Politics

Political news from WNPR

Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont is running for president, he said Wednesday night. He will be challenging Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination, and the self-described "Democratic Socialist" will keep the pressure on Clinton to move to the left.

Sanders has lamented for a long time what he thinks has been woefully missing from the national conversation.

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Quinnipiac University's president has apologized for jokingly telling students at a party he would buy nearby residential houses, inflaming already sore town-gown relations. 

VPR News has learned from several sources that Independent U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders will announce his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday.

Sanders will release a short statement on that day and then hold a major campaign kickoff in Vermont in several weeks.

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Governor Dannel Malloy issued his first veto of the session. The definition of a "spending cap" remains murky. And the former chief-of-staff to a former legislative leader pleads guilty to mail fraud. This hour on our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, a look at the week's news from across the state, including the lack of a police response report from the Newtown tragedy. Also, a recent audit of the Hartford Police Department shows major problems with the ammunition supply and many questions remain.

We also take a look at the state of campaign finance. It has reached the point where even President Barack Obama is making jokes about it.

Office of Dannel Malloy

A non-partisan working group to help find funding options for Connecticut's transportation infrastructure overhaul met for the first time on Tuesday.

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Democratic leaders of the state legislature's Appropriations Committee unveiled their two-year budget Monday.

State of Connecticut

Governor Dannel Malloy has vetoed a bill that would have blocked the Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education from closing any campus or manufacturing programs without legislative approval. 

Connecticut’s fiscal crisis is making strange bedfellows. Two groups usually at opposite ends of the political spectrum came together recently, to ask legislators to think differently about saving for a rainy day. 

Updated at 11:41 a.m. ET

Loretta Lynch is the new U.S. attorney general.

Lynch was sworn in today by Vice President Joe Biden, who said the daughter of a Baptist minister who preached during the sit-ins in Greensboro, N.C., will now be "leading the march to a more perfect union."

Lynch, 55, is the nation's 83rd attorney general and the first black woman to hold the position. She said during a ceremony at the Justice Department that she would work to "imbue our criminal justice system with both strength and fairness" to protect the rights of all.

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Military recruitment has long been a controversial issue in America's high schools and colleges. Dating all the way back to the days of the draft, there's been a tension between the nation's need to keep a military, and the desire - and fitness - of young people to serve.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Republican lawmakers have unveiled an alternate two-year budget that eliminates some of Governor Dannel Malloy's proposed tax hikes, while restoring or scaling back many of the social service and Medicaid cuts proposed in the governor's budget. 

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Several governors from New England visited Connecticut on Thursday to talk about regional energy infrastructure challenges. 

Updated at 12:50 p.m. ET

European leaders attended a ceremony marking the centenary of the massacre of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Turks during World War I, as German lawmakers risked triggering a diplomatic row with Turkey by voting to acknowledge the historical event as "genocide" –- a charge Ankara has strongly denied.

Updated at 5:20 p.m. ET

President Obama offered his "grief and condolences" to the families of the American and Italian aid workers killed in a U.S. counterterrorism operation in January. Both men were held hostage by al-Qaida.

"I take full responsibility for a U.S. government counterterrorism operation that killed two innocent hostages held by al-Qaida," Obama said.

The Senate voted Thursday, 56-43, to approve the nomination of Loretta Lynch to serve as U.S. attorney general, ending a more than five month-long political impasse that had stalled her bid to become the first black woman to lead the Justice Department.

Lynch, 55, grew up in the shadow of the civil rights movement in North Carolina, where her family had preached for generations. Most recently, she prosecuted terrorists, mobsters and white collar criminals as the top federal prosecutor in Brooklyn, a district that covers 8 million people.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Five out of six New England governors will meet in Hartford on Thursday for a closed-door energy roundtable. Together, they’ll work on developing a cooperative strategy to address some of the region’s biggest energy challenges. 

State of Connecticut

State lawmakers have overwhelmingly voted to reconfirm Chase Rogers as chief justice of the Connecticut State Supreme Court. 

A full-fledged Democratic trade war has broken out.

"I love Elizabeth. We're allies on a whole host of issues, but she's wrong on this," President Obama said Tuesday night in an interview on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, referring to liberal Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Courtesy CT-N

State Treasurer Denise Nappier wants to shake-up the way Connecticut pays off its debt.
 Her proposal follows a sharp disagreement with Governor Dannel Malloy’s budget chief over the amount that should be set aside to service state debt in the upcoming two-year budget.

Patrick Skahill / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy announced on Wednesday the creation of a state council to set goals related to Connecticut's efforts to address climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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Republicans at the state capitol hope to get out in front of their counterparts by releasing their own budget plan. But what influence will that have on the majority party? Will new casinos be part of the long-term plan?

At the national level, presidential candidates are balancing their budgets with trips to Connecticut's gold coast, including Sen. Marco Rubio who will headline a GOP fundraiser in Stamford on June 4. That's just a day after the legislative session wraps up, so there may be some tired lawmakers in attendance.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

A week after a state court judge ruled against their effort to remove the city's three elected registrars, members of Hartford's city council have voted not to appeal. 

Heather Brandon / WNPR

Hartford officials have admitted they violated various aspects of the state's open meetings law last year when they held a closed-door meeting to discuss proposals to build a new minor league baseball stadium. 

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Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who recently declared his candidacy for president, is headlining the Connecticut Republican Party's annual fundraising dinner.

State GOP chairman Jerry Labriola Jr. announced Monday that Rubio will keynote the 37th Annual Prescott Bush Awards Dinner. The event is June 4 in Stamford.

Less than two years after he was removed from power by the military, an Egyptian court has sentenced former President Mohammed Morsi to 20 years in prison for the arrest and torture of protesters during his tenure.

The charges stem from the months of protests between late 2012 and July 2013, when Morsi was kicked out of office.

Twelve other defendants were also found guilty and received the same sentence as Morsi; they include former Muslim Brotherhood legislator Mohamed al-Beltagi and Essam al-Aryan, the group's former spokesman.

Chion Wolf

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra wants state revenue to help pay for its new $60 million minor league baseball stadium. And he took that case to the capitol Monday.

Iran is charging a Washington Post reporter with four crimes, including espionage, the newspaper said today. This is the first time the precise charges against Jason Rezaian, the Post's bureau chief in Tehran, have been made public since he was detained by the Iranian authorities nine months ago.

Martin O'Malley, former governor of Maryland, says he'll decide by late May whether he's running for president. Running would put him — even he seems to acknowledge — in an uphill battle against Hillary Clinton, currently the only Democrat who has declared.

O'Malley is positioning himself to Clinton's left, and even President Obama's left.

City of Hartford

There's a public hearing Monday on a plan that would use money generated by a state tax to help pay off the debt for the new minor league baseball stadium in Hartford. But the governor doesn't know much about it, and the state senate Republican leader is opposed to the plan.

Office of Dannel Malloy

Governor Dannel Malloy on Friday named the state's interim education commissioner, Dr. Dianna Wentzell, to the role permanently.

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