Earlier this year, the Democratic National Committee broke with decades of tradition when they proposed South Carolina, rather than New Hampshire, as the first state to vote in the 2024 presidential primary.

But, making those changes official typically requires approval from state legislatures and governors. Considering the New Hampshire Democratic Party chairman just declared the Granite state will still vote first, what happens next?

"It's beyond messy," Arnie Arnesen, radio host for WNHN in New Hampshire, told Under the Radar. The Democratic presidential primary "is officially run by the secretary of state in my state. And as a result, we have a law that says we must be first, we must be a week before anybody else. So, when the DNC made this decision to reward South Carolina and make South Carolina first on February 3, and then New Hampshire and Nevada on February 6, that might have been fine for the DNC, but it doesn't work in New Hampshire. And let me also remind you that even if we wanted to change it, the Democrats have no capacity to change it because the Republicans control the executive branch and the legislative branch, and they're not going to change the law because they know they make us miserable."

Plus, nitrogen pollution in the ponds and waterways of Cape Cod is leading to algae buildup — and brand new regulations looking to curb it. Towns that don’t comply by designing and implementing solutions could leave homeowners with big septic bills.

"The Cape has a bathroom problem. Not to be indelicate here, but every time a toilet is flushed, more often than not, that's going into the ground and running through the Cape's sandy soil and impacting a nearby waterway," said Steve Junker, managing editor at CAI.

"The state has been on them to try to solve this issue, and the state is finally fed up that it's taken so long. So they came up with these new regulations in part to attempt to push this forward quickly, but also because while a lot of this sounds like the background noise of environmental policy, these new regulations really tie a direct cost to homeowners for the first time... Individual homeowners could be on the hook for $25,000 or $30,000 in mandatory upgrades to their septic systems."

A Rhode Island official is also under fire after his casual sexist and racist comments during a business trip to Philadelphia were revealed.

Ted Nesi, reporter and editor for WPRI, said, "Just to give one example of the flavor of it, according to this company, when the state properties director got there and saw the woman who was leading their tour from this consulting firm, he said something along the lines of, 'If I'd known your husband was out of town, I would have come last night.' ... So then the governor's office tried to keep the email a secret. ... And since then, it's spun out."

It’s our Regional News Roundtable.


Arnie Arnesen, host of “The Attitude with Arnie Arnesen” on WNHN

Ted Nesi, politics and business editor and investigative reporter for WPRI

Steve Junker, managing editor of news at CAI, the Cape, Coast and Islands affiliate of GBH