Rahm Emanuel ‘livid,’ not returning calls from Ricketts family

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is not returning calls from the Ricketts family and is “livid” over a New York Times report that Joe Ricketts commissioned a proposal for a multimillion-dollar ad campaign linking President Obama to the president’s former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, according to an Emanuel aide.

Joe Ricketts’s children, which include Obama bundler Laura Ricketts, bought the Chicago Cubs in 2009 and have been in talks with the city about renovating the team’s 98-year-old stadium, Wrigley Field.


Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel speaks during the "Titans at the Table" Bloomberg Television program in Chicago, April 18. (Daniel Acker/Bloomberg)

“The Mayor was livid when he read that the Ricketts were going to launch a $10 million campaign against President Obama – with the type of racially motivated ads that are insulting to the president and the presidential campaign,” said the aide, who was granted anonymity to speak candidly about the situation. “He is also livid with their blatant hypocrisy.”

The aide also said Emanuel, who is Obama’s former chief of staff, has cut off communication with the family.

“The Ricketts have tried to contact the mayor, but he’s said that he does not want to talk with them today, tomorrow or anytime soon,” the aide said.

The Ricketts family is seeking taxpayer funding for the renovations. Emanuel has reportedly sought to put $100 million in tax incentives into the deal.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.

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