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When Humor Imitates Law

Recently, Stephen Colbert announced that he was forming a “Super PAC” which would magically get around all the restrictions placed on regular PACs (Political Action Committees) and would allow him to donate unlimited amounts of money in secret to whomever he wanted.

But according to ABC News “what started as a humorous dressing down of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark campaign finance ruling in the case of Citizens United has turned into a unexpectedly serious look at the complexities of the way the government regulates political spending.”

How complex? Enough that Colbert had to hire Trevor Potter, who was chief counsel on the 2008 presidential campaign of John McCain, to help untangle the mess created by the Supreme Court when they declared that corporations were people with free speech rights, and that spending money is equivalent to free speech.

For his part, Colbert is staying in character, telling the FEC that his PAC would use the money it raised for political ads, but also for “normal administrative expenses, including but not limited to, luxury hotel stays, private jet travel, and PAC mementos from Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus.”

But if Colbert is not allowed to form a super PAC, what does that mean to other media personalities, let’s see, like the entire field of Republican presidential candidates, who almost all happen to work for Fox News?


One Comment

  1. I love Stephen Colbert’s willingness to go balls to the wall in his experimental dealings with actual government and politics. His brand of humor is an effective and literal mechanism for a bizarre kind of activism.

    Friday, July 1, 2011 at 12:56 am | Permalink

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  1. Political Irony › Colbert Super PAC Lives! on Friday, July 1, 2011 at 7:11 am

    […] Commission today voted 5 to 1 to approve Stephen Colbert’s “Super PAC”. Yes, this will allow Colbert to raise unlimited amounts of money in virtual secrecy to influence the 2012…. But don’t worry, former Bush strategist Karl Rove and former Obama aide Bill Burton are […]