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Thursday, November 23, 2023
After FBI Raid, CNHA Demands Hawai'i Free Press 'Cease Operations'
By Andrew Walden @ 8:32 PM :: 5511 Views :: Maui County, Ethics, First Amendment, OHA

After FBI Raid, CNHA Demands Hawai'i Free Press 'Cease Operations'

by Andrew Walden

Tourism, COVID, and the Maui Fires have been very very good to the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA).

And, according to CNHA General Counsel Alana Song, it is all thanks to

In a bizarre August 2, 2023, letter to the Idaho-based Better Business Bureau, Song demands that BBB order Hawai’i Free Press to “immediately cease all operations.”  Song’s complaint was filed just weeks after the FBI raid on the offices of key CNHA financial backer Dawson Companies.

Somebody at UH Richardson should have told Song about that First Amendment thingy.  It’s in the Constitution.   The BBB rejected Song’s demands, pointing out: “It appears this matter does not fall within your BBB’s scope of activities, therefore, BBB is unable to process this complaint any further.”

Song’s complaint read:

“Hawai'i Free Press has made false and defamatory statements about entities including the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement. These libelous statements have caused significant harm to our reputation, impacted our fund raising efforts, and hindered our ability to fulfill our mission effectively.”

“Impacted our fund raising efforts?”

In the last three years, CNHA has swung from OHA contracting, to trying to take over an HTA contract for tourism marketing, to COVID contracting with DHHL and the City and County of Honolulu, to coordinating Hawaiian-owned 8a corporations grabbling lucrative no-bid Army Corps of Engineers ‘cleanup’ contracts for Lahaina and Kula.

After a decade of bumbling along in the six to seven digit income range, CNHA, according to ProPublica nonprofit explorer, suddenly leaps to $11M in 2020 and then $71.5M in 2021 and $77M in 2022.  As Song sees it, this all begins with Hawai’i Free Press’ reportage.

Hawai’i Free Press, October 9, 2022, explained:

“The Hawaii State Auditor, September, 2022, reports: HTA’s oversight is lax, and its internal controls are deficient.  HTA should be a perfect match for CNHA, but first they have to get past the bid rigging allegations at the center of protests by the losing bidder, Hawaii Visitor and Convention Bureau.

“CNHA’s $1.6M OHA contract, first awarded in November, 2019, then proposed to be expanded by another $2.2M by vote of Trustees May 8, 2020, was the first step in a massive expansion of CNHA funds via COVID expenditures.  And, thanks to cronies controlling HTA, CNHA hopes to pivot from COVID to HTA contracting, now that the epidemic appears to be winding down.

“And CNHA’s growth is founded on an operation which couldn’t even meet OHA’s murky ethical standards.”

Is CNHA Billy Kenoi?

In 2008, its last year as a print newspaper, Hawai’i Free Press provided extensive front-page coverage of the connections between Big Island mayoral candidate Billy Kenoi and the Pali Shooter, Malu Motta. 

The result:  Kenoi was elected mayor.

So where are the damages to CNHA?

Money is a burden.  Excessive money causes wallet waddle, which may be worse than mesothelioma. 

Hawai’i Free Press agrees to an estimate of $150M excess income viciously forced on CNHA by Hawai’i Free Press’ accurate coverage.   With treble damages, Hawai’i Free Press graciously agrees to accept a payment of $450M from CNHA to settle this complaint.

Song doesn’t walk away empty handed.  She can use her letter to BBB as 'Exhibit A' in a lawsuit against Richardson Law School for maliciously granting her a JD. 



2020: OHA COVID Agenda: Lets Give More Millions to CNHA

2021: CNHA, DHHL announce $5M rental & utilities assistance for Native Hawaiians

2022: OHA Docs: CNHA Guilty of COVID Fraud?

2022: CNHA Terrified of COVID Fraud Investigation

2022: Dirty OHA Contract is Model for CNHA Takeover of Tourism Marketing    PDF: OHA-CNHA Contract UIPA Documents

2022: CNHA: Josh Green will Give us Tourism Contract

2023: CNHA Inside Track: Robin Danner Snags Gig in Governor's Office

2023: HTA Splits RFP for US: Marketing vs 'Stewardship'

2023: Sneaky One Day Notice to Comment--Will Next KSBE Trustee be a Tax Credit Schemer or a CNHA Operative?

DOI: Native Hawaiian 8(a) List

2023: Kidnapping: Will Political Connections Help Anderson Evade Felony Charge? -- Miske Lawyer Pressures Prosecutor, Victim

2023: Prominent Native Hawaiian Defense Contractor Is Part Of New Federal Criminal Probe

2023: Native Hawaiian Defense Contractor Replaces Top Leadership Amid Federal Criminal Probe

2023: Hawaii Congressional delegation pushing for Native Hawaiian 8a Contracting to go beyond just DoD

2023: Hawaiian 8a Racial Contracting Finished?

2023: Audit Exposes Caldwell’s $175M Slush Fund


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