Boycotts and Brat Fest

There has been much discussion on boycotts of Walker supporters all over but we have not gotten into it much here. This story about the Johnsonville Brat Fest in Madison, is the one that made me think. The World\'s Largest Brat Fest is a Madison staple on Memorial Day weekend. It is a charity event put on by Johnsonville brats and local Grocery store Metcalfes.

For those who have not attended, it is a big weekend party with cheap brats, “celebrity servers”, good music and the Madison Marathon. The problem this year is that Johnsonville employees gave alot of money to Scott Walker(and Joe Leibham) and the Metcalfe\'s also donated to Scott Walker. (to be fair, Metcalfe only gave $500 to Walker in the primary and has a history of bipartisan giving). Still the combination of the two have people reconsidering attending this year.

Let’s be real about this also, this is an issue because the people who made up the crowds at the capitol protesting are the people who make up the crowd at the Brat Fest. Your probably not going to find the typical Walker supporters like Scott Jensen and William Gardner loading up on the Kraut.

One thing that gets missed in the boycott talk, is that people still have to spend money. For example, when I pass on Kwik Trip(another Walker supporter) I still need gas, so someone else gets my business. That being said, there are now alternatives to people who choose to pass on Brat fest this year. There is a Virtual Alternative Brat Fest (which benefits Second Harvest Food bank).

There are some people also trying to organize a one-day Alt Brat Fest on May 29 in Orton Park, 1103 Spaight St.

Parks event staff are recommending approval of the event, which also has the support of Ald. Marcia Rummel, District 6.

In addition to the Weary Traveler, Alchemy Cafe, 1980 Atwood Ave., and the Underground Food Collective, 127 E. Mifflin St., also are helping to organize the event, Dainty said.

Money raised will benefit Community Shares of Wisconsin, which supports 63 nonprofit organizations. A donation would also be made to Friends of Orton Park if the Alt Brat Fest takes place there, Dainty said.

My take is everyone makes decisions every day on where they spend their money. The decisions that they make benefits one business at the expense of another. It is perfectly logical for people to support businesses that support them in return. When the middle class of Wisconsin supports companies like Johnsonville Brats, they are supporting people and companies that do not support them in return(irregardless of this tax write off).

I personally would like to see the Walker campaign give the Johnsonville donations to the Brat Fest charities and thus avoiding the whole problem. If this does not happen, I would not tell people to stay away from Brat Fest, BUT my family and I will be attending the Alt-brat fest.

One Disclaimer: I will not defend Johnsonville nor Kwik Trip, but I do think the Metcalfe Boycott(or even discussion of it) is unfair to the Metcalfe’s. I do not think they belong in the discussion of major Walker supporters.


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48 thoughts on “Boycotts and Brat Fest

  1. How dare people give to causes unions do not support? How dare companies support causes that unions do not support. This is not companies not supporting middle class it is about unions being pissed off that people have free will and are allowed to use their own money the way they want, unlike union member’s who are forced to pay union dues and have no voice in where that money goes. Go ahead and boycott my guess the charities that are supported by the Johnsonville Brat fest will do just fine without the dirty union money.

    Unions have a negative image in this state and with more and more actions like the above their support will continue to dwindle with the middle class in this state. It is their choice, it is what they want, they just think that the middle class is going to roll over and allow unions to dictate to us, it is not going to happen. But as long as Marty Bell keeps getting his $170,000 a year in salary from the what does he care what happens to charities.

  2. And aren’t you just saying you are mad for the same reason…union supporters can’t have their own free will to spend their bucks where and how they want…unions only have a negative image in state residents like yourself…and $170,000 to essentially be CEO of a rather large organization? Why aren’t you po’d about the multi-millon dollar salaries of corporate CEOS? The leaders of WE Energy and Harley Davidson come to mind. One who lives off a monopoly in its market and one who demanded wage and work rules concessions because we are ‘broke’ and yet he gets a raise? Believe me that ego at the top of the heap ain’t worth what they are being paid.

  3. Since Brat Fest has been in existence, it has donated over $900,000 to local communities. This is possible with the help of Johnsonville brats by donating brats (150,000 last year).

    To think that people want to hinder Brat fest, and thus hurt the donations to the community is ridiculous.

    1. With the attack on workers rights and education in this great state, if their candidate of choice has his way, many charities will desperately need that money.

      Plus as I made perfectly clear, with charitable alternatives, the people being hurt are not the charities(at least in this instance).

  4. Today they come after my rights and you do not stand up for me. Tomorrow they may come after your rights. Will anyone support you? I am not a state employee or a union member, but I do know right from wrong. Metcalfes should also. I boycot companies like Johnsville, Sargento and others because they want to take away rights as an American citizen. They have a right not to support me and I have a right not to support them.

  5. Here is what is so laughable. Last year I think Glen Beck called the president a racist, which he is, and they all applauded when Sargento pulled their ads from his show. But now this year they are all for a boycott of the same company they were telling everyone to support just a year or so ago. Thats the problem with liberals they just bend which ever way the wind is blowing they really don’t know where they stand on any issue.

  6. Nota you started out your post so promising, it was almost worthy of a compliment, then it faded fast.

    You pointed out why a boycott is so tricky and then finished with regurgitating. You should have quit after “a year or so ago”.

    1. Personally I think he might have turned out a better argument if he worded it like this –

      Here is what is so laughable. Last year I think Glen Beck called the president a racist, and they all applauded when Sargento pulled their ads from his show. But now this year they are all for a boycott of the same company they were telling everyone to support just a year or so ago.

      Because the argument that Obama is racist is absolutely stupid. It just comes off as just white rage which I hear all too damn often from the backwards little village my tribe has to deal with, causing both of us to spend needlessly because they just want to disprove our existence. They spend more than any other community in this area, even Green Bay.

      I don’t feel sympathy for people who claim that Obama is so racist against white people when they have not seen what goes on between the Tribe and the Village in it’s reservation. That is racism mixed with a disgusting power grab. Obama has nothing in mind to make white people to have ‘white slavery’, just like how the tribe has no intention of abusing the village and has worked countless times to reach to the village where they would even go as far to offer them jobs. We were under the belief that we were friends for years until it became a village and suddenly we got these ridiculously wild accusations of us protecting terrorists and sending money to Hamas to ruin their lives.

      Honestly, you’re saying Glenn Beck is right NotaLib? Congratulations I’m glad you have the critical thinking skills to listen to a talking head.

      1. Oh please the tribe will hire whites but the don’t advance. I know someone who applied for a internship but was turned down because he was not a tribal member. I assume you are complaining about Hobart, all they are trying to do is protect their tax base, every time the tirbe gobbles up more they land is taken off the tax roll and the burden falls upon those who do not get special treatment. And I have never heard any of the silly charges you made in your statement, probably goes with that “story” you brougt up about the gal on the UWGB canmpus.

        1. The village of Hobart is backwards as all hell that is a mix of power and irrational hatred. I doubt you ever even been to a meeting where they scream at you and say that they wish you’d all die, and laugh that they made your entire tribal land into a dumpster saying ‘the less of you, the better.’ And “I don’t care if it will be good for the both of us, I just want you all dead.”

          And they do not advance? Please, a lot of them work in the Tribe and are actually higher than tribal members due to hard work. Yes we have a preference for Tribal members, but we also realize we have to give back to the community and that many of us choose to leave to go somewhere else.

          Oh I don’t know, I think this says enough since this sounds like the same person who was causing trouble and running out of UW-GB at every chance when those students and faculty there seen him.

          The reason we get ‘special treatment’ is because it’s under a federal treaty. What don’t you get about that?

        2. They are allowed to advance — unless he was trying to get a government position in the tribe. Then of course he wouldn’t be allowed. Maybe it says more about their work ethic than anything else.

          Because guess what – the Oneida Tribe of Indians is an equal opportunity employer that gives preference in employment to Oneida Tribal Members and Native Americans. Because that is what was the intention in the first place – to give ourselves jobs since people like you kept shooting down our rights.

          Sure things have got better, but I still get spit on by this stupid village except for some sane individuals – bless their hearts, can actually disagree with me without resorting to stereotypes.

        3. So let me guess, you’re justifying the lies we get that we’re some how connected to terrorist organizations?

          I pay my taxes, my entire family does. And let me tell you something, the only tax exemptions we get are purchases such furniture, a car, an electric bill, cable bill, or gas bill and they have to be within tribal boundaries. And the Gas Tax Exemption, which is only at Oneida One Stops or Travel Center. And we have to fill out forms and pay for it to do that so it’s not automatic.

        4. And you wanna know the kicker?

          Me and my family have chosen not to do that and sign ourselves up for tax exemptions. Partially out of pride but mostly because we grew up with the belief that the people of Hobart were kind and generous people as we lived here all our lives.

          Do we get Per Capita? Yeah, we do. But chances are, that’s going to run out soon either way so you won’t have to say how we have that ‘above’ you. And somehow, 1,200 dollars isn’t exactly anything to live off of – at least when we compare ourselves to other tribes who get so much.

      2. Also by the way: I don’t think George W. Bush was a racist – before you bring that up as some defense of a “But liberals said –” since a broad brush is your speciality.

        Either way, I’d probably be called ‘racist’ too for identifying myself as native too and actually saying the serious economic problems that plague minorities because of these stereotypes that they’re going to ‘slit your throat’ or ‘break into your house’ or ‘just have babies and become welfare queens’. Because actually trying to remove the intertwined threads between economics and stereotypes is such a terrible thing.

        1. T i agree with you, Sorry I tuned Nota out so much i missed the obama is a racist ridiculousness. I was trying to compliment him on attempting to make a tangent point on Sargento before he went so wildly off course.

          1. Oh, don’t worry. Everyone knows that Natives are somehow in cahoots with terrorists and want to make the white people slaves.

            1. T I have never heard that and if anyone has said that they are dumbasses that is just ignoirance and you are correct racist to say such a wild accustaion. I do know all about what benefits are are are not available my son is Oneida. As for Obama no I do not believe he is a racist at all, but I do believe he has been a very incompetent president and I really hope he is not relected, I don’t care if its another democrat who gets elected just so it is not him.

              1. I got it from a letter from Hobart – the same letters we get all the time. They are under the assumption that because we live in the village we would love the hate mongering in the letter and agree with everything in the letter.

                Do I think there are problems in the tribe? Absolutely. It’s why I want to actually eventually run someday to be on the council or at least get on the business committee someday when I’m older. But we shouldn’t be spit on and be yelled at with racial slurs when we invite the people of Hobart and their representatives to speak with us. Ashwaubenon was a lot more understanding than what we received from that.

                  1. I actually a collection of the letters ever since 2004, and it’s disturbing to see how they get increasingly hateful with misinformation. I think that is what caused the dramatic change of the Town of Hobart to the Village of Hobart. And what’s worse is that many people from the Village of Hobart won’t even listen to us. Before, sure there were some people who had issues with the tribe but for the most part, we never bothered each other. Hobart is trying to paint us not working, and even used the words ‘enslaving’ them when that wasn’t our intention.

                    A reason why I support this biomass energy project is because we have a ton of garbage dumps in our tribal lands with it has effecting us with higher birth defects and cancer rates than the rest of the area. No people should be treated as a literal dumping ground and this could be a successful way to make this as renewable energy. I sincerely hope Green Bay doesn’t reject this idea, because this could definitely put the city on the map if it goes through. This is a good idea that both Jim Doyle and Scott Walker approved of. (Even if I don’t care for either of them.)

                    So please, do not think the Oneida are the bad people while Hobart is a poor innocent little village. A reason our reaction is the way it is because of this fear mongering – especially since many of us Oneida actually live in Hobart.

  7. I suggested before that we use BratFest as an opportunity for political education via an information picket, wih leaflets saying “Enjoy your brat today, it is donated, but the rest of the year boycott Johnsonville because….”

    1. I agree TJ sounds like a good idea! I do think however if they pull off the alt-brat fest and that is a success, that would send a nice message also.

      Besides the fact that the people who would run it, also run some of the best restaurants in the state.

  8. let’s think this through. boycott johnsonville brats, the company makes less money.

    whats the response. one option is that the company lays off workers and blames the union boycott for the lay offs. Management is obviously not going to blame themselves for losing money when they have a ready made explanation. so since they blame the unions, they increase their monetary contributions to political candidates that weaken the unions.

    option two, the boycotts cause a loss in revenue which gets management’s attention. The management then decides to bow to union pressure and unionizes the plants.

    I don’t see option two as being likely. Thus, the boycott exerts short term revenue pressure, which won’t be significant since the company is well diversified. But it allows the company to justify its contributions to walker, and further support efforts to de-powerize labor.

    1. Lets think this through even further, people make a point to buy Johnsonville brats which gives them more money to help elect more republican which helps take even more rights from workers away.

      In the meantime, my local meat shop goes out of business because I am no longer buying my meat there. Now it only costs a handful of jobs, but they no longer sponsor my kids in soccer and little league etc, thus the fees go up on If we even have these programs anymore for the kids because of the WMC influence on the republican party of WI that bends over backwards for the major companies at the expense of the local companies.

  9. Here is what is odd about this the original message stated “Johnsonville employees gave alot of money to Scott Walker” now from what I see it says the employees did. So because people who work for a company gave money lets punish the company! Makes perfect sense to me. How dare these people support someone the union hates, we all need to hate just like the unions do, it is in the best interest of 300,000 people and we don’t care about the 7,000,000 others in the state that are not union people, bunch of scabs they are.

    1. thats a good point. I would also anticipate that you would be able to find union members that donated to scott walker. For consistency, you would then have to boycott any union who had a member that donated to Walker.

      But in any event, I refuse to allow religion or politics control my diet.

  10. Jeff, your Boycotting Kwik Trip makes no sense even if you disagree with Walker. You realize it is a franchised, right? I recognize that not everyone has a business background, but a franchise essentially means that an individual pays a company for the right to conduct business in that entities name. But the day to day operation are not controlled by the Corporate entity. I guess what I’m getting at is that if an individual purchases a franchise and makes a donation to a candidate that it is not an expression of the franchisors political views. To prove my point,I put Barrett in your link and it revealed numerous Kwik Trip donations to Barrettt–&to=–&name=barrett&employer=kwik+trip&module=wisdc.websiteforms&cmd=searchadvanced

    thus, your boycott of Kwik Trip is hurting numerous kwik trip franchisees that did not support walker.

  11. Super I never said I boycott kwik trip, I just choose other options when they are available to me. Its funny though I did dig around a little and the one son(who helps run the business) gives money to democrats and the daughter, who is listed as a retired schoolteacher, is the one giving big money to republicans. Go figure.

  12. I think union leaders understand that there are a number of conservative teachers and that is why they want to continue forcefully taking union dues from salaries because they know once it becomes volunteer they are going to lose the power and control they now have over their membership.

  13. By the way, obviously the publicity has made its mark…Johnsonville said yesterday that they will now be donating ALL of the brats for brat fest, not just some or most.

  14. I don’t agree with ANY of this. EVERYONE is free to support and vote for whomever they wish and I will not discriminate against ANYONE on that basis.

  15. Wright that is exactly what we are saying. Personally I choose to support people who support me. If you choose to support people who are working against you, so be it.

  16. “If you choose to support people who are working against you”

    Exactly why I avoid any business that has a solidarity sign in their window.

  17. Do you people read what you write? Union leaders are sending out letters to businesses that choose to remain neutral in all this political crap that is going on threatening to boycott their business if they don’t support the union. That’s coercion in a subtle form. If you choose to be union, go for it but don’t fault those who don’t want to be. Johnsville employees have the right to support anyone they choose the same as you do. Should we boycott products made by union shops because we don’t agree with the union? How stupid is that? The UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is supposed to be the LAND OF THE FREE. That means we all should be able to make our choices as we wish. Without name calling, coercion, threats, boycotts, etc. on both sides. Brat Fest is a fund raiser that helps many charitable organizations that badly need the financial help in this economy. Who knows you or your family may need help from one of them someday. As a breast cancer survivor, I stand behind Johnsville for their contributions, especially to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Research Foundation. They have been exceedingly generous. Not everything is political. You should be ashamed that you have made this great event a political arena instead of the People Helping People event that it is.

  18. Just Jan that is who liberals are, they are always concerned for what is in it for them and they really could care less about anyone else. They are upset that they are being asked to join the real world and because of this they are going to do whatever it takes to get what they want and they have little to no concern as to who they hurt. I have made a special effort to go to places they have boycotted even if it is out of my way, the middle class workers should not be punished by some malcontents just because others were expressing their freedom to support who they want. This is still America where we have that freedom, if unions had their way we would look more like Cuba or Venezuela where you support only the people you are told to support and if you don’t you get punished. It really is sad what unions have turned into in this country certainly not what they original intent was, now they are just about greed and what is best for me mentality.

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