"Share the Road" license plate enacted into law this year.
I saw one from another state on our vacation in June, but the photo didn’t turn out.
July 5th, Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill to allow “Share the Road” license plates.
A minimum of 1,000 would have to be sold, according to “Roger Kremer Cycling.”
Extra money raised would go to education about safety.
The same day, Quinn signed a bill making it illegal for motorists to crowd bicyclists.
There was some blow back from commenters under the Des Moines, Iowa, TV station WHO story.
Green Party McHenry County Sheriff's candidate Gus Phil Philpott talks with gubernatorial candidate Rich Whitney as he walks his bike from the Metra train door to the Woodstock station.
Here’s one of five comments:
“Yes. The bike riders need education. We used to have courses in safety in the schools. I nearly hit a woman twice when she swerved unexpectedly. She blew two stop signs and a red light.”
Since Green Party gubernatorial candidate is touring the state by bike, it is not a coincidence that Quinn would be emphasizing his connection to that mode of transportation.
Undercutting the opposition, especially one who will probably draw more votes that would otherwise go to Democrat Quinn than Republican Bill Brady, is a time honored political tactic.
Significant locally is the chairman of the House committee that approved the bill is McHenry County’s Jack Franks.
One of Franks’ big mistakes has been to cater to the pro-abortion crowd on the issue of whether Pro-Lifers and other supporters of adoption should be able to raise money from the sale of Choose Life license plates, not to mention express their opinion.
Pro-Choice residents of McHenry County do not fill pages of the Northwest and Daily Herald once a year. Pro-Life constituents do that to commemorate the day the Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton (the “health of the mother” case) were handed down.
In the early part of his career, especially when he was running against appointed incumbent Mike Brown, while always labeling himself “Pro-Choice,” Franks’ voting record and stands on abortion questions could arguably be said to be more conservative than his opponent’s.
He resisted the extreme positions that pro-abortion Personal PAC insists that candidates embrace before getting its endorsement.
This Choose Life license plate is from Ohio. I believe I found it in the parking lot of Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's home. You will note that the license plate holder indicates its owner is a nurse.
And Personal PAC did not endorse Franks in his early years.
Some fervent Pro-Lifers, including Paul Caprio’s Family PAC, actively supported him and helped finance his campaigns with money and in-kind contributions.
As Franks’ ambitions went statewide, however, he figured out that alienating this effective campaign organization was not a bright idea for a Democrat.
For the past two election cycles, Franks has been endorsed by this group, which can be accurately be labeled as “pro-abortion.” (See “Jack Franks Goes to the Dark Side.”)
Perhaps in response to pressure from Personal PAC, Planned Parenthood, and other supporters of abortion, Committee Chairman Franks stuck the bill to approve Choose Life license plates in one of his subcommittees.
When he finally allowed the bill to get a hearing, it wasn’t during prime time.
And, needless to say, the bill did not make it out onto the House floor so all legislators could vote it up or down.
And, Franks deserves the credit (if you are Pro-Choice) or the blame (if you are Pro-Life) for killing the bill.
“Franks just lied about it,” said Illinois Choose Life President Jim Finnegan of Barrington, commenting on the process. “He lied about it from the beginning.”
Now, to cover his rear end, Franks is voting against license plate bills like the bike safety one.
So did Republican Mark Beaubien. Mike Tryon supported it, as did State Sen. Pam Althoff. State Senator Dan Duffy did not vote, joining 18 other senators.
Virginia has allowed both "Choose Life" and "Trust Women Respect Choice" license plates. Illinois could, too.
But, significantly, Franks did allow the bike safety license plate bill a full committee hearing—a privilege he will not allow to adoption supporters trying to advance Choose Life license plates.
Franks didn’t have to do that.
He sets the agenda for his committee. He decides which posted bills to call. He doesn’t have to call a bill, if he wants to kill it.
Although I only got to be a committee chairman for four of my sixteen years in the Illinois House, I know about that discretionary power.
Voting against new license plates is nothing more than a protective shield that pro-abortion legislators use to explain why they will not support authorizing a Choose Life license plate.
This "Safe Haven" sign is outside Crystal Lake City Hall.
(More about the legislative history of the Choose Life license plate fight here by Jill Stanek and by Fran Eaton here.)
Opposing all new special license plates is like the support Pro-Choice legislators gave to allowing mothers to being newborn babies to police and fire departments without any penalty.
It’s an initiative that provides protective coloring to politicians who are Pro-Choice among constituents who are Pro-Life.
Such political actors also support making adoption easier…except in the case of supporting the selling of Choose Life license plates, part of the proceeds from which would support adoption agencies.
Pro-Choice politicians and abortion providers know that the number of people who would display Choose Life license plates dwarf the number who would buy Pro-Choice plates.
The last time I looked 20,000 people had said they would buy and display Choose Life license plates.
It is not a coincidence that Franks has been endorsed by the most fervently pro-abortion political action committee in the country—Personal PAC—for the last two election cycles. He has delivered the goods by killing Choose Life license plates.
If should be noted that Franks has a Republican opponent for the first time since 2004. McHenry Grade School and Library District Board member John O’Neill is running against him this year.