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So long, Kurt!

Monday, Nov 30, 2015

* Kurt Erickson’s column is his last in Illinois

I gave thanks this week for being able to ply my trade in one of the most continually interesting buildings in Illinois.

Heading into the press offices carved in the Illinois Capitol these recent weeks, I’ve been recalling memorable moments that occurred during my tenure as a reporter covering state government and politics in Springfield.

Go read the whole thing. As we’ve discussed before, Kurt is moving to Missouri to report on that state’s capital.

* From Erickson’s Facebook page

You know what to do…

- Posted by Rich Miller        

60 Comments
  1. - Arizona Bob - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 10:22 am:

    Which is smarter, a cucumber or an Illinois statehouse reporter?(snark)


  2. - Reality Check - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 10:24 am:

    Kurt is a class act. The loss of his investigative chops and institutional knowledge will be huge for his readers and all who care what happens in the Statehouse. Maybe best of all Kurt’s attributes, though, is that the magnitude of his allergy to BS from pols is exceeded only by his good humor with the rest of us.


  3. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 10:27 am:

    First McKinney, now Erickson. That talent pool of people who actually have a clue is getting awfully thin. We’ll miss you Kurt.


  4. - VanillaMan - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 10:31 am:

    I hear it is really nice in Jefferson City this time of year, right before the winter floods, the ice storms and the spring floods.


  5. - Anonymous - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 10:35 am:

    This is the last time Madigan puts me on hold


  6. - Rich Miller - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 10:38 am:

    “Lance gave me this special phone that’s supposed to be a direct line to the governor, but it seems to have a glitch.”


  7. - Give Me A Break - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 10:38 am:

    Kurt displays his nomination for the Official State Veggie which didn’t win forcing him to relocate.


  8. - Snarks McGee - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 10:40 am:

    That’s fair - little premature to say I put them in a pickle. Just wait ’til I get my hands on some vinegar.


  9. - Anonymous - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 10:40 am:

    Illinois is in one big pickle,I’m out of here


  10. - Soccermom - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 10:40 am:

    I am trying to make a joke about being in a pickle, but I am having trouble with the setup. If someone could work with this, I would be much obliged.


  11. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 10:45 am:

    One is ripe, the other is a Cucumber.


  12. - thechampaignlife - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 10:47 am:

    One more Illinois resident lost to a neighboring state. Cucumber for scale.


  13. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 10:48 am:

    “No, I do this for medicinal purposes, not for fun. Honest”


  14. - Retired Firefighter - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 10:48 am:

    I don’t want a pickle…….


  15. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 10:50 am:

    “If you hold it up just right, and you’re very quiet, you can hear that Mini Abe…you know, from the TV ads… spooky”


  16. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 10:54 am:

    “It’s just a growth that looks like a cucumber…”


  17. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 10:55 am:

    After getting his cauliflower ear repaired, the cucumber cheek was difficult to hide…


  18. - Colin O'Scopey - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 10:56 am:

    “So, this guy walks into bar with a pickle on his shoulder, and the pickle says….”


  19. - Austin Blvd - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 10:59 am:

    Quiet. I’m trying to scare a cat.


  20. - zatoichi - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 11:01 am:

    Maxwell Smart had a shoe phone. I got this. What’s your point?


  21. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 11:01 am:

    “No! The other cucumber… “


  22. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 11:02 am:

    “It’d be a lil ambitious to be a hanging earring, but it’s flattering… “


  23. - downstate commissoner - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 11:05 am:

    “one ringa dingy, two ringa dingy…”


  24. - In a Minute - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 11:05 am:

    My two cents. There are some problems in this valedictory column of a guy who has covered Illinois state government for so long.
    First, expansion of state government programs are lauded while the state pension crisis is glossed over.
    Second, Madigan’s role in creating this horrible mess is similarly glossed over, except to say that he is very good at keeping his party under control. Rauner has been there for 15 minutes and he gets the lions share of the blame.
    Sadly, this is just more proof of the self congratulatory and clubby nature of the Chicago and Springfield press when the state would be better served by independence and the dogged pursuit of the truth by the media.
    Best of luck in your future work!


  25. - Streator Curmudgeon - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 11:06 am:

    “No answer on the cuke. While I’m waiting I think I’ll type my next column on the watermelon.”


  26. - Streator Curmudgeon - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 11:08 am:

    “Very funny, Amanda. I nod off for a minute in the press room and I wake up to this. You better have a solvent for Super Glue.”


  27. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 11:10 am:

    - In A Minute -

    No one’s on your lawn.

    “Caption?”

    “It feels so cold, soothing even… “


  28. - John A Logan - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 11:14 am:

    Kurt Erickson listens back to an interview he recently recorded on his cleverly disguised IZucchini which comes with the extra feature of doubling as a garnish for Bloody Mary’s.


  29. - Streator Curmudgeon - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 11:15 am:

    “I’m only getting two bars. I wonder if the Speaker would let me use his apple?”


  30. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 11:17 am:

    “Lemme ask my ‘Magic Cucumber’ for the answer… “


  31. - Streator Curmudgeon - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 11:17 am:

    “Q-Tip? Oh, I thought you said CUKE-tip!”


  32. - Commonsense in Illinois - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 11:18 am:

    Borrowing a page from his mentor, Maxwell Smart, Agent Erickson displays his once secret Cuka-Phone…


  33. - illini - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 11:19 am:

    No snark here - I am not good at it anyway and will gladly defer to the experts.

    Seriously, Kurt is an excellent reporter and he will be missed - I always catch him on the Southern site. My radio station of choice is KMOX ( until Rush comes on for 3 hours ) and obviously hear a lot of what is going on in Missouri politics. Should make for an interesting change. The personalities and dynamics are different, but there are some serious issues to be covered.


  34. - Speaker Madigan - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 11:20 am:

    Another example of Mr. Erickson operating in the extreme.


  35. - Anon221 - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 11:23 am:

    Kurt signs up for Cucumber Phone Service (it really exists!):

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cucumber-Telephone-Service/107192869341461


  36. - Team Sleep - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 11:27 am:

    Madigan and the central Illinois garden vegetables he controls…


  37. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 11:27 am:

    “No, your eyes are still closer to line than cucumber… try the avocado… “


  38. - Team Sleep - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 11:28 am:

    Weird Al suddenly remembers that he forgot to parody “Banana Phone” and then remembers how hard it is to rhyme nonsense with “cucumber”.


  39. - A guy - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 11:31 am:

    Come in Agent 99. My footwear has changed over the years.


  40. - East Central Illinois - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 11:33 am:

    Somebody referred to Rauner as a “kook” . . . I thought they said “CUKE”.


  41. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 11:34 am:

    “Kirk! It’s the eggplant that’s ringing… Answer the eggplant”


  42. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 11:37 am:

    “Kurt” - stupid phone… Mine, not that cucumber, but I digress…

    “Caption?”

    “Nah. It’s funny, but if you compare a cucumber on your cheek to Kaergard’s beard, the beard is funnier. Try a potato.”


  43. - Dance Band on the Titanic - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 11:38 am:

    In Illinois, rank and file legislators are referred to as “mushrooms”.

    Missouri has a whole different legislator-vegetable nomenclature to get used to.


  44. - Streator Curmudgeon - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 11:48 am:

    “Miller, it’s for you. Some guy named Corleone. Says he’s calling on a zucchini.”


  45. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 11:58 am:

    “Ok… Now… ‘Simon Says’ put a potato on your other cheek… “


  46. - Streator Curmudgeon - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 11:59 am:

    “This was my first suggestion to Leonard Nimoy when he told me he got the part of Spock. I still think it would have been cooler than those pointed ears.”


  47. - Anonymous - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 12:01 pm:

    You just press it against your head like this for 15 minutes and voila no more hangover.


  48. - Streator Curmudgeon - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 12:02 pm:

    “When the holes in my ear lobes heal up, I’ll be able to wear one of these on each side.”


  49. - Streator Curmudgeon - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 12:14 pm:

    “No, I can’t hear the ocean, but I CAN hear tiny little screams every time Goldberg mentions his Ninja blender.”


  50. - Mittuns - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 12:27 pm:

    “Political reporters like Leif Erikson are leavin’ the state of Illinois in droves,” Governor Rauner said. “They’re headin’ to states like Mizzourah where right to work is poised to become law.”


  51. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 12:34 pm:

    “I think it’s upside down… There… that’s better”


  52. - Anyone Remember - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 12:47 pm:

    Based upon some of the “interesting developments” this year concerning Missouri Legislature, and potential Red State reactions to the U of M situation, Kurt is heading to a “target rich environment” …


  53. - Tommydanger - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 12:55 pm:

    There’s a line from Animal House at the grocery store that comes to mind, but Rich might ban me.


  54. - Anonymous - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 1:15 pm:

    Practicing for the show me state


  55. - Michelle Flaherty - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 2:15 pm:

    The good thing about the Lee Enterprises wellness program is it’s portable, as Kurt demonstrates in this photo.


  56. - A guy - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 2:35 pm:

    Hey, shoot me a fax on my pumpkin.


  57. - Anonymous - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 5:24 pm:

    I relish my time here


  58. - Anonymous - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 5:43 pm:

    Growing Illinois without the turnaround agenda


  59. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 5:55 pm:

    Mr. Erickson,

    I always enjoyed your work and the statehouse press corps will be one great reporter light with you moving on to Missouri.

    Best wishes,

    OW


  60. - Anonymous - Monday, Nov 30, 15 @ 6:12 pm:

    Goldberg got me a Missouri compromise I couldn’t refuse


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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