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.

At least at J. Pfenny’s sports bar, it’ll be business as usual next week when legislators return to the Missouri capital for their annual veto session. They’ll also be gathering for the first time since the furor over sexual misconduct allegations involving interns sent two top state legislators packing.

The alcohol will be flowing as several lawmakers, or hopefuls, hold simultaneous fundraisers at the popular watering hole, situated just a couple blocks from the Capitol building.

(Updated 2 p.m. Mon., July 27)

Missouri’s Republican contest for governor has gotten less crowded — at least for now — as state Sen. Mike Parson has decided to run for the state’s No. 2 post instead. And on Monday, he released a list of supporters, including the state Senate's leadership.

Meanwhile, the GOP’s newest gubernatorial candidate — state Sen. Bob Dixon of Springfield — offered some details about his previously acknowledged past in the 1980s when he lived several years as a young gay man.

In an emailed statement to St. Louis Public Radio, Dixon blamed child abuse for what he called “teenage confusion.” He now is married, has three children and is a staunch social conservative who believes in traditional marriage.

Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder says that this time, he really is running for governor.

After several almost-runs over the past decade, Kinder told supporters Sunday that he’s committed this time to capturing state government's top job. If elected, he says he'll improve the state, particularly when it comes to education, employment, ethics and health care. But his chief focus at this campaign kickoff on a hot parking lot near last summer’s unrest in Ferguson was to promise "No more Fergusons, never again.”

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is pardoning five people for non-violent offenses, some of them committed decades ago.  One of those pardoned was convicted for stealing $1.46.

But most of the attention that Nixon is receiving for Friday's announcement is focused on his decision to commute the life sentence of Jeffrey Mizanskey, who has become a major figure in the movement to decriminalize marijuana.

Only one major piece of legislation passed the Missouri General Assembly during its final day of the 2015 session, capping a surreal and strange week that saw the House speaker resign and the Senate paralyzed.

After days of delay, both chambers found time Friday to swiftly approve a must-pass bill necessary for the state to accept its annual $3.5 billion in federal money to pay for the existing Medicaid program and related health care expenses.

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