Stephen Colbert

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South Carolina: A Stephen Colbert Write-In Campaign in South Carolina? Not So Fast | Yahoo! News

As comedian Stephen Colbert’s superPAC preps for his potential run for “President of the United States of South Carolina” by buying up ad time in the Palmetto state, there’s a problem that’s emerged in his plan. South Carolina doesn’t allow write-ins in its presidential primary. As ABC News reported last night, the filing deadline to appear on the ballot in South Carolina’s upcoming Republican primary has come and gone. Candidates who did not pay the $35,000 filing fee by Nov. 1, 2011 will not appear on the state’s ballot. A sample ballot on the State Election Commission’s website shows nine options for voters, and that’s all. For anyone thinking “well, someone could still technically write-in Mr. Colbert’s name on a ballot” – think again. South Carolina uses something called direct recording electronic voting machines in all 46 counties. The South Carolina State Election Commission describes how these machines work on their webpage.

Full Article: A Stephen Colbert Write-In Campaign in S.C.? Not So Fast - Yahoo! News.

National: Stephen Colbert’s Super PAC: Testing the Limits of Citizens United | TIME.com

Stephen Colbert is laughing at the U.S. Supreme Court. He started Thursday night, on his show, when Colbert transferred control of his super PAC to his mentor, business partner and friend, Jon Stewart. It’s a great set piece of comedic theater underscored by a serious argument: Justice Anthony Kennedy, joined by a majority on the Supreme Court, issued a ruling in 2010 rewriting the nation’s campaign finance rules that is, on its face, pretty absurd. The argument is actually worth exploring in some detail. Since the 1970s, many lawyers and judges have argued quite reasonably that the the First Amendment’s right to free speech should permit anyone–an individual, a corporation or a union–to spend as much money as they want to influence elections. This argument posits that this sacred right to self-expression around elections simply trumps the danger that the large sums of money could corrupt the political process. It is a balancing test–the First Amendment on one side, the public interest in avoiding corruption on the other side–and reasonable people can reach different conclusions about where the fulcrum should be placed.

Full Article: Stephen Colbert's Super PAC: Testing the Limits of Citizens United | Swampland | TIME.com.

Editorials: The biggest danger of Super PACs | Rick Hasen/CNN.com

This election season, the term “Super PAC” has escaped from the obscure world of campaign finance lawyers to emerge on the front pages of major newspapers and political websites. Super PACs are political organizations that can take unlimited sums from individuals, corporations and labor unions to spend in support of, or opposition to, federal candidates. To do so legally, a Super PAC must avoid certain forms of coordination with candidates. The groups played a big role in Iowa, with a pro-Mitt Romney Super PAC, “Restore Our Future,” widely credited with running ads that halted Newt Gingrich’s momentum in the polls. They are expected to play an even greater role in the fall, when control of the White House, Senate and U.S. House of Representatives will be up for grabs.

Full Article: The biggest danger of Super PACs - CNN.com.

South Carolina: GOP lacks money to pay for upcoming primary | ScrippsNews

With less than three weeks until South Carolina’s GOP presidential preference primary, state elections officials say they lack the cash to pay for it. But they say they are not letting that deficit prevent them from preparing for the vote.

The cost of ballots, poll workers, data processing and other expenses related to the Jan. 21 Republican primary is expected to total about $1.5 million, state election commission spokesman Chris Whitmire said Tuesday.

But the commission currently has only about $1 million earmarked to cover these costs, Whitmire said. That amount includes more than $800,000 set aside by the South Carolina legislature and $180,000 in filing fees from the nine GOP candidates whose names will appear on the ballot.

Full Article: S.C. GOP lacks money to pay for upcoming primary | ScrippsNews.

South Carolina: Colbert offering $500K to pay for GOP primary | CBS News

Comedian Stephen Colbert is offering to pay half a million dollars to help subsidize South Carolina’s first-in-the-South GOP presidential primary, as state officials struggle to pay for it, but there’s doubt whether it would even be legal.

The Charleston native wrote in an op-ed Thursday in The State newspaper in Columbia that Colbert Super PAC — a type of political action committee that allows him to raise unlimited amounts of money from corporations, unions and individuals — will bridge the gap after state Republicans refused to contribute anything above $180,000 collected in candidates’ filing fees.

The state Election Commission, which administers South Carolina’s voting, has said it has $1 million on hand for the primary but is short of the total $1.5 million price tag. Spokesman Chris Whitmire says the Commission has notified budget officials the state may need to seek permission to run a deficit to fund the primary.

Full Article: Colbert offering $500K to pay for SC GOP primary - CBS News.

South Carolina: Naming rights, state mottoes and the GOP primary | Stephen Colbert/TheState.com

As a proud son of South Carolina I must address recent unsubstantiated rumors published in The State that I, Stephen Colbert, tried to buy the naming rights to the 2012 Republican primary. First, never trust anything in a newspaper — except this column, and possibly “Mallard Filmore.” And second, these outrageous and scurrilous rumors border on libel, even if they are, technically, true. I don’t want to talk about it. Here’s what happened:

I have what’s called a super PAC — a political action committee that can receive unlimited funds to spend on political speech in unlimited quantities. About three months ago, I heard that local officials in South Carolina were suing the state political parties over who would pay for the upcoming presidential primary. The GOP said they would pay a big chunk of the cost, but insisted the taxpayers pick up the bulk. State and local officials said this private primary should be paid for entirely with party funds. And Gov. Nikki Haley said, “It’s a great day in South Carolina!”

Full Article: Colbert guest editorial: Naming rights, state mottoes and the GOP primary + video - Editorial Columns - TheState.com.

South Carolina: State Republicans met with Colbert over rights to rename presidential primary after comedian | The Washington Post

Comedian Stephen Colbert tried yet again to get his name on South Carolina’s presidential primary ballot — only this time he wanted to sponsor the Republican contest. GOP officials in the state said they met with Colbert several times this fall to discuss a potential sponsorship of the first-in-the-South Republican primary. Colbert offered more than $100,000 to name the contest the “The Colbert Nation Super PAC Presidential Primary.”

The Republican Party has been scrambling to raise nearly $800,000 needed for the primary, but they have said they will be able to do it. Also, several counties sued challenging the state’s right to hold the primary at all, but last month the state Supreme Court green-lighted the balloting. GOP officials said that decision ended discussions with Colbert.

“Stephen Colbert, the world’s most famous living South Carolinian, approached the party with a sponsorship opportunity,” executive director Matt Moore said. “The party respectfully declined. We wish Mr. Colbert nothing but the best.”

Full Article: SC Republicans met with Colbert over rights to rename presidential primary after comedian - The Washington Post.

Iowa: Butter Cow, Obama, “Parry” & “Paylin” all got Straw Poll votes | Radio Iowa

The State Fair’s most iconic figure and even President Obama were among the write-in votes at this past weekend’s Iowa Republican Party Straw Poll in Ames.

“There were votes for the Butter Cow. It happens in every election, just random votes that didn’t equate with a person,” says Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz, a Republican who oversaw the Straw Poll balloting. ”Most of them were fictitious characters.”

Schultz and his fellow counters used existing state rules for primaries and the General Election to sift through the votes cast in Saturday’s Straw Poll. That means anyone who spelled Texas Governor Rick Perry’s name with an A instead of an E had their vote counted as a vote for Perry. 

Full Article: Butter Cow, Obama, “Parry” & “Paylin” all got Straw Poll votes.