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Jack Franks slams the guv

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Rep. Jack Franks (D-Woodstock) is definitely no Rod Blagojevich fan. He’s also more than a bit of a press hound.

That being said, the suburban Democrat did make some good points during a long rant on the House floor yesterday. Here’s a setup from the AP

An Illinois lawmaker condemned Governor Blagojevich during an angry speech on the House floor today. Representative Jack Franks said the governor spends more time jogging than he spends at the Capitol working on state problems. He says it’s insulting for Blagojevich to question the work habits of lawmakers.

Franks also says the Democratic governor can’t make a public defense of his policies because then Blagojevich would face uncomfortable ethics questions. Franks gave the example of a Blagojevich campaign donor who was given a state job and now has been indicted. Franks, a Woodstock Democrat, accused Blagojevich of helping create the state’s electric-rate crisis and showing no leadership to fix the problem. This is the second time in recent weeks that a Democratic lawmaker has publicly criticized Blagojevich as officials remain deadlocked over a new state budget.

You can download the text of the full speech here.

Franks also claimed to have called every state agency, ostensibly to talk to the directors about the budget. Franks said he discovered that only eight out of 29 directors were in Springfield…

. The governor’s office spent about $26 million on transportation for its staff last fiscal year. At the very least, they should be here while we are in session.

Franks then went off on the governor’s demand that legislators put in five day weeks in Springfield…

For the governor to now berate the House for not working five days a week, while the Senate will meet for only one day this week and while the governor has spent more time jogging in Chicago than he has spent in Springfield all session, is tantamount to lunacy. The governor spent more time on running diary tracking his running time, temperature and wind speed than he has on any legislative item. […]

The governor has shown that he can campaign but he has yet to show that he can govern. His hypocritical stance on the House’s work ethic is insulting. He has failed to spend the necessary time and energy in Springfield and has created a mess of budget when he had a real opportunity for reform. Instead we get the same old tired complaints, business as usual and a budget crafted on dead-end tax schemes.

And then he really let him have it…

The reason the governor is not pounding his bully pulpit is because he can’t. Like the emperor of our children’s tales, he can’t afford to be exposed. He can’t and won’t answer questions about whether his campaign fund has been subpoenaed. He can’t and won’t answer why he appointed Ali Ata to a directorship of a state financial agency after Mr. Ata gave over $50,000 to the governor’s campaign. He can’t and won’t answer when and how the indicted Tony Rezko introduced Mr. Ata to the governor. He can’t and won’t answer how Beverly Ascaridis got a job after her husband gave the governor $1,500. He can’t and won’t answer a simple question about the number of subpoenas his administration has received from the federal government, even though he has been directed to answer by the Attorney General.

The governor needs to come clean and answer all of our questions and should sit here with each of his directors and make them defend their budgets line by line. The governor should submit himself to a continuous Committee of the Whole and agree to answer every question.


posted by Rich Miller
Thursday, Jun 14, 07 @ 8:45 am


  1. Well played, Jack Franks. Is Jack thinking of coming to the dark side of the aisle? We would welcome him with open arms.

    Comment by 6'2" Yeti Thursday, Jun 14, 07 @ 8:52 am

  2. Never happen! Blago will never answer questions, that is of course until he is forced to do so under oath. Again that won’t matter either he’s a compulsive liar.
    Franks and Jacobs should start to get the impeachment procedure underway and the sooner the better.

    Comment by Aquanet+ Thursday, Jun 14, 07 @ 9:00 am

  3. Jack isn’t exactly a nice guy. Or friendly. Or pleasant. But he hit the nail on the head here. Say what you will about the guy, he’s the only one in the capitol that has consistently had Blago’s number.

    Comment by Fack Branks Thursday, Jun 14, 07 @ 9:01 am

  4. Impeach, indeed. Why wait? It’s time for the Illinois legislature to show they do NOT serve at the pleasure of the governor and that they - not him - have real testicular virility.

    Impeach, indeed.

    Comment by This Guy Thursday, Jun 14, 07 @ 9:29 am

  5. Wow sometimes the truth hurts. How about that a little tough love from a democrat to the Gov. Blago is the worst thing for Illinois since That little fire they hade in chicago a ways back. Its about time his party dumps him and starts to make things happen without him.

    Comment by Fed up Thursday, Jun 14, 07 @ 9:31 am

  6. Jack who? Fade back into obscurity please. The only time this guy gets any press is if he slams the Governor. Try coming up with something substantitive.

    Comment by Mr Brown Thursday, Jun 14, 07 @ 9:39 am

  7. I wonder why they didn’t dump him last year.

    Comment by Levois Thursday, Jun 14, 07 @ 10:05 am

  8. Regardless of Mr. Franks’ popularity, are his points not valid?

    Does he not have a strong, substantive case?

    Are his facts errant?

    Comment by This Guy Thursday, Jun 14, 07 @ 10:08 am

  9. Mr. Brown ~ It’s easy to slam Governor Corruptovich, having no budget are just the beginning of his problems, at summer’s end he’ll wish he only had budget problems.
    And Jack identify’s many very valid points.
    And Jack’s not obscure, he’s very visible.

    Comment by From Meigs Field Thursday, Jun 14, 07 @ 10:19 am

  10. Something substantive? We have an inept Governor incapable of leading; I’d call that pretty substantive.

    Comment by Say What Thursday, Jun 14, 07 @ 10:23 am

  11. Mr. Brown, JAck did do something substantive. Remember the law that requires movie theatres print the actual start times for movies rather thanthe time that the coming attractions start? This law has changed my life, freeing up my time to do great things. Jack has made sure that my time will not be wasted watching trailors for Shrek 3 as I wait to see Borat. Bravo!

    Comment by Number 8 Thursday, Jun 14, 07 @ 10:32 am

  12. I think what he said about the ethics violations and the staff travel is very, very relevant. The Governor has done nothing to clean up the state and his staff act like they run the show. None of Blago’s top advisors and press people seem to have any regard for the taxpayers and our elected officials. State reps and senators may not be perfect but they don’t always deserve to be lionized by a bunch of highly-paid people who have gotten too big for their britches.

    Comment by Team Sleep Thursday, Jun 14, 07 @ 11:22 am

  13. i knew the blago admin was going to be a train wreck when, shortly after being elected for his first term, he showed up late to vince demuzio’s funeral and made a huge scene when he got there and interrputed the service.

    shortly thereafter, he wasted no time severing his relationship with the general assembly.

    blago is as disingenuous as they come.

    he’s had how many years now to build a strong relationship with the general assembly? instead, he publicly berates members of the house and senate while watching his bills take continuous nose-dives then wonders why no one supports his legislative measures.

    i don’t know whether to fault him or his staff, but with a new chief of staff and new deputy guv, his dismissive attitude toward everyone remains the same.

    there were such high expectations for him when he won his first term as guv.

    he’s let everyone down.

    Comment by Anonymous Thursday, Jun 14, 07 @ 11:44 am

  14. not everyone

    Comment by Bill Thursday, Jun 14, 07 @ 12:09 pm

  15. Bill - Well timed comment. That made me laugh for a change because your admiration for Rod is so incredibly empty of reason that you can no longer be considered sane. I like people of my own twisted ilk.

    Comment by Tidy Bowl Man Thursday, Jun 14, 07 @ 12:32 pm

  16. Thank you Jack Franks! Just keep up the good work and call this awful administration out when necessary.

    Comment by Scoot Thursday, Jun 14, 07 @ 2:01 pm

  17. Great speech. Now it would really be news if a Democrat in the Senate grew some balz and told it like it is.

    Comment by Napoleon has left the building Thursday, Jun 14, 07 @ 2:19 pm

  18. Surely, enough is enough of this guv. Start the impeachment hearings now. No budget until impeachment is completed!

    Comment by Downstate Dem Thursday, Jun 14, 07 @ 4:10 pm

  19. Not everyone had high expectations for the Little King. Many of us were holding our breath hoping that he would at least be competent and that his thirst for attention could be held in check long enough to focus on governing. Alas, he is not only a bad governor, he is worse than we feared. He refuses to govern in any meaningful sense of the word. He can only make TV commercials.

    Comment by Peoria Pete Thursday, Jun 14, 07 @ 5:02 pm

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