How Far Can Colbert's Presidential Run Go?

What You Should Have Read, Oct. 26, 2007

Published on .

Comedy Central Serious About Colbert Run
Politico examines the careful approach Comedy Central is taking to comedian Stephen Colbert's presidential run. The network has consulted a top Washington election law firm about the satirical campaign. Under federal election law, Colbert would be considered a candidate if he or his supporters raised or spent $5,000 for his campaign. If that happens, whether his campaign was intended as a joke or not, he'd have 15 days to form a campaign committee and file a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission. Setting traditional fundraising aside, things could get dicey if the FEC determined that Comedy Central spent any money promoting Colbert's "campaign," which could possibly include the show's production and airtime costs as well as salary paid to staffers, which could be considered so-called "in-kind" donations from Comedy Central or Viacom. It's illegal for corporations to contribute money, labor or anything of value to federal candidates.
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