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Positive and Negative Silence: Notes from the Field

When I first trained as a mediator, I was awed by a demonstration from one of my early instructors: he would listen to people argue, he would ask a question or reflect something back in fewer than five words—and then he … waited. And waited. He waited until the people in conflict felt they could respond to the question. Embracing silence lets people take ownership of the conversation, gives them time to think before speaking, and helps them be more intentional. It’s also one of the hardest things we ask of people in a dialogue.

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The continuing “Price of Power”: How the political parties leaned on legislative leaders for cash during the 115th Congress

One of the open secrets in Washington is that the Democratic and Republican parties both lean on their most powerful legislators to raise extraordinary amounts of campaign cash, often under the guise of paying “party dues.” The more influential the role, the more money party leaders expect legislators to raise. And to meet these fundraising quotas, senior lawmakers who serve as committee chairs or occupy other positions of power in the House of Representatives raise campaign contributions from a variety of sources, including the corporations, labor unions, and other special interests that have business before Congress.

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I Found a Dinosaur!

I found a dinosaur- or at least something that I thought had become as extinct as the dinosaur: a high profile, competitive statewide campaign that was about issues and not personalities. In fact, it appears that the two candidates actually liked each other and treated each other with respect and dignity. Who knew such an animal still existed?

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