On the record – off the clock.  On the Political Breakfast podcast, veteran Atlanta political reporter Denis O’Hayer hosts a conversation between strategists from the right and the left. Democratic strategist Tharon Johnson and Republican strategist Brian Robinson bring their personalities and passion to the table for an informed, respectful and lively discussion. They spar, they delve into topics others avoid, and they give credit where it’s due. It’s all steered by Denis O’Hayer, who has covered Georgia politics for close to 40 years. Scroll down to see the latest episodes.

Throughout the 2020 state legislative session, Political Breakfast presents Gold Dome Scramble, a pop-up podcast in which host Lisa Rayam talks with reporters from the WABE newsroom to break things down for our listeners — the issues being considered, and the bills getting sorted through various committees. They’ll lay out the context and explain what comes next. Episodes will be clear, concise and short — with each lasting less than 15 minutes. Listen to Gold Dome Scramble below and find out more about it here.

 

Featured Episode

Gun Violence; Face Masks; Reopening Schools

It was a week of mourning in Georgia: over lives lost in a weekend of gun violence–including that of an 8-year-old girl—and the lives lost to a Coronavirus outbreak that has worsened after the state re-opened. Georgia’s governor faced what one might call a masked rebellion in several cities, and called the National Guard into Atlanta. Meanwhile, school students, teachers, staffers and parents struggled to understand what this fall will be like in classrooms and on campus, while the Trump administration pressured schools to put kids back in front of teachers. WABE political contributor Denis O’Hayer again welcomes Republican strategist Brian Robinson and Democratic strategist Tharon Johnson.

Voting Meltdown Hearings; Senate Strategies; Hate Crimes Bill; Confederate Monuments

Primary election day turned into primary election week, as vote counting continued. But with runoffs and November looming, the scramble to fix this week’s mess is on. The surviving campaigns check the numbers and plan for more battle, while the battle against the Coronavirus isn’t over—and those numbers could change everything again, even as the Legislature returns tries to figure out how much the state has to spend. WABE political contributor Denis O’Hayer talks it all over with Democratic strategist Tharon Johnson and Republican strategist Brian Robinson.

Bonus Edition: Primary Day Glitches, Delays & Blame

Primary day in Georgia was unlike any other. But even those trading blame for all the problems agree on one thing: they don’t want anything like this to happen again. This bonus edition of the Political Breakfast looks into the delays, glitches, and frustration that confronted so many voters. It originally aired live on 90.1 WABE on June 10, 2020. WABE political contributor Denis O’Hayer welcomed Republican strategist Brian Robinson and Democratic strategist Brian Robinson, along with University of Georgia political scientist Charles Bullock; Gabriel Sterling from the Secretary of State’s office; and WABE reporters Emma Hurt and Emil Moffatt.

Can Intentions Turn to Action In Pursuit of Racial Justice?

After an extraordinary and wrenching week in Atlanta and the rest of Georgia, the question now is: Where do all of us go from here on, in addressing the disease of racism? Meanwhile, a much more recent disease, COVID-19, is still with us, and the recent events have made confronting it a potentially much more complicated thing. WABE political contributor Denis O’Hayer explores some of the thinking with Republican strategist Brian Robinson and Democratic strategist Tharon Johnson.

GA Soul-Searching After Minneapolis Death; More Re-opening from Gov. Kemp

Governor Brian Kemp again lifts some Coronavirus restrictions, while keeping some others. But he’s making a pitch for the Republican National Convention later this summer, and the numbers for the pandemic in Georgia still don’t give a clear picture of where it’s heading. Meanwhile, Georgia’s law enforcement and political leaders are again examining the relationship between police and African-American communities, after the video-recorded death of an unarmed black man at the hands of police in Minneapolis. WABE political contributor Denis O’Hayer talks it all over with Republican strategist Brian Robinson and Democratic strategist Tharon Johnson.

Numbers Don’t Lie–But Could State COVID Numbers Mislead?

When it comes to your health, there’s a saying you might have heard: “Know your numbers.” Georgia’s COVID-19 numbers have been the subject of a lot of scrutiny lately. Meanwhile, some new polling numbers, if they’re right, forecast a real fight up and down the state ballot in November, while the people who run elections here worry about how to safely handle the numbers of voters who show up in person. WABE political contributor Denis O’Hayer again welcomes Republican strategist Brian Robinson and Democratic strategist Tharon Johnson.

Outside Prosecutor for Ahmaud Arbery Case; Georgia’s Re-Opening Debate Continues

Just days after Georgia’s attorney general announced a state investigation of how local authorities responded to the February killing of an unarmed young black man near Brunswick, two suspects are in custody; the U.S. Justice Department is called in; and some top state leaders are getting behind a hate crimes bill. Meanwhile, Governor Kemp extends some pandemic response measures, and partially lifts others. And some Republican polling predicts close battles with Democrats in the November elections. WABE political contributor Denis O’Hayer sorts through it all with Republican strategist Brian Robinson and Democratic strategist Tharon Johnson.

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