This is awkward. Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts is an outspoken crusader against government earmarks, and now his son is requesting $300 million dollars from Illinois taxpayers.
His son Tom, chairman of the Chicago Cubs, has requested money to renovate Wrigley Field.
Craig Calcaterra at HardballTalk contacted Joe Ricketts’ organisation and found them, not surprisingly, unwilling to comment:
So, after I wrote that stuff about how the Ricketts Family appears to only hate government spending when it doesn’t directly benefit them, I sent an email to to Joe Ricketts’ anti-earmark group, Taxpayers Against Earmarks, asking for comment. My specific inquiry was this: whether Taxpayers Against Earmarks believes that it is inconsistent for its founder – who is campaigning against wasteful government spending — to be seeking more than a quarter of a billion dollars of public money for the construction and/or improvement of facilities for the for-profit enterprise that he owns, the Chicago Cubs.
A couple of hours later I received a pleasant email from a man named Brian, who told me that I should contact the spokesman for the Ricketts’ family who handles inquiries related to the Chicago Cubs. While I think this relates to Taxpayers Against Earmarks too, I work the sports beat, so I let it pass, thanked him and called the number he provided me.
The mayor and governor have already shot down the idea.
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