Major League Baseball owners have made nearly $3 million in political contributions during the 2016 campaign cycle – and a handful have accounted for nearly all of that total.
According to a new study from the Center for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, no ownership group is more politically engaged at the donor level than the Ricketts family, who happen to own the Chicago Cubs – currently battling the Cleveland Indians for the World Series title.
And the family – which has a member, Peter Ricketts, serving as the Republican governor of Nebraska – has a huge ideological divide.
Laura Ricketts, a co-owner, donated $483,000 to a Super PAC dedicated to supporting pro-LGBTQ candidates for office. She also contributed to a host of Democratic congressional campaigns, in addition to providing $100,000 to the Hillary Victory Fund.
Her brothers, Todd and Tom, combined to donate roughly $60,000 to a score of Republican House and Senate candidates, while their father, Joe Ricketts, who is often closely associated with the team but does not have an official role, put $1 million behind an anti-Donald Trump Super PAC earlier in the cycle. In September, he relented, and put his support behind the Republican nominee.
Providing the most money to Trump was Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, who sent $125,000 last month to Trump Victory. On the flip side, former NBA superstar and co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers Magic Johnson provided the most cash for Clinton, making a $250,000 donation to the Hillary Victory Fund.
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The executive owner who made the most political contributions was Robert Castellini of the Cincinnati Reds, providing more than $600,000 in funds to Republican presidential and congressional candidates. He put $50,000 into a Super PAC backing Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s presidential bid, nearly $8,000 to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s Right to Rise Super PAC, $150,000 to an anti-Trump Super PAC, as well as money that went to support Sens. Rob Portman of Ohio and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, and House Speakers John Boehner and Paul Ryan.
Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos also dumped money into campaigns in a similar manner as Castellini, except he was providing cash to Democrats. Angelos gave more than $270,000 to the Super PAC formed to encourage Vice President Joe Biden to seek for the presidency. He was the biggest donor to the Super PAC, Draft Biden 2016. He’s also made donations to the Hillary Victory Fund, and in support of Reps. Elijah Cummings and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland as well as Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont.
Some other prominent donations included New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon giving $100,000 to a pro-Chris Christie Super PAC back when the New Jersey governor was still seeking the presidency. Texas Rangers co-owner Ray Davis made a $100,000 contribution to Bush’s Right to Rise Super PAC, and John Malone, an investor in the group that owns the Atlanta Braves, contributed $100,000 to a super PAC supporting Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s presidential bid.