In October, U.S. Congressional Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D–2nd District, made nationwide headlines for pushing back against those in charge of the Democratic Party. Specifically, she called for more debates between presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders, Gabbard’s preferred candidate.
“More and more people on the ground from states across the country are calling for more debates, are wanting to have this transparency and this greater engagement in our democratic process,” Gabbard said on MSNBC on Oct. 5, according to this Huffington Post story. “We’ve gotta have more opportunity for people to present their vision for our country, their plans and to be held accountable for the positions that they’re taking and the path they’d like to take our country on.”
Apparently, that logic doesn’t stretch to Gabbard’s own reelection campaign. Though challenged by Maui Democrat Shay Chan Hodges (disclosure: Chan Hodges wrote an essay for MauiTime in 2015 on paid family leave), Gabbard has so far not responded to Chan Hodges’ debate requests.
“Last week Chan Hodges reached out privately to Gabbard’s campaign coordinator, Alana Penaroza, requesting four debates throughout the state of Hawaii, asking for a response by Monday,” Daily Beast reporter Tim Mak wrote today. “Gabbard has not responded to the Shay Hodges campaign’s request. The congresswoman did, however, send out a fundraising appeal Monday morning. Requests for comment to her campaign coordinator, her campaign office, and her congressional office remained unanswered.”
In The Daily Beast story, Chan Hodges said she was “disappointed although not completely surprised.” We reached out to Gabbard’s campaign for a comment
, but haven’t heard back yet. On the afternoon of June 28, one of Gabbard’s campaign aides emailed me the following statement: “In response to your question, the campaign does not plan to comment on or respond to Ms. Chan-Hodges’ demands.”
Photo courtesy Rep. Gabbard’s office