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Sen. Blunt's lobbyist son sets up new firm in Jefferson City

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File photo | Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio
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The Missouri Capitol Building in Jefferson City, Mo. Legislative action here on Thursday by Sen. Jason Crowell would refer the "right-to-work" issue to voters next year.

Along with several lobbyist colleagues, Andy Blunt, the son of U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, has formed a new firm, Statehouse Strategies LCC, in downtown Jefferson City near the state Capitol.

The new firm is a spinoff from a larger law and lobbying firm in which Andy Blunt had been a partner: Schreimann, Rackers, Francka and Blunt. That firm also is in the state capital.

Andy Blunt said in an interview that the split was amicable. His new firm, Statehouse, will focus solely on lobbying. Aside from Blunt, other lobbyists moving to the new firm are Jay Reichard and Mark Schwartz. Both previously had worked together at the larger firm.

“We had two different businesses housed together,’’ Blunt said, referring to the previous setup. “We decided to create two separate entities.”

Andy Blunt also is the campaign manager for his father’s re-election bid this fall. Democrats have closely monitored the younger Blunt’s client list and attempted to link some of them to the elder Blunt’s voting record. Father and son have denied any link; the senator also has repeatedly declined to discuss his son’s business.

Andy Blunt’s 42-member client list – which he says is unaffected by the firm change -- includes the University of Missouri, Ameren Missouri, the Missouri Auto Dealers Association, the Missouri Hospital Association, and the Missouri Cable Telecommunications Association.

He recently added Kiel Center Partners/Scottrade Center and the St. Louis Blues hockey team. Another client is Exelon Generation Co., a Chicago-based firm that shares liability for the radioactive waste housed at the West Lake landfill.

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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