Malloy Signs FOI Pledge

Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information
Serving Connecticut for 60 years


Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, waiting until after his re-election, has signed the FOI Pledge for open government. He follows State Comptroller Kevin Lembo and a handful of legislative leaders that believe, in the words of the pledge, “a successful democracy requires open, transparent, and accountable government.”

Malloy did not announce his decision, but his spokesman Andrew Doba said Nov. 19 that he had signed it, in response to a question from the Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information, the non-profit group that proffered the pledge to all candidates for state office.

“We are pleased Gov. Malloy has put the power of his office behind the basic tenets of freedom of information,” said CCFOI President James H. Smith.

The two-part pledge includes supporting the independence of the state Freedom of Information Commission “and oppose weakening it;” and promising to do “whatever I can to require . . . debate at public hearings” before any action is taken to “weaken or impair the state FOI Act.”

The CCFOI pledge closely reflects the state Constitution (Article 3, Section 16), which requires that “Debates of each (legislative) house shall be public, except on such occasions as in the opinion of the house may require secrecy.”

Among other signers are state Senate Deputy President Pro Tempore Joan Hartley, D- Waterbury, Deputy House Speakers Bob Godfrey, D-Danbury and Peggy Sayers, D – Windsor Locks; and Assistant Deputy Speaker Mary Fritz, D- Wallingford.

“The good news for open government is that these leaders are leading the way, the bad news is that far too many in the state legislature and the Constitutional offices, declined to sign,” said Smith. “But if you want to hold government accountable, this is a decent beginning,” he said. A total of 38 candidates for office signed the pledge before the election.

Click here for a spreadsheet of officials who signed the FOI pledge:

CCFOI has been advocating for open government since 1955 and was instrumental in helping Gov. Ella T. Grasso and a unanimous legislature pass the state FOI laws in 1975.

Election winners who signed the FOI Pledge:
Constitutional officers
Gov. Dan Malloy
Comptroller Kevin Lembo

State Senate
Joan Hartley, D-15th

State House
David Barum, D – 15th
Samuel P. Belsito, R- 53rd
Mary Fritz, D-90th
Bob Godfrey, D- 110th
Mary Muschiinsky, D – 85th
Jason Rojas, D- 9th
Rob Sampson, R – 80th
Peggy Sayers, D-60th
Bill Simanski, R- 62nd
David Zoni, D-81st

CCFOI asks for FOI Pledge from Candidates

Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information
Serving the public since 1955

Oct. 8, 2014

Dear Candidate for the General Assembly and Constitutional office:

Freedom of information and the public’s right to know about Connecticut state and municipal governments have been under increasing attack in recent years. So the Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information, urges you to take the Public Official’s Pledge for Open and Accountable Government, which is appended.

CCFOI, a non-profit entering our 60th year, will let your constituents know of your support for their right to know.

Please take this pledge by signing it and mailing it or e-mailing it back to me. Please feel free to make a comment about your pledge.


JAMES H. SMITH, President
Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information
59 Sioux Drive
Oxford, CT 06478
James H. Smith Email

CCFOI officers: President, James H. Smith;
Vice President, Richard Ahles;
Secretary, Mary Connolly;
Treasurer, George Lombardi

Public Official’s Pledge for Open and Accountable Government

In 1975 the General Assembly unanimously sent to Gov. Ella T. Grasso the landmark legislation she had asked for, what became known as Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Act, that she signed it into law. The FOI Act promises that government at every level in Connecticut — state and municipal, from police departments to schools — will strive to conduct business in the open. The act guarantees the right of everyone to have access to government agency meetings and records.

As government in Connecticut has grown in the decades since its passage, the FOI Act is even more important today. It ensures accountability in government and thereby promotes confidence in government.

As Governor Grasso and the 1975 General Assembly did, I believe that a successful democracy requires open, transparent, and accountable government. Accordingly, I pledge to my constituents and to all the people of Connecticut that:

— I will support Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Act, including the independence of the state’s unique Freedom of Information Commission, and oppose weakening it.
— I will do whatever I 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.



Please return to:
James H. Smith Email
203-915-9428 or James H. Smith, 59 Sioux Drive, Oxford, CT 06478