The Wheelhouse

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We’ve been talking a lot about national politics lately on the Wheelhouse. But there’s a LOT happening here in Connecticut. 

Donald Trump is no longer laughing at Saturday Night Live, which is part of the media and the political establishment that he says have stacked the election against him. At a rally in Pennsylvania, he told his supporters to go to polling places on Election Day to make sure they're "on the up and up" -- which concerned civil rights groups and others citing illegal voter intimidation.  

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There are some weeks in the news when it seems like everything that’s been roiling and boiling in America comes to a head - all at once. A bombing in New York city - with other devices left unexploded - and a suspect in custody. The incident has once again prompted fears among America’s Muslim community, worried about backlash. 

Mike McGuire, as seen on 14th Street NW, Washington, DC // Creative Commons

Since last week's Wheelhouse, we had one candidate learn where Aleppo is, we heard one candidate refer to a "basket of deplorables," and we learned the same candidates campaign had been hiding a pneumonia diagnosis.

It’s the 25th anniversary of Connecticut’s income tax. Opponents of that tax will tell you lots of reasons why it’s hurt the state. Proponents will tell you that it’s a necessary tool to pay for government services. But one reality has really taken hold over the last few years.

City of Hartford

Is the city if Hartford facing Bankruptcy? This hour, we explore that question, and the future of the vacant ballpark. 

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We’re gonna try really hard to not say one word. That word starts with a T, and rhymes with “thump.” 

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At Donald Trump's most recent rally, he made controversial remarks about Hillary Clinton and the Second Amendment that some are calling an "assassination threat." The Secret Service even tweeted that they're "aware of the comments." 

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Just when you think you've seen and heard it all, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump gets into a public fight with Gold Star parents and their supporters. This hour, we take a closer look at that story with a panel of political experts and reporters. We also consider the impact of gender stereotyping in politics and discuss some of the other big headlines from this week's news. 

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The Grand Old Party puts on its full Cleveland next week to make it official with Donald Trump. Bernie did the math, and endorsed Hillary Clinton. And one of our favorite Connecticut politicians has resurfaced as Clinton fundraiser.

Rep. John Yarmuth / Twitter

Gunfire and three blasts at the airport in Istanbul yesterday left at least 40 people dead and hundreds wounded. It’s yet another strike against Turkey, a country that's on the front lines of a migration crisis and a war against terrorists. Some U.S. lawmakers, meanwhile are trying to make it harder for those on the terror watch list to get guns, including House Democrats who staged the latest high-profile demonstration last week. But that other issue, migration, was the key to the victory of the "Leave" campaign in the United Kingdom, as they voted to exit the E.U. 

YouTube / Senate Democrats

It's been a busy week in Connecticut's political world. Sen. Chris Murphy rode the wave following his nearly 15-hour-long filibuster to get a vote on gun laws. That wave crashed this week after his colleagues rejected new restrictions on gun sales. But several gun-related issues made news from the judicial branch. This hour, our weekly news roundtable discusses these developments and an update from the state capitol where the legislature overrode some of Gov. Dannel Malloy's vetoes, but not as many as expected. 

Pete Souza / White House

In nearly eight years as President of the United States, Barack Obama has delivered more than a dozen responses to mass shootings. The attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida has re-ignited passionate debate on guns, the fight against ISIS, and LGBT discrimination. Several members of Connecticut's congressional delegation have called the legislative branch "complicit" in these repeated acts of violence and criticized colleagues for inaction on gun control. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Donald Trump hits the magic number to become presumptive Republican nominee on his quest to become the next POTUS. On the other side of the aisle, Bernie Sanders asked the Democratic National Committee to boot Dan Malloy from his role at the convention. This hour on our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, we discuss the jobs and duties of these politicians.

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The Wheelhouse is moving out of its parents' house (on Where We Live) and is now its own, independent person ...er ...radio show! John and Colin are back with a new edition of our weekly news roundtable after a week away.

After a couple rough and tumble legislative sessions, several lawmakers are not seeking re-election this year, including House Speaker Brendan Sharkey. In the Year of Trump, can Republicans win control of a legislative chamber in Hartford?

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The state legislature heads into overtime to discuss (and hopefully pass) a budget that was partially unveiled nearly a week after the regular session ended.

This hour, our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse will discuss how things operated during this legislative session. We also recap the Democratic and Republican state conventions where (eventually) all reporters were credentialed to cover the proceedings if they wanted to. But this has us thinking about the press and the 2016 election overall this year. 

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"Acela" primary day has come and gone for five Northeast states, including Connecticut. This hour, we recap the results with a panel of reporters and political experts. Which candidates picked up momentum? And, on the Republican side, was it enough to avoid a contested convention? 

Tucker Ives / WNPR

Just a few weeks ago, Connecticut started to write-off its importance in the presidential nomination process. But then Bernie Sanders picked up steam and Donald Trump's campaign faltered. With less than a week before Connecticut residents cast their ballots, the candidates are making public stops across the state. Trump was in Hartford last week, and Hillary Clinton and John Kasich have visits scheduled this week.

Heather Brandon and Mary Lou Cooke digital illustration / Chion Wolf photo / Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum photo / WNPR / Creative Commons

As a sitting governor running for re-election in 2014, Dannel Malloy gave himself a nickname on Where We Live.

"You don't have to love me," said Malloy. "I'm a porcupine." The public is being reminded of Malloy's prickly side as he moves forwards with state employee layoffs. This hour, our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse discusses the jobs cuts and what impact they will have on the state's residents.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

This week, Governor Dannel Malloy was announced as the winner of the 2016 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for his response to the Syrian refugee crisis. It adds to Malloy's national popularity, despite the political struggles in Hartford.

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In his February budget address, Gov. Dannel Malloy outlined the challenges facing the state government. "Connecticut state government must reset our expectations of what we can afford, how we provide services, and how we save for our priorities," said Malloy. "It won't be easy, and it often won't be politically popular." That last part is becoming increasingly evident.

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Time in the legislative session is starting to run down and the list of things to do remains long. This week on our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, we’re joined by Capitol reporters to catch us up on what is (and isn’t) getting done. Governor Dannel Malloy is going up against labor unions and asking for concessions to help with the budget but the rank and file union members haven't authorized a renegotiation of the current contract.

Chuck Kennedy / White House

It's that time of the political season when just about every Tuesday seems like a "Super Tuesday." More voters head to the polls, and on our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, we discuss the results, and take a look at what's ahead for both major political parties.

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This hour, our news roundtable The Wheelhouse tackles some of the biggest political stories of the week. We discuss everything from state budget cuts, to automatic voter registration, to a "legislative mystery" that's got everyone scratching their heads.


The future of some presidential campaigns may be decided on Super Tuesday, further slimming the field of candidates by the time Connecticut votes next month. If you can't wait to vote, maybe you can pass the time by playing an electoral board game created by a Connecticut resident. Our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse discusses the results from the Democratic and Republican parties and previews what's to come.