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

WRVO News (file photo)

Democrat Dana Balter is in her second run for Congress against Central New York Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus). But before she can run against Katko, she has to get through a primary in June against fellow Democrat Francis Conole. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Balter about her campaign.

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How has the federal government responded to the COVID-19 pandemic? Was it proactive enough? Did it learn lessons fast enough. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with central New York Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) about the pandemic, and the responses that his office has been taking. 

Tom Fazzio / Syracuse University

New Yok has been the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. Central and Northern New York have fared better than downstate, but are nonetheless dealing with a severe public health crisis. This week, Grant Reeher talks with State Sen. Rachel May (D-Syracuse) about the national, state, and local response to the pandemic. 

SUNY Oneonta

The automobile was instrumental in African Americans pursuit of civil rights in the 20th century, but it also introduced new dangers and challenges. This week, Grant Reeher talks with Gretchen Sorin, a professor and director of the Cooperstown Graduate Program at SUNY Oneonta. She's also the author of "Driving While Black: African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights."

Courtesy of the writers

This week on the Campbell Conversations, something that's never been done on the program before. Instead of an interview, we'll hear from four writers, who will read or perform some of their works. We'll hear from Christopher Citro, Jessica Cuello, Georgia Popoff, and Arthur Flowers. 

ycny.org

A lot of people try to talk to their gods, or at least, something bigger and more powerful than ourselves. What if they could talk back to us? This week, Grant Reeher talks with Phill Memmer, executive director of the YMCA's Downtown Writer's Center in Syracuse, and the author of "Pantheon."

sarantakes.com

Presidents attending sporting events, publicly interacting with athletes, congratulating champions, and inviting them to the White House are now considered normal aspects of both politics and sport. But these things are more recent than you might think. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with writer and historian Nick Sarantakes, author of "Fan in Chief," about the president who essentially invented the practice. 

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Even accounting for inflation, the United States has spent more on the rebuilding of Afghanistan than it spent rebuilding Western Europe after World War II. What does it have to show for it? Did fraud sabotage the effort? Did our leaders lie about how it all was going? This week, Grant Reeher speaks with John Sopko, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. 

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In 2018, Anthony Brindisi won his congressional seat in New York's 22nd District by a slim margin in the most expensive House election in New York's history. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Brindisi about the coronavirus, they look back at his first term, and look ahead to the November election.

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The race for New York's 24th Congressional District seat is likely to be very competitve this year. Three Democrats are vying to be the party's challenger to incumbent Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) in November. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with one of those Democrats, Francis Conole. Conole is an Iraq War veteran, a Commander in the Naval Reserves, and has the backing of the Democratic committees in Onondaga and Cayuga counties. 

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After a surprise referendum result in 2016, Brexit, Britain's exit from the European Union, has proven to be far more complicated and difficult than many had anticipated. What are its implications for trade with the U.S.? This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Antony Phillipson, Britain's Consul General in New York, and its trade commissioner for North America.

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Changes in the bail system in New York, enacted at the beginning of January, have proven to be far more controversial than its supporters had expected. This week, we have a discussion featuring a supporter of the change, State Assemblywoman Pam Hunter, and a detractor, Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick.

cpsc.gov

In 2010, Ann Marie Buerkle was elected to Congress, defeating Democrat Dan Maffei in a close race. She served as central New York's representative for one term, then went on serve on the Consumer Product Safety Commission. She held the position of acting chair of the CPSC from June 2017 until October 2019. This week, Buerkle talks with Grant Reeher about her political career, and her take on current politics. 

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In 2017, Ben Walsh assembled a diverse coalition of voters and won the race for mayor as an independent. He even managed to gether a majority of the vote in a race with three candidates. This week, Walsh talks with Grant Reeher about his time in office, and looks ahead to the second half of his term. 

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Sean O'Keefe is a professor at Syracuse University and the Howard and Lousie Phanstiel Chair in Strategic Management and Leadership at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. He's also held a number of positions in previous Republican administrations. This week, O'Keefe joins Grant Reeher for a discussion on the Trump Administration, impeachment, the situation with Iran, and more. 

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This week, the House of Representatives voted to impeach President Donald Trump. The vote was mostly along partly lines. Central New York Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) voted against the articles of impeachement. While the House was debating the articles Wednesday, Katko sat down for this week's edition of the Campbell Conversations. Katko explains why he voted against impeachment, and other issues. 

riverqueens.us

If you're looking to give or receive a good read this holiday season, consider "River Queens," a quirky, compelling story that offers a decidedly different take on the classic river travel narrative. This week, Grant Reeher talks with Alexander Watson, the book's author. 

Campbell Public Affairs Institute

This week, the Campbell Conversations presents a panel discussion on presidential impeachment among four faculty members at Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship. The discussion took place November 15 in front of a live audience and was moderated by Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher. 

WRVO Public Media

Why are citizens willing to fight, and die, in some wars but not others? What are the implications of that for political leadership and for war, more generally. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with University of Rochester professor Hein Goemans who has been studying these questions, and shares what he's learned.

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In a Democratic presidential primary race, more progressive and left-oriented ideas seem to be supplying most of the energy, and the candidates seem keen to court it. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Matt Bennett from the Washington D.C. based think tank Third Way, wo thinks that moderates hold the keys to defeating President Trump, both in the primary and in the general election.

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Following President Trump's election, a progressive grassroots organization formed to resist his presidency. Calling itself Indivisible, it became a force, having tangible impacts on the 2018 midterm elections. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Ezra Levin, a co-founder of Indivisible. The discuss the organization's future, and a new book that Levin has co-written, called "We Are Indivisible: A Blueprint for Democracy After Trump."

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A host of regulations and protections were instituted in the wake of the financial crisis of 2007 and 2008. Have they now been dialed back too far? With other contributing national and global factors, are we at risk of another crisis? This week, Grant Reeher talks with Ron Feldman, First Vice President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, who thinks the answer may be yes. 

Emily Russell / NCPR

What are the current challenges facing the Adirondack Park, a sparsely populated, but heavily visited area? What are the biggest environmental, cultural and economic issues, and what have been some recent successes? This week Grant Reeher talks with Brian Mann, Adirondack Bureau Chief for North Country Public Radio. 

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Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick is seeking an eighth term in November. This year, he has two challengers, Democrat Charles Keller and Conservative candidate Gary Lavine. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Fitzpatrick about some of the criticisms leveled against him, and what Fitzpatrick would do in an eighth term. 

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Ryan McMahon was appointed Onondaga County Executive in November 2018 following the resignation of Joanie Mahoney. At the time, McMahon was serving as chairman of the Onondaga County Legislature. McMahon is running for county executive for the first time next month. His opponent is Democrat Tony Malavenda, a longtime business owner running for political office for the first time since the early 1980s. McMahon and Malavenda sit down for their first broadcast debate with Grant Reeher, and discuss many issues, including campaign spending, poverty and more. 

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Congressional races in central New York are often considered bellwethers for the nation. In 2018, some central New York Democrats successfully challenged Republican incumbents, while others came up short. Why? Was is because of Donald Trump? This week, Grant Reeher explores the reasons behind this with Luke Perry, a professor of political science at Utica College, and author of the book "Donald Trump and the 2018 Midterm Battle for Central New York."

Mike Morgan / NPR

In an era of diminished public confidence in the media, what steps has NPR taken to strengthen connections and trust among its listeners? How does radio compare with other news mediums in communicating essential information? This week, Grant Reeher is joined by Rachel Martin, co-host of NPR's "Morning Edition." They discuss these issues, as well as some of Rachel's more memorable stories and interviews, and who her favorite NPR voice is. 

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The city of Syracuse has been a recent magnet for refugees. More than 10,000 have settles there in the last 12 years. But this year, at least one refugee will be the first in Syracuse to win public office. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Chol Majok, the Democratic nominee for Syracuse 3rd District Common Council seat.

New York came up just short of legalizing recreational marijuana this year, and many political observers regard full legalization as just a matter of time. What are the important questions facing policymakers as they prepare for the inevitable? What can legalization in other states teach us? This week, Grant Reeher talks with Stanford University professor Keith Humphreys, an expert on marijuana policy and legalization. 

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For 28 years, Bill Fitzpatrick has been Onondaga County's District Attorney, facing relatively little challenge in his last seven elections. Hoping to change that this November is Charles Keller, a Democrat and Syracuse-based defense attorney. This week, Keller speaks with Grant Reeher on why he's running against Fitzpatrick, and to describe the changes he'd make in the criminal justice system if elected. 

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