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More Golden Horseshoes

Friday, Dec 6, 2013

* This morning’s categories…

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

* Best Senate Secretary/Admin. Assistant

Beth is no longer with the House, but I’m gonna keep her name on the award for this year at least.

Keep in mind that this is about intensity far more than it is about the number of votes, so please explain your vote or I won’t give it much thought. Also, please nominate in both categories. Thanks!

* I’ll announce yesterday’s winners later today. We had very few nominations for best bartender/wait staff, probably because of the pension reform bill signing, so please click here and make your nominations there as well.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Gator - Friday, Dec 6, 13 @ 10:39 am:

    House - Sally Smith in the Speaker’s legal office. Always pleasant and smiling (plus she can bake a mean cake). She deals with lawyers all day, she deserves it.

    Senate - Sunshine Clemons in Sen. Clayborne’s office. The name says it all…”Sunshine”.

    Abby Walsh in Sen. Brady’s office also gets my vote - as if working for a Senator isn’t hard enough, her senator keeps running for Governor so you can imagine her phones are probably ringing off the hook all day.

  2. - Empty Chair - Friday, Dec 6, 13 @ 10:46 am:

    I don’t think there is a category for this, so I will plug her here:

    Peg Macias, the Executive Assistant to John Schomberg, Governor Quinn’s top lawyer, is the best! She is one of the sweetest people I have ever met. She works incredible hours, handles extraordinarily sensitive material, and almost always has a smile on. Still, somehow, she manages to hold together a relatively small legal team with an exceptionally high caseload. She has been in the Governors office for years, and is an irreplaceable asset there. I hope she gets at the very least an honorable mention, but she deserves so much more than that.

  3. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Dec 6, 13 @ 10:48 am:

    Kelly Large is amazingly organized and very friendly. She manages the gaggle of lobbiests, constituents, retired legislators, and leg. liaisons that seem to collect in the reception area outside Mautino’s office. All the while Leader Mautino is kept on track with a broad range of meetings, bills, callers, and visitors. And, everyone there always seems happy.

  4. - Mighty M. Mouse - Friday, Dec 6, 13 @ 10:51 am:

    It’s frustrating that nominating people for virtually all of these awards is an impossible task for those of us who rarely visit Springfield.

  5. - Give Me A Break - Friday, Dec 6, 13 @ 11:04 am:

    House: Jody Aiello assistant for Greg Harris and Michelle Mussman. Somehow Jody keeps everthing running and Rep. Harris where he needs to be.

    Last session she had her hands full with the Marriage Bill along with calls from people opposing closures and budget related meetings, appropriation hearings and meetings. I don’t think she has ever had a bad day, at least she never shows it if she does.

    She defines multi-tasking and does it with a smile on her face while under pressure from tons of lobbyist and advocates wanting a meeting with Rep. Harris. She is a true pro and a pleasure to work with.

  6. - Anon - Friday, Dec 6, 13 @ 11:14 am:

    In the House - Beth Chapman who staffs Phelps and Cassidy. Her ability to balance the extreme differences and diversity of her legislators’ constituents and needs is amazing. And she always does it with a smile. Honorable mentions have to go Liz Moody with Acevedo/Jefferson and Kristin Milligan. Both go well out of their way to be helpful to everyone.

    In the Senate - Marcia Simmons without a doubt. Always helpful and always nice.

  7. - Obamas Puppy - Friday, Dec 6, 13 @ 11:17 am:

    Beth Hamilton award: Kelly Large
    Senate Sec.: Marcia Simmons

  8. - walkinfool - Friday, Dec 6, 13 @ 11:29 am:

    Jody Aiello does a lot for everyone around her. She has helped Greg Harris thru quite a year, and seems always pleasant to rabid advocates yelling from all sides.

  9. - Fan of Cap Fax - Friday, Dec 6, 13 @ 11:51 am:

    House: Liz Moody! Great attitude, always helpful and up to task. Knows her politics, too. Smart and beautiful.

    Senate: Melissa Earles! Sweet and ready to tackle any problem with ease. Melissa is a Gen X Mom that handles it all with grace, kindness and beauty.

  10. - Todd - Friday, Dec 6, 13 @ 11:59 am:

    Since I post under my own name, as a lobbyist, it would be committing suicide

    Sorry Rich

  11. - dave - Friday, Dec 6, 13 @ 12:01 pm:

    House: Jody Aiello is great — definitely one of the most friendly and helpful assistants in the capitol. And between approp committee and marriage issues this last year, she handled it like a pro, and stayed pleasant throughout it all.

    Senate: Robert Toledo — Robert is one of the most responsible assistants I have worked with in the building. He’s smart and friendly, and manages the flow of lobbyists for one of the busier Senators.

  12. - The Muse - Friday, Dec 6, 13 @ 12:06 pm:

    Senate: Senator Mulroe’s assistant, Lisa Katava. She’s always smiling, ready to help, and is abundtantly generous (constant treats and coffee). She’ll brighten the day when things aren’t going your way.

  13. - Beerman - Friday, Dec 6, 13 @ 12:32 pm:

    House: Kelly Large - Kelly continues to impress me with her ability to stay on top of every bill Representative Mautino sponsors. She is knowledgeable, thorough and stays on top of constituent requests while performing all other duties assigned to her by a very busy Representative.
    Senate: Without Question Marcia Simmons. She is extremely helpful, delightful and has a strong grasp on the legislative process. Her follow through and work ethic is impeccable.

  14. - Under Influenced - Friday, Dec 6, 13 @ 12:43 pm:

    Senate: Anita Colvin-Barth – She works her tail off to keep up with one of the most notoriously difficult members, Kotowski, and she does it without so much as a peep. Plus, I’m pretty sure she has the record for fastest stair climb from 1-M to the floor.

    Whoever staffs Scherer….because a kindergarten teacher should always win an award.

  15. - brad - Friday, Dec 6, 13 @ 12:52 pm:

    House - Kristen in Rep Brauer’s office. Helpful and accomodating.

    Senate - Abbie in Sen Brady’s office. Runs both offices and does a great job and is always smiling.

  16. - Rayne of Terror - Friday, Dec 6, 13 @ 1:05 pm:

    Sally McDaniel-Smith deserves to win again. She’s so good she got the new James Patterson mystery dedicated to her! For real. She takes a dolly to lunch to bring back orders for the lawyers in her office. She’s about the most pleasant person in the building after a DECADE of managing baby attorneys. Shoot. Sally McDaniel-Smith FTW!

  17. - yearofhell - Friday, Dec 6, 13 @ 2:03 pm:

    I know Rich wants names, but this has been an unusual year and ALL of the legislative secretaries deserve some credit. Anyone within earshot of a legislative office knows the phones have been ringing off the hook most of the year. First gay marriage, then the concealed carry bill, then gay marriage again, then pensions, then gay marriage again, then pensions, etc. The legislative secretaries have been brutalized by many of the people calling because they are the first line of defense against the crazies. They put up with a tremendous amount of crap from many of the people who call (constituents don’t usually call to say “thank you”).

  18. - Jerry2 - Friday, Dec 6, 13 @ 2:07 pm:

    House - Kristin Milligan
    Quite simply, she’s the best, Kristin’s always helpful to the throng of people hanging out in 314. She’s hard-working, loyal and goes above & beyond for her members.
    Senate - Abby Walsh
    She juggles Brady’s Bloomington & Springfield offices, works events with and for him, and is always pleasant & friendly to everyone she talks to.

  19. - Anonymous - Friday, Dec 6, 13 @ 2:23 pm:

    For House, I second Beth Chapman. Big part is outlined above, handling near polar-opposite legislators, especially on the issue of firearms. A more rural southern district and a very liberal Chicago district. And she does so beautifully. She’s also one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met.

  20. - ANONYMAU5 - Friday, Dec 6, 13 @ 2:51 pm:

    Kristin Milligan gets my vote for the House. First, because she worked for Skip all those years. She not only put up with all the hanger-oners outside Skip’s office, she was and still is willing to do anything for them. She’s a great Springfield “mom” who takes care of everybody. And to top it all off, she spent months up in Skip’s district walking for him, getting volunteers, and doing whatever she could for him. She’s a saint and deserves all the praise in the world.

  21. - Webster - Friday, Dec 6, 13 @ 3:10 pm:

    House: Liz Moody, she has a great personality is always helpful and knows the issues.

    Senate: Roseann Visintin in Senator Koehler’s office. She was great with senator Shadid and bringing years of experience to the district. She is one of the smartest and most respected assistants in the capitol. Their office runs like a well oiled machine. The constituents of Peoria should be lucky to have her.

  22. - Liberal Lady - Friday, Dec 6, 13 @ 3:16 pm:

    For the Senate, I second Anita Corvin-Barth. She runs around like a crazy person, but never complains. She works hard, acts and appears very professional, but still has a great sense of humor. She has no ego and has a loving, kind spirit.

  23. - Smurfette - Friday, Dec 6, 13 @ 3:24 pm:

    Senate….Abby Walsh is always friendly, dressed for success and has a great positive attutude!! She keeps up with all of Bill’s activities….which is simply amazing and with a smile!!!

  24. - Gingham Mittens - Friday, Dec 6, 13 @ 3:30 pm:

    Jody Aiello by a large margin. She puts up with so much yet always has a smile on her face. Her kindness knows no bounds and she is willing to help at the drop of a hat. I know that she personally has made sessions survivable for me. There is no doubt in my mind that both Harris and Mussman are lucky to have such a talented admin assistant. I would also say that Jody goes well beyond just doing the job with a smile. She is so incredibly passionate and well organized. There are a lot of amazing administrative assistants in the Capitol, but this year Jody went above and beyond.

  25. - GRATEFUL - Friday, Dec 6, 13 @ 3:33 pm:

    Senate - Robin Gragg is always so upbeat and happy.She makes everyone feel welcome! Always nice and smiling.

  26. - So what? - Friday, Dec 6, 13 @ 3:46 pm:

    Jody Aielo for much of what has been said above. She has done a good job of keeping Rep Harris’s ‘project’ on the micro side of things.

  27. - jnltts-22l - Friday, Dec 6, 13 @ 3:46 pm:

    senator mulroe’s person lisa, she is kind & caring! She has a big heart…..very giving person.

  28. - Road Warrior - Friday, Dec 6, 13 @ 4:05 pm:

    Kristen Milligan is without a doubt the best in the House. For anyone that knows Kristen, no explanation is needed. For those that don’t, she is always friendly, organized, and goes out of her way to help anyone at any time. She goes beyond the call of duty, and is truly one of the most genuine under the dome.

    In the Senate, Abby Walsh is one of the hardest working assistants, covering both Brady’s Bloomington and Springfield offices. She maintains a pleasant attitude even when things get crazy, and always greets everyone she encounters with a smile. To top it off, she’s very stylish!

  29. - 29 goin on 9 - Friday, Dec 6, 13 @ 4:14 pm:

    My vote’s for Anita Colvin-Barth. I don’t know how she keeps such a pop in her step after that commute, but she does it. Never without a smile, and always on her game.

  30. - MCB - Friday, Dec 6, 13 @ 4:34 pm:

    Can’t remember her name, but Chapin Rose’s secretary/assistant. As a member of the media, I can say she goes way out of her way to help us out, literally to the point of running through the Capitol complex to track him down when he won’t answer his phone for anyone, or waiting outside caucus for him to come out so she can grab him and send him your way.

  31. - Miss Marie - Friday, Dec 6, 13 @ 4:37 pm:

    It’s is really hard to narrow it down to just one person. Their jobs are so thankless, and I can’t imagine walking a mile in their shoes.

    I do agree with voting for Anita for the Senate. She works so hard, and she’s still friendly. She gets a lot of traffic in her office on Session days, and I don’t know how she manages it all.

    For runner up for the Senate, I’d vote for Janet Hohl. She’s always on top of things and is always so nice to work with.

  32. - Down To Clown - Friday, Dec 6, 13 @ 4:40 pm:

    My vote is for Abby Walsh from Senator Bill Brady’s office. She has a can do attitude, top notch sense of humor and always looks like a fashionista. Kudos to a girl that can sprint the capitol stairs no less than 50 times a day in 4 inch heels.

  33. - Faux Fur Baby - Friday, Dec 6, 13 @ 5:08 pm:

    Abby Walsh for Senate! She is always on the go with all of Bill’s many activities, and does so with a smile. She is professional and it is obvious to me she sincerely enjoys her work and makes a difference.

  34. - Politics n Tonic - Friday, Dec 6, 13 @ 5:43 pm:

    Melissa Earles gets my vote for Senate. I bet she has to deal with a bunch of interesting characters but she’s always so nice.

    I also want to vote for Melissa Macomber for Senate, too. I have to imagine her job is really challenging, but she always has a smile on her face when I talk to her.

  35. - Anon - Saturday, Dec 7, 13 @ 2:36 pm:

    Check kotowskt’s call log. I’ll bet most of Anita’s calls are during Dan’s work day–24/7. If this award is about being nice to lobbyists give it somebody else, if it’s about being the best, Anita’s the one.

  36. - Learning the Ropes - Saturday, Dec 7, 13 @ 2:59 pm:

    I’ll put in another vote for Jody. Even when the halls were swamped with people against the marriage equality bill, and people were being downright confrontational with her, she would still call every lost looking person to her desk and ask if she could help direct them to where they wanted to go.

  37. - 99 Problems But Session Ain't 1 - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 9:38 am:

    I want to vote for Donna Hickman for Senate. She is the sweetest woman and always so nice.

    Robert Toledo would be my runner up for Senate. He’s such a nice guy, and he always seems to be in a good mood.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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