News broke today via the New York Times that billionaire Joe Ricketts planned to spend $10 million dollars in Super PAC attack ads against President Obama featuring his former controversial minister, Jeremiah Wright. While that in itself was newsworthy, the fact that the Ricketts family owns the Chicago Cubs is even more intriguing. The Cubs have been seeking $150 million in taxpayer dollars to rebuild Wrigley Field at the same time that patriarch Joe Ricketts is blasting the city’s most famous resident (and sitting U.S. president). Not only is it bad politics, it is also bad business. Ironically Mr. Ricketts has called on less government spending, but apparently that doesn’t apply to baseball teams – only the working class and senior citizens.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was none too pleased. “The Mayor was livid when he read that the Ricketts were going to launch a $10 million campaign against President Obama — with the type of racially motivated ads that are insulting to the president and the presidential campaign,” an Emanuel aide said. “He is also livid with their blatant hypocrisy.” It is not clear if this will jeopardize the Wrigley makeover, but Chicago taxpayers should nonetheless take notice and let their voices be heard. Let the Ricketts family pay for renovations on their own.