SAN FRANCISCO, CA - NOVEMBER 08: A voter fills out their ballot at a polling station inside San Francisco City Hall on November 8, 2011 in San Francisco, California. Candidates for San Francisco mayor are making one last push to encourage people to vote as San Franciscans head to the polls to vote for a new mayor, district attorney and sheriff. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
The Hon. Eugene “Gene” Moore is not recognized on the street. He’s not recognized when the cops pull him over and ask for his driver’s license. He’s probably not even recognized by his own employees.
Moore has been Cook County Recorder of Deeds since 1999, when he took over the office from Jesse White, who had been elected Secretary of State. Before White, the office was held by Carol Moseley Braun, who went on to the U.S. Senate.
Now, the Cook County Board wants to eliminate Moore’s office, assigning its duties to the County Clerk, who you probably also can’t name.
It’s a good idea, but it doesn’t go far enough. Illinois is full of superfluous politicians. Here are some others who need to be eliminated.
Commissioner of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago: The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District covers 91 percent of Cook County. Basically, we have two county boards: one to oversee the dry parts of Cook County, another to oversee the wet parts. There’s no reason the county board can’t start supervising both land and water.
Trustee of the Norwood Park Street Lighting District: John Wayne Gacy held this office, as a reward for cleaning the Democratic committeeman’s office. His house was torn down. This reminder of his political career should be torn down as well.
Comptroller of Illinois: Former treasurer and gubernatorial loser Judy Baar Topinka didn’t want to retire from politics and she'd already held a fiscal office in Illinois, so she got elected comptroller, which comes with a six-figure salary and a state owned couch for her dogs to sleep on. The comptroller is responsible for paying the state’s bills. This is the training-wheel office Dan Hynes occupied for 12 years, while waiting to become senator or governor. State Treasurer Dan Rutherford has suggested adding its duties to his office, a proposal that Baar-Topinka supports. The legislature has yet to act on the combination.
City Treasurer: Last year, a distinguished visitor to Chicago asked me to name the city treasurer. I couldn’t. And I get paid to follow politics. I don’t even think other politicians have heard of this office, because no one ran against Neely this year. The city treasurer is in charge of the city employee and teacher’s pension funds, which is too much temptation for a politician flying this far under the radar.
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