Come on, Rich… if you want people to remember your name, maybe you can add it to the highway signs?

Welcome to Ohio
Richard Cordray, Treasurer

Or maybe you could just try to be really good at your current job before you start running for something better.

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Treasurer aims to take state’s due personally
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Mark NaymikPlain Dealer Politics Writer

Writing a check to the state treasurer?

Better make it personal.

As head of arguably the least-glamorous statewide office, Ohio Treasurer Richard Cordray wants to see his name on those checks.

That’s R-I-C-H-A-R-D C-O-R-D-R-A-Y.

Elected in November, the former treasurer of Franklin County has printed new payment instructions that tell people paying taxes or license fees to make the check out to him instead of just penning the generic title, “Ohio treasurer of state,” which has been acceptable for decades.

Cordray, a five-time “Jeopardy!” champion, says the move isn’t about boosting his name recognition but about improving accountability and security.

“It helps battling delinquent collections because it makes it a more personal exchange instead of one with this big, bad behemoth of government,” said spokeswoman Holly Hollingsworth.

She said the treasurer’s office printed the new payment instructions on forms that had to be updated after Cordray took office in January.

She said that other agencies and departments, such as the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and Department of Taxation, have not been asked to do the same.

But that could change.

Cordray has asked state officials to assess the cost and hassle of requiring that all checks to the treasurer’s office bear his name. Business forms and signs posted in various agencies, for instance, would have to be reprinted.

“He has just been floating the idea informally to gauge any inconvenience or expense,” Hollingsworth said.

She stressed that the move isn’t politically beneficial to Cordray, because people will remember his name for the wrong reasons.

“You are parting with money you don’t want to give up, so there is a negative fallout,” she said.

To reach this Plain Dealer reporter:

mnaymik@plaind.com, 216-999-4849

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