Ann Wagner was invited to be the keynote speaker at this year’s luncheon. She was asked to speak before she declared her candidacy for Congress. According to MoFRW bylaws, and as a club, at either the state level or local level, endorsing any candidates in the primary is not permitted. Once Ann declared she was running for Congress, I was told the woman in charge of the luncheon, she had called Ann to explain that her speech at the luncheon could not be a campaign speech. Following, Ann agreed to the terms and was kept as the MoFRW keynote speaker this year.
According to my friend, on the morning of the luncheon when Ann arrived in Columbia, she was again told that she could not use her address as a campaign speech. Again, Ann had agreed to the terms. But, as soon as Ann began speaking, my friend said it was painfully evident that she was going against MoFRW bylaws. Ann used her time speaking to further her own campaign for Congress.
My friend was dispirited that Ann blatantly disregarded the instructions given to her by the MoFRW board. As the MoFRW bylaws state, if one primary candidate speaks at a club meeting all the candidates must be invited to the event with each given equal time to speak. Obviously, Ann was the only candidate invited, it was impossible to give Ed Martin equal time and she knew that.
Furthermore, the blogger claimed that Wagner left the event immediately after speaking, not bothering to stick around for other women receiving awards from the group:
Disheartened, my friend told me that Ann left as soon as she was done speaking. Ann didn’t have the courtesy to stay long enough for the women to be honored and receive their awards. In addition, this was the first time a keynote speaker did not stay at the luncheon for the entire program.