Sharon Meroni Replies to Mike Tryon’s Call to Boycott Grassroots-Called Central Committee Meeting intended to Pave Way for Tonya Franklin Candidacy against “Chainsaw Jack” Franks

Sharon Meroni

The following came into my email inbox from Algonquin Township’s Sharon Meroni, the new Precinct Committeeman who won a  write-in campaign this past spring.

Meroni  is one of the people who convinced Tea Party-inspired Republican activist Tonya Franklin to volunteer to run against “Chainsaw Jack” Franks, a Democrat who has had no opponent for two out of the last three elections.

It replies to McHenry County Republican Party Chairman Mike Tryon’s email earlier today.

In his email, which was not sent to me, an elected member of the McHenry County Republican Central Committee, Tryon argues that having Tonya Franklin run for State Representative against his legislative colleague Jack Franks would hurt the chances of Mitt Romney’s carrying Illinois.

That Barack Obama will lose Illinois because of anything that a Tonya Franklin candidacy might do is laughable.

If anything, her candidacy will bring energy to a part of McHenry County where “Chainsaw Jack” is about to try to capture more township supervisor offices than he did three years ago.

And, it’s an area where Franks has taken particular in interest in electing Democrat Ryan Heuser to the County Board.

When an opponentless Jack Franks starts knocking on doors in Crystal Lake-Lake in the Hills-Lakewood District 2 against Tryon’s Campaign Treasurer and County Board Chairman Ken Koehler, it will be too late for Tryon to do something to keep Franks busy elsewhere.

Think that is impossible?

He did it for Mary Margaret Maule four years ago in McHenry Township.

I would suggest that Koehler is more vulnerable than than any District 4 candidate who was on the ballot in 2008.

But “Hakuna Matata.”

Maybe Franks will go for a two-fer.

Maybe he will campaign against Bob Bless in District 1.

No way to tell, but, if he does, Franks might be credited with taking out both Republicans.

The Republican Party is so weak in Woodstock that Tryon has four people from the same household as be Precinct Committeemen in four separate precincts.  (There are thirteen precincts in Dorr Township.  Six of the thirteen precinct committeemen live at two addresses.)

Think that is an indication of a strong party?

Tryon says Franklin should “spend the next year learning about the issues of District 63 and of Illinois so she could pass petitions in 2013 for a 2014 run in the 63rd District.”

Keen observers would predict that if Franks decides not to run, Tryon will be supporting Woodstock Mayor Brian Sager.

Besides being Mayor and a GOP Precinct Committeeman, what is Sager’s political activity?

2011 Host Committee member for Jack Franks’ fund raiser

Too bad for Tonya Franklin then.

Her time will have passed.

And timing is everything in politics.

Ask Mike Tryon, who was appointed to take my father’s place on the McHenry County Board after his death.

Meroni’s email is below:

Sharon Meroni
45th Algonquin Precinct Committeeman
May 26, 2012

The Gift of the Right to Vote and My Responsibility:

My passion is election security.  This includes the security of the vote and the voting process, it includes the security of the voting pool (the electorate), and it includes ballot access.  This issue before the McHenry County Republicans involves ballot access.

It also involves voter disenfranchisement.

There are several ways a candidate has access to the ballot.  Both laws and rules define how vacancies are to be filled by appointment.  Illinois Statue sets laws, the State Parties set rules, and the organization (ie McHenry County Republican Party) that administrates the process sets rules.

In the wisdom of Illinois election processes, the overall assumption is that everyone should have access to the ballot. They have to follow the rules or risk challenge which restricts that access.

Ballot access rules are closely watched by candidates.

Illinois is renowned for it; it is political sports!

This is the best flag shot I have ever taken It is at the Washington Monument in our Nation's Capitol.

Illinois Statute states that for the General Assembly, each political party needs to form Legislative and Representative Committees.

These committees meet and file a form with the Illinois State Board of Election certifying their legal formation. The actual requirement is 180 days following the Primary election.  There should be 344 of them in Illinois. I FOIA’d these (Freedom of Information Act) and found about 55 were actually formed from 2010 to March 2012.  On the one hand these committees should exist, for whatever reason they usually do not. Generally they are formed when a vacancy occurs.  But not always.

Illinois Law has a specific statue

  •  (10 ILCS 5/8-5)(from Ch. 46, par. 8-5) if a legislative or representative district comprises only one county, or part of a county, its legislative or representative committee shall consist of the chairman of the county central committee and 2 members of the county central committee who reside in the legislative or representative district, as the case may be, elected by the county central committee.

This Statue specifies how vacancies are filled when no one has run for the position in the Primary.  There is no penalty to candidates for not running in the Primary, just a qualification process to allow them further access. The Statute defines how the process SHALL be completed; meaning that when this happens, this is how it ‘shall’ be handled.

Essentially, voters are entitled to a full ballot and candidates are entitled to ballot access.

Mike Tryon

Chairman Tryon is not following this statute.

What he did was set up an ad hoc committee of 4 who interviewed Tonya Franklin.

Tonya is seeking to be appointed to run against sitting Democrat Rep. Jack Franks for the 63rd District House Seat.

On the second date of the committee meeting with Tonya, they literally blocked citizens who came to speak on Tonya’s behalf and interviewed her behind locked doors.

Later, when they were questioned about where they found the authority to do this, they changed what they said, claiming that they had not formed a committee or voted on Tonya’s application for ballot access.

The problem is, neither Illinois Law nor McHenry County Republican Party Rules provide authority for this ‘screening committee that was not a committee’.

And for good reason, it is not legal!

With Mike Tryon doing everything he can to make sure legislative colleague Jack Franks faces no opponent for the third time in four elections, no wonder Jack Franks is smiling.

Such a committee functions to make a decision that is reserved for a different group of voters; in this instance elected and appointed Committeemen in McHenry County, all 150 of us!

To distract the issue, they have personally attacked Tonya and taken assertive actions to circumvent the vote that these 150 Committeemen are given by Illinois Law.

When Tonya was denied the access she is allowed by law, and we had exhausted EVERY option to resolve the issue, we decided to see if we could get 25% of the Committeemen to call for this meeting.

We alerted Chairmen Tyron that we were going to do this personally and in email; actually wishing for him to call the meeting himself and avoid the necessity to play this out as adversarial.

I mean really, he has no authority to do as he is doing.

If he does, then prove it.

A group of us, all busy with other issues, dedicated the better part of a day and a half to the project.

Our time was beyond short!

We approached only 45 of the 150 Committeemen.  All but three said yes. 

We did not ask them to vote for Tonya.(Although we advocated they do so!) We asked them to agree to a meeting to allow the 150 Committeemen their right to vote on Tonya.

I want to personally thank the 40+ Committeemen that stepped up to call for this special meeting of the McHenry County Republicans. I make this public commitment to you; we will conduct this meeting professionally.

To all of the Committeemen; at the door you will find your badge with the number of votes that you have.  Your vote will be accurately counted! (All Committeemen have a weighted vote)

We value your time.

Tonya will arrive at 8am, so you will have an opportunity to meet her.

We invite you to arrive early and will serve coffee, tea and breakfast rolls.

We will start promptly at 9am and we will stick to the agenda.  McHenry County By-Laws allow Tonya to present her ‘resume’ at the meeting, we will have discussion, and the voting will take place.

In addition, Tonya will be available for more in-depth discussions at meet and greets and via the phone this week. Please look for more information from her.

Truly, I am excited and looking forward to June 2.  I became Committeemen to do a job for two years.  If that job requires I vote about slating a candidate, then I feel honored and obliged to do so.

I do not relinquish my right and responsibility to cast that vote, not for anyone.

Humbly, in honor of those who fought for that right, I have closed my website for this weekend.  I am the Director of Defend the Vote.

Our mission is to empower citizens to protect elections.

Our heart is always filled with profound gratitude for America’s heroes and their families. May God protect them and fill their lives with peace and joy!

Remembering those who died for that vote: Have a Blessed weekend, and Memorial Day.


Sharon Meroni Replies to Mike Tryon’s Call to Boycott Grassroots-Called Central Committee Meeting intended to Pave Way for Tonya Franklin Candidacy against “Chainsaw Jack” Franks — 26 Comments

  1. Cal, with all due respect, please consider relaxing with the ‘Chainsaw’ moniker.

    No one uses that term, that you coined, besides you.

    Also, be honest with your readers about your role in this nonsense.

    You act as though your a journalist following this story, when it reality it’s mostly your own doing.

    You are making the calls to precinct committeemen yourself attempting to drum up support for this farce – folks need to know your blog isn’t a news source, it’s a platform for self-promotion.

  2. Does Salsify reside at one of the addresses in Dorr Township?

    Or maybe it is a specific address common to two other so-called GOP committeemen in Cary?

    You know, the address for a couple who had Jack Franks at a fund raiser?

    Now let’s talk facts: Some names published as Jack Franks ‘Teddy Roosevelt’ (roiling in his tomb) fund raiser host committee:

    Corey Brachmann and Michele Aavang who both ran for McHenry Board as Republicans;

    Mary McCann current Board member now also running for County Board;

    Brian Sager;

    Mark Shepherd;

    Jay Nolan;

    Keith Nygren;

    Jim Carbonetti;

    Gerry and Harry Alten;

    Randy Donley – current Board member;

    there were more who vote Republican.

    If you vote Republican and are an honest conservative you will get out to support Mrs. Franklin – NOT Mike Tryon and Jack Franks.

    A vote for Franks is a vote for Madigan and the Chicago machine.

  3. @Can it be

    What are you talking about?

    Can you sycophants ever cite anything besides the tired cliched whining about the Democratic machine?

    I may not agree with Franks on everything, but he’s far from a cog in the Madigan wheel.

  4. Why would any Committeeman not show up to vote?

    The outrage should be directed at Rep Tryon and not Mrs. Franklin.

    It is the Conservative females that have always made things happen.

    I for one know better than to underestimate Tonya, and the wisdom of voters in the 63rd District to say” “ENOUGH OF MADIGAN!”

    Choices: Vote for Tonya or vote for Madigan.

    Hey Cal, maybe we should shorten Chainsaw Frank’s name to Madigan!

  5. No matter where you position youself politically on this issue, a few things have to be stated.

    1) There is no rational reason for the “Repblican Party Leadership” to deny Ms. Franklin from running against Franks unless they have a philosophic disagreement with her positions. Even if she doesn’t have a “command on the issues” (btw neither does Pam Althoff), that is NOT a reason they shouldn’t support her. Most existing elected officials are intellectual lightweights.

    2) It would clearly benefit the Republican Party and cost the Democratic Party significantly if Ms. Franklin were to run against Franks. To suggest otherwise is foolish or whisteling by the graveyard.

    3) If she doesn not to get the Party’s approval, this should seriously raise concern for the Republican Party Leadership’s motivation, given #2.

    4) The reason Gerri Davis (and consequently Mike Tryon) doesn’t support Ms. Franklin is they HATE Tea Party Candidates and they don’t want them to gain too strong of a foot-hold within the party. They are afraid of the influence the Tea Party would subsequently have on the already anemically managed McHenry County Republican Party.

    4) Tryon only sent letters to his supportive precinct committeemen because he is hoping to limit the meeting’s attendance so there is no quorum. If there isn’t a quorum, he can say he had nothing to do with her not getting the approval and thereby play it both ways.

    5) There is more honest, legitimate, and acurate political discourse on this blog in 24 hours than in 3 months in the NW Herald. To suggest otherwise is just not acurate.

  6. Let’s bring a little reality check to Skeptic’s purported facts.

    In other words, his/her falsehoods.

    1. Perhaps a rational reason would be to NOT pick an individual completely unprepared and on the farthest edge of the political fringe. Questioning whether you want someone so outside the main stream representing that county GOP is completely reasonable. BTW- she, or anyone else, was free to run in the primary. They didn’t. Also, you clearly don’t know Sen. Althoff well – very few people speak with more command of State budget issues.

    2. How is investing the County GOP’s already limited monies on a lost cause beneficial? I’d rather it focus on competitive races.

    3. She already didn’t get approval, the meeting is just a pow-wow with no legal basis.

    4. Umm… can you blame him? Have you Googled Ms. Franklin?

    5. HAH. Honest, legitimate, accurate. No intelligible person would equate such observations with this blog. It’s the musings and distortions of Cal Skinner — which by the way — is completely fine, it’s his site. He can say what he wants. But for you to suggest otherwise is either willful ignorance or outright fantasy.

  7. Salsify, by allowing Ms. Franklin to run in no way commits ANY money by the Republican Party for her campaign.

    Besides, the local party has just a few thousand dollars….I think they’re worried more about the electrical bill than a donation to Franklin’s or any other candidate’s campaign.

    “Farthest edge of the political fringe?”…..what issues are you specifically refering to?

    You sound more like Nancy Pelosi than any Republican.

    I do know Ms. Althoff.

    Quite well.

    I stand by my statement.

    The “very few speaking with command of financial issues” you are talking about are in-trenched political hacks sending the state into financial crisis.

    If you consider Ms. Althoff the “expert” along with her political friends, why is the state of Illinois is such a financial disaster?

    Give me a break.

    Enough of the same old supportive political drivel.

    Small wonder you like the mainstream press.

    They tow the “party line” like you, Salsify.

  8. Well, thanks for proving my point boyo.

    When you’re only interested in hearing what you want to hear – and then only things that back up those notions – you certainly have a home here trolling along the copy-and-pasted press releases and personal vendettas against local officials.

    If that’s what qualifies as journalism in your book, I’m sorry our education system failed you so badly.

  9. We need someone who actually gives a damn about the people…

    Not someone who only has voted twice and gets her information for Cal’s Blog…

    She didn’t even know Jack Franks voted against the Obama care in IL bill…


    And she thinks she is ready to run against him. HA

  10. Some Lady –
    The 2012 election is about change.

    If you are a Republican and are happy with Illinois government, then you should read the Party platform.

    Mrs. Franklin brings many things to the table.

    Chainshaw Franks’ votes as Madigan directs.

    In 2012 – Illinois business as usual government, or the fresh air of a candidate who comes in without Madigan.

    Tonya was asked to step up.

    As her campaign teams gets organized, she will quickly fill in any gaps on local issues.

    How exactly is the “totally experienced” chainsaw working for Illinois?

    Oh ya, Number 50 in the nation!

    Thank you, Mrs. Franklin, I look forward to meeting you and learning more about you. We will be there to help you!

  11. I’m not a Republican, I’m a Libertarian…. I don’t look for “Mitt Romney Candidates” to fill a position lets put it that way.

  12. Salsify and Some Lady are obviously “Country Club” Republicans who are very comfortable with the status quo.

    They like their and their friends political positioning in Government and likely they are personally benefitting from the present system.

    So, anything that disrupts that world view is a threat.

    That’s fine, Salsify and Some Lady, but just don’t criticize others who feel differently in the process.

    We need fresh blood.

    My 8 year old daughter can really do better job than the knuckleheads in Springfield today.

    The present politicians, like Franks and Althoff, are perfect examples of enjoying and feeling comfortable with how things presently are going.

    News flash: Economically Illinois is headed off a cliff !!!

    Because of Franks, Althoff etc. our economic situation is a DISASTER.

    Compliment Franks and Alhoff all you like, they are running and RUINING our state.

    Salsify and Some Lady are comfortable with this.

  13. 25% of the committeemen did not ask for a meeting.

    Sharon says 42 did but they would have needed at least 43.

    Second the bylaws say the notice must be in writing to all committeemen.

    The notices also must be mailed.

    Instead Sharon emailed and did not mail the notice.

    Also she did not send to all committeemen as required since she undoubtedly did not have all their emails and admittedly did not mail to them. Most egregiously Sharon cannot count.

    She sent the emails on Thursday the 24th and the bylaws call for 10 day notice.

    Ten days after Thursday the 24th is Sunday June 3rd not Saturday June 2nd. There is no way the meeting can be legally held since at least some of the requirements were not met.

  14. Okay let the candidate have a chance to run in the election.

    Why must we all endure more of the same nonsense from the GOP and Jack Franks team?

    I believe that Mike Tryon has been “working it” for far too long in McHenry County.

    And while I thought that the best speaker at the Economic conference last May was State Sen. Althoff, I also agree that the financial crisis in Illinois needs more than new gambling initiatives.

    Throw open the doors.

    let in some fresh air and support a candidate to run against Franks.

    Rich Evans

  15. Lisa, She did send it in the mail to everyone, I actually recieved my letter this weekend.

    I am a precinct Committeeman in Dunham township and recieved the email as well 10 days in advanced.

    If you are a Precinct Committeeman and did not get your email, you can check in the junk or spam folder.

    You will get your letter soon.

  16. Could it be that the republican leadership is not republican at all?

  17. The rule states:

    “Special meetings of the COMMITTEE may be called by the Chairman, or by not less than twenty-five percent (25%) of the members of the COMMITTEE, by mailing notice in writing to each Precinct Committeeman at least ten (10) days in advance of such meeting, and designating the time, place and the nature of the business to be transacted at such special meetings. A quorum of any regular or special meeting of Precinct Committeemen shall consist of forty percent (40%) of the COMMITTEE”

    We mailed the letter from the post office on the 24th, and then sent an email later that evening. The rules said to mail. Affidavits with proof confirming this mail date will be available if needed.

    As a curtsey, I emailed the notice to those I had email addresses for.

    Today I updated the Committeemen email list which was NOT available on Thursday.

    All names are not included in email because having email is not required to serve.

    Postal address is.

    The list provided by the County Clerk’s office on the afternoon of the 24th has 148 names on it. (sorry, I mentally rounded it up to 150) 25% is 37 names.

    At the time of mailing we had 41 on our list.

    We had a couple of changes after the mail went out bringing the total to 40. On the 25th, I stopped making changes to the list.

    My lawyer advised me I do not need to update the list of the 25% because the next measure is the 40% quorum at the meeting.

    Still, the story behind the story: I sent an email to Rep. Tryon and his leadership team on Wednesday the 23rd requesting an update of all Committeemen in the McHenry County Republican Party.

    I alerted them to the fact I wanted to assure all Committeemen would be included in the notice.

    Their response was to not respond to me, AND to rush to the County Clerk’s office early afternoon on Thursday to add an additional 18 names to the list. (Thursday morning there were only 130 names on the list)

    I believe this was a transparent and purposeful action to try to prevent the 25% requirement from being met.

    We still beat the 25%!

    Sadly, Rep Tryon and his leadership team continue to underestimated the concern that 148 Committeemen have for their right to vote.


    We are above the 25%, and were at the time it mailed.

    We will increase that number because the next step is the quorum of 40%.

    This is a legal meeting of the McHenry County Republican Party.

    Mr. Tryon and his Leadership Team will be compelled to follow ALL decisions made at this legal gathering meeting.

    How far will Tryon go to stop the Committeemen from their rightful vote?

    Sharon Meroni

  18. Keep McHenry County the way it is!

    Why should it be different than Chicago?

    I mean, that is a great example to follow, right?

    Oh sorry, the 90 degree heat is getting to me.

  19. Zorro is right.

    The fact is the Republican Leadership, of which “Some Lady” and “Salsify” likely are part, is not Republican in the conservative, free-market, pro-life, limited-Government, 2nd Amendment kind of way.

    They are Country Club Republicans in the Rockefeller, Snow, Lugar, Spector mold.

    They like the status quo, getting along with Democrats, cumbaya types who are generally wealthy bureaucrats who like to run the lives of the knuckle dragging conservatives like myself.

    They enjoy the company of guys like Franks and Madigan as well as Beaubien and Althoff because they think themselves as being much smarter than the masses.

    That’s why they identify more closely with the Democratic Party.

    Cheers Salsify and Some Lady.

  20. Mr. Tryon does not even understand that fluoride is a toxic poison that our government is pouring into our water supply.

    Why would he do anything that would help a real American patriot that could possibly have a positive effect on McHenry County?

    If he had not run unopposed, he wouldn’t be wielding this “power”.

    Status quo, my foot.

    I call Crook County politics!

  21. Sharon Meroni, I really advise you to tone-down the rhetoric, especially wording like “Mr. Tryon and his Leadership Team will be compelled to follow ALL decisions made at this legal gathering meeting.”

    That kind of belligerence against Chairman Tryon and his Leadership Team can take many different consequences.

    For now, remember your place, and know Chairman Tryon is in firm control of the McHenry County Republican Party. Any show of niggardly respect for Chairman Tryon is not wise.

  22. John Smith: Give me a break.

    “Chairman” Tryon leads a pack of misfit toys and has a just a few thousand dollars in the bank.

    Your response creates the illusion that the McHenry County Republican Party actually has power outside of the control of the few misfits within their ranks.

    The “Party” at best wields enough political might on a good day to get at most 250 votes.

    Their meetings are attended by the same group of 150 people.

    People attending fundraisers don’t even support the particular candidate and are their because their “obliged”.

    To suggest the McHenry County Republican Party is an organization that wields power is laughable.

    It’s more of a social club that talks politics than a legitimate political entity.

    So, John, take a chill pill regarding someone who might disagree with the grand poobah.

    It’s not that big a deal.

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