Tulsi Gabbard’s appearance at the 2022 Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday was so positive that the former congresswoman from Hawaii said she felt “right at home.”

Back at home on the same day, however, members of a subcommittee of the Oahu County Committee of the Democratic Party of Hawaii approved a resolution on a 15-2 vote that condemned Gabbard for participating in an event that raised funds “that will harm Democrats across the country and make it harder to achieve the goals” of the party.

The resolution calls for the Oahu County Committee to form an ad hoc panel to investigate whether Gabbard — who represented Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District from 2013 to 2021 — violated the party’s bylaws, constitution and/or platform.

If the committee concludes that there was a violation, penalties could range from a reprimand to a censure to even expulsion.

Lorna Strand, the Oahu party chair, said Oahu Democrats would meet virtually March 19 to take up the resolution.

“This is just a first step,” said Strand, who said the party represents around 100,000 Democrats statewide. “It could be a slap on the wrist or censure, or it could be expulsion.”

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard press conference announcing a future congressional inquiry into the whistleblower at the Department of Health, Epidemiologist Dr. Jessica Smith’s accusations about the lack of contact tracing staff. August 14, 2020
Former Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is under fire by local Democrats for recently headlining a major Republican conference. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2020

The annual CPAC event featured former President Donald Trump and other top party members vying for the Republican presidential ticket in 2024, as well as other offices.

The appearance of Gabbard, who sought the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 2020 but won only two delegates, was considered a big score for the GOP as it seeks to expand its base.

According to The Daily Beast, Gabbard was critical of “cancel culture” and President Joe Biden and hinted at support for conservatives without using the actual word.

“We have decided that we belong to no one but God,” she said. “We are not subjects or slaves of those who govern and by God’s grace, we are free and we will fight to remain free.”

Hawaii Democratic Party member Michael Golojuch Jr. introduced the resolution condemning Gabbard.

“This resolution is solely about her raising money for our opposition,” he said.

The resolution states in part that CPAC “actively fights against women’s rights, equality for the LGBTQIA+ community, and almost everything that Oahu County Democrats stand for as laid out in our platform.”

According to the party’s bylaws, a member may be expelled for “active support or promotion of a political party or any candidate(s) of a political party other than the Democratic Party. Examples of active support include, but are not limited to, making monetary or in-kind contributions, accepting a position in an opposition campaign, sign waving, letter writing, appearance in campaign ads, resigning from the Democratic Party to support another political party and rejoining the Democratic Party.”

Failure to abide by the party’s constitution, bylaws and/or platform can also be punished by possible expulsion.

The party’s platform preamble begins, “The abiding values of the Democratic Party are liberty, social justice, economic justice, protection of the environment, and compassion and respect for the dignity and worth of the individual.”

Gabbard did not respond to a message sent to her Twitter account Monday.

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