Political Breakdown Political Breakdown unpacks politics with a California perspective. Each week hosts Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos examine the political intersection of California and the nation, from the inside out. Joined by 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 a glimpse at how politics works today.
Political Breakdown

Political Breakdown

From KQED

Political Breakdown unpacks politics with a California perspective. Each week hosts Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos examine the political intersection of California and the nation, from the inside out. Joined by 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 a glimpse at how politics works today.

Most Recent Episodes

Former State Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald George on the Politicization of the Courts...

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg gains some California endorsements in his presidential bid (1:00), and polls still have Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren at the top of the pack in the Golden State (2:40). Then, former California Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald George discusses the state of the judicial branch (6:55) and what it was like issuing his landmark ruling in favor of same-sex marriage (19:50).

Former State Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald George on the Politicization of the Courts...

Kamala Harris' Exit and Angela Glover Blackwell on 'Radical Imagination'

Politico national political reporter Christopher Cadelago joins Scott and Marisa to analyze Kamala Harris' exit from the presidential race and her political future (0:25). Then, Angela Glover Blackwell discusses her career in shaping public policy, and her new podcast examining 'radical' policy ideas (13:25).

Kamala Harris' Exit and Angela Glover Blackwell on 'Radical Imagination'

Thanksgiving Special with Anne Marie Schubert and Katie Porter

Scott and Marisa revisit two of their favorite interviews from the past year: conversations with Sacramento County district attorney Anne Marie Schubert (0:15) and Orange County congresswoman Katie Porter (14:10).

Corrin Rankin on Recruiting African-American Candidates to the GOP and Growing Up in the B...

Marisa and Scott recap a hectic week of impeachment hearings and the most recent Democratic debate, and analyze the State Supreme Court ruling against the law to force disclosure of presidential candidates' tax returns (0:30). Then, Republican activist Corrin Rankin joins to discuss her childhood experience with redlining, her family bail bonds business, leaving the Democratic party, and her efforts to recruit African-American Republicans to run for office (6:14).

Corrin Rankin on Recruiting African-American Candidates to the GOP and Growing Up in the B...

Chesa Boudin on His District Attorney Victory, Parents' Incarceration and Travels in South America

Chesa Boudin pulls off an upset victory and wins the San Francisco district attorney's race (0:28). Marisa and Scott discuss what the result means for San Francisco and the criminal justice reform movement, and talk with Boudin about the moment the race was decided, his parents' incarceration, his early struggles in school, traveling in South America, cash bail reform, and his plans for the office (5:17).

Chesa Boudin on His District Attorney Victory, Parents' Incarceration and Travels in South America

Proposition 187 at 25 with MALDEF President Thomas Saenz

San Francisco's closely watched District Attorney's race remains too close to call. Scott and Marisa discuss how the contest fits into the growing attention paid to local prosecutor elections and analyze the rest of the SF election results (0:39). Then, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund President Thomas Saenz joins to discuss the lead-up to the passage of Proposition 187 in 1994, the legal strategy that MALDEF used to defeat the measure in court, and the political and legal repercussions of the initiative, 25 years later (7:00).

The Politics of California's Wildfire and Power Crisis with Michael Wara

Representative Katie Hill's promising House career comes to an end with her resignation from Congress, after the release of explicit photos and accusations of an improper relationship with an aide. Marisa and Scott discuss the political fallout and generational divide in the reaction to Hill's resignation (0:40) . Then, Stanford researcher Michael Wara joins to discuss the ongoing wildfire and utility crisis, including Gavin Newsom's response, PG&E's responsibility, 're-imagining' the CPUC, and how other states are dealing with similar problems (5:58).

The Politics of California's Wildfire and Power Crisis with Michael Wara

Bill Dodd on Utility Reform, Leaving the GOP and His High School Cover Band

As the Kincade Fire threatens homes in Sonoma County, Scott and Marisa discuss a new KQED/Change Research poll on PG&E's decision to shut off power in hopes of avoiding future blazes (0:20). Then, Napa State Senator Bill Dodd joins to talk about his childhood in Napa, switching to the Democratic party, and the future of California law governing utilities (5:53).

Bill Dodd on Utility Reform, Leaving the GOP and His High School Cover Band

Katie Porter on Congressional Hearings, Class With Elizabeth Warren and Learning to Surf

Scott and Marisa check in with NPR's Scott Detrow for an update on the presidential campaigns of Californians Kamala Harris and Tom Steyer. Then, Orange County Rep. Katie Porter joins the show to talk about her first year in Congress, her Iowa roots, learning from then-professor Elizabeth Warren (her daughter's namesake), grilling witnesses in the House Financial Services Committee and learning to surf.

Katie Porter on Congressional Hearings, Class With Elizabeth Warren and Learning to Surf

BONUS: Impeachment Inquiry Update from Washington, D.C.

Californians take center stage in the House Democrats' ongoing impeachment inquiry. Scott and Marisa head to Washington, D.C., to talk with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, and fellow committee members Jackie Speier and Eric Swalwell.

Back To Top