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#1 Sep-02-2007 08:50:am

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Registered: May-12-2006
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Akaka Bill Will Harm Landowners Throughout America [ONU]

http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.asp … 43895fd2e3

Akaka Bill Will Harm Landowners Throughout America
By Barb Lindsay, 9/1/2007 2:47:26 PM
This testimony was submitted to the Hawaii State Advisory Committee and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights by Barb Lindsay a National Director and Spokesperson for One Nation United. Reach her at mailto:Barb@OneNationUnited.org

I'm writing to you on behalf of the Board and Membership of One Nation United to oppose the Akaka bill because of the severe harm it threatens to do to property owners throughout America.

I’m also writing to you to warn you of the severe damage the Akaka bill would cause to the civil liberties and constitutional rights of most Native Hawaiians -- based upon the experience of thousands of tribal members who currently suffer under the “plenary power” of Congress over tribal property and the experience of thousands more individual Native Americans who have suffered greatly under the unchecked political power of tribal government leaders over the lives of individual enrolled members.

One Nation United (ONU) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan 501(c)4 public educational umbrella group dedicated to the defense of private property rights, our free enterprise system, and the rule of law -- all of which are seriously threatened by the Akaka bill.

ONU represents tens of thousands of concerned citizens, property owner groups, many businesses large and small, various local governments, academics, clergy, state and national trade groups, numerous law enforcement leaders, and elected officials in thirty-nine states across America.

The damage the Akaka Bill threatens to property owners arises because of the precedent the bill sets for the balkanization of America through allowing thousands of newly assembled Indian groups to demand federal recognition to “tribal” status. Nearby businesses and local governments are hurt when tribes refuse to collect or remit sales and excise taxes lawfully owed on purchases made by non-tribal customers at Indian retail establishments.

How can any local business compete against the lower, tax-free pricing at the tribal businesses? And when the tax-collecting businesses close their doors, local governments lose the taxes formerly collected by these non-tribal retailers, as well.

The Akaka bill is not a simple federal recognition of one Indian group, following the criteria set forth in Title 25 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Everyone knows, if those regulations applied to Hawaii, Native Hawaiians Hawaiians would fail to meet those criteria.

That's why the only way for Native Hawaiians to get federal recognition is through a special bill like this one proposed in Congress, which abandons the CFR criteria and bases recognition on blood alone.

The Mashantucket Pequot "tribe" of Connecticut, a phony new tribe unable to qualify for federal recognition according to the standard requirements, successfully lobbied Congress to get a “special” bill passed (similar to the Akaka bill).

U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye, then chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, was primarily responsible for getting that tribe recognized. Inouye was able to accept hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal campaign contributions from that “tribe” and its affiliated contractors because tribes are quasi-sovereign and, therefore, exempt from most campaign contribution laws. Please understand that Hawaii State legislators and federal elected officials would also be influenced by the Akaka tribe in a similar way if this bill became law.

Once recognized, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe built the world's largest (tax-exempt) gambling casino (called “Foxwoods”) in a residential suburban area, causing tremendous hardship to the local community; a community powerless to stop it because of tribal sovereign immunity.

A book written by Jeff Benedict describes the extremely corrupt process leading to this Tribe’s congressional recognition: "Without Reservation: The Making of America's Most Powerful Indian Tribe and the World's Largest Casino."

Likewise, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs is currently spending many millions of dollars on lobbying and advertising to promote the misguided and unconstitutional Akaka bill.

The huge profits generated by this phony “new tribe” in Connecticut encouraged other alleged tribes to redouble their well-funded efforts to get recognized, including the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation of Kent and the Eastern Pequots of North Stonington.

The Eastern Pequots were, in fact, granted “recognition” by the BIA. But there was such an outcry of opposition from the Connecticut Attorney General, CT Governor, and both U.S. Senators, that the BIA reconsidered its decision and ultimately reversed it.

Just as federal recognition of the Mashantucket Pequot tribe spurred other groups to seek “tribal” status, passage of the Akaka bill would, likewise, do the same.

Even the highly controversial Congressional recognition of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe of Connecticut was based upon a mistaken “history” of that group as allegedly functioning as a tribe. And Native Hawaiians, likewise, fail to have the sort of “history” or current characteristics that are clearly required under 25 CFR 83.7.

They simply fail to meet the requirements, which is why they seek to circumvent them by action of Congress.

This is why the Akaka bill is based on an entirely new theory of the Constitution - - to the effect that Congress has the power to assemble and create a “tribe” out of any group of indigenous people, even if they are widely scattered, completely assimilated, and have no history at all of a racially exclusionary government over the same unified territory over where they now seek to claim tribal “self-governing” rights.

Hawaii Attorney General Bennett frequently cites the Lara decision as a precedent for upholding the power of Congress to create new tribes. But no! The Lara decision only affirms that Congress has the right to resuscitate a tribe that was previously recognized and later de-certified. The Lara decision simply did not say that Congress could arbitrarily create a “new tribe” out of thin air.

If Congress successfully asserts such new power in the case of Native Hawaiians, then thousands of other Native American groups will soon demand recognition based upon this same theory. They might even be able to file lawsuits demanding “equal” treatment or “legal parity” with Native Hawaiians.

Perhaps this explains why some organizations representing many tribes support the Akaka bill - - they hope to generate more “new tribes” for their organizations. When will this balkanization of America stop?

Although I am not authorized to speak on behalf of my own Tribe, the Western Cherokee Nation of Arkansas and Missouri, my views certainly do represent those of thousands of Native American individuals who would not wish to see Native Hawaiians facing many of the same difficulties suffered by most tribal members across America.

Congress exercises its plenary power over Native American tribes through the Bureau of Indian Affairs. We have all read the numerous news reports in recent years about the outrageous corruption and terrible inefficiency at the BIA. In particular, most of us are familiar with the Cobell-Norton lawsuit made necessary by the fact that the BIA lost or mismanaged hundreds of billions of dollars held in trust for Indian tribes.

Likewise, most people are familiar with the devastating conditions prevailing on most Indian reservations, where the BIA has utterly failed in its “trust” responsibilities to Native Americans who live under its wardship.

We cannot imagine why Native Hawaiians would want to willingly place themselves under the “wardship” of the federal government? Rather, we attribute the actual support for the Akaka bill to Hawaii government officials seeking to protect and increase the flow of federal tax dollars to Hawaii and to large institutions there made wealthy and powerful by the fact that enormous amounts of our federal tax dollars are flowing into their bureaucracies.

Yet it's unclear how much of this taxpayer funding actually “trickles down” to the needy individuals who are supposed to benefit from it?

We’ve all read many news reports about individual tribal members having their constitutional rights and civil liberties repeatedly abused by their own tribal leaders. Remember, each tribe writes its own laws, often maintain their own courts, and has limited tribal sovereignty -- which prevents individual members from seeking the protection of most federal and state laws. They cannot sue their own governments, even for financial transparency, because of tribal "sovereign immunity" from suit.

Unfairly, federal money is given to tribal leaders, who then decide whether or not to pass any of it along to their individual members and which members should receive how much. Under these legal conditions, it's easy to see why individual tribal members suffer such severe intimidation - - especially since they cannot seek any recourse in either our federal or state court systems.

Families with mixed marriages are also split apart because the laws applying to one spouse and their children do not also apply to the other spouse. In tribal child custody cases, federal law unwisely establishes a presumption in favor of the “Native American” spouse and in favor of tribal government jurisdiction over state jurisdiction, thus, depriving the non-Indian spouse of the protections he or she would normally enjoy under the laws of our land as an American citizen.

Finally, we shall close with a rebuttal to a concept often asserted by the supporters of the Akaka bill. They say that Native Hawaiians are the “only indigenous group” not recognized by the federal government.

They say Native Hawaiians deserve to get the same federal recognition given to Native Americans and to Native Alaskans. It must be noted, however, that the federal government does not give any recognition to Native Americans as a group. Rather, federal recognition is given only to individual "tribes" -- 562 at latest count -- based on each tribe's unique political history. Federal recognition is not given to the entire racial group of Native Americans. In fact, most Native Americans do not qualify for membership in any tribe.

Across America, hundreds of “groups” are now seeking recognition as tribes, while many have been refused. Hawaii’s pro-Akaka officials should not be claiming Native Hawaiians are somehow “discriminated against” by comparison to Native Americans.

Please oppose the unconstitutional Akaka bill, S.310 and H.R.505. It would sadly divide all American citizens by race.



#2 Sep-02-2007 10:46:am

From: Texas
Registered: Oct-21-2006
Posts: 12082

Re: Akaka Bill Will Harm Landowners Throughout America [ONU]

Although I am not authorized to speak on behalf of my own Tribe, the Western Cherokee Nation of Arkansas and Missouri, my views certainly do represent those of thousands of Native American individuals who would not wish to see Native Hawaiians facing many of the same difficulties suffered by most tribal members across America.

First of all, the Western Cherokee Nation of Arkansas and Missouri is not a federally recognized tribe. Is this one reason why Barb Lindsay is so anti Indian rights? Is this why she opposes federal recognition? Just a thought.

She says she "would not wish to see Native Hawaiians facing many of the same difficulties suffered by most tribal members across America". Indians suffer difficulties whether or not they're enrolled members of federally recognized tribes. Is she trying to say things will get worse for them if they receive federal recognition? There is no logic to that statement. She's using the fear tactic, one of ONU's better known propaganda tools. ONU is a master at twisting facts, half-truths and out-right lies.



#3 Sep-08-2007 09:54:pm

From: Hopewell Twp., New Jersey
Registered: Jul-10-2007
Posts: 4214

Re: Akaka Bill Will Harm Landowners Throughout America [ONU]

She also calls the Pequot "fake" as with the Hawaiians. I do see quite a bit of jealousy here.

I don't have anger issues...just violent reactions to B.S.
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