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.

Coronavirus Complicates Already-Tough State Budget Talks

Georgia’s governor and state lawmakers were already arguing about the budget and tax cuts, but then something new and potentially serious complicated things further: the coronavirus. At the same time, Georgia Democrats are waiting to get their their say in the presidential race. But how many of their party’s candidates will still be around by then? And there’s more in this serving of the Political Breakfast. WABE political contributor Denis O’Hayer again welcomes Republican strategist Brian Robinson and Democratic strategist Tharon Johnson.

Gold Dome Scramble: Surprise Medical Billing and Foster Care Get Attention

Lawmakers are marred in budget battles as they move forward on surprise medical billing and foster care legislation. Also, the idea of digital billboards makes a quick appearance. Lisa Rayam talks with politics reporter Emil Moffatt and WABE health reporter Sam Whitehead.

Georgia Democrats Prepare to Vote in the Still-Crowded Presidential Race

Hard to believe, but in just about a month, Georgia Democratic voters will have a say in the still-crowded presidential race. Republican voters will cast ballots, too, but there’s not quite as much suspense there. What we don’t know is how Georgia’s rapidly changing voter demographics will affect the outcome. Plus, a look at the ongoing state capitol budget battles, and the push for affordable housing in Atlanta.

Gold Dome Scramble: Money Woes Put Georgia Teacher Pay Raises in Peril

Agony over the state budget continues as Georgia lawmakers figure out how to pay for proposed teacher pay raises pushed by Governor Brian Kemp. WABE’s Lisa Rayam talks with politics reporters Emma Hurt and Emil Moffatt about the nuances in the struggle over state dollars.

GOP Senate Infighting; Democrats Prepare for GA Presidential Battle

Lots of unity talk, but not much evidence of it in both major political parties as their big internal showdowns get closer. Loeffler, Collins, Warnock, Tomlinson, Riggs Amico, Ossoff, and Abrams are just a few of the names you’ll hear on what you might call an endorsement edition of the Political Breakfast. WABE political contributor Denis O’Hayer is back with our highly-endorsed political strategists. Brian Robinson is a Republican strategist, communications consultant, and former deputy chief of staff for Governor Nathan Deal; Tharon Johnson is a Democratic strategist, public affairs and government consultant, and former national southern regional director for the Obama 2012 campaign.

Gold Dome Scramble: Budget Woes Worsen and Trump Makes Promises in Georgia Senate Race

Policy-making comes to a screeching halt so that Georgia’s legislature can figure out the state’s money woes. Plus, President Trump promises to get involved in a Georgia senate race. Host Lisa Rayam talks with WABE’s Emma Hurt and Emil Moffatt about these and other issues, including a look at Georgia’s lucrative film tax credit, which got some scrutiny from lawmakers.

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