How Fat Cat Joe Ricketts Plans to Spend $10 Million Trashing Obama With Outlandish Smears
Most hardball political tactics are unattractive, but I have a soft spot for this from the notoriously brass-knuckled mayor of Chicago:
The Chicago angle on this is that Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Mr. Obama's former chief of staff, has been trying to put together a deal for the city to put $100 million or more in tax incentives into a Wrigley [Field] rebuild.
Now, Joe Ricketts' political support for conservative causes is no secret. And his children, particularly son Tom Ricketts, run the team day to day.
Beyond that, another of Joe Ricketts' kids, daughter Laura Ricketts, is a lesbian activist and major fund-raiser for Mr. Obama. Still, it's not unfair to ask whether money the city would ship the Cubs would free up family cash to trash Mr. Obama. At a bare minimum, the timing is very, very, very awkward.
Joe Ricketts wants to spend 10 million dollars or more trashing the president with scurrilous attacks during the Democratic National Convention. He may not approve a plan that was presented to him to revitalize the Jeremiah Wright controversy, but he solicited that plan and others. He did that at the very same time that Rahm Emaunuel was working on a plan to help his family upgrade the aging home of the Chicago Cubs.
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,” said the aide, who was granted anonymity to speak candidly about the situation. “He is also livid with their blatant hypocrisy.”
The aide also said Emanuel, who is Obama’s former chief of staff, has cut off communication with the family.
“The Ricketts have tried to contact the mayor, but he’s said that he does not want to talk with them today, tomorrow or anytime soon,” the aide said.
If your family is so rich that it can blow 10 million bucks on advertising that is unrelated to your businesses then you can easily come up with 100 million to renovate Wrigley Field. Even if Emanuel was not a former consigliere of the president, he would find it politically impossible to continue his support for the Wrigley project. Chicago, after all, is a Democratic town that loves the president. But he is a former consigliere. And that means that a certain family is now dead to him.