Up North Johnson Donors, Lawsuit Updates, and Optimism ala Sam Cooke

Up North Johnson Donors, Lawsuit Updates, and Optimism ala Sam Cooke

Hi Folks,

There's a ton of stuff that happened last week, so I apologize in advance if I give short shrift to an issue you care deeply about. I've already been told I'm long-winded, and don't want to turn this weekly missive into a multi-chapter book:)

First, here's a list of the companies in Northern Wisconsin whose management teams have donated the most money to Senator Ron Johnson in the last 3 months.

Just a reminder, but most of you won't need it--Ron Johnson could be the worst U.S. Senator in the country, and Wisconsin unfortunately has to claim him.

He played an integral part in fomenting the insurrection of January 6. That alone should send him to prison (and we're not quite sure why AG Merrick Garland has done nothing on this front), but since then has arguably killed Wisconsinites by parroting anti-vaxx pseudo-science and most recently said on national news that the Republican Party of Wisconsin should abolish our bipartisan state election commission and just take over Wisconsin elections.

Any Wisconsinite that cares about their neighbors knows this man, albeit clown-like, is dangerous. And that's why we're calling for boycotts on companies whose leaders still donate to him.

We've given you their email addresses, URLs, and Twitter handles. Please use them.

Here are a few standouts.

  • The Plastic Surgery Group at Aspirus Health, the hospital chain that has virtually no beds left throughout the state because of a surge of Covid among the unvaccinated, donated to him. Aspirus should be publicly disavowing these doctors, but refuse to do so. Go to another health system if you can.
  • Trigs, a grocery store chain throughout Northern Wisconsin, donated to him. Go to other grocery stores (but not to Walmart please.)
  • Eastbay Sports in Wausau--easy to buy your running shoes elsewhere.
  • Culvers in Marshfield--OMG there's a taco bell, Arby's, and Subway right next door...Go there instead.
  • Medford Value-Rite Drugs--plenty of other pharmacy choices in Medford.
  • Lake Chippewa Campground--we googled it and there's like 12 other campgrounds in Hayward to choose from. Go to them.

We FINALLY got an update on one of our class action federal lawsuits against Wisconsin School Boards who refuse to follow CDC Covid mitigation recommendations.

First off, these lawsuits have moved painfully slowly given the issue at hand--explosive growth of Covid in Wisconsin largely due to school children being vectors for the disease.

Our "Hail Mary" was a request for a Temporary Restraining Order against school boards forcing them to immediately mask their kids, quarantine, contact trace, etc. It was a long shot, and it was rejected last week by the judge in the Eastern District. Our case in the Western District is moving even more slowly so no news on that front.

Last Thursday we followed up by filing a Preliminary Injunction in the Waukesha case asking for essentially the same thing--a judge to enforce CDC guidelines in Wisconsin schools while this case meanders on. We also asked the judge to rule on the class action status of this case to scoop up all Wisconsin school districts in the Eastern District instead of just Waukesha.

Finally, we recently found out that our State's Department of Public Instruction has some powers to withhold funds from rogue school districts playing politics with the health of children, and are working to see how we add pressure there. Feel free to do so yourselves if you have any pull.

We'll keep you updated when we have more news.

Against the wishes of 56 out of 72 counties in Wisconsin, representing ~80% of Wisconsin's population, the extremely partisan Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled last week to override Governor Ever's veto of the Republican legislature's highly gerrymandered district voting maps.

This is the same Supreme Court that voted to allow the only statewide election in the nation to take place in person while we all were sheltering in place in April 2020. They also voted to overturn Governor Evers' Badger Bounce Back plan and his mask mandate, turning Wisconsin into a Covid Wild West.

The Minocqua Brewing Company Super PAC is currently in talks with some amazing people to create a commercial that will not let voters forget about how Republicans broke Wisconsin's democracy, and I'll eventually be asking the folks on this email list for some money to help get those commercials on the air...stay tuned.

Lastly, we played Sam Cooke's "A Change is Gonna Come" last Wednesday on the Up North Podcast while trying to put some sort of a silver lining around our gerrymandered thundercloud.

No matter how bleak things currently look for Wisconsin's and America's democracy, we can look back to history for some comfort.

America's government has ignored its people before, most notably during the post-civil war Reconstruction era, the Gilded Age of the late 19th century, and most recently, the 1960's.

Historically, when government stops listening, our artists start rising up and doing what they do best--create a better world--IN SPITE of the failures of our politicians.

That's when the Sam Cookes and the Edwin Starrs (and believe it or not, the Verdi's and the Toscanini's) take things into their own hands and inspire us to roar in defiance and protest.

It's looking like it's about time to roar again, and when that time comes, we'll be there with you, hand in hand, and we'll bring the beer.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for sticking with us.

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

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