Off the ballfield, a win and a loss for Ricketts

By Laurie Bennett

November 6, 2013 at 7:27am

Billionaire Joe Ricketts, who has turned his attentions to politics in recent years, saw mixed results Tuesday.

His super PAC, Ending Spending, backed the winner in an Alabama congressional race widely seen as an important indicator of the Republican Party’s direction in coming elections.

With support from Ricketts, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other old-guard Republicans, Bradley Byrne defeated Tea Party candidate Dean Young in a special runoff election.

However, in the Virginia governor’s race, Ending Spending paid out half a million dollars in support of Ken Cuccinelli, who was defeated by Terry McAuliffe.

Ricketts, who made a fortune with TD Ameritrade before buying the Chicago Cubs, isn’t exactly part of the GOP firmament. He runs the super PAC as his own organization, with son Todd as CEO.

The group’s name reflect its mission of ending big government, rather than a call for less political spending.

The PAC spent $14 million in the 2012 elections, most of it in opposing Barack Obama and supporting Mitt Romney.

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