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for an unusual interest in necrophilia: Cook County state's attorney Anita Alvarez, for saying "it's possible" that a serial rapist's DNA ended up on a murder victim because he assaulted her after she was dead—instead of just admitting the county probably prosecuted five innocent men for the crime.
for bravely stating the ugly truth only to make a politically correct apology after the shit hits the fan: Cook County Board president Toni Preckwinkle, who apologized after saying President Reagan deserves a "special place in hell" for ramping up the war on drugs.
First runner-up: Cook County Board president Toni Preckwinkle, who stepped back after saying the crime-fighting strategy of Mayor Emanuel and police superintendent Garry McCarthy amounts to "just arrest everybody."
Second runner-up: Cook County Board president Toni Preckwinkle, who said her comments about the Chicago Public Schools being "a miserable education system" were aimed at "society as a whole" and not anybody in particular.
for creative gerrymandering: Illinois house speaker Michael Madigan, for successfully drawing state and congressional legislative maps to guarantee Democratic victories, even in the places where a few residents still admit to being Republican.
First runner-up: Alderman Richard Mell, for redrawing the Chicago ward boundaries to protect the incumbency of mayoral suck-ups while mapping opponents like Robert Fioretti out of their wards.
Second runner-up: Republican lawmakers throughout the country who guaranteed that the GOP would maintain control of Congress—in the face of a Democratic landslide—by successfully making use of each and every wingnut they could find.
for only being as good as your offensive line: Police chief Garry McCarthy, who won comparisons to Braveheart and George Washington for standing behind a wall of armor-clad, billy club-wielding riot cops during NATO summit protests.
THE CHRIS ROCK AWARD … for having a way with words: City workers who came up with an array of nicknames for the vertically challenged Mayor Emanuel, who was once an undergraduate ballet major. Our favorite: "Tiny Dancer."
THE DALLAS COWGIRL AWARD … for rooting for the home team: Alderman Joe Moore (49th), who's turned from independent City Hall watchdog into happy mayoral cheerleader since Emanuel's election. We love you anyway, Joe.
for the politician who most enthusiastically brownnoses his or her boss: Alderman Patrick O'Connor, who never saw a mayoral proposal he didn't shower with praise, from Mayor Daley's budgets that plunged us into debt to Mayor Emanuel's plans to turn over city property to advertisers.
Runner-up: The rest of the reliable yes votes in the City Council. Unfortunately, we don't have the space to print all their names.
to the elected official notably moved to warmth and affection for other elected officials: Alderman Carrie Austin, who gave a heartfelt shout-out to the person most responsible for ushering Mayor Emanuel's budget and digital billboard deal through the City Council: "I want to commend myself," she said at a December council meeting.
Runner-up: Alderman Walter Burnett Jr., who compared council passage of the mayor's digital billboard deal to the "miracle of the Chanukah lights."
for denouncing Mayor Daley now that he's left office: The multitude of aldermen who now trash the boondoggle of a parking meter deal—four years after they voted for it.
Runner-up: Chicago voters who have no one but themselves to blame for electing these aldermen.
for showing a little backbone, named for the former Hyde Park alderman who was an indefatigable opponent of corruption and Machine politics): The aldermen who not only held their own budget hearings this year—after the mayor canceled his—but listened to enough constituents to vote no on the mayor's budget proposal. That would be aldermen Robert Fioretti, Scott Waguespack, and John Arena.
First runner-up: The other aldermen who participated in the aldermanic budget hearings before they gave in and voted with the mayor anyway: Aldermen Roderick Sawyer, Toni Foulkes, Rick Munoz, and Nicholas Sposato.
Second runner-up: Alderman Leslie Hairston, who officially sponsored the budget hearings but ended up attending none prior to signing off on the mayor's budget.
May the competition in this category be fierce in 2013.