Ann Wagner Bests Ed Martin in Missouri's 2nd District on All Fronts

Having taken a closer, objective look at the GOP primary in Missouri’s new 2nd District, it would seem former Bush Ambassador Ann Wagner is a far better choice for Conservatives, than is Ed Martin – and then some. In fact, some of what I’ve seen on and from Martin is at least mildly troubling – enough so to raise a red flag, or two.

When I saw a link for Jim Hoft’s site, Gateway Pundit on Martin’s site, I assumed he was backing Martin and gave Jim a call. To be clear, Jim spoke well of both potential nominees, though he is backing Ann Wagner. After speaking with Jim, I certainly don’t want to go out of my way to run down Ed Martin, but research, facts, records, reputations and actions are what they are. Adding up what I’ve been able to ascertain, Ann Wagner is hands down by far the preferred candidate in the race.

For starters, Wagner bested Martin 5 – 1 in their latest reported fund raising efforts and added twice the number of new donors. It’s also important to note that Martin rolled in dollars from his abandoned Senate campaign to up his published numbers quite a bit.

He threw his name in the US Senate race. In time, Ed Martin realized he was no match for Sarah Steelman’s lackluster campaign. How sad is that! Steelman’s last two fundraising quarters has many in the media calling the campaign in real trouble. So Martin wandered off into another US House race only to have Ann Wagner join the race too. Once again, we see the lack of enthusiasm for Mr. Martin.

With Russ Carnahan a likely entry on the Democrat side, it’s going to take real money, solid support and a tenacious fighter to ensure a win, even in the Republican leaning District. Wagner has demonstrated her significant ability to raise campaign dollars, not only for herself, but for several other conservative Republicans, as well – that’s a team player and something of a campaign all-star in my book. Helping others achieve their goals also pays great dividends in terms of support and endorsements. There’s nothing bad about that, it’s actually how the system works best for everyone involved.

Moreover, I know what a fighter she is from her previous run for RNC Chair. Ed Martin bailed on a Senate race when the mountain looked too steep to climb. While I have no desire to question his dedication, or commitment, it simply doesn’t speak well for him going into a potentially challenging raise against an experienced, likely well-funded and slick hand like Carnahan. On paper, Ann Wagner looks to clearly be a far better match.

Total Number of Donors

• Ed Martin for Congress: 153

• Ann Wagner for Congress: 371

Total Amount Raised in Q2

• Ed Martin for Congress: $93,807.37

• Ann Wagner for Congress: $523,130.00

Total Number of Donors• Ed Martin for Congress: 153• Ann Wagner for Congress: 371

Total Amount Raised in Q2• Ed Martin for Congress: $93,807.37• Ann Wagner for Congress: $523,130.00

In addition to those concerns, Martin not only dropped his Senate bid, he did it for a House race in a District in which he doesn’t even live. Unfortunately, that makes him look like someone more interested in calculating his way to the easiest path to Washington, not someone ready for a fight no matter the odds, as he might proclaim. And all such claims will be fair game when he faces a Democrat – winning a primary doesn’t get you across the real finish line.

Visiting his site, I noticed a call by Martin for both he and Wagner to pledge allegiance to Reagan’s so-called 11th Commandment – thou shalt speak no ill of a fellow Republican. Why is that? He doesn’t cite any attack from Wagner, so it comes off as weak, even defensive somehow. There are better reasons for a Conservative to invoke Reagan’s name than merely in an effort to play defense, or somehow protect oneself from mixing it up a bit.

Perhaps more importantly, is not doing that proactively, as it appears Martin did, in a strange sense, almost attacking an opponent personally, somehow? Whatever the case, it struck me as a poorly thought out move, at the very least. And good luck with the whole commandment thing once a Republican faces off against a Democrat. Vetting is a positive part of any primary, so why would Martin attempt to short-circuit it?

And then there’s a poll he is touting at the top of his site, making it appear as though he is by far the preferred candidate to Wagner. But is that really the case? The poll was conducted by American Viewpoint. It didn’t take long to get to the bottom of that. Tsk tsk, Ed – perhaps we need a commandment for pushing dubious polls, too? Just sayin’, my friend.

About that Martin/Wagner Poll

So regardless of how little they choose to share with the public about their methodology, American Viewpoint hasn’t been wildly off in similar studies.

Ultimately – and unfortunately, my own research then led me to this little tidbit excerpted below. Allegedly subverting Sunshine Laws, changing locks on doors and deleting emails? Good luck keeping Democrats from bringing all this up based upon Reagan’s Commandment. Somehow, I doubt it works.

As I said at top, research, facts, records, reputations and actions all speak for themselves. I’ve no desire to impugn anyone, but simply to look at what’s what and make the best judgement I can as regards any candidate in any one race. To the best of my knowledge, Ann Wagner’s record is squeaky clean. She’s exceptionally accomplished and raises campaign dollars hand over fist. Based upon my observations of her RNC Chair bid, she’s a well-organized, disciplined, determined and willing fighter able to hold her own with the best of them. Add to all that, she actually lives within the District she intends to represent, and with absolutely no personal animosity for Ed Martin at all, the only conclusion I can possibly reach is precisely what I said at top – Ann Wagner bests Ed Martin in MO 02 on all fronts.

Piecing it all together: Matt Blunt, Ed Martin and the firing of Scott Eckersley

Though the formal investigation into the record retention practices of the Blunt administration records has concluded, Scott Eckersley’s defamation suit is yet to be resolved.

As first reported by Fired Up!, Eckersley, a former Blunt staff lawyer, was fired in September 2007. Eckersley says he was fired after raising concerns about whether Blunt’s office was properly applying the Sunshine Law to e-mails. But after Eckersley was fired, Governor Blunt, COS Ed Martin and others tried to convince the public that Eckersley’s dismissal was the result of improper use of state resources, and had nothing to do with his warnings about the legal record retention requirements.

However, the publicly released emails from Ed Martin, Richard Aubuchon, Rich Chrismer and others show that requests for details on Eckersley’s computer and phone use came after Fired Up! reported that Eckersley had been locked out of the Governor’s office.

Ed Martin’s email records confirm Fired Up!’s story that Ed Martin changed the locks to the Governor’s office to lock out Eckersley on the morning of Monday, 9/24.

Eckersley’s computer was not being monitored until after Fired Up! published details of the firing.

Eckersley’s long distance phone records were requested after Fired Up! published details of the firing.

And in what may just be an unfortunate coincidence, Chief of Staff Ed Martin (1) reported losing emails and (2) asked the entire staff to change their official email account passwords the Friday after the firing was publicized, and just hours after receiving new Sunshine requests.

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