The Campbell Conversations

6:30 AM Saturdays & 6:00 PM Sundays | Local stations FM 89.9 & FM 90.3

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The Campbell Conversations is an interview-based public affairs radio program, created, hosted, and produced by Grant Reeher, Director of the Campbell Public Affairs Institute at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. The show airs on WRVO Public Media Saturdays at 6:30 AM and again on Sundays at 6:00 PM, and is also available as a downloadable podcast. WRVO Public Media is the largest regional NPR-affiliate in Central New York, with a listening area spanning 22 counties and southern Ontario.

The half-hour program features extended, in-depth interviews in which Reeher goes beyond and behind the current news cycle to explore important questions concerning public affairs. Guests include notable 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. It is also a recognized go-to place for candidate debates during election cycles.  The program enjoys a regular audience among political, non-profit, educational, and other policy-related social networks.

Among the program’s recognition's and awards are a “Best Special Program” award from the Syracuse Press Club, and a “Best Interview” award from the New York State Associated Press. 

“In the Campbell Conversations, we try to provide the extra space for the depth I am always hungering for as a listener,” said Reeher. “I hope listeners will find the guests’ commentary as interesting as I do when I have the privilege of talking with them.”  The Campbell Conversations are conversations in the public interest.

**Disclaimer:  Any reference in this website to any person, or organization, or activities, products, or services related to such person or organization, or any linkages from this web site to the web site of another party, do not constitute or imply the endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the Campbell Public Affairs Institute or Syracuse University.

Link to WRVO for all interviews

Campbell Conversations

State Sen. Rachel May and Assemb. Bill Magnarelli on the Campbell Conversations
The 2019 legislative session in Albany promises to yield some important new policies for the state, including major reforms to elections, campaigns, ethics, and healthcare. This week, Grant Reeher is joined by Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli (D-Syracuse) and Sen. Rachel May (D-Syracuse) to discuss this year's legislative session.  (Sat, 12 Jan 2019 10:23:00 +0000)

Artist Robert Shetterly on the Campbell Conversations
After 9/11, artist Robert Shetterly was inspried to begin a series of portraits he called " Americans Who Tell the Truth. " The collection grew to 238, and he's still painting them. This week, Grant Reeher talks with Shetterly about what motivates him, how he goes about painting his subjects and what the works have meant to him and to others.  (Sat, 05 Jan 2019 10:48:54 +0000)

Antony Phillipson on the Campbell Conversations
How do the Trump Administration's actions on trade in combination with Brexit affect Britain's trade with the United States? How important is trade with Britain for central New York? And what does a longtime British diplomat admire about the United States. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Antony Phillipson, Britain's trade commissioner for North America, and the U.K.'s Consul General in New York.  (Sat, 29 Dec 2018 11:21:44 +0000)

Outgoing state Sen. Dave Valesky on the Campbell Conversations
Dave Valesky (D-Oneida) has represented the state Senate's 53rd District since 2005, but is leaving office after being defeated in a September primary by state Senator-elect Rachel May. This week, Valesky joins grant Reeher to talk about his career in the Senate, and politics in general in Albany.  (Sat, 22 Dec 2018 10:22:00 +0000)

David Mundell on the Campbell Conversations
In recent decades, there have been some tectonic changes in Britain's system of government. It has devolved many powers down to its constituent nations, and to some of its cities. More recently, it has struggled with its relationship with the European Union. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with David Mundell, Britain's Secretary of State for Scotland, and a member of the government team working on Brexit.  (Sat, 15 Dec 2018 11:21:46 +0000)

Sandeep Chakravorty on the Campbell Conversations
When we think about America's international relations in Asia, the discussion usually focuses on China and North Korea. But India is a key nation in the region, and could prove centrally important in our future relations there. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Sandeep Chakravorty, Consul General of India in New York City.  (Sat, 08 Dec 2018 10:23:00 +0000)

Alan Greenblatt on the Campbell Conversations
The midterm election results at the federal level have been heavily parsed. But receiving comparitively less attention are the results down ballot, at the state and local level. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Alan Greenblatt of Governing Magazine. Greenblatt is a leading observer and writer on state politics and policy. They dicuss the changes resulting from this year's elections and their implications.  (Sat, 01 Dec 2018 10:08:00 +0000)

Joanie Mahoney on the Campbell Conversations
Joanie Mahoney stepped down as Onondaga County Executive at the beginning of November, after holding the position for the last 11 years. She stepped down to take on a new position as chief operating officer at SUNY ESF, and will also serve in an advisory role at SUNY Upstate Medical University. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Mahoney about her time as county executive, and her future plans.  (Sat, 17 Nov 2018 10:34:00 +0000)

A recap of the midterm elections on the Campbell Conversations
The campaigns, ads, and elections are finally over. This week on the Campbell Conversations, we take a look back at the midterm elections. We'll analyze races from around central New York and around the nation. Host Grant Reeher is joined by Syracuse University political science professor Chris Faricy, and Oswego County Clerk Michael Backus.  (Sat, 10 Nov 2018 10:14:00 +0000)

NYS Senate candidates Bob Antonacci and John Mannion debate on the Campbell Conversations
Tuesday's elections could tip control of the New York state Senate to Democrats, which in turn could have a profound inpact on the state's policies, from healthcare to taxes to government ethics and campaign finance. This week, Grant Reeher moderates a debate between the two candidates running for New York's 50th Senate District, Republican Bob Antonacci and Democrat John Mannion. Both are running to replace longtime Sen. John DeFrancisco, who is retiring from office this year.  (Sat, 03 Nov 2018 09:45:00 +0000)

Democratic congressional candidate Dana Balter on the Campbell Conversations
The race for New York's 24th Congressional District, currently held by incumbent Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus), could prove critical in Democrats attempts to take control of the House of Representatives. This week, host Grant Reeher talks with Katko's Democratic challenger, Dana Balter.  (Sat, 27 Oct 2018 12:32:00 +0000)

Web extra: Democrat Dana Balter on the Campbell Conversations
The race for New York's 24th Congressional District, currently held by incumbent Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus), could prove critical in Democrats attempts to take control of the House of Representatives. This week, host Grant Reeher talks with Katko's Democratic challenger, Dana Balter. Note: This post contains an extra 16 minutes of the discussion not included in the broadcast version of the interview. Click here for audio and a transcript of the broadcast version. Interview transcript Reeher: So, we spent our time in the broadcast portion going through the different messaging in the campaigns. That led to some discussions of some policy issues, including health care. In particular, I want to spend this time here talking about some other policy issues. So, let me just open it up to you to choose which ones you want to talk about, aside from the policy issues that we discussed in the broadcast. What do you think are the most important policy differences between you and Congressman Katko  (Sat, 27 Oct 2018 09:54:00 +0000)

Preview: Dana Balter on the Campbell Conversations
The two candidates running for central new York's 24th District seat held their first debate this week , where they disagreed on nearly every issue. Democrat Dana Balter and incumbent Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) will hold three more televised debates before Election Day. Both Katko and Balter were invited to participate in a debate on WRVO's Campbell Conversations. Balter's campaign accepted the invitation, while Katko's campaign declined. As a result, this week on the program, host Grant Reeher speaks with Dana Balter. In this portion of the discussion, Balter is asked about Katko's stance as a moderate. Balter has claimed that Katko has voted with President Trump on major legislation 90 percent of the time, and disagrees with Katko's stance that he is a moderate. Here, she's asked why. [Balter]: It's his overall record, and I think that looking at the 90 percent statistic is a good initial guide. That comes from fivethirtyeight.com, they take out when they figure this statistic out,  (Fri, 26 Oct 2018 10:42:49 +0000)

NYS Senate candidates Rachel May and Janet Burman debate on the Campbell Conversations
The upcoming midterm elections are the most closely watched midterms in at least a generation. In New York, control of the state Senate hangs in the balance. Republicans hold a slim one seat majority in the chamber, and one race could flip control of the Senate to the Democrats. This week, Grant Reeher moderates a debate between the two candidates running in the 53rd District: Democrat Rachel May, who defeated 7 term incumbent Dave Valesky in a September primary , and Republican Janet Burman.  (Sat, 20 Oct 2018 09:14:00 +0000)

Maj. Gen. Walter Piatt on the Campbell Conversations
After beating back ISIS militarily, how is Iraq now faring as a nation? What are its biggest challenges? This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Maj. Gen Walter Piatt, the commanding general of Fort Drum in northern NY. Gen. Piatt recently returned from a mission to Iraq to help build peace.  (Fri, 12 Oct 2018 21:09:00 +0000)

Corey Brettschneider on the Campbell Conversations
What can we learn from the Constitution and the oath of office about how presidents should behave, and the appropriate mechanisms of limits when presidents violate those norms? This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Brown University professor Corey Brettschneider , author of "The Oath and the Office: A Guide to the Constitution for Future Presidents."  (Sat, 29 Sep 2018 09:23:00 +0000)

More reaction to the Kavanaugh Supreme Court hearings on the Campbell Conversations
The nomination hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have taken an important turn. Christine Blasey Ford alleges that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her while the two were in high school, and the future of Kavanaugh's confirmation is now uncertain. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Syracuse University professors Shana Gadarian and Tom Keck about these developments in Kavanaugh's confirmation process. Editor's note: This program was recorded and had aired on WRVO before a second accusation was made against Kavanaugh, which was published in the New Yorker Sunday, Sept. 25. Interview Highlights Reeher: Let’s just start with a look to the past. Almost immediately after this story broke [about Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh], comparisons with Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas where made. So, I’m wondering, does the benefit of hindsight on that event, and in particular, the way that Anita Hill was viewed and treated at the time…does that  (Tue, 25 Sep 2018 12:27:01 +0000)

Congressional candidate Tedra Cobb on the Campbell Conversations
Tedra Cobb is the Democratic nominee for Congress in New York's 21st District. In November, she faces Republican incumbent Elise Stefanik. This week, Grant Reeher talks with Cobb about why she's running, and her views on issues including healthcare, gun control, and more.  (Sat, 15 Sep 2018 09:15:00 +0000)

Analysis of Brett Kavanaugh's nomination hearings on the Campbell Conversations
It's hard to believe that Democrats and Republicans discussing Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court are actually talking about the same person. This week, host Grant Reeher talks with Syracuse University professor Tom Keck about the competing arguments being made regarding the confimration process, and the nominee himself.  (Sat, 08 Sep 2018 09:17:00 +0000)

State Sen. Dave Valesky and challenger Rachel May debate on the Campbell Conversations
Across the country, Democratic Party primaries have generated a lot of attention, enthusiasm and some surprising results. Primaries in New York have figured in this trend. This week, host Grant Reeher moderates a debate between the two candidates vying for the Democratic nomination in central New York's 53rd state Senate district, incumbent Sen. Dave Valesky and challenger Rachel May.  (Sat, 01 Sep 2018 09:14:46 +0000)