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

A Conversation with Brooke Jenkins, San Francisco's District Attorney

Scott and Marisa discuss San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins' first few months in office and her election victory. Then, they revisit their July conversation with Jenkins, who talked about the loss of her son, her path to becoming the city's top prosecutor and her vision for the office.

Aisha Wahab on Her Historic Election to the State Senate

Marisa and Guy Marzorati react to Nancy Pelosi's announcement that she will not remain in House leadership, before recapping some of the latest results from around the state. Then, Hayward city councilmember Aisha Wahab discuss her historic victory in a race for state senate, her journey through foster care and the small business perspective she hopes to bring to Sacramento.

Awaiting California House Results with Will Rollins

Scott and Marisa discuss the midterm results in California: from tight House races to statewide offices and propositions. Then, Democratic congressional candidate Will Rollins joins to talk about waiting for results in his deadlocked race with incumbent Ken Calvert, his career in counterterrorism and how redistricting reshaped his run for Congress.

'Prebunking' Disinformation and a Los Angeles Election Preview

Marisa and Scott discuss the spread of falsehoods about the Paul Pelosi attack and prebunking disinformation with NPR correspondent Shannon Bond, before looking ahead to the races for mayor and sheriff in Los Angeles with Los Angeles Times columnist Gustavo Arellano.

Garry South on the Debate, Kamala Harris and the 'Dark Arts'

Scott and Marisa recap their experience moderating California's only gubernatorial debate of the 2022 election and discuss the results of the latest polling on Proposition 30. Then, longtime California political consultant Garry South joins to share his thoughts on the debate and the future political prospects of Gavin Newsom and Kamala Harris, the Los Angeles mayoral election and how he got the nickname "the Mouth."

London Breed on Law Enforcement, the Tenderloin and Those Resignation Letters

Scott and Marisa revisit parts of their October 5 conversation with San Francisco Mayor London Breed at KQED Live. Breed discusses her tenure as mayor and the criticism she faced for asking some appointees to sign undated letters of resignation. Breed also made controversial comments about Hondurans and drug dealing, which she apologized for on Thursday.

London Breed on Law Enforcement, the Tenderloin and Those Resignation Letters

Swing District Road Trip with Will Rollins and Rudy Salas

Marisa and Scott hit the road to spend time in two of the most competitive congressional districts in California. Scott heads to Riverside County to interview Will Rollins, the Democrat taking on incumbent Republican Ken Calvert in the 41st district. And Marisa talks to Rudy Salas, the Democratic Assemblyman running for Congress against Republican David Valadao in the 22nd district.

Mike Garcia on Top Gun, Flying in Iraq and January 6th

Scott and Marisa preview their upcoming governor's debate and discuss why expensive campaigns to legalize sports betting are falling flat with California voters. Then, Congressman Mike Garcia joins to talk about his childhood and what inspired him to serve as a Navy pilot, his pitch to Biden opponents who disagree with his stance on abortion and why he voted against certifying the electoral votes of Arizona and Pennsylvania on January 6.

Nathan Hochman Makes His Case to Be California's Attorney General

Marisa and Scott sit down with attorney Nathan Hochman, a Republican running for Attorney General against incumbent Rob Bonta. Hochman shares his campaign slogan for high school class president, how he'll pursue the "hard middle" on criminal justice policy, his views on Propositions 47 and 57, his thoughts on Los Angeles Sheriff Alex Villanueva, and how he will tackle the state's fentanyl crisis.

Rob Bonta Shares His Vision for Public Safety in California

Scott and Marisa are joined by Attorney General Rob Bonta, who discusses his new initiative to reduce gun violence and how the state is preparing for the potential arrival of migrants from red states. Bonta also shares his vision for public safety in California, and how his background has shaped his views on a controversial farm worker unionization bill.