Politics

The Wheelhouse Digest
11:34 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Calls for a Hearing; Police Lineup Changes in Effect; Seeking Stakeholders

UConn President Susan Herbst.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

The University of Connecticut has been on the defensive since the announcement at the start of the week that seven women filed a federal discrimination complaint against the school. President Susan Herbst said, "The suggestion that the University of Connecticut, as an institution, would somehow be indifferent to or dismissive of any report of sexual assault is astonishingly misguided and demonstrably untrue." Governor Dannel Malloy and Republican leaders in the state have called for hearings into the way the school is handling complaints. That and more in The Wheelhouse Digest.

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Who was the first to fly?
8:12 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Battle Heats Up Over Gustave Whitehead vs. Wright Brothers

Gustave Whitehead.
National Air and Space Museum

If Connecticut thought a state law acknowledging Bridgeport resident Gustav Whitehead as the first in flight would put the issue of who flew first to rest, Ohio and North Carolina are saying: not so fast. North Carolina Republican State Senator Bill Cook and Ohio Republican State Representative Rick Perales held dual news conferences Thursday reasserting the Wright brothers' legacy as the first to achieve powered flight. 

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Campaigns
12:40 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Government Shutdown Makes Its Debut In Campaign Ads

Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., speaks in Stuttgart, Ark., in August. Pryor's latest ad in his re-election campaign hammers his GOP opponent's position on the government shutdown.
Danny Johnston AP

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 1:19 pm

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The Wheelhouse Digest
10:22 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Malloy's Cali Trip; Skakel's New Trial; a Short History of the High-Rise

Governor Dannel Malloy on Wednesday said he doesn't believe he solicited a state contractor for a campaign contribution.
Credit Mark Pazniokas / The Connecticut Mirror

Governor Dannel Malloy made a recent fundraising trip to California on the state Democrats' dime, and now questions are being asked about whether he approached an executive who works for a company that does work for the University of Connecticut. More on that below, and discussion of why Michael Skakel will get a new trial, in The Wheelhouse Digest.

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Building Coalitions
9:10 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Connecticut Anti-Gun and Peace Groups Search for Solution to Violence

Participants of "Building a Coalition for Peace" brainstorming in the World Cafe session.
Ray Hardman WNPR

A coalition of Connecticut anti-gun and peace groups gathered in Hartford on Wednesday. The goal of the conference was to come together as a unified voice for peace and safety. The first-of-its-kind conference brought together representatives from 30 anti-gun and peace groups from around the state, just as Newtown is beginning demolition of the Sandy Hook Elementary School

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Where We Live
12:00 am
Thu October 24, 2013

After the Shutdown: Democracy and Economic Policy

Michael Lynch
Chion Wolf

UConn Philosophy professor Michael Lynch wrote in a recent New York Times opinion piece, that we’re living in a “dangerous political moment.” Not just because of the shutdown of the federal government and the near default on the nation’s debts, but he writes: “The real damage is caused by the idea that that our current democratic form of government should be shuttered.” That a large segment of the population might think government really is a bad idea. 

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Sailing Away
4:45 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Ex-Navy Carrier USS Forrestal Sold For 1 Cent

The decommissioned aircraft carrier USS Forrestal departs Newport, R.I., for a three-day cruise to Philadelphia in 2010.
MCCS Melissa F. Weatherspoon U.S. Navy

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 6:45 pm

The U.S. Navy's first "supercarrier" is being sold for just 1 cent to a ship breaker.

The USS Forrestal, launched in 1954 and decommissioned in 1993, is the first of three conventional (non-nuclear) carriers due to be scrapped in the coming years. The Forrestal is best known for a devastating fire in 1967 that engulfed the ship's flight deck, killing 134 sailors and wounding 161 others.

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$670,000 still missing
3:10 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Hartford Treasurer Says He Played No Role; Emails Suggest Otherwise

City Treasurer Adam Cloud, left, and Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra.
Credit City of Hartford

Hartford City Treasurer Adam Cloud said he played no role in the selection of an insurance broker that does business with his family. But emails obtained from city hall call that into question.

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Hartford Controversy Continues
1:53 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Hartford Audit Commission to Decide Today Whether to Investigate Hybrid Insurance

The ongoing saga involving the city treasurer, a private insurance broker, and $670,000 in missing insurance premiums continues to roll on. Today, the city's audit commission will meet and decide whether to formally investigate the matter.  

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Code Switch
11:50 am
Wed October 23, 2013

It Takes A Classroom To Learn The Family Language

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 4:32 pm

Call it a linguistic identity crisis.

Growing up in Westchester, N.Y., 25-year-old Danielle Alvarez says, she and her two siblings didn't have much need for Spanish. With few other Hispanic families around, she got by with the few phrases she had picked up from her Mexican-born father: good night, put a coat on, be careful.

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The Wheelhouse Digest
9:57 am
Wed October 23, 2013

New Haven Debate; Problematic Sandy Hook Leaks; an Open Letter to Herbst

Toni Harp and Justin Elicker at Tuesday's mayoral debate in New Haven.
Credit Melissa Bailey / New Haven Independent

The Wheelhouse Digest today is being very careful to avoid tweeting under any fake names, and in the meantime we're keen to learn the details of last night's mayoral debate in New Haven. Details about the Sandy Hook school shooting are slowly leaking out, but never officially. Read about that and more below.

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Where We Live
2:31 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

The Wheelhouse Takes On the Elm City

The Wheelhouse broadcasts live from New Haven.
Credit Versageek / Wikimedia Commons

We hit the road and took The Wheelhouse to New Haven. We’re joined by local reporters and news watchers to weigh in on this week's news, including analysis of the latest New Haven mayoral debate, the conviction of two East Haven police officers, sexual assault complaints at UConn, and the question: could New Haven make some of their roads run in both directions?

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The Wheelhouse Digest
12:55 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

UConn Complaint; East Haven Ambivalent; Hartford Council Calls for Criminal Investigation

Lawyer Gloria Allred.
Credit Luke Ford / Wikimedia Commons

It's a day for discussing where certain things fall on the range of just-a-bad-idea to downright criminal. The verdict is out in the East Haven trial of two police officers, Dennis Spaulding and David Cari, who were both found guilty of violating the civil rights of Latinos. Residents there appear divided in their response. In other news, seven women have filed a federal discrimination complaint against UConn, and Hartford's City Council wants a formal state investigation into Hybrid Insurance Group. More below in The Wheelhouse Digest.

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New Jersey
7:40 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Christie's Gay Marriage Decision Has Primary Consequences

Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie debates Democratic challenger Barbara Buono at Montclair University in Montclair, N.J., on Tuesday. Christie's decision not to fight gay marriage in the state takes away an issue Buono had been campaigning hard on.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 7:35 am

Republican Chris Christie's decision Monday to drop his administration's legal challenge to same-sex marriage made perfect sense for the governor of New Jersey,

But for the potential 2016 presidential candidate, whose path would presumably start in Iowa — where the Republican Party is dominated by social conservatives — the calculation is a bit more complicated.

Bob Vander Plaats, Iowa's powerful evangelical conservative, put it bluntly Monday.

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Affordable Care Act
3:14 am
Tue October 22, 2013

How Politics Set The Stage For The Obamacare Website Meltdown

It all seemed so easy then. Back in June, the Supreme Court declared the Affordable Care Act constitutional. Waiting for that decision may have cost the administration precious time.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 12:23 pm

Since the Affordable Care Act's health care exchanges launched to a long series of error messages Oct. 1, most of the "what went wrong" fingers have been pointing at software developers.

But some say there's more to it than that — that politics has played a role as well.

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East Haven
3:51 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

East Haven Officers Found Guilty of Violating Hispanics' Civil Rights

East Haven police officer Dennis Spaulding and his wife leave court in late September in Hartford.
Credit Melanie Stengel / The New Haven Register

A federal jury in Connecticut has found two police officers from the town of East Haven guilty of violating the civil rights of Hispanics. The Justice Department has said the town systematically discriminated against Latinos.

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2:40 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Greenpeace Captain in Russian Custody Speaks With His Wife

Lead in text: 
Peter Willcox of Norwalk spoke with his wife, Maggy Willcox, for the first time Monday since his arrest by Russian authorities on a piracy charge. This improves on her previous communication with him, which was an email saying the Russians were taking over his ship.
  • Source: Fw
Read More: http://fw.to
Budget
12:12 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Blumenthal: Congress Must Focus on Budget

Senator Richard Blumenthal.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

With the shutdown in the rearview mirror, Connecticut's senior senator said it’s vital for Congress to reach a budget accord as soon as possible.

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The Wheelhouse Digest
10:42 am
Mon October 21, 2013

High Marks for Access Health CT; Dobelle's Grand Ideas; Two-Way Streets

Kevin Counihan, CEO of Access Health CT.
Credit Christine Stuart / CT News Junkie

The new federal health care exchange at healthcare.gov has received criticism for not working smoothly over the first few weeks of its introduction, with one analyst calling the glitches a "fiasco." Here in Connecticut, Access Health CT has received high marks from HealthPocket, an independent firm that examines plans and their performance across the country. That and more in The Wheelhouse Digest. 

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Avoiding Risk?
4:20 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

In Hartford Controversy, State Files 11-Count Complaint Against Hybrid Insurance

Earl O'Garro of Hybrid Insurance Group, pictured in a biographical video.
Credit Fortnight Journal

The state insurance department has filed an 11-count complaint against Hybrid Insurance Group, the company that has defaulted on a state loan and failed to pay $670,000 in insurance premiums for the City of Hartford. Hybrid's CEO Earl O'Garro has 20 days to respond, and must appear at a hearing scheduled for November 21.

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Washington, D.C.
12:20 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

Former House Speaker Tom Foley Dies At 84

House Speaker Tom Foley (back, right) and Vice President Al Gore applaud during President Bill Clinton's State of the Union address on Jan. 24, 1994.
Ron Edmonds AP

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 1:20 pm

Former House Speaker Tom Foley, who led the chamber from 1989 to 1995, has died, according to his family. He was 84.

The Associated Press says Foley's wife, Heather, confirmed that the Washington state Democrat died at his Washington, D.C., home.

He had reportedly been in ill health in recent months.

The AP says:

"Foley became the first speaker since the Civil War to fail to win re-election in his home district.

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The Wheelhouse Digest
10:53 am
Fri October 18, 2013

A Brother in Photos; a Father Grieves; Best Friends

Chris and Nick Capozziello visited WNPR.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

The Wheelhouse Digest today turns to family matters as we recover from a recent overdose of political craziness. Two brothers from Connecticut visited WNPR to talk about a unique book of photographs to be released on October 30. And Newtown resident Jimmy Greene talked with The New York Times about grieving for the loss of his daughter by continuing his work as a musician. That and more below.

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Opening Government
1:29 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Back to Work, But No Reason to Celebrate, Says Murphy

Senator Chris Murphy.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

It’s back to work for hundreds of thousands of furloughed government employees. President Obama has signed legislation ending the partial government shutdown and averting a U.S. default. But U.S. Senator Chris Murphy said there’s no reason to celebrate.

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The Wheelhouse Digest
10:14 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Privacy vs. Transparency; Bridgeport Police; House Stenographer Goes on a Rant

State Rep. DebraLee Hovey during Wednesday's FOI/privacy task force hearing.
Credit CT-N

The state's task force examining victim privacy and public information met Wednesday for a marathon session to consider issues at stake in restricting Connecticut's Freedom of Information Act. "Privacy now is so fleeting and so easily violated," testified Morgan Rueckert, the attorney for 22 Newtown families. One brief exchange captured on video put its finger on the pulse of the debate. That and more below in The Wheelhouse Digest.

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New Jersey Special Election
7:07 am
Thu October 17, 2013

In Special Election, Cory Booker Wins N.J. Senate Seat

Newark Mayor Cory Booker greets a supporter after casting his vote in a special U.S. Senate election on Wednesday in Newark, New Jersey.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 6:58 am

The Associated Press projects that Newark Mayor Cory Booker will win a special election for the New Jersey Senate seat left vacant after the death of Frank Lautenberg.

With 55 percent of the precincts counted, Booker, a Democrat, has a commanding 11-point lead over Steven Lonegan.

Booker will succeed Gov. Chris Christie's interim appointee, Republican Jeff Chiesa, and will have to run again in 2014 for a full six-year term.

The AP adds:

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Congress
7:00 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Congress Approves Bill To End Government Shutdown, Avert Default

Speaker of the House John Boehner pumps his fist after leaving a meeting of House Republicans at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 12:32 am

Bringing to an end an episode that once again exposed Washington gridlock at its worst, the House approved a Senate deal that will end a 16-day federal government shutdown and avert the first government default in U.S. history.

The 285-144 vote came at the eleventh hour, after weeks of partisan bickering and a very public airing of deep divisions within the Republican party. President Obama signed the bill into law after midnight Thursday.

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Congressional Deals
8:32 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

The Fiscal Fight's Winners And Losers

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell arrives at the Capitol on Wednesday. The Kentucky Republican helped forge a late-hour deal with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to sidestep financial chaos.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 9:14 pm

The White House is insisting, publicly at least, that nobody emerged victorious from the government shutdown/debt crisis debacle.

"There are no winners here," White House spokesman Jay Carney said Wednesday after Senate leaders announced they had a deal to end the budget impasse.

"And nobody's who's sent here to Washington by the American people can call themselves a winner," Carney said, "if the American people have paid a price for what's happened."

Well, yes and no.

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National Debt
8:21 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

As It Happened: The Fight Over The Debt Ceiling, Shutdown

Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to the Senate floor after agreeing to the framework of a deal to avoid default and reopen the government, on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 10:23 pm

Update at 10:18 p.m.: House Approves Bill:

The crisis is over. With about two hours before the country reached the debt ceiling, the House has approved the bill and it is now it's way to the White House. We've posted separately on that development and we are putting this live blog to bed.

Our Original Post Continues:

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The Wheelhouse Digest
11:09 am
Wed October 16, 2013

A Perfect Storm; Ethical Questions; Betting on Failing Sports

Ron Schurin, UConn associate professor-in-residence.
Credit University of Connecticut

As Congress works to come to a deal Wednesday to try to reopen the federal government, Connecticut is still dealing with the fallout from lack of government funds and agency support. Political scientist Ron Schurin appeared on WNPR's Where We Live to explain just why the political gridlock has been so tough. Other hot topics: ethical problems are plaguing a number of politicians in the state. That and more in The Wheelhouse Digest.

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Government Shutdown
9:38 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Malloy: Connecticut May Take On More Federal Responsibilities

Governor Dannel Malloy.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

The state may shoulder more federal responsibilities as the government shutdown continues. Connecticut has already begun to foot the bill for almost $1 million worth of programs, including keeping open Head Start places in the state. 

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