November 14th, 2009
11:28 AM ET
5 years ago

Tea Party organizer vows to burn Pelosi and Perriello in effigy

Pelosi will be burned in effigy at a Tea Party rally in Virginia next week, the event's organizer told CNN.
Pelosi will be burned in effigy at a Tea Party rally in Virginia next week, the event's organizer told CNN.

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."


Filed under: Nancy Pelosi • Virginia
soundoff (227 Responses)
  1. JD

    That is disgusting...I disagree with Pelosi on MANY points, but burning an effigy of someone is crossing way too many lines.

    I think humanity is regressing back into the Dark Ages.

    November 14, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  2. LMC

    fI believe the attention should be on the people who don't seem to care enough about their fellow countrymen to want them to have equitable health care! Why do other countries care more about their citizens than our country? Are we a lesser country than Germany, Japan, Canada, the UK? Even Mexico will start offering universal health care next year. Why do we continue to all insurance and drug companies to run our health care system? How many Congressman who are against the health care plan receive contributions from insurance companies and/or drug companies? I know that my Republican representative in Congress votes in lock step with his party and he receives huge contributions from insurance companies! If our insurance companies were non-profit, it would help a lot! Do people really think we are a great company when so many people have no health care coverage? Look at the countries with better systems and you will find that no one goes bankrupt due to medical bills, while in our country two thirds of personal bankruptcies are due to huge medical bills! It's time for a real change in our health care system!!

    November 14, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  3. Barefoot Freddie

    Wow-Just Like a Third World Country– Right Here In My Own Home State-Can These People Get Any Crazier???

    November 14, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  4. Annie, Atlanta

    Furthermore, they're being backed by duly elected politicians who receive government run health care (the kind said politicians are rallying against) while receiving government (oh NO! – government is bad) salaries. Like I said, I'm confused.

    November 14, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  5. Patrick Lewis

    Hey what's the problem? At least this time they're not burning black folk.

    November 14, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  6. fdm

    And Carrie Prejean/Sarah Palin/Michelle Bachman think conservative women are treated poorly?

    November 14, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  7. Matt

    I'm sure Mr. Coleman doesn't understand why burning a cross on somebody's lawn might be considered a threat either. And he's got the most idiotic definition of "behind closed doors" I've ever seen – apparently, it's despicable if they have meetings indoors, because that's the only way "closed doors" have the slightest relation to this. Did he miss his fellow teabaggers showing up armed at town halls across the country? Did he miss the yoyos on 9/12 claiming that they "came unarmed this time"?

    Just because your candidate didn't win doesn't mean you "have no representation" (another quote from this group, not included here).

    November 14, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  8. Bob E

    Burning someone in effigy is a symbolic violent act. It is a signal that real violence is going to be condoned by the people doing the symbolism. These people might as well just carry around banners declaring," If you get a chance to kill Pelosi, GO FOR IT!" The folks at FOX are daily doing the same thing with their incendiary language and theatrics. If Obama ever is harmed, I know who I am going to blame and maybe we'll just burn some of them in effigy.

    November 14, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  9. Thomas

    And they wonder why we don't take the teabagers seriously.

    What a bunch of whining children. We live with a representative government. Our duly elected representatives have the power, via the constitution, to make these decisions on our behalf.

    Just because it is not going your way does not mean you get to act like a bunch of spoiled children. In a democracy, not ever decision will go your way.

    Man up and deal with it.

    November 14, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  10. Donnatella

    Something shocking and despicable are the behavior of these so-called teabagers, I have never seen such a bunch of hypocrites, old people already living off the government protesting against it, until the day they all give up their SSI checks and medicade, they will be a joke in the eyes most people. They should of started teabagging in the Bush years and maybe they would be taken seriously, but now they are comedic entertainment for most of us.

    November 14, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  11. Jeff , Douglass, KS

    Now, just wait a minute! Do we live in some psycho banana republic? I have some pretty strong opinions on several issues myself, but let's return to civil discourse, Please!
    By demonizing each other, we are losing our humanity, and that is what this great experiment was supposed to be about.
    Fer crissakes, if people keep this up, it won't be safe on the streets.

    November 14, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  12. SensibleJoe

    The American right wing's uptick in violent language and imagery is indeed shocking and despicable. It they think they have all the answers, let's hear your constructive ideas and policies for the common good of all Americans, rather than subject us to demagoguery and gimmickry that stirs up plenty of hate and bile, but offers no solutions to our national problems.

    November 14, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  13. Jim

    Why don't we burn the tea baggers in effigy of themselves? Its amazing how a bunch of people on Medicare are fighting so hard against what they call government run health care. And by the way tea babies, the proposed laws are only to reform health insurance so America stops getting ripped off.

    November 14, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  14. ann lord

    What a party of hate, pure evil people. We need to name a tea after them.....definately a four letter word, hate tea.

    November 14, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  15. bj,texas

    Why burn the effigy when they could burn the real witch?

    November 14, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  16. Kate

    These Tea Baggers act just like the 3rd world countries around the world, setting fire to the American Flag, setting fire to effigies of Bush, they look and act just like the Radicals of 3rd World Countries and it is a poor picture to set before the rest of the World........Radical racists that what you are and what you are acting like...... you are the one's putting this country is danger, not the Obama administration.......you are a sorry bunch of human beings.......

    November 14, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  17. Joe M

    This kind of hate is why the GOP will never regain any respect or new party members. When a political party falls so low that they can only gain press from their poor judgement surely indicates that they have nothing to offer the American people. Our large family had been Republican for decades and more than 75% of us have switched to a party that represents the people, the Democratic Party. Lincoln would roll over in his grave if he knew his party was used by such hate mongers.

    November 14, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  18. Cosmo

    Are Mr. Coleman and the rest of his sad group going to burn their Medicare cards (or if they are not yet 65, sign a waiver that they will not accept Medicare)? I doubt if they have made the connection betwen Medicare and the "socialism" strawman that the Fox Wingnuts preach.
    There will always be ignorant people, but the biggest problem in this country is education. An educated populace strenghens democracy, an ignorant one destroys it.

    November 14, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  19. Dan Holiday

    Too bad they can't use the real thing.

    November 14, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  20. Janis Alanis

    "More people are going to be killed by this health care legislation than this bonfire."
    Of all the asinine statements. I really cannot fathom how incredibly stupid and naive these people are and yet still they can drive cars to these rallies?
    To actually believe that reforming healthcare is going to kill people, well, that takes a special kind of idiot.
    I say–don't reform health care. Forget about it. Seriously. And some day, soon, every person will get a lesson in how the Insurance companies are working. They will deny them coverage and screw them out of treatment. Then, maybe then, the folks will get their heads out of their arses.

    November 14, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  21. Billy

    Why does CNN even cover these tea party right wing-nuts?

    November 14, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  22. Debbie, Las Vegas

    You are encouraging hatred and violence and will be held accountable.

    November 14, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    Wow. Well keep it up Repubs, and watch your numbers shrink even more in 2010. Disgusting.

    November 14, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  24. Neutralizer

    Majority of the American people doesn't know what's in that Healthcare Reform Pelosi pushed to pass in Congress, but here's the law written in that bill which CNN never bother to report.

    H.R. 3962 provides that an individual (or a husband and wife in the case of a joint return) who does not, at anytime during the taxable year, maintain acceptable health insurance coverage for himself or herself and each of his or her qualifying children is subject to an additional tax," the JCT letter stated.

    "Prosecution is authorized under the Code for a variety of offenses. Depending on the level of noncompliance, the following penalties could apply to an individual" under these circumstances if the government determines the taxpayer's unpaid tax liability results from willful behavior, the JCT explained. It gave two examples when these penalties could be applied under the U.S. tax Code:

    c "Section 7203 – misdemeanor willful failure to pay is punishable by a fine of up to $25,000 and/or imprisonment of up to one year.

    c Section 7201 – felony willful evasion is punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment of up to five years," the JCT letter said.

    The Congressional Budget Office says the lowest-cost nongroup family plan under the House bill would cost $15,000 in 2016 – a hefty sum for millions of middle income, mostly younger Americans and families whose budgets are stretched as it is.

    PAY ATTENTION AMERICA!

    November 14, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  25. SteveMG

    It'll be just like Tehran, 1979.

    November 14, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
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