Jo Mannies | KBIA

Jo Mannies

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter.  She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

Jill Biden, wife of likely Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, is calling for Americans to be mindful of threats to their votes as they head into this fall’s contest between her husband and President Donald Trump.

During an online fundraising event Thursday with St. Louis supporters, Jill Biden recounted her sister’s experience in Tuesday’s primary in Pennsylvania. She said her sister voted in person and was concerned that when she turned in her sealed ballot, the poll worker took it into another room.

“My sister said to me: ‘Jill, I didn’t see him put it in a box. I didn’t see him put it anywhere safe.’”

All Americans need to ensure that “our votes count,’’ Jill Biden said.

On the latest edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies try to wrap their arms around Missouri’s Democratic presidential primary — which will take place on March 10.

One of the reasons that contest is difficult to gauge right now is that Missouri’s delegates are up for grabs a week after Super Tuesday. And it’s unclear how many of the seven major candidates will still be in the race by the time the Show-Me State goes to the polls.

Absentee voting is already underway for Missouri’s presidential primary on March 10.

But it’s unclear how much attention the primary will receive from candidates or voters. Or how important Missouri’s votes will be in choosing the two major parties’ nominees.

Would-be voters in Missouri have until Feb. 12 to register.

Politically speaking, Missouri politics changed dramatically throughout the 2010s.

At the beginning of the decade, the Show-Me State was a place where Democrats dominated in high-stakes statewide contests — while Republicans prevailed in state legislative elections. By the end of 2019, Republicans maintained unprecedented control over Missouri politics.

State Rep.-elect Trish Gunby is the latest guest on Politically Speaking. The St. Louis County Democrat talked with St. Louis Public Radio’s Julie O’Donoghue and Jo Mannies about her victory in the 99th House District special election that flipped the seat.

Gunby defeated Republican Lee Ann Pitman to serve out an unexpired term in a district that takes in Valley Park, Manchester, Twin Oaks and parts of unincorporated St. Louis County. 

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 23, 2013 - PROMO, the St. Louis-based statewide gay rights organization, says it is joining with the regional ACLU to develop a strategy for moving forward in Missouri, despite the state’s constitutional ban against gay marriage.

PROMO executive director A.J. Bockelman has announced that, beginning in September, the two groups are “setting up a series of town hall meetings to share information, give an overview of what federal benefits currently apply to legally married couples, gather stories, and develop strategies for next steps toward marriage in Missouri.”

In this week’s Political Speaking news roundup, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum, Julie O’Donoghue and Jo Mannies discuss Sen. Roy Blunt’s reaction to the Democratic House’s move toward impeaching President Trump and the Ukraine controversy.

We also chat about the ongoing discussion over new gambling machines that have popped up in gas stations, fraternal lodges and convenience stores across the state. House lawmakers held a hearing in Jefferson City on Thursday regarding whether the new machines are legal and the challenges with regulating them.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 11, 2013 - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said Monday that he has ordered the state's Office of Administration to review all contracts in connection with a rodeo event at the Missouri State Fair where a clown wearing a mask of President Barack Obama was chased by a bull.

The governor, who appoints the fair board, emphasized that he was committed "to determine what actions can be taken to hold those people accountable."

Publish Date: 2013-05-17 12:49:47
Authors: Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum and Jason Rosenbaum
Position: Beacon political reporter and
During final hours of session, Missouri Senate kills tax credit, transportation tax proposals

Hours before adjournment for the year, a state Senate filibuster appears to have killed a tax credit package that had won approval from the House just a couple hours earlier.

The package had been assembled by House and Senate conferees late Thursday and approved by leaders in both chambers.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 10, 2013 - Former Vice President Al Gore took issue Saturday with the Republican characterization of wealthy Americans as “the job creators’’ who needed to be protected from too many taxes.

Gore – speaking to a packed audience in St. Louis County -- argued that the label actually belongs to middle-class Americans who fuel the consumerism that has been the basis of the nation’s economy since the early 1900s.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 19, 2013 -Bev Randles, the new chair of the Missouri Club for Growth, has several objectives for this year. Among them: expanding the major donor base beyond wealthy financier Rex Sinquefield.

Sinquefield contributed $660,000 to the group in 2012 – representing virtually all of the Missouri Club for Growth’s funding.

The latest edition of Politically Speaking takes a closer look at what’s historically known as the Board of Freeholders, a 19-person body that could present a plan merging St. Louis and St. Louis County to local voters.

Earlier this week, the Municipal League of Metro St. Louis submitted its last batches of signatures in St. Louis and St. Louis County to jumpstart the freeholders process. St. Louis County Board of Elections Democratic Director Eric Fey said the county’s signatures will likely be certified on Monday.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 21, 2012 - Former Missouri state treasurer and former congressman Wendell Bailey, R-Willow Springs, has announced that he’s jumping into the crowded GOP field seeking to succeed U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson.

But Bailey just wants to be a placeholder until a Republican primary in 2014.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 15, 2012 - As of January 1, Missouri’s state minimum wage will increase to $7.35 an hour – or 10 cents above the federal minimum wage.

And not everyone is pleased.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 29, 2012 - Focusing on energy, economics and the environment, Republican U.S. Senate nominee Todd Akin suggested today that the Environmental Protection Agency “needs to be changed significantly’’ and “redesigned.’’

Akin, a congressman from Wildwood, said that the EPA was bent on “shutting down the coal industry,’’ which he said could lead to higher energy prices in Missouri.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 10, 2012 - When it comes to Missouri’s budget, both parties tend to agree on one issue: Something needs to be done about the rising costs of the state’s tax credits.

Even Gov. Jay Nixon and his Republican rival Dave Spence agree on that point, although they differ on almost everything else.

On this edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Julie O’Donoghue, Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum reflect on the rise and fall of former St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger.

The Democratic official was sentenced to 46 months in prison last week for his role in a pay-to-play scheme. He’s been the subject of public scorn after a sentencing memo detailed vulgar and boorish comments about his political enemies.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 6, 2012 - CHARLOTTE, N.C. – St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay says he has spent part of his 48 hours at the Democratic national convention talking to other Democrats and party officials about rethinking President Barack Obama’s chances in Missouri.

“I’d love to see the Obama campaign put money in Missouri and to work hard to try to win the state,’’ said Slay on Thursday, as he left the Missouri delegation’s morning breakfast.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 9, 2012 - Missouri’s two major-party nominees for the U.S. Senate — Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill and Republican challenger Todd Akin — each waded Thursday into touchy social-issue territory.

As McCaskill, D-Mo., shook hands with supporters following her re-election kickoff event Thursday in St. Louis, ally Fred Tompkins asked the senator why she had voted for Amendment 2.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 29, 2012 - The job of St. Louis treasurer, says candidate Tishaura Jones, is about more than being “a parking lot attendant.”

But from a financial standpoint, that could be a point of debate. Parking is certainly central to the city treasurer’s office -- and to the political battle now underway to fill the job.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 4, 2012 - Missouri Supreme Court Judge William Ray Price Jr., by far the longest-serving member of the current seven-member court, is stepping down from his post. Price, who was appointed by a Republican governor, wrote that he was doing so out of concern that Missouri's judge-selection system may be changed.

Officially called the Nonpartisan Court Plan, the process has been under fire for years from conservatives who contend the process favors liberal judges. Price disagrees.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 4, 2012 - As U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill sees it, she was siding with workers – not employers — with her vote last week against U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt’s proposal to allow employers to bar insurance coverage for certain medical procedures or services that the employer objects to, on ethical or religious grounds.

“I don’t think the boss should be able to decide what health care you get,’’ McCaskill said in an interview Saturday with the Beacon.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 24, 2009 - Henry Herschel, former chief counsel to former Gov. Matt Blunt, is among five former state workers who sued Gov. Jay Nixon today because he eliminated their jobs.

The five, including Herschel, had been among 40 administrative law judges who handle cases within the state's workers compensation program.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 30, 2009 - Declaring that he's "angrier than words can describe,'' Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announced today he's ordered an investigation into how the state Department of Natural Resources "mishandled" -- as he sees it -- the discovery last spring of high E. coli levels in the Lake of the Ozarks.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 16, 2010 - The Missouri Democratic Party eagerly pounced today on Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, a Republican, after his office announced that Deputy Lieutenant Governor Jerry Dowell is on five-days unpaid leave as punishment "for using state resources to advocate for political candidates."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 30, 2009 - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has joined in the parade in state officials who are calling for various types of "ethics reform'' in the wake of recent controversies, arrests and convictions involving the public or personal antics of some of their own.

In a letter sent to legislators, and underscored in a press conference call Wednesday morning, Nixon laid out four proposed actions that he said were key, if the Legislature was to regain the public trust:

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 7, 2010 - Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan chose Democrat Days in Hannibal this weekend to reinforce her campaign image as a rancher-turned-U.S. Senate hopeful, and to roll out her sharpest direct attacks yet against the best-known Republican for the post, U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 22, 2010 - Former St. Louis County Executive Gene McNary is stepping down as executive director of the Missouri Gaming Commission and acknowledges that he's doing so because he expected to be replaced soon.

"Gene saw the changing of the guard," said commission spokeswoman LeeAnn McCarthy.

On the latest edition of Politically Speaking, Jo Mannies reunites with St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum for a special edition of the show featuring former Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt.

Blunt served as the state’s chief executive from 2005 to 2009. He was the first Republican governor to serve with a GOP-controlled General Assembly in modern history.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 28, 2010 - U.S. Sen. Christopher "Kit" Bond, R-Mo., and Dick Durbin, D-Ill, were the first of the region's congressional delegation this morning to comment on the death of Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., the Senate's most veteran member.

Byrd died this morning at a hospital in Fairfax, Va., in suburban Washington. He was 92 and had been in office since 1959.