In today's edition of Obviously Obvious Item of the Day, the Sun-Times has come right out and quantified what everybody familiar with the Cubs' relationship with Chicago's 44th Ward has known all along: Alderman Tom Tunney gets a tremendous amount of financial backing from the good people who own the rooftops across from Wrigley. It is also no secret that those rooftop owners vehemently oppose just about any and all changes to Wrigley Field, since their entire livelihood depends on it. So it follows naturally that Tom Tunney also vehemently opposes anything the Cubs try to do to actually, you know, be competitive and make Wrigley Field a viable location to play baseball in the modern era.
Nothing about this is surprising. We've known it all along. But now we have some numbers:
That makes at least $171,356.50 in all that Tunney has received from owners of the clubs, which offer fans a rooftop vantage to see Cubs games.
That’s nearly 10 percent of all the campaign money the North Side alderman has raised since he ran successfully for his first Chicago City Council term in 2003, according to a Chicago Sun-Times analysis of campaign-finance records.
Rooftop club owners have given another $15,675 to Tunney’s Democratic organization in the 44th Ward, which includes Wrigley.
The Cubs have also contributed to Tunney:
The team and its executives also have contributed to Citizens for Tunney — a total of $16,750 — though they haven’t opened their checkbooks to him lately. The last time was in October 2010, when the team sent a $1,500 check.
So the Cubs are being outspent in the political clout arena by more than 10-1 margin and they wonder why they have to jump nine million bureaucratic hoops every time they want to replace a trough.
“I’ve been trying to be as fair and balanced as I can be,” Tunney says. “It’s my job to manage the relationship between Wrigley and the community.”
Uh huh. Let me get out my bullshit translator and see what we have here: "I'm more than willing to be fair and balanced, but since the cash is pretty lop-sided, it makes it pretty darn difficult to not be lop-sided in my positions towards the views of those who give me more money."
Tommy needs to take a lesson from his father, who clearly has no qualms at all about trying to rig elections or sway support in his favor by paying for it.
Already fueled by two high-profile endorsements, Republican Senate candidate Deb Fischer headed into the home stretch Saturday empowered by a weekend TV ad blitz engineered by mega-wealthy businessman Joe Ricketts.
Two new ads began airing in the critical Omaha and Lincoln markets, one attacking Attorney General Jon Bruning's ethics and the other boosting Fischer as "one of us."
The $180,000-plus buy immediately prompted the Bruning campaign to file a complaint with the Federal Election Commission alleging "a clear violation of federal election law," which forbids campaigns and outside groups to coordinate their communications.
Joe has gone so far that he's going to have the FEC on him for having his Super PAC coordinate with a campaign. Joe Ricketts has clearly embraced Super PACs and their political power. He's donated lot's of money to existing Super PACs to get try to get what he wants:
J. Joe Ricketts, an online-brokerage billionaire, gave $500,000 to the Campaign for Primary Accountability, which seeks to find fresh blood for politics.
He's also started his own Super PAC in 2010:
…called the Ending Spending Fund, which just put nearly $600,000 into the Nevada Senate race against Majority Leader Harry Reid (D). The "taxpayers" against earmarks is actually just one man named Joe Ricketts, founder of Ameritrade and owner of the Chicago Cubs, who is also the sole financier of the Ending Spending Fund.
I spent about 5 minutes on the Google machine and already have Joe Ricketts down for almost $1.3 million in campaign contributions to support his interests and I didn't even find the article I thought I remembered from a year or so ago that involved him flexing his wallet in a political race. He needs to school Tom on the finer points of getting shit done when the only real obstacle in the way is money. Tunney has said about as clearly as a politician can say without saying it that his support can be bought. He might as well have said he was waiting for his friend, Mr. Bribe McKickback, to show up at his door.
Tunney's loyaties lie where the money is. He has a terrible poker face. Everybody at the table knows when he's holding a full house. Lest we forget his big opposition to the Toyota sign as “not in keeping with the character of the neighborhood or the spirit of the landmarks designation," but he had no problem with this classy sign outside the ballpark:
The difference now is we know exactly how much it costs to buy Tunney's support.