Campbell Conversations

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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A nationwide protest movement applying pressure on lawmakers to resist President Donald Trump's agenda has reached central and northern New York. The coordinated campaigns are starting to target local members of congress by pressuring them to hold town hall meetings.

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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.  

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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? 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.  

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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