Politics

Gambling
2:01 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Meeting of the Task Force to Explore Expanding Video Slots in Connecticut

Credit CT-N

A task force of state legislators met on Thursday to consider the possibility of expanding video gaming in Connecticut. Co-Chairs of the task force are State Representative Peggy Sayers (D-Windsor Locks, Windsor) and State Senator Andres Ayala (D-Bridgeport).

Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Understanding Connecticut's Quasi-Public Agencies

State Comptroller talks about quasi-public agencies on <em>Where We Live</em>.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Established in 1965, the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority has earned its title as the oldest quasi-public agency in our state. Now, it’s one of eleven quasi-public entities in Connecticut, agencies like Connecticut Innovations, Inc.; the Connecticut Development Authority; the Connecticut Lottery Corporation; and the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority -- to name a few. 

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Connecticut Statesman
3:24 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Weicker and Lamont Remember Former GOP Chairman Tom D'Amore

Tom D'Amore sits on a panel discussion about the 2006 Senate race on C-Span.

Former state Republican chairman Tom D'Amore died this week. A close friend of former Governor and Senator Lowell Weicker, he was the campaign manager for most of Weicker 's campaigns.

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Political Snarl
11:53 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Emails Tie Gov. Christie's Aides To Lane Closings Controversy

Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J.
Kena Betancur Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 8:20 pm

Update at 8:15 p.m. ET: Gov. Christie Responds

In the late afternoon, Gov. Chris Christie released a statement expressing anger at the situation and denying involvement in what appeared to be an act of political payback:

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Unemployment Benefits
9:58 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Connecticut Woman Tells White House Conference Her Story of Unemployment

Katherine Hackett addresses a press conference in the White House East Room

A Connecticut woman was chosen this week by President Obama to speak out about her experience of losing long-term unemployment benefits.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed January 8, 2014

The Wheelhouse Kicks Off 2014

Not even a polar vortex can stop The Wheelhouse in 2014.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

With two major holidays falling on Wednesdays, it seems like forever since our weekly news roundtable, The Wheelhouse has gotten together. Well, we’re back with a New Year’s edition - where we start looking ahead to the 2014 campaigns.

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Unemployment
5:43 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Senate Unexpectedly Moves Forward On Unemployment Benefits

Katherine Hackett of Connecticut introduces President Barack Obama during a White House event on unemployment insurance Jan. 7. Hackett spoke about her financial struggles during unemployment before Obama put pressure on the House to extend benefits.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 9:05 pm

The Senate surprised quite a few people in Washington today when it voted to proceed on a bill to temporarily extend emergency unemployment benefits. Six Republicans joined Democrats in voting to get the measure over a key procedural hurdle.

But it was only the first step, and the president is applying pressure to keep it moving.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Rep. Elizabeth Esty's First Year on the Job

Elizabeth Esty
Credit Chion Wolf

Elizabeth Esty was sworn into Congress just over a year ago and Republicans have been eyeing her seat ever since. She’s been focusing on gun violence reform, manufacturing, veterans, STEM education, and not always voting along party lines. 

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Congress
6:01 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Senate Confirms Janet Yellen As Federal Reserve Chair

The Senate has approved Janet Yellen as the next head of the Federal Reserve. At a ceremony commemorating the Fed's centennial last month, Yellen sat with (from left-to-right) former chairmen Paul Volker and Alan Greenspan, and current Fed leader Ben Bernanke.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 7:13 pm

The Senate has voted to approve the nomination of Janet Yellen as the next leader of the U.S. Federal Reserve. With Monday's vote, Yellen, 67, will become the first woman to serve as America's banking chief, heading an institution that was established in 1913.

Update at 6:31 p.m. ET: Some Senators Left Out

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Former Hartford Mayor
4:36 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Prosecutors Ask State Supreme Court to Take Perez Case

Former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez.
Credit WNPR File Photo

Prosecutors want the state supreme court to weigh in on the matter of former Hartford mayor Eddie Perez. 

Late last year, the state's appellate court ruled that Perez's trial judge made procedural errors in the original proceedings. It then ordered two new trials.

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Public Safety
12:41 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Malloy Names New Public Safety Commissioner

Dora Schriro was appointed as Commissioner for the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protetion.
Credit Governor Dannel Malloy

Governor Dannel Malloy announced on Monday that Dr. Dora Schriro is the state's new public safety commissioner. Schriro is the Commissioner of Correction for New York City, and will be the first woman to serve as commissioner of Connecticut's Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection. 

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Unemployment
11:58 am
Sun January 5, 2014

The Campaign For Jobless Benefits Begins In Congress

Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., along with Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., is co-sponsoring the three-month extension of unemployment benefits up for a vote in Congress this week.
Win McNamee Getty Images

The Senate gets back to work Monday after a two-week holiday break. Just as Majority Leader Harry Reid promised, the first piece of legislation getting a vote will be a three-month extension of the long-term unemployment benefits that ran out a week ago for 1.3 million jobless Americans.

Though the Senate unemployment measure is bipartisan, it's not clear it has enough votes to beat a GOP filibuster. Regardless, Democrats are banging the drum on the issue as a midterm election year begins.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Sun January 5, 2014

Old Tension, New Turmoil for Ukraine

Protestors at Independence Square in Kiev during the Orange Revolution in 2004.
Credit Marion Duimel / Creative Commons

The Cold War is over – but some political relationships in the former Soviet Union remain tense. On Where We Live, we explain the latest turmoil in Ukraine as Russia and the European Union are pulling Ukraine in opposite directions. We're joined by experts and a member of Connecticut's Ukrainian community about to discuss what's happening and why.

Plus, we follow up on a recent show about distracted driving.

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Hartford Insurance Scandal
3:40 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

In 2011, Tension Between O'Garro and Former Employer

Earl O'Garro.
Credit Fortnight Journal

There are new questions about the business background of Earl O'Garro -- the insurance broker at the center of a federal grand jury investigation in Hartford. 

In emails obtained from the city of Hartford, it's clear that O'Garro's former employer considered suing him once he left.

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Immigration
10:11 am
Thu January 2, 2014

New Protocols Take Effect in Connecticut for Immigration Detention Requests

Credit fergregory/iStock / Thinkstock

New protocols went into effect January 1 that affect the way state law enforcement handles detention requests by federal immigration authorities. 

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Politics
12:30 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

2013: The Year In Political Screw-Ups

The partial federal government shutdown was a political misstep that will be remembered for years to come.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 2:34 pm

If anything defined 2013, it was the political misstep. There were so many gaffes, flaps, scandals and ill-advised moves that voters were often left scratching their heads at the political class's uncanny knack for diminishing its profession.

Here are eight of the more memorable screw-ups:

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Hartford Insurance Investigation
11:00 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Message to Earl O'Garro: The State is Coming for Its Money

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

Lawyers for the state are moving to seize property owned by embattled Hartford insurance broker Earl O'Garro, according to the office of the state attorney general.

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Minimum Wage
4:50 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Gov. Malloy Touts Connecticut's Minimum Wage Increase

Governor Malloy spoke about the minimum wage increase at the State Capitol on Monday.
Credit Governor Dannel Malloy

Connecticut is about to raise its minimum wage, just as the debate about low-wage workers heats up in Washington, D.C. Governor Dannel Malloy and his fellow Democrats in the state House and Senate held a press conference Monday to mark an important change this new year. "When the crystal ball falls in New York," Malloy said, "at that moment, people in Connecticut will be getting a raise."

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Veterans Affairs
11:31 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Connecticut Veterans Commissioner Leaves Big Shoes to Fill

Commissioner Linda Schwartz, State Department of Veterans' Affairs
Chion Wolf WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy's office is searching for a new Commissioner for the Connecticut Department of Veterans’ Affairs. The woman who has held the job, Linda Schwartz, will be heading to Washington D.C. once the Senate votes on her nomination to the federal VA.

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Public Safety
2:33 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

Connecticut's Public Safety Commissioner Will Step Down Early Next Year

Reuben Bradford.
Credit CT Law Enforcement Memorial

Reuben Bradford sent a letter to Governor Malloy earlier this week announcing his retirement on February 1. Bradford was hired three years ago to head up the state department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, after serving as head of security for the National Football League, and before that in various posts for the Connecticut state police.

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Gun Control
3:17 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Gun Control Lobby Takes Note Of Opposition's Success

Supporters for gun rights gather outside the National Shooting Sports Foundation headquarters in Newtown, Conn., on March 28.
Jessica Hill AP

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 10:13 pm

For gun control advocates hoping to see federal gun laws tighten after the shootings in Newtown, Conn., 2013 was a disheartening year. A narrow provision to expand background checks failed in the Senate.

For gun rights activists, the death of that legislation proved once more their single-issue intensity and decades-long grass-roots organizing were enough to prevail. Those are also valuable lessons for their opponents.

A 'Voice' For Lost Children

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Recapping 2013 With Gov. Dannel Malloy

Governor Dannel Malloy on "Where We Live."
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy stops by our studios for an end-of-the-year check-in. We talk about this year’s legislation, and what did and didn't get done in 2013. We'll also look ahead to what will certainly be a busy 2014 as Republican challengers already step forward.

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White House
1:32 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Obama On Health Care Rollout: 'We Screwed It Up'

Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 5:46 pm

President Obama, in his final news conference of the year, sought to put the best face on a difficult first year of his second term.

Speaking a few hours before he heads to Hawaii for a two-week vacation, Obama is meeting with reporters at the White House.

He touted the improving economy, saying 2 million jobs had been added in 2013, with the unemployment rate now at its lowest level in five years.

"2014 can be a breakthrough year," he said.

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Hartford Insurance Investigation
1:15 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

More Answers About Hartford Treasurer's NYC Visit

Hartford City Hall.
Credit Heather Brandon / WNPR

Ever since news broke that a federal grand jury was looking into dealings between insurance broker Earl O'Garro and the city of Hartford, there's been a question: How well do O'Garro and city Treasurer Adam Cloud know each other? Now we have a few more answers. 

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Federal Budget Deal
11:05 am
Thu December 19, 2013

DeLauro Highlights Plight of Unemployed Facing End of Benefits

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro listens at a round table discussion of long-term unemployment benefits.
Credit Harriet Jones / WNPR

Connecticut Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro warned that the state's economy will suffer because of the decision not to extend unemployment benefits in the federal budget deal reached last week.

DeLauro voted, she said, reluctantly, against the Murray-Ryan budget compromise precisely because it does nothing to help the long term unemployed. On Wednesday, she brought together some of the people who will be affected for a discussion in Middletown.

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O'Garro and Cloud
8:55 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Hartford Auditor: a Problem Like Cloud's Could Happen Again

The City of Hartford's Internal Audit Commission.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

An auditor for the city of Hartford said he has no confidence that the kinds of protocol breaches that got the city treasurer and former finance director in trouble won't happen again.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed December 18, 2013

The Wheelhouse Puts a Bow on 2013

Bill Curry, Christine Stuart, Colin McEnroe, and Dr. Khalilah Brown-Dean (clockwise from top left)
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

This is the last edition of our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse for 2013. We're looking back at the year that was (and is) with our team of reporters and analysts.

We'll discuss the performance of the state legislature, which passed gun legislation after Sandy Hook, quietly approved Keno, and loosened campaign finance laws while former House Speaker Chris Donovan's campaign workers went on trial for corruption charges.

What will you remember about 2013?

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Freedom of Information
2:51 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Task Force on Privacy and the Public's Right to Know Meets, Votes on Recommendations

Garvin Ambrose, State Victim Advocate, addresses the task force Tuesday morning.
Credit CT-N

Connecticut's Task Force on Victim Privacy and the Public's Right to Know met for most of the day on Tuesday to piece together recommendations for the General Assembly in advance of a January 1 deadline. 

The task force voted 14-3 on a recommendation to allow the public to privately review certain crime scene photos, 911 audio tapes, and other information related to homicides in Connecticut. 

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Federal Budget
9:01 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Bipartisan Budget Deal Passes Key Test In Senate

It may seem to some like a holiday miracle, but the Senate moved ahead on a bipartisan budget plan Tuesday.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 7:09 pm

Updated at 10:27 a.m. ET: Moving Ahead:

The Senate voted 67 to 33 on Tuesday to move forward on the two-year, bipartisan budget plan that restores some of the automatic spending cuts of recent years, trims spending in other areas and appears to have put on hold until 2015 the bitter battles that led to this year's partial government shutdown.

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Massachusetts
7:52 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Anti-casino Group Questions Gaming Commissioner's Impartiality

Massachusetts Gaming Commissioner Bruce Stebbins

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 3:18 pm

An anti-casino group wants a Massachusetts gaming commissioner to recuse himself from voting on a casino project in Springfield.

   The chairman of Springfield’s anti-casino group, Citizens Against Casino Gaming says state  gaming commissioner Bruce Stebbins should not vote on whether MGM can proceed with an $800 million casino project in downtown Springfield.   Michael Kogut said Stebbins’ previous position with the city makes it impossible for him to be impartial

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