Politics

Political news from WNPR

This could be a pivotal week as officials in Springfield, Massachusetts determine how they will respond to the proposed downsizing of the casino planned by MGM Resorts.  The City Council is holding a special meeting this evening. City officials have invited top MGM officials to a meeting later in the week to explain the proposed changes.

sipo / Creative Commons

The Iranian government has criticized the decision by a U.S. court to sentence an engineer with dual citizenship to more than eight years in prison for trying to send sensitive military documents to Iran. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

State elections officials and Democrats are preparing to face off in court in a dispute over whether the party illegally spent money on Governor Dannel Malloy's successful re-election bid last year. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The developers of the $350 million stadium and related retail, housing, and grocery store in downtown Hartford now want to include a hotel, the city and the developer said Friday. 

Former governor Lincoln Chafee announced his departure from the presidential race Friday morning, six months after he launched what proved to be a quixotic bid for the nation's top office.

"As you know I have been campaigning on a platform of Prosperity Through Peace," Chafee said, in prepared remarks for an address to a group of Democratic women in Washington. "But after much thought I have decided to end my campaign for president today.  I would like to take this opportunity one last time to advocate for a chance be given to peace."

During his decades in public office, Bernie Sanders has characterized himself as both a “socialist” and a “Democratic socialist,” terms that don’t necessarily mean the same thing.

Bernie Sanders' presidential run has inspired countless profiles, send-ups and songs about the Vermont senator. This past weekend, the Democratic candidate was lampooned on Saturday Night Live. There’s Bernie Sanders tote bags and Bernie Sanders bar soap.

Now there's even a comic book biography of the senator and presidential hopeful.

Back9Network flickr.com/back9network / Creative Commons

Hartford’s Ethics Commission has begun a search for disparities between state and city rules that restrict the use of public office for personal gain.

According to a Gallup survey released Thursday, 58 percent of Americans view the National Rifle Association favorably, despite a mass shooting in Oregon this month that prompted criticism of the gun lobby and strong words from the president.

Thursday was one of the most important days of Hillary Clinton's political career. The Democratic presidential candidate faced grilling for more than eight hours over the 2012 terror attack on the diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, that claimed the lives of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.

The questions from the 12 House Select Committee members — seven Republicans and five Democrats — split mostly along partisan lines.

Springfield City Council Reacts to MGM Changes

Oct 22, 2015
Karen Brown / NEPR

Most members of Springfield’s city council are expressing grave doubts about the credibility of MGM-Springfield, following the company’s decision to shrink its casino project by 14 percent.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The developer building Hartford’s new $56 million minor league baseball stadium is now saying that a groundbreaking on the second phase of the revitalization project will be delayed until the spring. 

Vice President Joe Biden announced Wednesday he will not be a candidate for president in 2016, sparing Democrats from a shake-up in the race for the White House and removing a potential stumbling block for Hillary Clinton.

The vice president's decision comes after a long, and very public, struggle with whether or not to make a third run for the White House. Overcome with grief after the death of his eldest son, Beau, in May from brain cancer, at many times Biden seemed far from ready for the rigors of the campaign trail.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

After weeks of dismissing the idea of a special session, more bad budget news is pushing Governor Dannel Malloy in that direction. On our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, we discuss this and all the week's news, including an update on a plan by the state's Board of Regents that has professors fighting mad.

In his first known international trip since civil war began in Syria, President Bashar Assad has just returned from a quick visit in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Assad reportedly briefed Putin on Syria's current and future military operations.

Assad's trip was kept secret until after Tuesday's meeting — and after the Syrian leader's safe return home.

Updated 10:40 a.m. EST

Paul Ryan made it all but official Tuesday night.

He told his fellow Republicans he had returned from a 10-day recess visit home to Wisconsin with a new attitude toward being speaker of the House.

After weeks of being ostensibly uninterested and even hostile to the idea, Ryan had found a reason to seek the most powerful post in Congress and the second spot in the presidential succession (after vice president).

Updated at 1:30 p.m.

Jim Webb ended his Democratic campaign for president on Tuesday, leaving open the possibility he could still run as an independent.

Decrying how far both parties had moved from the center, the former Virginia senator acknowledged that there was no path forward for him in the current 2016 field.

Edward flickr.com/photos/glasgows / Creative Commons

A state gun rights group said it will appeal this week’s federal ruling upholding stricter firearms laws passed in Connecticut and New York, after the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The House is back for its first business day after a 10-day break, and the first item of business is a big one: finding a leader.

Speaker John Boehner has said he is resigning at month's end. The Republican conference met to choose a successor, but Boehner ended the session when his No. 2, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, withdrew as a candidate.

CT Senate Democrats / Creative Commons

A federal appellate court has upheld gun laws in Connecticut and New York that were passed after the 2012 shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. 

Canada's Liberal Party won a decisive majority of parliamentary seats Monday, ending nearly a decade of Conservative Party rule. Voters gave Liberals nearly 40 percent of the overall vote compared to the Conservatives' 32 percent. The left-leaning New Democrats had just over 19 percent of the vote.

Justin Trudeau, a 43-year-old former high school teacher and son of the late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, assumes the office his father held from 1968 through 1984 with a short interruption.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy is calling the leadership of both parties in the General Assembly to meet him for talks on the state's budget crisis. 

Miguel Ariel Contreras Drake-McLaughlin (Flickr) / Creative Commons

Bob Woodward thought he knew everything about Watergate. Then Alexander Butterfield, now in his late 80's, told him there were other stories never spoken of. Woodward focuses on these stories in his latest book on the Watergate scandal called The Last of the President's Men. This hour, we hear from the legendary Washington Post journalist.

Also, the Wesleyan Argus faces an uncertain financial future. In September, the paper published an op-ed criticizing the "Black Lives Matter" movement. The backlash now threatens funding for The Argus next year.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Hartford's development director has resigned amid an investigation into allegations the city was overbilled on a project to redevelop a soccer stadium. 

This weekend in Hopkinton, several hundred conservatives took part in something new for this state: a caucus. The group behind the event wants grassroots activists to play a larger role in choosing the Republican nominee in 2016.

Today marks 90 days since the United Nations Security Council endorsed the landmark nuclear accord agreed between Iran and six world powers (the U.S., Britain, France, Germany China and Russia.)

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) will unfold in a series of steps that include nuclear cutbacks made by Iran and sanctions relief offered by the other countries. The phase that begins now is of special interest to nuclear non-proliferation experts.

Donald Trump and Jeb Bush were at it again.

Trump upped the ante in criticizing Jeb Bush by slamming his brother George W.'s presidency and at least partially blaming the elder Bush brother for Sept. 11.

"When you talk about George Bush, I mean, say what you want, the World Trade Center came down during his time," he told Bloomberg. When the questioner said he couldn't blame Bush for terrorist attacks, Trump responded this way: "He was president, OK? ... Blame him, or don't blame him, but he was president. The World Trade Center came down during his reign."

Lance Mercier knows his job gets harder when a co-worker goes out on leave. But he recently also learned that raising a newborn involves, as he puts it, an "insurmountable" amount of work.

The 39-year-old bank manager from Silver Spring, Md., is currently on leave from work taking care of his newborn son with his wife, Luz.

"As a manager who has had a lot of people go out on leave of absence, it absolutely sucks when they go out on leave," he said. "This puts everything back into perspective for me."

In this presidential campaign, political outsiders are outshining experienced politicians.

To succeed with the conservative Republican base in the early-voting state of Iowa, Ted Cruz will need to win over supporters of both outsiders and insiders vying for the nomination.

At a restaurant in the Mississippi River town of Keokuk, Iowa, this week, the Texas senator addressed a full room over a loudspeaker.

"God bless the great state of Iowa," Cruz said. "I spent most of last week in Washington, D.C., so it is great to be back in America."

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The city of Hartford violated state public records laws when it refused to release executed contracts related to its new minor league baseball stadium, according to a ruling this week by the state’s Freedom of Information Commission. 

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