Campbell Conversations

Saturday at 6 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 exposed. This allows you to learn more about the person, how they got to where they are, and where they plan to go. Grant attempts to go beyond the usual press conference questions and sound bites, which usually accompany a discussion about his guests.

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

Last Month, NPR and PBS aired reports on two federal programs for low income housing, the low income housing tax credit program and Section 8 housing vouchers. The reports uncovered many shortcomings. This week, we explore how these programs are working in the Syracuse area. We're joined by Paul Driscoll, commissioner of Syracuse's Department of Neighborhood and Business Development, and Stephanie Pasquale, the department's deputy commissioner.  

WRVO News

Can a Republican candidate still be competitive in the heavily Democratic city of Syracuse? This week on the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher talks with Laura Lavine, the Republican candidate for mayor. Lavine has never run for political office, and most recently served superintendent of the LaFayette School District. They discuss her approach to leadership, and some of her more specific policy ideas  for the city, as well as the politics of running from the minority party.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

Howie Hawkins has run for many local, regional, and statewide offices. This year he has thrown his hat in the ring again, as Green Party candidate for Syracuse mayor. Many of the ideas he has championed in the past have ultimately been taken up by Democrats, and some have been turned into law—but could this be the election where he will have a more direct say on future policy? Hawkins joins host Grant Reeher on this week’s edition of the Campbell Conversations.

WRVO News

If there was ever a year that an independent candidate might stand a chance of election in a local race, this is it.  Dissatisfaction with the two parties and with politics as usual is at a high-water mark.  This week on the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher speaks with independent Syracuse mayoral candidate Ben Walsh.  The two discuss the issues facing the city, where leadership of the city has gone right and wrong in recent years, and why Walsh is an independent rather than a Republican, like his father and grandfather.

WRVO News (file photo)

In recent years, a number of police shootings of African-American citizens has prompted protests and sharpened the political divide. Could these shootings be a product of newer trends and the way police are trained in a post-9/11 world? This week, Grant Reeher speaks with journalist Steve Featherstone, whose recent article on the topic appeared in the New Republic.

WRVO News

The principal recommendation of the final report of the Consensus Commission on Local Government Modernization is to establish a new municipal form of government for Onondaga County, with a single executive and a 33-seat legislature. There has been much debate on the issue, including a recent debate on the issue at Syracuse University's Maxwell School. 

Seamus Kirst has written a raw and revealing new memoir about his struggles with addiction, sexual identity, and mental health.  The book, Sh*tfaced: Musings of a Former Drunk, also contains an equally unvarnished foreword by his father, the writer Sean Kirst.  

WRVO Public Media

Richard Hanna spent six years in Congress, representing New York's 22nd Congressional District. He did not run for reelection in 2016, and was replaced by Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford). He often voted against his Republican colleagues in the House, and even supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race. This week, he talks with Grant Reeher about the state of politics today, his own political future, and more. 

WRVO News File Photo

Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) joined Grant Reeher for this week's edition of the Campbell Conversations. Topics included his recent public forum in Oswego, the healthcare debate in Washington, President Trump's proposed federal budget, his own political future, and much more. 

WRVO News File Photo

Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) joined Grant Reeher for this week's edition of the Campbell Conversations. In this preview, they talked about whether Katko has seen any political retribution for not backing President Donald Trump during the campaign, how House Speaker Paul Ryan is doing, and Katko's own political future. 

Note: Full audio and transcript of the interview will be available Saturday, April 8 at 6:00 a.m.

WRVO Public Media

Sean Kirst's stories about the people of Syracuse and the trials and tribulations of the area were a beloved feature of the local newspaper, and are still missed. Kirst has a new book out based on those columns, The Soul of Central New York. This week, Grant Reeher talks with Kirst to talk about the book, the news media and some of the challenges the city of Syracuse is facing.

WRVO Public Media

What's the best way for local governments to create wealth in their community? And why do local leaders regularly repeat the same mistakes making choices they think will create revenue, only to find they've created more costs? This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Joe Minicozzi, the head of Urban 3, an economic development firm based in Asheville, North Carolina. 

WRVO Public Media

Despite the rapid progress in the public acceptance of marriage equality, at least when compared with past civil rights struggles, same-sex marriage remains controversial, and some worry that it will weaken the institution of marriage itself.  This week on the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher speaks with Princeton University Professor Stephen Macedo, author of a new book on marriage equality which argues that same-sex marriage not only strengthens the institution of marriage, it also strengthens the norm of monogamy and even bolsters the foundational values of democracy.

WRVO Public Media

This week on the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher speaks with two researchers who believe they have discovered a productive way to talk to citizens about same-sex marriage and other LGBT rights issues.

WRVO Public Media

Last week on the program, we heard an argument supporting the Consensus Commission on Government Modernization's final report for Onondaga County, which among other things, recommends the merging of governments for the county and city of Syracuse. This week, we hear from two critics of the report, Rob Bick from the town of Clay and Howie Hawkins from the city of Syracuse.

WRVO News / File Photo

The final report of the Commission on Local Government Modernization, better known as Consensus, has generated controversy, in particular the recommendation to establish a new form of metropolitan government that would include both the City of Syracuse and Onondaga County.  This week on the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher is joined by CenterState CEO president Rob Simpson, who is an advocate of consolidation and was involved in the report.  They discuss the report’s main findings and to address the political challenges they face.

The Trump presidency has created some tensions within, and difficult moments for, the Republican Party, and raises questions about the party's political future. Joining Grant Reeher this week on the Campbell Conversations is John "Mac" Stipanovich, a longtime Republican strategist and a leader in the "Never Trump" movement.

WRVO News

President Trump’s pushback against sanctuary cities and the public reaction to his executive order temporarily banning travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries are two national issues that have deeply touched the city of Syracuse. At the center of both of them has been the city’s mayor, Stephanie Miner, and this week on the Campbell Conversations she joins host Grant Reeher to discuss the issues, including the potential funding risks for the city and the role of refugees in the city’s history. She also discusses her own political future.

WRVO News

The decision on the replacement of I-81 will be one of the most important public policy junctures for the Syracuse region in a generation.  This week on the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher is joined by two local public officials who see in this moment the opportunity for a wholesale renewal of the housing and real estate landscape surrounding the old highway, which could lead to a city-wide regeneration.  Andrew Maxwell is Director of policy and innovation for the city of Syracuse, and Bill Simmons is the Director of the Syracuse Housing Authority. 

WRVO News File Photo

As a first-term Member of Congress, Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus), who represents New York's 24th Congressional District, often distanced himself from his more conservative Republican colleagues. And during his reelection campaign he disavowed Donald Trump.  Those positions will now be tested in a Republican House majority making major legislative changes under a Trump administration.  

commonwealthfund.org

Republicans in Congress have been trying to overturn the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, since its inception. Now they have a president intent on doing the same.  But what has the ACA actually accomplished for the nation’s health, and what are the challenges involved in making significant changes to it? 

Maxwell School at Syracuse University

For many voters, one of the most eagerly anticipated changes from the new Trump administration is a significant tax cut.  What are the contours of the likely cuts, and how will they will affect the politics of other significant social policies, like Medicare and Social Security?  Could the cuts stimulate enough economic growth to pay for themselves?  This week on the Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher is joined by a leading expert on tax policy, Len Burman, the director of the Tax Policy Center, a joint project of the Urban and Brookings Institutes.

Syracuse University

In the aftermath of the 2016 election, many think we are suffering a crisis regarding our ability to converse publicly and remain civil, from the airwaves to the dinner table.

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.

Catherine Loper / WRVO News

With less than three weeks to go until Election Day, candidates for office around central and northern New York have been holding debates. The candidates running for the 24th Congressional District, Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) and Democrat Colleen Deacon, sat down with WRVO for their first debate of the campaign.

Catherine Loper / WRVO News

By now, most central New Yorkers have seen several political ads from both candidates running for the 24th Congressional District. Incumbent Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) has criticized his Democratic opponent Colleen Deacon for what he calls a lack of knowledge of national and international security. Deacon has tried to tie Katko to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. 

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.

  Full Transcript

Pages