Join hosts Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos as they unpack the week in politics with a California perspective. Featuring interviews with reporters and other insiders involved in the craft of politics—including elected officials, candidates, pollsters, campaign managers, fundraisers, and other political players—Political Breakdown pulls back the curtain to offer an insider’s glimpse at how politics works today.
Barbara Boxer on the Capitol Attack, Impeachment and Biden's Climate Agenda
Former California Senator Barbara Boxer joins Scott and Marisa to share her reaction to the insurrection at the Capitol last week, the harrowing experiences she's heard from former colleagues and her memories of being in the Senate on September 11th, 2001. Boxer also discusses the House impeachment of President Trump, what to expect from the Biden administration on climate change, the controversy over her registration to advise a Chinese surveillance firm and how she spends her days in the Coachella Valley.
Steve Phillips on the Transformation of Georgia Politics and How the South 'Never Surrendered in the Civil War'
Marisa and Scott discuss the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and the response of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and California Republicans in Congress. Then, political organizer Steve Phillips, founder of Democracy in Color, joins to talk about the connection between the coup attempt and the Democrats' Senate wins in Georgia and his upcoming book on how the Civil War continued beyond Appomattox. Phillips also discusses his first meeting with Stacey Abrams in 2011 and the reluctance of some national organizations to invest in candidates of color.
2021 California Politics Preview
As 2020 comes to a close, Marisa, Katie Orr and Guy Marzorati preview the year ahead in California politics, including the recall campaign against Governor Gavin Newsom and the role that Californians will have in shaping the agenda of the Biden administration. Plus, a look at the policy debates ahead in education, child care, criminal justice and voting.
Holiday Special: Steve Kerr on Beirut, Basketball During the Pandemic, and Learning from his Players
With the NBA season tipping off in empty arenas around the country, Scott and Marisa revisit one of their favorite interviews of the year: a conversation with Steve Kerr, head coach of the Golden State Warriors. Kerr discussed the league's response to the Black Lives Matter movement, the deadly August explosion in his birthplace of Beirut, his family's long history in the Middle East and how he continues to learn from his players.
BONUS: Alex Padilla Named California's New U.S. Senator
Secretary of State Alex Padilla is tapped by Governor Gavin Newsom to fill California's soon-to-be-vacant U.S. Senate seat. Scott and Marisa discuss the pick with KPCC Senior Politics Reporter Libby Denkmann. Then, we revisit Padilla's appearance on Political Breakdown earlier this year, when he discussed his childhood in Pacoima, his early pursuit of a career in rocket science, and how he ended up as mayor of Los Angeles on September 11th, 2001.
Tom Ammiano on Activism, Comedy and a Life in Progressive Politics
Former State Assemblyman and San Francisco supervisor Tom Ammiano joins Scott and Marisa to discuss his memoir Kiss My Gay Ass and reflect on the homophobia he faced growing up in New Jersey, his arrival in San Francisco, fighting the 1978 Briggs Initiative, his write-in campaign for mayor in 1999, using humor in politics and corruption in San Francisco city government.