Trump Lawsuit, Insurance Treachery, Minocqua Blackmail, and 4 New Billboards

Trump Lawsuit, Insurance Treachery, Minocqua Blackmail, and 4 New Billboards

Hi Friends,  
A lot has happened this week in the world of the Minocqua Brewing Company Super PAC that involves our lawsuit against Trump, the defamation lawsuit against us, our lawsuit against the Town of Minocqua, and the 4 billboards we were able to buy thanks to your donations.
Here we go:

Last Friday, we filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to speed up our case to remove Trump from Wisconsin’s ballot. Here’s a link to that 106-page filing. But before that, here’s the bad news:
Many of us listened to the Supreme Court’s hearing on whether to allow Colorado to remove Trump from their ballot, and from the line of questions asked by the justices, pundits are saying that SCOTUS may hand down a lopsided decision to overturn Colorado’s ruling.
This decision is expected given the court’s make-up of Trump appointees, but it is still galling—especially because progressive Justice Kagen has seemingly sided with the conservative justices.  
I, and most every lawyer with whom I’ve spoke about this issue, will ALWAYS contend that Article 3 of the 14th Amendment is crystal clear. Trump is the exact definition of why Congress wrote that article after the Civil War. They knew that there were plenty of southern Americans who would continue to vote for the very same politicians who caused the Civil War, and they refused to let those men who had brought so much harm to the Union have another chance to get elected and divide our country further. Here is an excerpt from an article in that says it better than I do.
  • “Call it judicial cowardice or call it long-lost judicial humility, but the consensus view among the justices was that a lack of uniformity, coherence, and certainty—as well the fear of vexatious acts and petty mischief— precluded the court from allowing the words of the 14th Amendment’s Section 3 to mean what they say. Historians have fallen over themselves to show that, yes, Section 3 bars insurrectionists from the White House, up to and including Trump. Yet the justices seemed terrified that disqualifying him from the ballot could unleash chaos in future elections.”
I’ll go a bit further. Given the Quinnipiac poll that recently showed Biden beating Trump by 6% points and losing to Nikki Haley by 5%, I’d go so far as to say that SCOTUS believes they can protect their institution and even themselves from Trump’s rabid and often violent cult buy simply passing the buck to the American voters next November. 
I’d say that’s playing Russian roulette (pun intended) with our Democracy.
Regardless of the outcome of this case, I wanted to tell you that with your help, Wisconsin did its historical part to join Colorado, Maine, and a number of other states in attempting to remove a traitor from our ballot, and our lawyers put in a TON of effort to move this case forward quickly if there’s a miracle and the Supreme Court’s decision allows for other states to keep suing Trump.
Next up, we’ve been fighting another legal battle for a few months that is every bit as galling to us as the impending SCOTUS decision.
We have two insurance companies who paid for our defense against the Lakeland Times’ defamation lawsuit against us. After losing that case to the tune of $750K, the largest defamation loss in Wisconsin’s history, those two insurance companies, West Bend and Society, decided they didn’t want to cover that claim anymore.
Might that sound familiar to anyone who has recieved a large Medical bill?  
As so many Americans can attest, insurance companies are happy to collect our monthly payments, but loath to actually pay up when there’s a claim that is larger than their actuarial forecasts predict.
In this instance, we’re experiencing, for the first time, an insurance legal strategy that is simply despicable, but probably very common.
  1. Insurance company files boilerplate motion linked here to get off the hook that has very little to do with the actual case, but takes 5 minutes to file, and assumes that the defendant can’t afford any other lawyers except the insurance company lawyer who can longer legally defend them, and thus defendant defaults because they can’t afford to respond.
  2. When defendant does produce a lawyer, insurance company files a motion for summary judgement not based on Wisconsin law which ignores Wisconsin’s rules for civil procedure, with the hope that the judge who allowed this farce to proceed in the first place is also willing to ignore a few legal steps (motion to dismiss/discovery) to give them what they want.
  3. Win or lose in tiny Republican Forest County (population 8,000), they will ONLY THEN have to hire decent lawyers to actually write words that apply to this case in a court of appeals, but up until then they play the odds that a rural legal system that has already failed the defendant once, fails again and saves them money.
And that, friends, is why America’s system of insurance should be completely overhauled or even dismantled entirely. They have limitless resources to gamble that the justice system eventually wears out their opponents so they don't have to live up to their side of the bargain.
Luckily we are more fortunate than the average American facing this David/Goliath-fighting-your-insurance-company scenario because we have raised money from many of you in a legal fund that exists to help us fight back. As of last week, we filed a counterclaim to sue West Bend and Society Insurance for playing dirty, and if we win, they will have to pay 3X the damages we incur throughout this process. If you are as incensed about our insurance company's dirty tricks as we are, here’s a link to contribute our legal defense fund.
If two lawsuits weren’t enough, here’s an update on our federal lawsuit against the Town of Minocqua for political harassment.
This week, we plan to add to/amend our lawsuit against Minocqua because they are refusing to give us an easement that would allow cars to park in our parking lot (that they forced us to have) until we drop our lawsuit against them.
I told more of this story in last week’s newsletter, but in short, municipalities are legally bound to treat all businesses the same, using the same set of laws, and this attempt at blackmail by the town is transparent in its effort to single us out.  It is yet another shady stunt to hurt our business and force us to decide whether to lose money by once again not being able to allow our customers to drink outside, or serve our customers outside but break the ordinances they want us to break in order to shut us down like they did last summer.
This treachery also fits with a strategy that town chairman Mark Hartzheim has used for the last three years-- to stonewall us all winter until just before the summer tourism season begins so we're under extreme pressure to do whatever he wants in order to open legally.
To combat that strategy, we will soon file for a preliminary injunction to force the town to give us this easement, given that Oneida County has already approved a CUP (conditional use permit) that allows us to build a beer garden with a plan that allows cars to enter our property from the highway.

We encourage everyone reading this newsletter to email Mark Hartzheim at his public email address to ask him to stop blackmailing us, and to be a real town leader as opposed to a vindictive political hack. We would also ask you to email tourism director Krystal Westfahl to suggest where you won't be vacationing this year if the town continues to act despicably towards its business community.
Finally, you helped us raise enough money to buy billboards in 4 Wisconsin cities for a month. One of them will stay in Oshkosh to remind voters in Ron Johnson’s hometown that he was part of the plot to overturn the election on January 6th. Two other signs in Wausau and Superior, the two biggest cities in the 7th Congressional district, will remind voters that Tom Tiffany was also in on the attempted heist, and we found a billboard on highway 45 very close to West Bend, in Scott’s Fitzgerald’s district, that reminds voters of the role he played, which was reserving the room at our state capitol building where the fraudulent electors forged their names to illegally submit Trump as Wisconsin's victor.

These four billboards cost about $10K to put up for a month.  We think the timing to put these up is great because we can get this message out to lot's of Wisconsinites before the airwaves are completely saturated with political ads that disgust both Republicans and Democrats alike. Naturally, we'd like to keep these billboards up as long as we can, so if you'd like see them up for more than a month, please consider donating here.

That's all I have for you today.  Thanks for reading and for believing in the Minocqua Brewing Company. Together, we will uncorrupt Wisconsin at  EVERY level of government--local, state, and federal--one beer at time.

Kirk Bangstad
Owner, Minocqua Brewing Company
Founder, Minocqua Brewing Company Super PAC
Back to blog