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No Joke.

Last night I had TDS/TCR duty and though I found this story incredibly funny, it's also very serious and topical.  While it has already been posted by qm1pooh I think it's worthy of your serious consideration and so I re-present my version with minor editing.

Other variants are published at The Stars Hollow Gazette and DocuDharma.

The question on everyone's mind, indeed the only question of any political significance whatever this election cycle is whether Stephen Colbert's Stephen Colbert's Colbert Super PAC™ will be allowed to sponsor this year's South Carolina Republican Primary.

I'm sure you all remember this segment from 12/7-

where Stephen reveals his negotiation to place a simple non-binding referendum question on the 2011 South Carolina Republican Primary ballot.

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.

As Stephen reveals today in his explosive guest editorial in The State, South Carolina's leading newspaper for publishing explosive guest editorials by Stephen Colbert, South Carolina has 2 (count 'em) TWO State Mottos-

   Animis opibusque parati — "Prepared in mind and resources."
   AND
   Dum spiro spero — "While I breathe, I hope."

Oh, and that his Stephen Colbert's Colbert Super PAC™ has made a firm cash offer of $500,000 to become the official sponsor of the South Carolina Republican Primary.

This is no joke.  Stephen has in fact written "No Joke" on the memo line of each check.

ek you say, how can someone "sponsor" a Primary?

Civium Coniunctionem

Please remember to say that like Hermione and not Ronald.

For years the South Carolina Republican Party has paid for the expenses of each county.

Colbert Sought Naming Rights For South Carolina Primary
By Reid Wilson, National Journal
December 22, 2011 11:20 AM

Until 2008, the state Republican Party had paid for the entire primary process, renting the polling places and voting machines, printing the ballots and providing the volunteers. In 2008, the state paid for both parties' competitive primaries.

No joke: Stephen Colbert wants naming rights to S.C. GOP primary
Richard Fausset, L.A. Times
December 22, 2011 9:28 am

This month the State newspaper in Columbia, S.C., reported that Colbert offered to help cover the costs of the Jan. 21 presidential primary, the first in the South, if the state GOP would change its name to “The Colbert Nation Super PAC Presidential Primary," just as Frito-Lay has paid to affix "Tostitos" to "Fiesta Bowl."

He also asked the party to support placing a referendum question on the January ballot asking voters whether they believe "corporations are people," an issue at the heart of the Citizens United case, or "only people are people," an assertion echoing a 1984 Depeche Mode hit.

The State's Gina Smith reported that the GOP passed on the naming rights, but agreed to put the question on the primary ballot in exchange for a pledge of a "significant contribution" from Colbert's PAC.

Then, however, the South Carolina Supreme Court struck all referendum questions from the ballot.

That wasn't the end of things. South Carolina's GOP is also caught up in a complicated drama over how much of the primary it should pay for, and how much of the tab should be picked up by the government. Matt Moore, the executive director of the state GOP, has said he believes that a recent court ruling makes the state and counties "solely responsible for the primary."

South Carolina GOP rebuts Stephen Colbert on primary naming rights
By MICHAEL A. MEMOLI, Sacremento Bee
Published: Thursday, Dec. 22, 2011 - 12:00 am

Ultimately, the South Carolina Supreme Court decided that the state's counties had to foot the bill for the cost of the election. And Colbert is offering again to step to the plate, under the same conditions he offered before.

"The counties need the money, and Colbert Super PAC wants to give it to you; call it a Christmas Miracle," he says.

op. cite-

The South Carolina Republican Party confirmed they had been engaged in talks with Colbert, talks sources said have continued for months. And party chairman Chad Connolley did visit Colbert in New York, a spokesman confirmed.

Colbert’s not giving up on S.C. primary
Reuters
Dec 22, 2011 21:10 IST

Colbert said talks continued with the state party over plans including still selling them the naming rights or whether the GOP would petition to get his referendum back on the ballot. When that failed, he said he reached out to the state Democrats, who agreed to seek to reinstate the referendum. At that point, the state Republicans declined Colbert’s money because they “were concerned about the sanctity of the primary election.”

“If nothing else good comes from this, we have at least narrowed down the exact value of sanctity — somewhere between $200,000 and $400,000,” Colbert wrote.

Colbert wrote that he thought the issue was dead, until learning that South Carolina’s Republican party had reneged on almost all funding for the primary, which prompted him to offer to cover the counties’ $500,000 shortfall.

Colbert guest editorial: Naming rights, state mottoes and the GOP primary + video
By Stephen Colbert - Guest Columnist, The State
Thursday, Dec. 22, 2011

I assumed that was the end of the story, but last week I saw that the South Carolina GOP has reneged on funding any part of the primary, save for the legal minimum percentage of candidate filing fees, leaving the financially strapped counties on the hook for $500,000. That’s money that counties need for emergency services, infrastructure repair, and to complete the wall to keep out North Carolinians. Once again, our first-in-the-South primary is in jeopardy.
...
Colbert Super PAC will cover the counties’ $500,000 shortfall. In return, I ask for only two things: that you support the Democrats’ petition to get my referendum back on the ballot, and that you grant me the pre-negotiated naming rights, which, I think we can all agree, you now own. To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, “You paid for that microphone!”

Do not despair

Oh, and you may resume breathing.  Stephen has left us this message of eksmas cheer (op. cite)-

Dear Colbert Super PAC Members And Incorporated MemberCo's,

Colbert Super PAC got you a Christmas present, but it didn't arrive in time. You want to know what it was anyway?

I was going to give you the South Carolina primary. I was so sure you'd like it, I didn't even ask for a receipt.

I've explained it all in an opinion piece that's just been published in "The State" newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina. You can take a look here.

Sorry it didn't get here in time. Remember, it's the thought that counts. So next year I'm going to give you thoughts.

Whatever holiday you celebrate this season:
Merry Christmas from Colbert Super PAC!

   Stephen Colbert
   President And Fourth Wise Man
   Americans For A Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow

Contributions to Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow ("ABTT") are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. ABTT may accept unlimited corporate contributions, unlimited individual contributions, unlimited labor-union contributions, and unlimited PAC contributions. Contributions from foreign nationals and federal-government contractors will not be accepted. *Federal law requires ABTT's best efforts to obtain and report the name, address, occupation, and employer of any individual who contributes more than $200 in a calendar year.
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