* This is our final day, so we need to do two today to finish things up. Let’s go to the winners of yesterday’s first round.
* The Golden Horseshoe Award for Best Contract Lobbyist goes to Tom Cullen…
He is a man always willing to help you out and if you’re his opponent on something, he’s never going to go behind your back. He’ll stick the knife in while smiling, but he will be completely and brutally honest with you while doing so, and that’s a trait that is critical to his respectability. He’s sharp as a tack, a master strategist, and a treat to work with - when he’s with you.
I’m assuming that Tom will also get a bunch of nominations for “Best Insider” this year. He’s that good.
* Runner-up is Ed Peck…
I’ve worked with Ed on a number of big issues and as a member of staff, he provides valuable insight and gets back to you right away. I know that sounds simple, but working on the minority staff, you see lobbyists ignore our office. A testament to Ed that he works every angle and makes sure he does the job right. It is greatly appreciated.
I’ve known Ed for a lot of years. He most definitely goes the extra mile for his clients.
* The Golden Horseshoe Award for Best In-House Lobbyist goes to last year’s runner-up, IRMA’s Rob Karr…
Rob is a consummate professional and well versed in virtually every issue having the slightest impact on both his members and the state’s business community. Even those who oppose Rob’s positions will agree that he is always willing to try and reach a compromise on differing opinions - a virtue that is seemingly lacking in the statehouse these days. As someone who has worked with Rob since his very first days in Springfield, retailers in Illinois are in very good and widely respected hands.
IRMA is without a doubt one of the most effective groups under the dome. Karr, under the tutelage of Dave Vite, is a major part of that.
* Runner-up is the IMA’s Mark Denzler…
Mark Denzler is not only extraordinarily effective, I’ve never seen him take credit for other people’s work like some of the business lobsters. Pairing him with Rob Karr and you have Batman & Robin. But please Mark…no tights!
* Alrighty then, campers, let’s move along to today’s first set of categories…
* The Mike McClain Golden Horseshoe Award for Best Statehouse Insider
* Best Statewide Officeholder
As always, make extra sure to explain your votes. An unexplained vote will not be counted. Also, try very hard to nominate in both categories. Thanks much.