The paper of record in McHenry County, the Northwest Herald, continues to print articles and editorials favorable to the dark money people that went after Jack Franks’ opponents in the 2016 elections.
The most recent article lays out the case against only two of the five Reublicans who have sued the Illinois Integrity Fund dirty tricks folks, known and unknown.
Only District 6 GOP primary candidates Ersel Schuster and Orville Brettman, both of whom lost to two incumbents, Michele Aavang and Larry Smith, have been targeted.
McHenry County Clerk Joe Tirio, McHenry County Board member Chuck Wheeler and former Board member Michael Rein were ignored.
One might wonder whether the reason is that Schulter’s and Brettman’s suit is the only one that names Jack Franks as a defendant.
It is also the only suit that alleges a conspiracy.
The thrust of the filing by Jack Franks’ allies seems to be that Brettman and Schuster violated a law that Franks’ sponsored.
The NWH headline reads, “Former County Board candidates accused of violating anti-SLAPP law as Brettman grand jury testimony revealed.”
Strangely, nowhere in the article can I find what the initials SLAPP mean.
So, let me tell you:
SLAPP means “strategic lawsuit against public participation.”
It was sponsored by Franks in the wake of citizens in Richmond being sued by a developer against whose re-zoning request they were opposing.
The developer sued the citizens, which, because they had to spend money on lawyers to defend themselves, diminshed the opposition.
There is a major difference between the attempt to thwart citizen objections to a huge new housing development and the effort by a group of unknown persons secretly united in a plot to defeat candidates not favored by Franks.
An indirect quote in the NWH says, “The defamation lawsuit in which he’s accused of spreading lies about political candidates is exactly the kind of case anti-SLAPP laws aim to prevent.”
Draw your own conclusion as to whether Franks current intrpretation meshes with the inspiration of the SLAPP legislation.
More interesting is the accompanying editorial: “Our View: Brettman’s past speaks for itself.”
It sounds as if it could have been written by Franks himself.