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

Hillary Clinton at Christ the King United Church of Christ in Florissant June 23 2015.
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 8)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s choice of a St. Louis union hall for Friday’s visit here fits in with her campaign pledge to focus on rebuilding the nation’s manufacturing base and the good-paying jobs that often go with it.

Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 3:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 7 with comments from U.S. attorney - U.S. Attorney Richard Callahan, who heads the federal Justice Department's operation for Missouri's Eastern District, said Monday that neither Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder nor his current campaign "are the targets" in a probe of alleged financial irregularities regarding Kinder's campaign donations and spending.

"We are looking into it,'' Callahan said. "We do not have a time table at this point'' as to the length of the investigation.

Provided by campaign

Former state Rep. Judy Baker, a Democrat from Columbia, Mo., announced her 2016 bid for state treasurer with support from close to 50 current or former legislators around the state. Another Democrat, former federal official Pat Contreras of Kansas City, announced his bid last year.

stock photo
Kurhan | sxc.hu

Legislative leaders and anti-abortion activists are making it clear that abortion regulations – and Planned Parenthood -- are likely to be among the top issues for many Missouri lawmakers when they return to the state Capitol in a few weeks.

Meanwhile, area allies of Planned Parenthood say they’re fighting back – beginning with a rally planned for Saturday outside its midtown St. Louis clinic.

Jeanette Mott Oxford
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Public Radio’s political duo of Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcomes Jeanette Mott Oxford, head of Empower Missouri, as our guest on the latest edition of the Political Speaking podcast.

Oxford is a former Democratic legislator from St. Louis and has been active for more than 25 years in anti-poverty and social-justice organizations.

Empower Missouri is the latest moniker for a progressive advocacy group that’s been around since 1901 under various names.  Most recently, the organization was  known as the Missouri Association for Social Welfare.

This radiation warning sign is one of many posted on the chain link fence surrounding part of the West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton, Mo.
Sarah Skiold-Hanlin | St. Louis Public Radio

In the mid-1960s, trucks carrying radioactive waste left over from World War II began lumbering along the then-dirt road leading to what’s now the West Lake landfill.

The waste was moved to the site — then deemed remote enough from humans — over more than a decade. Federal authorities denied that the yellow “dirt” contained radioactive radium and uranium.

Even the truck drivers — some of whom later died of cancer — didn’t know what they were transporting for years.

Missouri Sen. Bob Dixon, R-Springfield
Official photo

Missouri’s crowded GOP contest for governor has lost a participant, as state Sen. Bob Dixon is dropping out.

The departure of Dixon, R-Springfield, isn’t entirely unexpected. He was at the bottom of the pack when it came to fundraising. His last campaign finance report showed him with less than $83,000 in the bank.

Paul Curtman
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On this week’s edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum welcome back state Rep. Paul Curtman to the program.

The Republican, from Union in Franklin County, first burst onto the scene in 2010, when he pulled off an upset against then-state Rep. Michael Frame, D-Eureka. Curtman’s victory was often spotlighted as a sign of strength for the “Tea Party” movement in Missouri, especially since the Marine Corps veteran gained notoriety in speaking out against President Barack Obama’s health-care law.

Map of the West Lake Landfill
Provided by the EPA

A rare bipartisan coalition of the region’s two members of the U.S. House and both of Missouri’s U.S. senators has filed legislation to transfer authority for the West Lake landfill from the Environmental Protection Action to the Army Corps of Engineers.

Reps. William Lacy Clay, D-University City, and Ann Wagner, R-Ballwin, have filed a bill in the House. Sens. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., have filed a companion measure in the Senate.

Kurt Schaefer 2014 mo senator gop dist 19 columbia
Official photo

Missouri state Sen. Kurt Schaefer, a Republican candidate for attorney general, suspects that a disparaging story in Middle East-based Al Jazeera may be tied to a death threat that has prompted him to temporarily close his office in the state Capitol.

Schaefer, R-Columbia, said in an interview Tuesday night that the  article by Al Jazeera's U.S. affiliate – which appeared online last week -- contained “inflammatory stuff” as part of its critical coverage into his recent probes of ties between the University of Missouri and Planned Parenthood.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner and four of Missouri’s GOP candidates for governor are expected to be in Las Vegas this week for at least some of the two-day gathering of the Republican Governors Association.

The association’s annual conference is set for Wednesday and Thursday at the Encore Las Vegas, a luxury resort, casino and hotel on the Las Vegas Strip.

Ryan Johnson
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 are pleased to welcome Missouri Alliance for Freedom’s Ryan Johnson to the program for the first time.

presidential candidates 2016
Wikipedia

With Missouri’s presidential primary just four months away, the state’s Republicans are already pumped up.

And Missouri Democrats are hoping to follow suit.

Attorney General Chris Koster is the likely Democratic nominee for governor.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

For Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, being the target of former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg may not be so bad.

Bloomberg’s PAC, Independence USA, says it’s spending hundreds of thousands of dollars over the next few weeks on a statewide TV ad campaign that blasts Koster for “fighting Obama and clean energy.” But in a state that backed Republican Mitt Romney in 2012 over President Barack Obama by 260,000 votes, such an attack might be welcome news for a Democrat.

jack coatar
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

This week's Politically Speaking podcast with Alderman Jack Coatar includes discussion about a new football stadium on the riverfront. He is sponsoring the bill laying out the financial plan for the proposed stadium, which Mayor Francis Slay and others hope will persuade the Rams to remain in St. Louis – or attract another NFL team.

Earlier today, 15th Ward Democrats President Richard Buthod said there’s widespread public skepticism about publicly financing stadiums. His group released results from a poll showing overwhelming opposition to city taxpayer dollars going to sporting facilities.

The five GOP contenders for governor: Peter Kinder, Eric Greitens, Catherine Hanaway, Bob Dixon and John Brunner
St. Louis Public Radio file photos

Missouri’s five declared Republican candidates for governor hold similar views on most issues – but not, it seems, on when they all should share the same stage.

The state Republican Party says it tried and failed to reach an agreement with the five on a plan – posed by state party chairman John Hancock – to hold a series of no more than eight Republican-sponsored forums or debates around the state.

Former Gov. Bob Holden
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On this week’s edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome former Gov. Bob Holden, who held office from 2001-2005. This is part of an informal series where the journoduo attempts to interview all of the Show-Me State’s former chief executives about their time in office.

stacks of money
sxc.hu

Since taking office in 2009, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has regularly called for stricter ethics laws for public officials – and a return of the state’s campaign-donation limits, which were repealed in 2008.

For the most part, Republican legislative leaders have supported the general idea of limiting lobbyists’ gifts or curbing the legislator-to-lobbyist revolving door. But neither the governor nor lawmakers have put much political muscle behind their proposals.

The coming legislative session – Nixon’s last before leaving office -- may be different.

The five GOP contenders for governor: Peter Kinder, Eric Greitens, Catherine Hanaway, Bob Dixon and John Brunner
St. Louis Public Radio file photos

In their first joint appearance, Missouri’s five major Republican candidates made clear that they agree on the key moves deemed necessary to move the state forward.

Among their shared views:

  • Fewer regulations;
  • Lower taxes;
  • Limits on lawsuits;
  • Restrictions on abortion;
  • Enacting a “right to work’’ law to curb union rights.

U.S. Rep. John Shimkus
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio's Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum welcome back U.S. Rep. John Shimkus to the show to get a first-hand account of the recent turbulence in Congress.

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

The Senate Majority PAC, the national Democratic Party’s chief group charged with recapturing the U.S. Senate, is offering at least lip service on behalf of Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, in his quest to oust U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.

sign for medical marijuana
Wikimedia Commons

Voter ID, a state House with fewer members, minimum wage. These are all initiative-petition proposals looking to get on the 2016 ballot. And it's already make-or-break time in Missouri.

For those initiatives that will be successful, strategy is everything.

Case in point: A pro-marijuana coalition called “New Approach for Missouri’’ filed its latest initiative-petition approach this week to get a proposed constitutional amendment on next year’s ballot to legalize pot for medical use.

St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger's proposal would impliment minimum standards for police departments to follow. If they don't meet those benchmarks, Stenger's office could effectively disband departments.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

It’s now up to the St. Louis County Council to decide whether to approve or reject County Executive Steve Stenger’s plan to set minimum standards for the county’s 57 local police departments.

At Tuesday night’s council meeting, county Municipal League Executive Director Pat Kelly sought to soften the initial criticisms that some of his organization’s members have leveled since Stenger rolled out his proposal last week. Their concerns center on fears that some local police departments may have to disband.

State Rep. Kimberly Gardner
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome state Rep. Kim Gardner for the first time.

A colony of embryonic stem cells, from the H9 cell line. The cells in the background are mouse fibroblast cells. Only the colony in the center are human embryonic stem cells.
Ryddragyn | English Wikipedia -

Nine years after Missouri voters approved protections for embryonic stem cell research, the issue has re-emerged as a hot topic in Jefferson City and among next year’s candidates.

A key factor: Missouri Right to Life – a longstanding opponent of embryonic stem-cell research – is linking the issue to its opposition to Planned Parenthood, which operates Missouri’s only abortion clinics.

(Via Flickr/Rosemary)

The University of Missouri’s nursing school in Columbia has signed agreements with two Planned Parenthood clinics to allow nursing students to obtain some of their training in women’s health services.

A university spokesman said the agreements are not contracts, but will enable three students who requested it to perform their clinical training at Planned Parenthood.

Maria Chappelle-Nadal Sen. D. U City
Provided by Chappelle-Nadal's office

Updated 10 p.m., Oct. 21 - Missouri state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal is following up on her criticisms of U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay by taking the first step to challenge him next year.

Chappelle-Nadal recently filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to set up her congressional campaign committee. But candidate-filing in Missouri won’t begin until late February.

Former U.S. Sen. Kit Bond
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 are pleased to welcome former U.S. Sen. Kit Bond to the program for an in-depth look at his career and legacy.

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

(Updated Thursday, Oct. 22 with a link to the ad)

A tax exempt group with ties to Bush adviser Karl Rove plans to launch a major TV and radio ad blitz in Missouri this week on behalf of U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.

The group is called One Nation and is assisting Republican senators around the country who are up for re-election next year.

a rolling dollar bill
dleafy | sxc.hu

(Updated 12:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 16,  with additional candidate filings)

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster continues to hold a huge financial edge over all of his Republican rivals for governor next year.

Koster, a Democrat with no major opposition from his own party, has banked more than $5 million, according to his latest campaign-finance report filed Thursday.

His bank account is more than twice as fat as that of the top-raising Republican seeking the job, former Navy Seal Eric Greitens., who reported $2.3 million.

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