A popular comedian has been granted the power to wield greater influence over the upcoming elections.
The Federal Elections Commission says Stephen Colbert can launch a political action committee called the Colbert Super PAC.
The ruling grants him authority to raise unlimited amounts of money to support or oppose candidates. But he must disclose some major expenses as in-kind contributions from the show's corporate owners.
"Stephen Colbert is a funny man, but he asked a legitimate question and received a serious answer," FEC Chairwoman Cynthia Bauerly said. "The opinion adopted today does not give him everything he asked for, but it appropriately applies the press exemption consistent with past Commission and court precedent. "
After the hearing, Colbert celebrated.
"Moments ago, the FEC made their ruling. Ladies and gents, I am sad to say, we won. I am a Super PAC and so can you!" the comedian told reporters.
"I don't accept the status quo," he told the crowd, brandishing a portable credit card processing machine. "I do accept Visa, MasterCard or American Express."
Asked what point he was trying to make about corporate America, Colbert did not miss a beat.
"None," he quipped. "I want their money."
Colbert will be able to use the resources from his Comedy Central TV show "The Colbert Report" to help his Super PAC.