The Colin McEnroe Show
3:33 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

When 'Hot Coffee' Spills, Should American Courts Respond?

Flickr Creative Commons, James Cridland

We're walking out on the minefield of tort reform today, and the reason we're doing it is that film-maker Susan Saladoff is in town.

Her documentary "Hot Coffee" does a great job of exploring a meme that was everywhere in the 1990s -- a woman burned herself while opening a cup of coffee between her legs while driving and had won millions in a lawsuit against McDonalds.

I can say with some small amount of pride that in my capacity as a talk show host on a mostly conservative station back in those days, I knew the facts of the case and told them to my audience.

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Corporate Campaign Spending
1:53 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

Connecticut Joins 21 Other States In An Attempt To Restrict "Citizens United"

Mike Renlund (Flickr Creative Commons)

Connecticut has signed on with 21 other states in supporting Montana's campaign finance laws. That state is being accused of circumventing the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision.

The Citizens United decision removed the federal ban on corporate campaign spending. Montana law requires a corporation to register a political action committee and make independent expenditures from a voluntary, segregated fund. In the case ATM v. Bullock, advocates of Citizens United say this is a clear violation of the Supreme Court ruling.

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2:02 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

Malloy on Newton, Rowland

In Bridgeport, Democrats have endorsed Ernest Newton for the state Senate seat he was forced to give up after being convicted of corruption charges. As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, Governor Dannel Malloy refused to endorse anyone in the race -- including the man who recently left prison. Newton spent 17 years in the legislature before serving a five-year term after pleading guilty in 2005 to accepting a $5,000 bribe, using campaign contributions for personal expenses and failing to report the improper income on his federal tax return.

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The Faith Middleton Show
12:42 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Politics, Burgers & Beer: May 10, 2012

JoshBerglund19/flickr creative commons

This time, it's a radio town hall meeting. We're asking you to call us and tell what issues you'd like to hear the presidential candidates address. They're busy taking shots at each other. The nasty, SuperPAC attack ads have started airing. But with Europe in turmoil, two expensive wars being waged, and millions out of work, it would seem we're all hungry for real discussion on issues that matter.

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Where We Live
1:21 pm
Wed May 16, 2012

Andrew Roraback on the Death Penalty, Health Care and Rowland

Chion Wolf

Republican State Senator Andrew Roraback is leaving the legislature to run for the 5th Congressional seat being vacated by U.S. Senate candidate Chris Murphy.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:57 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

The Nose: Obama Supports Gay Marriage, While Romney Accused Of Bullying

Flickr Creative Commons, karen_chan

Maybe we all live in the United States of Cranbrook.

By that, I mean that we're all faced with choices, all the time, about how much we're going to stand up for the people getting the short end of the stick - whether they're poor, of color, gay or elderly.

If that's true, then last week's hero was, for me, Joe Biden.

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The Faith Middleton Show
7:05 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

Politics, Burgers & Beer: May 3, 2012

Pawel Loj/flickr creative commons

Join Rich Hanley and Faith for a fresh edition of Politics, Burgers and Beer. We'll look at why this promises to be the most expensive presidential race in history, and whether the issues that matter most to voters will be discussed as much as they should.

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Same Day Registration & Voting
1:55 pm
Tue May 8, 2012

Election Day Voter Registration is Coming

Where We Live
10:10 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Legislative Update With Keith Phaneuf

Chion Wolf

With everything else going on at the Capitol, it’s good someone is paying attention to the budget.

That someone is The Connecticut Mirror’s Keith Phaneuf.  Our budgetary Obi Wan Kenobi stops by to give us an update on the fiscal health of the state - along with news on the “hot button” issues like minimum wage and Sunday liquor sales.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:16 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Election Doubleheader: What's It Like To Be A Republican In Connecticut?

Flickr Creative Commons, roberthuffstutter

It's Primary Day in Connecticut. So everybody's excited about ... actually ... nobody is excited. Connecticut Republicans do seem energized by last night's Ann Romney speech at the party's Prescott Bush Dinner, and we're using the second half of today's political doubleheader to look at the state of the party and the party in the state.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:48 pm
Fri April 20, 2012

The Nose: Politicans, Proust, 'Lightning Rounds' & Holograms

Chion Wolf

There are many versions of the so-called "Proust questionnaire," which is meant to tease out a portrait of a person based on hopes, dreads, likes and dislikes.

I just filled out one on the website of Vanity Fair, a publication which has put many hundreds of famous people through its own version of the Proust questionnaire. The site crudely analyzed my answers and suggested the people I most resembled were Dustin Hoffman and James Brown -- but the former much more than the latter.

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Going Postal?
11:33 am
Thu April 19, 2012

Morning Edition: Salvaging the Post Office

James Yu (Flickr Creative Commons)

Joe Lieberman has joined a bi-partisan group of U.S. Senators with a plan to revamp the United States Postal Service.

The independent senator from Connecticut says contrary to what some of his colleagues may believe, the U.S. Postal service still provides a vital service, and is worth saving. "563 million pieces of mail are delivered everyday by the postal service," said Lieberman. "A lot of packages including vitally important packages containing for instance, prescription drugs are delivered by the postal service so we've got to keep it alive."

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Coming Home Project
5:23 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

HUD Grants Come to Connecticut to Help Homeless Veterans

Courtesy of South Park Inn

This month, the federal government awarded the state $1.46 million dollars from the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development and the VA. The grants are known as HUD VASH and they're used to help veterans avoid homelessness.

The housing voucher program has existed for four years. Since then more than 400 vouchers were allocated to housing authorities across the state to help chronically homeless veterans, including women veterans with children.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
4:10 pm
Fri April 6, 2012

The Nose: A Debate Takes An Odd Turn; Connecticut Poised To Dump Death Penalty

Chion Wolf

I don't look forward to political debates. There are too many of them. They reveal far too little. And nothing interesting ever happens.

Except last night. Five Democratic hopefuls seeking the US Senate nomination debated under the auspices of WVIT or ... NBC30 ... or whatever we're supposed to call it.

Present was one candidate I had absolutely never heard of, Matthew Oakes, a big guy who tends to choke up when talking about high education and other wonky topics.

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The Faith Middleton Show
2:06 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

Politics, Burgers & Beers: March 29, 2012

Andres Rueda/flickr creative commons

What will be the key issues that decide the outcome of the next presidential election? How will money and super pacs affect the bottom line?

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Coming Home Project
4:52 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Analysis of Defense Department Records Show Veterans Wrongfully Discharged

March 23, 2012-An analysis of Department of Defense records shows that hundreds of veterans have been wrongfully discharged since 2008. The Vietnam Veterans of America allege that service members were incorrectly diagnosed with “personality disorder.”

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Adult Crimes?
4:16 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

Juvenile Justice Advocates at the State Capitol

The Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

There's a big change coming this summer. Most 17-year-olds charged with crimes will go from being treated like adults to being treated in the juvenile justice system. It was called the "raise the age" effort, and the major effects were this: in 2010, 16-year-olds were taken out of the justice system designed for adults. As of this summer, the same thing will happen for 17-year-olds.

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The Faith Middleton Show
1:04 pm
Thu March 22, 2012

Politics, Burgers & Beer: March 15, 2012

Nils Rinaldi/flickr creative commons

Don't miss a fresh edition of Politics, Burgers and Beer with Faith, Rich Hanley, and special guest John Heilemann of New York magazine, for a look at the presidential race.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:03 pm
Tue March 20, 2012

Election Double Header II: The 5th District As A Prism (Or Petri Dish) For State Politics

Chion Wolf

Baseball season puts us in mind of those great baseball names --  Van Lingle Mungo, Prince Fielder, Napoleon Lajoie, Nestor Chylack, Rabbit Maranville and Lancelot Phelps.

Actually ... Lancelot Phelps wasn't a baseball player. He was the first person elected to Congress from Connecticut's Fifth District. And since that time, the frequently redistricted Fifth  has elected Connecticut's only African-American member of Congress - Gary Franks - and a fellow named John Rowland.

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Where We Live
10:33 am
Tue March 20, 2012

Election Double Header: Voting In The 21st Century

Chion Wolf WNPR

We now take some things for granted about voting in Connecticut.

1.) It’s gonna happen on a Tuesday.

2.) You’re going to have to register in advance - then go to a polling place and hope you’re on the list.

3.) You’re going to “bubble in” your choice on a piece of paper - yes, “bubble in” is an idiom.

4.) Connecticut is going to be almost irrelevant to the national political discussion.

5.) In some towns, we’re gonna have a hard time conducting an election at all.

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7:30 am
Sat March 17, 2012

Immigration Advocates Seek Transparency in Federal Enforcement Program

The Connecticut chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the American Immigration Council have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. They want DHS to release records about an enormous, though little understood immigration enforcement program.

Cody Wofsy says there’s not a lot known about the Criminal Alien Program, known as CAP.

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Where We Live
11:02 am
Wed March 14, 2012

Joe Courtney on Veterans and BRAC

Chion Wolf

Thousands of troops are home from Iraq - and soon from Afghanistan - to a country that, in many ways, barely noticed they were gone. These wars have been fought at such a distance from a public that was told to “go shopping” to support a war effort, that we don’t have the impact of similar returns from Vietnam or World War 2.

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Where We Live
10:33 am
Wed March 14, 2012

Returning To Iraq

USAG-Humphreys (Flickr Creative Commons)

Roman Baca entered the U.S. Marine Corps in 2000 and was eventually deployed to Iraq. He returned to Connecticut and struggled to adjust to civilian life. He finally found purpose in his life...in dance. Baca started the Exit 12 Dance Company and is the artistic director there. He’s getting ready to embark on a trip back to Iraq later this month where he will teach dance to local children there.

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Coming Home Project
2:07 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

Defense Department Mistakes Keep Contracts From Disabled Veterans

Photo by Chion Wolf

A 2004 law requires a certain percentage of federal contracting dollars to go to small businesses owned by service disabled veterans. But a recent inspector's report from the Department of Defense finds that in 2010, more than two dozen contracts were awarded to companies that weren't eligible.  

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The Colin McEnroe Show
5:30 pm
Tue March 6, 2012

Antonin Scalia and Neely Bruce's 'Bill Of Rights'

Wikimedia Commons

One theory is that Supreme Court justices are supposed to be seen and not heard. Or, put another way, read ... but neither seen nor heard.

They're supposed to be inscrutable. That's just a theory. Antonin Scalia has never had much use for it. He gives speeches. He grants interviews. He even, last year, met with the Tea Party caucus within the United State congress -- one twig on the judicial branch telling some leaves on the legislative branch, what he thinks about the way they do their jobs.

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5:51 pm
Mon March 5, 2012

State Supreme Court Rules Prisoners Can Be Force-Fed

State Department of Correction

The Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled that state prison officials can restrain and force-feed inmates to protect them from life-threatening dehydration and malnutrition. Meanwhile, as WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil reports, the inmate who filed suit against the Department of Correction for force-feeding him is on a hunger strike once again. 

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Coming Home Project
3:45 pm
Mon March 5, 2012

DOD Budget Proposal Could Change Mission of Connecticut's 103rd Airlift Wing

Courtesy of The National Guard

Governor Dannel Malloy and other governors signed a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta voicing their concern with the DOD's proposed budget, specifically disproportionate cuts facing Air National Guard units. WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil reports on how the budget will impact Connecticut's force.

Major General Thad Martin of the Connecticut National Guard anticipates there will be no reduction of the 1144 Guardsmen and women who serve with Bradley's 103rd Airlift Wing.  The Defense Department releases firm numbers on Tuesday.

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Coming Home Project
10:59 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Legislative Committee Considers Bill to Help Keep Veterans Out of Jail

Connecticut Veterans Legal Center

The General Assembly's Veterans Committee is considering a bill that could strengthen programs to keep veterans out of jail. Veterans who have served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars face a variety of challenges when they return home including physical and mental health issues. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:23 pm
Tue February 28, 2012

Election Double Header: Connecticut's Strange Political Machine

Flickr Creative Commons, Muffet

Connecticut is a strange political state. We’ve been home to (and given comfort to) mavericks and outsiders of all kinds (long before John McCain and Sarah Palin changed the way we think of mavericks). Jerry Brown was our idea of a Democratic presidential candidate in 1992. And Joe Lieberman has somehow gently landed his career on the tarmac after being reviled by both major parties.

Are there rules and mores that apply here that don’t apply elsewhere? Is our reputation for valuing party-jumping mavericks really deserved? And is it evaporating here in 2012?

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