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Why is Donald Trump So Mad at the Ricketts Family?

Tom, Joe, and Marlene Ricketts celebrate after acquiring the Cubs in 2009.   Photo: Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune

So much for an orange-haired rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” It could have been huge.

Not that an invite was ever on the table for Republican front-runner and Twitter-troll-in-chief Donald Trump.

Apparently, the Ricketts family—and family matriarch Marlene Ricketts in particular—is not a fan.

She has, in fact, quietly donated millions ($3 million, to be precise, according to new campaign-finance reports) to an anti-Trump super PAC called Our Principles, which has taken a bat to Trump’s campaign in the form of negative ads, voter guides, and mailers.

Did Trump respond? Does the Pope wear a beanie?

Indeed, fresh off a Twitter encyclical against the pontiff (Trump called him “disgraceful” for saying building bridges, not walls are what Jesus would do), Trump was back to clacking, this time Tweeting out a darkly worded brush back against Mother Ricketts.

Trump offered no specifics about exactly what skeletons lurk, but then again, he may have been busy not spelling out how he’ll get Mexico to pay for a wall they’ve said they don’t want.

That hasn’t stopped the media, which has jumped on the Cubs connection like Kyle Schwarber on a hanging curve (okay, me too), but the truth is, neither Marlene nor her husband, Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts, have anything to do with day-to-day operations of the team.

That falls to Tom Ricketts, with an assist from his three siblings, Pete, Todd, and Laura. (Laura happens to have been one of president Obama’s top LGBT bundlers in 2012. Pete, meanwhile, is the Republican governor of Nebraska.)

More to the point, in the world of political controversies connected to the family, Trump’s tweet is hardly a bench-clearer. That came in the last presidential election cycle, when word leaked that Joe Ricketts was considering a $10 million racially-charged plan to sink Obama’s re-election bid by, among other things, tying him to his controversial one-time pastor, Jeremiah Wright. (In a statement, Tom Ricketts repudiated the plan, which was never put into effect.)

Will more come of this current spat? Doubtful. Which is too bad. It would have been fun to see how Trump’s hair fared in the Wrigley wind tunnel.  

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