Comedian Colbert lampoons campaign finance laws

Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:48pm EDT
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By Kim Dixon

WASHINGTON (Reuters Life!) - Political satirist Stephen Colbert won approval from the U.S. election regulatory agency on Thursday to form a political action committee that can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money on the 2012 elections.

Colbert, who presents himself as a conservative pundit on his late-night cable TV show and has mocked the infusion of corporate money into U.S. political campaigns, emerged to cheers from supporters outside the agency's headquarters.

Asked what message he was sending to big corporations, the comedian said: "None. I want their money."

Treating Colbert's request as a serious campaign finance issue, the U.S. Federal Election Commission voted 5-1 to allow the creation of his "Super Political Action Committee."

A political action committee, or PAC, is a group created to raise and spend money to elect or defeat political candidates or causes. PACs are regulated by the FEC.

SuperPACs are amped-up PACs created after a federal court ruling in 2010 allowed unlimited corporate and union contributions to certain political committees.

His show, "The Colbert Report," airs on the Comedy Central cable channel, owned by Viacom Inc. The FEC required Colbert to reveal certain spending by Viacom producing advertisements and other costs for his PAC.

Colbert's creation of his PAC is aimed at mocking a 2010 Supreme Court decision that made it easier for corporations to pour money into political campaigns.   Continued...

<p>Stephen Colbert greets a crowd outside the Federal Election Commission (FEC) after his meeting with members of FEC to discuss his proposal to establish an Independent expenditure-only political committee and Draft Advisory Opinion 2011-12 in Washington June 30, 2011. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas</p>