The vandalism against Dem offices might have just ratcheted up. As a reminder, Reps. Louise Slaughter and Gabrielle Giffords had office windows smashed, as have the Sedgwick County Democratic Party headquarters in Wichita, and the Hamilton County Democratic Party in Cincinnati.
But thus far, what happened with Virginia Rep. Tom Perriello has been the most disturbing. To recap, a blog run by Lynchburg tea party organizer Mike Troxel published the home address of Perriello's brother (thinking, incorrectly, that it was the congressman's address) encouraging teabaggers to "drop by and say hi and express their thanks regarding his vote for health care." In case you missed it, that's teabagger "humor," since Periello voted for reform.
Now it's possible that someone took Troxel up on that suggestion.
Federal and local authorities are investigating a severed gas line at the home of U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello’s brother, discovered the day after Tea Party activists posted the address online so opponents could "drop by" and "express their thanks" for Perriello’s vote in favor of health care reform.
The gas line to the home’s propane tank was slashed, according to sources who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The incident is being viewed as an attempted threat to a member of congress, sources said....
Danville Tea Party leader Nigel Coleman was one of the activists who posted the home’s address online Monday.
Coleman said he is "shocked" and "almost speechless" at the possibility that someone would sever the propane line to Perriello’s brother’s house.
"I obviously condemn these actions," he said. "I would hope that people aren’t thinking about doing anything crazy. We just wanted people to get close to the congressman and have their voices heard. Violence is not going to answer anything. I’m a little shocked and amazed."
Coleman added that he is not certain that the incident is related to the posting of the home’s address. "Of course, we don’t know this is a related event," he said.
Let's just consider this an important lesson in inciting people, Mr. Coleman. When you encourage people to "get close to the congressman" and give them the address to do so, and at the same time tell those people that their congressman has betrayed them, there might just be some violent people out there who take your violent rhetoric at face value.
There's ongoing discussion in Moo Means Hello's diary.
Update: The "shocked" and "speechless" Nigel Coleman is the same one who said:
When Coleman learned the address was actually Perriello’s brother’s — Politico reported he and his wife have four young children — Coleman commented on another blog that the mistake was "collateral damage."
"Do you mean I posted his brother’s address on my Facebook?" Coleman wrote. "Oh well, collateral damage."
Yeah, nothing violent in that.