AN UNREASONABLE REQUEST…. Rep. Tom Perriello (D-Va.) has received plenty of, let’s call it, “feedback” from his far-right constituents in his conservative-leaning district. Despite being a top target next year, Perriello has refused to give up on what he believes is right, and voted with his party on health care and cap and trade.
His sensible voting record has generated plenty of ire for Perriello, but a right-wing legal group believes the freshman congressman hasn’t been accommodating enough to those who disagree with him.
The Rutherford Institute, which was founded by conservative constitutional lawyer John W. Whitehead, penned a letter to the freshman Perriello citing the concerns of a local tea party group and the University of Virginia College Republicans that the location of his Charlottesville office interferes with their right to protest there.
“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,” wrote Whitehead.
“The First Amendment clearly guarantees individuals the right to speak out publicly and address their government representatives on the important issues of the day,” Whitehead added.
Here’s the situation: Perriello has a district office, which is near several private businesses. The offices share a parking lot, which Teabaggers and other right-wing activists want to use to scream at their congressman. But since the private businesses around Perriello’s office actually want to use their parking lot for employees, customers, and clients, would-be protestors aren’t able to host events there.
And so, the Rutherford Institute is asking Perriello to move his district office in order to make it easier for people to scream at him.
Somehow, I doubt the congressman will go along with the request.
By the way, if the Rutherford Institute sounds familiar, it’s best known as the group that represented Paula Jones in her suit against President Clinton.