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The Chicago Cubs: No End to Perfidy?

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On Joe Ricketts:

The New York Times won the morning on Thursday with an A1 story on a new anti-Obama super-PAC, Character Matters, that’s planning on spending $10 million on an ad campaign linking President Obama—a “metrosexual, black Abraham Lincoln”—to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Character Matters is hoping to get either Jon Voight or an “extremely literate conservative African-American” to narrate the spots, which would be produced by GOP ad guru Fred Davis (of “Demon Sheep” fame).

The money for all of this comes from Joe Ricketts, the TD Ameritrade founder, Bison Burgers baron, and, with his family, owner of the Chicago Cubs. Ricketts solidified his status as a campaign finance heavyweight when spent $600,000 in the last month of the election to try to take down Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in 2010. Since then, he’s launched a campaign to eliminate earmarks, given $500,000 to the anti-incumbent Campaign for Primary Accountability, and, earlier this month, spent $200,000 helping state Sen. Deb Fischer win the GOP Senate primary in his home state of Nebraska. (Ricketts’ son, Peter, is a former US Senate candidate and a member of the Republican National Committee.) Ricketts is sick and tired of wasteful spending—so much so that the briefing book outlining the Wright ad is actually entitled “The Ricketts Plan to End His Spending for Good.”

But Ricketts’ time with the Chicago Cubs tells a different story. Since the Ricketts Family Trust acquired the team two years ago, they have actively sought to use taxpayer money to expand their own business operations.

Rahm is playing hardball, a sport with which the Chicago National League baseball franchise has only a passing acquaintance:

The most important reaction came from Mr. Emanuel, who, according to the Sun-Times, blasted the proposed ad as “insulting.”

Asked whether the flap will affect the Wrigley rebuild, Mr. Emanuel replied, “I’ll have some conversations on that later — comments, rather.”

A source close to the mayor confirms that that remark was indeed Freudian. Mr. Emanuel is “livid” with the family’s “blatant hypocrisy,” that source says. The Ricketts have tried to contact him, my source adds, but the mayor “does not want to talk with them today, tomorrow or anytime soon.”

For my part, the answer is clear. Burn Wrigley, contract the Cubs, and expunge the franchise from the history of baseball. Nuke ’em from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

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