Iron County Progressive


Lawsuit accuses Ron Johnson, Scott Fitzgerald and Tom Tiffany of aiding insurrection

Molly Beck
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

MADISON - Three Republican members of Wisconsin's federal delegation are the targets of a lawsuit filed Thursday by a liberal group alleging the elected officials conspired before the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol to keep Joe Biden from becoming president.  

The lawsuit alleges U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson and U.S. Reps. Scott Fitzgerald and Tom Tiffany through their public statements about the 2020 presidential election violated a Civil War-era clause in the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution that bars insurrectionists from running for office.  

"These guys broke the law and shouldn't be on a ballot again," said Kirk Bangstad, a former Democratic candidate for the state Assembly who owns Minocqua Brewing Company and runs the liberal super PAC that funded the lawsuit.

"It's weird for a brewery to be pushing things in a political sense, but that's where we are because we feel like there's not enough intestinal fortitude among some of our higher up legislators or Justice Department officials to be doing what we're doing right now," he said at a news conference Thursday. 

The lawsuit accuses Johnson, Fitzgerald and Tiffany of spreading "malicious falsehoods about a 'rigged election'" through their public comments in the weeks leading up to Jan. 6, 2021. 

The officials "engaged in a conspiracy whose illegal objective was to hijack the Joint Session on January 6, 2021 in order to permit the presentation of knowingly false and fraudulent slates of electors," the lawsuit alleges.

"After having been egged on relentlessly by the flagrant lies and distortions put forth by President Trump, Johnson, Tiffany, Fitzgerald, and their co-conspirators, known and unknown, over the previous months, thousands of people took the law into their own hands and stormed the U.S. Capitol during the Joint Session of Congress."

The lawsuit was filed in federal court on behalf of 10 Wisconsin residents.


It's Easy: Ukraine Propaganda Good, Russian Propaganda Bad

By Kirk Bangstad

Hey folks,
I’m going to take a break from my weekly drumbeat urging Wisconsin's Attorney General Josh Kaul to find his spine and prosecute the “Gang of Three” Wisconsinites who allegedly aided and abetted the insurrection of January 6th--U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, Congressman Tom Tiffany, and Congressman Scott Fitzgerald--because, like you, I’m riveted by what’s happening in Ukraine. 

It seems a bit ludicrous to focus on Wisconsin when we seem to be on the brink of World War III.

So while we work behind the scenes to bring accountability to Wisconsin’s insurrectionists, I want to talk about a very powerful thing that can be used for both good and evil: propaganda.
As far as the Ukraine is concerned, I’ve been brought to tears and laughter over the powerfully touching David vs. Goliath stories of Ukrainian courage and defiance.  These are my favorites:

While these stories are wonderful, I still know much of it is propaganda meant to encourage us around the world to unify against a common enemy seeking to destroy a post-cold war world order that has been in existence for 30 years since the Berlin Wall came down.
I’m not cynical about this propaganda because I know it is being used for good to take down Putin--an authoritarian bully who has nukes, may have become unhinged through Covid isolation, and who just backed himself into a corner—YIKES!
But propaganda can also be used for evil.



I spent a couple of hours creating a list of all the times Wisconsin U.S. Senator Ron Johnson acted as a mouthpiece for pro-Russian propaganda. We discussed this on last week’s Up North Podcast (starting at minute 21.48), and it should be ABSOLUTELY CHILLING TO ALL WISCONSINITES who rightfully believe that Russia is more of an enemy to America than its ally.

Thanks for nothing Senator. What the hell does Putin or Trump have on you for you to feel so compelled to do their bidding?
So there’s my example of propaganda being used for evil.



And that leads me to acknowledge that The Minocqua Brewing Company Super PAC is 100% invested in what I believe is the “good” type of propaganda:  spreading truth to folks in Northern Wisconsin that may only ever watch Fox News, which is the most evil form of propaganda in the U.S. because it has become so mainstream.
We pay for signs, radio ads, television commercials, podcasts, and phone banks to tell the truth to voters “Up North” who overwhelmingly voted for Trump in the last election.
I alluded to the “Up North Podcast” earlier, but what people may not know is that every week this show airs live on 92.7 FM in Madison and 540 AM in Waukesha/Milwaukee, which reaches most of Southeast Wisconsin.  The Super PAC then pays to edit the show into a video and beam it up to Northern Wisconsin through Facebook, targeting moderate and conservative voters up here.  To date, we have spent about $16K on this effort.
If you think our “propaganda” is good for Wisconsin, meaning it’s good for the U.S. because Wisconsin is a pivotal presidential swing state, then please consider donating to the Super PAC.  
And of course, 5% of the proceeds of every beer or t-shirt you buy from us goes to the Super PAC, which makes it a LOT more fun to donate to the cause:)
Thanks for reading folks, and thanks for helping us take Russian propaganda out of Wisconsin, one beer at a time.
Kirk Bangstad
Owner, Minocqua Brewing Company
Founder, Minocqua Brewing Company Super PAC