Meet the Woman Funding the Super PAC Trying to Stop Trump

Joe and Marlene Ricketts, parents of Republican gubernatorial candidate Pete Ricketts, are seen prior to a debate in Lincoln, Neb., Oct. 2, 2014. (PHOTO CREDIT: Nati Harnik/AP)
Joe and Marlene Ricketts, parents of Republican gubernatorial candidate Pete Ricketts, are seen prior to a debate in Lincoln, Neb., Oct. 2, 2014. (PHOTO CREDIT: Nati Harnik/AP)

Keen observers of the political landscape may have discerned this bit of information: The Republican establishment sort of hates its presidential front-runner Donald Trump. But very few of the party’s moneyed elite have had the gumption to openly fund a mission to destroy the billionaire’s chances of winning the nomination.

Until now.

New campaign-finance reports show that Marlene Ricketts, the wife of billionaire T.D. Ameritrade founder J. Joe Ricketts, contributed $3 million to Our Principles PAC, a super PAC that blistered Trump with negative ads, voter guides and mailers ahead of the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries. Katie Packer, who helped manage Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, runs the group.

Virtually all the money the committee raised in January came from Ricketts, whose family owns the Chicago Cubs.

The Ricketts family backed Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s short-lived presidential bid. Marlene Ricketts, however, also spread smaller amounts to other contenders, giving $10,000 each last year to super PACs that backed Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Florida governor Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

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SOURCE: USA Today, Fredreka Schouten