Jeff Fitzgerald, candidate for U.S. Senate and current Speaker of the Assembly of Wisconsin, briefly caught the attention from the celtic punk community this weekend when he used the Dropkick Murphys/Woody Guthrie anthem “Shipping Up To Boston” as his intro at the state’s Republican Party Convention. The Boston band was less than flattered:
“The stupidity and irony of this is laughable. A Wisconsin Republican U.S. Senate candidate – and crony of anti-Union Gov. Scott Walker – using a Dropkick Murphys song as an intro is like a white supremacist coming out to gangsta rap! Fitzgerald: if you and your staff can’t even figure out your music you might wanna give up on the politics!!!!! We stand beside our Union and Labor brothers and sisters and their families in Wisconsin and all over the U.S!”
(from Dropkick Murphys Facebook page)
The political climate in Wisconsin is currently tense as labor and financial battles (among others) will surface on June 5th with the recall election of Governor Scott Walker (R). The Dropkicks, who have an extended history of being fiercely pro-labor, have spoken out since early 2011 on Walker’s budget, which stripped public employees of their right to collective bargaining. Many other widely-known out-of-state bands like Street Dogs, Laura Grace (Against Me!), Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine) have supported the state’s pro-worker cause and have played local benefit concerts, in addition to local Wisconsin acts like 4 Aspirin Morning and Hellephant.
Fitzgerald has stated that he will no longer be using the song.
[Additional sources: Wisconsin State Journal]