Could Leverage Over Other Countywide Elected Officials Be the Reason Jack Franks Wants County Board Governor Power?

Since State Rep. David McSweeney shared with the Northwest Herald part of the contents of his bill to reshape McHenry County government by providing Chairman Jack Franks with line item veto power, albeit with a Board veto override power to three-fifths of the County Board, I’ve been trying to figure out why.

Yesterday, it seemed to me a solution in search of a problem.

McHenry county has a de facto Executive Budget.

It is prepared by someone who reports directly toe County Executive Peter Austin and we know that Austin acts as if Franks is his boss, regardless that his contract says he reports to the County Board.

We also know that the budget is provided to the Finance Committee, whose strong ally chairs, so shortly before the decision-making meeting that Board members have very little input.

So, why would Franks want line item veto power?

Surely it was not because he wanted what may have been the first satirical headline about himself I have ever seen the NWH dare to run:

Future County Board Governor?

Jack Franks in an “I’m in charge” mode.

We know from the over $1 million that family and friends pumped into his campaign fund when people were thinking of challenging appointed Governor Pat Quinn that Franks really does want to be Governor.

But his family’s wealth while great, is not big enough to challenge a billionaire.

So, what’s it all about, Jackie (with apologies to the songwriter Burt Bacharach who wrote, of “What’s it all about, Alphie”)?

I woke up this morning with what probably is the answer.

A line item veto would provide Franks with new leverage over the budgets of independently-elected county officials, that is, the

  • Auditor
  • Circuit Clerk
  • Coroner
  • County Clerk
  • Regional Superintendent of Education
  • Sheriff
  • State’s Attorney
  • Treasurer

All are centers of power with potential influence over County Board members.

So, let’s just suppose that Franks sees a political opponent working for an independently-elected official that he wants off the County payroll.

Now, he can meet with that official, do some version of his infamous ranting and raving, in attempt to get his way.

But, the official can ll him to go pound sand.

With a line item veto, Franks could just threaten to get rid of a favored part of the official’s budget.


Could Leverage Over Other Countywide Elected Officials Be the Reason Jack Franks Wants County Board Governor Power? — 18 Comments

  1. What is McSweeney doing?

    His job isn’t to come up with legislation strictly for certain counties. This a is very dangerous and dishonest move by McSweeney and Franks.

    To Contact McSweeney:

    Springfield Office:
    (217) 782-1517

    District Office:
    (847) 516-0052
    (847) 516-8164 FAX

  2. We don’t elect kings.

    In essence, David McSweeney is thumbing his nose at every Republican and Democrat voter by rendering the representation they elected, powerless.

    What did Republican McSweeney get for this Bill to make our county’s duly elected representation have to answer to an all-powerful lying tyrant, who is franchising McHenry County for his own benefit?

    We know what Franks will get: An Auditor/whistleblower not able to give oversight on his actions.

    A Sheriff beholden to him so he’s above the law, and so are his family/friends/patrons.

    A State’s Atty’s office in the palm of his hand so he or anyone he sees fit, isn’t challenged in the court system.

    A Treasurer who will need to follow orders and invest Our county’s taxpayer dollars in his Daddy’s banks.

    A Clerk who could not be in charge of elections.

    A circuit clerk who could not properly be in charge of court records.

    A Recorder of Deeds who may be told to alter records.

    A coroner who may be told to back off certain investigations of death.

    Every Mayor in every town/village/city (and their police) beholden to him.

    Any district elected county board member would be useless.

    And the list goes on… David Mc Sweeney’s role is to legislate statewide issues, not cherry pick certain counties to develop legislation for.

  3. As the Jackal’s dreams of becoming the actual Ill. Governor have gone up in smoke,
    he’ll settle to lord over the poor saps of McHenry Co.

    All of his Daddy’s horses and men, couldn’t appease High Lord Madigan.

    So the Jackal seeks to be a mini-tyrant for McHenry Co., with his subs/minions like Kook Kvidera, to mince about in the Jackal’s thrall.

  4. Is the McSweeney bill bad per se, or is it bad bc a goof like Franks gets more power?

  5. Man, Joey Blowhard, you take idiocy to a whole new level.

    Feeling “triggered” ?


  6. Pinto, It’s very bad.

    We specifically voted against an County Exec. ( King)

    It takes away power of our Representation on the board and Franks will abuse this power.

    Why bother having county board members or Constitutionally elected officers if one person could control them all for his personal, political and financial benefit?

    Murmuring Mutton gave examples of abuse of power that will occur.

    No oversight?

    What do you think will happen?!

  7. Re: “Man. You guys take paranoia to a whole new level.”


    If more people had been paying attention to what happens in Springfield, we would not now be incurring the legal expenses brought on by making the Highway Commissioner a dictatorship.

    McSweeney and his mentor are attempting to clone for this County what Franks, Althoff, and others did for the Townships.

  8. @Joe Do you think that Mike Madigan has to much power because he has changed the game in Illinois over the past 40 yrs.

    Everything must go through him with no ramifications what so ever.

    Do you think this state is in fine fiscal stature?

    A great growth economy with low taxes?

    Think of the power that can be done! Doesn’t matter who is in charge but it is even worse since it is Jacko!

    Jacko is all about the almighty power and how he can get more money into his/dads banks!

    I laugh at the people that think Jack Franks is there to fight for them!

    It is comical!

    A lawyer, owns banks and is a true politician.

    What could possibly go wrong?


  9. Anyone think Franks and McSweeney have something brewing behind the scenes?

    Why would McSweeney try to pass something to give Franks more power?

    What’s in it for McSweeney?

    I do like Franks answer that he has to look at the bill before commenting!

    That is laughable!

    Franks almost certainly helped McSweeney write the bill!

  10. Re: “Could Leverage Over Other Countywide Elected Officials Be the Reason”

    Is the Pope Catholic?

  11. Without a doubt ‘Boss Hogg’ (Franks) wrote the bill himself!

    I guess we know who’s blowin who!

    The fact that this is happening, with McSweeney’s help is more disgusting than that little visual I just gave ya.

  12. Is that half a roll of Certs in your pocket or are you just happy to see me on said:

    The article also said that Jack could prevent the official from actually spending the money once it is budgeted.

    So you can hire that person but they can’t have a desk.

    This is another try to take power from the Auditor who has authority to block bills from being paid.

    McSweeneys motivation?

    Remember he didn’t have an opponent in the recent blue wave election.

    How could that be?

    Who could ensure such an arrangement?

    Disappointed in Rebumblican Dave McSweeney.

  13. The bill has since been filed by Dave McSweeney as widely covered on the blog.

    It is House Bill 3317 (HB 3317) in the 101st General Assembly. > Legislation & Laws: Bills & Resolutions > House Bills: 3301 – 3340 > HB 3317 – McHenry County – Various


    Northwest Herald

    Future County Board Governor?

    Lawmaker is drafting bill to empower McHenry County Board chairman

    by Ed Komenda

    February 10, 2019

    “State Rep. David McSweeney is drafting a bill that would give the McHenry County Board chairman authority to veto line items in proposed budgets and explicitly decide whether appropriated money is spent – and board representatives are concerned the legislation would effectively transform the county chairman into a county governor.”

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