Thursday, May 23, 2013

Those Connecticut Politicians Do Like Their Secret Bills

The draconian gun control bill that was shoved through the Connecticut legislature at the beginning of April was a product of secret negotiations between Gov. Daniel Molloy (D-CT) and both Democrat and Republican leaders in the Connecticut legislature. Now comes word that they are at it again but this time it deals with the release of records relating to the school shooting in Newtown last December.
The staffs of the state's top prosecutor and the governor's office have been working in secret with General Assembly leaders on legislation to withhold records related to the police investigation into the Dec. 14 Newtown elementary school massacre — including victims' photos, tapes of 911 calls, and possibly more.

The behind-the-scenes legislative effort came to light Tuesday when The Courant obtained a copy of an email by a top assistant to Chief State's Attorney Kevin Kane, Timothy J. Sugrue. Sugrue, an assistant state's attorney, discussed options considered so far, including blocking release of statements "made by a minor."

"There is complete agreement regarding photos etc., and audio tapes, although the act may allow the disclosure of audio transcripts," Sugrue wrote to Kane, two other Kane subordinates and to Danbury State's Attorney Stephen Sedensky, who is directing the investigation of the killings.

The bill that's being crafted has not been handled under routine legislative procedures — it hasn't gone through the committee process, which includes a public hearing, for example. Sugrue's email Tuesday indicated that a draft of the bill was being worked on by leaders in both the House and Senate, and might be ready as soon as the end of the day. Sign Up For Traffic Text Alerts

He wrote: "I just received a call from Natalie Wagner" — a member of the legal counsel's staff in the office of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

"She believes that draft language will be forthcoming today (the work of both houses) in the form of a special act. ..." Sugrue wrote that Wagner "will send me the draft in confidence when she receives it, and I will immediately forward it."

I have to admit that I'm getting more than a little tired of the Newtown parents being trotted out every time someone wants to pass either a new gun control law or, as it seems now, a restriction of the freedom of information. I feel for those parents and can understand their grief. However, since they have now achieved sainthood in the eyes of some, can't we just give them their golden halos and say enough is enough.

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