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Cantor confronted by liberal protestors at jobs event

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House Majority Leader Eric Cantor had a bit of an uncomfortable moment this morning after a forum on job creation at VCU.

At the end of the rather tame event, (as recounted by Olympia Meloa of the Richmond Times-Dispatch) Cantor was shouted at by members of the liberal group MoveOn.org.

The confrontation was a small part of the lengthy forum.  Cantor was not heckled until the very end. You can see the forum in it’s entirety on the Majority Leader’s UStream Channel.

His full comments on job creation can be found after the jump.

The most vocal protestor was Sandee Delano, who described herself as the Regional Director of MoveOn.

Delano and another woman approached the table where Cantor was standing and shouted insults and asked him when he was going to “grow up.”  Cantor stood his ground and attempted to respond to the pair’s complaints, but when they didn’t like what he was saying, Delano remarked that Henrico Congressman was “so smug”.

Raw video from the confrontation, courtesy of WVIR-TV can be found below:

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ryan Nobles

May 18, 2011 at 9:05 pm

McDonnell touts Virginia in trip to East Asia

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Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell is a traveling salesman this week. He is on the road, touting the benefits of Virginia to business and industry in China, Japan and Korea.

The taxpayer-funded trip took McDonnell and members of his economic development to team to several cities in the Far East. It has already led to the creation of a new Virginia business development office in Shanghai and the Governor promises more encouraging deals will be closed before he leaves.

I spoke one on one with McDonnell via Skype from Beijing, China about the trip and why he thinks it will lead to positive gains for the Commonwealth’s future.

You can see the entire interview below:

Written by Ryan Nobles

May 13, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Posted in McDonnell Administration

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McAuliffe talking about the “party”, not DNC in critical comments

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It is the kind of declaration that could make for awkward company for a current statewide candidate and one who hopes to be a statewide candidate. Terry McAuliffe, a former and potentially future, candidate for governor of Virginia, was captured on camera giving his frank and brutal assessment of the national democratic party.

Take a look at his remarks at a fundraiser for Del. Scott Surovell.  The interesting stuff hits at about 6:40 of this video:

(h/t to Blue Virginia)

McAuliffe did not hold back on the state of the party, calling it a “disgrace” with “no message”.   He went on to say that the huge losses in the 2010 election were shameful.

The comments lead a few prominent democratic bloggers to draw a connection between McAuliffe’s statements on the democratic party to the national organization responsible for managing its operation, the DNC.  A DNC that was run by Chairman Tim Kaine during the time McAuliffe is critical of.

Kaine of course, is seeking the democratic nomination for U.S. Senate.

McAuliffe aide Levar Stoney told me that the blogosphere went too far.

“It doesn’t relate to Governor Kaine at all,” said Stoney. “Terry believes Kaine was aggressive in his role as Chairman, but he didn’t get any help.”

Help, Stoney said from the hundreds of democratic candidates across America who ran in 2010.  McAuliffe believes that many of them did not take the advice of Kaine to push and own the accomplishments of President Barack Obama. By going out on their own, McAuliffe contends the message became muddled.

“If we don’t have a message the Republicans will define it,” he can be heard saying on the video.

Stoney said that this stance is not anything McAuliffe is hiding from and that he has made the point numerous times since the election.  In fact he delivered almost identical remarks at the recent Loudon County Jefferson-Jackson. A dinner that was also attended by Tim Kaine.

Written by Ryan Nobles

May 11, 2011 at 6:17 pm

Gingrich building roots in Virginia

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Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is set to formally jump into the race for the Republican nomination for president of the United States. Gingrich is expected to make the announcement today via Twitter and Facebook.

This announcement is of course no surprise at all. Gingrich has spent the last several years, touting books, documentaries and speaking at conferences, all which appeared to be designed to build roots in critical swing states.

One state Gingrich has spent quite a bit of time is here in Virginia. And not just Northern Virginia and the D.C. suburbs where the high profile republican has spent the bulk of his professional life. Gingrich has made frequent appearances and media engagements in Central Virginia and other parts of the Old Dominion. Each time he comes to town, his quotable style always brings out a pretty healthy media contingent. Two recent trips stick out in my mind.

Just about one year ago, in May of 2010, Gingrich appeared with Governor Bob McDonnell at an event focused on hammering President Barack Obama‘s health care reform act. Gingrich pulled out a flow chart that showed how complicated the implementation of the plan could be.

During the event, I asked the soon- to-be candidate about one of his potential rivals for the GOP nomination Mitt Romney, who had instituted a similar health care plan during his time as the Governor of Massachusetts. At the time, Gingrich defended Romney:

That was only a year ago, when it was clear that the Speaker was heading full steam toward a potential run for the presidency. But the seeds of this future run and the importance of building connections in Virginia go back even further.

In March of 2009, before Governor McDonnell was elected and just a few months after President Obama’s win, Gingrich was already entertaining the idea of becoming Commander -in- chief.

This is what he said in a media gaggle, prior to a speaking engagement at Randolph-Macon College.

Now that he is officially in the race, expect to see quite a bit more of the prominent Republican leader.

Written by Ryan Nobles

May 11, 2011 at 9:38 am

Redistricting creates interesting field in VA-22

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By: Ryan Nobles – bio | email

Rarely is the off-year election for the Virginia General Assembly very interesting. For the most part, the bulk of seats in the House of Delegates and Virginia Senate are held by long-term incumbents who are very difficult to beat because the districts are drawn to benefit one party or another.

Aside from the fact that the races are seldom competitive,  there is generally not much interest anyway. Outside die-hard political junkies (which most readers of this blog must be) the average Virginian doesn’t seem to care very much about legislative races. It is very difficult to convince my News Director that a random legislative race merits a television news story. In fact I often wonder how many people even know who represents them in the G.A.

But 2011 could be different.  In part, because new legislative lines have created open seats that have forced sitting legislators to re-think their decision to run for re-election and have compelled young and emerging politicians to take a leap at a tough race that could turn into a long-term gig at the State Capitol.

Perfect case in point, the quickly crowded field in the new Virginia Senate District 22.  The sprawling district includes parts of  nine different municipalities, including all or parts of Buckingham, Goochland, Louisa, Fluvanna and Appomattox Counties and The City of Lynchburg.  Republican Ralph Smith represents the current 22nd Senate District, but was drawn out of this new district.

That opens the door to a whole host of potentially interesting candidates, several of which have formally jumped in and others that are mulling a run.  The seat is decidedly Republican, so at this point they are all members of the GOP. This once a decade opportunity has many of them willing to venture into what could be a difficult primary for the shot at grabbing a seat that they could theoretically hold as long as they want.

Here is a list of candidates:

Tom Garrett (Louisa County Commonwealth’s Attorney)- The most well-known of the bunch, a rising republican star, tight with Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (he describes himself as a ‘Cuccinelli Conservative” and Governor Bob McDonnell. Garrett has found a way to get a great deal of media coverage despite being the C.A. in a predominately rural county. He has benefited from a few high-profile cases and an aggressive approach to reigning in pedophiles trolling for children on the internet.

Bryan Rhode (Richmond Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney)- Rhode is an impressive figure with a quality resume. Marine, prosecutor, UVA Law Grad and active republican.  Rhode will have a big mountain to climb in terms of name recognition. He is a prosecutor in Richmond, but the vast majority of the district pays little attention to crime in the State Capital. He claims to have already raised $50,000 and picked up several endorsements.

Brian D. Bates (Supervisor, Buckingham County Board of Supervisors)- Bates has served on the Buckingham County Board since 2000.  Bates touts his success in helping to bring economic development to Buckingham. Dominion Virginia Power announced plans to build a plant in the county. The Longwood University Professor believes his location in the geographic center of the district will benefit him in his run.

Potential candidates:

Shaun Kenney (Vice Chairman, Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors)- Kenney, a former RPV staffer and current Fluvanna County Board member is active in the Conservative blogosphere. He isn’t officially in the race, but a facebook group has emerged hoping to “draft” him into the race.  His brother Jason, another active conservative blogger,  is among those hoping to “convince” Shaun to run.  

And that is just the names out there in public.  More could emerge as we get closer to election day. Each one has the potential to be a pretty powerful force in the race and if most of them stay, the race could get expensive and ugly.  For instance, if television advertising becomes even part of the discussion (which is difficult in legislative races) It will require purchasing time in three different TV markets.

It is the kind of race that would never occur in a non-redistricting year and just one example of many that have emerged in the wake of the district lines finally being resolved.

What other races do you think will be compelling? Let me know and we will profile those as well. Weigh in on my facebook page or in the comments below.

Written by Ryan Nobles

May 9, 2011 at 9:31 pm

PolitiFact Virginia: McAuliffe’s claim on debt “true”

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He was making a point about Donald Trump, but the figure Terry McAuliffe threw out about U.S. debt owed to China caught the eye of the truth seekers at PolitiFact Virginia. Here is this week’s PolitiFact Virginia report.

Any true rating is welcome news to a man hoping to run for governor once again.

You can see all the details behind the report at PolitiFactVirginia.com .

Written by Ryan Nobles

May 6, 2011 at 5:50 pm

Cuccinelli tweet draws controversy

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It doesn’t take much for Ken Cuccinelli to get people fired up. This time around in only took 93 characters. 47 less than the maximum limit on twitter. Virginia’s Attorney General drew a firestorm of interest after he fired off this tweet on the death of Osama bin Laden:
Not everyone understood the point Cuccinelli was making and that lead to many people drawing their own conclusions. In part because he misspelled “Virginians”.

It was enough for me to file this report for NBC12:

RICHMOND (WWBT)- It’s another example of how Virginia’s Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli attracts attention with very little effort.

A tweet about the death of Osama Bin Laden is causing controversy on the internet.

“how much would i give to be one of the 72 virginans osama is ‘hanging out’ with since sunday?” Cuccinelli wrote.

Except “Virginians” is spelled wrong, leading some people in the twitterverse to wonder if the Attorney General had something else in mind.

Immediately opponents of Cuccinelli started to draw “inappropriate” conclusions, while his supporters rushed to his defense.

Cuccinelli was referencing a Robin Williams joke. In the comedian’s story, Bin Laden arrives in Heaven to find 72 “Virginians” like Patrick Henry and George Washington, not 72 virgins like the terror leader was rumored to promise his al Qaeda suicide bombers…..

Read and see the full story on NBC12.com

Cuccinelli, for better or worse, always draws attention. Is this particular controversy a legitimate one? Give me your take in the comments section or on my facebook page.

Written by Ryan Nobles

May 4, 2011 at 10:52 pm

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