“...very much representative of the undercover donor class.”
February 8, 2019 9:32 AM   Subscribe

“Ricketts doesn’t appear to believe American laws should inconvenience him, or that his actions should be of interest to anyone but himself. In emails to friends and associates he has centered his needs as a businessman, denigrating the “welfare society,” regulation, and taxation. When the IRS comes knocking, he serves them warm bison and mediates an agreeable deal; when his employees vote to unionize, he shutters the business the next week; when one of his smaller personal enterprises hires too many employees, he shuffles them around to avoid federal discrimination laws. Even the prospect of establishing a “family bank” for the personal use of his dynasty was scrapped when Ricketts discovered the entity might be subject to oversight from the SEC.” How To Get Filthy Rich In America Without Anyone Knowing Your Name (Splinter) part of the series The Billionare’s Inbox, presenting the ambitious but secretive Ricketts family in their own emails.
posted by The Whelk (11 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
One of these fuckers is governor of my home state, and you cannot IMAGINE what a douchebag he is. Every bit as despicable as Trump or Paul Ryan or Mitch McConnell. Just thinking of this guy makes me so...very...angry. Buying poisons illegally to carry out executions that the popular vote already outlawed.
posted by Ipsifendus at 10:19 AM on February 8, 2019 [12 favorites]

I gave up my Cubs season tickets because of my Ricketts dislike. 7 years on the waiting list down the drain.
posted by hwyengr at 10:29 AM on February 8, 2019 [4 favorites]

and if you work hard enough, you too can help Ricketts buy political influence for himself
posted by entropone at 10:45 AM on February 8, 2019 [6 favorites]

Is this where I say, "Christ, what an asshole!"?
posted by notsnot at 12:19 PM on February 8, 2019 [2 favorites]

The NIMBY is strong in this one.
posted by suelac at 12:46 PM on February 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

We've been calling Pete Ricketts "Lil' Trump" recently. He's as vacuous and vindictive as Trump and missed his true calling as a village idiot thanks to Joe's money.

To build on what Ipsifendus mentioned, in 2015 the Nebraska legislature voted to end capital punishment in Nebraska and then voted to override Pete's veto. So Pete and Joe funded a group that brought a voter referendum to the ballot, and voters in Nebraska voted with a 61-39 margin to reinstate capital punishment.

I'm not sure why we even have a legislature since Pete and Joe can throw infinite amounts of money at anything they don't like. The referendum for medical marijuana in 2020 is, sadly, going to be another bloodbath since Pete and Joe don't like it and have shown their willingness to do whatever it takes to influence the course of Nebraska politics. And Joe doesn't even live in Nebraska because it's cheaper for him to live in Wyoming.

"Christ, what a family of assholes!"
posted by ensign_ricky at 1:08 PM on February 8, 2019 [6 favorites]

Lack of government oversight. Do you want Ricketts? Because this is how you get Ricketts.
posted by zippy at 1:24 PM on February 8, 2019 [11 favorites]

Ricketts also bought and later shut down the Gothamist sites for unionizing.

I wish our founding fathers had not left the phrase 'right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness' quite so open-ended. Surely even back then there were commoners who felt pursuing happiness precisely equated to accumulating extreme wealth and making everyone else dance to their tune.
posted by zaixfeep at 3:36 PM on February 8, 2019 [5 favorites]

I guess I don't really get the framing of him as unknown or secretive?

His sons are in politics, he's pictured in an ad for his product, they own a baseball team and he built up and abruptly shuttered a chain of well-known media outlets.

He even has a blog, at a website with his name and signature on it.
posted by smelendez at 5:46 PM on February 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

Well, I always thought the accusations that Obama was a leftist socialist were just kayfabe for low-information voters, but they talk like that even in their private internal communication. It seems that either the politically engaged donor class is just as poorly educated as the rubes, or epistemic closure is a bigger problem than I realized.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 4:55 AM on February 10, 2019 [3 favorites]

I feel like at one point there was a bigger performance element to all That Stuff but we’re fully three generations removed from it and while the scam is the same the people promoting it are the true believer rubes. The head of the MLM scam shouldn’t actually believe in it like a new recruit but that’s where we are.
posted by The Whelk at 8:37 AM on February 10, 2019 [3 favorites]

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