Comedy Central says a Colbert presidential run would not violate election laws.
(CNN) – OK, so it’s not exactly the Grinch Who Stole Christmas. But could it be the Lawyers Who Stole Election Night for Stephen Colbert?
The Comedy Central host's bid for the presidency may be fake, but very real election laws could mean the comedian's "candidacy" in South Carolina may never actually happen.
Questions have been raised whether a Federal Elections Commission ban on corporate sponsorship of candidates would apply to Colbert. His show on Comedy Central is owned by Viacom and sponsored by Doritos.
There’s no issue yet because, real or not, Colbert’s not officially a candidate. He hasn’t submitted petitions to make the ballot anywhere, though he says he plans to run as both a Republican and a Democrat in his native Palmetto State.
Though, as The Ticker has reported, the State parties may prevent him from appearing on both ballots simultaneously.
But the "truthiness" of the federal statutes may not take away all the fun, anyway.
A Comedy Central spokesman said the network believes the candidacy would be within the rules.
"Based on the law, prior rulings made by the Federal Election Commission and advice of expert outside counsel, Comedy Central is very comfortable that the network, 'The Colbert Report' and Stephen Colbert are operating well within federal campaign election laws," the spokesman said.
- CNN Political Desk Managing Editor Steve Brusk