Marlene Ricketts, whose family owns the Chicago Cubs and whose son, Pete, is the Governor of Nebraska, has been identified as the mystery donor spending millions of dollars of her own money to keep Donald Trump out of the White House, MSN is reporting.
The so-called “Super PAC” known as Our Principles PAC has, since January, been running anti-Trump attack ads in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, with the sole purpose of getting anyone but Donald Trump at the top of the 2016 Republican ticket. The overwhelming majority of the money donated to the Super PAC has come from one donor, identified by the New York Times as Marlene Ricketts.
Political Action Committees (PACs), according to Wikipedia, are political organizations that run political campaigns independently of the candidates themselves. So-called Super PACs, such as the Our Principles PAC, can raise — and spend — unlimited amounts of money from corporations, private donors, unions, and so on, with no limits on individual donations.
The Our Principles PAC, according to Canada Journal, is run by former Mitt Romney adviser Katie Packer. As of this writing, the PAC has spent between $3.5 and $4 million (different sources reveal conflicting amounts) on anti-Trump television ads, mailers, and “voter guides” in key primary states.
“As Thomas Jefferson said, ‘In matters of style, swim with the current. In matters of principle, stand like a rock.’ With our nation’s progress stalled by politicians who refuse to lead, Americans are rightly frustrated. Our Principles PAC was formed to educate and engage American voters about the men and women who seek our vote, and about the challenging issues they will confront should they get elected.”
How much those anti-Trump efforts have paid off is open to interpretation. Despite spending millions of dollars of [mostly] Mrs. Ricketts’ money in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, Donald Trump has won handily in South Carolina and New Hampshire and finished in second place in Iowa.
Still, despite being popular with voters, the Republican establishment, according to MSN writer Fredreka Schouten, is not keen on Trump — but moneyed Republican donors have been loathe to openly go after the front-runner.
“Keen observers of the political landscape may have discerned this bit of information: The Republican establishment sort of hates its presidential front-runner Donald Trump. But very few of the party’s moneyed elite have had the gumption to openly fund a mission to destroy the billionaire’s chances of winning the nomination.”
So who is Marlene Ricketts, and why does she want any Republican but Donald Trump occupying the Oval Office beginning in 2017?
According to International Business Times, Marlene Ricketts is the wife of TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts. The wealthy Nebraska family, which bought the Chicago Cubs in 2009, has long been active in conservative causes. Their son, Pete, has been the Governor of Nebraska since 2015.
The Ricketts family has consistently been involved in Republican politics, having donated money to the now-failed presidential campaign of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, before focusing their money on anti-Trump efforts. In 2008, the Ricketts family was largely behind efforts to link Barack Obama to controversial pastor Jeremiah Wright, whom Obama described as his “spiritual adviser” and whose sermons have been known to be racially-charged.
As the primary season kicks into high gear, the Our Principles PAC, backed with Marlene Ricketts’ money, intends to continue to focus on anti-Trump efforts, according to Packer.
“We will continue to shine a bright light on Trump’s liberal statements and inconsistencies.”
Do you support Marlene Ricketts’ efforts to keep Donald Trump out of the White House?
[Photo by AP Photo/Nati Harnik]