Clearing Our Plate to Focus on Beating Trump in Wisconsin

Hi folks,
If you’ve been following the Minocqua Brewing Company and the activities of our Super PAC by reading my weekly essays over the last four years, I tend to focus on four themes:

  1. Protecting Democracy in Wisconsin, and by extension, America. Our Super PAC helped elect Democratic Governor Tony Evers, progressive justice Janet Protasiewicz, and we’ve held Wisconsin’s Republican insurrectionists accountable for choosing party over country through federal/state lawsuits, billboards, podcasts, phone banks, and TV/Radio commercials.
  2. Protecting Public Education. We fought to end Wisconsin’s parasitic private school voucher system by bringing a lawsuit to Wisconsin’s Supreme Court, funded a 10-week radio broadcast called the “Republican War on Education,” and are currently sponsoring a monthly remote radio broadcast called “Busted Pencils” that airs throughout Wisconsin on Civic Media’s 12-station network.
  3. Fighting local government overreach and bullying. We’ve sued Oneida County and the Town of Minocqua in federal court because they attempted to shut us down and have repeatedly put obstacles in our way, simply because they don't like our loud progressive voice.
  4. Fighting “Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation.” We’re still locked in an ongoing SLAPP suit brought by the publisher of our local right-wing newspaper. The case is now under appeal after we lost the largest defamation settlement in Wisconsin's history in one of the state's smallest counties--in a case that was riddled with judicial errors and bias. 

As you can see, outside of simply selling beer, the Minocqua Brewing Company’s mission is much broader, and as a result, we’ve helped keep Wisconsin progressive.

And because we’ve donated and raised almost $1.5M to our Super PAC dedicated to keep Wisconsin progressive, The Minocqua Brewing Company has become a target for Republicans, both locally and statewide.
However, as the presidential race gets closer, and as the spotlight focuses tightly onto Wisconsin as one of a handful of states that can save America from a Trump dictatorship, I’ve tried to offload most of our legal activities and other expenditures that take focus away from this existential race. Here’s what that means:

  1. The Wisconsin Public Education Defense Fund, which is the activist arm of the Wisconsin Public Education Network, has taken the lead on our ongoing private school voucher lawsuit. I’ve heard they’re very close to restarting the effort in Wisconsin with a few key partners.
  2. If you read my essay last week, we offered to settle out of court with both the Town of Minocqua and Oneida County—the fight for justice has simply taken too long, cost too much, and isn’t worth the negative energy anymore.
  3. The defamation lawsuit is ongoing; the legal expense for our defense is real; but we expect a judgement in our favor soon that stays any action on this matter until the case gets to appellate court, where we’re fairly certain it will be overturned.

We’ve essentially cleared our plate to focus on selling beer this summer and using a portion of those profits, along with your donations, to make sure Trump doesn’t win in Wisconsin next November.

Our first effort on this front was to put billboards up in Oshkosh, Superior, Wausau, and Waukesha that reminded voters in those cities that their politicians—Ron Johnson, Tom Tiffany, and Scott Fitzgerald--aided and abetted the attempted presidential coup in many different ways, but mostly through parroting the lies that the election was stolen.
Our strategy with these billboards was to KEEP linking the these three men to the attempted presidential coup, and to never allow the Republican Party to “normalize” the January 6th insurrection.

The next major political event in Wisconsin will be the Republican National Convention, which well be held in Milwaukee this coming July.
I’m still incensed that Milwaukee’s Mayor Cavalier Johnson encouraged the convention to come to his progressive city. Yes, there will be a large influx of tourism dollars that will help Milwaukee’s businesses, but those dollars come with a lot of baggage. Trump’s mafia has driven out every party leader who refused to bend the knee and join his cult of personality, meaning that the Republican Party has completely morphed into a national grift that funnels money to Trump’s campaign and legal battles--all the while spewing election-denying lies and hatred. Giving this mafia ANY OXYGEN in Wisconsin is an affront to our state’s voters and a punch in the gut to truth and democracy.
For that reason, I believe it is imperative that all Wisconsinites, including the many progressives that live in and around Milwaukee, strongly express their disgust that the convention is being held in a city that celebrates everything that the Trump's Party wants to destroy.
For that reason, we created a billboard that we'd like to place on many highways leading into Milwaukee called “NOPE.”
This billboard mimic’s Shepard Fairey’s famous picture of Obama called “HOPE.”

Fairey’s image spread like wildfire during Obama’s campaign because it rang true to so many people. Similarly, we hope our Trump billboard, with the red/white/blue motif altered to give Trump a well-earned clownish appearance, rings true to Wisconsinites coming to Milwaukee before and during the Republican Convention..
We’ve run the numbers, and it looks like most all of the billboards we can buy in and around Milwaukee will run about $5,000 for four weeks, meaning we’ll need $10K per billboard to keep them around until the convention.
We think 4 well-placed billboards on major highways coming into Milwaukee is a good goal, so we’re hoping to raise $40K from you for this effort.
We’ve done it before an we can do it again. There are approximately 100K of you who read my emails on a weekly basis, and about a third of you have donated to past efforts. 
I believe that collectively, this is a small price to pay to make a BIG STATEMENT that we don’t want a buffoonish would-be conman in Milwaukee, nor do we want him to win the election in our pivotal swing state.

To help us put these signs, up, please donate here.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for sticking with the Minocqua Brewing Company.

Together, let's get out of the weeds and start focusing on the presidential election in Wisconsin. We're ground zero for American Democracy, and the rest of the country needs us to do our part.

Kirk Bangstad, 
Owner, Minocqua Brewing Company
Founder, Minocqua Brewing Company Super PAC

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