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Thomas Stuart Price Perriello ( 1974 - )  Category ( Politicians ) [suggest a correction]
 

Tom PerrielloThomas Stuart Price "Tom" Periello is an American politician who was elected as U.S. Congressman from the fifth district of the State of Virginia. He is also an attorney and a member of the Democrat party. His district serves the majority of southside Virginia and as far north as Charlottesville. During the 2008 election he unseated a popular, six-term Republican Congressman named Virgil Goode.

Perriello was born and raised in the Charlottesville, Virginia area, in a small town called Ivy. He attended Albemarle County public schools from kindergarten through early high school, then transferred to a private school, from which he graduated.

As a teenager he attained the rank of Eagle Scout in the American Boy Scouts and served as a legislative page in the Virginia House of Delegates. Following high school, he enrolled at Yale University, earning the B.A. and J.D. degrees. Upon his graduation from law school, Perriello worked for the Special Court for Sierra Leone, which serves as an advocate for the many child soldiers, amputees, and pro-democracy groups. Indeed, much of Perriello's public service has been spent working in West African and Middle Eastern countries, helping new and struggling nations with establishing and maintaining peace. He was one of the founders of Res Publica, a group that works globally for justice.

When he decided to run for Congress, Perriello campaigned on conviction politics. His victory over Goode surprised even himself, as only three months before he was trailing his competitor by thirty-two percent in the polls. Some political pundits have speculated that Perriello was swept to office on the coat-tails of Mark Warner, a democrat and popular former Virginia governor, as well as the coattails of Senator Barack Obama's successful "Hope and Change" campaign theme. Perriello prevailed largely on the strength of a more than 25,000 vote margin in Charlottesville and surrounding Albemarle County.

Since his election Perriello has voted exclusively partisan. He has drawn criticism from the Southside portion of his district, which is largely conservative and in opposition to President Obama’s health care reform. Perriello is single. He has a brother who is married and a parent to four young children. Perriello and his brother made national news in 2010, when an Internet blog written by a member of the Lynchburg, Virginia Tea Party inspired unknown individuals to cut a gas line on Perriello's brother's property, risking the entire family. The blogger listed the brother's address incorrectly as Congressman Perriello's address. The FBI currently is investigating.

Perriello serves on the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and on the Committee on Veterans' Affairs. In the latter position, Perriello has done much to help veterans with housing and with increasing health benefits for veterans. In April 2010, he announced an $18.9 million grant for broadband infrastructure development for Buggs Island Telephone (BIT) Cooperative, which will bring high-speed affordable broadband services to eight counties in the 5th district: Mecklenburg, Charlotte, Halifax, Lunenburg, Prince Edward, Buckingham, Cumberland, and Brunswick. The project intends to offer wireless broadband at speeds of up to 10 Mbps to as many as 100,000 households, 14,800 businesses, and 800 community anchor institutions.

Despite his record of voting partisan, Perriello has extended his hand across the aisle to introduce various bipartisan bills. He is an original cosponsor of a bipartisan bill to establish a Rural Energy Savings Program to create jobs, save Virginia families and businesses money on their electric bills, and conserve energy. The bill, H.R. 4785, is estimated to create 20,000 to 40,000 jobs a year. Additionally, he is backing a bipartisan bill to make Members of Congress show a personal commitment to cutting federal spending. He is a cosponsor of H.R. 4720, the Taking Responsibility for Congressional Pay Act, which will cut pay for all Senators and Representatives by five percent starting January 1, 2011.

In February 2010, The U.S. House of Representatives voted 406-19 to pass H.R. 4626, the Health Insurance Industry Fair Competition Act, introduced by Congressman Tom Perriello and Congresswoman Betsy Markey. The two-page bill repeals the special antitrust exemption that health insurance companies have enjoyed since 1945, and will restore competition to the health insurance market to promote affordability, improved quality, and greater consumer choice.

 


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