Pelto honored with Helen M. Loy Freedom of Information Award

29 Comments

I’d like to post a special note of thanks to the Society of Professional Journalists and the Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission for honoring me with the Helen M. Loy Freedom of Information Award last night.

CT NewsJunkie included the following in their news coverage of the event;

“Jonathan Pelto, the former lawmaker who has previously written for CTNewsJunkie and whose Wait, What? blog on state politics has developed a significant following in recent months, was also honored as the winner of this year’s Helen M. Loy Freedom of Information Award.

Pelto was honored because he took his FOIA complaint against the University of Connecticut — originally filed in 2008 — all the way to the state Supreme Court in an effort to gain access to information in some of the university’s databases. However, even though the justices decided that some information in the public university’s databases can qualify as “trade secrets” and upheld the denial of his request, the state FOI Commission honored Pelto for his persistence.

Pelto spoke briefly at Thursday’s dinner and said that the Internet has opened the door for citizen journalists to make a difference, particularly through information-based advocacy journalism. He said he accepted the award Thursday on behalf of everyone who has ever been stonewalled in their efforts to obtain public documents.”

Although Ms. Loy passed away in 1985, the year I was elected to the Connecticut House of Representatives, she has always been known as a powerhouse in the battle to ensure the public’s right to know what its government was doing.

Despite running against Ella Grasso for the position of Secretary of the State, when Grasso become governor, she appointed Loy as one of the three original members of Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Commission in 1975.  Loy later became the Commission’s second chairperson and was a true and strong advocate for the broadest possible interpretation of Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Act.

In recent years, it seems that an increasing number of public officials and public agencies have attempted to betray the spirit of Connecticut’s Freedom of Information law, so it is an incredible honor to be counted among those dedicated to ensuring that our state’s commitment to open government is maintained.

For more information on the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists, check out www.connecticutspj.org.

  • Linda174

    Congratulations to Jon…I am the official president of the Jon Pelto Fan Club…Jon Pelto for Governor…Jon Pelto for SDE Commissioner…Jon Pelto for truth and justice.  Horray for Jon!

    • guest

      Great job!  Let’s each file an FOI, just for the freedom of it!

      • Linda174

        Yes, Pryor’s emails…..Pryor’s secret contracts, Pryor’s private SERC balance…anything Pryour would be my nomination.

        • guest

          Let’s not leave out Adamowski!

          • Linda174

            Yes…insert name of latest fraud…Vallas, Rhee, etc…

  • Sue

      It was
    said of Helen Loy that she never saw a public record that she thought ought to
    be kept secret, and, to a large extent, this was true. 
    She believed passionately that democracy requires the greatest amount
    of public disclosure possible.  And
    she brought this philosophy to the commission’s deliberations during her ten
    years on the commission.  Helen
    served as commissioner from 1975-1985 when she died.

  • Sue

    Now that I think about it, did a journalist at the Courant get an award? No? Probably because within 8 hours, their original pieces posted online are  rewritten to reflect a pro-Malloy bias. Doubt it? I have proof.

    How sad.

    • Linda174

      I think I read Rick Green for second prize for something…I was going to email him to point out 2nd place is the first LOSER!

      • TMS

        LOL!! You are too funny Linda.

    • Msavage51

      Yes! I’ve been watching this as well.

  • guest

    Linda, I thought you’d appreciate this–and all you other “old fashioned” teacher types who think children need books, not tablets; crayons, not keyboards; arts and crafts and music, not computer games or digital anything:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/how-ed-policy-is-hurting-early-childhood-education/2012/05/24/gJQAm0jZoU_blog.html#pagebreak

    It’s pretty frightening to think about the technocratic drongos who are deciding the policies relating to children. 

    • Linda174

      Great article….thank you for posting. The main writer/designer of the common core state standards just took the top position at the College Board making mid-300’s. There has been a huge increase in fees from the increase in those taking AP classes and the fee for the AP test, but there has been no increase in students passing the AP test. So allowing all to take AP classes has only benefitted the College Board and that has watered down the instruction for the kids who really should be in AP.

      Many years from now we will read what we know now…this experiment on other peoples’ children was a total failure and a national disaster.

      NY Times: http://thechoice.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/16/college-board-selects-backer-of-common-core-school-curriculum-as-new-president/

  • Chris

    Congratulations to you Jonathan.  You are doing a great job!

  • CONconn

    Congrats, Jon! This is well deserved. You are the greatest journalist in CT as far as I’m concerned. Teachers and parents can’t thank you enough for the work you’re doing against this corrupt administration. 

  • Brutus2011

    Congratulations!

  • Linda174
    • guest

      Talk about a bummer.
      I wish I had not read that nasty piece of nonsense.
      I guess Pryor is not quaking in his boots at the thought of FOI or of the exposure of his ties to consultants, etc.
      He’s positively crowing over the “alliance schools”–although the razor edge was visible in the statement that such schools will receive the additional funds they have been denied for years only by marching to his drumbeat.
      He’s just a regular booster for “public” schools, especially the venerable charters.

    • Magister

      What an insufferable bloviator.

  • guest

    When Mitt Romney, of the elite Cranbrook prep school (18 students and under per class) stated that it is not class size that matters in student achievement, a group of teachers in Philadelphia disagreed, as did the founder of classsizematters.org (Leonie Haimson).  She wrote an open letter to Barack Obama, who jumped on Romney’s support of big classes without remembering that he and Arne Duncan have made similar pronouncements in their own corporate-style school reform agenda.  You can email the Obama/Biden campaign to let them know what you think–we should all do this, letting the president know that his ideas are eroding public schools and underwriting the anti-teacher, anti-student policies of Stefan Pryor, Dannel Malloy, Steven Adamowski et alia:
    https://my.barackobama.com/page/s/classsizes?source=socnet_20120525_BO_TW_CLASS_SIZE_SIGNON&utm_medium=tw&utm_source=bo_tw&utm_campaign=socnet_20120525_BO_TW_CLASS_SIZE_SIGNON
    Do they think we are fools? 

  • JMC

    Jon, you are the BEST! 

     I retired, exhausted, 5 yrs. ago at age 60 after teaching public HS  world languages in a distressed small CT community for 21 yrs., preceeded by 4 yrs. of teaching in NH. Total 25 yrs.

    It is a very rare intelligence that can drag forth and expose to the naked light of day, in a manner that all can understand, the stupifying cant and doublespeak of hordes of savvy, selfishly-motivated,  self-serving pols, consultants, and self-annointed education experts who seek to drain public treasuries with worthless promises of educational improvement, even while they destroy the institutions that they promise to improve.

     But you have done it here in CT. You with your devotion, tenacity, brilliance, and writing talent have unmasked their malicious schemes, their cynical designs, and their worthless promises.

    And the ultimate benefactors will be the children of CT and their parents. And  children and parents all over the US.

    Thank you, Jon. You are one of the Good Guys. 

         

    • Brutus2011

      When I read this post by “JMC” I mentally spun out because it was what I might post sans a few details.

      “JMC” is correct, and for those who think things are not that bad, and have been for awhile, then think again.

      And with a privateer as the State Education Commissioner installed in Hartford, along with an ambitous governor, things are about to worsen.

      Word.

  • Magister

    Congratulations, Jon! I am grateful for the information I have learned here, even as it depresses me.

  • CT Dad

    It’s called “Pelto Power.”

  • Guest

    Well Done!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1490584844 Thomas Drewry

    Genuinely merited.

  • CT Dad

    Does anyone know if newspapers still have investigative reporters? 

    I have a friend in Philly who says a cousin of his saw one last month in an alley in Buffalo…. 

    Any other sightings??

  • CONconn

    Jon Pelto is like the Batman of CT. He protects us from The Joker (played by Dannel Malloy), The Riddler (played by Stefan Pryor), and The Penguin (played by Pat Riccards). 

  • richwhite9

    Congratulations John.

    We may not come to the same conclusion with some of the information you unearth but I think it is extremely valuable work that you do.

    Romney’s jumped on to the regional vouchers train for public, private, parochial home schooling, tutored, and digital education. 

    All the popular buzz phrases: “Millions of kids are getting a third-world education by union-first teachers and administrations. President Obama has been unable to stand up to union bosses and unwilling to stand up for our kids, The two major teachers unions take in $600 million each year,That’s more revenue than both of the political parties combined. I will actually put the kids first and the union behind in giving our kids better teachers, better options and better choices for a better future”

    It won’t be a quiet Summer,

  • TMS

    We are lucky to have you Jon. Not only do you call a spade a spade, but you do it with intelligence and professionalism.

    Well done!