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John Hager Gets An Endorsement He Probably Didn’t Want

By Greg L | 20 April 2008 | RPV | 3 Comments

Courtesy of “SWAC Girl“, we learn that Senator Emmett Hanger is endorsing John Hager for RPV Chairman:

There’s a race going on for 6th District Chairman and with the current race for chairman of the party where you have a fairly brash delegate who has more of an in-your-face way of operating going up against what is perceived as an established person who has been trying to build the party for a while so you have that dynamic going on.

This is about as useful as an endorsement from former Senator John Chichester in my view, although to be fair Hanger is quite a lot better than John Chichester ever was, particularly after facing a tough primary challenge from Scott Sayre which seems to have demonstrated the consequences of wandering into the territory of promoting tax-hikes and bigger government.  Still, sponsoring a bill this year that would allow illegal aliens to receive in-state tuition, another that would require public schools to provide legal assistance to illegal aliens, and yet another that would raise the gas tax don’t make Emmett Hanger exactly a poster child for what most Republicans consider their core values.  Not all of his bills are bad (he sponsored the Restaurant Ban repeal bill, which is a pretty significant conservative victory), but a bunch typically are, and his voting record is often not one that conservatives find much to agree with.

Hanger is another establishment insider, and one who curiously seems engaged in a constant battle against the grassroots in his district.  The most recent chapter here is Hanger’s attempted coup of the Augusta County Republican Committee which has inflamed the blogosphere in this part of the state, and quite a bit beyond.  If you want to find a Republican elected official who values grassroots less, and large campaign contributors more than Emmett Hanger, you’d be hard pressed to do so.  Hanger even goes on to slam the grassroots of Americans For Prosperity in the same interview as his endorsement of John Hager for RPV Chairman.  This is outright hostility towards volunteers, folks.

Those that might want to see a different approach for the Republican Party of Virginia, one that energizes the grassroots rather than disdain them, will appreciate what Jeff Frederick has to offer as a candidate for RPV Chairman.  While John Hagar’s questionable relationships with the very direct mail houses to which he directs millions of dollars of RPV contributions, Jeff Frederick sees an opportunity to return the RPV to its core values of reflecting the interests and desires of Virginia’s citizenry and ensure that there’s always going to be a meaningful place for them to contribute.  Under John Hagar, and Ed Gillespie before him, the only purpose for having a list of volunteers was to send them a dozen fundraising letters.

Now that Emmett Hangar is endorsing John Hager, I’d imagine that the delegates from Staunton, Augusta County, and Waynesboro are going to break heavily towards Jeff Frederick.  They should, after this.  If we can only get Russ Potts and John Chichester to endorse Hager as well, we might be able to wrap this race up.

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  1. Anonymous said on 20 Apr 2008 at 10:06 pm:
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    That’s not the only endorsement that Hager has recently received that he may not want:

    “[Mark] Warner offered his endorsement of Hager, who is fighting Del. Jeff Frederick for the chairmanship.”

    Source: http://www.progress-index.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=19492104&BRD=2271&PAG=461&dept_id=462946&rfi=6

  2. Watch Dog said on 20 Apr 2008 at 10:12 pm:
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    You make a great point here. The worst thing for GOP General Assembly members who don’t want to account for their bad bills and votes is answering to the grassroots activists within the party who just won’t tolerate Republicans acting like Democrats.

    In the RPV Chairman’s race one candidate thinks everything is fine as long as big bucks are flowing into the party (Hager). We have another candidate who thinks big bucks are important as well, but if the system it is funding is fundamentally broken and rampant with conflicts that border on corruption, then we will continue to lose crucial elections unless major changes in the tactics that we use to move votes is changed (Frederick).

    This week’s revelation of John Hager’s improper arrangement with an RPV vendor will connect all the dots for everyone and prompt Virginia GOP members to FINALLY take a closer look at the REAL problems at RPV and why it has contributed to our recent devastating election losses. This “go along to get along” mentality where we pump more money into races and get diminishing returns is happening because the old “stuff the mailbox” methods are just not working anymore. So why do many in the current party leadership feel threatened by re-energized and highly engaged grassroots activists and are currently digging in to fight for the status quo?

    Think about it. If you are a consultant who knows how to get your client targeted by RPV because you have the party leadership in your back pocket, then when you get all that targeting money in the campaign’s coffers what would you do as that consultant? Spend it on people who can put boots on the ground and organize the grassroots, or put it all into mail and media which just happens to be a company you own so you can walk away with HUGE profits? For those in charge of our GOP campaigns over the last few years that choice is obvious.

    Don’t get me wrong, these guys are smart businessmen making an honest living – and that may be part of the problem. They are just operating within the framework that has been created for them. The root cause of all this mess, however, is the leadership at RPV and a very broken system that lets our consultants and vendors operate in this monopolistic environment.

    Until the system we operate under at RPV is overhauled, get ready to lose many more elections and be the minority party going into redistricting, ensuring that we will stay in the minority for a very long time.

  3. Phil said on 22 Apr 2008 at 1:42 am:
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    Think there will be another Blogs United?

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