A recent editorial, “Our view: Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs leads on merger,” gets a few facts wrong.
First, I am not sure Frerichs knows what consolidation is or what he has voted for in the past. He says he wants to “blow up” the comptroller’s office and “take 60, 70 percent of those pieces and fold them into the treasurer’s office.” While this is a convenient political power grab for Frerichs it is not what he voted for – nor is it what I am calling for. I believe the two offices should be consolidated into one office and the voters should select a candidate to fill that office.
Second, Frerichs has been silent on the issue for years until we put out our press release. His immediate response was not to say he supported consolidation but to bizarrely cast doubt on the amount of money that would be saved by consolidation. Never mind, of course, that the number we used -- $12 million – is in the very legislation he voted for, is the number he has repeatedly referred to, and is even the number his own campaign claimed on the front page of his website.
Finally, Frerichs blames us for failing to raise the issue earlier in the campaign. Frerichs has been in office for almost four years now. If he truly supported it he should have been applying pressure to Speaker Madigan – who is single-handedly responsible for stopping consolidation in the past.
The easiest thing to do is to vote for legislation knowing full well Madigan was going to kill it. The next easiest thing is to pretend you support an effort you haven’t lifted a finger to see happen.
No more meaningless gestures, let’s save the people of Illinois money and restore some trust.
Jim Dodge, Orland Park