Friday, November 21, 2008

Hawai'i's growing influence in Washington?

I got this article through Scott Crawford's blog. Scott Crawford was, I believe perhaps the first blogger on Native Hawaiian issues. At any rate, Scott's blog brought me to an article published in "The Hill." The Hill is a newspaper that covers the United States Congress. Anyway, The Hill's article is titled, "Hawaii stands ready to become the Big Kahuna in Washington."

Key points from the article include:
- Senator Inouye will be in a powerful position as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee,
- Senators Abercrombie and Akaka will have "clout" due to their seniority, and
- Barack Obama, born in Hawai'i and who "reflects the pacific islands' multicultural ethos," is the next President.

The article speculates that as a result of the points described above, what may result is:
- the federal government footing a portion of the estimated $5 billion cost for an elevated rail project,
- the Akaka Bill, which provides a process for Hawaiians to attain federal recognition, will pass,
- money to "boost the state's year-round tourism industry,
- relieve high oil prices, and
- an increase in the "amount of money from Washington that" Hawai'i's congressional delegation usually gets.

It is undoubtedly an interesting article to read and if you're from Hawai'i, perhaps a hopeful article.

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