Abercrombie, Hanabusa disagree on constitutional convention

Should the state hold a constitutional convention? The question was up for debate at a recent...
Should the state hold a constitutional convention? The question was up for debate at a recent gathering.(Hawaii News Now)
Updated: Oct. 10, 2018 at 6:07 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii voters will decide in November’s general election whether to hold a convention to overhaul Hawaii’s current state constitution.

At the Native Hawaiian Convention on Wednesday, there were mixed opinions on the idea.

If approved, the constitutional convention or “con con” would be the second of its kind in Hawaii.

The first one was held in 1978 and helped shape the way Hawaii is run as a state.

Former Gov. Neil Abercrombie and Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa went head-to-head on the issue at Wednesday’s gathering.

Abercrombie said he used to oppose the idea of a con con, but now supports it after Judge Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court. He believes that Kavanaugh would do nothing for native people.

“Virtually everything with regard to native people is now on the line across the country,” Abercrombie said.

“And that’s part of the reason why I favor the convention now because I believe that those questions and those issues which I believe are before the Native Hawaiian people now will virtually receive no support in the Supreme Court.”

Meanwhile, Hanabusa expressed her concern for the security of the current benefits and rights Native Hawaiians have now, including the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

“Those are going to be consequences which we’re not going to be able to ... basically put into reverse," she said.

The congresswoman went on to encourage Native Hawaiians to try to create change through the channels currently available to do so.

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