Political news from WNPR


A Connecticut couple filed suit earlier this year alleging that they had been duped into investing a substantial amount of money into the Back9Network -- a golf lifestyle channel that eventually ceased its operations. Now, a judge this week has ruled that their lawsuit can proceed.

Ed Lescoe/Hartford Times / Hartford History Center, Hartford Public Library

As deputy mayor of Hartford, Nicholas Carbone was a blend of old and new -- a bare-knuckles, lapel-grabbing pol wrapped around a dreamy urban visionary.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

In many of Connecticut's strongly Democratic cities, the local primary IS the election. This hour, our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse brings you election coverage from across the state, including the close races for mayor in Hartford and Bridgeport.

Are you voting in this primary?

Expect Wednesday night's second GOP presidential debate to be open season on front-runner Donald Trump. The 11 top Republican contenders will take the stage at 8 p.m. ET at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., and their unified goal appears to be to get something to stick to the billionaire real-estate mogul. Trump has so far proved to be made of something akin to Teflon.

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy took part in a U.S. and Chinese climate change summit in Los Angeles Tuesday.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Citing concerns over absentee ballot voting, embattled Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra is threatening legal action to ensure that all votes in Wednesday's Democratic primary are properly counted. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Voters in Bridgeport, Connecticut go to the polls Wednesday in what’s seen as an improbable, but competitive Democratic primary. A former mayor, who spent seven years in federal prison for corruption while in office, has a shot at winning against a two-term incumbent. 

Dominic Chavez / World Bank

Senator Chris Murphy is joining Connecticut advocates to call for a big increase in the number of Syrian refugees resettled in the United States.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez was convicted on several corruption related charges over five years ago. He's since fought the verdict. And now the state's highest court has announced it will hear Perez's appeal next month. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Gary Franks was the first black Republican elected to the U.S. Congress in nearly 60 years when he took office in 1991. Since his political career ended in the late 1990s, he hasn’t been heard from in Connecticut.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

A place like Hartford has its challenges. If you live in the city, you’re far less likely to have a high school diploma than your suburban neighbors. Same with a college degree. 

Voting machines around the United States are coming to the end of their useful lives. Breakdowns are increasingly common. Spare parts are difficult, if not impossible, to find. That could be a serious problem for next year's presidential elections.

Allen County, Ohio, election director Ken Terry knows how bad things can get. In the last presidential election, he had to replace the Zip disks — a 1990s technology — in the main machine his county uses to count votes. The disks are no longer made. And when he finally got some from the voting machine manufacturer:

U.S. Department of State / Creative Commons

Ever since a photo of a Syrian boy dead on a beach made the rounds of the internet, there has been a new focus on the refugee crisis. The United Nations reports more than four million registered Syrian refugees and the country's neighbors are taking the brunt of the strain. Now Europe is struggling to handle a flood of migrants to that continent. Germany is among the countries imposing border controls in response to the flood of refugees who survived the long and dangerous journey away from war.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal said the U.S. should take a greater role in the refugee crisis in Europe and the Middle East developing from the Syrian civil war and ISIS terrorism.

Blondinrikard Fröberg / Creative Commons

When Senator Richard Blumenthal announced that he would support the deal struck between the Obama administration and Iran over that country’s nuclear program, it all but assured that the plan would go through without congressional obstacles. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Voters are facing a Tuesday deadline to register to cast ballots in the Connecticut municipal primaries that will be held Wednesday.

Updated at 3:10 p.m. ET

Germany's interior minister confirmed Sunday that his country would impose temporary controls on its border, halting trains between Austria and Germany for a 12-hour period to stem the flow of refugees flooding into Munich.

"The aim of these measures is to limit the current inflows to Germany and to return to orderly procedures when people enter the country," Thomas de Maiziere said at a news conference.

Updated at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Days before he was to be relegated once again to a second-tier debate, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced Friday he was suspending his struggling presidential campaign. It makes him the first to bow out in the crowded Republican presidential nominating contest.

Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is amassing a following nationwide for his presidential bid. But he's causing headaches in the Democratic Party establishment, as evidenced by his lack of support from Democrats in Congress.

Senate Democrats banded together and blocked a resolution disapproving the landmark nuclear agreement between the U.S., Iran and five other nations on Thursday, and in doing so handed President Obama a major foreign policy victory.

The procedural vote fell two votes shy of the 60 needed to proceed. The significance of the vote is that the controversial accord, which lifts sanctions on Tehran in exchange for Iran curtailing its nuclear program, will be enacted without a major showdown between the White House and the Republican-controlled Congress.

The White House announced Thursday that the U.S. is preparing to take in at least 10,000 Syrian refugees starting Oct. 1 (the start of the fiscal year). This year, the U.S. is on track to take in about 1,500 Syrian refugees, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said. He reiterated that the U.S. has provided $4 billion in humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees.

Connecticut is launching a required registrar certification system Monday following missteps at polling places last Election Day.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

With a week to go before the Hartford Democratic primary, mayoral candidate Luke Bronin stops by for our Where We Vote series. Incumbent Mayor Pedro Segarra was our guest last month and today, we meet his biggest challenger for what is expected to be a tight primary race. We discuss the politics of this race, his plans for the capital city if he's elected, and how his administration would be different from his opponent's.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

When Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra began his early rhetorical push, he used a decent amount of "us versus them" talk.

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy returned from a five-day trip to the Middle East earlier this week. He discussed the Iran nuclear agreement, the Syrian refugee crisis and other issues during a conference call with reporters Tuesday.

Paul Morigi / Brookings Institute

The Iowa caucus is nearly five months away and candidates continue to jockey for the limelight. Many supporters of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders are talking about their candidate like he's Rodney Dangerfield: he gets no respect. Sanders' social media-savvy supporters have not shied away from criticizing media outlets (including this one) for its coverage.

A conservative Latino group is voicing its frustration with Republican immigration rhetoric on the campaign trail.

In a letter obtained by NPR, the Libre Initiative, which is funded by the Koch brothers, made a clear, bold statement aimed at fellow conservatives. It criticized what it sees as policies that "are not in line with our principles and are not in the best interest of the country." (The full letter is at the bottom of the post.)

Senate Democrats are on the verge of delivering a big win to President Obama on the nuclear agreement between the U.S., Iran and five other world powers.

With three more Democrats announcing Tuesday they were backing the accord, it gave supporters enough votes to prevent the passage of a disapproval resolution. Any such resolution would sink the White House-backed nuclear deal that lifts sanctions on Tehran in exchange for Iran curbing its nuclear program.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Sen. Richard Blumenthal announced on Tuesday that he will support the Iran nuclear plan. Speaking in Hartford, he said, "Rejecting this agreement is fraught with unacceptable risk."

United States Air Force / Creative Commons

Since 1986, the United States has been granting visa waivers to citizens of countries it sees as trusted allies. Someone from France or Spain can, relatively easily, use a passport and visit for up to 90 days. There are 38 countries whose citizens do not require visas to enter the United States. 

But one key ally has been wait listed: Poland. And the Polish community is asking, “Why not us?”