I commented on State Rep. Jack Franks’ having criticized the reapportionment process, but voting for the terribly gerrymandered map his Democratic Party leaders concocted for the Illinois General Assembly.
The article was entitled,
When the congressional map came up for a vote yesterday, Franks voted, “No.”
He reversed course.
The Sun-Times had this quote from this only Democrat who voted against the new map:
“It seemed to me to be blatantly gerrymandered, and I didn’t want any part of it.
“You look at how these districts were drawn to protect incumbents in both parties.
“It was just pure power politics.
“I don’t know who cut the deals in the back room.”
You see below the Chicago area map of state representative districts which Franks voted for.
You can’t see any examples of gerrymandered districts there can you?
Nothing that snakes out into the suburbs to protect Chicago incumbents from the loss of two state rep. districts because the city lost 200,000 people over the last ten years, right?
So, it’s safe to conclude that Franks’ positive vote on the General Assembly remap followed by his negative vote on the congressional remap had nothing to do with firmly held principals.
I certainly don’t suggest that my pointing out his seeming hypocrisy previously convinced him to vote against the map that drew Franks out of Congressman Don Manzullo’s Rockford-based district and into a district that contains Joe Walsh and Randy Hultgren.
But there might be a reason that my political mind could understand for the flip-flop, the sudden Paul-like conversion on the road to Damascus.
I have been suggesting that Franks wanted to see all of McHenry County in one congressional district.
That would have given him what he would consider a “base” of over 300,000 people out of the 713, 682 people in each congressional district.
Remember that trip to Ireland with House Speaker Mike Madigan, Senate President John Cullerton and other political notables.
That was when Franks was still being coy about running for Governor.
I figured he had cut a deal to run for re-election as state representative in return for a McHenry County-based congressional district.
Shorty thereafter, Franks withdrew from the governor’s race, giving the story to the Northwest Herald.
Only the Galesburg paper noticed.
Talk turned to Congress after Joe Walsh’s narrow 8th District victory over Melissa Bean, someone whom Franks campaigned door-to-door for.
Made sense to me.
Madigan would create a district in which Franks would stand a good chance and there’s a win-win for Madigan and Franks.
Pretty good sources have told me that the relationship between Franks and Madigan are not so hot.
So a favorable congressional map would make Franks happy. He would have a chance for advancement and, at the same time, get out from under the stultifying dominance that Madigan has asserted since Lee Daniels’ lost the Speakership in 1997.
And Franks’ leaving the Illinois House would please Madigan. He wouldn’t have to worry about what Franks was going to do next.
Franks has been acting like he was preparing a run that included the southeaster part of McHenry County.
First Electric Newspaper featured a photo of Franks and Living Waters Lutheran Church Pastor Carol Gates in a short article telling of Franks’ having invited her to give the invocation prior to session in March of this year. (Franks doesn’t send his press releases to McHenry County Blog.)
That is way, way out of his 63rd legislative district.
And Franks was soliciting campaign contributions in Algonquin Township for a breakfast fundraiser.
Not only was a mailing sent, but follow-up phone calls were made.
Algonquin Township is farther away from Franks’ district than the Living Waters Lutheran Church.
So, why was Jack Franks the only Democrat to vote against the congressional reapportionment map his Speaker put together?
I think it was because Madigan refused to give Franks what he wanted—a congressional district containing all of McHenry County.
Instead of acceding to Franks’ wishes and ambition, Madigan split off the 88,389 people living in Algonquin Township.
Apparently no one was in the “back room” looking out for Jack Franks’ interests, so he voted, “No.”