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Monday, May 21, 2012
Rep Tom Cole Speaks out on Akaka Bill
By News Release @ 2:53 PM :: 6034 Views :: Energy, Environment


News Release from

HONOLULU - U.S. Congressman Tom Cole, a fierce advocate for indigenous peoples and co-sponsor of legislation for the federal recognition of native Hawaiians, spoke this morning on two Honolulu morning news shows.

As a guest on the Sunrise Show of Hawaii News Now, Congressman Cole highlighted the economic growth potentials that come with native Hawaiian federal recognition. The Congressman said, "Native Hawaiian recognition would be an enormous economic boost here in Hawaii. If you give indigenous peoples the economic advantages that tribal membership brings, you would be surprised what an advantage it brings to the overall economy."

Addressing the current status of legislation to secure native Hawaiian self governance, known as the Akaka Bill, Congressman Cole shared, "The legislation has received great support in the House, but we haven't been able to get the bipartisan support that we need in the Senate, making the Hawaii U.S. Senate race is one of the most important races in the country."

Also, on the Mike Buck Show on AM790 Radio, Congressman Cole shared, "I know what Linda Lingle will do for native Hawaiians. My own tribe is very supportive of her because she understands indigenous peoples. Particularly on the issue of native Hawaiian self-governance, having someone who can understand and talk to both sides is important and Linda Lingle is the right one to do that for Hawaii. All indigenous issues take bipartisan support."

"We have a very divided Congress and the key to getting things done is working across the aisle. People do that within the house you happen to be in, but you now have to do it across the chamber, across the rotunda. Certainly Governor Lingle demonstrated that type of leadership. She always had a Democrat legislature to work with; Hawaii is historically a Democrat state. She is a bridge builder; she knows how to bring people together," added Congressman Cole.

Congressman Tom Cole is visiting Hawaii as an honored guest of former Governor Linda Lingle, candidate for Hawaii's open U.S. Senate seat. Congressman Cole of Oklahoma, is the only Native American in the U.S. House (enrolled member of the Chickasaw nation), and a nationally recognized small business leader.

Over the next three days, Congressman Cole will be speaking at a series of luncheons with Governor Linda Lingle. Attended by several hundred business and community leaders, these events will be an opportunity for attendees to hear Congressman Cole offer perspective on topics of particular interest to Hawaii, including his history with native Hawaiian issues, his own ancestral background, and his support of small businesses.

For more information on the three events, visit

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