Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Re-examining a Laugh at Ann Wagner's Expense

Early last December I had a little fun with an Ann Wagner expense for "FEC Compliance". I wrote that post in response to a post by Jim Hoft that I saw in BigJournalism. Hoft's original post went up at Gateway Pundit; however, when it was picked up by BigJournalism, a photo of Ed Martin and Roy Blunt was added.
Photographic Deception
That picture was not in Jim Hoft’s original piece. Clearly, the photo is meant to tie Ed Martin to the Establishment. Who made and approved the decision to add the picture to the Big Journalism story, when it wasn’t included at Gateway Pundit?

Here's another picture. This one is from It's a pretty clear refutation of the Big Journalism picture.
Roy Blunt, US Senate, Political Team: Andy Blunt, Ann Wagner, and Roy Blunt
Roy Blunt, US Senate, Political Team: Andy Blunt, Ann Wagner, and Roy Blunt
Look closely at those black jackets. They're emblazoned with: "Roy Blunt, US Senate, political team." During Roy Blunt's 2010 US Senate campaign, Ann Wagner was Roy Blunt’s campaign chair. (Full disclosure: I supported Chuck Purgason). I've already pointed out how ridiculous the Ed and Roy photo was, but there’s more.

Dana Loesch, the Editor and Chief of BigJournalism, has a habit sending “inside baseball” tweets. It’s a pattern that allows her to take a swipe at someone, while giving her deniability when pressed as to who she was talking about. Here's an example:
Tired of hearing that Candidate B “is at war with Missouri Establishment.”  give me a break.  They ARE MISSOURI ESTABLISHMENT
Dana is talking about Ed Martin. She’s asserting that Ed is part of the establishment, and thus can’t be the Tea Party candidate. That tweet was sent shortly after Bill Hennessy wrote a piece praising Ed Martin. That was the first of many tweets and comments she’s made since Ann Wagner entered the race in a clear pattern of attacking Ed where he is strongest – at the grassroots.

So let’s compare the records of Ed Martin and Ann Wagner.

Ed Martin was tapped to be Chief of Staff for Matt Blunt in 2006. He had been effective at the St Louis Board of Elections, and was considered an outsider pick at the time. Also, he knows Missouri politicians.  And he ran for Congress against Russ Carnahan and almost won. That’s about as far as you get in calling him establishment.

Ann Wagner has been in Missouri Republican politics for 15 years. Her husband was on the board fo the RCGA, the Hawthorn Group, the Missouri Tax Commission, and he’s been a registered lobbyist for years. The Wagners hang out with Democrat St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley at his birthday party. They host fundraisers for Dick Lugar. Ray helped lead the 911 tax increase for St Louis County. They bundle contributions, doing so well that Ann got picked as the Ambassador to Luxembourg, one of the wealthiest countries in Europe per capita, with opulent parties and a lot of good times. Ann Wagner is so establishment, she ran for RNC chair.

Now she claims she’s never been a candidate before, but as former head of Missouri's Republican Party and with a failed bid for RNC chair, the truth is a little more complicated. Ann Wagner has never been a candidate for public office before. It’s telling that her first attempt was RNC Chair, an attempt to run the national GOP for Washington D.C. Republicans. Failing that, her second choice was Missouri Senate. She clearly felt her Establishment backing was enough to be beat Sarah Steelman and Ed Martin in a statewide race. But, when Todd Akin entered that race, Ann decided to run for his open Congressional seat instead. Does anyone else get the sense she’s just casting around for something to do?

How has Ann approached her race? She’s gone out to her friends and fundraising network and asked for endorsements. She’s hung out at fancy fundraisers. She’s had Enterprise buy her access to parties. She’s hired Jeff Roe and John Hancock two of Missouri's top shelf GOP hacks consultants. She’s called out of state Republicans and asked them to endorse her. And she’s getting them (if you count paying for chartered planes and giving to candidate committees endorsements).

If Ann Wagner isn’t the Missouri Establishment, then why did her donors give 63% of the money for Amendment 2, the 2006 pro-cloning ballot initiative? If she isn’t establishment, why is the Missouri Republican Party letting her hijack a Chris Christie visit? If she’s not establishment, why has her strategy been to tell people Ed Martin would run for Lieutenant Governor, instead of campaigning in the 2nd District?  The Establishment tells candidates when and where to run. The Tea Party welcomes all candidates to fight it out with ideas and campaigns.

Ann Wagner is the essence of Establishment, and has been at least since her 1996 work on Bob Dole's presidential campaign when she haughtily derided fellow Republicans by calling them "stamp-licking peons". My question is: what is Dana Loesch doing inserting herself into Missouri primaries? For someone who swears up and down she isn’t involved, Dana sure spends a lot of time throwing stones at Ed Martin. If Dana wants to be neutral, she needs to be neutral.  If she wants to play the game of supporting Ann by attacking Ed, then she needs to answer some tough questions and not hide behind anonymous accusations.

1 comment:

Zotta's Perspective said...

Ann Wagner was endorsed by RINO Chris Christie, which should tell you something. The establishment GOP did not run against the Incumbent Russ Carnahan. Why? Why did they not challenge Russ Carnahan or Dick Gephardt in the past? Was it because they never wanted to challenge the Democrats and the Status quo? Was it because it would have been a tough election? Was it because that was Dick Gephardt's District, and the Democrat/Statists owned and were entitled to that fiefdom. Why didn’t Ann Wagner challenge Russ Carnahan or Dick Gephardt in prior elections? Ed Martin with a Conservative message did run against Russ Carnahan, because the Democrat/Statist’s policies and rhetoric are detrimental to this country. Thus Ed deserves our support.