Hi there, everyone. It's me, Simon. It's been a while since I've sat down and written a blog post. This is mainly due to the fact that I have been really busy. Now, however, I'm pretty much done with everything. So here we are again. Now, let's get to the meat of the matter
FOR THOSE OF YOU THAT ALREADY UNDERSTAND STEPHEN COLBERT'S SHOW, PACS, AND STEPHEN COLBERT'S INTENTION TO MAKE A PAC, PLEASE SKIP DOWN TO THE NEXT THING IN ALL CAPS. THIS WAS PRETTY BORING TO WRITE AND I CAN ONLY IMAGINE IT'S KIND OF BORING TO READ.
For those of you that aren't familiar with Colbert, here is all you really need to know. Stephen Colbert is an incredibly intelligent political satirist. He has a television show on Comedy Central that is a parody of a Fox News pundit's show. He bases his character off of Bill O'Reilly from The O'Reilly Factor. He has a huge following of very loyal fans that follow him blindly. His show is extremely witty and awesome. If you don't already watch it, you should. Because of all of this, he is about to change the world.... by doing what our lawmakers want everyone to do.
Let me explain as best I can. Stephen Colbert has been seeking to start something called a PAC for a while now. A PAC is kind of a complicated thing that I only understand to a point. I'll do my best to explain, but please keep in mind that I could totally be wrong about a lot of this stuff...
Basically, a PAC is a way for politicians to raise money and, usually, a way for them to make more attack ads. You see, when someone is running for public office, they have certain restrictions on the amount of money they can raise as well as how they can raise it. I don't know them, but they exist. Enter the PAC which politicians use as a great big loophole. A PAC (not to be confused with APAC, heh) is an organization that is created for the sole purpose of raising money. They began as a way for independent, issue-based groups to raise money for candidates that support their issues. The nice thing about them, is that they exist outside of the campaigns. This means that the candidates don't have to approve any ads that a PAC makes with the money they raise. In fact, they aren't allowed to approve them. PACs make all of the ads for candidates you see that don't start or end with "I'm Ugly Politician and I approve this message."
As I mentioned before, candidates use PAC money and PAC ads mainly to attack their opponents. Since they don't technically run the PACs, they aren't immediately associated with them. Therefore, it just seems like a bunch of concerned Americans got together to attack a certain candidate (which is what it is supposed to be). Now, this stuff is getting pretty boring, but there is a little bit more. There is this other thing that is called a "Super-PAC."
A Super-PAC is a PAC that can receive donations from corporations. The Super-PAC was created because of a supreme court ruling that basically said that because money equals speech, that corporations should be treated as people when it comes to donations. Therefore, corporations should be allowed to donate as much money as they want to candidates because any cap on the amount that they can donate would be an infringement on free speech.
Now, back to Stephen Colbert. Stephen Colbert tried to start a PAC. Soon after announcing this on his show, his mother-company Viacom contacted him and told him that he can't start a PAC anymore because he has announced it on his show. This means that Viacom has given him donations for his PAC by allowing him to air stuff about it on his show and they can't donate to a PAC. Colbert proceeded to apply for a Super-PAC. This would mean that he could advertise for his PAC on his show because Viacom would be allowed to donate to him. Everything looked good for him, but then Viacom sent him another letter that basically said, "Please don't start a Super-PAC. It will make things really complicated for us because we will have to calculate how much we've donated to you by allowing you to talk about it on your show." Colbert is now grasping at his last straw. There is another loophole that allows pundits to report on their own PACs because their PACs are news and they report on news. It's called a media exemption. It requires going down to the FEC (Federal Election Committee) and basically pleading your case to them. Sixty days later, they'll tell you if you can have a media exemption for your PAC. Colbert went down there to plead his case a few days ago so we have yet to hear whether or not he'll be able to start his PAC. These are the reasons why they should let him.
THIS NEXT PART IS THE POINT I'VE BEEN TRYING TO MAKE THIS WHOLE TIME!
Colbert intends to do something incredible with his PAC: exactly what they were created to do. He intends to make ads for candidates without their knowledge or approval and show another (probably humorous) side to their beliefs and stances on issues. Hopefully, he will force candidates to address issues that they are all afraid to bring up. Stephen is doing what every third-party political candidate hopes to do: he is raising issues that main-stream candidates avoid and he is doing it in a way that will get a lot of attention. He is doing the only things that everyone who runs a PAC should do. The sad thing is, I really don't think he is going to be allowed to start his PAC. The world kind of stinks in that way.
Taking forever to explain something and kind of hoping nobody reads this,