The Chicago Cubs won big Wednesday night, with their first World Series victory since 1908. Now, the team’s owners — the billionaire Ricketts family — are looking for another win next week. The Nebraska ballot referendum to reinstate the death penalty that they’ve helped bankroll goes before the voters on Tuesday.
The Nebraska legislature succeeded in repealing the death penalty in 2015 — overriding the veto by Republican Governor Pete Ricketts. Almost immediately following the repeal, supporters of capital punishment, backed by the governor, launched a ballot drive to put the issue directly before voters in November 2016.
It is unusual for a sitting governor to spend money backing a ballot initiative, but Pete Ricketts has spent $300,000 backing Nebraskans for the Death Penalty, which is campaigning to bring back capital punishment. Meanwhile, his father Joe Ricketts, the founder of TD Ameritrade, pitched in $100,000.
The elder Ricketts is a prolific right-wing political spender. He also gave $1 million to a pro-Donald Trump Super PAC in September.