`Ano`ai kakou… After reading Andrew Walden’s article in his Hawaii Free Press (HFP) blog, accusing OHA of investing in a geothermal “scheme,” I feel it is very important to point out that Walden can easily be grouped with the following anti-Hawaiian of conservative groups that do everything they can to divide the Hawaiian Community.
THE GRASSROOT INSTITUTE OF HAWAII
The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, a conservative think tank, states that their mission is to “promote individual liberty, the free market and limited accountable government,” but what they have actually done is write anti-Hawaiian letters to Congress and the Civil Rights Commission. They have testified vigorously before Congressional hearings against the Akaka bill. Richard O. Rowland serves as Chairman of the Board and President and co-founded the Institute with Malia Zimmerman.
Malia Zimmerman is the secretary of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii’s board of directors and has authored of many articles that helped to polarize the Hawaiian community. Zimmerman was fired from Pacific Business News for “unspecified reasons” and then went on to co-found the “Hawaii Reporter.” (Source: Sourcewatch.org)
Sam Slom is Hawaii’s only Republican State Senator and is the executive director of Small Business Hawaii. Slom has been vocal opponent of the Akaka bill and OHA’s sovereignty efforts locally and in Washington, D.C.
Small Business Hawaii, where Senator Sam Slom (R-HI) and Richard O. Rowland are on the board of directors, has given reporting awards to the Hawaii Reporter. (Source: Sourcewatch.org)
H. WILLIAM BURGESS
Attorney H. William Burgess, who has sued OHA on multiple occasions, has been working to cripple OHA for over a decade. He is married to Sandra Puanani Burgess, who is also a strong opponent of the Hawaiian sovereignty movement and of government programs that benefit Native Hawaiians preferentially. Burgess led the efforts to bring two frivolous lawsuits seeking to have such programs declared unconstitutional. (Source: Wikipedia)
ALOHA FOR ALL
In 1999, H. William Burgess and his wife created the Aloha for All website, www.Aloha4all.org to spread their disingenuous message that “Aloha is for everyone” and that “every citizen of Hawaii is entitled to the equal protection of the laws whatever his or her ancestry.” In 2003, former Honolulu Advertiser publisher Thurston Twigg-Smith, who funded the lawsuits against OHA, founded a company called “Aloha for All.” (Wikipedia)
An August 14, 2005 Honolulu Advertiser article reported that H. William Burgess was both lead attorney for Aloha for All and legal counsel for the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. Grassroot later responded that Burgess is a member but has never been their legal counsel.
KENNETH R. CONKLIN
Their group also includes Kenneth R. Conklin, a retired schoolteacher who moved to Hawaii from Boston in 1992 and currently lives in Kāneʻohe. (SOURCE: Wikipedia) He is a vocal opponent of the Hawaiian sovereignty movement and has sued OHA in the past.
WE MUST BE MAKA‘ALA
Again, let me reiterate, the negative articles being written about OHA in the newspapers and online should be taken with a grain of salt. We must also remember to consider the source from which it comes.
Hawaiians cannot allow these Right-Wing, Ultra-Conservative Extremists to divide us. Please let us be “Maka‘ala” (alert, aware, vigilant, watchful, and wide awake) and know who our true enemies are.