Democratic Party State Rep. Jack Franks is doing his best to continue his contrarin ways.
It’s part and parcel of stayin’ alive in McHenry County as a liberal Democrat. It hides his super-pro-abortion twist to please Personal PAC for a potential statewide Democratic Primary election.
It keeps people from noticing that he is in the back pocket of labor and trail lawyers.
So, let’s try to put ourselves in Jack Franks’ head.
When this gets published, the session should be over.
He has burnished his populist credentials by voting against the Com Ed rate hike.
He voted against the Congressional remap that did not give him all of McHenry County as a political base, which he has as result of the flattering newspaper coverage by the Northwest Herald.
What to do next, that’s the question?
It is my opinion that even without the 88,389 residents in Algonquin Township being placed in the 14th congressional district in which Franks resides, he is still considering running there.
I believe he does not want to run against 8th District Congressman Joe Walsh. Walsh has a dynamism that Franks cannot begin to approach.
But, if Walsh decides to run in the 10th District and 14th District incumbent Randy Hultgren runs unopposed in the 14th, then I think there is better than a 40% chance that Franks will challenge him.
Being in Springfield as long as Franks has been (since 1998) without having any real power except his bully pulpit (which I freely admit he uses well) must be wearing on him.
He must be thinking that it is “up or out” time. I admit he has more endurance than I had in the 1970’s. After less than eight years, I made the same decision. And I wasn’t a millionaire.
Speaking of which, Franks obviously is not staying in office to get a good pension. While not offering to give up his own, he has advocated abolishing them, not to mention cutting legislators’ salaries. Easy positions to take for someone so well fixed.
So, what could he do to raise his stature with regard to a congressional race against Hultgren?
Jack Franks could sue either independently or, more effectively, with Illinois Republicans to overturn the Congressional map in Federal Court.
Chicago television reporters would be given the opportunity to continue slobbering all over him. WLS’ Don and Roma could continue interviewing their favorite Democrat (or is that Rod Blagojevich?). You get the picture.
He would look like a reformer, even if his opposition to the redistricting was out of personal pique as a result of House Speaker Mike Madigan not putting Franks in a congressional district containing all of McHenry County’s population. That would have given him a base of over 40% of the 14th congressional district. That’s a lot better than the 30% of people who have followed his political career for over twelve years that ended up in the Hultgren-Walsh district.
Franks knows how Walsh campaigns.
They’ve been in the same parades.
Both are energetic greeters of the public.
Franks also know how Walsh extemporaneously works a Town Hall Meeting crowed.
He attended with a staffer, sitting in the back row while his employee taped the meeting.
Walsh saw him and invited him to say a few words to the crowd, just as he had with Republican State Senator Pam Althoff when she attended his pre-swearing in Town Hall Meeting at McHenry West High School.
What Franks doesn’t know about Hultgren is that he has been knocking on doors as long as Franks. He does so as tenaciously as Franks.
In the Republican district that the 14th is, that by no means gives Franks an advantage outside of McHenry County.
And, who knows?
Maybe Hultgren would put up that poster above all over the 14th District.
That might have more impact that the one billboard just south of Woodstock Harley-Davidson on Route 47 when Franks was running against John O’Neill.