Yuri Gripas / Reuters
Even a gifted comedian can’t make campaign-finance law funny.Personally, I think I'd wait and see what Colbert's Super PAC is actually going to do before donating any money.
In a meeting devoid of anything beyond a gentle chuckle, the FEC decided that Colbert could go ahead with his plans to form a self-titled “super PAC” that could raise and spend unlimited money on the 2012 elections.
But the panel also concluded that the television host’s employer, Viacom Corp., would have to report any help it gives to Colbert for political activities outside the “Colbert Report” show.
Any assistance from Viacom outside the show must be treated as “in-kind” contributions and reported to the FEC.
Colbert’s request was part of a long-running satire by the Comedy Central host poking fun at loosened campaign finance rules. But Colbert himself said very little during the hearing, leaving most of the talking up to his attorney, Trevor Potter, and to FEC commissioners.
The real parody came outside the FEC building, where Colbert began accepting donations from fans for the Colbert Super PAC.
About 100 fans, media types and hangers-on crowded in front of the FEC offices on E Street NW to shout questions and offer contributions. One woman was wearing a shirt covered in dollar bills; Colbert himself took donations by swiping credit cards on a specially outfitted iPad.