The Chicago Sun-Times reported today the fifty largest Political Action Committees in Illinois.
Buoyed by contributions from relatives and family friends when he was puffing himself us as a potential candidate for Governor, Franks retained enough to rank him 37 in the whole state.
As of the end of last year, he had $462,609 available.
That’s certainly the biggest pot of political money for any McHenry County politician.
And, now Franks has more.
Saturday night he held a fundraiser in Chicago to sweep up money most of which would not as obtainable at a McHenry County fundraiser.
Franks reported five entities who gave $1,000 this year:
- Arnold G. Rubin, Chicago attorney
- BNSF Railway Company
- Salvi Schostok & Pritchard, a Waukegan law firm
- Seth & Michael Gilllman, Lincolnwood
- Intren, Inc. , Union
That’s just the tip of an iceberg that will be hidden until March.
But, Franks really deserves a higher ranking than 37.
That’s because he is not competitive with most of the politicians on the list.
With all of that money, I’d guess he is positioning himself to run for statewide office in 2014.
That’s if he can’t pull off a campaign against 8th District Republican Congressman Joe Walsh. (I doubt most of the money in Franks’ war chest can be used to run for Congress. There are much stricter limits on campaign funding at the Federal level than exist, even after the imposition of the $5,000 a person/company limit on January 1st. And corporate contributions can’t be converted. Some individual contributions can be.)
Os not in the same political arena, one can eliminate the current candidates for mayor of Chicago, the legislative leaders and all of the statewide Democrats, except maybe Pat Quinn and Alex Giannoulias.
Most retired and defeated public officials also present no threat to a statewide run by Franks. I won’t even list most of them. Most will take whatever money they can convert to their private use and walk away from the political game.
Likewise, none of the Republicans are likely to run against Franks in a Democratic Party primary for statewide office.
- Roger Claar
- Judy Baar Topinka
- Larry Bomke
- Bradley A. Stephens (Lower than Franks)
Let’s eliminate the following Chicago politicians as not being direct competitors of the Marengo Democrat:
- Rahm Emanuel
- Edward M. Burke
- Lisa Madigan
- Gery Chico
- Ray Suarez
- Jesse White
- Michael J. Madigan
- Brendan Reilly
- John Cullerton (lower than Franks)
- Larry R. Rogers Jr. (lower than Franks)
- David Orr (lower than Franks)
Maybe one or two of them might be potential candidates for statewide office (Rogers, Reilly?), but I don’t know that arena well enough to do more than guess.
Now we get down to those who might think about running for statewide office.
Those include Giannoulias and Quinn.
While Quinn did get elected governor, he did so without Franks’ endorsement and it must gall him when he compares himself with Quinn.
That leaves five legislators with hefty campaign funds.
I can’t imagine State Rep. Mike Smith, the one with the most money running for statewide office, so we’re down to four:
- State Rep. Lou Lang (Skokie)
- State Senator James Clayborne (East St. Louis)
- State Rep. Jack Franks
- State Senator Bill Haine (Alton – Lower than Franks)
Lang positioned himself to run for statewide office two years ago. He even spoke to the McHenry County Demcoratic Party Central Committee in 2009. He is Jewish like Franks, so is a definite potential competitor.
Clayborne and Haine are prominent Downstate legislators, so also could be in the competitor category.
Having completed my triage on campaign resources, it appears to me that Jack Franks deserves to be ranked Number 3 among those who might be interested in running for statewide office three years from now.