Did the Chicago Cubs shield Barack Obama from a $10 million attack?

This morning, the New York Times reported that Joe Ricketts, the founder of the brokerage firm TD Ameritrade, had commissioned a $10 million Super PAC hit on Barack Obama that would revisit the president’s ties to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Almost immediately, Ricketts disavowed the effort. Strategic concerns, and Mitt Romney’s distaste for refighting the 2008 election might have been one reason.

But there is also the fact that the Ricketts family owns the Chicago Cubs. We’ll let Greg Hinz from Crain’s Chicago Business make the connection:

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 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.

And now you know why Arthur Blank gives to both Democrats and Republicans. But the ultimate irony? Obama is a White Sox fan.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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147 comments Add your comment

obama4ever

May 17th, 2012
4:53 pm

Baseball has been berry berry good to Obama.

Marlboro Man

May 17th, 2012
5:11 pm

Money amplifies free speech, makes it louder, but not always better.

Devil's Advocate

May 17th, 2012
5:13 pm

Why do people think it’s a duty to slam Obama, especially spending $10 million to do so? Politics in America have boiled down to ignorant high school student government campaigning with real money behind it. Nothing more, nothing less.

Why can’t a given politician’s track record and stance on various issues be enough for people to make an informed decision whether they agree or disagree? I don’t need millions of dollars spent to tell me if I should agree or disagree with someone.

td

May 17th, 2012
5:13 pm

Just tune into Hannity tonight and the hit truth from Wright will be out for all the public to hear.

Road Scholar

May 17th, 2012
5:14 pm

I hope these PACS are going to backfire. Other than greed, why did the politicians think that they were going to do any good?

td

May 17th, 2012
5:15 pm

Devil’s Advocate

May 17th, 2012
5:13 pm

And are you now going to same the same thing the left and the so called MSM has done to all the Republican candidates during the primary season?

Road Scholar

May 17th, 2012
5:17 pm

DA:”Why can’t a given politician’s track record and stance on various issues be enough for people to make an informed decision whether they agree or disagree? ” As long it is the truth! So much of the crap that is slung is half truths at best.

td: Hannity =truth? Yeah, right!

Centrist

May 17th, 2012
5:21 pm

Back for a while, maybe.

I’ve got more tricks up my sleeve to stop the “political correctness” censorship, here.

I will only publish the way around the blocks if this escalates.

hiram

May 17th, 2012
5:24 pm

Obama, Romney, it really doesn’t make a lot of difference – the country is a plutocracy, not a democracy, anyway. Politicians, on all levels, are cheap. Take Georgia’s politicians, for example – a few tickets to sports events or golf outings will translate into multimillion dollar rate increases for your favorite utilities – it is the ultimate return on investment, and that’s how it works all the way to the top. No surprises here.

Ron Burgundy

May 17th, 2012
5:28 pm

Those ads are not needed. Obama is going down without them. Give that money to charity or something.

Moochelle

May 17th, 2012
5:29 pm

He jus hatin!

td

May 17th, 2012
5:31 pm

Kujohn

May 17th, 2012
5:27 pm

I will admit that Sean is a conservative commentator if you will admit that all the commentators on MSNBC, NBC and CNN are Liberal commentators?

GodHatesTrash, Superstar

May 17th, 2012
5:40 pm

Not to worry. Mr. Ricketts will find a way to quietly spend his millions to indulge his infantile racism and tea-party politics.

Maybe he can borrow Mr. RomOney’s off-shore bankers to find a way to launder his money before he uses it to trash Obama.

Centrist

May 17th, 2012
5:40 pm

I’m glad this attack SuperPAC may be pulling back. SuperPAC warfare needs a cease fire.

A 1991 marketing booklet promoting Obama’s first book has surfaced where it claims he was born in Kenya and moved to Hawaii. “Birthers” will go nuts – but what does it matter at this point? He has been POTUS for over 3 years, and is NOT going to be disqualified from running again. Past time to move on.

GodHatesTrash, Superstar

May 17th, 2012
5:44 pm

FYI regarding the censorship – you can’t put b-agger with your tea- , even though it is a name they call themselves… silliness.

GodHatesTrash, Superstar

May 17th, 2012
5:49 pm

When one thinks of pathetic excuses for “news” commentators, Sean Hannity’s name is on the top of most decent people’s lists, and for good reason.

Orwell in 1984 talked about the Three Minute Hate, Sean goes on and on for three hours, stroking and stoking fear, hate, and his own megalomania.

Centrist

May 17th, 2012
5:57 pm

There are several kinds of censorship here – most I agree with:

1st level – Certain words and phrases, and the post never goes through. (Good)

2nd level – Manual removal of posts that have broken the rules. (Good)

3rd level – Blocked posters who have violated rules and been banned. (Good)

Subset of the 3rd level – Blocked posters (me) who object to the blog bias and/or criticize the AJC. (Bad)
There is no published rule against this, so I have no qualms about getting around that bogus block.

Ron Burgundy

May 17th, 2012
6:01 pm

No one Obama wins. Hope and change has not occured in the slightest and we have spend record numbers trying to create hope and change the socialist way.

Moochelle

May 17th, 2012
6:02 pm

I hope we loose. I plan on taking air force one to France and Fiji after the elctions if we lose for “diplomatic” missions!

Rafe Hollister

May 17th, 2012
6:03 pm

Until the press does their job and properly vets the President and we learn more about his college years, who paid for him to go to college, did he register as a foreign student, what passports he used as he traveled around the world, who paid for all his travels and college expenses, what his relationship with Bill Ayers/et al was, how did he get into Harvard after admittedly bad grades at Oxidental, how did he get into college after he admittedly spent the last two years of high school in a drugged haze, etc., we will continue to see these super PACs try to do the job of the press.

The press sure has had no qualms digging into Romney’s background and his high school exploits. I hope the ad mentioned above is not run, unless, they go after Romney’s LDS beliefs and then anything goes.

Danny O

May 17th, 2012
6:07 pm

@ Centrist:

Do you know why you were blocked? If so, please enlighten us.

Rafe Hollister

May 17th, 2012
6:11 pm

Trashman, how is Hannity any different from Ed Shultz, Rachel Maddow, and Keith Olberman?
Different strokes for different folks.

Centrist

May 17th, 2012
6:17 pm

@ Danny O – It’s been a while since I responded to you, I usually ignore partisans who don’t back up their positions. Maybe it is a new day, here.

See my re-post here @ 5:18. It got censored/blocked all day in every blog put up. Yesterday I found a way around the block – but the AJC “IT” department escalated the blocking this morning so I responded and went up another level this afternoon. I have several more levels I can go up, but have warned that if this continues – I will publish the work-arounds. Not my first choice – time for a truce.

Aquagirl

May 17th, 2012
6:26 pm

the AJC “IT” department escalated the blocking this morning so I responded and went up another level this afternoon.

Oooh. Running with scissors is next.

http://weknowmemes.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/watch-out-we-got-a-badass-over-here-meme.png

ramguy68

May 17th, 2012
6:41 pm

td 5:13 pm Just tune into Hannity tonight and the hit truth from Wright will be out for all the public to hear

lol….Are you serious or trying out one liners to send Jay Leno?.

LeRoy

May 17th, 2012
7:20 pm

Obama’s campaign has been digging up dirt on private citizens whose only “crime” was giving money to the opposing campaign. It seems that character assination is ok when the gun is held by a leftie or a “reporter”.

Martin Williams

May 17th, 2012
7:30 pm

Wake up America…………people still take their precious time every two, four, and six years to go VOTE for elected officials to U.S. Congress, White House, and Senate. The thinking behind all these stuff is that, you all think these law makers are representing us as citizens. The truth of the matter is they all go to Washington to actually represent the 4000 plus lobbyist and Wall Street. If you all don’t know these by now that, every single law passed by the law makers(Congress/Senators) in Washington including the president’s office and of course the United State Supreme court justices ARE ALL made by lobbyists and folks at Wall Street………You all think about it next time you go to the boot to vote. Americans should ignore voting for just one election circle to send a message to ALL law makers. If you think your vote will make a difference think again. This is also true even at State level.

Auntie Christ

May 17th, 2012
7:36 pm

Romney recently spoke at liberty ‘university,’ which was founded by the late ‘reverend’ falwell. Romney has been endorsed by the ‘reverend’ pat robertson. Both of these fine ‘ministers’ have proclaimed that god hates America, and ‘punishes’ America for allowing homosexuals to remain alive. Reverend Wright claims that god has condemned America for it’s foreign policy decisions, i.e constant war on brown and black people, and/ or arming and supporting those who conduct our proxy wars. I tend to believe that if god has condemned America, he/she does it for the reasons Reverend Wright cites rather than what falwell and robertson cite. I’ve yet to hear any right winger condemn falwell and robertson with the vigor they demand Obama condemn Wright.

td

May 17th, 2012
7:43 pm

Centrist

May 17th, 2012
6:17 pm

I do not believe this is the real Centrist. Time for the IT staff to get serious.

AB

May 17th, 2012
7:44 pm

Centrist,
If you are blogging to the AJC all day maybe their server is worn out from you. But I really prefer your conspiracy theory, hilarious…

Lawrence

May 17th, 2012
7:57 pm

Obama doesn’t need to be attacked, he is his own worst enemy.

Mister.Earl

May 17th, 2012
7:57 pm

This is the same Ricketts family that has its hand out in Chicago for government assistance to fix up its ballpark (Wrigley Field.) Fiscal responsibility, fiscal conservative – only for programs that help other people. When they need money for themselves, they are first in line.

Mister.Earl

May 17th, 2012
7:58 pm

I guess when the Times lifted up the rock and saw the slugs scurrying away from the light, things had to change. I bet this campaign would have been adopted if the playbook hadn’t come to light. This is the NYTimes at its best–ferreting out the truth behind the efforts of these racist bigots. Now I know–anything from this Super PAC is just lied, more lies, and statistics (with apologies to Mr. Twain).

Mister.Earl

May 17th, 2012
7:59 pm

I didn’t know TD Ameritrade was owned by a man who wants to smear Obama and cut taxes even more on the richest who barely pay any now.

I’m going to close my TD Ameritrade investment accounts and tell them why. Then I’m going to advise my financial planning clients to do the same.

hiram

May 17th, 2012
8:04 pm

@martin williams
I agree with your observations. Our goverment is a plutocracy(governance by the wealthy). A handful of people treat this blog like a full time job, where they present identical arguments every day. It’s a lot like the movie, “Groundhog Day”. They are unknowingly regurgitating superficial talking points, that the hired jingle writers feed to the media to deflect the serfs’ attention away from substantive issues. Both political parties are complicit in this charade.

Lawrence

May 17th, 2012
8:08 pm

Mister.Earl you are not only an idiot, you are a complete idiot. You must be a Democrat.

Centrist

May 17th, 2012
8:08 pm

td – It is me.

I didn’t like this morning’s blog about Fulton County as if those the northern part doesn’t have legitimate issues. Also didn’t care for the one sided shot at John Barrow’s opponent, Wright McLeod, in the August district. Being blocked part of yesterday was still under my skin, too.

I broke a rule and posted under “Blocked” just before my normal screen name this afternoon- only did that as I was doing several work-arounds to my block today at once (it wasn’t via my screen name).

Saw your post on Wingfield’s blog – where I rarely go along with the Get Schooled blog (NEVER Bookman’s).

Hopefully things will simmer down back to normal. (Braves are up).

Mister.Earl

May 17th, 2012
8:15 pm

Lawrence – when someone resorts to name-calling it is a certain sign of inferior education.

Enjoy your nap.

Lawrence

May 17th, 2012
8:18 pm

I have a college degree. Do You?

Mister.Earl

May 17th, 2012
8:19 pm

Lawrence – Just maybe — just maybe Mr. Ricketts made this announcement because of the apparently large number of people who have decided to close their TD Ameritrade accounts, after reading about the planned negative and insulting advertising.

Sean Hannity clings to the Rev Wright non-story and is chasing ghosts.

Sad.

Mister.Earl

May 17th, 2012
8:25 pm

This negative campaign is typical of the fear-merchants of the Republican Tea Party wing. Their stated goal, as the official Republican agenda, is “One term for Obama”. Their means: vote against every Obama proposal, even if it originated with Republicans,

There are no limits to the lies and distortions against President Obama.

In effect, the Republicans want the economy to “tank:, even if it means getting back to a deep recession,

Unfortunately, it could very well become a real Depression, Just to get rid of the president.The right wing has an obsession which is dangerous, and ultimately self-defeating- if the country goes down as a result of their destructive obstinacy.

td

May 17th, 2012
8:26 pm

Mister.Earl

May 17th, 2012
7:59 pm

” cut taxes even more on the richest who barely pay any now.”

And who do you think pays all the taxes now? The top 10% makes 25% of all the money and pays 45% of all the taxes while the bottom 50% pay 2% of all the taxes. Yes, they are not paying their fair share. Give me a break.

Mister.Earl

May 17th, 2012
8:26 pm

Lawrence – you are hilarious. just for the record, I own two college degrees. Both from elite institutions.

You ever visited Cornell University?

Lawrence

May 17th, 2012
8:27 pm

Do you think that Obama would will not engage in the same negative advertising? If you do you are very naive.

Lawrence

May 17th, 2012
8:28 pm

I don’t argue with idiots or Democrats. Since you fit both, I am signing off.

Mister.Earl

May 17th, 2012
8:32 pm

I believe people were just as dim at understanding Rev. Wright’s words as they were John Lennon’s comment “The Beatles are more popular than Jesus”.

Just for Hannity zombies – As someone who served honorably in the US military, Rev Wright was not damning American per se – but for her actions or lack of them – during the era of segregation – which he lived through – while groups like the Ku Klux Klan were still terrorizing and killing people for the color of their skin. While “good Conservatives” (and their children) stood by and cheered.

The same people who fiercely resented Vivian Malone Jones walking into the University of Alabama.

Strange fruit indeed.

Mister.Earl

May 17th, 2012
8:35 pm

Lawrence – Did you notice that. TD Ameritrade has also issued a curt disavowal on their Facebook page. Too little too late, I suspect.

Roaches scatter when the lights come on.

Michael #1

May 17th, 2012
8:39 pm

LOL, TD quoating Hannity and the truth in the same sentence. Sad you dont have anything better to do at night.

Buckhead Boy

May 17th, 2012
8:40 pm

The surfacing of this proposal could be retaliation by the Club for Growth or Demint’s gang against Joe Ricketts for the part his PAC played in defeating their anointed candidates in Nebraska on Tuesday. These people play dirty and they’ll savage a Republican who crosses them with few less qualms than they will a Democrat.

td

May 17th, 2012
8:41 pm

Mister.Earl

May 17th, 2012
8:35 pm

Sounds like the Nazi type tactics of the left to intimidate to stop the truth is working for now.