Sunday, February 01, 2009

Some legislators think too highly of themselves

Communication is important. It's important between two individuals and it's important between an elected official and constituents.

But $165,000 for a communications person? Speaker Quid Pro Quo has gone too far, yet again. First it was Crusher, now this:

New state House Speaker Christopher Donovan, D-Meriden, has hired a press secretary for an eye-popping $165,000 a year to translate the political objectives of the Democratic House majority into a clear public message...

(Douglas Whiting) now supervises 12 people, including nine press aides, at the Capitol.

Is it too much to ask The Speaker (and his 114 caucus members) to speak? Oh wait... I forgot... they need someone to write the press release every time they sell out their principles compromise and "coincidentally" get a slice of Donovan's $12 million slush fund.*

Then the article sheds light on another demonstration of legislators' view of their own self-worth:

Meanwhile, Senate President Pro Tempore Donald Williams, D-Brooklyn, has hired an aide who picks him up at home many days, drives him to the Capitol and public appearances, and drives him home at night.

Williams isn't the first legislative leader to have a driver — Amann had one, for example — but now some suggest Williams wants to increase his visibility to seek higher office.

I can't believe these guys. Crusher and Williams apparently both have egos as big as those of their US Senatorial counterparts.

I guarantee Elizabeth Esty is driving herself to Hartford every day. And (disagree with her politics) she's got more gravitasse than either Amann or Williams... I don't know yet if Donovan has substance.

Tim White

* This applies to Ds and Rs. It's just that the Courant piece happens to focus Speaker Quid Pro Quo's $165,000 man.


Anonymous said...

This is really sickening to think they need to hire a spokkesperson at $165,000 per year.
I wonder how much background checking they did on him. To leave 1 job for another that pays $80,000 less per year and is strictly a political appoinpent sounds a little nuts to me. He is gaining 1 hour a day,he says.
We have the most corrupt politicians I have ever seen. It also seems like those coming out of Meriden either are clueless or just not very bright people.

Anonymous said...

Republican's Almost Out of Power! The Chicago Mafia Takes Over D.C.-
D.C. now stands for the District of Chicago.


Obama's Gregg Pick Worries GOP

Sunday, February 1, 2009 12:36 PM

By: David A. Patten

GOP leaders are warning that President Barack Obama’s likely appointment of Republican Sen. Judd Gregg to serve as secretary of commerce could finally hand Democrats what they failed to win on Election Day: a 60-vote Senate majority that would render Republicans powerless to filibuster any legislation.

On Friday, reports surfaced that Gregg, of New Hampshire, is likely to be tapped by Obama this week for the job.

Gregg confirmed that he is under consideration for the post, describing himself as “honored.”

But the move has Republicans worried, as Gregg’s replacement will be made by New Hampshire’s Democratic governor, John Lynch.

Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., called Obama’s move “sneaky.” If a Democrat is appointed to fill Gregg’s slot, Republican senators will no longer have veto power over Democratic legislation.

This weekend, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., claimed that Gregg had negotiated a deal with Lynch that he “would be replaced by someone who would affiliate with other Republicans in the Senate.”

But The New York Times on Sunday had a starkly different take. The paper said that Gregg had only gotten a commitment from Lynch that he is “open to appointing a Republican to the seat.”

Gregg, 61, has received strong marks for his work on the Wall Street bailout package.

He is expected to face a costly battle to retain his Senate seat in 2010 if he decides to run for re-election. A three-term senator, he is the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee.

The appointment of Gregg would fit in with Obama’s bipartisan charm offensive, which the media has applauded. But others find Obama’s choice curious, noting that Obama was not particularly close to Gregg while they served in the Senate together.

But if Gregg leaves the Senate to serve in Obama’s Cabinet, the number of GOP senators would drop to 40, giving Democrats the filibuster-proof majority they have coveted.

GOP Sen. Norm Coleman’s court battle against Al Franken in Minnesota remains undecided.

If Lynch does appoint a Democrat, Obama’s image as a bipartisan healer would receive a boost at the same time his party gained unfettered control of the Senate.

GOP senators reacted coolly to the prospect Gregg’s nomination.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, told Politico that Gregg’s relocation to the Cabinet would be a “great loss” to the Senate. Asked by Politico what could be done to persuade Gregg, Cornyn responded: “I would say whatever it is, name it.”

If Lynch appoints a Republican to fill Gregg’s seat, he would likely chose a Republican caretaker – someone unlikely to run for the job in 2010, such as former GOP Sen. Warren Rudman.

That would make the seat a prime target for Democrats, further complicating the electoral math for Republicans in a year that already has seen several Republicans announce their impending retirements.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Friday no final decision has been made on the commerce secretary job.

Democrats, not surprisingly, think the nomination is a good idea.

“He’s one of my best friends in the Senate, and he’s competent in doing anything he wants to do,” gushed House Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

The importance of Republicans’ role as the loyal opposition was recently highlighted in the battle over the trillion-dollar stimulus package, where not a single house Republican voted for it. Attention immediately focused on the Senate, where Democrats aim to persuade five to 10 Republicans to cross the aisle so they can maintain that the package received bipartisan political support.

Sen. Christopher Bond, R-Mo., told CQPolitics that losing Gregg “would be a real blow” to Republicans.

Anonymous said...

Blagojevich doesn't seem so bad compared to the slime we have right here at the capitol. No wonder the state budget is so bloated with do nothing jobs.

What we are seeing is only the tip of the *&%$ pile. We need to restore the investigative power of the Attorney General to be able to get rid of the corruption and misuse of our tax money.

Anonymous said...

The Governor only makes $150,000. annually.

So is this hack's job more important? Does he have more responsibilities and headaches than the Governor? Or is the new Speaker, like the Dem Council majority, just saying screw you to the taxpayers?

Anonymous said...

Don't they get mileage? Another cost to the taxpayers. How many people get that?

Anonymous said...

They need 9 press aides to pump out all that bull&^%$? Do you realise there are probably more than 1000 media people in state government. Almost every group needs their own media group.

As for Estey, I think she will fit comfortably into Hartford's way of doing things. When on the TC, she showed her main strength was to rubber stamp anything the Dem leadership or the special interests wanted. She's a real team player, but it's too bad that it is not for the people she represents.

Anonymous said...

The only difference between modern politics and Tammany Hall are advanced degrees and Gucci loafers