perriello-filmstripMore than sixty concerned United States citizens and residents of Virginia’s 5th Congressional District gathered in the parking lot immediately outside Democrat Congressman Tom Perriello’s Charlottesville office today. Organized by Bill Hay and the Jefferson Area Tea Party, the rally’s purpose was to allow attendees a forum in which to express their concerns over the prospect of nationalized/socialized medicine directly to Congressman Perriello (who chose not to attend), or in close proximity to his office.

While respectful in tone and content, citizen upon citizen passionately articulated apprehension over the potential negative impacts of socialized “health care” on their families, their businesses, their finances, and their own personal health.

See images from the rally:

Unlike the July 2 aggregation at this same office, Congressman Perriello did not dispatch a minion (i.e. ask a staffer to step outside the office) to capture constituents’ concerns. Ridge Schuyler, who represented the Congressman last time around, was noticeably absent from this proceeding.

Approximately forty minutes into the event, Charlottesville police were called to the parking lot area. Unconfirmed reports from the scene tie at least one of the complaining phone calls directly to Congressman Tom Perriello’s office staff. While the attending police officers (professionally and politely) compelled the gathered crowd to disperse, rally attendees grumbled at the prospect of their own congressman’s office terminating their first amendment, free speech protest. A protest that was peaceful and non-invasive in contrast to prior leftist assaults on the office of former 5th District Congressman, Virgil Goode.

Whether or not Perriello’s staff was complicit in the complaint, precarious issues loom large:

  1. Is “critical” free speech now permanently banned from Congressman Tom Perriello’s Charlottesville office, because it rests on “private property”?
  2. Can a building tenant (i.e. Congressman Perriello) compel police to enforce private property rights, or must such complaints be filed by the building’s owner in order to be enforcable?
  3. If, in fact, it is illegal to protest in the area immediately outside Congressman Perriello’s Charlottesville office, will the Congressman relocate his office to a “public” site so as not to abridge his constituents’ access to him and his staff?

These are important questions, and 5th District citizens deserve clear and concise answers from their congressman. Are you listening Tom Perriello? Will you dare respond?

P.S. If your office or your representatives did not make a complaint to the Charlottesville Police Department, Tom, please send us a written statement to that effect, and we will publish it as an addendum to this story.

Video bonus—Rally participant Keith Drake describes the Charlottesville Police Department’s request for rally attendees to leave the premises adjacent to Congressman Perriello’s office:


  1. Did anyone ask for proof that Perriello’s office is private property? How do you prove a piece of land is private or public property? You ask to see the owner’s receipt, in this case, the deed. The city assessor’s online records do not show any property known as 313 2nd Street SE. The closest properties are 310 and 320 2nd SE. 310 shows 3 owners in the last 4 decades (Allie Beck, LLC [Deed Book 880 Page 560, Sale Date 11/27/2002], Audrey Virginia #1, LLC [DB 811 P 99, 6/1/2001], H M Gleason Company Inc [DB 343 P 558, 3/1/1973]). 320 shows the same owners and dates except the Gleason purchase on 7/9/1974 (DB 358 P 185).

    Is Perriello’s office private property being used as public property? Who’s paying the rent on this office? Taxpayers? Does that mean the property is actually under public use, though technically privately owned? Or is the property technically publicly owned? Research will likely show that this property was seized through eminent domain for public use before 1973-74. Due Process allows the government to seize and sell private property. Eminent domain allows property to be seized for a public use. If this eminent domain property was sold to the private sector, the sale may be illegal and the current owner in possession of stolen property, regardless of what a judge or police officer may think.

  2. Perriello resorts to police action a SECOND time this week. Read below…

    For Immediate Release: Sat., July 18, 2009
    Contact: Nigel Coleman 434-549-2853
    Bobby Conner 434-334-9494

    Activists refused chance to ask question or display signs
    opposing trillion-dollar government takeover of health care

    Danville TEA Party leaders thrown off property at Perriello
    town hall event, then tailed by unmarked police car

    BLAIRS, Va. – Danville TEA Party leaders Nigel Coleman and Bobby Conner Saturday attended a local town hall meeting featuring two presidential cabinet members and hosted by Rep. Tom Perriello, D-Va., where they were refused an opportunity to ask the congressman a question and were then told by a plainclothes policeman to leave the property after they attempted to hold up signs urging Perriello to vote against a government takeover of healthcare. The TEA Party activists peacefully complied, but say an unmarked police car then followed them to a local restaurant where an officer left his vehicle, walked over to their cars, and phoned in their license plate numbers.

    The event was held on a privately-owned farm in Blairs, Va. and featured Perriello, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, and Energy Secretary Tom Vilsack, all of whom talked about creating “green” jobs and the recent Cap and Trade bill.

    “First, I was disappointed that Congressman Perriello refused to take hard questions from his constituents about where he stands on Nancy Pelosi’s trillion-dollar socialized medicine scheme,” Coleman said. “But I was outraged by the intimidation tactics we then experienced after merely attempting to ask him a question and, after being denied that chance, tryng to hold up some signs urging him to vote against a government takeover of America’s health care system.”

    “This is another reason taxpayers are angry at our federal government, their treating citizens who are simply exercising our Constitutional free speech rights as if we’re terrorists,” Coleman said.

    Conner said, “We have the right as Americans — without suffering intimidation tactics by police — to personally ask our congressman why he voted for the Cap and Trade energy tax increase that he admits he never read, and whether he’ll vote for the trillion-dollar Obama-Pelosi healthcare bill.”

    Coleman and Connor are the Danville TEA party organizers who organized two recent TEA party rallies, one on July 4th and another on July 17th at Perriello’s Danville office to protest the upcoming socialized healthcare bill.

    Coleman said that TEA Party activists this summer will pressure Periello to vote against government-controlled healthcare “over the phone, by mail, at his district offices, or on his front doorstep, if necessary, starting right now.”

    # # #

  3. @blair
    I inadvertently found the property by searching by Garrett Street in the assessor’s website. I am not surprised that Perriello isn’t going to allow any dissent. Extremists never have. Hislocal supporters, such as Dave Norris, won’t crawl from under the bed to publicly support him on this move, especially when Norris was protesting for the Tibetans. Whyisn’t he protesting to Perriello for the Americans?

  4. […] Coleman noted that at a similar TEA Party protest outside Perriello’s Charlottesville office Friday, police appeared to order an estimated 60 local taxpayers to leave the parking lot. As reported Friday on the blog of The Schilling Show, a Charlottesville talk radio program: […]

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