by Andrew Walden
Who is running for the 'Aha? It's a secret until its too late.
Contacted by Hawai'i Free Press, Na'i Aupuni press spokesman Lloyd Yonenaka says Na'i Aupuni has no intention of announcing the names of 'Aha candidates until after the September 15 deadline to file has passed. Says Yonenaka, "That information is with Elections America and will be announced at the end of September."
Na'i Aupuni is an OHA subcontractor running a State of Hawaii election for delegates to an 'Aha (convention) as part of a process to establish a fake Hawaiian Indian tribe which the Obama administration could then 'recognize'. The Hawaii State Constitution Article IV, Section 3 mandates that State elections shall be supervised by the State Office of Elections, not by an OHA subcontractor. During the candidate filing period for other State of Hawaii Elections, the Office of Elections regularly updates its list of candidates who have pulled papers and candidates who have filed. This allows candidates to avoid blindly bumbling into election contests against political allies while leaving political opponents unchallenged.
But for Na'i Aupuni, secrecy is at the core of the process. Na'i Aupuni's website explains: "Na'i Aupuni’s meetings are not public. Information is available on this site and Na‘i Aupuni will continue to provide information on the processes and decisions as they unfold."
Yonenaka claims: "Na'i Aupuni does not know who has pulled papers or filed to run for the ‘Aha." But others seem to have an idea.
Star-Advertiser columnist David Shapiro reports sovereignty activist Bumpy Kanahele, "is urging nationalists to focus on 'taking over' the upcoming constitutional convention sponsored by the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs."
The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement has formed a new group, "Ho'o Ekolu Initiative," to boost 'Aha candidates.
But at a July 29 meeting of the Native Hawaiian Bar Association, lawyers showed skepticism of the upcoming elections.
The August 18 Star-Advertiser editorialized: "(Na'i Aupuni) organizers are not giving equal access to voting to all Native Hawaiians...."
Star-Advertiser columnist Richard Borreca points out: "OHA has come up with a tortured process for conducting the election."
And in a September 3 column, OHA Trustee Peter Apo complains: "...the ship of nationhood is about to set sail without a rudder, a captain, or a crew...."