We’ll be getting some comic relief from the 2012 elections. The Federal Election Commission voted to allow Stephen Colbert to launch his “super PAC,” awarding the comedian a “media exemption” to use his show to promote his satirical political group. Joking aside, the decision could have real implications for campaign finance by allowing news companies that employ politicians to fund those politicians’ political activities. The FEC adopted the most limiting of three proposed drafts, ruling that Viacom, the owner of Colbert’s show, can fund Colbert’s ads only if they are used within the context of the show. If they run elsewhere, Viacom would have to disclose its funding, something it does not want to do.
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