By John Dempsey, WLS-AM 890 News
(CHICAGO) An outspoken suburban Democratic state representative is talking to WLS about why he is not going to run for re-election.
Marengo Democrat Jack Franks tells “The Big John Howell Show” on WLS he’s running for McHenry County board chairman instead of seeking re-election, because nothing is getting done in the severely divided Illinois Legislature.
“Today I’ve never seen it so polarized. It’s almost like Washington D.C. or even worse. We can’t get anything done. You know, both parties, it’s not just one, both sides suffer under the delusion that it’s OK that real people suffer, as long as the other side gets blamed.”
Franks first took office in 1999 and has often clashed with his own party. He told WLS the days of cooperation among Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature are long gone.
“It used to be that we’d work together for the good of the people. Now it’s only what’s good for the politicians and who gets to keep the power. And I didn’t sign up for that. I want to do what’s best for the citizens, and I realize that right now Springfield is so dysfunctional and so broken, that’s it’s gonna take a long time for the pendulum to swing back.”
The State of Illinois is still without a budget that should have been passed last July 1st, because of a deadlock between Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan.
Rauner has refused to negotiate with Democrats on a budget unless they first pass his pro-business reforms, which Democrats say would weaken unions and hurt the middle class.
McHenry County Democratic Party officials chose Franks last weekend to fill a ballot vacancy for board chairman.
Given his bleak view about the future in the Springfield, Franks says that he believes he can do more good in McHenry County.
“I had to do a real gut check to say ‘where can I do the best for the citizens of McHenry County’, and I thought I could make a much bigger change coming home to fix the corruption and the waste and the fraud, and to really work on property tax relief and the things that are important to my constituents, and I think I can get that done in McHenry County.”
Republican Mike Walkup is also running for McHenry County Board Chairman.