Northwest Herald Charged with Bias

The following letter to the Northwest Herald is published with the permission of its author Linda Iverson of Huntley:

Media Bias

Compare the media bias of two headlines from the August 13 Northwest Herald:

One states “McHenry County Board Chairman Candidate Wants to Nix Valley Hi levy” another headline claims “Jack Franks, Lake County Board Chairman Pledge to Use Government Consolidation Power.”

Editors decided to use the negative word “nix” in the first story, and readers also have to read down to the second paragraph to finally learn it’s Michael Walkup proposing the elimination of the tax levy.

Walkup’s proposal is bold and would make real and lasting difference to property tax bills, while the effect of Franks’ consolidation legislation is not proven with hard numbers.

A candidate’s success depends to an extent on name recognition, and Walkup deserves equal treatment.

The Northwest Herald has been cheerleader for Jack Franks for years, and this example of subtle bias shows that the Northwest Herald will not change their bias any time soon.


Northwest Herald Charged with Bias — 62 Comments

  1. Here are the number of Public Acts (laws) that have passed the Illinois General Assembly and became law since Jack Franks has been in office.

    General Assembly – Years – Number of Public Acts (laws)
    91st General Assembly, 1999 – 2000, 954
    92nd General Assembly, 2001 – 2002, 886
    93rd General Assembly, 2003 – 2004, 1,102
    94th General Assembly, 2005 – 2006, 1,113
    95th General Assembly, 2007 – 2008, 1,056
    96th General Assembly, 2009 – 2010, 1,555
    97th General Assembly, 2011 – 2012, 1,173
    98th General Assembly, 2013 – 2014, 1,175
    99th General Assembly, 2015 – 2016, 828
    Total to date: 9,842


    There are many unfunded mandates among those 9,842 laws.

    And Jack Franks claims he has never voted for a tax hike.

    Does anyone believe that none of those 9,842 laws has resulted in a tax hike?

    Apparently a lot of people believe that.

    Because Jack Franks repeatedly claims he has never voted for a tax hike.

    And not many people call him out on that claim.

  2. Democrat Jack Franks v Republican Mike Walkup for inaugural McHenry County Board Chair election on November 8, 2016.

  3. Correction needed above.

    Does anyone believe that none of the 9,842 bills for which Jack Franks has voted yea (yes), has resulted in a tax hike?

    +++++ > Public Acts

  4. Kevin Carver for the NWH has been a Jack cheerleader for years.

    If Jack does anything that isn’t considered negative, Kevin prints a story about it, where other local elected get little or no NWH stories.

    Also lets not forget, Mike was into Consolidation/Elimination of Townships way before Jack picked up that ball and took all the headlines, again mostly in the NWH by Kevin Carver.

    One other note is the Consolidation takes serious consideration before the actual action should happen.

    Jack makes it sound like consolidating is a easy process that would save $$$$ every time.

    Jack is full of himself and the most self serving elected official from this county.

  5. This statement deserves repeating:

    “Jack is full of himself and the most self serving elected official from this county.”

  6. Cautious: LOL

    My top three self serving politicians from IL.

    #3 Jack Franks

    #2 Mike Madigan

    #1 Hilliar Clinton

  7. It’s not just Carver that needs a lesson in unbiased journalism, editor Dan McCaleb is in cahoots with Jacko as well.

  8. I’ve always known Craver to be objective and a straight shooter.

    McCaleb is an obvious progressive cheerleader with an agenda.

  9. Kevin Craver of the Northwest Herald wrote both of the Northwest Herald articles in the McHenry County Blog post above.

    His articles are likely subject to editing by the papers editors.


    The Northwest Herald has published 3 notable Jack Franks pledges and promises.


    Northwest Herald

    September 20, 1998

    “In his speech, Franks pledged to hold himself to three terms in the Illinois House.”


    Eighteen years later, Jack Franks as of August 21, 2016, is currently in his 9th term in the Illinois State House of Representatives (each term is 2 years).


    Northwest Herald

    November 4, 1998

    “Franks, a political newcomer, has said he plans to serve only three terms if elected.”


    Jack Franks was first elected as State Representative on November 3, 1998.

    State Representatives take office in January of the following year, which in this case was January 1999.


    Northwest Herald

    Franks asks County for 2 Advisory Referendums

    June 6, 2014

    by Kevin Craver

    “‘What I’m trying to do is reduce our property taxes in McHenry County and make it livable so people don’t leave,’ Franks said.

    I can promise you I am not running for county chairman in 2016.

    This has nothing to do with me.

    This is about good government.'”


  10. They support Jack Franks because how great he would be compared to Mike Walkup.

  11. Jack Franks voted to short state contributions to the 5 state pension funds in 2006 & 2007 with Senate Bill 27 (SB 27) which Governor Rod Blagojevich signed into law as Public Act 94-0004 in 2005.

    That increased taxpayer contributions to the pension funds.

  12. Cal Skinner bemoaning the nature of anyone’s bias towards Jack Franks, lest that of the Northwest Herald, is nothing short of hilarious.

    What headline did you use to describe Walkup, Skinner?

    “Walkup Calls for Abolition of Valley Hi Tax”

    So because they didn’t use his name, that’s bias?

    It’s literally the same headline rhetorically.

  13. Jack Franks on the committee for unfunded mandates.

    The same Jack Franks stating he has never voted for a tax hike, yet he has voted on about 9,842 bills that became state law (he did not vote for any unfunded mandates in those 9,842 bills that resulted in hiked taxes)?

    The same Jack Franks who voted to short pension contributions.

    The same Jack Franks who in 2014 said he would not run for County Board Chair in 2016.

    The same Jack Franks who in 1998 said he would run for no more than 3 terms (6 years) as State Representative.

  14. Federal Farmer

    Caver is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    He uses his position at Shaw to befriend people and manipulate situations.

    He fuels contempt within the Republican Party in the stories he covers, the way he writes and the people he supports through his reporting.

  15. State Representative Jack Franks was a member of the Local Government Consolidation and Unfunded Mandates Task Force that concluded on December 31, 2015 and was chaired by Illinois Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti.

    The final report of the task force was 406 pages.

    The Unfunded Mandates portion of the report is pages 62 – 96, with information elsewhere in the report.

    The Illinois Municipal League reported 266 unfunded mandates since 1982, an average of 15 mandates per General Assembly.

    The Illinois Association of School Boards reported 145 new mandates since 1992.


    Brad Cole, the Executive Director of the Illinois Municipal League reported there are 8 different types of mandates that have significant financial implications against municipalities:

    o Public Pension Mandates

    o Property Tax Caps

    o Collective Bargaining and Interest Arbitration

    o Prevailing Wage

    o Public Safety Employee Benefits Act

    o Public Employee Disability Act

    o Freedom of Information Act

    o Health Insurance Continuation Law

  16. Would the Constitutional guarantee of public sector pensions qualify as an unfunded mandate?

  17. Mark,
    I’ve seen residential foreclosure notices in the Northwest Herald more interesting than what you post.

  18. This blog is completely bias it would be much better if you provided political unbiased news.

  19. Ha ha

    Sure Cal puts his opinion on certain issues on the blog BECAUSE
    He has had extensive state local
    Political experiences over decades.

    The rainbow of issues he puts on this blog
    Just don’t get reported on in the regular
    Media in any depth or frequency.

    Various people add to the information
    & history of the topic & a picture is painted.

    TOO BAD the uninformed & BIG SPENDERS don’t like the finished

  20. Again, will state. . .
    Simple solution for
    Simple minds.

    If you don’t like what you
    Read, STOP reading it &

  21. least we forget they are so afraid of any comments anymore they don’t even give options to Comment on most of the articles…

    talk about one way traffic….

    thinking …


    what a joke!

  22. An unfunded mandate is a state law for which there is no funding attached or identified.

    Unfunded mandates a reason taxes are increasing.

    Most pension benefit hikes were unfunded mandates.

    Those along with retiree healthcare benefit hikes are the worst unfunded mandates.

    That is due to one sentence added to the Illinois State Constitution on December 15, 1970:

    “Membership in any pension or retirement system of the State,

    any unit of local government or school district,

    or any agency or instrumentality thereof,

    shall be an enforceable contractual relationship,

    the benefits of which shall not be diminished or impaired.”


    That sentence allowed unfunded pension mandates.

    That sentence allowed unfunded retiree healthcare mandates.

    To pension systems that were already underfunded.


    Underfunded government pensions and retiree healthcare systems are the #1 fiscal problem in the State of Illinois.


    The pension sentence is a failure.

  23. Watchdog- Cal puts his opinion on this blog because he isn’t a journalist.

    He is a former elected official whose hobby has developed into a local source of speculation and gossip.

    To claim depth and research is nonsense.

    It is what it is – a McHenry county watercooler of politicos.

    For anyone to say that Carver is bias- particularly towards a Democrat has never met the man.

    Franks was pushing for consolidation over a decade ago.

    Walk up a decade ago was working to elect Melissa Bean.

    Covering an elected official does not a cheerleader make.

    Cal posts an article everyday about Franks with virtually no new information.

    You don’t call that Bias?

    Just because you don’t agree with the facts doesn’t make the information bias- it makes you bias.

    They aren’t afraid of comments- they want people to comment using their real name.

    Amazing how the comments stopped over night.

    We all have something to hide apparently.

  24. Follow the

    Jack D Franks

    1,431 donors contributed $5,042,038 over 10 elections.

    State Representative: 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, & 2016 (primary for 2016).

    Some donors were listed more than once.


    $5,042,038 campaign contributions and 9,842 bills that became law to date during his 9 terms in office.

    Jack Franks says he has never voted for a tax hike.

    In all the bills he voted for that became law over those 16 years, not one hiked taxes?

  25. Whom in Illinois that has held political office has a blog other than Cal Skinner?

  26. Pretty clear that so many don’t understand what a newspaper is and what a blog is.

    Where were you folks educated?

  27. Inish hits it on the head: Cal’s hobby is destructive for the local party.

    The Local GOP leadership needs to REALLY take a look at Skinner and ask: Is this the guy we will continue to take cues from?

    Look at his hand picks candidates that have gone onto lose in general elections. Now look at Walkup. I mean, look! Walkup’s website doesn’t even work – LOOK!

    Cal is the presumed GOP standard bearer, but what are Cal’s goals anymore?

    He’s a has been and now just grasping at what residual power he can garner while trading on the moldy scraps of a once amicable career.

    Cal Skinner once championed prison reform.

    Cal Skinner was once a true fiscal watchdog.

    Skinner once stood for something.

    Now, to quote the Daily Herald on June 29th, 2009, “The difference between a newspaper and Mr. Skinner is that Mr. Skinner doesn’t care if he’s right or not.”

    Nearly 8 years of taking direction from Cal Skiner is enough.

  28. Cindy, glad you’re back !
    Agree with your comment

    Again, Inish just twisted, turned &
    Extracted parts of my comments to
    Suit her points.

    Example, never said Cal was a ‘journalist’.

    Never said, Cal’s threads had ‘depth & research’, (per se) was talking generally about how people contribute info & research to the threads (Like Mark).

    As for the rest of the comments, it’s
    CAL’S BLOG & he can be as biased as
    He wants to be !

    We are all free to post info, opinions
    Etc. & agree to disagree or whatever.

    If someone is looking for alot of consensus & validation all the time,
    they are problably in the wrong spot.

  29. I think the above couldn’t have articulated my point better.

    Cal has delegitimized his voice and credibility by casting the spotlight on unsavory and trite hackery.

    He’s not a journalist.

    He’s not interested in fairness.

    He’s interested in power, but look at those candidates he chooses as a power broker:

  30. Well I APPRECIATE CAL’s threads & the
    Blog as a place to get info, perspectives,
    & try to have some meaningful discourse
    With others on many topics !

    Although Cal is retired & this is his hobby, he gets around to events, meetimgs, etc. & believe he still has the heartbeat of alot
    Of major issues in MC county.

    Phooey to ye naysayers !

  31. Bla bla bla moderate NOT.

    Aren’t you still at work (&
    Also posting on the blog) ?

    You just need an evening at the
    Boat (in Elgin) to help you deal with
    All that DISAGREEABLE political
    ANGST you’ve built up & PROJECTED
    Onto Cal today.

  32. The only time I bet is against is John Radke, and he’s lucky he doesn’t take my best because he’d be really in the hole then.

  33. So unaware of how egotistical that
    Comment about betting sounds
    Moderate NOT.

    More PROJECTION especially on this comment . . .
    “He’s (Cal S) interested in power, but look at those candidates he chooses as a power broker.

    Now let’s NOT FORGET about that recent
    WGN radio broadcast coming from that
    Career politician who would like to
    Rule/run Mchenry County.

    There might be a board in that certain
    Career politician’s eye.

  34. The path to victory for Democrat County Board Chair candidate Jack Franks v Republican candidate Mike Walkup, and Democrat State Representative 63rd District candidate John Bartman v Republican candidate Steve Reick, is to discredit the local conservative blog and outperform the Republicans in the Get Out the Vote campaign.

  35. Look at all the Jack Franks PAC expenditures since the March 8, 2016 primary election on, many before Jack Franks officially announced on Sunday May 15, 2015 that he was running for McHenry County Board Chair.

    Many expenditures in a primary campaign in which he had no Democrat opposition.

    But remember, Democrat Jeffery Lichte was running as a Republican against Steve Reick in that primary election for 63rd District State Representative.

    That would be the same Jeffery Lichte who on Sunday July 24, 2016 was photographed by local blogger Cal Skinner driving a Jack Franks campaign vehicle wearing a Jack Franks campaign hat at the McHenry Fiesta Days Parade.

  36. Someone sent me a link to the article.

    Perhaps I should post a story about how the NWH caved on the suit the day after the judge said he needed a second week after his self-imposed deadline to finish his opinion.

    The quote came from the NWH’s attorney right after the suit was filed.

    Evidence of the loan from McHenry County that the NWH denied existed was produced during the case.

  37. The Daily Herald quoted the attorney representing the Northwest Herald who sued Cal Skinner regarding a comment made about the Northwest Herald receiving a special deal from the County Board.

    Which led to Cal Skinner counter suing.

    The case was settled with neither party admitting wrong doing.


    Northwest Herald

    June 11, 2009

    Northwest Herald’s owner sues blogger, claims defamation


    Daily Herald

    Newspaper swings back at political gadfly Cal Skinner Jr.

    by Charles Keeshan

    June 29, 2009


    Northwest Herald

    June 30, 2009

    Blogger responds to suit, files 1 of his own


    Northwerst Herald

    Blogger, paper drop lawsuits

    January 28, 2010

    by Brian Slupski


  38. Hey Cal, go for posting the thread !

    Only hearing crickets now.

  39. So that’s what you do now, Skinner?

    You delete posts you disagree with?

  40. Good for you Cal !

    That was a nasty post,
    Taken out of context after
    reading the INFO links MARK

    Moderate NOT & Inish tried a
    Tag team attack that blew up in
    Their wannabe adult diapers.

  41. The Chairman of Jack Franks re-election committee is Thomas D McTavish. > Committees > Search Options > Committee Search > Committee Name: Supporters of Jack D Franks > Officers


    In addition to that role, Tom McTavish has 4 other roles in organized labor:

    – Treasurer of the McHenry County BCTC, AFL-CIO

    – Member of the Board of Directors of CISCO (the labor management association, not the technology company)

    – Business Manager & Financial Secretary of IBEW Local 117

    – Officer in the NECA – IBEW Local 117 / IBEW Local 150 / IBEW Local 461, Northeastern Illinois LMCC


    This is likely one reason why current Democrat State Representative 63rd District / current Democrat McHenry County Board Chair candidate Jack Franks called Republican Governor Bruce Rauner a union buster.

    The chair of Jack Franks’ political action committee (PAC) is heavily involved in organized labor in a number of different roles.


    BCTC = Building & Construction Trades Council, an umbrella organization of AFL-CIO building and construction trades unions.

    CISCO = Construction Industry Service Corporation, a partnership between companies that employ union labor, and labor unions.

    IBEW = International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the electrical labor union.

    NECA = National Electrical Contractors Association, a partnership between companies that employ union labor, and labor unions (its possible but unlikely for NECA contractors to employ non union labor).

    LMCC = Labor Management Cooperation Committee, a partnership between companies that employ union labor, and labor unions.


    Located at 765 Munshaw Lane, Crystal Lake, Illinois

    – McHenry County BCTC, AFL-CIO

    – IBEW Local 117

    – NECA – IBEW Locals 117 / 150 / 461, Northeastern Illinois LMCC


    Located at 999 McClintock Drive, Burr Ridge, Illinois

    – CISCO

    – Illinois AFL-CIO, aka AFL-CIO Illinois State Federation of Labor, Burr Ridge office

    – Laborers District Council of Chicago

    – Laborers District Council of Chicago LECET

    – Laborers District Council of Chicago LMCC


    LECET = Laborers – Employers Cooperation and Education Trust

  42. Democrat Jack Franks winning the McHenry County Board Chair v Republican Mike Walkup would be a victory for Michael Madigan.

    One of Michael Madigan’s roles is Chairman of the Democrat Party of Illinois.

  43. Moderate, if you don’t like Cal and the decisions he makes then get off HIS blog site.

    Cal you did the right thing.

    Remember not everything Mark says is always correct.

    Since Mark likes to take over the blog, why don’t you start your own site like David Bachman did.

  44. The McHenry County website lists Precinct Committeemen. > County Government > County Yearbook > Political Parties


    McHenry County has 17 townships containing 212 precincts.

    21 Precincts have neither a Republican nor a Democrat Precinct Committeemen.


    Township – # Precincts – # Republican Precinct Committeemen – # Democrat Precinct Committeemen – # with no Precinct Committeemen

    Twp – # Pre – # Rep – # Dem – None

    Riley —— 1 – 1 – 1 – 0
    Marengo — 4 – 4 – 1 – 0
    Dunham — 1 – 1 – 0 – 0
    Chemung — 5 – 3 – 0 – 2
    Alden ——- 1 – 1 – 1 – 0
    Hartland — 2 – 2 – 1 – 0
    Seneca —– 2 – 1 – 1 – 0
    Coral ——- 3 – 3 – 1 – 0
    Grafton — 31 – 21 – 11 – 6
    Dorr ——– 14 – 13 – 11 – 0
    Greenwood – 7 – 6 – 2 – 1
    Hebron —– 2 – 2 – 1 – 0
    Richmond — 4 – 4 – 0 – 0
    Burton —– 3 – 2 – 1 – 0
    McHenry — 35 – 35 – 18 – 0
    Nunda ——- 29 – 26 – 9 – 2
    Algonquin – 68 – 55 – 17 – 10

  45. Totals:

    212 Precincts

    180 with a Republican Precinct Committeemen

    76 with a Democrat Precinct Committeemen

    21 with neither a Republican nor a Democrat Precinct Committeemen.


    Can the Republicans organize and leverage their advantage of more precinct committeemen to overcome:

    – the approximate $500,000 advantage in Democrat Jack Franks PAC v Republican Mike Walkup PAC to date for the McHenry County Board Chair election on November 8, 2016

    – the apparent Jack Franks jump start in the campaign looking at his PAC expenditures (he had no opposition in the primary election)

    – unknown Democrat election tricks (remember Democrat Jeffery Licthe runs as a Republican in the 63rd District primary)

    – unknown Democrat Madigan Madigoons (remember IEA IPACE PAC sends campaign contributions to Shaw Decremer address for mailer as part of the Government for the People, Independent Expenditure PAC; further remember the attack mailers against Steve Reick in the campaign)

    – Jack Franks ties to organized labor for campaign contributions, votes, and election assistance; including his campaign chair.

    – the Illinois Democrat get out the vote machine.

    – Jack Franks partnering with fellow Marengo resident John Bartman in political mailers for Democrat McHenry County Board Chair and Democrat State Representative 63rd District. State Representative Franks wrote a letter on February 27, 2003 to Governor Rod Blagojevich requesting that Mr. Bartman be considered for an IDOT job; Mr. Bartman subsequently received an IDOT job.

  46. Inish hits it on the head: Cal’s hobby is destructive for the local party.

    The Local GOP leadership needs to REALLY take a look at Skinner and ask: Is this the guy we will continue to take cues from?

    Look at his hand picks hacks that have gone onto lose in general elections.

    Now look at Walkup.

    I mean, look!

    Walkup’s website doesn’t even work – LOOK!

    Cal is the presumed GOP standard bearer,he bemoans the Northwest Herald for bias, yet his own headline for his own handpicked candidate just days ago was, “Walkup Calls for Abolition of Valley Hi Tax,” and the Herald’s was “McHenry County Board Chairman Candidate Wants to Nix Valley Hi levy.”

    VIRTUALLY the same. A

    nd this is for a guy he endorses and campaigns for?

    What are Cal’s goals anymore?

    He’s a has been and now just grasping at what residual power he can garner while trading on the moldy scraps of a once amicable career.

    Cal Skinner once championed prison reform.

    Cal Skinner was once a true fiscal watchdog.

    Skinner once stood for something.

    “He went beyond opinion and made a statement of fact about the editorial product,” he said.

    Now, to quote the Daily Herald on June 29th, 2009, “The difference between a newspaper and Mr. Skinner is that Mr. Skinner doesn’t care if he’s right or not.”

    Nearly 8 years of taking direction from Cal Skiner is enough.


  47. Cal Skinner is Precinct Committeemen and blogger.

    He has no leadership position in the Republican Party.


    Seems like this blog is having a noticeable impact since it’s seeing so much attention from its detractors.

  48. Cal can you get these idiots off your blog.

    We don’t want to hear all their negative opinions of you.

    You are the best and have a great blog.

  49. 1- Cal Skinner IS RETIRED

    2- the Blog is Cal’s HOBBY

    In theory Cal has no need for goals
    (Per se) at this point in his life.

    Doubtful that Cal has aspirations
    For polical power BECAUSE, AGAIN
    He is RETIRED & the blog is his HOBBY !

    These facts are obviously NOT being
    PROCESSED by MOD Not/Liberal progressive & Inish.

    These are juvenile personal tag team
    Attacks on Cal that uncover the character
    Of the people making them.

    These people are OBVIOUSLY PROJECTING their issues/politically
    Neurotic angst to boost their own
    Lack of self esteem.

  50. I love Cal’s blog.

    It is informative and fun to kind of go back and forth in a nice way.

    Some people are trying to ruin it and that is obvious.

    Cal puts a lot of time into things he does and Cal we appreciate it.

  51. For two examples of excellent watchdog journalism here:

    Cal alerted us to covert attempts to ram through a power plant zoning permit in Oak wood Hills, enabling citizens to muster a winning self defense,


    Has printed depthful analyses of local TIF incursions, educating citizens about this complicated topic of tax money diversion toward private interests which drives up property tax rates.

  52. I will point out again that the quote was from the Northwest Herald’s attorney, the day after the case was filed.

    The Northwest Herald did not win the case.

  53. Someone actually has the nerve to quote the daily herald communist rag?


  54. The Daily Herald has published at least 43 Teacher Tribute articles, plus untold other articles about teachers.

    Nothing against teacher tribute articles, but the newspaper needs more balance.

    Not one single article about having governments post collective bargaining change documents (underline text for additions, stricken text for deletions) so the taxpayers can identify every single change to collective bargaining agreements.

    How about tribute articles to other professions: fire, police, building trades, landscapers, restaurant owners, doctors, lawyers, small business owners, marketing, finance, accounting, operations, information technology, distribution, warehousing, transportation, fine arts, performers, etc.

  55. Illinois Elections (it’s data source is the Illinois State Board of Elections)


    Jack Franks political action committee (PAC) named Supporters of Jack D Franks; committee ID

    June 2016 —— $15,101 (June 1 – June 26)
    May 2016 ——— $07,018
    April 2016 —– $08,505
    March 2016 —– $47,091 (Primary election, ran unopposed)
    February 2016 — $11,820
    January 2016 — $14,945
    December 2015 — $09,138
    November 2015 — $07,565
    October 2015 — $17,420
    September 2015 – $07,750
    August 2015 —– $15,643
    July 2015 ——– $14,838
    June 2015 ——– $08,360
    May 2015 ——— $05,934
    April 2015 —— $05,446
    March 2015 —— $07,275
    February 2015 — $07,360
    January 2015 —- $10,814
    Total ————– $222,025

    more data is available on the Illinois State Board of Elections website.

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