This congresswoman asked for more Democratic debates. So the DNC reportedly blacklisted her.

The fight over whether there should be more than six sanctioned Democratic presidential debates has gotten heated among members of the Democratic National Committee. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) claims that she was uninvited from Tuesday's presidential primary debate after she appeared on MSNBC calling for more high-profile discussions between candidates.

"When I first came to Washington, one of the things that I was disappointed about was there's a lot of immaturity and petty gamesmanship that goes on, and it kind of reminds me of how high school teenagers act," Gabbard told The New York Times. "It's very dangerous when we have people in positions of leadership who use their power to try to quiet those who disagree with them. When I signed up to be vice chair of the DNC, no one told me I would be relinquishing my freedom of speech and checking it at the door."

Others said that Gabbard was not actually banned from attending. An unnamed person "close to the committee" told The New York Times that "[Gabbard] was not uninvited. The DNC team wanted this first debate to have all the focus on the candidates. Gabbard's people were told that if they couldn't commit to that, since Tulsi was trying to publicly divide the DNC leadership last week, then they should consider not coming."

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The DNC has faced criticism before about the limited appearances offered to candidates. Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, an underdog in the Democratic primary, has accused DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) of benefiting Hillary Clinton by curbing the number of debates.

"This isn't about any one person," Gabbard said. "It's about how the Democratic Party should be representing democratic values, allowing for free speech and open debate within our party, and for more transparency and debates for our presidential candidates."

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Jeva Lange

Jeva Lange was the executive editor at She formerly served as The Week's deputy editor and culture critic. She is also a contributor to Screen Slate, and her writing has appeared in The New York Daily News, The Awl, Vice, and Gothamist, among other publications. Jeva lives in New York City. Follow her on Twitter.