Special Meeting Intitiator Sharon Meroni Reflects on Tonya Franklin’s Rejection by McHenry County Republican Party

An email from Sharon Meroni, who organized the effort to get Tonya Franklin on the ballot to oppose Democrat “Chainsaw Jack” Franks.

Meroni, a write-in candidate for Republican Precinct Committeeman in Fox River Grove, did something I have seen no other GOP Precinct Committeemen do since 1966–she got a Special Meeting of the Central Committee.

I want to thank the spirited coalition of supporters for Tonya Franklin’s application to be placed on the Republican ballot against Jack Franks.

Tonya Franklin

We worked hard to get our vote.

We failed.

Truthfully, that still hurts.

I am new to McHenry County Republicans.

Many of us are.

This project to get a legitimate vote for or against Tonya’s application had positive momentum with the goals to inform fellow committeemen (and precinct captains) while providing a venue to vote.

My personal disappointment at being denied that vote is raw.

I work at Defend the Vote every day and actually suspended my research to fight for the committeemen’s vote with the McHenry County Republican Party leadership.

That is how important this matter was to me.

This fight wasn’t planned.

After discouraging GOP Precinct Committeemen from attending the Special Meeting, Chairman Mike Tryon drove back to Crystal Lake, rather than to his vacation home in Missouri, to chair the meeting.

Rep Tryon asked us to find a candidate.

We did so, and we stepped up to support that candidate.

The discovery process of learning that Rep Tryon was actually actively suppressing the legal vote of the Committeemen was just that; a discovery process.

It was disappointing.

One unavoidable outcome of the meeting is on-the-record proof that our own party leadership literally actively worked to defeat the committeemen’s effort to have the vote Illinois law and McHenry Count By-laws specifically provides for.

Rep Tryon has never responded to the charge that he failed to set up the required meeting, despite being given ample notice that the vote from the “committee that was not a committee” (in his letter redefined as the Executive Committee) was not authorized in Illinois Law or in McHenry County Republican By-Laws.

In addition, Rep. Tryon made the political and tactical decision to cancel the meeting required by McHenry County By-Laws, and which should have been held on May 17th.

If this meeting had been held, Committeemen would have had the vote (for or against Tonya’s application) that is entitled as solely ours by Illinois law.

When we asked for this May 17th meeting to be scheduled, Tryon’s leadership responded with silence and then a cancellation of a meeting that was never scheduled.

When we asked McHenry County Republican Committeemen for a special meeting and achieved the 25% required in McHenry County Republican By-laws, Tryon’s leadership responded with two blasts from an email intimating it was not a legal meeting and that the Chairmen would not attend…Leaving the definite impression the June 2nd Special Meeting was not legitimate.

Then Chairman Tryon and Vice Chairman Mark Daniel showed up to Chair the meeting.

Chairman Tryon admits on the record, more than once, that it this was a legitimate meeting, but we needed a quorum.

Mark Daniel and Sharon Meroni compared Precinct Committeemen lists they had received from the McHenry County Clerk's Office.

When committeemen questioned Chairmen’s obvious manipulation to suppress a quorum, he literally ran off the stage.


Chairman Tryon was unable to speak to us.

While emotions were high, we were not shouting; Committeemen who had the floor, asked for accountability.

We had lawyers and parliamentarians there to assure the meeting was professionally run.

Our attorney, a skilled election lawyer named Laura Jacksack, and the parliamentarians were instrumental in guiding the meeting. (You guys were great!)

It was an exercise in Liberty!

The result, Chairmen Tryon, who was unable to withstand scrutiny, ran off the stage.


Special Meeting Intitiator Sharon Meroni Reflects on Tonya Franklin’s Rejection by McHenry County Republican Party — 24 Comments

  1. Hi Joe,

    Tonya hadn’t considered running for office before.

    She only decided to run when she was asked to step up and be a candidate because there was no Republican running.

    She accepted because she is a concerned citizen and a patriot.

    I’m sorry that Tryon kept her off the ballot.

    The would have made a great representative.

  2. A quorum (40% x 155) of 62 was not present. Thus, no business could be conducted. I didn’t have any sense that Mike Tryon “ran off the stage”. No business could be conducted; he adjourned the meeting and left.

    Many precinct committee men and women could not be reached during the calling campaign, because of the high number of missing and incorrect telephone numbers. Somebody in the Republican Party must be in charge of keeping the list up-to-date. I wondered why there were so many missing and incorrect numbers.

  3. “Despicable behavior”???? Not in my book.

    If these people who signed this petition had stood by their signatures, then I could see your view point.

    As it turned out, this was a waste of people’s time – those who stood behind their signatures and showed up, as well as those who weren’t part of this calamity but showed up to watch the train-wreck.

    I’m encouraged by the organizational push to get a candidate, but when the talkers fail to appear, they’re worse than those who didn’t slate a candidate from the start.

    “Despicable behavior” – my arse. ROTFLMAO!!!!

  4. Gus, I believe you didn’t state the increase of committeeman from 130 to 155, that was done just before the June 2nd “called” meeting.

    Tina Hill’s (county board member) entire family was listed in Dorr Township.

    I think you call that tactic “Stacking the Deck”.

    Mike Tryon did all in his power to inhibit Tonya’s nomination.

    Mark Daniels was busy calling everyone of the committeeman and telling them to boycott the meeting.

  5. Joe H-
    keep in mind some of the names listed on the “call for a special meeting” never actually gave Ms. Meroni permission to include them as one of those calling for a meeting.

    I personally know two committeemen whose names were on that list even though they explicitly told Ms. Meroni “no”.

    Who else was reminded of the Grafton Township and Huntley school district trouble makers during this whole thing?

    Just replace the names Franklin, Meroni, and Kerr with Snow, Seedorf, and Moore- the M.O. is identical.

  6. I am disgusted by the denigrating comments from people that don’t have a clue.

    If anyone is a crackpot, it would be Tryon.

    Despicable behavior.

    One would expect this type of action to be more like something from a Crook County dem.

    This is why no one wants to support any party.

    They are all crooks out for themselves.

  7. I’m hosting my blogtalkradio show tonight and will be sharing my version of what I saw and heard at the meeting. All are welcome to listen and call in. a link to the show is below and anyone wanting to voice their opinion can call in to 714-364-4343.


    At the risk of painting a Tea Party target on my back (a feat that seems relatively easy these days) below is an overly long explanation of what I saw Saturday.

    Chairman Mike Tryon did not run off of the stage and in my opinions he and Vice Chairman Mark Daniel went to great lengths to make sure that the meeting was run in an official capacity.

    The roll was called and a qurom was not present; in fact, by my numbers, had the meeting been held prior to appointments, the standard would not have been met. During the roll call, newly appointed committeemen were included, even though their name did not appear on the County Clerk’s official list dated June 1 and after the roll call Mike Tryon recessed the meeting for 10 minutes to confer with Sharon Meroni, Tonya Franklin and an attorney, who I gather was there representing Meroni.

    The only fault I could put upon the Chairman was that he was too respectful. Following the announcement that that a quoroum was not present, Chairman Tryon invited Tonya Franklin up to speak. After her speech (some call it a concession- there was nothing to concede) Tryon moved on to the Q&A session and endured a several minute barrage of unfounded accusations. Meroni and one other gentlemen suggested that the meeting be adjourned until a later date (that afternoon- Sunday???) so they could get on the phone and try and get more people there and/or have more committeemen appointed (I don’t understand the math on that myself). It kind of reminded me of the argument that the Bush campaign made against Gore in 2012- you can’t keep counting the votes until you get the results you want.

    When Tryon initially introduced the Q&A he asked for a motion to close the meeting so that party members could have open conversation of party matters. I initially raised my hand however some others started talking and I lowered it; when another break occurred, after Tonya Franklin’s daughter started questioning Tryon why her Mother could not be appointed, a question that had already been answered, I raised my hand again and made the motion, which I then amended to allow for Franklin and her daughter to stay in the meeting. The motion failed, presumably because the majority were content to continue to create controversy in a public forum. After several more minutes of people behaving uncivilly, there was a motion and a second to close the meeting and Chariman Tryon adjourned the meeting and said something to the effect that he was not going to be berated any longer- a sentiment that I agreed with.

    At the call of adjournment I stood and made a quick bolt to the exit, followed closely on my heels by Melissa Denker; I had to get to a soccer game that I was coaching that was to start at 10:40am (the girls played a great game and tied 1-1; their best performance of the spring by far) and Melissa had some personal matters to attend to. On the way out someone shouted that we should be ashamed for walking out, which got the Irish up in me and caught Melissa’s attention as well. We both turned back and shared our agendas with the folks who apparently had failed to pay attention to the fact that the meeting had effectively ended 30 minutes prior. Steve Verr, who I’ve never met, shouted back and labeled us Franks supporter; apparently coaching 10 and 11 year old girls is the mark of the devil.

    For all intents and purposes the meeting should have been about appointing a committee and nominating and approving two committeemen to the committee to evaluate the candidates seeking to fill the slot on the ballot, not about Tonya Franklin. Driving up before the meeting, the parkway in front of D’Andreas was filled with Franklin signs, and there was a giant sign in front of the entrance a well. While checking in, signs at the ‘registration table’ indicated that Tonya requested that everyone ‘please show their ID’. I was told that it was to keep out ‘troublemakers’.

    For those that only pay attention to the facts (and not just those that support their narrative) that are important to them a committee was convened and Franklin was interviewed twice by a committee appointed by Tryon which I understand was made up of two members of the executive committee and two precinct committeeme from the 63rd; arguably a makeup that would have met the test of Franklin, Meroni and Company had the committee approved Franklin’s slating on the ballot.

    Fire away.

  8. I want to conclude the letter with the part that Cal left out. (What the heck, Cal?) It is critical to understand my intention and for context.

    Before I post those final words, allow me to clearly state, for me, this matter is over. We went through the process, we lost. Many of us have real concern about Jack Franks on the ballot unopposed. However, the issue with the appointing to the ballot is over. We have an election in November!

    The rest of my letter.

    “As an aside, I can personally attest to knowledge that Republican State Party leadership repeatedly encouraged Tryon to hold the meeting to vote on Tonya Franklin’s application. Our Republican group worked within the Republican Party leadership not against it.”

    “Regardless, November is near. My focus as a Republican Committeeman is to elect principled Republicans and to defeat Democrats.”

    “After the meeting, many of us remained to network. Committeeman, Lori Miller brought some excellent informational packs to help equip committeemen with training and support. We passed out precinct walk sheets for the 63rd Precinct. We agreed to meet to work together to do so much more!”

  9. @Mike Shorten – your rehashing of the meeting is as accurate as I remember.

    I could not have said it better myself.

  10. Term limits would end a lot of the power trips some elected officials require to survive.

    It is amazing what we, the people, find out when someone new comes on the scene.

    I am tired of RINOs.

  11. First, thanks to Cal Skinner for his blog.

    As a new committeeman in another Illinois county, I found this whole skirmish quite appalling.

    There are a lot of us new Republican precinct committeemen.

    We are paying attention to what we are seeing and hearing.

    It seems that the old-guard Republican politicians are holding their power close to their chest.

    Time for a change?

    How could Republicans allow a Democrat to run unopposed?

    Don’t the voters have the right to decide on whether or not Tonya is qualified?

    Did I understand correctly that Jack Franks has run unopposed before?

    What is wrong with Illinois Republicans?

  12. To clarify on the last full paragraph should have read (had I written it in a clearer, connected manner):

    “For those that want to pay attention to the facts (and not just the ones that support their narrative), a committee was convened by Tryon which was made up of two members of the Executive Committee and two Precinct Committeemen from the 63rd; arguably a makeup that would have met the test of Franklin, Meroni and Company, provided the committee had approved Franklin’s slating on the ballot.”

  13. Bottom line is that we pay these people good money to represent us, and they failed to show up to work.

    They need to be FIRED!

  14. Precinct Committeemen are not paid.

    In fact, it costs money because the Central Committee no longer provides printing for precinct letters.

  15. To “4 8 16 24 32” on 06/04/2012 at 4:46 pm: I truly get your last sentence.

    The resemblance is uncanny, isn’t it??

    And Moore’s name was on the petition list as I recall.

    Regardless, my problem with this calamity isn’t necessarily the task that was undertaken, but that it had the makings of wibbly-wobbly goo – which left egg on a munch of people’s faces.

    And as Cal points out today, many Republicans missed out on a public appearance at the Harvard Milk Days parade.

    Say what you want about the value of such public appearances, but if it wasn’t important, Franks would not have been there.

    This whole thing could and should have been handled much better than it was, yet the collateral damage has been done by those who call themselves Republicans.

    Have they done more harm than good – yeah, that’s the way I’m leaning.

  16. The seat will now belong to a democrat because the republican establishment shut down the last hope for a republican on the ballot.

    The establishment needs to go.

  17. Yes, I can see what has happened to the county Republican Party here. .

    It’s following in Cook County foot steps.

    Corruption seems to be on the agenda.

  18. I’ve lived in McHenry county for just 8 months and am making note of the RINOs in this county so my family and I can help vote them out.

    There is no justification for Tryon allowing a Democrat to run unopposed when there is a ready, willing and able Republican willing to challenge Franks.

    We all need to be prepared to root out the RINOs this November and that clearly includes Tryon.

    Is Tryon supported by George Soros?

    His actions are indefensible.

  19. I find it fascinating that you all believe that Franks would have lost if you had just been granted a ballot slot for someone new to the market and whose ideology is a decidedly to the right of her own party, and who has limited name recognition.

    And apparently fewer resources that she believed from the results of the special meeting.

    Franks beat the last three candidates by a clear margin- including Perry Moy who is a long standing member of the community, an experienced campaigner during a time the Republican party was not fractured.

    Perhaps the public – the general public, has no problem with him?

    And yes, I am a Franks supporter, but the fact is- she would have faced an enormous battle in just getting her name known to the general public.

    I have no doubt she is committed- but realistically- this was a very high mountain to climb against ANY candidate who has 1/2 the name recognition that Franks has.

    The same argument can be made as to why Sen. Althoff has not had an opponent.

  20. I am just making an observation- I do not know Ms. Franklin and was not making a statement to her qualifications as a candidate.

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