Dirty Money, Dirty Politics and
PART VII – The Princess weeps…
Sightings from The Catbird Seat
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February 6, 2007
Court names Kalama new KS trustee
The banker will fill out Lau’s term at Kamehameha
By Nelson Daranciang, Star-Bulletin
The state Probate Court picked First Hawaiian Bank Executive Vice President Corbett A.K. Kalama yesterday to fill out the remaining term of outgoing Kamehameha Schools Trustee Constance Lau.
On April 1, Kalama will join Robert Kihune, Diane Plotts, Nainoa Thompson and new Chairman J. Douglas Ing on the five-member board.
Ing shared the news in a written statement sent to trust employees yesterday.
“We look forward to the benefit of Corbett’s thoughts, talents and experience in all aspects of fulfilling Pauahi’s wishes through her trust,” the statement said. Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, great-granddaughter and last royal descendent of Kamehameha I, established the trust for the schools in her will.
Kalama’s selection was also welcome news to Adrian Kamalii, president of Na Pua A Ke Alii Pauahi, a nonprofit group whose members include alumni, parents, students and faculty of Kamehameha Schools.
“We’re happy to see someone chosen who is culturally grounded. He’s been very active in the revitalization of canoe paddling — he’s active with the Polynesian Voyaging Society — his upbringing was very cultural and his contemporaries are now cultural practitioners,” he said.
What made Kalama’s selection even more attractive is his business experience, Kamalii said.
Probate Judge Colleen Hirai selected Kalama, 50, from a list of three finalists recommended by a court-appointed trustee-screening committee. The other finalists were local attorneys Allen K. Hoe and former city Budget Director Ivan M. Lui-Kwan.
Kalama has been with First Hawaiian since 1982 and is also the bank’s manager of the Oahu region office, and the personal banking and small-business banking segment manager.
He serves as a board member on several public and private organizations including the Samoan Service Providers Association and the John A. Burns School of Medicine Imi Hoola Advisory Board. He was chairman of the community working group that provided input to U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka on his bill for federal recognition of native Hawaiians.
The search for a new trustee started after Lau announced her intention to step down last February when she was named chief executive officer and president of Hawaiian Electric Industries. Her term as Kamehameha Schools trustee expires June 30, 2008.
February 6, 2007
Kalama named schools trustee
By Rick Daysog, Honolulu Advertiser
The state Probate Court yesterday appointed First Hawaiian Bank executive Corbett Kalama as a trustee of the $7.7 billion Kamehameha Schools.
Kalama replaces Constance Lau, who announced last year that she would step down from the trust’s five-member board after she was named chief executive officer of Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc.
Kalama is an executive vice president at First Hawaiian and is responsible for the bank’s O’ahu region, where he manages about 500 employees and $3.8 billion in business and individual assets.
“Corbett is a fine Hawaiian leader, and I think he will do a good job as a trustee,” said Jan Dill, a 1950 Kamehameha Schools graduate and a board member of Na Pua a Ke Ali’i Pauahi, an organization made up of Kamehameha Schools parents and graduates.
Kalama, whose appointment takes effect April 1, will serve the remainder of Lau’s five-year term, which expires on June 30, 2008. Kalama can be reappointed for a maximum of two five-year terms.
He joins trustees Diane Plotts, Robert Kihune, Nainoa Thompson and J. Douglas Ing. Ing was reappointed Friday to a five-year term.
Trustees each receive about $100,000 in annual compensation; the board’s chairman earns about $110,000….
All three finalists are of Hawaiian ancestry.
“You had three good candidates,” said Oswald Stender, Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee and former Kamehameha Schools trustee. “But having someone with a financial background to replace Connie is great. … He’s a very good person with very strong Hawaiian values.”…
Kalama joins a trust that is in the middle of a 15-year strategic plan to broaden its educational reach. His appointment also comes as the school has faced several legal challenges to its Hawaiian-preference admissions policy.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the policy last year but the case could wind up in the U.S. Supreme Court.
Kalama has been a First Hawaiian employee since 1982. He is a trustee of the University of Hawai’i Foundation and has served as trustee for the Queen Lili’uokalani Children’s Center.
Prior to joining First Hawaiian, Kalama worked as a teacher at Kailua High School. Kalama’s wife is a schoolteacher, and three of his four children graduated from the Kamehameha Schools.
“Corbett is an exceptional banker and a man of integrity,” said First Hawaiian President and Chief Executive Officer Don Horner. “His personal background, experience, and heart are well suited for the mission of Kamehameha Schools.”
Paulette Moore, a 1952 Kamehameha Schools graduate, said Kalama impressed alumni and members of the school’s ‘ohana during a candidates forum last November.
During his presentation, Kalama recited his genealogy in the Hawaiian language, which convinced many of the kupuna in the audience that he was the right person, Moore said.
“We felt we didn’t need another lawyer. We needed someone with a different point of view,” said Moore. “Because he came from such a large family that struggled, he understands how it is that Hawaiians live on the beach.”
Na Pua’s Dill said members of his organization, while pleased with Kalama’s appointment, were critical of the way in which the court went about the selection. Members of the Kamehameha Schools ‘ohana had too little input in the way the selection was made, he said.
“The composition of the selection process guarantees the continuation of status quo,” Dill said.
February 6, 2007
Corbett Kalama appointed as
Kamehameha Schools trustee
Advertiser reports: “The state Probate Court yesterday appointed First Hawaiian Bank executive Corbett Kalama as a trustee of the $7.7 billion Kamehameha Schools.” Star-Bulletin also has the story.
With his background as a banker touted as one of his main qualifications, I just hope folks remember his bank’s record of denying loans to Native Hawaiians at a highly disproportionate rate (for example, First Hawaiian Bank denied refinancing applications from native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders at a rate 4.5 times greater than applications from Caucasians and 3 times the denial rate for Asians, even when Hawaiians were in higher income brackets), and push him to use KS resources to help start a Native Hawaiian Bank.
Probably over 10 years ago, Bumpy and I had lunch with Corbett and he personally committed to us, face to face, that he would support a Native Hawaiian Bank. Still waiting. Now he is really in a position to do it.
January 2, 2007
Race Separation Ratified in
9th Circuit Court Decision on Kamehameha Schools Admissions Policy
By Bruce Fein, The Hawaii Reporter
The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ratified racism that celebrates Native Hawaiian ancestry with tortured reasoning reminiscent of Jim Crow. The 9th Circuit’s 8-7 en banc ruling in Doe v. Kamehameha Schools (Dec. 5) upholding a racially exclusionary admissions policy for Kamehameha Schools marks manipulative judging at its worst.
King Kamehameha I’s signature contribution to Hawaii’s legal and political culture was the general erasure of distinctions between Native and non-Native Hawaiians. The king anticipated United States Chief Justice Harlan Fiske Stone’s admonition that racial distinctions are odious to a free people.
The Kamehameha Schools were created under a charitable testamentary trust established by the last direct descendant of King Kamehameha I, Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. The trustees chose to confine admissions to students with at least one Native Hawaiian ancestor because the exclusion of non-Native Hawaiians was thought to represent the wishes of Mrs. Bishop. Native Hawaiians were not preferred to overcome past legal, social, economic or other discrimination. Indeed, Native Hawaiians have been special favorites of the law for more than a century since annexation.
Nor were Native Hawaiians favored to promote educational diversity. The exclusion of non-Natives impaired that objective. In sum, the admissions policy amounted to racial exclusion or the sake of exclusion.
A non-Native applicant challenged the Kamehemeha Schools’ “Native Hawaiians Only” admissions policy under a federal civil rights statute prohibiting racial discrimination in making or enforcing contracts, Title 42 of the U.S. Code, Section 1981. (The social ostracism unleashed against persons in Hawaii who challenge the political correctness of Native Hawaiian preferences obligated the plaintiff to sue under the pseudonym “John Doe.”)
The Supreme Court held in Runyon v. McCrary (1976), that Section 1981 prohibits private schools from racially discriminatory admissions policies. Indeed, the high court later held in Bob Jones v. United States (1983) that an unexpressed public policy of the United States prohibited tax exemptions for discriminating private schools.
The 9th Circuit, speaking through Judge Susan P. Graber, insisted, nevertheless, that the racial exclusivity of the Kamehemeha Schools was a proper remedial measure. But a remedy implies a wrong. And Native Hawaiians have never received less than equal treatment under federal or state law. Further, Native Hawaiian enrollees are not vetted for past discrimination. Their families may be highly privileged.
Judge Graber absurdly maintained that, “Native Hawaiian students are systematically disadvantaged in the classroom.” She was unable to point to any class activity or instruction indicating Native Hawaiians were treated differently from non-Native Hawaiians. The judge simply recited that as a group Native Hawaiians displayed less academic success than their non-Native Hawaiian counterparts. But lesser performance does not establish discrimination. If it did, every subperforming minority group would hold a federal civil rights claim against every public or private school in the country.
Judge Graber argued Kamehameha Schools’ racial exclusiveness was justified to help perpetuate Native Hawaiian culture. But that reasoning endorses racial balkanization, and turns E Pluribus Unum on its head. Whites, blacks, Hispanics, Chinese Americans, Japanese Americans, etc. would be permitted monochromatic schools to promote their respective cultures.
Judge Graber scolded plaintiff Doe for complaining about his race-based exclusion. She lectured that “students denied admission by Kamehameha Schools have ample and adequate alternative educational options,” a variation of the “separate-but-equal” doctrine that the Supreme Court repudiated 52 years ago in Brown v. Board of Education (1954).
In a feat of Orwellian logic, the judge scorned Doe’s legal expectation of nondiscriminatory treatment because Kamehameha Schools’ racial discrimination had been notorious for 118 years: “When the schools began, a non-Native Hawaiian had no expectation of admission to the schools. … In the intervening 118 years, the schools’ admissions policy, and therefore the expectations of non-Native Hawaiians, has remained constant. Thus, denial of plaintiff’s application for admission [based on race] ‘unsettled no legitimate, firmly rooted expectation.’ “
With that reasoning, Jim Crow would still be thriving in the South because blacks knew at the inception of the Civil Rights Movement they confronted a racism that had been continual since the end of Reconstruction and thus had no reasonable expectation of equal treatment.
Judge Graber fancifully argued that the schools’ 118 years of racial exclusiveness was temporary, not perpetual, and thus satisfied relevant precedents regarding preferential admissions. The exclusiveness is scheduled to continue until the achievement gap between Native Hawaiians and non-Native Hawaiians has been eliminated. But exclusiveness for more than a century has done nothing to narrow the gap. Adding more zeroes to zero still equals zero.
The 9th Circuit surrendered reasoning, law and moral justice to placate a moblike atmosphere in Doe. It embarrassed many of the profiles in judicial courage that accelerated that end of Jim Crow.
Bruce Fein is a constitutional lawyer and international consultant with Bruce Fein & Associates and the Lichfield Group.
HawaiiReporter.com reports the real news, and prints all editorials submitted, even if they do not represent the viewpoint of the editors, as long as they are written clearly. Send editorials to mailto:Malia@HawaiiReporter.com
December 8, 2006
Black Group Decries Discriminatory
Hawaiian Admission Policy
Court Ruling Allowing Preferential Treatment of Native Hawaiians Greases the Skids for Race-Based Island Government
By David Almasi , Hawaii Reporter
Members of the black leadership network Project 21 decry a Ninth Circuit federal court ruling that allows a Hawaiian school to discriminate against non-native Hawaiians, and note that the ruling could jump-start legislation stalled in Congress to create a race-based island government that directly contradicts our nation’s “melting pot” tradition of inclusion.
“Responsible lawmakers, jurists and the residents of Hawaii oppose race-based preferences,” noted Project 21 chairman Mychal Massie. “This ruling once again shows how a handful of unelected judges can override the will of the people, and how important it is to have judges who strictly interpret our Constitution.”
Established in 1887 by the will of the last royal descendent of King Kamehameha, the nonprofit Kamehameha Schools currently give “first right” of admission to those with native Hawaiian ancestry. In a razor-thin 8-7 decision, the federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that this preferential policy could continue. In her majority opinion, Judge Susan Graber said the policy helps “counteract the significant, current educational deficits of native Hawaiian children in Hawaii.”
In his dissent, Judge Jay Bybee noted: “I believe the majority’s novel approach to statutory interpretation is readily manipulable and would enable courts to rewrite statutes whenever they want to save a particular program, contract or enactment.”
The Doe v. Kamehameha Schools ruling is also being seen as a boost for “The Native Hawaiian Government Restoration Act,” a bill proposed by Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI) to create a native Hawaiian government with sovereign immunity akin to that enjoyed by Indian tribes. Critics of the legislation say it could create a race-based government that would institute a virtual caste system and overturn federal laws and safety regulations as well as endanger the operations of military bases such as Pearl Harbor.
A May 2006 poll commissioned by the Grassroots Institute of Hawaii found that 67 percent of Hawaiian residents oppose the proposed Akaka bill and 80 percent generally oppose race-based preferences. Despite this overwhelming public rejection, Professor Jon Van Dyke of the University of Hawaii’s Richardson School of Law told the Honolulu Star-Bulletin of the ruling, “This gives the green light, I would think, for Congress to pass the Akaka bill.”
“All of this is a transparent attempt to create race-based preferences for a select group of people,” said Project 21’s Massie. “This ruling must be viewed as an incremental attempt to establish a type of sovereignty which would ultimately relieve native Hawaiians of all federal responsibility. Nothing in said formula, however, convinces reasonably-minded persons that the so-called plight of these people would improve.”
In 2000, a decisive 7-2 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a “Hawaiians only” voting provision for the state’s Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
Regarding the record of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the Center for Individual Freedom noted in 2004 that it is “the most reversed court in the country” with 250 percent more unanimous reversals of its decisions appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court than any other circuit at that time.
“The 9th Circuit continues to show its proclivity for ruling from the bench in favor of that which is antithetical to a civil and unified American fabric. This is exactly why it is not only the most reversed court in the history of judicial circuits, but also the most frequently chastised court by the U.S. Supreme Court,” said Massie.
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See also: OUST vs. Harmon, Witness: Barack Obama; Vultures in the School Yard
For more on the Akaka Bill…
July 6, 2000
We may have no
Instead of a 2-step process in Congress, they may seek
political status and federal recognition in a single bill
By Pat Omandam, Star-Bulletin
A draft federal bill initially aimed at protecting federal programs for Hawaiians now includes a process that creates a native Hawaiian government.
The original idea was to first seek clarification of the political status of Hawaiians in the wake of the Rice vs. Cayetano decision by the U.S. Supreme Court this year, and then return to Congress in another session for federal recognition of Hawaiians.
The latest proposal, which Hawaii’s congressional delegation is expected to introduce next week, heeds some Hawaiian leaders’ and others’ fears that there might not be another opportunity to complete the two-step approach supported by U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka.
Corbett Kalama, chairman of the Native Hawaiian community working group that provided key input for Akaka’s bill, said changes that set up a Hawaiian governing body are positive. He said the group insisted language be included that proposes a government-to-government relationship because of such strong concern over whether there will be another chance.
Kalama, a First Hawaiian Bank senior vice president and American Bankers Association lobbyist, understands there is a great range of views on sovereignty and that there will be many chances to amend the measure once it is introduced.
“We view it not as an end, but as a beginning,”he said. “It’s a very important step.”
“We depend on Congress to do a lot of different things. With the recognition itself, it will be a step in a direction we want to move. Without the recognition, we’ll have challenges. The community will have challenges moving on into the future,” Kalama said.
As proposed, Hawaiians would have a year to come up with a list of adult Hawaiians who can trace their ancestry in Hawaii before 1893. Once the list is created, it would be certified by the U.S. Secretary of Interior before a general meeting is held by those on the list to elect people to a native Hawaiian interim council.
This council would work on a constitution and bylaws that, once ratified, would form a native Hawaiian governing body.
This reorganized Hawaiian government — which would be incorporated and recognized by the federal government — would have a strong say in the sale or lease of ceded lands, determine its own membership, and negotiate with federal, state and local governments.
“I’m very hopeful that a Hawaiian bill will get some serious consideration,” said Rowena Akana, an Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee and a member of Akaka’s working groups.
Other changes to the draft from last May include changing the name of the proposed Office of Native Hawaiian Affairs to the Office of Special Trustee for Native Hawaiians. The office, which is envisioned as the coordination point within the federal government on native Hawaiian issues, will be housed in the Interior Department with a representative from the U.S. Justice Department.
The draft bill also changed the name of the proposed federal interagency council to the Native Hawaiian Interagency task force, which would mandate coordination of federal policy on Hawaiian issues.
Akaka spokesman Paul Cardus said he expects the draft bill to be introduced in the U.S. Senate next week.
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For more on the Akaka Bill…
# # #
For more of the story on …
DIRTY MONEY, DIRTY POLITICS & BISHOP ESTATE
Part I – Part II – Part III – Part IV – Part V – Part VI – Part VII
FOR MORE FLOCKING BIRDS, GO TO…
ACE UP THE SLEEVE
ALLIED WORLD ASSURANCE
ALEXANDER & BALDWIN
AMERICAN SAVINGS BANK: BEHIND THE BLINDS
APCOA: VULTURES IN THE PARKING LOT
ALOHA, HARKEN ENERGY
BANK OF HAWAII
THE BANKRUPTCY BUZZARDS
BIRDS IN THE LOBBY
THE BLACKSTONE GROUP
BROKEN TRUST: THE BOOK
BUZZARDS ON THE BAR
BUZZARDS OF PARADISE
THE CARLYLE GROUP
THE CHUBB GROUP
CLAIMS BY HARMON
CONFESSIONS OF A WHISTLEBLOWER
A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING KAMEHAMEHA’S COURT
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FIRST HAWAIIAN BANK: BEHIND THE BLINDS
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KAJIMA: BLOOD, BRIBES & BRUTALITY
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MARSH & McLENNAN: THE MARSH BIRDS
THE MYTH & THE METHANE
THE NATURE CONSERVANCY
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NESTS IN THE PENTAGON
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I SING THE HAWAIIAN ELECTRIC
LOST GENERATIONS: A BOY, A SCHOOL, A PRINCESS
THE CONSUELO ZOBEL ALGER FOUNDATION
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Last updated February 7, 2007, by The Catbird