“Lawmaker ducks potential Rauner-backed challenge”

Jack Franks

Jack Franks

That’s the headline from the Chicago Tribune’s news feed this morning.  (Strangely, there is nothing in the home delivered Tribune., but an article appears in the paper edition of the Sun-Times for which I can’t find a link.)

While State Rep. Jack Franks did not tell in-the-room reporter Pete Gonigam of the First Electric Newspaper that he was definitely not going to run for both McHenry County Board Chairman and State Representative, that’s what he told other reporters.

Sometimes, I guess, it helps to have a bit of distance from a subject.

It provides perspective that being on the front line does not.

Here’s a bit more:

Perhaps Steve Reick will have a new billboard theme.

Perhaps Steve Reick will have a new billboard theme in his race for State Rep. this year.

“Franks sought to portray the long-rumored move as a result of frustration over the lack of a state budget.

But as a Democrat holding a seat in Republican territory, Franks was potentially a target of Republican Gov. Rauner and his allies this fall…

“For Franks, running for County Board president allows him to sidestep a possible Rauner-funded challenge.

“While Franks got 58 percent in 2014 [down from 63.92% om 2010 when he ran against John O’Neill], Rauner easily carried the district.”

A more optimistic view comes from Politico reporter Natasha Korecki, whose parents used to operate a restaurant next to the old Post Office in Algonquin:

“Democratic bench: Independence? Executive experience?

“It’s something Democrats are looking for as they are to face a bitter gubernatorial election in 2018.

“So far, no one has raised his or her hand to go up against deep-pocketed [Bruce] Rauner.

“But should Franks win the county chair seat, it could quickly propel him high on the Democrats’ short list.”

Strangely, Franks told Politico of a tactic he has frequently used:

“What we keep doing is the old Springfield shuffle, ‘I’ll pass a bill you won’t call, you pass a bill I won’t call.

“‘Then we go and campaign and say what a great job we’re doing.’”

Think about Franks’ passing

  • a reapportionment constitutional amendment in the House that did not get called in the State Senate this year
  • twice passing property tax freezes in the House, getting publicity, only to see them die in the Senate (this year’s version is still alive, but my prediction is that it will not pass).
Mike Walkup

Mike Walkup

Read the Daily Herald’s analysis by Mike Riopell.  Franks apparently told him flat-out that he would not run for re-election.

And why does he want to run for County Board Chairman?

“I’m working so hard to help people at home, and it’s being undermined by a board that doesn’t have the taxpayers’ best interests in mind.”

Here’s how GOP County Board Chairman Mike Walkup characterizes Franks’ candidacy in the Daily Herald:

“Instead of staying in Springfield, where he now has some influence, and trying to fix some things there, (Franks) is putting his tail between his legs and running home.”

The Chicago Sun-Times article is headlined

Franks exiting Legislature: ‘I’ve never seen it so bad.’

Perhaps Franks record last year has led to his conclusion of the problems in Springfield.

Last year he only passed two bills, one allowing election of the Marengo Rescue Squad board (not consolidating it with the Marengo Fire Protection District, mind you) and the other saying the General Assembly shall not create any new units of government for four years.  (Of course, one General Assembly cannot bind a subsequent one.)


“Lawmaker ducks potential Rauner-backed challenge” — 19 Comments

  1. Cal, can you confirm whether or not Chirikos and Breen voted against Franks at the caucus?

  2. Pete Gonigam’s article states Chirikos voted against slating Franks.

  3. I heard from one of Melissa Coyne’s volunteers that Breen abstained or voted no.

    They couldn’t remember… but she said it caused a bit of stir.

    hmmmm… perhaps it’s disinformation.

  4. **“But should Franks win the county chair seat, it could quickly propel him high on the Democrats’ short list.”**


    I like Natasha, but does anyone actually think that Franks could win a statewide Democratic primary?

    Come on.

    **I heard from one of Melissa Coyne’s volunteers that Breen abstained or voted no.**

    Breen is supposed to be running Coyne’s Senate campaign.

    So somehow Breen thinks it would be a good idea to vote against Franks, and then try to run a Senate campaign in Franks’s backyard?

  5. Walkup just started defining an attack on Franks that should be used.

    Jack is a political coward and a bully.

    Mike should also hammer the incredible pension that Lyin’ Jack is going to get and his other falsehoods about self-imposed term limits and the like.

    Lyin’ Jack.

    Worked for Trump.

  6. Coyne and Breen are supposedly very far left extremists.

    Makes sense that they would oppose.

  7. @SeanTech can you define “extremist” because I’ve read both their platforms and they seem pretty centrist to me.

    I met Breen at an event and liked the guy; he’s smart.

  8. Walkup has plenty of his own examples of tucking rail and running.

    Perhaps. He should concentrate on identifying examples of personal success other than living on the road named after an ancestor

  9. I find it laughable that someone looks at Rainer as a governor that has the political capital to stop anyone.

    His popularity is so low, the only way he could hurt a candidate would be to endorse him.

  10. Cal – You may need to edit a bit.

    You’ve elected Mike Walkup as County Board Chairman in this article prematurely

  11. Thanks, citizen editor, but what I’m reading now says, “Republican McHenry County Board Chairman candidate Mike Walkup…”

  12. Jack Franks – McHenry County Chairman 2016!

    Send the GOP home with their tail between their legs!!!!

  13. I think we need some specific answers from Franks.

    Why are you running away from your state rep position.

    One would think that is far more impacting than the County Board Chair.

    Why the intentional step down?

    What is in it for you?

    Are you going to run for both positions?

    That is a very important question to the voters of McHenry County.

    Someone running for both positions will not give either position the focus it needs.

    By Franks being unclear to the voters, it sounds to me like he is hedging his bets.

    While that may be a good political move in some alternate universe, the voters are tired of those games.

    Tell us what you are going to do. Stop playing games and be direct and honest.

    Is it one position, and if so, which one.

    OR are you going for two elected positions?

    NO drama, NO more BS, we want clear answers.

    If you have already made that decision public, I have not yet seen a clear answer.

  14. John,

    Franks has addressed that.

    It’s also false logic to say you can only do one or the other.

    Nick Provenzano works as a congressional staffer, county board member and has a job as Randy Hultgren’s campaign manger and I don’t see you on a witch hunt….

    Sounds like you haven’t done your research.

  15. @John- You do realize that Mike Walkup ran for both the County board seat and the Chairman’s seat.

    And while both Pete and Cal are well educated men who put time into following local events- to consider them reporters- is a stretch

    There is a difference between “new media and news media” and New jersey is one of several states that have case law to support that.

    Franks has spoken with legitimate news outlets- so google it and you can find your answer.


  16. You seriously believe the Rauner Tribune’s contention that Jack Franks’ latest move is because he’s “scared” of Steve Reick backed by Bruce Rauner?

    What planet are you living on?

    Jack Franks has been PLOTTING AND PLANNING this move for YEARS, since he pushed through the election-at-large of the County Board Chairman.

    He’s going for Emperor of McHenry County, like he has been from the start of all this…

  17. ^^Probably true^^

    But people on this blog try have it both ways, one thing is for sure: Walkup’s $12.00 < Franks' $37,000 cash on hand

  18. We will know that Jack Franks is not running for re-election when he withdraws from the race.

    He has not done so.

  19. Somebody said Franks was ducking out of some sort of challenge from Rauner.

    Ahh, ahh, haahhhahhhahahhhaahhhaahha, sry, can’t breathe, ahahhhhahaahhhhahhhahahhh.

    That is so precious.

    Was the person sober when they said it?


    Thank you everyone.

    I needed a good laugh.

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