Johnny Kauffman | WABE 90.1 FM

Johnny Kauffman

Reporter

Johnny joined WABE in March, 2015. Before joining the station, he was a producer at Georgia Public Broadcasting, and NPR in Washington D.C.

At NPR, Johnny worked as a producer for "Morning Edition," "Weekend Edition," and "Tell Me More."

Johnny got his start in radio as host and station manager at WECI in Richmond, Indiana, where he went to Earlham College and graduated with a degree in English.

Johnny is a native of Goshen, Indiana, a small town in the northern part of the state.

Charles Dharapak / Associated Press

The new U.S. Senate health care bill made public for the first time Thursday on Capitol Hill could drastically affect Georgia.

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Ian Palmer / WABE

The more than $30 million spent by Democrats to boost Jon Ossoff’s campaign wasn’t enough for a win in the special election in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District that went to Republican Karen Handel by a larger than anticipated margin.

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ian palmer / WABE

The cheers started early at Karen Handel's election headquarters Tuesday night. They kept coming each time Fox TV updates showed the Republican holding her lead.

 

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After months of frenzied campaigning, 6th District voters decided to send Georgia’s first Republican woman to Congress.

 

Rep. Tommy Benton (R - Jefferson) is the sponsor of a resolution memorializing Georgia's Confederate history.
Johnny Kauffman / WABE

Georgia Rep. Tommy Benton drew national headlines in 2016 when he said the Ku Klux Klan, “was not such a racist thing, but a vigilante thing to keep law and order.”

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Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

Georgia is reviewing its contract with the Kennesaw State Center for Election Systems after its executive director didn’t disclose a potential security problem before the 2016 presidential election, which was recently uncovered by Politico Magazine.   

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Alex Sanz / Associated Press

Democrat Jon Ossoff wants to be the next congressman from Georgia's 6th District, but he doesn't live within its boundaries, which may be a political liability, even if it’s one many members of Congress overcame to be elected.

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Outside a polling place in Brookhaven, Republicans like  Gary Sams said they were bothered by Ossoff’s address. 

“I think it’s ridiculous,” Sams said. 

AP / Atlanta Police Department

A special state panel can continue investigating DeKalb County Sheriff Jeffrey Mann after a ruling by a Fulton County judge Wednesday.

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Mann faces indecency and obstruction charges. Earlier this month, he exposed himself at Piedmont Park and then ran from an officer, according to Atlanta Police.

Soon after, Gov. Nathan Deal appointed a three-member panel to review whether Mann is fit to serve.

Johnny Kauffman / WABE

Asian-Americans, including many who say they’ve been ignored for years by politicians in Atlanta’s northern suburbs, could decide the competitive special election for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District.

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"It's historic what's happening,” said Long Tran of Dunwoody.

Tran helped organize a rally for Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff at the Blackstone subdivision in Johns Creek, where residents estimate about two-thirds of the neighborhood is Indian-American.

Voters cast ballots in Georgia's primary election at a polling site in a firehouse Tuesday, March 1, 2016, in Atlanta.
David Goldman / Associated Press

There’s a small election Tuesday in Atlanta’s suburbs, but it could be a sign of big political changes coming to the Georgia Statehouse. State Senate District 32 in east Cobb County sits inside a political district getting a lot more attention, and money right now: Georgia’s 6th Congressional District.

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Al Such and Kaitlin Kolarik

It won’t be decided until June 20, but there’s already a big winner in the special election for Georgia’s 6th District Congressional race: Atlanta's local TV stations.  

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Kaitlin Kolarik

Former President Jimmy Carter said Monday night, he voted for Sen. Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential primary.

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The two were speaking to a group of human rights activists at the Carter Center in Atlanta.

Carter and Sanders both pointed to economic inequality as a major reason President Donald Trump was elected. 

“I’m relieved to know that Sen. Sanders agrees with me,” Carter said.

Alison Guillory / WABE

Police departments near Georgia’s biggest universities said they don’t have immediate plans to increase security around campus boundaries after Gov. Nathan Deal told reporters Tuesday he wasn’t “satisfied” with what local law enforcement have done to protect students.

House members work during the House's session on the final day of the 2015 legislative session, Thursday, April 2, 2015, in Atlanta.
Branden Camp / Associated Press

Ken Adams says he’s read a lot of confusing legal documents in his career, but he’s never seen anything quite like lines 37 and 38 of Georgia’s HB 280, a bill that would allow guns on campus at Georgia’s public colleges and universities.

“It’s actually a prize specimen,” Adams joked, “a triumph of unfortunate statute drafting.”

Adams is a consultant who helps lawyers improve the clarity of their writing.

Tasnim Shamma / WABE

DeKalb’s top elections official said there’s “no doubt” the county’s board of elections will call for an additional early voting location ahead of the closely watched special election in the 6th Congressional District set for June 20. 

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Johnny Kauffman / WABE

The special Congressional election Tuesday in Georgia's 6th District, one of the first contests since Donald Trump took office, has been billed by some as a referendum on the new president. But many Republican voters in the district don’t see it that way.

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Pixabay Images

National money, attention, and political staffers have been flowing into Georgia’s 6th Congressional District for weeks. Recently released financial documents show money from outside the state is dominating the special election to replace Republican former Rep. Tom Price, the newly appointed secretary of Health and Human Services.

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Johnny Kauffman / WABE

The Republican’s failure to repeal The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is shaking up the special election in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District. For a generation, Republicans have controlled the district, including Alpharetta, Roswell and East Cobb, but Democrats think they have a chance to take it back. It was vacated by Tom Price, President Donald Trump’s new Secretary of Health and Human Services.

At a debate in a Marietta Country Club, some of the 11 Republican candidates running were divided on what Congress and Trump should do next about health care.

Johnny Kauffman / WABE

The words “slavery” and “Civil War” don’t appear in a resolution filed in the Georgia legislature that’s meant to honor the state’s role in the “four-year struggle for state’s rights, individual freedom, and local government control.” It would recognize April as Confederate History Month, and April 26, 2017 as Confederate Memorial Day at the state capitol.

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Johnny Kauffman / WABE

To make it to work by nine, Chartisia Griffin had to wake up at 4:30 a.m. On public transit, her commute was two-and-a-half hours.

“I'm big pregnant. I'm walking from my house all the way up to the closest bus stop. In the dark, by myself,” she remembered.

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After two trains and another bus, Griffin finally clocked in for what was usually a six-hour shift.

“I'm tired by now because I'm pregnant, I done rode all this far,” she said.

David Goldman / Associated Press

Thousands of metro Atlanta voters would find themselves in different state House districts under a Republican plan that Democrats allege reduces the influence of minority voters.

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Similar moves in other states have been challenged in federal courts, according to experts in voting law. If the Georgia plan is approved by the Republican dominated legislature, and Republican Gov. Nathan Deal, it could also be open to legal challenges.  

JEFF CHIU / Associated Press

Georgia would collect a 4 percent sales tax from ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft under a bill narrowly passed by the state House late Friday. 

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“It’s clear that the ride share company, just like the headquarters of a taxi company ought to be paying the money,” said the Rep. Jay Powell, the bill’s sponsor.

Uber opposes the bill, and the House initially rejected it, but a few hours later the chamber changed its vote.

Johnny Kauffman / WABE

Tens of millions of dollars collected by the state through small fees on things like new tires, prepaid cell phones and police fines aren’t spent how Georgia lawmakers intended, creating a system critics call a scam on taxpayers.

The piles of dumped tires along roadsides and behind abandoned lots throughout Georgia may be the most visible symbol of how environmentalists, county officials and conservatives say the state’s accounting process deceives taxpayers.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press

Democrats from around the country are in Atlanta to set the focus and direction of the party as they vote on the next chair of the Democratic National Committee, but leading Georgia Democrats are not united in who they support.

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The race for the DNC chair is attracting a lot of attention, as the party looks to rebound after the November election.

Johnny Kauffman / WABE

The head of Georgia’s university system on Monday spoke publicly for the first time against a bill that would allow guns on college campuses around the state.

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“With respect to ‘campus carry,’ we feel strongly that current law strikes the right balance to create a safe environment on our campuses,” said Steve Wrigley, the chancellor of the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents, before a committee of mostly Republican lawmakers friendly to expanding gun rights.

The Supreme Court is seen in the morning in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017.
Jose Luis Magana / Associated Press

Georgia has secured a victory in a decades-long battle with Florida over water.

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Florida says Georgia uses too much water, and not enough makes it down to the Gulf of Mexico, so the state sued. Florida blames Georgia's water use for damages to its oyster industry and the state’s surrounding economy.

The case went all the way to a “special master” appointed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Tom Krause and Morgan Penland stand by the cabinet where they file messages that come into Georgia senate Republican Majority Leader Bill Cowsert's office.
Johnny Kauffman / WABE

President Donald Trump’s election energized many Georgians to get politically involved and contact elected officials.

Johnny Kauffman / WABE

The election of Donald Trump changed something in Katie Dahlstrand, a veteran and history student at the University of Georgia.  

“I decided that being a passive progressive is no longer an option,” she said.

Dahlstrand is now the campaign coordinator for the progressive group Athens For Everyone, which used social media to rally people to a recent meeting with Republican congressional staffers for Sen. Johnny Isakson, Sen. David Perdue and Rep. Jody Hice in the rural town of Greensboro, Georgia.

NICK NESMITH / WABE

Proposals to change gun laws usually spark contentious debates at the state legislature, but some Republicans and Democrats have found a bill they agree on.

“It has something in it for everybody, which is why it’s been a bipartisan, successful bill,” said Democratic state Senator Elena Parent from northern DeKalb County, the bill’s lead sponsor.

Mark Wilson / Associated Press

President Donald Trump's temporary ban on immigration from the Middle East is drawing comparisons to a move President Jimmy Carter made in the spring of 1980, which put strict restrictions on Iranian immigration during the infamous hostage crisis.  

Johnny Kauffman / WABE

A long-standing dispute at the state capitol may be near its end. Lobbyists for dentists and hygienists say they’ve reached a deal that would give hundreds of thousands of Georgians with low incomes better access to teeth cleanings, including many children.

A 2016 Georgia Tech study found 865,000 children on public insurance would have to travel further than the state standard for cleanings: 30 minutes or 30 miles in the city, 45 minutes or 45 miles in rural areas.

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