A nonprofit political organization linked to the Ricketts family, owners of the Chicago Cubs, is funding a TV ad campaign in support of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, according to Politico.
The one-minute ad, which cost $650,000 and was paid for by the Ricketts-backed 45Committee, features a series of females praising Kavanaugh’s “honor, integrity and strong moral character.” Kavanaugh has been accused of sexual assault by three women, including Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who testified to her experience under oath before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week.
According to a September 2016 Politico exposé, the Ricketts family established 45Committee in 2016 in an effort first to discredit Hillary Clinton and eventually to raise funds for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign from anonymous Republican donors who were uncomfortable publicly supporting the candidate. At the time, Todd Ricketts, now the Republican National Committee’s finance chairman, also “assumed control of” Future45, a pro-Trump political action committee, according to Politico.
Todd Ricketts reportedly raised tens of millions of dollars in support of Trump prior to the election, including a $1 million donation to Future45 from his father, fellow Cubs owner and TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts. This despite Trump’s private and public admonishments of the Ricketts family:
I hear the Rickets family, who own the Chicago Cubs, are secretly spending $'s against me. They better be careful, they have a lot to hide!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 22, 2016
Prior to supporting Trump through 45Committee and Future45, members of the Ricketts family, excluding Todd’s sister Laura, backed Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker. They also reportedly spent $5.5 million on the anti-Trump Our Principles PAC, which aired commercials exposing Trump’s offensive comments about women and accusing the candidate of promoting violence.
Appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford accused Kavanaugh of allegedly pinning her to a bed, trying to remove her clothes and covering her mouth when she attempted to scream in the summer of 1982. “I believed he was going to rape me,” she said under oath. The FBI is currently investigating credible allegations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh.
Todd Ricketts changed his allegiance to Trump when he won the Republican nomination, raising “at least $66 million” for the candidate, per Chicago Business. After Trump’s election win, he nominated Todd Ricketts for Deputy Secretary of Commerce, before the Cubs co-owner withdrew, due to an inability to disclose his family’s “complex financial holdings to the satisfaction of the Office of Government Ethics,” the Chicago Sun-Times reported. He was later named the RNC’s finance chairman.
Cubs general manager Theo Epstein was a vocal supporter of Clinton’s campaign. He was met with questions about pro-Trump members of the organization when former Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta tweeted following the presidential election, “Time for Hollywood to pony up and head for the border.”
“Just like our ownership group is as diverse as you can be politically,” Epstein told the Chicago Tribune in 2016. “Tolerance is important, especially in a democracy. The ability to have honest conversations, even if you come from a different place, a difference perspective is fundamentally important.”
The question now is whether Epstein feels the same way when it comes to members of the ownership group political supporting a Supreme Court nominee who is now thrice accused of sexual assault.
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