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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State of the Union address
11:03 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

President's Call To Hike Minimum Wage Ignites Swift Response, Pro And Con

U.S. Capitol
Credit (Wikimedia Commons user Raul654)

(Updated 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 29)

President Barack Obama’s call to increase the nation’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour is part of his broader focus on attacking income inequality.

But that approach swiftly ignited strong reaction, pro and con, as soon as he outlined his initiative during Tuesday night’s State of the Union address.

Fellow Democrats praised Obama for addressing issues that they say threaten the nation's economic recovery.   Republicans accuse the president of playing politics leading up to a crucial mid-term election.

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State of the Union
2:57 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

McCaskill Predicts Presidential Focus On Protecting Roads, Electrical Grid

Sen. Claire McCaskill
Credit (UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., says she hopes that President Barack Obama discusses the nation’s crumbling infrastructure – such as roads, bridges, and the power supply -- in his State of the Union address tonight.

Such projects are “sadly neglected and underfunded,’’ McCaskill told reporters in a conference call Tuesday.

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Sexual assault on campus
7:06 am
Mon January 27, 2014

McCaskill Calls For Probe Into Sexual Assault/Suicide Case at Mizzou

Sen. Claire McCaskill
Credit (via Flickr/SenatorMcCaskill)

Updated 4:11 p.m, Mon., Jan. 27 with investigation by Columbia police.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, an alum of the University of Missouri and a former prosecutor, is calling on the university to investigate the alleged sexual assault of former Mizzou swimmer Sasha Menu Courey, who subsequently committed suicide.

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Politics & Issues
2:52 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Bond To Lobby For Missouri To Expand Medicaid

Former Sen. Christopher "Kit" Bond
Credit File photo

Retired U.S. Sen. Christopher “Kit” Bond, R-Mo., is jumping into the Jefferson City debate over Medicaid expansion – and he’s on the side of  Gov. Jay Nixon and other expansion supporters.

Bond, a former two-term governor, has been hired as a lobbyist by the Missouri Chamber to try to persuade fellow Republicans in the General Assembly to drop their opposition and agree to take the federal aid which would cover all the expansion’s costs for three years and at least 90 percent thereafter.

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Energy policy
1:55 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Blunt Calls For End On Government 'War On Coal'

Sen. Roy Blunt, center, mingles Thursday night with St. Charles County officials and business people.
Credit Jo Mannies/St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon

When it comes to energy, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt says that the federal government has taken the wrong approach for years.

“The refusal to acknowledge that we’re the Saudi Arabia of coal is a big mistake for us,” Blunt, R-Mo., told St. Charles County officials and business people gathered Thursday night at the St. Charles Chamber of Commerce.

Instead, he said, “There’s a clear war on coal.”

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Politics & Issues
11:14 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Nixon Calls Senate Tax-Cut Proposal 'Fiscally Irresponsible'

Gov. Jay Nixon lauds new GM vehicles during visit to St. Louis Auto Show
Credit Jo Mannies/St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has swiftly attacked a state Senate panel’s action to approve a phased-in tax cut that he estimates will cost the state $1 billion a year when fully implemented.

Nixon called it a “fiscally irresponsible tax experiment.”

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Politics & Issues
1:39 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Dooley Hires Former Clayton Mayor To Aid Re-election Campaign

Former Clayton Mayor Linda Goldstein
Credit Provided

Former Clayton Mayor Linda Goldstein has signed on to be St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley’s director of campaign communications.

Goldstein said in an interview that she was joining Dooley, who is seeking re-election this fall, because she had been impressed by his decade-long tenure as the county’s top official.

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Lieutenant governor
5:11 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Kinder Says He's Tired Of Being Ignored By Governor

Peter Kinder says that since Nixon has been in office, “we’ve had one substantive discussion.”
Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated 11:45 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22)

Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder’s office in the Missouri Capitol is just around the corner from the official quarters of Gov. Jay Nixon.

But they might just as well be in different universes.

At least that’s the view of Kinder, a Republican, who on Wednesday vented about his long-standing lack of communication with Nixon, a Democrat.  Kinder believes their non-relationship has had a negative impact on public policy.

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Politically Speaking
3:58 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Politically Speaking: State Of State, Death Penalty And Senate Minority Leader Jolie Justus

Credit Credit Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon

Every week, St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon's Chris McDaniel, Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum talk about the week’s politics. 

It's another two-part edition of the podcast. Marshall Griffin joins the Politically Speaking crew to talk about Gov. Jay Nixon's State of the State speech and the latest developments involving Missouri's death penalty. Senate Minority Leader Jolie Justus, D-Kansas City, joins Chris, Jo and Jason for the second part of the show. 

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State of the state speech
7:42 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Nixon Proposes To Restore State Spending Lost Since 2008

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon at 2011 state of the state speech.
UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is proposing a budget that would set state government spending at roughly what it was seven years ago, before the nation’s economy – and the state’s budgets -- took a nose dive.

And that’s a huge difference from the frugal budgets the state has seen for years.

The biggest beneficiary of the increased spending, should the General Assembly agree, will be public education.

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