Shoppers at Deerfield Square were not ready to abandon their loyalty to the Chicago Cubs over owner Joe Ricketts’ plans to spend $10 million to finance an effort to produce negative advertising criticizing President Barack Obama.
The same people expressed anger that one person, in this case Ricketts, would spend so much money to affect the outcome of the presidential election by purchasing advertising at the time of the Democratic Convention in September.
The controversy broke Thursday morning when the New York Times published a story disclosing the plan hatched between Ricketts and Republican political professionals. Later Thursday, Ricketts backed off some of the more controversial parts of the proposal.
Leslie Gordon of Lake Forest put a more intellectual spin on Ricketts’ plan to let his money control the outcome of the election. He blamed the Citizens United case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, which loosened rules on political donations.
“This all started with Citizens United, where people and corporations can give unlimited contributions,” Gordon said. “It lets corporate dollars buy an election.”
Jacob Deleon of Northbrook found himself in more of a dilemma after learning about Ricketts’ idea. “I’m conflicted,” he said. “I’m a Cubs fan, but I support President Obama.”
Anne Boguslavsky, of Deerfield, found herself less conflicted. “It’s sacrilegious,” she said of the idea. “It’s an abomination.”
Lou Zale, also of Deerfield, was equally unhappy with the idea. “It’s a shame Mr. Ricketts feels he can affect the outcome of the election with his money,” Zale said. He was quick to let his social leanings be known. “I would like to see the bottom third doing better than they are now.”
However, Zale’s loyalty to the Cubs remains steadfast. He remembers taking the el train from his home on the west side of Chicago to Wrigley Field as a boy.
“I have fond memories of ditching school to go to Wrigley Field when there were 7,000 people in the stands and there were only 16 teams,” he said.