Jack Franks is running against John O’Neill for re-election.
O’Neill is a McHenry Grade School board members. He is also an elected trustee to the McHenry Library District.
He also has no money in the bank to spent against Jack Franks.
In fact, Franks spent more money on Chicago White Sox tickets this past spring than O’Neill spent in total.
So why is Jack Franks cashing out the investments he made with largely family money that gave him over a million dollar balance a year ago and, until polling data came in, made him think he might be a candidate for governor?
That gives Franks $635,000 for re-election effort against a Republican most people in the 63rd District have never heard of.
But, he paid back his $150,000 loan to himself and returned the $250,000 that his father gave him in January.
What’s going on?
With regard to the $400,000 of family money, Franks no longer has to puff himself up for statewide political consumption.
It’s confirmation that he is not running for statewide office. Of course, after this year’s election, there’s no state constitutional office up for four more years.
Maybe Franks is going to give back some more money, big money. (Not the “BIG MONEY” people scream for on Wheel of Fortune; bigger.)
But, every election against an incumbent is a referendum on his or her service in office.
Maybe Jack Franks is nervous.
He was a sponsor of the hated red light camera law. Ask State Senator Dan Duffy about that.
He tarnished his fiscal conservative image by voting against saving $240 million a year that would have resulted from allowing poor Chicago kids from failing schools to have a chance at breaking the cycle of poverty with a better education. Ask State Senator James Meeks about that.
There are other indications of nervousness.
Franks was knocking on doors in John O’Neill’s McHenry precinct the weekend after O’Neill announced his candidacy.
He was doing so again the weekend before last.
Franks raised $66,000 during the first half of 2010.
Last fall he raised $76,000.
A year ago in the first half of the year, Franks raised $1.3 million. Subtract the $1.2 million conspicuous display of family and friends wealth and the total was $119,000.
Good for an incumbent who has been in office for ten years.
It’s my guess that Franks is on his own in this election.
House Speaker Mike Madigan and he don’t really get along.
And that’s something of an understatement, according to what I have been told.
Madigan considers himself a “work horse. The derogatory description of Franks would be a “show horse.”
So Madigan is unlikely to supply a lot of help.
With Franks being able to buy anything he thinks he needs, why would Madigan?
What will Franks do in this TEA Party year when incumbents of both parties are looking over their shoulders?
Has Melissa Bean shared the survey results that indicate she will need every dime of her $1.3 million to beat back the challenge of Republican Joe Walsh?