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The Case Against Ann Wagner

“Throughout her decades in politics, Congresswoman Ann Wagner has made clear she would rather look out for her campaign donors and special interest friends than the St. Louisans she was elected to represent. Jill Schupp, whose deep roots ground her in suburban St. Louis, is committed to addressing the issues Wagner has neglected for so long – whether it’s lowering the cost of prescription drugs or making sure the middle-class has a fair shot. This suburban, highly educated district is primed for Democrats to flip it in November and I look forward to seeing Jill Schupp serve Missourians in Congress come 2021.” – DCCC Chairwoman Cheri Bustos

To: Interested Parties
From: Courtney Rice, DCCC Regional Press Secretary
Date: August 4, 2020
Subject: The Case Against Ann Wagner

Congresswoman Ann Wagner is the epitome of the Washington swamp. A career politician, she has spent her time in office cozying up to Republican Party elites and special interest donors to fund her campaigns rather than working for the Missourians she claims to represent. From her vote for the Republican tax bill that gave a massive handout to her Wall Street donors to her votes against lowering the cost of prescription drugs that protected her friends at Big Pharma, it’s clear Wagner doesn’t have her constituents’ best interests at heart.

State Senator Jill Schupp is running for Congress to address the issues that matter to voters in the St. Louis area. Schupp got into politics, not to increase her personal wealth or curry favor, but because she saw a problem at her sons’ school and stood up to fix it when no one else would. Since then, she’s been focused on helping her community by championing commonsense, bipartisan solutions, like eliminating surprise billing in emergency rooms, making daycare centers safer for young children, requiring training for mental health professionals to identify and prevent potential suicides, and increasing the availability of rape kits.


Editorial: Rep. Ann Wagner’s loyalty to financial industry stinks of swamp politics [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 03/22/17]

“U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner clearly wants her St. Louis County constituents to believe she’s fighting the good fight in Washington against bureaucrats run amok. The last thing she wants is for voters to know how deeply she is in the pockets of payday lenders and big banking interests.”

Editorial: The virus and unemployment make Obamacare crucial. The GOP still wants it dead. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 06/27/20]

HEADLINE: Ann Wagner Gleefully Cackles ‘Freedom!’ While Gutting Affordable Care Act [Riverfront Times, 05/04/17]

HEADLINE: Schupp raises more money than Wagner in St. Louis-area congressional race [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 07/16/20]

Once a GOP bastion, these St. Louis suburbs have gotten more purple of late. President Trump took 52 percent here in 2016, down from Mitt Romney’s 57 percent in 2012. In 2018, Democratic attorney Cort VanOstran held Wagner to a surprisingly close 51 percent to 47 percent margin as Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill carried the district en route to losing statewide. This cycle, Democrats scored state Sen. Jill Schupp, an advertising businesswoman who beat former Sen. John Ashcroft’s son to flip a state senate seat in 2014. Schupp raised $475,000 in 2019 and will rehash portrayals of Wagner, a former ambassador to Luxembourg, as an out-of-touch socialite.” [Cook Political Report, 03/27/20]

HEADLINE: Parson signs law designed to boost hospital services for rape victims [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 07/14/20]

Sen. Jill Schupp, D-Creve Coeur, pushed for the addition of the rape kit provision, saying sexual assault victims have been turned away by hospitals because there are few nurses certified to perform exams used to collect evidence in a sexual assault.”

Ann Wagner: A Creature of the Washington Swamp


Congresswoman Ann Wagner has spent more than three decades attempting to curry influence and favor among the DC elite. Wagner has served as a party flack for Republicans – from working as the Missouri Director for the Bush-Quayle campaign to serving as Chair of the Missouri Republican Party for six years to co-chairing the Republican National Committee in 2001. A “prolific” Republican Party establishment fundraiser, Wagner was a bundler ($200,000-plus) for George W. Bush during his reelection, for which she was “reward[ed]… with [a] plum overseas appointment” as U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg.

Since then, Wagner has unsuccessfully attempted to climb the political ladder. Wagner not only lost her bid for RNC Chair in 2011, but bowed out of running for the U.S. Senate in 2017 only after “a very public campaign by… high-profile Republicans to recruit” Josh Hawley, and similarly “withdrew” her name from contention for NRCC Chair after Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy “had a different plan.” One thing throughout Wagner’s career is clear: she’s always sought to climb up the political ladder and advance her own self-interests – not anyone else’s.

Jill Schupp’s entrance into public life couldn’t have been more different. A mother of two, Jill first ran for public office because her sons and their teachers were unable to learn in 98-degree classrooms without air conditioning. No one in charge would fix the problem, so Jill decided to run for school board and fix it herself. Since then, she’s been addressing everyday issues that matter to suburban St. Louis and she’ll continue to do just that in Congress.


Since entering Congress, Ann Wagner has been the darling of Wall Street and big banks. Over the course of her career, her campaign and leadership PAC have taken more than $1.8 million from Wall Street. It’s no wonder, then, that she votes their way in Washington. Wagner voted for the GOP tax bill that served as a giveaway to big corporations and the wealthiest few at the expense of the middle class. In fact, banks and financial institutions were “among the biggest winners” of Wagner’s tax bill, with the biggest banks making a record $56 billion in profits as a result. But middle-class Missourians? They were left out to dry with only a “small slice of the windfall that banks large and small” received going to workers.

Wagner also sided with her campaign donors when she voted for the CHOICE Act, legislation that sought to overhaul financial industry regulations and repeal many reforms that were enacted after the Great Recession of 2008. It’s no wonder the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Editorial Board warned that Wagner’s loyalty to financial industry “stinks of swamp politics.”

Jill Schupp’s loyalties couldn’t stand in clearer contrast. While Wagner fills her campaign coffers with donations from special interests, Jill Schupp is building a grassroots movement that is responsive only to the people she hopes to represent. That’s why more than 81% of her campaign contributions have come from Missouri, from more than 7,675 individual donors.


As the saying goes, “follow the money.” In Congresswoman Wagner’s case, given that she has taken more than a quarter of a million dollars from the pharmaceutical industry, it’s no surprise that she has consistently voted against legislation the industry doesn’t like. For example, Wagner voted against the bipartisan Lower Drug Costs Now Act (H.R.3), which would allow the federal government to negotiate lower drug prices and was projected to reduce drug prices by 55 percent, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. Wagner also voted against earlier bipartisan legislation that would have restricted anti-competitive behaviors undertaken by pharmaceutical companies. That’s not to mention Wagner’s support for the GOP tax bill that was considered “a major victory for pharma manufacturers” and gave a tax break to the top five pharmaceutical companies to the tune of $42.7 billion. Those same industries are rewarding her this election cycle. In June 2020, a pharma-backed group ran paid advertising in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch misleadingly thanking Wagner for her ‘work’ on prescription drugs.

Wagner’s disastrous health care record goes farther than keeping the price of medicine high. A true party lackey, Wagner has been attempting to take away Missourians’ access to affordable health care since coming to Congress in 2012. Wagner called the Affordable Care Act, which guarantees young people can stay on their parent’s insurance until age 26 and defends people with pre-existing conditions – including 320,500 Missourians in the 2nd Congressional District – a “trainwreck.” She also said she was “proud” of her vote to gut protections and access to affordable care. If Wagner had her way, 13,000 Missourians in her district would lose their health care.

Despite the law’s growing popularity, Wagner voted against defending the ACA in court as recently as last year. Wagner also voted for the Republican’s failed 2017 health care repeal bill – cheering “Freedom!” while discussing her vote to impose an age tax and gut coverage for 43,100 Missourians in the 2nd District.

Jill Schupp is running for Congress to make sure that all Missourians can afford quality health care because she knows it’s an issue that impacts her constituents every day. In the State Senate, she’s worked across the aisle to eliminate surprise billing in emergency rooms and will use that same bipartisan approach to address health care costs in Congress.


This dense suburban, highly educated district is the epitome of a swing district trending toward Democrats. Wagner scraped by in 2018 against Democrat Cort VanOstran with a 4-point win margin – her lowest margin of victory since she was first elected in 2012. Additionally, in 2018, both former Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill and State Auditor Nicole Galloway carried the district. More recently, Democrats flipped HD-99 in November 2019, which is entirely within the 2nd District, by an 8-point margin. That state House Democrat improved on VanOstran’s margin by 3%.

Nearly half of this district, 48.8%, has a college education, making it the most educated congressional district in the state of Missouri and the 29th most college-educated district in the country. Of the 28 districts that have higher rates of college education, only two are currently held by Republican members of Congress.

As a current State Senator, Schupp currently represents nearly 20% of registered 2nd District voters. In her reelection, she outperformed both McCaskill and Democratic House nominee VanOstran in the areas where her state senate district and the congressional district overlap.

The rapidly changing demographics of the district, coupled with previous Democratic electoral success and a clear contrast message of fighting for Missourians rather than the corporate donors who fund Wagner’s campaign, make this one of the top pickup opportunities in the country.


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