In Which Stephen Colbert Dedicates a Campaign Finance Group's Conference Room With Secret Cash

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
March 22 2013 9:30 AM

In Which Stephen Colbert Dedicates a Campaign Finance Group's Conference Room With Secret Cash

In his long, fruitless, strangely not-Emmy-winning battle for campaign finance transparency, Stephen Colbert has relied on the work of former FEC commissioner Trevor Potter and his Campaign Legal Center. In December, Cobert bestowed the CLC with a portrait of himself holding the FEC ruling that their work had earned him. Last night, the CLC held a small reception to show off the rest of the TV host's gift: A donation and a plaque, renaming the organization's conference room after Colbert's faux, murdered adviser Ham Rove.

"I just want to say that all of you at the CLC have dedicated your time and talent to ensure that our nation's campaign finance laws are followed to the letter," said Colbert in a taped message. "So I could not be more proud to learn that you have named this conference room in exchange for a sizable donation of untraceable cash."

photo

After checking out the artifacts in the offices—cartoons, copies of McCain-Feingold signed by the senators and George W. Bush—I spent most of my time at the reception talking to Fred Wertheimer, president of the CFR advocacy group Democracy 21, about the upcoming McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission arguments and the possible demise of contribution limits to parties. The RNC is a party in the case; few people noticed at the time, but even the RNC's "here's what we need to fix" report from Monday called for the end of those limits.

"We have a strong case but a hostile court," he said. Hope rested with Anthony Kennedy, who'd upheld limits in the past. But there wasn't a lot of hope to go around. "We haven't had a new FEC commissioner in four years—no, four years and three months," said Wertheimer. "Obama hasn't made it a priority."

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

Trending News Channel
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 21 2014 8:00 AM An Astronaut’s Guided Video Tour of Earth
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.