In criticizing legislative Democrats’ proposal to address the budget deficit by hiring an outside firm to audit the state’s largest agency – the state Department of Social Services — Rich Harris with the Governor’s office yesterday said the majority party should review its own expenses.
“Perhaps the consultants will offer a discount if they are also hired to examine the legislative branch for frivolous spending,” Harris wrote in an e-mail. “They may wish to examine … the money spent to install a new kitchen in the House Speaker’s (James Amann, D-Milford) suite in the capitol.”
This morning I was greeted with an e-mail from Amann spokesman Larry Perosino entitled “What suite? What kitchen?”
“There is no ‘Speaker’s suite’ or any kitchen at the capitol,” Perosino wrote. “Rich must be talking about the caucus room that is used by over 100 Democratic lawmakers and often by the entire legislature. There is not even a sink or stove – hardly a kitchen.”
The subject of the overhaul of the House Democrats’ aging caucus room and its furniture was broached by some Republican loyalists earlier this year when tensions over the budget were on the rise.
I recall speaking to House Minority Leader Lawrence Cafero, R-Norwalk, at the time, and he was unwilling to make it an issue.