Last week the Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information (CCFOI) asked all candidates for statewide office to take the “Public Official’s Pledge for Open and Accountable Government.” (A copy of the pledge is appended.) In asking candidates to sign the pledge, CCFOI President Daniel J. Klau said, “A successful democracy requires open, transparent, and accountable government. Yet freedom of information and the public’s right to know about Connecticut state and municipal governments have been under increasing attack in recent years.”
The pledge asks candidates to support freedom of information in Connecticut in three specific ways:
- Support Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Act, including the independence of the state’s unique Freedom of Information Commission, and oppose weakening it.
- Support the Freedom of Information Commission and resist further reductions in its budget, recognizing that the commission has already experienced disproportionate budget cuts and that further personnel reductions will render the commission unable to serve as a meaningful “watchdog” agency for the state, to meet its statutory obligations to decide Freedom of Information Act appeals in a timely manner, and to educate state and municipal officials about how to comply with the Freedom of Information Act.
- Do whatever the candidate can to require that any proposals to weaken or impair the FOI Act be presented for debate at public hearings before any action is taken on them.
In the few days since the pledge was sent to candidates, their response has been positive. To date, the following candidates have signed the pledge or expressed their intent to do so:
David Baram (15th Dist.) Beth Bye (5th Dist.)
Bob Godfrey (110th Dist.) Earle Roberts (9th Dist.)
Joseph Gresko (121th Dist.)
Robert Samson (80th Dist.)
Todd Schaller (65th Dist.)
Derek Slap (19th Dist.)
Pam Staneski (119th)
Scott Storms (60th Dist.)
Ronna Stuller (39th Dist.)
Joseph Mark C. Taraya (139th Dist.)
Peter Tercyak (26th Dist.)
CCFOI will update the list of candidates who have signed the pledge daily.
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CCFOI has been serving the public since 1955. Daniel J. Klau, president; Zachary Janowski, vice president; Mary Connolly, secretary; George Lombardi, treasurer.