, one way or another, he intends to keep this horse in the race, even if he has to cheat by dragging it across the infield to sneak its rotting carcass over the finish line.

Leon Siu is a Hawaiian Activist