I don’t know how you read the above letter, but it sounds to me as if Democrat Jack Franks is threatening to sue Republican Cal Skinner because of the critical articles I have posted on McHenry County Blog.
It seems to me that he is, as was McHenry County Sheriff Keith Nygren’s clone and endorsed successor Andy Zinke last week, trying to eliminate pretty much the only criticism he receives from anyone whose stories can be found on the internet.
No, I forgot the Northwest Herald criticized him for eliminating himself and judges from his meaningless Gubernatorial Recall Amendment to the Illinois Constitution and the Drano registration bill, a hint as to how much of a regulation mentality lies right under the surface of his public persona.
And the Chicago Tribune tore him apart for his bill to allow Com Ed to chop down any tree within 20-feet of a power line.
But, on the whole, headline-seeker Franks gets good press.
Franks says I’m not welcome at any of his personal or political events.
Pretty strange statement since I have never been closer to his home than the video tour his real estate agent posted when he was trying to sell his Bull Valley home to move to Marengo.
Pretty strange since I am not one of the Republicans who comes to his political fund raisers–not the cheap ones in McHenry County nor the big ticket ones in Chicago. And I’m not a Republican who allows my name to be used as part of his “Host Committee.”
Franks says I don’t have his permission to post his picture or that of his family.
For starters, I have no interest in his family.
I’m interested in what Jack Franks does in the public arena.
And I think I have taken every picture I have posted of Franks on McHenry County Blog in a public meeting or somewhere he showed himself in public trying to get publicity.
Those of us with long memories can remember the populist Jack Franks of the early days.
The guy who said he was “Pro-Choice,” but was not Pro-Choice enough for Personal PAC, the pro-abortion Political Action Committeen to endorse him. (In 2008 and 2010, Franks was endorsed by Personal PAC.)
Franks says I’m not a journalist and have “no right to any access.”
No credentials, don’t you know.
Guess I have no right to go to a parade or the Marengo re-apportionment committee meeting.
I’ll bet that those folks who wrote broadsides during the American Revolution didn’t have credentials either.
And lots of them didn’t use their own names as I do.
The folks who smeared Franks’ 2010 opponent John O’Neill right before the election weren’t brave enough to use their names either.
Although anonymous, the Founding Fathers who criticized King George fought for my right to criticize those who rule us.
One would think an attorney and seven-term Illinois State Representative would understand that.
The man who introduced a bill during the first part of his Springfield career to stop SLAPP suits filed by developers (think Richmond where the developer sued Village Trustees) is long gone.
(SLAPP, by the way, stands for “Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation.”)
When the Northwest Herald sued me, we used Franks’ law as part of our defense.
The article in question was about public policy.
So are my articles about Jack Franks.
I’m not an attorney like Franks, but I believe that political speech under the First Amendment has the highest protection.
If I wanted to distribute one of my posts, complete with photos, as a campaign piece in opposition to Franks’ re-election, or put it on the radio or television, I sincerely doubt anyone would take the complaints expressed in the above letter seriously.
Franks, like every candidate and public office holder, would love to get a free ride.
Franks has enjoyed that most of his career.
But the “populist” of the early days is long gone.
The “baggage” gets heavier as he seeks more power.
Now, instead of promoting an end to SLAPP suits, Jack Franks voted for the Commonwealth Edison rate increase bill. The Illinois Commerce Commission in a most convenient recent decision put off that electric rate increase of $3 a month until January.
That’s after the election, not that the timing makes any difference to the three legislators from McHenry County who supported the bill.
None of them have opposition.
Franks last sentence says, “I trust that I have made myself clear.”
You have,”Chainsaw Jack.”
Your bill to allow Com Ed to chop down every tree within 20-feet of a power line shows how out of touch you are with McHenry County. Even having been out of office almost twelve years, I can tell you that introducing that idea was about as far from representing McHenry County residents as one can go.
It’s clear you can’t stand the heat.