Volume One Special Coverage: Pulling Together While Staying Apart

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Tracking the Tea Party

local a/v company takes a ride with the Tea Party

Thom Fountain, photos by Andrea Paulseth

A Tea Party rally in Eau Claire. Two local brothers, Jeremy and Jason Kadinger, toured with the Tea Party Express for over 20,000 miles this last year.
Two local brothers, Jeremy and Jason Kadinger, toured with the Tea Party Express for over 20,000 miles this last year. Above: A Tea Party rally in Eau Claire.

You might’ve already seen their work on TV, but you probably didn’t see them there. Jeremy and Jason Kadinger, two Chippewa Valley brothers who run Kadinger Productions, have spent the last whirlwind year behind-the-scenes of a number of national and state wide political events in a year where it seems politics is all around us.

It started almost exactly a year ago when Jeremy’s card ended up in the hands of the Tea Party Express and they asked Kadinger Productions to help with a rally in Eau Claire during the first state senate recalls. The company does everything for big events, including staging and audio/visual needs. They’ve run a variety of events including weddings, concerts and civic events and agreed to help in Eau Claire. From Eau Claire, the California-based group asked if the Kadinger’s could do all of Wisconsin. Then the entire national tour.

“It’s mind boggling how huge the geography of our country is – how varied it is ... But we’re all Americans. It doesn’t matter
what side you’re on, we’re all patriotic.” – Jeremy Kadinger, Kadinger Productions

After 20,000 miles working with just about every big name in the conservative political spectrum (including Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Ron Paul, Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich), the brothers had seen much of the country, though at a bit of a hectic pace.

“The traveling was incredible. You see it at a different pace than if you took a road trip. You see everything at breackneck speed,” Jeremy said. “We coordinated our pitstops, (Jason) would fill it up and I’d put in the order at Taco Bell… It was like a NASCAR pitstop.”

The events themselves could be just as hectic. Jeremy attributes some of their success to the ‘Midwestern work ethic’ he and his brother developed here in Wisconsin. In event production, there’s no time to waste if something isn’t going right. While they diligently planned out what they could – often using GoogleMap’s overhead satellite photography to see the space and where they could set things up – inevitably things would need to be changed around at the last minute or some problem would need to be solved.

The politicians or other speakers would then be rushed in, give their speech, and rushed out before things had to be packed up and moved to the next location. The team would usually do three stops in a day.

The Kadinger brothers got started running events in high school when they would organize shows in their hometown of Menomonie and have always been involved in the arts scene. However, Jeremy says they enjoy working in the civic realm and, having made connections through their tours, will hopefully continue working there. 

While the company is apolitical and Jeremy would classify his political views as Libertarian or “other,” he said it’s exciting seeing everyone across the country be patriotic, no matter their political leanings.

“It’s mind boggling how huge the geography of our country is – how varied it is … But we’re all Americans,” Jeremy said. “It doesn’t matter what side you’re on, we’re all patriotic. Around the state and around the country.”

You can tell when talking to Jeremy how much he enjoys working in event production – the problem-solving and big-picture thinking, and while every event is different and has many moving parts that need to be accounted for, Jeremy can break it down into two simple words:

“It’s people and it’s technology.”

Lasker Jewelers
Lasker Jewelers

Pulling Together Partners

The following organizations are currently supporting Volume One’s work in the community during the pandemic:

Lasker Jewelers

L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, Eau Claire

Downtown Eau Claire Inc DECI

University of Wisconsin Eau Claire

Pablo Group

Wisconsin Independent Network

Middle West Management

Bon Iver

Royal Credit Union

Silver Spring

Evergreen Surgical

Charter Bank

Chippewa Valley Technical College

The Murty Henriksen Family

The Larry and Marie Past Family

The Dan and Kerry Kincaid Family

Anton and Rae Schilling-Smets

Brady and Jeanne Foust

If your organization is interested in supporting Volume One during this difficult time, nick@volumeone.orgcontact us.