Thursday, March 27, 2008

Forbes Magazine Piece Stirs Waterbury Reaction

Best Places
Oh, the Brass!

By David K. Randall

To promote itself, a corrupt, has-been city reaches out--to a corrupt ex-governor.

Houston finds oil, Green Bay packs meat and Waterbury is famed for producing corruption. At least four mayors of this little (pop. 108,130) Connecticut city have been indicted for crimes committed while in office, the most recent two episodes involving Philip Giordano, in office from 1996 to 2001 and now serving 37 years for sex crimes (among other counts), and Joseph Santopietro, in office from 1986 to 1991, sentenced last year to five years' probation for a price-fixing conspiracy. In 1986 dead people were found to have voted in the Democratic gubernatorial primary.

Chicago and New Jersey have plenty of publicly elected convicts in their pasts, but these are big places. Pound for pound, Waterbury is really in a class of its own for government criminality. Combine that with abandoned factories, a rotten school system and a 20% poverty rate and you get a real package of reasons to stay clear. In this year's survey of Best Places in which to do business, Waterbury gets the booby prize.

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