* We’re getting some coverage lately. Peoria Journal Star…
As some readers of this site are probably aware, one of the most comprehensive sites covering state politics and the Illinois Legislature — and aggregating stories from around the Land of Lincoln about the same topics — is Rich Miller’s Capitol Fax Blog.
The longtime watcher of Illinois government boasts a following that not only includes political junkies from around the state, but plenty of staffers in each of the three branches of government, not to mention plenty of elected officials (and wannabes) besides.
For the last several years Miller has let followers of his site weigh in on a series of awards — named Golden Horseshoes, after Springfield’s signature dish — that started as a jest but quickly became a serious annual competition. The experts who follow government are never shy about weighing in and justifying the people they believe to be deserving of these “best of the best” honors. (Miller makes the selections, but only after readers make their comprehensive arguments as to who deserves the awards.)
* Daily Herald…
Capitol Fax’s Rich Miller and his commenting class has given its coveted Golden Horseshoe award to state Sen. John Millner of Carol Stream as the best GOP state senator. […]
The Golden Horseshoes are Miller’s annual awards that honor legislative staff, members and even local bartenders. They’re named after Springfield’s signature culinary contribution to humankind.
Maybe one day we’ll have to hold an awards ceremony or something.
* Anyway, on to our winners. The Steve Brown Golden Horseshoe Award for Best Government Spokesperson goes to Mica Matsoff who runs Gov. Quinn’s shop…
Interpreting Quinnspeak has to be a tough job and she does it well.
Her boss alone is reason enough to give her the award. That cannot be an easy gig, but she seems to enjoy it.
* Runner-up is Kelly Kraft at the budget office…
Does a good job expressing the administration’s budget positions when quite frankly they are hard to figure out. There are few reporters that don’t go to her and IMO she’s heads and shoulders about the other flaks on budget matters. Her background in reporting allows her to know what the reporters want and she is able to soften the all too often ugly budgetary news. It’s easy to see who the reporters look for, do a key word search and you’ll find her more frequently.
Kelly took a weekend call from me several days ago and she was whispering when she answered her phone. I asked if she was in a meeting, but she said she was putting a baby down for a nap (I think it was her niece or nephew, can’t remember though). That’s dedication, folks.
* The Golden Horseshoe Award for Best State Agency Director goes to Catherine Shannon…
Catherine Shannon, acting director at Historic Preservation. Canned at Labor earlier this year after doing, by all accounts a very good job, and then put in to a directorship outside her area of expertise (labor) and receiving rave reviews there now. Makes you wonder what Quinn was thinking.
Yes, it does. Catherine really got the shaft this year, but I’m glad to see her back in government service. She’s top notch.
* Runner-up is Malcolm Weems…
I have to go with Malcolm Weems too. Not just because I find him attractive (which I do) or that he has a very pleasant personality (which he does) but he is one of the few people in the administration that follows up on things, gets back to you and gets the job done.
I’ve known Malcom for a long while and that commenter (who I also know) was dead on.
* The Golden Horseshoe Award for Best Statewide Officeholder goes to Secretary of State Jesse White…
Jesse White because he has integrity, raises morale, and runs a completely functional agency. Have you been to other states and tried to get a license? Choose Jesse White!
The man never ceases to amaze me.
* Runner-up is Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka…
When she started running for Comptroller, she said I’m back and boy is she ever. She is your kooky aunt that you love because she’s a straight shooter and makes the often scary GOP look just a little less crazy. JBT is a character in every sense of the word when that trait is lacking in our statewide officials. Her office his only out front when it needs to be and her other policy initiatives have been noble. The state would be a lot better off if other statewide leaders, especially the four tops would learn from her.
Fully agreed. The only reason JBT didn’t win was the lack of broad support, but that nomination alone just about did it for her.
* OK, on to today’s nominations. We have a new category today…
* Best chief of staff (legislative, statewide, congressional, etc.)
* Best state legislative staffer - non-political
* Best Illinois congresscritter
As always, please nominate in all three categories and fully explain your nominations. Just mentioning the person’s name won’t help at all. It’s about intensity, folks, not numbers. Have at it.