Gabbard Campaign Benefits from Generous Family Support

Courtesy Gabbard for Congress

From the Kennedys of Massachusetts to the Cases of Hawaii, it's commonplace for politically minded family members to help each other out during election time.

The family of Honolulu City Council member Tulsi Gabbard has been especially involved in her race for the 2nd Congressional District.

Her father, state Sen. Mike Gabbard, has contributed the maximum $5,000 allowed under federal law to her campaign.

Gabbard formerly served on the City Council and ran unsuccessfully in 2004 against U.S. Rep. Ed Case for the seat his daughter now covets.

The candidate's mother, Carol Gabbard, has given her daughter $4,811 and served off and on as her campaign treasurer. She formerly served on the Hawaii Board of Education.

Three other Gabbards — Jai ($2,500), Vrindavan ($5,000) and Bhakti ($2,579) — have made healthy contributions, as has the candidate herself ($18,074) to her own campaign. When donations from others close to Gabbard — like uncles and aunts, even her ex-husband — are factored in, it exceeds $66,000, or about 18 percent of her total take.

In addition to getting money from her family, however, Gabbard has also received donations from government officials and executives involved in the energy industry.

They include current Public Utilities Commissioner Michael Champley and former PUC Chair Carlito Caliboso.

Also giving money are Henk Rogers (Blue Planet Foundation), Jeff Kissel (The Gas Co.), Ted Peck (Kuokoa Inc.) and Constance Lau (Hawaiian Electric Industries).

Perhaps not coincidentally, Sen. Gabbard is chair of Senate Energy and Environment, where he has a high-profile, influential role regarding state energy policy and legislation.

Should Tulsi Gabbard manage to defeat her half-dozen or so Democratic opponents on Aug. 11, she will likely receive fresh contributions from many of these same sources for the general election — which at this point does not feature a Republican candidate.

"I am very fortunate to have a large ohana of family and friends and I greatly appreciate their support," Tulsi Gabbard told Civil Beat in an email Friday. "They have placed their trust in me because they know that I have the leadership skills, fresh ideas, and the spirit of selfless service that are so badly needed in Washington, D.C."

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