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Stephen Colbert Takes on the World, Or At Least South Carolina

January 20, 2012

In part two of my ongoing series on Stephen Colbert’s mockery of our electoral system I’m brining the blog up to date regarding the comedians latest exploits. Last time we focused on the formation of Colbert’s PAC and super PAC, but in this point we’ll focus on the role his latest Presidential run plays into his parody.

Although Colbert did run for President briefly in 2007 his 2012 mock bid is set to be better funded and executed thanks primarily to his super PAC, Citizens For a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow. Because of the run (and in accordance with the rules governing campaign spending) Colbert’s super PAC is no longer affiliated directly with the comedian. Colbert has instead handed over the PAC to his former boss and current Comedy Central colleague, Jon Stewart, who has since changed the PAC’s name to The Definitely Not Coordinating With Stephen Colbert Super PAC.

Due to the change and Colbert’s run the comedy duo has been able to make fun of the loose regulations that stop campaigns from coordinating with the PACs supporting them. In a campaign season flooded by attack ads largely funded by super PACs this viewer education may yet effect how voters relate to PACs.

On Tuesday’s episode of “The Daily Show” Colbert dropped by to answer some of Jon’s questions and to “not coordinate” with Stewart on how best to spend the super PAC’s money. Although FEC rules do restrict coordination between campaigns and candidates, those rules are mostly bogus and not strictly enforced—despite what Mitt Romney may say. The lack of real rules allowed Colbert and Stewart (with their lawyers permission) to discuss the super PACs business just as long as Colbert didn’t give any concrete instructions.

Even if Stewart and Colbert do get accused of coordinating they won’t go to jail or even spend a day in court. Most likely they’d get a small fine of 4 or 5 figures—luckily they’re free to spend super PAC money to pay them off.

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