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January 23, 2008



This isn't about "benefit of the doubt," or being "rehabilitated," or getting "strikes" against someone for poor behavior, as some of your more disagreeable commenters have suggested. If I have a job in a certain industry and screw up on a MONUMENTAL scale such that my actions against the company are defined and punished in a public forum as CRIMINAL, it's a safe bet I'm not going to be able to get a good reference that will help me to get a job in the same industry later. It's reasonable that certain privileges would be lost. Serving the public is an honor and not a right. If a woman is raped and the rapist goes to jail and "pays his debt to society," that woman is still under no obligation to let him sleep with her, even if he promises to be nice about it this time.


I'm amazed at the contradictions in logic that I've been reading in the Courant. They write about giving a felon a second chance; meanwhile, don't seem to have a problem with Rell's revoking parole for those who have also done their time. Ugh!


Waterbury Fruit Company

Yes, we have no bananas,
And the rest of our shelves are quite bare.
Of tomatoes have not a can us,
But of onions we have a big pair.

Of apples we have no Cortland or Mac,
Granny Smith has long waved good-bye.
But from barrel's bottom we brought back
The rotten apple of our eye.

You won't find here avocado,
Or pineapples dripping with juice.
But abundance we have of bravado,
And a talent for making excuse.


Jen, I'm with you. I'd definitely consult an avocado, with its dark mystery indicating hidden depths, before appointing even the smartest pineapple to anything.

Jen Cooper

Great question.
I'd have to go with the avocado. On account of the Omega-3 and all.

Moving on...

Connor Hollister

You guys will be all over me for this but I have to say my piece anyways.

I think it is ironic that liberals are all for social programs and redemption and the notion that somehow our criminal justice system can "correct" criminals and set them on the path to a new life when it suits their purposes but when a Republican who was convicted and actually did 10 months of time as penance for his sins is offered a job such as this, they are falling over themselves to assume he is a recidivist and will no doubt resort to his corrupt ways yet again.

Now maybe he will, but maybe he wont, but I think it is blatantly two faced for you holier than thou types to jump on this like you are without giving the guy the benefit of the doubt. I only hope you will expect the same treatment if you find your butt on the wrong side of the law.

And Colin, to your point of Jodi Rell calling Rowland "disgusting" and now being put in the position of having to dole out bond money to him, you and I both know that Jodi Rell wouldnt be anywhere close to where she is now if it were not for Johnny. She knows that too and despite what she says in public, she likes him just fine and will have no problem doing business with him.

Likewise the rest of the Connecticut General Assembly.

My last thoughts: I continue to hold fast to my view that I have yet to see any Democrat do for the city of Hartford, economic developemnt wise, what Rowland did, and had he been a pol in Chicago or Boston instead of Hartford, he wouldnt have gone to jail but instead would have been given a medal.

Ok, I'm done now.


Which is smarter, a smart pineapple or a reasonably astute avocado?


Maybe Jar-Jar is advertising that Waterbury is up for sale to the highest bidder?

Jen Cooper

Zach, it sure looks that way, doesn't it? Sort of a nauseating day.


JWC- I'd say that Democratic Mayor Jarjura hiring John Rowland proves Tom Swan 100% correct.


Gretchen, well put. I was not, however, suggesting that Cianci and Rowland are a bad apple-to- bad apple comparison.
I actually just posted that excerpt to give some background on Waterbury's long-standing scandals in City Hall.
I've written about this before and taken my lumps for it: there is a prodigal son dynamic that goes on there. It hurts the people of the city, but they just keep going back for more.

Gretchen Adamek

I assume Ms. Cooper's story, above, was initially in reference to Buddy Cianci, the former Providence mayor. He's become something of a crooked politician turned folk hero, including being lionized on 60 minutes. There are a couple things wrong with the comparison. Most notable is the fact that Cianci got a talk radio show. The state/and or city aren't financing his job, and the citizens can choose not to support his show. Secondly, if my memory serves correct, Cianci's crimes had more to do with bid rigging and cronyism; Rowland defrauded Connecticut. And we shouldn't forget that there were a dismaying list of additional criminal charges that were not prosecuted. And finally, Rowlands actions are still costing the State and the citizens of Connecticut money. His big Adrians landing idea has yet to extend to the boon for Hartford, and COnnecticut as it was supposed to. Providence, on the other hand, has been enjoying a cultural and economical rennaissance (sp?). I don't mean to suggest the ends justify the means; but I don't think the comparison is fair.

By the way, I suspected there was going to be trouble when the Washington Post ran a glowing feature article on the "new and reformed" John Rowland.

Tom the toy designer

Why not put Giordano in charge of DCF? He knows a lot about children.


Nothing surprises me anymore. I guess Tomasso didn't have any open positions that pay 100K. Is Jarjura an idiot or does he owe somebody a favor? I'm betting on the favor.



Just think of it as job security.....


Not only are they putting the fox back in the henhouse, they're presenting the hens on a silver platter!


Zack, Tom Swan, then-campaihn magr for Lamont said the city was where "the forces of slime and evil" converge. That was AFTER-- and partly in response to-- the city's dems having sided with Lieberman, who, incidentally, similarly dissed the city by saying it's a place where he could return to work in politics after he dies.


Dear jd, are you from around those parts, as I am? How well do you know the players, the scene?

There are plenty of us who know Waterbury quite well and are not convicted felons. Plenty of savvy, well-connected people who could have at least interviewed for this made-to-order gig.


Remember when one of Ned Lamont's handlers called out Waterbury on it's corruption? And how the right went nuts, demanded he be fired from the campaign?

As I said then, I say now to the people of Waterbury. He was right! It's the most corrupt city in America, and it's a corruption that knows no specific political association. It's just everybody associated with their government.

That shall be my hard stance until that city does anything to change such an obvious conclusion. I won't hold my breath.


The man knows Waterbury better than you do, or anyone else does. It's a smart pick.

Where, exactly, do you get this "Democrats are heavy favorites to win back the White House" garbage?


ARGGGGG...Have we lost our minds??? Good god! Listening to Ray and Diane this AM, people calling in to say what a great idea putting Rowland in this position would be. STOP...take a moment to remember the shame and humility not to mention the $$$ John Rowland caused the state of Connecticut. The man makes my skin crawl.
I can't believe what's happening.
Colin, I'm counting on you to set people straight about Rowland!!

Jon Kantrowitz

Here's the quote you may have been thinking of:

"Today, a spokesman for Governor Rowland said the issue was not the mayor's guilt or innocence, but rather his difficulty in leading the city while fighting criminal charges.

''The governor believes private business leaders are going to be reluctant to pick up the phone and inquire about future development programs in the city because no one will know the status of the mayor,'' said the spokesman, Dean Pagani."



Imagine the joy of living in Waterbury and waking to the news that Roland is being given a new Government position! What can the mayor be thinking? I guess maybe he isn't thinking at all.

Jennifer Cooper

A sort of summary of the city's corruption, excerpted from a piece I did recently for The Providence Journal, follows. The talk radio allusions are in reference to Providence having welcomed back their own convicted-felon former mayor with, of all things, an AM talk radio show.
It's lengthy, but it shows just how insane things are down there:

"…Waterbury, like Providence, knows that her political heavy-hitters sometimes find themselves behind bars; it’s a bit of a tradition in town.
The known scandals of Waterbury’s City Hall date back to 1940, when Mayor T. Frank Hayes found himself within a group of 23 unsavory individuals convicted of conspiracy to defraud the fair city. Hayes served six years for looting the city coffers; upon release, he was most assuredly not welcomed back to town with a radio show.
Then-city Comptroller Sherwood Rowland was one of those who helped bring Hayes down, but Rowland’s grandson, felonious former Connecticut Gov. John Rowland, fell into some infamous hot water of his own, illegally accepting a Jacuzzi tub in addition to making a few other ethical mistakes. Rowland is out of jail now, and though a stranger to Hartford these days, he remains a celebrity in his hometown of Waterbury, where a crowd of nearly 3,000 honored him with a standing ovation at an old theater’s grand re-opening — after he resigned in disgrace. In Waterbury, as is likely in Providence, blood is thicker than water.
Back to the mayors of Waterbury: A few more have followed in the misguided footsteps of Frank Hayes. Edward Bergin was indicted over towing contracts in 1988, but then acquitted. No radio gig for Bergin either, but he did get voted back into his old job in 1992, after his successor, Mayor Joseph Santopietro, took his own turn at sullying the name of the fair city.
Santopietro may be small potatoes compared to your Buddy Cianci, but like Cianci, he was a golden boy at one time; when Santopietro took City Hall in 1985, he was 26, the youngest large-city mayor in the nation. But by 1991 he was in prison, serving time for municipal corruption — garden-variety City Hall bribes and kickbacks.
Upon Santopietro’s release six years later, he searched for a job — not on the air, but in the trash-hauling business, and found work with one Matty “the Horse” Ianniello. Unfortunately, their garbage deals got a little dirty, and now the Horse will do two years of time while Joe does five of probation, presumably far away from mainstream-media outlets.
Of course, all of these scoundrels pale in comparison to Waterbury’s monstrous former Mayor Philip Giordano. While the Feds were wiretapping his illicit city business arrangements in 2001, they stumbled upon Giordano’s horrific predilection for sexually abusing small children. Though prodigal sons and daughters are generally welcomed back home to Waterbury, there’s sure to be some resistance to rolling out the red carpet for this one, should he ever get out of jail. I’d say his particular chances at radio are, most indisputably, non-existent..."

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