Ann Wagner

(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.”

(via Flickr/Medill DC)

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.  

(via Flickr/ Senator Blunt)

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.

(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. 

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.

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.

(EdMartinForCongress.com screen capture/St. Louis Public Radio)

As we told you this morning in our news round-up, Republican attorney Ed Martin of St. Louis has dropped his campaign for U.S. Senate to enter a race for Congress instead.

In early polling, Martin trailed other likely GOP Senate contenders including Congressman Todd Akin and former-treasurer Sarah Steelman.

(via Wikimedia Commons/ United States Department of State)

Former Missouri Republican Party Chairwoman Ann Wagner has taken a step toward a run for Congress.

Wagner said Tuesday that she has set up an exploratory committee for a potential campaign in the 2nd Congressional District in suburban St. Louis. Wagner says her move is based on the likelihood that the 2nd District will be an open seat. The incumbent, Republican U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, has been considering a challenge to Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill.

Pages