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Oppo dump!

Monday, Dec 7, 2020

* The least surprising news of the day

Todd Ricketts isn’t ruling out a run for governor, according to a source close to the Cubs co-owner.

The revelation follows Tim Schneider’s announcement over the weekend that he is stepping down as state party chairman, prompting chatter that Ricketts, who is also chairman of the Republican National Committee’s finance committee, may be a possible — though unlikely — replacement.

“Todd thinks Tim did a great job as state chair. As Todd is continuing as RNC Finance chairman, he will not be a candidate for state chair,” the source said, which leaves Ricketts’ options open for a statewide run.

* From a blistering late October New Yorker profile

Todd, the youngest, has at times felt overlooked. Shortly after the Rickettses bought the team, Todd e-mailed his father and older brother Pete complaining that Tom seemed to be getting all the credit. Deadspin published the missive: “My kids live in the same neighborhood and go to the same school as Tom’s kids, and I don’t want them to have to constantly [be] explaining that there are equal owners when they are told that their uncle owns the Cubs. The reason I am so sensitive to this is that even today I feel as though my input and ideas are disregarded among our family, just as they were when we were kids.” As if to underscore his relative anonymity, a year later, Todd starred in an episode of “Undercover Boss,” growing a beard and taking odd jobs at Wrigley Field. No employees recognized him.

Todd Ricketts became deeply involved in Republican politics by working alongside his dad, who had staked out a position as a big conservative donor. (One of Todd Ricketts’s friends told me that Todd wanted to talk politics so much that it became difficult to spend time with him.) In 2013, Todd became the C.E.O. of one of the nation’s wealthiest political-action committees, Ending Spending, which his father founded and whose mission is to take on what it deems wasteful government funding. He and his father were, in many ways, a smaller version of the Koch brothers, whom Joe once reportedly called “great heroes.”

In 2013, Ricketts made a political decision that suggested the kind of compromises he was willing to make. That year, the pac Ending Spending spent four hundred thousand dollars on ads for the Virginia gubernatorial campaign of Ken Cuccinelli, who would ultimately lose to Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat. Cucinnelli, who is now the acting Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, spoke to Ricketts’s belief in limited government—especially his opposition to the Affordable Care Act—but he also adamantly opposed same-sex marriage and said homosexuality was “against nature and harmful to society.” For Ricketts, whose sister is gay and active in L.G.B.T. advocacy—and whose uncle was gay and died of aids—Cuccinelli seemed like an odd political bedfellow. Moreover, that same year, Ricketts personally lobbied four key Republican state legislators to vote to legalize same-sex marriage in Illinois. “Todd is not a ‘single-issue’ voter,” Danny Diaz, Ricketts’s spokesperson, told me in an e-mail. “Todd obviously does not agree with Cuccinelli’s position on same-sex marriage.” One friend of Ricketts’s calls him “a principled pragmatist.”

Scott Walker, the former Wisconsin governor, is close to Ricketts. They bonded at an event at the American Enterprise Institute shortly after Walker signed Act 10 in Wisconsin, which reduced collective-bargaining rights for most state and municipal workers, including all teachers. Ricketts told Walker he admired what he was doing in Wisconsin—and so, when Walker faced a recall, Ricketts and his parents came to Walker’s aid. Ricketts held a fund-raiser, serving Wisconsin beer and bratwurst at his home in a suburb north of Chicago. “We get wonky, geeky, about policy,” Walker told me.
[…]

Despite his father’s experience, Todd Ricketts can be surprisingly unfiltered. In comments on his Facebook page, Todd referred to covid-19 as the “the kung flu”—weeks before Trump used the demeaning phrase at a rally in Tulsa. In a post of a video in which New York Mayor Bill de Blasio urged residents to call the city if they witnessed large gatherings of people, Ricketts commented, “All snitches will be given priority when applying for jobs as security guards at the concentration camps that will be opening later this year.” […]

“The challenge in our conversations,” [talk show host Maze Jackson] told me, “is how do you address the systemic racism. Sometimes Todd would say, ‘How come you guys can’t just . . .?’ and I’d explain we haven’t had the opportunities.” […]

I asked Ricketts’s spokesman how Trump inspired Ricketts, and in return I received a twenty-page document titled “Trump Administration Accomplishments.” It’s clear from the list that Ricketts believes Trump has delivered for conservatives, including his crackdown on immigration and his emphasis on law and order. (Nearly three pages of bullet points argue that Trump has led a “comprehensive and aggressive” campaign against the coronavirus.) Additionally, as Walker mentioned, Ricketts sees in Biden’s candidacy a looming socialist threat. Ricketts’s spokesman cites endorsements by Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders as evidence of this, along with Biden’s belief that the government can serve to protect the public’s well-being, including his call for eliminating carbon emissions by 2050, for expanding Social Security, and for lowering the eligibility age for Medicare to sixty. “Todd believes that President Trump represents an agenda that advances freedom for all Americans and expands opportunity for people at every level of the socioeconomic ladder,” Ricketts’s spokesman told me.

And then there is the mess that is the Cubs.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

63 Comments
  1. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 9:25 am:

    So, major self-esteem issues coupled with an obsession to be the apple of his father’s eye.

    Don’t see a problem.


  2. - Gravy Bond - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 9:25 am:

    My republican politics makes we appreciate the Cubs and the Ricketts Family. My affiliation as a Cardinal fan goes in the opposite direction. Life is a struggle.


  3. - Bruce( no not him) - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 9:28 am:

    Oh, how I long for the days of our usual political class running for governor. I’m tired of billionaires who think they know what is good for me.


  4. - Arsenal - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 9:31 am:

    Pro LGBTQ but anti ACA seems like an awkward posture for both a primary and a general, and that’s setting aside the Trump-y veneer he seems to have recently adopted.


  5. - NIU Grad - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 9:31 am:

    The good news for all of us is that the Ricketts family has spent the last few years destroying all good will the fans may have had for them.


  6. - Cable Line Beer Gardener - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 9:33 am:

    Todd Ricketts, Scott Walker and Ken Cuccinelli-a troika of ickiness


  7. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 9:35 am:

    A Ricketts run for Governor is wonderful news for Dems.

    Its like Trumpian identity politics… but for Illinois.

    The emails alone will make Jim Oberweis… “tolerant”


  8. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 9:36 am:

    Please, let Ricketts run for governor. Put Trumpism and anti-unionism out there, front and center, in a statewide race.

    Wishing the Cubs players success but will never spend another penny on the team.


  9. - DuPage Saint - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 9:36 am:

    Well I guess my vote goes to Mancow.


  10. - @misterjayem - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 9:38 am:

    “Ricketts sees in Biden’s candidacy a looming socialist threat”

    Some people see anything less than boots on a workers’ necks as “a looming socialist threat.”

    – MrJM


  11. - JoanP - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 9:41 am:

    =Todd referred to covid-19 as the “the kung flu”—weeks before Trump used the demeaning phrase=

    I think “racist phrase” would be more accurate.


  12. - Glengarry - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 9:42 am:

    Well his brother Todd, isn’t doing so well in Nebraska. If you want to see what a Ricketts rule would be like. Look at Nebraska.


  13. - West Side the Best Side - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 9:44 am:

    Flyin’Elvis’ - Hey, worked out well for the country, what could go wrong trying it on the State level?


  14. - Candy Dogood - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 9:45 am:

    Rich kids believing the political propaganda about how magical rich kids are is a threat to the survival of our species.


  15. - Nick - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 9:46 am:

    By all means, lets try Rauner 2.0


  16. - Siualum - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 9:47 am:

    Just another downside of being a Cubs fan - the Ricketts.


  17. - Candy Dogood - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 9:50 am:

    Since he’s floating a run for Governor, has anyone checked to see if he repaid all of the taxes on his home that he maybe illegally avoided by paying taxes on the prior home on the property instead of the mansion he built?

    If he hasn’t fixed this, he either isn’t serious about running for Governor or he is more cynical of a human being than I would have been willing to assume otherwise.

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/investigations/ct-todd-ricketts-wilmette-property-taxes-20190709-c335ggdjvjbvposhwd3f77gwxa-story.html


  18. - Cubbie blue - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 9:51 am:

    “Rich kids believing the political propaganda about how magical rich kids are is a threat to the survival of our species.”

    LOL. You realize who are governor is, don’t you?


  19. - HLA - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 10:00 am:

    We don’t need another Governor that supports institutional classism.


  20. - SuppliedDemand - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 10:10 am:

    Ah yes, Trump is somehow fighting against socialism. The same Trump who sent out $1,200 checks with his signature, gave $30 billion to farmers, tried to extort a foreign company (TikTok) into an acquisition, increased spending, and exploded the deficit. Thankfully, we have him to protect us from big government.


  21. - Southsider - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 10:13 am:

    Anyone who has been to a golf outing with Todd knows his behavior can be a bit out of control…his Facebook is the least of his problems. Just wait.


  22. - SupplierDemand - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 10:14 am:

    ==My republican politics makes we appreciate the Cubs and the Ricketts Family.==

    Can you name something specific that you appreciate about the Ricketts family?


  23. - Huh? - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 10:20 am:

    Oh goody, an other self indulgent, narcissist billionaire with daddy issues wants to run for higher office.


  24. - Nagidam - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 10:21 am:

    ===Can you name something specific that you appreciate about the Ricketts family?===

    Laura Ricketts


  25. - Techie - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 10:23 am:

    “Ricketts sees in Biden’s candidacy a looming socialist threat”

    “While no single definition encapsulates many types of socialism, social ownership is the one common element.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism)

    Ricketts is afraid of an economy where workers own and profit from businesses, rather than just the wealthy people owning and profiting from business? The horror! The plebes might actually have their fair share of power…


  26. - Ok - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 10:25 am:

    We don’t need another Toddler.


  27. - JS Mill - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 10:25 am:

    =Ending Spending, which his father founded and whose mission is to take on what it deems wasteful government funding.=

    =Biden’s candidacy a looming socialist threat.=

    Sooo much to unpack here. First, @SuppliedDemand is 100% spot on.

    There is a fundamental misunderstanding as to the meaning of “socialism” versus “communism and Marxism”. The US economy has been a socialist economy for decades. It is a mix of government intervention and subsidization alongside a free market. This has been put on steroids since 2008 and even more so during the Trump presidency. Do the Rickett’s really, think something different? I mean back in 2010 they wanted the state/city to pay for $300 million in upgrades to the ball park. If that is not text book socialism I don’t know what is.

    The mantra for this Rauner like family is to deprive workers of representation in order to suppress wages and increase their already massive wealth. Even though I am in management and regularly bargain contracts with unions and see this as an attack on living wages.

    =endorsements by Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders as evidence=

    If that is the standard then the white supremacist endorsements of GOP candidates must mean something as well.

    Run Todd run. I’ll by the popcorn.


  28. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 10:28 am:

    I appreciate the Ricketts for transformation of the Wrigleyville neighborhood , the Cubs and Wrigley Field.

    Everything is not political for most people. The Cubs will draw 3 million fans the minute the ballpark opens to full capacity


  29. - midway gardens - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 10:36 am:

    The opposition to ensuring that all people have access to health care continues to astound me. Not only the conflict with their supposed Christian values but they should see how a healthy working class actually helps them. I suppose it’s all worry about their taxes going up - is there another factor?


  30. - Mr. Hand - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 10:39 am:

    “If he hasn’t fixed this, he either isn’t serious about running for Governor ”

    Or maybe tax evasion is a requirement to run for office.


  31. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 10:47 am:

    “is there another factor?”

    Public employees having a good standard of living.


  32. - Arsenal - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 10:48 am:

    ==Since he’s floating a run for Governor, has anyone checked to see if he repaid all of the taxes on his home that he maybe illegally avoided by paying taxes on the prior home on the property instead of the mansion he built? ==

    Kinda feel like JB Pritzker isn’t gonna offer at that pitch.


  33. - Bigtwich - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 10:57 am:

    . I’m smart. Not like everybody says, like dumb. I’m smart and I want respect.”


  34. - AlfondoGonz - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 10:57 am:

    I’m not sure how his children can bear to show their faces among grade schoolers who think them only the nieces and nephews of Cubs ownership.

    /s


  35. - Rudy’s teeth - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 10:59 am:

    Spoiled child syndrome. Regarding his views on immigration…does he realize his Chicago Cubs team is comprised of Black, White, Hispanic, and Asian players. “Kung Flu” really, Todd.


  36. - Amalia - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 10:59 am:

    I did not think my hatred for the Cubs could grow. it just did.


  37. - Jocko - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 11:00 am:

    ==I appreciate the Ricketts for transformation of the Wrigleyville neighborhood , the Cubs and Wrigley Field.==

    Which was done out of the goodness of their collective hearts and/or sense of civic pride, right?


  38. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 11:02 am:

    As others have noted, socialism is in the eye of the beholder.

    For the rich, any and all government largesse that increases their holdings is simply good business.
    They’ll spew that line about how it will be used to grow their business, add more jobs, the usual trickle-down tripe.


  39. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 11:03 am:

    ==I appreciate the Ricketts for transformation of the Wrigleyville neighborhood , the Cubs and Wrigley Field.===

    LOL

    Ricketts lost trying to take Tunney out, the Ricketts fight the neighborhood constantly and rarely for keeping the neighborhood better to it’s original setting, and Wrigley Field is not the Fenway Park rebirth, it’s actually more like the ruining of Soldier Field, with Soldier Field losing its landmark status.

    Oh… it’s Lake View… not “Wrigleyville”… that’s trying to ruin a neighborhood’s identity with a corporate ownership of that said identity.


  40. - Helm - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 11:06 am:

    Todd — Please, Please choose Jason Plummer as your Lieutenant Gov running mate. I miss OW’s JP commentary and can use the comic relief, dude.


  41. - TNR - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 11:07 am:

    @Bigtwitch

    Exactly what I was thinking…Fredo Ricketts.


  42. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 11:11 am:

    People started calling the area Wrigleyville shortly after Wrigley Field opened in 1914.

    The area around the stadium is known as Wrigleyville, and it’s bursting at the seams with sports bars, souvenir stalls, and die-hard Cubs fans. Walk up and down Clark Street to stop into the area’s many bars and restaurants that usually filled with locals, even when it’s not baseball season.

    The Wrigley “corporation” sold the Cubs for $20.5 million in 1981.

    https://www.wirtzresidential.com/5-facts-about-chicagos-wrigleyville-neighborhood/

    https://www.choosechicago.com/neighborhoods/wrigleyville/


  43. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 11:14 am:

    - Helm -

    I can’t help but be a bit giddy at that run, but even Plummer has shown significant growth by watching and learning, and less speaking and posturing.

    Plummer not running for Congress and winning that vanishing seat was huge to growth, and I’m more, today, intrigued by Plummer’s smart and wise political choices.

    But, yeah, fun times they were. So far it’s more serious. Glad you enjoyed those days, I did, and “you never know”…

    :)


  44. - ZC - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 11:16 am:

    The thing is, I’ve become a little more sympathetic as I age to the conservative fear that “American people just don’t have the civic virtue they used to.”

    What conservatives don’t seem to be grappling with well, is this decline in civic virtue seems particularly advanced (and toxic) among many in the super-rich donor class that fund the conservative movement. So, *shrug emoticon*


  45. - Chambanalyst - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 11:18 am:

    We may laugh or scoff at this now, and cite past social media posts and emails as unbecoming of a leader, but I would not underestimate the feasibility of this. Contrary to my belief, a large swath of people (nationwide, at least) are willing to look the other way when it comes to conduct like that if it means voting against the opposition they so fiercely oppose. Those things used to matter and it just doesn’t seem like they carry as much weight today, unfortunately. Couple that with a potential tax increase and even potentially another term for Madigan as speaker and it could be a very unpopular climate politically for Dems come the next election. Do I think it will actually happen? Doubtful. But history has shown me that I cannot entirely rule out crazy.


  46. - ChicagoMade - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 11:19 am:

    So a guy from Oswego is giving Chicago neighborhood classifications? That’s a first.

    Luckily, the Chicago Tourism board thinks otherwise.

    https://www.choosechicago.com/neighborhoods/wrigleyville/


  47. - SuppliedDemand - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 11:20 am:

    ==I appreciate the Ricketts for transformation of the Wrigleyville neighborhood , the Cubs and Wrigley Field.

    Everything is not political for most people. The Cubs will draw 3 million fans the minute the ballpark opens to full capacity ==

    You manage to maintain your 100% accuracy on missing the point. The comment was specifically about how they appreciated the Ricketts’ politics, so yes it was political. Care to try again?


  48. - Northsider - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 11:23 am:

    == Well his brother Todd, isn’t doing so well in Nebraska. If you want to see what a Ricketts rule would be like. Look at Nebraska. ==

    Yes, but Pete Ricketts is Nebraska’s governor, and he’s term-limited so he’s gone once his current term is up.


  49. - Cheryl44 - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 11:25 am:

    They had to either fix Wrigley or tear it down after the Trib let it rot. Then they had to ‘fix’ Wrigleyville lest the poors frightened people looking to spend money at their ballpark.


  50. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 11:27 am:

    === So a guy from Oswego is giving Chicago neighborhood classifications? That’s a first.===

    There are 77 recognized neighborhoods.

    Wrigleyville is in Lake View.

    As a tourist “trap”, yeah, it’s a “neighborhood, lol


  51. - Amalia - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 11:29 am:

    for a companion piece on the issue, read Sullivan in the Tribune sports section today. it’s all about Cubs culture.


  52. - Cheryl44 - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 11:36 am:

    With respect Will, there are the 77 official neighborhood areas and many, many ‘hoods recognized by the locals.


  53. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 11:38 am:

    === there are the 77 official neighborhood===

    … which is exactly… what I said.


  54. - City Guy - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 11:58 am:

    Not to get too off track, but Chicago has 77 official “community areas” that directly link to census tracks and have not changed in decades. Neighborhoods are not defined and change based on demographics, real estate marketing and even politics. There are a lot of neighborhoods in Lakeview (some overlapping) including Wrigleyville, Southport Cooridor, East Lakeview, and Belmont Harbor. Boys Town was just “renamed” NortHalsted because “Boys” Town was viewed as exclusionary.

    I think the best point in the discussion above was how the Ricketts like government money when it is funding their stadium (or for that matter creating the Internet) but hate it when it provides free health care to poor and middle class people. And studies indicate that stadium subsidies just reallocate dollars and are not good for economic development.


  55. - hisgirlfriday - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 12:00 pm:

    To this day the first thing I think of when Todd Ricketts comes up is his appearance on “Undercover Boss” where his solution to failing at selling hot dogs was just to throw the hot dogs away and lie about it.

    I did not like the idea of the Cubs being owned by a person who would do that. I definitely don’t like the idea of having my state governed by a person who would do that.


  56. - ddp76 - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 12:17 pm:

    On the neighborhood front, I think New City is how Back of the Yards is now referred to. But I still do not hear it referred to as New City. Is this a Sears/Willis thing? That is, will it eventually be called New City when the last remaining people who called it BOTY die off?


  57. - John Deere Green - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 12:37 pm:

    ==Please, let Ricketts run for governor.==

    Yeah, but be careful what you wish for.

    ==My kids…I don’t want them to have to constantly [be] explaining that there are equal owners when they are told that their uncle owns the Cubs.==

    The struggle is real, folks. Peer pressure, drugs, violence, the dangers for kids in school… No, the real problem is having to explain that my dad, too, owns the Cubs. Good grief.

    ==in return I received a twenty-page document titled “Trump Administration Accomplishments.==

    Rather than tell you what he thinks, Ricketts prefers to tell you what the Trump Administration tells him to think. I guess he’s not the brains of the operation.

    ==Ricketts’s spokesman cites endorsements by Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders as evidence of this==

    So when the KKK endorsed Trump in 2016 and David Duke endorsed him in 2020…apparently that was fine with Ricketts. Wanting to give Americans access to health care, protecting Social Security and Medicare: bad; racism…meh, whatever. Got it.


  58. - Rich Miller - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 1:22 pm:

    Next person who comments on the stupid neighborhood name of that stupid neighborhood is getting banned. Get back on topic now.


  59. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 1:23 pm:

    lol, somewhere a sullen Kyle Schwarber is thinking “you let me walk so you can fund this guy’s run for office?”


  60. - Benjamin - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 1:26 pm:

    When my wife was recovering from surgery a few years ago, we ended up watching a lot of Undercover Boss because it didn’t require her to engage her brain very hard.

    The Todd Ricketts episode was a real lowlight. Todd was easily the most incompetent “boss” on that show. If Todd ran for governor, that episode would be a 45-minute oppo reel of him looking out of place and ineffectual. Go dig it up if you haven’t seen it; it’s a gem.


  61. - supplied_demand - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 1:33 pm:

    ==And then there is the mess that is the Cubs.==

    Someone is salty. Maybe try more than 1 playoff appearance over 12 years?


  62. - CitizensArrest - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 2:01 pm:

    Please GOP make Mark Shaw your next Chairman he’s done such a great job in Lake County!! LOL


  63. - Medvale School for the Gifted - Monday, Dec 7, 20 @ 2:48 pm:

    Todd’s candidacy could be a boon for Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf. All Cub fans welcome to the south side.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Reader comments closed for the weekend
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