Hanger vs ODBA?

Brent Finnegan -- April 9th, 2007

It’s been interesting to watch so many of the conservative ODBA bloggers come out in full support of Republican challenger Scott Sayre in the 24th senate district (which borders on the southern city limits). Emmett Hanger is one of several Republican state senators that has been accused by conservatives of being too moderate, or “liberal” on fiscal issues during his last term.

A while back Hanger said he knew his positions on tax reform would put a target on his head, but he admits he’s surprised by the challenge from within his own party. “It’s somewhat ironic,” he says. “I’m one of the leading spokespersons on pro-life issues; I’ve always had a 100 percent rating from the Christian Coalition; I’m regarded as the go-to guy for the NRA.”

Several conservative bloggers launched Bloggers4Sayre last month, potentially stealing some of Arin Sime‘s thunder in the process.

A story in today’s DNR says, “Likely primary voters, [JMU prof Bob] Roberts said, will be conservatives who oppose new levies and want to cut government spending. Those voters are unhappy with Hanger’s votes to raise taxes and increase spending, Roberts says.” But I have yet to see any polls that show that majority support is behind Sayre. Hanger has deep roots in the district, and it would seem that the obvious outcome is that Hanger still wins. But the rhetorical question is: is this really about Sayre, or is it about sending a message to Hanger? Will Hanger see this as a sign, and change his tune? Or is this a lot of hot air from the conservative fringe?

16 Responses to “Hanger vs ODBA?”

  1. Why don’t you ask Prof. Bob Roberts when the Hanger – Sayre debates will be held?

    You do realize that four years ago when the ‘Blue Dog’, Steve Sisson ran against Sen. Hanger, that Emmett declined to debate…

    The message from the Grassroots Pubs is a ‘full court press’ to send Scott Sayre to Richmond in place of Sen. Hanger… That is the message…

  2. finnegan says:

    Sisson’s a Democrat in the same sense that Zell Miller is a Democrat.

    I don’t have a horse in this race, STDonkey. I’m merely observing.

    I’m not a Hanger supporter, but at the risk of “eating crow” (not having seen any polls yet) I’m willing to say that the conservative fringe (who will vote for Sayre in the primary, and possibly for Sime during the election) is a vocal minority in this case. I don’t see Sayre gaining much traction outside of the ODBA blogosphere. Not at this point, anyway. Besides, I don’t see an overwhelming contrast between Hanger and Sayre on social issues or business policies.

    IMO, the interesting race will be between Obenshain and Roles. There’s a debate I’d like to see. There’s more to life than fiscal issues. Contrast is a good thing.

  3. Kilo says:

    “It’s been interesting to watch so many of the conservative ODBA bloggers”

    Is that a true statement? I think not. Just How many of the thirty some members have came out against Hanger?

    There are some bloggers supporting Sayre. The ODBA has nothing to do with it.
    Don’t mislead readers by loosely using the ODBA.

  4. finnegan says:

    Note the question mark in the title. Several of the ODBA bloggers are also listed on the bloggers4sayre site. How many of the thirty-some members have come out in support of Hanger?

    But, fair enough. What would you suggest? Hanger vs SWAC?

  5. Finnegan:
    Your language, ‘fringe’ is the similar to Sen. Hanger, who refers to any Pub who disagrees with his consistent voting record since 04′ to raise taxes, as ‘extremists’. (see AFP article)

    That tells me a lot, and it should tell your readers a lot about Sen. Hanger’s voting record, and actual view of the issues. As for Sayre’s support you might not be talking to actual Pub primary voters… a crowd you may not be hanging out with.

    As for debates, a Hanger/Sayre debate would be quite interesting in deed. There is more to this than simply Sen. Hanger voting repeatedly to raise taxes, there is Illegal immigration, School Choice, and even Pro-Life issues that can come into play.

    The MSM would have you believe, & you seem to parrot this, that it’s just right wing ‘fringe’ anti-tax Republicans upset with Sen. Hanger… If that is what you consider rank and file Pubs, and a lot… a lot of business owners in this town, than go right ahead and keep repeating it!

  6. finnegan says:


    I don’t think the AFP exists anymore.

    No doubt you and I would have a fundamental disagreement over funding issues anyway, so there’s no sense in going into the transportation topic as it relates to taxes. Unlike a lot of other bloggers, there are a great many issues and candidates I don’t feel very strongly about one way or the other, and this is one of them. The primary purposes of this blog are reporting, posing questions, and discussion.

    Until there are polls (actual numbers from primary voters in the 24th) you and I are merely speculating. Time will prove one of us wrong.

    What do you mean when you say “in this town?” Which town?

    Since you object to the term “fringe”: how do you differentiate yourself from conservatives who support Hanger?

    From where I stand, there appears to be a hard push to the right from the [whatever you want to call it] within the VA GOP. It’s worked to get some senators to retire, or get them primaried, but I’m interested to know how far you all can push it. Frankly, I don’t think the majority of Virginia is willing to move much further to the right… But like I said, time will prove one of us wrong.

  7. Kilo says:

    You are free to post whatever you like.
    The fact is the ODBA has never endorsed any candidate.
    How many have came out supporting Hanger? The same number who are not supporting either.
    The ODBA has nothing to do with supporting any candidate. It would be proper to name the the individual bloggers, even say some are ODBA members, but your title and post is misleading.
    If you really thought this was a ODBA vs Hanger – You could have emailed any member to ask about it. Instead you chose to mislead. One would ask why?

  8. finnegan says:

    “How many have came out supporting Hanger? The same number who are not supporting either.”


    Oddly enough, it appears that republitarian has some of the same questions I do concerning the Sayre challenge.

  9. We’ve also added Sayre to the “Red Storm Virginia” project where we make it easier for people to donate online to conservative Virginia Republican candidates by linking directly to their secure donation pages.

  10. Finnegan:
    When I say this town, I am referring to really the 24th district as a whole.

    Let me help you with what Kilo is trying to tell You.
    RIGHTSIDE VA – unafilliated

    So you do have (7) ODBA members out of 35 members, hardly the entire ODBA.. Now surprise, surprise you have Conservatives from ODBA onboard but they make up like maybe 20% of the ODBA, whereas 80% is not on board, although we wish they were & all who want to change the culture of the Pubs is the GA are welcome!

    Kilo is saying your title is misleading because it’s just some members of the ODBA… The members you see with us, IMO is are fed up with Pubs who vote for higher taxes especially in time of surplus.. also Pubs that vote with Dem. Gov’s.

    I hope this helps, and please step in Kilo/other ODBA members if you feel I am off base.

  11. JGFitzgerald says:

    Maybe I’m missing something. It looks to me like the post asks a question, in its body and in its title, and many of the responses focus on whether the question should have been asked. Is the root question whether a conservative but not doctrinaire state senator will lose a primary based on tax apostasy? Or is it how many bloggers can dance on the head of a penny of sales tax?

  12. Chris says:

    A point worth pondering … five of the 10 bloggers listed on the Bloggers 4 Sayre site don’t live in the 24th Senate District.
    Since we’re so hard at work here on this thread parsing words, parse those words.

  13. Most likely they are people who are dissatisfied with Hanger, Chris. Same reason why we talk about Senate and House races in other states.

    In my own mind, the jury is still out on Hanger. I’m not a fan of his tax increase record, but he has taken stances on issues that I agree with, as well. I don’t agree that those who are supporting other conservative candidates are part of a right-wing “fringe”, as it seems there is a substantial amount of these people who support someone other than Hanger within the populous of GOP voters.

    “He doesn’t represent my district, but he does have influence over what happens in my state.” – I think that statement sums up the support of candidates like Sayre and Sine from those who live outside the 24th.

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