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Introducing the Minocqua Brewing Company SuperPAC

Kirk Bangstad

Hey everyone, this is Kirk Bangstad, the owner of the Minocqua Brewing Company. 

I’m writing to introduce you to the Minocqua Brewing Company Super PAC, created in January, 2021—the first month after the most harrowing year I’ve lived through in my 43 year existence. 

2020 was awful because we had a president who purposefully mislead the American public about the deadliness of the Coronavirus pandemic. His lies were trumpeted by his political party and conservative media outlets which caused massive death in our country. Apart from the Trump administration never creating a coordinated federal plan to combat the virus, millions of Americans believed his false propaganda, thus refusing to believe the virus was deadly and refusing to heed public health advice meant to protect them and their neighbors. 

On this day, January 3, 2021, over 350,000 Americans have died from the Covid-19. This is more death than the next two deadliest countries combined—Brazil (195K) and India (149K).* 

Although Trump was the seminal cause of this uniquely American humanitarian disaster, the Republican Party at both the federal and state level perpetuated Trump’s alternative fact-free reality when they could have stopped it. 

In addition to this Coronavirus catastrophe, America’s democracy has been sustaining massive damage by Trump’s refusal to concede the presidential election which has turned into an electoral landslide in favor of Joe Biden. Biden got 7 million more votes and won the Electoral College 306 to 232, a win that is absolute but has still been the subject of 61 lawsuits, 60 of which Trump has lost. 

And again, many Republican US Senators, US Congressman, and state party leaders are perpetuating Trump’s lies that this election was rigged against him, and are advocating that the will of American voters be overturned to hand him the victory. 

These acts, by definition, are treasonous. Those advocating Trump’s unlawful victory by invalidating the votes of their fellow Americans are traitors to our country. 

Given this context of humanitarian catastrophe and mass destruction to our democratic institutions by the Republican Party, I now look to my home, the pristine Northwoods of Wisconsin. 

At the state level, Republican Representative Rob Swearingen and now-Republican Senator Mary Felzkowski were part of a Republican majority legislature that met only twice in 6 months to pass a Covid relief bill last April. Out of the 10 other full-time state legislatures in the U.S. (the other 40 state legislatures are considered part time) the average times each met to pass Covid-related relief measures was 38.** 

By not doing anything during after Covid hit, The Republican Party in Wisconsin abdicated all responsibility to improve public health safety during a pandemic as well as stop the pain of economic collapse for Wisconsinites. 

At the Federal level, our Northwood’s representatives, Republican Senator Ron Johnson and our now-Republican Congressman Tom Tiffany, have repeatedly said they would vote to reject President-elect Joe Biden’s victory—a treasonous act against their own country and state. 

I believe that the refusal by our state Republican representatives to protect us during Covid, coupled with the treasonous actions of our federal representatives against our democracy, have shown that Republican politicians in the Northwoods are pure poison. 

And I’ve decided to do something about it. 

While I disagree that corporations should be able to influence politics through the use of “dark money,” which was allowed in the aftermath of the historically awful Supreme Court decision “Citizen’s United,” there’s nothing I can do to change the fact that today, corporations and the rich are essentially buying elections and in-turn, the politicians who benefit from winning those elections. 

Since the Minocqua Brewing Company is a corporation, and since I think my Republican representation in the Northwoods is poisonous for the people that live here, I’m creating a SuperPAC to help defeat these people in 2022. The Republicans up for election at the state and federal level that we will target with our “dark money meant for good” is Ron Johnson, Tom Tiffany, and Rob Swearingen. Mary Felzkowski is not up for reelection in 2022. 

The Minocqua Brewing Company will commit 5% of its profits to donate to this Super PAC, but like-minded citizens can also donate directly without buying a thing from us. I will write a weekly newsletter updating everyone on what we’re doing to get rid of our poisoned Republican politicians, and in that newsletter, I will be completely transparent about where our money is going while also asking for further contributions to build a war chest that will hurt these guys just like they’ve hurt us. 

I also hope this idea grows among small businesses, who have historically leaned conservative, mostly because they hate the government red tape associated with running a business. I get it, I hate red tape too, but just like the poor and middle class have been left out in the cold by Republican leaders, so too have small businesses. We are the poor of the corporate world. They don’t care about us, they care about the huge corporations that hire expensive lobbyists, like the Amazons, the Facebooks, the Walmarts, the United Airlines, the Pfizers, the BP’s, the Monsantos, the Goldman Sachs…the guilded “trusts” of the 21st century. 

It’s time for small businesses to take a stand and stick their necks out. We can no longer stay neutral and repeat the mantra used by Michael Jordan when refusing to support progressive and black causes--“Republicans buy sneakers too.” 

We have to stick our necks out because we’re being screwed, along with the poor and middle class. Any restaurant or bar who didn’t get any help from the government in the last 9 months because Republicans refused to negotiate honestly to pass a stimulus bill need to speak up. We can no longer stick our heads in the sand. We have to engage in politics and be willing to risk pissing off some customers in the process. Losing a few customers in the short term may help us stay alive in the long term as we lean on our representatives to focus on us instead of large corporate donors. 

If you agree with me, please donate to the Minocqua Brewing Company SuperPAC. With your help, we will make politics in the Northwoods look a little bit more like our lakes—clean and healthy. 

Donate directly to the Minocqua Super PAC here: 

Buy Beer here 

Buy Merchandise here:

Written by Kirk Bangstad on 01/04/21

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