I will never forget the first time I spoke to a legislator on the phone. One of those heart-pounding moments assailed by personal doubts, just trying to make sure you aren’t doing your issue a disfavor by making a fool of yourself. I had picked up the phone when my state medical association put out the call to action on an issue concerning cigarette taxes. Usually the person answering the phone just took the message, and you figured they were sitting there with a bill number and two columns marked “for” and “against” and that they were simply placing a check mark while you spoke. Conversations usually lasted less than a minute and consisted of an explanation of who you were, what the issue was and where you would like the legislator to place his or her support. But...

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