Picture 54

Wow! A group of teabaggers teapartyers just asked Congressman Tom Perriello of Virginia to move his office to another location so they can protest him more effectively!

Seems Perriello’s  home district office shares a parking lot with other businesses, including a restaurant, a Pilates studio, a doctor’s office and an antique store.  The Rutherford Institute, which was founded by conservative constitutional lawyer John W. Whitehead, has been busy complaining about Periello’s support of health care reform, and sent the freshman congressman a letter complaining

that conservative protesters have been told they they would be considered trespassers if they “dare to demonstrate on political issues while in the parking lot to [Perriello’s] office.”

Perriello spokeswoman Jessica Barba says that other businesses need the parking lot outside the office where tea partyers demonstrate for their own customers.

The parking lot is private property. Isn’t the right to private property a big issue for conservatives? Only when it interferes with their agenda, it seems. The Rutherford Institute letter says

Unfortunately, it is your choice of office location that has hindered the ability of citizens to effectively communicate concerning issues of the utmost importance to you, Congress and the people of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The First Amendment clearly guarantees individuals the right to speak out publicly and address their government representatives on the important issues of the day.

Periello, a Democrat who unseated six-term incumbent Republican Virgil Goode  in 2008, hosted 21 town hall meetings in August. He and/or his staff met with tea party protesters and other constituents inside his office office and he has offered to post a staffer at a Charlottesville public square to hear protesters there. The congressman’s lease isn’t up until 2011.

Lisa Derrick

Lisa Derrick

Los Angeles native, attended UC Berkeley and Loyola Marymount University before punk rock and logophilia overtook her life. Worked as nightclub columnist, pop culture journalist and was a Hollywood housewife before writing for and editing Sacred History Magazine. Then she discovered the thrill of politics. She also appears frequently on the Dave Fanning Show, one of Ireland's most popular radio broadcasts.