Politics

Political news from WNPR

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy seems to be at odds with his transportation commissioner over the issue of congestion pricing. It’s a way to discourage drivers from using highways, but its place in the state’s comprehensive transportation plan is uncertain.

In the battle for primary votes, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are locked in a tight battle.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Before delivering his "State of the State Address" two weeks ago, Gov. Dan Malloy said his budget proposal would be "austere" and that's what he delivered. His proposals include sweeping cuts across state government and he has heard from some critics of those cuts during town hall meetings. This hour, the governor stops by WNPR to discuss the state budget and other issues facing Connecticut.

Obama To Visit Cuba Next Month

Feb 18, 2016

Building on the opening to Cuba he launched 14 months ago, President Obama will visit the island as part of a multi-nation Latin America trip planned for next month.

According to Thursday's formal announcement by the White House, the president and first lady will travel to Cuba on March 21-22. "In Cuba, the President will work to build on the progress we have made toward normalization of relations with Cuba — advancing commercial and people-to-people ties that can improve the well-being of the Cuban people, and expressing our support for human rights," the statement read.

Connecticut Senate Democrats

After five terms in the state senate, Andrew Maynard announced he will not seek re-election. The Democrat from Stonington is recovering from two head injuries in the last two years and questions have been raised about his ability to serve.

What Does the Word "Caliphate" Mean?

Feb 17, 2016
Chion Wolf / WNPR

The word “caliphate” has been repeated multiple times during the 2016 presidential race. But the word is often misused, a local Islamic scholar said, giving undeserved legitimacy to the so-called Islamic State.

This past Sunday during 11 a.m. worship service at Bible Way Church of Atlas Road in Columbia, S.C., there was a short celebration of Black History Month. The church honored John Wesley Matthews Jr., a long-serving black state senator.

After Matthews accepted an award, the pastor of the church, Darrell Jackson Sr., took time to acknowledge another special guest.

Steve Petteway / Creative Commons

The political ramifications of Antonin Scalia's death became immediately apparent on Saturday. President Barack Obama said he will make his Supreme Court appointment and Senate Republicans said they will block confirmation. Our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse considers this political puzzle in Washington. Meanwhile, lawmakers in Hartford are working on what has become their annual puzzle: the state budget.

President Obama backed a bill in Illinois last week that would automatically register people to vote when they apply for a driver's license or state ID.

"That will protect the fundamental right of everybody," he said. "Democrats, Republicans, independents, seniors, folks with disabilities, the men and women of our military — it would make sure that it was easier for them to vote and have their vote counted."

Last year, an Iranian economist named Mohammad Mehdi Behkish was extremely optimistic about prospects for a nuclear deal that would end many economic sanctions on his country.

"Personally, I would say it can't be that there would not be a deal," he told me when I met him in Tehran.

The alternative, he said, was disaster.

Behkish leads Iran's International Chamber of Commerce. When I met him again this month in his Tehran office, he sounded even more optimistic.

President Obama said Tuesday that despite Republican vows to block him, he will nominate a successor to Justice Antonin Scalia, who died suddenly on Saturday.

Obama spoke during a news conference after a summit with leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Rancho Mirage, Calif., but the first questions from reporters were about filling the empty Supreme Court seat.

Connecticut Senate Republicans / Creative Commons

Advocates are urging Connecticut lawmakers not to allow the governor to move to a system of block grants to government agencies. They worry this new way of dealing with the budget might eliminate public hearings.

Jeb Bush, the son and brother of former presidents, started his campaign promising voters, "I am my own man." However, Bush's standing in polls has steeply declined, and now he is bringing back his brother George W. Bush for help in a place where George W. is still very popular — South Carolina.

The brothers were together on the campaign trail this weekend in the Palmetto State ahead of South Carolina's primary in hopes of giving Jeb Bush a boost. And George W. could help. The former president won South Carolina's GOP primary in 2000, a victory that resurrected his candidacy.

Antonin Scalia's body wasn't cold before his seat on the U.S. Supreme Court became tangled up in partisan politics. Here are five ways Scalia's death is complicating the 2016 election.

Stephen Masker / Creative Commons

The 2016 presidential election took a dramatic turn this weekend with the sudden death of Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court's most divisive, yet colorful justice. Revered for his brilliance, quick wit, and lively writing, he was equally reviled for a mean streak and his refusal to recognize the subjectivity in his objectivity in adhering to the original intent of the constitution. 

The late Justice Antonin Scalia will lie in repose at the Supreme Court on Friday. The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., according to sources close to the Scalia family.

In a tradition that dates back to 1873, Scalia's Supreme Court chair and bench were draped with black wool crepe today. The court has also placed a black drapery over the courtroom doors.

The last high court justice to lie in repose at the Supreme Court was Chief Justice William Rehnquist in 2005.

Within hours of Justice Antonin Scalia's death, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell aimed to squash any expectation that President Obama will get to name his successor.

"The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court justice," he said in a statement. "Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president."

Just a few days ago, major world powers announced they would work on a plan to stop hostilities in Syria within a week. The proposed agreement would be temporary, and would fall short of a full cease-fire.

Instead, the nations involved have agreed "to encourage their proxies to cease hostilities in a week with an eye to a more permanent cease-fire down the road," NPR's Michele Kelemen explained Friday.

Since then, fighting on the ground has only intensified.

President Obama says he plans to pick a Supreme Court nominee following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, setting up a confrontation with Republicans who control the Senate.

South Carolina is known for its rough and tumble politics, and Saturday night's CBS News debate in Greenville, S.C., certainly held true to that characterization.

It was the most vicious and unruly debate yet this cycle, prompting moderator John Dickerson to even interject at one point that he was "going to turn this car around!"

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, perhaps the leading voice of uncompromising conservatism on the nation's highest court, was found dead Saturday, Chief Justice John Roberts has confirmed. Scalia, who had been staying at a luxury ranch in West Texas, was 79 years old.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced late Thursday that they had agreed to push for a "nationwide cessation of hostilities" in Syria within one week.

The communiqué backed by major world powers also vowed to work toward getting humanitarian aid into hard-to-reach areas such as the city of Aleppo.

Feryal Salem

The 2016 presidential race has been loaded with rhetoric about a so-called “ISIS caliphate." But what exactly is a caliphate? And what does it mean to say that ISIS has one? This hour, local Islamic scholar Dr. Feryal Salem fills us in. 

Just 48 hours after his landslide win in New Hampshire, Bernie Sanders was in Milwaukee, Wis., reminding everyone how far he had come in his quest for the presidency — and perhaps realizing how far he still has to go.

Gage Skidmore / Creative Commons

When Bernie Sanders announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination, the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza said he "isn't, really, concerned about winning." But winning is just what the U.S. senator from Vermont did Tuesday night in New Hampshire.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has suspended his campaign for president.

"And while running for president I tried to reinforce what I have always believed — that speaking your mind matters, that experience matters, that competence matters and that it will always matter in leading our nation," said Christie in a post on Facebook.

The decision comes after a sixth-place finish in New Hampshire, where Christie had banked so much of his political capital.

Carly Fiorina is exiting the Republican presidential race after a seventh-place showing in last night's New Hampshire primary.

"While I suspend my candidacy today, I will continue to travel this country and fight for those Americans who refuse to settle for the way things are and a status quo that no longer works for them," said Fiorina in a statement.

Rik Stevens / New Hampshire Public Radio

As the electoral circus leaves New Hampshire, our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse will recap the results and news from the first primary of 2016. This early in the process, the losers may be as interesting as the winners. Which candidates will call it quits after Tuesday?

Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders won clear, early and decisive victories in the New Hampshire primary Tuesday night.

Trump beat the GOP field by double digits. He got 35 percent of the vote, well ahead of surprise second-place finisher John Kasich, who pulled in 16 percent. Kasich was followed by Ted Cruz at 12 percent, Jeb Bush at 11 percent and Marco Rubio, who, after a poor debate performance Saturday, faded to fifth just shy of 11 percent.

Hartford Yard Goats / Facebook

When the city of Hartford needed land for its $350 million stadium and downtown development project, it couldn’t come to an agreement with a certain property owner on a price. So the city took some of the land it wanted by force, and decided to pay $1.9 million for it -- an amount its owner said was "wholly inadequate."

Now, the matter is in court, and the two sides are in front of a judge arguing over how much the city should actually pay. 

Pages