Iron County Progressive

 

A KIRK BANGSTAD REPORT

It's Sunday and I'm still feeling pretty upset by the Rittenhouse acquittal, which once again made our state the focus of national embarrassment and outrage.

Some may ask Wisconsinites after continuously making the news for all the wrong reasons, "Why beat your head against the wall?  Come join us on either coast where sanity generally prevails."

Well, maybe it’s our state's Germanic stubbornness or just good old-fashioned midwestern work ethic, but this decision to acquit foolhardy, toxic-masculine vigilantism steeped in racism that resulted in people being shot and killed just make many of us want to swing a little harder at the bullies who got us here.

Last Wednesday when recording the
Up North Podcast before the acquittal, Pat, Sarah, and I spoke to the District Attorney of Portage County, Louis Molepske, and Keith Findley, a UW-Madison Law School Professor, about the Rittenhouse case.

Among other issues, both guests discussed how hard it is under Wisconsin law to prosecute someone who claims self-defense, and just how easy Wisconsin has made it for people to carry semi-automatic weapons (which are completely unnecessary hunting, our state's deeply-loved pastime) around in public.

If we had anything other than one of the most dysfunctional and gerrymandered state legislatures in the U.S., we'd call for them to strengthen laws against vigilantism and pass common sense gun control favored by
2 out of 3 Americans.

But alas, we know they'll do nothing because the entrenched gerrymandered Republican majority doesn't care what their constituents want.  In fact, a
recent Harvard Study compared Wisconsin's lack of electoral boundary integrity to countries not necessarily known for strong democracies: Jordan, Bahrain, and the Congo.

And so you know where that leads us?

All roads to help Wisconsin from driving off a cliff lead to the current fight for Fair Maps and the 2022 elections.

And now for the good news.

Earlier last week, Governor Evers vetoed the Republican majority legislature's gerrymandered Wisconsin redistricting maps.
 He made a video to announce his veto, and we think it's the most important thing he's done as Governor.

This is the first step towards making Wisconsin a respectable state again.  

Hans Breiten-Moser, a dairy farmer in Merrill, Wisconsin, and an EARLY advocate for the Fair Maps movement, almost a decade ago got fed up with the obvious electoral cheating happening at the state level and helped pass a bipartisan county-wide resolution in his deeply conservative Northern Wisconsin county by advocating for what should be obvious but wasn't--fairly drawn electoral districts that make sense to local communities.

That resolution was the spark that inspired 51 out of 72 counties in Wisconsin to pass similar "Fair Maps" resolutions, which amounted to 80% of the Wisconsin's population, and has finally given this complicated political issue the attention it deserves.

We can only make Wisconsin a democracy again by making these maps fair and by electing progressives in 2022.

Why the partisanship Kirk?  Why do we ONLY have to elect progressives and not just fair-minded Republicans in more conservative districts?

Most of us know the answer to that question.  

If you're still calling yourself a Republican after what has happened to our country over the last 5 years, you're either advocating for the destruction of our democracy, willfully blinding yourself to the immense harm being inflicted on your communities through Covid/Vaccine denial, or extremely easy to manipulate.

And none of those qualities should be allowed to lead us out of this mess.

The Minocqua Brewing Company and Super PAC are focused on making Northern Wisconsin more progressive, which hopefully will in-turn hand the U.S. senate one more democrat to offset the gut-wrenching disappointment dealt to us through corporate democrats Manchin/Sinema, remove our sedition-caucus congressman Tom Tiffany, and to build a bench of progressives in local elections.


5% of the profits from our
beer and merch sales are donated to this mission, but you can always donated directly to the Super PAC here.

We're gonna keep fighting for sanity, and we promise not to give up on this state as long as you don't either.

With arms in each others gosh-darn stubborn arms, we're going to make Wisconsin a place we can be proud of again, one beer at a time.

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