politicians

Chion Wolf / Wnpr

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill wants people who are doing business with the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles to be automatically registered to vote.

The Democrat announced Monday in Hartford that she submitted a proposal that would allow eligible DMV customers to be automatically registered unless they choose to opt out.

Ted Eytan / Creative Commons

The eyes of the political world are on New Hampshire as candidates, supporters, and reporters descend upon the Granite State for Primary Day.

Do Democratic voters #FeelTheBern? Will Trump triumph on the Republican side? Fortunately, these questions will be answered in a few hours. But in the mean time, we check-in with reporters and various campaign supporters from Connecticut who have been making the drive to our neighbors in the north.

There aren’t many questions left unanswered for the campaigns with a day to go before the voting begins in New Hampshire’s presidential primary.

But here are three:

If you want to know whether Hillary Clinton will stay close to Bernie Sanders Tuesday, or are looking for an early hint of how the Republican race will end up, here's a tip: Keep an eye on Rochester.

A lot of Republicans will head to the polls in New Hampshire on Tuesday, motivated to vote against Donald Trump.

But because of a quirk in how the state party allocates delegates and how fractured the "establishment" field is, it could mean that an anti-Trump vote will actually be a vote for the New York billionaire.

Here's how:

The state party awards delegates on a proportional basis to presidential candidates based on their vote statewide and by congressional district.

But it also has a 10 percent threshold.

Thor / Creative Commons

The CDC this week recommended women between the ages of 15 and 44 not drink alcohol unless they're on birth control. Why run the risk to the baby if there's a chance you could be pregnant and not yet know it?

Some question whether the caution against any alcohol instills a fear that outweighs the risk, while others chafe at the condescension that targets only women, and not the men who get them pregnant. 

The White House / flickr

While basketball didn’t take up residence in the White House in January 2009, the game nonetheless played an outsized role in forming the man who did, according to Sports Illustrated’s Alexander Wolff, author of The Audacity of Hoop: Basketball and the Age of Obama.

The Justice Department has named a veteran prosecutor from Philadelphia as the new leader of its pardon office, which is trying to review more than 9,000 petitions in the final year of the Obama presidency.

Robert Zauzmer, 55, has worked since 1990 at the U.S. attorney's office in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Justice Department leaders said Zauzmer represented a "natural choice" for the pardon job, in part because of his experience training prosecutors all over the country in how to evaluate prisoners' requests for early release.

Mike Licht / Creative Commons

Our deepest convictions shape how we see the world from a very young age. Our parents, community, and religion deeply influence our beliefs and ultimately, the political identity we choose to adopt.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy is unveiling his proposed changes to the two-year state budget enacted last year.

The major presidential candidates are campaigning across New Hampshire on Wednesday, continuing their sprint toward primary day next Tuesday.

Following her razor-thin victory in the Iowa caucuses, Democrat Hillary Clinton spent Tuesday rallying loyal Democrats. Her challenger, Bernie Sanders, was also back on the campaign trail — sounding a lot like an Iowa winner, as well.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is suspending his campaign for president after a disappointing finish in Iowa, turning his focus now to his Senate re-election bid.

"Across the country thousands upon thousands of young people flocked to our message of limited government, privacy, criminal justice reform and a reasonable foreign policy. Brushfires of Liberty were ignited, and those will carry on, as will I," the Republican said in a statement.

Primary elections have a tendency to push candidates to the political extreme—fire up the base and draw bright lines around the issues. But during the New Hampshire presidential primary, where political independents play a central role those tactics often mean the campaign rhetoric sometimes doesn’t line up with how voters actually think.

Here are a few voters feeling that disconnect on one issue: guns.


In a photo finish early Tuesday, the Iowa Democratic Party declared Hillary Clinton the winner in Monday's Iowa Caucus. She edged out Sen. Bernie Sanders by a mere fraction of a percent, 49.9 percent to 49.6 percent, in what NPR calls "the thinnest of margins in the closest Democratic contest ever." And Sanders’ supporters say a tie is as good as a win for the Vermont senator. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

State Comptroller Kevin Lembo is projecting a $7.1 million budget deficit in the current $20 billion fiscal year budget and warning that state revenues may continue to erode.

Tomorrow the Connecticut General Assembly will begin the 2016 legislative session. Lawmakers are facing some tough issues this year. The state budget has a big gap that needs to be closed. There’s the lockbox to protect funding for transportation projects. And GE is taking its headquarters out of Fairfield and relocating to Boston which will be a big hit to the state’s coffers. Susan Haigh, Capitol reporter for the Associated Press, joins us from the AP offices in Hartford to give us a preview of some of the top issues lawmakers will take on this year.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The eyes of the nation turn to Iowa. But, why? The caucus process doesn't really resemble voting as we do it the rest of the time in this nation. And, the Iowa caucuses aren't really binding in terms of national delegate selection.  Iowa doesn't look like the rest of the nation, by which I mean, way whiter, but this in the words of Bruce Hornsby, is "just the way it is."

We also talk about the New York Times endorsement of Hillary Clinton and reactions to her candidacy. 

As any bridge player can tell you, the game is different when there is no trump.

On Thursday night in Des Moines, Iowa, the seventh debate among major candidates for president in the Republican Party set a new standard in both substance and tone. And it did so because the front-runner in the 2016 nomination fight, Donald J. Trump, did not attend.

Ian Donnis/File Photo/RIPR

Rhode Island’s legendary rascal king, Buddy Cianci, died Thursday morning.

Cianci was hospitalized with stomach pain while taping ABC6 On the Record, a TV show, Wednesday night.

Since launching his candidacy for president last May, Sen. Bernie Sanders has watched his poll numbers explode. But Hillary Clinton continues to hold a major advantage with the black and Latino voters that will be key to winning the Democratic nomination. Sanders says he’s convinced he can close that gap.

Ninian Reid

National Review, a leading voice for conservatism, dedicated its issue last week to the opposition against Republican presidential front runner Donald Trump. David Frum joined WNPR's Colin McEnroe Show to talk about why, and to explain the origins of the revolt.

Rhode Island’s legendary rascal king, Buddy Cianci, died Thursday morning.

Cianci was hospitalized with stomach pain while taping ABC6 On the Record, a TV show, Wednesday night.

He died at age 74 at about 8:30 Thursday morning, according to a former aide, Artin Coloian.


President Obama and Vice President Biden "have tried to be fair and even-handed" in the primary process, Sen. Bernie Sanders said Wednesday following a meeting with the president at the White House.

Calling the meeting "constructive and productive," Sanders cautiously praised the Obama administration's economic work, saying there is still work to be done. The two also talked talked about foreign and domestic policy and "a little bit of politics," according to Sanders, who spoke to reporters after the meeting.

Earlier this month, no less an authority than TeenVogue declared that Bernie Sanders is “killin' it” with millennials.

Versageek / Creative Commons

Oil and natural gas prices have gone down, but the need for energy assistance in Connecticut has gone up, according to a recent report released by Operation Fuel. The report revealed that 313,000 Connecticut households can't afford their energy bills. 

Ninian Reid

The Republican establishment is wringing its hands over the rise of Donald Trump. On Friday, National Review, one of the leading and oldest voices for conservatism, dedicated its latest issue to the war "Against Trump." But it didn't have the effect they were hoping for

This week, NPR and some member stations will be taking the temperature of the electorate in communities around the country. You can follow those stations, via Twitter, here.

The mood of the voters is one of the most important political factors in an election year. This year voters are anxious, frightened and angry.

Candidates in both parties are trying to show they get it.

Sen. Chris Murphy Decries Fast-Track Military Authorization Bill

Jan 22, 2016
C-Span

Senator Chris Murphy spoke out on the Senate floor on Thursday against a Republican resolution that would fast-track authorization of military force in the war against ISIS. 

DonkeyHotey / Creative Commons

Warning to listeners: the audio contains some information about "The Revenant" that slipped out of one of the guests during the discussion. It could be considered "a spoiler." 

It seems only natural that Sarah Palin and Donald Trump would find one another. 

Connecticut Senate Democrats

State Senate President Martin Looney has issued a statement about last week's car crash that saw his colleague, Senator Andrew Maynard, hospitalized for four days.

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