Politics

Political news from WNPR

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Listen live on Wednesday at 9:00 am.

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?

Updated at 7 a.m. Tuesday

The head of security for the Transportation Security Administration, Kelly Hoggan, has been removed from his position after a hearing about the agency's management, the House Oversight Committee says.

On Tuesday, Secretary for Homeland Security Jeh Johnson confirmed on NPR's Morning Edition that Hoggan is being removed from his post.

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Paid leave has been a hot-button issue on the campaign trail and in the Connecticut legislature. Earlier this year, state lawmakers considered a bill that would have established mandatory paid family and medical leave for private employees. That bill, however, died in the Senate. 

President Obama announced Monday that the U.S. is fully lifting a five-decades-long arms embargo against Vietnam.

The embargo on lethal military equipment had been partially lifted in 2014; now it will be raised fully, the White House says. The president spoke about the decision from Hanoi, during the first day of a weeklong trip to Asia.

World Bank Photo Collection / Creative Commons

On Wednesday, Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy and 26 other Democratic senators sent a letter to President Obama expressing their deep concern about "the slow pace of admissions for Syrian refugees" and encouraged him to step up the process. 

A legal battle between refugee students and the school district of Utica, N.Y., may soon come to an end.

A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit claiming that refugees in Utica, a Rust Belt city located about four hours north of New York City, have been illegally blocked from attending the local high school.

The most tangible sign of a growing American military presence in Eastern Europe, behind the former Iron Curtain, is tucked inside a former military base in rural Romania.

Hidden from view is a U.S. naval facility, where sailors use high-tech radar day and night to watch for incoming ballistic missiles fired at NATO countries. If any are spotted, the Americans would fire back with SM-3 Block IIA missiles.

State of Connecticut

Under the budget passed last week by the General Assembly, six state legislative commissions will consolidate under two umbrellas. 

Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton appear to have split victories in the Oregon and Kentucky primaries Tuesday night.

With all counties reporting in Kentucky, Clinton was leading Sanders by a narrow margin of 1,924 votes out of more than 450,000 cast. Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes told CNN that Clinton was the "unofficial winner," but the Associated Press said the race was too close to call.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The developers of the city's new minor league baseball park will not meet Tuesday's deadline to deliver a substantially complete stadium, and the planned opening day of May 31 for the Hartford Yard Goats likely won't happen, according to the chairman of the Hartford Stadium Authority. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Tuesday is the day that Hartford’s new minor league Dunkin' Donuts Park is technically supposed to be done. On Monday, I took a tour. 

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America's Asian population is growing faster than any other racial group in the country. According to the White House, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders will account for nearly ten percent of all U.S. residents by the year 2050. So why, then, don’t we hear more about them in our communities? 

Millennials are now as large of a political force as Baby Boomers according to an analysis of U.S. census data from the Pew Research Center, which defines millennials as people between the ages of 18-35. Both generations are roughly 31 percent of the overall electorate.

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 Reporters at The Washington Post noted that Donald Trump has a history of calling reporters under the guise of phantom spokespersons named John Barron and John Miller. He uses the guise to share the wonderful things he's been up to, or depending on how you look at it, to spin his bad press into something more golden, especially his relationships with women he believes are attracted to him. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

WNPR is launching a new series on the heroin epidemic gripping the state. This hour, we hear from one of the reporters leading the investigation.

Also, the state's ongoing budget problems are causing problems for a lot more people than just number crunchers and policy wonks. We check in with two former state employees who lost their jobs in a recent round of layoffs.

Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are turning their attention to the general election and to one of the most important decisions they will make — choosing a vice president.

Picking a vice president is the first "presidential level" decision any candidate makes. Although vice presidential candidates have rarely, perhaps never, determined the outcome of an election, the choice tells voters a lot about the candidate.

The two most important criteria are always the same:

1. Pick someone who would ready to be president, if necessary, and
2. DO NO HARM

Michelle Lee / Creative Commons

With only Democratic votes, Connecticut lawmakers on Friday passed a $19.7 billion Democratic budget that attempts to fix a projected $960 million deficit, but Republicans questioned whether the plan would solve the state's continued financial woes.

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State agencies are beginning a more thorough review of a single eastern Connecticut site as the potential home for a new state police firearms training facility.

House Speaker Paul Ryan called his Thursday morning meeting with Donald Trump "encouraging" but didn't signal he is ready just yet to endorse his party's de facto presidential nominee.

"I do believe we are now planting the seeds to get ourselves unified to bridge the gaps and differences," Ryan told reporters after the two met at the Republican National Committee headquarters.

In a joint statement after their summit, the two stressed that the party must unite to defeat likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton this fall.

Donald Trump arrived in Washington, D.C., on Thursday to meet with his party's congressional leaders to hash out their differences and talk GOP unity ahead of what is likely to be a pitched general-election battle against Hillary Clinton.

First up was a private meeting with House Speaker Paul Ryan. The two arrived around 9 a.m. ET at the Republican National Committee in a session orchestrated by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus.

A second trial related to the death of Freddie Gray opens Thursday in Baltimore, where police Officer Edward Nero faces multiple misdemeanors in connection with the case.

Gray died April 19, 2015, after suffering a broken neck while in police custody — specifically, while being transported in a police van, medical examiners found. The following month, prosecutors announced charges against six police officers in connection with Gray's death.

After debating through the night, Brazil's Senate voted early Thursday 55 to 22 to try President Dilma Rousseff on charges of manipulating the budget. The vote automatically suspends her from office.

The Senate had been widely expected to vote for Rousseff to be tried in impeachment proceedings. The final tally is a resounding defeat for Rousseff, easily surpassing the simple majority (41 votes) required.

A day after de facto Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said "there's nothing to learn" from making his tax returns public before this November's elections, the billionaire is taking heat from the party's 2012 nominee over that stance.

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Municipalities across Connecticut are crying foul on the budget proposed by Democrats in the state legislature. 

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. 

Bernie Sanders won the West Virginia Democratic primary on Tuesday over Hillary Clinton.

The Vermont senator's victory bolsters his decision to stay in the race even though the delegate math is heavily in Clinton's favor. Sanders won Indiana last week and could win several other states slated to vote this month.

New Haven’s first black female police captain is suing the city for discrimination that she says dates back to 2012.

Patricia Helliger is a 20-year veteran of the department. She was promoted to captain three months ago. The lawsuit says Helliger was subject to a campaign of racial and gender harassment that delayed that promotion. 

Attorney Mitchell Garabedian is calling for a federal investigation of sexual abuse allegations at private schools in New England, such as the Fessenden School in Newton.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The state’s largest business organization seems to have angered legislative Republicans with its support of the proposed budget. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Ten years ago, Democratic political newcomer Ned Lamont launched a bid to unseat his party’s incumbent U.S. senator. He defeated Joe Lieberman in the primary and brought national political attention to Connecticut. But 2006 was also the year that our show launched. This hour, we look back at that campaign with Lamont and talk about what has happened in the state and country since then. 

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