* The 2017 Golden Horseshoe Award for Best Legislative Liaison goes to Mike Mahoney…
He served as the governor’s top legislative liaison for the first seven months of this year. His determination, affability and old-school grit held the House and Senate GOP caucuses together longer than anyone ever imagined. Mike was the glue that held the caucus together and kept Jim Durkin sane all the way to the end. Rauner never understood and never appreciated how much Mahoney did to keep him in the game for additional months. Along the way, he helped broker major criminal justice reforms and a laundry list of agency initiatives that Rauner now takes credit for. Mahoney also should win this year hands down for the integrity and class he demonstrated during the Great Purge - walking out in solidarity with people he respected and doing so with grace. And even after all of that, Mahoney saved Rauner’s behind during veto session, devoting his every minute to keeping GOP members off the right to work bill. Effective, determined, creative, loyal and courageous. He is someone we should celebrate during this holiday season - a bright spot in an otherwise depressing year.
Honorable mention goes to Eric Lane with the Comptroller’s office. I’ve generally been looking for nominees who had discernible accomplishments this year, so both fit that bill.
* The 2017 Golden Horseshoe Award for Best In-House Lobbyist goes to Steve Selcke and the rest of AT&T’s Statehouse team…
Straight-forward, honest, and always has an answer. This year he successfully navigated (well, almost there right now) the telecom rewrite, 911 issue, and the small cell bill. Some big lifts indeed.
* OK, on to today’s categories…
* Best Statewide Officeholder
* Best Statehouse Insider
As always, please explain your votes or they won’t count and do your very best to nominate in both categories. Thanks.