Tea Party activist Mike Troxel of Lynchburg decided it would be cute to post what he thought was Democratic Rep. Tom Perriello‘s home address on his blog after the Congressman had the gall to vote for the health care reform bill that passed the House of Representatives Sunday night.
But Troxel got it wrong. The address was that of Perriello’s brother, not the Congressman and his actions resulted in vandalism of Bo Perriello’s home in Ivy, including a cut gas line from a propane tank along with an anonymous, threatening note.
Tea Party officials quickly tried to distance themselves from Troxel, the Lynchburg Chapter’s Media Chairman, claiming his actions were his own and not sanctioned by the party but the incident is just the latest example of excess by the self-proclaimed, but phony, “grassroots” operation that grew out of a sham organization backed by a major petroleum and energy company.
Troxel, a 2005 graduate of Liberty University, the right-wing religious school founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell, admitted to Politco he posted the address and said he would not remove it, even though it was wrong.
Just in case any of his friends and neighbors want to drop by and say hi and express their thanks regarding his vote for health care, I personally believe it’s so important for representatives to remain fully grounded and to remember exactly what it is their constituents are saying and how they are telling them to vote. Nothing quite does that like a good face-to-face chat. It has a much more personal touch to it.
The FBI is investigating the matter along with a growing number of threats and actions against Democratic Congressmen who voted for the bill. After bragging about his action to Politico, Troxel has gone underground and no longer responds to phone calls or requests for comment. His blog went offline Wednesday, returning a notice saying it has “exceeded” its bandwidth.
Sadly, Troxel’s actions are not atypical of Tea Party shenanigans. Participants in the Tea Party-organized protest over the weekend in Washington hurled racial epithets at African-American members of Congress and shouted homophobic insults at gay Congressman Barney Frank. Others have waved threatening and derogatory signs at Tea Party gatherings.
Posters who identify themselves with labels like “proud members of the Tea Party” or “American Tea Party Patriots” have flooded Internet forums and bulletin boards with threats towards members of Congress who voted for the bill.
The Tea Party proudly proclaims itself a product of what it calls growing voter “anger” in America and there is always a fine line between anger and hate. The movement, which grew out of a sham grassroots organization called Citizens for a Sound Economy, funded by right-wing Kansas petroleum and energy magnates David and Charles Koch, has crossed that line more than once.
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