The Wheelhouse | Connecticut Public Radio
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The Wheelhouse

Wednesdays 9:00 am and 8:00 pm

Connecticut's best journalists come out of the political trenches every Wednesday to join us on Connecticut Public Radio's weekly news roundtable, The Wheelhouse, hosted by Lucy Nalpathanchil. 

The producer is Matt Dwyer. The technical producer is Cat Pastor. 

Office of the Governor

Some people are seeing a recession in economic numbers for Connecticut and the nation.  Parts of the US economy have virtually shut down to prevent people from mingling and spreading COVID-19.  Agreement is reached to move forward a major coronavirus economic bailout package in Congress -- but not without partisan battles. What will it actually do? And could the spread of coronavirus be a moment when everything changes?  Oh, by the way Connecticut’s presidential primary was postponed. Along with everything else.

Lori Mack / Connecticut Public Radio

This week a look at coronavirus in one Connecticut city, on the state-wide level, and across the country.  How could COVID-19 change society? We also dissect the Democratic presidential primary results from the states that did not postpone their vote.  

MATT DWYER / CONNECTICUT PUBLIC RADIO

This week, we sort through the results from the latest round of Democratic presidential primaries in Michigan and five other states. Coronavirus has already postponed rallies and threatens to limit campaign activity at a key stage in the contest. We will look at the response to the virus across the country, and in Connecticut, where it is officially a public health emergency.

MATT DWYER / CONNECTICUT PUBLIC RADIO

We pick up the pieces after the Super Tuesday primary. How big a factor were the endorsements of departing candidates Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar for Joe Biden's big night? Bernie Sanders tried to cement a lead, but that did not happen. Michael Bloomberg placed a big bet on this round of primaries, and won.. American Samoa. What does the future hold for Elizabeth Warren? Plus, state lawmakers deal with possible conflicts of interest.  And is Greater Hartford's water agency in over its head?

MATT DWYER / CONNECTICUT PUBLIC RADIO

Because I could not stop for tolls --

They kindly stopped for me --

The Chrysler held but just ourselves --

And not the D-O-T.

KHALEEL RAHMAN / CONNECTICUT PUBLIC RADIO

Watch for crowds of people opposed to vaccines at the state capitol today for a public hearing on a bill that would require students claiming religious objections to get the shots. Some parents fearful of vaccines are threatening to pull their kids out of school or leave the state. Also, how do quasi public agencies work? Some say one quasi public ran aground while preparing for a major upgrade to state pier in New London. Plus, lawmakers again delay a vote on truck tolls.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

On The Wheelhouse this week, we run the odds on a gambling expansion bill and take a closer look at the state budget. We examine Connecticut's efforts to influence the New Hampshire Primaries.  And should the state go forward with $100-million in XL Center renovations in Hartford? 

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

On this week's Wheelhouse: President Donald Trump's impeachment trial is scheduled to end with a final vote the day after his state of the union address. Has impeachment altered the presidential race? A new general assembly session also begins today. What will lawmakers be up to? Plus, we look at issues confronting Connecticut’s new chief states attorney.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Are lawmakers and Governor Ned Lamont nearing the end of their long dance on Connecticut tolls? The latest transportation bill gets a public hearing this Friday. A vote could happen early next week. We preview some of the issues facing the General Assembly in next week’s regular legislative session. Also, will a draft of John Bolton’s book alter the impeachment trial? 

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

A Connecticut view of impeachment, one state lawmaker suggests giving a raise to legislators, and the speaker of the state house is open to a General Assembly debate over Native American school mascots. 

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

The Wheelhouse roars back to life to confront tolls, the ways and means of Ned Lamont, and the latest Sheff V. O’Neill school desegregation settlement! 

Plus, the long-awaited reveal of the new Wheelhouse host, Lucy Nalpathanchil!

In an effort to avoid talking about tolls yet again, The Wheelhouse flees to the icebound hell of New Haven. But there is no escape. Also we have discussion of gentrification and a glance at presidential endorsements in Connecticut.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

The House Intelligence Committee has released its report. The House Judiciary Committee is about to hold its first hearing on the matter. This hour, we focus on the ongoing impeachment hearings. What legal strategies are at play? We compare this impeachment with earlier proceedings.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

This week we continue our discussion on tolls! There's a new proposal for trucks-only tolls that some democrats are supporting. And what's the future of the Democratic Party in Connecticut?  We also talk about the sudden acendence of Jim Himes, and persistant political myths - like the "temporary" income tax. 

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

This hour, we talk through Governor Lamont's transportation plan - he wants to use $320 million in toll revenue to restore the state's infrastructure, improve commutes on state highways and Metro North, and stabilize the Special Transportation Fund.  

Are there any lessons we can learn from last night? Probably not. The predicted trends, like “The Trump Effect” didn’t really emerge. The state was split between Republican and Democratic victories.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

A battle over campaign lawn signs? Dueling opinion pieces about how great or terrible our state is? Big questions about how we’ll keep our population or lose it to those states down south? It sounds like your typical Wednesday in Connecticut. 

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

The language of politics--of America, really--has gotten quite a bit uglier over the last few years. And the last few weeks in Connecticut are a case in point. Female political leaders from both major parties faced online insults and threats, and prompted a call from the governor and others for a more civil tone.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Last night’s 12-person Democratic presidential debate proved a few things:

1. That’s too many people on stage.
2. Elizabeth Warren has become both the front-runner and the target of most of her colleagues.
3. Warren is proving to be a bit harder to attack than former front-runner, Joe Biden.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

The House of Representatives is conducting an impeachment inquiry into President Trump for his call for an investigation of Joe Biden’s son by the Ukranian government; Trump now says he and his White House won’t cooperate with what it’s calling an illegitimate effort “to overturn the results of the 2016 election” - an obstruction that the House might use to consider another article of impeachment. 

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

As impeachment news consumes Washington, more and more Americans seem to think that the House inquiry is a good idea. 

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

House speaker Nancy Pelosi took a long time to warm up to the idea of impeachment proceedings against President Trump. But the latest saga involving a whistleblower complaint about a call with Ukraine’s president, seemingly pressuring him to investigate Trump’s main political rival Joe Biden has gotten the impeachment train rolling, and all members of Connecticut’s congressional delegation are now on board. 

This hour we assess what our state politicians are saying about this week’s pivotal Washington news.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

That whole debate about tolls was getting so old.

Now, we get to talk about the new debate at the capitol - over rotisserie chicken! Yes, a plan to tax more prepared food - which already faced opposition - was rolled out by the Lamont administration in a way that he’s already walking back. Way more food items faced a higher tax than anyone expected.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Primaries in Connecticut’s municipal elections could’ve been a dull affair, but that was certainly not the case last night. 

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Governor Lamont is back from his Maine vacation and seemingly rarin’ to go. In just the last week or so, he overruled his health commissioner and will release school-by-school data on vaccinations, rolled out a big transportation plan, and committed to a no-carbon electric grid by 2040. 

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

U.S. Representative Jahanna Hayes (D-5th District) issued a press release Sunday accusing the news media of “clickbait journalism” in response to two recent stories she claims made “reckless assumptions” about her comments.

Voting booth
Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut’s three biggest cities have mayoral elections this year that could determine what’s next for New Haven, Bridgeport and Hartford.

This week, we have a special program, talking with experts watching these races closely. We give you the latest on city politics, and why they matter to you, even if you don’t live there. 

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong is among the state's public officials vowing to fight the Trump administration's latest anti-immigrantion measure. It's one that would broaden the definition of "public charge" and could be used to block green cards or legal citizenship to those deemed impoverished enough to require government assistance.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Including this weekend's carnage in Texas and Ohio, there were 253 incidents in which four or more victims were shot in the first 217 days of this year, according to the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive.

But is Congress ever going to take Connecticut's lead and address any of them?

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

From the moment they took the stage Tuesday night, progressive and moderate Democrats running for president clashed over who could win back the Rust Belt working-class districts that President Trump took in 2016.

But what about urban districts? Can Republican candidates counter Trump's continued disparagement--Baltimore being the latest victim--of American cities?

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