Joe Ricketts
The Powerful Ricketts Family Is Obviously Split Politically

By Lucas Grindley

Originally published on Advocate.com May 17 2012 8:27 PM ET

Joe Ricketts and his lesbian daughter Laura Ricketts are on very different sides politically, as shown by an ad campaign that was reportedly in the works to take down President Obama.

The New York Times reported today that the "Ricketts Plan" would spend millions in super PAC money to "do exactly what John McCain would not let us do," according to the strategy's author. And that included an elaborate scheme to dredge up things Rev. Jeremiah Wright had said and connect them to Obama. The goal was to help Americans "hate this president." The financier of the whole thing was supposedly Joe Ricketts, a billionaire who made his fortune as founder of TD Ameritrade.

Meanwhile, Laura Ricketts is on The Advocate's list of "Power Gays" who are Obama bundlers. The CEO of Ecotravel.com and co-owner of the Chicago Cubs (along with her father and other relatives) has already raised a figure somewhere in the hundreds of thousands for the president's reelection.

An uproar about the "Ricketts Plan" had Brian Baker, a spokesman for Joe Ricketts, shooting down the entire Times story (in which he is quoted) by the end of the day.

"Joe Ricketts is a registered independent, a fiscal conservative, and an outspoken critic of the Obama Administration, but he is neither the author nor the funder of the so-called 'Ricketts Plan' to defeat Mr. Obama," Brian Baker said in a statement reported by Politico. Baker said the strategy was "merely a proposal" and "it reflects an approach to politics that Mr. Ricketts rejects."