Campbell Conversations

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The congressional midterm elections this November may be the most important midterm in a generation, and even the primaries are generating national attention. One of those primaries is in central New York, where two Democrats are running to unseat Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) in November. This week, Grant Reeher moderates an informal debate with Dana Balter and Juanita Perez Williams. 

Democrats Dana Balter, and Juanita Perez Williams will face off in a June 26 primary, with the winner moving on to face Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) in November. The two share a number of things in common, but there are also differences between them. Those differences came out during a conversation with Grant Reeher for this week's edition of the Campbell Conversations. 

Tom Fazzio / Syracuse University

Across the country, mainstream Congressional Democrats are being challenged in primaries by more progressive, grassroots-supported candidates. It's also happening in state and local races. This week, Grant Reeher talks with Rachel May, who is challenging central New York state Senator Dave Valesky (D-Oneida) in a primary this September. 

Note: This conversation was recorded June 5, one day after the Oneida County Democratic Committee endorsed May in her race with Sen. Valesky.

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Baseball is the national pastime, but it's facing some big challenges. This week, grant Reeher speaks with author Susan Jacoby, whose new book is called "Why Baseball Matters." They discuss the challenges facing baseball's fanbase, the game's relationship to broader social changes, and some ideas for baseball's future. 

Tom Fazzio / Syracuse University

The race for the 22nd Congressional District seat is expected to be one of the most competitive in the nation. This week, Grant Reeher talks with state Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica), who is challenging first term incumbent Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford) this fall. They discuss his case for challenging Tenney, and his pwn policy positions. 

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Spring has finally sprung across upstate New York, and ticks carrying Lyme Disease are a known threat. But what is the bigger picture regarding the disease's dangers, and the medical establishment's response. This week, grant Reeher talks with author and investigative journalist Mary Beth Pfieffer, who has written a book called "Lyme: The First Epidemic of Climate Change."

Tom Fazzio / Syracuse University

A recent executive order from Gov. Andrew Cuomo has opened a path to voting for 35,000 ex-felons on parole. What are the arguments for and against this restoration of voting rights, and what are political arguments regarding citizenship and the formerly incarcerated? Joining Grant Reeher to discuss these issues are Marsha Weissman, a senior policy fellow and former executive director for the Center for Community Alternatives, and Elizabeth Cohen, a professor of political science at Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, and is the author of "The Political Value of Time."

Tom Fazzio / Syracuse University

New York's 24th Congressional District, currently represented by Republican John Katko, now has two Democratic candidates vying to challenge him in November. Dana Balter, who was designated by the Onondaga, Cayuga and Oswego county democratic committees, and Juanita Perez Williams, who entered the race at a fairly late stage. 

Tom Fazzio / Syracuse University

Politics in Albany seems plagued by corruption. Could more transparency of information help? This week on the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher talks with Brett Orzechowski, a professor of Management and Media at Utica College, and the author of "FOIL: The Law and Future of Public Information in New York.


Tom Fazzio / Syracuse University

The New York State Senate is changing. The Senate's Independent Democratic Conference, which had operated in a coalition with Republicans, is now dissolving and rejoining with mainline Democrats. This week, Grant Reeher talks with Sen. Dave Valesky (D-Oneida), a founding member of the IDC. They discuss the implications of this change, as well as the recently passed state budget. 

Melanie Robbins

Anti-Semitic incidents have been on the rise in recent years, across New York and the nation. This week on the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher speaks with Melanie Robbins, the Senior Associate Regional Dirtector of the Anti-Defamation League's New York chapter. They discuss their work in identifying the problem and educating citizend and government organizations on the best ways to combat the rise in anti-Semitism.

Interview Highlights

Tom Fazzio / Syracuse University

The city of Syracuse has one of the highest concentrations of poverty in the nation. How does housing discrimination and segregation factor into that? This week on the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher talks with Sally Santangelo, Executive Director of CNY Fair Housing. They discuss the many facets of housing discrimination in Syracuse and across central New York.

Interview highlights

Tom Fazzio / Syracuse University

This November's Congressional elections may be the most important midterms in a generation. This week on the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher talks to Dana Balter, the Democratic Party's endorsed candidate to challenge Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) for central New York's 24th Congressional District seat. They discuss her campaign, her policy positions, and her case against Katko.

Tom Fazzio / Syracuse University

Social activism by prominent athletes, particularly regarding issues that involve race, has taken off in the past year. It's generated comparisons with the activism from the 1960s. This week on the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher talks with Etan Thomas, a social commentator, 11-year NBA veteran and former Syracuse University basketball star. He's written a new book called We Matter: Athletes and Activism.

Interview Highlights

Ted Marmor

The Medicare program remains widely popular, but how well is it understood? What about the program works well, and doesn't work well? And is it under threat in the current political climate? This week on The Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher talks with Yale Emeritus professor Ted Marmor, a leading and longstanding expert on Medicare and the politics surrounding it. 

Interview Highlights

Tom Fazzio / Syracuse University

The Medicaid program was at the center of Obamacare's expansion of health insurance coverage, and the political and legal controversy that followed its passage. It's now seen by many to be at risk in an era of potential social welfare cutbacks. This week, we're joined Jamila Michener, an expert on Medicaid, who has written a book on the subject.

Interview highlights

Tom Fazzio / Syracuse University

The U.S. Army's 10th Mountain Division, based at Fort Drum in northern New York, is gearing up for a deployment to Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Fort Drum's Commanding General, Maj. Gen. Walter Piatt, about the Division's upcoming mission to Iraq, and his own experiences there.

Interview highlights

Tax Policy Center

The new tax law is the single biggest accomplishment of the Trump Administration thus far, and it has significant ramifications for our economy and our personal finances. In a two part series, Grant Reeher talks with tax policy expert Len Burman, co-founder of the Tax Policy Center in Washington D.C. 

What role does the arts play in economic development? is it a second priority behind tech and brick and mortar, or does it need to be a first priority? How can art help bring different communities together and lift economically depressed areas? This week on the Campbell Conversations, we talk with two Syracuse-area arts advocates, Steve Butler and Rita Paniagua, about those questions.

A few changes are coming to the weekend lineup on WRVO Public Media this year.

Tom Fazzio / Syracuse University

The new tax law is the most significant piece of legislation to come out of the Trump Administration so far, but the Republican congressional delegation from New York was split on it. North Country Republican Elise Stefanik (R-Wilsboro) voted against the plan, saying it didn't do enough to preserve state and local tax deductions, which the final bill capped at $10,000.

Tom Fazzio / Syracuse University

How can we bring civil discussion back to politics? It seems like an impossible question to answer right now, given today's political climate. But that question was one of many posed to Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) on a special one-hour edition of the Campbell Conversations. In this portion of the discussion, Katko shares his thoughts on restoring civility to politics. 

You can hear the full conversation on the Campbell Conversations, Saturday at 6 a.m. and Sunday at 6 p.m. on WRVO, and online. 

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The Independent Democratic Conference, a group of eight Democratic state senators who operate in a coalition with Republicans in the state Senate, has come under increasing criticism by Democrats in the Senate, and across the state. This week on the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher talks with state Sen. Dave Valesky (D-Oneida), a member of the IDC.

Tom Fazzio / Syracuse University

On November 7, voters in the city of Syracuse did something they hadn't done since 1913: elect an independent mayor. This week, Grant Reeher talks with Syracuse Mayor-elect Ben Walsh. They discuss Walsh's transition, his priorities for the new administration, the relationship between national and local politics, and what he learned on the campaign trail. 

The nation's politics seem to be seem to be at some kind of crossroads. Both parties are engaged in internal strife and self-examination. This week on the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher talks with Matt Bennett, from the Washington think tank Third Way. They discuss what's driving these internal party conflicts, and how they might be resolved. 

Tom Fazzio / Syracuse University

The question of just what happened in the 2016 presidential election continues to absorb political pundits and haunt the Democratic Party. This week, Grant Reeher talks with Jonathan Allen and Amy Parnes, co-authors of the bestselling book "Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign." We'll take a look back at the election and what it might mean going forward.  

August 6, 1945 will never be forgotten. But Keiko Ogura, who survived the atomic bomb in Hiroshima, Japan that day, wants to make sure the lessons it teaches us about nuclear war remain as vivid as possible. Ogura has devoted her life to that mission. This week on the Campbell Conversations, a conversation with Keiko Ogura.

On November 7th, voters in Syracuse will choose a new mayor. Stephanie Miner has served in that role for the last 8 years and ends her final term at the end of this year. This week on the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher talks with Miner about her time as mayor, her accomplishments, what she would do differently if given the chance, and more.

Tom Fazzio / Syracuse University

The race for mayor and the choice of whether or not to hold a constitutional convention have dominated the political headlines in Syracuse, but there are other important decisions facing voters in this November's election. Among them, are two at-large seats that are up for grabs on the Syracuse Common Council. This week, Grant Reeher talks with the four candidates vying for those two spots, Democrat Tim Rudd, Democrat Khalid Bey, Republican Norm Snyder and Green Party candidate Frank Cetera. 

WRVO News

When a national tragedy occurs, we often head for the nearest radio or television to get the latest news. That happened this week, when a gunman shot and killed 58 people and injured hundreds of others during a country music concert in Las Vegas. 

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