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.

St. Louis Public Radio’s political trio – Jason Rosenbaum, Jo Mannies and Rachel Lippmann – did a postmortem of Tuesday’s election results on the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley has defeated U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, giving the state and the country a new Republican in the Senate and President Donald Trump a sought-after victory.

“This was about defending our way of life. It was about renewing it for a new day,” Hawley said, touching off deafening cheers from supporters gathered in Springfield at the University Plaza hotel. “And tonight the people of Missouri said we believe in that way of life, it's not the past, it’s the future."

Marie DeBor of Webster Groves is front and center in the longstanding debate in Missouri over medical marijuana.  

DeBor, who has multiple sclerosis, is hoping that the drug changes her life.

“I have tried it in legal recreational states and have had benefits,” said DeBor. “My friends with MS in other states tell me how beneficial it is to them.”

After years of starts and stops, activists in favor of raising Missouri’s minimum wage may finally find success this year with a ballot proposition that increases the state’s wage floor from $7.85 an hour to $12 an hour by 2023.

That’s because proponents of the increase, on the ballot as Proposition B, are flush with cash, while opponents did not set up a campaign committee to raise money. Still, since the measure is a statute, critics of the plan could turn to the General Assembly to make changes.

Missouri Democratic Party Chairman Stephen Webber joins St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies to talk about how Democrats are stacking up in next week’s election.

Both Webber and Missouri Republican Party Chairman Todd Graves recorded episodes of Politically Speaking. You can listen to Graves’ episode by clicking here.

Missouri Republican Party Chairman Todd Graves joins St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies on the latest edition of Politically Speaking.

Both Graves and Missouri Democratic Party Chairman Stephen Webber taped podcasts giving their perspective on next week’s election, which will have a major impact on the state’s future political trajectory.

For most of the summer, the Democratic primary for St. Louis County executive ruled the TV airwaves – setting a spending record of more than $6 million.

But since incumbent Steve Stenger’s narrow August victory, the contest for the county’s top post has been almost invisible.

Stenger still faces another election next week. He is heavily favored to win in the Democratic-dominated county. He’s facing three opponents: Republican Paul Berry III, Libertarian Nicholas Kasoff and Constitution Party nominee Andrew Ostrowski.

As Missouri’s nationally-watched Senate race enters the final few days, incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill and GOP challenger Josh Hawley focused Monday on their core campaign messages as they stumped in St. Louis.

For Hawley, it was voting for President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees. And for McCaskill, it was protecting key health care benefits in the Affordable Care Act.

Bob Kelley, the retired longtime president of the Greater St. Louis Labor Council, died Saturday of heart failure at the age of 75.

He resided in St. Charles and had been ill for some time.

Kelley led the council for 29 years, until he retired in 2004. During that time, he was a major regional figure in the labor movement, in civic affairs and in politics.  

He was active in Democratic politics and was a national committeeman from 1984-1992. He was a Missouri delegate to the presidential convention in 1992 that nominated then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton.

St. Louis-area election officials report enthusiasm among Democratic and Republican voters,  fueling a dramatic uptick in absentee balloting.

Eric Fey, St. Louis County’s Democratic elections director, expects the final absentee tally to come close to the county’s huge 2010 total of about 25,000 absentee votes. The county provides the largest bloc of votes in the state.

“Absentees this election has been interesting,” Fey said. “It started off slow, with really no increase over the last midterm election in 2014. Over the last week or so, it has really accelerated.”

St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies take a deep look at Amendment 1 on the latest edition of Political Speaking.

The measure, widely known as Clean Missouri, combines a host of ethics-related alterations with an overhaul of state legislative redistricting. Out of all the things on the Nov. 6 ballot, Clean Missouri is eliciting the most unusual political alliances.

Missouri's GOP state auditor nominee Saundra McDowell joins the Politically Speaking podcast to talk about her campaign for the statewide office.

McDowell is squaring off against incumbent Democrat Nicole Galloway, who was appointed to her post after Tom Schweich’s death in 2015. You can listen to Galloway’s appearance on the show here.

Although their policy differences are stark, U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner and her Democratic rival, Cort VanOstran, frame their 2nd District contest in similar terms.

Said Republican Wagner, who is seeking her fourth term:

“Missouri 2nd Congressional District is personal to me. This is where I was born and raised. This is where I raised my family. It’s where I’ve worked. It’s where I volunteer. And it’s home.”

Said VanOstran, who’s making his first bid for public office:

State Auditor Nicole Galloway returns to the Politically Speaking podcast to talk about her quest for a full, four-year term in office.

The Democratic official was appointed to her post in 2015 after the suicide of Tom Schweich. She’s squaring off against Republican Saundra McDowell in the Nov. 6 election. McDowell’s episode of Politically Speaking will be posted on Wednesday afternoon.

St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies examine Thursday night’s televised debate between U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill and Attorney General Josh Hawley.

As she battles for a possible third term, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill appears to be embracing her reputation as a dogged competitor who can give as good as she gets.

And she gives some of the credit to her mother, Betty McCaskill, who was the first woman elected to the Columbia City Council.

After Claire McCaskill lost the governor's race in 2004, she said her mother advised her to ignore the old Democratic state adage of focusing primarily on St. Louis, Kansas City and their suburbs in order to get elected.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley is heading into the final stretch of his Republican U.S. Senate bid with slightly more cash on hand than Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill.

In their latest campaign-finance reports, Hawley reported $3.53 million in the bank, compared to $3.19 million for McCaskill, who is seeking her third term.

Congresswoman Ann Wagner joins Politically Speaking once again to talk about her re-election bid in Missouri’s 2nd Congressional District.

The Ballwin Republican was first elected to represent the 2nd District in 2012. It encompasses parts of St. Louis, St. Charles and Jefferson counties.

St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies delve into the three medical marijuana initiatives.

Missourians will vote on Amendment 2, Amendment 3 and Proposition C. All three initiatives would make it legal to get marijuana for medical use. But they differ greatly in terms of how much marijuana will be taxed, how the regulatory framework would work, and where the money would go. Missouri state law says that if there are two conflicting constitutional amendments, the measure with the “largest affirmative vote” will prevail.

In Missouri, not all congressional districts are created equal.

Which is why both major U.S. Senate candidates – and their national allies – are paying significant attention to the 2nd District, which spans from south St. Louis County to St. Charles County. It also includes a sliver of Jefferson County.

For almost a decade, the 2nd District has produced more votes than its seven counterparts. The 2nd District also includes many of the suburban women voters that both sides covet.

St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies look at three things playing a big role in Missouri’s 2018 election cycle.

The first is debate over pre-existing conditions between U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill and her GOP opponent Josh Hawley. It stems from Hawley’s decision to be a part of a lawsuit seeking to upend the Affordable Care Act.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 8, 2011 - As Republican consultant Chris LaCivita sees it, his hiring by Missouri U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin has little to do with LaCivita's notoriety as a key cog in the 2004 "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" campaign against Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry.

The point, says LaCivita, is that he has been a major player in Republican congressional or gubernatorial campaigns in Missouri for at least a decade. They include Jim Talent's first 2002 bid for the U.S. Senate, Matt Blunt's 2004 contest for governor, Ed Martin's 2010 quest for Congress -- and Roy Blunt's 2010 bid for the U.S. Senate.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley is calling for a special counsel to investigate whether U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and her staff improperly handled sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Hawley, Missouri’s GOP nominee for the U.S. Senate, is joining a number of Republicans who are upset over how the letter from Christine Blasey Ford was leaked to the press several weeks ago.

Sen. Paul Wieland is the latest guest on Politically Speaking. He talked with St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum, Jo Mannies and Abigail Censky about his re-election bid in Missouri’s 22nd District Senate seat.

The Imperial Republican represents a portion of Jefferson County. His race against Democrat Robert Butler is one of the most competitive Senate races in Missouri — and could give a sense of how other statewide campaigns shake out.

Missouri Republicans gathered this weekend in Jefferson County to celebrate their statewide success in reaching 1 million potential voters, either in person or by phone.

And there’s at least one reason why the GOP is holding the event in Jefferson County:

“It’s pretty fair to say that so goes Jefferson County, so goes Missouri,’’ said Whitney Smith, Missouri communications director for the Republican National Committee.

St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies look at the importance of Jefferson County in this year’s statewide election.

Whenever there’s a competitive statewide election, Jefferson County often gets a lot of attention. That’s because voters there almost always pick winners of statewide elections — as they did in 2016 and 2012.

Democrat Patrice Billings is the latest guest on the Politically Speaking podcast. The St. Charles County resident talked to St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies about her bid for Missouri’s 2nd Senatorial District seat.

Billings worked for nearly three decades as a helicopter pilot for the St. Louis County Police Department. She is squaring off against Sen. Bob Onder, a Lake Saint Louis Republican who recorded an episode of Politically Speaking earlier this month.

St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman joins St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies to talk about his re-election bid — and what he learned from his unsuccessful run for attorney general two years ago.

The Olivette Democrat has served as St. Louis County assessor since 2011. Before that, Zimmerman was a member of the Missouri House and a staffer for Democrats Jay Nixon and Bob Holden.

The St. Louis County Council has voted to temporarily withhold some of the county money that goes to the region’s Bi-State transit agency in a quest to improve security on the MetroLink light rail line.

The council’s action is in response to various violent incidents in recent months on or near the rail line, including one that resulted in the fatal shooting of a county health department employee.

All six council members present Tuesday night voted in favor of a bill withholding $5 million from the county’s funding for Metro security. That’s a fraction of the county’s overall scheduled spending of $157 million this year to help fund all Bi-State transit operations.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Josh Hawley says the new allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have not shaken his support – nor his call for a swift Senate vote.

Hawley, who’s currently Missouri attorney general, told allies at a rally Monday in Jefferson County that the Democratic efforts to delay Kavanaugh’s likely confirmation have created “a circus’’ atmosphere.

“It really is embarrassing,’’ Hawley said. “I just think the Democrats’ behavior has been shameful.’’

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