Gov. Cayetano on Hawaii politics at Smart Business Hawaii Luncheon January 9, 2013
VIDEO9:57 – 12:19: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=l62PmhOeaEE
[Question from audience]
Hawaii Legislature has enacted its own version of the Akaka Bill. The New Congressional delegation has just said that they’re going to support the Akaka Bill in Congress. How do you see the Hawaiian separatists and sovereignty and Akaka Bill ending up finally?
Well, the State can’t grant sovereignty to anybody, you know. And the only way it can be done is through a truce, a treaty or the U.S. Constitution. I think that it’s basically to try and satisfy the group among the Hawaiians who want to see something and give them some hope.
But I’ve expressed my feelings to Clayton [Hee] and others and I’ve said anybody takes this thing to court - I don’t think they have a prayer. So that’s how I feel.
Look, I was born and raised here. I have nowhere else to go. I can’t go back to the Philippines. The way I feel, and the way I’ve always felt is this. I have the same rights as anyone to this land.
I feel strongly that we need to do something to address the problems of Hawaiians created by the annexation of Hawaii to the United States. And we’ve done that. When I was Governor we appropriated nearly a billion dollars to try and do these kind of things.
And I think at some point I wish that there would be some Hawaiian leaders -it’s hard for them I know because this is such an emotional issue - basically say “You know what, we’re gonna stop chasing the Holy Grail, get down to business, educate our children. Spend the money on that instead of sending millions of dollars to lobbyists in Washington.”
That’s how I feel.
Flashback: Cayetano 2002 Statehood Day Message