Campbell Conversations

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Elise Stefanik, New York's first-term congressional representative for the North Country's 21st district, is the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.  At issue in her campaign last year was just how moderate the young Republican would be when she reached the chamber.  Host Grant Reeher talks with her about her record so far, what she views as her most important accomplishments, and how well Congress is currently functioning. 

The synthetic marijuana problem has been particularly severe in Syracuse. The drug even got its own name here:  Spike.  This week on the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher talks with Steve Featherstone, a journalist who has recently written a piece on the drug for the New York Times Magazine.  The two discuss what Spike is, the reasons for its appeal among users, its dangers, and why it’s so hard for law enforcement to combat and control it. 

This week on the Campbell Conversations, the discussion returns to millennials—how are their lives and views different from the generations that have preceded them, especially the Baby Boomers?  Are these differences permanent, or will millennials begin to act and think like previous generations as they age?  Host Grant Reeher talks with Paul Taylor, author of The Next America:  Boomers, Millennials, and the Looming Generational Show

Missing from the Campbell Conversations recent series on poverty was a discussion focused on rural poverty.  In this edition of the program, host Grant Reeher fills that gap with a conservation with Lindy Glennon, director of the Cortland County Community Action Program.  They discuss the particular challenges and prejudices facing rural poor people, and how best to help them.

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The Republican party has a demographics problem, which extends beyond Donald Trump's recent comments on immigration. Front and center in this problem is the party's appeal among millenial voters. This week, host Grant Reeher speaks with Kristin Soltis Anderson, a republican pollster and author of "The Selfie Vote."

As an entertainment franchise, the Syracuse Chiefs, Syracuse’s Triple-A professional baseball team, are in a challenging situation—trying to generate attendance and fan loyalty when the performance of the team is a byproduct of the decisions made by its parent organization, the Washington Nationals.  This week on the Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher talks with Chiefs general manager Jason Smorol about dealing with that challenge, and others, including finances.  We also learn what a cowboy monkey is. 

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  What has been the role, not of liberalism, but of the genuine Left, in recent American politics?  What is its agenda, and its future?  In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher talks with The Nation's editor, Katrina vanden Heuvel, on the magazine's 150th anniversary.  They cover domestic politics and policy, inequality, and America's role in the world.  They also look at the curre

This week on the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher talks with the internationally acclaimed Oneida Nation singer and songwriter Joanne Shenandoah.  They discuss music, peacemaking, and politics, as well as her recent work to reduce violence among Native American children.  Their political conversation touches upon the tensions among the Nations of the Iroquois when it comes to policies like casino gambling. 

State Sen. John DeFrancisco is Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, and was involved in the leadership battle in the Senate when former leader Dean Skelos resigned as Majority Leader after being arrested on federal corruption charges. DeFrancisco ultimately lost the leadership role to Long Island Sen. John Flanagan. On this episode of the Campbell Conversations, DeFrancisco speaks with host Grant Reeher about this year's state budget and legislative agenda, the current state of affairs in Albany, the issue of upstate versus downstate, and more. 

Le Moyne College has recently been through a couple of controversies lately, first about incidents related to its annual "Dolphy Day" student celebration, and then over its choice of Cardinal Timothy Dolan as its graduation speaker.  

When women run for office, they face closer and more negative scrutiny from the media, are more likely to get damaging coverage based on how they look and what they wear, and face other gender-based challenges, such as voter prejudice and difficulties raising money.  All sound true?  In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher talks with George Washington University Professor Danny Hayes, who argues that the evidence from congressional elections does not support these assumptions commonly made by both political observers and political scientists. 

Part 1 of the interview:

As a broadcast journalist working for CBS and CNN, Kristina Borjesson experienced first-hand corporate push-back and retaliation for her investigative work on the crash of TWA Flight 800.  But she channeled that experience into two books, which draw out other prominent media figures to share their own experiences of corporate and government censorship.  This week on the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher engages Borjesson in a provocative discussion of the books and the issues they raise.

Part two of the interview:

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Five years after its passage, Obamacare still generates heated political arguments, and is exhibit A of the political polarization in Washington.  As the presidential election cycle begins to gear up, we will no doubt re-debate the law.  Just how successful has it been?  Is it achieving its objectives?  As a policy change, what have been its greatest challenges?  

The New York State budget process was different this year than years past. There was a new “man in the room,” and there were many significant policy proposals attached to it; some were incorporated and some were tabled for later consideration.  On this week’s edition of the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher breaks down that process with State Senator Dave Valesky, who argues that the process was actually better in many ways.  Valesky also comments on his Independent Democratic Conference, its new role in the Senate, and its future prospects. 

How is the Syracuse region doing with the vitality of its wildlife and the health of its outdoor sports industries?  Has the winter had an impact?  And what can be done about the city's growing problem with deer?  On this week's episode of the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher explores those questions with David Figura, the outdoors writer for The Post-Standard and syracuse.com.  They also discuss life for sportspersons post-SAFE Act, and Figura's new book about men dealing with middle age, 

Rob Simpson heads CenterState CEO, the region's principal business development non-profit organization, and he also co-chairs the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council.  In this episode of the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher engages Simpson on the economic development debates currently circulating in the Syracuse region, and the prospects for recapturing economic vibrancy.

The Throwaways is a documentary film featuring a formerly incarcerated homeless man, Ira McKinley, and his struggles to reintegrate into and also change his local community in Albany, New York.  He was joined on the film by local independent filmmaker Bhawin Suchak, the founder of YouthFX in Albany.  In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher discusses the film's making and purpose with the two collaborators. 

Last December, the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse hired a new executive director, Elizabeth Dunbar.  She inherited a difficult financial situation, and has been serving double duty as the museum's temporary curator.  Host Grant Reeher engages her in a discussion of the challenges facing the museum, her strategies for renewed financial and artistic vibrancy, and the cultural function of an art museum in a small city. 

If kids spend a lot of time in front of display screens, is it bad for the environment?  Having a visceral connection to the outdoors is key to good environmental stewardship, argues this week’s guest on the Campbell Conversations.  Grant Reeher talks about habitat, species, and politics with Collin O’Mara, the current President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. O’Mara is a former Delaware state cabinet official, a native of Camillus, New York, and the inventor of the City of Syracuse’s Syrastat system. 

Most public school teachers are feeling embattled these days, with public criticisms of their effectiveness and calls for tougher evaluations and promotion criteria.  At the same time, public schools in poorer districts are being asked to do more and more to help address the broader social and economic problems manifesting themselves among school populations.  How are teachers experiencing these challenges?  This week on the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher speaks with Kevin Ahern, a product of the Syracuse City school system, a longtime English teacher in the system, and currently President of the Syracuse Teachers Association.

Have interracial couples moved beyond race in their relationships?  Are they color-blind?  This week on the Campbell Conversations, sociologist Amy Steinbugler joins host Grant Reeher to discuss that question, based on her new book, Beyond Loving.  She argues that these couples must still navigate difficult racial terrain in their relationships.  And this terrain gets even more complicated for interracial couples who are gay and lesbian, another group she studied for the book.

This week on the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher continues his series on poverty in the Syracuse region, with a discussion of criminal legal representation for the poor.  Grant is joined by two attorneys who provide indigent legal representation, Sheldon Gould and Francis Walter.  Together they sketch out how the system of indigent representation works, its challenges, ways to improve it, and how their experiences have changed their own views toward the poor.

State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who has held that position for the last 20 years, was arrested recently and charged with several counts of corruption. He's also accused of taking more that $4 million in kickbacks.

After several days of closed door meetings, Silver agreed to step down from his position as Speaker. An election will happen soon in the Assembly to choose a new Speaker, but what happens then.

Berkeley Political Scientist Wendy Brown offers an interesting spin on the Citizens United case—the problem is not that corporations are seen as people; it’s that people are only seen as political entrepreneurs, and not citizens. And that move reflects a bigger problem she has written a book about—the shift in much of our thinking toward a market mentality.  This week on the Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher has a substantive conversation about a supposedly encroaching neoliberalism with Brown, the author of Undoing the Demos.

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On January 6, John Katko takes the Oath of Office as the 24th district's Congressional representative.  On this episode of the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher talks with the Congressman-elect about his learning curve during the orientation, the transition from Dan Maffei, his legislative priorities and his committee assignments, the continuing problem of political polarization in Washington, and the racial tensions surrounding law enforcement.

Since the Great Recession, non-profit organizations have struggled to get the resources that they need, and many have failed.  They’ve also had to adapt to new technology, which has changed the ways that people want to give, and raised their expectations of transparency.  This week on the Campbell Conversations Grant Reeher discusses those challenges with Peter Brinkerhoff, an expert on non-profit organizations and their management, and the author of several award-winning books in the non-profit field.

Richard Ravitch has had a life full of significant public service positions in New York City, and has assumed those positions at critical times.  He has a memoir out, titled So Much To Do.  In this conversation with host Grant Reeher, Ravitch looks back on some of those experiences, and argues that a sense of collective responsibility and shared sacrifice were the keys to overcoming the challenges, and considers how those qualities are faring in today's political climate.

  Last September Zephyr Teachout challenged Andrew Cuomo for the Democratic nomination for governor, and claimed 33 percent of the vote, more than anyone predicted at the start of her run.  The Fordham law professor now has a book out on corruption in American politics, and in this episode of the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher talks with her about that, and about her experiences on the campaign trail.

Poverty has long been understood to be a root cause of crime.  What's less well understood is how crime--and the criminal justice system--contribute to poverty.  In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher explores that dynamic with Marsha Weissman, the executive director of the Center for Community Alternatives, an organization dedicated to finding alternatives to incarceration and supporting people in the criminal justice system.

How is the problem of Latin American immigration and the recent wave of immigrant children seen by two spokespersons for the region?  On this week's episode of the Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher speaks with Francisco Altschul, El Salvador's Ambassador to the United States, and Julio Ligorria, Guatemala's Ambassador.  Together they encourage American listeners to understand and appreciate the historical context for the current problem, and press for the idea of shared responsibility--for the past, and for addressing the problem in the future.

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