Politics

WAMC News
9:58 am
Fri April 18, 2014

MGM Springfield Seeks Delay In Awarding Casino License

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 4:16 pm

Nervous about the prospect of a casino repeal referendum, MGM is asking Massachusetts gaming industry regulators to delay awarding a casino license for the company’s Springfield project.

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Budget Woes
5:19 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Segarra to Propose Budget, Facing Lots of Ground to Make Up

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Next year's municipal budgets across the state are beginning to take shape. In Hartford, Mayor Pedro Segarra will present his budget to the city council on Monday. It's got a big hole in it. 

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Crimea
9:38 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Ukraine Crisis: Russia Endorses Call For Protesters To Disarm

Armed men wearing military fatigues gathered on armored personnel carriers Wednesday in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slovyansk, where they and other pro-Russia gunmen took control of some key locations.
Genya Savilov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 9:04 am

This post was updated with a new top at 4:10 p.m. ET.

Diplomats from the U.S., Ukraine, Russia and the European Union emerged Thursday from a meeting that wasn't expected to accomplish much saying they had made progress toward resolving the crisis in Ukraine.

"We worked hard and we worked in good faith in order to narrow our real differences," Secretary of State John Kerry said following the meeting in Geneva. He and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced that the four parties at the negotiating table agreed:

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Law
5:05 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Justice's 'Peacemaker' Unit Focuses On Transgender Rights

Diego Sanchez, the first openly transgender person to work as a legislative staffer on Capitol Hill, helped to develop a new Justice Department program that trains law enforcement to be more sensitive to the needs of transgender people.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 8:20 pm

A groundbreaking survey reports that nearly 2 out of 3 transgender people say they've been victims of physical assault. Most of those crimes are never reported to police. This year, the Justice Department wants to change that by training law enforcement to be more sensitive to the needs of trans people in their communities.

Deputy Attorney General Jim Cole says its new training program is motivated by a simple yet powerful idea.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed April 16, 2014

The Wheelhouse Talks Debates, Obamacare, and ...Burritos?

Join us for our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse every Wednesday.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

In this edition of our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, we ask two big questions surrounding the 2014 race for governor. What impact will John Rowland's latest scandal have on Republicans? What impact will President Barack Obama have on Governor Dannel Malloy and the state's Democratic congressional delegation?

Also: did you join the herds of UConn basketball fans in line for $1.00 burritos?

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Law Enforcement
4:24 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Advocacy Groups Want to Know When and How Police Use Tasers

Credit TASER International

The American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut is calling for statewide regulations and clear policies on how the police use Tasers.

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2014 Election
2:15 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

In Connecticut, An Obama Campaign Replay

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy greets President Obama March 5 upon his arrival at Bradley Air National Guard Base in East Granby, Conn., before the president traveled to the Hartford area to highlight the importance of raising the minimum wage.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 12:01 pm

Few places have embraced President Obama — and his policies — with as much gusto as Connecticut.

The state recently became the first to raise the minimum wage to Obama's preferred rate of $10.10 an hour. The state also toughened already strict gun laws following the Newtown school shooting, something the president was unable to persuade Congress to do.

Connecticut's health insurance exchange has been running so smoothly that Maryland decided last month to dump its troubled system and borrow Connecticut's software.

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Ukraine Crisis
1:33 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Russian Attack Jet Repeatedly Overflies U.S. Warship In Black Sea

The USS Donald Cook, a guided-missile destroyer, on patrol Saturday in the Black Sea.
Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Edward Guttierrez III U.S. Navy

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 3:07 pm

The crisis in Ukraine has taken on even more of a Cold War-era feel after a Russian warplane made nearly a dozen low passes over the weekend of a U.S. destroyer that was sailing in the Black Sea.

Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, calls the Russian flybys "provocative and unprofessional," NPR's Tom Bowman reports.

According to the Pentagon, the Russian SU-24 attack aircraft came within several thousand feet of the USS Donald Cook on Saturday and ignored multiple radio warnings from the ship.

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Courts
12:01 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Ohio Ordered To Recognize Out-Of-State Gay Marriages

Nicole Yorksmith (left) holds her son while standing with her partner, Pam Yorksmith. They were among four legally married couples who filed a federal civil rights lawsuit seeking to compel Ohio to recognize same-sex marriages on birth certificates.
Al Behrman AP

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 1:12 pm

The state of Ohio was told by a federal judge Monday that it must recognize same-sex marriages legally performed in other states, Ohio Public Radio and TV's Jo Ingles reports.

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Ukraine Crisis
8:05 am
Sun April 13, 2014

Ukraine Says An Officer Died In Battle With Pro-Russian Forces

A Pro-Russian force guards a barricade outside a regional police building seized by armed men in Slovyansk Sunday. Ukraine, which launched an "anti-terrorist operation" in the eastern town, says one of its officers has been killed in a clash near the town.
Genya Savilov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun April 13, 2014 12:13 pm

  • Rep. Mike Rogers Discusses U.S.-Russia Relations On 'Weekend Edition'

A Ukrainian Security Service officer has been killed and five others wounded in the eastern city of Slovyansk, officials from Ukraine's interim government said Sunday. The casualty comes after Ukraine pledged a "very tough" response to those occupying government buildings.

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Former Governor
4:04 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Rowland Pleads Not Guilty; Lawyer "Eager to Go to Trial"

Reporters scrum at the federal courthouse in New Haven on Friday.
Patrick Skahill WNPR

Former Governor John G. Rowland has pleaded not guilty to charges that he broke election laws to pursue roles with two congressional campaigns. A federal judge in New Haven heard the plea Friday and said jury selection is scheduled to begin on June 10.

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Dems Disagree
4:04 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Democratic Lawmakers Disagree on GMO Grass Seed Bill

Senate President Donald Williams introduced a measure this session that would ban genetically modified grass seed. The bill passed in the Senate, but was voted down in the House.
Credit CT Senate Democrats / Creative Commons

Democrats hold the majority in the General Assembly so it’s rare when a bill endorsed by Democrats in one chamber gets defeated in the other. But that's exactly what happened this week. 

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Corrupticut
3:35 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Rowland's Woes Ripple Through 2014 Campaigns

Former Governor John Rowland.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

John Rowland may have been out of office for years, but both Democrats and Republicans are still calculating what his latest troubles may mean for this year's campaigns.

It didn't take long for the positioning to begin -- just a few hours after Rowland was indicted, the Connecticut Democratic Party issued a press release trying to tie Republican front runner Tom Foley to the former Governor's alleged wrongdoing.

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White House
2:51 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Obama Nominates Budget Director To Replace Sebelius

Sylvia Mathews Burwell is pictured March 4, 2013, as President Obama nominates her to be budget director. At the time, she was president of the Walmart Foundation. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 2:57 pm

President Barack Obama says he’s nominating his budget director, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, to succeed Kathleen Sebelius as Health and Human Services secretary.

The Cabinet shuffle lets Obama put a new face on his new health care law.

The move comes more than a week after the close of sign-ups for insurance coverage on the law.

After a rocky start that Sebelius was blamed for, the administration rebounded strongly to exceed expectations by enrolling 7.1 million people by the March 31 deadline.

Burwell’s nomination requires Senate confirmation.

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WAMC News
1:48 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Vermont Senate To Debate Lyme Disease Bill

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 11:17 pm

Doctors and other health professionals would be immune from professional conduct charges if they pursued a hotly debated course of treatment for Lyme disease under a bill given preliminary approval by the Vermont Senate.

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WAMC News
1:47 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Political Campaign Spotlight Focuses On New Hampshire As Sanders Visits and Brown Announces

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 12:32 pm

New Hampshire is in the political spotlight years before its first-in-the-nation primary. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders visits this weekend, fueling speculation over a possible presidential run. That happens just days after former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown officially kicked off his campaign to become Senator of the Granite State.

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Election 2014
11:58 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Republican Gubernatorial Hopefuls Debate at Mark Twain House, in Tweets

GOP hopefuls for Connecticut governor debate at the Mark Twain House visitors center.
Marisa Finn CPBN

Republican candidates for Connecticut governor faced off in their first debate on Friday.

Five of the six candidates were at the Mark Twain House for the event: Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, Senate Minority Leader John McKinney of Fairfield, Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti, Avon attorney Martha Dean, and former West Hartford Town Councilman Joe Visconti. Follow along with the proceedings below.

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Arraignment Friday
7:07 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Rowland Indicted By Federal Grand Jury

Former Gov. John Rowland.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Former Republican Governor John Rowland, who has already served federal prison time on corruption-related charges, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of illegal campaign activity

It's a controversy that has been brewing for a couple of years. It picked up steam last week with the guilty pleas of a one-time Republican congressional candidate and her husband.

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White House
6:53 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Is Resigning

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is resigning from her post after serving for five years.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 7:35 pm

Health Secrerary Kathleen Sebelius is resigning after a five-year term that will no doubt be remembered for the calamitous implementation of President Obama's signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act.

If you remember, when the federal government unveiled HealthCare.gov, where Americans could buy health insurance mandated by Obamacare, the site was essentially useless for weeks after it launched in October.

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Courts
1:31 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Former Bridgeport Mayor Denied Law License

Former Bridgeport mayor Joseph Ganim.
Credit joeganim.com

The Connecticut Supreme Court has upheld a decision denying a law license for former Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim, who was convicted of corruption. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed April 9, 2014

The Wheelhouse Bleeds Blue But Politicians Are Looking for Green

Governor Dannel Malloy celebrates the first UConn national championship.
Credit Dan Malloy Twitter account

It feels a lot like 2004. Both UConn basketball teams are national champions, John Rowland is under investigation, and a Kennedy is in the news! Coming up on our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, our panel of reporters and analysts weighs in on the state's relationship with it's flagship university. Governor Dannel Malloy (er - Dan Malloy) is trying to cash in on UConn's success as he runs for re-election.

We also say goodbye to a radio competitor who signed off last week. But we have a feeling that former Governor John Rowland will stay in the news.

Also, several Connecticut restaurants are in trouble for playing music and not paying royalties.

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Election 2014
8:33 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Ted Kennedy, Jr. Announces Bid for Connecticut State Senate

Ted Kennedy, Jr. with his family at the Blackstone Library in Branford.
Lori Mack WNPR

Appearing camera ready and primed, Ted Kennedy Jr. – son of the late U.S. Senator of the same name, and nephew of President John F. Kennedy – announced on Tuesday night that he’s entering politics.  

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WAMC News
9:10 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Arbitrators To Decide Casino Mitigation Payments To Two Springfield Suburbs

An artist's rendering shows MGM's proposed $800 million casino in downtown Springfield

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 4:55 pm

Arbitrators have been chosen to decide how much two Massachusetts communities will be paid by MGM to mitigate the impacts of the proposed casino in downtown Springfield.

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George Jepsen
5:10 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Connecticut Attorney General Jepsen Announces Re-election Bid

Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen announced Monday he will run for a second term.
Credit WCSU_0117 / Creative Commons

Connecticut's Attorney General George Jepsen announced that he will run for a second term. He made the announcement Monday morning on WTIC-AM. "I'm thrilled," Jepsen told WTIC's Ray Dunaway. "I've really had a wonderful time, and it's just been such an incredible honor to serve the people of Connecticut."

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Radio Woes
4:55 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

"Hey Guv!" Rowland's Replacement Gets Pranked

Former Governor John Rowland resigned from his radio talk show on WTIC last week.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Trolls waste no time.

On WTIC's afternoon drive show, Pastor Will Marotti shied away from the scandal facing his predecessor, former Governor John Rowland.

Marotti started off the show by talking about UConn basketball and the low attendance at a Hartford Wolf Pack game. Marotti asked his listeners to call in and talk hockey. The first caller didn't get very far.

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Taxes
10:14 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Reverse PILOT Proposal Considered Unfair By Some Connecticut Institutions

Connecticut's state capitol building with the Bushnell Park Corning Fountain in the foreground.
Credit Helder Mira / Creative Commons

Some municipal and state leaders would like to see non-profit colleges and hospitals pay taxes to the towns where they reside. One higher education official said the particular idea currently being floated is unfair. 

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Where We Live
8:32 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Supporting Connecticut Veterans; College Presidents on Reverse PILOT; a Study on Parking

Are parking spaces hurting economic development in cities?
Credit radcliffe dacanay / Creative Commons

A conference was held in Hartford on Thursday to open up discussion about Connecticut’s veterans. The event came just one day after an Iraq War veteran opened fire at Fort Hood in Texas, wounding 16 and killing four, including himself. This hour, we talk about what happened at Fort Hood, and take a look at some of the services that are available to our veterans.

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Gun Control
3:21 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Anti- and Pro-Gun Advocates in Connecticut Continue Their Fight

Gun control advocates rally at the capitol.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Gun control advocates rallied with Democratic leaders at the capitol Thursday, announcing a new effort to support lawmakers who passed last year's gun measures. The meeting came as pro-gun activists plan a rally of their own.

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Medical Marijuana
2:59 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

State Picks Six Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Credit O'Dea / Creative Commons

Connecticut's consumer chief has picked six medical marijuana dispensaries that will be the first in the state operating in Branford, Bridgeport, Bristol, Hartford, South Windsor and Uncasville.

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Chimpanzee Attack Victim
4:02 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Legislative Committee Blocks Charla Nash's Request to Sue

Charla Nash.
Credit Shelly Sindland / Shelly Sindland Photography

A legislative committee is not allowing a Connecticut woman disfigured in a 2009 chimpanzee attack to sue the state and seek financial damages. 

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