No Job for Amann

Jim Amann, bowing to public pressure and, apparently, the opinion of the entire Democratic caucus, decided not to take the job with Chris Donovan.

It’s probably the least painful way for Amann to back out of the position he and the Speaker got themselves into, by making it look like it was Amann himself who made the decision. A great quote, though:

When asked if he felt the controversy of the job offer would impact his run for governor, Amann said, “Why would that be?”

Who wants to give him a few reasons? Go ahead, I can wait.

In the end, this mess reflects poorly on the judgement of both the current and former Speaker, and it’s a rotten way for Democrats to begin the new year. The message to the public? There may be change in Washington, but there’s precious little of it in Hartford.

Next on the menu: Sen. Tom Gaffey. What will the Senate do with him, if anything? There’s also the matter, for Republicans, of former Sen. David Cappiello’s $103K staff job. Is that okay?

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40 responses to “No Job for Amann

  1. At least Cappiello was respected as a competent and valuable voice in the Senate. He can possibly contribute something of value to the work of the Senate Republicans.

    Jim Amman’s two terms as Speaker were underwhelming at best, and keeping him at the Capitol can only have a negative impact on the House.

  2. Not exactly showing good decision making skills there Mr D.

    He’s going to have to learn to dance A LOT better than that!

  3. GC~ wasn’t Cappiello a senate staffer before being an elected official? if so his hire makes sense.

  4. lamontcranston

    Cappiello’s job was also the result of putting two positions together. Donavan created the position for Amann.

  5. AndersonScooper

    Cranston, that’s just bullshit.

    The fact is that the position of “senior policy advisor” was created especially for Cappiello.

    Brett Cody used to be both communications director and policy advisor for the Senate Republicans, but then his job was cut in two.

    http://shellysindland.wordpress.com/2009/01/14/cappiello-lands-a-cushy-job-with-senate-republicans

    Why are you guys grandstanding against Amann’s proposed patronage position, but yet turning a blind eye to Cappiello’s cushy make-work position?

    Last session your minority survived without a “Senior Policy Advisor”. Why do you need one this session?

  6. Who wants to give him a few reasons? Go ahead, I can wait.

    Because his Q score just did this:

  7. Well, it worked in preview. Here.

  8. What a feeble straw grasp.

    Amann… is…running…for…governor and rather than do six years as House Speaker, as his two direct predecessors did, he makes a sweetheart deal with Chris ‘Dancing With Mr. D’ Donovan, so he can keep his contacts at the Capitol while taking from the public trough.

    One can howl into the wind all day and night in protest but that scenario isn’t anywhere near the same as Cappiello’s, who has run his last race.

  9. If it’s not the exact same thing, it’s close enough to soil both.

    Amann’s problem at this point is that he appears to be thinking that it’s only Republicans who are critical of this move. It’s everyone. In particular, it’s everyone who makes less than $120k/year.

    This miscalculation is going to take months to bury if he plans to continue his run for governor. He just turned an uphill battle into a cliff… a Nutmeg version of Yosemite’s El Capitan.

    That actually fits better than I first thought. The really unromantic thing about climbing El Capitan, aside from falling off it, is that takes a few days to climb and there often are so many climbers on each route that they often get hit with falling poop or pee from above.

    Amann’s been on both ends of the political rope on that one…

    But love him or hate him, the guy and his family need health care just like a lot of people and hopefully this experience shows him that the rest of us are having a hard time trying to access it.

  10. Hey sorry… that’s not a dinnertime kind of post.

  11. AndersonScooper

    Amann’s problem at this point is that he appears to be thinking that it’s only Republicans who are critical of this move. It’s everyone. In particular, it’s everyone who makes less than $120k/year.

    Doug, that would have been $180k/year, for Amann, in a pair of positions according more freedom from real responsibility than your average working stiff could dream of.

    Arrogance breeds resentment, and Amann still hasn’t come to grips with the fact the Lamont Majority has not forgiven him for 2006.

    Twenty of thirty years ago, Amann’s brand of cronyism might have played well, but at this point in time we’re expecting better from our Democratic leadership.

  12. Why are you guys grandstanding against Amann’s proposed patronage position, but yet turning a blind eye to Cappiello’s cushy make-work position?

    Why are you desperately flogging moral relativism as the only expiation you have left for the sins of Chris Donovan and Jim Amann?

    Yes, we’ve all seen — and been duly impressed by — your outrage. I’ll even take it at face value.

    But the situation isn’t an apples-to-apples comparison, as surely even you must admit; one simple fact makes it so: Cappiello isn’t running for governor.

    Is the Cappiello hiring defensible? Personally, I don’t think so. But you’re not going to get very far making the argument that the two situations are — indeed, must be viewed as — entirely the same. In fact, the longer you beat this drum the more it looks like you’re trying to excuse what you say you are denouncing.

  13. Scoop, I think it was you who argued that moral equivalency is a nonstarter in the real world.

    I’m confident there are plenty of unnecessary jobs (on both sides of the aisle) that exist Under the Gold Dome… after all, it is free money!

    But seriously… this isn’t about only Crusher. Speaker Quid Pro Quo still needs to apologize.

  14. AndersonScooper

    Red5–

    I’m not trying to excuse anything. Amann’s deal was god-awful, indefensible, and I’m glad the people on my side re-thought their actions and decisions.

    And no one is saying that Cappiello’s patronage job is identical to that which was proposed for Amann. But it is still patronage, a six-figure position that was manufactured to keep Cappiello and his network, within the fold.

    If you all are so against pork, waste, and unnecessary spending, why not call for Cappiello’s job to be cut. I mean you and your side are about to call for 1,000’s of pink slips for State workers. Why not start with an obvious position, that no one would miss if it disappeared?

    But that’s right. IOKIYAR.

  15. But that’s right. IOKIYAR.

    I’m sorry, what part of “Is the Cappiello hiring defensible? Personally, I don’t think so” left you confused, there, my Yale-educated friend?

  16. actually, if Speaker Quid Pro Quo reduced his budget by 1/3… he’s already making progress. Now he needs to get his whole caucus on board… then do what he blames the GOP for doing… use his so-called GOP gimmickry to embarrass the other three caucuses into budget cutting… well, the GOP offered 5 and 10% salary reductions… and I appreciate that.

    But I’m not interested in telling them what to cut… I just don’t want to see hard working civil servants lose their jobs while the legislative branch is padding its own ranks.

  17. From today’s Stamford paper:

    “Whenever Gov. M. Jodi Rell talks about the growing budget deficit, as was the case during her Jan. 7 state-of-the-state address, she reminds taxpayers of the hiring freeze she imposed May 23.

    But according to data compiled by the Office of the State Comptroller for The Advocate, since Rell issued the order, 824 full-time staffers, including those considered “interim full time employees” have been hired in a variety of agencies at a total cost of $14.4 million.”

    It looks like hiring season all over Hartford

  18. AndersonScooper

    Red5– The “I don’t think it’s defensible” attitude is a far cry from actually calling up McKinney and demanding that he end the obvious patronage.

    Between the Re-Fi boom, and the housing bubble, Cappiello must have made a fortune during the past decade. Why does he need a six-figure make-work job?

    Anyway, if you want to stand against waste, and for job cuts, the Donovan-Amann fiasco has given you the perfect opportunity to speak up and be heard.

  19. But according to data compiled by the Office of the State Comptroller for The Advocate, since Rell issued the order, 824 full-time staffers, including those considered “interim full time employees” have been hired in a variety of agencies at a total cost of $14.4 million.”

    It say’s Interim, Gosh!

  20. Red5– The “I don’t think it’s defensible” attitude is a far cry from actually calling up McKinney and demanding that he end the obvious patronage.

    Maybe — but it’s a far cry, too, from IOKIYAR, no?

    There is a setting between “off” and “11,” is all I’m saying …

  21. “He and I had a chance to discuss these matters at length yesterday and again today, and it became clear that his sense of the demands of his political work differed from mine to an extent that it made employment in my office unrealistic.”

    This quote from Donovan is from the link GC provided here. Am I reading this correctly?? Is Donovan saying he offed Amann a $ $120,000/yr job before he learned Amann’ s employment in his office was unrealistic?

    If the guy can’t even manage to do a job interview correctly for a $120,000/yr job, how could he possibly intelligently lead the General Assembly?

    Looks like Donovan will be supplying us with as many “Amann moments” as Amann did himself.

  22. If the guy can’t even manage to do a job interview correctly for a $120,000/yr job, how could he possibly intelligently lead the General Assembly?

    Good point. But hey… maybe Speaker Quid Pro Quo will offer as many “made for YouTube moments” as Crusher?

  23. If you all are so against pork, waste, and unnecessary spending, why not call for Cappiello’s job to be cut. I mean you and your side are about to call for 1,000’s of pink slips for State workers. Why not start with an obvious position, that no one would miss if it disappeared?

    And why no discussion here about Michael Christ? I think he’s a former (recent) legislator who just got a job with the Senate Dems, no? Bet he makes over 100K. How about it Scooper?

    Then let’s look at all the quasi-publics — Doyle, Gaffney, anyone, Bueller???

    Scooper….let’s do it…but be cafeful what you wish for my friend….as there appear to be MANY MORE Patronage jobs on the Democrat side than the Republican Side.

  24. AndersonScooper

    Careful what I wish for?

    Since when are Dem taxpayers in favor of make-work fat cats?

    Anyway, it’s the CT GOP’s turn to exercise some financial discipline. Cut one of your six-figure patronage jobs, — then tell us which Dem free-loader needs to go next…

  25. Careful what I wish for?

    Since when are Dem taxpayers in favor of make-work fat cats?

    Anyway, it’s the CT GOP’s turn to exercise some financial discipline. Cut one of your six-figure patronage jobs, — then tell us which Dem free-loader needs to go next…

    Yes, be careful what you wish for. The legislative budget is set and divided by each party’s share of membership in the House and Senate. So, any cuts made on the GOP side will have to be matched three times by the Democrats three times over.

    By the way, don’t fool yourself, and don’t try to pretend that Amann isn’t taking this job out of an exercise of “financial discipline.” Donovan and Amann got their fat hands caught in the cookie jar.

  26. “Anyway, it’s the CT GOP’s turn to exercise some financial discipline. Cut one of your six-figure patronage jobs, — then tell us which Dem free-loader needs to go next.”

    AS……. I guess your search of those Danbury bank vaults looking for some Cappiello dirt before the Nov election turned up empty?

    But in your spirit of financial discipline I say if Cappiello needs to go in order to shame the Dems in the General Assembly into getting serious about this financial crisis, I say so be it. Clearly we can’t expect the Democrats to do all the heavy lifting here by themselves.

    I’ll assume AS by asking “which Dem free-loader needs to go next”, you are limiting the choices to just those currently in Hartford, and not Washington? If so, how about Donovan, or Gaffey? Any chance Cappiello is worth both??

  27. BruceDRubenstein9

    neither amann or cappiello should have a patronage job at the capital…

  28. At least Cappiello was respected as a competent and valuable voice in the Senate. He can possibly contribute something of value to the work of the Senate Republicans.

    ?????????????????

    neither amann or cappiello should have a patronage job at the capital…

    Bruce!
    For heavens sakes, you got one right!

    Just for that I’ll buy ya a coffee anytime you say so long as it isn’t that mud at Starbucks.

    Just rattle my cage when you’re inclined – 860 919-8315
    (No GC I don’t care – that number’s all over the place already and I’m on Verizon Unlimited (God Bless them for that plan!) so it just doesn’t matter anyway.)

  29. “neither amann or cappiello should have a patronage job at the capital”…

    No argument, both sides need to get on board here. I just wonder why Donovan chose this moment with now nearly a billion dollars in current year deficit to create one of those unnecessary patronage jobs……. It does appear that he did create an unnecessary one now doesn’t it? After now he says he will do without…….. Just like so many public sector taxpayers doing without any job. Very poor judgement at a time this state cannot afford any more……..

  30. AndersonScooper

    Maybe, just maybe, in offering Amann the “advisor” position, (a bone-headed move), Donovan was emboldened by the action of the Statehouse Republicans?

    I mean you guys didn’t say a word when a patronage post was created for David Cappiello, now did you?

    Anyway, Donovan and Merrill corrected their mistake. Meanwhile Cappiello gets fat sucking at the public teat….

  31. Squeak The Mouse

    I’m mew here, but still love to chime in…

    I find it funny when people point out other “bad behavior” as an excuse for their own. In this case…saying that “Nobody said a word about David Cappiello” may sound ok….why is it an excuse for Donovan??? I don’t think either should have done something so stupid…especially in times when budgets are being scrutinized.

    What I find hilarious is that Rell, et.al pick NOW as a time to start being frugal. Shouldn’t we/they ALWAYS be trying to save the taxpayers’ money…during good times AND bad times? I think maybe it’s just a conservative thing…but….suddenly everyone is embracing that good old conservative motto of “Is this REALLY needed?”. I like it….but it’s just too bad it has to come to THIS before people start to think straight.

    Signed.
    Squeak the Mouse

  32. Maybe, just maybe, in offering Amann the “advisor” position, (a bone-headed move), Donovan was emboldened by the action of the Statehouse Republicans?

    Maybe, just maybe, Donovan and Amann made a deal when Amann stepped down.

  33. “Anyway, Donovan and Merrill corrected their mistake. Meanwhile Cappiello gets fat sucking at the public teat…”

    AS you are so busy spinning this your getting dizzy yourself. Read your last post!!! You actually suggest Donovan was possibly”emboldened” by the few Republicans left in Hartford to screw the taxpayers? Now there is real leadership for you!!!

    Beyond that let me ask, is Cappiello’s job a job that adds to his state pension? I don’t know, do you? I believe the job offered to Amann at $120,000/yr would have had a huge impact on his pension……… So in effect this was no $120,000/yr job for Amann, given out by Donovan. It was by any standard a million dollar plus, super golden parachute at taxpayer expense for a fellow Democrat who failed to accomplish anything of real significance during his time in Donovan’s new job. Unless you consider the endless comic relief Amann supplied us with each day an accomplishment.

  34. Al–

    Of course the Cappiello job counts towards his pension. Why would you presume otherwise?

    And Cappiello’s a pretty young guy. So in effect his $103,000 gig is going to be the same “million dollar plus parachute” you are lamenting.

    And yeah, when Senate Republicans created the patronage gig for Cappiello, and got away with it, — I think that had a lot to do with Donovan trying to likewise for Amann. What part of that doesn’t make sense?

  35. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    He gets to be TWO bloggers this way!

  36. “He gets to be TWO bloggers this way!”

    And even combined they fail to make much of a case … but IOKIYAD …

  37. AS,

    As I said I don’t know what exactly the job Cappiello has that is why I made that clear to you….

    But what is very surprising to me is your thinking when you say, then ask:

    “And yeah, when Senate Republicans created the patronage gig for Cappiello, and got away with it, — I think that had a lot to do with Donovan trying to likewise for Amann. What part of that doesn’t make sense?”

    What part doesn’t make sense to me???? All of it……. I would hope it would make no sense to you either. I thought you felt there was a big difference between Democrats and Republicans. Obviously there were enough honest people out there including many Democrats who felt it made no sense to them. At least enough to drive some sense into Donovan.

    Look, I have no idea what Cappiello’s job is, but for sake of this discussion lets just say you and I agree. If it’s just a make work job, some political reward like Amann’s, then it should be eliminated. But are you trying to excuse Donovan’s stupidity by suggesting two wrongs make a right? You are suggesting that Donovan is incapable to using his head when considering right from wrong. You are suggesting that Donovan felt he could get away with this so why not? I mean they all do it right? Fair enough AS, I agree with you, Donovan is all that you suggest he is…….Thanks for being so honest……For once you and I are in total agreement.

  38. As I said I don’t know what exactly the job Cappiello has that is why I made that clear to you….

    Cappiello’s job title is “senior policy adviser.” The job Amann was offered was “senior adviser.”

    Basically, the same thing.

  39. BruceDRubenstein9

    ACR i will be honored to share coffee with a good conservative like you

  40. ACR i will be honored to share coffee with a good conservative like you

    You’ll be surprised at how unconservative I actually is!

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