Politics

WAMC News
1:47 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Political Campaign Spotlight Focuses On New Hampshire As Sanders Visits and Brown Announces

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 12:32 pm

New Hampshire is in the political spotlight years before its first-in-the-nation primary. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders visits this weekend, fueling speculation over a possible presidential run. That happens just days after former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown officially kicked off his campaign to become Senator of the Granite State.

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Election 2014
11:58 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Republican Gubernatorial Hopefuls Debate at Mark Twain House, in Tweets

GOP hopefuls for Connecticut governor debate at the Mark Twain House visitors center.
Marisa Finn CPBN

Republican candidates for Connecticut governor faced off in their first debate on Friday.

Five of the six candidates were at the Mark Twain House for the event: Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, Senate Minority Leader John McKinney of Fairfield, Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti, Avon attorney Martha Dean, and former West Hartford Town Councilman Joe Visconti. Follow along with the proceedings below.

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Arraignment Friday
7:07 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Rowland Indicted By Federal Grand Jury

Former Gov. John Rowland.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Former Republican Governor John Rowland, who has already served federal prison time on corruption-related charges, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of illegal campaign activity

It's a controversy that has been brewing for a couple of years. It picked up steam last week with the guilty pleas of a one-time Republican congressional candidate and her husband.

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White House
6:53 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Is Resigning

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is resigning from her post after serving for five years.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 7:35 pm

Health Secrerary Kathleen Sebelius is resigning after a five-year term that will no doubt be remembered for the calamitous implementation of President Obama's signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act.

If you remember, when the federal government unveiled HealthCare.gov, where Americans could buy health insurance mandated by Obamacare, the site was essentially useless for weeks after it launched in October.

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Courts
1:31 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Former Bridgeport Mayor Denied Law License

Former Bridgeport mayor Joseph Ganim.
Credit joeganim.com

The Connecticut Supreme Court has upheld a decision denying a law license for former Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim, who was convicted of corruption. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed April 9, 2014

The Wheelhouse Bleeds Blue But Politicians Are Looking for Green

Governor Dannel Malloy celebrates the first UConn national championship.
Credit Dan Malloy Twitter account

It feels a lot like 2004. Both UConn basketball teams are national champions, John Rowland is under investigation, and a Kennedy is in the news! Coming up on our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, our panel of reporters and analysts weighs in on the state's relationship with it's flagship university. Governor Dannel Malloy (er - Dan Malloy) is trying to cash in on UConn's success as he runs for re-election.

We also say goodbye to a radio competitor who signed off last week. But we have a feeling that former Governor John Rowland will stay in the news.

Also, several Connecticut restaurants are in trouble for playing music and not paying royalties.

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Election 2014
8:33 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Ted Kennedy, Jr. Announces Bid for Connecticut State Senate

Ted Kennedy, Jr. with his family at the Blackstone Library in Branford.
Lori Mack WNPR

Appearing camera ready and primed, Ted Kennedy Jr. – son of the late U.S. Senator of the same name, and nephew of President John F. Kennedy – announced on Tuesday night that he’s entering politics.  

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WAMC News
9:10 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Arbitrators To Decide Casino Mitigation Payments To Two Springfield Suburbs

An artist's rendering shows MGM's proposed $800 million casino in downtown Springfield

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 4:55 pm

Arbitrators have been chosen to decide how much two Massachusetts communities will be paid by MGM to mitigate the impacts of the proposed casino in downtown Springfield.

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George Jepsen
5:10 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Connecticut Attorney General Jepsen Announces Re-election Bid

Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen announced Monday he will run for a second term.
Credit WCSU_0117 / Creative Commons

Connecticut's Attorney General George Jepsen announced that he will run for a second term. He made the announcement Monday morning on WTIC-AM. "I'm thrilled," Jepsen told WTIC's Ray Dunaway. "I've really had a wonderful time, and it's just been such an incredible honor to serve the people of Connecticut."

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Radio Woes
4:55 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

"Hey Guv!" Rowland's Replacement Gets Pranked

Former Governor John Rowland resigned from his radio talk show on WTIC last week.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Trolls waste no time.

On WTIC's afternoon drive show, Pastor Will Marotti shied away from the scandal facing his predecessor, former Governor John Rowland.

Marotti started off the show by talking about UConn basketball and the low attendance at a Hartford Wolf Pack game. Marotti asked his listeners to call in and talk hockey. The first caller didn't get very far.

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Taxes
10:14 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Reverse PILOT Proposal Considered Unfair By Some Connecticut Institutions

Connecticut's state capitol building with the Bushnell Park Corning Fountain in the foreground.
Credit Helder Mira / Creative Commons

Some municipal and state leaders would like to see non-profit colleges and hospitals pay taxes to the towns where they reside. One higher education official said the particular idea currently being floated is unfair. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Supporting Connecticut Veterans; College Presidents on Reverse PILOT; a Study on Parking

Are parking spaces hurting economic development in cities?
Credit radcliffe dacanay / Creative Commons

A conference was held in Hartford on Thursday to open up discussion about Connecticut’s veterans. The event came just one day after an Iraq War veteran opened fire at Fort Hood in Texas, wounding 16 and killing four, including himself. This hour, we talk about what happened at Fort Hood, and take a look at some of the services that are available to our veterans.

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Gun Control
3:21 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Anti- and Pro-Gun Advocates in Connecticut Continue Their Fight

Gun control advocates rally at the capitol.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Gun control advocates rallied with Democratic leaders at the capitol Thursday, announcing a new effort to support lawmakers who passed last year's gun measures. The meeting came as pro-gun activists plan a rally of their own.

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Medical Marijuana
2:59 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

State Picks Six Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Credit O'Dea / Creative Commons

Connecticut's consumer chief has picked six medical marijuana dispensaries that will be the first in the state operating in Branford, Bridgeport, Bristol, Hartford, South Windsor and Uncasville.

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Chimpanzee Attack Victim
4:02 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Legislative Committee Blocks Charla Nash's Request to Sue

Charla Nash.
Credit Shelly Sindland / Shelly Sindland Photography

A legislative committee is not allowing a Connecticut woman disfigured in a 2009 chimpanzee attack to sue the state and seek financial damages. 

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WAMC News
12:41 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Gambling Commissioners Hear Pros, Cons Of MGM Springfield Casino

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 2:52 pm

Supporters and opponents of MGM’s $800 million casino project in Springfield had a final chance last night to sound-off in front of Massachusetts gaming industry regulators.  The state gaming commission held a final public hearing in Springfield as it prepares to award the lone casino license in western Massachusetts where MGM Springfield is the only applicant.

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Campaign Finance
11:16 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Supreme Court Strikes Down Overall Limits On Political Contributions

People wait in line for the beginning of the 2013-2014 Supreme Court term in Washington on Oct. 7. The court heard the first major case on campaign contribution limits since 2010's landmark Citizens United.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 12:34 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down an overall cap on the amount that large campaign donors can give to parties and candidates in a two-year election cycle.

In a 5-4 decision split between conservatives and liberals on the high court, the court said the limits were a violation of the First Amendment.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed April 2, 2014

The Wheelhouse Respects the Process

Kevin Rennie
Chion Wolf

On Tuesday, former Governor John G. Rowland took to the airwaves at his usual time on his WTIC AM talk show, despite being named in federal court as an alleged co-conspirator to a campaign finance scheme. He wouldn't comment on the accusations, only to say, "I am not going to be discussing the recent news and legal developments. I am sure that you all understand. And I want to respect the process."

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Minimum Wage
3:54 am
Wed April 2, 2014

In Arkansas, Voters May Get Chance To Raise Minimum Wage

Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor speaks to reporters at his Little Rock campaign headquarters on Feb. 28. A minimum wage increase on the ballot alongside Pryor could give Democrats more of a reason to show up on Election Day.
Danny Johnston AP

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 1:04 pm

President Obama travels to Michigan Wednesday to tout his proposal to boost the minimum wage.

Raising the wage to $10.10 an hour is one of the top agenda items for Obama and his fellow Democrats during this mid-term election year. The White House says the move would put more money in the pockets of some 28 million workers.

One test of that strategy will be in Arkansas, where proponents are trying to put a minimum wage increase on the ballot in November. Arkansas has some of the lowest wages in the country and it's also home to one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats.

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Rowland Scandal, Again
4:54 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Rowland Won't Talk; Wants to "Respect the Process"

Former Gov. John Rowland.
Credit WTIC

Former Republican Gov. John Rowland took to the airwaves on Tuesday to host his afternoon talk show on WTIC 1080. He began by saying he would not discuss the federal case that has apparently ensnared him. 

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Alaska, Too?
3:47 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Not An April Fools' Joke: Russians Petition To Get Alaska Back

Russians in Moscow's Red Square hold banners reading, "Love You Crimea!" "Together For All Time" and "Obama, Think About Alaska!" during a March 18 rally celebrating the annexation of Crimea.
Sergei Ilnitsky EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 4:35 pm

President Vladimir Putin's annexation of Crimea is reigniting talk in Russia of taking back Alaska from the United States, which purchased the territory from a czar for $7.2 million nearly a century and a half ago.

Most of the talk is tongue-in-cheek, but it comes at a time of heightened sensitivity in the West over whether Russia is planning further incursions or land grabs.

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The New Rowland Case
1:28 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Former FBI Agent Speaks Out On Rowland and Politics

Former Gov. John Rowland in Hartford in 2009.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Former Republican Governor John Rowland is again at the center of a federal investigation that has already resulted in two guilty pleas. Mike Clark is the former FBI agent who investigated Rowland the first time around, and blew the whistle on him the second.

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Corruption
10:31 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Rowland Again In the Spotlight

Former Gov. John Rowland in Hartford in 2009.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

A former congressional candidate and her husband have admitted to conspiring with former Connecticut Governor John Rowland to pay him off the books for work as a campaign consultant.

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Retirement Planning
9:04 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Bill Aims to Help Low-Income Workers Save For Retirement

Credit c-George/iStock / Thinkstock

Three quarters of Americans nearing retirement have saved less than $30,000 for their retirement years, according to data from the New School for Social Research. Decades of stagnant incomes, an inability to save, and disappearing pensions are part of the reason.

One third of Connecticut residents are baby boomers, and state legislators are proposing a program to help them do a better job preparing for retirement.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Venezuelan Protests; Cyber Terrorism

Venezuelan protesters in Cologne.
Credit Jakob / Creative Commons

Speaking before the U.S. Senate last week, Republican Senator Marco Rubio continued to push for sanctions against Venezuela, where violent protests over inflation, criminal violence, and food shortages have claimed 39 lives since January.

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Suing the State
5:03 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Charla Nash Wants Her Day in Court

Charla and Briana Nash
Credit Shelly Sindland Photography

Charla Charla Nash was attacked by a 200-pound chimpanzee in February of 2009, while helping her employer, Sandra Herold, get her pet, Travis, back in his cage.

Nash says she was unaware of the danger that lurked.

She doesn't remember anything about the attack, just waking up in the hospital. Travis broke most of the bones in her face, he ripped off her lips, nose, eyelids, and her hands, leaving Nash in a coma for four months. Today, she's blind and lives in a rehabilitation facility at a cost $16,000 per month, an expense she'll have for the rest of her life.

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Legislative Session
10:13 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Newspapers, Municipalities Still Divided Over Legal Notices

Credit Jon S / Creative Commons

The state's daily newspapers, and its towns and cities, remain divided over how to change the state’s laws on printed legal notices.

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The Highway's Jammed With Broken Heroes...
3:28 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Chris Christie Says Port Authority Chairman Has Resigned

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Fri March 28, 2014 3:46 pm

The chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has resigned, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said in a press conference on Friday.

This is the latest development in an ongoing political scandal that involves the politically charged closure of the George Washington Bridge.

The New York Times reports:

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What's in a Name?
12:18 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Please, Call Me Dan...Again

Governor Dannel, er...Dan Malloy
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Funny stuff happens when you're running for office. Lots can change about people. How much sleep they get, who they spend time with...even their names.

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Election 2014
11:55 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Malloy Says He's Running Again

Gov. Malloy, just before his announcement.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy has announced he intends to seek reelection in 2014. 

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