Hope for Accountability Amidst and Authoritarian Wave: Wisconsin's David v. Goliath

Hope for Accountability Amidst and Authoritarian Wave: Wisconsin's David v. Goliath

Hi Folks,

Just a quick heads up--unless something crazy happens that requires another missive, I’m going to suspend my Sunday newsletter for the month of May.

I’m not going anywhere, but we’re opening our new tap room in Minocqua on Memorial Day Weekend, self-distributing our beer in Minnesota and Washington D.C. and we just landed a distributor in Illinois. We’ve got a lot going on, so I decided to take my foot off the gas of political activism for a bit to protect my sanity.

I’m also guessing you could all use a break from my weekly requests to open your wallet.

But before I sign off, I wanted to update you on what happened after my email last Tuesday with the news that Marjorie Taylor Greene was going to be forced to take the stand and answer questions about her involvement in the Jan. 6 insurrection.

If you remember, this case against MJT is VERY SIMILAR to ours against U.S. Senator Ron Johnson and Congressmen Tom Tiffany/Scott Fitzgerald. The pundits on the right said that our lawsuits were frivolous after the first “disqualification clause” suit against Madison Cawthorn was dismissed by a Trump-appointed judge in North Carolina. Luckily, this Georgia case was allowed to see the light of day which gives us hope that our own lawsuit will as well.

After the news on Tuesday, I mentioned that we had another $90K bill to pay to our lawyers. Since then, 702 of you chipped in an average of $57.37 to raise $40,277. Thanks so much to all of you who believe enough in what we’re doing to donate to this effort. We’ve got more to raise, but what you’ve helped us accomplish in the last few months is nothing short of amazing.

And now since the MJT trial has made national news, I don’t need to tell you what you can see with your own eyes. She was absolutely complicit in fomenting the insurrection, and responded with deflection or “forgetfulness” every time she was asked to confirm that she had written a seditious tweet or uttered a damning phrase.

Unfortunately, while we are starting to see a crack of sunlight in our attempts to hold insurrectionist politicians accountable, we just got smacked down again in Wisconsin. It appears that there is a tag team effort by the U.S. and Wisconsin Supreme Courts to snuff out democracy and further bring Republican authoritarianism to our state by handing us another 10 years of GOP-rigged electoral maps. And if the courts’ willingness to breathe life into authoritarianism weren’t enough, we’re now seeing attempts to ban books in Wausau, Wisconsin—our neck of the woods.

History reminds us of the parallels between banning books and authoritarian regimes, but alas…even the concept of “teaching history” is being attacked in our state.

We shined a light on our state’s rogue Supreme Court and the hate group behind book banning in this week’s Up North Podcast. We interviewed retired UW-Madison law professor Bill Whitford, who was the named plaintiff in the ALMOST successful anti-gerrymandering case that won at trial but was overturned by you guessed it--the U.S. Supreme Court. We then interviewed Jane Rusch, a long-serving school board member just ousted by a highly organized right-wing fringe group called the Wisconsin Family Council. These myopic reactionaries advocate for a return to corporal punishment, banning sex education in schools, and now, banning books.

So now, as I take a much-needed month-long break from this writing this Sunday newsletter, I wanted to leave you with a funny picture.

I started this Super PAC primarily to do SOMETHING to rid Wisconsin of Ron Johnson and Tom Tiffany after they voted to withhold Covid rescue money from Wisconsin bars, restaurants, and brewpubs, and then fomented an insurrection against our country.

Of course we were never going to raise enough money through beer/merch sales and grass roots donations to outspend them with TV ads telling voters who they truly are. They’ve got corporate lobbyists on their side donating millions, and we’ve primarily got retired Northern Wisconsin baby boomers who learned how to fight authoritarianism in the 60s fueling us with $50 checks!

So when I heard that the MTG case wasn’t dismissed, which told me we might have a shot at removing a sitting U.S. Senator for insurrection, my mind went to a famous painting of “David versus Goliath.” It was almost like this suit was akin to David’s last little rock from his slingshot that had to hit Goliath squarely between the eyes to win the fight.

Of course I told my graphic designer to hit the canvas, and his humorous rendering of the famous painting is cheekily on-brand with our feisty little brewery.

So we made a t-shirt out of it.

Now I’m not sure if any of you want to wear Johnson’s face on a t-shirt, even if it depicts him convincingly playing the part of an oafish, lumbering, Putin-loving Goliath--but we made it anyway because I KNOW at least one person will wear it...me!

Thanks for reading, and thanks again for sticking with us. I promise you’ll hear back from me in June, whether you like it or not.

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

Donate to the Super PAC here

Buy T-Shirts Here

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