Todd Ricketts

The Daddy’s Boy

Trump’s 1st Nominee for Deputy Commerce Secretary

Todd Ricketts is President Donald Trump’s nominee for Deputy Commerce Secretary.  He is a Wall Street insider and a wealthy heir to the TD Ameritrade fortune who has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to politicians over the years. Apart from his co-ownership of a bicycle shop, it appears that Ricketts has never held a job not directly linked to his father’s enormous wealth. Ricketts withdrew his name from consideration on April 19, 2017.

Thanks to His Family, Ricketts Is a Wall Street Insider. Thanks to His Politics, He Has Extreme Views About Economic Policy.

  • Despite repeatedly attacking the “rigged” system of Wall Street insiders, K Street lobbyists, and corrupt politicians during his campaign, President-elect Trump selected Todd Ricketts to be Deputy Commerce Secretary. He is a Wall Street insider who was on the board of a company that his father built in the brokerage industry. [Katherine Skiba and Kathy Bergen, “Todd Ricketts, Cubs Co-Owner, Picked to Serve as Deputy Commerce Secretary,” Chicago Tribune, November 30, 2016.]

Ricketts Has Limited Experience in the Financial Industry–His Family Gave Him a Seat on the Board of the Wall Street Firm His Father Created

Ricketts Wrongly Thinks Dodd-Frank Has Been Bad for Families and Small Businesses

  • Ricketts said on Facebook in January 2016, “I think that what has happened with Dodd Frank is we have overregulated the finance and lending entities to the point that it is difficult for them to do business. ie [sic] lend money to people.  The end result is that they do not lend to people . . . [with] the slightest bit of risk in their profile (small business and individuals).  So what happens is you end up hurting the people you are trying to protect by restricting their access to capital.” [Todd Ricketts Facebook page, comment of January 24, 2016 (12:39 p.m.), accessed December 12, 2016.]

To Put It Generously, Ricketts Lacks Stable Work Experience

Despite Being a Wall Street Insider, Ricketts Does Not Have a Stable or Significant Job History.

Trump Picked GOP Insider and Mega-Donor Ricketts Despite Repeatedly Attacking the GOP Establishment

Despite repeatedly attacking the Republican establishment during his campaign, President-elect Trump’s nominee for Deputy Commerce Secretary, Todd Ricketts, is a GOP insider and mega-donor. [Katherine Skiba and Kathy Bergen, “Todd Ricketts, Cubs Co-Owner, Picked to Serve as Deputy Commerce Secretary,” Chicago Tribune, November 30, 2016.]

Ricketts Donated More Than $600,000 Over the Last Decade to Federal Candidates and Committees, Including Mitt Romney’s Presidential Campaign, Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and the RNC

  • Ricketts has given more than $600,000 to federal candidates and committees over the last decade, including contributions to John Boehner, Mitch McConnell and Mitt Romney. He contributed $50,000 to Restore Our Future, which was a pro-Romney super PAC, and $90,000 to the RNC. [Based on Data from Political Money Line]

Ricketts Was a National Finance Co-Chair for a Presidential Campaign

Ricketts Is the Head of a Super PAC Dedicated to Ending “Wasteful and Excessive Government Spending,” Yet the Chicago Cubs, Owned by Ricketts and His Siblings, Were Happy to Let the Government Help Them Fund Renovations at the Stadium They Own. This Super PAC Has Supported Numerous Establishment Republicans in Primaries Against More Conservative Candidates, Including Tea Party/Freedom Caucus Members.

  • “Billionaire TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts,” the father of Todd Ricketts, built Ending Spending, which “is part super-PAC and part nonprofit,” into “a $25 million political operation aimed at reducing the size of government” and government spending. Ending Spending “is dedicated to educating and engaging American taxpayers about wasteful and excessive government spending,” yet the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field, which are owned by Todd Ricketts and his siblings, were happy to accept a government tax break to help fund renovations for the baseball stadium.  Todd Ricketts “took over Ending Spending after the 2012 presidential election.”  [Bryan Smith, “The Ricketts Family Owns the Chicago Cubs: Who Are These People?Chicago Magazine, June 24, 2013; Julie Bykowicz, “Ameritrade’s Ricketts Invites Wealthy to Koch-Style Group,” Bloomberg, March 25, 2014; Kathy Bergen, William Lee,  and Patrick M. O’Connell, “Wrigleyville Becoming Refined, Redefined,” Chicago Tribune, October 22, 2016; and “About Us,” Ending Spending website, accessed December 11, 2016.
  • The Ricketts family, in 2010, asked Chicago and Cook County “to publicly finance Wrigley Field renovations” by using tax revenue “to pay off more than $200 million in state-issued bonds to fund the improvements.” In 2012 they “demanded $150 million in public subsidies in addition to a cut of amusement-tax revenue in perpetuity.” In 2013 they wanted “Wrigley Field to be granted landmark status,” which would give them “property tax breaks for . . . thirteen years,” and in 2014 they wanted Wrigley Field to be put on the National Register of Historic Places so they would qualify for $75 million in tax credits. [Ameet Sachdev, “Tax-Exempt Bonds for Wrigley Field Would Be a Federal Subsidy,” Chicago Tribune, November 23, 2010; Cee Angi, “Wrigley Field Renovation Could Be Rare Win-Win Deal for Team, City,” SB Nation, April 18, 2013; Jeb Lund, “The 15 Worst Owners in Sports,” Rolling Stone, November 25, 2014; and Danny Ecker, “Cubs Trim Wrigley Signs to Win Federal Tax Credit,” Crain’s Chicago Business, December 2, 2014.]
  • In 2013 Ending Spending ran TV ads to boost Bradley Byrne, the establishment Republican candidate who faced a Tea Party-backed opponent in a “special runoff election for an Alabama congressional seat.” It “spent more than $1 million” to support establishment Republican Senator Pat Roberts in the “razor-close” 2014 Senate race in Kansas. And in 2016 it spent $1 million in a congressional primary in Kansas in support of Republican Roger Marshall, “the candidate favored by the establishment,” who challenged “Rep. Tim Huelskamp, a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus.” [Alex Isentadt, “Business-Backed Byrne Wins in Ala.,” Politico, November 5, 2013; Dave Helling, “Outside Groups Spend Millions on U.S. Senate Race in Kansas, Mostly to Aid Pat Roberts,” Kansas City (MO) Star, October 16, 2014; and Catherine Ho, “Tea Party Favorite Tim Huelskamp Loses Kansas Primary,” Washington Post, August 3, 2016.]

Ricketts Ran a Pro-Trump Super PAC 

Ricketts Wants His Political Activity to Maximize “the Impact of the Koch Operation”

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