The following is from an email, or newsletter if you prefer, from Kirk Bangstad and reprinted because it’s probably ok with him:
First off, I just wanted to say to those who started sending worried emails–I’m BACK. I took the month of August off from political activism to spend some needed time away with people I love, and away from social media in general.
It’s September 11th today, and lots of tributes are being written to remind Americans to “NEVER FORGET” about those who perished at the hands of foreign terrorism 21 years ago.
It’s no hyperbole to draw the connection between September 11th, 2001 and January 6, 2021, when we were attacked from within by domestic terrorists led by our own president, Donald Trump. Similar to 9/11/01, we can NEVER FORGET about 1/6/21, and what we have to do to protect our country from our fellow mislead Americans who have become part of Tump’s cult of personality.
That said, the fight wages on for the soul of our country, and that fight goes through the heart of Wisconsin.
We really are in an existential struggle here in the Dairy State. If Democratic Governor Evers loses on November 8, our gerrymandered state with a right-wing Supreme Court has NO safeguards against outright treachery that could result in our state refusing to hand over electoral votes to a democratically-elected Joe Biden in 2024.
Similarly, the ability for the U.S. Senate to kill the filibuster and pass electoral safeguards to prevent future attacks on our Democracy falls on a handful of states including Wisconsin. We are within reach of picking up that one seat that can cancel out Manchin/Sinema’s refusal to eliminate the filibuster, because our national embarrassment, Ron Johnson, is very vulnerable.
We’ve helped Johnson’s opponent Mandela Barnes get some needed publicity by creating a beer in his name, and by creating a line of merchandise/yard signs that people can buy ridiculing Johnson and supporting Mandela. And don’t forget, with your help, we’ve put billboards up ALL THROUGHOUT NORTHERN WISCONSIN to remind voters that Johnson was part of the BIG LIE that caused January 6.
We now think it’s time to turn our attention to the Governor’s race, and to do our part to help motivate rural voters in areas like ours to get to the polls.
Here’s how we’re going to do it.
We know that millions of dollars are flooding into Wisconsin for this Governor’s race, but you know where very little money is being spent? In areas that have been gerrymandered so badly that Republicans can’t lose–like Lincoln County, WI, which includes the city of Merrill.
The Democratic Party has all but given up on this area, and local Republican candidates who serve as pawns for the Trump cult are NEVER held accountable for votes that directly harm the people they represent.
Neither Republicans nor Democrats are spending much political money here, but too often Democrats focused on turnout in major cities fail to realize that a few more votes in these areas could sway an entire state election. Biden and Evers only won the state of Wisconsin by less than 20 thousand votes out of a population of 5 million people.
We KNOW that these rural Wisconsinites simply want to live their lives and be able to trust that their government works for them, and this is were we come in. They need to be reminded that their local Republican officials won’t even acknowledge that Biden won the last election, and certainly can’t be counted on to protect Wisconsin’s democracy down the road.
We think this is an important message that every regular rural voter needs to hear, and one that isn’t being heard above all the other noise.
As of September 15th, there will be 4 new radio stations in rural Wisconsin with a progressive talk format. These stations are in Wausau, Wisconsin Rapids, Hayward, and Richland Center, and will be run by Civic Media–a company spearheaded by progressive talk radio personality Mike Crute out of Madison. They are specifically designed to reach towns like Merrill–all-but-forgotten by Democrats–but a place where people still listen to AM radio because there’s not a lot else to listen to.
It’s a godsend that these stations exist, and a blueprint for other swing states on how to win back rural populations who are exposed to nothing but right-wing rhetoric day in and day out.
We’ve partnered with Crute and his team, and will be creating radio ads like the one pictured below ALL THROUGHOUT RURAL WISCONSIN targeting no-name Republican pawns like Calvin Callahan who vote the way they are told but could care less about Wisconsin’s democracy. We’re going to remind these voters, completely left out in the cold by illegal gerrymandering, that the ONLY person who now represents them at the state level is their Governor– because their governor is the only person not beholden to a cult of personality.
Please listen to the ad below to get a sense of what I’m talking about.
So this is where you come in.
While other national organizations are pouring millions into nauseatingly hateful TV ads, we think our radio ads will be a VERY INEXPENSIVE tool to get those few thousand rural voters to turn the tide and save Wisconsin–and by extension, America.
We’re committing $20K from the profits of our beer sales in Wisconsin to put these ads up, but we’d like to ask you all to help as well. If we can raise another $80K, we can get these ads playing consistently until the election in November, and might be able to extend those ads to other rural area beyond the 4 progressive stations we already mentioned.
Since we started our political activism, we’ve raised almost $800K from approximately 17K of you donating an average of $44. Why have you donated to us? Well, we think it’s because we do what needs to be done, and what so many other progressive politicians or groups in this state are seemingly too scared or shy to do.
We’ve been honest with how we’re spending your money, and we’ve led with our own money first so that you know we’re just as invested in a better Wisconsin and America as you are.
Please help us with this last push before the Nov. 8 elections by contributing here. We think it’s a good strategy for the price.
Thanks for reading, and thanks for helping make Wisconsin a Democracy Again, One Beer at a Time.
Owner, Minocqua Brewing Company
Founder, Minocqua Brewing Company Super PAC