By Mark Weyermuller -
"Welcome to Crook County, and it's all your fault" was one of the signs held up in the Evanston July 4, 2014 Independence Day Parade. A small tea party group numbering about twenty lined the beginning of the route to call out Illinois Democrats.
Evanston is often mentioned as the most liberal city in Illinois making it a great site for Democrats to see their base. Senator Dick Durbin was the first politician to be engaged by several in the tea party group on the issue of taxes. Next, congresswoman Jan Schakowsky received boos from the crowd. Other Democrats marching included State Senator Dan Biss, State Rep. Laura Fine, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, State Senator Mike Frerichs, Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin and Michael Cabonargi.
I spoke to the Tea Party group afterwards. This is their fifth year of organizing in this same spot on Central Street. They are not affiliated with any bigger Tea Party Group, just a group of citizens concerned about taxes. They were mostly Evanston residents. Others than the rejected officials, they were well received by folks watching the parade. It's a little talked about fact, but most people don't trust politicians.
Governor Pat Quinn avoided the Tea Party by entering the parade at the very front about two minutes before the official start. As you guessed, the Evanston Parade appears to be a must do for Democrats.
The usual other floats included gun control advocates, abortion advocates, and anti-fracking folks. The craziest entry in my opinion is the North Shore Mosquito Abatement with three government vehicles and probably employees on overtime pay. Why are they in the parade, at taxpayer expense?
One bright moment for Conservatives was the one lone Republican in the parade at the very end just before the street cleaners. That was Kathy Myalls who is running for Illinois State Representative against Laura Fine.
The Tea Party appears alive and well in liberal Evanston of all places.