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Question of the day: Golden Horseshoe Awards

Thursday, Dec 20, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* The 2018 Golden Horseshoe Award for Best “Do-Gooder” Lobbyist goes to Polly Poskin at the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault

She started with an organization that practically had no money, and has grown them into a very important, state wide advocacy network. She will retire at the end of the year, and it will be sad not seeing her around the rail. Her quiet demeanor should not fool anyone, as she has a wealth of knowledge and is great at forging relationships that come in very handy when she needs them.

Polly has been so helpful to me over the decades. We both grew up in Iroquois County and there aren’t that many of us at the Statehouse. I’m gonna miss her.

* The 2018 Golden Horseshoe Award for Best Legislative Liaison goes to John Webb at IDFPR

He was with the Treasurer’s office going back to Topinka and moved over to DFPR with the Rauner administration. He worked nonstop in a thankless agency with far from glamorous subject matter and still got results.

Congrats to both of our winners!

* OK, on to our final categories of the year. I’m skipping the best insider award this year because we ran out of time, our nominations in the past have been sporadic and I wanted to add a new category…

* Best Illinois-Centric Twitter Account

* The Wordslinger Golden Horseshoe Award for Best Commenter

The Twitter award can go to either an individual or an entity. Make sure to explain your nominations or they won’t count. And please try to do your best to nominate in both categories.


  1. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 10:52 am:

    Radical Candor was more effective than the administration that birthed it. I just wonder if it will have more staying power?

    I appreciate the blunt brevity that @misterjayem brings to the discussion.

  2. - BossMadiganIL - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 10:55 am:

    The House Democratic Caucus unanimously votes @BossMadiganIL, as they always do

  3. - Not Again - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 10:59 am:

    Radical Candor might be the best messenger of the Rauner story since the team left him. Funny, insightful and definitely read by Bruce which makes it all the better.

    MisterJayEm is not only great on the blog he has wonderful taste in tunes and bars. A well rounded internet personality I would gladly hang with at The Hideout.

  4. - Anonymous - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 11:00 am:

    As a union guy I nominate RNUG for best commenter. His clarity and lack of partisan fury on the pension issue has been refreshing and enlightening.

    He has translated complicated material in a way that is easy for a lay person to digest and grasp.

  5. - Stones - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 11:01 am:

    I’ll nominate Oswego Willy. Love his humor and comments on almost every posted topic throughout the year. A Republican who saw through the Governors agenda from the very start and called him out early and often. Well done sir!

  6. - Joe Bidenopolous - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 11:01 am:

    If it counts as “Illinois-centric”, I’d nominate @chicagobars. Consistently humorous and informative both, and a good dude to boot

    If that’s not Illinois-centric enough, then I have to go with @MisterJayEm - utility-grade tweets that are succinct and hilarious, with more than a dab of the Chicago music scene thrown in. He can say more in fewer words than just about anyone on twitter, and especially me.

  7. - wordslinger - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 11:01 am:

    I’ll second Michelle. Radical Candor’s insider knowledge of the Rauner administration and its players was informative, sharp and very often wickedly hilarious.

    MisterJM gets to the point quicker and more entertainingly than anyone.

  8. - A guy - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 11:05 am:

    I’ve got two nominations, so y’all are just gonna have to live with it. Given the current map; I deserve 2! lol Neither should be all that predictable.

    First, I nominate Demo (Demoralized) He’s always a sentimental fave of mine because he explained early on to me how he came about choosing his CF handle. That made me more interested in reading his posts. Always thoughtful, sometimes defensive, but not mean-spirited. When I read his posts, I sense restraint; always at least trying to listen to his better angels. On this board, you should get credit for trying to be nice and understand the other side. He does.

    The other (and I’m sober) is 47.
    We agree on almost nothing. He’s a partisan if there ever were one, but makes no bones about it. I’m partisan myself. No apologies. 47 is riding a better wave than I am these days, as this state (our region of it for certain) is decidedly more in his favor. His comments contain barbs, usually intellectually intelligent ones, but they don’t come across as caustic. We’re politically and philosophically opposites, but his points are always worth considering and always an interesting way to engage in rebuttal at a good level.

    Honeybear and Soccermom, I was smitten with. Didn’t agree with them either very often. They were passionate. So are these cats. I would like to punch both of them regularly….therefore I nominate them. If I care enough to want to punch you, I’m listening.

  9. - Mr.Black - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 11:06 am:


    *Honeybear. Interesting way of writing. Generally agree.

  10. - Joe Bidenopolous - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 11:06 am:

    I’m just gonna add…if this were 2017, it’d be @RadicalCandorIL in a walk. But in ‘18, the productivity and relevance of the account waned, so I can’t nominate it for ‘18.

    Best commenter - I’m going with RNUG. Refreshingly honest and dispassionate analysis of super-important budgetary issues. Someone should be paying him for that - hopefully someone is.

  11. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 11:07 am:

    For twitter…

    It’s a tie for me…

    @RadicalCandor… “who” perfectly capsulized the Rauner Administration in snarky bits so delicious that those who follow it didn’t follow Rauner closely enjoyed #GeniusTweets

    @MisterJayEm - I can’t recommend more checking this twitter out. It’s insightful, comical, honest to the thoughts, and shoes a heart to doing what “he” feels and knows is right. Add in the politics, yikes, it’s tough to top #Brilliance

  12. - Dirty Red - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 11:09 am:

    @Amanda_Kass is not the hero we deserve, but the hero we need. If you want to talk about fact checking before you Tweet it, Amanda is the standard. Statute, administrative rule, procedures, reporting styles - she has them down. She is not throwing stuff out there HOPING it is right. She knows it is, and if she does not she is transparent about it. That is how we solve the pension crisis.

  13. - A guy - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 11:10 am:

    For Twitter; No one.
    Don’t ever want to encourage it. lol

  14. - Anonymous - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 11:10 am:

    Chicago Party Aunt captures the aspirational vision and cultural history of Chicago, Chicagoland, Illinois, and Cheesehead antipathy, in a way so many of us long to hear from our political leaders. May we all follow @ChiPartyAunt into a better tomorrow.

  15. - SaulGoodman - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 11:10 am:

    Commenter: RNUG - the more smart and knowledgable people we have around here, the better. RNUG makes the comments here better, and makes the blog better.

    Twitter: I know she already won an award, but Adrienne Alexander (@DriXander) is the best follow up on twitter. She covers a wide variety of issues, and she also threads her tweets in a brilliant way that makes it wonderful to follow a topic, or catch up on a topic.

  16. - Anonymous - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 11:11 am:

    For Twitter, Illinois Working Together is both witty and insightful. Real data, strong analysis, and thought provoking arguments combined with biting commentary. They have done a better job of exposing Rauner hypocrisy than anyone out there.

  17. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 11:15 am:

    For a runner-up to the twitter tie, I’d be remiss if I didn’t give serious props to Illinois Working Together.

    The insight of that twitter to fact checking alone made it a twitter you had to check out and, at times, the funny way those facts were tweeted out. They were Restaurant-Quality to their own intended purpose.

  18. - walker - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 11:15 am:

    In a year when everything political can seem so grim, there’s just none better for skillful humor, than Michelle Flaherty.

  19. - union proud - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 11:17 am:

    Twitter: Radical Candor. Did a lot to highlight the giant dysfunction of the IPI staffer era of state government.

    Commenter: Mr JM. Both relevant, brief, and funny this guy is pretty much my role model on here. Along with Word, RNUG, and OW, he is one of the ones I’ll scan and make sure I read in the comments when I’m short on time.

  20. - Reality Check - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 11:18 am:

    @IllinoisWorking on Twitter. Jake’s feed this year was not just sharp and funny but influential - often driving the campaign and media conversation - and also an indispensable resource for facts on the issues, holding the governor accountable to his actions and claims. All of this in a unique voice and totally suited to the Twitter medium, not just awkwardly repurposed from other platforms. (And the IWT Facebook page rocked, too.)

  21. - don the legend - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 11:21 am:

    Don’t do twitter so have to skip that one.

    Best commenter: Lucky Pier….Just kidding

    Michelle Flaherty, always makes me chuckle. Great timing and that’s hard to do with the written word.

  22. - Griffin - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 11:24 am:

    Twitter: @ChiPartyAunt — gives me at least a chuckle almost every time I see the feed. What makes it great is the legitimately deep Chicago knowledge underlying the humor, and it never strays too far into parody that I can’t imagine at least a few people in real life who aren’t too far from this.

    Commenter: most of the respectable right-leaning posters seem to be anon, so I don’t know who is who. Will default to RNUG then as I appreciate someone with deep subject matter knowledge and also strikes me as someone with the rare ability seems to discuss a range of controversial topics calmly.

  23. - Keyrock - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 11:27 am:

    Twitter- Radical Candor, with Chicago Party Aunt second.

    Comments RNUG-now, more than ever.

  24. - The Real Captain - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 11:29 am:

    I would have to say @zakouts84 for twitter. Involved in the city and the suburbs but knows downstate (State, Federal and Local) with an honorable mention going to @McChickenSeth for his comic relief in the Manar race.

  25. - John Amdor - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 11:32 am:

    Adrienne Alexander (@drixander) Her Twitter threads seem to reach back to time immemorial giving a helpful view of the evolution of the best coverage of topics in the labor movenent, poltics, the Church, and more. She’s not afraid to discuss challenging topics but does it in a respectful way (with the possible exception of Bruce Rauner.)

    And if all that isn’t enough, her feed is also a great personal blog about her wonderful family.

    For commenter I vote MrJM. If brevity is the soul of wit then he’s the Holy Spirit around here.

  26. - Griffin - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 11:34 am:

    ==I’m skipping the best insider award this year because we ran out of time, our nominations in the past have been sporadic and I wanted to add a new category…==

    Did I miss agency director day? Either way a late shout out to Connie at DOR. Unassuming and pleasant person, and she did a great job running a very large agency smoothly during the tumult of the past several years.

  27. - The Captain - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 11:46 am:

    Illinois Working Together - run by Jake Lewis this was the most influential Illinois political Twitter account of the 2018 cycle. For a significant portion of the Democratic political establishment beating Rauner was their number one priority but so much of it had been put off guard by Rauner and his team’s combativeness that there wasn’t much of a counter messaging operation for quite some time other than Jake, who proved to be enormously effective. For much of the Democratic primary the gubernatorial candidates were too busy focused on each other while IWT kept up the pressure on Rauner, that pressure was a combination of policy, politics and research. Despite his odd fascination with Minnesota (seriously), that Twitter account was often better at responding to Rauner than even the $170 million Pritzker campaign, and his rapid response was often faster. As press coverage of Rauner shifted over the course of his four years you could see tangible evidence of Jake’s counterpoints making their way into the coverage. Rauner likely would have lost the Governor’s race even without IWT but it filled an important role at a time when there was a vacuum and by the time the Pritzker campaign was ready to take up the mantle Rauner was at a point too low to bounce back. That may have happened anyway but Jake doesn’t get enough credit for the really effective job he did and it’s time that more people in Illinois politics knew the name of the guy behind that account.

  28. - dbk - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 11:46 am:

    Twitter: I like Joanna Klonsky, whose twitter comments tend to the acerbic and pointed, probably a family tradition.

    Group twitter: If you care about public ed, then @ILRaiseYourHand is your jive. They follow the shenanigans of CPS’s Board more closely than anybody. Plus links. Indispensable.

    Commenter: wordslinger is focused and comprehensive in his put-downs as per last year. Agree that RNUG is knowledgeable about tax stuff, very helpful. MrJayEm (whom I also follow on twitter, he’s great + music, too) reminds me a bit of wordslinger only more so.

    And there are others who occasionally provide really good feedback to posts. I’m very grateful to them all.

    So, it’s a three-way tie, I guess.

  29. - Glengarry - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 11:47 am:

    Double nod for @MisterJayEm. A smart guy with an incredible knowledge and a quick wit that cannot be matched.

  30. - illini - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 11:49 am:

    Many of us who rely on this website for honest, inciteful and provocative discussion about the state of our ( maybe, once great ) state have some definite disadvantages. We do not live in Springfield or Chicago, we do not work for the State, but we are involved either in “politics” or “issues” or sometimes both. Many of the categories you ask for nominations do not resonate with some of us.

    Honest discussion and discourse is so very important. And the reliable trolls add to the discourse as well.

    So who do I nominate?

    Willy is a reliable, predictable Republican ( not Raunerite ) “friend” with whom I could enjoy a great many Yuenglings and great conversations We have a great deal in common in spite of our apparent, and false, political differences, especially when it comes to Higher Ed and my Alma Mater. We have a lot in common and I always appreciate his timely and pertinent comments.

    Wordslinger is a rare commenter who can cut to the core of the issue in a very succinct and pointed post. And he never disappoints me. Nor do I disagree with him - except on very rare occasions.

    Honeybear has become a special “friend” these past years. We all know that when an appropriate topic ( and personal ) is posted we can expect a impassioned and reasoned comment to put the issue into perspective. And this is very important.

    RNUG is always reliable to shed light on some obtuse issues.

    I have nominated each of these in previous years and feel that I have never given enough recognition to others that I admire and respect ( Cheryl. Michelle. Arthur Andersen, JSMill and MRJM ). Each and every one of these individuals help to make this site the exceptional read that it is.

    My nomination this year goes to Honeybear.

  31. - Demoralized - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 11:49 am:

    No Twitter vote. I’m one of three people in the world who have no social media accounts.

    Best commenter would have to go to MrJM. I enjoy his witty commentary. If there was a category for that he would have no competition.

  32. - thoughts matter - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 11:51 am:

    Radical Candor - because they made me laugh. Their knowledge of the players and the witty posts were enjoyable to see.

    Commenter - there are so many. Got to go with RNUG. His knowledge of the pensions systems and the 1970 rules cannot be duplicated.

  33. - No contest... - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 11:55 am:

    This one is a no brainer - Radical Candor.

    Created to highlight the deficiencies of the Best Team In America ™ who took over state government following the infamous Purge, RC quickly grabbed the attention of Illinois political circles.

    From the day it came online with its insight and wit, RC drove media attention, drove people to truly laugh out loud, and, most importantly, drove Bruce and Diana Rauner crazy.

    Rarely does the creation of a twitter account with 2,000 followers push a politician to start a manhunt in order to find out who could possibly be behind it. Of course, not all politicians are Bruce Rauner.

    RC did all of that.

  34. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 12:05 pm:

    I love Radical Candor. Make no mistake. But this is 2018, not 2017.

  35. - Honeybear - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 12:34 pm:

    Illinois centric twitter- Well I must admit that even though Addrienne Alexander showed me how to tweet, I never really took it up. But I do know Rich posts her tweets fairly frequently.

    Wordslinger Commenter of the year- for a month I’ve struggled with this. So many of you are meaningful to me. This blog has been one of the few things that held me together during the Rauner years. I learned to cope and survive here. I learned to throw a sharp elbow. I learned my voice and blank prose style (it’s simply because I can’t really type paragraphs well on an old Iphone 5). I learned all these things from each of the contributors here. But taking A Guys que, I’m going to nominate someone who has really stepped up their game this year. Someone whom I disagree with 100% of the time. But in a democracy that’s what I have realized I need probably the most in order to derive the temporary better. I nominate Sue.
    She has moved from being annoying to enraging me, which tells me she’s improving and adapting. But the biggest compliment that I can give her is I’ve never wanted to call her a bot. She is consistent in her positions but not so much that she doggedly sticks to the same tired talking points. I hope you get what I’m trying to write. She is a competent and formidable adversary. I am made better for her and I have learned the most from her.
    I wrote some pretty fierce stuff at her this year. I don’t regret the content or the tone. What I regret is not seeing a new way forward until just now. I will still wrestle with you but with the pledge and intent to make Illinois and her people a better state. That’s the way forward
    But with respect.
    My nomination of you, Sue is my pledge of respect to you.

    Rich, you have always been the greatest commenter if your comments are mostly unread.
    You prevent me from posting ridiculous comments
    You present provocative posts for us to debate.
    You report on issues that the media ignore.
    You guide and sculpt our understanding
    and you unite us in our desire to help Illinois

    I so thank you Rich
    and I’m so so so grateful you have no plans to retire.

  36. - Blue Dog Dem - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 12:35 pm:

    I dont twitter.

    Commentator. Gotta be Sue. Year of the woman. Conservative women are a rare breed. She doesnt come off as arrogant or mean spirited.

  37. - Sonny - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 12:40 pm:

    Illinois Working killed it all year long.

    MisterEmJayEm always on point, no gimmicks.

  38. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 12:42 pm:

    Favorite Twitter account: IL Working Together. Excellent stuff in putting out a competing narrative this year, like with Minnesota’s tax structure and population gains, and funny too, with Rauner’s lonely campaign bus and Trump rally photo.

    Best commenter: The inimitable Oswego Willy. There’s no one quite like OW, who’s daily battles with Raunerites/IPI types have a life of their own. Also for brutal honesty, about the Pritzker campaign’s mistakes. The Blackhawks won Stanley Cups, but I was upset when they were getting pinned in their own zone for prolonged periods of time in the Finals, so I can relate.

    If I can be presumptuous and speak for others, thank you for letting us post here. Thank you for your great work this year and having such a great and unique blog.

  39. - Arsenal - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 12:45 pm:

    I was sure @RadicalCandor was the winner until Rich’s last comment, lol.

    I’m going to nominate @IllinoisWorkingTogether. Jake can do deep dives on data, and then turn right around and do the abject, dada-eseque silliness that Twitter is best at. He can successfully push trends (like the Rauner trash can thing from the summer). And he is unafraid to love Carly Rae Jepsen. I put it to you, can we ask for anything more out of a Twitter account- nay, a man in whole?

    As for commentator, we are all here fools, but MrJM is the one who, when we disagree, I check my own reasoning, not his. And what takes most of us 100 words, he gets across in 10.

  40. - union proud - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 1:14 pm:

    “I love Radical Candor. Make no mistake. But this is 2018, not 2017.”

    Point taken. Though one can argue the impact was not fully felt until November in 18. Though if true, I guess that would apply even more to IWT. Which, as others have said, did a bang up job this year framing the issues.

  41. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 1:15 pm:

    ===I was sure @RadicalCandor was the winner until Rich’s last comment===

    RC could still win, but I want to see nominations based on this year.

  42. - Rutro - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 1:28 pm:

    Radical candor, BTIA.
    Amailia, not sure why, but we are almost always in agreement.

  43. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 1:32 pm:

    I nominated @RadicalCandor based solely on its Nov. 6, 2018 tweetfest that included gems like this …

  44. - lake county democrat - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 1:41 pm:

    twitter - IllinoisBars (enough political content to qualify)

    Coments - Apologies to RNUG, who is like LeBron (deserves it every year, doesn’t get it), but just for variety and the appreciation of a moderate voice here that doesn’t appear beholden to unions or coproratists, I’ll nominate “A guy”

  45. - Danver Miller - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 1:51 pm:

    Twitter-Chicago Cubs. Heart of IL sports and pride of the state.

    Comments- Oswego Willy. Is there really any competition? Rich should make an exception because it’s probable that hes won it in the past but there’s few in his elite league of commenters.

  46. - RNUG - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 1:55 pm:

    Twitter - don’t do it / follow it (yeah, I know I’m missing some stuff)

    Commentator - while there are some Hal dozen or more I could name, I think I’ll go with Mr JM this year. He manages to say s lot in just a few words … a trait I lack even when I edit myself.

  47. - RNUG - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 1:56 pm:

    == Someone should be paying him for that - hopefully someone is. ==


  48. - I Miss Bentohs - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 1:57 pm:

    Twitter: I like Rich’s

    Best Commenter: Lucky Pierre

    I enjoy the way he is consistent and sticks to his guns no matter how wrong he is. He is a unique voice in this homogeneous group and I enjoy it and when he gets involved in some banter.

  49. - Wensicia - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 1:59 pm:

    I like Illinois Working Together. Wit and good info.

    Best is MrJM, followed by Flaherty, both for the same reasons. Short, sweet and to the point.

    Happy Holidays, everyone.

  50. - Tom B. - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 2:27 pm:

    It has to be @IllinoisWorking. There was silly content that was funny, but plenty of serious content that he came up with on his own, fact checked, and put out there. For me and for many of the folks who follow this stuff, it made an impact and best Twitter account shouldn’t be just funny memes, but something impactful to people’s thinking. People not only followed him, but learned, and reacted to the races a bit differently. As a guy who hangs on Twitter a bunch, I think that’s rare and Jake deserves the nod. Nothing against Radical Candor (and I laughed at it too), but it didn’t participate regularly enough to earn this award.

  51. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 2:31 pm:

    There are many stupendous bloggers here.
    Too many, actually, to simply single out as best.

    I will never forget Lucky Pierre. He blogged like he was the Lorax. Loud, unoriginal, alien, and a guy completely living someplace like Kentucky. I don’t think he even lived in Illinois.

    What can we say about Oswego Willy that hasn’t already been said - by Oswego Willy? I don’t even try to keep up. He’s not wrong, he eventually gets everything right. Always a delight.

    RNUG is a resource. A compass. The North Star. He don’t spin. Thank you very much.

    Mr.JM. Pithy. Consise.
    If Mr. JM hasn’t already won - he should.

  52. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 2:51 pm:

    I agree with VanillaMan, which is rare but he is one of the most authentic voices here. For me, that’s what makes a good commenter: authenticity. And as VM notes, there are too many to list and nominating one is a disservice to so many others.

    A guy, first, thank you for your kind words above. I appreciate that very much. You arrived here about the same time Rauner was running for Governor. I confess I had you pegged as someone who was commenting with a mission, like a job. But over time it became clear that I was wrong about you and I want to acknowledge that I include you in the group of authentic commenters who bring a unique and personal perspective to this place. I admire that about you.

    The regulars here each bring that, for the most part. That’s why I keep coming back. This is a rare place where I can engage with others who know these subjects as well or better than I do and I learn something from all of you. So thanks for that.

    You’re all aces in my book and I can’t thank Rich enough for creating this place and letting me hang out here. Merry Christmas everybody.

  53. - DriXander - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 2:54 pm:

    Have to go with @IllinoisWorking for the Twitter nod. If Rauner gave a speech or did anything notable, I was heading to Jake’s feed to see his take. As noted above, there was a respectable mix of straight up fact checking and funny memes. His reach is incredible and I don’t think you can underestimate how important the way he delivered criticism of the Rauner Administration made it easy for the folks that aren’t reading this blog day in and day out, just how much was wrong with the way he governed.

    Runner up goes to John Amdor who makes my morning every time he posts gems deep from floor transcripts.

    MisterJayEm has won best commenter before, but it still stands in my mind. I appreciate the brevity and cleverness with which he can delivery a weighty comment.

  54. - Tommydanger - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 3:01 pm:

    Wherever Bedford Falls may exist, I imagine the Capitol Fax blog to be there as well, alone with commenters who contribute on a large and small basis to make the blog a must read for me.

    I can’t speak to the Twitter nominee since I don’t Tweet or follow any one that does. The four or five likely finalists for the commenter award are all deserving in their own way, but I will comment on just three.

    Mr.JM is always on target with an entertaining quip that says more in a few words than most do in a paragraph. He is entertaining. If the award was for the Most Entertaining Commenter of the Year, he would get my vote hands down.

    Seems to me if your name is included in the name of the award, its kind of like you’re in the HOF for the blog and really have earned a lifetime achievement award which takes you out of the annual award. Wordslinger is the gift that keeps on giving, but cannot be eligible to get his numbered retired again.

    RNUG gets my nomination for the best commenter for his in depth knowledge on a variety of topics,but especially his pension expertise, and pension topics continue to dominate this blog. He is also timely and even when others may throw a barb or two his way, he is the model of respectful discourse in this medium of communication that can bring out the worst in the best of us.

    RNUG, is the most deserving recipient.

  55. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 3:01 pm:

    The Wordslinger Golden Horseshoe Award for Best Commenter

    In 2018, we had an election. It’s been described and rationalized in many ways, defined in many ways too. One way this election was defined was thus feeling of candidates who ran because “why not me?”. To enter the arena, to go beyond talking, that was a trademark of 2018.

    Why is this all that important to this award? It speaks directly to my nominees.

    - walker - has been a level-headed commenter, giving insight and sharing knowledge here, adding to the discussion, and made me think many times about the subjects at hand.

    Participating in process, my nomination of - walker - is indeed a reflection on him, but geez, look at all who comment here. Only Rich may know the depth of the commenters here, but we all know… agency heads, legislators, statewides, lobbyists, social service administrations, the long list of people that come here and comment, you never know who you might be engaging with, the level of experience and expertise, and what you will learn from so many willing to share that knowledge.

    I nominate - walker - for going into the arena, for being an outstanding commenter and sharing his knowledge.

    Thanks, Rich.

    This place, what you’ve built, there’s nothing that can hold a candle to it. Thanks Rich for sharing your gifts, your knowledge, and being so welcoming to us all, and welcoming to me, so I thank you for that too.

    Thanks for all the incredibly kind words I read here too. I’m touched. Thanks.

    Happy holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, all.

    Oswego Willy

  56. - Earnest - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 3:01 pm:

    Twitter - @IllinoisWorkingTogether They exemplify the ability to have a strong point of view and still utilize real data to make a point.

    Commenter - RNUG. Is there anyone out there you could pay to give you the authoritative and accurate information that he gives away for free?

    Thank you to all the regular commenters with usernames.

  57. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 3:18 pm:

    As far as twitter goes… I’ve given 2, added a 3rd, and they are all ones I hope are considered for the award.

    I hope that the strength of this addition isn’t diminished by the numbers I thought are worthy.

    Politics is rough, tough, gruff, and at times far too pointed. What’s been refreshing is seeing tweets that brought levity, sure, but levity beyond the one dimensional aspects of… politics. Humor, insight, and never taking yourself too seriously is a reflection on a person understanding the twitter medium, when it can be used to tweet rote points to be skimmed.

    @anacaprara is comedy gold, it’s genius to what twitter could and should be given her position.

    You can take your job seriously, but being too serious too it misses the mark to being effective.

    The mix of Igges, “Gritty”, and the politics of the day… to surfing… that’s the best of twitter, giving a fuller picture and being willing to joke, and laugh at herself. It’s a twitter ya gotta check out.

    It’s indeed comedy gold, and a reflection how twitter could be, when used in the right ways.

  58. - Lucky Pierre - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 3:40 pm:

    Thanks for the kind words and I no I did not move from Russia to Kentucky.

    I have been educated, worked and lived in Illinois for my entire life and plan to continue to. I truly wish the state would turn around so my family can remain here as well.

    It is simply to great a place and has so many natural advantages to continue its decades of decline through bad governance.

    I would love it if JB governed as a Bill Clinton or Rahm Emmanuel, centrist pro business Democrat, because Illinois desperately needs to attract people and businesses to the entire state..

    I will look forward to how this blog changes now that there is no obvious scapegoat for the dysfunctional government that is almost certain to continue in Illinois.

    I am not a twitter person so no nomination there but would nominate another contrarian regular commenter who has the guts to use his own name Louis G Atsaves as best commenter.

    I wish everyone a very Happy holiday season and a Happy New Year!

  59. - Anonymous - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 3:41 pm:

    MrJM and illinois working together with great emphasis.

  60. - TrainCommuter - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 4:00 pm:

    For Twitter - I like @KDillardRTA. He rides public transit himself and is pretty informative on the issues. If you’re nearly one of the 3 million people that ride public transportation like me, he’s a pretty good follow, and it’s not all about buses and trains.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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