Political news from WNPR

Harvard Law professor Lawrence Lessig met his self-imposed goal of crowdfunding $1 million by Labor Day, and Sunday on ABC announced he's running for the Democratic nomination for president.

Lessig, an activist with a grass-roots following among some progressives, says he's running on a singular platform — the Citizen Equality Act of 2017. It would expand voting access, ban gerrymandering and institute campaign finance reform.

Saudi Arabia's new king is at the White House on Friday and Iran is expected to be high on the agenda. The Obama administration has been trying to reassure Gulf Arab allies that a nuclear deal with Iran doesn't mean that the U.S. will turn away from its other concerns about Iranian activities in the Middle East. To prove that, the U.S. is stepping up military sales to Saudi Arabia.

Why Are Migrants Surging Into Europe Now?

Sep 2, 2015

The United Nations says more than 300,000 migrants have set out from North Africa and the Middle East on the Mediterranean Sea for Europe this year so far — 40 percent more than in all of last year.

Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski announced Wednesday that she will support the Iran nuclear agreement, giving the White House the final vote needed to protect the accord from a Republican-led effort to defeat the measure.

More than 150 years after the end of the Civil War, secession was on the minds of protesters in New York this weekend. Hundreds turned out for a rally in Bainbridge in Chenango County. Many live within miles of the Pennsylvania border and believe secession could have a large economic impact on their communities.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy is leaving for the Middle East to review operations against the Islamic State.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The 2016 presidential race is well underway, but the race for a Connecticut Senate seat is still in its infancy. A new challenger announced his potential bid against incumbent Sen. Richard Blumenthal who had "no comment" about Larry Kudlow's political ambitions.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Hartford's new minor league baseball stadium celebrated a construction milestone Tuesday. The first steel beams have been delivered and put in place. But a new report says that getting the job done in time to play in April could come at a price. 

New Hampshire U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen is set to endorse Hillary Clinton for president.

Shaheen will make the announcement at the New Hampshire Women for Hillary kick-off event in Portsmouth on Saturday, where she’ll be joined by the former Democratic Secretary of State.

In an email to supporters, Shaheen described Clinton as a president who would stand up to help Granite Staters get ahead and stay ahead.

At Saturday’s event in Portsmouth, Clinton plans to discuss challenges women still face across the globe.

The current front-runner in the Republican presidential primary, Donald Trump, is sparking a debate about immigration that's beginning to alienate some conservative Latinos.

"He drowns out a lot of the conservative field, and it's very bad for the Republican Party," said Ricky Salabarria, a 22-year-old consultant with a pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses tucked into his pink dress shirt.

Salabarria was among a half-dozen young conservatives at a networking event in Northern Virginia. He's from Florida, and his family is originally from Cuba and Spain.

Tax hikes, crime, and union contracts provoked the most controversy at the only debate between the two Democratic rivals to become New London mayor.  


Democratic candidates vying to lead the city of Bridgeport met for their first debate this week.

The dynamics of the Democratic presidential primary campaign could change dramatically if Vice President Joe Biden enters the raceBut Bernie Sanders' campaign says it has no plans to change its basic strategy if Biden decides to run.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

For a year, Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra has taken criticism that his minor league baseball stadium plan was hatched in secret without state input. But now new details are coming out about who knew what and when -- stoking tension between Segarra and Gov. Dannel Malloy. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The mayoral campaign season is reaching an important milestone next month: primary day. In Hartford, incumbent Mayor Pedro Segarra, who lost the endorsement of city Democrats, will face challenger Luke Bronin. Segarra gathered the necessary signatures to petition onto the primary ballot.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra is in the midst of a tight re-election campaign against Democratic challenger Luke Bronin. After walking out of his party’s endorsement convention, Segarra gathered enough signatures to get on the ballot for the September primary. The mayor stops by our studios to discuss his record, plans for the future of the capital city, and the close race he's in.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The state’s transit administrator admitted this week that he used a screen name other than his own to comment on The Hartford Courant website. Governor Dannel Malloy said the official shouldn’t have done it – but said he doesn’t think the state has a social media policy for its employees, either.

The National Governors Association’s annual summer meeting will be held in Rhode Island in 2017, the NGA announced Monday.

"We’re excited to bring the nation’s governors to Rhode Island, and we thank Gov. Gina Raimondo for her invitation,’’ said Gov. Terry McAuliffe, vice-chair of the NGA.

Bernie Sanders has been drawing large crowds to his campaign events and Monday night’s jam-packed rally at the Littleton Opera House was no exception.

Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal is calling on the federal government to improve security on trains following an attack on a Paris-bound train last week.

Connecticut Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty on Tuesday announced her support for the Iran nuclear deal being pushed by the Obama administration.

Chuck Miller / Creative Commons

Is General Electric really looking to leave the state? What’s Connecticut doing to try to keep them? That’s one of the stories we’re talking about on The Wheelhouse, our weekly news roundtable. Also, there's another round of musical chairs in state government and Governor Dan Malloy brings his support of Hillary Clinton to the Granite State.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

As the $567 million bus-only corridor between Hartford and New Britain began operating this spring, state officials worked behind the scenes to shape public opinion of the project that has been a lightning rod for criticism because of its cost.

The public relations campaign to rally support for the 9.4-mile CTfastrak involved Michael Sanders, the Transportation Department's transit administrator, who suggested in an email that he would use a "stage name" to post a comment on a newspaper website.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Earl O’Garro, the insurance broker who prosecutors allege defrauded the city of Hartford, the state, and others out of roughly $1.5 million, is asking a judge to delay his trial by two months

The decision clock is ticking for Vice President Biden to decide about a presidential run — and history hasn't been kind to past candidates who waited until the last minute.

Recent campaigns are littered with would-be front-runners who tried to wait it out and seize late momentum. Instead, they ended up as has-beens.

In the 2004 election cycle, Gen. Wesley Clark didn't enter the contest until September. He was leading the Democratic polls then, but rapidly fell once he became an official candidate.

State of Connecticut

Long lines at the state Department of Motor Vehicles persist, a week after offices reopened following a major computer systems upgrade. And Governor Dannel Malloy is asking for patience. 

Office of Gov. Dannel Malloy

Governor Dannel Malloy is promoting his deputy chief of staff to his administration's top job. The change is official on Monday, September 28.

A recent Gallup poll showed that more Americans would vote for a Muslim or an atheist for president than they would for a socialist. Yet that’s how Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has described himself throughout his career.


The Democratic governors of Connecticut and neighboring Vermont are heading to New Hampshire to campaign as surrogates for Hillary Rodham Clinton.

President Obama's campaign to win support for the nuclear deal with Iran got a forceful boost Sunday when Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada announced his endorsement. Reid, the Senate's top Democrat, says he will "do everything in [his] power" to make sure the deal stands.

Reid's backing adds even more weight to a groundswell of support building on Capitol Hill for the deal between the U.S., Iran and five other nations.