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Missouri Democrats go down Memory Lane with Ed Martin

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 30, 2009 - Republican Ed Martin, a local lawyer, is expected to announce this evening that he's running for the U.S. House seat now occupied by Democrat Russ Carnahan.

And the Missouri Democratic Party is ready, slapping back today with a missive that cites Martin's controversial past -- particularly his tenure as chief of staff to then-Gov. Matt Blunt, and Martin's role in the long legal fight over Blunt's office e-mails.

Martin's 6 p.m. rally is to be at the Lemay Road location of McArthur's Bakery, owned by brothers Randy and David McArthur, who are upset with Carnahan's vote last spring in favor of a cap-and-trade energy proposal backed by fellow Democrats and President Barack Obama.

In an effort to build a crowd, Martin's campaign conducted robocalls Tuesday in which David McArthur praised Martin and invited the listener to tonight's rally.

The Democratic Party's release counters by citing some of the highlights of Martin's days in Jefferson City.

Most focus on Martin's role as the man who fired the governor's deputy counsel, Scott Eckersley, in September 2007.

Eckersley contended that he was fired over his advice to Martin and others that they were mishandling e-mails by deleting some that needed to be preserved. Martin contended that Eckersley was fired for professional and personal misconduct.

The Democratic Party noted that the lawsuits filed by Eckersley and others ended up costing the state well over $2 million in legal costs and settlement payments.

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.