As Republicans and the Tea Party Fight for Control of the Soul of McHenry County, the People Lose

By Nancy Zettler

The Republican Party has been in control in McHenry County for over 100 years. To say that the party is entrenched here is a quaint understatement. But for several years now local iterations of the Tea Party have been battling moderate, Conservative Republicans for control of McHenry County, with some limited success. But with the arrival of Bruce Rauner, his millions and his operatives, it’s become easier and easier for what was considered the fringe of the Republican party in McHenry to run candidates with questionable histories, little or no qualifications, no desire to serve the public or even a fundamental understanding of how government should work. Often running for their own personal agendas, these are a particularly mean spirited group of people who hate what they think government stands for while trying to take advantage of what they perceive as a golden opportunity to accrue power provided by Rauner and Trump’s manipulation of people worried about their futures.

Running on an almost singular platform of undefined “tax fighting” with a healthy dose of feigned hatred for the Speaker of The House, teachers and unions, these people make promises that they cannot keep and often have no clue that they will not be able to deliver. Unfortunately, many of these people are running unopposed in next week’s election, but there are a few who do have opponents. These are the people that we will highlight in the next few days. After the elections, we will introduce you to the rest of the anti-government people who seek to take over area government, and the people who created and support them.

Diane Evertsen – former McHenry County Board member. Currently running for the McHenry County College Board.

Even though she wants voters to believe that she’s mainstream, Diane Evertsen has long been on the fringe of McHenry County politics. Founder and longtime President of Midwest Minuteman, a group repeatedly listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as a “nativist extremist movement” group affiliated with the Minuteman movement known to be rife with racism, hatred, criminal activity and violence, Diane closed down her Midwest Minuteman website and began distancing herself from the Minuteman movement when her affiliation was disclosed during a League of Women Voters’ forum in 2010.

While Evertsen maintains that her reason for starting Midwest Minuteman was to fight illegal immigration, her actions tell a different story. While harassing people attending an event sponsored by the Mexican Consulate at a Harvard Middle School, Diane wrote the following in one of her Minuteman “Field Reports”:

“Apparently our presence caused some confusion within the Mexican brain- drain populous. (Gosh, we’re sooo sorry.) We also noted several coming in the Jr. High driveway covering their faces so as not to be recognized, and several who saw us filming them and their vehicles and changed their minds about coming in.”

“Early on this afternoon we were treated to a drama that could easily have been a high-priced ticket item, especially if it had been followed by a good dinner. A young lady was walking up the driveway carrying a box of paperwork when she put the box down, put her hand over her heart and proceeded to tell our people, in a shaky, teary voice, how her “heart hurts” because we are so full of hate. Seeing us there just makes her ashamed to be an American. It was a beautiful show. A thousand apologies for not getting it on film. Oh, the best part? She claimed to be a lawyer (working for the Consulate, of course)! ….. See, when you go out for rallies, folks, there is just no end to the fun..”

There’s a giddy cruelty to Diane’s enjoyment in harassing and demeaning people whose situation she has no idea about.

And there is also paranoia. Evertsen used her Midwest Minuteman web page to post articles that say things like, “An invasion is taking place. Whether by means of legal or illegal immigrants, the third-world hordes are invading the first world, and they are taking no prisoners. If this is not stopped now, America within one generation will be a third-world sewer. …. Invaders from the Orient, Asia, Africa, Central and South America are invading the first world, and they are intent only upon conquest. ”

And according to the SPLC Evertsen herself has voiced the same racially charged paranoia. “According to the Minutemen Midwest, a group based in Harvard, Ill.: “There is a conspiracy afoot to merge the U.S. and Mexico. This heinous ongoing treason has been engineered by an entrenched cabal of legislators, courts, military brass, and government employees embedded at all levels of the executive branch, constituting a ‘Shadow Government,’ who are working to dismantle this country in plain sight. ….”

Diane Evertsen is a woman who has been deeply involved in politics in McHenry County for years. She’s held two previous elected positions and leadership positions in the McHenry County Republican party and she is now seeking to be elected to the McHenry County College Board where she would have a say in policy that would effect class offerings and other important issues important to the student attending classes there. To date she has never disavowed her actions as the leader of the Midwest Minuteman group which she knows is wrong as evidenced by her attempt to hide her involvement once it was raised in 2010.

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