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Ricketts was the center of the political spotlight in May after The New York Times reported that he was considering funding a provocative advertising campaign that would tie President Obama to controversial sermons by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

"The world is about to see Jeremiah Wright and understand his influence on Barack ObamaBarack ObamaZuckerberg has 'no plans' to run for president Trump Cabinet pick: Obama inauguration had bigger crowd GOP lawmaker: Quick action on Keystone, Dakota Access pipelines could stymie protests MORE for the first time in a big, attention-arresting way," the proposal said, according to the Times report. 

The ad proposal appeared to create a rift between Ricketts and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Obama's former chief of staff. Negotiations between Emanuel and Ricketts over tax breaks to help renovate Wrigley Field, where the Cubs play, halted after news broke about the ad campaign.

Ricketts rejected the ad campaign shortly after the proposal became public.