The reason that Manata’s story is repeated all over the country is because state and local governments are not hospitable places for whistleblowing. This is due in part to an incoherent mosaic of state laws purporting to protect whistleblowers. According to a compilation of whistleblowing laws by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), a state may protect whistleblowing concerning the waste of public funds or resources but not for mismanagement or ethical breaches (as is the case in Idaho), or it may cover those areas but omit others such as dangers to public health or safety (as in Colorado).
However, even the presence of these laws does not guarantee their enforcement. According to PEER, for example, New Jersey has statutes on its books to protect public employees and is one of the better states for whistleblowers. But that regime is still failing people like Antonio Manata.