24 Hours of Tom


    Beginning at midnight tonight, Tom Perriello will campaign across VA-05 for 24 consecutive hours.

    A campaign stunt? Sure. But it is more than that. Tom will be demonstrating, in stark contrast to his challenger, Robert Hurt, that he is willing to meet with every voter and fight for every vote in this critical election – the working men and women that make up this district — people that support him, and many people that probably don’t – many of them worried about the future and looking for real leadership in Washington.

    24 Hours of Tom will stretch from meeting with students at Ferrum College in the Southwest part of the Commonwealth, with truckers in Rocky Mount (home of Virgil Goode), farmers in Chatham (Hurt’s hometown) and hospital workers and police officers in Martinsville and steelworkers in Danville (two areas that have been devastated by the outsourcing policies support by Hurt.

    I’ve been invited to go along and blog the trip.

    (a lot more on the flip)

    I hope to post more than a few diaries tomorrow about what I am seeing as Tom moves across the district (the good Lord and my ancient laptop willing).

    I support Tom for Congress, but I’m no campaign spokesman – I’m more interested in hearing what the voters have to say, and trying to get a read on what is happening in this district on the ground, and giving an honest assessment.

    Other folks will be tweeting along the trip (see #24HoursofTom) and there will be a website set up soon to follow the trip (not sure of that url yet). In any event, I’ve attached the itinerary below, and if you care about this race, if you want to see how a Progressive Democrat in Virginia fights for every vote and takes the election right to his opponent, if you want to get re-energized about the prospects for Democrats in 10 days, it will be worth your time to take a look or two at the progress of this trip.

    Here is what 24 Hours of Tom is about, from my perspective.

    The Tea Party madness may have dominated the news coverage this past year, but at the end of the day elections are about choices (that is why we are seeing Democrats catching up in races across the nation). The choice in Virginia’s Fifth District between Tom and Hurt could not be clearer.

    On the one hand, in his first two years in Congress, Tom has been recognized as one of the hardest-working, smartest and most effective new members. What a breath of fresh air to see our representative in Congress respected across the entire country, even by those who disagree with him, rather than ridiculed. That speaks volumes right there.

    Tom has been a thoughtful Progressive on critical issues like health care because, after innumerable meetings with people across the district, including business people, health care workers and many citizens, he concluded that the reform benefited the people in this district. And the fact is, it does, with protections for pre-existing conditions, letting kids stay on health care and bringing health care to thousands of currently uncovered people.

    Now, this legislation generated a lot of controversy, but Tom was willing to back up his vote with 22 town halls with citizens.

    And despite the misrepresentation by Hurt of those meeting, anyone who went to one of those meeting (apparently, Hurt did not bother) Tom listened carefully to what people had to say. He did not back down from criticism, but engaged the citizens of his district, those who agree and those who didn’t, in extensive, and often heated debate over the future of our country. This is what representative democracy is all about.

    At the same time, Tom’s voting record also reflects the wide range of political leanings in the Fifth District. The Second Amendment is important to this district, and that is reflected in the NRA’s endorsement of Tom. His unwavering and strong support of veterans earned him an endorsement from the VFW, and an A+ rating from the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) – the highest rating in the Virginia delegation, one earned by only 20 members of Congress out of 535.

    And then there is Hurt. You know, if the last two debates between Tom and Hurt demonstrated anything to me, they demonstrated that Hurt has no plan, no ideas for what to do in Congress, for anything that would help this District. On issue after issue, asked about what he would support or what the role of the Federal government is, in addressing so many problems, Hurt acknowledges the needs, but when it came to action … well, consider….

    Transportation? High speed rail? Hurt says it’s a good idea, but the government can’t help us there.

    Educating our children? The Federal government has no role in that.

    Extending unemployment benefits? Tough luck, buddy.

    Spending cuts to balance the budget? Come on, you know I’m only paying lip service to this issue because people like to talk about it and really have no intention of cutting spending.

    Disclosure of special interest money in politics? Are you kidding? The people have a right to know? Please. This is Hurt’s bread and butter.

    In fact, from what I can tell, throughout this campaign Hurt has put forth two specific proposal for what he will do if he gets to Congress:

    Health care – Hurt promises to repeal health care reform, including repealing protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and repealing provisions allowing kids to remain insured until the are 26 and are able to get themselves established on their own in this tough economy. Oh, and yeah, he couldn’t even be bothered to read the darn thing (this just completely blows me away).

    Outsourcing – Hurt favors tax loopholes that benefit companies that send jobs overseas, policies that have cost us more than 24,000 jobs in the Fifth District. These policies do not benefit workingmen and women, but are vitally important to the multi-national corporations that fund Hurt backer the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. For the workingmen and women of the Fifth District, Hurt has only excuses and inaction. For the Chamber of Commerce’s corporate fat cats, well, he’s there for them.

    Anyway, here is the itinerary. (I’m including all the locations in case anyone wants to come out to any of them). In any event, I hope to have a post up by 6:00 a.m. Monday covering the first part of the trip, and two or three times more during the day as we more forward.


    Congressman Tom Perriello kicks off the last week before the election with a non-stop campaign blitz.  “24 Hours of Tom” is 20 stops over 24 hours.  You work hard.  You deserve a Congressman who works hard too.

    12:00 am FERRUM

    Tom will host a midnight study session with Ferrum college students.

    Location: Welcome Center

    Ferrum College

    215 Ferrum Mountain Road


    1:00 am ROCKY MOUNT

    Tom will stop by Dudley’s Truck Stop Restaurant to say hello to late night workers and truckers.

    Location: Dudley’s Truck Stop Restaurant

    18151 Virgil H Goode Highway

    Rocky Mount


    Tom will bring coffee to hospital workers on overnight shift.

    Location: Martinsville Memorial Hospital

    320 Hospital Drive


    2:55 am  MARTINSVILLE

    Tom will visit the Henry County Sheriff’s Office.

    Location: Henry County Sherriff’s Office

    3250 Kings Mountain Rd


    4:15 am CHATHAM

    Tom will pitch in to help a dairy farmer at Mountain View Farms.

    Location: Mountain View Farms

    3580 Oxford Road


    6:00 am DANVILLE

    Tom will visit early morning workers and diners.

    Location: Biscuitville

    2101 Riverside Drive


    6:20 am DANVILLE

    Tom will visit early morning workers and diners, including some local steelworkers from the Goodyear plant.

    Location:  Hardee’s

    3135 Riverside Rd


    6:50 am DANVILLE

    Tom will visit early morning workers and diners.

    Location: Hardee’s

    1192 Piney Forest Road


    7:05 am DANVILLE

    Tom will visit early morning workers and diners.

    Location: Biscuitville

    1041 Piney Forest Road


    8:30 am SOUTH BOSTON

    Tom will visit the community action agency in South Boston.

    Location: Tri-County Community Action Agency

    1176 Huell Matthews Hwy

    South Boston

    9:00 am SOUTH BOSTON

    Tom will get a haircut, sprucing him up for the last week!

    Location: Elite Barber Shop

    406 Factory Street

    South Boston

    10:30 am GRETNA

    Tom visits a local small business.

    Location: Northern Lites

    320 S. Main Street


    11:15 am ALTAVISTA

    Tom will visit the YMCA.

    Location: Altavista Area YMCA

    718 7th Street


    12:30 pm APPOMATTOX

    Tom will work a lunch shift.

    Location: Baine’s Books & Coffee

    205 Main Street


    1:45 pm FARMVILLE

    Tom will meet with the Longwood Student Veterans group

    Location: Longwood University

    Ruffner Hall, Room 103

    201 High Street


    3:15 pm SCOTTSVILLE

    Tom will stop in and say hi to small business owners.

    Location: Downtown Scottsville

    4:15 pm IVY

    Tom will load produce at the warehouse of the non-profit Local Food Hub.

    Location: Local Food Hub

    566 Dettor Road

    Ivy Business Park, off Morgantowne Road



    Tom visits with University of Virginia students at a pre-debate reception.

    Location: Nau Hall

    Intersection of Jefferson Park Avenue and Brandon Avenue (behind Cabell Hall)

    University of Virginia



    Tom debates Jeff Clark at UVA.

    Location: Nau Hall

    Intersection of Jefferson Park Avenue and Brandon Avenue (behind Cabell Hall)

    University of Virginia



    Tom and UVA students celebrate “24 Hours of Tom.”

    Location:   TBA (schedule will be updated and resent)


    Tom and football fans watch Monday Night Football (Giants v. Cowboys – game starts at 8:30)

    Location: Wild Wings Café

    Historic Amtrak Station

    820 West Main Street



    Tom heads home to rest his weary but newly shorn head.

    Location: passenger’s seat of car


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