Campagna keeps pushing for debate

LIHUE — Congressional candidate Sherry Alu Campagna is upset Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has not agreed to debate her.

Alu Campagna; a Democrat, said Gabbard isn’t being held accountable “for her wishy-washy voting record and alliances with foreign dictators” and should be willing to debate her.

“Of all times, with the Kauai flooding, the volcano eruption, the existing issues with veteran’s care, houselessness, and lack of access to health care, the people of rural Hawaii deserve mainstream access to the positions of candidates and incumbent in CD2 to make an informed vote. Blocking debates from happening, through non-participation, is the opposite of democracy,” Alu Campagna said in a press release.

“Since Sherry and Tulsi have such differing opinions on houselessness, America’s role in Syria, and on the National Defense Appropriations Act, et alia, Hawaii voters deserve to hear from both candidates about their beliefs in order to make a fully informed decision on their vote,” the release said,

Gabbard has either rejected or refused to respond to all invitations for debates, forums, or other speaking events wherein which she is not the sole speaker with the ability to control the questions that are posed to her, the release said. On June 12, Alu Campagna said she extended an invitation to Tulsi Gabbard through her campaign, to debate. To date, no response has been received.

Erika Tsuji, political director for Gabbard, responded.

“Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard offers her best wishes to the other candidates in the Democratic Primary, including Tony Austin and Sherry Campagna, as well as the Republican candidate. She is spending the limited precious time she’s able to be home with her constituents, discussing issues of importance with them, including difficulties they are having due to the recent natural disasters on Kauai, Oahu, and Hawaii Island, especially the victims of the Puna lava flow, as well as fulfilling her National Guard service requirements,” she wrote.

“Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard extensively discusses her positions on the important issues that face our state and country on her website and Facebook, and she welcomes all to join her there,” Tsuji wrote.

Campagna was also critical of Hawaii News Now for its debate special that aired July 2, and covered the gubernatorial, lieutenant gubernatorial, and Congressional District 1 races in Hawaii.

“By blatantly excluding Congressional District 2 (CD2), HNN joins several other organizations such as the League of Women Voters, and Democratic Party District Forums across the state that have planned and then cancelled the opportunity for forum or debate between the CD2 Candidates,” the release said. “Their stated reason for this is that the incumbent, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, either declines the invitations or refuses to respond.

“As a result, Hawaii’s voters in Congressional District 2 are restricted by mainstream media and organizations from making a fair comparison between Tulsi Gabbard and her only viable contender.”

  1. Jenna July 5, 2018 4:37 am Reply

    Herein lies the biggest problem: Sherry Campagna’s willful twisting of the facts and inability to own up to it while attempting to paint Congresswoman Gabbard in a certain light in order to gain a foothold in the primaries.

    Tulsi has been on the ground helping with disaster relief efforts regarding lava flow and destructive flooding not only in securing crucial federal funding but in working with FEMA, the National Guard, and local grassroots group within the affected communities. From securing millions of dollars for homelessness assistance programs to fighting for millions of dollars for groundwater pollution protection programs in Hawaii’s rural communities and nationwide, Tulsi has consistently supported her constituency through hard work and personal outreach. Between having town halls, staff outreach hours, individual casework, and two offices that handle thousands of constituents across Hawaii and the rest of the nation, Congresswoman Gabbard works non-stop with little time for these attempts at dragging her into a mud-slinging competition.

    If Sherry wants the kind of success Gabbard has had in Hawaii, perhaps she should have spent more time knocking on doors and putting in the work than trying to take away from Tulsi’s in attempts to piecemeal together a negative campaign.

  2. Callie July 5, 2018 5:20 am Reply

    No debate necessary- apparently Sherry just needs to make excuses why she thinks it’s ok to spend billions on American interventionist regime change and not invest that in our schools, infrastructure and healthcare system. Tulsi recently helped secure 11 million dollars funding to assist them state with our homelessness I said. I don’t think we ne

  3. Callie July 5, 2018 5:27 am Reply

    Continuing my comment that was cut off-
    I don’t think we need to hear more from Sherry at all. I’ve seen enough of the hate machine she embraces, not aloha and not the representation we need in DC.


  4. Carin July 5, 2018 9:24 am Reply

    In down ballot races, the challenger always benefits the most from the simplified perception that they are being placed on an equal playing field. Challengers seek debates not to address issues as much as they seek to boost their name recognition and hope to deliver a low blow or two on hot button topics of the moment. The challenger also benefits from not having to defend their lack of experience or legislative record, because there is no comparable substitute for actually doing the job.

    As for the Bernie/DNC comments, this does not compare to a presidential race where it’s impossible for the challenger to get out and talk to a majority of the voters her or she hopes to represent. Tulsi accomplishes that daily by doing her JOB in congress, through her service to her country as a Major in the Hawaii Army National Guard, and the non-stop public events she attends during her short congressional breaks. I’ve known her to attend 3-4 events on 2-3 islands in just one day.

    Tulsi has regular Talk Story and Congress on Your Corner events in every corner of the district. I’ve seen her answer every type of question and concern from my neighbors – her constituents – with genuine concern and candor.

    Finally, when a challenger’s core supporters rely solely on the childish mudslinging of blatant lies and twisted, xenophobic conspiracy theories, one has to wonder what, if any substance the challenger is capable of bringing to a debate, much less to the actual job.

  5. kapaaa July 5, 2018 10:03 pm Reply

    bad news, this wahine. remember when she was on the Honolulu city council? she introduced the bill that changed private property law on Oahu. if you lost your property, it was still yours, until the law she wrote that if the city found it on public property for 1 day, or if the park is closed, too bad. you lost it. city can take it. ACLU had to fight it to amend this. she also supports making you a criminal if you fall asleep at a park or sit down on the sidewalk! although she wore maple leaves on her collar in the National Guard, she went against Commander in Chief Barry’s moves against IS in Iraq with her support for Assad!
    she is also part of the political machine of Chris Butler aka Jagad Guru. remember Wayne Nishiki, Kathy Hoshijo and Mike Gabbard?
    No Can!
    if she didn’t surf, i would totally write her off!

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