Chicago, IL —
Chicago Cubs co-owner Laura Ricketts discussed LPAC, the new lesbian Super PAC she created with Chicago businesswoman Sarah Schmidt, family politics and baseball with WBEZ radio on Wednesday.
Ricketts is the daughter of Joe Ricketts, the TD Ameritrade founder and patriarch of the family that owns the Chicago Cubs. The Nebraska billionaire funds the Ending Spending Super PAC, which is at the other end of the political spectrum of LPAC.
Earlier this year, Joe Ricketts considered but ultimately rejected funding an ad tying President Barack Obama closely to his one-time pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., whose race-related comments were repudiated by Obama during the 2008 campaign.
Laura Ricketts is just as involved politically. On July 11 she founded LPAC, the first of its kind lesbian political action committee.
"Each of our political engagement is really driven by deep passion and belief in what is right for this country....A lot of people say to me, how can you get along?...[But] I don't think we're different from any other family, people just pay a little more attention to what we do," said Ricketts.
LPAC will give directly to federal candidates and will also engage in key city, state, federal, and ballot campaigns through independent expenditures.
The group hopes to raise $1 million this year and plans to support candidates like Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), who is campaigning to become the first-ever elected openly gay Senator.
"Being a woman and being gay in our society, you have a couple of pretty big challenges…[so] it's really important that more women get engaged. I feel like the more women we have in government, the better our government will be," Ricketts said. "Woman aren't as likely to get engaged, aren't as likely to organize. [They're more likely to do] so when it's women-centric and lesbian focused."
LPAC has already secured some high-profile supporters, including actress and Glee star Jane Lynch, sports icon Billie Jean King, LGBT leader Urvashi Vaid and former Provincetown Banner publisher Alix Ritchie.
Ricketts also discussed the controversy surrounding the possible revamp of Wrigley Field
"It's unfortunate the Cubs have been pulled into the political work that all of my family members do," she said. Listen to the full interview on http://www.wbez.org.