Jim Amann, the Speaker who wants to be governor, apparently wasted over $65,000 of our money to hold that ridiculous and unnecessary special session last week. The cost was associated with taking down scaffolding in the House chamber that had been erected for a sprinkler installation project. Because of Amann's decision to hold it when he did, it had to be taken down and re-erected afterward.
The Courant covers the facts here, noting that the one-hour session cost $1,000 a minute.
House Republican Leader Larry Cafero noted that the business conducted could have been done in a technical session that wouldn't have required the $65,000 cost of labor to disassemble and reassemble the scaffolding.
Amann responded with his characteristic applomb. Observes the Courant: "We're the majority party. I make the call for the session," Amann said. "It was the proper thing to do. I don't have to consult Larry Cafero on how to run the House. ... Tell him there's a war going on in Iraq. There's more important issues than this. When he becomes speaker, he can do what he wants. That's how democracy works."
Actually, that's how a dictatorship works. And a desperate, brainless interjection of the Iraq War is, I suppose, the level of intellectual sophistication we can expect from a Speaker who could only be considered brilliant by his fellow hominids.
The total cost is summed up in the Courant story: "The union construction crews — who work for a scaffolding company — were paid about $23 an hour, plus benefits worth $13.40 an hour, and the state pays the entire tab, Connery said. Installing the sprinklers in both the House and the Senate is being done under a contract for $423,000, and now the extra costs will push the total to about $478,000. Certain logistical factors played a role in how the work was completed. "
If Jim Amann feels $65,000 is disposable just for holding an impromptu session, why is it there is anyone who trusts him with our tax dollars? Is this the kind of command decision he intends to treat us to as governor? If we continue to give this man control of our tax money, you can expect him to flush plenty of it down those new toilets they are building in the Legislative Office Building.