Currently there are seven candidates vying for the republican nomination for Lt. Governor. One of them is Fairfax county’s Pete Snyder, a very successful businessman and entrepreneur. He was less successful in 2012 when Governor McDonnell chose him to run the victory campaign for the Republicans in Virginia. While I keep hearing that his stock is rising, I’ve yet to understand the reasons for that rise just as I do not understand why establishment Richmond, and the Governor, are so enamored with Snyder. I’ve heard him speak twice and was underwhelmed both times. At a forum of the seven Lt. Governors on Sunday, there were several candidates (nearly all of them) who were much more impressive than Snyder.
I’ve been told Snyder’s big advantage is his ability to raise money. So I looked at Snyder’s campaign funding page at VPAP. I immediately noticed that only 1/4 of Snyder’s donors actually live in Virginia. Contrast Pete’s page with that of another candidate, Corey Stewart, whose page rarely shows a donor who does not live in Virginia. My first question is, why are so many out of state people funding a Virginia race for Lt. Governor? And why have they chosen Pete Snyder? I’ve never seen any Virginia candidate with so much out of state money.
I also noticed that Pete has received a huge chunk of his funding, $235,000, from a Denver based PAC called “Ending Spending Fund” (sounds like a contradiction in terms). Their webpage says they are “a non-partisan political action committee that independently sponsors advertisements which advocate for the election or defeat of candidates across the country on the basis of a particular candidate’s position on fiscal issues.” Since all the candidates are fiscal conservatives, and all of the current candidates who have held political office have proven themselves to be fiscal conservatives, again, why Snyder? Since Snyder has never held office, we will have to take him at his word that he will be a fiscal conservative in office. So why did this PAC choose Snyder for their candidate and why did they choose to give him so much money?
Digging further I found that the “Ending Spending Fund” is owned by Joe Ricketts, the reclusive 70 year old founder and chairman of Ameritrade investment company. The Washington Post said this about Ricketts:
“he’s a man with some pretty close ties to Obamaworld and the Democratic Party.
Ricketts himself is a former Democrat who became a Republican and later an independent.
His daughter, Laura, is a gay and lesbian activist and big-time Obama bundler, having raised around half a million dollars for the man her father would apparently like to bring down.
The Ricketts family also owns the Chicago Cubs, which is in negotiations with former Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel (now the mayor of Chicago) to get city help in renovating the team’s 98 year old stadium, Wrigley Field. One of Joe’s sons, Tom, leads those negotiations as the Cubs’ chairman.
The family’s net worth has been ranked as high as 93rd on the Forbes list of wealthiest Americans. In 2009, Joe Ricketts himself ranked 371st, with assets estimated at $1 billion.”
A previous Washington Post article on Joe Ricketts is here.
I’m left wondering, who is Pete Snyder, why is he running for LG, and why is he getting so much attention and money from outside Virginia?
More to come.