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.”