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
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:
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!
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.
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!
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.