Last week the South Carolina GOP reneged on funding any part of the primary, accept for the legal minimum percentage of candidate filing fees. That left the financially strapped counties on the hook for $500,000. As Colbert explains, “That’s money that counties need for emergency services, infrastructure repair, and to complete the wall to keep out North Carolinians.” Colbert is, therefore, offering $500,000 to cover South Carolina’s counties shortfall.
So what does Colbert PAC get for the half million dollar contribution to freedom and democracy? Good ole-fashion naming rights, for one! The primary would be renamed The Colbert Super PAC South Carolina Republican Primary. Makes you want to get off the couch, spit out the Cheese Balls and march right down to the polling station now, doesn’t it? Yeah, you know it does.
But wait, there’s more! For the low, low price of half a million dollars, Colbert PAC also gets a non-binding referendum placed on the ballot to once and for now tell us whether South Carolinians think corporations are people. It reads as thus:
In order to address the issue of Corporate Personhood, the enfranchised People of the Sovereign State of South Carolina declare that:
( ) Corporations are people.
( ) Only people are people.
Okay, so technically none of this is official yet seeing as state and local officials haven’t officially officiated over any officialness regarding this. But what public official would turn down half a million dollars of free money even if you’re basically selling out referendum space to major Super PACs? Who needs a petition process when you have 500,000 “votes” from one political action committee?
Republicans are furious. Not about the referendum appearing on the ballot. That infringement on democracy is no biggie. No, they’re upset that they’ve been “misrepresented” in Colbert’s Op-Ed as having reached an agreement with the comedian to sell naming rights to its presidential primary.
According to Colbert, the South Carolina GOP had promised to pay a big chunk of the cost for the primary, but they were going to fall short. So he offered them $400,000 in exchange for the naming rights and, most importantly, the ballot referendum.
And according to Colbert, they not only agreed, they signed the contract over barbeque, the altar of South Carolina! I’ve heard that in South Carolina, that’s akin to sealing a deal by sacrificing your first born. Not sure, but that’s what I heard.
Nevertheless, the South Carolina GOP disputes the claim saying:
We determined it was not in the state party’s best interests to accept Mr. Colbert’s offers. Everything was not “agreed to.” We did not sign his proposed contract.
Despite our repeatedly saying “no,” Stephen Colbert, the comedian, seems intent on being involved. It’s exactly why we were wary in the first place. The state party will not be involved with Stephen Colbert going forward.
It’s good to know that the GOP in South Carolina is wary of those who are intent on being involved in our democracy. Got to watch out for those who want to participate too much.
So it’s come down to a he-said/contract-said type situation. Does this contract exist? Or, as the LA Times asks, “is this a case of “truthiness”?”
- Stephen Colbert Is Now Offering $500K To Sponsor South Carolina’s GOP Primary (With A Few Conditions) (mediaite.com)
- Colbert Makes Bold Offer (huffingtonpost.com)
- Colbert offering $500K to pay for SC GOP primary (sfgate.com)