Editorial: Open government: Ella, Dan and John

Once upon a time, Gov. Ella T. Grasso signed into law Connecticut’s pioneering Freedom of Information Act, which established an independent Freedom of Information Commission. This state was in the forefront of the post-Watergate movement for open government. “Secrecy in government is inherently inconsistent with a true democracy,” the General Assembly declared at the time. “The people … do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for them to know.”

But that was long ago, in 1975.

Then one day in 2011, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy came up with the idea of sweeping a bunch of small but important watchdog agencies, including the FOIC, into a new structure — ostensibly in order to “strengthen enforcement and compliance practices through information and knowledge sharing” — or maybe it was mainly to save money. In either case, that new entity (called the Office of Government Accountability) was to be run by somebody who ultimately answers to — you guessed it — the governor. Continue>>>