Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

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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This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 3, 2009 - U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., will headline the Saturday night banquet at this weekend's Democrat Days, the closest Democratic equivalent to the GOP's Lincoln Days. Meanwhile, she announces on Tuesday three new staff members; two replace those who've joined the administration of President Barack Obama.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 2, 2009 - The Missouri chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business is lauding what it sees as a signal by Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder and top GOP legislators that they won't allow the state to accept federal stimulus money designed to expand unemployment coverage.

But it's unclear if Missouri Republicans are willing to go that far.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 2, 2009 - The latest congressional liberal-conservative ranking by the nonpartisan National Journal, which often finds its vote-based survey used in political ads, shows few are more conservative than U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, R-Town and Country.

Akin ranks as the 5th most conservative in the 435-member House, based on his 2008 voting record. Fellow GOP Rep. Roy Blunt, who's running for the Senate, came in at No. 20.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 2, 2009 - As Missouri reporters await today's court filing of a report probing the e-mail retention policies in former Gov. Matt Blunt's office, the cash register continues to ring for private lawyers engaged in a separate but related court proceeding.

The state of Missouri has spent $1.06 million in legal fees, so far, for the private lawyers defending former Gov. Matt Blunt and four of his former aides.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 2, 2012 - U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., already is the target of various conservative groups and Super PACs. On Friday, a new conservative online group -- ForAmerica -- announced that it also will take aim at the senator using social media.

Missouri is among three states, including Montana and Virginia, where the group plans to be active on such sites as Facebook and Twitter.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 27, 2009 - Ameren chief Richard Mark issued the following the statement in regard to Gov. Jay Nixon's stance (detailed below) on a measure, backed by the utility, that would allow it charge Missouri customers for the financing in connection with a proposed new nuclear plant. As it stands, a 1970s law bars such charges before the plant is in operation.

This article first appeared in te St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 27, 2009 - Of the aldermanic contests on Tuesday's primary ballot, none is more packed than the seven-person field jockeying for the open seat in the 23rd Ward in southwest St. Louis.

Incumbent Democrat Kathleen Hanrahan is retiring after just over four years in the seat.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 26, 2009 - When it comes to running for mayor in the city of St. Louis, the third time isn't always the charm.

If Mayor Francis Slay succeeds in winning a third term in April, he will join a small club.

Only three other mayors in the city's history have won elections to three terms, although others - notably A.J. Cervantes in 1973 - have made the attempt in vain.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 26, 2009 - U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-St. Elizabeth, says he's opposed to this week's comments by new U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, indicating that the Obama administration plans to ask Congress to restore the assault-weapons ban that died in 2004, when Republicans controlling Congress opted not to renew it.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 25, 2009 - A constitutional law class at Washington University got a surprise visitor Thursday morning: retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor -- the first woman to sit on the nation's highest court .

About 75 first-year students were treated to O'Connor's observations about judicial decision-making, being a woman lawyer trying to get her first job in the early 1950s, and the role of law clerks in the U.S. Supreme Court.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 24, 2009 - Singer Paul Simon penned a hit song, and made a fortune, by detailing the 50 ways to leave one's lover.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is hoping the state can benefit even more by checking out Missourians' 550 ways to spend the stimulus. Missouri's portion is expected to be around $4 billion, although a goodly chunk is earmarked for certain programs or specific types of spending.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 23, 2009 - The online political-news site Politico declared today that U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., is the most influential Twitterer who currently holds office in Washington.

She even outranks President Barack Obama, who's No.4 on the list, even though officially he stopped twittering after Inauguration Day.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 22, 2009 - With their party's annual Lincoln Days concluded, Missouri Republicans left Kansas City on Sunday knowing that a new team is in place and that a new agenda is on tap.

Lloyd Smith, the longtime chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Cape Girardeau, was officially hired this weekend by Missouri's top Republicans to be the party's new executive director -- the top paid position.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 21, 2009 - U.S. Sen. Christopher "Kit" Bond, R-Mo., is leaving no doubt that he's solidly behind U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt's quest to succeed the senator in 2010.

"We need a candidate who will unite party and put integrity before politics," said Bond, who is opting to retire when his current term ends in January 2011.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 21, 2009 - Although never known for keeping his views quiet, U.S. Sen. Christopher "Kit" Bond, R-Mo., said Saturday that he's now going to really speak his mind since he's not running for re-election in 2010.

Bond followed through with that promise when he declared during a morning town-hall forum that legislative term limits -- overwhelmingly approved by Missouri voters in 1992 and in place since 1994 -- have been a huge mistake and "should be reconsidered."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 21, 2009 - In his quest for the U.S. Senate in 2010, U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt appears to have shifted his target from potential Republican rival Sarah Steelman to the only declared Democrat, Secretary of State Robin Carnahan.

In his Saturday address to members of the Republican State Committee, Blunt announced that he plans to call Carnahan on Monday and ask her to agree to "three televised opportunities" this year to highlight their differing views on the issues.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 19, 2009 - Former state Sen. Maida Coleman, now an independent running for mayor, acknowledges that she still feels like a Democrat.

"Even when I put on pants, I'm still a woman,'' Coleman said Thursday.

But as of Tuesday, she says she's no longer a Democratic official. That's when Coleman says she sent a certified letter to city Democratic Party chairman Brian Wahby, resigning from her post as 7th Ward Democratic committeewoman.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 18, 2009 - With his eye on the federal stimulus package, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announced Wednesday that he had plans for spending much of it on a multi-pronged program called the "Transform Missouri Initiative."

The initiative, he said, would focus on creating jobs, bolstering education, encouraging scientific and technological advances, and improving the state's infrastructure.

This first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 17, 2009 - Just weeks before voters in St. Louis and St. Louis County go to the polls, Gov. Jay Nixon is making changes in the boards that oversee the region's elections.

Last Thursday, Nixon nominated one member -- and removed another -- on the St. Louis County Election Board, which runs the largest election-related operation in the state.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 16, 2009 - Almost a dozen St. Louis area state legislators, most of them from the region's southern half,  have joined a new state House group called the Blue Dog Democratic Caucus.

The Blue Dogs are more conservative, particularly on fiscal issues and gun rights, a couple of the leaders say.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 16, 2009 - The scene could have been anywhere. St. Louis city Democratic Party chairman Brian Wahby, who supports the re-election of Mayor Francis Slay, was in an earnest discussion with a couple city teachers who were critical of Slay's actions regarding the public schools.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 12, 2009 - U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, R-Town and Country, is no fan of the federal stimulus package -- regardless of its size -- that's winding through Congress.

But he's particularly concerned about provisions that he says deal with medical issues, including "language that may lead to curtailing medical treatments and research..."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 12, 2009 - New U.S. Rep. Blaine Leutkemeyer, R-St. Elizabeth, is joining fellow Missouri Republican congressman Todd Akin and U.S. Sen. Christopher "Kit" Bond, R-Mo., in registering his objections to the proposed federal stimulus package.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 11, 2009 - Gov. Jay Nixon may have quelled a possible mutiny from rural legislators when he announced this afternoon that he had submitted an amendment to his FY 2010 budget that adds more than $10.1 million to the appropriation for the extension programs at the University of Missouri and Lincoln University.

Nixon said in a statement that his administration had found "surplus funds remaining after the construction at the new women’s correctional facility at Chillicothe."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 10, 2009 - St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann says he wasn't offended when a top aide to Gov. Jay Nixon warned him of possible fallout if a county legislator succeeded in blocking the governor's choice for economic development director.

But Ehlmann added that he hoped Nixon and his staff learned something from the confrontation, which ended Tuesday when the state Senate approved local lawyer Linda Martinez for the post by a voice vote.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 10, 2009 - Former U.S. Sen. Jim Talent, R-Mo., has decided against seeking the job again in 2010, when fellow Republican Christopher "Kit" Bond retires.

Talent -- who lost his post in 2006 to Democrat Claire McCaskill -- said in a statement issued Tuesday night that he was foregoing the 2010 contest, in part because "there are other qualified Republicans who are seriously investigating the race, and it is vital to prevent the kind of dissension that hurt my party's ticket so greatly in 2008."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 10, 2009 - St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann says he wasn't offended when a top aide to Gov. Jay Nixon warned him of possible fallout if a county legislator succeeded in blocking the governor's choice for economic development director.

But Ehlmann added that he hoped Nixon and his staff learned something from the confrontation, which ended Tuesday when the state Senate approved local lawyer Linda Martinez for the post by a voice vote.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 9, 2009 - The Missouri Roundtable for Life, a relatively new anti-abortion group, has sued Secretary of State Robin Carnahan as part of their continued dispute over the group's efforts to launch an initiative petition drive to get an anti-abortion bill on the November 2010 ballot.

Besides the volatile issue of abortion, the other key aspect is the timing of the Roundtable's proposed ballot measure. It would be put before voters at the same time that Carnahan could be the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate.

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