HI GROUP’S ADVOCACY OF BOTH BEFORE GENERAL ELECTION SPURS SPECULATION THAT FUKINO HAS POLITICAL TIES TO OBAMA
by John Charlton
(Sept. 25, 2009) — Dr. Chiyome Leinaala Fukino, M.D. and Senator Barack Hussein Obama: two names unknown to most Americans in 2006; but both featured by the Hawaiian Council on their website, in news reprints in the year 2005.
Dr. Fukino, the Director of the Department of Health for the State of Hawaii, is famous today for her terse public statements regarding the vital records or “birth certificate” of the now de facto President of the United States. She was featured in a Leadership Corner article on Feb. 18, 2005, by the Hawaiian Council’s website.
The then Senator Barack Hussein Obama was lauded in a piece reprinted at the same website on January 6, 2005. In this piece it openly speculates that Obama could be the next president. On the same day the Hawaiian Council posted a news piece to let its members know that Senator John McCain did not support their cause to get Native American recognition for ethnic Hawaiians. Notable in the article about Obama is its failure to mention he was born in Hawaii.
It appears that Dr. Fukino and Senator Obama were fellow travelers in this effort.
What is the Hawaiian Council?
Founded in 2001, the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement is a national member based non profit dedicated to capacity building and community development programming in Native communities in Hawaii and the Pacific.
CNHA is one of the largest national organizations serving Native Hawaiians headquartered in Hawaii. Its membership consists of over 150 organizations and agencies working with and serving Native populations.
CNHA has expertise in community development technical assistance and training, communications and consulting, public policy initiatives and the coordination of events and conferences.
Their original founders are: Raynard Soon, Hardy Spoehr, Tara Lulani Arquette, Melody MacKenzie, Mahealani Kamau’u, Robin Puanani Danner, the current President and CEO of the Council.
Their current board member list, contains a bevy of highly connected individuals with ties to the Hawaiian State government (text cited from source), lobbying organizations and to the Washington D.C. area:
Darrell Yagodich, Planning Officer in the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands
Leinaala Kalama Heine, who holds a position with Halau Na Pualei o Likolehua
Kehaulani Filimoe’atu, a Radio Technician for the Maui Police Department
Michelle Kauhane, a graduate of the Bank of America Academy in Baltimore, Maryland, and a Hawaiian Home Lands beneficiary; Executive Director at Hawaiian Community Assets since February 2006.
Dickie Nelson, member of the I Mua Group, a statewide political action committee that supports Pauahi’s legacy and the empowerment of Native Hawaiians.
Andrew AhPo, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and political lobbyist
Ann Botticelli, Vice President for Community Relations and Communications, is a career journalist who runs Community Relations & Communications Group, which handles public relations, advertising, media, design and production, and government and community relations for the organization statewide.
John Jensen, the Pelekikena of the Mainland Council Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs.
Alvin N. Parker, Principal of Ka Waihona o ka Na‘auao Public Charter School and also the President of the Advisory Board for the Boys and Girls Club of Waianae.
Maile Meyer, founder of Native Books, Native Books & Beautiful Things, and Na Mea Hawai‘i, is an entrepreneur with a passion to support Native Hawaiian producers, artists and manufacturers of made-in Hawaii products
Colin Kippen, Executive Director of the Native Hawaiian Education Council. He previously served as senior counsel to the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, deputy administrator and director of Human Rights Division of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and chief tribal judge of the Suquamish tribe in Washington. He is presently serving as the first Native Hawaiian member of the national NAGPRA Review Committee.
Li Garcia-Ballard, a founding member of the Native Hawaiian Economic Alliance. Ms. Garcia-Ballard has built her own successful IT company, LGB & Associates, which she started more than 10 years ago in Fairfax, Virginia (outside Washington D.C.).
William P. Ornellas, a founding member of the Native Hawaiian Economic Alliance (NHEA) and serves as Vice President on the Advisory Board; a retired Honolulu Police Department Major.
Harold Johnston, director of the Board for the Council; Director of Service & Operations for Sandwich Isles Communications and board president of the non-profit Papakolea Community Development Corporation, which supports educational and economic development opportunities for residents of Papakolea.
B. Puni Kekauoha, Executive Director of the Papakolea Community Development Corp. and is the President of the Papakolea Community Association. Ms. Kekauoha is also a founder and director of Ke Alaula, a statewide organization devoted to promoting Native Hawaiian Health.
Pikake Pelekai, lead the language and culture department at Windward Community College and her last position before retirement in 2002 was Cultural Officer for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. She has been involved with the Sovereign Councils of the Hawaiian Homelands Assembly since 1997 and has served as its Executive Director since 1998.
Robert K. Lindsey, the Hawaii Island Trustee in the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the Vice Chair on the Committee on Asset and Resource Management.
From the influential membership of this political organization, it seems understandible that Dr. Fukino and the Hawaiian State government may want to suppport the political aspirations and personal claims of Barack Obama. This may explain the background to two previous reports by The Post & Email about the HI Department of Health’s refusal to follow HI State law on information releases regarding Obama’s vital records (see reports here and here).