Grant Reeher

Host, The Campbell Conversations

Grant Reeher is Director of the Campbell Public Affairs Institute and a professor of political science at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.  He is also creator, host and program director of “The Campbell Conversations” on WRVO, a weekly regional public affairs program featuring extended in-depth interviews with regional and national writers, politicians, activists, public officials, and business professionals. 

Grant’s research and teaching interests are primarily in American politics and political theory, with an emphasis on legislative politics, democratic representation, and active citizenship.  Among other books, he is the author of First Person Political:  Legislative Life and the Meaning of Public Service (2006), Narratives of Justice: Legislators’ Beliefs about Distributive Fairness (1996), co-author of Click on Democracy: The Internet's Power to Change Political Apathy into Civic Action (2002), and co-editor of The Trusted Leader:  Building the Relationships that Make Government Work (2008, 2nd ed. 2012).  His academic journal publications include pieces in Health Affairs; Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law; The Responsive Community; Polity; and PS:  Political Science and Politics.  He has also published many editorial essays on various political topics, including pieces in The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Ottawa Citizen, Newsday, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, and pieces that have been distributed through Knight-Ridder. 

At various points he has been a regular columnist for The Syracuse Post-Standard.  He has also been quoted in many newspaper stories, including pieces appearing in The New York Times, USA Today, The Financial Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Dallas Morning News, Salon, Newsday, and Roll Call.  In 2008, he co-founded CNYSpeaks, a deliberative public engagement initiative dedicated to providing residents of the Central New York region with opportunities to have a meaningful and constructive voice about issues affecting their lives.  Grant is a 1982 graduate of Dartmouth College, and earned his Ph.D. in 1992 from Yale University.

Grant Reeher's Blog: Reeher Window

 

Ways to Connect

On this week's edition of the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher continues his conversations with candidates for New York's 22nd Congressional District seat, a seat made open by Rep. Richard Hanna's retirement.  This week he talks with Kim Myers, the Democratic candidate.  On a previous program, he spoke with Republican Claudia Tenney.  Analysts have rated the race a toss-up, and it offers a contrast of positions and styles. 

The New York State Fair takes place in Syracuse from August 25-September 5. This week on the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher speaks with the fair's acting director, Troy Waffner. They discuss the history of the fair, why it's located in Syracuse, the renovations that have taken place over the past year, and some of the things fairgoers can expect to see at this year's fair. 

WRVO News File Photo

Central New York promises to provide some competitive elections this fall. One of them is in the 22nd Congressional District, which covers parts of 8 counties across central New York, the Mohawk Valley and the Southern Tier. That seat is open due to the retirement of Rep. Richard Hanna (R-Barneveld).

We've heard a lot about infrastructure during this campaign season, and it's a perennial issue in central New York. This week on the Campbell Conversations, we're joined by Jack Kelly, who has written an intriguing new book on one of the biggest infrastructure projects in American history, and the biggest in upstate New York; the Erie Canal. Kelly’s book is called Heaven’s Ditch: God, Gold and Murder on the Erie Canal. 

Poetry in America, and around the world, has undergone a lot of change in recent years.  This week on the Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher provides a break from politics to speak with the Syracuse-based poet Christopher Citro, the author of The Maintenance of the Shimmy-Shammy.  They discuss poetry’s recent history, new developments in poetry, Citro’s own approach toward writing, and poetry’s appreciation and fun.

In an instant, the Fukushima nuclear disaster changed the landscape and prospects for nuclear energy around the world.  But what’s happened since—how has the Fukushima area been rehabilitated, and how have returning residents dealt with the aftermath?  How lasting will Fukushima’s effects on nuclear power be, given concerns about global warming?  Joining host Grant Reeher this week on the Campbell Conversations is Steve Featherstone, a journalist who’s written recently for The New Republic on Fukushima a

WRVO News File Photo

The race for New York’s 24th congressional district has been identified as one that could be quite competitive.  Three Democrats are vying to challenge Republican incumbent John Katko in Tuesday’s federal primary.  This week on the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher follows up his earlier discussions with Colleen Deacon, Eric Kingson and Steve Williams, with a conversation with the incumbent they will be running against in November, Rep.

Last November, the Great Law of Peace Center opened on Onondaga Lake, replacing the Ste. Marie Among the Iroquois exhibit.  The new center is focused on and driven by the history and culture of the Haudenosaunee and more specifically, the Onondaga Nation.  This week on the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher is joined by Onondaga Nation Faith-keeper Oren Lyons, and Onondaga Historical Association executive director Gregg Tripoli to discuss the new center, the politics and negotiations involved in making the change, and the history of the Haudenosaunee and the Law of Peace.

Tom Fazzio

New York's 24th congressional district has changed party hands four times in the last four elections. The Democratic Party has targeted first-term Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) as someone it can beat this November in its quest to retake control of the House of Representatives.  This week on the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher continues with a debate begun last week among the three Democratic candidates hoping to run against Katko under the Democratic banner.  The focus in this segment is on specific policy issues. 

Tom Fazzio

New York's 24th congressional district has changed party hands four times in the last four elections.  This year, the Democratic Party has targeted incumbent Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) as someone it can beat in its quest to retake control of the House of Representatives.  And this week on the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher moderates a debate among the three Democratic candidates hoping to run against Katko in November under the Democratic banner.  It's a lively and at times testy conversation. 

The Syracuse Police Department has had tensions with the city’s Citizen Review Board, as well as ongoing conflicts with the county district attorney’s office.  This week on the Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher talks with Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler about those issues, as well as the national problem of police shootings of unarmed citizens and other police abuse—and the effect they have on police-community relations.  They also discuss the facts and the myths about crime in Syracuse.

Often overlooked in considerations of the anti-nuclear movement are the distinctive contributions of activists of color.  In this week’s edition of the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher talks with Montgomery College professor Vincent Intondi, the author of the book "African Americans Against the Bomb: Nuclear Weapons, Colonialism, and the Black Freedom Movement".  They discuss the ways that Black anti-nuclear activism intersected with other important strains of Black activism and Black freedom m

Is democracy a sham, a pipe dream that keeps disappointing us? If so, then perhaps the problem is the way we think about democracy in the first place. This week on the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher talks with two highly respected political scientists who have recently co-authored a very provocative book on American democracy, titled "Democracy for Realists: Why Elections Do Not Produce Responsive Government".

On the eve of the New York presidential primary, Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher talks with two area party chairs. Janet Burman, who heads up the Syracuse City Republican Committee, and Mark English, chair of the Onondaga County Democratic Committee.  They discuss the controversies and turmoils in the nominating process, the restrictive voting rules in New York State, and aspects of the candidates’ campaigns and positions.

 

In 2013 Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher interviewed economist and author Richard Wolff.  Wolff predicted a political movement that looks very much like what the Bernie Sanders campaign has become. In this new interview, Reeher brings Wolff back as a soothsayer, to comment on the Sanders campaign, its significance for American politics, both now and in the future, and class-based politics more generally. 

In an interview that continues topics raised last week with Sarah Chayes, this week on the Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher talks with Robert Grenier.  Grenier was CIA Station Chief for Pakistan and Afghanistan during 9-11, then served in Washington as CIA Iraq Mission Manager, and finished his CIA career as Director of CIA's CounterTerrorism Center.  

What can the political dynamics leading to extremism in the Middle East reveal about the political situation in the U.S.? This week on the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher talks with Sarah Chayes of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and the author of Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security.

The upcoming general election will no doubt re-ignite debates over voter turnout and voter suppression.  On this week's episode of the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher speaks with the two elections commissioners for Onondaga County, Republican Helen Kiggins Walsh and Democrat Dustin Czarny.  We find out why they think efforts to suppress voting have largely bypassed the state, and also why it's hard to implement other measures to make it easier to vote.  The short answer to both?  Politics.  

For the last two weeks on the Campbell Conversations, you've heard from two proponents of the preliminary Consensus Report regarding government consolodation in the Syracuse region.  This week on the program, host Grant Reeher talks with two critics, Syracuse City Councilor Khalid Bey and Town of Clay Assessor Rob Bick.  Together, they raise concerns about the need for change, the cost and tax implications of the recommendations, political representation, the impact on education and school taxes, and the process for considering and implementing the report.

Last week, Campbell Conversation host Grant Reeher spoke with former Congressman Jim Walsh and CenterStateCEO President Rob Simpson about the Commission on Local Government Modernization’s Consensus Report regarding government consolidation.  Their conversation continues this week, with a focus on the objections that have been raised about the report’s recommendations, and how those recommendations might impact taxes, schools, and other important aspects of life in Central N

It’s called the Consensus Report, but so far it’s generating anything but.  This week on the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher talks with two contributors to the Commission on Local Government Modernization’s report. Commission co-chair and former Congressman Jim Walsh, and CenterStateCEO President Rob Simpson. This is the first of a two-part series, and this week the focus is on the problems with the region’s current government structure, and the process for moving forward based on the Commission’s Report.

When columnist Sean Kirst announced he was leaving The Syracuse Post-Standard, there was a public outpouring of appreciation and loss.  Described as the heart and soul and the face of the paper, Kirst had chronicled the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of the city and its people.  On this edition of the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher talks with Kirst about his decision to leave, the place of writing in his life, his future plans, the newspaper, and some pressing local issues.

This week on the Campbell Conversations two local political analysts engage in a lively exchange with host Grant Reeher about the Iowa caucuses, the upcoming New Hampshire primary, and the remainder of the nomination process.  They also look ahead to the general election, and discuss whether the fundamental dynamics of presidential politics are changing. Chris Faricy is a political science professor at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University, and has prior experience as a field director in a Democratic congressional race.  Michael Backus is the Clerk of Oswego County, a former staffer for

WRVO File Photo

The 24th congressional district, a seat currently held by first-term Republican John Katko, promises to provide a lively and competitive race this coming November.  Three Democratic challengers have emerged, each emphasizing different strengths of background and expertise. 

This week on the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher talks with two veteran Syracuse area lawmakers about the upcoming legislative session, and about the governor's influence over the legislature--and what his overall political agenda has been.  State Senators John DeFrancisco and Dave Valesky offer contrasting views about the governor's use of executive orders, and the need for legislative reform, but largely agree on what the session is likely to focus on, and share an optimistic view of the state budget being passed on time. 

Matt Coulter / Syracuse University

The conflict between the City of Syracuse and Onondaga County over tax abatements for the development of the Inner Harbor of the city has raised questions about the working relationship between the mayor and the county executive.  On this week's edition of the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher discusses this conflict with both Mayor Stephanie Miner and County Executive Joanie Mahoney, in their first joint appearance to discuss the issue.  In a spirited but respectful conversation, the two executives set forward their views of what was done, what should have been done, and why.

Matt Coulter / Syracuse University

After listening to WRVO's Friday news excerpt from the Campbell Conversations interview with Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner and Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney, the Post-Standard's Chris Baker wrote that it embodied a "a more civil approach to the dialogue than previous exchanges."  I want to expand on that impression.  

WRVO File Photo

The 24th Congressional District, currently held by Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus), is already attracting a lot of Democratic hopefuls, with nearly a year to go before the 2016 election. One of those hopefuls is Colleen Deacon, a former aide for U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). Before that, she served as press secretary for former Syracuse Mayor Matt Driscoll. 

The city of Oswego faces many of the same economic challenges facing cities all over upstate New York, including plant closings and the flight of you, educated adults from the area. One young adult who has stayed in Oswego is Billy Barlow. At 25, Barlow was elected mayor of Oswego and will be the youngest mayor in the state when he takes office in January. 

This week on the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher has a wide-ranging political discussion with Matt Bennett, a vice president of a centrist Washington think tank.  Bennett argues that the Democratic Party is in the worst shape it’s been in, in over 80 years, despite holding the White House for two terms and enjoying what appears to be a growing demographic advantage among the population.  They also discuss the current presidential field and Hillary Clinton’s potential to be a genuine agent for change in Washington.

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