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.

Ways To Connect

Missouri capitol
RebelAt | English Wikipedia

After shutting down a Democratic filibuster, the Missouri Senate voted 21-13 to approve an anti-union measure that would make Missouri a “right-to-work’’ state.

Republican backers were two votes short Tuesday night of the 23 needed to override a guaranteed veto by Gov. Jay Nixon. They also achieved the final vote by using a controversial and rarely used procedure – called “moving the previous question,’’ or PQ – that angered many of the bill’s opponents.

Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick watches as House Speaker John Diehl signs the veto override of HB 150. unemployment
Tim Bommel | Missouri House of Representatives

With no votes to spare, the Missouri House acted Tuesday to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of a bill that would reduce the state’s unemployment benefits to 13 weeks, one of the lowest in the country.

The lower benefits would go into effect when the state’s unemployment rate is below 6 percent, as it is now.

Rep. Jacob Hummel and Sen. Joe Keaveny, Democrats from St. Louis
Tim Bommel of House Communications and Rebecca Smith of St. Louis Public Radio

On a special edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies use the magic of radio to interview the Missouri General Assembly’s two Democratic leaders – Senate Minority Leader Joe Keaveny and House Minority Leader Jake Hummel.

Jo Mannies|St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated, 1 p.m. Tues., May 12) Just days before the General Assembly must adjourn, all other legislative issues are being held hostage while the Missouri Senate debates the hottest issue of the session: an anti-union bill known as “right to work.”

The Senate took up the bill Tuesday morning, after a committee voted 5-3 late Monday to send the measure to the floor.  Opponents quickly launched into a filibuster.

DonkeyHotey | Flickr

Embattled and accused of being irrelevant, Missouri’s two major political parties are beefing up their operations nonetheless in preparation for next year’s high-stakes elections.

That’s particularly true for the state’s Democratic Party, which already has taken on two staffers charged solely with assisting the party’s likely nominees for governor and the U.S. Senate: Chris Koster and Jason Kander.

Sens. Rob Schaaf

On this episode of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies break a bit of ground by welcoming two guests for one show – state Sen. Rob Schaaf and former Sen. Jim Lembke. 

Schaaf is a Republican from St. Joseph, Mo. He's a physician who has played a key role in health care policy over the past few years.

St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri General Assembly is heading into its final week with an unusually short to-do list.

That’s because a number of issues, including a new state budget, were approved early. 

When legislators return Monday, Republican leaders had first planned to tackle the budget-item vetoes that Gov. Jay Nixon issued Friday afternoon. But the governor only vetoed one item, because of a technical error that's unlikely to generate an override. Instead, legislators will try to fix the problem.

Flickr

In response to the unrest in Ferguson last year, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., is unveiling a bill to impose more control and restrictions on the equipment and money that federal law-enforcement agencies provide to local police departments.

“The bottom line is, this equipment saves lives, but these programs need reform,” said McCaskill, a senior member of the Senate Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees, in a conference call Thursday with reporters. “And that’s exactly what this bill would do.”

Colleen Wasinger
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest episode of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome St. Louis County Councilwoman Colleen Wasinger to the show.

The Huntleigh Republican has represented the council’s 3rd District since 2007. The area includes such municipalities as Kirkwood, Manchester, Fenton, Sunset Hills, Frontenac and Valley Park.

Updated 5 p.m., Wed., May 6 -- Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon had harsh words for the General Assembly’s action to override his veto of a bill that shortens the period for low-income families to receive welfare benefits. The bill also imposes new work requirements.

During a stop in St. Louis, the governor said he didn't object to changing the work requirements. But he did object to the way it was done, which his administration says will result in about 6,500 children getting knocked off the state's welfare rolls.

"You don't move the state forward by taking benefits away from 6,500 kids,'' Nixon said. He explained that there were ways, such as a "protected payee program" that would have penalized the parents, but not the children.

"What did a 5-year-old do wrong?" he asked. "There were a lot of ways where kids didn't have to suffer here."

Voting booths
File photo | Rachel Heidenry | St. Louis Beacon

Updated 3:25 p.m. May 4 - Former Kinloch Mayor Darren Small, who lost on April 7, has filed a court petition that contests the election and alleges vote fraud.  The winning candidate, Betty McCray, is threatening legal action if she isn't soon allowed to get into City Hall.

Small's petition was filed in St. Louis Circuit Court last week, soon after the county Election Board presented the results of its house-to-house survey with county Prosecutor Bob McCulloch.

John Brunner
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On this week’s edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies interview one of the many Republicans considering a bid for governor in 2016 – John Brunner.

Missouri Sen. Mike Parson
MoHorizonNews | Flickr

(Updated, 9:40 p.m. Thursday, April 30)

In a move long expected, Missouri Sen. Mike Parson, R-Bolivar, announced today that he’s running for Missouri governor in 2016.

And his top issue, he said in his kickoff address, "will be about protecting and fighting to expand the number one industry in our state - agriculture."

His entry also is expected to kick off a likely parade of rural GOP rivals.

Marie French | St. Louis Post-Dispatch | 2014

The Missouri General Assembly’s early action on the state budget – approving it two weeks ahead of schedule – sets the stage for a particularly frantic last week of the legislative session.

It also effectively ends the chance for expansion of Medicaid in Missouri during the three-year period that the federal government would pick up the whole tab.

U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver
Jim Howard I St. Louis Public Radio

This week on Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies interview U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver from his Washington, D.C., office.

The Democratic congressman represents portions of Kansas City as well as several rural counties in mid-Missouri. For many years, Cleaver was a pastor at the St. James United Methodist Church in Kansas City which probably explains why he’s one of Missouri politics’ most celebrated orators.

Pam Hylton
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Ferguson is back in the hunt for an interim city manager, after its current interim announced she is resigning to take a permanent job in Richmond Heights.

Pam Hylton has been the interim city manager since John Shaw resigned in March.  Shaw’s departure came just after a Justice Department report that was critical of city operations before and during the unrest following the Aug. 9 police shooting that killed 18-year-old Michael Brown.

(via Flickr/lowjumpingfrog)

It’s been more than two weeks since St. Louis County’s municipal elections. But the counting in some jurisdictions continues – and may not end until this summer. Two elections even ended in a tie.

The county Board of Election Commissioners is also involved in a fight in Kinloch, where some city officials are refusing to swear in the April 7 victors, including a new mayor. The victors have been planning to oust their critics.

Jason Crowell
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On this episode of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio reporters Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome former state Sen. Jason Crowell to the show for the first time.

In the late 2000s, the Cape Girardeau Republican emerged as one of the most impactful — and, to some, controversial — lawmakers in the Missouri General Assembly. He often used the power of his personality and mastery of Senate procedure to steer legislation in his desired direction.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce
File photo by Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

The Politically Speaking podcast team welcomed St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce as its latest guest for what turned out to be a particularly spirited show.

Joyce is a St. Louis native with deep political roots. Both of her parents – Jack and Nellene Joyce – served as aldermen in the 23rd Ward (the old home turf of Mayor Francis Slay.)

Joyce graduated from  Bishop DuBourg High School in south St. Louis and obtained her law degree from Saint Louis University School of Law in 1987.

stacks of money
sxc.hu

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has maintained a large financial lead in his 2016 quest for governor, despite new self-imposed rules that prompted him to return $45,000 in donations.

Koster, a Democrat, reported over $3.2 million in the bank in his latest campaign filings, due Wednesday.

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