A referendum proposed by Charleston native Stephen Colbert won’t be appearing on the ballots of the Jan. 21 GOP primary, a state court recently decided.
In a sarcastic stab aimed at presidential candidate Mitt Romney, the host of Comedy Central’s “Colbert Report” contacted the state Republican Party in October, requesting a referendum to appear on the ballots.
Colbert’s proposal read:
Colbert reportedly offered a monetary donation to SCGOP for its inclusion of the referendum on the ballots.
The state Supreme Court recently rejected it, though, as well as three other ballot referendums proposed directly by the state Republican Party.
The Charleston County Election Commission’s original and distributed sample ballot, an image of which is featured on a Colbert website, listed all four proposed referendums, but has since been corrected.
The proposed referendum wasn’t the only subject discussed by Colbert and SCGOP, either. The comedian had also offered over $100,000 to the state party for it to officially name the upcoming primary race “The Colbert Nation Super PAC Presidential Primary.”
The state party declined the offer to use the name of the comedian’s newly-formed political action committee, however. “We were concerned about the sanctity of the primary election and hurting our primary candidates,” SCGOP Exec. Director Matt Moore told media.
SCGOP was in apparent need of funds, too, lacking about $800,000 to pay all fees for the primary election as recently as last month.
Colbert’s other offer, to co-sponsor the Myrtle Beach debate in January, could not be accommodated due to exclusive sponsorship arrangement with Fox News.
That doesn’t mean Colbert’s giving up on the idea of his referendum, though. And he’s even asking the state Democratic Party for help.
SCDP chair Dick Harpootlian appeared on the Dec. 7 edition of “Colbert Report.” The Columbia attorney accepted Colbert’s request to appeal the state Supreme Court’s decision, too.
“I think there’s a significant chance the Republicans …will put it back on their ballots,” Harpootlian said.
While Harpootlian admits the odds may be slim, Colbert’s keeping his hopes up. “After the citizens of South Carolina declare once and for all that corporations are people, we can move on to other urgent issues facing our nation,” reads his “Super PAC” website. “In 2016 I hope to include a question on whether Democrats are people.”
Colbert grew up in James Island and attended the Porter-Gaud School in Charleston. He regularly aids the Medical University of South Carolina, where his father once served as 1st Vice President of Academic Affairs. In June he hosted an MUSC fundraising event to sponsor an endowed chair position, the Colbert Chair.
In late 2007, Colbert attempted to get his name on the ballots of the South Carolina Democratic presidential primary. The state party declined to certify him as a candidate, however, leaving his name off the slate.
you can still click here to poll vote on Colbert's resolution.)