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

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.

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.

Governor Kemp’s Proposed Crackdown on Gangs

As the Georgia legislative session rolls along, we look at Governor Kemp’s proposed crackdown on gang-related activity, and his push for a Medicaid waiver expansion program. Also, a high-profile retirement in Gwinnett could be a sign of how the county’s political base is changing.

Gold Dome Scramble: The Drama over Georgia’s “Jungle Primary” for U.S. Senate

Governor Brian Kemp’s pick for the U.S. Senate, Kelly Loeffler, gets some unwanted competition as Republican Doug Collins jumps into the race. Host Lisa Rayam talks with WABE political reporters Emma Hurt and Emil Moffatt about the drama surrounding the open Senate race, which now also includes prominent Democrat Rev. Raphael Warnock. We also talk about gambling, adoption, and foster care proposals.

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