Jo Mannies

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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Politics
7:55 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Biden Defends Withdrawal Of Troops From Iraq, Afghanistan

Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the VFW convention downtown.

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 4:18 pm

Vice President Joe Biden today lauded the nation’s military veterans who have fought battles overseas, but he made clear that there’s a limit to what the United States’ military can do.

“It’s time for those we liberated to stand up and put themselves together,” Biden said at the end of a lengthy speech to about 12,000 members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars gathered in St. Louis at the America's Center convention hall downtown.

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Politics
8:06 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Akin Stands By View Of Rape, Wishes GOP Would Stand By Him

Todd Akin

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 12:04 pm

Todd Akin’s new book is entitled “Firing Back.’’ But based on the former St. Louis area congressman’s  interviews over the past week, an equally descriptive title could be “No Apology.”

Two years after losing a nationally watched contest for the U.S. Senate, Akin is arguably more passionate than ever as he defends the message that landed him in hot water in 2012.

The immortal phrase in question: “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."

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Politics
7:56 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Koster, Transportation Tax Backers Lead Campaign Money-Raising

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 3:29 pm

The group backing the proposed transportation sales tax is the biggest money-raising operation in the state – but it has yet to air a single TV ad.

Missourians for Safe Transportation and New Jobs, the campaign committee for the sales tax known as Amendment 7, appears to be entering the final weeks of the campaign with more than $2.5 million to spend.

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Politics
8:05 am
Tue July 15, 2014

For Republicans, Silence Is Golden When It Comes To Akin's Book

Todd Akin

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 8:56 pm

(Updated 4 p.m. Tuesday, July 15)

Former U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, R-Wildwood, is continuing this week to make the rounds of the national news outlets as he promotes his new book, “Firing Back.”

But most Republicans, nationally and in Missouri, are continuing to ignore his book – and him.

In the book, Akin generally defends his controversial 2012 contention that in cases of “legitimate rape,’’ women rarely get pregnant because “their bodies have ways of shutting the whole thing down.”

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NPR Story
4:02 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Nixon Vetoes Bill Mandating 72-Hour Waiting Period For Abortions

Jay Nixon

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 9:14 pm

(Updated 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 2)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has vetoed a bill that would have tripled the state’s waiting period for an abortion to 72 hours, saying it reflected  “a callous disregard for women who find themselves in horrific circumstances.”

The governor noted in Wednesday’s veto message that the bill, HB 1307, had no exceptions for rape or incest.

“This extreme and disrespectful measure would unnecessarily prolong the suffering of rape and incest victims and jeopardize the health and wellbeing of women,” Nixon said Wednesday.

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Politics
8:12 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Missouri's Rekindled Same-Sex Marriage Fight Highlights Political Shifts

Chris Koster pressed for gay rights at state Democrats' Jefferson-Jackson Dinner this month

Originally published on Sat June 28, 2014 5:44 am

(Updated 11:40 a.m. Friday, June 27)

Just a few weeks ago, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster  was publicly exhorting Missouri Republicans to change their party’s platform, which endorses the state’s 10-year-old constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

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Politics
7:56 am
Wed June 18, 2014

McCaskill Blames Iraqi Leaders For Violence, Cautious About U.S. Help

Claire McCaskill

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 4:45 pm

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., says the Iraqi government bears most of the blame for the violence now engulfing the country and is urging caution as the U.S. government decides how to respond.

“The mess that is in Iraq right now is Iraq’s doing,” McCaskill said in a conference call Tuesday with Missouri journalists. “The U.S. put them on a path of free and fair elections, and to have a military that could enforce the rule of law...I’m sick to my stomach that what we have done in that country has been so carelessly and casually abandoned in favor of sectarian dominance.”

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Politics
8:48 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Nixon Vetoes Bills That Would Have Cut State, Local Revenue By $776 Million A Year

Jay Nixon

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 9:14 pm

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon followed through with his earlier threat by vetoing on Wednesday 10 bills passed during the last day of the legislative session. The bills set up special tax breaks for a variety of businesses, from restaurants to data centers.

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Politics
8:16 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Missouri's Longstanding Dispute Over Presidential Primaries May Be Resolved

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 3:23 pm

Missouri’s chaotic history with presidential primaries may finally be settled, now that Gov. Jay Nixon has signed into law a measure that sets the state’s presidential primary date in March.

Under the new law, Missouri’s once-every-four-years primary would be held on the second Tuesday after the first Monday. In 2016, that date would be March 15 – the first day allowed by the two national political parties without incurring penalties.

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Politics
8:48 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Nixon Warns Of Huge Cuts In Local Services Because Of Legislature's Last-Minute Tax Cuts

Gov. Jay Nixon says local fire departments and fire districts will lose money because of last-minute tax breaks approved by the General Assembly.

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 9:57 pm

(Updated Thursday, May 29)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says that local governments stand to lose almost as much money as the state because of a final tax-cutting spree by the General Assembly before it adjourned earlier this month.

All told, Nixon said Wednesday, local jurisdictions around Missouri — from city halls to fire districts, libraries and ambulance services — could lose $351 million in annual sales tax revenue because of “a grab bag of giveaways’’ approved by legislators.

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Politics
2:27 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Nixon To Veto Student Transfer Bill, Cites Private Option

Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed the student transfer bill on Friday.

Originally published on Sat May 24, 2014 4:23 am

After telegraphing his intention for a week, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon on Friday announced that he is indeed going to veto the student-transfer bill because of its provisions allowing public money to be used for private schools.

He also faults the bill because it does not require unaccredited sending districts to pay any transportation costs for students transferring to accredited districts, as the schools now are required to do.

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Politics
8:01 am
Wed May 21, 2014

McCaskill, Blunt Demand Better Care For Military Veterans

Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 1:58 pm

On Friday, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill is releasing the latest results of a survey of Missouri military veterans who have received care at Veterans Administration’s facilities around the state, including Cochran and Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis.

While not disclosing any details, McCaskill told reporters Tuesday that “every year we’ve done it, the VA has done a little better. I’m particularly pleased this year because we’ve had even more responses this year than we had last year.”

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Politics
8:23 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Missouri House Sends Abortion 72-Hour Waiting Period To Governor

Floor of the Missouri House on May 14, 2014 during abortion debate.

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 12:28 pm

(Updated 11:40 a.m Thursday, May 15)

After more than an hour of emotional – and often loud – debate, the Missouri House voted to send to the governor a bill that would triple Missouri’s waiting period for abortions to 72 hours from 24 hours.

If approved by Gov. Jay Nixon, the measure would make Missouri only the third state in the nation to mandate a 72-hour wait – and possibly set the stage for a legal challenge.

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NPR Story
5:44 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Legislators, Governor Spar Over Dues To Governors Group

Gov. Jay Nixon

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 5:13 pm

Missouri House and Senate budget chiefs are accusing Gov. Jay Nixon of misusing state money because his office has paid dues to the National Governors Association for the past three years out of the Department of Social Services’ budget.

“He basically misspent the money,’’ said House Budget chairman Rick Stream, R-Kirkwood, during a news conference Wednesday. He was joined by House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka, and state Rep. Sue Allen, R-Town and Country, who heads the House panel that oversees social-service spending. Senate leaders fired off similar complaints.

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NPR Story
5:11 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

General Assembly Puts Early-Voting Proposal On Ballot That Would Block Rivals

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 10:23 pm

The Missouri House has given final approval to an early-voting ballot proposal that includes a provision aimed at knocking out a more-generous rival proposal that also may be on the same ballot.

Opponents call the Republican-backed measure “a sham,’’ while backers say it’s a reasonable compromise.

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Politics
7:57 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Missouri Lawmakers Face Last-Minute Load Of Bills, On Topics Old and New

Inside the dome of Missouri Capitol

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 5:46 pm

With fights over tax cuts and budgets out of the way, the Missouri General Assembly appears poised to spend its final week focusing on some familiar topics: guns, abortion and voting rights.

    

Measures to restrict enforcement of federal laws, triple the waiting period for an abortion and to ask voters to mandate photo IDs at the polls are among the hot-button proposals expected to eat up some of legislators’ precious floor time during the final five days.

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NPR Story
7:59 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Remembrance: Election Night Surprise And A Colorful But Short Political Career

Joe Teasdale in his prime

Originally published on Sat May 10, 2014 9:54 pm

When young Joe Teasdale won the Missouri gubernatorial race against incumbent Christopher “Kit” Bond in 1976, few were more surprised than Teasdale himself. That fact became increasingly evident on that election night nearly 38 years ago, as a ballroom-full of supporters waited, and waited, and waited for their man to come down from his hotel suite above, and make his acceptance speech.

After learning of Teasdale's death Thursday at age 78, I had a flashback to a November night in 1976.

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Politics
8:32 am
Tue April 29, 2014

Nixon Proposes New Medicaid Expansion Program, Catching Legislators Off Guard

Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 11:01 pm

In the final weeks of the legislative session, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has made a last-ditch effort to resurrect a push to expand Missouri’s Medicaid program and accept roughly $2 billion a year in federal money.

The governor, a Democrat, unveiled his “Missouri Health Works’’ program before business leaders Monday in Cape Girardeau. By coincidence or design, state House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka and an opponent of Medicaid expansion, was also in Cape on Monday with conservative low-tax icon Grover Norquist to highlight a different issue.

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Politics
8:25 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Nixon's Latest Tax-Cut Battle With General Assembly Resembles Earlier Fight

Missouri Capitol

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 3:57 pm

With a new tax-cut package on his desk, Missouri Gov. Nixon has zeroed in on a new “fatal flaw’’ that his administration says could wipe out 65 percent of the state’s general-revenue income used to fund most state services and aid to public schools.

The details may be different, but the basic argument mirrors last year’s fight, when Nixon successfully killed a tax-cut bill by highlighting flaws that he said would cost the state's treasury – and the public – far more than the bill’s backers had intended.

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Politics
8:52 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Nixon Threatens Veto Of Any Tax Cut Bill That Fails To Curb Tax Credits

Originally published on Fri March 28, 2014 5:07 pm

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and some potential allies in the latest legislative battle over tax cuts stepped up their attack Thursday on two fronts.

Just as the General Assembly was leaving for its long weekend, the governor issued a statement making clear that the tax-cut measures that the House and Senate have been considering so far don’t meet his standards for approval.

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Health
12:17 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Missouri Hospitals Fear Job Losses, Service Cuts Without Medicaid Expansion

(l-r) Mo. Hosp. Assoc. CEO Herb Kuhn and Mo. Chamber CEO Dan Mehan discuss survey of hospitals with reporters on March 26, 2014.
Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 4:32 pm

(Updated 4:30 p.m. Wed., March 26)

In the last six months alone, Missouri hospitals have eliminated nearly 1,000 jobs, imposed hiring freezes affecting another 2,145 positions and cut or delayed at least $50 million in building projects.

The blame is due, in part, to the General Assembly’s refusal to expand Medicaid.

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Politics
8:43 am
Thu March 20, 2014

McCaskill Touts Bipartisan Effort To Tackle Landfill, Fix Roads And Bridges

Sen. Claire McCaskill discussed various issues at a news conference Monday with St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay (far right).

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 12:22 am

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers are talking about what’s best for the Bridgeton landfill and the World War II-era radioactive material stored at the neighboring West Lake landfill.

So says U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., who was among four Missouri members of Congress – two Republicans and two Democrats – who cosigned a recent letter asking the EPA to work with the Corps, which previously dealt with similar radioactive sites elsewhere in the St. Louis area.

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Politics
5:25 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Nieves Drops Re-Election Bid, Sets Off GOP Jockeying For Job

Brian Nieves

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 5:16 pm

(Updated 1:50 p.m. Friday, March 14)

State Sen. Brian Nieves, R-Washington, has dropped his bid for re-election – ending two weeks of political suspense about his intentions.

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Politics
8:21 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Nixon Outlines Requirements For Tax Cut Plan That He Could Support

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 9:05 pm

(Updated 12:45 p.m. Fri., Feb. 14)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has unveiled a tentative deal for a tax-cut package made with some Republicans in the state Senate, but his requirements could delay when -- or if -- the cuts go into effect.

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Crime
8:03 am
Mon January 27, 2014

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

Sen. Claire McCaskill

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 7:41 am

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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Politics
4:57 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Former Sen. Bond to lobby in favor of Missouri expanding Medicaid

Credit vitualis / Flickr

Retired U.S. Sen. Christopher “Kit” Bond, R-Mo., is jumping into the Jefferson City debate over Medicaid expansion – and he’s on the side of  Gov. Jay Nixon and other expansion supporters.

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Politics
7:39 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Nixon Calls Senate Tax-Cut Proposal 'Fiscally Irresponsible'

Gov. Jay Nixon lauds new GM vehicles during visit to St. Louis Auto Show

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 1:13 pm

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has swiftly attacked a state Senate panel’s action to approve a phased-in tax cut that he estimates will cost the state $1 billion a year when fully implemented.

Nixon called it a “fiscally irresponsible tax experiment.”

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Politics
9:25 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Nixon Proposes To Restore State Spending Lost Since 2008

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon at 2011 state of the state speech.
UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 10:43 am

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is proposing a budget that would set state government spending at roughly what it was seven years ago, before the nation’s economy – and the state’s budgets -- took a nose dive.

And that’s a huge difference from the frugal budgets the state has seen for years.

The biggest beneficiary of the increased spending, should the General Assembly agree, will be public education.

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Politics
9:35 am
Fri January 17, 2014

House Speaker To Deliver GOP Response To Governor's State Of State Address

Tim Jones

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 4:30 pm

Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka, has been tapped to deliver the Republican response to next Tuesday’s State of the State address by Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat.

Jones had been on the short list for the response, usually delivered within minutes of the governor's annual speech. Others believed to be in the running had been Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, who has delivered the response several times since Nixon took office, and state Auditor Tom Schweich, who’s running for re-election this fall.

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Politics
8:08 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Why The General Assembly Is Battling Over Right To Work

Monday's right-to-work hearing attracted a packed house

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 5:15 am

The first full week of the Missouri’s General Assembly is officially underway, and already the focus has shifted away from the expected topics – tax cuts and Medicaid expansion – and landed smack dab in the midst of a potentially bruising battle over labor rights.

The fight offers the potential of overshadowing other legislative issues for weeks, if not months.

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