Politics

Political news from WNPR

Feryal Salem

The 2016 presidential race has been loaded with rhetoric about a so-called “ISIS caliphate." But what exactly is a caliphate? And what does it mean to say that ISIS has one? This hour, local Islamic scholar Dr. Feryal Salem fills us in. 

Just 48 hours after his landslide win in New Hampshire, Bernie Sanders was in Milwaukee, Wis., reminding everyone how far he had come in his quest for the presidency — and perhaps realizing how far he still has to go.

Gage Skidmore / Creative Commons

When Bernie Sanders announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination, the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza said he "isn't, really, concerned about winning." But winning is just what the U.S. senator from Vermont did Tuesday night in New Hampshire.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has suspended his campaign for president.

"And while running for president I tried to reinforce what I have always believed — that speaking your mind matters, that experience matters, that competence matters and that it will always matter in leading our nation," said Christie in a post on Facebook.

The decision comes after a sixth-place finish in New Hampshire, where Christie had banked so much of his political capital.

Carly Fiorina is exiting the Republican presidential race after a seventh-place showing in last night's New Hampshire primary.

"While I suspend my candidacy today, I will continue to travel this country and fight for those Americans who refuse to settle for the way things are and a status quo that no longer works for them," said Fiorina in a statement.

Rik Stevens / New Hampshire Public Radio

As the electoral circus leaves New Hampshire, our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse will recap the results and news from the first primary of 2016. This early in the process, the losers may be as interesting as the winners. Which candidates will call it quits after Tuesday?

Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders won clear, early and decisive victories in the New Hampshire primary Tuesday night.

Trump beat the GOP field by double digits. He got 35 percent of the vote, well ahead of surprise second-place finisher John Kasich, who pulled in 16 percent. Kasich was followed by Ted Cruz at 12 percent, Jeb Bush at 11 percent and Marco Rubio, who, after a poor debate performance Saturday, faded to fifth just shy of 11 percent.

Hartford Yard Goats / Facebook

When the city of Hartford needed land for its $350 million stadium and downtown development project, it couldn’t come to an agreement with a certain property owner on a price. So the city took some of the land it wanted by force, and decided to pay $1.9 million for it -- an amount its owner said was "wholly inadequate."

Now, the matter is in court, and the two sides are in front of a judge arguing over how much the city should actually pay. 

New Hampshire Public Radio

Connecticut voters made the trip north to support their candidates in New Hampshire's presidential primary on Tuesday.

President Obama unveils his 2017 budget proposal today. It's an aspirational blueprint that details how he would set priorities if he controlled the government's checkbook ... which he doesn't.

"This budget is not about looking back at the road we have traveled," Obama said. "It is about looking forward."

But congressional Republicans are looking past the president. House Speaker Paul Ryan dismissed the budget as "a progressive manual for growing the federal government at the expense of hardworking Americans."

Jeb Bush may finally be hitting his stride. The former Florida governor will find out Tuesday night whether that's too little, too late to save his White House hopes.

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.

Conn. Unions React To Malloy's Layoff Plan

Feb 9, 2016

Union leaders in Connecticut say they're concerned that lawmakers are looking first to state employees for savings in Governor Dannel Malloy’s proposed budget.

Lori Pelletier, President of the Connecticut AFL-CIO, said state lawmakers should consider other parts of the budget before they start cutting state jobs.

“We need to look at how many contractors does the state of Connecticut have that are duplicating the services that state employees do already,” she said. “These are the things we need to look at before we start laying off.”

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:

Comedy and race will meet head-on at this year's Academy Awards on Feb. 28. Amid calls to boycott the Oscars over its lack of diversity, the host is one of today's most provocative black comedians. You can just feel the audacious Chris Rock rubbing his hands together in excitement.

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.

Freewayjim / YouTube

Governor Dannel Malloy’s transportation goals for the state include a plan to widen the entire length of I-95 in Connecticut. The state’s transportation commissioner said on WNPR Friday that the widening plan is actually tied to congestion pricing to discourage highway use.

The fifth debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders was their first appearance as a duet, and that helped to highlight some of their harmony – even as it heightened their crescendos of dissonance.

With Martin O'Malley having suspended his campaign earlier in the week, the two remaining rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination met in New Hampshire on Thursday night — on stage together for nearly two hours.

"I happen to respect the secretary very much; I hope it's mutual," said Sanders.

And Clinton reciprocated:

In New Hampshire, the night after the Iowa caucuses, it was hard not to feel the "Marco-mentum."

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio stood on a stage surrounded by more than 700 rowdy supporters, who filled Exeter's picturesque town hall to the brink.

Rubio delivered the same stump speech he's been sticking to for months. But Tuesday night, fresh off his surprisingly strong third-place Iowa finish, the crowd ate up every line.

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.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton squeaked out a victory Monday over U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Iowa caucus. The next battle is New Hampshire where U.S. Senator Chris Murphy was campaigning for Clinton Monday.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dan Malloy delivers his "State of the State" address Wednesday as the legislature reconvenes for this year's regular session. The state budget deficit looms large over the capitol and deep cuts throughout government are expected. The session also starts in the wake of high-profile corporations testing the waters of relocation to other states.

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.


Cloud4Treasurer2015 / Facebook

Hartford Treasurer Adam Cloud will take four years to pay taxpayers back roughly $10,000 -- money he was given for a raise no one remembers approving.

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.

Iowa has once again proved its perennial resistance to political inevitability and the power of personality.

In this year's iteration of the Iowa caucuses, national polling leaders Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton had their campaign momentum slowed in significant ways by party activists who preferred their rivals.

A big win in Iowa might have set either leader on the path to a relatively easy nomination. But that was not to be, and now both Trump and Clinton face difficult and perhaps protracted struggles to overcome rivals they had hoped to dismiss.

CT Senate Democrats/Creative Commons

Should Connecticut require paid family and medical leave? The state Department of Labor will report back to lawmakers this legislative session on how the state could implement the proposed law. 

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