Face the State Flashback: You Paid For It

The I-team’s recent discovery of questionable use of state issued debit cards reminded me of a series of reports I did on government waste when I was a rookie reporter here at Channel 3.    It was called “You Paid For It.”

In this week’s Face the State flashback, we take you back to 1993, and the very first YPFI report.  You Paid For It was the brainchild of then WFSB news director Mark Effron, and it relied heavily on viewer tips.    We set up a hotline, and we were amazed at the response.  Before our first report even aired, we received more than 300 phone calls and letters (this was way before e-mail.)     Many of the tips came from state employees and contractors who were witnessing our government wasting our tax dollars.

The flashback YPFI focuses on a highway underpass in Windsor that was treated to a, well, beauty treatment, courtesy of the taxpayers.   The state paid $1,000,000 to have the underside of the highway covered in decorative stone.   Even the contractor thought there was a cheaper way to do it and called the project, a “big waste.”

As you watch the report, you’ll see even the state official had a tough time defending it.

We did several investigations that exposed millions of dollars in government waste.  We found brand new cars sitting in a lot, thanks to a purchasing blunder.   Another report led us to a state worker sleeping on the job while raking in overtime.   We uncovered waste in all corners of the state, and as YPFI grew, more viewers sent in tips.  People at the grocery store and Whalers games would come up to me and repeat my tag line, ” You Paid For It.”    The series became so popular WFSB even produced a two minute promotion for it that ran during the 1994 Olympic Games.  Two minutes is an eternity in television.

You Paid For It resonated with viewers because the economy was in rough shape, and taxpayers were still absorbing the implemention of the state income tax that became law in 1991.

By 1995, You Paid For It had ran its course and was retired.  I’d like to think our investigations and our team of viewers sending tips led to a more efficient and frugal state government.

Our I-team still does investigations into government waste, so if you see your government wasting your money, drop the I-team an e-mail at iteam3@wfsb.com

Watch the report right here:  http://www.wfsb.com/video?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=7975765

Some other reports I’ve done:  http://dennishouse.wordpress.com/2012/05/22/marking-20-years-at-wfsb/



5 replies »

  1. Please revise this investigative reporting regarding government waste, fraud, and corruption. I have been a government corruption whistle blower in CT for several years, The State of Corrupticut has engaged in illegal activities to silence Me, including the use of the judiciary to retaliate against Me. There is currently a motion to the CT Supreme Court Justices AND the US Justice Department Civil Rights Division AND President Obama for Federal and State Grand Jury Investigations which I will demand all the way to the Federal Supreme Court if need be. I have tried to engage main stream media for many years to expose what will become the biggest government corruption scandal and retaliation taken against any one individual known in history but will only be the tip of a very large ice burg of shame that is being exposed in a Movie I have already been filmed for called Lawless America! Please go to Lawless America.com or @ face book and contact Bill Windsor. Interview Him and I on Your Sunday news program, I will enlighten the State of CT to the enormous extent of fraud and government waste that CT has perfected under the union Democratic control of Men like Governor Malloy and His public employee army that manipulate all elections in their favor!!! My name is Mary Bagnaschi, pro-se Attorney in the future Mary Bagnaschi vs. State of CT case that will begin to make case law that will return justice to the courts of law in The State of CT and the United States of America!


    • * revive, not revise, unless you want to revise it to revive it and expose current waste, CT ranks number 1 in every dubious economic forecast in the Nation. We faced the highest tax increase in CT history, Malloy has catered to the unions throughout his tenure, making his promises of no job lay offs true, saving thousands of state employment for people and programs that are ineffective, broke, and operate under illegal premises, such as The CT Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, The Office of Protection and Advocacy for Person’s with Disabilities, DECD, DOL, CT CHIF, CT Fair Housing, and Many, many other agencies and program officials, including AG George Jepsen and CT Chief State Attorney Kevin Kane! Contact ME, please!!!! cover these stories !


  2. of course like your website however you have to check the spelling on quite a few of your posts.

    A number of them are rife with spelling issues and I in finding
    it very troublesome to inform the truth however
    I’ll surely come back again.


    • Hi Beauty Treatment, thank you for checking out my face book page. I may have spelling errors and certainly run on sentences. Sad to say I am a University of CT graduate and Public school attendee from k-12, Associates Degree from Northwestern CT Community College and an Army Veteran whose IQ was deemed above average. I multi task when writing my comments, it is hard to be a pro-se self represented defendant, my own journalist, disabled since 2010 as a result of all of these massive problems.


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