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

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.

Governor Kemp Lifts Stay-at-Home Order for Most Georgians–It’s a Gamble

While everyone holds out hope that an experimental drug tested here in Atlanta might help COVID-19 patients, Governor Brian Kemp is conducting a trial of his own, as he lifts more restrictions on businesses in the state. Meanwhile, schools, students and parents are trying to get some idea of what the coming school year will be like. And there are still plenty of questions about whether there’s enough good information to make any of those decisions. And Senate candidates in both parties face some tough strategic decisions of their own. WABE political contributor Denis O’Hayer talks it over with Democratic strategist Tharon Johnson and Republican strategist Brian Robinson.

Governor Kemp’s Partial Re-Opening: Reasons, Risks & Consequences

Welcome to the Georgia lab! No, not the state’s COVID testing lab (we’re still working on getting more of those up and running). The entire state is a now a lab–and we’re all the subjects. Governor Brian Kemp finds support from some government leaders and pushback from others–including President Trump–on his plan to partially re-open the state for business. On that subject, business folks, workers, and state and local governments struggle to adjust to life amid pandemic. And a familiar and controversial politician is getting out of that business–at least for now. WABE political contributor Denis O’Hayer digs into all of it with Republican strategist Brian Robinson and Democratic strategist Tharon Johnson.

A Risky Dilemma: How Can Georgia Re-Open Without Enough Coronavirus Data?

While President Trump suggests that the nation is past the peak of the Coronavirus outbreak, Georgia certainly is not. And the state continues scrambling for enough tests to tell us exactly where we are. Meanwhile, in electoral politics, there were parades of endorsements and reports of campaign cash in the contests for president and U.S. Senate. WABE political contributor Denis O’Hayer explored those issues–and more–with Republican strategist Brian Robinson and Democratic strategist Tharon Johnson,

Tragic Coronavirus Toll Grows, Especially in Georgia’s Nursing Homes

Despite a few hopeful signs, the terrible Coronavirus toll in Georgia continued. Governor Brian Kemp extended the statewide shutdown, but a shortage of data–and supplies for frontline healthcare workers–continued to hinder the effort to fight the disease. Meanwhile, Georgia’s new GOP senator fought back against questions about her stock trades, and the names of Georgia Democratic women keep coming up as possible vice presidential contenders. WABE political contributor Denis O’Hayer again welcomes Republican strategist Brian Robinson and Democratic strategist Tharon Johnson.

Gold Dome Scramble: Coronavirus Sends Georgia Lawmakers Into Quarantine

After a Georgia state senator tested positive for Covid19, hundreds of his fellow lawmakers went into quarantine. But not before giving governor Brian Kemp emergency executive powers. Lisa Rayam talks with WABE politics reporters Emma Hurt and Emil Moffat, who themselves are in quarantine as they spent a lot of time at the state captiol.

How Politics & Public Health Merged in Georgia Coronavirus Response

The Coronavirus, and Georgia’s response dominate this edition of the Political Breakfast. It’s about putting the political part of the public health story into context for you. And we’ll look at a bit of other political news, too–from the new stage in the Democratic presidential contest, to the scrambles for both of Georgia’s Senate seats (a production note: this episode was taped in the hours before reports about stock trades by Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler). WABE political contributor Denis O’Hayer, Democratic strategist Tharon Johnson, and Republican strategist Brian Robinson got together digitally, via different lines of communication, from their homes and offices.

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