2014 Election

Why I Will Not Vote for Ann Wagner in 2014

There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.

Julius Caesar Act 4, scene 3, 218–224


The problem the Republican Party has, too many people are sitting around, waiting for a wave to take them across the election. If you want a wave, you have to paddle.

— Michael Needham, CEO, Heritage Action for America


Catch a wave and you’re sittin’ on top of the world.

— The Beach Boys


If most people are not willing to see the difficulty, this is mainly because, consciously or unconsciously, they assume that it will be they who will settle these questions for the others, and because they are convinced of their own capacity to do this.

— Friedrich August von Hayek

Ann Wagner Yanked Missouri’s 2nd District to the Left

The numbers are stunning.

Missouri’s 2nd Congressional District is one of the most conservative in the state. The seat held by Jim Talent and Todd Akin has long aligned with Heritage Foundation’s principled conservatism.

By replacing Todd Akin with Ann Wagner, 2nd District voters lurched the state hard to the left. How far left? Twenty-three percentage points left.

Source: Heritage Action for America
Source: Heritage Action for America

When the 112th Congress ended, Todd Akin sat at 82 percent on Heritage Action’s Scorecard. Right now, Ann Wagner’s score is 58. That’s below the Republican House average, and it’s miles beneath her district’s philosophical center.

Mrs. Wagner’s HA score would be respectable in certain districts in Maine, Michigan, or California. In Missouri’s 2nd, they’re disgraceful. I realize that Todd Akin was a liability for many reasons. But his consistent principled conservative voting wasn’t one of them. We might not want Akin back, but I would sure like a US Representative who will catch the wave instead of going with the elitist flow.

Export-Import Bank Was a Defining Issue

While Mrs. Wagner is reliably pro-life and an ardent defender of the 2nd Amendment, her philosophy of government is anything but Hayekian. Mrs. Wagner announced loud and clear her loud support for Export-Import Bank. I trust Mrs. Wagner to represent my views on several issues, most especially the paradoxical combination mentioned above: life and guns. I suppose she will agree with me on the First Amendment, as well. Beyond those three admittedly crucial issues, I suspect Mrs. Wagner represents the ruling class against the rest of us.

Export-Import Bank is particularly telling. First, because it is so small an issue, it would seem the easiest and least consequential for even a play-acting conservative to adopt the conservative line. The two companies that receive the lion’s share of Ex-Im largesse–Boeing and GE–would survive just as well without it. Boeing has stated such. Second, because Ex-Im is such an unmistakable symbol of anti-freedom, supporting the bank defines the person.

Ex-Im Bank Is Anti-Freedom

Hayek defined freedom as “the state in which man is not subject to coercion by the arbitrary will of another or others.” The Export-Import Bank exemplifies the condition opposite freedom: the state of currying favor of a bureaucrat. The bank chooses among competing companies those that will succeed and those that will fail. Companies wishing the advantage of this bureaucratic coercion grovel at the feet of government functionaries. Or give money to Congressmen. Companies that choose not to grovel put themselves in an economic disadvantage, sometimes ruining their business.

Grovelling before one’s master is hardly an act of freedom. It’s an act of slavery, and Ann Wagner wants to perpetuate that slavery.

While Mrs. Wagner and the US Chamber of Commerce like to point to specific companies that have thrived thanks to corporate welfare, they forget to mention those “successful” companies’ competitors who “failed” because government made the playing field uneven.

Because Export-Import Bank represents an opportunity for politicians to clearly state their political philosophy, we must accept Mrs. Wagner’s position as indicative of her philosophy. I now accept that Mrs. Wagner and I fundamentally disagree on what constitutes a just government. Fundamentally, not superficially. In other words, the kind of government Mrs. Wagner supports is the kind of government I want to erase.

Philosophy of Government Is an Organizing Principle of the Tea Party Movement

The two establishment parties have no central, organizing principle regarding a philosophy of government. Parties exist solely to maximize their own power through elections. We discern their philosophy by their actions, not their platforms. The GOP’s actions on Ex-Im and many other issues prove the party believes in government by a ruling elite.

It’s one thing to vote for Ex-Im out of fear. It’s another thing to publicly advance the idea that government should replace free markets. Mrs. Wagner is on the side of government and government-sanctioned corporations.

Because free markets is an organizing principle of a movement I had a hand in launching, I cannot vote for Ann Wagner until she demonstrates a free market bias.

Ann Wagner and the GOP Elite Missed a Huge Opportunity with Ex-Im

On a practical level, I’m a little shocked that Mrs. Wagner and the House Republican leadership passed this golden opportunity. That missed opportunity was best described by Dan Holler of Heritage Action in an LA Times article:

“They had a chance to have a federal agency expire right before an election and go back home and campaign that they ended corporate welfare,” he said.

I thought Mrs. Wagner and the GOP elite were, at least, opportunistic. The Ex-Im sell-out tells me they’re not. Instead, their winging it. With neither a philosophical core or a practical plan, Washington Republicans are simply selling out to the highest bidder. And that’s usually the US Chamber of Commerce.

On the other hand, that gives me some hope. Ann Wagner would be very difficult to defeat in either a primary or a general election. But we might be able to change her behavior on issues like Ex-Im. To do that, we need leverage.

We don’t have Boeing’s government-funded billions to throw around. We have our votes. If movement conservatives in the 2nd District vote Libertarian in November, or skip the US House vote altogether, we might be able to hold Wagner in the 50s. That would be a big step backwards from 2012 margin of 60-37.

A step back will put Wagner in a tough position for 2016. Democrats will be encouraged to take the race more seriously. Libertarians could also target the district. Wagner’s only choice would be to move to the right to solidify her base.

In other words, the only way to save Ann Wagner might be to vote against her this November.

My First non-Republican Vote for Congress. Ever.

In my post last week, I offered Mrs. Wagner the opportunity to reply. She has not. Therefore, we have to assume Mrs. Wagner agrees with my assertions, accepts my facts, and feels so strongly in her (non-)philosophy of government that she simply has moved on. Fine. That’s her prerogative.

I have a prerogative, too. And I choose to exercise my prerogative by stating that I will not vote for Mrs. Wagner’s re-election in 2014. I cannot vote for a person whose philosophy of government I find morally reprehensible and unjust.

I won’t vote for the Democrat in the race for precisely the same reason.

That leaves me two choices: skip that race on my ballot, or vote for Bill Slantz, the Libertarian Party candidate. I’ll work on that decision and let you know how it comes out, but, one way or the other, I’m swimming out to catch the wave.

In the meantime, I hope you will consider whether you can vote for a member of Congress who advances a philosophy of government that, in 1776, we utterly and formally rejected.

Author: William Hennessy

Co-founder of St. Louis Tea Party Coalition and Nationwide Chicago Tea Party Persuasive design expertLatest book: Turning On Trump: An Evolution (2016)Author of The Conservative Manifest (1993), Zen Conservatism (2009), Weaving the Roots (2011), and Fight to Evolve (2016)I believe every person deserves the dignity of meaningful work as the only path to human flourishing.

19 Comments on “Why I Will Not Vote for Ann Wagner in 2014

  1. Get out the vote! Whatever we do, we need to get out the vote and be straight up honest about what is at stake!
    The NRA also supports the idiot Michael Frame! Roden, running against him, appears to be a fake in D111. He calls himself “independent” while running as a Republican. I have never come across a candidate who answers questions like a horse swats a pest. If anyone knows differently, please let me know! Local is the answer and biggest battle of them all. http://www.thevoicesofamerica.org/Call_to_Activism.html

  2. Before Ann Wagner was even sworn in as a U.S. Rep, I knew she would lean left. She has been bought and paid for by Boeing, big corporations and special interests. She does not represent the second district in her voting record. She represents Ann Wagner and her desire for more power. In 2012 I did a right in vote for Mickey Mouse. In 2014 I will vote for the libertarian, Bill Slantz. Ann has no reason to change how she votes unless she thinks she will lose the election. Let’s let her know that she is not fairly representing the second district by voting for someone else.

  3. She lost my family vote long ago. Seems like we had that discussion back when you thought she could be reasonably managed.

  4. It makes me sick when these politician claim one thing to get elected and do the opposite when they get to DC. No matter what you thought of Akin he was responsive to his district. He was a conservative. Wagner is a liberal big government politician. My husband and I are disgusted with Wagner! We will be voting for Slantz. Hopefully 2016 a conservative will run so we will at least have a choice. Republicans should be riding a wave in this election. Not going to happen. Republicans Stand for nothing. They are simply the democrat-lite party. There will be zero push back to Obama even if they take the senate. Sad we only have a handful of patriots in DC to represent the people!

      1. The enthusiasm of 2010 is gone. We have seen the House of Representative under Boehner leadership turn into the republican surrender caucus. It will be the same under McConnell in the senate. They have no intention to fight Obama to save our country.

  5. Ah, it’s the pseudodichotomy of two-party politics! Corporate welfare (R) vs. social welfare (D).

    The people who really think about such things don’t want to suffer any more legalized plunder. I applaud your efforts.

    If she were to lose, does she have a quasi-governmental job that will pay 10x as much waiting in the wings, as Jo Ann Emerson did? Congresswoman Emerson (Mo-8) won her 9th term, after the most significant primary challenge she’d ever had, and then 2 months later resigned to take a job with the National Rural Electrification Association. This caused significant upheaval in her district. I wonder how the new job may, or may not, allow her to siphon the wealth of her former constituents away.

      1. The pro-Constitution, liberty Republicans need to be ready with a candidate should the same thing happen in the 2nd. As the law stands now, the governor would have to promptly schedule a special election, and the 2nd CD party committees would nominate the individuals who would go on that ballot–there would be no primary of the voters at large.

        This is just another reason those elected GOP committee members are so important. Chairs and vice chairs of all county and legislative (house) district party committees within the 2nd are the members of the 2nd CD party committees. They are imbued with a lot of power, should a vacancy in the U.S. House district occur. So think about who those people are. Since we have the example of the 8th CD, it’s “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.” Jason Smith had to get the majority of votes from 86 people.

    1. As far as who benefits from government wealth redistribution both parties are but two sides of the same coin. Consider quantitative easing (aka worthless money creation run amuck). The primary beneficiaries of QE are the banks and super rich. Consider all the global warming scams that have funneled millions into corporate coffers by whichever party is in power. The evidence is plain that the current White House occupier is the most prolific spender to ever hold office. However, since 2011 every penny of that has been authorized either directly or with silent assent by the very legislative House which has the power of the purse and has a majority of R’s. I am ahead of the curve somewhat here. I actually listened to Romney and Ryan and learned they were not as they claimed. For example, Romney came out in favor of a minimum wage indexed to inflation. Really? In 2012 I voted for the Constitution Party candidate. I have seen nothing since that election to give me any confidence that the United States Ship of State will be better piloted by an R than by a D. I will not vote for Wagner, I live in the 3rd. I will not vote for Blaine either. He just voted to fund, arm and train the allies of ISIS waging jihad against the Syrian government and to fund every dream from a Kenyan father’s marxist imagination through December. i don’t know when their party will ever comprehend that with the current regime, the USA is in a battle for its very existence – and we’re losing. Conceding to the other side is not a winning strategy. I will vote for individual Republicans, absolutely no Democrats but I prefer Gary Johnson’s neighbor’s two dogs to Mickey Mouse. Nothing against Mickey but he’s even older than I.

  6. Bill, you write,”While Mrs. Wagner is reliably pro-life and an ardent defender of the 2nd Amendment,” Ardent defender of the 2nd Amendment; I don’t know about that.She and Blaine Luetkemeyer recently voted on an amendment drafted by a Democrap restricting people’s gun rights with PTSD or mental illness, and possibly people on anti-depressants in a knee jerk reaction to the killer in California by knifing, shooting and using his car as a weapon against his victims.

    1. Greg,

      I understand your concern, and you raise a good point. I believe Wagner and Leutkemeyer violated their consciences at the behest of the chamber of commerce. More evidence that money is her principle, not Self-Governance.

      1. The following is the article about their votes.

        by Dana Criswell, Federal Laws, Laws & Legislation, New Stories
        House Republicans Vote to Deny Second Amendment Rights to Millions
        June 4, 2014 11:05 am·27 comments

        House-of-Representatives-Chambers-In-US-CapitolBY DANA CRISWELL – June 4, 2014

        Last week while the NRA was spending their time and our money supporting Thad Cochran and denigrating those of us who supported Chis McDaniel, many Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives were busy passing more gun-control legislation.

        According to Dudley Brown of the National Association of Gun Rights one in three Republicans decided to vote against your rights by supporting Barack Obama’s agenda to label millions of American’s “mentally ill”. The Obama administration has been successful in denying more over 175,000 of our nations veterans their Second Amendment rights in this manner and are attempting to expand this to every American.

        The amendment provids $20 million additional dollars for the federal government to acquire as many private medical records as possible and dump them into a national database. Once these records are obtained millions of citizens will be labeled mentally ill and denied their right to possess a firearm.

        The mental illness threat is largely made up by those seeking to limit our rights and destroy the Second Amendment. In research published by The American Journal of Psychiatry, VOL. 163, No. 8, Dr. Paul S. Appelbaum found through his research that only 5% of those convicted of violent crimes were people who suffered from a mental disorder.

        Following his research, Dr. Appelbaum came to two conclusions, First, the proportion of violence that they (people with mental disorders) account for is relatively small, suggesting that the well-documented public perception of the mentally ill as dangerous persons is substantially exaggerated. Secondly, that the disproportionate attention given to their acts of violence by the media and by our elected representatives is unwarranted.

        The assault on our rights and the Second Amendment comes from many directions. The Republicans who followed the lead of the Democrats and voted for this amendment are either allies with Obama in his attempt to destroy our rights or simply not smart enough to understand the real issue. Either way, they need to be sent home.

        Here is the list provided by the National Association of Gun Rights of the Republicans who voted for this amendment:

        Spencer Bachus III (202) 225-4921California
        Darrell Issa (202) 225-3906
        Edward Royce (202) 225-4111
        Jeff Denham (202) 225-4540
        David Valadao (202) 225-4695
        Mike Coffman (202) 225-7882

        Vern Buchanan (202) 225-5015
        Ander Crenshaw (202) 225-2501
        Mario Diaz-Balart (202) 225-4211
        Dennis Ross (202) 225-1252
        David Jolly (202) 225-5961

        Rob Woodall (202) 225-4272

        Peter Roskam (202) 225-4561
        Aaron Schock (202) 225-6201
        Adam Kinzinger (202) 225-3635
        Rodney Davis (202) 225-2371

        Larry Bucshon (202) 225-4636
        Todd Young (202) 225-5315
        Susan Brooks (202) 225-2276

        Tom Latham (202) 225-5476

        Harold Rogers (202) 225-4601
        Ed Whitfield (202) 225-3115

        Dave Camp (202) 225-3561
        Mike Rogers (202) 225-4872
        Fred Upton (202) 225-3761

        Erik Paulsen (202) 225-2871

        Blaine Luetkemeyer (202) 225-2956
        Ann Wagner (202) 225-1621

        Joseph Heck (202) 225-32521
        Mark Amodei (202) 225-6155

        New Jersey
        Rodney Frelinghuysen (202) 225-5034
        Frank LoBiondo (202) 225-6572
        Christopher Smith (202) 225-3765
        Leonard Lance (202) 225-5361
        Jon Runyan (202) 225-4765

        New York
        Peter King (202) 225-7896
        Tom Reed II (202) 225-3161
        Michael Grimm (202) 225-3371
        Christopher Gibson (202) 225-5614North Carolina
        Walter Jones Jr. (202) 225-3415
        Patrick Tiberi (202) 225-5355
        Michael Turner (202) 225-6465
        Steve Stivers (202) 225-2015
        James Renacci (202) 225-3876
        Bob Gibbs (202) 225-6265
        David Joyce (202) 225-5731

        Greg Walden (202) 225-6730

        Jim Gerlach (202) 225-4315
        Tim Murphy (202) 225-2301
        Joseph Pitts (202) 225-2411
        Michael Fitzpatrick (202) 225-4276
        Charles Dent (202) 225-6411
        Glenn Thompson (202) 225-5121
        Mike Kelly (202) 225-5406
        Patrick Meehan (202) 225-2011
        Tom Marino (202) 225-3731
        Lou Barletta (202) 225-6511
        Keith Rothfus (202) 225-2065

        South Carolina
        Trey Gowdy (202) 225-6030
        Mick Mulvaney (202) 225-5501
        Tom Rice (202) 225-9895

        South Dakota
        Kristi Noem (202) 225-2801

        Eric Cantor (202) 225-2815
        Bob Goodlatte (202) 225-5431
        Frank Wolf (202) 225-5136
        Scott Rigell (202) 225-4215
        Robert Hurt (202) 225-4711

        Doc Hastings (202) 225-5816
        Cathy McMorris Rodgers (202) 225-2006
        David Reichert (202) 225-7761
        Jaime Herrera Beutler (202) 225-3536

        West Virginia
        David McKinley (202) 225-4172

        Paul Ryan (202) 225-3031
        Jim Sensenbrenner (202) 225-5101
        Sean Duffy (202) 225-3365
        Reid Ribble (202) 225-5665

        (Source = 2014 House Roll Call Vote #249)

        Please take a moment to call the members from your area and give them an earful.

      2. The following is another article that explains it better. House of Representatives passes Bill, enables restriction of 2nd Amendment right
        BY MICHAEL VASS | MAY 31, 2014
        Without fanfare, and well below the radar of almost everyone, the House of Representatives has just enabled New York State (and any other State contributing to the NICS database) to violate HIPAA laws and revoke gun permits without justification or cause. It sounds too crazy to be true, and most would think that defenders of the 2nd Amendment would prevent such a violation of rights to occur, but that is not the case.
        2nd Amendment
        We first learned of this from Gun Owners of America. In a post on their website they highlight HR 4660 and specifically H Amd 704. It is the Amendment that is critical to gun owners across the nation and especially in New York State. H Amd 704 will provide $19.5 million to States to update the National Instant Criminal Background Check system.
        Let’s pause for a few details.
        HR 4660 is a boring and relatively bland appropriations Bill that will fund various agencies of the Government. It was passed 5/30/14, in a vote of 321-87 (NY-22 Rep. Richard Hanna voted to pass this Bill). This Bill, like most, contained Amendments to it – in this case 84 of them.
        H Amd 704 authorized spending $19.5 million to encourage States to voluntarily add names of citizens to the National Instant Criminal Background Check system (NICS).
        What is NICS?
        NICS is a database that is used at the point of sale of a firearm. Anyone on this list will be denied the ability to own a firearm. In addition, those on the database with a firearms permit can have that permit revoked and the firearm confiscated. The list is meant for those:
        Convicted or under indictment of a crime punishable by 1 year imprisonment
        A fugitive
        Has been adjudicated as a mental defective or committed to a mental institution
        Is subject to a court order that restrains the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of such intimate partner
        There are other conditions that could cause a person to be added to this list, but for the purpose of this article we will stop here. The 3rd item is the one that matter to those in NYS, as per the NY Safe Act. According to Jim Tresmond of Tresmond Law Firm, on the Tom Bauerle Show – WBEN 930AM, citizens are having their firearm permits revoked,
        “That is a fact. We are representing a client right now, who is been impacted by this onerous activity of the Government.” – Jim Tresmond
        How is this happening?
        Apparently, New York State is searching medical records of firearm permit holders – in violation of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and the 4th Amendment – without cause, and isolating those receiving psychiatric care and (at least) anti-anxiety medication. These individuals, a full tally of which is currently unknown, are thus having their firearm license revoked and firearms confiscated. All without any incident, violation of law, or other factor involved. All under the power of the NY Safe Act.
        So what does this have to do with HR 4460 and H Amd 704? This is how it all ties together.
        Since 2007, Congress has paid States that voluntarily add people to the NICS database. The reasoning is, as sponsor Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) states,
        “Our states need more resources to get all their information into the NICS system,” Thompson said. “If we give them these resources, we can stop dangerous people from getting guns. And we can save lives.”
        It should be noted that the NICS has never been proven to have prevented a single mass shooting ever. There is large debate if the database can ever prevent a mass shooting, no matter how many are placed upon it. Which says nothing of the debate about the impact the NICS has on criminal possession and use of firearms.
        But, back to the point at hand. The NICS database has been limited by the need for funding, which H Amd 704 will increase. New York State is using the NICS, and the NY Safe Act, to revoke licenses and restrict the 2nd Amendment rights of Americans, without cause and in violation of HIPAA law. NYS will now be able to increase the number of people that it will violate the rights of if HR 4660 becomes law – which is likely.
        As for the defenders of the 2nd Amendment? Like say the NRA or members of Congress like Rep. Richard Hanna, who has proudly promoted his NRA rating in his bid to be re-elected?
        Well in regard to the NRA and H Amd 704, the NRA had no position as of 5/29/14.
        Rep. Richard Hanna
        Rep. Richard Hanna and 13 Republicans, as well as 11 Democrats, had no position either way. They neither voted for nor against H Amd 704, and its potential to restrict the 2nd Amendment rights of Americans. 142 Republicans and 3 Democrats voted against the funding and imposition on the 2nd Amendment. Thus H Amd 704 passed and is part of HR 4660.
        That left another chance for Rep. Richard Hanna, and other “defenders” of the 2nd Amendment to prevent States like New York from violating the rights of Americans. All they had to do is vote NAY on HR 4660. If nothing else it would serve to prove they are reading the Bills they are voting on. It would show they are standing by the very convictions some, like Rep. Hanna, are asking voters to re-elect them for.
        Rep. Hanna and 203 Republicans, 117 Democrats as well, voted to pass HR 4660 – and H Amd 704 with it – on 5/30/14.
        So to conclude, very quietly, the House of Representatives has just taken a step to enable New York State to increase the number of American citizens – without criminal actions or incidents – that it will restrict the 2nd Amendment rights of. Passage of HR 4660 is likely in the Senate, and removal of H Amd 704 unlikely. Thus Congress is poised to help violate the rights of Americans across the nation potentially, and very realistically in New York State.
        Does this sound like what you elected your member of Congress for? Is this the defending of the 2nd Amendment you were told about on the campaign trail? Does this reflect your views and that of your neighbors/co-workers/friends?
        You can do nothing, now that you know. You could re-elect the various members of Congress that either didn’t read the Bill or just don’t think the public is smart enough to understand what is happening.
        OR, you can vote for an accountable and credible voice of the people in the primaries and mid-term elections this year. You can write a letter to your member of Congress, expressing that you are paying attention to what they are – or are not – doing in your name. You can join an organization of like minded people.
        You can do any of the above, if you want. But if you do nothing, especially in New York, especially if Rep. Richard Hanna is your Congressman, then don’t be surprised if tomorrow there is a knock at your door and the Government is there ready to take away your rights.

Comments are closed.