Back in 2014, Democrats leafleted at least Woodstock with a negative piece complaining about rejecting the the “the Good Old Boys.”
Targeted were John Hammerand, John Jung and Steve Reick.
Hammerand and Jung were running for the McHenry County Board, while Steve Reick was running for State Rep. against Jack Franks.
Using a time-honored approach by local Democrats, the identification on the post card was of a committee never heard of before:
Citizens Against Cronyism
But there is a union bug.
No address for the piece is given and, even if it were, there’s probably no agency that would do an official investigation.
Most interesting was the back of what seems to have been designed as a mailing.
It features Jack Franks’ hate symbol, Jack Schaffer.
Schaffer, who left office as State Senator in 1993 after serving twenty years, then served as a Jim Edgar department director and subsequently was named by the County Board as our county’s representative on the Metra Board.
That made him eligible for three pensions, albeit the Metra pension was quite small.
Schaffer owns Liberty Outdoor Advertising and had the audacity to rent the billboard nearest State Rep. Jack Frank’s Route 47 Woodstock office for an anti-Franks message when John O’Nell was on the ballot as a Republican. You can see the 2010 message below:
The 2010 billboard caught Jack Franks’ attention. (Now, six years later, the figures are undoubtedly much higher. For labor unions alone the figure is over $1 million.)
After this billboard appeared during the O’Neill challenge of Franks, Franks showed the temper for which he is well-known.
He suddenly took an interest in Metra.
Of course, Franks denied that his attacks on then-Metra Board member Schaffer after the election were motivated by the billboard. (I lay out the chronology of the feud here, if your interest is deep.)
Schaffer has been out of elective office since 1993, but in the public eye for voting “Hell No!” to the motion to dismiss the reform Metra Executive Director.
Schaffer was not running for office then, but got top billing in the mailing from an unknown pop-up group.
So, what does that have to do with Jack Franks?
Jack Franks attacked County Board candideate Mike Walkup for running for two offices, the chairmanship and a District 3 seat on the County Board.
Walkup would be a double dipper, Franks charged.
That was a false charge because Walkup initiated the ordinance that would preclude anyone who was elected to those two offices from being paid two salaries. Such a person would only be paid the County Chairman’s salary.
When he was interviewed by “Big” John Howell, State Rep. Jack Franks was asked about running for both State Representative and McHenry County Board Chairman, which Howell noted was legal.
Franks said the following on that radio show:
“I’m not going to take advantage of that.
“Make a choice.”
Recently sworn in as McHenry County Board Chairman, Franks is still on the State payroll as State Representative.
That makes Jack Franks a double-dipper.
I wondered if the reason was because he needed a full twelve months pay to get his 18-year pension.
When contacted, however, the General Assembly Retirement System folks told me that pensions are pro-rated monthly.
So, if Franks had decided to resign and be sworn in on December 1st, as originally planned, he would have received a legislative pension based on 17 and 11/12 years.
But he decided to go for the full pension that 18 years would provide.
He can start collecting $58,622 in two years when he is 55 years old.
And when he turns 60, his pension goes up 3% every year – guaranteed by the taxpayers (just like mine.
If Jack lives to 83, the average age for a male age 53, he’ll have collected a total of $2.3 million.
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It was too cold to go to Colonial for a photo of an ice cream cone with two dips.