Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Jim Amann talks about my video

Hoo boy. This thing just won't go away.

ConnecticutBLOG and My Left Nutmeg both ran detailed articles on the recent developments.

This last Sunday Kevin Rennie, a columnist for the Hartford Courant, wrote in this article:
Technology is freedom's friend in the battle to protect liberty from those who see themselves as our betters. So on this Thanksgiving weekend, give a nod to the essential If you would like to see the veil slip on Williams' counterpart in the House of Representatives, go to YouTube and type in the name "James Amann" in the search box.

Thanks to videographer CTBob, you'll see that tribune of the people, Amann, announce to a local interlocutor that he would "crush" anyone who would dare to run against him in his Milford district. Amann has essentially become a bully of the most pompous sort. And there it is for all to see in two minutes.

We don't need fewer opportunities for candidates to reveal themselves, we need more. These moments of candor always tell us more about our leaders than they intend. And for that we are grateful.
Yesterday, the local talk radio station had a field day talking about my video (link) that pokes a bit of fun at House Speaker Jim Amann. Which is fair, in my opinion. If I'm going to express my point of view publicly on the internet, then it's fair for talk radio people to discuss my work.

Of course, I don't REALLY think that he's Tony Soprano; he just talks like him sometimes.

Actually, he reminds me a little of John Gotti. But in a good way.

So on WTIC, there were TWO shows that featured ME, "Connecticut Bob", prominantly. First, Jim Amann called in to the "Ray & Diane" show, and he had some interesting things to say about the video. Then, on "Sound Off Connecticut" with Jim Vicevich, the host had a few things to say about the situation. I don't have a copy of his show, but I do have the Amann interview mp3 right here.

Basically, Jim has a faulty memory of the event. But's that isn't surprising. He talked for nearly a half-hour non-stop, and even though I taped the entire thing, I didn't remember everything he said.

Here's a partial transcript from Jim's radio interview with Ray & Diane yesterday:
Amann: "When the press conference was over, I was leaving and a couple of the bloggers were there. Actually, the know, there was about five minutes of it, of course, they edited it, the interview actually was very good, the asked me some pretty direct questions about my support for Joe Lieberman.

About three minutes into the interview this individual started heckling me, basically yelled at me as I was leaving "You're a leader" and you know, "when the party tells you to walk one way, you've gotta walk lockstep with them".

And my response basically was at first, it was kinda humorous, I was a little bit taken aback by it, but then I said the last time I heard about party leaders walking lockstep they were walking into Poland from Nazi Germany."
Besides the obvious insulting nature of what he's saying, it's faulty memory. Nobody but Jim Amann mentioned the word "lockstep", and that was once at the very end of the interview. I guess he confuses Democratic Party loyalty with Nazi invasions.

Let me try to help. Here's the Nazi invasion of Poland:

And here's Democratic Party unity:

I hope that clears things up for you. Now let's continue with the radio interview:
"I said as a leader, I don't think I don't always have to, you know, do everything that the party tells me. You know, I think this guy is a good man and I support him, and he just came on snapping back.

So I went to walk away...when I walked away he basically in my opinion kind of threatened me, you know, we're gonna go after you next. I think that's what really aggravated me, mostly because I feel 25 years in politics, and I think I've been a pretty good Democrat, and for a fellow Democrat to say, because I support another Democrat, that they're going to threaten to do the same thing to me that they did to Joe Lieberman. It just kinda irritated me."
This photo was taken minutes after the alleged "threat". I dunno, but does Jim look like a guy who's been threatened? Someone threatens me, I'm not going to shake his hand and smile. Seems he's not even making a mountain out of a molehill...he's trying to fashion a molehill out of thin air.

That's CT Keith and my bestest buddy and interview-ruiner Branford Boy, with Speaker Amann. (BTW Kelly, I'm not really pissed at you; I just had a bit of fun at your expense in the video below)
Interviewer: So, you essentially said "Bring 'em on, I will crush 'em!"

"Yeah, I said that. It wasn't my brightest moment in front of a video camera, that's for sure." (laughter)

Interviewer: "You know, a guy gets angry."

"You know, the age of video papparazzi, I didn't realize I was going to be constantly looked at."
There's nothing "papparazzi" about someone being interviewed WHILE HE'S LOOKING DIRECTLY INTO A CAMERA AT A PRESS CONFERENCE! Jesus!

Then they briefly discussed Amann's reasons for abandoning the party's chosen candidate, and then he then went on to say how people with cameras don't respect other's privacy, but Diane Smith brought up the fact that this occurred at a press conference.

Listen to the entire interview HERE.

So that's what happened yesterday. I decided to put these allegations to rest by uploading the entire UN-EDITED video here. I shot a continuous, non-stop video, and damn my arms got tired holding that stupid camera! It's about 27-minutes long, so go make some popcorn and grab yourself a beverage before watching it.

There's a lot of fun stuff in this video. You get to see Jim Amann's charm up close. Plus, you see Branford Boy cut me off several times while I try to ask questions during the interview I'm conducting. The last time I saw something that rude, it was Dickie Goodstein butting in on a TV interview in Greenwich. Sheesh!

You also get to witness the unmitigated brilliance of CT Keith. The man is relentless and has the reasoning of a pit bull! That's why we love him. In fact, people respect CT Keith so much that even Branford Boy doesn't deign to interrupt him.

If you've been reading this far, you deserve what you're going to see next! Here's the video you've been waiting for! Enjoy; and please leave a comment below.


ifthethunderdontgetya said...

If someone would like to challenge this clown, I will be happy to donate some funds to their campaign.

TrueBlueCT said...

Effing brilliant Bob. Thanks!

Gabe said...

My favorite part was ehrn Amman asked CTKeith a question and then, when he started to answer it, Amman cut him off by saying, "Are you going to let me answer the question?"

Gabe said...

Incidently, the two guys standing with him while he says that any idiot who challenges him will be crushed are maybe the worst aides ever.

Carter said...

Outstanding. Thanks for posting the full interview. The text commentary is a riot.

gchaucer2 said...

Dang, I'm on a landline. Will have to grovel in front of someone with high speed. I have been dying to see the short -- but the unedited version will be much more delicious. Glad Diane Smith caught Amann on the press conference issue.

Thanks for keeping this blog going.

cgg said...

All I have to say is: Draft CTBob!

ctkeith said...

I think Speaker Amann owes an on-air apology to all of us involved in this.

We were firm but respectful,as always,and this film proves that almost everything he said on-air about our encounter was a complete fabrication.

Adam said...

I am a big critic of yours, I don’t agree with you about Lieberman and some other issues but I have to be honest. This piece of reporting is great! Although I do think that Jim was coaxed a little he definitely showed a side of him that the public should be aware of and we thank you for showing us. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Jim made some very good points and should not be critized for saying anything in this interview. Great job CT Bob but please dont spin this for your own agenda

ctblogger said...

anon 12:38,

You obviously miss the entire point. The problem with Amann is two fold. 1.) he's arrogant beyond words and 2.) he basically lied to the media about the entire episode to the media.

Bob, hats off to you. As the video clearly shows, the Speaker is clearly entitled to his opinion, but he should realize that their might be a political price to be paid for his choice and Amann's response to the comment speaks volumes.

Lastly, Bob posted the entire interview BECAUSE Amann went on talk radio and lied about the incident.

PPM baby!

Anonymous said...

CT Blogger,
Jim didnt lie to the media he explained what happened from his point of view, although the whole Nazi thing was never said he was using that to express himself. Are you guys getting dizzy from all the SPINNING you are doing. Thanks for proving my point.

ctblogger said...


No James did lie several times during the WTIC interview (Diane Smith nailed him when he tried to give the impression that the bloggers went after him during a private conversation. In fact, there was never a time ANY blogger videotaped a private conversation).

Claims us ambushed are also lies as clearly he wasn't ambushed. Lastly, he commented that the interview was editied to make him look bad when this was also not the case as the entire video makes him look worse.

Your point is baseless.

Anonymous said...

Obviously he wasn’t ambushed, I can’t defend that. But when Ct Bob posted the first clip I thought this Jim guy (never heard of him before) was a real jerk and someone should do something about him. I felt this way about Jim Amann until today when I watched the full 27 minute video. After the video I realized that Mr. Amann was being very polite answering questions, having a friendly debate and being a good sport in answering questions regarding Joe. But for a few minutes he became very defensive because his job was being threatened for supporting Lieberman. This made him upset and he said some arrogant things, which he apologized. The problem I have is that this was a great interview (good job CT Bob) but I as a consumer was originally exposed to only 3 minutes of the interview and it happened to be the part of Jim being an asshole. If Jim Amann hadn’t discussed this issue with the media and CT Bob hadn’t been compelled to post the entire interview I would still fell like Jim is a Jerk and should be replaced when in actuality he is a good representative of the people in Milford and just doing his job. My point is that instead originally putting the context around the clip CT Bob just showed the few seconds of Jim getting angry. This is not responsible reporting and is something FOX News would do. Hey I don’t know much about politics I’m trying very hard to learn but I’m having a hard time trusting reporting for either the Left of Right wing. Sorry but it is very frustrating

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:44,

We must of watched two different videos because what I saw is a guy back down a Bully.I think much less of Mr. Amann now than I did before.

Mr. Amann,just like every bully,changed his tune when stood up to.

I also saw a man whose grasp of the English language is equal to that of a third grader.If this man is indeed the second or third most powerful person in the State government this state is in BIG TROUBLE.

ctblogger said...


If you think Amann is polite, I have plenty of other priceless Amann true moments I can share with you.

The three minutes of video from the original clip was the true Amann. The other twenty minutes is a man who has a hard time with the English language.

CT Bob said...

Wow, great discussion. Thanks everyone for keeping it civil.

Adam, I appreciate your comment.

CT Keith, it's always a fun experience working with you!

Anon @3:44 "This is not responsible reporting and is something FOX News would do." Actually, it's exactly what EVERY SINGLE news organization would have done. Every one of 'em. That's how they report the news, they put on the exciting three minutes and shelf the boring 20 minutes. In fact, they usually just show the best 15-30 seconds, make a judgemental observation, and go to a commercial or celebrity news stories.

I did them one better. When this suddenly became an issue again, I posted the entire interview, all 26 minutes of it. I'd like to see CNN, MSNBC, Fox, or any other news outlet do that sometime. It'll never happen.

And keep in mind, I'm NOT a news organization, I'm simply an independent blogger and online media buff. I don't have the same obligations that the MSM has, and yet I still posted the entire interview.

CT Blogger, thanks; whenever I may have overheard or taped a private conversation, I've always respected their rights not to use the tape if they requested it. I'd never go the papparazzi route or try to sneak something by. It's kind of difficult to get away with that if you're holding up a video camera anyway.

I'll be at the Milford DTC

CT Bob said...

...tonight, I meant to say.

CaptCT said...

CTKeith mentions how fitting it would be if a third-party candidate ran against Amman, and that's when Amman pops a vein and goes on his crush-the-idiot rampage.

Amman perceives the third-party candidate as a threat, instantly recognizing how destructive these third-party candidacies can be.

The Question is: Why didn't Amman see Lieberman's run as a CFL in the same light? CTKeith had it right when he said "arrogance of power." For incumbent politicians, they start to look at their seats as "THEIR" seats.

He wanted Ned, the challenger, to kiss his ring. But he respected Joe's right to defend "HIS" seat. Never mind what the Democratic Party stands for.

Finally, after blowing a fuse, Amman spends the last 20 minutes trying to make amends. Too late. He revealed a lot about himself in those first 5 minutes.

harriet said...

I think CTKeith was absolutely right in questioning Jim Amann’s loyalties as a Speaker of the House! After all, this interview took place AFTER the primary and for Amann not to support the outcome of the primary because he felt more obligated to his friend Joe is totally irresponsible as a key member of the Democratic Party and Speaker of the House!

I loved how CTBob stated, bi-partisanship shouldn’t mean “rolling over for Bush on every major vote” and then Amann's explanation of how being in a “minority party” is hard to get anything done so that's why it was important for Joe to reach across the isle. So voting for most of Bush’s policies was to try and get something done -- for whom, Bush and Joe's big Republican donors?

That little 5 minute lecture from Jim (if he were teaching young Democrats) was really a lecture on cronyism and that even a horribe war (which Jim even admitted was wrong) can't even trump it! Oh, and this war, being the only issue that got Joe in trouble...WRONG!!! But, try telling a mother whose son or daughter is in Iraq, not to get too upset because this war is only "one issue"! It was the MAJOR issue that won the Democratic majority of the House and Senate and now we’re stuck with Joe who still thinks “staying the course” is our only good option....ugh!

And my last observation ... what was all this about hoping to see the "old Joe" back in office -- was Amann admitting his "old friend" could possibly be a "turncoat”? Honestly, this part of the interview really made me sick because this is what bad government is all about… "one hand washing the other"

Sorry for my long comment, but it was a 26-minute interview!

CT Bob said...

Harriet, you're welcome to post long comments anytime! Thanks.

Anonymous said...


You are right - Branford Boy is a complete douchebag. I only wish you could have edited him out of the tape. Great job despite Branford Boy's annoying behavior.

Anonymous said...

I watched the whole video and also listen to the whole radio interview with Jim. His radio interview was a total fabrication of his words at the Milford train station.

Since others have addressed Jim's lecture on How democrates have lost several elections in the state. Including John Rolland win and his inability during the election to take Democratic credit for Bills passed in the House allowing Rell to have a cakewalk election. Jim divided the democratic with not showing solidarity of the party. So now we have the redcoat the true democrates in CT knew Joe was.

The last part of the interview which I have to say is a total lie is that Ned Lamont never called him or their orginization. I personally spoke to Ned at the very beginging of his campaign about meeting with Jim. Ned's words to me were "I would love to sit down and have coffee with Jim". So, I called Jim's house talked to his wife for an hour. Told her I had something I needed to speak with Jim about. Nothing no call back. Called his office again no call back. Emailed his office with all contact information NOTHING. I live in Milford went to DTC meetings no Jim. Sorry so long winded but Bottom line he is full of crap. Maybe Joe has a position in DC for Jim or lined his pockets. I believe it's more than "friendship" Thanks everyone for PPM.

CT Bob said...

Anonymous @ 1:00AM - I would never said Branford Boy is a "douchebag"; it's true he possesses some douche-like qualities, and he can be douchey at times, but calling him a "douchebag" would be crossing a line.

You douche.


Anonymous @ 7:06AM - Yeah, Jim didn't really come off looking truthful when talking about Lamont and how he didn't get a call from him...I should edit together a 60-second version of Jim contradicting himself non-stop. He reversed himself sometimes in the same sentence!

Anonymous said...


I know you spent enough time with Ned he made probably several attemps to engage Jim in a conversation. Jim also continue to say in the video "he knew nothing about Ned Lamont". I find it incredible someone in his position in order at the very least be an educated Voter would not sit down and speak with the canidate of his party. He allowed in some ways Lieberman to use Milford with the help of Fox news to be their stage on election day. I personally resent that behavior.

gchaucer2 said...

@Adam -- I think I've said this before, but it deserves repeating. Thanks for your comment. I have nothing against folks who voted for Lieberman -- otherwise, I might as well support a dictatorship. I believe you have a lot of credibility here even if I don't agree with you and some points. Opposing views are certainly an enhancement to any site.

Anonymous said...

I can second Anon 7:06 am's contention that Ned would have loved to speak to Amann. I worked on the campaign very early and saw a lot of the phone logs Ned kept in his efforts to reach out to both the DTCs and the legislature. He did not fail to try to contact people, even if he knew they were already longtime Joe supporters. He'd at least try to have the conversation.

It would be very easy to prove or disprove Amann's claims - I am sure Swan or the Lamont campaign still have the log info on who they talked to and what they said. It was carefully tracked.

I suspect what Amann is conveying is that Ned Lamont did not drive to his office, fall on one knee, and ask to kiss his ring.

I can almost swear this did NOT happen with near 100% certainty, for if he had, CTBob would already have it on video ;0 ). . .

Adam said...

"Opposing views are certainly an enhancement to any site."

I couldnt agree more. This is why the political blogosphere and netroots is such a great movement.

Thank you for your comment. I really enjoy reading, commenting and debating here

J said...

Thanks for all your great work bob, and congrats(?) on the coverage of this. I must admit, though, I'm feeling queasy - I never thought I'd actually agree with Rennie on anything.



CT Bob said...

Yeah, I was a little shocked that Kevin Rennie considered anything like that worthy of praise.

I guess he didn't see all my Lieberman videos. He'd probably be calling for my head if he did.

derbyctpolitics said...

Amann is not the only person like this in our party. Many “Democrats” voted for Lieberman even though publicly they supported Lamont. Amann is just arrogant more so than others. Do not be fooled and always assume someone is not being straight with you in Hartford or any Democratic Town Committee for that matter. Power is poison to those who are predisposed to use it for personal gain. Thanks for the work Bob and the Blog in general, very enjoyable.

ifthethunderdontgetya said...

I'd like to see someone make a run for Amann's seat. You know you will get support, whoever you are.

And it's an important message to send. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. See the fiasco in Iraq for an example of the results.

Anonymous said...

Last five minutes -- who is interviewing CT Keith in the backgound? BranfordBoy?

Anonymous said...

Did I hear right? At ten minutes 49 seconds, Jim "Tony Soprano" Amman said if his caucus is unhappy with him, they can Whack him?

CT Bob said...

Anonymous @7:15 - That was just CT Keith and Branford Boy yakking it up. They're a couple of chatterboxes!

@7:17 - Well, he DID say they could "eliminate" him...I don't know if that's what he had in mind, though.

ctkeith said...

Actually that was Andy Brromage of the New Haven Advocate interviewing Me.He wrote an article about our encounter here,,0,1892516.story

CT Bob said...

Keith, oh, I just thought you and Kelly were yakking it up.

I read the article...Bromage basically recounted the video; he probably transcribed the exchange verbatim from my Youtube video, and without even mentioning me in the article.


Anonymous said...

bob, what is with you? seriously, you want to kick anyone out of the party who doesnt agree with the party on every issue. amman isnt a tool of the democratic party, like you are, so for that you wont vote for him anyore (let the record show bob has voted amman several times). people should vote for people, not politics? sound familiar? (hint: it was one of the slogans of a winning campaign. )

CT Bob said...

I never said I wanted to kick Amann out of the party, so don't put words in my mouth.

My video shows Amann contradicting himself and talking like a Mafia don. I let people who see it draw their own conclusions.

What I'd like to see is better government. One way to get better government is to expose politicians when they aren't being truthful or when they support bad policies.

You saw the video; Jim said he was against the war. Yet, somehow that is secondary to his "friendship" to Joe. You know what? Friendships are great on the playground or after work at a bar, but they don't benefit the state, except to ensure we'll continue to be poorly served by our government.

I'd actually respect Amann MORE if he said he was supporting Joe BECAUSE he thinks we should stay in Iraq and win, not because they may have shared a malted with two straws at the local soda fountain, like you might see in a friggin' Norman Rockwell painting!

Anonymous said...

so youre saying iraq is the only issue?

Anonymous said...

Since none of us are members of the House Democratic Caucus in Hartford we can't fire Jim and as far as I know not one of them has publicly come out against him (at least not that I have heard). What does that tell you? With 107 members, a gain of 8 he must be doing something right. So he defends Joe, his choice.

The real shot comes in 2008 when someone has to have the guts to stop yapping and challenge him in a primary, remember thanks to Jim Amann we have public financing so those of you in the 118th district in Milford stop yapping and take your shot.

That is the great thing about democracy as long as you are a citizen you can run and maybe win.

Anonymous said...

Jim Amann has a blog!