Daniel Akaka

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Greatest. Senatorial photo. Ever.

Daniel Akaka was a former United States Senator (D) from Hawaii. He was the first (and so far only) Senator of Native Hawaiian ancestry. Like his fellow Hawaiian Senator, Daniel Inouye, he is a World War II veteran, serving in the Army Corps of Engineers as a mechanic on the Morning Star.

He was a fairly reliable liberal Democrat, having opposed the Iraq War, but without leading many bills of his own. The one exception is his bill, SB 1011 (commonly known as the Akaka Bill), to give limited self-government to native Hawaiians, on a comparable basis to that given to Native American tribes in the continental US. Supporters claim that it is necessary to make up for the century of theft and mistreatment of native Hawaiians; opponents view it as setting up an unconstitutional "race-based" government. However, none of those people have talked about ending the reservations that exist. He has introduced the bill several times, but it has never come out of committee; this has not prevented conservatives from hyperventilating about it every time. [1]

Time Magazine also once ranked him as one of the "Ten Worst Senators", due to his overall do-nothingness. [2]

He retired from the Senate in 2013, before passing away on April 6, 2018, at the age of 93.