Politics

Ethics
5:53 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Merrill: No More E-Newsletters

Secretary of State Denise Merrill during a visit to WNPR.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said on Tuesday that she will stop sending out an electronic newsletter that was the focus of recent Hartford Courant report. The report said that Secretary Merrill, a Democrat, launched a newsletter in June using 5,000 email addresses sent to her from her chief of staff Shannon Wegele.

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Hartford Insurance Scandal
4:05 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Financial Problems at Work, and at Home, for O'Garro

Earl O'Garro's Marlborough home.
Credit Town Of Marlborough

The story of hundreds of thousands of dollars in missing insurance premiums in the city of Hartford continues to unravel. And the man at the center of the drama appears to have significant financial problems of his own: one of his homes now faces foreclosure.

When he was a student at Wesleyan University, Earl O'Garro felt like it was a crime to be rich. At least, that's what he said in an online profile posted a few years back

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East Haven Police
2:38 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Maturo Touts Full, Timely DOJ Compliance So Far

East Haven Mayor Joseph Maturo, Jr.
Credit Diane Orson / WNPR

East Haven Mayor Joseph Maturo, Jr. said the town has met its deadlines thus far under an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice's Office for Civil Rights. The investigation into East Haven's police department began in 2010. In a 2011 report, federal authorities found that police there intentionally targeted Latinos for traffic stops, and used excessive force against those taken into custody.

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The Wheelhouse Digest
10:33 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Harp's Cash; UConn Moves in on Stamford; Jepsen Seeks Review

State Senator Toni Harp has raised the bulk of her mayoral campaign funds from outside the city of New Haven.
Credit Thomas MacMillan / The New Haven Independent

Campaign season in New Haven comes to an end in three weeks, when the mayoral election takes place on Tuesday, November 5. The two candidates have been busy, but one is drawing more heavily on financial support from city residents, while the other seems almost more poised for a gubernatorial run. That story and more in The Wheelhouse Digest.

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The Wheelhouse Digest
10:38 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Debt Ceiling Impact in Connecticut; Federal Courts Operating for Now; Living in Stolen Luxury

Keith Phaneuf, budget reporting guru.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

It's all about cash money in The Wheelhouse Digest. While the government is coming close to hitting the debt ceiling again, with federal dollars in a state of seizure, someone else is in the news for stealing public money from a Connecticut town, and leading a "double life." Can anyone make an honest dollar anymore? That and more below.

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Day 14
8:12 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Shutdown Continues, Connecticut Delegation Signs "Discharge Petition"

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives have shown they can come together...for the State of the Union address.
Credit house.gov

Lawmakers from Connecticut have joined more than 180 members of the U.S. House of Representatives to sign a special petition to reopen the federal government.

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Nobel Peace Prize
10:20 am
Sun October 13, 2013

Malala On Nobel Prize: 'I Think I Have Won' With Nomination

During her trip to Washington this week, Nobel Peace Prize nominee Malala Yousafzai met President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, and their daughter Malia Obama in the Oval Office.
The White House Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 6:00 pm

  • Malala Yousafzai, 16, and her father, Ziauddin

It seems odd to say that someone "lost" the Nobel Peace Prize. But that's what some folks were saying this week about Malala Yousafzai, who was favored to win the award because of the resilience she showed after being shot in the head by the Taliban.

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Government Shutdown
12:48 pm
Sat October 12, 2013

Senate Democrats Visit Obama; Boehner Says Talks Are Over

Speaker of the House John Boehner leaves after discussing the government shutdown with his fellow Republicans on Capitol Hill Saturday. Boehner reportedly told his colleagues that talks with the White House had ended without a deal.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 6:02 pm

President Obama hosted the Senate's leading Democrats at the White House for more than an hour Saturday afternoon, in a session that came the same day that Majority Leader Harry Reid met with Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell.

No details were available about the Democrats' discussion, which is one of several lines of communication that are aimed at reaching consensus on a budget deal. Earlier Saturday, House Speaker John Boehner said negotiations with the White House were over, after the president rejected the GOP's most recent plan.

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Show Malloy The Money
4:23 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Hybrid Insurance Defaults on State Loan

The insurance company that failed to pay nearly $700,000 in premiums on behalf of the City of Hartford now has another problem. 

The state wants its money back, too. According to a letter sent to Hybrid Insurance CEO Earl O'Garro, the state Department of Economic Development said Hybrid has defaulted on a $100,000 loan.

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Controversy? #HartfordHasIt
3:52 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Hartford's Treasurer, His Wife, and the Workplace

Credit Heather Brandon / WNPR

Earlier this week, we brought you the story of how an insurance firm had failed to pay nearly $700,000 in premiums on the city's behalf.  We also told you that the broker has business ties to the family of City Treasurer Adam Cloud. Now, the story apparently has some legs.  The Courant has dug into it, as has columnist Kevin Rennie.

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The Wheelhouse Digest
10:49 am
Fri October 11, 2013

GOP Candidates Raising Cash; Norwich Bell Rings; Unusual Busway Ideas

Republican candidate for governor John McKinney.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

While preparation for Saturday's ING Hartford Marathon has understandably gotten the media focused on public safety, there's apparently significant road construction coordination going on behind the scenes. Officials are getting Broad Street in working order (again) in time for the runners to pound the pavement, and there's somewhat off-the-wall talk of using the new Hartford-New Britain busway as a possible marathon route. That and more in today's fall foliage edition of The Wheelhouse Digest.

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Passion for Politics
9:52 am
Fri October 11, 2013

William Petit Considers a Run for Office

Dr. William Petit, right, and his sister Johanna Chapman, at the Capitol during the debate over Connecticut's death penalty debate in 2012.
Credit Mark Pazniokas / CT Mirror

Dr. William Petit, the sole survivor of the brutal 2007 home invasion in Cheshire, has spoken with state Republican officials about a run for public office.

An anonymous Republican official told the Associated Press that Petit is considering a run for Congress. He has weighed in on public policy before, campaigning against the repeal of the death penalty in Connecticut.

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National Debt
4:13 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Treasury Secretary: Debt Default Would Have Dire Consequences

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew testifies during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Thursday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 1:49 pm

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew urged lawmakers on Thursday to raise the government's borrowing limit or face the prospect of causing lasting damage to the U.S. economy.

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Income Inequality
2:16 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

If You Think Wealth Disparity Is Bad Here, Look At Russia

Prospective clients walk past yachts during the Millionaire Boat Show at the Royal Yacht Club in Moscow on Sept. 3, 2011. A new report says Russia has the highest rate of inequality in the world – barring some small Caribbean islands.
Sergei Karpukhin Reuters /Landov
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The Wheelhouse Digest
11:58 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Opiate Addiction; Climate Departure; Mystery at Sea

Credit Doug Wheller / Flickr Creative Commons

There was an internal debate about including a link about a local meteorologist and cat vomit. We passed. If you'd like to see that, you can search it out on your own because we've already said too much. Speaking of cat vomit, CNN informs us that we are in Day Ten of the federal government shutdown, and the debt ceiling deadline is 156 hours away as this is written. That means you have time to watch all of "Battlestar Galactica," "Breaking Bad," and the first seven seasons of "Seinfeld" before the deadline. Hop to it.

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Politics
4:44 am
Thu October 10, 2013

10 Days Into Shutdown, 'We've Got To Do Better Than This'

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 7:39 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now, the partial shutdown prompted angry debate across the country. But at the center of that debate, we found quiet yesterday. We dropped by a Senate office building where the halls were empty. Papers taped on doors read: We regret that due to the government shutdown our office is closed. *

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Government Shutdown
6:36 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission Temporarily Closes

Homes sit next to the Exelon Bryon Nuclear Generating Stations in Bryon, Ill.
Jeff Haynes AFP/Getty Images

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which oversees the nation's one hundred nuclear reactors, has announced it will temporarily close its doors on Wednesday evening, due to the government shutdown. Safety operations will not be affected.

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White House
5:50 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Obama Nominates Janet Yellen To Head Federal Reserve

President Obama claps during a press conference to nominate Janet Yellen to head the Federal Reserve in the State Dining Room at the White House on Wednesday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 4:49 pm

Saying "American workers and families will have a champion in Janet Yellen," President Obama officially nominated her to chair the Federal Reserve, once Ben Bernanke completes his term in January.

Yellen "is the kind of person who makes everybody around her better," Obama said, adding that Yellen is "extremely well qualified" and "renowned for her good judgement."

Obama made the announcement at the White House on Wednesday, flanked by Yellen and outgoing Fed chief Ben Bernanke. If confirmed, Yellen will be the first woman to head the American central bank.

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Show Me The Money
1:42 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Update: Hartford, the Mayor, the Treasurer, and the Unpaid Insurance

Hartford City Hall.
Credit Heather Brandon / WNPR

A couple of days ago, we told you the story of political name-calling in Hartford that centered around a basic fact: a broker for the city had failed to pay almost $700,000 in insurance premiums on the city's behalf. That broker, Hybrid Insurance Group, has ties to the family of city treasurer Adam Cloud.

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Coming Home Project
1:38 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Shinseki: Shutdown Means Veterans Will Not Get Benefits

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki testifies on Capitol Hill in April.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 2:40 pm

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki warned lawmakers on Wednesday that the partial government shutdown means that about 3.8 million veterans will not receive disability compensation next month.

Shinseki, in testimony before the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, said pensions to more than half a million vets or surviving spouses will also be derailed if the stalemate over a temporary spending measure drags on into late October.

The Associated Press reports:

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The Wheelhouse Digest
11:37 am
Wed October 9, 2013

Foreshaw Asks for Clemency; Explosives in Fairfield; Debt Crisis

Tamara Miller, daughter of victim Joyce Amos, testifying at today's clemency hearing for Bonnie Foreshaw.
Credit CT-N

The federal shutdown has been tough on a lot of people, as was made eminently clear this morning during the Wheelhouse episode of Where We Live, when plenty of impassioned callers made their frustrated views known. Making matters a little tougher, the U.S. Treasury Department is running out of cash to pay its bills. More on that below in The Wheelhouse Digest, plus a link to watch the Bonnie Foreshaw clemency hearing live from Niantic.

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Political Influence
8:47 am
Wed October 9, 2013

Rally in Hartford Centers on Campaign Contribution Cap

U.S. Supreme Court.
Credit Noclip / Wikimedia Commons

A coalition of Connecticut citizen's groups rallied outside the federal courthouse in Hartford Tuesday. They're concerned about a case before the Supreme Court that could expand the amount of money individuals can contribute to political campaigns.

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Economy
5:44 am
Wed October 9, 2013

Treasury Officials Mull Credit Default Solutions

The Treasury Department says it will begin running out of money to pay its bills by Oct. 17, if the partial government shutdown isn't over by then. That prospect worries the financial markets. Treasury debt plays a fundamental role in the global economy, and economists agree that a debt default would have dire consequences. But some Republicans insist that a default doesn't have to happen.

Government Shutdown
3:46 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

VA Furloughs Thousands of Workers

The severely backlogged benefits office of the federal VA is about to slow down again. That's because the VA announced its furloughing nearly 10,000 VBA workers including its IT department. U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal  issued a statement today in response to the news. He said many of the employees are veterans themselves.

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Government Shutdown
2:27 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Obama: 'Stop The Excuses. Let's Take A Vote'

President Obama speaks about the government shutdown and debt limit on Tuesday at the White House in Washington.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 6:45 pm

In a press conference that lasted more than an hour, President Obama said he was willing to talk about anything, as long as Republicans reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling, even if its for a short period of time.

"Let's stop the excuses. Let's take a vote in the House. Let's end this shutdown, right now; let's put people back to work" Obama said.

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Government Shutdown
1:53 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Live Coverage: President Obama's Press Conference

President Barack Obama is delivering a statement and taking questions from the press at the White House starting today at 2:00 pm. Watch live below.

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Women to Move
12:13 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Female Inmates From Danbury are on the Move

Women benefit from proximity to family support. Judith Resnick says, "If you get visits while you're in prison, you have a better chance of staying out. Family ties matter."
Credit Kudumomo / Creative Commons

The partial government shutdown has a silver lining for some inmates being housed in Connecticut. The Federal Bureau of Prisons has temporarily suspended its plan to move over 1,100 women from the low-security Danbury Correctional Institute until they an pay the $1.1 million dollar cost for the transfer.

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Where We Live
11:10 am
Tue October 8, 2013

How Much Longer Will the Shutdown Last?

Will the shutdown continue by the next Wheelhouse?
Dave Worley Flickr Creative Commons

Wednesdays are usually reserved for our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse. Just like last week, the big story is the federal government shutdown. From outside Washington, it doesn't look like Congress and President Obama is any closer to reaching a deal. We talk with political observers about the shutdown and what needs to be done (or will be done) to resolve this.

Who do you think needs to budge to reach a deal? House Republicans? Or President Obama and Senate Democrats?

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The Wheelhouse Digest
10:10 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Policing Gangs with Social Media; an Irving Tribute; Wolfgang's Untapped Vein

An entrance to the L train in Chicago, Illinois.
Credit Adam Jones, Ph.D. / Wikimedia Commons

Along the lines of Project Longevity, a violence-prevention initiative that launched in New Haven in the past year, Chicago is trying something different to identify trouble and maybe even get out in front of it. That and more in today's Wheelhouse Digest, including Colin McEnroe's tribute to the late, much-beloved, "titanic figure" Irving Kravsow.

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Government Shutdown
8:37 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Shutdown Could Deplete Funding for Connecticut's Federal Public Defender

Credit Ammodramus / Wikimedia Commons

Connecticut’s federal public defender, Terence Ward, said money to fund his office may run out early next week if the government shutdown continues. "The shutdown, it’s a nightmare," he said. During the first ten business days of the shutdown, his office of 17 employees is operating on funds money from court fees.

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