Site hosted by Angelfire.com: Build your free website today!

Kuroiwa v. Lingle -- Lawsuit filed April 3, 2008in U.S. District Court in Honolulu seeking to dismantle the Office of Hawaiian Affairs of the State of Hawaii. Legal documents, news reports, and commentaries. Dismissed by Judge Seabright on July 2, 2008


On April 3, 2008 attorney H. William Burgess, on behalf of a group of six citizens of the State of Hawaii, filed a civil rights lawsuit against Governor Lingle. The long-term purpose of this lawsuit is to dismantle the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and return its assets to the state government to be used for the benefit of all Hawaii citizens without racial restriction. In the meantime the lawsuit seeks to prevent OHA from spending any more money on programs whose purpose is racially exclusionary, such as lobbying for the Akaka bill and paying for media advertisements to encourage ethnic Hawaiians to sign up for a racial registry known as Kau Inoa.

On April 4 Mr. Burgess issued a press release explaining the lawsuit. It can be downloaded by clicking here:
http://bigfiles90.angelfire.com/KuroiwaPressRelease040408.pdf

A webpage "Keeping Hawaii United" was also launched which includes a video of Mr. Burgess responding to several written questions. The webpage will probably be updated to make legal documents available, and perhaps additional interviews, as the lawsuit goes forward.
Click here to go to "Keeping Hawaii United."
http://www.keephawaiiunited.com/

For those who might not be familiar with the Akaka bill, see:
"WHY ALL AMERICA SHOULD OPPOSE THE HAWAIIAN GOVERNMENT REORGANIZATION BILL, ALSO KNOWN AS THE AKAKA BILL, S.310 and H.R.505" at
http://tinyurl.com/yhhz7o

Regarding the racial registry: See
"OHA Racist Kau Inoa TV Commercials -- transcripts and analysis; plus background information about how the Kau Inoa program fits into strategy for the Akaka bill, and how much OHA has spent on lobbying. Transcripts and analysis of commercials made by four celebrities are featured on this webpage: Riatea Helm, Lilikala Kame'eleihiwa, Vicky Holt Takamine, and Butch Helemano." at
http://tinyurl.com/22ekaa

See also:
"Malia Craver Kau Inoa TV/radio commercials late 2007 -- Hawaiian and English transcripts and commentary. Also a Dennis Kamakahi commercial. Ms. Craver uses her prestige and Hawaiian language to ask ethnic Hawaiians to sign up on a racial separatist registry despite her previous speech to the United Nations urging love, forgiveness, and inter-racial unity. In English she scolds Caucasians for coming to Hawaii in the 1800s and not helping ethnic Hawaiians (false), inferring that Hawaiians were not capable of managing their own affairs; even while she supports a program whose purpose is supposedly to foster self-reliance and self-determination." at
http://www.angelfire.com/planet/big60/KauInoaCraverKamakahi.html

See also:
"B.J. Penn, famous ultimate fighter, beats up a police officer and then OHA makes him the star of a Kau Inoa commercial glorifying violence and racism." at
http://www.angelfire.com/planet/big60/KauInoaUltimateFighterBJPenn.html
To watch the B.J. Penn Kau Inoa commercial interspersed with comments in rebuttal, see this fun-filled YouTube video at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEi4XeZ6KB4

Following are legal documents, news reports, and commentaries, in chronological order.

ON JULY 2, 2008 JUDGE MICHAEL SEABRIGHT HELD A HEARING FOR ORAL ARGUMENTS, AND DISMISSED THE LAWSUIT.


================

On April 3, 2008 Kuroiwa v. Lingle was launched by filing a COMPLAINT AND MOTION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER in the U.S. District Court in Honolulu. By random draw, the case was assigned to Judge Michael Seabright. Here is a document combining both the 32-page complaint and the 4-page motion for TRO and preliminary injunction.
http://bigfiles90.angelfire.com/KuroiwaComplaintAndTROmotion040308pdf

=================

***** IMPORTANT

Attorney H. William Burgess has created a webpage where he has made available a chronology of events, several of the legal documents filed by plaintiffs, and decisions by the judge. Perhaps he will continue posting future documents there as well. So long as he does, it will not be necessary to post any chronology or legal documents here. However, news reports and commentaries will continue to be posted here. For Mr. Burgess' chronology and collection of documents, see:

http://www.aloha4all.org/showText.aspx?settings=Pleadings

===============

The lawsuit came as a surprise to OHA and to the newspapers (which always support OHA). Thus the first "breaking news" reports were based on the press release and interviews with attorney Burgess. But within a few hours OHA began responding, and the newspapers then began publishing news reports with their usual slant.

http://starbulletin.com/2008/04/04/news/story09.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, April 4, 2008

OHA faces bias lawsuit
Funds for the agency generated by ceded lands are disputed

By Ken Kobayashi

Another legal challenge to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs was filed yesterday in federal court by six Hawaii residents who contend state funding for the agency discriminates against non-Hawaiians.

The six contend that paying OHA a part of the revenues from ceded lands once held by the Hawaiian monarchy violates the state's trust obligations to all Hawaii residents.

The six non-Hawaiian residents are represented by H. William Burgess, the attorney who filed other challenges to OHA in the past.

It asks for a court order to halt state payments from ceded-land revenues to OHA and a halt to OHA spending that money to support the Akaka Bill pending in Congress. It also suggests that the pending settlement before the state Legislature to resolve past disputed claims by OHA to ceded-land revenues would also violate the rights of non-native Hawaiians.

Burgess said the suit was filed in the wake of an earlier taxpayer lawsuit filed by Earl Arakaki and others against OHA, but that challenge was rejected in 2006 by the U.S. Supreme Court. The high court, however, sent the case back to lower courts to resolve in view of its earlier decision that rejected a taxpayers' challenge in an Ohio case.

The case was eventually sent back to the federal courts here to resolve, but Burgess said U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway declined to dismiss the case and suggested that he could file a new suit.

The result is yesterday's challenge, he said.

The suit is against state and OHA officials.

Attorney General Mark Bennett said he had not seen the complaint, but said if it makes "the same allegations or similar allegations to the previous litigation, we will vigorously defend it in the same way we vigorously defended the previous litigation."

OHA Administrator Clyde Namuo said OHA "will reserve comment until legal counsel has had an opportunity to review the complaint."

Yesterday's six plaintiffs include Arakaki and four others who filed the earlier suit.

Burgess said the new suit does not challenge state general fund money going to OHA, but challenges the state paying OHA revenues from the ceded lands. It maintains the payments violate the U.S. Constitution by discriminating against the plaintiffs and others who do not have Hawaiian blood.

The suit cites a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in another case last year in which the court said ceded lands are for the benefit of all of Hawaii's people, "not simply native Hawaiians."

No date was set for hearings on the suit's request for a restraining order and an injunction to halt the payments to OHA.

-----------------

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080404/BREAKING01/80404028
Honolulu Advertiser, BREAKING NEWS
Updated at 10:19 a.m., Friday, April 4, 2008

Group of 6 sues state seeking halt to OHA funding

By Gordon Y.K. Pang

Six non-Hawaiian residents of the state of Hawai'i filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against the state late yesterday seeking to stop its funding of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, in effect dismantling an agency that they believe constitutes a breach of trust with money that should be going to benefit all Hawai'i's people.

The lawsuit filed by attorney H. William Burgess says OHA exists to carry out a "racially discriminatory purpose to better the conditions of native Hawaiians and Hawaiians (at the expense of other Hawaii citizens not of the favored face)..."

OHA administrator Clyde Namu'o, in a written statement, said the agency will not make any comment on the lawsuit until its attorneys have reviewed it.

The six plaintiffs, identified in the lawsuit as "six Non-ethnic Hawaiians," are James Kuroiwa Jr., Patricia A. Carroll, Toby M. Kravet, Garry P. Smith, Earl F. Arakaki and former Honolulu Advertiser publisher Thurston Twigg-Smith. Most of the plaintiffs have previously been involved in lawsuits against OHA.

A 2002 lawsuit filed by Burgess on behalf of 16 taxpayers seeking to stop the state's funding of OHA on constitutionality grounds was dismissed by U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway after being reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The lawsuit filed yesterday lists Gov. Linda Lingle, key members of her cabinet, OHA Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona and the other OHA trustees as defendants, claiming that they took part in a "civil conspiracy to deprive them of equal protection of the laws and equal privileges and immunities under the law."

At issue is OHA's share of revenues derived from ceded lands, state-owned lands that once belonged to the Hawaiian government.

The lawsuit comes amid much debate over OHA's share of ceded land revenues at the state Capitol. Through a decades-long series of judicial, legislative and administrative actions, the last being a February 2003 executive order issued by Lingle, OHA receives 20 percent of proceeds from ceded lands. Exactly how that is calculated has long been a subject of disagreement between OHA and the state.

A $200 million settlement agreement was reached by the state and OHA in January, which includes three parcels assessed at $187 million and $13 million cash, as well as a minimum of $15 million annually in future years. In exchange, OHA gives up the right to sue for future revenue claims. The House approved a version of the settlement but three Senate committees shelved the deal on March 17.

The lawsuit charges that "absent from the settlement agreement is any provision for the pro rate portion of the ceded lands trust for these Six Non-ethnic Hawaiians and the million or so other Hawaii citizens similarly situated."

Those people, the lawsuit says, "are adversely affected by the past and ongoing breaches and misapplications of the ceded lands trust income and corpus; and they are threatened with disenfranchisement and deprivation of their other civil rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in the state that is their home."

--------------------

http://honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080404/BREAKING01/80404028
Honolulu Advertiser, BREAKING NEWS
Updated at 2:43 p.m., Friday, April 4, 2008

OHA, state criticize suit seeking halt to funding

By Gordon Y.K. Pang

Office of Hawaiian Affairs officials and Attorney General Mark Bennett today decried a lawsuit filed this week against OHA as nothing different from previous failed attempts to dismantle OHA and funding for Hawaiians-only programs.

They also said the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court late yesterday, will only serve to divert dollars that would otherwise go toward helping Hawaiians.

Six non-Hawaiian residents of the state of Hawai'i filed the lawsuit against the state seeking to stop its funding of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, in effect dismantling an agency that they believe constitutes a breach of trust with money that should be going to benefit all Hawai'i's people.

The lawsuit filed by attorney H. William Burgess says OHA exists to carry out a "racially discriminatory purpose to better the conditions of native Hawaiians and Hawaiians (at the expense of other Hawaii citizens not of the favored face)..."

OHA administrator Clyde Namu'o, in a written statement, said the agency will not make any comment on the lawsuit until its attorneys have reviewed it.

The six plaintiffs, identified in the lawsuit as "six Non-ethnic Hawaiians," are James Kuroiwa Jr., Patricia A. Carroll, Toby M. Kravet, Garry P. Smith, Earl F. Arakaki and former Honolulu Advertiser publisher Thurston Twigg-Smith. Most of the plaintiffs have previously been involved in lawsuits against OHA.

A 2002 lawsuit filed by Burgess on behalf of 16 taxpayers seeking to stop the state's funding of OHA on constitutionality grounds was dismissed by U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway after being reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The lawsuit filed yesterday lists Gov. Linda Lingle, key members of her cabinet, OHA Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona and the other OHA trustees as defendants, claiming that they took part in a "civil conspiracy to deprive them of equal protection of the laws and equal privileges and immunities under the law."

At issue is OHA's share of revenues derived from ceded lands, state-owned lands that once belonged to the Hawaiian government.

The lawsuit comes amid much debate over OHA's share of ceded land revenues at the state Capitol. Through a decades-long series of judicial, legislative and administrative actions, the last being a February 2003 executive order issued by Lingle, OHA receives 20 percent of proceeds from ceded lands. Exactly how that is calculated has long been a subject of disagreement between OHA and the state.

A $200 million settlement agreement was reached by the state and OHA in January, which includes three parcels assessed at $187 million and $13 million cash, as well as a minimum of $15 million annually in future years. In exchange, OHA gives up the right to sue for future revenue claims. The House approved a version of the settlement but three Senate committees shelved the deal on March 17.

The lawsuit charges that "absent from the settlement agreement is any provision for the pro rate portion of the ceded lands trust for these Six Non-ethnic Hawaiians and the million or so other Hawaii citizens similarly situated."

Those people, the lawsuit says, "are adversely affected by the past and ongoing breaches and misapplications of the ceded lands trust income and corpus; and they are threatened with disenfranchisement and deprivation of their other civil rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in the state that is their home."

---------------------

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080405/NEWS23/804050334/1173/LOCALNEWSFRONT
Honolulu Advertiser, Saturday, April 5, 2008

Lawsuit targets OHA funding
Plaintiffs claim racial discrimination, want to end support from state

By Gordon Y.K. Pang

Office of Hawaiian Affairs officials and state Attorney General Mark Bennett yesterday said they are confident they can prevail against a lawsuit filed this week which seeks to stop state funding of OHA and, in effect, dismantle the agency.

Bennett, at a news conference yesterday, said the lawsuit is no different from prior unsuccessful legal challenges to OHA's mission of establishing programs to aid Hawaiians.

But H. William Burgess, the attorney for the six "non-ethnic Hawaiians" bringing the lawsuit, including former Advertiser publisher Thurston Twigg-Smith, said legal history backs his side of the argument.

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court late Thursday claims OHA exists to carry out a "racially discriminatory purpose to better the conditions of native Hawaiians and Hawaiians (at the expense of other Hawaii citizens not of the favored face). ..."

The money that's been going to fund OHA and its programs through ceded land revenues should instead be going to benefit all Hawai'i's people, the lawsuit said.

The six plaintiffs are James Kuroiwa Jr., Patricia A. Carroll, Toby M. Kravet, Garry P. Smith, Earl F. Arakaki and Twigg-Smith. Most of the plaintiffs have been involved in previous lawsuits against OHA.

The 2002 Arakaki v. Lingle lawsuit, filed by Burgess on behalf of 16 taxpayers seeking to stop the state's funding of OHA on constitutional grounds, was stopped in March 2007 when U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway declared the plaintiffs did not have standing to bring their claims. The case had also been reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which remanded the matter back to Mollway.

Burgess said Mollway declined to dismiss the case and suggested that he could file a new suit.

The latest lawsuit charges that "absent from the settlement agreement is any provision for the pro rate portion of the ceded lands trust for these Six Non-ethnic Hawaiians and the million or so other Hawaii citizens similarly situated."

Those people, the lawsuit says, "are adversely affected by the past and ongoing breaches and misapplications of the ceded lands trust income and corpus; and they are threatened with disenfranchisement and deprivation of their other civil rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in the state that is their home."

Bennett said he fails to see a difference in the lawsuits and believes the outcome will be the same as in the Arakaki lawsuit.

The Arakaki case centered around the constitutionality of the state Admissions Act, which allows the state to use ceded lands income and proceeds to better the condition of Native Hawaiians.

"The court said that in order to challenge the constitutionality of the Admissions Act, plaintiffs have to be able to state a claim against the United States who is a necessary party to any such claim, that plaintiffs were unable to state a claim against the United States, and thus they could not bring that lawsuit," Bennett said.

ADMISSIONS ACT CITED

While the plaintiffs have attempted to change the charges in the latest lawsuit, the heart of the opposition's argument remains that the Admissions Act provision that allows funding to go toward Native Hawaiians is unconstitutional, Bennett said.

Burgess, however, said Mollway was wrong not to grant his clients standing because they are equitable owners of the ceded lands trust. Once granted standing, he said, he believes he will prevail on the merits of the case.

OHA Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona said "we will defend OHA's constitutional and statutory rights for those we serve now and for the benefit of future generations of beneficiaries."

She said this latest lawsuit against OHA means the agency "must divert previous resources to defend ourselves in federal court, once again."

OHA officials said the agency spent $409,491 in defense of the Arakaki case.

SECOND LAWSUIT

Meanwhile, OHA is also in the midst of a separate legal challenge, Day v. Apoliona, filed by five men who are all at least 50 percent Hawaiian, which seeks to have OHA spend its money only on those with 50 percent or more Hawaiian blood.

The lawsuit filed yesterday lists Gov. Linda Lingle, key members of her cabinet, Apoliona and the other OHA trustees as defendants, claiming that they took part in a "civil conspiracy to deprive them of equal protection of the laws and equal privileges and immunities under the law."

At issue is OHA's share of revenues derived from ceded lands, state-owned lands that once belonged to the Hawaiian government.

The lawsuit comes amid much debate over OHA's share of ceded land revenues at the state Capitol. Through a decadeslong series of judicial, legislative and administrative actions, the last being a February 2003 executive order issued by Lingle, OHA receives 20 percent of proceeds from ceded lands. Exactly how that is calculated has long been a subject of disagreement between OHA and the state.

A $200 million settlement agreement was reached by the state and OHA in January, which includes three parcels assessed at $187 million and $13 million cash, as well as a minimum of $15 million annually in future years. In exchange, OHA gives up the right to sue for future revenue claims. The House approved a version of the settlement but three Senate committees shelved the deal on March 17.

-------------------

http://starbulletin.com/2008/04/05/news/story10.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, APRIL 5, 2008

New OHA case called a repeat
The attorney general feels sure the lawsuit will be dismissed

By B.J. Reyes

A new lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs covers issues that have previously been decided in the agency's favor and should be dismissed by the court, Attorney General Mark Bennett said. The federal lawsuit argues that state funding for the agency discriminates against non-Hawaiians. It was filed this week by six Hawaii residents.

"This lawsuit retreads old ground, makes the same allegations that previous lawsuits challenging programs for native Hawaiians have made," Bennett said yesterday at a news conference. "I am confident that the results in this case will be the same as the results in previous cases. That is, the plaintiffs' claims being dismissed."

"Plaintiffs in the new lawsuit, filed by attorney H. William Burgess, include residents who have challenged OHA in the past. Burgess has also filed the previous lawsuits. The latest lawsuit contends that paying OHA a part of the revenues from ceded lands once held by the Hawaiian monarchy violates the state's trust obligations to all Hawaii residents. It asks for a court order to halt state payments from ceded-land revenues to OHA and a halt to OHA spending that money to support the Akaka Bill pending in Congress. It also suggests that the pending settlement before the state Legislature to resolve past disputed claims by OHA to ceded-land revenues would also violate the rights of non-native Hawaiians.

Bennett said he believes the case is essentially the same as an earlier taxpayer lawsuit, known as the Arakaki case, that was rejected in 2006 by the U.S. Supreme Court. The case was eventually sent back to the federal courts in Honolulu to resolve, but Burgess said U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway declined to dismiss the case and suggested he could file a new suit.

OHA said the Arakaki case cost the agency $409,491 in attorney fees. Clyde Namuo, OHA administrator, said the new case would likely cost in the "tens of thousands," depending on how long it takes to resolve.

Despite the time and cost, Bennett and OHA Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona said they were committed to defending against the lawsuit. "Our goal is to prevail in this case," Apoliona said. "To do anything less in these times would be a disservice to native Hawaiians and would certainly be damaging to the future of Hawaii."

---------------------

http://starbulletin.com/2008/04/13/editorial/commentary2.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Sunday April 13, 2008
Commentary

Group’s lawsuit targeting OHA would erode gains made for all Hawaiians

by Boyd P. Mossman

Once again Hawaiians are back in court, defending themselves from a group of self-described "non-ethnic Hawaiians," whatever that means, who claim their lawsuit will take nothing away from Hawaiians. If you believe that, you also believe in the Tooth Fairy.

The lawsuit, Kuroiwa v. Lingle and accompanying documents filed April 3 in U.S. District Court against the state of Hawaii and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, feature the same faces and legal strategy that has failed before, but at great expense to Hawaiians who watch as the attorney fees gobble up funds that would have otherwise gone to worthy programs.

Attorney H. William Burgess is to Hawaiians the agent of doom and gloom, who wields a sword of destruction, not justice, for the plaintiffs. The former ConCon delegate who voted to approve OHA in the 1978 convention has now devoted his practice to eliminating Hawaiian rights and benefits through repeated lawsuits and his group called "Aloha For All."

Among his clients is Thurston Twigg-Smith, the well-heeled former Honolulu Advertiser publisher, who at 87 continues to defend the role that his grandfather, Lorrin A. Thurston, so prominently played in the 1893 overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy. The media-savvy Twigg-Smith has found a receptive voice in the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, a local group with national ties to well-funded conservative think tanks. Grassroot Institute has listed Burgess as its attorney and the group's co- founder, Malia Zimmerman, runs a right-wing blog whose writers regularly attack OHA.

Burgess and one of his clients, James Kuroiwa, along with several other Grassroot supporters were recent appointees to the Hawaii State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. They led an unsuccessful effort to reverse a prior HSAC vote in favor of the Akaka Bill. It was a transparent attempt to roll back previous gains in civil rights.

Joining Kuroiwa and Twigg-Smith in the latest lawsuit, are Earl Arakaki, Patricia Carroll, Tobey Kravet and Garry Smith. All six sued in a previous case, Arakaki v. Lingle, with Burgess as their attorney. The Arakaki v. Lingle lawsuit sought to dismantle OHA and all of its programs and also remove Hawaiians from their homestead lots.

None of the plaintiffs can claim to be aboriginal, native and indigenous to Hawaii; nevertheless, all six plaintiffs have applied to sign up for the Hawaiian voting initiative, Kau Inoa, and though acknowledging they are "not Hawaiian" now claim to be "non-ethnic Hawaiians," thus paralleling mainland media copy which often lumps all Hawaii residents, regardless of ancestry, as "Hawaiians." In the court filings, Smith and Kravet further describe themselves, respectively, as an "American of native American ancestry" and "American of Ukranian Jewish, and Belorussian Jewish ancestry."

Kravet included in the court papers an e-mail exchange with Gov. Linda Lingle in which he told Lingle he would not contribute to her campaign if she backed recognition of Hawaiians.

And that's not the only mention of money. Burgess' wife claims in the court papers that her husband is doing the case "pro bono." But don't think that means no money. The attorneys who sued Kamehameha Schools in an admissions case are in a legal spat divvying up a $7 million settlement, and other attorneys are out trolling for more non-Hawaiian clients to sue the Hawaiian preference school.

Burgess includes in his lawsuit letters he wrote to Lingle complaining about OHA lobbying expenses for the Akaka Bill. In one letter, Burgess demanded that his clients receive "at least 4 times the amount to or for my clients and all others similarly situated, to lobby against the Akaka bill, travel to and from D.C. and staff and maintain an office in D.C. to oppose passage of the Akaka bill."

This group has asked for an injunction to shut down OHA and stop all efforts to help better Hawaiians. Unfortunately, there are native Hawaiians doing the same thing in court; nevertheless OHA, in the middle, will continue to fulfill its mission, opposition notwithstanding.

While OHA and state Attorney General Mark Bennett remain confident they will prevail, it should be noted that the courts have not always been friendly to Hawaiians; therefore, the urgent need for the Akaka Bill. It alone will thwart these legal challenges because it will conclusively reaffirm that providing Hawaiian programs and protecting Hawaiian culture is not racial but rather political; that Hawaiians' rights are not based upon their racial but their indigenous heritage. And that's the reason Burgess and his clients are so fervent in attacking federal recognition.

Without it, false racist allegations continue along with the lawsuit gravy train. Hawaiians will have to again devote resources and energies to the courts rather than to the host culture and its lawfully designated organizations, which these lawsuits aim to eliminate.

As the saying goes, 'nuff already.

Boyd P. Mossman, an attorney and retired Circuit Court judge, is Maui trustee of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

--------------------

http://starbulletin.com/2008/04/20/editorial/commentary2.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, April 20, 2008

Entitlements for one group discriminate against us all

by Garry P. Smith and Earl Arakaki

As an Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee, one would expect Boyd Mossman to attempt to defend his agency's position, but as an attorney and retired judge, his comments in "Group's lawsuit targeting OHA would erode gains made for all Hawaiians" (Star-Bulletin, April 13) is rife with ad hominem and innuendo inexcusable for a lawyer. In his commentary, Mossman seems to believe that shooting the messenger amounts to protecting OHA as he attacks each plaintiff's motives, those of Grassroot Institute, attorney H. William Burgess, fellow native Hawaiians who are also suing OHA and the publisher of Hawaii Reporter.

This has been the tactic used by OHA for years to distract us from the facts. People are finding out what OHA has failed to accomplish even with the hundreds of millions of dollars already given it by the state and federal governments. We are learning what OHA will likely do to separate all of Hawaii by race under the wing of the Akaka Bill, which has slowly and is now more quickly eating away the fabric of the racial harmony under attack by OHA.

The facts are that the Akaka Bill would not provide any protections to the racial inequality desired by OHA by separating out those with but a single drop of native Hawaiian blood traceable to 1778, from those who do not have the correct ancestors. One only has to review the majority opinion of seven of the nine Supreme Court justices in the Rice v. Cayetano decision Feb. 23, 2000. The majority noted: "Distinctions between citizens solely because of their ancestry are by their very nature odious to a free people whose institutions are founded upon the doctrine of equality" and "Ancestry can be a proxy for race." No matter the spin, Hawaiians are not a political entity to be given their own nation by a complicit Congress. They are not American Indians, nor are they like native Alaskans. They cannot meet the federal criteria for federal recognition as an Indian tribe, so OHA tries to create a "tribe" that only meets their own requirements based solely on ancestry (race).

The state of Hawaii has spent more than $1.2 billion on native Hawaiian betterment through the Department of Hawaiian Homelands and OHA; the federal government also has spent more than $1 billion over the past 10 years, to what positive result? There are still hundreds of Hawaiians living in tents on the beaches while the OHA trustees fly first class to Washington, D.C., and give millions of dollars that should go to Hawaiian beneficiaries to Washington lobbying firms to push for the Akaka Bill.

For Judge Mossman to now argue that "Hawaiians' rights are not based upon their racial but their indigenous heritage" is insulting to all, including the U.S. Supreme Court, which surely can see that indigenous as used in Hawaii is a buzzword synonym for race. It is also insulting to the vast majority of individuals with native blood who have become successful and also to the many who have become quite wealthy. Certainly he is not saying that Hawaiians are incapable of becoming successful because of prejudice or discrimination since no legal action in the history of Hawaii has ever been made in court. Courts on the mainland have ruled repeatedly that blacks were discriminated against and that such action was unconstitutional and required corrective action, but never has a court ruled such about Hawaiians.

Mossman should mahalo the plaintiffs of this case as it will permit him and OHA to once and for all prove to the courts that their actions are correct and constitutional. Surely he is not afraid of a legal system that he served honorably for so many years.

Let the courts decide.

Garry P. Smith, a retired naval officer, and Earl Arakaki, a retired police officer, are plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the state that claims paying OHA a part of the revenues from ceded lands violates the state's trust obligations to all Hawaii residents.

---------------------

http://starbulletin.com/2008/04/24/editorial/letters.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, April 24, 2008

Anti-OHA plaintiffs using scare tactics

So two of the plaintiffs in the latest lawsuit against Office of Hawaiian Affairs want trustee Boyd Mossman to "mahalo" them for filing the lawsuit. ("Island viewpoint," Star-Bulletin, April 20) That's like the mouse thanking the cat for eating him.

Earl Arakaki and Garry Smith of the Grassroot Institute maintain OHA has done nothing positive for Hawaiians or anybody else. Guess they missed the meetings when OHA trustees granted $1 million to help the Leeward homeless and the millions more granted for education, nonprofits, health, employment, housing and more.

As part of their "Aloha For All" effort, these litigators scare non-Hawaiians with the nonsense that all Hawaiians want secession, land grabs and gaming.

But they have an even scarier end game they are not anxious to reveal until after they defeat the Akaka Bill: strip all Hawaiians of every program, including the many that keep alive the culture and customs of the 50th state.

Support their position and say goodbye to Hawaii as we know it.

Joe Kealoha
Former OHA trustee
Wailuku, Maui

------------------------

The Garden Island, April 25, 2008 (Kaua'i)
http://www.kauaiworld.com/articles/2008/04/25/opinion/edit02.txt

AND

West Hawaii Today, April 25, 2008 (Kona)
http://www.westhawaiitoday.com/articles/2008/04/25/opinion/letters_-_your_voice/letters01.txt

Litigation costs real for OHA

by Haunani Apoliona

In what is becoming a tiresome but frustrating exercise, attorney H. William Burgess rounded up past clients and is once again suing the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the state of Hawai‘i.

Describing themselves as “non-ethnic Hawaiians,” plaintiffs Thurston Twigg-Smith, James Kuroiwa, Earl Arakaki, Patricia Carroll, Tobey Kravet and Garry Smith want a judge to shut OHA down, stop the Kau Inoa registration effort, halt OHA lobbying for passage of the Akaka bill, and deny Hawaiians a share of the income and proceeds from the public land trust. The irony is in their group name “Aloha For All.”

Their mission is the same as past lawsuits ... any program that helps Hawaiians must be stopped.

Never mind that Hawai‘i voters approved the formation of OHA following a vote by the 1978 Constitutional Convention that included delegate Burgess.

Never mind that the U.S. Congress approved and President Clinton signed a bill in 1993 apologizing for the illegal 1893 overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom.

These plaintiffs either ignore history or rewrite it and spin their favorite false phrase repeated in virtually all media coverage ... that these programs are “race-based” and therefore illegal. They oppose passage of the Akaka bill because their “race based” mantra will be silenced.

In the case filed April 3 in U.S. District Court, attorney Burgess includes letters he wrote to Gov. Linda Lingle demanding the state pay his clients to run advertising against the Akaka bill and set up an office in Washington, D.C. to personally lobby against the measure.

Some may view this latest legal move by Burgess and his clients as another “nuisance” lawsuit filed by people who ignore Hawai‘i law and have nothing better to do than sue Hawaiians.

But litigation costs are real, and considerable. The first lawsuit filed by Burgess and his six current clients in the Arakaki v. Lingle case cost OHA beneficiaries more than $400,000 in legal fees. This new complaint, redundant in nature, will further drain resources impacting grant awards to our community through OHA’s Community Grants Program and Initiatives. In fiscal year 2007, OHA received over 200 requests for almost $8 million in grant dollars. That’s more than double the requests made in 2006. Needs increase as the economy tightens.

OHA’s grants program has many success stories but they don’t generate “sensation headlines” like Akaka bill skirmishes.

This year educators have been awarded OHA grants to help fund early childhood education; literacy needs for homeless children and competency based classes for youth and adults to enable them to earn a GED.

Human Service programs receive job training development funds from OHA for special-needs young adults; funds to support after-care treatment programs for adult Hawaiian men who have completed a substance abuse treatment program; and program funds to increase the number of licensed Hawaiian foster families.

Health organizations receive grants to set up neonatal intensive care units as well as funds to support delivery of groceries to lowincome rural clients affected by HIV/AIDS.

Environmental groups receive grants to restore fishponds and protect historic sites and we continue in our legal advocacy to protect Native rights.

OHA grants support vocational rehabilitation services, violence prevention services and long-term care services for Native Hawaiians on Molokai. We are also a funding partner in the restoration of Kalaniana‘ole Hall in Kalama‘ula.

These programs make a huge difference in our communities, helping to strengthen and build capacity among our people, resulting in benefits to all Hawai‘i. But thanks to Burgess and his clients, these programs will be restricted by a tighter pool of available funding.

Win or lose, these court battles will hurt Hawaiians directly and all of Hawai‘i indirectly. Burgess and fellow plaintiffs are in the business of suing Hawaiians, and business is good.

• Haunani Apoliona is the chair of the Board of Trustees for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

------------------------

http://starbulletin.com/2008/07/02/news/briefs.html
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, July 2, 2008

Lawsuit against OHA dismissed

A federal judge yesterday dismissed the latest lawsuit challenging the Office of Hawaiian Affairs as racially discriminatory. The lawsuit, filed in April, sought to halt state funding for OHA and to prevent OHA from spending the money to support the Akaka Bill pending in Congress.

U.S. District Judge J. Michael Seabright found that the lawsuit makes the same claims as one rejected in 2006 by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Attorney H. William Burgess filed the April lawsuit on behalf of six non-Hawaiian residents. He was also the attorney in the previous lawsuit and other legal challenges to OHA.


==================

Send comments or questions to:
Ken_Conklin@yahoo.com

You may now

GO BACK TO OTHER TOPICS ON THIS WEBSITE