It can be dangerous to put something on the internet.
Because it never disappears.
Consider the email that then-State Representative Jack Franks sent to constituents on December 24, 2013.
Here is how it begins:
Fighting Against Sweetheart Deals
‘Double-dipping’ represents everything that is wrong with the State of Illinois.Serving the public – and being paid very well, in many cases, to do so – is no longer good enough for some, who abuse a position of authority to draw multiple taxpayer-funded paychecks and pensions, while many people struggle to make ends meet.
Franks took office the first week of December in 2016.
To avoid being a double-dipper, he would had had to have resigned his legislative post.
But, he did not.
For that December, he received salaries from both McHenry County and the State of Illinois.
That made Jack Franks a double-dipper. (Unreported by the Northwest Herald.)
See article entitled, “Jack Franks, Double Dipper,” which includes extensive information about a previous negative mailing from an anonymous Political Action Committee calling itself “Citizens Against Cronyism.”
Had he resigned when he took office as McHenry County Board Chairman instead of being paid based on eighteen years of service, his pension would have been based on seventeen years, eleven months.
Resigning his state office would have had a small, but cumulative, impact, because of the eventual 3% annual increase effect on his pension.
State law prevents Franks from seeing his $58,622 pension increase 3% a year until he is sixty.
The impact on retirement health care benefits, however, would have been greater.
When Governor Jim Edgar negotiated the deal that raised state employee pensions, there were trade-offs.
The employees would forgo a pay raise for one year.
And, eligibility for retiree health benefits was changed.
Previously, employees qualified for 100% free health insurance after eight years.
After the legislative was enacted, employees earned a 5% premium discount for each year of service.
Had Franks left office after seventeen years, eleven months, he would have qualified for only an 85% discount on health coverage.
Risking negative publicity by being a double-dipper for a month, Franks earned a 90% discount. (The Northwest Herald did report on this.)
Franks decided not to take state retiree health care benefits.
Instead he stayed in McHenry County’s plan.
By forgoing that state retirement benefit, Franks gets a check for $150 a month (unreported by the Northwest Herald).
Here is the entire email:
It has been a busy fall in the Illinois General Assembly, and now, with the snows upon us, I am writing with thoughts about some of the recent activity and to wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Fighting Against Sweetheart Deals
‘Double-dipping’ represents everything that is wrong with the State of Illinois. Serving the public – and being paid very well, in many cases, to do so – is no longer good enough for some, who abuse a position of authority to draw multiple taxpayer-funded paychecks and pensions, while many people struggle to make ends meet. Last month, I introduced House Bill 3760, the ‘Retirement Means Retirement Act’, to help fight against this practice by strongly penalizing ‘double-dipping.’ Retirement should mean retirement, not a second government paycheck – this bill will help make that a reality.
This summer, I read about professors and staff at New York University receiving interest-free loans for summer homes and loan forgiveness as part of their compensation, and my first thought was of all of their students who are paying interest on loans that will never be forgiven. Using a tax-exempt university’s financial resources to provide lavish fringe benefits to employees is unfair to taxpayers and students. To address this, I introduced House Bill 3749 which prohibits tax-exempt colleges, universities and any affiliated foundations from making loans to employees for purchasing second homes, providing loans to employees at below market rates and from forgiving loans as part of an employee’s compensation.
Restoring the Right of Self-Protection
This summer, I received a letter from a young constituent in Marengo who notified me that an applicant for a Firearms Owner Identification (FOID) Card between the ages of 18 and 21 is required to have parental approval as part of the application process. I agreed with this young man that this was a unnecessary limitation and introduced House Bill 3762 to streamline the application process and remove an extraneous barrier to citizens securing a FOID card. Whether a hunter, sportsperson, or simply an individual seeking to keep a firearm for personal and family protection, requiring legal adults to seek parental permission makes little sense. Keeping guns out of the hands of criminals must be our top priority, but creating impediments to law-abiding citizens securing a firearm gets us no closer to that goal.
Ensuring Equality for All
On November 5, the Illinois General Assembly passed Senate Bill 10 which made Illinois the 15th state in the nation to recognize civil marriages between same-sex couples. Following months of reflection, research and discussions with constituents, legal scholars and activists from both sides of the issue, I voted in favor of the bill. Legal experts showed me that more than 1,000 rights enjoyed by married people were not available to couples in civil unions and, after a year of talking to constituents, it was clear to me that the majority of people in the 63rd district supported the right of all people to a civil marriage, provided that adequate protections were in place for individuals of faith and religious institutions. Follow this link to an op-ed I wrote for the Northwest Herald explaining my vote or click here to watch the video of my speech from the House floor.
“Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” John Adams