Campbell Conversations

Saturday at 6:30 a.m. and Sunday at 6 p.m.

Every week Grant Reeher, Director of the Campbell Public Affairs Institute at Syracuse University, leads a conversation with a notable guest. Guests include people from central New York - writers, politicians, activists, public officials, and business professionals whose work affects the public life of the community - as well as nationally-prominent figures visiting the region to talk about their work.

The Campbell Conversations are longer interviews which encourage the character of the interviewee to be revealed. This allows you to learn not only about the issue being discussed, but also about the person—how they got to where they are, and where they might go. Grant attempts to go beyond the usual press conference questions and sound bites.

Podcasts of the show are available via iTunes.

If you have any questions about an episode or any comments for Grant, feel free to contact him by email at gdreeher@maxwell.syr.edu at your convenience.

See also:  The Campbell Debates

The killings of African American citizens by local police have generated a more broad, national conversation about race and the criminal justice system. This week on the Campbell Conversations, a conversation with Angela Hattery and Earl Smith, two researchers who have written a new book about the systemic racism in the criminal justice system. The book is called Policing Black Bodies: How Black Lives are Surveilled and How to Work for Change. 

Tom Fazzio / Syracuse University

The city of Syracuse has one of the highest concentrations of poverty in the nation. How does housing discrimination and segregation factor into that? This week on the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher talks with Sally Santangelo, Executive Director of CNY Fair Housing. They discuss the many facets of housing discrimination in Syracuse and across central New York.

Interview highlights

Tom Fazzio / Syracuse University

This November's Congressional elections may be the most important midterms in a generation. This week on the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher talks to Dana Balter, the Democratic Party's endorsed candidate to challenge Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) for central New York's 24th Congressional District seat. They discuss her campaign, her policy positions, and her case against Katko.

Tom Fazzio / Syracuse University

Social activism by prominent athletes, particularly regarding issues that involve race, has taken off in the past year. It's generated comparisons with the activism from the 1960s. This week on the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher talks with Etan Thomas, a social commentator, 11-year NBA veteran and former Syracuse University basketball star. He's written a new book called We Matter: Athletes and Activism.

Interview Highlights

Ted Marmor

The Medicare program remains widely popular, but how well is it understood? What about the program works well, and doesn't work well? And is it under threat in the current political climate? This week on The Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher talks with Yale Emeritus professor Ted Marmor, a leading and longstanding expert on Medicare and the politics surrounding it. 

Interview Highlights

Tom Fazzio / Syracuse University

The Medicaid program was at the center of Obamacare's expansion of health insurance coverage, and the political and legal controversy that followed its passage. It's now seen by many to be at risk in an era of potential social welfare cutbacks. This week, we're joined Jamila Michener, an expert on Medicaid, who has written a book on the subject.

Interview highlights

Tom Fazzio / Syracuse University

The U.S. Army's 10th Mountain Division, based at Fort Drum in northern New York, is gearing up for a deployment to Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Fort Drum's Commanding General, Maj. Gen. Walter Piatt, about the Division's upcoming mission to Iraq, and his own experiences there.

Interview highlights

Tax Policy Center

The new tax law is the single biggest accomplishment of the Trump Administration thus far, and it has significant ramifications for our economy and our personal finances. In a two part series, Grant Reeher talks with tax policy expert Len Burman, co-founder of the Tax Policy Center in Washington D.C. 

What role does the arts play in economic development? is it a second priority behind tech and brick and mortar, or does it need to be a first priority? How can art help bring different communities together and lift economically depressed areas? This week on the Campbell Conversations, we talk with two Syracuse-area arts advocates, Steve Butler and Rita Paniagua, about those questions.

Tom Fazzio / Syracuse University

The new tax law is the most significant piece of legislation to come out of the Trump Administration so far, but the Republican congressional delegation from New York was split on it. North Country Republican Elise Stefanik (R-Wilsboro) voted against the plan, saying it didn't do enough to preserve state and local tax deductions, which the final bill capped at $10,000.

WRVO News

The Independent Democratic Conference, a group of eight Democratic state senators who operate in a coalition with Republicans in the state Senate, has come under increasing criticism by Democrats in the Senate, and across the state. This week on the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher talks with state Sen. Dave Valesky (D-Oneida), a member of the IDC.

Tom Fazzio / Syracuse University

On November 7, voters in the city of Syracuse did something they hadn't done since 1913: elect an independent mayor. This week, Grant Reeher talks with Syracuse Mayor-elect Ben Walsh. They discuss Walsh's transition, his priorities for the new administration, the relationship between national and local politics, and what he learned on the campaign trail. 

The nation's politics seem to be seem to be at some kind of crossroads. Both parties are engaged in internal strife and self-examination. This week on the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher talks with Matt Bennett, from the Washington think tank Third Way. They discuss what's driving these internal party conflicts, and how they might be resolved. 

Tom Fazzio / Syracuse University

The question of just what happened in the 2016 presidential election continues to absorb political pundits and haunt the Democratic Party. This week, Grant Reeher talks with Jonathan Allen and Amy Parnes, co-authors of the bestselling book "Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign." We'll take a look back at the election and what it might mean going forward.  

August 6, 1945 will never be forgotten. But Keiko Ogura, who survived the atomic bomb in Hiroshima, Japan that day, wants to make sure the lessons it teaches us about nuclear war remain as vivid as possible. Ogura has devoted her life to that mission. This week on the Campbell Conversations, a conversation with Keiko Ogura.

On November 7th, voters in Syracuse will choose a new mayor. Stephanie Miner has served in that role for the last 8 years and ends her final term at the end of this year. This week on the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher talks with Miner about her time as mayor, her accomplishments, what she would do differently if given the chance, and more.

Tom Fazzio / Syracuse University

The race for mayor and the choice of whether or not to hold a constitutional convention have dominated the political headlines in Syracuse, but there are other important decisions facing voters in this November's election. Among them, are two at-large seats that are up for grabs on the Syracuse Common Council. This week, Grant Reeher talks with the four candidates vying for those two spots, Democrat Tim Rudd, Democrat Khalid Bey, Republican Norm Snyder and Green Party candidate Frank Cetera. 

WRVO News

When a national tragedy occurs, we often head for the nearest radio or television to get the latest news. That happened this week, when a gunman shot and killed 58 people and injured hundreds of others during a country music concert in Las Vegas. 

WRVO News (file photo)

Earlier this month, Juanita Perez Williams defeated two other candidates to become the Democratic nominee in the race for mayor of Syracuse, picking up more than 50 percent of the vote. She now moves on to the general election in November, where she faces three other candidates. This week on the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher talks with Perez Williams about her campaign and some of the issues facing city residents.

Tom Fazzio / Syracuse University

On the ballot in New York this Election Day, is a referendum on whether or not to hold a state constitutional convention. If approved, the entire state government structure could be up for reform, or even up for grabs. 

WRVO News File Photo

State Sen. John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) has been publicly considering a challenge to Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2018. Could an upstate Republican stand a chance against a downstate Democrat in a state with a 2-to-1 Democratic advantage? DeFransisco joins host Grant Reeher this week to consider how it could be done and what it could mean for New York.

Tom Fazzio / Syracuse University

On September 12, Democrats in Syracuse will vote in a primary and will choose who they want to be their candidate in the race to be Syracuse's next mayor. Juanita Perez Williams, Joe Nicoletti and Marty Masterpole are running in that primary. The winner will be on the Democratic Party line in an already crowded election field, which includes Republican Laura Lavine, Howie Hawkins from the Green Party, and Ben Walsh on the Upstate Jobs Party line. This week, the three Democrats sat down with host Grant Reeher for a debate that covers a number of issues facing the city. 

WRVO News File Photo

Can local governments in New York better share the services they provide in order to improve quality and to save taxpayer dollars? A provision in this year's state budget calls for counties to develop proposals for greater sharing of services. This week, Grant Reeher talks with Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney, about the process of sharing services across municipalities.

WRVO News

One of the bright spots in the recent history of the city of Syracuse has been the redevelopment of parts of the city's downtown area. One of the primary movers of that revitalization has been Robert Doucette. This week, Doucette joins Grant Reeher to discuss the city, economic development, and the replacement of Interstate 81 through downtown.

WRVO News File Photo

This week on the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher speaks with State Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli (D-Syracuse). They discuss how this year's legislative session worked out, the tendency for governors to wrap legislation into the annual budget, ethics and public confidence in government, as well as the Syracuse mayoral race. 

WRVO News

Syracuse has some of the most concentrated poverty in the nation. It has also experienced a long term decline of its economic base: manufacturing. What is the city's work climate? This week on the Campbell Conversations, we're joined by the two co-chairs of a recent report by the Onondaga Citizens League, titled "How CNY Works," Melissa Menon and Craig French. Menon is the Talent/Community Engagement Manager at DARCO Manufacturing.

WRVO News

Last Month, NPR and PBS aired reports on two federal programs for low income housing, the low income housing tax credit program and Section 8 housing vouchers. The reports uncovered many shortcomings. This week, we explore how these programs are working in the Syracuse area. We're joined by Paul Driscoll, commissioner of Syracuse's Department of Neighborhood and Business Development, and Stephanie Pasquale, the department's deputy commissioner.  

WRVO News

Can a Republican candidate still be competitive in the heavily Democratic city of Syracuse? This week on the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher talks with Laura Lavine, the Republican candidate for mayor. Lavine has never run for political office, and most recently served superintendent of the LaFayette School District. They discuss her approach to leadership, and some of her more specific policy ideas  for the city, as well as the politics of running from the minority party.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

Howie Hawkins has run for many local, regional, and statewide offices. This year he has thrown his hat in the ring again, as Green Party candidate for Syracuse mayor. Many of the ideas he has championed in the past have ultimately been taken up by Democrats, and some have been turned into law—but could this be the election where he will have a more direct say on future policy? Hawkins joins host Grant Reeher on this week’s edition of the Campbell Conversations.

WRVO News

If there was ever a year that an independent candidate might stand a chance of election in a local race, this is it.  Dissatisfaction with the two parties and with politics as usual is at a high-water mark.  This week on the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher speaks with independent Syracuse mayoral candidate Ben Walsh.  The two discuss the issues facing the city, where leadership of the city has gone right and wrong in recent years, and why Walsh is an independent rather than a Republican, like his father and grandfather.

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