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

Matt Driscoll was mayor of Syracuse from 2001 to 2009. Since then, he's been the President of a state public authority, and most recently a member of Governor Cuomo's cabinet. In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, he discusses the environmental issues he became known for as mayor, economic development, and the current Syracuse mayor's disagreement with the governor over public pensions.

Stephen Barton was a top honors student at Syracuse University—he delivered the student commencement address at the university’s graduation exercise last May. He had won a prestigious Fulbright grant to teach English in Russia, but before he could go, he was shot by James Holmes in the Aurora, Colorado movie theater on July 20th. The experience led him to join the group Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

The daughter of Harry Belafonte and Julie Robinson, Gina Belafonte grew up in a household filled with the leading civil rights activists and entertainers of the day, and she went on to become an actor, producer, and civil rights activist in her own right.

Working in the key battleground state of Ohio, Ashley Bryant was an integral player in President Obama’s internet-based mobilization effort in the 2012 election.  In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, Bryant—the Ohio digital director for the President’s campaign—recounts her experiences on the ground and in the trenches, explains how the campaign integrated the Internet into its strategy, and reflects on how marketing a political brand is both similar to and different from marketing a commercial brand.

For eight months in 2008, Matt Zeller was an Army Lieutenant acting as an embedded trainer with Afghan security forces in the Ghazni Province.  Following that, he was a CIA analyst, ran for Congress, and authored a book about his war experiences.  In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, he speaks in powerful and unvarnished terms about his time in Afghanistan, his struggles upon his return to the States, and the shortcomings of American foreign policy in the Middle East.

This edition of the Campbell Conversations offers a wide-ranging discussion with Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner that covers both local and national political issues, and which includes discussions of the pension problem, ideas voiced in her recent state of the city address, and reflections on the conflicts within the city’s criminal justice system.

This edition of the Campbell Conversations completes an extended consideration of gun control and the NY SAFE Act. In prior weeks Grant Reeher has spoken with SUNY-Cortland Professor Robert Spitzer and Onondaga District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick, both of whom saw a need for more regulation of gun ownership, while also noting possible problems with some of the approaches taken in the new state law.

This week the State legislature passed and the governor signed into law a far-reaching set of prohibitions, restrictions, and tracking mechanisms regarding guns, making New York the first state to change its policies in reaction to the Sandy Hook school shootings.

In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick discusses how effective some of the provisions could be, some possible problems with their implementation, and which ones might be overturned through subsequent court challenge.

In the wake of the Newtown killings, the nation and the state are reconsidering gun control. Governor Cuomo recently made restrictions on guns a featured element in his State of the State address. In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher speaks with gun control expert Robert Spitzer about what kinds of approaches are most likely to help address the problem of gun violence, and what proposed changes are most likely to actually get passed.

Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle recently ended her term the way she first ran for the office—standing up for conservative principles. She voted against the fiscal cliff compromise, on the grounds that it did not address the deficit and government over-spending.  But she was defeated last November by Dan Maffei, the man she unseated in 2010.

nysenate.gov

A potentially significant new chapter in New York's political history will be written in January, as the State Senate's Independent Democratic Caucus joins with the Republican Caucus to form a coalition majority.  On this edition of the Campbell Conversations, State Senator Dave Valesky, a founding member of the Independent Democratic group, discusses how this new arrangement will work, and why joining with the Republicans may actually bring more progressive pieces of legislation to the Senate floor.

Zoe Wool is a researcher and writer who has been working with war-injured American soldiers returning from Afghanistan and Iraq.

New York State Government has long had a reputation as a secretive and guarded place.  Phrases like “three men in a room” come to mind.  In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher speaks with the man charged to make government more open and transparent—Robert Freeman, Executive Director of the State’s Committee on Open Government.

"The land next to heaven."

That's the way Lopez Lomong describes his love for and thanks to this country for the opportunities it has afforded him.

The new frontier in international diplomacy is something called "public diplomacy"--it involves expanding the domain and practitioners of diplomacy beyond traditional government-to-government communication, and threatens the long-standing emphasis on controlling the message.  Tara Sonenshine, the State Department's Undersecretary for Public Affairs and Public Diplomacy, guides the United States' efforts in this area.

After the barrage of negative campaign ads, nightly robo calls, and daily mailers, most central New Yorkers are probably thinking, Whew!  Glad that’s over.  But the time after “the day after” has just begun.

The race for New York’s 24th congressional district seat has easily been the most intense political contest in this region, pitting incumbent Republican Ann Marie Buerkle against Democratic challenger Dan Maffei, in a bitter rematch. Ursula Rozum has also run a spirited Green Party challenge, which could influence the outcome.

This year’s presidential election has brought up a host of perplexing questions about the relationship between religion and politics, and the importance of a candidate’s faith. In this week’s edition of the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher probes those questions with Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, the eldest child of Robert and Ethel Kennedy.

Except for a brief stint with Darrel Aubertine, the 48th State Senate district has been a Republican stronghold.  Amy Tresidder is trying to upset that pattern this fall, and in this week’s edition of the Campbell Conversations Grant Reeher engages both Tresidder and the incumbent Senator Patty Ritchie in a debate-style conversation.

The race for New York’s 24th congressional district seat is one of the most hotly contested and closely watched contests in the country. In an interview that took place on September 18th, Democratic challenger Dan Maffei -- the former holder of the seat who’s challenging Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle in a rematch -- looks back on his previous campaign.

In his first term in the State Assembly, Republican Don Miller has been an outspoken and sometimes controversial crusader against taxes and spending in Albany, to the point of voting against his own party leadership.

Who is the real Mitt Romney?  The question is being asked with increasing frequency.  In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher goes in search of an answer with Michael Kranish.

Dan Lamb is running for Congress in New York's 22nd Congressional District against incumbent Republican Richard Hanna.

In this conversation with Grant Reeher, Lamb says Hanna's image as a moderate has been cultivated by positions taken at the margins. The Post-Standard once called him central New York's "man in the middle."

But Lamb says Hanna should be viewed as a member of the right wing Republican mainstream on the big issues and the big votes.

There's more than one election rematch in Syracuse this fall.

Democrat Al Stirpe is trying to recapture the State Assembly seat he lost to Republican Don Miller in 2010.  Miller, a staunch conservative, won an upset victory over Stirpe despite being outspent by a large margin.

The New York Times is still the nation's flagship newspaper - "the paper of record." But it has struggled recently, financially and otherwise.

On this week's edition of the Campbell Conversations, Daniel Schwarz, an English literature professor at Cornell and the author of "Endtimes," a new book about the newspaper's last 10 years, dissects its troubles and explains why he thinks the Times is the worst paper in America, except for all the others.

Almost every November, voters are asked to make choices about judges, but they have almost no relevant information about how those judges will approach their jobs. Beyond knowing the candidates' party, citizens end up casting votes largely in the dark. And Family Court is perhaps the murkiest of all judicial positions.

Running in her first race for public office, Ursula Rozum is the Green Party candidate for Congress in New York's 24th district.  She's going up against the incumbent Republican Ann Marie Buerkle and Democratic challenger Dan Maffei.

Evolution has been at the front lines of some of our most heated political and cultural conflicts. Speaking with Grant Reeher, Reverend Michael Dowd, the author of "Thank God for Evolution," has staked his claim on the proposition that evolution and science need to be married to our religion- and he's an evangelist about that idea.

John Vachon, 1914-1975, Flickr Commons

The Campbell Institute of Public Affairs at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University presents the second in a series of debates on timely issues of public importance, with a fresh, provocative format.

Last week on the Campbell Conversations, we heard Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner talk about the city's deep financial challenges, and also reflect on the Destiny USA saga.

In this week's continuation of the conversation, she discusses suburban and rural views of the city, the Say Yes program, and her relations with the city council. She also talks about her recent experiences as co-chair of the State Democratic Party, and the political futures of Andrew Cuomo, as well as herself.

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