10 Days Before the McHenry County GOP Hands “Chainsaw Jack” Franks an Opponentless Election

Tonya Franklin

Led by Sharon Meroni, a successful write-in candidate for GOP Precinct Committeeman in Fox River Grove, over 25% of the members (both elected and appointed) of the McHenry County Central Committee agreed to call a 9 AM  special meeting on Saturday, June 2nd at d’Anrea’s at the corner of Routes 14 and 31 in Crystal Lake.   (Tonya Franklin will be there at 8.)

There is some irony that Meroni selected the same location where the local GOP organized last month, but forgot to name two 63rd Representative Committeemen, who, along with Chairman Mike Tryon, have the statutory authority to nominate someone to run against “Chainsaw Jack” Franks.

Tryon might still be in Springfield, if the General Assembly runs overtime, or on the way home for the 9:30 AM meeting.

The question running through my mind is whether Tryon will pass the word to

  • give “those Tea Party insurgents” their candidate with the full expectation that he can say, “I told you so,” when Tonya Franklin loses to the 7-term Democratic Party veteran this fall or
  • use every means possible to obstruct the nomination of opposition to Franks, a candidacy which, most assuredly, will not please the senior and only Majority Party member of the McHenry County legislative delegation.

In either eventuality, Tryon will alienate a faction of the GOP.

Some of the supporters are TEA Party Republicans. Others are those who think it is the Republican Party's duty to put up candidate's for every office.

He can go with

  • the faction who attend Jack Franks’ fund raisers, even speak in praise of Franks at them when asked, those whose names appear on Franks’ “Host Committee,” those who actively campaign for Franks, the ones who refused to support John O’Neill two years ago or
  • the faction who thinks the Republican Party should not roll over and wait to be patted on the stomach by Jack Franks as he does his best to co-op every Republican of any power or potential power

Kind of tough to please both.

The blowback was signaled in this comment from John Smith (maybe  pseudonym, maybe not):

“Congratulations, but all you have done is get a meeting on the calendar.

“Now you have to get a quorum of committeemen there at the meeting next Saturday morning. Impressive feat to call a special meeting, but calling a meeting and conducting it legally are 2 different things.”

Mark Daniel

Mike Tryon

“Smith” is correct, of course.

Either Tryon or Vice Chairman Mark Daniel will be chairing the meeting.

The chairman can either be accommodating or hostile.

Daniel has already turned thumbs down on Tonya Franklin and Tryon has refused to call a special meeting and cancelled the regular meeting set out in his organization’s bylaws.

The potential exists that the judgment of both could be overruled by the meeting the Saturday after next.

No politician wants his subordinates to overrule him.

So my guess is that neither will want to appease the supporters of Tonya Franklin.

Will 40% of the Precinct Committee show up?

Maybe those who agree with the four who interviewed Tonya Franklin behind the locked doors of my former legislative office in the Crystal Lake Plaza will adopt the strategy of ignoring the meeting.

If not, there won’t be a quorum.

If enough follow that course of inaction, committeemen who have never talked to Tonya Franklin will not get the opportunity to judge for themselves whether she would mount a credible campaign against “Chainsaw Jack” Franks.

They’ll have listened to the one-sided pitch of someone opposed to Franklin and decided to condemn her candidacy in absentia.

Even Christ, one might remember, got a chance to present his case to Pontius Pilate before he was crucified.

If there is a quorum, will a majority be willing to vote for two “63rd District Representative Committeemen” who will then proceed to the Starbucks on the Woodstock Square (to be in the 63rd District, a requirement) to nominate Tonya Franklin?

No guarantee that will be a result of the meeting.

Majority rules.

If Tonya Franklin’s allies can’t muster a majority of whoever shows up, the majority could refuse to appoint the required two 63rd District Representative Committeemen or appoint two who would agree with Tryon’s and Daniel’s and his interview committee’s negative recommendation.

I make no prediction on the Saturday meeting results any more than I’m willing to predict when the Northwest Herald will write a story about Tonya Franklin’s quest.


10 Days Before the McHenry County GOP Hands “Chainsaw Jack” Franks an Opponentless Election — 11 Comments

  1. My concern for Ms. Franklin is that folks want to see a challenge to Mr. Franks, but, are they willing to open their check books?

    Keep in mind, the Dems in McHenry County will pull around 36 percent of the vote.. give that to Franks.

    Given the atmosphere Cal has been laying out on the GOP side, Jack Franks needs only a small fraction of the GOP support, to pull 51 percent of the total vote to win. No doubt, this will be a walk in the park given the circumstances.

    It is nice to be ‘pushed’ into the arena, but we are at the 11th hour, and Ms. Franklin will need at minimum, $500,000.00 to even get her name known.

    I’d love to see her make a go of it, but it would be selfish of us wishing to see a good battle take place, to encourage this obviously eager woman into a war she cannot win given the way the cards are stacked.

    And no, Im not be apathetic by any means. As I commented before, let Ms. Franklin develop her platform over the next two years, then if she is still willing and has raised the money necessary to be a serious candidate, God bless her.

    The interesting thing for me in all this is that although I was not a big Jack Franks supporter due to some of his political ties to the Gaming (Gambling Industry,) Rep. Franks has been pretty darn conservative on his votes for the folks of McHenry County in light of his support for Mr. Madigan.

    It appears Mike Tryon who I thought was a guy for the folks, has turned out to be the turn coat against the common man/woman.

    Jack didnt vote to cut Medicaid, and for that we should be grateful. He also did not vote for gambling in local bars although Im sure that decision may have hurt him with his friends in the gaming industry. But, he obviously realized his constituents didn’t want it, so he voted with his people.

    I respect him for that and he has proved to me, that maybe he isn’t all that bad a guy after all.

  2. The quorum won’t be the only issue here.

    A strict reading of the by-laws and relevant statues show more than one violation — let’s say these meetings panned out, let’s say 500 valid signatures were collected — the legality of this “process” is extremely questionable.

  3. @PoliticianNot

    Franks’ opposed every gambling expansion bill in, at least, the last three years. (When I started paying attention)

    Just wanted to make sure you knew.

    The most recent of which was *this* week.

    He also brought to light huge issues with Quinn’s selection of a private lottery manager.

  4. Putting a candidate on the ballot for the sake of filling an empty slot is poor strategy.

    Unless you have a dead ringer, why waste the resources.

    Best to start looking now for 2014.

  5. Salsify, I do understand Jack has voted down gaming in McHenry County.

    I found this to be courageous given the fact that much of his ‘Campaign Dollars” are ties to major corporations that own casinos. (You can see this at the State of Illinois Board of Elections Disclosure listings)

    I’ve not recently checked if this is still the case.

    All I know is that it appears Rep. Franks has for the most part, “Done Right” by McHenry County.

    I’m shocked by Mike Tryon’s positions as of late.

  6. Is the meeting even legal?

    Th Bylaws (I understand Sharon Meroni is a stickler for the rules) state that a 10 day notice is required to call a special meeting and the notice must be mailed.

    “Special meetings of the COMMITTEE may be called by the Chairman, or by not less than twenty-five percent (25%) of the members of the COMMITTEE, by mailing notice in writing to each Precinct Committeeman at least ten (10) days in advance of such meeting, and designating the time, place and the nature of the business to be transacted at such special meetings.”

    The only notice that I know anyone has received was sent via email on the 25th- an 8 day notice.

    It’s my understanding that several of the signatories on the meeting notice have rescinded their names from the call, citing false or misleading information provided by Meroni and her tea party crew in trying to sway people to sign on.

    I’m wondering if anyone will have the stones to stand out and bring this think to a quick death.

    I also wonder if Franks could protest the slating of Franklin, if it goes through, as being illegal given the circumstances above.

  7. LTCTruth….”Unless you have a dead ringer, why waste the resources” ….with this kind of logic, why have elections at all as someone will always lose.

    PoliticianNot says….”that maybe he isn’t all that bad a guy after all”……why bother arguing with this logic.

    I am running because I was asked to run, period.

  8. Ms. Franklin, I was trying to be polite, but, since you question my ‘logic,’ let me just tell you straight up!

    You’re a fool if you think you can beat Jack Franks!

    I have yet to read one single ‘platform’ issue from you other than you know how to raise your hand.

    Go ahead, get your signatures, drive down to your bank, take out the $500,000.00 cash you must have saved in your bank account, then open the windows of your car, and get up to about 100 mph, and open your brief case that is filled with all YOUR cash, and watch as it all blows out the window…..

    Then, go back home and throw away that can of “Whop Ass” that will be sitting awaiting your return to the private sector.

    How’s that for logic?

  9. @Tonya

    You said, “I am running because I was asked to run, period.”

    …you don’t even want to run?

    No interest in public service?

    So you’re just a pawn in someone else’s game?

    that’s just sad

  10. @Tonya…TEA won’t work in this district.

    You are too extreme.

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