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

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The 2019 legislative session in Albany promises to yield some important new policies for the state, including major reforms to elections, campaigns, ethics, and healthcare. This week, Grant Reeher is joined by Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli (D-Syracuse) and Sen. Rachel May (D-Syracuse) to discuss this year's legislative session. 

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After 9/11, artist Robert Shetterly was inspried to begin a series of portraits he called "Americans Who Tell the Truth."  The collection grew to 238, and he's still painting them. This week, Grant Reeher talks with Shetterly about what motivates him, how he goes about painting his subjects and what the works have meant to him and to others.

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How do the Trump Administration's actions on trade in combination with Brexit affect Britain's trade with the United States? How important is trade with Britain for central New York? And what does a longtime British diplomat admire about the United States. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Antony Phillipson, Britain's trade commissioner for North America, and the U.K.'s Consul General in New York. 

Dave Valesky (D-Oneida) has represented the state Senate's 53rd District since 2005, but is leaving office after being defeated in a September primary by state Senator-elect Rachel May. This week, Valesky joins grant Reeher to talk about his career in the Senate, and politics in general in Albany. 

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In recent decades, there have been some tectonic changes in Britain's system of government. It has devolved many powers down to its constituent nations, and to some of its cities. More recently, it has struggled with its relationship with the European Union. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with David Mundell, Britain's Secretary of State for Scotland, and a member of the government team working on Brexit. 

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When we think about America's international relations in Asia, the discussion usually focuses on China and North Korea. But India is a key nation in the region, and could prove centrally important in our future relations there. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Sandeep Chakravorty, Consul General of India in New York City. 

The midterm election results at the federal level have been heavily parsed. But receiving comparitively less attention are the results down ballot, at the state and local level. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Alan Greenblatt of Governing Magazine. Greenblatt is a leading observer and writer on state politics and policy. They dicuss the changes resulting from this year's elections and their implications. 

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Joanie Mahoney stepped down as Onondaga County Executive at the beginning of November, after holding the position for the last 11 years. She stepped down to take on a new position as chief operating officer at SUNY ESF, and will also serve in an advisory role at SUNY Upstate Medical University. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Mahoney about her time as county executive, and her future plans. 

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The campaigns, ads, and elections are finally over. This week on the Campbell Conversations, we take a look back at the midterm elections. We'll analyze races from around central New York and around the nation. Host Grant Reeher is joined by Syracuse University political science professor Chris Faricy, and Oswego County Clerk Michael Backus. 

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Tuesday's elections could tip control of the New York state Senate to Democrats, which in turn could have a profound inpact on the state's policies, from healthcare to taxes to government ethics and campaign finance. This week,  Grant Reeher moderates a debate between the two candidates running for New York's 50th Senate District, Republican Bob Antonacci and Democrat John Mannion. Both are running to replace longtime Sen. John DeFrancisco, who is retiring from office this year. 

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The race for New York's 24th Congressional District, currently held by incumbent Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus), could prove critical in Democrats attempts to take control of the House of Representatives. This week, host Grant Reeher talks with Katko's Democratic challenger, Dana Balter. 

The race for New York's 24th Congressional District, currently held by incumbent Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus), could prove critical in Democrats attempts to take control of the House of Representatives. This week, host Grant Reeher talks with Katko's Democratic challenger, Dana Balter. 

The two candidates running for central new York's 24th District seat held their first debate this week, where they disagreed on nearly every issue. Democrat Dana Balter and incumbent Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) will hold three more televised debates before Election Day.

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The upcoming midterm elections are the most closely watched midterms in at least a generation. In New York, control of the state Senate hangs in the balance. Republicans hold a slim one seat majority in the chamber, and one race could flip control of the Senate to the Democrats. This week, Grant Reeher moderates a debate between the two candidates running in the 53rd District: Democrat Rachel May, who defeated 7 term incumbent Dave Valesky in a September primary, and Republican Janet Burman. 

After beating back ISIS militarily, how is Iraq now faring as a nation? What are its biggest challenges? This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Maj. Gen Walter Piatt, the commanding general of Fort Drum in northern NY. Gen. Piatt recently returned from a mission to Iraq to help build peace. 

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What can we learn from the Constitution and the oath of office about how presidents should behave, and the appropriate mechanisms of limits when presidents violate those norms? This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Brown University professor Corey Brettschneider, author of "The Oath and the Office: A Guide to the Constitution for Future Presidents." 

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The nomination hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have taken an important turn. Christine Blasey Ford alleges that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her while the two were in high school, and the future of Kavanaugh's confirmation is now uncertain. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Syracuse University professors Shana Gadarian and Tom Keck about these developments in Kavanaugh's confirmation process. 

Tedra Cobb / Instagram

Tedra Cobb is the Democratic nominee for Congress in New York's 21st District. In November, she faces Republican incumbent Elise Stefanik. This week, Grant Reeher talks with Cobb about why she's running, and her views on issues including healthcare, gun control, and more. 

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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. 

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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