30 October 2007

Dr. Amann's Miracle Cure

Last week, House Speaker Jim Amann used his office to endorse a cleaning product which claims to be effective against the spread of methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) the virulent bacteria strain making headlines recently.

The product, Gold Shield, is manufactured by NBS Technology of New York, and distributed by Viking Corp. of New Jersey. MRSA has been reported in schools in Westport, Weston, Newtown and elsewhere.

Amann gathered reporters to hail the product as product that could save lives. He brought along a representative of the Connecticut Hospital Association, who used to work for the House Democrats, and a doctor from, your guessed it, the city of Milford, to offer testimonials. Dr. Martin Galvin, of Milford, is listed as the sole tesitmonial on the Viking wesbite. He is listed as Director, Healthcare Division
Absolute Environment in Milford, which doesn't have a listed telephone number.

We protested this ridiculous use of state resources and time to single out a product, and the state Ethics Commission immediately gave the Speaker a pass, saying it didn't fall under the conflict umbrella. Why? Because it was unclear whether Amann or his family, personally benefited from it's promotion.

But, it did help a friend of Amann's, former Republican State Legislator and Naugatuck Mayor Tim Barth, who until recently owned a bagel store in Glastonbury. Seems Barth has also become an expert on infectious diseases and was hired by Viking after a friend told a friend who told Barth of this amazing product. Barth then told Amann and, well, the rest is classic Jim Amann.

Couple of points here. Why was the Connecticut Hosptial Association brought in to give the appearance that they endorsed the product? Well, maybe because the lobbyist from CHA didn't want to offend the Speaker of the House, who controls all heath care legislation that comes before the lower chamber. Maybe he was brought in under some general request to talk about stopping MRSA. We don't know and we don't know if CHA is using Gold Shield to mop its member's floors.

But this is another example of how Speaker Amann has used his office to help those who have helped him. When Tim Barth was Mayor Tim Barth, he hired Amann to be his chief of staff.

Put us down for a gallon.


Anonymous said...

From Speaker of the house to an "Amway Salesman" how annoying. How is this allowed? Have this guy no shame? People are struggling and he is selling cleaning supplies?! Un-F***-Beliavable.