Charter Oak “pettiness”

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To root out the sources of “negativity” about the Governor’s troubled Charter Oak program, on Friday DSS Commissioner Starkowski made very broad requests, under Freedom of Information laws, for any documents pertaining to Charter Oak from a long list of public officials including Sen. Jonathan Harris, Rep. Peter Villano, Sen. Toni Harp, Health Care Advocate Kevin Lembo, Child Advocate Jeanne Milstein, and Attorney General Richard Blumenthal. The letter specifically asks for all communications with Anthem and with consumer advocate Sheldon Toubman. (DSS has a history of trying, and failing, to silence advocates who disagree with them). It is highly unusual for government officials to use FOI to obtain documents from other officials. The request is extremely broad; if advocates (who have to use FOI to get information) submitted such an extensive request, we would receive a testy phone call from DSS’ FOI officers.
Today’s Editorial in the New London Day characterizes the administration’s move as “petty”.
Yesterday afternoon the Governor reportedly sent a letter asking all parties to work together to support Charter Oak and calling a meeting to discuss the issue next Tuesday. We’ll see if the drama is over.
Ellen Andrews