Relief in Wisconsin's Rural 7th Congressional District

Relief in Wisconsin's Rural 7th Congressional District

Happy Sunday Friends!

I got home last night after spending this Friday and Saturday in Rice Lake, Wisconsin--the site of this year’s 7th Congressional District Democratic Party Convention.

Some of the same folks that joined our lawsuit to hold Sen. Ron Johnson, Rep. Tom Tiffany, and Rep. Scott Fitzgerald accountable for aiding and abetting the January 6th insurrection invited me to speak this year.

What can I say? I had a blast with these folks and perhaps one too many old-fashioneds at the Elk’s Club fish fry!

The conference, with approximately 150 people in attendance, was full of my kind of people. They were smart, well-read, empathetic, conscientious—the kind of folks who get up most mornings and want to do good by their families and communities.

It struck me, as it has so many times over the last three years, that these folks aren’t that ideological—they simply want government to work and not be dysfunctional. The other side, the ones who’ve embraced the politics of resentment and ingest hours of hate-filled rhetoric from Fox/Newsmax/AM Radio each day, don’t really care how well their government works. They seemingly just want to make sure that someone else other than them is on the lowest rung of the socio-economic ladder.

Unfortunately for Wisconsin, the good people that came to this conference represent only about 40% of the population in our rural, right-leaning Congressional District.

The frustration of being part of a decade-long gerrymandered minority was palpable among the attendees--but there was also a lot of optimism. Most in attendance were optimistic that a rebalanced Supreme Court would deliver FAIR MAPS before the 2024 election, which in turn would produce a less polarized and dysfunctional state legislature.

They also believe that Wisconsin’s barbaric 173-year-old abortion ban would eventually be overturned, and Wisconsin women would get their reproductive rights back.

I think this optimism “Up North” does not necessarily include winning electoral majorities anytime soon—that’s probably too much to ask.

Instead, I believe our cheerfulness lies in the hopes that we might be able to once again engage with conservatives who have turned away from the rhetoric of resentment and who share the common goal of thriving in rural communities with good public schools.

And while it’s a little too early to say with much confidence that folks are turning away from the MAGA movement in Northern Wisconsin, the last election showed that about 7% more people voted for progressive Judge Janet Protasiewicz than voted for MAGA Congressman Tom Tiffany just 6 months earlier. Sure, the vote totals aren’t the same between the fall/spring elections, but we’re seemingly moving in the right (left!) direction.

So now let’s turn to celebration.

We finished brewing “Lady Justice, a Very Wise Weisse,” and can’t wait to share it with you on May 19th as we celebrate the four progressive Supreme Court Justices who now hold the balance of power and who will hopefully help bring Wisconsin out of a decade of darkness.

I'm also excited to announce that we’ve added another wonderful speaker to our line-up that evening. Ann Jacobs is a personal injury lawyer in Milwaukee and one of the appointed commissioners of the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC). She has been a bulwark against Republican attempts to undermine our state elections and knows more than most how important it was to shore up our Supreme Court against future attempts to weaken our democracy and suppress votes.

Jacobs will join Christine Bremer Muggli, one of Wisconsin’s most-esteemed lawyers, to raise a pint of “Lady Justice” in celebration of a new and improved progressive Wisconsin.

If you want to make sure you get your 4-pack of “Lady Justice,” order it here for pickup at our Tap Room in Minocqua (329 Front Street) as early as the weekend of May 12-14, but preferably at our official release party on Friday, May 19th, from 5-7 pm. And because we’re so overjoyed about the results of the last election, we’re going to throw in this commemorative poster of the four progressive Supreme Court justices for anyone who pre-orders this beer and makes the long trek up to Minocqua to pick it up.

That’s all the news I have for you today. I hope to see many of you in a few weeks as we celebrate Making Wisconsin Great Again, One Beer At A Time.

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

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