That’s the headline from the Chicago Tribune’s news feed this morning. (Strangely, there is nothing in the home delivered Tribune., but an article appears in the paper edition of the Sun-Times for which I can’t find a link.)
While State Rep. Jack Franks did not tell in-the-room reporter Pete Gonigam of the First Electric Newspaper that he was definitely not going to run for both McHenry County Board Chairman and State Representative, that’s what he told other reporters.
Sometimes, I guess, it helps to have a bit of distance from a subject.
It provides perspective that being on the front line does not.
Here’s a bit more:
“Franks sought to portray the long-rumored move as a result of frustration over the lack of a state budget.
But as a Democrat holding a seat in Republican territory, Franks was potentially a target of Republican Gov. Rauner and his allies this fall…
“For Franks, running for County Board president allows him to sidestep a possible Rauner-funded challenge.
“While Franks got 58 percent in 2014 [down from 63.92% om 2010 when he ran against John O’Neill], Rauner easily carried the district.”
A more optimistic view comes from Politico reporter Natasha Korecki, whose parents used to operate a restaurant next to the old Post Office in Algonquin:
“Democratic bench: Independence? Executive experience?
“It’s something Democrats are looking for as they are to face a bitter gubernatorial election in 2018.
“So far, no one has raised his or her hand to go up against deep-pocketed [Bruce] Rauner.
“But should Franks win the county chair seat, it could quickly propel him high on the Democrats’ short list.”
Strangely, Franks told Politico of a tactic he has frequently used:
“What we keep doing is the old Springfield shuffle, ‘I’ll pass a bill you won’t call, you pass a bill I won’t call.
“‘Then we go and campaign and say what a great job we’re doing.’”
Think about Franks’ passing
- a reapportionment constitutional amendment in the House that did not get called in the State Senate this year
- twice passing property tax freezes in the House, getting publicity, only to see them die in the Senate (this year’s version is still alive, but my prediction is that it will not pass).
Read the Daily Herald’s analysis by Mike Riopell. Franks apparently told him flat-out that he would not run for re-election.
And why does he want to run for County Board Chairman?
“I’m working so hard to help people at home, and it’s being undermined by a board that doesn’t have the taxpayers’ best interests in mind.”
Here’s how GOP County Board Chairman Mike Walkup characterizes Franks’ candidacy in the Daily Herald:
“Instead of staying in Springfield, where he now has some influence, and trying to fix some things there, (Franks) is putting his tail between his legs and running home.”
The Chicago Sun-Times article is headlined
Franks exiting Legislature: ‘I’ve never seen it so bad.’
Perhaps Franks record last year has led to his conclusion of the problems in Springfield.
Last year he only passed two bills, one allowing election of the Marengo Rescue Squad board (not consolidating it with the Marengo Fire Protection District, mind you) and the other saying the General Assembly shall not create any new units of government for four years. (Of course, one General Assembly cannot bind a subsequent one.)