First and foremost, thanks to everyone who offered suggestions on what to see and do. We were not able to get all of them. But thanks it made my daughters experience much better.
Took OneDaughter to Springfield today, have to say it was quite the fun adventure for her (and a lesser extent dad). We got in a bit early so we stopped by Senator Lauzen's office he wasn't in yet but I got to take a picture of OneDaughter at his desk...
-- I can't seem to upload the pictures so I will try and flicker them tomorrow or something..
Then we swung by Sen. Rutherford's office, no he isn't my senator or anything however he got stuck sitting next to me a few times at events in Kane County and OneDaughter did a parade for him handing out emery boards so I figured we might as well say hi. One of my goals for the trip was to try and have my daughter see these people outside of doing the campaign thing.
He came out and talked to us, gave us a quick tour of his office and talked with me and OneDaughter for a few minutes and asked her some questions.
We then tried to see if Rich was at his desk in the press office, he wasn't so I left my card and talked to his office mates for a few minutes while my daughter enjoyed what was on the walls.
Then we walked around a bit and saw Senator Jones addressing a group of men at the back of hall where all of the governor paintings are. Someone then looks at me and says 'I know you', 'You went to Thornridge' which I did, it turns out Rep. William Q Davis graduated a year before me in high school and having not seen him in 20 years he was able to remember me. I was blown away, he was even nice enough to say I looked like I did in high school, considering the weight difference (significant, more) and the hair difference (not as significant, less) .
Next we headed over to the Howlett building to have lunch (chicken fried steak and the burger were both good) and for our first group event. We got to talk with Tom Cross for a few minutes before he addressed a larger group of students and answered some questions. He was rather funny, pointing out if you went to watch the session what to try and look for and explaining some of the basics as well as answering some questions from the students (OneDaughter wanted to ask about the GRT but I suggested she save that question for another time (she had seen the GRT buttons))
So then we headed back over to the statehouse as a larger group, went through security (you figure they would have had both medal detectors going with size of the crowd at each entrance) at this point I saw Rolland Burris and went over to shake his hand, so that was really more fun for dad...
Once inside a group went with me to speak to Senator Lauzen, so I got to do the give someone my card and have them give it to him. Yes I know to most of you this isn't a big deal, but I have to say standing in that side chamber and having him come out to meet me was cool. He came out into the rotunda area to talk to the kids and parents and shake hands and ask questions he was very gracious with his time. The kids seemed to get a kick out of meeting him and he recognized OneDaughter which made her day, she must have mentioned it to about 10 people later. He took time to speak to everyone posed for a bunch of pictures and was generally a big hit with everyone.
The we wanted to try and speak with Linda Chapa-LaVia as well, the scrum or whatever you want to call it in front of the doors to the house to hand your card to someone and see/wait for them to come out when a decent size crowd is there is something to behold. So I sent my card in (my Township GOP Vice-Chair card I should say) and waited, she came out go to the Speakers office so I able to corner her and she spoke to everyone for a couple of minutes and headed over to the Speakers office. She seemed rather busy so we were glad she could take a minute out for us.
So then we went into the gallery to listen to the debate on the concealed carry bill for judges, public defenders etc. the kids and the adults were both kind of getting into it. If nothing else when Rep. Black started talking about the margin needed for approval everyone was listening due to his volume if nothing else.
We had to go so we could do the Capitol tour, which was also a hit with the kids and the guide did a great job. During the tour I had at least two of the adults in our group ask if I had heard how the vote on the gun thing had turned out. We get to the last part of the tour, the house gallery just in time for the vote on the gun bill. So the kids were able to see a vote in action. Then Rep. Cross took a moment of privilege and recognized the kids in the gallery, that was also a big hit with the kids.
So as the rest of the group headed over Lincoln's house OneDaugher and I headed back over to the house doors to try and see if we could meet Rep. Fritchey since he said to say hi in my original post on Illinoize.
I was just about to hand my card in when he came out to talk to someone else so we walked over to where he was and waited, when he finished I introduced my self as OneMan. He stopped shook my hand and talked with OneDaughter for a good 5~10 minutes or so. Man, I was glad we decided to try and talk to him and thankful he was willing to spend that kind of time talking to my daughter. My daughter wanted to get over to our next stop so he got on one knee and listed to her talk about gifted education funding and thanked her for coming to see him. After our chat add me to the Rep. Fritchey fan club.
Soon as we finished talking someone standing by us said, 'Oh your the guy with the post in CapitolFax about coming to Springfield' , 'Yeah', 'I gave you one of the cynical answers'... No worries.
After that we did the tour of Lincoln's home, which I have to say our tour guide did not seem to really be in to all that much (we were the last tour before quiting time). We then headed over the the Lincoln-Herndon law office and did that tour right before they were getting ready to close. Which was better, but I hope the state spiffs it up a little before the Lincoln bicentennial.
Groups we saw at the capitol today (partial list)
Gifted Education (us, well my daughter as you can tell by my spelling and grammar)
Right to choose
School health clinics