Group: Gabbard isn't making herself available for tough questions
KAILUA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Hawaii group is calling out U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard for not offering more opportunities for her constituents to ask her tough questions.
On Friday, a large crowd gathered at the Kailua Public Library hoping to meet with Gabbard during a recurring "office hours" event.
But Gabbard's office said she was never scheduled to attend the event, and that her staff had planned to take questions or concerns.
Instead on Friday, the Congresswoman was on Maui, touring the correctional center and speaking with community members on diversified agriculture.
Powell Berger, who attended the Kailua event, said she had expected to see Gabbard in Kailua. "Some 200 people showed up expecting her there, but a staff member showed up instead," Berger said.
The group that helped gather the large crowd, Indivisible Hawaii, says there's been growing frustration at Gabbard in recent days. On Tuesday, when the group visited her Honolulu office, they couldn't find her.
"She's just not showing up at all and she's not answering the questions and addressing the issues her constituents are concerned about," Berger said.
Some of those issues include President Donald Trump's ties to Russia and Gabbard's ties to Trump. In addition, critics want to know more about her controversial trip to Syria and her meeting with Syrian dictator Bashar Al Assad.
Colin Moore, HNN political analyst, said the lack of more town hall-type meetings could backfire for Gabbard.
"I don't think it makes her look very good in the eyes of her constituents," he said.
Gabbard's staff denied our request for an interview with the Congresswoman on Friday and provided this statement instead:
"Unfortunately, certain organizations did a great disservice to the people of Windward Oahu by falsely advertising that Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard was hosting a town hall meeting at the Kailua Public Library when they knew this was not the case, thus frustrating and angering many people who showed up expecting a town hall."
Her office also said constituent outreach is a "top priority" for Gabbard.
"Last year, the congresswoman and her team hosted and attended nearly 200 constituent and community events across the state and helped 920 local families and individuals get help with federal agency casework," her office said.
Gabbard will be hosting a "Congress on Your Corner" town hall meeting in Waianae on Saturday, starting at 3 p.m. Her staff said constituents will have the opportunity to ask questions and express their views on issues before Congress.
Gabbard will have her usual pop-up tent in the parking lot of "Da Crawfish and Crab Shack" at 87-64 Farrington Highway in Waianae.
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