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.

Confusing Signals on COVID-19, Evictions, and Elections

Georgians found themselves bombarded by lots of numbers in the last week–coming from everyone from public health officials, to economists, to political pollsters. But much of that information might only create a more muddled picture of where we’re headed. It’s very 2020. WABE political contributor Denis O’Hayer sorts it out with Republican strategist Brian Robinson and former Cobb County Democratic chairman Michael Owens, who’s filling in for Democratic strategist Tharon Johnson.

Gov. Kemp vs. the White House COVID-19 Task Force

Georgia no longer has the nation’s highest rate of new Coronavirus cases–but it’s in second place, despite some other more encouraging signs. Uncertainty continues over the best path forward for Georgia’s public schools ad universities. Renewed protests around the nation—including Atlanta—were one of the themes of the Republican Convention. And the state’s top elections official, who’s a Republican, walked a tightrope with GOP members of Congress about mail-in absentee voting.  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 Gets Unwanted Top Ranking for COVID-19; Kemp Defends His Response

Georgia’s governors like to say this state is the number 1 place to do business. But the current governor pushed back when the White House task force branded Georgia as number one for its rate of new Coronavirus cases. The debate over school and college re-openings intensified as case clusters emerged in those places. And polling shows the state’s two U.S. Senate races are, at least for now, quite different when it comes to how competitive the parties are with each other. WABE political contributor Denis O’Hayer explores it all with Republican strategist Brian Robinson and Democratic strategist Tharon Johnson.

Will Kamala Harris Affect the Presidential Race in Georgia?

It was a week that saw several different kinds of unprecedented things: of course, Kamala Harris became the first African-American woman—and first South Asian woman—to be selected as the vice presidential candidate for a major American party. Here in Georgia, for the first time, a candidate who has endorsed a conspiracy theory called QAnon is likely headed to Congress. And the daily death toll from COVID-19 in Georgia reached new record highs. WABE political contributor Denis O’Hayer gets some insights from Republican strategist Brian Robinson and Democratic strategist Tharon Johnson.

Schools Open in Pandemic; Vote-by-Mail Fight Gets Local

Schools are opening in Georgia, but the often-emotional debate about whether—and how—to do it safely is already well underway. And the toll in COVID-19 cases, rates of positive tests, and deaths continues to rise. Governor Kemp signs a controversial police protection bill. And while President Trump trashes mail-in absentee voting—except in Florida—there’s a growing dispute between the state’s top elections official and one Atlanta area county. Republican strategist Brian Robinson and Democratic strategist Tharon Johnson are back, with WABE political contributor Denis O’Hayer.

John Lewis Farewells; Congress Demands GA COVID Documents

With coronavirus cases still extremely high, hospitals in many parts of Georgia sounded the call for intensive care for themselves. Schools and colleges struggled to figure out how and when to reopen, with the calendar–and the virus–not on their side. And voters in the late Congressman John Lewis’s district will get to choose his successor—even if that person might only serve for a few weeks. WABE political contributor Denis O’Hayer delves into it all with Democratic strategist Tharon Johnson and Republican strategist Brian Robinson.

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