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.

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.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 03, 2010 - U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-St. Louis, sought to dispel a few rumors today while also promoting his Career Fair, set for next Monday at Harris-Stowe State University.

The congressman also predicted that Missouri will end up retaining its nine congressional seats once the current national census is complete. Clay heads the U.S. House subcommittee overseeing the census operations.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 5, 2011 - The village of Plato, Mo.,  in Texas County, will be holding a celebration next Monday in honor of its selection as the "2010 Census Center of Population."

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Plato represents "the mean center of population ... the point at which an imaginary, flat, weightless and rigid map of the United States would balance perfectly if all 308.7 million residents are counted where they live and all weigh exactly the same."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 14, 2011 - Leaders of Missouri's preservationist movement succeeded by Friday in blocking an amendment, added Thursday in the Missouri House, that stripped out the entertainer/athlete tax money that goes to the State Historic Preservation Office, and shifted the money to athletic programs at Lincoln and Harris-Stowe state universities. 

Both the House and Senate dropped the amendment Friday

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 6, 2010 - U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., is the first area member of Congress to praise American Airlines for its announcement that 545 furloughed TWA flight attendants are being re-hired.

The senator noted that she "helped negotiate a deal between American Airlines and the former TWA flight attendants to extend their recall rights."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 23, 2010 - While the battle continues in his home state over who will replace him, U.S. Sen. Christopher "Kit" Bond, R-Mo., is in Washington focusing on tax policy.

On Wednesday, he stood on the Senate floor to call for retaining all the Bush tax cuts -- and maybe adding a few more.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 30, 2010 - Missouri Chief Justice William Ray Price Jr. offered up a strong defense today of the state's embattled nonpartisan selection system, while announcing three changes aimed at making the selection process "more transparent to the public."

Price's audience: nearly 900 lawyers and judges attending the joint annual meeting of the Missouri Bar and the Judicial Conference of Missouri, held in Columbia.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 16, 2010 - To hear some St. Louis area Democrats talk, the buzz around outgoing state Auditor Susan Montee's public observation that she hopes to remain in "public service'' doesn't center on a possible bid for another elective office in 2012.

Rather, Montee is being touted as a possible choice to take over as state Democratic Party chairman, as part of a move to rebuild a state party structure that is summarily derided -- in private, if not in public -- by Democrats upset over their party's heavy losses Nov. 2.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 12, 2010 - Missouri's Legislature is yet to go back into session, and new members have yet to be sworn in. But groups keenly interested in influencing the body's direction are already active.

That's particularly true of the Missouri AFL-CIO, which has invited union leaders and supporters to attend a special meeting next Tuesday at the Truman Hotel in Jefferson City. The topic? To discuss a "strategic plan'' for battling the expected effort of some Republican legislators to change the state's labor laws and make it a "right to work" state.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 29, 2011 - Without getting political about it, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is hoping that Florida's loss is Missouri's gain.

Nixon stopped by Amtrak's train station in downtown Kirkwood this morning to announce that his office was submitting an application to snag almost $1 billion in high-speed rail money that his Florida counterpart, Gov. Rick Scott, has rejected.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 11, 2011 - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster appeared to have caught many current and previous political colleagues off-guard today with his friend-of-the-court brief that challenges the mandate in the federal health-care law that requires most Americans to buy insurance by 2014. 

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 3, 2011 - About 10,000 residents in the current 3rd congressional district got a chance Thursday to listen and talk to U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-St. Louis, about their concerns -- which, in this crowd, skewed toward protecting Social Security and Medicare, while also creating jobs.

U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner sees herself as a survivor who’s out to warn fellow Republicans from the suburbs that they are an endangered species – and face potential extinction in 2020 – unless the national party changes course.

By all accounts, the suburban “blue wave’’ last November swept the Democrats into control in the U.S. House.

“Obviously, there’s no mystery, no question. We lost a lot of Republican seats in suburban districts,” said Wagner, R-Ballwin.

St. Louis County Councilwoman Lisa Clancy joins St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies to talk about a slew of issues affecting county government.

Clancy was sworn in last week to represent the council’s 5th District, which takes in more than a dozen municipalities in eastern and central St. Louis County.

In early December, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson stopped by Hunter Engineering near Lambert airport to raise money for his campaign committee.

Or, to be precise, for two campaign committees: One is the traditional campaign operation, called Parson for Missouri, while the second is a political-action committee – called Uniting Missouri – that officially is separate.