You probably read (here or elsewhere) about yesterday’s mini-firestorm in the blogosphere: the report that a wealthy right-winger, Joe Ricketts, was considering a $10 million super-PAC ad campaign reviving old charges about President Obama’s supposed connections to Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
You may have missed the punch line, though. The denial issued by Ricketts described him as “a fiscal conservative,” and his super-PAC is (rather ludicrously) named the “Ending Spending Action Fund.”
Unsurprisingly, though, it turns out that he and his family — who own the Chicago Cubs — are quite fond of government money when it’s going into their pockets. As the Chicago Tribune reports:
The long-shot prospect of taxpayer help to renovate Wrigley Field grew more remote Thursday, upended by revelations that the patriarch of the Chicago Cubs’ ownership team had been offered a plan for using a super PAC to run racially tinged attack ads that linked President Barack Obama to his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright…
Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts phoned the mayor, but Emanuel didn’t return the call.
“He’s not interested in talking right now,” said a source close to Emanuel….
About six weeks ago, Emanuel said he was in the “final stages” of talks with Cubs ownership over a public-private deal to help renovate an aging but historic sports shrine.
The idea already faced a tough time in Springfield, where Gov. Pat Quinn and lawmakers are struggling to agree on staggering cuts in taxpayer-supported human services and getting a handle on runaway public worker pension costs. Helping the wealthy Ricketts family was hardly a priority at the Capitol.
Meanwhile, you remember Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, who flaunted his conservative political leanings after helping win the World Series in 2004 by campaigning for George Bush–and then John McCain in 2008 and Massachusetts’ Scott Brown in 2010? (As Brian McGrory of the Boston Globe notes, Schilling praised Brown as being “‘for smaller government,’ and lauding Brown’s opposition to ‘creating a new government insurance program.’’’)
Well, Schilling didn’t mind the government insuring him when the state of Rhode Island gave him $75 million in guaranteed loans for a business venture. And today it turned out that Schilling’s company has burned $50 million of that money, admits it can’t meet its payroll… and has “asked for additional help from the state.”
But I’ll bet you anything Schilling would get mad if you called it welfare.