Can a Governor Be Beyond the Law?

Our Lt. Governor, Duke Aiona has stated his support for the Akaka bill and urged its passage despite the many reservations held by others in the administration and among the people of Hawaii.

It’s not that we don’t understand the sentiment behind the support–we love Hawaii.  We recognize the richness of Hawaiian culture and sympathize with the desire to protect it and support Native Hawaiians.  But (as our grants database clearly shows) intentions are one thing . . . practice is another.  We’ve seen hundreds of millions of dollars spent to help Native Hawaiians–and evidently to little effect, from the picture painted by most Akaka supporters. Despite that, outreach to Native Hawaiians is practically its own industry in the Aloha State.

An even more interesting consideration . . . Lt. Governor Aiona (who is running for Governor, of course) could be part of the new Native Hawaiian tribe created by the Akaka Bill.  That means that he would be subject to different tax schemes, different justice–in essence, different law than the vast majority of his constituents.  (If he should win, that is.)  While Aiona is busy trumpeting his support for the Akaka bill, it would be good to for him to address the glaring questions of how his membership in an Akaka-based tribe would affect his governance.

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