Two Illinois legislators have recently taken surprising political stands.
State Representative Jack Franks (D-Bull Valley) has endorsed Hillary Clinton for President.
So, why would Dillard go out onto a limb for Obama and Franks onto a similar branch for Hillary?
Dillard lost in the Illinois Senate Leadership fight to Frank Watson. Dillard also just voluntarily gave up the traditional power base of Chairman of the DuPage County Republican Central Committee.
Maybe he would like to be a federal judge in Chicago. Couldn’t hurt to have a president or a vice president or even a U.S. Senator as an advocate.
He could run for Congress against Republican Congressman Don Manzullo in the 16th congressional district.
But that would by no means be a slam-dunk.
And one of his 2006 contributors, Robert Abboud, is acting as if he is going to run against Manzullo.
Does Franks run against State Senator Pam Althoff next year?
Only if he is very, very brave.
He’d have to knock on twice as many doors and, surely, he has gotten tired of knocking on doors by now. It’s been eight years of going door-to-door.
Why would he run for the state senate if Althoff were not vacating her seat to challenge Congresswoman Melissa Bean?
So, could Franks, who barely beat Dr. Tom Salvi—a man, I point out—afford to spot Althoff five-percentage points?
I don’t think so.
And, why take the risk by leaving what is by now a “safe” seat?
Maybe it would make him vulnerable in his legislative seat, especially if a woman ran against him.
Franks got lots of publicity posturing for a Democratic Party primary challenge against Governor Rod Blagojevich.
Indeed, Franks is the anti-Blagojevich in the Illinois General Assembly.
He gets paid the same as a state representative. And he seems to have reached a détente with McHenry County Republicans on giving Mike Tryon a free ride to Springfield, that is, no Democratic Party opponent, in return for his having no opposition.
And, Franks get to work with the father of Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who must love it every time Franks takes on the man the Speaker wants to beat in a gubernatorial primary election in 2010.
What else it left?
Franks could run for Attorney General, if Lisa Madigan ran for governor. I thought that most likely until Franks’ endorsement of Hillary.
But that is a statewide race and his stances on hot button Democratic Party issues like homosexual rights and abortion have not been liberal enough to gain the support of the Personal PAC’s and gay rights supporters in Illinois.
So, what’s left that would be a step up?
How about a federal judgeship?
Trust me. Politicians remember who supported them when it counted most.
But, Durbin is a practical kind of guy.
I don’t see that as an obstacle.
So, if Hillary wins, I figure Franks has his choice of sitting on the federal bench in Rockford or in Chicago.
It’s a toss-up, in my mind, as to which he would pick.
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The picture of Kirk Dillard and Frank Watson came from the Illinois Channel, which Comcast refuses to broadcast in McHenry County. Hillary Clinton’s photograph comes from her campaign web site. The photos of Don Manzullo and Robert Abboud, Pam Althoff, Jack Franks, Mike Tryon and Dick Durbin were take by your intrepid photographer, most with need for a flash. All can be enlarged by clicking on them.