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The Wheelhouse
Wednesdays at 9:00 AM & 8:00 PM, available as a podcast

Local and national politics, but with the noise turned down and the perspective turned up. The Wheelhouse works to make Connecticut politics more understandable…and more accessible.

  • 2024 is shaping up to be an unprecedented year. From record levels of disinformation to a presidential candidate spending more time in court than on the campaign trail, democracy hangs in the balance. This hour, we’re holding up a mirror and asking: how should the press cover the upcoming presidential election. Jaden Edison: Justice Reporter, The Connecticut Mirror David Folkenflik: Media Correspondent, NPR News Errin Haines: Editor-at-large, The 19th. The Wheelhouse is available as a podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, TuneIn, Listen Notes, or wherever you get your podcasts. Subscribe and never miss an episode.Support the show: http://wnpr.org/donateSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
  • Connecticut’s 2024 legislative session begins Wednesday. For the next three months, lawmakers will work to address some of the state’s most pressing issues. This hour, we’ll explore those issues, which include zero-emission vehicles, a lack of affordable housing, and traffic stop reform. And did you know that you have a stake in the outcome of the Super Bowl this year? Should the betting favorite win, sports betting operators in Connecticut would have to pay out a lot of bets. On this week’s episode, we’ll try and identify this year’s Super Bowl betting favorite. Susan Raff: Chief Political Reporter, WFSB Mark Pazniokas: Capitol bureau chief, CT Mirror Jaden Edison: Justice Reporter, The Connecticut Mirror Jacqueline Rabe Thomas: Investigative Reporter, Hearst Connecticut Media Group The Wheelhouse is available as a podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, TuneIn, Listen Notes, or wherever you get your podcasts. Subscribe and never miss an episode.Support the show: http://wnpr.org/donateSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
  • A federal court has revived a lawsuit over a Connecticut policy that allows transgender girls to compete on girls’ sports teams. Meanwhile, the town of Enfield, Connecticut passed a new policy banning the Pride flag from being flown on town property. This week on The Wheelhouse, we explore how recent policy changes in Connecticut mirror those in the rest of the nation, and how towns are responding to a growing number of restrictions. GUESTS: Orion Rummler: LGBTQ+ Reporter, The 19th Katie Barnes: Writer/Reporter, ESPN.com The Wheelhouse is available as a podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, TuneIn, Listen Notes, or wherever you get your podcasts. Subscribe and never miss an episode.Support the show: http://wnpr.org/donateSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
  • Governor Ned Lamont says child care is a top priority for Connecticut’s 2024 legislative session. He tasked a panel of experts with proposing a plan to overhaul what many consider to be a broken system. In a few weeks, Lamont will present his proposal for the Blue Ribbon Panel’s first year of a five year plan to the Connecticut General Assembly. Families and child care providers are hoping to see major changes, like higher wages for child care providers and an increase in parent subsidies. But some wonder if the proposed plan will go far enough. This hour, we’ll explore the reforms needed to fix an industry in crisis and what the future holds if changes aren’t made. Plus, Bridgeport’s Democratic primary election results were overturned last Fall due to allegations of fraud. After yesterday’s court-ordered re-vote, do we finally have a winner? GUESTS: Bria Lloyd: Investigative Reporter, Connecticut Public Erica Phillips: Economic Development Reporter, Connecticut Mirror Melissa Boteach: Vice President for Income Security and Child Care/Early Learning, National Women’s Law Center Karen List: developer and Project Director of the Neag PK3 Leadership Program, UConn The Wheelhouse is available as a podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, TuneIn, Listen Notes, or wherever you get your podcasts. Subscribe and never miss an episode.Support the show: http://wnpr.org/donateSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
  • The 2024 presidential election is in full swing. Iowa held its Republican Caucus this week, and next week, New Hampshire will hold Republican and Democratic primaries. These states traditionally go first, but because at least 90 percent of the people living in Iowa and New Hampshire are white, that may change. The Democratic National Committee has proposed a reordering of the calendar, tapping South Carolina to send their voters to the polls first. This hour, we’ll unpack how meaningful a first-in-the-nation primary truly is. Plus, Trump’s ability to stay on the ballot in Colorado and Maine hangs in the balance. Will the Supreme Court rule in Trump’s favor? And what would that mean for democracy? GUESTS: Maya King: Politics Reporter, New York Times Dan Barrick: News Director, New Hampshire Public Radio Bruce Ackerman: Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale Law School and Yale University and the author of the book Revolutionary Constitutions The Wheelhouse is available as a podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, TuneIn, Listen Notes, or wherever you get your podcasts. Subscribe and never miss an episode.Support the show: http://wnpr.org/donateSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
  • Today, The Wheelhouse is passing the mic to another Connecticut Public talk show, Disrupted. This hour, we learn about the State Elections Enforcement Commission which oversees voter fraud allegations and campaign finance. We'll also examine America's youngest voters, Generation Z. Ruby Belle Booth will provide insight on Gen Z's voting impact followed by a Gen Z roundtable. Looking to dive deeper in today's discussion? Here are some resource links from the show. Register to vote Check your registration status and find your polling place Absentee ballot request Your Town Clerk and election officials Municipal town ballots State Elections Enforcement Commission - eCRIS (Campaign Reporting Information System) GUESTS: Joshua Foley: Senior Attorney and Spokesman, State Elections Enforcement Commission Ruby Belle Booth: Elections Coordinator, Tisch College Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning & Engagement on the campus of Tufts University Samuel Weinmann: University of New Haven Senior majoring in International Affairs. Executive Editor of Horseshoe Magazine Cristian Corza: Graduate, UConn Hartford. Campaign manager to Hartford Mayoral candidate Arunan Arulampalam Yesenia Rodriguez: Graduate, Claremont McKenna College. Works for a non-profit back in her hometown of Philadelphia Special thanks to former interns Lateshia Peters and Joey Morgan for hosting the Gen Z roundtable. This episode originally aired on Disrupted on November 1, 2023. Support the show: http://wnpr.org/donateSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
  • In 2021, Connecticut passed a law mandating school districts to have curricula focused on quote "the science of reading." That refers to research-backed approaches to literacy like phonics. Initially, all school districts had until July 1, 2023 to implement an approved “science of reading” program. That deadline is now July 1, 2025. But not all school districts are happy about this. So, why is “the science of reading” facing so much pushback? This hour, we’ll break down the past and present of the so-called “reading wars” in Connecticut and beyond. GUESTS: Emily Hanford: Senior producer and correspondent at American Public Media; host of the award-winning podcast Sold a Story: How Teaching Kids to Read Went So Wrong Louise Spear-Swerling: Professor emerita in the department of special education at Southern Connecticut State University Dr. Margie Gillis: Founder and president of Connecticut-based nonprofit, Literacy How This episode originally aired on July 19, 2023. This episode originally aired on July 19, 2023. This episode originally aired on July 19, 2023. The Wheelhouse is available as a podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, TuneIn, Listen Notes, or wherever you get your podcasts. Subscribe and never miss an episode. Support the show: http://wnpr.org/donateSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
  • Connecticut has hundreds of miles of shoreline, extending from Greenwich in the west to Stonington in the east. But many of these coastal communities have found ways to exclude certain people. In fact, there's a long history of segregation on our shores, dating back decades. This hour, we’ll unpack past and present beach access in Connecticut. Plus, we’ll look at who does — and does not — get access to quality public spaces like parks. GUESTS: Andrew Kahrl: Professor of history and African American Studies at the University of Virginia and author of Free the Beaches: The Story of Ned Coll and the Battle for America’s Most Exclusive Shoreline Dr. KangJae Lee: Assistant professor in the Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism Management, North Carolina State University Hear more from Andrew Kahrl in this episode of Disrupted. This episode originally aired on July 5, 2023. The Wheelhouse is available as a podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, TuneIn, Listen Notes, or wherever you get your podcasts. Subscribe and never miss an episode. Support the show: http://wnpr.org/donateSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
  • From the Capitol to the campaign trail: The year in politics with a powerhouse panel and a special guest.Support the show: http://wnpr.org/donateSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
  • During times of war, language can be a powerful tool. Political leaders can wield it to change hearts and minds, but also to justify the use of violence. Right now, political rhetoric is everywhere as the war between Israel and Palestine continues to unfold. So how does what we hear from politicians inform how we think about conflict? Today, we’ll examine the role of rhetoric in our politics — and how it can contribute to violence at home and abroad. GUESTS: Paul Achter: Associate professor of rhetoric, University of Richmond Ned O'Gorman: Professor of communication, University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign Jason Stanley: Professor of philosophy, Yale University; co-author of The Politics of Language The Wheelhouse is available as a podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, TuneIn, Listen Notes, or wherever you get your podcasts. Subscribe and never miss an episode.Support the show: http://wnpr.org/donateSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
  • There are some major players in American politics. But one we don’t talk about enough is Taylor Swift. In September, Swift urged her fans on Instagram to register to vote. Vote.org reported a surge of 35,000 registrations after her post. Not only that, but the pop singer has had a political awakening in recent years. She’s gone from largely silent on politics to being outspoken on everything from her support for LGBTQ+ rights to her endorsement of Joe Biden in 2020. This hour, we’ll look at Swift’s political power — and the limits of it. Plus, is the MAGA movement still popular with voters? We’ll look at how Trump-style politicians are faring up and down the ballot. GUESTS: Maya King: Politics Reporter, New York Times Amy Walter: Publisher & Editor-in-Chief, The Cook Political Report Jeffrey Dudas: Professor of political science at the University of Connecticut and co-host of the UConn PopCast Support the show: http://wnpr.org/donateSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
  • Back in September, federal lawmakers came up with a temporary solution to avoid a government shutdown. But the continuing resolution they agreed upon expires in two days. Is Congress close to a spending agreement? This hour, we get the latest on that. Plus, Connecticut has set a goal to curb vehicle emissions to zero by 2035. But not everybody's happy about it. We'll talk about that, and also hear about the school board shakeup in Killingly. GUESTS: Ginny Monk:Children's issues and housing reporter, Connecticut Mirror Mark Pazniokas: Capitol bureau chief, Connecticut Mirror Lisa Hagen: Federal policy reporter, Connecticut Public and Connecticut Mirror Support the show: http://wnpr.org/donateSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.