Colbert Offers Up $500K to Fund SC Primary

The late night host wants to fill the Election Commission's funding shortfall

South Carolina is in a bit of a jam, and Stephen Colbert wants to help.

The state's Election Commission needs another $500,000 to fund its $1.5 million Republican primary slated for Jan. 21. Election officials notified the state's budget agency that they may need to run a deficit to fill the hole, and Colbert quickly swooped in to offer an alternative solution.

"The counties need the money, and Colbert Super PAC wants to give it to you; call it a Christmas Miracle," the "Colbert Report" host wrote in an op-ed published Thursday in The State, a South Carolina paper. "I'm going to be home in South Carolina over the holidays, so just give me a call."

Officials confirmed that Colbert had offered to help fund the vote with money from his political action committee and that they were not interested. "Despite our repeatedly saying no, Stephen Colbert, the comedian seems intent on being involved, " State GOP executive director Matt Moore said, according to the Associated Press.

Colbert also wrote that he had previously offered to donate $400,000 to South Carolina's Republican party in exchange for two things: Naming rights to its presidential primary, which he would dub "The Colbert Super PAC South Carolina Republican Primary," and the right to add a question about "whether corporations are people" to ballots. Though Republicans initially engaged Colbert's request—so much so that sample ballots featured Colbert's question — courts eventually squashed the deal.

South Carolina State Supreme Court ruled that counties, not political parties, should pay for primary voting and that ballot questions were not permissible.

That turned out to be bad news for cash-strapped counties, and good news for Colbert, who has found yet another opportunity to offer his assistance.

Selected Reading: The State, The Associated Press

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