campaigns | Connecticut Public Radio


Chion Wolf

Republican State Senator Andrew Roraback is leaving the legislature to run for the 5th Congressional seat being vacated by U.S. Senate candidate Chris Murphy.

Photo by Uma Ramiah

Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, says President Obama's economic policies have hit women hard.  Romney made a campaign stop Wednesday in Hartford to deliver a message meant to win over female voters.

Romney visited a Hartford printing company, Alpha Graphics, owned by Karen Brinker of Greenwich.  He picked the venue to talk about what he calls President Obama's war on women. He says Obama didn't cause the recession but he has made it worse.

Last year, Republican Linda McMahon ran unsuccessfully for the U-S Senate seat now held by Democrat Richard Blumenthal. She's running again -- this time for the seat being vacated by Independent Senator Joseph Lieberman.  WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports. McMahon -- the former wrestling executive -- held a press conference yesterday to present her six-point jobs plan.  The proposal includes a middle class tax cut for individuals and families, a reduction in the business tax rate, and an effort to restrain federal borrowing, debt, and spending.

Flickr Creative Commons, Muffet

Connecticut is a strange political state. We’ve been home to (and given comfort to) mavericks and outsiders of all kinds (long before John McCain and Sarah Palin changed the way we think of mavericks). Jerry Brown was our idea of a Democratic presidential candidate in 1992. And Joe Lieberman has somehow gently landed his career on the tarmac after being reviled by both major parties.

Are there rules and mores that apply here that don’t apply elsewhere? Is our reputation for valuing party-jumping mavericks really deserved? And is it evaporating here in 2012?

Election Double Header: Breaking Into Politics

Feb 28, 2012
Vox Efx / Creative Commons

For people who aren’t in politics - it seems like an awful business. Raising money, cashing in favors, countless meetings and handshakes. So why do people want to do it? And what does it take to actually be successful?

Today, we’ll talk about how difficult it is for new people to break into the political system...and what makes them wanna do it in the first place? Does the political system keep out fresh ideas and voices?

The state of Connecticut is asking residents for their “Connecticut Stories” today...part of a new marketing push.

It may not prove to be “I Love New York” - the highly memorable 1970s campaign that rebranded a city and a state - and that had a young Dannel Malloy working on.  But Connecticut’s brand new effort to market itself is a big step up from the days of Governor Jodi Rell’s $1 promotion budget - which helped get the state wiped off of tourism maps of New England.  We’ll talk about the new campaign with state tourism director Randy Fiveash. 

Chion Wolf

Ambassador Marc Grossman just returned from a trip around the Middle East - gathering support for a “Democratic Afghanistan.”

That meant trips to places like Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar...all seen as key US allies in the region. But a notable absence from this tour was a visit to Pakistan. As a special representative to both Afghanistan and Pakistan, this omission seems to be important. He was told the Pakistani government was still reviewing its relationship with the US.

Rep. Jim Himes
Chion Wolf / WNPR

Congressman Jim Himes is getting ready for another battle over unemployment benefits and a payroll tax cut...while trying to keep open a Social Security office in his district.  We talked to him about these issues, but he’s also been weighing in on SOPA and PIPA - the anti-piracy bills that have been dubbed “internet killers” by critics.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Just over a year ago, Governor Dannel Malloy became the state’s first Democratic governor in 20 years.

His first year in office could be remembered in any number of ways: the state budget battle, the union concession rejection and then approval...and of course the weather.

Later today, he’s announcing his proposals coming out of the two-storm panel, which investigated the response to the storms...they announced their findings earlier this week.

Chion Wolf

Ralph Nader’s not getting into this year’s presidential race...but that doesn’t mean he’s sitting it out.

The consumer advocate and past presidential candidate has talked this year of a “progressive/libertarian” alliance with Ron Paul, another polarizing figure who’s selling outrage as a key commodity in his race for President.

Nader’s outrage against corporate America - and the politicians of both parties that align with them - takes the form of a new book, “Getting Steamed to Overcome Corporatism.”

Gearing Up For 2012

Dec 19, 2011 (Flickr Creative Commons

Flickr Creative Commons, EAWB

Lawn signs stir the blood during election season, and when you think about it, it's understandable.

There aren't that many measurable forms of political activity before an election. But two campaigns can compete about who can get the most signage up.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

A speech by the president of the United State about creating jobs for millions of Americans has been preempted by a debate between republicans vying for his job.

Yes, that’s where we are in America right now. But thank least President Obama was nice enough to schedule his important announcement at a time that wouldn’t upset football fans.

Photos by Thomas MacMillan (New Haven Independent)

In 1994, John DeStefano took over as mayor of New Haven and has held the position ever since.

Tonight, with the primary just over a month away, DeStefano squares off in a debate with four Democratic opponents.

A Budget Watchdog Gets His Signatures

Aug 10, 2011
Uma Ramiah

Four challengers have entered the race against New Haven's nine term Mayor John DeStefano. And one of the candidates is a self-proclaimed budget watchdog Democrat.

Jeffrey Kerekes is at his home -- or rather his headquarters -- in the Wooster Square neighborhood of New Haven. This is the last day of a two week struggle to find the 2100 signatures necessary to get him on the primary ballot. Now, he's telling a volunteer that the team has managed to get over 3500.

Cloe Poisson / Courtesy of The Hartford Courant

Former Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim has not announced whether he’ll jump into the mayoral race this year, but a poll finds that if he does, it could change the landscape of the election.

Joe Ganim was released from prison one year ago after serving six years for a massive municipal corruption scandal. The former Bridgeport mayor was convicted on 16 counts, including steering city contracts in return for hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks.

Flickr Creative Commons, Jan Seifert

Today, the Supreme Court struck down an Arizona public financing law similar to the one in Connecticut. But campaign finance reform can be a little dry and hard to follow, so first, a little colorful history:

Campaign Finance

Mar 28, 2011

In just a few hours the US Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in an Arizona case that may affect Connecticut's public campaign finance system.  We talk to Deirdre Shesgreen of the Connecticut Mirror about her recent article.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The mood was electric as supporters waited to see the president. Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch, Gubernatorial candidate Dan Malloy, and U.S. Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal warmed up the crowd, calling on voters to get to the polls and urge everyone they know to do the same on Tuesday.

Lagging In Polls, McMahon Claims "Underdog" Status

Nov 1, 2010
Deirdre Shesgreen, Connecticut Mirror

Republican Linda McMahon called herself the "underdog" on Sunday, even as she disputed recent polls showing her behind Democrat Richard Blumenthal and touted a sophisticated field operation assembled by her $42 million-plus U.S. Senate campaign.

"I like being the underdog," McMahon told a crowd of several hundred well-heeled voters at a Republican rally in Darien. "We are undaunted."


Former President Bill Clinton told a partisan audience of 2,000 at the University of Hartford on Sunday night that Republicans have waged "a fact-free campaign" to convince America they are blameless for the recession. 

Can Malloy Win Without a No-Tax Pledge?

Oct 29, 2010
Photo by Paul Bass

As his opponent took a no-new-taxes pledge—and pulled even in the polls—Democrat Dan Malloy brought his gubernatorial campaign to the lunch-cart crowd by the hospital, determined to defend two unpopular positions with more than sound bites.

Days away from Tuesday’s election, Malloy at this last stage finds himself confronting the political version of those two verities facing all of mankind: death and taxes.

If you've noticed the political campaigns this year, they haven't exactly been rich with issues and evidence.   You're more likely to hear emotions, anger, empathy and fear. This is the world that Drew Westen studies. He is professor of psychology and psychiatry at Emory University, and author of The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation (2007), an  investigation into the role of emotion in determining the political life of the nation.