Bainum supports
Hawaiian legislation

Mufi Hannemann urges the community
to achieve unity over the Akaka bill

Mayoral candidate Duke Bainum said he supports a congressional bill giving recognition to native Hawaiians as the federal government currently does with American Indians and native Alaskans.

"Once and for all, it will remove any doubt or any misinterpretation about the relationship between the federal government and the native Hawaiian community," Bainum said, noting he supports the Akaka bill for Hawaiian recognition. "And very importantly, it will protect the native Hawaiians' ability to receive federal dollars for native Hawaiian programs."

But his chief opponent, Mufi Hannemann, said that he recognizes that there are differing opinions about the Akaka bill in the Hawaiian community. "It is you that needs to develop that consensus to make it very clear what it is you want your elected officials to do," he said.

Hannemann and Bainum gave several hundred native Hawaiians their views on federal recognition and leasehold conversion yesterday at the annual conference of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

The candidates were also asked whether as mayor they would veto or sign a bill that would repeal mandatory leasehold conversion, which several so-called "alii trusts" such as Kamehameha Schools and Liliuokalani Trust are supporting.

"I will not hesitate to sign that bill into law. It is what is pono (right), and it's time to do it now," said Hannemann, who acknowledged that he voted to authorize lease-to-fee conversion 15 times while on the Council.

Bainum said he has supported leasehold conversion because he supports home ownership. "Families from kupuna to keiki should be able to live under their own roof in their own homes."

Just as he said that, a heckler yelled out, "What about the homeless Hawaiians? Put us on the beach."

Bainum said, "Clearly this is a highly emotional issue."

Bainum said he would consider modifying the mandatory leasehold conversion law if there is an economical impact on "the corpus of alii trusts."

Duke Bainum campaign
Mufi Hannemann campaign
State Elections Office


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