The Advantage Group (TAG) Sunsets

“Am I going to have to leave?” the young man asked with uncertainty to TAG Pat Owens as my interview was winding down.

He had been told that because of The Advantage Group’s closing there would be no group session today.

Only two vehicles were in The Advantage Group's parking lot Thursday after school.

Only two vehicles were in The Advantage Group’s parking lot Thursday after school,.  The door was unlocked. No sign was on the door.

Started in Cary in 1988, TAG shut down operations on Wednesday.

“I had PO’s (probation officers from McHenry County) calling crying,” Owens said.

“Where else will we send them?” one who wanted TAG to take a client asked.

Within the last week, calls came from the following high schools:

  • Barrington
  • Cary-Grove
  • Crystal Lake Central
  • Prairie Ridge
  • Woodstock

Now TAG needs to transition about 37 young people.

What did TAG do?

“Immediate assessment,” Owens explained.

“Kids in trouble [who] need to [be] evaluated.

“[TAG is] the only one who does quantitative drug testing.”

“Quantitative drug testing” is more than a positive or negative reading; it tells how much.

“We provided a unique niche,” plus providing “a pulse beat of what’s emerging in the community because kids talk to us.

“We did one thing and one thing well.

“We were effective with dealing with adolescents and young adults.

“That’s all we wanted to do.

“That was our expertise and specialty.

“It’s taking a residential [model] and applying it in the community.

“We provided open access.”

The third week of August, The Advantage Group’s Pat Owens said 708 Board staff were targeting her TAG organization for extinction.

In August, 2012, The Advantage Group’s Pat Owens said 708 Board staff were targeting her TAG organization for extinction.

Democratic Party Board member Paula Yensen brought forth FaceBook postings in favor of Republican candidate for Sheriff Bill Prim and seemed to accuse TAG, a not-for-profit organization, of supporting Prim because a campaign-financed picnic was held on September 13 in the building’s patio area.

“She [Yensen] said she would not proceed if I rescinded my request for emergency funds,” Owens revealed.

Owens did so on September 17.  [You can read the story here.]

“Then she [Yensen] not only made public comment at the Mental Health Board meeting [after the request was withdrawn], but distributed [copies of the FaceBook posts] at the [County Board’s] Public Health Committee meeting.

[GOP opponent Andrew Zinke reported accepting $1,000 from Cary CrimeStoppers on August 26. A letter from Zinke’s treasurer was received at the State Board of Elections on September 13, saying it was “a computer input error.”]

Owens described McHenry County as “a place where the political interests supersedes the needs of the

She explained that the Board has said there would be mediation.

“No one even talked to us.”

One of the complaints of a 708 Board audit on TAG was that it was billing for funds to match Medicaid payments.

“The 708 Board [told us] we can match Medicaid.  [It was an] initiative of the Mental Health Board.

“It’s in my contract.

“That’s what they reported me to the Office of Inspector General for.”

When Owens talked to the Inspector General’s Office, “They said, ‘No you can’t.'”

Owens said that TAG had not asked for Medicaid matching in Kane County.

“We did nothing wrong,” Owens said.

“TAG straight up has never done anything wrong, has never done anything but serve clients and has only sought to defend itself.”

She also revealed this is “not the first time that TAG has been under attack.”

It happened ten years ago, too.

TAG's building after sunset.

TAG’s building after sunset.

What next?

“It’s really about the client right now.”

She said she was trying to place about thirty of them in other programs.

Owens also pointed out that TAG has provided the same level of service without 708 Board financial support for the last two years.

“We have an open environment.  We have people coming back [after finishing the program] five years [later].”

Two years ago TAG “had $900,000 in cash reserves,” Owens said.

“We could actually have survived without Mental Health Board funding.

“Fighting them, trying to work with them to save them face took us down.

“I should have closed two months ago.”

Owens has a $260,000 grant from the Department of Alcohol and Substance Abuse.

“The community will lose a $260,000 grant.  I brought it to the community.”

Owens believes with the state’s financial problems getting the money for another agency will be unlikely.

= = = = = = = =
Regional Superintendent of Education Leslie Schermerhorn issued the following statement:

“It is a sad state of affairs when an agency that provides an important service to our community is closed due to political mudslinging and misinformation.

Leslie Schermerhorn

Leslie Schermerhorn

“It is a sad state in McHenry County when so many of us refuse to believe there is a drug problem among multitudes of McHenry County youth.”It is a sad day when a child first experiments with drugs.

“It is a tragic day when a teen progresses to serious drug use and addiction.

“It is unbearable when one of our own community dies from a drug overdose.

“As of today, the McHenry County community has one less resource for children who have substance abuse issues and their families.

“TAG has been serving the McHenry County community for over 26 years.

“Unlike the two remaining facilities, TAG offered immediate quantitative drug testing and individual treatment plans to students who had experience with drugs.

“Schools could refer students caught with drugs or using drugs to TAG and get next day results as opposed to having to wait a week or more.

“The leaders of McHenry County and the Mental Health Board did not even attempt to mediate the allegations and differences they had with TAG. Perhaps we all should aim to put the needs of children and all people in this county before our own political agendas.”

= = = = =
You can read testimonials about TAG in this article.


The Advantage Group (TAG) Sunsets — 81 Comments

  1. Leslie Schermerhorn, thank you for your frank and professional assessment on this tragic series of events that could have, and should never have occurred.

    Your courage in taking a stand on the terrible loss of substance abuse treatment for the youth of McHenry County is appreciated by those who value both integrity and compassion.

    The toll that the loss of TAG will have on many young lives and their families is too bitter for words.

  2. Pardon my French, but I didn’t think it was possible for the McHenry County Board to produce a bigger jack-ass than Tina Hill, but Yensen has proven me wrong.

  3. WOW! It looks like candidate Bill Who is getting a lot of mud on his face as we are beginning to see the truth of Bill Who.

    As stated:

    “DEMOCRATIC” Party Board member Paula Yensen brought forth Facebook postings in favor of Republican candidate Bill Who and accused TAG, a not-for-profit organization, of supporting Bill Who, because a campaign-financed picnic was held on September 13 in the building’s patio area.

  4. This fact states:

    [GOP opponent Andrew Zinke reported accepting $1,000 from Cary CrimeStoppers on August 26. A letter from Andrew Zinke’s treasurer was received at the State Board of Elections on September 13, saying it was “a computer input error.”]

    Well, people, the truth prevails again that supports Undersheriff Andrew Zinke to be the right person to fight against Corruption.

    Read and learn about our next elected Sheriff, Undersheriff Andrew Zinke at

  5. ‘Fukoku” = Kim Zinke = Andy Zinke…… Yes and you and Andy are doing the mud slinging.

    Greg Pyle is accepting a pleas deal and it is just a matter of time before all of the dominoes go down….

    That includes Kim and Andy Zinke.

  6. Paula Yenson is also a domino, and she should be removed from the County Board.

    She is suppose to be working in the best interest of the community.

    And, she should not be making decisions based on her own political agenda..

  7. The only way evil can continue to thrive is if good people say nothing.

    Thank you Ms. Schemerhorn and Ms.Kurtz for focusing on the real needs of this community verses those that will use any pretense to further their own political agenda, Yensen is the current poster child of such politics.

    Good news Ms.Yensen, you got to stop 49,000 in funding that could have saved some lives and also got the added bonus of insuring no further help for our kids in this community from this bad agency.

    Now what did the IRS say about this allegation?

    Oh that’s right…nothing!

    Too bad TAG won’t be around to continue to be the political football.

    Wonder who is next?

  8. Let me get this straight- this is the same Paula Yensen who has claimed to be an “advocate for women”?

  9. “Perhaps we all should aim to put the needs of children and all people in this county before our own political agendas.”

    Really Leslie Schermerhorn?

    You might want to start practicing what you seem to be preaching.

  10. Isn’t Leslie Schermerhorn the one that said the mammoth bleachers did not have to be approved by Crystal Lake?

  11. Do the words parent responsibility ever enter into the discussion of the drug addled McHenry county youth?

    Why is the county involved using our tax dollars to pay exorbitant salaries and overhead for the mental health organizations which are corrupt and could care less how much care client receive.

    No more payments to any group until we know how much our our tax dollars actually go to those in need rather than the administrators.

  12. A point of clarification: the agreement to keep TAG’s illegal activity secret was made between Owens and Routzahn.

    But that’s irrelevant.

    Just because an agency does good work does not mean they don’t have to obey the law, and it doesn’t mean they can get away with ripping off the taxpayers.

    The best interests of the community were served by making sure that more of the taxpayers money goes toward direct services, not hugely inflated salaries and overhead.

    TAG’s ship started sinking years before Paula was appointed to the Mental Health Board.

    The Inspector General’s report will make that very clear.

    It’s a real shame Owens can’t take responsibility for her own mistakes.

    If Paula had kept quiet about the scandal at TAG, the Mental Health Board would have probably given TAG the $49,000.

    That money would have kept the agency afloat just long enough for the scandal to become public of its own momentum, and then all of you who are so outraged at the actions of one board member would be screaming for blood because the Mental Health Board wasted taxpayer money on another sinking ship just like Family Services.

    You can’t have it both ways.

  13. Mr. Bisset-Your chivalry at defending your wife is admirable.

    Your statements however are a continuation of innuendo and slander not backed up with any credible reports.

    Is the democratic machine of McHenry county of which you are Chair going to manufacture some?

    Anything is possible in this county.

    The attacks against TAG is another example of a witch hunt that thise in the political cabal of this county are capable of inciting.

    Shameful, immoral, and unfortunately, not going to end with the demise of TAG simply because no one in our county government or the Mental Health Board is held accountable for any of their abuse of power.

  14. Michael- This was politically motivated.

    The actions of these people had nothing to do with right and wrong.

    If they were concerned with right and wrong there would be no corruption in Mchenry County….

    I was made an offer to pay a judge for custody and then was witness to another case they tried to fix…

    There is corruption in Mchenry County and they know it.

    Many cases have been fixed, there are custody cases that have been fixed and people have been wrongfully convicted and sentenced…

    The Gary Gauger case was a witch hunt and Nygren played a “BIG” role in that case…

    He was there..

    They have had many, many years of practice and have in fact become experts at the game.



  15. Michael. It’s nice that you post with your own name but you might want to mention the fact that you are married to Paula and are Chairman of the county Democratic Party.

    As far as TAG goes, they may not have crossed all of their “t’s” all the time which is a failing.

    However, before someone decides to torpedo an agency that is providing a needed service, they ought to give some thought as to what will replace that agency.

    The other providers to whom people will now be shunted do not do the same things that TAG was doing, most notably out patient treatment, nor are they set up right now to handle the influx.

    TAG handled 1200 to 1500 cases a year and had built up relationships with those clients and their families which will take time to rebuild.

    The non profit status of TAG is not a pre-requisite to receiving funding from MHB as the MHB staff confirmed for us during our Board meeting.

    Paula seemed unaware of that.

    Also, if we are going to start looking at the compensation level of the CEO’s of any agency, why don’t we start with some of the big fish, like Centegra, instead of just the small fish that Paula has fried.

  16. Thank you Mike Walkup for enlightening everyone in regards to the connection between Paula Yenson and Michael Bissett.

    Hmmm Chairman of the Demoncratic Party?

    Now that explains at least part of the motivation behind those transactions……

  17. Oh man oh man – I hope the Republican Party is gonna run someone against Paula.

    Party Unity can solve this problem and we can get Republicans elected!

    So sad to see us lose TAG.

    How could the Republicans like Anna May Miller and Mary McCann let this happen?

    Are they not on the committee too?

  18. If I’m not mistaken, the event at TAG wasn’t a fundraiser, it was just a meet and greet- no funds were solicited during the event.

  19. Mary and Anna May are most certainly on the PHHS committee and tried to shout me down when I was criticizing Paula.

    Mary also tried to shut me down when I was questioning Todd Schroll (MHB Acting Exec)during the budget meeting (Anna May had left early as she habitually does).

  20. Dear Messrs. Kurz and Walkup:

    Kindly let me know which of the following facts are incorrect concerning the taxpayer funded entity known as TAG that you appear to want more taxpayer money spent on:

    1. The Advantage Group Foundation is currently under investigation by the Office of the Inspector General of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services for improper billing irregularities. See Northwest Herald Article dated October 18, 2012 entitled “Local treatment center’s billing practices under investigation”.

    2. The improper billing practices under investigation include billing Medicaid and Private Insurers as well as The McHenry County Health Board (another taxpayer funded agency) for the same services performed for the same client. See investigation/

    3. That the McHenry County Health Board conducted an audit on the agency in question that alleges “the agency’s billing records contained errors and in some cases billed both the mental health board and patients’ private insurance company for the same counseling sessions.” Id.

    4. That the McHenry County Health Board filed a federal lawsuit seeking the return of $1,083,817.65 in taxpayer monies for disputed services against the agency. Id.

    5. That the agency in question violated IRS rules regulating unlawful political campaign practices by non-for-profit taxpayer funded entities.

    6. That “[TAG] could actually have survived without Mental Health Board funding” as stated by Ms. Owens in the above piece.

    Based on the above, how much more money do you and Ms. Kurtz want the taxpayers of McHenry County to give to this agency?

    Ms. Yensen, as a Member of the County Board, your job is to protect taxpayer’s money. On that score, you deserve an A rating from the taxpayers of the County for your efforts to hold those who spend taxpayer dollars to the highest standards of accountability.

    Messrs. Kurz and Walkup, if you believe that over $1 million dollars in possible waste or loss to the taxpayers of McHenry County is simply a failure to dot one’s “t’s”, i.e., a trivial or meaningless act, then you’re not even in the same fiscal accountability league as Ms. Yensen.

  21. I don’t think Prim did anything wrong, as long as he reports the “in-kind” value of the event on his D2.

    I consider a million dollars in double billing a serious matter. Why don’t you, Mr. Walkup? You characterize that as “failing to cross a few t’s.” Seriously?

    Duncan, you try to find a political angle here and I don’t see it. Yensen, Routzahn and Owens are all Democrats. The people who were complaining the loudest about TAG are all Republicans. Rooting out corruption should be a bipartisan cause, and in this case it was.

  22. Patrick and Michael

    There is a political angle.

    The goal here all along was to bring in ‘Rosecrance” from Rockford….

    Paula Yenson is not protecting the tax payers.

    This transaction was politically motivated…

    Follow the money… you will be required to lay out the new terms contracts, agreements with ‘Rosecrance”

    What will they be paid?

    Have they already been paid something?

    Calling all Federal Authorities now.

    Mchenry County Politics has a history of Blantant Corruption and I guarantee the tax payers, it does not begin with Bill Prim…

    I have firsthand information about kickbacks and bribes and how the money is distributed in Mchenry County…

    Who cares if Yenson, Routzahn and Owens are Democrats. ….

    Paula Yenson has proven just how unscrupulous she can be….

    Time to have her removed…

  23. More disclosure: Pat Quimet was former Chairman of the McHenry County Democratic Party.

    I don’t have time now to get into a detailed response to Pat but suffice it to say that I too was very concerned about TAG and wanted more information.

    However, I also didn’t want to see them go under and leave people in the lurch overnight.

    Had Paula chosen to engage the PHHS Committee and the MHB more before putting on a dog and pony show that wasn’t even on the agenda, we could have had a discussion on all of this and searched for a solution together.

  24. TAG was already going under, entirely due to their own mismanagement. The only question was were the taxpayers going to throw more money on their sinking ship as it was disappearing beneath the waves. No “torpedo” was necessary.

    Oh, and while we’re on the full disclosure bandwagon, let’s admit that Michael Walkup has on several occasions run for office as a Democrat, volunteered for Democratic candidates and attended Democratic Party fundraisers. You Republicans should not hold that against him. I don’t.

  25. Michael… Bissett you are Paula Yensons Husband and you are clearly biased and lack the objectivity… We all know you are bringing Rosecrance…

  26. Why does Prim get the benefit of the doubt and Zinke, who is a family man and good natured individual gets slammed?

    We need to be more pragmatic on this blog.

  27. Hey it’s Michael Bissett. Thanks for stopping by.

    A little off topic, but I noticed the Dem Party in McHenry has been handing out awards and such lately. I was just wondering if you could reach down in your Chairman’s Haversack and find something for this long suffering Taxpayer?

    If not, may I suggest and I will insist on nominating myself for. The first annual, D.J. Traeger Award for Taxpayer Pain and Suffering. Let me know when you get it cleared at the next meeting, and allow me time to schedule, to pick up my honorarium. Thanks

  28. I’m not connected to anyone or any entity involved in this. I’m not any of the named people. I’m just the “AnonyMouse” taxpayer and resident who is squeaking that she is pretty much tired of all of you. We need term limits immediately and far less government.

    Money I paid to support everything in this flipping world is spoken about as if it’s just dust in a bucket. Hey, people worked for this, it didn’t grow in their gardens courtesy of the Plant Fairy. As far as attacking me, you won’t make any political brownie points or count coup on MYname. Get over it and do what should be done instead of using this as a campaign topic.

    1. The people in charge of the non-profit should have known about what it could and could not do politically. The info is readily available from what I recall. Take responsibility for your error(s).

    2. I’m not fond of Yensen and have no interest in her being the first one to get any applause. However, IF she knew she would get no cooperation from anyone on the committee or the board or that some things would get quietly buried, I don’t blame her for flapping her mouth.

    3. The people in charge of TAG should have known what they could and could not bill for. IF they messed up and double or triple billed, they deserve the flack they are getting…and if the any entity knowingly paid them the double or triple billing, they deserve the flack they are getting too.

    We can all be honestly warm and fuzzy about the fact those in need have been affected here, however, it is not the job of any entity or individual to be lax or loose with taxpayer funds.

    Sounds to me like there are some power trips going on here, it’s funny what happens when someone gets elected/appointed/employed (and has power). Rules and common sense seem to disappear.

  29. Ms. Schermerhorn,

    Please keep out of this. There are so many things wrong with Education in this country, I have absolutely no interest in hearing anything you folks have to say anymore.

    Let the people who messed up the TAG issue clean up their own messes.

  30. “Fair Play” Hmmm You say Zinke is a good natured family man?

    “NOT” Good natured family men do not go out of their way to flip someone the finger at a public parade where there are children and families… and then advocate for their wives when they drop the f bomb at the same parade..

    Zinke is not a good natured family man that’s for sure.. and his wife “Fukoku” = Kim Zinke, has done nothing but chip away at his campaign and therefore his chances to be elected as Mchenry County Sheriff.

    They are nothing more than the side show act performing for the Nygren and Zinke Circus…….

    As for Mike Walkup, he should be applauded for his efforts to protect the tax payers of this County.

    He is one of the few who actually have an agenda guided by integrity….

    Just how long have you been planning to bring in “Rosecrance” from Rockford Illinois?????

    They are another mental health organization.

    Who exactly is behind that transaction??

  31. Hey – this is about TAG and how the Democrats Paula Yensen, Anna May Miller, and Mary McCann took down the only organization in McHenry County that immediately treated teens.

    Lets keep Zinke, Prim, and the pedo out of this please.

    We gotta build the party.

  32. Yes this is about TAG. However, “Fukoku” = Kim ZInke is claiming this has something to do with Bill Prim..

    And, she stated that, therefore, Zinke is the right person to fight corruption because of this story.

    No Zinke is not the right person to fight corruption..”Fukoku”

  33. Mark D, I think what you fail to realize is, these people are all part of the Nygren regime, birds of a feather flock together.

    Maybe TAG was doing too good of a job with the children, maybe one of those children might talk about an experience they had, to cause their problem.

    You have a group in McHenry County that wants total control.

  34. Mr Oimet has asked some important questions that no one seems to want to answer — why not?

    Even Mr Walkup doesn’t deny the claims.

    Can we get answers on whethe the facts Oimet is asserting are true?

  35. I will be happy to hold Mr. Walkup’s coat in this matter.

    He too expressed concern over the financial issues (as did Donna Kurtz).

    However, they also realized the value of the services being provided.

    I thought Democrats were about compassion.

    Apparently not when your wife is grandstanding and you are trying to make political hay in this situation.

    And I think it’s hysterical that Ouimet and Bissett try to undercut Walkup’s credibility by pointing out his past Democrat forays.

    Uh, you guys are past and current Dem chairmen, right?

    And because Walkup ran as a Dem, he has no credibility?

    What does that say about you and Democrats?

    Your argument just shows that other than Franks, Democrats in McHenry County are largely brain dead.

    Do you deny grandstanding?

    Can you guarantee that your wife and other special interests won’t bring in their own folks to provide services?

    You post without full disclosure and that shows how slimy you guys really are.

    I thought Dems were the party of compassion, of peace, love and Bobby Sherman. Heh.

  36. Corruption at the courthouse?

    Let me get this straight: Duncan M. – you have evidence of multiple acts of bribery involving judges and your answer is to call for the removal of a whistle-blower on the County Board?

    This doesn’t make any sense at all.

  37. CQ neighbor, I think what was being said was, there are those that want a whistle blower status, until a full audit, and I mean one that will show everything, we then will know the truth.

    Many to do not trust the powers that be in McHenry County and the regime.

  38. Paula Yensen did the right thing.

    All of the other ridiculous chatter is garbage.

    It shouldn’t take courage to do the right thing but Paula has courage.

    No agenda here.

    Accusing Paula of being politically motivated in this is just garbage.

    When this settles and it will, Paula will continue to be a County Board member.

    TAG will be a footnote and a story of how not playing by the rules WILL get you gone.

  39. You can be a charitable organization or you can be a political one, but you can’t be both.

    TAG crossed a line that would cost them their 501-3(c) status.

    Now it seems they were also committing irregularities in charging for services.

    McHenry county has a long history of shady politics and insider dealing. This seems to be more of it.

    What I found most interesting when trying to research TAG was the dearth of information as to who serves on the board.

    Perhaps you might research that yourself Cal.

    I’ll bet it will prove highly illuminating.

  40. Nygren is not happy with Zndy Zinkes efforts on the campaign trail and he knows Bill Prim has a real chance to be elected.

    It has been rumored that if Andy Zinke loses the primary, Nygren will come in on the final election as a Democrat.


    WOW! Now that says it all..

  41. Another darn thing.

    The two Mchenry County Tea Party political hopefuls complicit in helping TAG break several laws know better too.

    The Hubris of these two, one a Tea sheriff hopeful and one a Tea “reformer” is laughable.

    This issue will reemerge during their campaigns if they get that far.

    As well it should.

    Which is it?

    Are they both stupid or ignorant?

    Either way, neither will move forward politically.

    We don’t need cowboys on the County Board or another ego maniac for sheriff.

  42. Paul Greenlee, I apologize for confusing you. Let me try again: Michael Walkup thinks he’s scoring points by mentioning that two of Paula’s supporters on this thread are Democrats.

    My pointing out that Walkup is ALSO a Democrat (who told me that he was going to run as a Republican because he felt it’s the only way he could get elected) makes the case that TAG was not a partisan issue.

    Anyone who’s paying attention to local politics knows who I am and who I’m married to.

    I don’t try to hide it.

    Cal mentions it with some regularity on this blog.

    But you’d be happier if I posted with a pseudonym like the other cowards.


    We do have compassion for hard-working taxpayers who don’t want to see their money wasted on failed agencies and ridiculous lawsuits.

    We have compassion for the clients who need help.

    But we have no compassion for waste, fraud and abuse.


  43. Michael Bissett You and your wife Paula Yenson are no heroes.

    She is not considered a whistle-blower either.

    Tell me is it true Nygren plans to run as a Democrat if Andy Zinke loses the primary????????????????????

    We don’t have the whole story on TAG and you know it…

    Targeting Mike Walkup is not earning you any points either.

    It’s just one more way for you to feel higher and mightier.

    Again, Mike Walkup is one of few who’s agenda is guided by integrity.

    Which is a lot more than I can say about you…

  44. You have a lot of time on your hands Duncan Mchenry = Zane Seipler, you need to get a job.

    You claimed to have a job, but I don’t consider promoting your blog and trying to sell that book of crap a job.

    Everyone knows that you made a deal with candidate Bill Who to get your job back if he wins the election, but we all know that will NOT happen.

    Therefore, I recommend that you start looking for a real job now.

  45. Your lies and your contrived rumors that you are trying to start about Sheriff Nygren’s plans to run as a Democrat if Undersheriff Andrew Zinke loses the primary is just asinine

  46. You seem like you really know what you are talking about Fukoku!

    Are you connected to the Zinke campaign or Sheriff Nygren?

    Are you helping the Republicans take back this county from the Democrats?


  47. “Fukoku” = Kim Zinke Again, as stated many times Duncan is not Zane Seipler. And, I do have a full time job… No deal has been made with Bill Prim…

  48. Can someone explain to me why an organization that by their own admission had $900,000 in cash reserves is now bankrupt?

    If the political activity were brought up by a Republican would it then be wrong?

    If the end need is to serve the population- why not have more than one service provider in the county?

    This whole thing seems of misdirection.

  49. Michael, in Illinois, party adherence is based on voting record.

    That is why we have ridiculous ONE party primaries.

    Walkup’s official voting record makes him a Republican while you are a Democrat.

    There are members on the board who are even more progressive than you but they vote Republican in primaries so they can run as a Republican.

    To date, Walkup’s voting record on the board indicates he is NOT a progressive while your Paula’s does.

    There are several “r”s on the board who are just as progressive as Paula.

    btw for others, Nygren has pulled Republican ballots in the last two primaries.

  50. NO Mark D, not the way you may think I am connected to the Undersheriff Andrew Zinke campaign.

    Yes I am a strong supporter of Undersheriff Andrew Zinke and I am using common sense that I base my comments on.

    YES, I am a Republican and I have always gave my full support to the party.

  51. As for YOU Duncan Mchenry = Zane Seipler, I have proven on this blog that YOU are indeed Zane Seipler, as I have proven YOU are a liar!

    Get a JOB!

  52. So Fukoku you will support Bill Prim if he wins the primary?

    And will you support the nominee who will eventually run against Paula Yensen?

    Thank you for your support of the Republican Party!

    We can mix it up now but we need UNITY at the end of the day to beat these Democrats!

  53. ‘Fukoku” = Kim ZInke You evidently are having another one of those break down moments where you bring out the knives…


    You have not proven Duncan is Zane Seipler…

    Duncan is not Zane Seipler…

    Duncan does have a job.

    Your’e arguments make no sense and you have no credibility Kim.

    Especially, after you dropped the F Bomb at a public parade in front of families, the children and the elderly.

    Remember, the same parade Andy Zinke gave the finger from his county paid vehicle?…

    Or, has your selective memory prevented you from recalling such memories?

  54. I do not understand why people keep referring to knives with Ms. Zinke?

    Mental Breakdowns?

    What does this have to do with the Democrats?

  55. I am not an expert on the details of the activities of TAG or the inner workings of the MHB.

    On the other hand, I am indeed familiar with the society needs in the areas that TAG and other social support agencies provide to thousands of citizens across McHenry County.

    I also know Paula Yensen and Mike Bisset and they both work tirelessly for these constituents.

    This forum needs a fact based analysis of the legal, financial, and social aspects of this issue.

    I spent a couple of hours researching the publically available information regarding TAG, mostly printed in the NW Herald and in Cal’s site.

    It is clear to me that TAG has had on-going fishy issues for several years, so much so, that the States Attorney’s Office is investigating financial serious irregularities in the range of up to $1 million including double billings for the same services.

    At the least there appears to be negligent mismanagement.

    The county treasury and MHB treasurer both advised against this extra-curricular non-budgeted request for extra funding to cover TAG’s immediate needs.

    The amount of the request, $49k, while a lot of money, is really not that large a sum.

    If this spelled the difference between keeping the doors open or shutting down, then the problems are much bigger.

    The large legal fees that the MHB has incurred are in part due to dealing with the ongoing TAG issues.

    Paula Yensen’s calling out TAG was appropriate and I think required.

    I want all my elected officials to provide good, effective government that serves the all people, especially the people in the most need.

    This sad case may reflect the larger fact that in McHenry County the overall budget for mental health advocacy including adult developmentally disabled, mental illness, and drug abuse that TAG specialized in are seriously under-funded.

    Just for the developmentally disabled, the need for housing is overwhelming.

    DD affects only about 1.5 % of the population.

    In McHenry county, with a population of 320,000, that means 4,800 adults are DD.

    Where do they live?

    How do they work?

    As I mentioned I am not familiar with the historical details of TAG.

    I suspect that for years they have worked on a shoestring budget, and have seen the needs increase, while the support to provide the best people, capabilities, resources, infrastructure, etc has not.

    The result, a decline in the functioning to the point of dysfunction where irregularities started, and the group finds itself in serious legal trouble.

    The real losers here once again are the public that was being served. McHenry County can do better.

    I support Paula Yensen.

    I know she is a fighter for the disadvantaged and she represents the best in public service.

  56. Funny, but I do not see anything in the article posted explaining the legitimate allegations brought up by County Board Member Paula Yensen.

    Only implications that Yensen some how is against young people and for drug abuse.

    I know it has been a long time tradition of Republican politics and what passes for journalism in the Northwest Herald, to ignore dishonest government activities, but when an honest politician stands up and points out illegal activity by a non-profit business receiving taxpayer dollars, I would think fiscal conservatives would applaud this conscientiousness by an honest public servant striving to do the right thing.

    But, anyone who looks at their property tax bills in McHenry County can attest, politics in McHenry County has never been about saving the tax payers dollars.

    It’s all too often only about power, and who gets money stuffed into their pockets inside and outside of government.

    Michael Walkup and other Committee Members on the County Board question Yensen’s decision to take immediate action to inform the Mental Health Board Director of the potential violations of law by TAG should be the ones being questioned right now.

    It seems Mr. Walkup and Ms. Kurtz have forgotten that they work for the people of this county, not for each other, and not for the sake of protecting businesses receiving public money from bad publicity.

    If only there was such scrutiny of the Mental Health Board before Family Services went belly up.

    There should be questioning right now, but it should be targeted towards those whose financial mismanagement have led to the sad state of Mental Health Counseling in McHenry County right now.

    Terry Robert Kappel – Chair, Democrats and Independents for the Fourteenth

    (Those who post critical comments should have the guts to put their names on their comments. If you have something to say, stand behind your opinions.)

  57. That is an excellent question Mark D.

    I have no clue what Duncan Mchenry = Zane Seipler is talking about. You will never get a straight answer from it as you have witnessed by its reply on 10/12/2013 at 5:05 pm.

    I have asked this individual numerous times a question and I always get the same stupid replies, such as cuckoo nest or some other bizarre comment. My favorite is, “You are a Zinke supporter.”

    I was shocked that he was able to figure that out all by itself.

    The best is when it first started to call me Kim and asked me if I was sharpening my Ginsu Knives. I thought it was trying to make fun of my name, because Kim is common for a Chinese surname.

    Then, I thought it was attempting to irritate me by calling me Kim, because during the Japanese Empire (Samurai) years, the Japanese felt that they were the superior race in Asia. If you called a Japanese person a Chinese, they were greatly insulted.

    When I was able to understand that it was referring to me as Undersheriff Andrew Zinke’s wife, I knew then I was dealing with a real disturbed individual.

  58. The answer to your other question Mark D, “So Fukoku you will support Bill Prim if he wins the primary?”

    I stated some months ago to the topic in regard to the “McHenry Country Club Republican fund raiser” the following:

    “If Mr. Harrison’s strategy is to pick up the support of whichever group loses the GOP primary, and if Andrew Zinke fails to take the ticket, I WILL vote for Bill Prim.”

    “This is Republican territory and we have no need for an Independent!”

    I am just very thankful that I will never have to make that tough decision, because Undersheriff Andrew Zinke will not ONLY take the GOP primary.

    He will become our next Sheriff of McHenry County, and that is based on common sense.

  59. “Fukoku” = Kim Zinke… Compare the above writing from “Fukoku” to other comments she has made. You have multiple personality disorder. Your style of writing keeps changing….




  60. Actually, it’s a shame, speaking as a teacher, when the roe superintendent injects herself into a serious issue on a partisan basis.

  61. Brian, Mark and the public have every right to know. Put a sock in it..

    You are really worried Zinke will lose.

    That is why all of the Democrats started coming out of the Woodwork.

    Paula’s husband, Michael Bissett, was asked if Nygren would come in as a Democrat if Zinke loses the primary.

    He has yet to answer my questions, because that is exactly what they are planning..

    Wake up tax payers, this is your opportunity to take down the entire Regime in Mchenry County by voting Zinke out of office and by voting Bill Prim into office..

    Everyone has the power to change the history of Mchenry County politics and the Regime forever, through the power of the vote..

    Everyone needs to get out on election day and vote if you want your voices to be heard.

    The power of the vote, it’s amazing.

    Each one of the citizens in Mchenry County can exercise his and her responsibility and power to be counted by voting.

  62. This is correct tax payers!

    This is the depraver’s opportunity to take down the entire Regime in McHenry County by voting Undersheriff Andrew Zinke out of office.

    And by voting Bill Who into office, you will pave the way for Corruption to flood into our county unopposed.

    STOP Corruption and join the fight against Corruption in our county by voting for Undersheriff Andrew Zinke for Sheriff.

    Read and learn about our next elected Sheriff, Undersheriff Andrew Zinke at

  63. “Fukoku” = Kim Zinke..

    I have lived in this community for over 30 years and have been witness to corruption first hand.

    I can assure the tax payers that the only ones watching “Lets Make a Deal” and the “Price is RIght” is Nygren, Zinke, Judge Gordon Graham and the members of their Regime.

    In no way, has Bill Prim ever been linked to corruption…


    Hey Kim, there is a Parade today in Marengo.

    Whats the matter Andy Zinke didnt make an appearance because he is too afraid he will trip on his shoelaces..

    Those that have video cameras have been advised to record the event.

    Can’t wait to see the next Andy Zinke Fiasco.

    If you want to get rid of corruption in Mchenry County vote for Bill Prim.

    Andy Zinke is nothing but a big fat charade….

    By the way, the Democrats who joined the Nygren bandwagon, are doing a pathetic job trying to save the Regime and their contributors….

    You might just have to go get a real job Kim.

  64. Interesting comment above, from Mary, the teachers know first hand, how to switch parties before a Primary Election, to control the vote, after the Primary they switch back to the Democratic Party.

    Look where that has us, right up to Washington, DC.

    Would be interesting to see, if you can, how many people switch parties before a Primary Election.

    This reminds me of the story at CL South regarding the seating . . . kind of, in you face, we are in charge.

  65. Bill Who is not going to make the cut Duncan Mchenry = Zane Seipler.

    You best find a job now before all that is left is handing out shopping carts at Wal-Mart.

    Don’t tell me later that I didn’t warn you.

  66. Dear Mary Margaret Maule

    I never said the Chairman of the party determines who can run.

    If Zinke loses the primary Nygren will come in as a Democrat to compete against BIll Prim.

    That is a fact.

    It is apparent that the Democrats and Paula Yenson are using TAG as a political pawn….

    For that reason, TAG filing for bankruptcy has everything to do with the Sheriffs race..

  67. Anyone who circulates or signs a petition for anyone of another political party in the same election cycle, or votes in that primary for another party, would not be eligible for nomination.

    If you want to find out if someone wishes to preserve that option, you need to look to see if they either signed any Republican petitions or circulated any, or picked a Republican primary ballot.

    Picking an “independent ballot” at the primary to say, vote only on referenda, would not preclude nomination.

    Voting in the opposite primary in a previous cycle would not preclude nomination.

    You can therefore look to those indicators if you want to judge if someone is trying to keep themselves available.

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