Wednesday, November 24, 1999

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Trask repeats
comment, invites
Inouye to debate

The OHA trustee says she's
the victim of a smear

By Pat Omandam


Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustee Mililani Trask has challenged U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye to a debate to settle once and for all on how much Inouye has done for Hawaiian sovereignty.

And she did so by once again calling Inouye the disparaging name that has created so much controversy for her and for OHA over the past month.

"I would like to take this opportunity to avoid any further press smears by challenging Sen. Daniel Inouye to an open and public debate on his 40-year record on reconciliation," Trask said.

"Let's take a good look at what the one-armed bandit has done on the issue on sovereignty for 40 years."

Inouye could not be reached for comment this morning. His press secretary Sandi Skousen said today Inouye does not have any more comment on the issue. She declined to speculate whether he would debate Trask.

"He's not going to say anything about it," Skousen said.

Skousen said Inouye has an outstanding Congressional record on Hawaiian issues and he was planning on sending the Hawaii media a letter on his voting record later today.

Trask, speaking today at a news conference at OHA headquarters said Inouye has been manipulating a few trustees to get them to change their board vote on federal bills on Hawaiian health, education and housing issues.

She claimed trustees Colette Machado, Haunani Apoliona and A. Frenchy DeSoto, along with Inouye, are conducting a smear campaign against her because she would not allow these bills to be heard again in her committee.

The three trustees are part of a minority opposition faction on the OHA board. Machado and DeSoto resigned from Trask's committee, citing her Inouye comments.

Trask asked that Inouye appear on her monthly cable show that airs on the first Friday of January on Olelo Channel 53.

"Let's take a look at what Big Dan's record really is and let's stop utilizing trustees of OHA. ... It's time to call Sen. Inouye out, and I'm willing to do it."

Trask denied allegations contained in a confidential memo from Trustee Machado that she told Machado's aide that she was going to kick "Inouye's yellow ass."

Machado threatened her reputation and career after she refused to hold the meeting. In response, Trask said, she told Machado she would not be a whore to Inouye, but that Machado was free to play that role.

Office of Hawaiian Affairs

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