FEC Approves Colbert's PAC

In a move that actually scares some activists
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 30, 2011 12:07 PM CDT
Comedian Stephen Colbert testifies before the Federal Election Commission in Washington, Thursday, June 30, 2011.   (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
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(Newser) – The FEC today approved Stephen Colbert’s request to form a Super PAC that can accept and spend unlimited quantities of money on the 2012 elections. The hearing, alas, was “devoid of anything beyond a gentle chuckle,” with Colbert attorney Trevor Potter doing all the talking, according to the Washington Post. But outside, Colbert resumed his schtick for the gathered crowd. “Today, we put liberty on lay-away,” he declared, then began swiping credit cards with an iPad scanner.

Though Colbert is clearly lampooning loose campaign finance rules, actual reform groups were nervous going into the hearing, Politico reports. Colbert had wanted permission to use Viacom resources—aka the Colbert Report crew and cameras—to film PAC commercials without reporting it as a gift. Activists feared that would open the door to Fox News doing the same for its actual politician-pundits. But the FEC ruled that Viacom would have to report anything it gave the PAC for use outside Colbert’s show.

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