Ted E. Leverenz
Thursday, Apr 9, 2020
* Ted E. Leverenz was once chairman of the Illinois House’s only appropriations committee. There are now six approp committees.
Ted had amazing sources throughout state government, which he then used to his advantage when pressing agency directors about their shortcomings as administrators. He often jokingly referred to himself as “Agent 99,” a reference to a female spy on the old Get Smart TV show.
Ted was enormously helpful to me when I first started out. He knew so much and he was such an entertaining fellow, particularly when he was relentlessly grilling those aforementioned agency directors. Ted, then-Sen. Judy Baar Topinka and a few others helped a nobody who nobody sent figure out how the government really worked. I will be forever grateful to them.
Ted eventually moved to the Senate via appointment. He was never happy there. He lost all his seniority and complained about how everyone in the chamber was so old. “Their parking places are wider,” he said. “You know why? So they can get their walkers out of their cars!”
* From a Facebook post by his daughter Tracy…
Ted and Rep. Chris Welch never got along well, but when I asked him about Leverenz’s passing today, Welch said, “He never supported me in any election, but there’s a lot of people in my district who revere the guy to this day.”
I think Ted would’ve appreciated that response. /s
* He sure was a handsome devil back in the day…