Politics

Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue January 27, 2015

New Session, New Term: Governor Dannel Malloy Live In Studio

Governor Malloy returns to WNPR and he'll take some of your questions.
Chion Wolf WNPR

For the first time since his re-election, Governor Dannel Malloy returns to WNPR’s studios to discuss his plans for this legislative session. Near the top of his priority list is the state budget, which faces a nearly $121 million deficit. Malloy has also proposed some plans to improve transportation in the state, including the widening of two major highways.

You can join the conversation and ask questions of Governor Malloy. Call us live between 9:00 to 10:00 am on Tuesday, January 27 at (860) 275-7266. You can also leave questions in the comments section on this page, or on Twitter and Facebook.

Read more
India
9:18 am
Sun January 25, 2015

U.S. And India Announce New Ties On First Day Of Obama's Trip

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Obama meet at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on Sunday, the first day of Obama's three-day trip to India.
UPI Landov

Originally published on Sun January 25, 2015 12:03 pm

Updated at 8:25 a.m. ET

President Obama announced Sunday that the U.S. and India have made progress on civilian nuclear trade. In a joint news conference with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi, Obama said the countries had agreed to more cooperation in other areas as well, including defense and climate change.

Read more
Election 2015
1:46 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

In Hartford, Griebel Considers City Council Run

Oz Griebel in a WNPR file photo.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Oz Griebel runs the MetroHartford Alliance and ran for governor in 2010. Now, he's considering a run for Hartford's city council. 

"I am considering a run, but considering is the operative word," Griebel said.

Read more
U.S.-Cuba Relations
11:57 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Rep. Rosa DeLauro Calls for End to Program Enticing Cuban Doctors to Defect

A Cuban doctor administers a vaccination to a woman at a camp for displaced Haitians in Port-au-Prince in 2010.
Sophia Paris United Nations

As U.S. and Cuba officials wrap up their first high-level talks in decades, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro is leading a call for an end to the Cuban Medical Professional Parole Program.

Read more
Climate Change
10:06 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Senate Says Climate Change Real, But Not Really Our Fault

Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., was the only senator to vote against an amendment calling climate change "real and not a hoax."
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 2:20 pm

Breathtakingly broad as its jurisdiction may be, the U.S. Senate does not usually vote on the validity of scientific theories.

This week, it did. And science won. The Senate voted that climate change is real, and not a hoax. The vote was 98-1.

The vote was about an amendment to the bill approving the Keystone XL pipeline. The near-unanimity of the climate change judgment was notable, because so many senators have cast doubt on ideas of "global warming."

Read more
Newtown
9:11 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Newtown, Conn., Council Votes To Raze Sandy Hook Shooter's Home

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 11:52 am

Officials in Newtown, Conn., have voted to demolish the home of Adam Lanza, the gunman who killed 20 first-graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.

The Newtown Legislative Council voted 10-0 Wednesday night to approve a proposal to tear down the 3,100-square-foot home where Lanza lived with his mother. The land on which the home stands will be kept as open space for now.

Read more
Civil Rights
5:56 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Justice Dept. Will Reportedly Clear Ferguson Police Officer In Brown Case

Demonstrators remember Michael Brown on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, marching from the apartment complex where Brown was killed to the Ferguson police station. A federal inquiry has found no evidence that officer Darren Wilson violated Brown's civil rights, sources tell NPR.
Scott Olson Getty Images

The Justice Department is poised to declare that former police officer Darren Wilson should not face civil rights charges over the death of Michael Brown, law enforcement sources tell NPR. Wilson, who is white, shot and killed Brown, who was black, in August. Brown was not armed.

"Two law enforcement sources tell NPR they see no way forward to file criminal civil rights charges" against Wilson, NPR's Carrie Johnson reports. She adds, "Those charges would require authorities to prove the officer used excessive force and violated Brown's constitutional rights."

Read more
Election Day Problems
3:00 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

As City Council Plans to Remove Her, Hartford's Democratic Registrar Plans to Fight

Credit Vox Efx / Creative Commons

As Hartford's City Council is seeking to remove all three of its registrars because of a disastrous Election Day 2014, at least one of them -- Democrat Olga Vazquez -- is planning a strong defense.

"She does not disagree with the fact that there were some serious snafus," said Leon Rosenblatt, Vazquez's attorney. "But the registrars weren't the cause of it. And the report that was written is very one-sided and incomplete." 

Read more
Captured On Camera
1:58 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

State Rep. Brandon McGee: Death Threats Received After Parking in Handicapped Space

A photo of State Rep. Brandon McGee's BMW parked illegally that circulated Facebook over the weekend.
Kevin Brookman wethepeoplehartford.blogspot.com

An anonymous camera phone-wielding watchdog set off a Facebook firestorm against State Rep. Brandon McGee after a photo of his car parked illegally in a handicap spot circulated online. 

Read more
Budget Crisis
1:11 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

$121 Million State Deficit Fueled By Falling Gas Prices

KOMUnews Creative Commons

Turns out saving at the pump isn’t great for everyone.

Governor Dannel Malloy will have to order a second round of budget cuts for fiscal year 2015 after the falling price of petroleum has contributed to a $120.9 million deficit, an $89.3 million increase from last month.

Read more
Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed January 21, 2015

The Wheelhouse Looks for a Parking Spot

If you don't have a handicap permit, don't park here!
Credit Mr. Nygren / Creative Commons

There is a simple formula for restoring respect for democracy and other American institutions: just study everything that happens in Bridgeport and do the opposite.

On our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, Colin McEnroe guest-hosts with check-ins on Bridgeport, New London County, and Hartford. 

The capital city is part of a different formula: study how Hartford runs elections and do the opposite. Also, don't park in a handicap spot, especially if you're a lawmaker using your official state plates.

Read more
Hartford
8:00 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Hartford City Council Moves to Remove Registrars of Voters

Hartford City Council President Shawn Wooden in City Hall last week.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Following a disastrous Election Day 2014 in which voters at various city polling places were denied the right to vote, the city council is beginning the process of removing all three registrars of voters.

Read more
SOTU
10:55 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

'Tonight, We Turn The Page': Obama Lays Out 2015 Agenda

President Obama receives a standing ovation as he prepares to deliver his State of the Union address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress on Capitol Hill Tuesday.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 12:48 am

Delivering his sixth State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Obama faced a Congress that's now controlled by his Republican opponents. His speech included possible areas of cooperation — and a threat to use his veto power.

Tax proposals that would boost middle-class families were in the president's speech; so were calls for a new approach to immigration and a push for free education at community colleges.

Obama also called on Congress to pass a resolution to authorize using military force against the extremist group ISIS.

Read more
Congress
6:23 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Rep. DeLauro Leading Opposition To President Obama's Trade Proposal

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.)

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 4:05 pm

As President Obama prepares for the State of the Union address tonight, some Democratic members of Congress are opposing one of the White House’s proposals.

Read more
Politics
3:16 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Obama Joins Ike, The Gipper, Bill And George II In A Club No One Wants To Be In

President Dwight Eisenhower delivers his State of the Union address before a joint session of the 86th Congress in 1959. Behind him are Vice President Richard Nixon (left) and Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn.
AP

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 7:06 pm

President Obama begins his seventh year in office Tuesday facing a Congress where both the House and Senate are in the hands of the opposition party. He shares this in common with every other president fortunate enough to even have a seventh year in office since the 1950s.

Dwight Eisenhower in 1959, Ronald Reagan in 1987, Bill Clinton in 1999 and George W. Bush in 2007 all climbed the rostrum for this late-in-the-game challenge looking out at majorities of the other party in both chambers.

Read more
White House
6:48 am
Tue January 20, 2015

Obama, In Tonight's State Of The Union, Will Focus On Middle Class

President Obama speaks at Pellissippi State Community College, in Knoxville, Tenn., on Jan. 9. Obama is turning to his biggest television audience of the year to pitch tax increases on the wealthiest Americans and put the new Republican Congress in the position of defending top income earners over the middle class.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 7:41 pm

President Obama delivers his State of the Union address tonight and is expected to focus on the state of the economy and its impact on the middle class.

Read more
Taxes
5:09 am
Tue January 20, 2015

IRS Budget Cuts May Make For An Unpleasant Tax Filing Season

Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 7:18 pm

The Internal Revenue Service on Tuesday began accepting tax returns electronically, and paper returns will begin to be processed at the same time. In a statement, the IRS reminded taxpayers that filing electronically is the most accurate way to file a tax return and the fastest way to get a refund.

Read more
Supreme Court
1:03 am
Tue January 20, 2015

Should Judicial Candidates Be Allowed To Solicit Campaign Money?

Judge Adrian Adams is helped with his robe by his daughters during a robing ceremony Friday in Gretna, La. Adams won a race for 24th Judicial District Court in November behind a campaign that raised a modest $22,350, including several four-figure donations from attorneys and law firms. Louisiana law, like Florida law, bars judicial candidates from personally soliciting campaign contributions.
Brett Duke The Times-Picayune/Landov

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 8:56 am

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday in a case testing whether states, in the name of preserving judicial impartiality, may bar judicial candidates from personally soliciting campaign contributions.

There was a time when judicial elections were a pretty tame affair, with relatively little money spent, and candidates in most states limited in how they could campaign. Not anymore.

Read more
Wake of Newton
4:13 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Newtown School Panel Working on Final Details of Report

Hamden Mayor Scott Jackson in a WNPR file photo. Jackson is the chair of the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission.
Chion Wolf WNPR

The panel created by Governor Dannel Malloy in the wake of the Newtown school shooting is continuing to work on its final recommendations. 

Read more
Torture in the U.S.A.
3:05 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Do We Approve of Torture? Depends on How You Ask

Val Kerry Creative Commons

The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee’s torture report released last December revealed that the CIA lied about the effectiveness of torture in gaining important information from terrorism suspects. But that didn't change America's opinion of using such tactics. 

Read more
White House
1:56 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Obama: There's A Less Than 50-50 Chance Of A Nuclear Deal With Iran

British Prime Minister David Cameron speaks as President Obama looks on during a joint news conference in the East Room of the White House on Friday.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 7:40 pm

During a joint press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron, President Obama warned Congress that if it passed further sanctions against Iran, he would veto them.

The two leaders, speaking to the press after a series of bilateral meetings, stood shoulder to shoulder on all the issues that came before them. Cameron said that on Iran, he had been calling U.S. senators to tell them he didn't think new sanctions would work against Iran.

Read more
Hartford
12:30 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Report: Hartford Registrars Made "Multiple, Serious Errors" Around Election Day

From left, attorney James Rotondo, Hartford City Council President Shawn Wooden, City Councilman Alex Aponte, and City Councilwoman Cynthia Jennings.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

An investigation into election day failures in Hartford shows that the city turned people way from the polls, lost track of 70 absentee ballots, and failed to agree on an accurate vote tally.  Now that the problem has been identified, leaders on the city council say they're working on a fix.  

Election day last November began badly in Hartford. Some residents couldn't cast their ballots because the polls weren't open, and the polls weren't open because the voter lists weren't in place. 

A report drafted by lawyers working for the city council say a bunch of factors caused the mess: the city's registrars failed to give the state important voter lists in time, failed to open polling places in time, and failed to resolve discrepancies in vote tallies after the fact.

Read more
Capital Punishment
8:51 am
Fri January 16, 2015

Oklahoma Executes An Inmate For 1st Time Since Lethal Injection Disaster

The gurney in the the execution chamber at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary is pictured in McAlester, Okla. Oklahoma resumed executions Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015, after botching its last one.
Sue Ogrocki AP

Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 9:24 am

More than eight months after Oklahoma officials struggled to perform the execution of a condemned man who eventually died of a heart attack, the state executed another prisoner, Charles Frederick Warner, Thursday night. The Associated Press reports that Warner was declared dead at 7:28 p.m. CST. Warner was convicted in the 1997 rape and beating death of an 11-month-old girl.

Read more
Where We Live
8:41 am
Fri January 16, 2015

If We Torture, What Makes Us Different From Those We Condemn?

Credit Val Kerry / Creative Commons

Last month, the Senate Intelligence Committee Report released their report examining the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation after 9/11.

They found that the CIA was using harsher forms of torture that yielded less useful information than we were led to believe.

California Senator Dianne Feinstein, Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee said, "Detainees were subjected to the most aggressive techniques immediately. They were stripped naked, diapered, physically struck, and put in various painful stress positions for long periods of time."  

Read more
Infrastructure Investment
7:57 am
Fri January 16, 2015

Gold Star Bridge in New London Illustrates Transportation Challenges

The double spans of the Gold Star Bridge dwarf the Gov. Dannel Malloy and assembled politicians.
Harriet Jones WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy took his transportation road show to New London, talking about the need to strengthen the Gold Star Bridge and widen I-95. 

Read more
New York City
3:24 am
Fri January 16, 2015

NYPD Disciplinary Problems Linked To A 'Failure Of Accountability'

New York Police Department Commissioner William Bratton attends a press conference after witnessing police being retrained under new guidelines at the Police Academy on Dec. 4.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 10:22 am

The New York Police Department is known for pioneering the use of computer statistics to identify crime trends, but it can't seem to identify its own officers causing problems on its streets.

Darvell Elliott was arrested in August 2010 because he matched the description of a robbery suspect. He says he was already in handcuffs when the world went black.

When he came to, he was "in a hospital, Brookdale Hospital, face stuck to the sheet like Velcro," Elliott says.

Read more
Code Switch
12:30 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

Hawaii As 'Racial Paradise'? Bid For Obama Library Invokes A Complex Past

University of Hawaii students sit together to show the ethnic differences of Hawaii's population in 1948.
Eliot Elisofon The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 17, 2015 3:36 pm

Sometime in March, Barack Obama is expected to announce his choice of the institution that will hold his presidential archive. Vying for the honor (and the money that comes with it) are the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Columbia University in New York, and the University of Hawaiʻi (the Hawaiian language spelling of the state's name).

Read more
Springfield
11:30 am
Thu January 15, 2015

Springfield Mayor Livid Over Placement Of Homeless Families In City Apartments

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno protests a state program that he says is concentrating homeless families in city apartments in a few neighborhoods.

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 6:10 pm

The mayor of Springfield is calling on the administration of Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker to end a practice by the past administration of placing homeless families in congregate housing.

An angry Mayor Domenic Sarno said de-facto group homes for homeless families have been created in apartment buildings concentrated in a handful of city neighborhoods since last fall with city inspectors finding in some cases 3-4 families living in a single apartment.

" This is absolute BS," said Sarno at a city hall news conference.

Read more
State Administration
4:28 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Waterford Lawmaker Tapped to Be the Next Aging Commissioner

Waterford State Rep. Betsy Ritter has been nominated by Gov. Dannel Malloy to be the next commissioner of the Department on Aging.
Credit Office of Gov. Malloy

Governor Dannel Malloy announced on Wednesday that he intends to nominate Waterford State Representative Betsy Ritter to be the state's next commissioner of the State Department on Aging.

Read more
Hartford
1:34 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Luke Bronin, Gov. Malloy's Ex-Lawyer, to Run for Hartford Mayor

Luke Bronin, former legal counsel to Gov. Dannel Malloy, filed his candidacy for mayor Wednesday.
Luke Bronin

Luke Bronin, former legal counsel to Governor Dannel Malloy, is officially entering the race for mayor of the city of Hartford

Bronin said he's planning to file his paperwork with the city on Wednesday.

In a letter to residents posted on his website, Bronin said the city has its strengths: cultural diversity and creativity, the support of the governor, and new state-supported development projects. 

Read more

Pages