The Progressive Cavalry is Coming to Northern Wisconsin by Radio

The Progressive Cavalry is Coming to Northern Wisconsin by Radio

Hi Folks,

Today is an exciting day because I am finally able to announce the Minocqua Brewing Company’s partnership with two new progressive talk radio stations opening up in Central Wisconsin, and potentially even more around Northern Wisconsin very soon.

On August 1st, WXCO 1230 AM/98.9 FM, which will be called “Bull Falls Radio,” will be launched in Wausau. Also, the Stevens Point/Wisconsin Rapids station, WFRH 1320 AM/97.5 FM, otherwise known as “Locally Grown Radio,” will also be under the same new ownership. These stations are an outcropping of a new progressive radio conglomerate called Civic Media which sprang from Wisconsin’s first progressive talk radio station in Madison, 92.7 FM.

This might not mean a lot to folks from outside of Wisconsin, but in my opinion, it’s one of the most important things that could be happening right now to help cure our state’s crazy right-wing political dysfunction.

Here’s why I think so.

I created the Minocqua Brewing Company Super PAC out of a deep frustration that Northern Wisconsin was too-often ignored by Wisconsin’s Democratic Party. Because of Republican gerrymandering and a small population that didn't provide as much bang for the buck in political advertising, our region was often overlooked when it came to deciding on where to spend scarce resources to elect progressives. As a result, we were getting REDDER and REDDER with every election, and that was in turn tilting the entire state to the right.

Part and parcel of creating my Super PAC was to raise funds to produce the “Up North Podcast,” an hour-long news program that focused on Northern Wisconsin politics through a progressive lens.

Why would I want to do that?

Because the news in our part of Wisconsin is terrible. For those who don’t live in rural areas, small TV markets like Wausau and Rhinelander have tiny budgets to hire reporters. What that means in practice is that they often have to hire kids directly out of college with very little experience to report on the important stories of the day.

Similarly, the newspaper industry in this part of the state is dying. Most of the local papers have been gobbled up by mammoth companies like Gannett. They re-publish statewide news and barely have any reporters living in these towns to report on local politics. The few independent papers left are often right-wing rags devoid of journalistic ethics.

And when it comes to radio stations in rural Wisconsin, sometimes our only choice is Conservative AM radio (remember Rush Limbaugh), or Christian radio—which often delves into right-wing politics. In fact, research has shown that there are 81 conservative talk radio stations in Wisconsin that carry a staggering 235 hours of conservative talk daily Alternatively, until about six months ago, there was only 1progressive talk radio station in Madison.

Without hard-hitting and balanced local news to shine a light on local and state politics, Republican majorities in Madison started running roughshod over rural Wisconsin and voters didn’t really know what was happening.

Misinformation went unchecked and rural Wisconsin voters were being manipulated to vote against their best interests.

The Washington Post said it best—“Democracy Dies in Darkness.”

In producing the Up North Podcast, I met Michael Crute, creator of the progressive Madison radio show “The Devil’s Advocate,” and driver of this new radio company that is acquiring stations in Northern Wisconsin.

We teamed up with him to broadcast our podcast live on his stations in Madison and Milwaukee, and my Super PAC spent money every week producing the show and delivering it to Northern Wisconsin voters through social media.

So ultimately, these new progressive stations opening up in Central Wisconsin (and soon Northern Wisconsin) align exactly with my goal for the Minocqua Brewing Company Super PAC—to SHINE A LIGHT on the corrupt Wisconsin Republican Cult so rural Wisconsin voters can see that light and vote for clean, progressive, government.

So how can we support these guys? By buying ads.

That’s how radio stations make money, and that’s how these vital new radio stations are going to stay alive. So we’re going to start buying political ads in these stations to remind voters how their elected officials are letting them down.

At the federal level, we’re hoping to constantly bombard the airwaves and remind voters that Ron Johnson and Tom Tiffany aided and abetted the insurrection on January 6th.

At the state level, we’ll remind voters that Governor Evers is the only person holding our state's democracy together now that our legislature and Supreme Court have been hijacked by the Trump cult.

And at the local level, we’ll remind people that the reason they have cancer-causing PFAS chemicals in their water is because their own local state representative or senator is owned by the pollution lobby.

ALL OF THESE MESSAGES are extremely important for voters to hear before the Election on November 8, which is just over three months away.

We’re hoping to spend $100K in radio ads throughout Central and Northern Wisconsin before November. This money will not only get our messages out, but will help sustain progressive talk radio where it is needed the most.

If you want to chip in and help this effort, please donate here.

So that’s our news.

We’re really excited that we can now tell the truth to rural Wisconsin voters every day, all day long, through talk radio.

And we’re excited that voters in Northern Wisconsin will no longer be ignored.

This is a game changer for Wisconsin, but also a game changer for those reading out-of-state. If Wisconsin can shift blue, our entire country can avoid losing our congressional majorities in 2022 and electing a worse version of Donald Trump in 2024.

Northern Wisconsin is now back in the game, and we’re going to fight hard to turn it from dark red to purple.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for sticking with us.

Together, we can make Wisconsin Great Again, one beer and progressive radio station at a time.

Kirk Bangstad

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

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