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

ICE Detention and Law Enforcement Allegations; Democrats Face GA Decision

The allegations were appalling, and denied by those accused. But the accusations that women at a Georgia immigration detention center were subjected to hysterectomies without consent have raised a new election issue for candidates in both parties. Meanwhile, those candidates with enough money have flooded all kinds of media with messages they hope will actually reach voters still struggling with a pandemic. And a man who helped re-shape downtown Atlanta is leaving the institution where he made that happen. WABE political contributor Denis O’Hayer digs into it all with Republican strategist Brian Robinson and former Atlanta City Council President Cathy Woolard, who’s filling in for Democratic strategist Tharon Johnson.

Georgia Debate Preview; Odds for Legalized Gambling

It’s still more than a year before the presidential election, but we’re less than three months away from the first caucuses in Iowa. And Georgia takes center stage in a month, with the next Democratic debate, and the rapidly-changing events in Washington and overseas could have a big effect on the plans for both major parties here. Meanwhile, a new look at what our region will look like in the next 30 years might change the decisions our political leaders make now. And speaking of decisions, what are the odds Georgia voters will face a yes-or-no on gambling?  It’s another Political Breakfast!  Democratic strategist Tharon Johnson is back; he’s a public affairs and government consultant and former national southern regional director for the Obama 2012 campaign. Brian Robinson is a Republican strategist, communications consultant, and former deputy chief of staff for Governor Nathan Deal. Working across the aisle: WABE political contributor Denis O’Hayer. 

Georgia’s New Voters; Abortion Law Blocked; Senate Stampede

It’s football season now, but the real head-knocking is happening in politics–where some of the players are going after each other without helmets. Meanwhile, the state’s strict new abortion law ran into a block in Federal court, and it’s a blitz of candidates who want to succeed Johnny Isakson in the U.S. Senate. We’ve got great seats for you in this edition of the Political Breakfast. Brian Robinson is back; he’s a Republican strategist, communications consultant, and former deputy chief of staff for Governor Nathan Deal. Democratic strategist Tharon Johnson is away; former Atlanta City Council President Cathy Woolard is filling in. WABE political contributor Denis O’Hayer is in the middle of it all.

Senate Casting Call; Ossoff Jumps In; APS Faces Future

Got your resume up to date? Then you, too, can apply for the soon-to-be open job of U.S. Senator from Georgia! But President Trump might be reading that resume, and pass on his thoughts to the Governor who’ll make the decision. Meanwhile, the race for the other Georgia Senate seat got a high-profile new contestant. And the Atlanta school system has to figure out what next, after the superintendent’s contract was not renewed. So there’s a whole smorgasbord in this serving of the Political Breakfast. WABE political contributor Denis O’Hayer is back–along with our regulars: Tharon Johnson is a Democratic strategist, public affairs and government consultant, and former national southern regional director for the Obama 2012 campaign. Brian Robinson is a Republican strategist, communications consultant, and former deputy chief of staff for Governor Nathan Deal.

Isakson Succession Free-for-All; More Hazardous Emissions Fallout

2020 was already forecast to be a very windy political year in Georgia. Then Senator Johnny Isakson’s resignation announcement guaranteed it’ll be a category 5! There’s also a continuing storm over hazardous emissions at a Cobb County chemical plant. And it hasn’t exactly been calm at Atlanta’s City Hall, either. So much to dive into on this edition of the Political Breakfast. And we finally have both of our regulars on hand at the same time. Tharon Johnson is a Democratic strategist, public affairs and government consultant, and former national southern regional director for the Obama 2012 campaign. Brian Robinson is a Republican strategist, communications consultant, and former deputy chief of staff for Governor Nathan Deal. WABE political contributor Denis O’Hayer tries to keep the whole thing on the rails.

A Conversation with Senator Isakson

Georgia’s senior U.S. Senator, Republican Johnny Isakson, is speaking about his resignation, and what he wants to do before he leaves the Senate at the end of the year.

 

Isakson made the announcement on Wednesday, August 28.

 

The three-term Senator, who began his political career in 1974, cited increasing health problems as the reason for his resignation. Isakson suffers from Parkinson’s Disease, and recently had a growth removed from his kidney.

 

He spoke by phone on August 30 with Political Breakfast host Denis O’Hayer.

Something Toxic in the Air; Meter Runs on New Vote System

There’s something in the late summer air–and it’s got a lot of Georgia folks concerned, along with the people who ask for their votes. Speaking of voting, the timer is running on the state’s new elections system, even as a legal fight continues. Meanwhile, the legal battle lines are more clearly drawn in the showdown over the state’s new abortion laws. There’s all that and more in this helping of the Political Breakfast! WABE political contributor Denis O’Hayer welcomes Republican strategist Brian Robinson, a communications consultant, and former deputy chief of staff for Governor Nathan Deal, and–filling in for Tharon Johnson this time–Gwinnett County Democratic chair Bianca Keaton.

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