Political Breakfast

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

Yes, It Got Wilder In Georgia

With the national election—or the voting part at least—behind us, Georgia took its place at center stage in the political universe. And it immediately used that stage to produce tons of drama: threats of legal action, charges of incompetence, countercharges of interference—and that was just among Republicans. This, at a time when health authorities were warning folks around here to pay a little more attention to stopping the Coronavirus from killing people. Did we expect 2020 to end any other way? WABE political contributor Denis O’Hayer tries to make sense of it all with Republican strategist Brian Robinson and Democratic strategist Tharon Johnson.

Two Giants Remembered; Lewis Succession Debate; Mediation in Kemp-Bottoms Fight

After it took almost four months to reach to 75,000, Georgia’s number of confirmed Coronavirus cases doubled in less than a month. With hospitals in many parts of the state under stress, and people still facing long delays in getting their test results, the political and legal crossfire continued, too. The only pause came when Georgians paid tribute to two giants of the civil rights movement, who continued to lead to the very end. WABE political contributor Denis O’Hayer got some thoughts from Democratic strategist Tharon Johnson and Republican strategist Brian Robinson.

Masked Battle; School Dilemmas; Abortion Ruling

A united Georgia response to the Coronavirus might be a fond wish, but it’s not happening—even as case numbers spike and hospitals are stretched. The governor and Atlanta’s mayor traded shots; the governor again banned local governments from requiring masks—even as more cities did just that; and some school districts decided to open with online learning, despite funding cutoff threats from the president. Meanwhile, Georgia’s controversial new abortion law was blocked in Federal court. WABE political contributor Denis O’Hayer looks into all of it, with Republican strategist Brian Robinson and former Atlanta City Council president Cathy Woolard, who’s filling in for Tharon Johnson this time.

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.

COVID Warnings & Mask Decisions; Budget Cuts Go Deep

As Georgia’s COVID-19 case numbers continue to soar, the warnings from public health leaders here continue to darken. But the debate over how best to keep from getting there has intensified—with leaders in some cities publicly confronting Governor Brian Kemp. Meanwhile, the governor and officials at every level in the state try to figure out how to adjust to state budget cuts that will affect us all. WABE political contributor Denis O’Hayer talks it over with Republican strategist Brian Robinson and Democratic strategist Tharon Johnson.

Gold Dome Scramble: Liquor Delivery And Hate Crimes Bill Pass Georgia Legislature

Georgia lawmakers ended their 40 day session, but not before passing a tight budget, allowing liquor delivery and making history with a hate crimes bill. Host Lisa Rayam talks with Emma Hurt and Emil Moffatt about the end of the 2020 Georgia legislative session.

Georgia Lawmakers Move To Pass Hate Crime Bill; Coronavirus Numbers; Absentee Voting

After resisting the idea for years, Georgia lawmakers suddenly moved fast to pass a hate crimes bill. Meanwhile, some grim Coronavirus numbers raised the question of whether the state re-opened too fast. And the Secretary of State promised some fixes that will speed up the long voting lines in some counties—but there’s a battle over reaching absentee voters who don’t want to stand in line. WABE political contributor Denis O’Hayer wades into it all with Democratic strategist Tharon Johnson and Republican strategist Brian Robinson.

Listen to all episodes from your favorite podcast app.