Politics

Political news from WNPR

President Obama's choice to serve as the newest Supreme Court justice is Merrick Garland, a moderate federal appeals court judge and former prosecutor with a reputation for collegiality and meticulous legal reasoning.

Garland, who has won past Republican support, has "more federal judicial experience than any other Supreme Court nominee in history," a White House official said. "No one is better suited to immediately serve on the Supreme Court."

Federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland is President Obama's pick to fill the Supreme Court seat left vacant by the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Kevin Dooley / Creative Commons

Donald Trump is closer to locking up the Republican nomination for president after big wins in Tuesday's primaries. He has incredible support from a party that's grown increasingly disappointed in their established leaders, yet still seeks the traits we have traditionally sought in a leader. 

Chuck Kennedy / White House

It's that time of the political season when just about every Tuesday seems like a "Super Tuesday." More voters head to the polls, and on our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, we discuss the results, and take a look at what's ahead for both major political parties.

Tuesday's big primary night helped both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump extend their delegate leads in their respective parties. And as each state votes, we're beginning to get a clearer glimpse at just who their supporters are.

For Trump, his support continues to cross traditional demographic and socioeconomic lines, underscoring just how difficult it will continue to be for Republicans opposing his controversial candidacy to stop him. But some of his weaknesses with GOP voters could also be a problem for him in a general election.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio announced Tuesday night that he was suspending his campaign for president after losing his home state in a landslide to Donald Trump.

"After tonight it is clear that while we are on the right side, we will not be on the winning side," Rubio told supporters in Miami.

Rubio congratulated Donald Trump at the start of his speech, but later appeared to criticize the real estate mogul's tactics.

As a Youngstown native, I have come to expect this.

Every presidential election year, candidates flock to Youngstown, Ohio, to use my hometown as a political backdrop.

It's a great place to talk about job losses. Steel mills used to line the Mahoning River for miles, churning out tens of thousands of jobs. Those jobs drove the city's population from 33,000 in 1890 to 170,000 in 1930. My grandparents came from Poland and Hungary to join in that boom.

In the mid-20th century, Youngstown became known for its union jobs and high levels of home ownership.

Russian President Vladimir Putin just made another shrewd and decisive move with his surprising decision to start withdrawing forces from Syria. Or, the Russian leader was overextended abroad and short of cash at home and was looking for a quick exit.

Putin wants everyone to believe the former, claiming the Russian airstrikes and the Syrian government army have achieved a "fundamental turnaround in the fight against international terrorism."

Freewayjim / YouTube

Governor Dannel Malloy’s bill which would create a constitutional lockbox to safeguard transportation funds has moved out of committee. But several lawmakers said they want the bill to be improved, or they won’t support it going forward.

Even though Tuesday may not have more delegates or states in play than Super Tuesday, March 1, had, it's still a big day, with more than 1,000 delegates at stake. More importantly, the results could end up deciding who the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates will be.

Five states are casting votes on March 15, along with one U.S. territory on the GOP side.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

It's Monday. Remember last Monday when we had a somewhat long and somewhat anguished conversation about Donald Trump? Well, we're planning to have another one toward the end of today's show. 

West Hartford Clergy Look to Sponsor Refugees

Mar 14, 2016
U.S. Department of State

Pastor Geordie Campbell of the First Congregational Church of Christ organized the first meeting of West Hartford clergy last September because of his own anguish over the refugee crisis.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

When Luke Bronin was running to be Hartford’s mayor, he said he wanted to spend some time looking under the hood at the city’s finances. He’s done that now, and what he's seen isn't good. In advance of his state of the city address tonight, Bronin sat down with WNPR to share his take on the city's budget. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Iason Athanasiadis is a writer, photojournalist, and documentary filmmaker who has spent years covering the Middle East and Mediterranean Europe. He was in Hartford recently to speak to the World Affairs Council of Connecticut, and stopped by our studios to talk about journalism in conflict regions and the Syrian migrant crisis. This hour, we listen back to that conversation.

Five candidates for president weighed in on the violent clashes in Chicago at a planned Friday night rally for Republican frontrunner Donald Trump.

Bossi / Creative Commons

It was a battle of dueling economic reports before the state legislature Thursday as lawmakers considered whether to commission yet another study on the impact of a potential third casino. 

Web Summit/Creative Commons

Connecticut is the latest state to consider regulating the fast-growing fantasy sports industry.

Connecticut Senate Democrats / Creative Commons

The sponsor of a Maine bill designed to make it easier to label foods made with the use of genetically modified organisms says she'll push for a public vote.

New England Lawmakers Propose Seceding From Time Zone

Mar 11, 2016

As most Americans brace themselves for losing an hour of sleep this weekend, some lawmakers are proposing bold alternatives for New England and elsewhere.

The fifth year of the Syrian conflict was the worst yet for civilians — and Russia, the U.S., France and Britain are partly to blame. That's according to a new report from 30 aid and human rights groups, including Oxfam and Care International.

After one more debate among the Republican contenders for president, the postgame conversation was once again dominated by Donald Trump's behavior.

But for once, it was about his good behavior. He did not shout or fulminate, nor did he pout or belittle his opponents or joust with the moderators.

Keoni Cabral / Creative Commons

The project to bring a bottled water facility to Bloomfield will be up for discussion at the State Capitol Friday.  There's a public hearing on a bill that would make it harder for bottling companies to get discounts on the public water they buy. 

Vermont has become the fifth state in the nation to enact legislation that requires businesses to provide their workers with paid sick leave.

Once upon a time, the Democratic National Committee had a plan for just four debates among the party's candidates for president. The general feeling among activists was that too many debates risked overexposing the candidates, their differences and the divisions within the party.

There had been too many debates, they felt, in 2008. It was just bad politics.

Before Black Lives Matter was a hashtag, before it was a slogan chanted by protesters in cities across the country, before it was a national movement, it was a Facebook post by an Oakland-based activist named Alicia Garza. She wrote it after George Zimmerman was acquitted in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

JasonParis. / Creative Commons

This hour, our news roundtable The Wheelhouse tackles some of the biggest political stories of the week. We discuss everything from state budget cuts, to automatic voter registration, to a "legislative mystery" that's got everyone asking: Who added language to the SEEC's bill? 

The results from Tuesday's four primary and caucus states are in: three wins for Trump, one each for Clinton and Cruz, and one surprising, narrow victory for Sanders.

Bernie Sanders' tight win over Hillary Clinton in Michigan is the biggest news out of Tuesday night's presidential nomination races. Though Clinton had led consistently in recent polls, Sanders won by less than 2 percentage points with 99 percent of precincts reporting.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton currently lead the delegate counts for the presidential nomination. But because of the difference in how both parties award their delegates, Clinton's is the more commanding lead.


Michigan is an important test for Sanders

Tuesday's Democratic contest in Michigan, the biggest prize of the day, is key for Bernie Sanders to show he can turn things around. His campaign has argued that Clinton has ballooned her lead because of black voters in the South.

Elizabeth Hahn / Creative Commons

Steve Almond says he's rooting for Donald Trump to win the nomination, even though he doesn't want him to be our next president. He says the GOP has been riling up their base voters for so long, it's no surprise that Trump is now overtly channeling all the "racist and nativist rhetoric" that has been covertly promoted by the party for decades.  

In their seventh debate, this time in Flint, Mich., Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders agreed on the root causes of that city's drinking water crisis. They both called for a massive federal intervention and investigation of the lead poisoning there and urged that the state's Republican governor, Rick Snyder, either resign or be recalled.

But the two Democratic candidates also clashed over the role of trade deals in the deterioration of Michigan's economy, the usefulness of the Export-Import Bank and the state of manufacturing in America generally.

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