(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles…)
Reporting from Washington — California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom gave $500 to support satirist Stephen Colbert’s “super PAC,” a committee formed by the comedian as part of a bit mocking federal campaign finance rules.
Newsom, a Democrat, is among hundreds of donors to the committee, which most recently aired ads in South Carolina urging Republican primary voters to support former candidate Herman Cain as a proxy vote for Colbert.
Colbert formed the committee last summer and it has since been a regular feature on his Comedy Central show, “The Colbert Report,” beaming the typically obscure workings of the federal campaign finance system into the homes of late-night television viewers.
The committee collected hundreds of donations from individuals seeking to support Colbert’s joke, earning them the honor of having their names beamed across the show’s “heroes” ticker.
Central to the joke is a Supreme Court ruling that said the 1st Amendment bars the government from forbidding corporations and unions from spending independently to influence elections.
Colbert has latched onto the ruling -- and the notion that, as Mitt Romney said last year, "corporations are people" -- to expose the weakening of campaign finance laws.
Newsom, the former mayor of San Francisco, echoed Colbert’s satirical tone in an official statement released by his office on Tuesday.
“I agree with Stephen Colbert and the United States Supreme Court that corporations are living, breathing human beings -- except for the living, breathing, and human part,” Newsom said. “I’m also hoping to get an ambassadorship to Croatia out of it.”
“In all seriousness, I applaud Stephen Colbert exposing the absurdity of our current political financing system,” he continued. “I’m proud to support Colbert’s message with a donation. And I like his haircut.”