Stephen Colbert emerged from a glass case of scandal journalism on Monday to find out there was a perfectly good reason his own super PAC had been “slow-walked” by the Internal Revenue Service.
“Why has my application for tax-exempt status never been granted?” he asked his lawyer, Trevor Potter.
“Because we never filed it,” Potter replied, to Colbert’s surprise, since his 501 (c)(4) group was doing business and had handled at least hundreds of thousands of dollars, in Potter’s estimation.
“How is that possible, that I didn’t apply?” Colbert asked. “Am I breaking the law?”
Potter took that opportunity to remind the Colbert Report host that he was not legally obligated to apply for tax-exempt status in the first place.
“So wait a second,” Colbert said, stifling a laugh. “So you can form a 501 (c) (4) without asking to form one.” When Potter confirmed that, Colbert got a little giddier.
“So these tea party, anti-big government organizations didn’t have to ask big government for permission, but they did anyway?” Colbert asked as a follow-up.
“Right,” Potter answered.
“What a bunch of pussies,” Colbert responded.
But Potter did acknowledge that IRS officials being found to have targeted tea party-related groups for extra scrutiny put the agency in a bad position, since it would invite extra pressure for it to approve more of their applications in the future. Colbert took that opportunity to file his own application.
“Can I file under a different name?” he asked Potter. “Because Colbert super PAC S.H.H. isn’t sufficiently tea party enough.”
Assured by Potter he could use another name for the application, Colbert went with “Making America A Better Tea Party Patriot 9-12 Place To Constitution America Tea Party Nominally Social Welfare Conservative Political Action Tea Party Secret Money Liberty I Dare You To Deny This Application Of America Tea Party.”
Watch Colbert’s latest plan unfold, as aired Monday on Comedy Central, below.