What an emotional week it has been!
In short, here's what I'm over the moon about.
- Wisconsin's democracy will live to see another day with the re-election of Tony Evers as Governor and because we held off a Republican veto-proof super-majority in the state legislature.
- The Democrats retained their majority in the U.S. senate, which means we can keep on confirming qualified and fair judges to federal vacancies as opposed to inexperienced Trump stooges.
- The U.S. House of Representatives could still possibly stay in Democratic hands, but even if it doesn't, Republicans will have to have Democratic support to get anything done given how nuts their MAGA contingent is.
Yes, we did have some big disappointments:
- Ron Johnson, our election denying, anti-vaxxing, pro-Russian insurrectionist Senator, was re-elected after running the sleaziest race-baiting campaign I've ever seen against Mandela Barnes.
- Republican Derrick Van Orden, an ex-Navy Seal who went to the capitol on January 6th to help illegally overturn the election, won in Western Wisconsin and flipped a Democratic house seat red.
Wisconsin is still a deeply dysfunctional laboratory for far right-wing policy experiments, but we saved the basic elements of our government needed to eventually join our neighbors Minnesota, Illinois, and Michigan as a bulwark against authoritarianism in 2024 and beyond.
Over the next few weeks, I'm going to take stock of what to do next with Minocqua Brewing Company's political involvement, but I'd like to show you this map I created as a way to quickly look at what we've accomplished over the last 2 years.
It's pretty uncanny that everywhere we put our "Choose Reason Over Treason" signs in the last two weeks, like the WOW counties surrounding Milwaukee and in Wisconsin's Fox Valley, trended blue compared to the 2018 governor's race. But unlike folks in MAGA-land, we won't take too much credit for this because we know a little about statistics and understand that those two regions were the focus of most of the gazillions of political dollars spent in Wisconsin.
While we won't take credit for moving the needle in those areas, I DO think our efforts over the last two years made a positive difference in this election. I believe we had the most impact in North Central Wisconsin, our home, which has basically been written off by Democrats and even ignored by Republicans because they've been so dominant over the last decade.
We raised and spent over $800K from over 19K of you, with an average of $43 per donation, and we put money where nobody else would, because Northern Wisconsin is our home and we refuse to see it go to the dogs.
Oneida, Vilas, and Marathon County moved to the left by 4.6%, 4.6%, and 3.5%, respectively, and those three counties are where we put the majority of your dollars and our efforts.
We did some pretty wild things, like filing a class-action lawsuit against anti-vaxxing school boards in both of Wisconsin's federal courts, and suing Ron Johson, Tom Tiffany, and Scott Fitzgerald for their roles in the insurrection. While those efforts ultimately failed, there's no doubt that we kept these crazy people in the news, under a magnifying glass, and in the memory of Wisconsin voters.
Outside of paying a nominal fee to some smart folks who organized all these efforts, most all of the money you donated went to the causes in which we asked you to donate, and that's an absolute RARITY in the world of dark money Super PACs. Usually these fly-by-night organizations that shouldn't be legal are run by con men like Trump to make money off the backs of patriotic, but often gullible, Americans.
As I've always said, I'd love it if the government would pass campaign finance laws to shut my Super PAC down, as long as they also shut down the Koch Brothers' "Americans For Prosperity" and all these other MAGA grifter groups as well. Until then, I'm gonna keep trying to grow what we're doing so we can actually fight back harder and balance out the ridiculous amount of money being spent by the other side.
And for the next few months, I'm gonna spend a little less time on politics and a little more time focused on selling beer and merchandise, because, you know, that's my REAL JOB. That being said, here's a picture of our new beer can cooler that would make a PERFECT stocking stuffer for this holiday season:)
Remember, a portion of the sale of every beer or merch item you buy goes to the Minocqua Brewing Company Super PAC, or for our "Choice" line of products, the proceeds for them go to the abortion fund in the state where the product is sold.
Thanks again for reading, and thanks for sticking with us.
Collectively, we helped make Wisconsin a little more democratic and sane over the last 2 years, one beer at a time.
Owner, Minocqua Brewing Company
Founder, Minocqua Brewing Company Super PAC