Jack Franks Goes to the Dark Side

Jack Franks

John O'Neill

Since his first campaign in 1998, Jack Franks has said that he was “pro-choice.”

But he has largely voted pro-life with a couple of exceptions.

The biggest one was his cow-towing to the Planned Parenthoods and Personal PACs of the world by bottling up the bill that would have allowed Illinois residents to buy “Choose Life” license plates.  The proceeds, beyond the regular cost that would go to state coffers, would be for

“Non-governmental, not-for-profit agencies not involved in abortion services in any way who offer free counseling and services to women who are committed to making an adoption plan for their child, including homes for unwed mothers, pregnancy help centers, adoption agencies, and organizations that provide help for foster and special needs children,”

according to Choose Life Illinois.

Choose Life license plate on which Jack Franks blocked a floor vote.

It never got out of his committee to the House floor. That prevented an up or down vote.

Franks did disturb local pro-lifers and 2nd Amendment supporters enough to get them to picket his Route 47 office about a year ago.

The disturbed pro-lifers focused in on his co-sponsorship of House Bill 2354. One cold Saturday, picketers converged on his Route 47 office for a demonstration.  There was even a full-page ad in the Northwest Herald.

One of the organizers, McHenry Grade School and Library Board member John O’Neill, is challenging Franks in the fall election. He’s holding a corn beef and cabbage fund raiser from 6-8 at the Bull Valley Country Club on Monday, March 15h.

At the time I observed,

A cold spring day demonstrator at Jack Frank's office on Route 47 last year.

“House Bill 2354 was introduced on Feb. 18th. Jack Franks signed on as a co-sponsor three weeks later on March 12th one day after it was voted onto the House floor on a 5-2 vote by the House Human Services Committee. Perhaps I will be excused for thinking that Franks is positioning himself for a statewide run for attorney general. With his colleague Julie Hamos also jockeying for the attorney general position and having become a co-sponsor the day the bill was introduced, perhaps I will be excused for suggesting Franks has figured out that a Democrat who is not acceptable to the pro-abortion Personal PAC will have a difficult time winning a Democratic Party primary election. Personal PAC has not traditionally been friendly to Franks.

“HB 2354 basically puts into state law the ability to have an abortion any time during pregnancy.”

Shawn Green

After the demonstration both Franks and Republican State Rep. Mark Beaubien, against whom the demonstration was also aimed, took their names off the bill. So far, it has not come to a vote. Aborted, so to speak.

The Huntley School Board, at the instigation of its soon-to-be retiring President Shawn Green, passed a resolution opposing the bill.

Unnoticed in Franks’ unopposed primary election was his endorsement by the radical pro-abortion group Personal PAC.

When he first ran, Franks apparently refused to respond to the Personal PAC questionnaire. His Democratic Party opponent was endorsed.

Now, Franks has the group’s endorsement, along with House Republican leader Tom Cross.

"At least parental notification," the picket sign at last year's demonstration reads.

To give you a flavor of how radical Personal PAC’s positions are, consider the following questions that must be answered satisfactorily to receive the group’s endorsement:

  • Will you SUPPORT legislation to repeal Illinois’ 1995 Parental Notice of Abortion law?
  • Do you SUPPORT Personal PAC’s position that the Illinois Parental Notification of Abortion Act of 1995 violates Illinois Constitutional rights to equal protection and privacy?
  • This is the first part of the list of Personal PAC endorsements in the 2010 primary.

  • Will you OPPOSE legislation that places bans on abortion procedures but does not include an exception to protect the woman’s health?
  • Will you SUPPORT legislation restoring abortion coverage under the state Medicaid plan?
  • Will you SUPPORT legislation to restore state employee’s health insurance coverage for abortion?
  • Will you OPPOSE legislation banning embryonic stem-cell research?
  • Will you OPPOSE legislation that would require a woman to view an ultrasound before she could have an abortion?
  • Will you SUPPORT legislation requiring medical supervisions when an ultrasound is performed on a pregnant woman?
  • Will you SUPPORT legislation guaranteeing access to FDA-approved drugs, including ED and other birth control medications?
  • Will you OPPOSE legislation mandating that a physician who performs an abortion be required to first show a patient materials about fetal development, at various stages during pregnancy, and other state mandated information designed to dissuade a woman from having an abortion?
  • Will you SUPPORT the availability and accessibility of family planning services for everyone in Illinois regardless of age?
  • Will you OPPOSE legislation which mandates parental consent or notification before a minor can receive contraceptive care?
  • If elected do you plan to act in a manner CONSISTENT with your answers to the above questions?

This is the second part of the Personal PAC endorsement list. Note Jack Franks' name is on it, as is Mike Tryon challenger Robert Kaemfpe's

Moving into the Personal PAC orbit, I see Jack Franks positioning himself for a campaign to make him McHenry County’s congressman in 2012 after reapportionment.

From what he is telling people in Springfield, that’s his goal.

= = = = =
By the way, two questions above are in bold face type. I did so, because they related directly to a controversy in McHenry County.

Remember the William Saturday scandal of the late 1990’s?

The McHenry County Health Department was dispensing three-month contraceptives to minors without their patent’s knowledge, let alone consent.

At issue was a Federal rule written by the bureaucrats that forced those accepting Title X money to provide birth control devices, information and drugs to everyone, regardless of age.

Saturday was apparently too cheap to buy condoms, so he took his junior high school age “girl friend,” whom he met at North Junior High School in Crystal Lake, to Woodstock on Saturday, when bus transportation was unavailable for shots of Depo-Provera. There’s a story about it here. It looks like the cover story from World Magazine.

In any event, when the affair came to light, there was a big, many month fuss in which county board members decided it was best for them to prohibit minors from obtaining birth control drugs and devices without parental permission.

The McHenry County Board vote mandated not accepting Federal Title X money.

This is the rest of the list of candidates endorsed by Personal PAC in the 2010 primary election. Click to enlarge any image.

There may have been other instances in the country where Title X money has been rejected because its use requires no discrimination based on age, but I can’t find them.

The furor in McHenry County even worked its way into Congress with 16th District Don Manzullo carrying the torch.

This is the middle of the 2008 list of endorsed candidates who won. You will notice that Jack Franks is on it.

= = = = =

Finally, as I was looking at the Personal PAC web site researching this article, I discovered that Jack Franks was also endorsed by Personal PAC in 2008.

That probably explains his co-sponsorship of the Freedom of Choice bill, House Bill 2354.

The Personal PAC folks are strident task masters.

I should have caught that endorsement two years ago.

And, finally, the first comment below points out that the Illinois FOCA bill has been reintroduced and is under active consideration this year:

“Excellent post, Cal, but I’m surprised you don’t mention that the Human Services committee is taking up that same bill again that Franks co-sponsored last year, now designated HB 6205, but still titled the “Reproductive Health and Access Act,” and known to its opponents as the ‘Illinois FOCA’ bill.”

Those wishing to contact their legislators will find contact information here.


Jack Franks Goes to the Dark Side — 2 Comments

  1. Excellent post, Cal, but I’m surprised you don’t mention that the Human Services committee is taking up that same bill again that Franks co-sponsored last year, now designated HB 6205, but still titled the “Reproductive Health and Access Act,” and known to its opponents as the “Illinois FOCA” bill.


    I applaud Mr. O’Neill’s efforts (which should come as no surprise, as I challenged Sandy Cole in the 62nd district in the recent primary for much the same reasons).

    I understand that the Human Services Committee is taking up this bill tomorrow.

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