Jack Franks’ Big Survey

Don’t know how many people Chicago-base American Direction Group interviewers called, but Friday night, I was one.

It’s a firm that touts its ability to target voters through research.


American Direction Group, the firm Jack Franks hired to do his polling, advertises that it can tell a candidate how to recruit volunteers.

And mobilize volunteers.

The topics of the call were the Presidential and McHenry County Board Chairman contests.

Of course, there is no McHenry County Board Chairman race yet, but the content of the questions indicates at minimum that Democratic Party State Representative Jack Franks is considering a run against Republican candidate Mike Walkup.

First up was an open-ended question asking what one thought the most important issue is.

The surveyer wanted to know what those interviewed throught of Bruce Rauner.

The surveyer wanted to know what those interviewed throught of Bruce Rauner.

Then came a series of politicians’ names about which I was asked whether I felt very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable or very unfavorable:

  • Donald Trump
  • Michael Madigan
  • Michael Walkup
  • Hillary Clinton
  • Jack Franks
  • Bruce Rauner

Job performance was asked about them next.

Specific questions about political issues came next.

  • Real estate taxes — just right, too high, etc.
  • Property tax freeze — level of support
  • State budget impasse — outrage, angry, disgusted, embarrassed, frustrated, satisfied, pleased
  • Role of Jack Franks in budget impasse — significantly responsible for, little to do with, other choices, too

Then came tests of potential campaign themes.

Jack Franks

Jack Franks

Franks was described as

  • a State Representative
  • a lawyer specializing in banking and collections
  • a bank chairman
  • a conservative
  • outspoken
  • voted against every tax hike
  • opposed high paying pensions (local, I believe–no mention was made of his legislative pension) and
  • that he would continue to root waste and fraud.

There was something about his being part of the patronage system and an ally of Mike Madigan which led to the stalemate in Springfield.

Again his role as a [bill and mortgage] collections lawyer who had put families out on the street was mentioned.

Mike Walkup

Mike Walkup

Next came a description of Mike Walkup:

  • a disability lawyer who fights for the welfare of his clients
  • combats bloated cronyism
  • has taken taxpayers dollars in the form of a pension [remember, there is no requirement for truth in campaigns]
  • advised that county board members plead the 5th to protect their pensions
  • backed by the Good Ol’ Boys

Then there were statements about why each candidate should be elected or not elected.  After each the interviewed indicated how persuasive the argument was from very persuasive to very unpersuasend croynishive.

After each statement, the person being interviewed was asked whether to what extent they supported or opposed the position.

District 3 Democratic Party County Board candidate Arne Waltmire campaigned on cutting the size of the County Board.

District 3 Democratic Party County Board candidate Arne Waltmire campaigned on cutting the size of the County Board.

First were statements about why Jack Franks should be elected County Board Chairman:

  1. something about taxpayer dollars and Franks’ opposition to any property tax increase [contradicted by some Johnsburg residents]
  2. vocal opponent of pension system for county board members and will work to eliminate county board pensions
  3. making county government as efficient as possible, supporting term limits for all members, a small board with single member districts
  4. reform local government, make county government transparent, consolidate as has been done in DuPage County where $13 million has been saved
  5. end cronyism under Democrats, end Good Ol’ Boy politics

Next were five statements about why Jack Franks should not be elected County Board Chairman:

  1. he’s a lawyer who has put dozens of our citizens out of their homes
  2. he can’t be trusted, chairman of the State Bank Group which is being sued by Johnsburg for not having put streets in a subdivision [The Northwest Herald’s story about this did not mention Jack Franks’ name.]
  3. his consolidation reforms are not the answer, they actually cost money
  4. he is part of the problem in Springfield, will be nothing but the same in McHenry County
  5. he is an ally of Mike Madigan and the Democratic machine.  McHenry County can’t afford to have Jack Franks bring Chicago politics here

Three why not vote for Mike Walkup statements followed:

  1. he’s a political opportunist, wants a salary rather than his legal fees, cynically running as a Republican, but ran as a Democrat for the legislature before
  2. he gaming the system getting disability payments because he is allergic to paper
  3. he can’t be trusted to root out the fraud in county board pensions, he told members to plead the 5th if asked questions about how many hours they worked

Finally, I was asked my age and party identification or lack thereof.


Jack Franks’ Big Survey — 11 Comments





  2. Who wants Walkup

    he is not even good as a business person how is he going to run the county?

    That’s right

    straight into the ground.

    He severed valley hi at the jugular and will do same to the county.

    Living off disability and taking in foreign exchange students to work on his so called farm.

    So how do we rid our county of this garbage.

  3. Hiking pension benefits and retiree healthcare benefits results in tax hikes, so the claim Franks has voted against every tax hike is phony.

    The same goes for state budget gimmicks that are unsustainable such as fund sweeps and more funding to local without revenue hikes and cuts elsewhere.

    A major reason we are in a financial mess is politicians not being straightforward with the public about all the games that have been played for decades.

  4. “Real Estate Taxes: Just right or too high?”

    They really had to ask that?

    They didn’t already know?

  5. they look like dangerous thugs to me!


    Maybe Jacko can import these people from Kampala to help his campaign:

    What does that have to do with anything?

  6. Mike Walkup is a Democrat-turned-RINO.

    Jack Franks is a Democrat.

    I predicted from the beginning that if Mike Walkup became the “Republican” for County Board Chairman, his weakness as a candidate and lack of electability would draw Jack Franks like blood in the water…

  7. I was doing some phone volunteer work on Saturday about property tax’s and had at least 5 people yell at me that they were getting too many political calls all of a sudden about tax’s.

    They were not in McHenry County so I think quite a few organizations are trying to target voters in order to build data banks of information.

  8. Alabamashake:

    Did you bother to even read the article?

    Are you even mildly familiar with Jacko’s voting record?

    Are you Jack Franks?

  9. Did you bother to even read the article?

    What did I not read?

    And what does anything have to do with activists in Uganda?

    Are you even mildly familiar with Jacko’s voting record?

    Very familiar.

    And I’m no fan of it, but probably for very different reasons than you..

    Are you Jack Franks?

    Haha… nope.

    I can guarantee you that I’m not Jack Franks.

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