Most of the Cubs’ money was donated by Joe Ricketts, the TD Ameritrade founder who bought the Cubs for his children in 2009.
Well, the Cubs are champions in one aspect of baseball. On Opening Day, the Sunlight Foundation Reporting Group released a survey of political giving by teams, players and executives, and found that our North Side team donated far money than any other ball club -- most of it to Republican candidates and conservative causes.
[T]he Chicago Cubs blew the rest of the teams away with a staggering $13.9 million, followed by the Baltimore Orioles with $1.8 million, the San Francisco Giants with $1.5 million, the Boston Red Sox with $1.3 million and the Milwaukee Brewers, whose employees gave slightly more than $1 million.
In this, they were not unusual. Donors affiliated with Major League Baseball gave over four times as much money to Republicans as Democrats.
Most of the Cubs’ money was donated by Joe Ricketts, the TD Ameritrade founder who bought the Cubs for his children in 2009. In fact, Ricketts was the sixth-most generous political donor in the entire nation. The crusty right-wing billionaire spent more than $12 million on his Super PAC, the Ending Spending Action Fund.
He also donated $100,000 each to Restore Our Future, a Super PAC that supported Mitt Romney, and to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. Ricketts gave $15,554 to the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee, $5,000 to Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and $2,500 each to the following politicians: Rep. Michelle Bachmann, R-Minn.; Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.; former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, R-Minn.; former Gov. Gary Johnson, R-N.M.; Rep. Nikki Haley, R-S.C.; Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz.; Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C.; and Romney himself.
Sons Todd and Peter Ricketts each made six-figure donations to conservative causes (Todd, the 2006 Republican nominee for Senate in Nebraska, gave $45,000 to Scott Walker and $50,000 to Romney Victory.) But daughter Laura Ricketts gave $575,000 to Democrats and liberal groups, including $66,600 to the Obama Victory Fund, and $175,000 to LPAC, the Lesbian Super PAC.
The Chicago White Sox, on the other hand, gave $60,000 to their most famous fan, President Obama, and only $7,000 to Republicans. Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf donated money to Sen. Dick Durbin and Reps. Mike Quigley and Cheri Bustos, all Democrats, as well as Republican Rep. Bob Dold.
Among local players, White Sox third baseman Gordon Beckham donated $15,000 to Mitt Romney, while former Cubs outfielder Sammy Sosa gave $4,028 to Florida congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.