WASHINGTON (CNN) – The organizer of a "Tea Party" protest in Virginia says he intends to move forward with plans to burn House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Tom Perriello in effigy next weekend at a rally to protest Democratic health care legislation.
The event is scheduled for next Saturday in Danville, which borders North Carolina and sits at the southern end of Perriello's congressional district. Perriello, a Democrat, narrowly won his House seat in 2008 and is considered a top target of Congressional Republicans in next year's midterm elections.
When news of the rally surfaced Friday, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen condemned the plans as "shocking and despicable."
But Nigel Coleman, the organizer of the Tea Party, told CNN he doesn't see what all the fuss is about. The attention, he said, should be on the Democratic plans to overhaul the health care system.
"We're not going to actually set Perriello on fire or Mrs. Pelosi on fire," Coleman said. "But we have been trying to months to get our point across just how vehemently we are opposed to this health care legislation. For the House vote to come so close and to know that Mr. Perriello is on the other side, it's a kick in the stomach that a lot of people couldn't take."
Coleman said none of Perriello's potential Republican challengers have been invited to the event, which he expects will draw about 100 people.
"Something shocking and despicable is how they've handled this health care legislation," Coleman said, responding to Van Hollen's statement. "Going behind closed doors, writing a bill that is going to fundamentally change what America is. More people are going to be killed by this health care legislation than this bonfire."
>> which he expects will draw about 100 people.
That sounds about right.
Be sure to wear your white hoods and burn a few crosses while you're at it, haters.
Nothing like the a bunch of dumb simple-minded hater folk getting together in a protest.
What a liar. I am sure he has fine dentition as convicts get free dental and health care while in prison. Being a working, tax paying grad student, I have no access to a system that I subsidize. I mean seriously, I am poor as dirt and yet pay hundreds of dollars into a system that covers everyone from Dick Cheney to Charles Manson. My wisdom tooth is killing me and I hate these Tea Party leaches.
This has got to stop. These people are going too far.
Fringe Republicans will not be happy until these outrageous dramatic displays spur actual violence from an unstable follower!
What has become of simple common decency? It's embarrasing...
Yeah, because nothing fixes a problem like a symbolic act of violence.
Seriously, this is way beyond acceptable....
What a mature and constructive way to disagree. Typical right wing conservative response.
Leaving aside all the dark ages' links, this is just another example of how stupidity became fashionable among rebels without a clue. Oh, yes, and it's dangerous.
I think CNN just guaranteed that there will be more than one hundred people...
Will they use the fire to make some hot tea?
The venomous hatred in this country is not only shocking and despicable but goes against the principle on which our country was founded. Health care reform will prevent insurance companies from dropping sick patients, provide reasonable cost policies for most US citizens and prohibit insurace companies from discriminating against those with preexisting conditions. Wake up people, this is the 21st century, not the 17th century.
The 1st amendment projects your right to free speech, but burning effigies sounds more like Gaza than Virginia. Perhaps you should reflect on your stance a bit. Also, be sure any Tea Party members accidentally burned in the process do not partake in Government sponsored health plans while being treated in the ER
Are you serious? These people call themselves proud Americans? I think not. If these are what they call Conservative values, I am proud to call myself a Democrat.
These fools are a waste of air and flesh.
Tea baggers are really sick people
Hip Hip hooray for Teabaggers. Keep it up you guys because you look like and behave like freaks.
America is what the people say it is. People's lives are going to be SAVED because of this health bill. Burning effigies, are we in the middle east?
Burning an effigy in the 21st century in the US? Are we going backwards?
Things like this bring back memories of the same thing taking place in Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, and several other countries when the governments there supported and encouraged the burning of the US flag, and effigies of Presidents. Now it's the radical right doing the same thing right here in our own country. It is shameful, and embarassing to me that otherwise decent people would stoop to the things that the tea party people are doing now. It reminds me more and more that the extreme elements are becoming more like the people who burned our flags, and effigies of our presidents in the past.
Anyone, and everyone who supports this kind of thing should be ashamed to call themselves Americans. They have the right to do it, but it doesn't make them right. It really just shows how ignorant they are.
Sounds typical of the hatred movement. Next it will be sheets hoods and a burning cross. People better get behind the president while there is still some hope for this country. The past administration left us in a downward spiral towards a great depression, and two unfinished wars. Not to mention getting the entire world to hate us!
Wow...I just can't wait for all the feigned indignation when this happens! ;)
These tea baggers have nothing in common with our founding fathers. They are a minority of ignorant hot-heads and their actions are despicable to the majority of decent Americans.
I suppose one might combat this nonsense by pointing out to the teabaggers that one usually sees this kind of thing (burning effigies) in someplace like Iran. I'm sure it would shame them to be compared to people of, shall we say, a darker hue.
This is a sad day for this nation. If we do not agree on issues, we can be civil and respectful. I am saddened by the blatant disrepect this tea party plans to show our elected officials. I teach middle school children and it get harder every year to teach them basic values because of this type of behavior. We are following this health care debate. it is embarrassing what the Republican Party does in the name of Christian values. It is sad.
These teabaggers are sick people? Heaven help them!
Wing-nuts should be ignored not glamorized.
Plenty of places to make big $ fighting gov't health care, so this is more like a paid advertisement than news.