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Question of the day

Thursday, Feb 21, 2013

* Greg Hinz

I normally wouldn’t write much about the retirement of a Springfield lobbyist. But I’m going to make an exception in the case of Dave Vite, who announced this morning that he’s retiring on Dec. 31 after 36 years as president and CEO of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association.

He’ll be succeeded by Rob Karr, IRMA’s current executive vice president.

Mr. Vite is one of those guys who nicely maneuvered on both sides of the aisle in the Capitol. Earlier than most — and I’d put Illinois Manufacturers’ Association chief Greg Baise in the same category — he realized that even business groups would have to move a little bit as the state steadily became more Democratic.

It worked. Even though IRMA’s campaign war chest was a lot smaller than those of other groups.

* Some of the accolades in the press release announcing Vite’s retirement…

“The retail community in Illinois has had no greater champion than David Vite over the past 36-years. His poise, intelligence and persistence made him that rare forceful, yet likeable advocate, whose effectiveness was incomparable. The retail community in Chicago is so important to our economy and IRMA will always have a voice in Chicago on these issues.” - Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

“IRMA has been a great partner with me in rolling back the sales tax hike. Dave Vite and his team are tireless advocates for retailers in Cook County. I’m proud to call Dave a friend and they are in good hands with Rob Karr and Tanya Triche.” - Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle

“I wish to congratulate David Vite on his retirement. In the 30-years I’ve known him, David has always handled himself with the utmost professionalism demeanor and his knowledge and expertise is why IRMA has the high-quality reputation it has in this state. Without a doubt, IRMA will continue to be the voice for retailers in this state with Rob Karr leading the way. Our door will always be open to retailers because of IRMA.” - House Speaker Michael J. Madigan

“I’m proud to call David Vite a good friend, ally and fierce campaigner. Retailers in this state have been fortunate to have Dave Vite as their advocate as he has built an industry model of how to do it right. We’ve worked with IRMA on countless issues at the capitol that have improved the business climate for retailers in this state. IRMA is a force to be reckoned with and that won’t change when Rob Karr takes over next year.” - Senate President John Cullerton

“We’ll miss David Vite and his advocacy for retailers, but I wish him and his family the best in his much deserved retirement. IRMA is one of the most impactful organizations in the state and that won’t change with Rob Karr leading them next year. I’ve been proud to work with them on so many critical issues in this state and I look forward to continued collaboration with IRMA in years to come.” - Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno

“David Vite has been a friend for a number of years and I congratulate him on his retirement. IRMA is one of the most vocal and active business groups in the state and they are a difference maker. Rob Karr’s selection as President is the perfect choice as he’s spent the past 20-years learning from the best. Retailers are lucky to have IRMA championing their issues in Springfield.” - House Republican Leader Tom Cross

* And a photo of Vite sent in by one of his “friends”…

* The Question: Caption?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Feb 21, 13 @ 12:53 pm:

    Mr. Vite summarizes our state government in one photo.

    Businesslike appearance, but all goofiness from the neck up.

  2. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Feb 21, 13 @ 12:58 pm:

    Ironically, Mr. Vite’s first vacation will include one of those “get paid to work at an warehouse” RV outings.

  3. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Feb 21, 13 @ 12:58 pm:

    Mr. Vite prepares his ensemble for career day at a local school.

    “You cannot imagine what I had to deal with, kids.

    See, Illinois politicians are sort of like a mullet. Business from the neck down, party from the neck up. Like this!”

  4. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 21, 13 @ 1:02 pm:

    “Governmentally, anything I could want to try to do was a phone call away. Bills held in committee. The keys to dozens Offices all over the Capitol Complex. I’s follow twenty, thirty bills over a Session, and then I’d either celebrate their passing, or go to the Chairmen to re-wrire the Law.

    Didn’t matter who was against our Bills. It didn’t mean anything. When I needed votes, I’d go out and Lobby some more. I helped run alot of Bills. I went to fundraisers. We paid lawyers for analysis. I testified to committees. Everybody had their positions. Everything was up for a vote.

    And now it’s going to be over.

    And that’s the hardest part. For me, in 2014, everything is going to be different; there’s going to be no action… I may have to wait around like everyone else. Will I even get decent food? Right after I leave Springfield for the last time, I’ll order some spaghetti with marinara sauce, just like Saputo’s, and will it be just egg noodles and ketchup? Am I going to miss it, …..NAH!

  5. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 21, 13 @ 1:06 pm:

    “These ARE my ’serious’ glasses”

  6. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 21, 13 @ 1:07 pm:

    “This picture is fuzzy on purpose!”

  7. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 21, 13 @ 1:09 pm:

    Vite: “Wait, gotta do this seriously …”

    (undoes the buttons on his cost)

    “Ok, better …”

  8. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 21, 13 @ 1:23 pm:

    Groucho: “This morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas I’ll never know…”

  9. - Boone Logan Square - Thursday, Feb 21, 13 @ 1:46 pm:

    “Hey Ira, try to unmask me!”

  10. - LisleMike - Thursday, Feb 21, 13 @ 1:47 pm:

    never mind my tie…..look at my glasses!

  11. - walkinfool - Thursday, Feb 21, 13 @ 2:15 pm:

    Karr’s good too.

  12. - siriusly - Thursday, Feb 21, 13 @ 3:26 pm:

    Does this nose make me look too tan ?

  13. - Anon. - Thursday, Feb 21, 13 @ 3:30 pm:

    “Rich, I am your father!”

  14. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Feb 21, 13 @ 3:48 pm:

    Yo, Miller: Vite me.

  15. - Norseman - Thursday, Feb 21, 13 @ 4:50 pm:

    Vite shows off his technique for talking to legislators he has previously offended. Meet Mr. Vito David.

  16. - david starrett - Thursday, Feb 21, 13 @ 5:50 pm:

    “Say the scwret woid and win $20,000 dollars!”

  17. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Feb 21, 13 @ 5:50 pm:

    Bob Keeshan, of “Captain Kangaroo” fame, models the designer suit given as a retirement gift by the show’s cast.

  18. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 21, 13 @ 9:25 pm:

    Mr. Vite, congratulations! This is not good-bye, or even so long …

    See you around.

    To the Post …

    “Really .. really … I mean c’mon .. I thought we would get a serious picture of the “Man of the Hour” and you, Mr. Vite, do this.

    Yeah. Ha. Ha. Very funny.

    I was really hoping for a picture that would best represent to presence, the power, the respect you exude and you do this …

    That TIE with that PIN STRIPED SUIT. I mean, really?…”

  19. - Bob Kustra - Thursday, Feb 21, 13 @ 10:42 pm:

    I roomed with Dave years ago when I served in the legislature. I have enough on him that if I talk someday, he’ll have to wear that Groucho mask permanently!!!
    Congrats, Dave, on a great career of integrity and professionalism. Your old roomie, Bob

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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