Eleven years ago, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, now a rising star in the Democratic Party, was a little-known state representative from a West Oahu district. It was her then-Republican father, Mike, who was in the political limelight.
The elder Gabbard, known for his virulent anti-gay crusade in the 1990s, was challenging Democratic incumbent Ed Case in the race to represent Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District. So, for a profile piece, a writer at Honolulu Magazine emailed him and asked about his family’s ties to a guru named Chris Butler, aka Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa, who leads an obscure offshoot of the Hare Krishna movement in Hawaii.
But Tulsi Gabbard jumped in. “I smell a skunk,” she emailed back. “It’s clear to me that you’re acting as a conduit for … homosexual extremist supporters of Ed Case.”
Much has changed with Tulsi Gabbard since then. She enlisted in the Hawaii Army National Guard and served two tours in the Middle East before successfully running for a seat on the Honolulu City Council in 2010. Then, in 2012, she got what eluded her father — a seat representing Hawaii in Congress.
But one thing has remained: The Gabbard family’s ties to Butler still hound her — in the hallways of the Hawaii State Capitol, on blogs of political observers, on pages of online discussion forums, and in commentary sections of various news sites, including Civil Beat’s.
Now, the mysterious world that’s been swirling around Gabbard all her life is coming under closer scrutiny as the 33-year-old congresswoman’s stature on the national stage steadily rises, and her views on national and international…
The Hawaii congresswoman has embraced Narendra Modi and worked with House Republicans while stepping up attacks on the Democratic president.
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