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Question of the day - Golden Horseshoe Awards

Thursday, Dec 6, 2012

* Best restaurant goes to Sebastian’s this year

Awesome food, love the atmosphere especially in the lower level, and the servers there rock

The Hideout downstairs is definitely a whole lot of fun.

* Runner-up is Saputo’s

You have to give it to the restaurant that reserves the same table for Speaker Madigan to eat there regularly.

* Best political bar this year is DH Brown’s

At one time mostly Republican, but in the last few years more Dems have joined the party there which really makes for more interesting and vibrant political commentary. Definitely on the upswing again as a political hang out for both parties. Also great prices for an honest drink.

* Runner-up is JP Kelly’s

I think JP Kelly deserves it this year. There has always business whenever I go in there. Young staffers and seasoned vets. I’ve also seen more Springfield political types there than anywhere else.

* OK, now let’s move on to today’s category…

* The Beth Hamilton Golden Horseshoe Award for Best House Secretary/Admin. Assistant

This topic usually draws some of the most comments, so we’ll do the Senate tomorrow.

Remember, intensity rules the day, not vote counts. Your explanation matters. If you don’t explain your vote, it won’t be counted.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


44 Comments
  1. - CircularFiringSquad - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 11:40 am:

    BestSec…hands down goes goes to Kelly in Frank Mautino’s office. She manages menagerie that is attracted to Frank….downstaters, insurance moguls, beer distributors, state park lovers, local folks et all with great skill.


  2. - PsyOp - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 11:55 am:

    This has to go to Carol Shehorn, one of the nicest ladies you’ll find in Springfield. She’s responsive, kind, and always helpful. She gets the Rules reports and House and Committee schedules out when you need them. And if that’s not enough, she’s been keeping up with Leader Currie for years — no easy task!


  3. - Give Me A Break - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 12:35 pm:

    Have to agree that Carol Shehorn is a “gift” to anyone who works with the House and Leader Currie. It does not matter if it’s perfunctory day, Budget Address Day, committee deadline week or the last in May, Carol goes above and beyond the call of duty to assist people. And she does it with a smile on her face and makes everyone from an intern to a Legislative Leader feel like they are the most important person she will talk to that day. They don’t come any better than Carol.


  4. - bored with press - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 12:50 pm:

    My nomination goes to Davina Kincaid. She is friendly, smart, never-jaded and has a good attitude that is contagious. She not only does her job enthusiastically but takes the time to help out reps and strangers alike. She doesn’t blink at making a special effort to help someone. We should all be more like Davina. It would eventually seal the partisan divide.


  5. - Unbiased - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 1:09 pm:

    Sally Smith is unquestionably the best admin in the House. Her patience is astounding. She supports House legal staff with a smile on her face – even though dealing with 12 young lawyers day in and day out is enough to make even the sweetest person near suicidal. Even when deadlines are looming, HWV’s left eyeball is twitching, and everyone is at their wits’ end . . . Sally remarkably remains calm, cool, and collected. There were days I would have nominated her for sainthood – let alone a golden horseshoe.


  6. - #HeIsManti - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 1:16 pm:

    Sally Mcdaniel-Smith has to be the best aministrative assistant I have ever worked with in my short professional career. I know that my transition down here in Springfield would not have gone smoothly,if it weren’t for her constant availability and willingness to always assist and be a part of the solution. She is caring,soft-spoken, and ever thoughtful. Always on top of her game, Sally is an indispensable asset to the Speaker’s office and each of us in Tech Review Unit. I am quite thankful for her help each day, and very much appreciative of all she does for each of us.


  7. - StarbucksInTheRotunda - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 1:27 pm:

    Sally McDaniel-Smith from Speaker Madigan’s office is, undoubtedly, most deserving of the award. Sally is not only instrumental in helping our office run smoothly, but also has an incredible sense of humor and warm personality, which makes working with her an absolute joy.


  8. - LilLebowskiAchiever - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 1:38 pm:

    Carol Shehorn is fantastic. As mentioned above, she has a high volume spot and does her job with a smile on her face. She is extremely bright and professional. She really is a gift to everyone at the Capitol.


  9. - Anonymous - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 1:55 pm:

    All those folks are great! Too bad, we cant keep giving it to BETH! Unquestionably the BEST!!!


  10. - Martha - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 1:59 pm:

    You need to change the name to the Beth Woodard Sill Golden Horseshoe award. Same great Bethie, new name though!


  11. - OntheRail - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 1:59 pm:

    Kathy Murray, who runs the Madigan Issues Staff office is the best. She is the “Mom” many folks never had and is a resource for everyone. Kathy has never met a stranger and is the first to arrive and the last to leave! If you love Kathy, like I do- Vote for her!!


  12. - I'm not even supposed to be here today - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 2:03 pm:

    I love Carol Shehorn. No matter how busy she is, she always is friendly, helpful, and efficient. One of the nicest people I’ve met in Springfield. There’s a darn good reason that Currie keeps rebuffing her retirement threats. I always have a smile on my face the moment I hang up the phone when dealing with her.


  13. - Disabled Poutlry - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 2:08 pm:

    Roseanne in Dave Koehlers office is a super admin asst. Not only does she keep everything organized and done right she also is the go to person that seems to know the answer to every question. She’s truly a great resource for everyone in her office area!


  14. - Inmyopinoin... - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 2:09 pm:

    Wow! This is a tough one. Carol Shehorn and Sally McDaniel Smith are both incredible people and assets to the Speaker’s staff. Carol takes time during the busiest of days to ask how you’re doing, and really listens to the answer. She is an all around nice lady and good enough at her job to meet the very high standards of the very smart and busy Leader Currie! Carol is also great about helping those of us who have left staff get early as possible warning on legislative schedules and rules reports, et cetera, which is always appreciated!
    Then there’s Sally who not only does a fabulous job at the Capitol but at home somehow manages to be a hard working farmer with a new stand at the downtown farmer’s market. How anyone can work the crazy hours required on Madigan’s staff during session and still get up early enough to tend vegetables before work and stay up long enough to tend them after work, I have will never know. I say give it to them both!


  15. - BFC - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 2:43 pm:

    Carol Shehorn is the best, the brightest and by far the very nicest. Go Carol!!!


  16. - archibald.jones - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 2:49 pm:

    Sally Smith. Ditto to all the things said about Sally’s patience. It is remarkable. She’s smart as a whip and her institutional knowledge is second to none. Involved in the community. And always a smile on her face. Sally deserves it this year.


  17. - Joe Bidenopoulous - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 3:08 pm:

    Holy Cannoli, Batman, tough choices.

    Does the award include staff secretaries? Jeez, that just makes it harder. Can we split them and make a new award for staff secretaries?

    As it is, I am co-signing onto Carol’s nomination - she’s amazing to deal with, one of the nicest, friendliest people I have ever met in or out of the business, and will bend over backwards to help you if you treat her with the proper respect. She also has the instincts of a den mother and isn’t afraid to put those on display either if she feels it’s warranted - best you not be on the receiving end of that.

    Now that said, it’s with a bit of a heavy heart that I can only vote for Carol. I would be thrilled to co-sponsor the candidacies of Kelly Large (puts up with way more from Mautino hangers-on than she should have to), Kathy Murray (the epitome of excellence with more colorful stories than just about anyone in the Capitol), and Sally Smith (Tech Review’s rock throughout constant change).


  18. - TotallyBiased - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 3:14 pm:

    Sally McDaniel-Smith’s presence in the Capitol - and in Springfield in general - adds so much value to the community. She keeps the House legal team running smoothly while keeping a bright and happy demeanor. Sally is a pleasure to work with because she works just as hard, if not harder, than anyone else but does so with patience and a smile. And on top of all that, she runs a fabulous local business - Sally’s Fields! She’s an amazing woman who truly deserves this award.


  19. - Willie Stark - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 4:34 pm:

    Carol Shehorn is at the top of a long list of worthies. She is the very definition of kindness and good cheer, even at the most stressful of times during the legislative session. True pro that she is, she always has a smile on her face - and even when she has to let you down gently, that makes it all the easier to take. What a wonderful person and first class human being, who does a great job for the Majority Leader and the taxpayers of this state.


  20. - Constitutionish - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 5:00 pm:

    Sally McDaniel-Smith deserves the Horseshoe again this year — a true Statehouse Jack-Of-All-Trades in procedural knowledge, work ethic, and temperament.

    When someone starts a discussion about the world’s greatest basketball player, you can pretty much just leave Michael Jordan out, because everyone knows it’s implied. The same goes for Sally as the Capitol’s best admin.


  21. - Anonymau5 - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 5:10 pm:

    Kristin Milligan in Skip’s office deserves back-to-back GHs, make that a lifetime achievement award, for putting up with: 1) Skip himself and 2) the army of lobbyists, legislators & staff that hang out in Skip’s office in 314.

    She also deserves the award because she worked her behind off for Skip during the campaign. Not many Spfld secretaries/admin assistants can be found going door-to-door and helping organize volunteers in their member’s district. But Kristin was a constant presence up there on the weekends.


  22. - Jerry - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 5:32 pm:

    Kristin Milligan in Skip’s office. Kristin puts up with numorous legislators, lobbyists, liaisons and everyone else who bombards her office every day. She is kind, efficient and hard-working. Not to mention the fact that she puts up with Skip and all of us “hanger-oners” that set up shop on her couch. She is one of the best people in the Capitol.
    Ditto on the campaing comment above.


  23. - Get Down, James Brown - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 5:42 pm:

    Sally Smith. She is remarkably busy but is always smiling and pleasant - not easy when you deal with lawyers all day.

    Plus, she makes a mean German Stout Cake for staffers on their birthday!!!


  24. - MC - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 5:43 pm:

    Kristin in skips office. Aside from dealing with the myriad of issues that skip has. She’s always pleasant takes care of all of the lobbyists that are in his office stacks the fridge and is always welcoming to anyone.


  25. - Anonymous - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 5:46 pm:

    Kristin Milligan! Very loyal and a hard worker!


  26. - Josie - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 5:57 pm:

    Kristen Milligan, loyal to the end and gets the job done every time.


  27. - Anon - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 5:58 pm:

    Kristin Milligan because she puts up with more crap - and usually with smile - from more people than anyone else could handle.


  28. - Unknown - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 6:00 pm:

    Kristin Milligan is hands down the best assistant in the Capitol. She is a loyal soldier that deals with Skip and everyone that hangs in his office every day. She helps lobbyists and other legislators with anything that they need. She actually should get paid to work for about 4 other legislators.

    I also concur with the comment regarding the campaign work. She has a family and she was up in Skip’s district every weekend for over a month volunteering her own time for him. That’s loyalty and friendship.


  29. - SallyRocks - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 6:00 pm:

    If you want the horseshoe to go to an administrative assistant who’s the best, give it to Sally Smith. she works her tail off to make sure the lawyers in the Speakers Office are always prepared and ready to help members. She has been as the right hand woman to Rob Uhe, Dave Ellis, and Heather Vaught. Plus shes a genuinely beautiful person. She is spectacular.


  30. - Caps - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 6:00 pm:

    Kristin in Skip’s office. Not only does she work for Skip, but it seems like she works for everyone. She’s great at her job, she puts up with the 100s of people that walk in and out the office always with a smile and always willing to help. For not Kristin, there would never have been after session parties.


  31. - Anonymous - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 6:00 pm:

    As one of those “hanger-ons”- my vote goes with Kristin Milligan. And while the couch is comfy and a nice place to rest my feet- I go to Skip’s office simply to talk to Kristin. Even when her days are hectic and crazy- she’s never to busy to help lend a hand or do a favor. But more importantly- she’s never to busy to ask how you’re doing. It’s very easy to get disgruntled and annoyed when session is going on and unforgnately there are many times I deal with rude and unhelpful secretaries. But in Skips office- I know I’m going to be greeted with a friendly face. Kristin is hard working, professional and extremely helpful. But most of all- she makes the Capitol a happier and better place just by being there! It’s not said enough- thank you, Kristin!


  32. - Anonymous - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 6:01 pm:

    Kristin Milligan is hands down the best assistant in the House. She is so good, she is in a league all of her own. Her knowledge of almost everything that happens in the Capitol rivals that of most lobbyists. While babysitting everyone is Skip’s office, she manages to never skip a beat performing her required job duties and, at the same time, she acts as the personal assistant to every person who enters that room. Whether it is calling a State agency to answer someone else’s question, making a last minute dinner reservation for those who procrastinated too long or acting as the enforcer of the rules to keep everyone in line, Kristin never gives anything less than 100% and manges to always deliver. Additionally, she is one of the most genuine people I’ve ever met.

    P.S. Her yearly organization of the end of session party should win her this award every year.


  33. - Eddy - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 6:21 pm:

    Kristin Milligan is simply amazing. How she puts up with all of us that frequent her office is beyond explanation. She knows the answer or knows where to get the answer to all questions. She runs Skip’s office like no other. Volunteering her own time, traveling 200 miles each way to walk door to door for her boss….wow. On top of that raising three kids and a hubby. I’m blessed and proud to know her and call her my friend.


  34. - Follow - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 6:21 pm:

    No question, house assistant goes to Kristin Milligan!!


  35. - Kristin's got my vote! - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 6:29 pm:

    Kristin from Skip’s office without a doubt! I don’t know another person in the capitol the puts up with more crap from everyone. Whether you are a legislator, lobbyist, intern or just someone visiting the capitol she is always extremely helpful and nice. I couldn’t put up with half the stuff she does.


  36. - Swifty McGovern - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 6:34 pm:

    Kristin Milligan has my vote. During my three tours of duty in Springfield I got see Kristin in action very often. She is a wearer of many hats in Skip’s office. Legislative Assistant, traffic cop, father confessor, herder of cats, enforcer…if you have spend anytime in Skip’s office you know what a fantastic asset Kristin is.


  37. - I don't leave comments - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 6:40 pm:

    But for Sally McDaniel-Smith I must speak up! She is so much more than an Admin. Assistant or Office Manager. She hires and trains new staff attorneys year after year, and is so good that I have told her that she deserves an honorary law degree! The best part is that she is completely committed to and passionate about the process, even after everything she’s seen at the capitol during her tenure. She takes “assisting” to a whole new level and, therefore, is simply The Best.


  38. - Anonymous - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 6:50 pm:

    Sally Smith! Sally Smith! She is a jack if all trades. She trains the staffers, she runs the office and is the glue that holds everything together. Not to mention she manages to raise a family. She does all of this with a smile on her face every day.


  39. - Calf Man - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 7:22 pm:

    No doubt that Kristin Milligan is the best. Not only is she competent in the ways of the Capitol, she has the patience of a saint. She deals equally well with both the couch potatoes and the “How ya doin’?” crowd.


  40. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 8:21 pm:

    I have to go with Kelly Large as well. Mautino didn’t move until he could bring Kelly with him, and for good reason. Not only does she manage all those people, but she helps keep track of all the projects Mautino is working on. (And, she’s always nice to me.)


  41. - Four Red Stars - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 8:41 pm:

    I lurk this blog every single day, but I have to post to nominate Sally Smith. She starts every session by training the new crop of attorneys, and then leads them throughout the entire year with advice, laughs, and friendship. It takes a special person to get to know 10 to 12 new young attorneys every year, and have the passion to guide them throughout the somewhat complex process of analyzing bills and counseling committee chairs. However, she does it EVERY SINGLE YEAR. Also, I have to put in a word for Sally’s sidekick E.J. Hall, who is a great compliment to Sally on the Tech Review team.


  42. - Anonymous - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 10:03 pm:

    Kristin Milligan in Skip Saviono’s office. She is the best. Always there when you need her. Whoever she works for after Skip leaves will get the best there is.


  43. - pianocomposer - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 5:23 am:

    Sally Smith is one of the most beautiful people I have ever met. She does (no not just great but) fantastic work as an admin and in coordinating the lawyers in the office. Sally is bright, personable, professional, and funny. Sally is the best. And she bakes a mean cake.


  44. - Cathy - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 9:41 pm:

    Another vote for Sally Smith. She made all of our lives easy and was always there ready with rescuing if needed.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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          * New Illinois Server Training Law effective July 1 - State currently offering FREE responsible beverage server classes




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