On the record – off the clock. 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.
That slow start to 2019 in Georgia politics didn’t last long. Midway through the legislative session, there’s plenty of sound and fury at the state Capitol–over how to change the state’s voting machines and rules; a lawsuit over the current voting system and the 2018 election; a bid to for a state takeover of Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport; and the debate over House Speaker David Ralston’s use of a rule allowing lawyer-lawmakers to get cases delayed so they can attend to their legislative duties. So, there’s a lot on the Political Breakfast table this time. WABE political contributor Denis O’Hayer welcomed our regulars: Democratic strategist Tharon Johnson is a public affairs and government conusltant and former national southern regional director for the Obama 2012 campaign; Republican strategist Brian Robinson is a communications consultant and former deputy chief of staff for former Governor Nathan Deal. And we had lots of company this time! The podcast was taped before a wonderful live audience at the 28th annual Georgia Bar, Media & Judiciary Conference, at State Bar headquarters in downtown Atlanta.
Now that all those Super Bowl visitors have left, Georgia political leaders have to get back to the task of hashing out our own homegrown issues–you know, the ones we didn’t want all those strangers to know about. There are some difficult negotiations to be had on everything from casino gambling, to Medicaid expansion, to proposed rules for new hospitals (and some of those issues could get thrown together!) Then, there’s talk of a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the top of Stone Mountain, and a big bank from out of state is buying one of Atlanta’s iconic financial institutions. It all makes for a big, crunchy Political Breakfast. Our regulars are back with us again: Tharon Johnson is a Democratic strategist, public affairs and government consultant, and former national southern regional director of the Obama 2012 campaign; Brian Robinson is a Republican strategist, communications consultant, and former deputy chief of staff for Governor Nathan Deal. WABE political consultant Denis O’Hayer is the person in the middle.
Georgia starts 2019 with a new Governor, a new Legislature, some new members of Congress, a new transit agency for the Atlanta area–but coming to town for Atlanta’s Super Bowl, the same old Patriots. You remember them. Suddenly, that other team with its new old home in LA has a whole lot of new fans in the ATL! Meanwhile, Democrats and Republicans continue their old no-gain scrimmage in DC. At least the Saints are staying in New Orleans (even though their billboards aren’t), and we can enjoy a new Political Breakfast. Who dat joining us? Our regulars, of course! Tharon Johnson is a Democratic strategist, public affairs and government consultant, and former national southern regional director of the Obama 2012 campaign. Brian Robinson is a Republican strategist, communications consultant, and former deputy chief of staff for Governor Nathan Deal. And trying to steer it all is WABE political contributor Denis O’Hayer.
It’s the end of 2018 already! But we in Georgia managed to jam a whole lot of political news into just 365 days. So what did we learn this year? And which of the happenings from this year will be affecting us in 2019—and maybe even beyond? Settle back with the holiday beverage of your choice and explore it all with us on a special edition of the Political Breakfast! WABE political contributor Denis O’Hayer is back; so are Tharon Johnson, a Democratic strategist and former national southern regional director for the Obama 2012 campaign, and Brian Robinson a Republican strategist, public affairs consultant, and former deputy chief of staff for Governor Nathan Deal.
Georgia had a little earthquake recently, but apparently that’s not going to keep Nick Ayers from leaving the Trump administration–and a very big job offer–to come back home. Meanwhile, Norfolk Southern will soon call Atlanta home; Governor-elect Brian Kemp makes his first major speech (without anything exploding behind him) a few days after he paid a peacemaking visit to Atlanta’s City Hall and Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. And who would have guessed a couple of years ago that a wildly popular soccer team would be the one to break Atlanta’s long championship drought? That’s just some of what’s on the menu in this edition of the Political Breakfast. WABE political contributor Denis O’Hayer welcomes Democratic strategist Tharon Johnson and Republican strategist Brian Robinson.
As we hurtle toward the winter solstice, we’re still not finished with the fall elections! But the state is getting ready for a new tenant in the Governor’s mansion, while the candidate who came very close is launching what could be a long winter’s legal fight. That’s just some of what’s on the menu for a new Political Breakfast, hosted by WABE political contributor Denis O’Hayer. For this edition, Brian Robinson is back with us; he’s a Republican strategist, public affairs consultant, and former deputy chief of staff for Governor Nathan Deal. Democratic strategist Tharon Johnson is away for this edition. Filling in this time: former Atlanta City Council President Cathy Woolard, who’s also a public affairs consultant.
Now that Amazon won’t be getting a private MARTA car, maybe we can reserve one for the Political Breakfast! While we wait for that, we bid you welcome to another un-subsidized edition. It’s a sumptuous feast this time, to say the least: the continuing legal and political war over the governor’s race; runoffs for a couple of other top posts; a special session of the legislature; and–oh, yes–that “thanks-but-no-thanks” from Amazon, followed by the delivery of the sweeteners Georgia was ready to offer the giant company. WABE political contributor Denis O’Hayer welcomes a couple of folks who know a lot about all this: Brian Robinson is a Republican strategist, public affairs consultant and former deputy chief of staff for Governor Nathan Deal; Michael Owens is the chairman of the Cobb County Democrats (he’s filling in for Democratic strategist Tharon Johnson, who is away for this edition).
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