Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Question of the day - Golden Horseshoe Awards
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      About     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact Rich Miller
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Question of the day - Golden Horseshoe Awards

Friday, Dec 18, 2015 - Posted by Rich Miller

* The 2015 Golden Horseshoe Award for Best Illinois Congresscritter goes to Rodney Davis

(H)e has been able to win 2 straight times with the DCCC targeting him and in 14 it was not even close. He is a moderate Republican who votes his district and works his district. Without JBT around, he also was the first (and I believe only so far) Republican to criticize the Governor’s attack on public sector unions.

* And the 2015 Mike McClain Golden Horseshoe Award for Best Statehouse Insider goes to John Lowder

John is most knowledgeable of the process and inner dealing of statehouse policy and Budget development and strategy. He is always willing to share his insights. Has made the transformation from staff to contract lobbying with ease with great respect for the actors on both sides of the aisle as well as the press. He’ll be around for a long time.

Congrats to both!

* Today’s category is our last…

* The 2015 Wordslinger Golden Horseshoe Award for Best Commenter

Make sure to explain your vote, please. Thanks!


  1. - Stones - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 8:48 am:

    My nomination goes to RNUG. His knowledge and ability to articulate the public pension discussion has been invaluable this year. Like E.F. Hutton, when he posts…we listen.

  2. - Nuke the Whales - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 8:50 am:

    My nomination for best CapFax commenter is VanillaMan.

    VanillaMan is articulate, thoughtful and offers commentary that furthers the conversation. VanillaMan’s comment on the consumer market mentality vs the citizen mentality (1) has framed how I discuss the positive externalities of government services to those who don’t realize how much they benefit from what they claim they don’t use. A commentator making a real world impact means something.

    VanillaMan is also pretty darn witty. His comments in the “humor section(?)” are great. A lot of the commentariat has great one liners. His are top tier (2), but he is one of the rare few that can also do an extended bit (3).



  3. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 8:53 am:

    It is a hard vote, because of so many great commenters, and many comment veterans who keep people like me coming here. I say the winner is the first among equals.

    I nominate Wordslinger, for searing wit and evisceration of views that hide ulterior motives with talking points and buzz phrases and words, such as “status quo” and “structural reform.”

    So I agree with Wordslinger: Let’s see the ROI and benefits of widespread reduction of union rights and prevailing wage.

    Thanks again to Rich for having such an excellent blog and actively moderating it, which keeps it of the highest quality.

    Happy Holidays!

  4. - Pius - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 8:55 am:

    There are numerous worthy candidates for this distinguished award, but I think that Vanillaman stood above the crowd this year. His ability to completely re-write popular songs to fit the threads on this website have been just brilliant, particularly in the past few months!

  5. - VanillaMan - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 8:55 am:

    Rauner has definitely brought out the best in the old bloggers here. He has forced us all to really think about government priorities and how those priorities are paid. I’ve read a lot of good stuff this year.

    There are the old experts on the issues, but I’ve always loved the ones who are more than just factual and informative and are emotional and alive.

    This year I have really enjoyed Honeybear’s passionate postings.

  6. - A guy - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 8:56 am:

    I’m going to offer two nominations and would be thrilled if either or both were to win.


    I’m referring to them by their nicknames (at least how I talk to them) because they have become familiar and decent in a very contentious forum. Both are passionate, but they let logic prevail in their arguments. They can become exasperated without being disagreeable when they engage in commentary. Very frankly, I’ve got less time than I have had in the past, and if I read the comments, I find myself unconsciously scrolling to see what their comments are. Because their spirits are generous and their comments are so well reasoned…I nominate both of them. I’d actually like to meet them.

  7. - Anonymous - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 8:56 am:

    MrJM who has put a smile on my face countless times, while always making the point.

  8. - Louis G Atsaves - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 9:00 am:

    Commentator award to walker, who posts in a common sense manner and somehow keeps everyone focused on the issue.

  9. - Give Me A Break - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 9:00 am:

    Have to go with VMan this year. I may not always agree with what he says, but Good Lord can that man turn the most mundane discussion of public policy into pure poetry.

  10. - Skeptic - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 9:04 am:

    RNUG gets my vote for being rational and knowledgeable but not partisan. Honorable mentions to MrJM for the quick and witty zingers, VMan who is probably Weird Al in real life, and OW for keeping us safe from the trolls.

  11. - Concerned - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 9:09 am:

    So many excellent commenters to choose from, so this is a difficult choice. At the end of the day, MrJM gets my vote for being incisive, brief, and extraordinarily witty. He has my vote.

  12. - burbanite - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 9:17 am:

    sorry it was me at 8:56. new computer

  13. - Anonymous - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 9:21 am:

    Oswego Willy for comments that provoked a sham phony Facebook

  14. - Dome Gnome - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 9:24 am:

    I like Honeybear, too, for the aforementioned passion and for bringing a viewpoint that is uniquely both “inside” and “outside” of politics.

  15. - Archiesmom - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 9:25 am:

    In a close race, this year I go with VanillaMan. Thoughtful, concise and astute, with a dash of humor. Not the most voluble of contributors, but one whose comments are always worth reading.

  16. - DecaturGuy - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 9:25 am:

    has to be oswego willy. his comments don’t always follow a consistent trend line because he alway view things 3 dimensionally. On things you predict OW will pile on, he often surprises by taking an outlier view…and then he applies his ascerbic wit to the comment section.

  17. - Linus - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 9:25 am:

    I’ve go to go with MrJM for the same reasons others, such as Concerned, already have provided: Concise. Dry. Thoughtful. Hysterical. Easily the commenter who most often makes me spit out my coffee in laughter.

    Runners up include Wordslinger, RNUG, and more than a few of you others who enlighten and entertain, every day. Thanks for all that you commenters do to keep discussions vital and interesting!

  18. - illini - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 9:26 am:

    As a regular reader for some years and only recently becoming an infrequent commenter, I knew that this category would eventually be opened for nominations. Unlike some other categories on which I had no strong opinions this one presents me, and possibly other readers as well, with a quandary.

    While the posts and topics are always timely, it is the comments that help to tell the rest of the story. Many on this site have helped educate me on what is going on at many levels of our state government as well as some of the nuances and details that are under reported. At the risk of offending some, and to those worthy commenters, I apologize.

    Oswego Willy is the undisputed master. I do not know of anyone better or quicker with Snark or the Captions. And he can pick up on the Trolls quicker than many of us can, and always will call them out. His opinions and insight are invaluable and, I suspect and hope, respected by many. He is intolerant of the uninformed and partisan apologists, as should we all be.

    Wordslinger, VanillaMan, Norseman, MrJM ( and this is where I am afraid that I am slighting others ), with their regular comments can always be counted on to add another element and dimension to the topic. Their comments are always thoughtful, succinct ( for the most part ) and provide plenty of reason to consider the topics with a slightly different perspective or with additional considerations that are important to the topic. And whether, or not, you agree with them they are never petty or dismissive in their reasoned comments. Each and all are worthy of being nominated.

    Maybe I am being a bit of a contrarian ( and at the risk of offending some that I have come to respect a great deal ) but I am going to go a different way with my nomination and suggest HONEYBEAR.

    Although she ( and I am assuming I have the gender correct - yet with the pseudonyms being used, who knows ) may be relatively new to this site, her comments are to the topic, always thoughtful and factual. She raises some good questions and can relate some facts to elevate the level of discussion. She seems to be genuinely interested in the issues confronting our state, does not appear to have any partisan agenda and always seems to make points worth considering. And hoping she will continue to do so.

    Rich, you start the conversation, but it is the individuals I mentioned that choose to contribute that adds to the special value of this site - even, at times, the Trolls!

  19. - Dee Lay - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 9:29 am:

    In the year of pension and budget discussions, most of us waited patiently for RNUG to read and attempt to translate the obtuse language used by our beloved government.

  20. - pipersls - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 9:33 am:

    RNUG is my choice. This guy knows his stuff.

  21. - anon - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 9:34 am:

    With pensions being the #1 issue worth commenting on (yes I know there is no budget but all the comments in CF won’t move that) RNUG has been the most informative, useful and clear commenters. His posts added not just heat to the discussion but rather reason and knowledge.

  22. - Wensicia - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 9:35 am:

    MrJM. He’s succinct, on point, and often amusingly caustic. Nobody says more while saying less.

  23. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 9:37 am:

    The 2015 Wordslinger Golden Horseshoe Award for Best Commenter

    What has been really great about Capitol Fax having a long history is that even the commenters have a history too. I know I’ve seen commenters evolve, grow, and find a stride from their first appearances on the scene and now where we all find ourselves. Sometimes circumstances and talent meet and things align for a commenter to shine, and show their versatility, and well as knowledge and passion, and still can make us laugh with a witty insightfulness that just stands out.

    I nominate for Wordslinger Golden Horseshoe Award for Best Commenter VanillaMan.

    His song parodies are in tune with what’s happening and his choices of tunes adds variety and nostalgia while being wrapped in a snark and playfulness that you can’t help but enjoy.

    Song parodies are one thing, adding to the discussion with substance and thoughtfulness is another. This year, VanillaMan has often added unmatchable framing to a Post, and his comments have made the Posts stronger because his comment hit home what we should take from the posting.

    In the years of VanillaMan’s commenting, this, by far, has been his strongest… in parody and fact… making VanillaMan’s complete package the best found around this blog in 2015.

    I have always read what VanillaMan has had to say, I’ve sung along with all the parodies, smiled at his snark, pondered his thoughts to think about my own takes too. This year, VanillaMan has found a stride, with all the pistons firing VanillaMan this year is more than worthy, and definitely deserving, of the 2015 Wordslinger Golden Horseshoe Award for Best Commenter.

  24. - Anon221 - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 9:38 am:

    Honeybear for helping us all see “behind the curtain” :)

  25. - walker - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 9:41 am:

    First three honorable commenters who must be mentioned:

    Wordslinger remains the best. When I think I have some smashing insight, I usually realize Word said it better, two months ago.

    Rod: For bringing a full package to every comment — logic, evidence, citations, clarity. He’s the exemplar of a well constructed rational opinion. Should be a Court of Appeals justice.

    VanillaMan: a true artist who brings out what often counts most in politics — how people deeply feel about things. Last year he helped us understand why Quinn would lose the public heart. This year he has added faith hope and charity to his mastery of angst. Wonderfully expressive, and wide ranging in his insights.


    Team Sleep Calm, clear, collected. Makes his points fairly and without using any partisan language. He’s so well-informed, he sometimes seems to really be some paid political staff — but that only makes his fairness to all sides and welcoming attitude more admirable. We learn about government from him.

  26. - ??? - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 9:42 am:

    I can’t decide on just one, so I’d like to nominate two.

    Shakespeare once wrote, “Brevity is the soul of wit” – and no one is a better illustration of that than MrJM. He doesn’t get involved in big, tedious arguments with other commenters, which is refreshing. Instead, he quietly enters the room, drops a clever one-sentence zinger, signs off, and leaves. For me, his habit of following up a hilarious comment with the oddly formal “signature” after each comment makes his posts even funnier. Although his comments are often very short and concise, he does post, on occasion, a few longer comments from time to time (and by “longer,” I mean maybe three sentences, max), and those comments reveal his intelligence on the issues as well.

    Brevity is perhaps not VanillaMan’s thing, but that’s okay, too. I’ve always enjoyed his posts, but my respect for him and his insight has grown even more this year. His comments are thoughtful, analytical, articulate, and he and offers a lot of food for thought. And his ability to adapt a song – ANY song – to capture the current political climate is second to none.

  27. - Joe M - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 9:43 am:

    RNUG, Vanilla Man, and Wordslinger - three way tie.

  28. - kissinger - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 9:53 am:

    I agree with pretty much everything said up to this point, and I’d like to thank OW, wordslinger, walker, and all the rest of the usual suspects for helping to further this amateur’s knowledge of what is going on, and elevating my understanding out of the so-called dorm room. I will nominate Norseman- funny, on point, knowledgeable.

  29. - Century Club - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 9:53 am:

    First off, thanks to all the commenters here, and thanks to Rich for investing the work to keep a tight rein on the comment section. Even though every site in America is focused on being interactive, this may be the only place I know where the comment section has real value.

    When I see a post with 108 comments and I have to cherry pick which comments I read, many of the names I look for are past winners: Word, OW, RNUG, Schnorff and the-never-drink-your-coffee-while-reading award winner MrJM.

    And then there is VanillaMan. Sometimes his posts are short and direct, other times they are complete song parodies (how long does it take to do those?). He’s funny, creative, insightful and passionate. He would be a fitting winner for this year’s Golden Horseshoe.

  30. - O.W.L. - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 9:56 am:

    Just like how Time sometimes names a group of people for Person of the Year, I shall also nominate a group:

    I nominate right leaning commenters.

    In a year where divisiveness has reigned, they have made sure this blog has arguments representing both sides of the issues. This is despite the constant threat of comment deletion and ridicule from the regulars who seem to believe they are the only ones who can dictate conversation here.

    I hope the diversification of opinions can progress the conversation, and eventually lead to a better place for our State.

  31. - logic not emotion - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 9:56 am:

    RNUG or Steve S. Neither comments that often; but their comments are consistently worth reading. They seem to focus on the facts and not on disparaging those with views different than their own. For that they have my respect. When they comment, it is because they know the topic and are sharing their knowledge; not because they want to push a view or perspective that is not supported by fact.

  32. - Thoughts Matter - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 9:57 am:

    RNUG - he’s devoted countless hours to reading and explaining all the court cases and decisions- and he doesn’t get paid to do it.

  33. - Annonin' - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 9:59 am:

    The SuperStars should be huggin’ each other because their Congressman gets best of show…makes no sense but good to see them get a little somethin’

    Best commenter Mr/Ms OW by far. Witty and still not buyin’ the SuperStar baloney

  34. - Lucky Pierre - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 10:06 am:

    I nominate Louis G Atsaves. The post the other day about the tv show Capitol Fax was spot on. Louis is not shy about departing from the mutual admiration society by those posters who reflexively defend the GA on everything vs. Rauner. He is able to use facts and reason and not insults defending his point of view.

  35. - Gooner - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 10:06 am:


    Certain people, notably Mr.JM, are consistently more entertaining, but nobody adds substance like RNUG.

    I often will scan the comments to see what RNUG has to say, on the assumption that RNUG’s comments really should be part of the story.

    You go to the experts first.

    That being said, Honorable Mention goes to Amalia for helping me spread the word about The Beautiful Game. With all the comments about baseball here, it is great to read the comments from a person who understands a real sport.

  36. - k3_spfld_chi - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 10:06 am:

    It was without a doubt that the best commenter is RNUG. He wouldn’t win if quantity was the measure but he is by far the winner of quality. Comments are too often about snark, disparaging others, and calling people out which has caused me to read very few comments but when I see a comment from RNUG, it is an absolute analysis and informative which is the whole point of this site. If I wanted to be entertained, I would read some Lewis Black stuff but the whole point of Capfax is about being informed and RNUG is the only commenter who truly informs.

  37. - Anonymous - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 10:07 am:

    Anyone who offers unique and independent insight, unlike some of the predictable broken records.

    RNUG, Walker or Team Sleep deserve strong consideration from the academy this year.

  38. - justacitizen - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 10:08 am:

    I think RNUG deserves the award. His comments are concise - especially for complicated subjects like the pension deficit. He doesn’t comment too often - just when he has something useful to add.

  39. - Anonymous - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 10:09 am:

    I’d have to nominate Anonymous, because of his/her humility, and unerring ability to irritate Willy

  40. - walker - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 10:12 am:

    A Guy: CapFax Regulars Meetup?

  41. - 32nd Ward Roscoe Village - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 10:13 am:

    All the ones mentioned frequently above are worthy, but I have to go with Oswego Willy and Wordslinger because they both have the added bonus of knowing and caring about old movies as was demonstrated in Wednesday’s open thread.

  42. - South of Sherman - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 10:18 am:

    MrJM. I agree with the observation that RNUG has added much substance and depth to the discussions, but this year, I think we’ve all needed the laughs that MrJM provides better than anyone.

  43. - WhoKnew - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 10:20 am:

    It’s VMan all the way. Today’s poem alone about Rich - Priceless!

  44. - The Historian - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 10:21 am:

    Another vote for Mr JM: some folks overwrite, over-post, not Mr JM. RNUG’s super-strong too.

  45. - Robert the Bruce - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 10:49 am:

    MisterJayEm. Pithy.

    I tried Rich’s search bar and found some MrJM 2015 highlights…enjoy!

    on Rauner: ===Shared sacrifice, n. When hungry families and people battling substance abuse suffer together.===

    on Eileen Mitchell being appointed Rahm’s CoS:===”But jeez, how do you hold down that job with three kids?”—A question never asked regarding a father of three.===

    On Lisa Madigan: ==First day in the Windy City, Ms. Madigan? After you’ve recovered from the shock — SHOCK! — of systemic racism in the CPD, you should try a Chicago hot dog, or a slice of our famous deep dish pizza!==

    On Dorothy Brown: ===Never lie to the Feds or to the Cook County Democratic Party.===

  46. - A guy - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 10:57 am:

    === walker - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 10:12 am:

    A Guy: CapFax Regulars Meetup?===

    Just need ample notice so I know what to wear. lol. Demo too. OW can come, but must promise not to try to sell any of his promotional gizmos. VM can come if he leaves his harmonica at home. RNUG can come if he promises not to bring a file full of research. Schnorf can come if he wears an ascot instead of a tie. Slinger can’t come, but I’ll accept having him there via conference call where an occasional “mute” might be in order. Oscar can come.

    Miller can come if he picks up the check. He owes it to the rest of you! lol. Merry Christmas.

  47. - ??? - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 10:58 am:

    Robert the Bruce - those are great. My favorite was his comment in response to Sen. Julie Morrison sponsoring legislation that would basically lock the leaders and the Governor in a room together one a week, a la “The Breakfast Club,” until they could reach a deal:

    “Dear Sen. Morrison,

    We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong.

    But we think you’re crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us - in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a̶ ̶b̶r̶a̶i̶n̶.̶.̶.̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶a̶n̶ ̶a̶t̶h̶l̶e̶t̶e̶.̶.̶.̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ a basket case… a̶ ̶p̶r̶i̶n̶c̶e̶s̶s̶… and a criminal.

    Does that answer your question?

    Sincerely yours,
    the Breakfast Club.”

    – MrJM

  48. - ??? - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 10:59 am:

    Shoot. The formatting got messed up when I copied and pasted.

  49. - Chicago Cynic - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 10:59 am:

    In the year of pension reform ruling, it’s gotta be RNUG.

  50. - Excessively Rabid - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 10:59 am:

    RNUG, on the basis of being the most indispensible to understanding a set of central issues. I’ve been a regular reader for a few years and this is the first time I remember relying on a commenter for in depth analysis of technical issues.

  51. - Anonymous - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 11:00 am:

    I nominate MrJM and Michelle Flaherty. They are the opposite of many more prominent commenters here, to our benefit. They are the model for which this award should be named.

    Both are concise and clear, humble and humorous, critical and civil, rarely repetitive or rude, snarky without being insulting. They stand out next to some of the lengthier, self-impressed posts and consistently add value to the discussion without preaching. They have an ability to make great points in as few words as possible, forcing you to reconsider what you already took for granted as fact. Sometimes they’ll even surprise you with the bipartisan targets of their biting remarks.

    Quality > quantity. Hands down, MrJM and Michelle Flaherty.

  52. - Politix - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 11:00 am:

    I nominate VANILLAMAN. His posts are always so insightful and he is an exceptional writer. MANY times, I have scrolled down to find that he has beautifully articulated exactly what I’m thinking and he’s done it in a way I never could. It’s always comforting to find out that others see what we see. Cheers, VM!

  53. - Bogey Golfer - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 11:00 am:

    My vote is for RNUG. Knows his/her stuff. Stays above the fray.

  54. - Jake From Elwood - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 11:02 am:

    I see this Golden Horseshoe as more of an entrance to the CapFax Commenters Hall of Fame.

    Word is the gold standard of commenters…heck the award is named for him. I also value the contributions of former winners like RNUG, Michelle Flaherty, Schnorf, 47th, and OW.
    But they have already won.
    I am not sure if VanMan has won yet, but if he hasn’t, he should win it this year. He has merited a lifetime achievement this year and has been especially sharp this year.

  55. - Lincoln Lad - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 11:18 am:

    Vote for RNUG. His posts are insightful, thought out, and seek to help others understand the finer points of the issue being discussed. Never condescending nor meanspirited, his comments expand understanding and contribute greatly to an informed discussion. He deserves to be recognized for it.

  56. - truly anonymous - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 11:19 am:

    I learned more about Workers’ Comp Law in Illinois from reading the comments and articles posted by Louis G. Atsaves. Sounds to me from Rich Miller’s City Club presentation this week that if we get comp reform, the blueprint for it came from one of our own, Louis G. Atsaves. He’s my nomination this year, Raunerbot or not.

  57. - RNUG - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 11:20 am:

    Lots of choices. Wordslinger for inspiring me to try to write better. Vman for the lyrics. AA for the memories. OW for the snark and math. AZ Bob for the contrarian opinions. Honeybear for the passion. And a call-out to three who help me behind the scenes: L for insight to the musical system, J who used to sit on various pension boards and B who can defend the other side but also sees the amusing aspects of politics.

    But since I have to pick just one, Honeybear for the passionate defense of the helpless.

  58. - Anonymous - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 11:39 am:

    This is not surprising for those of us who know Rodney and who have followed his career. He is a workaholic and is sincere in ALL his efforts. Right on Rich. Will the dems never learn that to target Rodney Davis is to throw away money.

  59. - How Ironic - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 11:41 am:

    So many good choices!

    MJM- wit that can’t be matched. I’ve laughed out loud many times with his missives.

    RUNG- substantial analysis, always spot on about very complex topics.

    OW - I’m going to go with OW, simply for “Dad’s Home State”. What a stroke of genius. For that, I commend OW and continue hoping for a walk on part.

  60. - walker - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 11:43 am:

    MrJM’s single arrow hits the target dead center. Then Michelle Flaherty comes along and splits that arrow with a dart.

  61. - RNUG - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 11:50 am:

    -A Guy-,

    No files, I promise. But I might have to wear my tie-dyed NSA T-shirt or ‘They used to laugh and call me names’ Christmas sweatshirt!

  62. - nona - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 11:57 am:

    It’s hard to pick among the prominent commenters. I like them all,but I think walker deserves the award. I appreciate his brevity, insight and good will to all, even those he disagrees with.

  63. - RNUG - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 11:59 am:

    Just saw where autocorrect on this smartphone I’m learning to use changed my call-out to L from judicial to musical.

  64. - Qui Tam - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 12:03 pm:

    I could narrow it down to three depending on the criteria
    1) Word - Succinctly nails the story behind the posts time after time. Calls out BS from idealogues. May be conflicted out due to the naming of the Award. Next best.
    2) MisterJayEm - Most Clever & Brief.

  65. - ZC - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 12:18 pm:

    I don’t think VanillaMan has won yet, either, so he deserves it in part as a kind of lifetime service award to CapFax. VMan has come and gone in his posting intensity, he first made his name in my eyes with his hilarious anti-Blagojevich posts, and then during the Quinn years he was less active. But I guess one of the few bright lights of having Bruce Rauner as Governor, is it’s clearly lit a flame under VMan again.

    You don’t have to agree with 1/2 of what he posts to admire someone who can tee off (correctly) so often on both Blago and Bruce. VMan calls them like he sees them, without partisanship getting in the way, and nobody can call it like he does. He deserves to win one of these years and this would be a good one.

  66. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 12:18 pm:

    Normally I would come up with a Runner Up, but I can’t, due in part that the bench of commenters here is oh so deep, it’s tough to choose one, let alone open the door for a second.

    A couple Points of Privilege,

    There’s not been a nominee or a commenter mentioned that I know I couldn’t make a case to be worthy. I read the names and shake me head approvingly as all the names filter out. That’s speaks volumes to this place Rich built. Not only are those nominees worthy, those making the cases are to be commended for being so thoughtful. Great stuff.

    My other point of privilege is look at the things as a whole commenters have done; the fundraising, the responses by those Rich covers that are brought on by the numerous catches by commenters here, and how, when asked by Rich, the community rallies. I’m personally thankful for that, and humbled too.

    So my runner-up is the collective, with worthy nominations above as my case, and nominated with my heartfelt thanks and admiration to you all.

    Rich, this place lives and breathes.


  67. - Jay Dee - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 12:24 pm:

    MrJM - I rarely agree with him, but I always enjoy his succinct, pointed wit.

  68. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 12:45 pm:

    Commenter of the Year vote is coming, but @47th Ward has to be in the running for Comment of the Year for this June 23 gem as we were discussing CPS borrowing $

    ==Flower’s “no one talked to me” bit is a hilariously weak excuse to take a walk. Hilarious because it is so transparently dishonest, and weak because really? You needed someone to speak to you about this bill when a bunch of commenters on a blog have it figured out? Why are you even in Springfield?

    No one talked to me about it either, yet I knew what was at stake. C’mon.==

  69. - Demoralized - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 1:40 pm:

    Thanks A Guy. Merry Christmas.

    I would nominate VMan for his entertaining lyrics. The guy is just plain talented when it comes to adapting lyrics. He’s the next Weird Al.

  70. - 47th Ward - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 2:01 pm:

    FKA, you have a good memory and I appreciate the nomination.

    I’d like to nominate someone for this who hasn’t already won it, but my memory isn’t as good as it used to be. I am pretty sure VanillaMan has won this before, and Lord knows he’s earned it. If he wins again this year, I’ll be happy because, since Rauner has taken office, I find myself agreeing with VMan, where in the past, he and I often sparred. It’s always fun to nominate someone you agree with, amiright?

    OW, Word, MrJM, RNUG, Soccermom and Steve Schnorf are previous winners. I’m sure there are others I’ve forgotten, but I don’t remember if Walker ever won this. If not, I’ll nominate Walker.

    Rich may know for sure if any elected officials regularly comment here, since many of us use nicknames to more freely speak our minds. Walker, like Schnorf and Louis Atsaves, admirably use their own names and thus have to stand behind their comments. That requires a certain amount of guts and a great amount of discretion. Despite that, Walker usually calls it like he sees it, and that’s not always easy or fun to do when people know who you are. So maybe there are some other commenters who are in the show, but that’s another reason I’m nominating Walker.

    As a former member of the General Assembly, he brings a valuable perspective as someone who’s been in the arena. He’s had to make the sometimes tough “red-or-green” decision on bills that impact lots of people. It isn’t all fun, games and drinks on the lobbyists’ tab down there in Springfield. Remember that the next time you read a comment by Walker. He’s been there.

    You can learn a lot by reading his comments, whether you agree with him or not.

  71. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 2:05 pm:

    Pageant style, beginning with the runners up and not counting previous winners

    7th RunnerUp @A GUY - For sheer persistence and adding balance.

    6 @HONEYBEAR - Rookie of the year. Started commenting in February or March iirc. +1 for naval references and passion. Love me some Honeybear.

    5 @JUDGMENT DAY - timely comments when legal points are discussed, and always factual.

    4 @TEAM SLEEP - what to say? I am a big fan. @Team Sleep consistently brings levity, logic and a good nature to every comment.

    3 @MRJM - a wicked wit. Thoughtful humor, combined in rare form.

    2 @WALKER - The North Star of CapFax. Smart without being obnoxious. @walker is capable of the one-punch knockout, but prefers shaking hands and stressing truth. When comments are divided in a post, @walker can be relied on to hit the bullseye of reality.

    1 @RNUG - Our Moe in the bog of Larry, Curly and Shemp. What other commenters can you ==really== trust for independent analysis? @steve schnorf on $? Yes. @Louis G Atsaves on WC? OK. The rest of us posting under pseudonyms? Pass.

    #WINNER @Rich Miller - Rich is more than just an admin or the ==boss==. Rich could just run the blog. Rich could just report stories. We forget the value of Rich the commenter, not just to cool things down or drop an occasional ==bite me==, but to add perspective and engage with the crew.

    Separate Rich the ==journalist== and Rich the ==boss== from Rich the ==commenter==, and we have an undeniable winner. He won’t accept it, and in fact he is Commenter of the Year every year, but @Rich really outdid himself this year.

    #Eternal Winner @Bill - In memory of Bill Naegele. I don’t recall him ever winning, and I should have nominated this legend last year. It is an injustice that should be corrected. His legacy speaks for itself, and his influence is seen in the commenting style of many here every day.

    Happy holidays everyone.

  72. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 2:43 pm:

    First, a tip of the hat to Honeybear for her contributions this year. If there was a “Best new commenter” you won it by far. Please keep sharing your perspectives, as they tend to be under-represented on occasion.

    I’m voting for the inimitable MrJM. His excellence is matched only by his brevity.

    In his style:

    He’s as good as he is brief.


  73. - steve schnorf - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 2:57 pm:

    With an appreciative tip of the hat to the recent winners, this year I still see a panoply of excellent commenters to choose among. I vote for Arthur Andersen. He isn’t a constant commenter like many of us, but when he does comment he is precise, brief, and accurate. He helps keep us all honest. Runner-up to Charlie Wheeler, whose rare comments bring a wealth of historical knowledge and therefore also serve to keep us honest.

  74. - A guy - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 3:22 pm:

    FKA, As they say, it’s a pleasure to be nominated. 7th place here is still pretty tall cotton. I’m a fan of yours too. 47 even gets a nod here and there. It’s been a tough year around here. Some days it just ain’t fun. There are dudes though, that make it interesting. Dudes= gender neutral. Toss me in as a Team Sleep fan too. Does that club wear PJs or is it a more “commando” thing? lol.

  75. - Groundhog Day - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 3:32 pm:

    I nominate Oswego Willy, be cause he reminds me of the kind of Republican that my parents were. I was raised a DuPage Republican, but later married out of that group. The folks now, calling themselves Republican, are so unlike what I associate with the label. OW is retro that way, and I like that. I also enjoy the HBO series, although I am not much of a TV watcher. I make an exception for Dad’s Home State, and it is well worth the time.

  76. - cailleach - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 3:35 pm:

    He doesn’t post comments, but he does occasionally appear on the blog. He doesn’t need words to cheer up the sick and disillusioned. I nominate Oscar the Puppy.

  77. - Wordslinger - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 3:40 pm:

    AA. Knows his stuff and delivers with style,brains and wit.

  78. - walker - Friday, Dec 18, 15 @ 3:41 pm:

    Plenty of deserving nominees, with all sorts of opinions and styles. That speaks so highly of what Rich and friends built and maintain here. A place not just to opine, but to learn.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Isabel’s afternoon roundup
* Uber Partners With Cities To Expand Urban Transportation
* Yes on operations and capital spending, No on revenues to pay for it
* Giannoulias on House floor while bill goes down
* Some budget react
* Governor rebuffs Rep. Crespo’s worries of future fiscal cliff
* Coverage roundup: House sends $53.1 billion FY25 budget to the governor
* Open thread
* Isabel’s morning briefing
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Live coverage
* Welch: 'No one's ever said the House is boring'
* House passes budget 65-45 - BIMP passes 62-46 - Grocery tax elimination sails 86-20 - Revenue omnibus put on postponed consideration - Motion to reconsider passes - But big problem and Dems will have to suspend the rules - Concurrence motion finally passes as GOP gives up
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...











Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

May 2024
April 2024
March 2024
February 2024
January 2024
December 2023
November 2023
October 2023
September 2023
August 2023
July 2023
June 2023
May 2023
April 2023
March 2023
February 2023
January 2023
December 2022
November 2022
October 2022
September 2022
August 2022
July 2022
June 2022
May 2022
April 2022
March 2022
February 2022
January 2022
December 2021
November 2021
October 2021
September 2021
August 2021
July 2021
June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller