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

State Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick
Tim Bommel I House Communications

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome state Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick to the program for the first time.

Fitzpatrick is a native of Shell Knob, a Barry County community that’s about 40 miles away from Branson.

Eric Greitens kicks off his campaign for Missouri governor at Westport.
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

Billing himself as the “conservative outsider” that Missouri needs, Republican Eric Greitens has officially launched his 2016 campaign for governor by seeking to assure the GOP’s base that he’s committed to their cause.

Former state Sen. Tom Dempsey
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome former Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey.

The St. Charles Republican provided some of his most in-depth comments about his departure from the Missouri Senate. He surprised many by resigning last month and taking a job at The Gateway Group, a lobbying organization that’s based in St. Louis. Retired financier Rex Sinquefield is one of the Gateway Group's clients.

The area around the CNN tent was crowded before the vice presidential debate at Washington University in 2008.
Bill Smith | St. Louis Beacon file photo

After being passed over for 2012, Washington University will once again be in the presidential spotlight as the host of yet another presidential debate – this time in 2016.

Washington University officials announced today that the campus will be the site of the Oct. 9, 2016 debate.  The university has hosted more presidential debates than any other venue.

Jill Biden
Official photo | whitehouse.gov

Jill Biden, the wife of Vice President Joe Biden, is calling for women and the nation to do their part to tackle the issues of sexual assault and sexual abuse.

But in an address Monday to area Democratic women, Biden stayed away from touchier political topics -- such as the possible government shutdown because of a dispute about Planned Parenthood and whether her husband plans to run for president next year.

Author Eric Greitens talks to 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on March 16, 2015, at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

When it comes to campaign donations, September has been a good month for the two Missouri candidates for governor who have raised the most:  Republican Eric Greitens and Democrat Chris Koster.

Greitens, a former Navy Seal and author who has never run for office before, is expected to officially launch his campaign Saturday.

Rep. Eric Burlison, R-Springfield, and House Speaker Todd Richardson talk during the veto session.
Tim Bomel | Missouri House

After hours of Senate debate, the Missouri General Assembly ended its annual veto session by barring local communities from increasing their minimum wage or banning plastic bags.

Legislators also have overridden Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of a bill that would restrict Missouri’s A+ scholarship program to U.S. citizens and immigrants with permanent-residency status. 

Union supporters wore bright red/orange shirts that showed up in the gallery.
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 12:40 a.m. Sept. 17 with legislative leaders' comments - Backers of “right to work” fell 13 votes short in the Missouri House, killing the most successful effort so far in the state to enact the law to curb union rights in the workplace.

The Missouri House in session on March 17, 2015.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On an “old school” edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum, Jo Mannies and Marshall Griffin provide a preview of the Missouri General Assembly’s upcoming veto session.

Gov. Jay Nixon was greeted by an enthusiastic and supportive crowd Thursday for his announced veto of 'right to work' at the Local 36 Sheet Metal Workers training building.
Sarah Kellogg | St. Louis Public Radio

With Wednesday’s veto session looming, supporters and opponents of “right to work’’ are launching last-minute appeals – deploying ads, polls, rallies and money to make their case.

Backers of what's seen as an anti-labor measure, in particular, are gearing up on several fronts as they seek the necessary votes to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of the bill. It would bar employers and unions from requiring all workers in a bargaining unit to pay dues or fees.

The Missouri Capitol Building
Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

With several close votes expected during this week’s legislative veto session, the Missouri attorney general’s office weighed in today with a legal opinion declaring that vacancies won’t alter the number of votes in the state House and Senate required for a successful override.

In the Missouri House, the magic number is 109 votes. In the Senate, it remains 23. Some lawmakers had argued that fewer votes would be needed because of vacancies, making it easier to override Gov. Jay Nixon.

Some of the crowd listening to Sen. Ted Cruz at the Eagle Forum convention.
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz is portraying himself as fellow conservatives’ best hope for transforming the federal government if he becomes president.

But rival Rick Santorum, who won Missouri’s 2012 presidential primary, is fighting back.

St. Louis Alderwoman Donna Baringer, D-16th Ward, is considered an ally of St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay. But she says voters should have a say in whether to extend bonds for the new stadium.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio | File photo

Even though Missouri’s primary elections are a year away, some contests for St. Louis area state legislative seats are beginning to take shape.

St. Louis Alderman Donna Baringer announced Wednesday morning that she will run for the 82nd District House seat, which encompasses most of southwest St. Louis.  And Wednesday night, Republican Rick Stream of Kirkwood -- who narrowly lost a bid for St. Louis County executive last fall -- officially kicked off his campaign for the 15th District state Senate seat.

Susannah Lohr | St. Louis Public Radio

At least at J. Pfenny’s sports bar, it’ll be business as usual next week when legislators return to the Missouri capital for their annual veto session. They’ll also be gathering for the first time since the furor over sexual misconduct allegations involving interns sent two top state legislators packing.

The alcohol will be flowing as several lawmakers, or hopefuls, hold simultaneous fundraisers at the popular watering hole, situated just a couple blocks from the Capitol building.

Brittany Burke
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome Brittany Burke to the program. This marks the first time that Burke, a governmental consultant, has spoken at length publicly about recent events that put her in the news.

Provided by campaign

Josh Hawley, a Republican candidate for Missouri attorney general, says that if he’s elected next year, he will act to protect county clerks who object to issuing same-sex marriage licenses.

In fact, “on Day One,” Hawley says he’ll issue an opinion allowing county clerks and others – such as recorders of deeds – to avoid issuing such licenses if it violates their religious beliefs.

Bill Greenblatt | UPI

U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville, says he’s definitely running for re-election next year – a decision that isn’t a surprise.

Shimkus, 57, has been in office since 1997, and through two redistrictings that changed his turf’s boundaries – and its number. He currently represents the 15th District.

a rolling dollar bill
dleafy | sxc.hu

Missouri’s general-revenue collections shot up by almost 10 percent in August. But acting budget chief Dan Haug says it’s too early to pop the champagne.

August’s sharp increase, compared to August 2014, comes after a slight downturn in July.

Ed Martin
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies chat with Eagle Forum president Ed Martin about the wide open race for the Republican presidential nomination.

Marshall Griffin/ St. Louis Public Radio

Sporting new shoes, convicted felon Jeff Mizanskey has left prison – and a life sentence -- to embark on what he hopes is a new life.

A native of Sedalia, Mizanskey has become a national symbol of the movement to decriminalize pot.

Clockwise from upper left: Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Ben Carson
official photos

At least six Republican presidential hopefuls will be headed to St. Louis in less than two weeks to address conservatives at an Eagle Forum convention.

State Republican Party chairman John Hancock predicts those visits are only the start.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, left foreground, and attorney Frankie Freeman, second from right, were featured at the Democrats' Truman Dinner.
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

Reflecting party leaders’ desire to change things up, the Missouri Democratic Party chose an unusual venue for Saturday night’s renamed Truman Dinner: the field of Busch Stadium.

The “unusual” extended to the evening’s highlight – a surprise video by Hillary Clinton, displayed on the “jumbo-tron” – and the closing: fireworks.

U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Ballwin
Official photo

St. Louis area congresswoman Ann Wagner acknowledges that she’s not always “politically correct.”

But Wagner, R-Ballwin, says that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has taken that term to an all-new level with his harsh jabs at  critics and reporters. And she suggests that he dial it back.

A new TV ad calls for legislators to override Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of "right-to-work" legislation.
Screenshot | Americans for Prosperity ad

After a brief hiatus, both sides in the battle over “right to work” are back with a vengeance as they gear up for the Missouri General Assembly’s veto session in just over two weeks.

The dueling campaigns may be aimed, in part, at influencing Missouri House Speaker Todd Richardson, R-Cape Girardeau. A spokesman said the speaker has yet to decide whether to bring up the “right to work” bill, which was vetoed by Gov. Jay Nixon earlier this summer.

Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On this week’s episode of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s political journo-duo – Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies – welcome state Auditor Nicole Galloway to the program for the first time.

The Democratic official was appointed to statewide office earlier this year after the death of state Auditor Tom Schweich. Before taking the reins, Galloway was in her first full term as Boone County’s treasurer.

Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander and U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt are the front runners for the Democratic and Republican nominations in the next Senate race.
official photos

Fifteen months before the 2016 election, Missouri’s major candidates for the U.S. Senate – Republican incumbent Roy Blunt and Democrat Jason Kander – are ensnared in two familiar issues:

  • The use of private planes;
  • Accusations that each is too tied to special interests.

A key difference is that, for the most part, the attacks aren’t coming from the candidates or their campaigns. Rather, they’re being launched by party surrogates on their behalf.

Flickr/SuperFantastic

The second group in a week has filed proposed initiative petitions aimed at increasing Missouri’s tobacco tax.

A campaign group called Raise Your Hand For Kids on Wednesday filed six versions of an initiative-petition proposal for the 2016 ballot that call for increasing the state’s cigarette tax by 50 cents a pack.

Republican GOP - RIGHT WIDTH - also avail. gopelephantleft
Wikipedia

Republican leaders in St. Louis County’s 89th state House District needed only one ballot to choose lawyer Dean Plocher overwhelmingly as their nominee to replace former House Speaker John Diehl. 

Diehl, R-Town and Country, resigned in disgrace last May because of his sexually explicit text messages with a college-age intern.

Plocher handily defeated two other contenders — former state Rep. Cole McNary and lawyer Tom Nations — in balloting Tuesday night at the Town and Country City Hall.

Bill Greenblatt, UPI

While lauding a new Canadian trade deal, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon warned that Missouri’s future role in international trade will depend on improving transportation needs back home.

“Not just Missouri, but as a country, we’re going to have to make some decisions,’’ the governor said in a conference call Tuesday with reporters.

“Bridges don’t come for free. Ports don’t come for free. And last I checked, nobody comes out and pours concrete and puts rebar in for free,” Nixon said in an unusually passionate pitch.

Curran | Flickr

Three years after killing off Missouri’s latest statewide tobacco-tax proposal, the group representing many Missouri gas stations and convenience stores has filed two initiative-petition proposals of its own to hike the tax.

Missouri’s tobacco tax is now 17 cents a pack and is the nation’s lowest. The Missouri Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association’s proposals would increase the per-pack tax to 40 cents by 2021.

Pages