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 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.

Gold Dome Scramble: Georgia Hate Crimes Bill Takes Detour

A much anticipated hate crimes bill now includes police as a protected class in Georgia. It’s a hurdle lawmakers have to tackle while also cutting 11 percent from the state budget. In this Coronavirus remote edition, host Lisa Rayam talks with Emma Hurt and Emil Moffatt about these and other issues that are getting attention at the state legislature.

Charges in Rayshard Brooks Killing; Policing Debate Intensifies; Coronavirus Persists

After the Fulton County District Attorney announced charges against two Atlanta police officers involved in the killing of Rayshard Brooks, the debate over new rules for law enforcement continued, while the Atlanta department saw an outbreak of blue flu. Meanwhile, the Coronavirus served notice to Georgia that it hasn’t gone anywhere, and there’s a new chapter in the fight for one of Georgia’s U.S. Senate seats. Democratic strategist Tharon Johnson and Republican strategist Brian Robinson join WABE political contributor Denis O’Hayer for this edition of the Political Breakfast.

Gold Dome Scramble: Lawmakers Return To The Capitol Amidst Protests And Voting Problems

State lawmakers return to the Georgia State Capitol for 11 days to finish the 2020 legislative session amidst protests, voting problems and renewed calls for a hate crimes law. Covid-19 had put the session on hold. WABE’s Susanna Capelouto guest hosts this episode and talks with politics reporters Emma Hurt and Emil Moffatt about what to expect this week.

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.

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