Marengo Democrat Jack Franks has gotten publicity for his third “Let’s get rid of the pensions” bill.
First he went after the RTA, Metra, Pace and the CTA. No salaries, not pension, no health care benefits.
No one seems to have noticed that this was an attack on former McHenry County Chairmen Al Jourdan, Jack Schaffer, plus Aaron Shepley. Jourdan serves on the RTA Board, Schaffer on Metra’s and Shepley on the Pace Board. Shepley is a past vice chairman of the local McHenry County Republican Party
Republicans, of course, fielded McHenry Grade School and Library Board member John O’Neill.
O’Neill’s campaign led to Franks’ spending $208,000, so one might be excused for thinking the pension bill was retribution.
Next Franks took on Tollway Board members.
I wonder if that was a message to Governor Pat Quinn that he should appoint one of Franks’ supporters to the Illinois Toll Highway Authority Board.
None of the Tollway board members are local, as far as I know. Maybe Franks was just expanding on a theme.
Now, he’s going after legislative pensions, but doesn’t care to emulate newly-elected Congressman Joe Walsh, who announced a year ago that he would not participate in either the congressional pension or health program.
Since Franks may well end up running against Walsh for Congress after the Democrats re-apportion congressional districts, one might wonder why the wealthy Franks doesn’t include language in his legislative pension abolition bill to allow himself to opt out of the legislative pension system.
Such legislation could allow Franks to take the contribution he has provided since 1999 and waive his right to the pensions he wants to abolish.
Capitol Fax Blog had the following to say about Franks’ latest headline grab. Comments within the story are by Rich Miller, those below it by folks across Illinois.
Rep. Jack Franks, a Marengo Democrat, wants to take the chances for state pensions away from all future lawmakers.
Franks has filed legislation that would keep all members of the Illinois General Assembly taking office in 2013 and after out of the state pension system in an effort to save money.
But what about Franks’ own legislative pension?…
He said Tuesday that the law doesn’t allow the state to take away benefits that any state employees, including lawmakers, have already earned.
True, but he could vow to return the cash, minus what he’s already put into the system. Actually, he could just simply cash out rather than accept pension payments
Some of the comments under the article are amusing, e.g.,
MJMspksman – Wednesday, Jan 26, 11 @ 2:54 pm:
Good luck getting Jack Franks to return any pension money to the State. That is one press release he will never issue!!!!
Statewide – Wednesday, Jan 26, 11 @ 3:17 pm:
Rep. Franks just put his foot in it big time. This is a first-rate piece of legislative hypocrisy. I hope it gets noticed far and wide.
Franks says, “I can’t think of anywhere else a person can work part-time and receive a pension, let alone a pension as lucrative as those received by Illinois lawmakers.”
But his pension? He’s taking it to the bank, baby!
Showmanship & Hypocrisy: 100%
Self-awareness & Credibility: Zero
Look in the mirror, Rep. Franks, take your own advice, and give up that pension ASAP.
Where There’s a Will – Wednesday, Jan 26, 11 @ 3:18 pm:
I don’t think there would anything unconstitutional about legislation that created a system for current lawmakers to contractually and irrevocably surrender their pensions.
We could call it the Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is Act.
Pivoting off Franks’ statement, since Tom Cross and Radogno seem to think otherwise,
I recommend legislation eliminating the pensions for current lawmakers as a test case.
Can’t WAIT to see Republicans line up to vote for that one.
MJMspksman – Wednesday, Jan 26, 11 @ 3:35 pm:
people: We are forgetting one thing> this is Jack Franks we are talking about, why would we waste our time talking about another one of his foolish PR stunts???????
The good news is, the new map will have him in a district just outside of Green Bay Wisconsin!!
4 percent – Wednesday, Jan 26, 11 @ 4:28 pm:
Jack Franks is a blowhard.
If the state of Illinois had a nickel for every phony press release and sham bill that he filed to generate publicity, we would have enough money to balance the Illinois budget and put a serious dent in the federal deficit!!!
jake – Wednesday, Jan 26, 11 @ 5:33 pm:
Naomi Jakobsson goes one step farther than the others. In lieu of awarding Legislative scholarships from the public treasury, she awards a scholarship to one graduate from each of the high schools in her district from her own pocket, and also adds two scholarships from her own pocket to students competing in the annual M L King scholarship competition.
They say the legislature is divided into show horses and work horses. Guess which category I would put Jack Francks into.
Michelle Flaherty – Wednesday, Jan 26, 11 @ 6:51 pm:
Park, you prove the point. Franks doesn’t actually want to do this, he wants to get credit and attention for proposing it. They hypocricy points to the truth regarding why this won’t happen because the sponsor himself isn’t really committed.
anonyMiss – Wednesday, Jan 26, 11 @ 7:51 pm:
Mr Franks says “the law doesn’t allow the state to take away benefits that any state employees, including lawmakers, have already earned”… Didn’t he just proposed legislation to significantly change (take away) the pension benefits current state employees were promised AND ALREADY EARNED?!
anonyMiss – Wednesday, Jan 26, 11 @ 8:10 pm:
Perhaps Mr Franks should propose legislation asking why these “part time” lawmakers (his words) earn a base salary of $65,353.