Colbert Super PAC - Campaign Finance

  • Aired:  07/18/11
  •  | Views: 54,240

Sean Parnell supports Colbert Super PAC's plan to buy an elephant, but Sheila Krumholz wants to shine a light on the taint of private money. (6:27)

SERIOUSLY, THANKS TO THEIR WORK I DON'T HAVE TO TELL YOU ANYTHING.

I RECENTLY SAT DOWN WITH BOTH OF THESE ADVOCATES AT DIFFERENT TIMES AND IN DIFFERENT PLACES.

JIM?

>> FIRST UP SEAN PARNELL OF THE CENTER FOR COMPETITIVE POLITICS.

MR. PARNELL, THANKS FOR SITTING DOWN WITH ME TODAY.

>> GLAD TO BE HERE.

THANKS FOR HAVING ME ON.

>> Stephen: SHOULD THERE BE ANY LIMIT ON HOW MUCH MONEY CORPORATIONS CAN GIVE TO

INFLUENCE OUR ELECTIONS OR TO GIVE DIRECTLY TO CAMPAIGNS?

>> I DON'T THINK SO.

MONEY ENABLES FREE SPEECH.

AND IF YOU ARE GOING TO LIMIT THE ABILITY OF MONEY TO BE SPENT TO PROMOTE POLITICAL SPEECH ARE YOU

NECESSARILY LIMITED POLITICAL SPEECH.

>> Stephen: I SAY IF THE FOUNDING FATHERS DIDN'T WANT MONEY IN POLITICS, WHY DID

THEY PUT THEIR FACES ON OUR MONEY?

(LAUGHTER)

>> THAT'S A PRETTY GOOD POINT.

>> Stephen: THANK YOU.

>> IF YOU LOOK AT THE FIRST AMENDMENT IT SAYS FREEDOM OF SPEECH.

SO WE WORK TO ENSURE THAT THE FIRST FIVE WORDS OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT, CONGRESS

SHALL MAKE NO LAW IS, IN FACT, THE WAY THAT, YOU KNOW,

THINGS GO.

>> Stephen: AND WHAT IS THE REST RUFF THAT SENTENCE?

>> THERE IS NO REST OF THE THAT SENTENCE.

>> Stephen: WHAT IS THE REST OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT.

>> THE FIRST AMENDMENT,

CONGRESS SHALL MAKE NO LAW LAW-- UH-- .

>> Stephen: CONGRESS SHALL MAKE NO LAW.

>> CONGRESS SHALL MAKE NO LAW-- OR FREEDOM OF SPEECH.

>> Stephen: THE SPEECH.

>> OR THE SPEECH.

(LAUGHTER)

>> Stephen: THE OTHERS.

>> THE OTHERS.

I DID NOT MEM ORIZE THE ENTIRE FIRST AMENDMENT.

>> Stephen: IT'S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS WHAT THE REST OF IT SAYS.

(LAUGHTER) LESS REFRESHING ARE THE KILLJOYS OVER THE CENTER FOR RESPONSIVE POLITICS AND

THEIR DIRECTOR SHEILA KRUMHOLZ.

MISS KRUMHOLZ THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR TALKING WITH ME TODAY.

>> PIE PLEASURE.

>> Stephen: DO YOU SEE A PROBLEM WITH MONEY IN OUR CURRENT POLITICAL SYSTEM.

>> IT'S NOT THAT MONEY IS GOOD OR BAD.

IT'S THAT MONEY IS POWER.

AND SO IF IT'S LEFT UNCHECKED, ITS ITS LEFT UNSCRUTINIZED IT HAS GREATER

POWER TO SKEW POLICY AWAY FROM THE PUBLIC INTEREST.

>> IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU THINK THAT HIDDEN MONEY TAINTS POLITICS.

>> I THINK HIDDEN MONEY DEFINITELY TAINTS POLITICS.

>> HOW DO YOU HOPE TO ADDRESS THE TAINT.

>> BY ENCOURAGING DISCLOSURE OF CRICKS GOING TO THE OFTEN SHADOWY GROUPS.

>> Stephen: SO YOU WANT TO SHINE A LIGHT ON THAT.

>> YES.

>> Stephen: OKAY.

I EXPOSE MY TAINT TO SEAN AND'S PROVED OF WHAT HE SAW.

>> I'M GOING TO LIST SOME THINGS THAT I'M THINKING OF SPENDING MY SUPERPAC MONEY ON.

>> OKAY.

>> Stephen: AND YOU TELL ME IF IT'S LEGAL.

>> OKAY.

>> Stephen: PRIVATE JET.

>> YES.

>> Stephen: PRIVATE JET SKI.

>> SURE.

>> Stephen: OKAY.

PRIVATE ELEPHANT.

>> OH, EASILY.

>> Stephen: PAYING A WOMAN TO SAY SHE HAD AN AFFAIR WITH MY OPPONENT.

>> I'M PRETTY SURE ILLEGAL.

>> Stephen: WHAT IF IT'S TRUE.

>> OH, WELL THEN, YOU'RE JUST-- .

>> Stephen: PAYING HER TO EXERCISE HER-- FREE SPEECH RIGHTS.

>> YES.

PROBABLY SOMETHING YOU COULD DO.

>> Stephen: WHAT IF IT IS A FEMALE ELEPHANT AND IT-- THE ADMISSION SHE HAD AN AFFAIR

WITH MY OPPONENT.

BECAUSE THEY CAN PAINT WITH THEIR TONGUE.

>> RIGHT, VERY TALENTED.

THE QUESTION, WHAT EXACTLY WOULD YOU BE PAYING FOR.

>> Stephen: PAYING FOR THE ELEPHANT TO ADMIT SHE HAD AN AFFAIR WITH MY OPPONENT.

>> WELL, THAT RAISES SOME VERY INTERESTING QUESTIONS OUTSIDE THE WORLD OF CAMPAIGN FINANCE.

>> Stephen: I KNOW.

>> BUT THE GENERAL RULE IS IF YOU REQUEST SHOW THAT AN EXPENDITURE IS RELATED TO

ADVANCING THE MISSION OF THE PAC.

>> Stephen: WHICH IS TO DESTROY MY OPPONENT.

>> WHICH IS TO DESTROY YOUR OPPONENT, THEN YES.

>> Stephen: EXCELLENT.

COULD I SUES MY PAC MONEY TO BUY THOUSANDS OF PUPPIES AND THEN OFFER FREE PUPPIES TO

EVERYONE WHO VOTES FOR THE CANDIDATES YOU LIKE.

>> YOU CANNOT GIVE GIFTS OVER A CERTAIN VALUE TO-- .

>> Stephen: THEY'RE JUST PUP EYES, THEY'RE NOT WORTH THAT MUCH.

>> THE BEST THING TO DO IS GIVE NO GIFTS AT ALL.

BECAUSE THEN THERE IS NO QUESTION ABOUT WHETHER THERE IS SOME KIND OF QUID PRO QUO.

>> Stephen: SO NOTHING.

>> REMOVE THE CONCERN.

>> Stephen: I GOT TO DO SOMETHING.

YOU CAN GET RID OF THE PUPPIES?

JUST-- I DON'T KNOW, GET RID OF THEM.

THEY HAVE TO GO.

PUT THEM IN A SACK I DON'T-- JUST DROP THEM OFF A CAUSEWAY OR SOMETHING.

THAT'S NOT ME, THAT'S HER.

(LAUGHTER) DON'T CRY.

ARE YOU HAPPY?

(APPLAUSE)

>> THERE ARE BETTER WAYS FOR TO YOU SPEND YOUR-- (LAUGHTER)

>> Stephen: DON'T, STOP THEM,

DON'T LET THEM DO IT.

WHAT?

(APPLAUSE) FINE WITH MR. PARNELL IS THERE ANY EVIDENCE TO SUGGEST THAT CORPORATE

CONTRIBUTIONS AFFECT HOW A POLITICIAN ACTS OR VOTES?

>> NOT REALLY.

IT JUST SEEMS SO SAD THAT PEOPLE THINK SO LITTLE OF HUMAN NATURE THAT THEY THINK

THAT MONEY COULD POSSIBLY BE A CORRUPTING INFLUENCE IN OUR POLITICS.

>> I AGREE.

>> Stephen: BECAUSE CORPORATE MONEY IS JUST LIKE ANY OTHER MONEY.

IT DOESN'T REALLY INFLUENCE BEHAVIOR.

>> GENERALLY NOT, NO.

>> Stephen: LET'S DRINK TO THAT.

(LAUGHTER) THAT TASTES LIKE-- WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)