NCSL podcasts connect you with state legislatures, offering insights from legislative leaders and staff, astute political observers and public policy experts from across the nation. Download or stream our collection today.

2. Legislatures: The Inside Story

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Legislatures: The Inside Storey

podcastKeith Allred, the executive director of the National Institute of Civil Discourse, has spent a lot of time thinking about partisanship and what it takes to bring together Independents, Republicans and Democrats. He’s also done it, during a five-year pilot project in Idaho. Along the way he picked up a Ph.D from UCLA and competed at the top level of cutting horse competition.

Host Tim Storey talks with Allred about the CommonSense American project that he’s brought to the institute, why America’s political parties seem farther apart than most Americans and what it will take for Americans to preserve their democracy.

Keith Allred

 

 

 

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08

Legislatures: The Inside Storey

podcastAmy Walter has been covering American politics for more than 25 years. She recently took over as publisher and editor-in-chief of The Cook Political Report, a venerable D.C. institution with a reputation for covering politics in detail and right down the middle. She’s a frequent guest on cable and network news and a regular contributor to the “PBS NewsHour.”

On this podcast, she talks with Tim Storey, CEO of NCSL, about changes in the media and how it covers politics, how incentives for some elected officials have changed, the diminishing power of parties and the most interesting storylines in this year’s midterm elections.

Amy Walter, The Cook Political Report

 

 

 

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08

Legislatures: The Inside Storey

podcastThe Good Friday Agreement that ended most of the violence in Northern Ireland was signed on April 10, 1998. It is widely regarded as a monumental peace deal after 30 years of violence.

Bertie Ahern, who served as Taoiseach or prime minister of the Republic of Ireland from 1997 to 2008, was a key player in the negotiations.

On this podcast, Ahern talks with NCSL’s Tim Storey on how the deal was struck and what politicians today can learn from the challenges he and his colleagues faced. A core principle he stressed is that both sides need to feel they’ve won to have a successful negotiation, and both sides must agree the status quo is unacceptable.

Ahern is joined by Senator Mark Daly, the Cathaoirleach of Seanad Éireann  or chair of the Senate of Ireland. He discussed the critical role of Irish-American relations to his country and new initiative to reach out to state legislators in the U.S.

Bertie AhernSenator Mark Daly

 

 

 

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20

Legislatures: The Inside Storey

podcastStorytelling is the focus for this episode of the podcast. How you tell a story can be critical to leadership, and your success in getting your ideas across, especially to people who don’t already know you.

Our guide for this discussion is Donna Washington, a master storyteller, who has won multiple awards for her storytelling CDs and work at international festivals. She’s written several children’s books and has served on the North Carolina Storytelling Guild and on the board of the National Association of Black Storytellers.

She talks about how she became a storyteller and why crafting a “we” story instead if a “me” story can help us connect with people, no matter what their background.

Donna Washington

 

 

 

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20

Legislatures: The Inside Storey

podcastOn this episode of “Legislatures: The Inside Storey,” NCSL CEO Tim Storey, talks with David Toscano, a seven-term legislator in the Virginia House of Delegates. He held the seat once occupied by Thomas Jefferson in the Virginia House of Burgesses. First elected in 2005, he served as Democratic leader in the house from 2011 to 2018.

In 2021, Toscano published “Fighting Political Gridlock: How States Shape Our Nation and Our Lives.”

He talked with Tim about the critical role of states in affecting our daily lives, how states have led the way on a number of critical issues and, in contrast, how increasingly ineffective the legislatures is at the federal level. He also talked about the need to increase people’s understanding of the role of state government.

David Toscano

 

 

 

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16

Legislatures: The Inside Storey

podcastVernice “FlyGirl” Armour was the first Black female combat pilot in the U.S. military. She served two tours in Iraq with the U.S. Marine Corps, flying missions in the AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopter.

Armour is NCSL CEO Tim Storey’s guest on this episode of “Legislatures: The Inside Storey.”

They discussed how her military experience shaped her attitudes about teamwork and leadership and the critical importance of communications and listening.

Vernice "FlyGirl" Armour

 

 

 

 

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12

Legislatures: The Inside Storey

podcastThe guest for this episode of the podcast is Peter Groff, the former Senate president in Colorado, who also served in the Obama administration as head of the Faith Based Initiative Center for the U.S. Department of Education. He now works with the Education Trust in Washington, D.C., as a policy and political consultant.

Groff, who served first in the Colorado House and then the Senate, talked with NCSL Executive Director Tim Storey about a variety of topics around legislative leadership. They include how he navigated his role as the first Black person to lead a legislative chamber in Colorado, how to bridge divides with other legislators, and strategies to be an effective leader.

He also talked about the role model he had in his father, who spent 20 years in the Colorado Senate, and the historic nature of the day he was sworn in.

Peter Groff, The Education Trust

 

 

 

 

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Legislatures: The Inside Storey

podcastMike Haridopolos, former Senate president in Florida, talks with Tim about how he went from teaching college history to taking the reins as the president of the Senate in one of our largest states.

Haridopolos, who spent 12 years in the Florida Legislature and led the Senate from 2010-12 now runs his own consulting firm, writes books and works frequently with political campaigns. He discusses his own path in politics, the challenge of keeping a caucus together, offers some advice for aspiring leaders and shares a few thoughts about his political heroes.

Mike Haridopolos

 

 

 

 

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10

Legislatures: The Inside Storey

podcastLeadership is a perennial topic of interest for those in the legislative world and few are better at digging into the topic that Nancy Koehn.

Koehn is a historian at the Harvard Business School where she holds the James E. Robinson chair of Business Administration. She is a prolific writer, the author of dozens of journal articles and several books. Her most recent book was “Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times.” It explores how five great leaders dealt with crisis. She is also frequently quoted in the press and shares what she’s learned studying leaders for more than two decades. 

She joins host Tim Storey, the executive director of NCSL, for this wide-ranging conversation about the qualities of great leaders, the nature of courage, whether a great leader needs a vision and much more. Koehn also shares her favorite books and movies, some of which might surprise you.

Nancy Koehn, Harvard

 

 

 

 

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08

Legislatures: The Inside Storey

podcastWelcome to the inaugural episode of “Legislatures: The Inside Storey,” a new podcast from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

On this first episode, Tim Storey, the executive director of NCSL, sits down with John Medina, a molecular biologist best known for his book “Brain Rules,” which explains how what we know about the brain can affect how we teach our children, approach our jobs and even change our daily lives.

They discussed how we communicate, the perils of power and how Medina switched from being an animator to studying brain science.

John Medina

 

 

 

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