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

WRVO Public Media

In a Campbell Conversation recorded a couple weeks before the November election, host Grant Reeher sat down with Stanford professor Aliya Saperstein to talk about race and ethnicity in America.  Saperstein has written about how we perceive race and ethnicity in others, and how we view our own race and ethnicity.  The two also discuss inclusion and equality from a longer-term perspective.

WRVO Public Media

This week on the Campbell Conversations, Oswego County Clerk Michael Backus and Syracuse University professor Chris Faricy return to the program to discuss the November elections.  They were last on the program in February following the Iowa Caucuses.  They discuss the long, strange political trip since then, and the implications of a Trump presidency for a variety of policies and other national political institutions.  

WRVO Public Media

Rep. Richard Hanna (R-Barneveld) is leaving Congress at the end of the year. This week on the Campbell Conversations, the three-term Congressman reflects on his time in Washington with host Grant Reeher. 

WRVO Public Media

American cities have been under great pressure, the city of Syracuse is 'exhibit A' of how poverty and infrastructure challenges can threaten their future. Earlier this year, Michael Nutter stepped down from the mayor’s office in Philadelphia, after serving two terms.  He managed to leave as one of the most respected mayors, and respected politicians of any kind, in the nation.

In contrast to the hotly contested presidential and congressional contests, state level races in central New York are, for the most part, not races at all. There are few challengers.  One race where there is a challenger is the 127th State Assembly District, which pits incumbent Democrat Al Stirpe against Republican Vincent Giordano.  This week on the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher moderates a debate between them, as they discuss education, government consolidation, economic development, and other issues.

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Pulitzer-Prize winning investigative reporter David Cay Johnston has been following Donald Trump’s business career for decades.  So when Trump launched his campaign for president, he collected all his files and wrote The Making of Donald Trump.  This week on the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher discusses the book with Johnston, and explores how his past business experiences might inform his behavi

This week on the Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher continues his conversation with Dean Strang, one of the defense attorneys for Steven Avery profiled in the Netflix documentary series “Making a Murderer.”  This week the two discuss the financials of criminal defense, and in particular the defense of the indigent.  They then turn to Strang’s book about a century-old case involving Italian anarchists and the famed criminal defense lawyer Clarence Darrow.

The Netflix documentary series "Making a Murderer" made the Steven Avery murder case a cause célèbre and made public celebrities of his two defense attorneys. this week, Grant Reeher speaks with one of those attorneys, Dean Strang. They discuss the Avery case, and the broader lessons about the criminal justice system that it points to, as well as Strang's experiences taking part in the film. 

As Syracuse Stage prepares to open its new season, it’s also welcoming new leadership. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Jill Anderson, Syracuse Stage’s new Managing Director, and Bob Hupp, the new Artistic Director. They discuss the stage, and what place theater has in the community.

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.

WRVO News File Photo

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.

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