Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

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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Attorney Al Watkins represents the ex-husband of the woman with whom Greitens had an affair.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum, Jo Mannies and Rachel Lippmann review what occurred in the Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens saga.

After two particularly bad weeks, it could be argued that there were rays of light on the legal front for the GOP governor. That’s because an investigator who allegedly made false statements during a deposition took the Fifth Amendment — which could place critical evidence in jeopardy.

St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger faces challenger Mark Mantovani in a race that has started earlier and featured more ad spending than usual.
File photos | St. Louis Public Radio

It’s only April, and already the contest for St. Louis County executive appears to be headed toward the spending record books.

More than four months before the August Democratic primary, incumbent Steve Stenger and Mark Mantovani have – combined – raised and spent more than their predecessors.

Guy Benson and Mary Katharine Ham
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

The latest edition of Politically Speaking takes a bit of a break from the frenetic discussion of Missouri politics by welcoming conservative writers Guy Benson and Mary Katharine Ham onto the show.

Benson and Ham are co-authors of the book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun). They were in St. Louis last week to speak at a Show Me Institute event on free speech at the Chess Hall of Fame.

Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio I File photo

Members of the Missouri House delivered a big blow to Gov. Eric Greitens this month when they released a startling report on the GOP chief executive’s conduct. The details prompted some on both sides of the aisle to call on Greitens to resign, a demand the governor resisted.

Then came the following week, which featured a full collapse of Greitens’ political support and darkening cloud of legal developments.

Attorney Ed Dowd walks out of a St. Louis courthouse on Thursday, April 19, 2018. A judge ruled that Greitens' felony invasion of privacy trial would continue.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo I St. Louis Public Radio

Updated on April 20 at 7:30 p.m. after St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner charged Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens with a felony  On the latest edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum, Jo Mannies and Rachel Lippmann break down all the developments in the ongoing saga around Gov. Eric Greitens.

This week was particularly newsworthy. After last week’s release of an explosive House report that led to widespread calls for Greitens to resign, at least four events ended up placing Greitens’ political career on virtual life support. (We uploaded a new version of the show after Greitens was indicted last Friday for felony computer data tampering.)

Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley and Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill
Durrie Bouscaren & Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated at 12:30 p.m. April 19 with Hawley's campaign-finance numbers)  U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill has  widened her financial lead over her best-known GOP opponent, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, which likely will prompt more allied Republican groups to spend money on his behalf.

The Senate candidates’ latest campaign-finance filings, which were due at midnight Sunday, show that McCaskill has just over $11.5 million in the bank. That compares to $2.13 million for  Hawley.  In both cases, the candidates' totals include aid from other political-party committees, as well as individual donations.

Hawley’s money also includes his share of the donations collected during President Donald Trump’s visit to the St. Louis area in March.

Mark Mantovani
Carolina Hidalgo I St. Louis Public Radio

Businessman Mark Mantovani — a Democrat challenging St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger — joins St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies for the latest episode of Politically Speaking.

A graduate of St. Louis University High School, Mantovani grew up in the region and is a former lawyer making his first bid for public office. He is arguably the best-known and best-financed of all of Stenger’s potential opponents for the job overseeing the state’s largest county and its 1 million residents.

File photo | Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Budget Director Dan Haug says the state’s general-revenue income is expected to be enough to balance the budget for the current fiscal year.

That good news, though, is tempered by the impact of federal and state tax cuts that just began going into effect in January. Haug says those cuts will trim the state’s income by $109 million for the first six months of 2018, or $218 million for the entire calendar year.

“I think costs are generally under control,” the budget director said in an interview. “Revenues are right now on track where we thought they would be.”

Sen. Jamilah Nasheed
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest episode of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome back Sen. Jamilah Nasheed to the show for the fourth time.

Nasheed represents roughly half of the city of St. Louis. The Democratic official was first elected to her state Senate post in 2012, and was re-elected in 2016.

St. Louis County Councilman Ernie Trakas
Alex Heuer I St. Louis Public Radio

A special prosecutor is recommending that St. Louis County Councilman Ernie Trakas forfeit his post because his legal work for school districts violates the county charter.

The prosecutor’s petition, filed late Friday, is expected to set off a process that could force Trakas off the council within a few months. Trakas is part of a bipartisan, four-person council coalition that frequently is at odds with County Executive Steve Stenger, a Democrat.

Artwork by David Kovaluk
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum, Jo Mannies and Rachel Lippmann break down all of the developments in the legal and political saga of Gov. Eric Greitens.

This week’s show zeroes in on how a special House committee investigating Greitens is set to release its report in the coming days.

After a meeting about Mackenzie Village's possible disincorporation, a few residents spoke about running to become village trustees. Village residents on Tuesday voted 18-15 in favor of dissolving the municipality.
File Photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

By a three-vote margin, residents of Mackenzie Village — a 72-year-old community in south St. Louis County — have voted to dissolve and become an unincorporated part of the county.

Tuesday’s vote was 18-15. The 33 votes represent roughly a quarter of the village’s 134 residents.

The village is the third small town in St. Louis county to dissolve or merge since 2011. The decision was among the most closely-watched issues on Tuesday.

Susannah Lohr | St. Louis Public Radio

The state of Missouri’s general-revenue income in March dropped slightly compared to a year ago, which could ignite legislative concerns as lawmakers craft a budget.

March’s decline was just under 1 percent. It was fueled by a continued drop in state corporate tax collections, which were down almost 24 percent compared to March 2017. The decline is linked to business tax cuts approved by lawmakers several years ago.

Mackenzie village board members, including Pat Arrendell and Dorothy Berry, sat up front for a community meeting on March 21 about what would happen if their village disincorporates.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

When Mackenzie Village’s voters go to the polls Tuesday, the fate of their south county community will hang in the balance.

They will decide whether to dissolve the 72-year-old village — made up of 134 residents, 68 homes, one park and three streets.

Sen. Bill Eigel, R-Weldon Spring
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome Sen. Bill Eigel back to the program.

The Weldon Spring Republican represents a portion of St. Charles County in the Missouri Senate. He was elected in 2016 after a hotly contested GOP primary, and a fairly easy general election victory.

Gov. Eric Greitens' defense team outside the Carnahan Courthouse in downtown St. Louis following a hearing. March 26, 2018.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum, Jo Mannies and Rachel Lippmann break down all of the developments in the legal and political saga of Gov. Eric Greitens.

This week’s episode zeroes in on St. Louis Circuit Judge Rex Burlison’s decision to have a jury, rather than himself, decide whether Greitens is guilty of felony invasion of privacy.

Andrew Ostrowski, a Constitution Party candidate for St. Louis County executive, filed right before Tuesday's 5 p.m. deadline at the county's Board of Elections office in St. Ann.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

In the last hour of Missouri’s candidate filing, real estate agent Bill Ray of University City became the second Democrat to challenge St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger in this summer’s primary.

County Republicans declined at the last minute to field a prominent contender for the county’s top job. But two Republicans – bail bondsman Paul Berry III and Daniel Sampson – filed earlier. Also seeking the post are Libertarian Nick Kasoff and Constitution Party candidate Andrew Ostrowski. 

Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill is calling for Congress to do more to curb sharp increases in prescription drug prices.

 The Missouri Democrat on Monday unveiled a new congressional report showing that, since 2012, the top 20 drugs prescribed for Medicare recipients have gone up in price far faster than inflation.

“What we found is startling; in some ways it’s shocking, and it’s certainly troubling,’’ the senator said at a news conference held at the Five Star Senior Center at 2832 Arsenal St., which serves elderly residents in parts of southeast St. Louis.

Sen. Scott Sifton, D-Affton
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome back Sen. Scott Sifton to the program.

The Affton Democrat (who is now tied with state Treasurer Eric Schmitt for most appearances on the show with five) represents parts of south and central St. Louis County in the Missouri Senate.

An email sent to St. Louis Public Radio about a now-scuttled soccer stadium prompted Attorney General Josh Hawley to once again look into Gov. Eric Greitens’ social media policies. Jan. 2017
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum, Jo Mannies and Rachel Lippmann round up this week’s legal and political news surrounding Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens.

This week’s episode zeroes in on how Greitens’ political plight is weighing on other political figures — including Attorney General Josh Hawley.

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