Jo Mannies

Political Reporter

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.

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2016 Election
11:25 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Schweich Lambastes Sinquefield As He Outlines Bid For Governor

Tom Schweich announces his bid for governor
Credit Jo Mannies/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich launched his campaign for governor by lashing out at the man who he says is a symbol of the “rampant corruption” in the state Capitol -- wealthy financier Rex Sinquefield.

Schweich said that Sinquefield, the state’s top political donor, has been engaging in “corrosive tactics’’ with “an army of mercenaries.’’  Their aim, he said, is to advance proposals – such as the elimination of Missouri’s income tax and replacing it with a huge sales tax -- that he says would help the wealthy but hurt small business and middle-class Missourians.

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Politically Speaking
9:47 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Politically Speaking: Sen. Schaefer On Budgets, Ferguson Unrest & AG Run

Credit Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

This week’s edition of Politically Speaking uses the magical power of radio to speak with Sen. Kurt Schaefer from his office in Jefferson City. 

The Columbia Republican chairs the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, which makes him one of the most influential figures in the budget-crafting process. He’s also chairing a special committee looking into Gov. Jay Nixon’s performance during the unrest in Ferguson.

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2016 Election
9:30 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Schweich Declares He's Running For Governor

Tom Schweich
Credit Mo. State Auditor's office

Missouri state Auditor Tom Schweich appears ready to launch his expected 2016 campaign for governor.

If so, he will be the second well-known Republican to seek the job now held by Democrat Jay Nixon, who cannot seek re-election because of term limits.

Former House Speaker Catherine Hanaway declared her candidacy last year. The only announced Democrat is Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster.

Schweich’s campaign sent out a release late Tuesday saying only that he is making “a major announcement’’ at 4 p.m., Wednesday at the University of Missouri-St.Louis.

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Missouri General Assembly
5:30 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Missouri Legislators Once Again Consider Photo-ID Mandate For Voters

Electronic voting machine
Credit (via Flickr/lowjumpingfrog)

The decade-long effort to require photo IDs in Missouri voting booths is once again under way in the General Assembly, although it’s unclear if the chances are any brighter.

State Rep. Tony Dugger, R-Hartville, is once again the chief sponsor of the two-pronged campaign to mandate government-issued photo IDs at the polls. “I am 100 percent sure that voter impersonation fraud is taking place in the state of Missouri,’’ he said a hearing Tuesday before a House committee.

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2016 Election
10:20 am
Tue January 27, 2015

County Assessor Zimmerman Declares Bid For Missouri Attorney General

Jake Zimmerman
Credit (Courtesy Zimmerman Campaign)

St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman has announced he’s running in 2016 for Missouri attorney general, setting up a primary with state Sen. Scott Sifton, a fellow Democrat.

In a telephone interview early Tuesday, Zimmerman said he was making his intentions public now because “2016 will be a critical year in Missouri politics.”

Sifton, from Affton, announced his candidacy a couple months ago. At present, the only announced Republican is state Sen. Kurt Schaefer of Columbia.

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Churchill Remembrance
5:24 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

British Ambassador Lauds Churchill As Timeless Example To World Leaders

Sir Peter Westmacott
Credit Provided

For Sir Peter Westmacott, the British ambassador to the United States, the legacy of Sir Winston Churchill is far greater than his renowned leadership during World War II.

As Britain’s prime minister during those dark years,  Churchill’s bravery stands as an example for current leaders around the world, the ambassador said.

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March for Life
5:43 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Abortion Debate Could Figure In Future Senate Race In Missouri

St. Louis had a large contingent at the March for Life in D.C.
Credit Jim Howard | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri General Assembly may be taking a break from handling major anti-abortion legislation, but that’s not necessarily true in Washington – and that could have an impact on Missouri’s 2018 contest for the U.S. Senate.

The drama in the U.S. House centered on its decision to drop plans to vote Thursday on an abortion ban after 20 weeks, as thousands of abortion opponents participated in the annual March for Life to mark the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing most abortions.

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State Of The State
8:09 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Nixon Focuses On Legacy From Ferguson As He Outlines Priorities

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon shakes hands with legislators as he exits the House of Represenatives after delivering the annual State of the State address at the state capitol.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

A former basketball player himself, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon used the sport Wednesday to illustrate ways that the state can advance racial healing as it seeks to get beyond the months of protests prompted by last summer’s police shooting in Ferguson.

In Wednesday’s State of the State address, the governor recounted how Highway Patrol officers assigned to keep order pooled some of their own money to pay for a basketball net and new basketball. That generosity, Nixon said, later led to a pickup basketball game.

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Politically Speaking
1:58 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Politically Speaking: Councilman Page On Electoral Comeback, Ferguson And Smoldering Landfills

St. Louis Public Radio’s Chris McDaniel, Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum welcomed St. Louis County Councilman Sam Page to Politically Speaking. 

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State Of The Union Address
10:34 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

President's Address Generates Usual Partisan Split

Credit Wikipedia

(Updated 1:30 p.m., Wed., Jan. 20 with remarks from U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.)

President Barack Obama ended his State of the Union address with a sweeping call for "better," less divisive politics, but the reaction to the speech fell along the usual partisan lines.

What fellow Democrats such as U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-University City, called “a smart, energetic agenda,’’  Republicans like U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Ballwin, labeled “the same old, tired, Washington-based ideas.”

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