/ Posts / Congrats Rhinelander, you successfully averted a disaster by getting over 8,000 signatures in two days to cancel the Hodag Country Fest
Congrats Rhinelander, you successfully averted a disaster by getting over 8,000 signatures in two days to cancel the Hodag Country Fest.
However, please don’t forget the details about how this happened. The festival organizers, not the county officials who two days prior voted to allow the festival, were the ones who ultimately and correctly canceled the event.
What happened here was that private citizens paid more attention to the overwhelming call to cancel the event than people actually elected by the community to represent them.
Read that last sentence again and allow yourself to get angry.
This is a theme I’m going to come back to time and time again in my campaign against Rob Swearingen, the current state assemblyman in the Northwoods: Your elected officials no longer represent you, and make decisions based on their own financial interests and/or from their own political ideologies.
This happens at every level of government: local, state, and federal.
There are a lot of conservative county board members who are seldom challenged when they come up for reelection. Apparently most of them are buying into the president’s and right wing media‘s message that this disease is at best not dangerous, or at worst, a hoax. They didn’t listen to the over 2/3 of public comments that said to cancel the festival, nor did apparently they care about this petition with over 8,000 signatures. If you never have to fear getting voted out of office because no one ever runs against you, then why be accountable to your constituents? To this I would say we probably need some new blood on the Oneida County board.
On the state level where Wisconsin assembly districts are about as gerrymandered as any in the country to help Republicans win, we have Swearingen who publicly supports gerrymandering and a county that overwhelmingly voted to ban it. (can somebody else find the statistics on this?)
Why would Rob support gerrymandering? Well it means he doesn’t have to run so hard every two years for office, because the chips are stacked for him. It also means that he can happily overturn Governor Evers stay-at-home order for the benefit of his golden goose, the Tavern League, and his own restaurant, where the Old Fashioned’s have been flowing ever since we became the Wild West, without worrying about any public backlash (until now because I’m pissed off).
By the way, I’d love to see if Tom Kelly, Swearingen’s bartender who also sits on the Oneida County Public Safety Committee that voted to allow country fest, is wearing a mask at work? If he is, then I’ll apologize. Can anybody get me a picture? And if this question forces Swearingen to make his bartenders wear masks, then we will all be safer for it.
In short, we just had another huge day of new cases in Wisconsin, the curve is still going up, and we have elected officials including Rob Swearingen who couldn’t care less about public safety because it doesn’t suit his financial interests nor does it suit his political ideology to do what’s right for his constituents.
We can do better here in the Northwoods, and we will have a chance to in November. Please stay active and please go vote.
Written by Kirk Bangstad on 05/29/20