Tulsi Gabbard’s Refusal To Debate Challenger Causes TV Network To Exclude Her District From Super Debate Event
Hawaii News Now (HNN) recently announced a Super Debate to air July 2, 2018 covering 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. 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, Sherry Alu Campagna; a Democrat, an environmental scientist, state commissioner, Native Hawaiian, and parent of a Kamehameha Schools student (Kamehameha Schools and Office of Hawaiian Affairs are sponsoring this event).
Furthermore, this subversive form of censorship blocks the democratic process during an election by prohibiting CD2 constituents from holding Tulsi Gabbard accountable for her wishy-washy voting record and alliances with foreign dictators who have committed egregious human rights violations against their people, including Modi, El Sisi, and Assad. Additionally, the exclusion of CD2 from the Super Debate underscores the fact that CD2 voters do not get the attention by politicians and the media that Honolulu does.
Since Sherry and Tulsi have such differing opinions on houselessness, America’s role in Syria, and on the National Defense Appropriations Act (NDAA), et alia, Hawaii voters deserve to hear from both candidates about their beliefs in order to make a fully informed decision on their vote. See Civil Beat article here.
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. On June 12th, Sherry Alu Campagna extended an invitation to Tulsi Gabbard through her campaign, to debate. To date, no response has been received:
“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,” states Alu Campagna.
Gabbard, herself, has already underscored the importance of debates during her MSNBC interview regarding the Sanders/Clinton Presidential Primary, saying: “We’ve gotta have more opportunities for people to present their vision for our country, their plans, and to be held accountable for the positions that they’re taking.” (MSNBC, October 2015). Her words hypocritically do not apply to herself.
Hawaii News Now ceases to be truly a free press source when it acquiesces to the silencing of democracy during an election as it has silenced the strong challenger to this incumbent to date.
Sherry Alu Campagna is a Native Hawaiian, a state commissioner, an environmental scientist, a devoted mother, foster parent, a grassroots organizer, a devout Democrat, the former statewide chair of Women’s March, and a true leader of the people. Sherry Alu Campagna and the people of Congressional District 2 deserve, at least, a televised, full-length, candidate showcase in lieu of the undemocratic silencing tactics of Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.