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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Politics & Issues
11:14 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Large Donors Provide Koster With Most Of His Campaign Money

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster collects lots of large donations for 2016 bid for governor
Credit (Official Portrait, Missouri Attorney General's office)

While Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, Secretary of State Jason Kander and even some Republicans talk about restoring limits on campaign donations, the man considered the likely Democratic nominee for governor in 2016 is collecting large donations at a frenetic clip.

Just this year, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has raised more than $1.2 million from 68 donations larger than $5,000 apiece, according to the Missouri Ethics Commission’s records. In fact, most of his large donations have been more than $10,000 each.

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Politics & Issues
5:35 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

U.S. Senate Approves Budget Deal, Sends It To White House

With Senate vote, Congress has approved compromise budget
Credit (via Flickr/Cliff1066tm)

As expected, the U.S. Senate has approved the compromise budget deal and sent it on to President Barack Obama for his expected signature.

The final Senate vote was 64-36.  U. S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., was among only three Republicans who had voted on Tuesday in favor of allowing the final vote – but then voted against the budget deal.

Blunt earlier had said he had  objections to the compromise’s provisions, including cuts in some veterans’ pensions and reduced payments to Medicare providers, including physicians.

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Politics & Issues
12:34 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Blunt To Oppose Final Passage Of Budget Deal

Sen. Roy Blunt will oppose the two-year budget deal.
Credit (via Flickr/ Senator Blunt)

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., has announced that he’s voting against the compromise budget deal, despite his comments a few days ago in which he urged U.S. House members to ignore conservative groups’ calls to defeat the measure.

Blunt telegraphed his intentions Tuesday morning via Twitter: "There’s no reason to block an up or down vote on the budget agreement, but I will vote NO on final passage."

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Politics & Issues
4:00 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Rand Paul To Headline Major Missouri Republican Gathering

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.
via Flickr/jbouie

The biggest annual event for Missouri Republicans is more than two months away, but party leaders were eager to announce Monday that U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., will be the marquee speaker at the state GOP’s Lincoln Days festivities Feb. 21-23.

The weekend gathering, which attracts hundreds of party activists, will be held in Springfield, Mo.  The event rotates among the state’s three largest cities; last year’s Lincoln Days was in St. Louis.  The event usually attracts most of the state's major Republican officials, activists, potential candidates and donors.

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Politics & Issues
2:08 am
Sun December 15, 2013

National President Of Young Democrats Tours Missouri to Energize Young Voters

Atima Omara
Jo Mannies St. Louis Public Radio & The Beacon

Atima Omara, president of the Young Democrats of America,  is in Missouri this weekend as part of her group’s efforts to avoid a replay of 2010 next year.

In 2010, Republicans made huge election gains, including in Missouri. Credit, or blame, went in part to a sharp decline in turnout among young voters, who as a bloc lean Democratic.

The under-30 age group played a significant role in 2008, when a strong Democratic turnout swept Barack Obama into the White House and resulted in Democrats capturing all but one statewide contest in Missouri.

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Politics & Issues
4:29 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Nixon Names State Senator To Head Missouri Department Of Labor

Missouri state Sen. Ryan McKenna, D-Crystal City
(Missouri Senate website)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, is reducing his party’s already-paltry numbers in the state Senate by nominating state Sen. Ryan McKenna to become the new director of the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

Nixon’s action, announced Friday, also could have an impact on what’s already seen as among the most competitive state Senate contests in 2014.

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Politics & Issues
12:18 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

St. Louis County Police Chief Fitch Announces Retirement

Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 2:15 p.m.,  Friday, Dec. 13

St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch has been using his blog to make blockbuster declarations lately, but perhaps none was as stunning as Friday’s post in which he announced his retirement as of February.

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Politically Speaking
5:44 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Politically Speaking: Rep. Butler On Ethics Reform, Boeing And Crime

Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio.

The fully-merged Politically Speaking crew welcomes Rep. Michael Butler, D-St. Louis, to the podcast.

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Ethics reform
5:14 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Nixon Calls On Legislature To Pass Ethics Reform

Gov. Jay Nixon called on the legislature to pass tougher ethics legislation when it convenes in January.
Tim Bommel/Mo. House Communications

Updated 7:19 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 12

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is once again pressing for ethics reform in state government, and for the resurrection of campaign donation limits. But this time, Nixon may be hoping for stronger interest in the Republican-controlled General Assembly, where some GOP legislators now share some of his views.

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Politics & Issues
10:41 am
Thu December 12, 2013

U.S. House Passes Budget Deal Amid Calls From Blunt And Others To Ignore Opposition

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt is asking the U.S. House GOP delegation from Missouri to ignore outside pressure in budget debate.
(via Flickr/ Senator Blunt)

Updated 6:45 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12

By a vote of 332-94, the U.S. House overwhelmingly backed a compromise two-year budget deal Thursday night -- in effect, rejecting pressure from conservative groups staunchly opposed to the measure.

The Senate is expected to swiftly follow suit.

Those in the House backing the bill included U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Ballwin, who appeared on CNBC's "Kudlow Report" after the vote to laud the budget deal's provisions as "gifts that will keep on giving."

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