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Tuesday, September 19, 2000

OHA logo

97 run for
nine Hawaiian
Affairs seats

OHA faces its first elections
featuring candidates who are
not of Hawaiian ancestry

By Pat Omandam

When Hawaii voters go to the polls Nov. 7, they will see some familiar names on the Office of Hawaiian Affairs ballot.

John David Waihee IV, the 30-year-old son of former Gov. John Waihee, is running for public office for the first time as a candidate for the OHA board of trustees.

Waihee, a bar manager who lives in Nuuanu, said yesterday that he's concerned the OHA board is losing control and that the problems facing trustees are getting worse.

"So finally I decided instead of sitting around getting angry, I could maybe do something," Waihee said. "I just want to see people work together.... If it keeps going the direction it's going ... I don't see it lasting as an entity too much longer."

Another well-known OHA candidate is Oswald Stender, former Kamehameha Schools trustee. Stender, running for one of the three at-large seats, is off island and could not be reached for comment.

As of yesterday's filing deadline, there were 97 candidates for the nine OHA seats up for election in November. Four of the seats are for four-year terms, while the other five are for two-year terms that were created when five trustees resigned halfway through their terms on Sept. 8.

So far, there are 65 candidates for these five trustee seats. State Elections officials expected a final certified list to be ready last night.

There are 32 candidates running for the four OHA seats that expire this year.

All nine of the former OHA trustees who resigned Sept. 8 are running to regain their seats. Of the nine current trustees, all appointed by Gov. Ben Cayetano, all but Gladys Brandt are running.

At least five OHA candidates are not of Hawaiian ancestry. U.S. District Judge Helen Gillmor is expected to rule soon on whether non-Hawaiians can run as OHA candidates and serve as trustees.

A preliminary injunction granted by Gillmor in August lets non-Hawaiians file as OHA candidates, which some have done, including Janet Kotomori of Mountain View, on the Big Island.

Kotomori, a 52-year-old office worker making her first bid for public office, said she can do a better job than some of the former trustees. She believes OHA should provide more land for Hawaiian housing.

"I think I understand some of the needs, and I think I can help," she said.

Maui OHA candidate Roger L. Grantham, 52, a Maui real estate broker, said that as a non-Hawaiian he is running because he believes OHA is dividing the general community. He is concerned that the Akaka bill before Congress will lead to gambling in Hawaii, although U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye has stated it would not.

"I just got sick and tired of every time I turn on the television ... there's some commercial by OHA or some OHA representative trying to represent the U.S. government as some sort of evil empire and revisionist of history," Grantham said yesterday.

Grantham has lived in Hawaii since 1976 and voted for the creation of OHA. "It turned into nothing more than a pest-hole of lawyers and people that want to secede (from the union). That's against the law. We fought the Civil War once in this country, we don't need another one," he said.

If elected to the board, Grantham would use OHA's $375 million investment portfolio for computer education and language immersion programs for all of Hawaii's children.

At-large OHA candidate Francis K. Gora, 43, a city heavy-equipment supervisor and first-time candidate, said that, along with the education of children, he would like OHA to focus on helping the kupuna, or elderly.

Gora said OHA needs young, fresh people who are able to form a consensus with other trustees and set priorities. Gora, who graduates with a business administration degree in February from the University of Phoenix, believes anyone with ceded lands leases should be charged market value and not be given token leases of $1 a year.

At-large candidate Harriet Ilima Morrison, 48, is a self-employed attorney who once ran for the state House of Representatives. She said there needs to be a focus on where OHA is going and why it was created.

"I think they (trustees) need a sense of direction that is not influenced by outside things so much," she said. "Some of them seem to be influenced by -- I don't know, not what's best for the Hawaiians."

Deadline met

Here are the 65 candidates that met yesterday's filing deadline for five Office of Hawaiian Affairs special vacancies. The election is Nov. 7.


AKANA, Rowena M.N.
AKINA, Crayn Kauahi
BATES, Beverly R.
BURKE, Gene P.K. (Kini)
CAIRES, Gordon Kona
DE COSTA, Denise Mahealani
DESOTO, A. Frenchy
EBISU, Tulane E.
ELDERTS, Maitland P.K.
EVANS, Kimo Keanu
FINA'I, Charl Kaleialohaona
GILES, Jason C.
GORA, Francis Keoua
GREENWOOD, Alice U. Oupnui
HAIA, Thomas A.K.
HANALEI, Ralph (Hana)
HUBBARD, Lela Malina
KAAPU, Kekoa David Jr.
KAMALI'I, Kina'u Boyd
LEE, Richard
MORRISON, Harriet Ilima
OLDS, Nalani
PADEKEN, Charmaine H.
PALCIC, Michael (Big Mike)
PARK, Bernadette (Akiona)
PEABODY, George (Aloha)
PELTIER, Victor Umi
ROSE, Charles (Kale Loke)
SABEY, John L.
SCHNEIDER, Loyson Earll
STENDER, Oswald K.
TIWANAK, Eric Kuualoha
TOLER, Dustin
TRASK, Mililani B.
TUNGPALAN, Eloise Ululani Y.
WAIHE'E, John D., IV
WONG, Edwina A.L.
WONG, Jimmy
YIN, Thomas M.

Maui Special

CLUBB, Genevieve (Lehua)
HAO, Louis
HELM, Larry H.
OTA, Charles S.
PELEKAI, Edward P.
RUST, Jimmy

Oahu Special

HEE, Clayton
TAKAMINE, Vicky Holt

OHA Special

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Rice vs. Cayetano decision

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