Politics

Political news from WNPR

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin took office in January, and his honeymoon is officially over. The mayor is trying to figure out a way to balance the city’s budget. 

Trump Holds Rally On Long Island

Apr 7, 2016

Donald Trump was on Long Island Wednesday night to hold his first rally before New York State’s April 19th Primary.

The Republican frontrunner declared it's “great to be home” before an estimated 10-12,000 people who filled a movie sound stage at Grumman Studios. Trump shrugged off a defeat in Wisconsin a day earlier and instead, predicted victory in his delegate-rich home state.

Gage Skidmore / Creative Commons

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders is attracting criticism from members of Connecticut's congressional delegation after comments he made about shielding the gun industry from legal liability. 

The race for the Democratic nomination had been fairly polite compared with the spouse-sparring and name-calling across the aisle, but it looks like those polite days are over.

Ahead of the New York primary (April 19), Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are doubling down on jabs over who is more "qualified" to be president.

U.S. Cities Facing Issues Over Pension Packages

Apr 7, 2016
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Andy Uhler

A task force aimed at preventing Philadelphia from going bankrupt has urged the city’s mayor to figure out how to deal with its almost $6 billion pension deficit. Philadelphia hasn't been or isn't the only region in the country dealing with this issue, though. 

Detroit was the poster child of cities running out of money. In 2013, the city filed for bankruptcy after accumulating $18 billion of debt. The pension program was said to account for a sixth of that total.

Puerto Rico's governor has signed a bill that puts the island's debt payments on hold until January 2017. Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla says the island's first priority is covering payments for essential services.

Puerto Rico acted this week following reports that a key financial institution, the Government Development Bank, is nearly insolvent. A group of hedge funds went to court to block public agencies from withdrawing funds from the bank. Within hours, the Legislature moved to pass the debt moratorium by approving the measure.

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.

Ohio Governor John Kasich has begun campaigning on Long Island ahead of New York’s April 19 primary. The Republican Presidential candidate held a town hall forum at Hofstra University on Monday.

Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders won the Wisconsin primaries Tuesday night, an important step for both candidates as they look to stop their leading rivals and close their delegate gaps.

For the Republican Texas senator, he's on pace for a nearly double-digit win over Donald Trump, increasing the likelihood of a contested Republican convention this July in Cleveland.

epSos .de / Flickr Creative Commons

It’s national distracted driving awareness month again, which means police will be out on the state’s roads and highways checking to see if you’re using your phone while you're driving. But it’s a targeted effort and not all police departments participate. 

Updated at 8:10 p.m. ET

One law firm, 11.5 million files.

The massive trove of emails, contracts and other papers from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca is being called the largest document leak in history.

matt_benoit / iStock/Thinkstock

Proponents of legalizing marijuana in Connecticut are urging state lawmakers to capitalize on the "novelty factor" of becoming the first New England state to allow recreational use of the drug. 

After "Make America Great Again," it is perhaps the most common refrain of the Donald Trump campaign.

"I will build a wall!"

And, every time, it's followed by an ironclad guarantee from the candidate:

"And I will make Mexico pay for it."

When asked how, Trump has always been short on details. He cites leverage the U.S. has over Mexico, which needs access to the U.S. market. He has also suggested steep tariffs on Mexican-made goods.

Updated at 8:10 p.m. ET

Icelandic Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson said Tuesday that he will step aside and another party official will take over for a while. The move comes days after a massive data leak known as the Panama Papers linked him to secret offshore bank accounts.

Following news that Gunnlaugsson had resigned, a spokesperson released a statement clarifying the leader's decision:

Astro / Creative Commons

A few weeks ago we held a conversation about the n-word -- how the word is used by black and white Americans; how it's been used by newspapers over time; and how one professor would like to see it stop being used altogether. 

Sweden has taken in more asylum seekers per capita than any other European country — 160,000 last year alone. Refugees are now part of the landscape, even in small towns. And nearly everybody, not just those working with aid groups, is encountering the newcomers.

In the southern town of Ronneby, Dagmar Nordberg is giving Swedish lessons to Waliullah Hafiz, who goes by Wali, at her kitchen table. The 60-year-old Swedish museum director met this 23-year-old migrant from Kabul on a train platform in a nearby village on a freezing cold day last November.

The first boats of refugees and migrants have arrived back in Turkey from Greece, as part of a new — and controversial — deal between Turkey and the European Union that takes effect today. It is aimed at stopping the flood of people seeking asylum in Europe.

Under the deal, every migrant who reaches Greece illegally from Turkey after March 20 will be returned to Turkey, unless they qualify for asylum. However, for every Syrian turned back, a Syrian refugee who has been vetted is to be resettled from Turkey in an EU country.

In 2014, Sergei Roldugin told the New York Times, "I don't have millions."

Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have agreed to hold another debate in advance of the New York primary. The candidates have committed to face each other on CNN at 9 p.m. on April 14 in New York, the network says.

The very important New York primary takes place on April 19.

Each of their campaigns had a hard time coming up with a date and venue the other side would accept, and each insisted it was the other side that was holding things up.

The Bernie Sanders presidential campaign opened its Connecticut campaign office in Hartford this weekend.

The launch was raucous. Cheering. Applause. 

spediter / iStock/Thinkstock

Two former Connecticut residents who were deported to Italy have lost their bid to return to the state to testify before lawmakers about how criminal convictions and deportation affect immigrant families. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy has been named the recipient of this year's John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for supporting the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the U.S. following the Paris terrorist attacks and personally welcoming a Syrian family to Connecticut that had been turned away from Indiana. 

A long-simmering debate over municipal residency requirements in Massachusetts has flared up in Springfield.

Three city councilors in Springfield claim six deputy or district chiefs in the Springfield Fire Department are in violation of the city’s residency ordinance.

Their public demand for the fire officials to move into the city immediately, or give up their jobs, brought a sharp rebuke from Mayor Domenic Sarno.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Radiologists and advocates are trying to persuade Connecticut lawmakers to reverse a cut made last year to the state Medicaid reimbursement rate for radiology services. 

Dave Granlund / DaveGranlund.com

The polling industry is in transition. Fewer people consider it their civic duty to participate -- less than ten percent today compared to 80 percent two decades ago -- and pollsters haven't yet figured out how to effectively capture public opinion using cell phones and online surveys. 

Associates of President Vladimir Putin of Russia have channeled as much as $2 billion through offshore accounts, banks and shadow companies, according to a massive leak of documents from a Panamanian law firm.

More than 11 million documents, dubbed the Panama Papers, show how dozens of rich and powerful people around the world have used offshore and secret accounts to dodge taxes and sanctions and launder money.

More than 50 world leaders are attending a nuclear security summit in Washington this week. But Vladimir Putin is a no-show. And, as if on cue, North Korea fired a ballistic missile on Friday.

These biannual nuclear summits, aimed at locking down fissile material worldwide that could be used for doomsday weapons, were proposed by President Obama back in 2009, barely two months into his presidency.

"We must insure that terrorists never acquire a nuclear weapon," he declared, calling such a scenario "the most immediate and extreme threat to global security."

Drumming up support ahead of New York’s April 19 primary, former New York U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton campaigned in Westchester County Thursday. Though she was flanked by a number of staunch supporters, some students in the audience made it known they back her Democratic rival.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Rep. Joe Courtney joins us to talk about what he's working on in Washington, D.C. for his constituents in eastern Connecticut. One national issue hitting his district particularly hard is the heroin epidemic. What is the federal government's role in combating this problem? 

Also, the U.S. Navy announced this week that Electric Boat would be the main contractor for a new submarine program. How's the health of the rest of the defense industry in the region?

Malloy To Conn. Public Employees: Avoid NC

Apr 1, 2016

Connecticut is the fourth state to tell its public employees not to travel to North Carolina. That's in response to a new law in North Carolina critics say discriminates against the LGBT community.

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