Stephen Colbert Offers to Pay for Cash Strapped South Carolina Republican Primary

H. Scott English

Mock Republican Comedian Stephen Colbert is offering his home state of South Carolina $500,000 to fund the Republican primary. The Republican Party of South Carolina informed the Election Commission that they will not be funding any more of the primary than the $180,000 they collected in filing fees from the candidates. Colbert wrote an Op-Ed in The State newspaper last week that he was willing to fund the deficit needed to run the primary through his Political Action Committee Colbert Super PAC.

It is going to cost about $1.5 million dollars to fund the primary in South Carolina and the Election Commission has informed the State Legislature that they only have about $1 million dollars on hand. Spokesman Chris Whitmire says the Commission has told legislators South Carolina may need to use deficit spending in order to fund the Primary, which would require special permission.

According to CBS Money Watch, Colbert originally offered $400,000 to the State Party in order to name the Republican primary after him. Party officials have confirmed they met with the comedian in order to discuss calling the primary "The Colbert Super PAC South Carolina Republican Primary".

State GOP executive director Matt Moore said party officials were inclined not to allow Colbert the opportunity in the first place but heard him out none the less before turning him down.

"Despite our repeatedly saying 'no,' Stephen Colbert, the comedian, seems intent on being involved," Moore said. "It's exactly why we were wary in the first place."

In the end the Party does not even get to make the decision, it is up to the State to decide on the legality of letting an outside interest "sponsor" a primary election.

Colbert maintains that he is just trying to help

"The counties need the money, and Colbert Super PAC wants to give it to you; call it a Christmas Miracle," he wrote in his Op-Ed. "I'm going to be home in South Carolina over the holidays, so just give me a call. Both state parties have my contact info."

Should outside interests like Stephen Colbert be able to sponsor elections?