Perriello Avoids Typical Town Hall

Even with the mild summer we have had in Virginia’s Fifth District it seems that the heat is still too oppressive for Congressman Perriello. Like other representatives Tom seems to be shying away from town hall meetings. According to an article dated July 31 on legislators all over the country are being challenged at their town hall meetings something that has not previously happened. Our elected officials are not used to being tested by their constituents and they do not like it. It has come to the point where several are not going to bother having town halls because according to one member of Congress “I had felt they would be pointless…”

In this article Tom Perriello stated: “People have gotten fired up and all that, but I think that’s what makes town halls fun,… I think that most of the time when we get out there, it’s a good chance for people to vent and offer their thoughts. It’s been good….I enjoy it, and people have a chance to speak their mind.” Perriello said that he plans on “plunging ahead” with town hall meetings.

Now I am not aware of any town hall meetings that Tom has had in which he was seriously challenged except for his meeting with the Jefferson Area Tea Party on May 8. On other occasions when our group attempted to meet with him he was not available, a town hall he had in the Danville area was designed so as not to acknowledge difficult questions. Challengers were ignored.

I am led to believe that town halls are not as much “fun” for this legislator as he seems to indicate. Mr. Perriello begins his summer break next week and has scheduled a series of events called “Tom In Your Town” in which he will appear at venues in different towns and meet one on one with those who are willing to take the time to sign up and then wait in line to meet with him. These meetings in no way resemble the town halls that Tom says he enjoys so much. They will certainly not be as challenging as an open forum and we the people have no way of knowing what is going on behind closed doors. Perriello and his staff can spin these individual meetings in ways that will make him look good and because of the closed venue we won’t know fact from fluff.

It is the responsibility of our legislators to face the people they represent, if they are not able to handle the pressure maybe they should find some other way to make a living. Spinning the facts, telling reporters that you enjoy the town hall style meetings and aim to continue them and then changing the forum to be less confrontational is cowardice. Perriello knows that his constituents are not happy with what is happening in Washington but he must conform to the role that the powers that be have chosen for him. Hundreds of thousands of dollars flowed from out of state supporters during his election and now it is time to repay those that helped him win his seat. Tom has chosen not to represent the people of his district but answers to the far left and the lobbyists that put him in office.

Unfortunately for Mr. Perriello times are changing and the people will no longer put up with bought and paid for politicians. This member of Congress can try to hide but he will be found and we will persist in asking him tough questions. If he chooses to continue to sequester himself behind closed door meetings his weakness will be exposed. When election time comes around next year he will be wishing that he had been more forthright with the people of the fifth district.


13 Responses to “Perriello Avoids Typical Town Hall”

  1. GeorgeFitchRepublican Says:

    You are so detached from reality it is hurting the conservative movement against Perriello. The guy has had old men threaten him with canes, people throw tea bags at him, has already met with the Jefferson Area Tea Party and has scheduled a meeting with the Danville Area Tea Party. The guy will be in every county in the 5th District during August, providing a chance for people to meet one on one. I think he’ll hear more about health care and other issues in this format than if we all just organized a protest with lots of yelling and screaming.

    • felicity Says:

      Yes, George, he will hear, but will he listen? He certainly seemed deaf to dissent on Cap and Trade. And given that his office didn’t keep track, we’ll never know how much dissent there was on that issue.

      This will have the same effect: there will be no public record of our views or concerns and no record of how those concerns are answered — only that he “heard” them.

    • GoGeorge Says:

      You are so right George! Instead of presenting the fine conservative ideals …… there is a provoking to “mob rule” shutting down all civil discourse about the much needed health care reform. The representative democracy we all should seek would be one the reflects our higher natures. I’m a moderate…with no party affiliation…….both parties have gotten too extreme. Tom Perriello shows all the signs of good leadership toward the center.

    • Sandy Says:

      George Fitch “Republican”- You need to remove the Republican from your posting name, and, you also need to remove any talk of the Conservative movement from your posts. You are being as dishonest as Perriello himself, the one you are really working for. As many times as others here have asked you follow up questions, you never answer. You just hit and run. That’s what the Democrats do because they don’t have any answers to most everything.

  2. Jason B Says:

    It will be important for all citizens to attend these new meetings and record their conversations with the Congressman, then to disseminate that recording to all available media sources.

  3. Thornton Jones Says:

    I personally believe that Tom P. will never expose himself to a town hall meeting anytime soon. He and his fellow pro-socialist democrats know that the American public is outraged about what is happening to our country. He knows that if he comes out from under the rock he is currently hiding under, that he will be exposed as a charlatan, who does not represent his district, but toes the party line in Congress. He also knows that he will most likely be a one term congressman. We as Americans are in the fight of our lives. Our beloved country is on the brink of falling down a very deep and dark hole. We must stand as one and fight for our freedoms which we hold so dear.

  4. blueridgeguy Says:


    You have hit the nail on the head. Perriello has structured these events so as to keep a lid on the dissatisfaction of his constituents. Not only in the fifth district but all over the country voters are challenging their representatives for the socialist, big spending agenda they are putting forth in DC. In my lifetime I have never seen such unrest among the average citizen. Unrest that is being ignored by the main stream media but thanks to the internet the word is getting out. The times they are a changing.

  5. Andrea Says:

    Is Tom Periello going to hold a town hall in Cville, or only the “safer, one on one event”? We need to be able to let him know our thoughts on the proposed government take over of health care.

    • blueridgeguy Says:

      According to the schedule posted on his website he is only doing the one on one meetings. He is completely avoiding the mass town hall meetings, therefore we plan on being at his Ruckersville and Charlottesville events with signs to let him know how we feel about health care and his refusal to meet in open forum with his constituents.

  6. Mildred Smithers Says:

    I would like to know if there are Patriots in the Charlottesville area who will show up at the town meeting in Fluvanna and elsewhere to show support for persons who have a one-on-one meeting with Representative Perriello. I think we need to do this in order for Mr. Perriello to understand the scope of our dissatisfaction with the health care bill. Perhaps, if enough people demanded it, he would hold a town hall meeting or forum for his district at a central location. We really don’t need to hear what he thinks, he needs to hear what we think!!

  7. Sandy Says:

    Blueridgeguy- My husband and I will be at the Ruckersville location on Aug. 10 to rally with all the Tea Partiers.

  8. Andrea Says:

    I think we should all email Tom and complain about his decision re: the 1:1 format. I told him that I was quite surprised about that choice, and that it looks like he wants to control the environment and limit citizens’ input.

  9. Joltman Says:

    thanks for all of your local efforts in organizing on behalf of truth and representation in our community

    Here is an idea of how Perriello might be flushed out in a fair discussion or debate on the issues – particularly health care. I have no interest in a shout-fest (let alone violence!), but a confrontation is necessary to Present and Debate the proposed programs.

    IF there was a sense that a large crowd (5000 or so) could be raised for a public event, the politicians couldn’t ignore it. Consider:

    – Invite Perriello, and Senators Warner and Webb. Put a chair on the stage for them. If they don’t show up, put a stand up figure in their place. Invite George Allen and some other respected and experienced conservatives to participate.

    – Have a knowledgeable and reputable speaker provide an accurate and defensible presentation on the concerns of conservatives about the proposed health care package.

    – A respected moderator selected by the organizers (Jeff Tea Party?)

    – Provide an opportunity for Tom P and the senators to respond reasonably to the presentation, present counter arguments. Allow the conservatives and presenters to respond. When T. P. fails to answer a question, simplify it to yes or no, and if he won’t answer that, it will become clear that he is just puffing smoke. The moderator’s job is to get a real answer to the question.

    – Open the questioning to the floor, in an orderly fashion.

    – Hire off duty police to provide security.

    Allow enough time to organize the event and for students to get back, so that the possibility of influencing a large number of people becomes possible. Even if Congress is back in session, Perriello can easily return to Charlottesville. Maybe check with his staff as to availability ahead of time.

    My thought is that if 2500, or 5000, or 10,000 people showed up at an event, he couldn’t ignore it (winning by his underwhelming 700 votes). He would be sealing his defeat in 2010.

    Key is a reasonable, but challenging debate of the issues, presented in a way that is understandable to average people, not filled with political slogans, and engaging. Give him a chance to really get his ideas out there as to why this program is so wonderful.

    One last thought – IMHO this is the only way to have a political debate. The charades they have in the presidential campaigns are just that.

    One last thought, wouldn’t it be great if organizations like the Va Tea Parties could organize major debates in the future – setting the parameters of the debate (head to head not this politic-speak, League of Women Voters style stuff ). Let it be known that the organizers have a perspective, and get the candidates to speak to people with that perspective. Get 50,000 people into a stadium and let the politicians know about it. Let the candidates explain themselves, get passionate about their ideas, and not let the TV networks run the thing. Set the schedule for the event and invite them. Somehow I think they would show up or be really confident that their deep pocket could overcome the very public consequences.

    Whatever is done must be done in a respectful way.


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