Prior to the 1972 elections, the United States Supreme Court ruled that legislative bodies like the McHenry County Board and city councils had to be apportioned on a one-man, one-vote basis.
The county board divided the county into three districts, Dad’s consisting of Algonquin and Grafton Townships.
Dad didn’t like the way the districts had been apportioned and challenged it acting as his owner lawyer in Federal Court.
Because the district lines Dad came up resulted in more closely matched populations and were at least as compact as the county’s the judge told McHenry County State’s Attorney to discuss a settlement with Dad.
State’s Attorney Bill Cowlin did not do so before the next scheduled court date.
When both showed up before the judge, Dad told the judge that Cowlin hadn’t gotten in touch with him.
The Federal judge then ordered him to do so before returning for the next hearing.
Dad didn’t get exactly what he asked for, but the county board members came up with a much more acceptable map. Algonquin and Grafton Townships were put in District 1, one-third of the county’s population.
Dad and his allies put together a slate, which they called “Responsible Republicans.” They made the ballot order so they could tell people to vote from “Bick to Burns.” (John Bick, an older conservative and 10-acre tree farmer from Barrington Hills; Brad Burns, my to-be brother-in-law, from Crystal Lake’s Coventry.)
The regular Republicans won all eight seats up in 1972, but my father got more votes than any other county board member running in Districts Two and Three.
The next time Dad ran, he and his ally Lou Anne Majewski won. Lou Anne got more votes, helping validate my theory that women have an automatic advantage when they run for office.
I remember on serious disagreement we had. When an addition was being built on the new courthouse, he voted to let the Public Building Commission issue bonds without a referendum.
I reminded him that he had campaigned against similar action when the new courthouse had been constructed.
More tomorrow. You can read earlier articles by looking at early days of McHenry County Blog or linking below:
Biography of Calvin L Skinner – Part 1 – Second Son, School Years
Biography of Calvin L. Skinner – Part 2 – College, Marriage, First Jobs
Biography of Cal Skinner, Sr. – Part 3 – First House, Elected President of the Easton, Maryland, Town Council
Biography of Cal Skinner, Sr. – Part 4 – Storm Sewer Grates, Miles River Yacht Club, Slot Machines, Chesapeake Bay Bridge
Biography of Cal Skinner, Sr. – Part 5 – Switching Parties, Moving to Salt Lake City, Middletown and Crystal Lake
Biography of Cal L Skinner – Part 6 – The Early Crystal Lake Days, Dipping Feet Slowly into Political Arena
Biography of Cal Skinner, Sr. – Part 7 – Running for County Auditor, Precinct Committeeman, Calling the Meeting that Led to McHenry County College
Biography of Cal Skinner – Part 8 – The Star Reporter, Daughter Ellen Bored in High School, Prohibited from Attending MCC Classes
Biography of Cal L Skinner – Part 9 – Responsible Republicans’ Slate, County Board Reapportionment
Biography of Cal Skinner, Sr. – Part 10 – Unsuccessful County Clerk Try, County Airport Fight, Wife’s Death