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Updated: FBI investigating cut gas line at Perriello's brother's home

Anita Kumar

Federal and local authorities are investigating the severing of a gas line at the home of U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello's brother in Charlottesville after his address was posted online by a tea party activist upset about Perriello's vote in favor of the federal health care bill. A threatening letter was also sent to the home yesterday.

"While it is too early to say anything definitive regarding political motivations behind this act, it's never too early for political leaders to condemn threats of violence, particularly as threats to other members of Congress and their children escalate,'' Perriello (D-Va.) said in a statement. "And so I ask every member of House and Senate leadership to state unequivocally tonight that it is never OK to harm or threaten elected officials and their families with anything more than political retribution. Here in America, we settle our political differences at the ballot box."

His office confirmed that a line to a propane tank on a gas grill was cut at Bo Perriello's Charlottesville house Tuesday during the day when no one was home. When Bo Perriello returned home, he smelled gas in the house and saw the severed line.

An activist angry over Perriello's vote Sunday published what he thought was the congressman's home address on a blog if any readers wanted to "drop by" and provide a "personal touch" to their views. But the address was his brother's home, where four children under the age of 8 live.

The Albemarle County Fire Marshal's Office is assisting the FBI, which is investigating because it involves a member of Congress. A call to Bo Perriello's house was not immediately returned.

Perriello defeated Republican Rep. Virgil H. Goode Jr. in one of the closest House races in the nation in 2008.

Seven Republican candidates are running in a primary June 8 to replace Perriello. None of them spoke about the actions today, but one -- Laurence Verga -- denounced the release of the address Monday.

Updated: On Wednesday, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, both Republicans, condemned the actions.

"It's not the way we do business in America,'' McDonnell said at a news conference on health care. "We vote at the ballot box. We elect people to vote for us. We respect one another's differences. I certainly condemn anyone using acts of vandlism or violence to express opinions."

After the same news conference, Cuccinelli called the severing of the gas line "absolutely totally unacceptable."

He also said posting a home address on a website and encouraging people to visit is "way over the line."

"I don't think it's close,'' he said. "It's an appalling approach. It's not civil discourse, it's an invitation to intimidation and it's totally unacceptable."

By Anita Kumar  |  March 24, 2010; 4:11 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Virginia Congressional Races , Anita Kumar , Robert F. McDonnell , Tom Perriello  
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Next: McDonnell and Cuccinelli vs. Democrats on health care, continued

Comments

I can't wait to hear all the Repuke leaders condemning this. Sort of like Hitler apologizing for Germans killing Jews, except that Hitler didn't apologize every time someone did what he ordered.

Posted by: daweeni | March 24, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

"It's not the way we do business in America,'' McDonnell said at a news conference on health care. "We vote at the ballot box. We elect people to vote for us. We respect one another's differences. I certainly condemn anyone using acts of vandlism or violence to express opinions."

After the same news conference, Cuccinelli called the severing of the gas line "absolutely totally unacceptable."

He also said posting a home address on a website and encouraging people to visit is "way over the line."

"I don't think it's close,'' he said. "It's an appalling approach. It's not civil discourse, it's an invitation to intimidation and it's totally unacceptable."

_____________________-

Yeah this is totally unacceptable - we only SHOOT PEOPLE WE DISAGREE WITH IN THIS COUNTRY - is what the NRA says. BUY BULLETS

Posted by: racerdoc | March 24, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

teabaggers are out of control!

Posted by: johng1 | March 24, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

I like ice cream.

Posted by: nudar | March 24, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

And this isn't terrorism because.....?

Posted by: BurtReynolds1 | March 24, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Remember folks, when you incite mobs of people, generally you are responsible for their actions regardless of whether you 'denounce' them later.
.
Sarah Palin's wonderfully inflammatory use of targeting scopes to indicate which Congressmen should be 'targeted' while telling people "Don't retreat! Instead RELOAD!" falls head first into language that anyone wanting to be President should know better than to use. While she'll of course claim she didn't actually 'mean' put them in physical crosshairs, when you're a leader, you need to make damned sure you don't give the rabid mobs you've incited don't take it way to literally.

Posted by: rpixley220 | March 24, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Our political leaders, of all stripes, need to focus on the issues and stop the name calling. We all need to learn about the issues affecting our lives. The name calling escalates and we get farther and farther from the things that really matter.

Shouting "Baby Killer" and "HE LIES" and Cheney's "**CK YOU" on the Senate Floor are not conducive to the debate...nor is Biden's latest gaffe.

Posted by: morgangale | March 24, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

They are cowards. Thoroughbred cowards. What kind of ice cream do you like, Friend?

Posted by: 4Site | March 24, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Seven Republican candidates are running in a primary June 8 to replace Perriello. None of them spoke about the actions today, but one -- Laurence Verga -- denounced the release of the address Monday.

I'm an old Democrat from way back. Seems to me, tho only of these Republican Seven who had any decency was Mr. Verga, and that was in anticipation of something like this happening. He should be recognized as a basically good man, regardless of the politics. We should reward ourselves by electing that sort of person, Republican or Democrat.

And to the teabaggers, who do themselves a great disservice by condoning or excusing irresponsible behavior, how can we take you seriously when you spit on a Congressman, hurl racial epithets in public, and flaunt basic decency? The electorate "gets" that you are mad; turn your anger to fire for solutions, and seek a better world. Hatred is getting old; social regression is not an option.

And lest the great "Free Speach" be withered with shallow intellect afore-thought, and some fool tries to justify the unjustifiable, let's be frank: posting this kind of information within a toxic group usually begets violence. Like giving out addresses to black churches in the 1950's and 1960's by the KKK; what purpose did it serve but to incite and ignite violence? Free Speach? My posterior! It's the same as shouting "Fire!" in a crowded movie theatre, or the arcane "fighting words" statutes that were used to tame some of the Old West habit of settling differences with pistols: Both criminalize speach. We should recognize that posting the address, while not technically criminal (beyond online harrasment statutes), is just so ridiculous that all involved in the "posted online" conversation should be identified and ridiculed for subversive and Un-American behaviour.

And never, ever, allowed to hold public office.

Posted by: RogerRamjet2 | March 24, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

The teabaggers are getting bolder and bolder in their ruthless teabag-ed-ness.

Posted by: RosslynSack | March 24, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

twits practicing teabaggertry will no longer be tolerated.

Posted by: johng1 | March 24, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

As I read about this sort of thing I realize that this country is becoming prone to violence as a way to solve problems - though it seems more likely a Republican form of problem solving. Their cherished candidate for 2012, Sarah Palin, tells people to RELOAD instead of settling disputes through non-violent means. She uses targets on her public communications to entice and encourage violence. Is this a country fit for the inscriptions on the Statue of Liberty? Is she a person fit for public office?
As I notice that in this culture kindness is taken for weakness, and compassion is blood in the water to teapartiers, I realize that my country is no more. The teaparty 'protesters' committed acts that clearly were meant to frighten lawmakers - is this not terrorism? Why does it go unpunished....because it seems that we tolerate more and more of their boorish behavior as supposed free speech.
With gun carry laws being set back 50 years, I would not run for school board, let alone any state or federal office. I have often said that if there is political violence - more than likely the person involved will be a Republican.

Posted by: Dawa_Lhatso | March 24, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't Kumar have another democrat campaign she can drive off the Grand Canyon, er manage? Get a life Kumar..

Posted by: wewintheylose | March 24, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Under BushII, the government was used to serve the parochial interests of these tea baggers. It's obvious that they are not going to peacefully accept that no longer being the case. It just goes to show how much their political views are based on morally depraved self interest.

Posted by: vmax02rider | March 24, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Thank goodness McDonnell and Cuccinelli are law and order Republicans...these criminals will be caught and prosecuted in no time.

Posted by: Fallings0482 | March 24, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

So Cuccinelli said posting a home address on a website and encouraging people to visit is "way over the line."

"I don't think it's close,'' he said. "It's an appalling approach. It's not civil discourse, it's an invitation to intimidation and it's totally unacceptable."


Does that mean as attorney general he is going to press charges against the blogger who posted the address, or is he too busy sueing congress and trying to get schools to hate gays?

Posted by: MarilynManson | March 25, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

First of all, I and every Republican I know condemn the person or persons who may have cut this gas line. It was a cowardly, despicable act that should not be tolerated. Secondly, the two idiots who published the address are just that, idiots. They may or may not have done anything illegal. But it was stupid and stupid is always wrong even if it's not always illegal.

Next, it's the job of the Albemarle CA to prosecute anyone suspected of this crime. The FBI may or may not have standing, depending upon the outcome of an investigation. The AG office does not have a reason to prosecute unless and until the Albemarle authorities show a failure to discharge their duties.

And lastly, it's kind of hard to maintain a civil discourse with you guys from the left when anything and everything; this incident, unsubstantiated claims of racial epithets and spitting, up to and including the Texas airplane crasher and the Huntsville, Alabama university shooter, with little to no evidence, is blamed on "teabaggers".

Everybody settle down and let Albemarle County investigate this.

Posted by: altonfoley | March 25, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

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