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Politically Speaking podcast: Breaking down a bizarre final week of the Missouri General Assembly

Clockwise from upper left, Sen. Ron Richard, R, Joplin; Reps. Jake Hummel and Karla May, newly elected Speaker Todd Richardson at microphone, Gov. Jay Nixon
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio
Clockwise from upper left, Sen. Ron Richard, R, Joplin; Reps. Jake Hummel and Karla May, newly elected Speaker Todd Richardson at microphone, Gov. Jay Nixon

On a “classic edition” of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio reporters Jason Rosenbaum, Jo Mannies and Marshall Griffin take stock of one of the strangest ends to a Missouri General Assembly session in recent memory.

It started on Tuesday when Republicans in the Missouri Senate used the “previous question” motion to end a filibuster on “right to work” legislation. That prompted Senate Democrats to shut the legislature’s upper chamber down – except for a Medicaid-related bill on the last day of session.

The Senate slowdown would have been the top story, if not for the shock resignation of House Speaker John Diehl. The Town and Country Republican had to step down after the Kansas City Star reported on how he exchanged sexually suggestive text messages with a 19-year-old intern. House Majority Leader Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, took the speaker’s gavel on Friday.

On the show, the journalistic trio talked about:

  • What Diehl’s resignation means for House Republicans – and what it says about the overall cultural climate in Jefferson City.
  • Whether Richardson can provide calm to a GOP caucus reeling from Diehl’s resignation.
  • Why the Senate melted down last week and whether it will have spillover into next year’s legislative session.
  • How the end of this year’s session will impact the flow of legislation next year.

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Jo Mannies on Twitter: @jmannies

Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter: @MarshallGReports

Music: “Common People” by Pulp

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.
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.
Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.

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