Jack Franks Still Running for State Rep. – Part 29

"Chainsaw Jack" Franks' introduction of legislation to allow Com Ed to chop down any tree within 20 feet of a power line inspired this satirical movie poster.

“Chainsaw Jack” Franks’ introduction of legislation to allow Com Ed to chop down any tree within 20 feet of a power line inspired this satirical movie poster.

If I were running against Jack Franks, I would be knocking on doors of homes with Com Ed electric lines in front of them.


Because Jack Franks introduced House Bill 3884, a bill to allow Com Ed to chop down every tree within 20-feet of a power line.

As if Com Ed doesn’t do enough damage to our trees already.

That bill shows how out of touch he is with McHenry County.

Backyards throughout old Lakewood could lose all of the lot line trees because Com Ed lines run in back of our homes.

Think of what could happen to Bull Valley vistas.

In Wonder Lake, homes which sport Jack Franks signs could have the trees above them chopped down.

I wonder if such signs would be trashcanned if someone told the owner what their State Rep. wanted to allow Com Ed to do.

You get the political potential.

Even having been out of office almost sixteen years, I can tell you that introducing that idea was about as far from representing McHenry County residents as one can go.

The backlash was tremendous.

The McHenry County Conservation District,The Land Conservancy of McHenry County and the Defenders protested.

The Land Conservancy’s Lisa Haderlein called it, “the ComEd Clear Cut bill.”

The Chicago Tribune even wrote a big Sunday editorial about it.

The Chicago Triubne's featured editorial on Sunday, March 11, 2012, was about "Chainsaw Jack" Franks' bill to allow Com Ed and Ameren to level every tree withint 20 feet of a power line.

The Chicago Triubne’s featured editorial on Sunday, March 11, 2012, was about “Chainsaw Jack” Franks’ bill to allow Com Ed and Ameren to level every tree withint 20 feet of a power line.

Franks started off his political career as something of a populist.

Not so much anymore.

He voted against a Commonwealth Edison rate increase, before he voted for it.

"Chainsaw Jack" Franks

“Chainsaw Jack” Franks

The Rockford Register-Star interviewed Franks and wrote,

“Franks strongly objects to some bill opponents who are calling him ‘Chain Saw Jack.’  [Could that be a reference to McHenry County Blog?]

“’I don’t want to have clear-cutting going on,’ he said. ‘I live on a farm with a forest in back.

“‘No one can question my conservation credentials.’”

Well, maybe it’s not Franks’ “conservation credentials” that should be questioned.

Maybe it’s his judgment.

But, if the tool fits, maybe the nickname is appropriate.

Far be it for me to suggest that Franks’ switch from voting against an electric rate hike to voting to force our electric rate higher has anything to do with campaign contributions.  He has access to enough family money that he would not have to take any donations.

The Chainsaw Jack Contributors

  • $2,000 – Ameren, St. Louis, MO [Ameren is the electricity suppler in Southern Illinois.]
  • $500 – ComEd PAC, Chicago

The State Board of Elections also reports $1,000 was donated by three International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union locals:

  • $250 IBEW Local 117 – Crystal Lake  2/22/2011
  • $250 IBEW Local 364 – Rockford  9/14/2011
  • $250 IBEW Local 9 – Hillsboro 1/25/11
  • $250 IBEW Local 9 – Hillsboro 9/8/2011

Sunday, May 15th, Gonigam reported this about Franks not running for both offices:

“Franks qualified that saying he’d give up the Rep. race if the Committee can pick another candidate who’s both ‘electable’ and holds a political outlook consistent with his own.”

Has Jack Franks filed a Withdrawal of Candidacy statement yet?

Check whether Franks has filed the form yet, by clicking here.


Jack Franks Still Running for State Rep. – Part 29 — 12 Comments

  1. Municipalities and the county should not allow planting a tree under or near a power line that exceeds the height of the power line.

  2. Sometimes out in the country it’s the squirrels and the birds that do the planting.Lets not get the county involved in where the country folk plant their trees.

  3. With all our technology why are there even power lines above us?

    All of that junk should have been buried years ago.

    I really don’t like Mark’s suggestion.

    We don’t need anymore laws from municipalities.

    We need to start repealing all of these junk laws; not add to the unwieldy and burdensome crap already on the books.

  4. Burying all existing overhead utility lines would result in hiked utility bills and / or taxes.

    Once they are buried, it’s then more expensive to repair buried utilities than overhead utility lines.

    Not having such a law to prevent planting a tree under or near an overhead utility line, which will exceed the height of the utility line, just results in higher utility bills or taxes due to the maintenance of trees.

    At the very least municipalities and the county themselves, or their contractors, should not be planting such trees.

    Why should we be paying taxes to have a municipality or county plant such a tree, then pay more taxes to have the municipality or county or a contractor trim the tree or repair the line, when such maintenance and repair is entirely preventable.

  5. BS.

    You’re going to be charged any fee they can squeeze from you whether u have a tree on your property or not.

    Whether it’s under a line or not.

    Whether its buried or not.

    Whether you planted the tree 50 years ago or if a municipality planted a tree.

    Where are our rights?

    People say NO to corporations encroaching on the rights of private citizens.

    These trees dong belong to comEd.

    They belong to us!

    Its BS

  6. Well certainly a corporation is going to attempt to maximize its revenue, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t attempt to minimize costs.

    Ownership of the tree depends where the tree is planted.

    A tree planted on a government parkway for instance is not private property, albeit funded by taxpayers.

  7. I don’t think you are getting it, Mark.

    We are saying,

    “Back to basics.”

    If you want a tree, plant one.

    Where in our founding documents does it say that government gets to plant trees and tell us where we can plant ours?

    It’s fundamental stuff.

    Government has no business claiming parkways and planting anything.

    It’s none of their business!

    How easy would it be pay for a government that didn’t get to just buy everything in sight and charge it back to us?

    Our taxes would be negligible.

    Let the people decide what to do with their hard earned dollars.

    It is totally out of hand people are starting to get wise to the thievery.

  8. BTW Mark. I don’t think there is any such thing as private property.

    Try not paying your taxes and see where you privste property ends up.

    You are damned if you do and damned if you don’t in this zero sum crooked game that we have been enticed to play.

    Time to start over.

  9. Obviously there is a difference between private and public property.

    Parkways are public property and thus government property.

    A house is private property.

    Paying taxes does not convert private property to public property.

    Stop valuing money, then we have a real problem, as we operate on a fiat currency, which is based on trust.

    People need to better understand how their taxpayer dollars are being spent and organize to do something about it.

  10. Several years ago on Kishwaukee between Rosefarm road and 14 about 10 100 year old Oaks were cut down.

    It negatively changed the entire feel of the road and area.

    At the time I wondered how Com Ed got away with this and now I see how they did.

    I am really angry over this because Trees mean value to everyone in Mchenry County.

    This is all he has to do?

    Jack Franks is not a conservationist.

    This is B.S abuse of the citizens of Mchenry County.

  11. So Jack Franks get’s caught again in his own
    Hypocritical statements & voting record.

    So now it can be said that instead of sticking
    His foot in his mouth, it is more appropriate
    To say he has ‘hoof & mouth disease’.

    Jack Franks just never stops giving the voters
    FODDER after 18 years of career political hypocrisy.

    Jack, TURN IN your withdrawal papers
    For State Rep & Mchenry County Board ! ! !

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.