The Daily Dish-March 11

Council members keeping tabs on police woes by Andrew Denney, Columbia Daily Tribune.

In response to a consultant’s report last week that there are major morale and structural issues within the Columbia Police Department, City Council members have displayed faith in both City Manager Mike Matthes and Police Chief Ken Burton to institute the report’s recommendations. Third Ward Councilman Gary Kespohl told the Tribune he thinks the council will be able to step in and fix some of the pay compression problems within the department, granting new hires and veterans of the force similar salary levels. Major shakeups are expected to occur in the budget structure of the department in fiscal year 2013, beginning Oct. 1.

As pro se cases increase, courts and litigants face new challenges by Laura Kebede, Columbia Missourian.

The number of litigants representing themselves in civil cases increased on a national level by almost 4,000 from 2007 to 2010, according to a report by the Administrative Office of the U.S. courts. The effort to save money on hiring a lawyer often results in an unsuccessful lawsuit, however. Kebede includes an interactive quiz to see how you would fare representing yourself in civil court at the bottom of this story.

Editorial-Get ‘dark money’ out of campaign spending from the Kansas City Star.

To kick off Sunshine Week, the Star calls for tougher financial disclosure laws at the state and national level. They cite political consultant Steve Glorioso as saying that the campaign spending climate now resembles “the Wild, Wild West” and target Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS for running attack ads against U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill. Open dialogue and records, the Star argues, are required for citizens to make informed decisions about policies and to see where the interests of stakeholders lie.

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