Iron County Progressive


Trump’s Threat to Our Democracy

Last night’s primetime Jan 6th hearing just revealed some shocking new information about Trump’s actions (or lack thereof) on that day:

  • Trump was told about the riot within 15 minutes of returning to the Oval Office – but he didn’t call law enforcement or military officials. Instead, he tried to persuade senators to delay the certification vote.
  • While he watched his mob storm the Capitol, he tweeted out an attack on Mike Pence – putting a target on the back of his Vice President and encouraging the mob.
  • He ignored the pleas of multiple advisors – and even his own children – to condemn the violence and tell his mob to back down.

Trump’s cronies take orders directly from him – and this November, more than 400 insurrectionist enablers could be on the state legislative ballot. Trump knows that if his state Republican allies win in November, he can count on them to bend the rules in his favor ahead of his all-but-confirmed presidential run. So it’s critical we do everything we can to stand up against Trumpism this fall.



Trump’s failures on that day endangered our democracy – and his actions since have proven he has no regrets, and he would do it all over again to be back in power.

Trump didn’t draw the line at lying, violence, or manipulation. So it stands to reason that he’ll be just as ruthless in his attempts to build power in state legislatures ahead of his next presidential run. So we need to be ready.

We can’t let Trump’s state Republican allies gain any more momentum, Richard – the fate of our democracy rests on defeating them. It’s essential that we mobilize now to give state Democrats the resources they need to secure victories in this year’s midterm elections.



“All we need is fifty percent of the vote plus one,” the [Republican] lobbyist told [Dale] Schultz and his colleagues [Republican legislators].  “If we get any more than that one vote, then we didn’t push the state far enough in the direction we want to push it [to the right], because we had votes to spare.”
“He [Former Governor Scott Walker] fulfilled a promise to one of his wealthiest donors that he would use “divide and conquer” against Wisconsin’s working class to break the power of their unions.  His devastating success has allowed for the transformation of Wisconsin into a laboratory for corporate interests and conservative activists, a process that continues unabated.”

These passages are from the book “The Fall of Wisconsin,” by Dan Kaufman.
They explain the strategy Republicans have used for the last 12 years--not to govern the state of Wisconsin--but to gain power and erode our institutions enough to embed their power over Wisconsin in perpetuity.
Here’s the playbook.

1.   Teacher’s union too strong?  Foment hate against teachers, gain power, and break their union.

2.   University system too progressive? Foment hate against professors and academia in general.

3.   Private sector unions (like iron workers) too strong?  Tell them that the public-sector unions are lazy, that they steal your tax dollars, and that if you support Republicans, we’ll screw them but save you….only to screw private sector unions 2 years later. 

4.   Education too good in Wisconsin?  Schools actually teach media literacy so that we know when we’re getting manipulated?  Cut funding dramatically, and give public school funding to corrupt private charter schools that can exclude any kid with special needs.

5.   School Boards stopping you from gutting schools entirely?  Create a boogeyman no one understands, like Critical Race Theory, and compel an uneducated, ignorant, and kinda-racist-but-don’t-know-it-because-your-town-is-all-white-mob to overrun schoolboards.

6.   Pushback from voters who think this is all way too heavy-handed?  Gerrymander the districts so their votes don’t count.

7.   Lawyers sue because gerrymandering should be illegal?  Stack the Wisconsin Supreme Court with right-wing hacks with millions of dollars of out-of-state campaign money.

8.   Appeal to the federal courts?  Stack the U.S. Supreme Court with right wing hacks by jamming through Trump’s nominees (Amy Barrett) and refusing to proceed with Obama’s (Merrick Garland).

9.   Do ALL OF THIS and STILL LOSE to Democratic Governor Tony Evers?  Create a sham investigation with circus-clown Gableman purporting Trump election fraud, undermining future Wisconsin elections to the tune of now $1 million Wisconsin tax dollars.

10.                Polls STILL showing Evers is gonna win?  Ban voting by proven-safe drop boxes to suppress voting.

It goes on and on…
…and guess what?  Wisconsin isn’t really a democracy anymore. 

Our state is an absolute mess, but somehow progressives are still hanging on. But if we swing back to the right and get another Republican governor and/or U.S. Senator, America takes a step closer to the abyss.


Minnesota reported wages and salaries totaling $11.9 billion more than Wisconsin in the first quarter of 2008. By first quarter 2018, that total wage gap had nearly doubled to $22.4 billion.
But WHY, WHY, WHY can’t Republican voters see this? 
After 12 years of deep manipulation, Wisconsin has fallen dramatically compared to our more progressive neighboring state of Minnesota.  We’ve seen increases in child poverty, non-existent wage growth, steeps cuts in public education, decline in water quality, etc.


It’s all about FEAR. They keep fomenting fear through the culture wars (guns, gays, abortion), crime (blame Antifa but not Jan 6 insurrectionists or white supremacists), pseudo-economics (inflation is Biden’s fault), and people forget ALL ABOUT the fact their country is being stolen from them right before their eyes.
It’s actually biological. Multiple scientific studies have shown that conservatives tend to focus on the negative, have a stronger physiological response to threats, fear new experiences, and their brains are more reactive to fear. 


The drumbeat of fear is actually the drumbeat that conservative minds are biologically attuned to, and that’s a powerful thing.
So how do we get them to forget their fears and see how they’re getting manipulated and screwed?
Through beer, of course!
It’s actually true.  The Minocqua Brewing Company tries to reach them when they’re not watching Fox News or reading conspiracy theories on the internet.  We reach them at the grocery store and when their progressive friends bring them a cold one after they get done fishing.
Where else can we reach them? Well, because we’re not millionaires, we’ve chosen to do it through social media and with billboards.


We spend $500 a week beaming the Up North Podcast to all of Northern Wisconsin through our Facebook page, and just took out $20K worth of billboard space through the November election reminding people that their Senator and Congressman have lied to them, and by doing so, are aiding and abetting a “cold insurrection” than can only be put down by removing them from office forever.


But we need a little more help paying for that $20K of billboard space. Last week, 360 of you helped us raise $15,236 with an average contribution of $42.32.  That’s almost what we need.  If another couple hundred of you throw in $50, we might be able to buy a few more signs


Also, we’re getting requests from other progressive groups to put our signs in their cities.  This one just went up on Hwy 63 just south of Hayward.  If you have a place you want to put a sign and can help pay for it, reach out to us and we’ll deal with the sign people—we’re good at that by now.


That's all I got for you today, folks.

I'm asking for donations again, but we're putting your money to good use and these elections coming up in November are crucial for Wisconsin and America.

Thanks for reading.  Thanks for believing in us, and thanks for chipping in so we can ALL do our part in Northern Wisconsin to get our democracy back, one beer at a time.  

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







A Message from Kelly Westlund

On Friday, the Wisconsin Supreme Court outlawed secure ballot drop boxes. They know that when more people vote, Democrats win. This a blatant attempt to sway the election in Republicans' favor by making it harder for people to vote.


It's a massive injustice to all voters in Wisconsin, and it sends a clear message:


They’re scared. 












January 6 Insurrection Update (via MoveOn)

Donald Trump didn't just know, he actually tried to lead the armed mob of insurrectionists into the Capitol.

Trump's Chief of Staff Mark Meadows knew. Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani knew. Trump's daughter knew. Trump's MAGA allies in Congress and in state legislatures knew.

They knew that they'd lost the 2020 election. They knew that Trump's legal challenges were a charade. They knew what he was doing when he told MAGA world to rally in D.C. on January 6. And when Trump told his supporters to march on the Capitol on January 6, that he would join them there, he knew that the crowd included people armed with assault rifles, bear spray, and other weapons all slated to aid Trump's insurrection.1

Yesterday's sixth hearing of the January 6 select committee was chilling: It included sworn testimony about Trump's anger and intention to incite the violent insurrection on January 6.

Over the past three weeks, we’ve heard revealing public hearings of the congressional committee investigating the January 6 attack on our country. The hearings so far have uncovered how closely coordinated the effort to overthrow the 2020 election was and how far Trump and countless high-ranking Republican officials were willing to go to stay in power. Which gives us a clue into how far they're still willing to go. 

These important hearings are covering a lot of ground, condensing more than a thousand depositions and hundreds of thousands of documents. Here's the bottom line of what they've found: 

  • Trump knew he had lost the 2020 election. Everything he did after that (and is still doing!) is a willful sabotage of our democracy.2
  • Trump and his allies knew there was a potential for violence. And still encouraged those rallying to march to the Capitol.3
  • Trump is at the center of a sprawling criminal conspiracy, yet he's hardly acting alone. MAGA Republicans at all levels are eagerly fueling it, from white supremacist brawlers to the head of the Republican National Committee.
  • The attack didn't end on January 6, 2021. It's still underway: More than 100 MAGA election deniers have already secured their GOP nominations for the November ballot.They must be held accountable and prevented from corruptly seizing power. 

As we said, these hearings aren't just looking backward—they're also shedding light on the ongoing attacks on our elections. In response, MoveOn is doing something we've never done in our history: investing millions of dollars into a democracy defense campaign to defeat right-wing candidates who are part of Trump's criminal conspiracy and who want to control our next elections. Sign up now to support MoveOn’s Democracy Slate and our plan to defeat MAGA's criminal conspiracy to sabotage elections at the ballot in November.

On the first night of hearings, the committee laid out the chilling seven-point conspiracy to overthrow the U.S. government they've uncovered.5 Trump himself put pressure on the Department of Justice to make claims of a false election. According to former Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue, Trump told him, “Just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican congressmen.”6 It's clear that Trump was at the center of the attempts to sabotage the 2020 election results, but he didn’t act alone.

Last week, it was revealed that staff in MAGA Senator Ron Johnson’s office attempted to hand Pence a counterfeit slate of electors for Wisconsin and Michigan.Sen. Johnson claimed he was “basically unaware” of this, but two days later, he has come clean with new information about the documents and is now throwing his other MAGA colleagues under the bus by blaming GOP Representative Mike Kelly.8 And it doesn’t stop there. We learned the names of multiple House Republicans who coordinated with Trump and who also allegedly sought presidential pardons after the January 6 insurrection.9

Yesterday's testimony from former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson brought us inside the White House in the moments leading to the insurrection. She revealed that Donald Trump and his closest circle knew of potential violence and that there were weapons at the rally, and Trump still refused to deescalate the situation and condemn violence. And although Trump gave a speech on January 7 acknowledging that Biden would become president, Hutchinson revealed that he did so only because there were fears of the 25th Amendment's being invoked, and that he still believed that the insurrectionists did nothing wrong on January 6.10

What we’ve learned so far from the January 6 hearings shows how detailed and coordinated the criminal conspiracy was to overthrow the 2020 election. And the committee is not done yet! New witnesses are coming forward every day, such as MAGA Representative Mo Brooks, who spoke at Trump's rally on January 6, and others, with additional hearings scheduled in July. But we can't rely on the media to get the message out. It's up to us to let our friends, family, and neighbors know how critical this moment is—and that we can’t allow Republicans to continue to suppress voters and sabotage our electoral process. 

MoveOn will continue to update you on how you can fight to protect our fragile democracy.

Thanks for all you do.

–David, Nakia, Dan, Alexis, and the rest of the team


1. "7 takeaways from Tuesday's shocking January 6 hearing," CNN, June 29, 2022

 . "Trump's inner circle testifies his claims were bogus," The Hill, June 13, 2022

3. "7 takeaways from Tuesday's shocking January 6 hearing," CNN, June 29, 2022

4. "More than 100 GOP primary winners back Trump's false election claims," The Washington Post, June 14, 2022

5. "January 6 Vice Chair Cheney said Trump had a 'seven-part plan' to overturn the election. Here's what she meant," CNN, June 10, 2022 

6. "'Just say it was corrupt' and 3 other takeaways from Thursday's Jan. 6 hearing," NPR, June 23, 2022

7. "Ron Johnson tried to hand fake elector info to Mike Pence on Jan. 6, panel reveals," Politico, June 21, 2022

8. "Ron Johnson now says he helped coordinate effort to pass false elector slates to Pence, but his new explanation drew a quick rebuke," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 23, 2022

9. "Multiple House Republicans on defensive over Jan. 6 panel testimony that they sought post-riot pardons," Politico, June 21, 2022 

 10. "7 takeaways from Tuesday's shocking January 6 hearing," CNN, June 29, 2022


Want to support MoveOn's work? Donald Trump's preparations for being able to steal the presidency in 2024 are well underway and include working to replace top election officials in battleground states with his own loyalists. Which is why MoveOn is doing something we've never done in our 23-year history: We're launching a powerful, multimillion-dollar effort to defeat Trump-backed secretaries of state across the country and elect individuals who will count every vote and ensure fair elections.

PAID FOR BY MOVEON.ORG POLITICAL ACTION, Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.


 “Why I’m Endorsing Kelly Westlund,” State Senator Janet Bewley

Ever since I announced my retirement I knew I needed to find someone who would leave the district better than they found it. Someone who has energy, compassion, and fight to make our community stronger than ever.

That person is Kelly Westlund.

Kelly Westlund has the experience, the wisdom, and the heart to represent the north. She's a tireless worker who understands the issues facing our families and businesses. 

This is the most important election Wisconsin has ever faced, and that is why I am endorsing Kelly Westlund for the 25th Senate District.

 This summer is a crucial time for getting all of our candidates the help they need so they can win this November.

And let me be clear, they need to win.

We’re just one seat away from a Republican supermajority in the Wisconsin State Senate. 

That means if we lose just one seat, the Governor’s veto can be overridden by Senate Republicans, even once he wins re-election later this year. 

We cannot let this happen. 

By supporting Kelly Westlund’s campaign, you are joining thousands of grassroots supporters statewide who want progressive leadership for the Northwoods.

We’re so grateful you’re in this fight alongside us.

Senator Janet Bewley