Fed-Wreck is back on the table minus the language of creating a roll and qualification process BECAUSE... the Abercrombie appointed Roll Commission is already performing that function! So contrary to what the Roll Commissioners have been saying about self-determination, Fed-Wreck appears to have already been pre-determined. Mahalo for showing your true colors, we got yo ass...
Such suspicions are not new. As I reported in the Honolulu Weekly, when the Roll registration was launched in July:
Though some Hawaiian nationals have dismissed the roll process as a tool of the state, [Roll Commissioner Commissioner Naalehu] Anthony is encouraging them to participate. “It’s not our job to make a government,” he says, noting that the Commission will dissolve once the roll is published. “Independence, federal recognition, state recognition–all of these things are up for discussion. But we’ve got to know who is in the pool [in order] to have a discussion.” However, the press release distributed by Abercrombie’s office says the process “will eventually lead to federal recognition of Native Hawaiians.” OHA officials on hand for the launch also seemed to think that federal recognition was the goal, and that it was attainable.
Now, as Andre so vividly notes, the perception that Gov. Abercrombie's administration and the feds are actively directing the process of Hawaiian self-determination has picked up steam with news that Akaka amended his bill to reflect the Commission's work. As the Star-Advertiser reported:
The new legislation drops provisions that created a process to determine who qualifies as Native Hawaiian and enroll them as part of creating a new Native Hawaiian government. A new Native Hawaiian Roll Commission, set up by the Hawaii Legislature, is performing those functions.
By stripping out those sections, Akaka was able to cut the bill down to about 15 pages from an original 60 pages with the hope that Republican opponents would find it more palatable, since it removes the controversy over who qualifies as Native Hawaiian.
Meanwhile, Abercrombie has come out swinging in defense of another one of his proposals that's meeting resistance — the Public Lands Development Corp. In typical Abercrombie fashion, he spent more time trashing opponents than outlining any real merits of the PLDC:
Abercrombie dismissed critics in the environmental, Native Hawaiian and labor communities — including many who want the corporation abolished because of a potential threat to the environment — as the "usual suspects" who used public hearings this summer on the corporation's draft administrative rules to create "conspiratorial hysteria."
Abercrombie said opponents have appointed themselves as the public's voice and the "arbiters over what is appropriate or inappropriate in terms of development."
The article also included comments from Rep. Chris Lee, one of the few legislators to oppose the bill — alas, the Kauai contingent supported it — saying that opponents would likely need to get two-thirds' majorities in the House and Senate to achieve a repeal, since Abercrombie said he would veto a repeal bill.
Despite criticism from citizens who believe, correctly, that the public will little have sway over the actions of the PLDC, Abercrombie is urging people to give it a chance:
"You've got to put it in practice first to see what it is," he said. "Give it a chance. Give it some breathing room and see how it works."
The governor said he doubts critics are interested in improving the law, "because their attitude is, no matter what you do, no matter how you change it, you can't change it good enough to suit us."
"Because the only way that would work, is that you would agree with us in the first place that you've got to pass anything you want to do past us first. We've got the imprimatur first."
"My support? It gets stronger," the governor said. "When I see people out there pushing people around. When I see people out there saying ‘We get to decide.' What do you mean we get to decide?
"The legislators ran for election. I ran for election."
Ummm, except the guv and legislators aren't the ones who will be calling the shots on PLDC decisions. Those will be made by an un-elected board comprised of state agency heads and development interests. And the people, quite rightly, are saying no, we want to have a say on how public lands, Hawaiian lands, are used. Because frankly, we don't trust you.