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And the winners are…

Monday, Dec 23, 2013

* The 2013 Wordslinger Golden Horseshoe Award for Best CapitolFax.com Commenter is a tie. Retired Non-Union Guy, or RNUG for short, wins because of his invaluable insights into pension reform…

If I had a vote in the legislature, I would have voted in favor of the pension bill that passed.

But I nominate RNUG anyway.

The biggest issue of the year was pension reform/change, and RNUG was on top of it. As a subject matter expert, RNUG served as a model for others who may be experts on other issues in the coming year.

RNUG made a powerful case for the constitutional questions of the bills being considered. RNUG didn’t just post “UNCONSTITUTIONAL!” Instead, he took the time to explain why he believed this.

He went through the ultimate bill in great detail, and he helped other state employees/retirees out who asked questions. And RNUG admitted when he wasn’t sure about something.

Pension reform is an emotional issue, and RNUG didn’t waste time getting into wars with those who disagreed with him.

I nominate RNUG even though I disagree with him on pension reform/change. Thanks to RNUG, I learned a great deal about respecting the other side’s opinion, as well as the law, and I suspect I’m not the only one.

The man is indefatigable. I asked him to give me a couple of rewrites on his Thanksgiving holiday pension analysis and he braved nasty stares from his better half to comply. I will always owe him.

* 47th Ward also wins for his invaluable insights on pretty much everything…

Brings the “old school” and “new skool” politics in focus like very few do here. Getting his take us probably one of the best temperature gauges for the City, it’s politics, and what I like best, the historic and political perspective. There are far, FAR too many to say I would want to share a barstool with, but since I am nominating him, in that spirit, it only feels right.

I have shared a barstool with him and he’s as insightful and wise in real life as he is here.

* Runner-up goes to MrJM…

Always has a witty, satirical comment befitting of the New Yorker. Definitely appreciate the humor.

* Honorable mention to Soccermom, who is Wordslinger’s favorite this year…

I like her politics, but even more I like the way she makes her case in a smart, concise way while being a model of civility (something I resolve to aspire to).

The kid has it all.

– She’s a progressive who’s also a fiscal conservative (I hear some heads exploding!).

– A loyal advocate for her friends who’s willing to call them out when they’re wrong.

– A committed partisan who respects (or at least doesn’t disrespect) those on the other side.

– A great writer and voice of reason who is witty and wise, and only releases righteous anger when someone really deserves it. Then, look out.

She doesn’t write as much like gasbags like me, but I always look forward to spotting the handle. One of my absolute favorites over the years, she’s long overdue for the nod.

Congratulations to all.

* The complete list, with runners-up in parentheses…

* The Wordslinger Golden Horseshoe Award for Best CapitolFax.com Commenter: RNUG and 47th Ward (tie)

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

* Best Statewide Officeholder: Gov. Pat Quinn (Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka)

* Best State Agency Director: Richard Calica

* Best “Do-Gooder” Lobbyist: Khadine Bennett (Mike Pollak)

* Best Contract Lobbyist: Dave Sullivan (Liz Brown)

* Best In-House Lobbyist: Todd Vandermyde and Rob Karr (tie)

* Best Legislative Liaison: Randy Wells and Shannon Miller (tie)

* Best Illinois Congresscritter: Mike Quigley (Rodney Davis)

* Best Illinois State Senator - Republican: Senate GOP Leader Christine Radogno (Sen. Jason Barickman)

* Best Illinois State Senator - Democrat: Sen. Kwame Raoul (Sen. Andy Manar)

* Best Illinois State Representative - Republican: Rep. Ed Sullivan and Rep. Ron Sandack (tie)

* Best Illinois State Representative - Democrat: Rep. Greg Harris (Speaker Madigan)

* The Steve Brown Golden Horseshoe Award for Best Government Spokesperson: Patti Thompson (Rikeesha Phelon)

* Best campaign staffer - Illinois House Democrats: Kristen Bauer (Julia Larkin)

* Best campaign staffer - Illinois House Republicans: Nick Bellini (Ray Soch and Garrett Hill)

* Best campaign staffer - Senate Democrats: Dovile Soblinskas

* Best campaign staffer - Senate Republicans: Pat Barry

* Best State Senate Staffer - Non Political: Eric Madiar (Caitlyn McEvoy)

* Best State House Staffer - Non Political: Heather Weir Vaught (Brandon Nemec)

* The Beth Hamilton Golden Horseshoe Award for Best House Secretary/Admin. Assistant: Jody Aiello (Kristin Milligan)

* Best Senate Secretary/Admin. Assistant: Anita Colvin-Barth (Abby Walsh)

* Best political bar in Springfield: Boone’s Saloon (The Globe)

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

* Best bartender: Adam at No Name Bar (Louie at Gab’s)

- Posted by Rich Miller        

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