Politicians Named the Darnedest Things

VIDEO: Isaac Count de Money Wilson is running for alderman in Aurora, Ill.
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Chances are whatever joke you come up with, Isaac Count de Money Wilson has heard it before.

Yes, that's his real name. And yes, he runs a thrift store. It's also true he worked in finance in the Army Reserves, where part of his job was, well, counting money.

And yes, he's really running for alderman in Aurora, Ill.

Wilson had little in the way of name recognition until recently, when he tried to put his full name on the ballot. A challenge was filed by his opponent, seven term alderman Mike Saville, but Wilson was able to present his birth certificate, proving that Count de Money is, in fact, his real middle name, given to him by a quirky father.

"He had a pretty good sense of humor," says Wilson. "Every time I asked him about it, he would give me a different answer. He would always say that it was a title we have in France. When I joined the military and was going to be a financial specialist, he said 'I knew that was in your future.'"

What Wilson's father probably couldn't have predicted was comedian Jay Leno latching on to the name and reading it on the air during his regular Headlines segment poking fun of actual items in the paper. The talk show host simply held up a photo of Wilson and pointed to the caption with his name.

"Here's the Beacon News," said Leno, setting up the joke. "Candidates for alderman include Isaac Count de Money Wilson." No punch line required.

"I was proud that he mentioned the city of Aurora," says Wilson. "In this race, people ask me if the focus is too much on my name. I tell them flat out that it's my name and if you get down to it you'll see I have great, useful ideas for the city."

Wilson is just the latest in a long line of politicians (aspiring or otherwise) with uncommon, uncanny or otherwise unbelievable names:

Cornelius McGillicuddy IV, better known as Connie Mack, is a Republican Congressman from Florida.

Young Boozer is Alabama state treasurer-elect. He would introduce himself on the stump as: "Young Boozer and yes, that's my real name."

Isaac Hayes, a Republican minister and first-time candidate, was handily defeated by incumbent Illinois Representative Jesse James Jr.

Longtime Rep. John Spratt (D., S.C.), who goes by Jack, was defeated in his reelection bid in November. And Rep. Jerry Lewis (R., Calif.) is not quite as funny as his namesake.

Twinkle Cavanaugh is the newly-elected Alabama Public Service Commissioner. Rep. Richard "Dick" Swett (D., N.H.) served in the House in the mid-1990s. The late mayor of Fort Wayne, Ind., Harry Baals, has a street named for him.

Green Party candidate for Illinois governor Rich Whitney was furious when his name was misspelled as "Whitey" on touch-screen voting machines (in some mostly black wards). He might have seen the snafu coming if he'd had a crystal ball to look into. Or not: Krystal Ball recently ran unsuccessfully for Congress against Republican incumbent Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.).

If she could have predicted the outcome, perhaps she wouldn't have run.

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