Ann Wagner | St. Louis Public Radio

Ann Wagner

Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

Actions often speak louder than words.

The region’s two major candidates for St. Louis County executive – Democrat Steve Stenger and Republican Rick Stream – play down any talk that their campaigns target women voters.

Both say they’re seeking support from any and all voters, regardless of gender, age, race or other demographics.

Wikipedia

Missouri voters will make decisions this fall on who will fill all eight of the state’s congressional districts.

But as it stands, there’s little debate over who likely will win.

All eight of the state’s incumbents in the U.S. House are in seats that – thanks to the 2011 redistricting – heavily favor one party or the other. As a result, none of them faces well-funded challengers this fall.

Jim Howard | St. Louis Public Radio

Following a delay that tested the ability of a new team of House Republican whips, lawmakers approved on Friday night a $694 million border security plan and a separate bill aimed at curbing President Barack Obama’s ability to expand deferrals of young immigrants by executive action.

While Republicans worked into the night to pass the legislation before adjourning until September, neither bill is expected to be passed by the Senate, which had already adjourned Thursday night.

Jim Howard/St. Louis Public Radio

Imagine two schoolboys scrambling to their feet after tussling in the dirt, both trying to convince a teacher that their fight wasn’t all that bad, and each vouching for the other that they really do get along just fine. That image may give you an idea of how hard-fought negotiations over a compromise bill to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs, turned into the kind of jovial news conference conducted Monday by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

The federal government puts St. Louis in the top 20 jurisdictions for human trafficking.

That ranking, as well as a host of other sobering facts about human trafficking came to light during a summit Monday morning in Edwardsville hosted by Republican Congressmen John Shimkus and Rodney Davis of Illinois.

Attendees also learned:

Chris McDaniel | St. Louis Public Radio | file photo

This week, the Politically Speaking podcast  brings prominent GOP consultant Jeff Roe to the show. He joins St. Louis Public Radio reporters Jo Mannies, Chris McDaniel and Jason Rosenbaum.

Based in Kansas City, Roe is among the top Republican consultants in the Midwest – and is headed toward a national reputation.  Only in his early 40s, he operates the fourth-largest GOP direct-mail firm in the country. He's expected to land at least one Republican presidential candidate in 2016.

(via Wikimedia Commons/ United States Department of State)

The two Republican members of Congress who represent the St. Louis area – Ann Wagner and Blaine Luetkemeyer – are calling for the resignation of  U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki.

Their declarations come as several of the nation’s VA facilities, including Cochran Medical Center in St. Louis, have been accused of improper or delayed care to military veterans.

Wagner, R-Ballwin, said that Shinseki – in office since 2009 -- had “failed to provide timely services and care for our veterans.  Secretary Shinseki has failed to fulfill his mission at the VA.”

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio
Medill DC | Flickr

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner will be the special guest – and the chief beneficiary – at a fundraising event in St. Louis this evening at the Ladue home of wealthy businessman Dave Spence and his wife, Suzie Spence.

The gathering – billed as a “roundtable and reception” -- is co-hosted by all six of Missouri’s Republican members of Congress, including Ann Wagner of Ballwin. Most are expected to attend.

Tickets range from $1,000 a person to $25,000 for host-committee couples for the event, slated for early this evening.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

There was a time when Katie Rhoades was sold for sex out of nightclubs, strip clubs, magazines and online websites. She was part of an estimated $45 million industry of what she called “selling human beings online.” 

“It’s a lot of money, said Rhoades, the founder of the Healing Action Network. “It’s a lot of economic incentive to keep this industry going.”

Rhoades said it’s crucial that third-party facilitators of prostitution are held accountable. That’s why she’s supportive of Rep. Ann Wagner’s legislation taking aim at publications advertising human trafficking.

Via Flickr / humanrightsfilmfestival

Sex trafficking is not just an international problem, or even a national one. It is also a problem here in St. Louis. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, St. Louis is a hot spot of sex trafficking activity, one of the top 20 in the country.

Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio

Every week, St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon's Chris McDaniel, Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum talk about the week’s politics. 

Note: You can subscribe to us on iTunes now.

Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio.

Updated 11:50 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15

The latest campaign-donation numbers are adding more intrigue to St. Louis area’s marquee contest this year between St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley and County Councilman Steve Stenger.

Stenger outraised fellow Democrat Dooley during the last quarter of 2013 -- $245,032 to $115,414. Their latest campaign reports, filed Wednesday, also show Stenger with more in the bank: $638,158 to $458,154.

Boeing CEO W. James McNerney, Jr., left, and U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-St. Elizabeth, met earlier in December in Washington, D.C. Luetkemeyer is part of a bipartisan contingent of federal lawmakers who are using the bully pulpit to steer Boeing's 77
Provided by Luetkemeyer's office.

When U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer met with Boeing CEO James McNerney in his Washington office earlier this month, his message wasn’t subtle. 

Luetkemeyer was there to make the case that Missouri was the right place to steer production of Boeing's 777X civilian aircraft. He said he told McNerney he was “excited about the opportunity for the state of Missouri to bid on it.”

“Whatever help we could be at the federal level, we would more than willing to do that,” Luetkemeyer , R-St. Elizabeth, said.  

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.
Senator Blunt | Flickr

Updated 6:45 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12

By a vote of 332-94, the U.S. House overwhelmingly backed a compromise two-year budget deal Thursday night -- in effect, rejecting pressure from conservative groups staunchly opposed to the measure.

The Senate is expected to swiftly follow suit.

Those in the House backing the bill included U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Ballwin, who appeared on CNBC's "Kudlow Report" after the vote to laud the budget deal's provisions as "gifts that will keep on giving."

Immigration Groups Continue To Pressure Rep. Wagner

Nov 25, 2013
Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio.

Pro-immigration reform groups are continuing to put pressure on Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-St. Louis County). About 15 people rallied Monday in Kirkwood, calling for her to address comprehensive immigration reform.

Several people spoke at the rally. Some shared stories of being separated from family members after deportation, while others spoke about not being able to leave the country for a loved one’s funeral.

Lawrence Nwachukwu heads Basilico Engineering, a firm in St. Louis. He said he’s been trying to get his siblings to legally emigrate from Nigeria.

Jo Mannies | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - After 19 years in the United States, some of it as an undocumented Hispanic immigrant, Norma Andrade succeeded three weeks ago in completing the process to become a U.S. citizen.

(Kate Essig/St. Louis Public Radio)

Nearly 100 activists rallied for immigration reform outside the federal courthouse in St. Louis this morning, calling on the U.S. House of Representatives to vote on a new immigration reform bill (HR 15.)

The bipartisan bill passed the Senate this summer and includes a pathway to citizenship and tougher border security, but has yet to be brought to a vote in the House. 

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Within Missouri’s congressional delegation, few members are closer than U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Ballwin, and U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.

Wagner, who chaired Blunt’s Senate campaign in 2010, often confers with him since she joined Congress earlier this year, said her spokesman, Patrick Howell.

Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Reporting by WSIU's Jennifer Fuller.

A southern Illinois Congressman says the United States shouldn’t get involved in Syria – and worries any form of attack would put this country and its allies at greater risk.

Representative John Shimkus, R-Collinsville says the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government on civilians is an international issue – one the U.S. shouldn’t take the lead on.

(via Department of Homeland Security website)

The Missouri branch of Organizing For Action, a nonprofit policy organization working to enact President Obama's agenda, held two rallies at the offices of U.S. Reps. Blaine Luetkemeyer and Ann Wagner today in support of immigration reform.

The rallies are part of OFA’s “Action August” initiative, which is focused on raising attention around controversial issues while members are back in their district for recess.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: As expected, first-term U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner has blown away her Missouri colleagues in the House, when it comes to raising campaign money.

Reports filed this week confirm that Wagner, R-Ballwin, raised more than twice as much this spring as her nearest money-raising rival in the House – fellow Republican Billy Long of Springfield.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: U.S. Rep Ann Wagner, R-Ballwin, will be filing a campaign report on Monday that shows she’s raised close to $500,000 during the past three months – a sizable sum for a first-term freshman in the U.S. House.

Her fundraising tally, which will show her with $756,000 in the bank,  also could discourage any potential 2014 rivals –  fellow Republicans or Democrats – and may bolster her rise in national GOP leadership ranks.

Ann Wagner in her D.C. office
Robert Koenig | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON -- The frustrations of freshman members of Congress are well documented, as most of the political big fish in their home districts suddenly find themselves reduced to mere guppies when they enter the seniority-ruled shark tank of the U.S. House.

But six months into her job, U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Ballwin, has become a player of sorts on Capitol Hill.

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: It was high noon on a sunny day when about two dozen environmentalists – one of them holding a cardboard “flat Earth” -- gathered recently outside the St. Louis County office of U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner to protest her stance on climate change.

In particular, the Missouri chapter of the Sierra Club is highlighting a recent letter that the first-term member of Congress sent to a constituent, in which Wagner wrote that the theory that humans are responsible for the planet’s recent temperature increase is “inconsistent and unsound science.”

Christine Page / St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Assoc.

Missouri Congresswoman-elect Ann Wagner says she would not support any plan to increase tax rates to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff.”

Failure to reach a deal before January First would result in immediate tax increases and across the board spending cuts.

Wagner spoke at a luncheon of the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association on Tuesday.  On the issue of the so-called “fiscal cliff” said she supports a compromise to generate revenue by reforming the nation’s tax code, while also preserving the Bush-era tax cuts on the wealthiest 2-percent of Americans.

Wagner Takes Akin's Old Congressional Seat

Nov 7, 2012
Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio

In the race to take Congressman Akin’s old seat, Republican Ann Wagner soundly trounced Democrat Glenn Koenen. At her election night party, Wagner said she got into this race because she was a “fed up mother.”

“And you know what? I think our country needs some tough love," Wagner told the crowd. "And I’m ready to deliver that – that I promise you.”

Wagner held her campaign party at the Frontenac Hilton, the same place as Republican gubernatorial candidate Dave Spence. But the two decided to hold their events in different ballrooms at the same hotel.

Wagner, Koenen Vie To Take Akin's Old Seat

Oct 26, 2012
(Koenen: Courtesy of Glenn Koenen/Wagner: via Wikimedia Commons)

Missouri’s newly-formed 2nd Congressional district has two first time candidates vying for Republican Congressman Todd Akin’s seat, which he will be vacating. The two main candidates have very different ideas of the role of government, and very different backgrounds.

Although this is Ann Wagner’s first time with her name on the yard signs, she is by no means a political rookie.

She’s had experience as chair of the Missouri Republican Party and Co-chair of the Republican National Committee. She was also the U.S. ambassador to Luxemberg for 4 years in the late 2000s.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Unofficial recount results confirms Koenen victory

A recount has confirmed that Glenn Koenen won a Democratic primary for a suburban St. Louis congressional seat and will face Republican Ann Wagner in the November election.

Unofficial results of the recount released Thursday by the secretary of state's office show Koenen's margin of victory declined by two votes compared to the original count from the August 7th primary. But he still finished 46 votes ahead of Harold Whitfield in a four-person primary that drew a total of nearly 28,000 votes.

(official photo via Missouri State Senate website)

A Republican state senator from suburban St. Louis has decided to remain in Jefferson City.

Jane Cunningham had been pondering entering an already-crowded GOP primary to fill the Congressional seat of Todd Akin, who wants to challenge Democrat Claire McCaskill in 2012.

But in a statement released today, Cunningham said she doesn't run for titles, and wants to hold a position where she can have the largest impact defending conservative values.

(via Wikimedia Commons/ United States Department of State)

Wagner Enters U.S. House Race

Former Missouri Republican Party Chairwoman Ann Wagner has announced her candidacy for a U.S. House race.  Congressman Todd Akin announced Tuesday that he will forgo re-election for his suburban St. Louis seat to instead enter the Republican primary to challenge Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill. Hours later, Wagner announced that she will run for Akin's 2nd District seat.

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