Jackson Potter: Billionaire Intrigue, Political Deception and the Fight for the Soul of the Chicago Public Schools
Submitted by Illinoisnoki1 on Mon, 07/09/2012 - 13:54
By Jackson Potter, CTU Staff Coordinator, in Truth Out Sunday, 08 July 2012 09:24
The battle for the soul of public education
unfolds in Chicago
Nearly one month ago, Joe Ricketts, patriarch of the Ricketts billionaire clan, pledged $10 million to an anti-Obama attack campaign focused on the president's relationship with radical Chicago preacher, Reverend Jeremiah Wright. The revelation exposed a dark undercurrent anchoring the wealth of the Chicago Cubs' new ownership.
Tom Ricketts, son of Joe the patriarch and the day to day face of the Cubs organization, has fostered an image as a prominent democratic operative. The image is designed to help the family lobby city Democrats like the Mayor and Alderman Tom Tunney, to increase their profit margins and freeze out competitors on nearby roof-tops and product peddlers in the famous Wrigleyville neighborhood.
The activities of right wing extremists with lots of money, in Obama's home-town, were not lost on the Democratic Mayor of Chicago. Emanuel blasted the move as antithetical to the interests of an overwhelmingly blue electorate. The Mayor continues to use the incident to increase his bargaining leverage over the Ricketts family regarding the amount of tax-payer subsidies the Cubs will ultimately receive.
The incident was no anomaly, but a symptom of a larger development in national and local politics where very wealthy and predominantly Republican interests create a façade of liberalism and progressive values to manipulate constituencies that otherwise would reject their efforts outright as diametrically opposed to their political desires.