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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Missouri Budget
11:39 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Missouri General Revenue Income Drops Dramatically In January

State budget director Linda Luebbering
Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Maybe the snow gets the blame for the state of Missouri’s latest poor financial numbers. This fiscal year’s income numbers are lagging well behind the projected increase needed to balance the state’s budget.

The newer, lower numbers also come as Republican leaders in the Missouri General Assembly are considering several tax-cut proposals.

State Budget Director Linda Luebbering acknowledged Wednesday that poor weather in January may have contributed to the sharp decline in general-revenue income – 9.5 percent -- for the month, compared to January 2013.

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Military fraud
11:39 am
Tue February 4, 2014

McCaskill Blames Military Recruitment Scandal On Lack Of Oversight

Sen. Claire McCaskill
Credit (UPI file photo)

A military-recruitment program gone awry may have cost U.S. taxpayers as much as $50 million, Army and National Guard officials confirmed Tuesday in a hearing before a Senate panel chaired by U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill.

Still, several of those testifying defended the program as being highly effective in increasing the number of troops during the height of the Iraq and Afghanistan deployments from 2006-2008. The program began in 2005 and ended in 2012, when problems were detected.

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Politically Speaking
5:23 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Politically Speaking: Comptroller Green On Money Matters, Power Plays And Political Possibilities

Credit Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon

Every week, St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon's Chris McDaniel, Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum talk about the week’s politics. 

St. Louis Comptroller Darlene Green joins the podcast this week. Green is the city's chief fiscal officer and one of the longest-serving comptrollers in modern history.

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Politics & Issues
6:47 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Nieves Defends Ban That Ignited Press Freedom Controversy

State Sen. Brian Nieves, R-Washington
Credit Tim Bommel, Mo. House of Representatives

(Updated 12:40 p.m. Mon., Feb. 3)

Missouri state Sen. Brian Nieves says he didn't intend to ignite a controversy over freedom of the press with his mandate that cameras and recorders are welcome — but no tripods — during public meetings of the Senate committee that he chairs.

“You can videotape until your heart’s content,” said Nieves, R-Washington, in an interview. “I just don’t want the process of videotaping to block the view of anybody else.’’

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Lobbying
1:59 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Former House Speaker Now Lobbying Against 'Right To Work'

Former Missouri House Speaker Steve Tilley is now an influential lobbyist in the state Capitol.
Credit File photo

When Republican Steve Tilley was speaker of the Missouri House, he flatly told fellow Republicans that he would not bring up any bills to make Missouri a "right-to-work" state.

At the time, Tilley said publicly that he viewed the issue as too divisive and potentially destructive to Missouri Republicans. He also discounted the arguments of "right-to-work" advocates who said that such a law would create jobs.

Now, the Missouri AFL-CIO has hired Tilley as a lobbyist to block this session’s "right-to-work" efforts of his successor, Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka.

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Politics & Issues
11:54 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Missouri GOP To Honor Former Sen. Talent At Awards Dinner In Clayton

Former Sen. Jim Talent, R-Mo.
Credit File Photo

The Missouri Republican Party is honoring former U.S. Sen. Jim Talent with its “Spirit of Enterprise’’ award during the party’s fundraising dinner in Clayton on Feb. 19.

Talent, who resides in Chesterfield, is one of the state's most respected former Republican officeholders. He  served four years in the Senate until he was defeated in 2006 by Democrat Claire McCaskill, who still holds the seat.  Talent  previously served eight years in the U.S. House, and narrowly lost a contest for governor in 2000.

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Politics & Issues
2:39 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Proposal To Bar Tax Breaks To Energy Firms Makes St. Louis' April Ballot

Peabody Energy's St. Louis headquarters
Credit (UPI)

Barring a last-minute legal challenge, St. Louis voters will be asked on April 8 to decide the fate of a proposed amendment to the city charter to bar tax breaks for Peabody Energy or any other firm involved in “unsustainable energy production.”

“We know for a fact that it’s going to be on the ballot in April,’’ said Mary Wheeler-Jones, the Democratic elections director for the St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners. The only roadblock would be if a lawsuit successfully knocks the proposal off the ballot, she said.

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State of the Union address
11:03 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

President's Call To Hike Minimum Wage Ignites Swift Response, Pro And Con

U.S. Capitol
Credit (Wikimedia Commons user Raul654)

(Updated 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 29)

President Barack Obama’s call to increase the nation’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour is part of his broader focus on attacking income inequality.

But that approach swiftly ignited strong reaction, pro and con, as soon as he outlined his initiative during Tuesday night’s State of the Union address.

Fellow Democrats praised Obama for addressing issues that they say threaten the nation's economic recovery.   Republicans accuse the president of playing politics leading up to a crucial mid-term election.

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State of the Union
2:57 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

McCaskill Predicts Presidential Focus On Protecting Roads, Electrical Grid

Sen. Claire McCaskill
Credit (UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., says she hopes that President Barack Obama discusses the nation’s crumbling infrastructure – such as roads, bridges, and the power supply -- in his State of the Union address tonight.

Such projects are “sadly neglected and underfunded,’’ McCaskill told reporters in a conference call Tuesday.

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Sexual assault on campus
7:06 am
Mon January 27, 2014

McCaskill Calls For Probe Into Sexual Assault/Suicide Case at Mizzou

Sen. Claire McCaskill
Credit (via Flickr/SenatorMcCaskill)

Updated 4:11 p.m, Mon., Jan. 27 with investigation by Columbia police.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, an alum of the University of Missouri and a former prosecutor, is calling on the university to investigate the alleged sexual assault of former Mizzou swimmer Sasha Menu Courey, who subsequently committed suicide.

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