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Mitch Perry Report for 5.23.16 — Why is Mark Cuban being taken so seriously?

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Well, Mark Cuban looks pretty prescient this morning.

The Dallas Mavericks owner told Chuck Todd on NBC’s Meet The Press yesterday that he thinks that the Oklahoma City Thunder will take the NBA title next month. The Thunder look pretty ascendant today after humiliating my Golden State Warriors last night in OKC, and now lead that series 2-1. The winner will likely face LeBron James and the very hungry Cleveland Cavaliers.

So what was Cuban even doing on “MTP” anyway? Apparently being asked if he would consider being Hillary Clinton‘s vice presidential nominee. Or Donald Trump‘s. That happened after Clinton told Todd that she wouldn’t rule him out.

Okay, what’s going on here? Does anyone know where Cuban’s political philosophies lie, or is just let’s take another iconoclastic, blowhard, entertaining, high-profile businessman who’s had a reality TV show on the air, and have him on an opposing ticket that includes Trump?

“I appreciate his openness about it,” Clinton told Cuban about his candor on the subject.

So we’re talking about a guy who is being seriously considered to a be VP material for either candidate. Okay, then can we please be informed what this guy actually thinks and believes in?

According to an interview with the Business Insider last summer, Cuban mused about being a Republican, but said he couldn’t quite make that leap.

“I’m a Republican in the respect that I like smaller government and I like less intrusion in some areas. But there’s sometimes where I think we have to intrude. I think there’s sometimes when you have to do things,” he said.

The billionaire investor added that “You can’t cure every ill with a government program. I literally would rather write a check: Take whatever money is in a given department in the government, take 25 percent off the top, put it back in the taxpayers’ pockets, and then just give cash to people, right? Because it’ll be more effective in how it’s used and help the economy at the same time.”

Good to know. Maybe the cable and broadcast news networks could start giving us a little more information about such people without saying that their VP material. Apparently there has also been talk about Cuban being a serious third-party alternative to Trump and Clinton.

Again I ask, Why is this man being taken so seriously? Are we really that bereft of high-profile credible people who come from outside the political system? Maybe so. But why does Mark Cuban even get 10 minutes on MTP yesterday when he’s barely talking about any issues?

In other news …

Tim Canova got a huge shot of fresh adrenaline into his aspiring bid to defeat Debbie Wasserman Schultz in their CD 23 race this summer after Bernie Sanders endorsed him on Saturday. The Bernster followed up with an email to followers yesterday, calling on them to donate to Canova’s campaign.

Five of the six candidates on the ballot in the Hillsborough County Commission District 6 race came together and debated on Friday at the Tampa Tiger Bay Club. If you want to read a report that doesn’t dwell on the one candidate who wasn’t there, read our report here.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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