Is Stephen Colbert — or Viacom — violating election law?
ABC News’ Rick Klein says that should his campaign get any serious-er (in Colbert speak), he could be violating election laws. Specifically, Viacom would be seen as contributing to his campaign, by mere fact that they pay for the cost of his show, in violation of regulations that prohibit corporations from directly giving to candidates.
The Federal Election Commission could decide that his campaign is satire — but with Colbert polling at 2% among Democrats, he could have some impact on the race.
“Everybody is very cautious, not wanting to take this too seriously, or to say that campaign finance laws are going to stop satire, or what is clearly a joke,” said Lawrence M. Noble, a former general counsel for the Federal Election Commission. “But he’s trying to get on the ballot, and he could in fact affect the election.”
His campaign, meanwhile, is fielding signatures at its own website, unaffiliated with Viacom’s Comedy Central.