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

Tuesday, Dec 18, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* The 2018 Golden Horseshoe Award for Best Illinois US Representative goes to Cheri Bustos

It’s one thing to cling on as a Democrat in what is solidly Trump country, but to win by a 20% margin in 2016 and 2018? you are doing something right and I’m not the only one who thinks that. She just got elected chair of the DCCC and many people (including me) think her of doing things could help us retake seats outside the burbs and city area. Definitely the brightest shining star out of all the US Reps.

* The 2018 Golden Horseshoe Award for Best elected statewide official goes to Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti

Although her office doesn’t have any specific duties outside of being 2nd in line and doing what the governor wants, Sanguinetti and her staff have done a lot on the issue of local government consolidation, reducing LLC fees (she took the lead on that before Rauner), rural education and healthcare, and aggressively working to fight against and recommend the best policies that help those suffering from opioids. She may not get most attention due to the position or administration, but the Lt. Gov has done good work she can be proud of during her 4 years of service.

Sanguinetti only received one nomination, but it was so strong that it convinced me.

Congrats to our winners.

* On to today’s categories…

* Best Contract Lobbyist

* Best In-House Lobbyist

As always, make sure to explain your nominations or they won’t count. And do your best to nominate in both categories, please.


  1. - Wow - Tuesday, Dec 18, 18 @ 12:37 pm:

    Contract Lobbyist: Dave Sullivan.. most respected man in the building
    In House: Kady McFadden. Hardest working enviro activist.

  2. - 10th Ward - Tuesday, Dec 18, 18 @ 12:37 pm:

    Best Contract Lobbyist: Jim Morphew. He’s been around for over 30 years started with the Illinois Optometric Association and has a client list with top companies in major industries, gaming, energy, other health care organizations. Not flashy, doesn’t wear Italian loafers,just a dedicated, honest and most importantly truthful lobbyist. Jim’s word is his bond and in today’s Springfield that isn’t always the case.

  3. - Wow - Tuesday, Dec 18, 18 @ 1:00 pm:

    10th Ward:: and what’s wrong with shoes made in Italy??? Former Gov BRUCIE will be wearing them soon

  4. - 10th Ward - Tuesday, Dec 18, 18 @ 1:03 pm:

    @wow…if Jim owns a pair, the soles are worn through with all of his walking around the capitol.

  5. - 618 DEM - Tuesday, Dec 18, 18 @ 1:07 pm:

    By far Liz Brown. Well connected and tenacious is fighting for her clients. Have been lucky enough to work with her on a few things, have always been happy with the results and timeliness of her action. I would think with recent and coming changes in Springfield she will be one of the best assets to have in order to get things done.

  6. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Dec 18, 18 @ 1:15 pm:

    I don’t know if this is the right category but I sure do love Adrienne Alexander with AFSCME. She is just so so intelligent, thoughtful and never ever fails to be there and fight for state workers. I’ll never forget the time at our legislative conference when she took time out with me to show me how to do twitter. It’s really about the level of respect she gives, even to a small person like me. I think the world of her.

  7. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Dec 18, 18 @ 1:20 pm:

    Contract Lobbyist: Abby Walsh with Michael Best Strategies. Abby is smart and savvy and puts people at easy by being herself. She practices kindness in her work which goes a long way in building lasting partnerships. She spent a decade working for Leader Brady and has built rock-solid relationships on both sides of the aisle so she always knows what is going on without coming off as a ‘know-it-all.’ She is bright and encouraging to her clients and everyone she works with. Whether we admit it or not, often times this business comes down to, ‘I don’t like that guy / gal.’ On that note, her biggest edge is she’s just super cool so people want to be around her. Walsh for the Win.

  8. - NIU Grad - Tuesday, Dec 18, 18 @ 1:39 pm:

    An impressive development with Sanguinetti’s office is that they eventually worked to share staff between the Governor’s Office, to offer more shared support (especially after the Gov removed his top people). This added tremendous value to her agenda.

  9. - not really - Tuesday, Dec 18, 18 @ 1:48 pm:

    Contract Lobbyist: Letitia Anderson, I am on her good side and she’s sweet to me. But the thing I admire about her professionally is that she has equal numbers of people who love her as do also fear her. If people are afraid of you, it’s sometimes a good thing for a contract lobbyist.

    In House: Agree with “wow” Kady McFadden. Hardest working enviro activist, major campaign efforts to support the lobbying too.

  10. - SaulGoodman - Tuesday, Dec 18, 18 @ 2:10 pm:

    Contract lobbyist: Ron Holmes — there are only a handful of contract lobbyists I’m willing to recommend, but Ron is one of them. He’s smart, hard working, pleasant, and ethical. He’s going to be honest with you, and the legislators he lobbies. He’s clearly one of the best in the building.

    In-House lobbyist: Adrienne Alexander — Adrienne is smart and strategic and has great relationships. She understands politics and policy, from numerous angles. She’s been extremely effective as a lobbyist for years at both the state and city level. I wish I could steal her from AFSCME.

  11. - fedup - Tuesday, Dec 18, 18 @ 2:21 pm:

    Contract: Dave Sullivan is smart, well regarded on both sides of the isle, and gets results.

  12. - low level - Tuesday, Dec 18, 18 @ 2:33 pm:

    Contract lobbyist: Tom Cullen. Knows everyone and knows the process. Works hard for all his clients.

    Tom has remained a good friend and unofficial mentor to many that have worked for him at some point through the years. This is very much appreciated. If you stood by him he will stand by you no matter how much time may have gone by.

  13. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Dec 18, 18 @ 3:21 pm:

    How do you not go with Rob Karr as best in-house lobbyist. Work horse - not a show pony who quietly works with every major player at the Capitol and in Chicago. Helped run the repeal of the beverage tax in Cook County while working with the Pritzker team on minimum wage. There is nobody better (or nicer) than Rob Karr.

    On the contractual side, I’d go with Will Cousineau. So quiet that nobody know that he is around but I’d venture that nobody has a better relationship with Madigan and JB that Will. Growing book of business and one of the great ones.

  14. - Shytown - Tuesday, Dec 18, 18 @ 3:23 pm:

    In-house: Rob Carr

    Contract: Lisa Duarte

  15. - A guy - Tuesday, Dec 18, 18 @ 3:24 pm:

    ==well regarded on both sides of the isle==

    More correct if you say “all” sides. /s

  16. - John Amdor - Tuesday, Dec 18, 18 @ 3:26 pm:

    In-house: Ben Ruddell with ACLU. I admire Ben’s intelligence and breadth of knowledge on criminal justice issues. He’s always willing to help out, whether it’s brainstorming ideas, share background knowledge, or take a few names from a roll call. He’s got a friendly but direct manner that helps you not feel bad about your bad ideas.

    Contract: “I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying,” said Oscar Wilde though it also sounds like something Mike Kreloff would say.

    Over the extremely large number of years Kreloff has been working in Springfield he’s accumulated an endless array of stories, quotes, anecdotes, bon mots, segues, and political lineages. What is more, he’s always willing to share that knowledge with all the other younger lobbyists even if they’re trying to work.

  17. - City - Tuesday, Dec 18, 18 @ 3:28 pm:

    Dave Sullivan offers such great perspective and history while be a good person who gets solid results. He handles very difficult issues with knowledge and charm. There’s a reason why he’s so respected on both sides of the aisle.
    I am so happy to work with Rob Karr on issues. Always thoughtful and dedicated.

  18. - >> - Tuesday, Dec 18, 18 @ 3:39 pm:

    Contractual: True Blue Andrew Bodewes.
    In House: Roger Dennison.
    Both great people. Honest and to the point.

  19. - Journeyman - Tuesday, Dec 18, 18 @ 3:50 pm:

    In house: Marc Poulos with Local 150 / Chicagoland Operators. One of the most knowledgeable, relentless, high energy people under the dome. Devastatingly effective lobbyist. This is a guy you want on your side whether its a time of war or peace. Very down to earth despite being in a powerful position. Still a likeable guy and respectful to everyone he works with.

  20. - Centennial - Tuesday, Dec 18, 18 @ 3:54 pm:

    Second Journeyman.

  21. - Nagidam - Tuesday, Dec 18, 18 @ 4:03 pm:

    Contract lobbyist: He may be new to lobbying but not Springfield, former Representative Ed Sullivan. Most former legislators fail in the lobby world where he has been successful. Sullivan help convince Gov. Rauner to sign Rep. Willis’s Firearm Restraining Order bill when the world knows the Governor wanted to veto it. All this while representing the Illinois State Rifle Association. What contract lobbyist can claim that?

    In-House: Mark Denzler with Illinois Manufacturers Association. The guy is a work horse. Very few people would be comfortable stepping in to the position in the shadow of his boss Greg Baise. Denzler didn’t miss a beat and his association is better for it.

  22. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Dec 18, 18 @ 4:03 pm:

    ===In house: Marc Poulos ===

    Poulos is now a contract lobster.

  23. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Dec 18, 18 @ 4:03 pm:

    In House: Kathy Drea- she has been on the right side of every public health issue even when no one wanted to agree. Her legacy includes 20.5% reduction in hospitalizations due to secondhand smoke (heart attacks, COPD, asthma, etc). The American Lung Association has a strong brand because of her and her relationships. She doesn’t win over votes with fancy non-profit dinner but instead continuing to work the issue. Nevertheless, she persisted.

  24. - Do Do Dah - Tuesday, Dec 18, 18 @ 4:36 pm:

    A few of these sound like self-nominations, LOL.

    On that note, I concur with the nod for Lisa Duarte. How does one separate the big dogs from the little dogs? Girl drama. Girl gossip. Girl cliques. Lisa does not partake. Thank goodness. When you’re that good at what you do, are able to do so with grace and fortitude, win or lose you have earned respect, you do not need to sit at the kids table.

    The best In-House goes to the AFFI team. Those guys are tough. They are there for the win. They will have your back. They are your friends. We are fortunate to have them at our Capitol.

  25. - Frank Talks - Tuesday, Dec 18, 18 @ 4:47 pm:

    In House- Have to say this year Colleen Daley gets it. An incredible amount of gun legislation passed this year with multiple lobbyists pushing against it. Got many traditional GOP legislators to flip and negotiate on what was their core issue and base constituent. When you get that many of your issues passed and you flip that many folks from the other side in one year thats a pretty impressive year.

  26. - Shemp - Tuesday, Dec 18, 18 @ 4:55 pm:

    Cheri is a good representative, but her district is hardly Trump country. Lane Evans (D), held that seat for 2 decades. It went (R) for ONE term when Lane’s successor made some very ill-advised comments about the Constitution on camera.

  27. - Patch - Tuesday, Dec 18, 18 @ 5:02 pm:

    I agree with Low Level. Tom Cullen is a solid guy who knows the process and the people. While he may have been around for a while, he still wants to be helpful to those who ask. As for an in-house lobbyist, I would say Kathy Drea works hard for her company and always seems to get the win.

  28. - Let’s move on - Tuesday, Dec 18, 18 @ 5:02 pm:

    This Rauner experience has been a disaster in many ways. I think the firefighters and the police have done very well despite the anti union sentiment coming out of the Gov office. Therefore I choose the AFFI team for in house and Dave Sullivan for his tireless work for the Chicago police. The firefighters team is unmatched in their ability to cover the Capitol. Sullivan’s efforts to help the Chicago police on key issues and stop some bad ideas while the Chicago cops are not the most liked group has been impressive.

  29. - Peoples Republic of Oak Park - Tuesday, Dec 18, 18 @ 5:02 pm:

    ===Poulos is now a contract lobster.====

    I nominate Poulos for both then.

  30. - Soccermom - Tuesday, Dec 18, 18 @ 5:33 pm:

    Why does Do Do Dah seem to use the word “girl” as an insult?

  31. - Brian Rude - Tuesday, Dec 18, 18 @ 5:38 pm:

    Nick Reitz in house lobbyist
    Tom Ryder contract lobbist

  32. - Lt. Turmoil - Tuesday, Dec 18, 18 @ 5:47 pm:

    Contract: In light of Rich’s above comment, I nominate Marc Poulos. I only know Marc through his work for Local 150/Chi-Op PAC, but, if you know him, you know that he vigorously represents Local 150’s interests (and does a lot of heavily lifting for all of Labor most days he is under the dome). He is never unprepared, and, like Dave Sullivan, has an ability to work with people on both sides of the aisle. He spent four years under a vehemently anti-Labor Rauner administration working with Rs and Ds, and although much of it was defense, he was able navigate some key wins for Labor in a very hostile environment (see the years long fight over prevailing wage rates with Rauners IDOL that ended in a deal with the Rauner administration).

    In-House: I echo the above sentiment regarding Kady McFadden. She is as solid as they come.

  33. - Been There - Tuesday, Dec 18, 18 @ 6:58 pm:

    ====The best In-House goes to the AFFI team. Those guys are tough. They are there for the win. They will have your back. They are your friends. We are fortunate to have them at our Capitol.====
    I have to agree with the above. And you can’t pick just one of them. They come as a package. Always in committee, roaming the halls of the Capitol and the Stratton. Also great at working the grassroots effort to get their own members to reach out on the issues.
    Then the icing on the cake is they keep working all night throughout town.

  34. - NotMe - Tuesday, Dec 18, 18 @ 7:11 pm:

    In House: Khadine Bennett. Of all the folks who can stake a claim to the HB40 win, nobody was a more focused, calm, goal focused workhorse than Khadine. Of all the roller coaster bills of this session, this bill required calm focused leadership & Khadine was that guy above all else.

    Contract: Dave Sullivan. He’s the embodiment of watch the roller coaster, don’t ride it. A professional’s professional.

  35. - Anon - Tuesday, Dec 18, 18 @ 8:03 pm:

    Contract lobbyist: Dave Lowitzki - he’s THE go-to lobbyist for the do-gooder community. He’s smart, understands the politics, the rules, and is incredible at dispensing strategic advice. He’s guided many new lobbyists and been a gut check for those with experience. For folks who can’t afford a fancy lobbyist, or those that can’t afford to pay, at all, Dave gets the job done.

    Best in-house: Adrienne Alexander with AFSCME. She does Springfield, City of Chicago and Cook County. With Rauner in office she was a non stop fighter with a twitter account that is a must read. She’s a hard worker who gets the political landscape and the legislative world. On top of that she’s a kick ass mom. She deserves this nod.

  36. - Waffle Fries - Tuesday, Dec 18, 18 @ 8:48 pm:

    Best In-House: Sarah Myerscough-Mueller. In her very first year advocating for NFP disability providers, she successfully negotiated with state agencies and stakeholders to secure critically needed wage increases for caregivers in the state budget and advanced several bills to the Governor’s desk (all signed) rationalizing oversight of disability services and seeking better, real time data on the health needs of folks living in group homes.

    It is quite difficult to advance new ideas through the process but she was able to do so because she believes in the mission, works hard, seeks common ground with colleagues, and does so with a smile.

  37. - Kan_Man - Tuesday, Dec 18, 18 @ 9:35 pm:

    Best in house lobbyist has to be Kim Janas who was with ISMS and then with ISMIE. Obviously, she was good enough to be plucked from the lobster house to the AGs house which should be no surprise as her heart and soul is in making Illinois a better state. While she is definitely from the left side, we on the right side still adore her and respect her. In a year of ‘me-too’ allegations and introspection, Janas has always been a consummate professional who cares deeply about fixing this state. I always enjoy meeting her for a drink and she is as intellectually stunning as . . . never mind, its the year of ‘me too’

    I don’t know a ton of contractual lobbyists and the ones I do know only dabble in Springfield and are mainly Cook County and City of Chicago. Jerry Schain from Schain and Banks is definitely the one to know if you are trying to get something passed.

  38. - Anon2 - Tuesday, Dec 18, 18 @ 9:44 pm:

    I’m going to echo the chorus for Adrienne Alexander with AFSCME for best In-House. She has kicked some serious butt during the reign of Rauner and there are few sharper and smarter.

  39. - It Wasn't a Rock... it was a Rock Lobster! - Tuesday, Dec 18, 18 @ 10:19 pm:

    Next year, make it fair to the other lobbyists and ask the question: ‘Best In-House Lobbyist NOT Named Rob Karr.’ Here is a guy who is truly respected and whose insight is appreciated by both parties in both chambers. The only thing more impeccable than his appearance is his preparation. Maintaining his members’ sales tax collection fees? Check. Implement sales tax on internet sales? Check.

    Best contract lobbyists are Mike Thomson & Mike Weir. If I were hiring a lobbyist I’d want their combination of door-opening capability combined with their commitment to the client. The know the issues they work as well as the people they represent and have much greater political savvy. And no one works harder. What more con you ask for?

  40. - Bartlett for President - Wednesday, Dec 19, 18 @ 9:53 am:

    I agree with Sarah Myerscough-Mueller for best In-House lobbyist. I don’t think she sleeps. She is constantly working and constantly bringing light to complicated issues that affect developmentally disabled community. She always returns phone calls and follows up with you.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Isabel's afternoon roundup
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Another supplement to today's edition (Updated)
* Question of the day
* Illinois State Library closed after emailed bomb threat
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Campaign news
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Illinois *not* spared from expanded UAW strike
* Bailey back to his election-denying ways
* Today's quotable
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today's edition
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Open thread
* Isabel’s morning briefing
* Live coverage
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...



Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

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