Bail Out Joe Ricketts

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
May 17 2012 2:49 PM

Bail Out Joe Ricketts

Greg Hinz was the first with the news that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was "livid" about Joe Ricketts's unused Super PAC pitch. (The "livid" comes from an anonymous aide, but Emanuel, quoted by local press, is clearly pissed off.) The context: The Chicago Cubs are working on a public-private partnership to rebuild Wrigley Field. The Ricketts family owns the Cubs. As Hinz puts it: "It's not unfair to ask whether money the city would ship the Cubs would free up family cash to trash Mr. Obama."

Also fair to point out: What a ludicrous hypocrite Ricketts is. The latest version of the Wrigley plan cost $500 million, with much of the public committment coming from (quoting Hinz) "$150 million or so in bonds to be retired with increased revenue from the existing city and Cook County amusement taxes on ticket sales." In addition, the Cubs want "a 50 percent cut of any increase in amusement tax revenue growth above 6 percent."

Well, now I'm treading on the territory Tim Murphy planted at the start of the day. Ricketts wants tax money to help rebuild a business he owns. He can argue that there's a public interest in the partnership -- more business at Wrigley is good for Chicago. And despite all the research on how stadium bailouts actually work, it makes some intuitive sense. But... it's the argument that Democrats make when they want more money for rail, to build up later commerce. It's not what you expect from someone whose PAC is called Ending Spending.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics



The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking

Animal manure.

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10


Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Hasbro Is Cracking Down on Scrabble Players Who Turn Its Official Word List Into Popular Apps

Florida State’s New President Is Underqualified and Mistrusted. He Just Might Save the University.

  News & Politics
Sept. 30 2014 9:33 PM Political Theater With a Purpose Darrell Issa’s public shaming of the head of the Secret Service was congressional grandstanding at its best.
Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM Going Private To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
Sept. 30 2014 7:35 PM Who Owns Scrabble’s Word List? Hasbro says the list of playable words belongs to the company. Players beg to differ.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 8:54 PM Bette Davis Talks Gender Roles in a Delightful, Animated Interview From 1963
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:00 PM There’s Going to Be a Live-Action Tetris Movie for Some Reason
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 1 2014 7:30 AM Say Hello to Our Quasi-Moon, 2014 OL339
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.