Former Speaker of the House James Amann, who was expected to start his new job as a senior adviser to the newly elected Speaker of the House Chris Donovan Tuesday told WPLR’s morning hosts Chaz and AJ that it’s still just a job offer.
“The Speaker is brand new, he doesn’t need any of this continued criticism,” Amann told Chaz and AJ this morning explaining that he was leaning toward not taking the $120,000 a year state job.
“Maybe people have the perception it’s a no show job,” Amann said. He said people may think “I’ll just be running for governor and collecting a check.”
Amann said he spoke with Donovan yesterday and “batted around some other options,” such as a part-time position. “I’m leaning toward probably calling Chris today and telling him it’s not worth it for him,” Amann said.
When he was offered the job, Amann said, Donovan “laid out a tough agenda for me.”
Donovan was “making sure I didn’t do any other sort of business on his time,” Amann said.
When Donovan offered Amann the job he outlined strict conditions to his employment in a memo, which stated: “Neither you nor your campaign staff may make public statements about Governor Rell or other gubernatorial candidates that places me or the House Democratic caucus in an awkward position. That is to say, you may not affect the goodwill I have with the governor, agency heads, or other public officials.”
In addition Donovan stated that Amann’s “employment with House Democrats should not be viewed as, or represented as, an endorsement by me of your candidacy.”
But even leaders within the Democratic Party had their doubts about Amann’s ability to juggle it all.
“It’s just too much and foretells that Amann’s gubernatorial run is likely to end very quickly after it leaves the dock,” John McNamara, Chairman of the New Britain Democratic Town Committee wrote on his blog NB Politicus this weekend.
Democratic insiders said the entire Democratic caucus felt it was wrong to offer Amann the job. Many said they were unware it had even been offered to Amann until shortly before the press release was issued on Friday.
Amann is still expected to announce his campaign for governor Jan. 29 in Bridgeport. Amann, who was in studio with Chaz and AJ Tuesday morning said he had a meeting later Tuesday morning with his communications director for his campaign.