The Astroturf Is Growing in Charlottesville

Over the last few weeks we have heard how the tea party movement is staged, funded by national organizations, astroturf, racist, Timothy McVeigh wannabes and is exhibiting phony anger. Our so called representatives in Washington as well as the national media have put down this grassroots movement saying that we are a well funded mob. None of which is true.

Tonight at the Charlottesville Martin Luther King Performing Arts center I saw what real astroturf looked like. Emails were sent out by, the White House and the Democrat Party encouraging supporters to gather in Charlottesville to back government run health care and their congressman. Printed signs were shipped down from DC and people were brought in from all over the area. In addition members from SEIU (services employees international union) were there promoting the health care cause. A union that already provides health care coverage to it’s members. It was an exceptional job of organizing done by large national groups. Yet the conservative grass roots movement is accused of being run by right wing organizations and the obvious national control of the left is ignored.

Will the truth ever see the light of day?


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22 Responses to “The Astroturf Is Growing in Charlottesville”

  1. Coverage of Perriello’s C’ville session « John Wills Lloyd Says:

    […] in Your Town’ Hits Charlottesville. Over on Jefferson Area Tea Party, BlueRidgeGuy has a note about his view of the “astroturf” allegations. Mike Stark posted an entry on Campaign […]

  2. Leadership Says:

    It looks to me like a Town Hall Meeting along the lines of our traditional freedom of speech meetings. There were very good questions on both sides, and Tom Perriello answered them very well. No ranting, name calling, irrational questions…….Good Job!

  3. rugrat Says:

    I was at the town hall meeting last night and thought that Tom Perriello handled the meeting very well. Both sides presented their stories and questions and Perriello answered them.
    As for BlueRidgeGuy’s allegations of Astroturf initiated by’s simply not valid. Nobody was paid or coerced into going.

    • blueridgeguy Says:

      I was just using the same term that Pelosi and crew are using whenever they refer to the tea party movement. Bothers you doesn’t it.

      • rugrat Says:

        Not in the least, as I’ve made no comment concerning the Jefferson Area Tea Party; merely pointing out your allegations are without evidence.

      • blueridgeguy Says:

        I suppose talking to a member of the union that was out in front of MLK Performing Arts Center who said he was down here to help generate support is not evidence? Or the fact that the printed signs had arrived from DC that afternoon or that I have several emails in my in box that were sent by and the White House encouraging me to attend this event in support of government run health care. I must have dreamed all this up. I do not make allegations without evidence. You just want to ignore the truth.

      • Leadership Says:

        Is it really constructive to continue this “You did this…..and You did that” blame game.
        The ones supporting the current work on health care reform are enouraging the efforts of the President and respecting the position of the presidency…….so naturally they would use signs that are from that source or from supporters.
        The ones who are against the efforts of the President ……..are getting their information from Radio Talk Shows, Fox News etc. The Tea Parties have been enabled and encouraged all along by Fox News……hoping to create this obstruction.
        I can only say even the AMA, Primary Doctors and many others are saying the time is now to move forward and start somewhere. The final bill will be much different from the ones floating around now……..anyone whose had a better idea has had plenty of time to come together and work together. This President deserves much praise for opening up this important debate.

      • rugrat Says:

        Leadership…thank you.
        I hadn’t intended to get into a pissing match, but I’m finding little in the way of substantive information in this forum or at least some discussion that’s not loaded with vitriol and name calling.
        Health care as it is today is a wreck. Making reforms so that it is affordable and accessible for all citizens (employed or not), will be a difficult process. Anyone with good ideas for a workable plan(s) should be writing to their representatives and sharing them.

      • Sandy Says:

        rugrat- If you and some of your fellow commenters don’t like this website, or what is posted here, why are you here at all. There are plenty of other websites for those of you who support Obama, Obamacare, Cap and Tax and etc. such as Dailykos or the Huffington Post. You will find some friends there that you don’t have to correct with your misinformation.

        Blueridgeguy- Thank you for doing what you do. You have great patience. As to trucking in outside of the area support for Perriello’s townhalls, Joe Thomas played some interviews this morning of a guy who was there as a rep. of SEIU. He said that he was there supporting Perriello last night because the SEIU has a “vested” interest in getting Obamacare passed. I believe he is also the same guy that showed up in a vehicle with Connecticut license plates. Apparently Perriello can’t find enough supporters from his own district so he has to import supporters who have nothing to do with the voters in this district. They are paid Perriello cheerleaders. Check out the Craigslist posting for jobs to help pass Obamacare. They are all over the country, and they are advertising higher rates of pay then many in the private sector can pay.

      • Sandy Says:

        rugrat- You might want to check out The Heritage Foundation’s website for workable solutions to the Healthcare changes needed in this country. We can start with Tort Reform, as the trial lawyers, and the activist judges, have driven up medical malpractice insurance, which is then passed on to the consumers. You can start a Healthcare savings account that has tax benefits, and does not rely on ineffective and inefficient federal government programs that bomb every time they are passed. You can support the call for the federal government to eliminate all of the fraud and waste in administering programs such as Medicaid and Medicare. You can support eliminating duplicate and triplicate agencies and federal and state employees, all assigned with the same tasks. There’s a few good starter ideas.

      • blueridgeguy Says:

        Rugrat, do you know what vitriol means?

      • Sandy Says:

        No blueridgeguy, I don’t believe that rugrat knows the definition of vitriol. Vitriol is a black conservative being beat in St. Louis specifically because he is a “black” conservative. Those two words are not supposed to go together. Vitriol is the shoving of opposers in the Tampa Fla. town hall.

        Talk about astroturfing in Charlottesville. Did you see the top front page headlines in the Daily Progressive yesterday. “Perriello’s town hall mostly civil” by Brian McNeil. I guess he had to say “mostly civil” because someone shouted out to a supporter to “Get a job.” Mr. McNeil adds in his headline “Many residents ask him to support “public option.” He never refers to those that came from out of town, mostly SEIU activists, and, as you say with their DNC made signs. The article gives the false impression that most of the Charlottesville residents support Obamacare.

        Perriello does in fact have the majority of support from the “union” people. They donated to his 2008 campaign heavily. He also has the support of many local lawyers, as many of their names are on his list of donors also. The Obamacare plan does absolutely nothing to reign in the high costs of lawyers who bring many frivilous lawsuits against doctors and hospitals, which in turn drives up the cost of medical malpractice insurance. Those costs are passed along to the consumers. Of course Perriello has the support of the “unions” as Dr. Helmbrecht pointed out that members of Congress and the union members would not be a part of the plan designed for us, the unwashed peasants living in the US. The unions such as SEIU and AFL CIO and others will pass the healthcare and legacy costs on to the government, yet will still get the Cadillac plans reserved for Congress. We, with lesser coverage will still be paying for their greater coverage. Do you wonder why Perriello has the support of unions, lawyers, and, oh I forgot a good many of the Liberal UVA indoctrination professors.

      • blueridgeguy Says:


        I am actually getting my information from a government website one you may not be aware of its called the Library of Congress /Thomas were you can read all the bills from the house and senate. You should try it sometime. I don’t need Fox News, the Republican Party or Rush to tell me how to think. I don’t need to receive emails to encourage me to get out and participate.

      • Leadership Says:

        blueridgeguy: Then I respect you for taking the time to read the bills and for not letting Fox News, the Republican Party or Rush interpret them for you. A lot of that is happening, that I won’t detail because you know what I mean. I’ve read the bills too (no easy task for anyone) but know that these are not the final say. When all is said and done, I’m hoping that the final bill has been refined and that the guidelines of the president are respected; that is, it must include everyone regardless of pre-existing conditions, it must be deficit neutral, it must cut costs and he would like it to include the public option (and I said option) to improve competition and honesty in the insurance industry.

  4. Stephen Says:

    Some more ideas:

    This article was in today’s WSJ. It was written by the CEO of Whole Foods.

    • Leadership Says:

      Reply to Stephen Says: This is an excellent article with many good proposals! The title ‘Obamacare” is the only turnoff! The President isnt the one deligently working on the bill. Input is coming from many involved in healthcare and it’s up to Congress to craft the best proposal. Again, these great ideas are only getting attention because of the courage this president has had in taking on the challenge. Where were these great ideas over the last 8 years. The HSA’s are questionable when you look at what’s happened in our econmy. But all in all, Whole Foods gives a good model to be brought to the table. Has it?

    • blueridgeguy Says:

      The solutions mentioned by Mr. Mackey in this article are not new and would go far to solving many of the problems in the health care industry. But I do not believe we will see either party embrace these solutions for the simple reason it cedes power to the people and our leaders can not have that. No matter what they say neither the Republicans or Democrats are willing to give up power. In order to achieve real solutions a majority of congress would need to be replaced in the next election. Of course most think that their representative is doing a good job and it is all the others that need to go.

      If you want “real change” not Obama change you need to work to replace a large portion of congress and hopefully the rest will take the hint. I don’t care what side of the aisle you are on, if you think that your representatives are really working for you then I have a bridge to sell you.

  5. Eric Schmitz Says:

    I agree that this site may not be the best forum for discussion. I’ve found it challenging to find a site locally that offers decent give-and-take.

    Funny that the starting point for solving a problem is to begin with solutions, and work back to questions.

    By trade, I have found it useful to begin quite differently. If there was a national understanding of what the healthcare problem(s) is(are), I have not seen it. Perhaps that is one reason for non-productive behavior — I am referring to the childish name-calling and one-upmanship of “the people”, and the equally childish brinkmanship of so-called leaders.

    Undoubtedly there is common ground to be found, if one is looking.

    Reducing the cost of healthcare — not as a precentage of GDP, or per capita — but by some measure, or measures, of desired outcome. That may be something like life expectancy, globally, and infant mortality, incidence of cancer, overall fitness, specifically.

    Reducing the cost of healthcare — totally — and/or improving productivity as a result of improving overall health status of the population.

    Making basic, appropriate healthcare universally available, as a public good.

    Provide a safety net for (financially) catastrophic health events.

    Improving medical record keeping (EMR) — timeliness, availability, access across networks — maintaining confidentiality.

    Regulating — uniform coding and billing, and standardization of medical plans — standards of care (eg. a patient bill of rights).

    Encouraging a beneficial mix of primary care and medical specialists, and a better distribution of care availability.

    Initiating fitness as a national priority.

    There are probably more objectives that could be identified, with input from people (consumers) not just providers/insurers/business and government (bureaucrats and politicians).

    The idea is to collect a set of achievable objectives — a list of non-negotiables (as close to) universally agreed upon as possible.

    Because if you cannot agree on what it is you want, it makes no sense to throw the first $ at it, no matter who pays.

    Note that not one of these objectives cannot be achived separately, or alone — but will require a partnership of public and private interests.

    Also note, that with the exception of fitness, the changes could be done within the exiting framework, as a continuos improvement process, that could be monitored, and tweaked.

    The radical change, cram-down approach — my opinion — is not achievable.

    The do-nothing approach — my opinion — leaves us with something sub-optimal in the short-term, unsustainable in the near-term, and ruinous in the long-term.

    Tapping into all the creative, entrepreneurial, as well as compassionate interests and capabilities of what is (or at least was) a great Nation is not just doable, it is imperative.

    Last point — you can do it — immediately — and with intelligence, picking off the low lying fruit — with measurable results. It just takes the right kind of leader.

    Sorry, but that’s probably not any of the key players in the mix right now; and in all fairness to Obama, I’ve made it sound easy, but he is really way off the mark in his approach.

    • Leadership Says:

      Eric: Obama has cultivated the best public awareness and discussion on this that I’ve ever seen. Even if he gets some constructive changes in the bill that’s passed, I think it will keep the ball rolling toward more the the steps you mentioned. It is such a huge undertaking and, as you said, a necessary undertaking that it will need to be done in incremental steps. We need to come together and do this as a country. That’s why I first came to this website; because I was under the impression it was non-partisan in dealing with all the concerns facing our country. I was disappointed.

  6. Doc Says:

    Sandy wrote: “The article gives the false impression that most of the Charlottesville residents support Obamacare. ”

    It’s not a false impression. Most Charlottesville residents likely DO support Obamacare. This is a city that voted over 78% in favor of Obama, and even more overwhelmingly for Perriello. However, once you get outside the city, the support likely drops off.

    • Sandy Says:

      Doc- I agree, the city is overwhelmingly Liberal. That is why taxes keep going up and up, particularly property taxes. That is why the roadways are a disaster, with increased traffic jams and no way around them, and, no one responsible enough to make the first move to eliminate the problems. That is why water supplies are in danger, no one can make any decisions to eliminate the problem. That is why some of the schools keep getting bad grades on educating the students. That is why more focus is put on unnecessary programs that eat up taxpayer money, like sending teachers on trips to Italy. That is why the city will now be the “role model” for smart grids, with the electric company controlling your thermostats, and, you will be paying alot more for that. Welcome to Liberal city life!

      I have been living outside of the city for more than 10 years (thank the Good Lord) and have watched the city deteriorate into a budget and tax nightmare. That’s what happens when you elect big wasteful spending Liberals, and your role model is someone like Larry Sabato, the indoctrination professor.

    • Sandy Says:

      BTW Doc- If most charlottesville residents do support Perriello by such a wide margin, then why would he need to call the DNC to send outside reinforcements such as Organizing for America? Shouldn’t he be listening to his constitutents that live in the area rather than trucked in supporters?

      Also remember, Obama was elected as many believed he would govern from the middle. He promised transparency and accountability in his administration. It has been anything but. What American president has ever appointed 44 Czars, not elected but selected, and with no oversight or accountability to anyone but the president. What Congress has ever written over 1,000 page bills, and voted for them without ever reading them, or knowing what is in them? The list could go on and on. Obama’s approval ratings are now at 47%, and sinking rapidly. Congressional approval ratings are also tanking. Perriello won the 5th district by only 700 and something votes, which is not a landslide. He most likely got many votes because of being on the ballot along with Obama. When he runs again in 2010, he won’t have Obama’s coattails, so to speak, to carry him. Perriello is not a Democrat, he is a Liberal. Only 20% of those polled identify themselves as Liberal, while 40% now identify themselves as Conservatives. Those that are far left Liberal such as Perriello, Pelosi and Reid will not have any easy time in 2010. The Commonwealth will lead the way when we elect common sense, responsible, experienced people like McDonnell, Bolling, and Cuccinelli. I’m certain that Periello will carry Cville and probably Danville (another Liberal bastion), but he won’t carry the rest of the district. Watch for some real leaders to emerge in the coming weeks to challenge him.

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