Missouri Policy Journal
Number 2 - Fall/Winter 2014-15
Cover: Mamie Richardson
A “whistleblower” is defined as an employee who in the scope of his or her employment reports a violation of the law by his or her employer. The violation may be against the reporting employee, or may be a general violation such as unlawful pollution practices against environmental law. The federal government and many states have laws protecting whistleblowers from retaliation for filing a claim or reporting a violation.1 In addition, most states recognize a common law claim against an employer who takes action against an employee after he or she has reported a violation of law.
Since its admission to the union in 1821, Missouri has been a microcosm of the national developments and debates that surround the issue of judicial selection. Missouri was the first state to use all three of the most common methods of judicial selection—political appointments, contested elections, and merit selection.1 Because of the state’s experience, the history of judicial selection and the controversies surrounding judicial selection in Missouri provide insight into broader national trends. This article explores the history of judicial selection and the controversies over the various selection methods in the state of Missouri, with an emphasis on the debate that has taken place in the state over the past decade. The article also explains why this issue is relevant to public policy in Missouri. Finally, it provides a snapshot of current opinions on the various judicial selection methods through a survey of community college students.
This article focuses primarily on the interrelated economic development project of the St. Louis Cardinals’ new Busch Stadium (2006) and Ballpark Village (2014). While the new Busch Stadium officially opened on April 10, 2006, and Ballpark Village officially opened on March 27, 2014, nearly eight years later, since the opening of Ballpark Village only included the completion of Phase 1, this interrelated development is actually ongoing and yet to reach fully planned and promised project completion. While originally proposed and envisioned as one simultaneous but layered project, the building and realization of the two entities eventually became two separate but interrelated projects, resulting in public financing of both. Through this evolution, the overall economic development project changed dramatically, including key actors, funding, design, and goals. This research examines both the individual and combined economic impact, both tangible and intangible, of the two entities, including in regard to sustainability.
After the fatal shooting of an African American teenager in Ferguson, Missouri on August 9, 2014, various police departments are exploring the use of body cameras. With tensions high, it is hopeful that body worn camera policies will be based on sound research and that appropriate measures are made to achieve optimum effectiveness. The author of this writing, a former law enforcement official and current academic, presents some challenges that police administrators will need to address toward body camera implementation. Because racism is difficult to accurately measure and police are historically reluctant to provide genuine feedback for researchers, the author introduces hypothetical, but realistic, phenomena for Missouri law enforcement leaders to assess. This writing raises questions to who is attracted to or being chosen for the police profession. While difficult and perhaps impossible to prove because of hidden factors, conservatism and lack of college education might be correlated to an officer’s judgment toward delivering equitable treatment to all citizens. Thus, some officers might be motivated to undermine any new policies that hinder their autonomy in policing? The author’s personal experiences are laid out to acknowledge the complexities behind introducing new policies based on knee jerk reactions if self-assessments within departments are not first drawn out.