Politics

Hartford Politics
10:23 am
Sun February 1, 2015

Hartford Probate Judge, Possible Mayoral Candidate, Calls Stadium "An Insult"

Credit The Connecticut Mirror

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra is running for his second full term this year, and a lot of people are looking to unseat him. One is Luke Bronin, the governor's former legal counsel; another is attorney John Gale; and a third is city Councilman Joel Cruz.

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Campaigns
11:00 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Mitt Romney Won't Run For President In 2016

Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who has made two previous bids for the presidency, says he will not run in 2016.
Rogelio V. Solis AP

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 5:05 pm

Updated at 11:58 a.m.

Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney isn't running for president in 2016, he told supporters in a statement.

"After putting considerable thought into making another run for president, I've decided it is best to give other leaders in the Party the opportunity to become our next nominee," he said in the statement and in a conference call with supporters.

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Connecticut Legislature
4:47 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

State GOP Lawmakers Say Democrats Have Weakened Campaign Finance Laws

Republicans joined Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano and House Republican Leader Themis Klarides to talk about campaign finance.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Republican legislative leaders held a press conference Thursday to call for changes in the state’s campaign finance laws, though leading Democrats said talking to them first might have been a better strategy. 

Joined by rank and file legislators, Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano and House Republican Leader Themis Klarides said state Democrats have consistently worked to undermine and erode the clean elections laws they worked to pass in 2005 after the conviction of former Governor John Rowland.

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Congress
1:56 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

McCain Calls Protesters 'Low-Life Scum' At Senate Hearing

Protesters interrupt the start of a Senate Armed Services hearing on Capitol Hill Thursday, as former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger prepares to testify.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 2:46 pm

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., lashed out at anti-war demonstrators protesting the presence of former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger at a Senate hearing, calling them "low-life scum."

Kissinger, 91, and other former secretaries of state in both Republican and Democratic administrations, were at the Senate Armed Services Committee, which McCain chairs, for a hearing on global security challenges.

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Sequester Reversal
6:24 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Obama's Budget Would Undo Broad, Automatic Cuts Made In 2013

President Obama speaks to the media after the automatic budget cuts associated with the sequester took effect in March 2013.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 9:07 am

When President Obama meets with House Democrats tonight during their retreat in Philadelphia, officials say he'll lay out the details of his budget proposal, which will include reversal of large cuts to federal spending instituted in 2013.

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State Budget
12:50 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Gov. Malloy Makes Budget Cuts After Inconclusive Lunch Date

Governor Dannel Malloy in a WNPR file photo.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Last week, Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced cuts to social services and health care in his second round of emergency rescissions to cut down the state budget deficit.

Malloy’s office projected a $121 million deficit last week. On Monday, the non-partisan Office of Fiscal Analysis estimated the deficit is closer to $202 million.

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Mexico
9:59 am
Wed January 28, 2015

Mexico Officially Declares 43 Missing Students Dead

A relative holding a picture of one of the missing students, wipes a tear from her face during a press conference in Mexico, City.
Eduardo Verdugo AP

Mexico's attorney general made it official last night: The 43 college students who went missing last fall are dead.

That's the conclusion they've reached based on confessions of the alleged perpetrators and forensic evidence.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed January 28, 2015

The Wheelhouse Digs Out

Governor Malloy meets with his emergency management team ahead of the blizzard.
Gov. Dannel Malloy Office Twitter

The blizzard has moved on from Connecticut and we're moving on with our regularly scheduled programming. Our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse will recap the week's news, from Governor Malloy's response to the storm, to last week's bizarre capitol cafeteria summit regarding the state budget. Also, one Hartford-based company that benefited from a state economic development deal is in trouble.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue January 27, 2015

New Session, New Term: Governor Dannel Malloy Live In Studio

Governor Malloy returns to WNPR and he'll take some of your questions.
Chion Wolf WNPR

***Due to the snow storm, this show with Governor Malloy will be re-scheduled.***

For the first time since his re-election, Governor Dannel Malloy returns to WNPR’s studios to discuss his plans for this legislative session. Near the top of his priority list is the state budget, which faces a nearly $121 million deficit. Malloy has also proposed some plans to improve transportation in the state, including the widening of two major highways.

You can join the conversation and ask questions of Governor Malloy. Call us live between 9:00 to 10:00 am on Tuesday, January 27 at (860) 275-7266. You can also leave questions in the comments section on this page, or on Twitter and Facebook.

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New York
11:58 am
Mon January 26, 2015

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver To Cede Power, Temporarily

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 7:05 am

The speaker of the New York state Assembly plans to temporarily cede power to a small group of top lawmakers as he fights federal corruption charges.

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India
9:18 am
Sun January 25, 2015

U.S. And India Announce New Ties On First Day Of Obama's Trip

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Obama meet at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on Sunday, the first day of Obama's three-day trip to India.
UPI Landov

Originally published on Sun January 25, 2015 12:03 pm

Updated at 8:25 a.m. ET

President Obama announced Sunday that the U.S. and India have made progress on civilian nuclear trade. In a joint news conference with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi, Obama said the countries had agreed to more cooperation in other areas as well, including defense and climate change.

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Election 2015
1:46 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

In Hartford, Griebel Considers City Council Run

Oz Griebel in a WNPR file photo.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Oz Griebel runs the MetroHartford Alliance and ran for governor in 2010. Now, he's considering a run for Hartford's city council. 

"I am considering a run, but considering is the operative word," Griebel said.

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U.S.-Cuba Relations
11:57 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Rep. Rosa DeLauro Calls for End to Program Enticing Cuban Doctors to Defect

A Cuban doctor administers a vaccination to a woman at a camp for displaced Haitians in Port-au-Prince in 2010.
Sophia Paris United Nations

As U.S. and Cuba officials wrap up their first high-level talks in decades, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro is leading a call for an end to the Cuban Medical Professional Parole Program.

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Climate Change
10:06 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Senate Says Climate Change Real, But Not Really Our Fault

Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., was the only senator to vote against an amendment calling climate change "real and not a hoax."
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 2:20 pm

Breathtakingly broad as its jurisdiction may be, the U.S. Senate does not usually vote on the validity of scientific theories.

This week, it did. And science won. The Senate voted that climate change is real, and not a hoax. The vote was 98-1.

The vote was about an amendment to the bill approving the Keystone XL pipeline. The near-unanimity of the climate change judgment was notable, because so many senators have cast doubt on ideas of "global warming."

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Newtown
9:11 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Newtown, Conn., Council Votes To Raze Sandy Hook Shooter's Home

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 11:52 am

Officials in Newtown, Conn., have voted to demolish the home of Adam Lanza, the gunman who killed 20 first-graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.

The Newtown Legislative Council voted 10-0 Wednesday night to approve a proposal to tear down the 3,100-square-foot home where Lanza lived with his mother. The land on which the home stands will be kept as open space for now.

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Civil Rights
5:56 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Justice Dept. Will Reportedly Clear Ferguson Police Officer In Brown Case

Demonstrators remember Michael Brown on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, marching from the apartment complex where Brown was killed to the Ferguson police station. A federal inquiry has found no evidence that officer Darren Wilson violated Brown's civil rights, sources tell NPR.
Scott Olson Getty Images

The Justice Department is poised to declare that former police officer Darren Wilson should not face civil rights charges over the death of Michael Brown, law enforcement sources tell NPR. Wilson, who is white, shot and killed Brown, who was black, in August. Brown was not armed.

"Two law enforcement sources tell NPR they see no way forward to file criminal civil rights charges" against Wilson, NPR's Carrie Johnson reports. She adds, "Those charges would require authorities to prove the officer used excessive force and violated Brown's constitutional rights."

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Election Day Problems
3:00 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

As City Council Plans to Remove Her, Hartford's Democratic Registrar Plans to Fight

Credit Vox Efx / Creative Commons

As Hartford's City Council is seeking to remove all three of its registrars because of a disastrous Election Day 2014, at least one of them -- Democrat Olga Vazquez -- is planning a strong defense.

"She does not disagree with the fact that there were some serious snafus," said Leon Rosenblatt, Vazquez's attorney. "But the registrars weren't the cause of it. And the report that was written is very one-sided and incomplete." 

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Captured On Camera
1:58 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

State Rep. Brandon McGee: Death Threats Received After Parking in Handicapped Space

A photo of State Rep. Brandon McGee's BMW parked illegally that circulated Facebook over the weekend.
Kevin Brookman wethepeoplehartford.blogspot.com

An anonymous camera phone-wielding watchdog set off a Facebook firestorm against State Rep. Brandon McGee after a photo of his car parked illegally in a handicap spot circulated online. 

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Budget Crisis
1:11 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

$121 Million State Deficit Fueled By Falling Gas Prices

KOMUnews Creative Commons

Turns out saving at the pump isn’t great for everyone.

Governor Dannel Malloy will have to order a second round of budget cuts for fiscal year 2015 after the falling price of petroleum has contributed to a $120.9 million deficit, an $89.3 million increase from last month.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed January 21, 2015

The Wheelhouse Looks for a Parking Spot

If you don't have a handicap permit, don't park here!
Credit Mr. Nygren / Creative Commons

There is a simple formula for restoring respect for democracy and other American institutions: just study everything that happens in Bridgeport and do the opposite.

On our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, Colin McEnroe guest-hosts with check-ins on Bridgeport, New London County, and Hartford. 

The capital city is part of a different formula: study how Hartford runs elections and do the opposite. Also, don't park in a handicap spot, especially if you're a lawmaker using your official state plates.

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Hartford
8:00 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Hartford City Council Moves to Remove Registrars of Voters

Hartford City Council President Shawn Wooden in City Hall last week.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Following a disastrous Election Day 2014 in which voters at various city polling places were denied the right to vote, the city council is beginning the process of removing all three registrars of voters.

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SOTU
10:55 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

'Tonight, We Turn The Page': Obama Lays Out 2015 Agenda

President Obama receives a standing ovation as he prepares to deliver his State of the Union address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress on Capitol Hill Tuesday.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 12:48 am

Delivering his sixth State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Obama faced a Congress that's now controlled by his Republican opponents. His speech included possible areas of cooperation — and a threat to use his veto power.

Tax proposals that would boost middle-class families were in the president's speech; so were calls for a new approach to immigration and a push for free education at community colleges.

Obama also called on Congress to pass a resolution to authorize using military force against the extremist group ISIS.

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Congress
6:23 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Rep. DeLauro Leading Opposition To President Obama's Trade Proposal

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.)

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 4:05 pm

As President Obama prepares for the State of the Union address tonight, some Democratic members of Congress are opposing one of the White House’s proposals.

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Politics
3:16 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Obama Joins Ike, The Gipper, Bill And George II In A Club No One Wants To Be In

President Dwight Eisenhower delivers his State of the Union address before a joint session of the 86th Congress in 1959. Behind him are Vice President Richard Nixon (left) and Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn.
AP

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 7:06 pm

President Obama begins his seventh year in office Tuesday facing a Congress where both the House and Senate are in the hands of the opposition party. He shares this in common with every other president fortunate enough to even have a seventh year in office since the 1950s.

Dwight Eisenhower in 1959, Ronald Reagan in 1987, Bill Clinton in 1999 and George W. Bush in 2007 all climbed the rostrum for this late-in-the-game challenge looking out at majorities of the other party in both chambers.

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White House
6:48 am
Tue January 20, 2015

Obama, In Tonight's State Of The Union, Will Focus On Middle Class

President Obama speaks at Pellissippi State Community College, in Knoxville, Tenn., on Jan. 9. Obama is turning to his biggest television audience of the year to pitch tax increases on the wealthiest Americans and put the new Republican Congress in the position of defending top income earners over the middle class.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 7:41 pm

President Obama delivers his State of the Union address tonight and is expected to focus on the state of the economy and its impact on the middle class.

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Taxes
5:09 am
Tue January 20, 2015

IRS Budget Cuts May Make For An Unpleasant Tax Filing Season

Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 7:18 pm

The Internal Revenue Service on Tuesday began accepting tax returns electronically, and paper returns will begin to be processed at the same time. In a statement, the IRS reminded taxpayers that filing electronically is the most accurate way to file a tax return and the fastest way to get a refund.

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Supreme Court
1:03 am
Tue January 20, 2015

Should Judicial Candidates Be Allowed To Solicit Campaign Money?

Judge Adrian Adams is helped with his robe by his daughters during a robing ceremony Friday in Gretna, La. Adams won a race for 24th Judicial District Court in November behind a campaign that raised a modest $22,350, including several four-figure donations from attorneys and law firms. Louisiana law, like Florida law, bars judicial candidates from personally soliciting campaign contributions.
Brett Duke The Times-Picayune/Landov

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 8:56 am

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday in a case testing whether states, in the name of preserving judicial impartiality, may bar judicial candidates from personally soliciting campaign contributions.

There was a time when judicial elections were a pretty tame affair, with relatively little money spent, and candidates in most states limited in how they could campaign. Not anymore.

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Wake of Newton
4:13 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Newtown School Panel Working on Final Details of Report

Hamden Mayor Scott Jackson in a WNPR file photo. Jackson is the chair of the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission.
Chion Wolf WNPR

The panel created by Governor Dannel Malloy in the wake of the Newtown school shooting is continuing to work on its final recommendations. 

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Torture in the U.S.A.
3:05 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Do We Approve of Torture? Depends on How You Ask

Val Kerry Creative Commons

The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee’s torture report released last December revealed that the CIA lied about the effectiveness of torture in gaining important information from terrorism suspects. But that didn't change America's opinion of using such tactics. 

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White House
1:56 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Obama: There's A Less Than 50-50 Chance Of A Nuclear Deal With Iran

British Prime Minister David Cameron speaks as President Obama looks on during a joint news conference in the East Room of the White House on Friday.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 7:40 pm

During a joint press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron, President Obama warned Congress that if it passed further sanctions against Iran, he would veto them.

The two leaders, speaking to the press after a series of bilateral meetings, stood shoulder to shoulder on all the issues that came before them. Cameron said that on Iran, he had been calling U.S. senators to tell them he didn't think new sanctions would work against Iran.

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