by Max Brantley
Did Mark Cuban, gagged by the NBA commissioner, provide the money for Stephen Colbert's Super PAC ad shown above?
Don't know, but you could guess.
Does the Colbert Super PAC illustrate the utter ineffectiveness and absurdity of campaign finance disclosure laws and the growing influence of big money in politics?
Colbert news release follows:
Colbert Super PAC has decided to take its talents to a new TV ad about the ongoing NBA contract negotiations. The spot, entitled "Ball Gag," attacks NBA Commissar David Stern's "gag rule," which bars team owners like Mark Cuban from talking to press, friends, or even their own spouses.
The spot, the second in a planned quadrilogy, is made possible by a generous donation from Colbert Super PAC S.H.H., an independent nonprofit which does not reveal its benefactors' names, donation amount, or what (if any) NBA team they own.
"My beloved game of ball-in-hoop is in danger, and David Stern is throwing elbows, kneecapping team owners right in the mouth." said Stephen Colbert, President and MVP for Colbert Super PAC and Colbert Super PAC S.H.H. "You know who else supports Cuban censorship? Fidel Castro. It seems to me that Commissioner Stern needs to either grow a beard, or let owners speak their minds."
Tonight, Colbert will address this flagrant foul and then premiere the ad on his ESPY-anticipating show "The Colbert Report." The spot will then run tomorrow in an ad blitz that spans Texas from Dallas all the way to Fort Worth on WFAA Channel 8's "Good Morning Texas" — where all of Texas turns to find out how their morning will be. Those who wish to view it on a smaller screen with lower quality can find it online here.
Colbert Super PAC, also known as Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow, is an independent expenditure-only committee, and Colbert Super PAC S.H.H. is a 501(c)(4) group that protects donor anonymity. Although there have been persistent rumors that these groups have been acting as a front for Mark Cuban, I doubt you could prove it.