Campbell Conversations

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It's hard to believe that Democrats and Republicans discussing Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court are actually talking about the same person. This week, host Grant Reeher talks with Syracuse University professor Tom Keck about the competing arguments being made regarding the confimration process, and the nominee himself. 

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Across the country, Democratic Party primaries have generated a lot of attention, enthusiasm and some surprising results. Primaries in New York have figured in this trend. This week, host Grant Reeher moderates a debate between the two candidates vying for the Democratic nomination in central New York's 53rd state Senate district, incumbent Sen. Dave Valesky and challenger Rachel May. 

Just how bad is corruption in Albany? Why hasn't more been done to address it? And is there hope for the future? This week, Grant Reeher discusses these questions with Blair Horner, executive director of the New York Public Interest Research Group, or NYPIRG. 

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How engaged are the citizens of Syracuse and Onondaga County in their comminities? What might be changed to strengthen, facilitate and coordinate that engagement? This week, Grant Reeher speaks with two members of the Onondaga Citizens League, Tina Nabatchi and Thomas Carlin. They discuss OCL's new annual report on the state of community engagement in the region. 

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After months of speculation about her political plans, former Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner announced last month that she was launching an independent campaign for governor. Rather than run as a Democrat, and challenging incumbent Andrew Cuomo in a primary, Miner is the first candidate under a new party, the Serve America Movement. Miner joins host Grant Reeher to discuss her campaign for governor. 

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The problems facing the city of Syracuse are widely discussed, but what about the city's suburbs? This week, grant Reeher talks with Town of Dewitt Supervisor Ed Michalenko, and Dewitt Town Planner Sam Gordon. They discuss some of the issues facing the suburbs and the relationship between the city and suburbs. 

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Tuesday's primaries in New York reflected national divisions within the Democratic Party as it heads into what could be the most important midterm elections in a generation. This week, we recap the primary races, and look at their implications. We're joined by Hamilton College professor Phil Klinkner, and Oswego County Clerk Michael Backus. 

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Reformers of the political system have had a lot to talk about in recent years, and one group with deep experiences to draw on is former members of Congress. This week, Grant Reeher talks with Richard Hanna who represented New York's 22nd Congressional District from 2011-2017. He's a current member of the reform group Fix Politics Now

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The congressional midterm elections this November may be the most important midterm in a generation, and even the primaries are generating national attention. One of those primaries is in central New York, where two Democrats are running to unseat Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) in November. This week, Grant Reeher moderates an informal debate with Dana Balter and Juanita Perez Williams. 

Democrats Dana Balter, and Juanita Perez Williams will face off in a June 26 primary, with the winner moving on to face Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) in November. The two share a number of things in common, but there are also differences between them. Those differences came out during a conversation with Grant Reeher for this week's edition of the Campbell Conversations. 

Tom Fazzio / Syracuse University

Across the country, mainstream Congressional Democrats are being challenged in primaries by more progressive, grassroots-supported candidates. It's also happening in state and local races. This week, Grant Reeher talks with Rachel May, who is challenging central New York state Senator Dave Valesky (D-Oneida) in a primary this September. 

Note: This conversation was recorded June 5, one day after the Oneida County Democratic Committee endorsed May in her race with Sen. Valesky.

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Baseball is the national pastime, but it's facing some big challenges. This week, grant Reeher speaks with author Susan Jacoby, whose new book is called "Why Baseball Matters." They discuss the challenges facing baseball's fanbase, the game's relationship to broader social changes, and some ideas for baseball's future. 

Tom Fazzio / Syracuse University

The race for the 22nd Congressional District seat is expected to be one of the most competitive in the nation. This week, Grant Reeher talks with state Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica), who is challenging first term incumbent Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford) this fall. They discuss his case for challenging Tenney, and his pwn policy positions. 

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Spring has finally sprung across upstate New York, and ticks carrying Lyme Disease are a known threat. But what is the bigger picture regarding the disease's dangers, and the medical establishment's response. This week, grant Reeher talks with author and investigative journalist Mary Beth Pfieffer, who has written a book called "Lyme: The First Epidemic of Climate Change."

Tom Fazzio / Syracuse University

A recent executive order from Gov. Andrew Cuomo has opened a path to voting for 35,000 ex-felons on parole. What are the arguments for and against this restoration of voting rights, and what are political arguments regarding citizenship and the formerly incarcerated? Joining Grant Reeher to discuss these issues are Marsha Weissman, a senior policy fellow and former executive director for the Center for Community Alternatives, and Elizabeth Cohen, a professor of political science at Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, and is the author of "The Political Value of Time."

Tom Fazzio / Syracuse University

New York's 24th Congressional District, currently represented by Republican John Katko, now has two Democratic candidates vying to challenge him in November. Dana Balter, who was designated by the Onondaga, Cayuga and Oswego county democratic committees, and Juanita Perez Williams, who entered the race at a fairly late stage. 

Tom Fazzio / Syracuse University

Politics in Albany seems plagued by corruption. Could more transparency of information help? This week on the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher talks with Brett Orzechowski, a professor of Management and Media at Utica College, and the author of "FOIL: The Law and Future of Public Information in New York.


Tom Fazzio / Syracuse University

The New York State Senate is changing. The Senate's Independent Democratic Conference, which had operated in a coalition with Republicans, is now dissolving and rejoining with mainline Democrats. This week, Grant Reeher talks with Sen. Dave Valesky (D-Oneida), a founding member of the IDC. They discuss the implications of this change, as well as the recently passed state budget. 

Melanie Robbins

Anti-Semitic incidents have been on the rise in recent years, across New York and the nation. This week on the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher speaks with Melanie Robbins, the Senior Associate Regional Dirtector of the Anti-Defamation League's New York chapter. They discuss their work in identifying the problem and educating citizend and government organizations on the best ways to combat the rise in anti-Semitism.

Interview Highlights

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.

A few changes are coming to the weekend lineup on WRVO Public Media this year.

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.

Tom Fazzio / Syracuse University

How can we bring civil discussion back to politics? It seems like an impossible question to answer right now, given today's political climate. But that question was one of many posed to Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) on a special one-hour edition of the Campbell Conversations. In this portion of the discussion, Katko shares his thoughts on restoring civility to politics. 

You can hear the full conversation on the Campbell Conversations, Saturday at 6 a.m. and Sunday at 6 p.m. on WRVO, and online. 

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