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Posted: Tuesday, March 1st, 2005 3:54 AM HST

Lingle meets with McCain over Akaka bill

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) _ A spokesman for Governor Lingle says she met with Senator John McCain at his Washington office today to talk about a bill to grant federal recognition to Native Hawaiians.

McCain is chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs committee which is holding a hearing tomorrow morning on the so-called Akaka bill. McCain has said that while he opposes the bill, he would not hold it up.

Lingle spokesman Russell Pang says the governor is optimistic about tomorrow's hearing after meeting with the Arizona senator.

Lingle is scheduled to testify at the hearing, along with Attorney General Mark Bennett, Haunani Apoliona, chairwoman of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and Micah Kane, director of the Hawaiian Homes Commission.

Lingle also spent the night at the White House in first daughter Jenna Bush's bedroom last night and is to stay there again tonight.

Pang said. Six other governors, all Republicans, were also overnight guests at the White House.

Lingle is scheduled to leave Washington on Wednesday for Los Angeles, where she is to speak to her alma mater, California State University at Northridge.

(Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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