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Question of the day

Wednesday, Dec 4, 2013

* Here are our 2012 Golden Horseshoe Award winners, with runners up in parentheses…

* The Wordslinger Golden Horseshoe Award for Best Commenter: Oswego Willy (Michelle Flaherty)

* The Mike McClain Golden Horseshoe Award for Best Statehouse Insider: Mike McClain

* Best Statewide Officeholder: Auditor General Bill Holland (Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka)

* Best “Do-Gooder” Lobbyist: Bruce Simon (Kathy Drea)

* Best Contract Lobbyist: Tom Cullen (Ed Peck)

* Best In-House Lobbyist: Rob Karr (Mark Denzler)

* Best Legislative Liaison: Bresha Brewer (Cameron Schilling)

* Best Illinois Congresscritter: US Sen. Dick Durbin (Congressman Bob Dold)

* Best State Agency Director: Malcom Weems (Amy Martin)

* The Mark Beaubien Lifetime Service award for the Illinois House: Rep. Skip Saviano, Rep. Joe Lyons (tie)

* The John Millner Lifetime Service award for the Illinois Senate: Sen. Susan Garrett (Sen. Tom Johnson)

* Best Illinois State Senator - Republican: Sen. Matt Murphy (Sen. Pam Althoff)

* Best Illinois State Senator - Democrat: Sen. Don Harmon (Sen. Dan Kotowski)

* Best Illinois State Representative - Republican: Rep. Jim Durkin (Rep. David Harris)

* Best Illinois State Representative - Democrat: Rep. Elaine Nekritz (Rep. Greg Harris)

* The Steve Brown Golden Horseshoe Award for Best Government Spokesperson: Joe Tybor (John Patterson)

* Best legislative campaign staff director: Will Cousineau (Brendan O’Sullivan)

* Best campaign staffer - Illinois House Democrats: Shaw Decremer, Kristen Bauer (tie)

* Best campaign staffer - Illinois House Republicans: Bob Stefanski (Nick Bellini)

* Best campaign staffer - Senate Democrats: Jill Dykhoff (Sam Strain)

* Best campaign staffer - Senate Republicans: Helen Albert (Rachel Bold)

* Best State Senate Staffer - Non Political: Giovanni Randazzo (Kim Schultz)

* Best State House Staffer - Non Political: Samantha Olds (Tyler Hunt)

* The Beth Hamilton Golden Horseshoe Award for Best House Secretary/Admin. Assistant: Carol Shehorn, Sally McDaniel-Smith (tie)

* Best Senate Secretary/Admin. Assistant: Robin Gragg (Melissa Earle)

* Best political bar in Springfield: DH Brown’s (JP Kelly’s)

* Best political restaurant in Springfield: Sebastian’s (Saputo’s)

* Best bartender: Mike at DH Brown’s (Jamie at Boone’s)

* Best waiter/waitress: Annie at Sunrise (Jess at Brown’s)

* The Question: Any suggestions for additions and/or subtractions? It may be getting too long.

We kick off the awards again tomorrow, so start thinking about your faves.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Ghost of Chiboogie - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 12:35 pm:

    What about the “James Brown, hardest Working reporter in Springfield” award?

  2. - Ron Burgundy - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 12:38 pm:

    The Bullseye Award for the favorite politician snark target of the year.

  3. - Siriusly - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 12:48 pm:

    The list is pretty long. Makes it hard to vote each year.

    What about removing some of the staff horseshoes and adding in best quote by a candidate / politician or worst quote

  4. - RNUG - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 12:48 pm:

    Dare we add the Roland Burris Best Political Stunt of the Year?

  5. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 12:49 pm:

    ===What about removing some of the staff horseshoes===

    That would be the last thing I’d remove. Staff works hard for long hours with little recognition. They deserve their awards.

  6. - rollling meadows - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 12:50 pm:

    What about the best union cave?

  7. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 12:52 pm:

    People, c’mon. This is a serious question.

  8. - A guy... - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 12:57 pm:

    In the absence of any serious response…I’d leave it alone. It’s been honed for a while and continues to serve well.

  9. - Roamin' Numeral - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 1:10 pm:

    What about Best Local Elected Official? I know this is a state politics/gov site, but sometimes mayors and others play a big role in what’s discussed here.

  10. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 1:11 pm:

    I am glad Rich keeps these positive, there is always too much negative, and in that vain, I have been honored this last year.


    Best Illinois Twitter - Politcal

    Best Illinois Twitter - Governmental

    Best Illinois Twitter - Media

    Submitted with respect.

  11. - Big Debbie - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 1:14 pm:

    Best Election Law Lawyer or Best Government Lawyer.

  12. - RNUG - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 1:14 pm:

    Okay, here’s a serious one. Since we know it’s the staff that do most the detail work, how about Best Behind the Scenes Bill Drafter?

  13. - 4 percent - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 1:15 pm:

    I’d get rid of Lifetime Service Award in the House and Senate. Those seem to maybe be very special awards that could occur occasionally if someone really special leaves.

  14. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 1:15 pm:

    Good idea, OW. But for the first year anyway, how about it’s just “Best use of social media by a government official or candidate”?

  15. - RNUG - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 1:17 pm:

    One more, but I’m not sure how you could actually decide this one.

    Most Influential CapFax Commenter as judged by the number of their ideas aired on CF that get picked up and incorporated into legislation.

  16. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 1:20 pm:


    Much easier than how I had it. Thanks for considering.

  17. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 1:23 pm:

    If we feel it’s too long, then possibly merge a few categories. If we’re happy with length, then don’t change a single thing.

    We currently have general categories for House and Senate on some issues: best House Secretary/Admin Assistant, best Senate Secretary/Admin Assistant, lifetime service award for the House, lifetime service award for the Senate, and so on.

    I’m not sure if the earlier reference is to legislative staff, campaign staff or all staff, but it might make sense to consolidate some of the campaign categories.

    For example, right now we have

    Best campaign staffer for the
    House Dems
    House GOP
    Senate Dems
    Senate GOP

    Possibly narrow that down to:
    “Best House Campaign Staffer”
    “Best Senate Campaign Staffer”

    The same thing applies to merging best State Rep and best State Senator, rather than a Republican and Democrat in each.

    Of course, that runs the risk of recognizing a lopsided number of Democrats in such a Democratic legislature.

  18. - LittleLebowskiUrbanAchiever - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 1:23 pm:

    I’d suggest removing the campaign staffer categories in off-election years. Also, the campaign staff director category seems unnecessary since there are only 4. Best staff attorney is a worthwhile category

  19. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 1:26 pm:

    How about “Quote of the Year”?

    With so many colorful characters and witty zingers in Illinois, it could be the most heavily nominated and hotly contested category of all.

  20. - anon - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 1:34 pm:

    Best statehouse reporter!

  21. - anon - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 1:42 pm:

    Best freshman legislator?

  22. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 1:43 pm:

    Best Legislation of the Year?

    Worst Legislation of the Year?

  23. - reformer - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 1:44 pm:

    How about one Profile in Courage Award for a legislator or statewide official who takes a big political risk to do what he or she feels is the right thing for the Land of Lincoln? It seems to me that legislator-of-the-year awards usually do not involve taking serious political risks by, for example, standing up to an interest group that normally has its way with your caucus.

  24. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 2:00 pm:

    Willy, @FakeJasonPlummer is probably not eligible!

    Someone beat me to best Statehouse reporter, sooo:

    Best New Blog Commenter?

  25. - RNUG - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 2:01 pm:

    reformer - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 1:44 pm:

    That could be named after Richard Ogilvie …

  26. - ??? - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 2:03 pm:

    I think the list is a little too long. As Rich said in response to Siriusly, the staff awards should remain, and for exactly the reason Rich stated. Staff work extremely hard and put in some grueling hours, they deserve the recognition.

    But I do agree with “Formerly Known As…” that perhaps some of the categories should be consolidated, such as best House staffer and best Senate staffer, rather than picking one from each caucus. I also think the Lifetime Service awards could be cut out.

    Initially, I didn’t think any should be added, that there were too many as it is…but I really like the Profile in Courage idea offered up by reformer. I also kind of like the best/worst legislation suggestion from wordslinger.

  27. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 2:09 pm:

    I would really not like to see the breakouts of Party and Chamber.

    Each staff, and each staff in each chamber should be recognized, and their peers should have the opportunity to recognize the Best Senate Democrat staffer, and the Best House Republican staffer too.

    Same for secretaries in the Chambers.

    They all work too hard, for too long, and mkae too many look good.

    Sorry, I just felt that comsolidating Staff awards is not fair to all those who toil, and the Best of the Year deserve that recognition.


  28. - MEP - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 2:13 pm:

    I’m assuming this is a paid subscriber voting thing so I don’t know how it works, but you could always just release a few categories at a time to reduce clutter.
    1. You could reduce the party affiliations for the elected officials and just have one “Best Illinois State Senator” and one “Best Illinois State Representative.”
    2. Merge the lobbyist category into one or two instead of three.
    3. Replace Best Congresscritter with a “Best use of social media by a government official or candidate”
    4. Merge the restaurant bar category, but keep the bartender and waiter/waitress categories separate.

    Without doing #4 this brings you to 25 categories which is just one more than the Oscars. I like a lot of what is above me too.

  29. - Michelle Flaherty - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 2:15 pm:

    Best Oscar pic

  30. - John - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 2:31 pm:

    ===That would be the last thing I’d remove. Staff works hard for long hours with little recognition. They deserve their awards===

    Thank you, Rich.

  31. - Timmeh - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 2:34 pm:

    I’m fine with how many categories there are, as long as they’re good categories. If you wanted to, you could merge categories, but have more winners.

  32. - Dan Bureaucrat - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 3:18 pm:

    Yeah, cut the lifetime awards. Special circumstances will require special awards. Maybe…
    Most Compromising Compromise
    Best Gov’s Office or Executive Branch Staffer

  33. - WhoKnew - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 4:02 pm:

    For 2013 only: Best Pension Prognosticator — looks like RUNG would be a lock!!

    Many thanks to him and others!

  34. - Soccermom - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 4:20 pm:

    I like the Profile in Courage award.

  35. - walkinfool - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 4:32 pm:

    Leave them alone. I have enough trouble with these.

  36. - Former intern... - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 5:03 pm:

    How bout best legislative intern?

  37. - Mighty M. Mouse - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 6:45 pm:

    How about “Best (or Most Influential) Rich Miller / Capitol Fax Post, Including Reader’s Comments”?

    I think this website is closely monitored by many political movers and shakers in Illinois and that a deluge of passionate responses to a provocative post can actually affect some political decisions.

    Clearly Rich has created one 800-pound gorilla of a political website and this suggestion is my way of recognizing the synergistic power of his site.

  38. - Mighty M. Mouse - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 6:55 pm:

    Maybe that should be “Including Readers’ Comments”?

  39. - yo yo - Wednesday, Dec 4, 13 @ 10:03 pm:

    ==“Best use of social media by a government official or candidate” ==

    That would be great!

    Agree that staff should get their recognition. I know they look forward to this category and the opportunity to “anonymously” recognize their peers.

    If you want to make changes, I’d remove restaurant, bar, and bartender. Frankly, there aren’t that many options anymore and they are all great contenders.

  40. - Name Withheld - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 10:02 am:

    Best ‘parody’ social media

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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