Jack Franks Threatens McHenry County Blog

Democratic Party State Rep. Jack Franks’ threatening emailed letter.

I don’t know how you read the above letter, but it sounds to me as if Democrat Jack Franks is threatening to sue Republican Cal Skinner because of the critical articles I have posted on McHenry County Blog.

It seems to me that he is, as was McHenry County Sheriff Keith Nygren’s clone and endorsed successor Andy Zinke last week, trying to eliminate pretty much the only criticism he receives from anyone whose stories can be found on the internet.

No, I forgot the Northwest Herald criticized him for eliminating himself and judges from his meaningless Gubernatorial Recall Amendment to the Illinois Constitution and the Drano registration bill, a hint as to how much of a regulation mentality lies right under the surface of his public persona.

And the Chicago Tribune tore him apart for his bill to allow Com Ed to chop down any tree within 20-feet of a power line.

But, on the whole, headline-seeker Franks gets good press.

Franks says I’m not welcome at any of his personal or political events.

Pretty strange statement since I have never been closer to his home than the video tour his real estate agent posted when he was trying to sell his Bull Valley home to move to Marengo.

Pretty strange since I am not one of the Republicans who comes to his political fund raisers–not the cheap ones in McHenry County nor the big ticket ones in Chicago.  And I’m not a Republican who allows my name to be used as part of his “Host Committee.”

Franks says I don’t have his permission to post his picture or that of his family.

Come on.

For starters, I have no interest in his family.

I’m interested in what Jack Franks does in the public arena.

Jack Franks confers with Mike Madigan lawyer Mike Kasper at the Marengo House Apportionment Committee meeting.

And I think I have taken every picture I have posted of Franks on McHenry County Blog in a public meeting or somewhere he showed himself in public trying to get publicity.

Those of us with long memories can remember the populist Jack Franks of the early days.

The guy who said he was “Pro-Choice,” but was not  Pro-Choice enough for Personal PAC, the pro-abortion Political Action Committeen to endorse him.  (In 2008 and 2010, Franks was endorsed by Personal PAC.)

Franks says I’m not a journalist and have “no right to any access.”

No credentials, don’t you know.

Guess I have no right to go to a parade or the Marengo re-apportionment committee meeting.

I’ll bet that those folks who wrote broadsides during the American Revolution didn’t have credentials either.

And lots of them didn’t use their own names as I do.

The folks who smeared Franks’ 2010 opponent John O’Neill right before the election weren’t brave enough to use their names either.

Although anonymous, the Founding Fathers who criticized King George fought for my right to criticize those who rule us.

One would think an attorney and seven-term Illinois State Representative would understand that.

The man who introduced a bill during the first part of his Springfield career to stop SLAPP suits filed by developers (think Richmond where the developer sued Village Trustees) is long gone.

(SLAPP, by the way, stands for “Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation.”)

When the Northwest Herald sued me, we used Franks’ law as part of our defense.

The article in question was about public policy.

So are my articles about Jack Franks.

I’m not an attorney like Franks, but I believe that political speech under the First Amendment has the highest protection.

If I wanted to distribute one of my posts, complete with photos, as a campaign piece in opposition to Franks’ re-election, or put it on the radio or television, I sincerely doubt anyone would take the complaints expressed in the above letter seriously.

Franks, like every candidate and public office holder, would love to get a free ride.

Franks has enjoyed that most of his career.

But the “populist” of the early days is long gone.

The “baggage” gets heavier as he seeks more power.

Now, instead of promoting an end to SLAPP suits, Jack Franks voted for the Commonwealth Edison rate increase bill.  The Illinois Commerce Commission in a most convenient recent decision put off that electric rate increase of $3 a month until January.

That’s after the election, not that the timing makes any difference to the three legislators from McHenry County who supported the bill.

None of them have opposition.

Franks last sentence says, “I trust that I have made myself clear.”

You have,”Chainsaw Jack.”

Your bill to allow Com Ed to chop down every tree within 20-feet of a power line shows how out of touch you are with McHenry County.  Even having been out of office almost twelve years, I can tell you that introducing that idea was about as far from representing McHenry County residents as one can go.

It’s clear you can’t stand the heat.


Jack Franks Threatens McHenry County Blog — 48 Comments

  1. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 New International Version (NIV)

  2. Bravo, Cal. Great response to this rubbish.

  3. I forsee a little of Cal’s fortune being diminished in the coming months. Even frivolous lawsuits cost the respondent money.

  4. Sorry Jack has taken up Zinke’s childish and vicious rant; I thought Jack was smarter than that.

  5. Good response to Jack Franks’ hissy fit.

    He sounds like a spoiled child who can’t take any criticism – which is warranted in his bills, public actions, etc.

    If it were not for your blog, and other internet postings (have to weed out the ones that do not contain fact), we wouldn’t know the truth.

    Can’t trust the NWH or the MSM to give us the truth.

    Journalism as we once knew it is non-existent in the MSM now.

    The people in this county and the country are waking up.

    Thanks for all you do, Cal.

    We need to wake up to the attacks on our freedoms – just look at what is going on with the attack against the 1st amendment with the attack on the Catholic Church .. which will not only affect Catholics, but every freedom loving American.

  6. “LCTruth” – You are one of those who CONSISTENTLY try to silence Republicans and conservatives.

    The fact that you are taking a victory lap and doing a fist pump at Franks threats proves you to be a Fascist like most of the others of your party; like Franks himself.

    Free speech is anathema to people like you.

    What Cal does is exercise FREE SPEECH and FREEDOM OF THE PRESS.

    If Franks doesn’t like it, T-D-B.

    Most of us understand that reasonable people can have differences of opinion.

    Not your tribe – not you personally. People like you ALWAYS try to shut opponents up.

    Your posts are consistently snotty and dismissive of anybody to the right of Leon Trotsky.

    That’s okay, because YOU also have the right of freedom of speech, even if you are an ass…

    Cal, you stand firm!

  7. Cry baby….Chainsaw Jack Franks.

    This all was ignited by Franks himself with his ComEd Clear Cut Bill.

    Franks can only blame himself for his stupitty.

  8. Too bad I am not keeping him busy for you Cal….McHenry County will ride the Titanic to the bottom.

  9. You’d think 13 years would make him stronger… I guess it’s killing him.

    Someone’s afraid of the end of his career…

  10. Your last line says it all, Cal.

    If you are not catching flack, you are not over your target.

    Keep up the good work!

  11. Great job Cal.

    Jack Franks and his mealy-mouthed little puppet Mike Tryon are a disgrace.

    You should kick your excellent coverage up about 10 notches in response to these girly little cry-babies.

    Hey Jack Franks, if you can’t take the heat of being a public official WHO WORKS FOR US, then go get a real job and stop mooching our hard earned tax dollars.


  12. It’s amazing – but somehow not surprising – that both Gus (well, not so much Gus on this one since even he concedes (sorta, kinda, maybe) that somebody may be jerking Cal’s chain).

    The rest of you idiots, and Cal, take this crap at face value and actually believe it. Are you nuts?

    Jack Franks is many things – not all of them pleasant – but I doubt that he’s a complete moron.

    No, he leaves that for the likes of those who believe this crap.

    He’s a politician, he’s a public figure (as is “he who would be sheriff” Zinke)

    They know they can’t stop commentary such as this any more than I could ever prevent you from making fools of yourselves for not considering that this is somebody – maybe even Cal or Gus themselves – playing games.

  13. Hmmm

    Why don’t Cal and Gus provide the e-mails themselves, complete with the message headers to some competent investigative type.

    While they may not be able to identify the source, it would be easy enough to determine if the originating addresses were falsified.

    No, that won’t work.

    It would be too much like real investigative, fact finding and not enough like muck raking!

  14. This is hardly threatening. I think he is just saying that you are not welcome at his functions and are not a journalist which you aren’t.

    Here is my question: Why don’t you post Zinke’s letter for all to see?

  15. We got your back, Cal. If you’re intimidated, what happens to liberty and free speech.

    You are credentialed by McHenry County News Blog and you write for that news source. That makes you a journalist.

    Does simply being elected make Jack Franks a “legislator”? If so, he’s a public figure and he’s open to public comment.

    We challenge you to get to the bottom of this story. There’s something going on here that doesn’t meet the eye.

    Fran Eaton
    Editor, Illinois Review.com

  16. Mike – read the letter from Franks. It says the same thing.

    They cannot handle someone that prints the truth. Franks and Zinke are both losers.

    Now you can see who RINOS are.

    The sheriff and Zinke have always been tied to Franks and the Dems.

  17. Very surprised he would take this tact.

    In many, many areas he has a better voting record than the GOPher leadership.

    I guess it shows that under the surface, he’s very insecure.

  18. Vintage Franks.

    What a whiner.

    Trial Lawyer politicians never cease to amaze me.

    Don’t get what you want and so you try to bully your way.

    Democrats get such favorable treatment from the press they then get used to it.

    Franks’ irrational rant-reaction is due to his comfort derived from 12 years of main-stream media support for him. Criticism of him here is intolerable when your so used to such obsequious “journalistic” support.

    Guys like Franks are perfect examples of why Illinois is falling off a financial cliff.

    Jack; if your so stressed, take a weekend of and go to your million dollar retreat home in Lake Geneva and invite all your Chicago Democratic Union power brokers to help assuage your anger. I’m sure they’ll compliment you.

  19. What wimps!!!

    This is what we have for leadership?

    Andy, you should not be a cop let alone an undersheriff.

    Jack, cannot take criticism either!!

    Get out of the kitchen.

    It is only going to get hotter and you ask for it.

    Read about the fall of the Roman Empire (this goes for you, as well, Mike Tryon)

    This is all about the “good ole boy network” creations and it is all going to crumble.

  20. Interesting letter…

    All Franks is saying, I believe is no posting of photos.

    So Cal, just use the “Chainsaw Jack” poster (guy with the chainsaw) when writing about Franks’ antics.

  21. Cal, I would love one of the Chainsaw Jack posters as a yard sign.

  22. Mike Shorten-

    I have seen Zinke’s letter – and it is by no means identical to Franks.

    In fact, it’s much more personal.

    If Cal wants to wax philosophic and claim to be so virtuous – I challenge him to post the full Zinke letter.

    Jack’s letter, by comparison, is much more tame and measured.

    P.S. No lawsuit is mentioned. More nut-bag conspiracy theories from Cal Skinner.

  23. Actually, I believe he’s saying that he doesn’t want a creep lurking at events that he has no business being at.

    Nowhere does the letter say Cal can’t go to governmental events – Franks, Zinke or Mitt Romney for that matter could make the same determination about their own events.

    Considering the one-sided, daily lies posted by Cal on this blog – my only reaction is – it’s about damn time Cal is called out.

  24. Unfortunately in the past few years some of the local blog scene has gone very personal, attacking families of local pols in sometimes very personal ways.

    There has been a sad lack self policing in this arena by the local blog community.

    Even the local blogs that don’t always actively participate seem to support these vicious attacks on families by supporting the more vicious local sites when it suits them and being implicitly silent on them when they get too ugly.

    At some point some level of civility needs to return to the point where personal attacks on family members is no longer tolerated in the local online community.

  25. Jack Franks a typical Liberal creep can’t handle what He dishes out.

    I wish these Democratic thugs would just move to a Liberal Country so they can all bankrupt each other, While Us working Conservatives watch their stupidity crumble their society.

  26. Let’s find out what Franks is smoking.

    It’s strong weed.

    Big market there.

    If Franks is really a lawyer he should be disbarred for professional incompetence.

    The First Amendment extends to bloggers and to photos taken in public spaces.

    You should sue the bastard for falsely threatening you.

    And this is the clown McHenry County Republicans are protecting?

    Andy Martin

  27. This is hardly threatening.

    I think he is just saying that you are not welcome at his functions and are not a journalist which you aren’t.

    Here is my question: Why don’t you post Zinke’s letter for all to see?

  28. Are you really for Freedom of Speech or do you just habitually disregard dissidents?


    One-sided daily lies posted by Cal?

    Someone needs to tell the truth!

    I suppose you don’t believe in free speech either.

  30. Retroactive term limits are sorely needed in McHenry County.


    Do all Democrats pull the plug on “credentials” when someone tells the truth or disagrees with them?

    Or is it just in DC and Illinois?


    21st Century – citizens, citizen/participatory journalists, bloggers are everywhere.

    They reported and took photos of the horrible Tsunami, the attack in NY on 9/11, and other important events.

    A “whistleblower” is getting a lot more respect for bringing out the Fast & Furious gun issue than our so-called great elected officials.

    An awful lot of people have camera phones.

    Please, everyone, no pictures of any politician’s family. Let’s stop using them as reasons to elect someone.

  31. Jack

    The ARDC should be involved in this one.

    Your job is to “UPHOLD and PROTECT” the Constitution, not make a mockery of it.




  32. To Down Under……

    Seems like you are the only creep on this Blog…

    Or are you Chainsaw Jack?…

  33. Andy Martin-

    Don’t you have some other homosexual accusations to make?

    One blogger that posts blatant falsehoods on a daily basis and one homophobic political hack desperate for attention – quite the couple.

  34. If you think pension-double-dipper, alleged pedophile, Cal Skinner posts the truth – then I’m sorry our education system failed you so badly.

  35. Reslity: Now you’ve gone too far.

    The pedophile remark should be actionable.

    Cal’s blog is a blog Fact-based opinion.

    It may not always be what you want, I don’t always agree with Cal.

    You do find that he shares his observations the same as a “conventional” or “mainstream” journalist.

    He gives people the opportunity to comment, even giving opposing opinions a chance to be read. If thie blog bothers you, don’t read it.

    The pedophile comment is unacceptable and over the top.

    It has dstroyed any possible credibility you may have had.

    And you don’t even use your name, so you are a coward on top of a vile slander/libel monger.

    Calling someone a pedophile without any basis.

    You are a vile and foul man.

  36. This one is for you “J”

    My comment had nothing to do with supporting Franks, it just stated that Cal’s right to exercise his 1st Amendment may result with a court appearance that will cost him money.

    There was no victory lap.

    Do you know the difference between fascism, socialism and communism.

    I have heard of liberals being socialist and some even confuse liberals with communisms, but fascism….that’s a first. And what about my ability to exercise the 1st Amendment.

    Just because we don’t agree, doesn’t mean one is any better than the other.

  37. It is refreshing that a journalist and blogger would write facts and give the GOP reguars of McHenry County a few things to think about.

    I am wondering why the GOP, the party that needs just 6 or so more seats to
    end the era of Madigan control in Springfield, neglects to field a candidate for
    every State Rep position.

    Would or political process be strengthened by a candidate, of either party, to at least
    having an opponent of the ballot to ask a few questions?

    Mike Tryon, GOP Coounty Chair—where are you coming from these days?

  38. Reality Check, I may know you and we may even be friends, but what you posted is plain wrong.

    I don’t understand why Jack is upset, either.

    I must have missed something.

  39. I know this article is 2 years old but gee Cal do ya think Franks forgot about this letter and maybe you can have some of his free ice cream at his ice cream social? l.o.l.

  40. From the looks of Jahas Franks, He does not need any ice cream…..lol…. Unless of course, he has the kind that is 1/2 the calories…. He must be eating too much of that over buttered popcorn… Yah, thats it!

    Jack has that pail, but when he finally goes falling down, there is no way that pail will be full of ice cream… “COME ON DOWN JACK”

  41. He is an EGO maniac.

    Self absorbed failure.

    Preaches holiness but runs his law firm dirty.

    A true scum bag !!!!

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