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Zweifel claims credit for getting MOSERS pay posted on the Web

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 19, 2009 - State Treasurer Clint Zweifel is claiming credit for forcing public disclosure of the staff salaries paid by the Missouri State Employees' Retirement System.

Zweifel, a Democrat, says he introduced the open-records motion, which passed at Thursday's meeting of the MOSERS board. The staff pay soon will be available on the Internet. Today's release by his office notes that "previously a Sunshine Law request was needed to obtain the information."

The action comes as MOSERS has come under fire for paying staff bonuses.

"Government functions best when its business is conducted in an open and accountable environment," Zweifel said.  "Missourians deserve to know where their tax dollars are being spent, and this is a step in making that information easier to obtain."

Zweifel says he now is pressing the board to support his belief that "all benefits received by state elected officials and state judges should be made available on the MOSERS Web site. These officials operate with the public trust, and their full package of long-term benefits should be easily obtainable."

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.