Anonymous Attack Piece on Jack Franks

It appears that someone thinks turnabout is fair play.

Yesterday, McHenry County Blog published an attack piece, purportedly from conservative Trump admirers, but, in my opinion, from Democrats afraid to make their name(s) public.

Look what another friend of McHenry County Blog sent me:

It says it is paid for “Crocodile Hunter – McHenry County Swamp Progressions” I think.

I know what a “progressive” is, but I think “progressions” is  mathematical term, not a political one.

[Typo on last word in title of anonymous committee originally.]


Anonymous Attack Piece on Jack Franks — 34 Comments

  1. I’m starting to see a pattern…

    Cal posts about Jack every Thursday like clockwork. This blog is no longer about news, it’s about being a thorn in the side of Franks.

    I reiterate my claim from last week: Cal is slowly deteriorating. His attacks becoming ever more sophomoric a-political:
    -Aesthetic Critiques on Logos
    -Micromanaging Routine Campaign Reimbursements
    -Doxing Personal Information on a Mother
    -Falsly Asserting Franks Interrupted a Constituent in a Public Forum
    -(Update) A ‘hit piece’ with typos that was distributed…where?

    Watching Cal is like watching the slow decay of a once honorable man – his sense of self and identity gradually transitioning into a state of both loathing and coveting Franks’ success. His continued antagonistic posts serve to further delegitimize what few, honest critiques on policy he does make, leading to the side show this blog has become. Whereas the Northwest Herald once saw Cal as a threat and sued him, they now probably view him as a joke.

  2. Moderate, feel free not to read. I know several Northwest Herald employees, and there all readers of this page.

    What does that say about them?

    Typos be damned, this page is still the only place to know what’s really going on in this county.

  3. “Feel free not to read.” I’m sure you would like that.

    My goal is to continue to point out that Cal is a beacon of nonsense. In my two years monitoring this blog, I’m seeing more and more that Cal’s influence is diminishing. His content is stale. Cal’s pattern to post about Jack on Thursday, no matter how trivial, is obvious. That’s not the pattern of a news org, thats the pattern of vendetta to smear Franks.

    Typos be damned, Cal posts the GOP playbook. He is a spy who divulges all the secrets to the enemy. Look at all the info Democrats WOULDN’T have if Cal didn’t post it!! He bad for the local GOP.

  4. Nice try Moderate / minion of the “round mound”.

    Your post: “He bad for the local GOP.” says it all.

    Thank you Cal!

    Keep it up!

    It is getting to them!!

  5. If Cal were an offensive coordinator in the NFL, he would have already given his playbook to the other team.

    This blog provides detailed information on all GOP happenings and provides pointless, mud-slinging drivel about Democrats.

    Your failure to recognize this continues to empower your opposition. Pure and simple.

  6. Also, let’s take pause and address each of the salacious claims in this flimsily worded hit piece:

    Claim one: “One of Jack’s first agenda items was to jack up the county property tax levy by $80,000”
    (Partially True) What this claim fails to consider is that even Jack’s opponent, Mike Walkup, voted for the levy adjustment. Additionally, Mike Walkup defended Jack and this decision. Finally, the budget/adjustment was determined BEFORE Jack took office. Ex post facto much?

    Claim two:Jack immediately hired two patronage hires costing taxpayers more than $160,000 every year and pays them from his campaign funds too
    (Partially True) What this claim fails to consider is that the taxpayers were already ‘charged’ for the expected sallaries of these two employees. Franks did not increase the overall liability of taxpayers by hiring staff. Additionally, this post fails to address the fact that every other county wide elected official has staff. Finally, Cal and his lackeys, after multiple FOIA requests, confirmed that the Chairman previously had a budget for staff. However, this budget was removed suddenly after Franks won office. What’s the Naxi Propoganda Cal posts all the time? “Verrryyy Interessssting.”

    Claim Three: Jack bullies county board member, ignores county board rules and believe himself to be the anointed king and savior of McHenry County
    (Laughably and Subjectively False) I would point to Cal’s attempt to frame Jack as a “serial interrupter” after he alleged Franks ruthlessly interrupted a constituent in a public forum. Commo “petty?”

    Claim Four: Jack siphons campaign contributions to pay himself rent on a building he already owns.
    (Hilariously True) Jack pays rent – so what?

    In sum, this “hit” piece is a joke.

  7. Sunshine blogger, time to change the subject. How about another hit piece to trash labor unions? Or another post on political signs from the 70’s stored somewhere in our beautiful county…Tic, tock, tic, tock…

  8. No one was forced to read this blog.

    Posts that actually contribute to the discussion are more useful than personal attacks on the McHenry County Blog’s owner.

  9. Agree! Atrocious personal attacks and character assassination are fine if directed to progressives; but please leave my sunshine blogger (and his cat) alone. 2018, are you finally here? Tic, tock, tic, tock…

  10. Please ignore the colossal and humiliating defeat our president tronald dump suffered when his disastrous dumpcare bill failed in the US Senate. remember republicans promising to repeal the Affordable care Act during 7 years? Remember tronald dump promising to repeal the Affordable Care Act on day 1? Perhaps day 1 is still going on as he was referring to time in biblical terms. Remember, tronald dump reads the Bible every day in the White House Bible study group…tic, tock, tic, tock…

  11. I seem to remember your favorite official, Jack Franks, promising to cut our taxes 10% on day one.

    Anyone else remember that?

  12. I do, Cal.

    However if you’re a DEMOCRAT then you probably wouldn’t, due to selective memory of course.

  13. Last time I checked (today) Cal was only tangentially active politically and is now the Publisher and Editor of this political journal.

    And this journal is the source of more real political reporting than anything covering McHenry County politics.

    He is probably been more critical of Republicans (note his articles on the 10 state rep traitors).

    I doubt he is privy to any current detailed Republican strategy.

  14. “In my two years monitoring this blog ”

    That’s all Moderate, (most likely paid) shill for Franks, has to say.

    If Cal’s blog wasn’t influential, Moderate wouldn’t need to be monitoring the blog.

  15. In my analysis of his readership, Cal has less than 40 unique hits per page. This is a fact.

    If Cal were a newspaper, he would be out of business.

    So, who are the 40 people that read Cal’s blog? Clearly not the public. It’s the local Republicans!! Cal’s blog is beneficial to Democrats in that he acts as the water cooler for local Republicans, posting sensitive GOP party information constantly. So yes, Cal is beneficial, but to a very narrow subset whose breadth and depth is electorally negligible at best.

    Don’t believe me? Let’s set the record straight.

    HEY CAL, how many UNIQUE visitors per month do you have?

  16. It’s distressing to continue to see inaccuracies and misshapen facts parlayed not only here but everywhere else in the political blogosphere Truth has been a casualty of the political process of late at every level (ie Trump phone calls from the edge), and I despair for the future of our democracy if this continues.

    For the sake of brevity I will just address two things.

    First of all, the two hires by Franks are not like those of other county wide elected officials. The latter are guaranteed by state law to have complete autonomy in hiring and personnel decisions so long as they stay within the budgets set by their respective county boards. The office of County Board Chairman, whether elected at large or not, is not so provided for. This is with good reason as other offices usually entail some type of staff or administrative structure by their very nature, ie, states attorney, sheriff, clerk etc., unless they are in very small counties where one person can do the job alone.

    No previous County Board Chairman considered it necessary to request any type of staff as the position, regardless of how elected, simply does not require it. Chairman Franks is trying to inflate the job far beyond anything that has existed before and is doing so by end runs around the County Board, most of whose members have been cowed into subservience by such stratagems as were displayed against Heisler and Kurtz and elsewhere. This is a new bridge crossed in our county.

    Second, Kurtz was not even at the Governor’s press conference which was labelled retroactively as a “meeting” to invoke he Open Meetings Act, so this gives you an idea of the validity of some the other points made therein. Operating Engineers Charge County Board with Open Meetings Act Violation
    Posted on 04/22/2015 by Cal Skinner.

    There is even a picture.

  17. Moderate is right, people who look at this blog are not looking to advance political agendae or personal profit motives.

    People look here to find truthful, in-depth reporting of issues kept secret by those rulers taking part in strip mining public money from McHenry County taxpayers, events and issues which biassed media do not report.

    Specific examples:

    1. Oakwood Hills corporate officials in secret talks with a groundwater-mining power plant in violation of OMA, power plant represented by then-County Board Chair Joe Gottemoller.

    2. County Board Chair hiring two patronage workers in violation of County Code and Salary Administration Policy, costing taxpayers over $160,000 per year as well as exposure to liability for violation of fair hiring practice laws.

    3. Lakewood TIF before Woodstock had a clue that they were about to get obligated for millions of property tax dollars to educate Lakewood TIF subsidized housing students.

    People read this blog in the hopes of making a positive change in our corrupt, overtaxed community before survival is impossible.

    Moderate, I am so disappointed in you. All your time and efforts are spent to thwart others’ efforts to make positive changes, or else your efforts are in service to line pockets of a narrow group of insiders.

    I have seen no specific suggestions from you as to how we taxpayers can survive the current self-serving regimes of County Board, School Boards, Library Boards,some townships, and MCCD.

    You speak as if you are intelligent, but your comments serve no purpose but to discourage and divert.

    We who would want to help improve the local conditions have no choice but to ignore you.
    How is this a good use of your time?

  18. Prodigious researcher, please get to the bottom of this! In any case, I am proud to be one of the 40 thieves of our sunshine Ali Baba; oh well, there goes my hope of this sunshine blog having at least a billion readers…tic, tock, tic, tock…

  19. Other great stories our sunshine blog have courageously reported are: Purse-gate, Raue Center for the Arts-gate, Old & dusty political signs-gate, Stinky cat-gate, I wish that forfeited Bull Valley mansion was mine-gate, I love when bilingual counselors are fired-gate, among others…Please press 1 in support of the Pulitzer prize being awarded to our sunshine blogger…tic, tock, tic, tock…

  20. Susan,
    Don’t put words in my mouth. I did not say either of the things you attribute to me nor do I believe you assertion that, “people who look at this blog are not looking to advance political agendae or personal profit motives”

  21. If the blog was not having an impact, Moderate and Mr. Llavona would not be here.


    December 5, 2016 (Monday) – Jack Franks takes oath of office as McHenry County Board Chair.


    December 20, 2016 (Tuesday) – County board hikes property taxes by $80,000, from $44,351,303 to $44,431,303.

    Jack Franks signs the resolution.

    Jacks Franks does not criticize or speak against the property tax hike.

    That is notable since he campaigned to reduce property taxes.

    Board Agenda Item 13.48.


    December 21, 2016 at 9:57PM – Oliver Serafini emails the employment application to Peter Austin.


    December 22, 2016 10:44AM – Peter Austin emails the offer letter to Oliver Serafini.

    Thus 12 hours and 47 minutes after submitting his application, Oliver Serafini has been offered the job at McHenry County.

    Only a few of those were working hours.

    The offer letter is jointly signed by Peter Austin and Jack Franks.


    December 23, 2016 (Friday) – On the HR Payroll Advice forms for each of the two patronage hires, Peter Austin (County Administrator) signs in the HR Director slot.

    No one signs in the Department Head slot.

    The document for Mr. Serafini indicates he is hired with Jack Franks as the Supervisor.

    He is hired as a Utility Coordinator in the Division of Transportation, to be converted to Communications Specialist split 50% General Fund and 50% MCDOT.

    An obvious conflict in that Jack Franks does not work in the Division of Transportation, but rather as elected County Board Chair.

    Ms. Geenen is hired with Jack Franks as Supervisor.

    She is hired as Temporary Project Manager in the County Administration Department.

    The position is to be converted to Executive Assistant for County Board Chair.


    December 23, 2016 – Jack Franks and Peter Austin jointly sign offer letter to Bridget Geenen.


    Many questions arise from the lack of public posting of these positions, to the speed at which these two were hired.

    Where were the positions into which they were hired actively being posted at the time of the hires?

    Were the posted positions into which they were hired eligible for patronage hires (Rutan exempt)?

    Where is the documentation that references were checked and would those involved in the checks testify under oath as having participated in that process.

    The positions into which the hires were to be transferred were not publicly posted, because the positions had not yet been created, nor was the full county board aware that the positions were going to be created.

    One of the hires previously worked in Michael Madigan’s House Democrat organization and temporarily released on occasion to work on Democrat political campaigns, to return to the government job upon completion of the political campaign.

    Such people are referred to as Madigoons.


    December 23, 2016 was the same day McHenry County Blog posted the article, “Jack Franks Wants Personal Staff” that revealed to the public for the first time Jack Franks’ desire for the above mentioned positions:

    * Communications Specialist
    * Adm Support for Chairman

    Could the rush job hires have been in reaction to the blog post?

  22. Could the rush job hires have been in reaction to the FOIA request which resulted in the blog post?

  23. Moderate: Just buzz off if this blog is so offensiveso your sensitive constitution.

    What a little crybaby …. must be a Demo-rat LGBTQXYZ type

  24. Here in the sunshine blog we value diversity, welcome immigrants, and support and respect the LGBTQ community. We are also proud to say Black Lives Matter. Tic, tock, tic, tock…

  25. Here are the emails in which Oliver Serafini receives an offer letter from McHenry County 12 hours and 47 minutes after submitting his job application.

    There is no indication an interview took place.


    McHenry County Blog

    Jack Franks’ Democratic Party Patronage Communication Specialist’s Early Work Product

    January 28, 2017

  26. McHenry County hires employee in 12 hours and 47 minutes, measured from receipt of job application via email to sending the offer letter via email.

  27. Hi Moderate,

    Can you share your methodology?

    I run my own checks, and the number of unique IPs seems to be considerably higher.

    Number varies in the 300 – 400 range, depending on the source.

    Too be fair, since only the website owner can truly track, these are only estimates, but we seem to be pretty fair apart.

  28. Engineering Guy is closer, on average about 120 visits per day (website owner has the real facts though as Engineering guy pointed out) depending on the site.

    Moderate is likely correct about the comparison to a local paper as well.

    It would be interesting to better understand the click-through/impressions served on the ads.

    Below are a few sources. Certainly not perfect, but probably within the range.

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