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More Golden Horseshoes

Monday, Dec 9, 2013

* The winner of the Beth Hamilton Golden Horseshoe Award for Best House Secretary/Admin. Assistant is Jody Aiello

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.

I wouldn’t have wanted her job this year. Can you imagine the phone calls she got? Oy.

* Runner-up is 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.

* The winner of the Golden Horseshoe Award for Best Senate Secretary/Admin. Assistant is 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.

* Runner-up is Abby Walsh…

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!

* And this is also worth remembering…

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”).


* The Golden Horseshoe Award for best bartender goes to Adam at No Name Bar

Most importantly, he pours a good drink. But on top of that, he’s good company (knows when to engage, when to ignore), he knows a ton about a ton, and he always keeps the popcorn machine running.

* Our runner-up received just one nomination, but how could I ignore this?…

The best bartender is Louie at Gab’s. The guy is like 75 years old, still there 2 - 3 days a week. If you have a questions about local politics, he has the answer. If you have a question about the old ‘mob’ and he isn’t under some ‘non-disclosure’ agreement, then he will give you the answer. If you want to know what any old timer drinks, he has the answer. He doesn’t know state politics as well as some of the others here but that is why you can catch the Trib people there eating pizza and boozing.

* We didn’t get enough nominations for best waiter/waitress, so I’m gonna discontinue that category. There wasn’t a ton of interest last year, either.

* The Golden Horseshoe Award for best bar goes to Boone’s Saloon

It’s a great place to hang out after dinner, because you’ll find plenty of Statehouse types. I had one of the more memorable experiences of my entire career there Tuesday night. A fascinating evening, which makes this vote pretty easy.

* Runner-up is the Globe…

The best bar is still the Globe, especially now that it’s back in its former space and freshly renovated. So many legislators and lobbyists stay at either the Hilton or Lincoln, the Globe is the nicest, most upscale and conveniently located bar downtown. No chance of a DUI when you leave, since you’re either taking the elevator or walking across the street to get home. There are always lots of important people there and the set up lends itself to some quiet conversations and discretion.

Congrats to all our winners.

* OK, now let’s turn to today’s categories

* Best State Senate Staffer - Non Political

* Best State House Staffer - Non Political

As always, this is about intensity far more than the number of votes a nominee receives. So, please, make extra sure to explain your vote or it could be disregarded. Thanks!

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Been There - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 10:14 am:

    ===The best bartender is Louie at Gab’s. The guy is like 75 years old===
    Actually I think Louie is over 80!!

  2. - Lobo Y Olla - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 10:31 am:

    Best House staffer: Brandon Nemec from Speaker’s staff, hands down. How many re-writes of CC did he do exactly? 5,326? He was always there to explain a 100+ page bill to members… supporters, opponents, and Todd. His fingerprints are all over that bill. MJM wouldn’t have given it to anyone but the best. No one else comes close in my opinion.
    Best senate staffer: Ashley Jenkins with Pres. Cullerton’s Office. She was always juggling 1000 different bills and still had time to talk to you about YOUR bill. She seemed like she actually lived in her cubicle. A rising star to be sure.

  3. - Rail Sitter - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 10:46 am:

    House- Laura Roche. She staffs the Insurance and Environment committees, serves as floor secretary and finds time to mentor the newest members of the staff as intern coordinator. She always has a cheerful smile, even in the middle of intense negotiations like the hydraulic fracturing legislation that she masterfully handled.

    Senate- Rudy Brida. He’s not flashy but he is effective. A silent assassin who gets the job done.

  4. - Obamas Puppy - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 10:59 am:

    Senate non-political: Eric Madair
    House non-political: Laura Roche

  5. - Bulldozer - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 11:09 am:

    House - Tyler Hunt is my vote. Tyler has been around the capitol for many years and handles a great deal of subject areas for the House staff. He handles the appropriations committee with the most agencies and does it in an organized fashion. On top of that, an extremely nice person

  6. - Bulldozer - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 11:10 am:

    Sorry, forgot my Senate vote

    Derek Stevens - good analyst and someone that can be counted on

  7. - Arturo Jose Maria Teplovsky - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 11:13 am:

    I don’t know if there is a Golden Horseshoe category for which my nominee is eligible - he is not eligible here, but I didn’t want the award season to pass without giving a plug to Matthew Scott Dragoo, pension analyst at COGFA. Matt is a mathemetician, a humanitarian, a personal finance expert, and the finest football handicapper in the country, Ace Rothstein included.

  8. - Joe - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 11:13 am:

    For Senate, I’ll nominate Patrick Pfingsten.

    He was a great hire for the SGOP’s, bringing him over from Rodney Davis’campaign. You can already see the difference he’s made.

    He’s helped raise Sam McCann’s profile, as he has been all over TV and radio in Springfield talking about moderate, effective governance and not running to the fringe right. Sen. Barickman has continued to have the corner on the Bloomington-Normal media market.

    The Senate Republicans need more like him.

  9. - Cyclone - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 11:13 am:

    I think the House vote is east. Tyler Hunt has always been a go-to staffer that has been around the process for a very long time and has extensive knowledge on both the substantive and appropriations side. I think he has been overlooked for many years as a person who can handle numerous topics and stay composed under pressure

    Senate - Becky Locker. All around a good staffer. Helps with crafting the budget which can be a pain at times

  10. - Pound that Pension - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 11:14 am:

    House- Tyler Hunt. He is by far the most valuable staff member. He has been here well over a decade, and has put in countless hours to make House Democratic Staff the best staff under the dome (yeah I said it, deal with it.) If there is one word to describe Tyler, it is dedication. He is responsible for the General Services budget, and is always willing to stand up for what he believes in, AFSCME raises. When others have gone for the night, Tyler is still in his office, working diligently, even on the last day of session. He is also a colorful person to work with. I’ll end it with that.

    Senate-Mike Hoffman. He is such a wealth of knowledge and a really nice guy.

  11. - Anon - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 11:17 am:

    House Staff - Brandon Nemec - while he has already moved on, he did an amazing job with concealed carry issue this year.

    Senate Staff - Caitlyn McEvoy - she’s quite simply the best! Not only did she work on the concealed carry legislation this past year with grace I admire - she also handled the gay marriage bill as well. Hands down she deserves the award in my book.

  12. - Polar Bear - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 11:17 am:

    The House should go to Tyler Hunt. Great person and someone that the HD Staff has always relied on. The guy could have gone and worked for numerous agencies but has decided to stay and help the staff.

    Senate vote goes to Giovanni. Handles the more difficult areas

  13. - RVD8 - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 11:18 am:

    Best House staffer is hands down Tyler Hunt. every time I go up there with questions about General Services he provides the answers. Best person to talk to on the phone as well, even with my dumb questions :)

    Best Senate staffer, without question, Steff Perez. aka previous Senate Staffer of the Month

  14. - Anon - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 11:21 am:

    I agree with Cyclone, Tyler Hunt is definitely worthy of the House golden horseshoe this year. He has been overlooked for far too long. Not only is he the nicest guy you’ll meet, he is also the most organized and calm under pressure.

    Senate- Becky Locker. She does a lot and she does it well.

  15. - Demmy Lovato - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 11:21 am:

    House: Hands down, the best House staffer is Tyler Hunt of the House Democratic Research Staff. Tyler has worked diligently for the Speaker’s staff for over 12 years and has collected a sea of knowledge which stretches across all subject matters. He staffs the Appropriations General Services, State Government, and the Accountability and Administrative Review committees with the utmost diligence. Tyler is the first to lend a helping hand to new staffers, legislators, and lobbyists alike. He is humble enough to handle any constituent call, often spending countless hours on the phone, easing the minds of Illinois’ residents. Tyler is a true diamond in the rough and an absolute asset to the legislative process.
    Senate- Mike Welton of the Senate Democratic Staff is an intelligent young man who is eager to solve any problem that comes his way. I have seen him stay late into the night, often hours after his co-workers have left, to tackle human services issues. Mike is a pleasure to work with and a rising star.

  16. - Lil Squeezy - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 11:22 am:

    House- Tyler Hunt. T$ sets the standards for work ethic and professionalism on the 5th Floor. Money does rhyme with honey and Tyler understands that.

    Senate- Eric Madier. He tried, really hard.

  17. - Gator - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 11:23 am:

    Senate - definitely Eric Madiar and Giovanni Randazzo. Eric’s legal thesis on the constitutionality of pension reform from several years ago helped stall the issue that was spiraling out of control at the time and bought time for legislators to thoughtfully examine the issue (whether they did so or not is open for debate). Regardless of how the issue played out, the unions and all government employees really owe this guy.

    Giovanni has been involved in so many important issues that he’s “old skool” even though he’s really young. His fingerprints are on gaming, elections, and every high profile bill. On top of all that, he’s friendly to deal with and is a schnazzy dresser!

    House - Jessica Basham. She stepped into a big role as a director for House DEMs and everything went smoothly. She has also been around for a long time and worked on so many issues that she can cut through the BS and get to the bottom line rather quickly.

  18. - Tweed Jacket - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 11:27 am:

    House: Tyler Hunt, Because working approp for the speaker is no easy task, and he does it with aplomb.
    Senate: Caitlyn McEvoy; not everyone could handle Concealed carry and Gay Marriage and remain a sane, yet alone wonderful indiviual. She’s tenacious and dedicated, whilst still being friendly and approachable.

  19. - DARPA - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 11:35 am:

    Best House staffer should definitely go to Tyler Hunt. Anyone who has dealt with Tyler, knows him to be a tireless and dedicated staffer. He is extremely knowledgeable about General Services and is ready to help anyone with anything.

    Best Senate staffer should go to Mike Hoffman. He knows the issues and is a great person to work with.

  20. - Happy - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 11:36 am:

    House-Tyler Hunt. He is the nicest guy and willing to go the extra mile when it comes to getting someone the answers they need.

    Senate-Maurice Scholten. He handles two difficult areas very well, Revenue and Pensions.

  21. - ALEC - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 11:38 am:

    As the directors and legal counsel are given a great deal of responsibility I have to look at their staff. Tyler Hunt with the House is irreplaceable. He deals with the most budgets and deals with arguably the biggest substantive committee - State Government Administration.

    My Senate vote goes to Mike Hoffman. Has experience with the Communications aspect as well as the Policy. Great guy and is going to be great in the years to come

  22. - The NSA knows who I am - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 11:40 am:

    House - Tyler Hunt. Whether you know him as T-dog, T-money or the nicest guy on the 5th floor, he will take care of what you need and if he can’t, will be generous in explaining why. Plus, he does that thing with his back…just ask.

    Senate - Is Madair eligible for this? If so, it has to go to the man. He works harder than most, has a natural, easy going flow, and can be a great friend if you’re lucky enough to call him one. And if it can’t be him, then Giovanni is a natural - all business and professional…except when not.

  23. - Daytona79 - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 11:40 am:

    Nia from Senate dems has always been a pleasure to work with! She’s so thorough!! so I pic her for best Senate Staffer!! :^)!!

    When I think of glue, I think House dem Tyler Hunt. He has to put up with a LOT of nonsense when it comes to approp and G. Services and keeps it all together! He is the best house staff member. Thanks Tyler

  24. - Project Delta - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 11:42 am:

    House- Tyler Hunt. Hey, when you got it, you got it. I think you know what I mean.

    Senate-They are all devoted. I mean where would we be without the upper chamber?

  25. - Corporate Thug - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 11:44 am:

    House Staff - Tyler Hunt. I’ve known him for a long time. Agree with Cyclone - he’s been overlooked for a while now, but a go to staffer on the house side. His longevity makes him invaluable.

    Senate Staff - Caitlyn McEvoy. Super on the issues. Handled Marriage Equality and Concealed Carry beautifully. She’s been a great addition to the Senate Democrats legal team. Great to work with. Hat tip to Eric Madiar and Giovanni Randazzo. They’re always great to work with and extremely knowledgeable. But Caitlyn has had a very successful year. That shouldn’t go unnoticed.

  26. - Give Me A Break - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 11:44 am:

    For the Senate I have to go with Carrie Ramsden. Anyone who can handle the DHS, DCFS, HFS and other human service budgets should get a medal. She not only knows the issues, she knows the numbers behind the issues.

  27. - Rich Miller - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 11:46 am:

    OK, House Dem staff can stop nominating Tyler Hunt en masse. We get it.

  28. - T - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 11:56 am:

    Thanks everyone. Lets share the wealth.

    Best staffers (including directors) HWV, Basham in House

    Senate is Richards.

    You are welcome.

  29. - Griff - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 11:58 am:

    At the risk of getting repetitive, I’d also like to nominate Caitlyn McEvoy. She’s just as kind as she is knowledgeable. She’s patient, and always makes the time to answer questions, even when she’s busier than a cranberry merchant. Just an overall fantastic human being that deserves some applause!

  30. - dave - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 12:03 pm:

    House: Sam Olds won this last year, deservingly so, but she probably deserves to win it again this year. She has always been one of the smartest and most engaged staffers in the building, and she’s always had huge issues on her plate. This year, she had the pleasure of helping push Medicaid expansion across the finish line, but that hid the more complicated work of the rest of the bill, which was hundreds of pages of changes to “SMHRFs”, as well as numerous changes to Medicaid. She also handled Human Service approp like a pro (including mediating negotiations on a massive DOA supplemental), navigating the very complicated and massive health and human services budgets with a new approp chair. She will be greatly missed now that she has left staff.

    Senate: Eric Madiar. What Gator said. First, he was unwilling to compromise on the legality of pension reform. Yes, an unconstitutional bill ended up passing, but that wan’t his fault. But second, his theory of consideration played a significant role in the final bill, even though it ended up being watered down significantly to the point where I would argue that it isn’t consideration anymore. But he was a true leader on pushing for a constitutional pension reform, and should be acknowledged for it.

  31. - Gingham Mittens - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 12:06 pm:

    Best House Staffer is Mark Jarmer. He has been on Approp staff for years and has somehow managed to remain passionate, dedicated, and sane. This is far from an easy task. He handles complex issues and does so with a sense of calm and a smile. He is always willing to help lobbyists, fellow staffers, and members. His comprehension of the issues is enviable, however, it is far from his greatest strength. His ability to remain organized and steady through a sea of never ending chaos is what truly catapults him to being worthy of the best staffer golden horseshoe regardless of chamber. Whether it is handling the daily horseplay on the fifth floor, the stress of the Approp. Higher Ed committee, or the nightmare that can be JCAR, he does it all with skill, organization, and understanding. In fact, his tranquil demeanor may be why he is overlooked so often.

  32. - Benny and the Bureaucrats - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 12:24 pm:

    My vote goes to Travis Shea of the House Staff. From the outside looking in, one of the reasons the Speaker’s Staff is so efficient is because of hard working individuals who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty and have the ability to analyze situations quickly and efficiently.
    Travis has proven to be a go-to staffer for the Speaker post his assigned duties on the remap. He handles a lot of issues that are important to his boss and his caucus. He’s a regular in the House Executive Committee and handles fiscal issues such as revenue projections and bonding bills. Despite his heavy workload, in the closing days of the legislative session, Travis was tapped to take on gaming negotiations for the House.
    When you handle issues on the Speaker’s radar, you’re going to piss some folks off but amazingly enough Travis is liked by his members and respected by the lobsters. He’s one of many hardworking Madigoons but his work definitely merits consideration for this award.

    As for the Senate, Eric Madiar is worthy of the Golden Horseshoe. He’s been a go-to authority in the legislature on issues surrounding the constitutionality of pension reform and telecommunications while managing a staff of outstanding lawyers who were also nominated for this award.
    While pensions didn’t play out the way he would have liked, his professionalism leading to the law’s passage is to be admired. Sure, lawyers are supposed to be able to argue both sides but rarely do they have to publicly pivot as much as Eric did for the sake of compromise.
    As for his staff, Madiar has empowered his troops to take on complex issues offering guidance when requested but the independence to make decisions. That’s led to successful negotiations on guns, gays and Mary Jane – not too shabby.

  33. - Under Influenced - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 12:35 pm:

    Senate – Caitlyn McEvoy: Not only is she intelligent and hard-working, but she worked on some of the most controversial and challenging issues this past session.

    House – Tip of the hat to whomever staffs Scherer

  34. - Please let me post! I'm Sorry! - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 12:43 pm:

    On a serious note, if you will indulge me for a second, I would like to nominate Tyler Hunt and Mark Jarmer for being the quiet force of House Staff, and always being humble about it. That is why people are so adamant about Tyler winning. House Dems don’t need to recognize one individual person. They are a team. Mark and Tyler embody that about staff. So I agree with gingham mittens, though she may have tried to give staff a dig, she is right about Mark and everyone who posted about Tyler is on target too.

    Senate- Becky Locker. Hands down the best staffer, and the glue.

  35. - MS.spartan - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 12:55 pm:

    House Vote: Rep. Mike Snyder - always seems to know what’s going on.

    Senate Vote: Angie Sidels - has to put up with a lot but always keeps working hard.

  36. - CurcularFiringSquad - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 12:57 pm:

    Wow Capt Fax getting a little cranky..easy big fellow. Tyler does a great job, but we think Heather Weir Vaught stands above the rest on the House side

    Give the Senate Show to John Patterson for making a seamless transition from the nobility of journalism to the jaws of government.

  37. - Tobias Funke - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 1:00 pm:

    Senate-Another vote for Caitlyn McEvoy. She’s demonstrated her flexibility to work on controversial, complex issues with her work on concealed carry and same sex marriage. These were easily two of the most difficult issues to pass the GA in the last decade, and they could not be more different from each other.

  38. - GH-er for GH-noms - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 2:22 pm:

    The best Senate staffer is Becky Locker - and her previous nominations have not done her justice. I’m here to correct that! Becky has been on budget staff for many years. She learned from the best and works with the best. Anyone who knows how many times budget and supplemental documents are drafted and redrafted and re-redrafted should have appreciation for anyone in Becky’s role. She has earned her way up on Senate Staff because of her easy-going disposition, attention to detail, and intelligence. She’s an asset to Statehouse regulars, whether they know it or not. Stop by to thank her someday, just not in the last week of May.

    House - Tyler Hunt, who has also been around for quite a while, for all of the reasons already stated by commentors. And no, I’m not a staffer.

  39. - Gentlemen, behold! - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 3:14 pm:

    House - Lari Dierks. She has a great attitude and stepped into the pension issue without missing a beat, which is probably not easy to do when you are a young woman on staff.

    Senate - Maurice Scholten. Besides being with the pension issue from the very beginning, he has worked on the most complicated revenue issues for the past couple of years. You will never hear him complain about the long hours and moving targets. The level of analysis he provides to senate dem caucus members is only comparable to what you might get from a private firm, if you were lucky enough to have the money to pay for it. He gets the hat tip over Eric Madiar only because Scholten has a lot of good candy in his office (that he sometimes might share).

  40. - Miss Marie - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 4:42 pm:

    I want to also nominate Becky Locker for Senate. I don’t know how she keeps all the budget stuff straight. And she deals with all the Senators requests and questions. And her working knowledge of all things related to the budget is impressive.

    If Becky didn’t win, then I think Derek Stevens deserves to be nominated for Senate. He’s quiet, but he’s hard working. Plus he oversees the transportion committee. I think we all can agree that that can’t be easy.

  41. - Puddles - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 5:06 pm:

    House- Laura Roche does a tremendous job on the House Republicans. She manages all the bills that are analyzed by the House Republicans, either staffing executive committee or her role as floor manager. If you ever have a question on any bill, she is the go to person. I’ve always been very impressed.

  42. - Anon - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 5:15 pm:

    House - Nemec

  43. - Archibald - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 5:19 pm:

    One would be remiss not to mention Justin Cox on House staff. Justin is hands down one of the brightest lawyers in the statehouse. He’s worked his way up from temporary contract spot to a trusted position on the Speaker’s legal team. His versitility on issues from insurance to public utilities to criminal law is second to none.

  44. - Michelle Flaherty - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 5:29 pm:

    So many to choose from among the Senate Dems.

    First, there’s budget director Kristin Richards. At the Capitol, in what is often a short man’s world, she stands head and shoulders above everyone else. Literally.

    Then there’s Becky Locker. After handholding so many members through the appropriations process, real-life parenting must seem like a vacation to her.

    But in the end the nomination goes to lawyer Caitlyn McEvoy. C’mon, she was basically locked in a room with Forby and Todd for a session and not only lived to tell about it but brought concealed carry to Illinois. And to top it off she got engaged and published.

    Caitlyn McEvoy is having the best year ever.

  45. - Anon - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 5:38 pm:

    Brandon Nemec

  46. - Lame - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 5:42 pm:

    I love the active nature of the House Dems on one category. Two years ago, Adam Margolin got thirty votes (so he won), the next year Sam Olds got thirty votes (so she won), and now apparently they want Tyler Hunt to win. We get it, you stack the deck for a different person on staff every year- great.

    I really like the Golden Horseshoe contest. I am sure that the House Dems want to get a new person to win the contest every year, but c’mon. It honestly makes the whole contest of best staffer really lame.

  47. - staffrocks - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 5:57 pm:

    There were several mega issues in 2013 and you have to give props to all of the staff that worked their butts off this year. I think the two biggest issues were concealed carry and the pension bill, and the staffers (not the directors) who worked on these definitely deserve the kudos.

    For concealed carry, the praise should go to Brandon Nemec from the Speaker’s staff and Caitlin McEvoy from the Senate Dems. They spent countless hours trapped in a room with members of all 4 caucuses.

    For pensions, Lari Dierks from House Dems and and Maurice Sholten from Senate Dems. Lari is new to the Speaker’s staff and walked into the most controversial issue in decades. Yet, she proved herself to be an outstanding brainiac and clearly earned respect from Basham and Vaught. Most important, it was clear the speaker was impressed by her. Maurice is one of the smartest dude’s in the Capitol and is surely an up and comer in government.

  48. - ERB - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 8:25 pm:

    There were a number of staffers who had their hands in landmark pieces of legislation passing the House this year, but just one who had a vital role in all of them. Heather Weir Vaught has been at the Speaker’s side throughout all the year’s most important votes. She is equally capable and comfortable explaining complex issues to an entire caucus as she is to individual members who might need some extra help. During an especially ambitious legislative year, the winner of Best House Staffer should be the committed individual consistently at the center of the State’s most important legislative achievements.

  49. - Liberal Lady - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 10:44 pm:

    Senate staffer- Caitlyn McEvoy. She never seeks attention or recognition, she doesn’t need to be in the spotlight, but she’s smart, dependable and has an approachable, friendly disposition. She’s fairly new, but I still don’t know why she’s not more publicly lauded. I can’t say enough about what an asset she is.

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        * 2-mile stretch of highway through Paxton to be .....
        * APNewsBreak: Medicaid paid $12M for Illinois dead..
        * Democrats: Illinois schools could face major cuts..
        * Investigator wants tougher legislative ethics laws..
        * State funds to pay for widening of High Cross Road..
        * Illinois Schools Win No Child Left Behind Waiver..
        * Clock ticking for states to adopt health exchanges..
        * Interview: Eric Weinheimer Gives His Top Tips a.....
        * Bucktown zoning flap over halfway house ensnare.....
        * Chicago State Announces Civil Rights Champion a.....

        * APNewsBreak: Medicaid paid $12M for Illinois dead
        * Illinois approved for No Child Left Behind waiver
        * Cook County issues 1,000th gay marriage license
        * Investigator wants tougher legislative ethics laws
        * Illinois prisons to use costly hepatitis C drug
        * Democrats: Illinois schools could face major cuts
        * Clock ticking for states to adopt health exchanges
        * Federal lawsuit over western Md. wind farm ends
        * University: Ill. pension reform had costly mistake
        * GOP lawmaker objects to 9-0 vote for Obama library

        * House bill urges schools to make digital emergency plans
        * Illinois Medicaid paying for dead clients
        * Rutherford's lawyers ask judge to dismiss sexual-harassment lawsuit
        * Chicago-only casino option to face opposition
        * Democrats: Illinois schools could face major cuts
        * State prisons to use costly drug for hepatitis C
        * GOP's Rauner raised $9M in first quarter of 2014
        * University: State pension reform had costly mistake
        * Another top official out at DNR
        * DNR mining-oversight official fired

        * Illinois Medicaid paying for dead clients
        * Medicaid paid $12 million for Illinois dead
        * Cook County issues 1,000th gay marriage license
        * Emanuel names task force to find site for Lucas museum
        * Illinois GOP lawmaker objects to 9-0 vote for Obama library

        * City sends bike cops into high-crime neighborhoods
        * City misses chance to share in $2.2 million fraud judgment
        * Feds arrest former mole in Rezko, Carothers cases
        * Illinois schools get waiver from No Child Left Behind progress mandate
        * Slain rapper laid to rest; father vows better life for children
        * Teen shot in the face in Chicago’s Auburn Gresham neighborhood
        * Part of man’s ear bitten off by underage girlfriend’s brother
        * Boy, 15, charged with shooting 14-year-old in West Pullman
        * 15-year-old held on $950,000 bail in shooting
        * Proposed rule allows gun ID cards for medical pot users

        * Illinois legislative watchdog recommends greater transparency
        * Boy, 15, pulled from pond in Woodstock dies
        * City parents can take part in a "mini-shopping spree" for new playground equipment
        * Lake County Jail inmate commits suicide
        * Potential GOP presidential contender Paul pushing school choice in Chicago visit
        * Potential GOP presidential contender Paul pushing school choice in Chicago visit
        * 5 hurt as collision sends truck into South Side building
        * Lagunitas brewery officially opens Chicago operation
        * Chicago native to retire as U.S. Senate sergeant at arms
        * Mom: 15-year-old son killed in North Chicago

        * Illinois Finally Gets 'No Child Left Behind' Waiver
        * U Of I: Illinois Pension Overhaul Had Costly Mistake
        * Fish fry dinners bring food, community to Catholics during Lent
        * Listen To State Week - April 18, 2014
        * Murray Center Advocates Win Appeals Decision
        * Employment Improves, But Illinois Still Lags U.S.
        * Nine Illinois lawmakers vote to fund Obama library - but only five members in attendance
        * WBEZ's Student Stories
        * Interview: John Tinker & The Landmark Case On Students' Right To Free Speech
        * State Legislation Hints At Marijuana Legalization

        * Illinois Medicaid paying for dead clients
        * Democrats: Illinois schools could face major cuts
        * State prisons to use costly drug for hepatitis C
        * University: State pension reform had costly mistake
        * DNR mining-oversight official fired
        * Clock ticking for states to adopt health exchanges
        * GOP lawmaker objects to 9-0 vote for Obama library
        * Investigator wants tougher legislative ethics laws
        * State's medical marijuana rules unveiled
        * Our Opinion: Local schools stand to lose in tax debate

        * Silver Medallion Dinner honors area students
        * Man said to be homesick for prison gets 3½ years
        * Kevan Melchiorre - Busey Wealth Management 4-18-14
        * Kill switch plan lauded by victim's father
        * Rising river can still cause headaches
        * Strobel will chair UI presidential search
        * Illinois medical marijuana: $100 for patient card
        * Middle Road hotel project picking up speed
        * Road work to close lanes on Illinois 15 beginning Monday
        * Roadwork to close lanes on Illinois 15 beginning Monday

        * The 10th District money race
        * Aurora Democrat calls out IHSA
        * Lawyers: Ill. hazing law vague, unconstitutional
        * Ill. House OKs lower-cost hunting bill for seniors
        * Quinn’s running mate takes new consulting job

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        * Jesse Jackson Jr. Transferred To Alabama P...
        * Jesse Jackson Jr. sent to solitary then tr...
        * Jesse Jackson Jr. Maneuvers Himself Into M...
        * Jesse Jackson Jr. Changes Prisons, Could B...
        * Jesse Jackson Jr Moved to Alabama Prison C...
        * Inmates Sent To Solitary Confinement For H...
        * Jesse Jackson Jr. transferred to minimum s...
        * Jesse Jackson Jr. moved to another prison ...
        * When Punishment Is Torture: An Open Letter...

        * Loading Koch Industries Website Too Many T......
        * Maryland and DC among worst for food aller......
        * Cleveland State University to reestablish ......
        * Convicted political boss Al Sanchez runnin......
        * Candidates make last filings for local, st......

        * Illinois Lt. Gov. Simon opposes pension le......
        * Dillard Odd Man Out on Pension Deal Reaction...
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        * Religious Freedom and the American Settlement
        * Illinois Medicaid paid $12 million for dead people
        * Hultgren pushes to repeal "death tax," create 1.5M new jobs
        * Casual marijuana use linked with brain abnormalities, study finds
        * Roskam: Obama's Latest Keystone Delay Shameful
        * Wahl Clipper Corp to get $1.6M incentive to build new headquarters in Illinois
        * Comment on Eric Khon Slams Rich Miller as Anti-Capitalist by Champion News | Eric Khon Slams Rich Miller as Anti-Capitalist
        * Comment on Chicago Math: Three is Only Two by Champion News | Chicago Math: Three is Only Two
        * Jannike Johnson. More Awareness.
        * Walter Esler. So what does this tell us about Squeezy?

        * Governor Pat Quinn Takes Clemency Action
        * Proposed Rules for Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act Filed
        * Adopt-A-Highway Spring Cleanup Begins Today - Annual Event Honors Earth Day, Tackles Roadside Litter After Harsh Winter
        * Illinois Schools Win No Child Left Behind Waiver - Federal Government Approves Flexibility Needed for Successful Implementation of State Strategies to Improve Student Learning
        * Illinois filmmakers invited to enter state’s Shortcuts competition - 7th year for Illinois Film Office contest honoring local talent

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