WASHINGTON - Dallas Mavericks owner and billionaire Mark Cuban is no fan of Sen. Orrin Hatch. And he is going to do what he can to see the Utah Republican defeated in next year's election.
Cuban, who also founded Broadcast.com, told Salt Lake City-based radio station KCPW that Hatch's positions on technology are hurting America's competitive ability and he needs to be replaced. Cuban, a self-described technology geek, recalled Hatch's previous
comment that computers harboring illegally downloaded music should be destroyed.
The policies and actions of Sen. Hatch are very concerning to me from what I read and from my personal interactions with him, Cuban told the radio station in an interview aired Friday. The best way I can define him: he's the digital Joe McCarthy, he said, referring to the notorious 1950s red-baiter.
told The Salt Lake Tribune his efforts are anti-Hatch more than pro-anyone, but that he plans to donate to the federal limit to the two candidates who have already announced they are running against Hatch, who is seeking his sixth term.
Cuban can donate up to $4,200 total to each of the candidates in the race, which currently includes Hatch, Republican challenger and state lawmaker Steve Urquhart and Democrat Pete Ashdown, founder of
the Internet service provider X-Mission.
Hatch's campaign manager, Dave Hansen, said voters will find Cuban's remarks inappropriate and atrocious and will reject them.
Obviously, Mark Cuban believes in the politics of personal destruction, Hansen said, adding that Hatch has a very good record in the high-tech industry.
Hatch was the sponsor of the Induce Act, which essentially would have allowed a company
to be sued if it induced an individual to download copyright-protected music. A ruling by the Supreme Court in June essentially affirmed Hatch's goal, and the senator has put his legislation on hold.
Urquhart and Ashdown said Friday they welcome Cuban's support.