Shoring Up Democracy with Progressive Judges and Craft Beer
Hello friends in Wisconsin and across the country,
This is Kirk Bangstad, owner of the Minocqua Brewing Company. We're an absolute oddity of a brewery that makes politically progressive-themed beer in the middle of the reddest part of Wisconsin and have somehow survived in spite of ourselves.
Today is a special day for the brewery and me.
Today marks the two-year anniversary of our crazy deep-dive into Wisconsin politics, when we put billboards up across rural northern Wisconsin to demand that Senator Ron Johnson and Congressman Tom Tiffany resign from elected office because they conspired to overthrow our government on January 6, 2021.
As part of my brewpub’s Covid-induced reincarnation selling #progressivebeer as opposed to apolitical beer, I decided to donate a percentage of the proceeds of every beer we sold to our newly-created Super PAC which was formed to rid Wisconsin of these two particularly culpable traitors. Amazingly, like-minded folks from Wisconsin and around the country immediately joined the effort—knowing how important our deeply dysfunctional state was to staving off an authoritarian takeover of our country.
Fast forward to last November, 2022.
The graph above shows how hard we worked over the last two years. We raised and spent over $900K to convince the people of Wisconsin that the MAGA movement was nothing more than a massive and treasonous GRIFT.
The anti-mask crowd, the anti-vax crowd, the CRT crowd, the “All Lives Matter” crowd, and so many others were manipulated victims of what I believe was/is the largest GRIFT in modern American history.
And it turns out that wherever we helped SPREAD THIS TRUTH in the last two years, the voting trends in those areas last November shifted blue. Through our work and the work of so many others, we were able to help save Wisconsin’s democracy and shore up American democracy by re-electing Democratic governor Tony Evers.
How did electing a Democratic Governor in Wisconsin help shore up American Democracy? Because our right-wing legislature, along with our right-wing state supreme court, is hell-bent on changing our election laws to enable the very same shenanigans that Trump tried to pull on the American people in 2020. Without a Democratic gubernatorial veto, we had every reason to believe that Wisconsin’s electoral institutions would have been terribly warped before the 2024 presidential election to guarantee a MAGA victory with or without electoral majorities. And of course, Wisconsin is one of only 6-8 states that really decides who becomes president.
Now that Democracy has been saved in Wisconsin, the next step is to undo all the damage it has endured by electing a progressive judge to change the balance of our State Supreme Court to a 4-3 progressive majority. Just last week, the New York Times declared that our Supreme Court Elections on Feb 21 (primary) and April 4 (general) would be the most important races of 2023. Indeed, if we elect a judge that is not owned by the Republican Party, we can re-litigate the voter suppression and gerrymandering laws that have brought Wisconsin to the brink of authoritarian rule.
So that’s why we’re focused like a laser beam on getting out the vote on February 21st for Janet Protasiewicz, the progressive frontrunner for Wisconsin State Supreme Court Justice.
We’ve raised thousands of dollars to put up signs in progressive Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, Eau Claire, and Stevens Point to remind people to vote for Janet in this very obscure primary.
In addition to billboards, we want to give her grass roots campaign a boost by helping her find volunteers to wake Wisconsin progressives up in the middle of winter and get them to the polls.
Would you be willing help out? If so, here's a link to volunteer for her campaign.
What if you don’t live in Wisconsin? No problem, we’re sure they could use your help writing a few postcards or calling a few voters from far away. Remember, helping to save Wisconsin’s democracy helps to save America’s too.
And as a token of our appreciation for helping save Wisconsin’s democracy by volunteering for Janet, we’ll send you a coupon code to receive this free Minocqua Brewing Company sticker if you email firstname.lastname@example.org with a screenshot showing that you volunteered online for her campaign.*
I know it’s not a lot, but hey—free sticker!
Thanks for reading and thanks for sticking with us.
Together, we can strengthen democracy in Wisconsin and America, one beer at a time.
Owner, Minocqua Brewing Company
Founder, Minocqua Brewing Company Super PAC
*Volunteer sign up not required to receive a free sticker, just encouraged