Politico: Colbert’s Parody Poses Headaches

Politico has posted an interesting story about possible headaches for Stephen Colbert’s proposed political action committee, or PAC, to help challenge corporate financing regulation.
In May, Colbert’s attorneys issued a letter to the Federal Election Committee to alert them that Colbert would seek to create “Colbert Super PAC,” which would “…make only independent expenditures, advertisements that expressly advocate the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate and that are not coordinated with any candidate or political party.”
The very real effort – and very real parody – were meant to highlight perceived flaws in a 2010 Supreme Court ruling which dramatically increased the campaign spending ability of corporations.
As Colbert prepares to testify in front of the FEC on Thursday about his proposal, Politico notes that the satirist will expose himself to “rigorous questioning from FEC lawyers and (raise) ethics questions for his lawyer.”
In addition, Politico asserts that Colbert might be causing trouble for campaign finance reformers, like Democracy 21 and the Campaign Legal Center, if his proposal falls short of the scrutiny.
Colbert originally tossed around the idea of forming a PAC on his Comedy Central show, “…initially in the context of offering comment on Governor Tim Pawlenty’s leadership PAC activities,” according to the May letter from his attorneys.
Politico’s story even includes a quote from Democracy 21 president Fred Wertheimer.
“I think Colbert is trying to dramatize problems in the campaign finance world in the way that he dramatizes other things,” he said. “But nevertheless, the proposals here would potentially open gaping disclosure loopholes in the campaign finance laws.”

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