New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is celebrating an impressive reelection victory but he also suffered a defeat. Voters handily approved a measure to raise the state's minimum wage. That's a measure Christie had opposed.
As NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, New Jersey is the fifth state this year to raise the minimum wage.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block in Washington, D.C.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish in California this week.
Political junkies are poring over the results of yesterday's governors' races in New Jersey and Virginia. But they may also want to take a look further south at a special congressional primary in Alabama. There, a moderate Republican candidate beat out his Tea Party-supported rival.
Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 1:28 pm
Many of the nation's largest cities are about to get what polls suggest Americans want in Washington: an entirely new group of leaders.
Some of the nation's longest-serving big-city mayors are leaving office, including Michael Bloomberg of New York, who has been in office for a dozen years, and Tom Menino of Boston, who has held his post for 20.
"In my view, we've had some amazing leadership at the local level," says Ralph Becker, the mayor of Salt Lake City. "That makes it a fun time to be in local government, unlike being at the state or certainly the federal level."
Finally today, not to kick a man when he is already down, but can we take a moment to contemplate yesterday's admission by the mayor of a major North American city that he had in fact used crack cocaine? Citizens of Toronto, welcome to my world. As a longtime resident of Washington, D.C., I have had to endure years of jokes about our former mayor, Marion Barry, now a D.C. council member, who was famously induced to light up in a hotel room by a woman with whom he had been, ahem, involved.
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, appearing with his family, waves goodbye to supporters after conceding the Virginia governor's race to Terry McAuliffe. Cuccinelli's stronger-than-expected run became the dominant story on Election Night.
In the end, they pretty much all won. The people who were expected to prevail Tuesday night wound up in the winner's circle. In New Jersey and New York, of course, and in Virginia, too, in the end. The ballot measures also went according to script.
A composite image shows part of the NPR/Center for Responsive Politics reporting team's whiteboard at NPR headquarters that was used to map out how Wellspring connects to other social welfare groups. (Click the enlarge button to see a full-size image.)
Credit John W. Poole / NPR
In this panoramic composite image, NPR's Peter Overby and Viveca Novak of the Center for Responsive Politics stand in front of a whiteboard at NPR headquarters that they used to map out connections between social welfare groups.
As tax-exempt organizations become a vehicle of choice for big political donors, one powerful appeal is the anonymity. Federal laws allow tax-exempt groups — unlike political committees — to withhold their donor lists from disclosure.
Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 4:21 am
In New Jersey, Republican Chris Christie coasted to re-election as governor on Tuesday. In Virginia, Democrat Terry McAuliffe prevailed in the governor's race, although by a smaller margin than most pre-election polls had indicated. In New York City, voters elected their first democratic mayor in 20 years, choosing Bill de Blasio in a landslide.
The Supreme Court invokes "God" before every public session. Now the justices will weigh whether it is different, as a legal matter, for government meetings to include more explicitly sectarian prayers.
The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Wednesday in a case questioning the use of prayer at government meetings. But first, the marshal will ask "God" to "save the United States and this honorable court."
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish in California this week.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block in Washington where it was another day of tough questions and testimony on Capitol Hill about the Affordable Care Act. Marilyn Tavenner, who has overseen the bumpy rollout of the program, testified before the Senate Health Committee. She said the Healthcare.gov website is getting better every day.
Tuesday's elections are anything but dull. From the Eastern Seaboard to the Pacific Northwest, there's a colorful and compelling roster of political contests. Although there isn't anything close to the drama of an Election Day in a presidential year, many of the races have national implications.
Election Day 2013 is finally here, fellow political junkies!
Tuesday may be an off-year election, but that doesn't mean those whose job it is to explain the implications of elections won't attempt to wring every last bit of plausible and implausible meaning from it.
Before Monday evening's 61-30 vote in the Senate to move forward on legislation to prohibit workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, Republican Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois marked another milestone in the recovery from a stroke he suffered in January 2012.
With a vote of 61-30, the Senate voted to move forward on legislation that would prohibit workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Monday's vote opens the floor to debate on the bill and the Senate is expected to schedule a full vote by week's end.
More than 12 million Americans buy health insurance on their own, and many are getting cancellation notices because their individual coverage does not meet the standards of the Affordable Care Act. This is causing anxiety and anger — especially since most of these people can't get onto the healthcare.gov website to figure out their options for 2014.
Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 3:36 am
It's Election Day for many communities across the country. Renee Montagne talks to NPR Senior Washington Editor Ron Elving, who rounds up the election prospects. Two states will choose governors, several cities will elect mayors, and in many regions, ballot initiatives will determine how communities function.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday hears about a love triangle, complete with attempted poisonings and 24-hour surveillance by postal inspectors. Although it sounds like an episode of Law & Order (with a dash of Days of Our Lives), the case has global implications.
In 2005, Carol Anne Bond was a 34-year-old Philadelphia suburbanite living with her husband of 14 years. But when she found out that her best friend was pregnant and that her own husband was the father, she became enraged and began threatening her friend, by phone and in writing.
Anyone waiting expectantly for Vice President Biden to name check President Obama at an election eve rally Monday went away disappointed.
Besides singing the praises of Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe at the Northern Virginia event, Biden mentioned Democratic Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner (favorably) and Republican Sen. Ted Cruz (unfavorably). He singled out McAuliffe's Republican opponent, Ken Cuccinelli, by name. Biden even referred to his own wife and his father.
Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 3:43 pm
The final chapter in the history of bombshells of the closeted gay politician variety may have been written Monday by Rep. Mike Michaud, a Maine Democrat running for governor.
Michaud, 58, announced in a column published in two state newspapers and by The Associated Press that he is a gay man, and followed it with the question: "But why should it matter?"
Judging from immediate reaction in Maine, where Michaud next year will be competing to become the first governor in U.S. history elected as an openly gay man, the answer seemed to be that it probably won't.
The Senate voted Monday to move ahead on legislation that would prohibit workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The bill won the approval of enough Republican senators late Monday to cross the 60-vote threshold and move onto a floor vote. Such a thing would have been impossible even a few years ago.