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Man arrested outside Cantor event convicted of trespassing

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By: Ryan Nobles – bio | email

It took almost a year to the day, but officials in Louisa County have finally settled the case of a man arrested after causing a disturbance before an Eric Cantor campaign event at a local coffee shop.

In case you forgot about Jon Taylor, here is my story from last year.

And below is the raw video from the event (Which is approaching 55,000 views on YouTube)

Today,  Judge Timothy K. Sanner convicted Taylor of trespassing and was sentenced to a pretty light $100 fine.

Taylor was convicted in a lower court but he appealed his case to this Circuit Level where the conviction was upheld.

The case brought a degree of interest to Cantor’s 2010 re-election bid which was exceptionally uneventful.  At the time Cantor was accused of holding events that were designed only to encourage his supporters.  Democrats, like Taylor charged that Cantor was working to keep them away from him, so they couldn’t challenge his positions.

Cantor denied that charge in an interview with me the day before the election:

The full release on the Louisa County Circuit Court decision can be found after the jump:

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ryan Nobles

October 6, 2011 at 7:07 pm

More evidence that Virginia is a swing state

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It is a good day for Republicans in Virginia. In fact it has been a good two years. But while the GOP is still reveling in a series of victories that have delivered all three statewide elected seats and now eight of the Commonwealth’s 11 Congressional districts, don’t expect this to usher in dominant Republican rule.

It may actually point to evidence that the Virginia voter is fickle and willing to change its mind in a very short turn of events. Remember the Old Dominion’s two senate seats still belong to Democrats and Virginia went Blue for Barack Obama in 2008.

2012 is still two years away and much can change. I broke down the changing map last night during NBC12’s Decision Virginia coverage. Our political analyst Dr. Dan Palazzolo helped to put things into perspective and predict what it could mean for the future.

Written by Ryan Nobles

November 3, 2010 at 8:55 am

Cantor cruises to victory, poised to become leader in Congress

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The results are still coming in, but local Congressman Eric Cantor has posted an expected victory over two opponents in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District.  With 70% of the votes counted, Cantor leads Rick Waugh and Floyd Bayne 59-43-7 respectively.

The early returns look good for Republicans taking control of the house and that could mean Cantor will be the next Majority Leader in the House of Representatives.

Cantor’s address to supports from the Hilton in Short Pump, was broadcast live to NBC affiliates across the country. Perhaps an indication of how powerful he is about to become.

Written by Ryan Nobles

November 2, 2010 at 8:11 pm

The view from the ground

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All day long, I’ll be posting what people are seeing via tweets from the field. Tell me what you are seeing by sending me a tweet: twitter.com/ryanobles. I will also post tweets from our NBC12 team covering the election. (Click on the tweets to see what time they were posted)

Here is the view from my location around 11:20 this morning in the 7th Congressional district. A slow but steady crowd. I was voter number 622.

And here are tweets from people across Central Virginia:

@KatieOKLU– at 7am this morning there was a steady line of people going into the Harrison Precinct in Disputanta

@Tara_Morgan– Pittsylvania courthouse  (Where Robert Hurt will be tonight)

@VirginiaDem– in Fredericksburg area by 1pm 22% of the registered voters had made it to the polls

@Tara_Morgan–  I love the 70’s and 80’s hour on WFLO, good times! We’re near Halifax at the Short Stop on our way to Chatham!

@KingsJQueenE– Almost empty at Five Forks in Chesterfield.

@austinrharris– I voted at 6:30am this morning… There were about 10 poll workers there but I was the only person actually voting.

@TracyTraffic– I just voted.

@kenstevens– a very quite morning at the Hungary Springs voting area. Very well organized.

@AndyJenksNBC12– Most amusing part of Election Day so far: Seeing volunteer look up at @BobMcDonnell and ask, “Name?”

@JerryVarner– I saw exceptionally nice senior citizens and the wheels of freedom turning!

@mrbeefy – Very light traffic at Precinct 309 – Imperial Plaza.

@GeneCoxNBC12– I chose to vote, but my choices were sadly limited. What’s happening to us?

@lindagt -VERY empty at my polling place. Signs in my neighborhood for Cantor but he’s not on my ballot….

@captainnatepalm – things were pretty quiet in Goochland courthouse at 8, but apparently it was packed at opening time

@AndyJenksNBC12– Not to go all “crotchety-old-man” on you, but when I was in school, they never let us stay home on Election Day.

Written by Ryan Nobles

November 2, 2010 at 10:27 am

Decision 2010 has arrived

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By: Ryan Nobles – bio | email

Election day 2010 has arrived. The federal midterm elections are never as important in Virginia as they are in the rest of the country. The Commonwealth elects its state based offices on opposite years of the federal elections. But regardless, today still carries tremendous weight, because all 11 of Virginia’s seats in the House of Representatives is up for a vote. Several of them are among the hottest races in the country, and because Virginia is one of the first states to close its polls, it may provide some clue to the rest of the country as to how the night will progress.

We have complete coverage tonight on NBC12 News. NBC is carrying a special two-hour Decision 2010 special and within that broadcast we will have local updates on how the local races look. In addition we will have the local results continuously scrolling along the bottom of your screen.

NBC12’s live crews will be spread across the region to bring you immediate reaction from the winners and losers:

*Andy Jenks will be live in Short Pump, where Rep. Eric Cantor will watch the results. Results that could lead to him becoming the presumptive Majority Leader in the House of Representatives.

*Rachel DePompa will be in Charlottesville covering one of the most watched races in the country. She will be there when Rep. Tom Perriello finds out if he was able to hold on to his seat.

*Tara Morgan will travel to Chatham to cover State Senator Robert Hurt‘s bid to unseat Perriello.

*Nicole Bell will cover the interesting developments in Petersburg. One of the few local races of interest. Longtime Mayor Anne Mickens is trying to hold her seat through and unconventional write-in campaign.

*I will be live in the studio with Curt Autry and Sabrina Squire. As we watch the returns, I will put Virginia’s results into context of the national picture on how our local races could impact the rest of the country.

*University of Richmond professor, Dr. Dan Palazzolo will have analysis of what we learn throughout the night.

If you are still unsure who to vote for, here is a look back at our “Meet the Candidates” series, which featured live interviews with the candidates in all of the Congressional candidates in the NBC12 viewing area:

D- Krystal Ball
R- Rob Wittman*

D- Bobby Scott*
R- Chuck Smith
L- James Quigley
IG- John D. Kelly (Did not appear)

D- Dr. Wynne LeGrow
R- Randy Forbes*

D- Tom Perriello*
R- Robert Hurt (did not appear)
I- Jeff Clark (did not appear)

D- Rick Waugh
R- Eric Cantor*
I- Floyd Bayne

*denotes incumbent

In addition to the candidates running for office. There are also three proposed amendments to the Virginia constitution. You can get a full rundown of what to expect on NBC12.com.

Written by Ryan Nobles

November 2, 2010 at 9:48 am

Cantor rejects notion that he is hiding from his opposition

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Election 2010 appears to be one of the most important of Rep. Eric Cantor‘s political career.  The local Congressman has been one of the lead architects in the GOP resurgence that is on track to retake the House of Representatives and  by extension make Cantor the 2nd most powerful member of Congress.

But while Cantor has been rallying Republican troops around the country, his own re-election has inflicted a bit of damage on his local persona.

There is a perception that the Congressman hasn’t not been very accessible during his campaign.  Cantor’s opponents Democrat Rick Waugh and Tea Party candidate Floyd Bayne have complained about Cantor’s unwillingness to stand with them and debate the issues. Both have used unconventional means to get the Congressman’s attention.  Waugh has sent a man dressed in a chicken suit to interrupt Cantor events. Bayne confronted Cantor at a recent book signing with a video camera in tow.   Of course, all of these incidents get captured on YouTube.

But while those confrontations did not amount too much, one incident attracted national news. A supporter of Waugh, Jon Taylor attempted to attend an event advertised by the Cantor campaign as “open to the public”.  Depending on which perspective you read, Taylor was either minding his own business or causing a disturbance.  Regardless he was asked to leave and refused and was eventually arrested. His arrest, which he resisted, was caught on camera by his son and has now received over 50 thousand views on YouTube.

The series of conflicts at Cantor events led well-known Bacon’s Rebellion blogger and respected journalist Peter Galuszka to say that Republican “has a tendency to surround himself with layers of defense.”  Galuzka’s column was cross-posted on the Washington Post’s  “All Opinions Are Local” page.

Monday on NBC12 First at 4, Cantor flatly rejected that claim.

“We’ve had,  a series of events where there have been people of all political persuasions and ideologies that have come,” said Cantor  “(It’s) about trying to make sure the voters understand where I am, where my voting record is.”

And when I pressed him about the lack of access and specifically about the incident in Louisa, Cantor claimed that was an isolated occurence and that Democrats and Independents are always welcome at his events.

“I think what had happened there was there was an individual intent on violating the law, and that’s why the law enforcement took the action they did,” Cantor said.  “It wasn’t anything on the part of our campaign, but, you know, again, we’re always open for folks who want to come and, you know, participate in the discussion.”

Cantor went on to say, that his role in the national debate make him a known quantity.  If a voter wanted to know where he stands on an issue, its not hard to find out.

“I’ve been in the middle of the national debate leading the opposition to the  Obama agenda, whether it’s the Healthcare bill or whether it’s Cap and Trade bill, the Card Check Measure,” said Cantor.  “I think my positions are fairly well known and we’re continuing, though, to talk to people about the problems they face and how we can find a better way.”

You can see the complete interview with Rep. Cantor below. The full transcript is available on NBC12.com.

Written by Ryan Nobles

November 1, 2010 at 7:52 pm

Details on President Obama visit to Charlottesville

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By: Ryan Nobles – bio | email

President Barack Obama comes to Charlottesville tomorrow to stump for Congressman Tom Perriello‘s re-election bid.  Unlike the President’s invitation only event in Richmond a few weeks ago, this event is open to the public on a first come, first serve basis.

If you are interested in attending here are the details:


A Rally with President Obama
Charlottesville Pavilion on the Downtown Mall
Doors open at 5:00 PM

The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required.

Public entrance is between 5th and 6th Streets NE, on the Downtown Mall.

All attendees will go through airport-like security and should bring as few personal items as possible. No bags, sharp objects, umbrellas, liquids, or signs will be allowed in the venue. Cameras are permitted.


I will be there reporting live for NBC12 starting at 4pm. I’ll try to post interesting tid-bits here on Decision Virginia, but I am sure my twitter feed will be busy. If you aren’t following me now, join the thousands who already are! Twitter.com/ryanobles.

Meanwhile the Richmond Tea Party is planning a counter rally to the President’s rally. The details for that event can be found on their website by clicking here.

State Senator Robert Hurt, Perriello’s opponent will be pretty far away from Charlottesville. He is hosting a small business round table in Martinsville.