Politics

Political news from WNPR

Donald Trump picked up his first congressional endorsements this week, and today he scored another major backer: one of his former rivals, Chris Christie.

"I've gotten to know all the people on that stage. And there is no one who is better prepared to provide America with the strong leadership that it needs, both at home and around the world, than Donald Trump," the New Jersey governor said at a news conference in Fort Worth, Texas.

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Connecticut’s Claims Commissioner J. Paul Vance Jr. recently resigned his position. He had been at the center of a controversy for awarding $16.8 million to four men whose murder convictions in a 1996 gang­-related shooting were overturned. Because of this recent award, lawmakers are looking to make changes to the state’s wrongful incarceration statute.

In their tenth debate with Donald Trump, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz finally got real.

The two first-term senators, who have been chasing Trump in the polls and in February vote tallies, came at him on every issue their opposition research teams could muster.

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New estimates show the projected deficit in Connecticut's main spending account has grown to about $266 million.

As the second month of the year draws to a close, Gov. Charlie Baker appears to be growing more frustrated with the Legislature’s pace in passing his comprehensive opioid bill.

The legislation remains bottled up in a conference committee that’s working out the differences between the House and Senate.

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The state Freedom of Information Commission in Hartford has ruled that the University of Connecticut trustees violated open-meetings laws when they privately reviewed the school's $1.3 billion proposed budget.

While Apple and the FBI fight in court over the government's demand that the tech company to help it break into the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters, Congress is trying to find its own solution to the digital security/national security debate.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said the city has a $9 million budget shortfall this year, one that is projected to be three times that in the budget year to come without significant cuts. The mayor is beginning by making some immediate changes at city hall to try and save money. 

CT State Democrats / Creative Commons

Senator Andrew Maynard has announced his decision to not seek re-election this fall, but he now faces questions regarding his ability to serve out the rest of his term. 

The legal world has a new blogger: former constitutional law professor and current President Barack Obama.

The president took to SCOTUSblog, the leading online chronicle of the Supreme Court, on Wednesday to offer some "spoiler-free insights" into what he is seeking in a justice to replace the late Antonin Scalia.

The Nevada caucuses on the Republican side were a five-card game, and The Donald once again drew the ace.

The other "face cards" were Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, with Rubio once again edging his fellow senator by a narrow margin.

But it scarcely mattered. Their shares combined fell shy of Donald Trump's 46 percent. And no one else had so much as a nickel's worth.

As the presidential race shifted to Nevada with Democratic caucuses last week and Republican caucuses Tuesday night, more young voters had a chance to chime in to the political process. Nevada is a state with a huge young, diverse population.

But there is the perennial question: Do young people matter in politics?

In every recent election, you've probably heard some iteration of the same generational critique: "Young people don't vote."

Rik Stevens / New Hampshire Public Radio

In Nevada, Donald Trump cruised to an easy victory in the state’s caucuses. This hour, our weekly news roundtable, The Wheelhouse spends some time wondering whether the Trump juggernaut and the resurgent Hillary Clinton campaign might render our little state’s primary moot (again). 

Any doubt that Senate Republicans would hold the line behind their leader's decision to block President Obama's Supreme Court nominee has been erased.

"I can now confidently say the view shared by virtually everybody in my conference, is that the nomination should be made by the president the people elect in the election that's underway right now," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters.

Donald Trump has won the Nevada Republican caucuses, giving the billionaire his third victory in two weeks and a huge surge of momentum heading into Super Tuesday.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio held a narrow but decisive lead for second place over Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. With all caucus votes in, Rubio had 23.9 percent to Cruz's 21.4 percent, according to the Associated Press.

But it was Trump who towered above his two top rivals, nearly doubling the support of his nearest competitor with 45.9 percent of the vote.

Hillary Clinton wants you to know that she was doing health care before health care was cool.

"You know, before it was called Obamacare it was called Hillarycare," Clinton said recently at a rally in Elko, Nev.

It's a stock line these days in her stump speeches and debates.

The term Hillarycare was coined back in the 1990s, when Clinton tried and failed to restructure the U.S. health care system during her husband's first term as president. It was supposed to be an insult, but now she's embracing it.

Director Spike Lee became the latest black celebrity enter the battle of presidential endorsements ahead of this weekend's Democratic nominating contest in South Carolina. On Tuesday, the Bernie Sanders campaign released a radio ad called "Wake Up" featuring Lee.

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A military justice expert from Yale Law School said the president’s comments on closing the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay are a first step in an effort to get the American people behind him on the issue.

In any ordinary year, Donald Trump's big win in South Carolina on Saturday night would all but anoint him the Republican presidential nominee. That's especially true after his big win in New Hampshire, where he won with support across various age and income groups in the party.

U.S. operation of the Guantanamo Bay military detention center in Cuba is "contrary to our values" and is seen as "a stain on our broader record" of upholding the highest rules of law, President Obama said Tuesday as he announced plans to close the facility.

When Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders stumps for health care for everyone, it always gets huge applause.

"I believe that the U.S. should do what every other major country on Earth is doing," he told a crowd at Eastern Michigan University on Feb. 15. "And that is, guarantee health care to all people as a right."

The Democratic presidential hopeful basically wants to nationalize the U.S. health insurance industry, and have Uncle Sam foot the bill for medical bills, office visits and prescriptions.

Get rid of copays. Get rid of deductibles. Get rid of lots of forms.

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Donald Trump's win in this weekend's South Carolina primary was bigger than most establishment Republicans, and the media, want to admit. It comes after a week that would have sunk the other candidates; he tangled with the Pope, said the Bush administration didn't protect us from 9/11, and almost supported Obamacare's health care mandate, before he took it back. Are his supporters irrational, or do they just not care about his gaffes? Can anyone really still stop him?

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Connecticut lawmakers are getting public input on several possible changes to state liquor laws.

Jeb Bush is ending his campaign for president after a disappointing showing in the South Carolina primary.

"The people of Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina have spoken, and I really respect their decision," the former Florida governor told his supporters gathered in Columbia on Saturday night. "So tonight, I am suspending my campaign."

"I congratulate my competitors, that are remaining on the island, on their success in a race that has been hard-fought, just as the contest for the presidency should be because it is a tough job," he continued.

Donald Trump has won the South Carolina primary, while Florida Sen. Marco Rubio appears to have edged out Texas Sen. Ted Cruz for second place.

"There's nothing easy about running for president, I can tell you. It's tough, it's nasty, it's mean, it's vicious, it's beautiful," Trump declared to his supporters at his victory rally in Spartanburg, S.C.

Trump took 32.5 percent of the vote, while Rubio and Cruz were nearly even with 22.5 percent and 22.3 percent, respectively.

Hillary Clinton will win the Nevada Democratic caucuses, the Associated Press is reporting.

With 84 percent of the precincts reporting, Clinton has 52.5 percent of the vote, compared to Sen. Bernie Sanders' 47.5 percent.

"Tens of thousands of men and women with kids to raise, bills to pay, and dreams that won't die — this is your campaign," she told a crowd at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. "And it is a campaign to break down every barrier that holds you back."

The photo op at the end of Marco Rubio's Greenville rally Thursday morning was the stuff GOP dreams are made of.

The young Latino presidential candidate many top party leaders believe would be their best standard-bearer smiled and cheered, flanked by South Carolina's Indian-American female governor, the state's young black Republican senator and the congressman who's led the investigation into the Benghazi attacks and Hillary Clinton's involvement.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut lawmakers met with Department of Motor Vehicles officials on Friday after a year of backlogs, long lines, and other problems developed following a major computer overhaul at the state agency. 

Another big caucus day and primary night on Saturday, when Democrats go to their caucus sites in Nevada, and Republicans go to the polls in South Carolina. Here are five things we'll learn from the results:

1. Is insulting the Bush family — and getting into a fight with the pope — a good idea or not?

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy seems to be at odds with his transportation commissioner over the issue of congestion pricing. It’s a way to discourage drivers from using highways, but its place in the state’s comprehensive transportation plan is uncertain.

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