Lingle declares Akaka Bill support

A letter to the U.S. Senate comes after Akaka and Inouye vow to amend the measure

By Derrick DePledge

The Akaka Bill has broad support within Hawaii’s political establishment, including from the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs, along with the backing of many Hawaiian civic groups. A poll taken in April for The Honolulu Advertiser found that 66 percent of those interviewed statewide favored granting Hawaiians federal recognition similar to American Indians and Alaska natives.

Many Republicans, however, oppose the bill as unconstitutional race-based discrimination because it would treat Hawaiians differently from other state residents. Some Hawaiian sovereignty activists are against the bill because they believe it would interfere with the potential restoration of an independent kingdom.