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Colbert's Legal Issues, Pt. Two

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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COLBARRED? Colbert (Photo: Getty Images)

Steven Colbert's bid for the White House may be a joke, but Comedy Central isn't treating it as one. In response to questions as to whether or not his running would violate campaign election laws (a concern first raised by, Comedy Central has hired D.C. firm Wiley Rein to help Colbert wade through the legal issues.

According to federal law, if Colbert is able to gather $5,000 for his campaign (which, given the show's cultish following, seems likely), he has 15 days to form a campaign committee and file a "statement of candidacy" with the FEC (he's yet to do so). That's where things could get dicey. If Comedy Central is found to have spent any cash promoting Colbert's campaign—say, money spent producing his own show—the FEC might likely decide it violated the federal law barring politically owned or controlled corporations from donating money or labor to candidates.

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