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Colbert Ballot Bid Shot Down 501

Posted by Zonk
from the can't-make-a-dishonest-living-no-more dept.
wizzard2k writes "Some of you may have seen Stephen Colbert's bid for the South Carolina Presidential Primary, however it seems his hopes to appear on the ballot as a candidate for the Democratic Party have been shot down. From the report: 'Stephen Colbert's bid to get on the ballot for the upcoming Democratic primary in his home state was shot down on Thursday (November 1) by the executive committee of the South Carolina Democratic Party. Colbert's bid was voted down 13-3 ... Using criteria such as whether the candidate was recognized in the national news media as a legitimate candidate and whether they'd actively campaigned in the state, the committee put the kibosh on the Colbert bid.'"
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Colbert Ballot Bid Shot Down

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 01, 2007 @04:12PM (#21202687)
    Bloomberg's money. Colbert's debating skills.

    Two-party duopoly? THREAT DOWN!

  • Settles that... (Score:2, Informative)

    by ackthpt (218170) *

    I Go Pogo in '08 [igopogo.com]

  • by sexybomber (740588) <boccilino AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday November 01, 2007 @04:14PM (#21202723)
    ... was probably because he would have won. Can't have that big of a threat to the Establishment.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Toandeaf (1014715)
      How the flipping hell was he a threat? Its not like Comedy Central isn't a part of "the Evil Corporations".
    • by Deadbolt (102078)
      Be serious. He was polling 2.3%, which put him ahead of jokes like Kucinich and Gravel (and serious candidates like Dodd) but far behind Obama and Edwards.
    • by tilandal (1004811) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @04:24PM (#21202897)
      No, the reason they rejected him is because he was not trying to be a legitimate candidate.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by vux984 (928602)
        Which ironically actually made him more legitimate than the rest of them.

        Its absolutely pathetic when a satirist making a parody of the election process process has more credibility than the average 'legitimate' candidate.

    • by Seumas (6865) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @04:30PM (#21203003)
      I love how everyone who supports candidates who are massively backed by corporations and special interests (which is the only kind of viable candidate) are attacking him for being "backed" by a corporation. I mean . . . seriously. Pot. Kettle. Black.
  • by Chandon Seldon (43083) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @04:16PM (#21202755) Homepage

    Using criteria such as whether the candidate was recognized in the national news media

    Wait a second... not only do the media have massive power to influence how people vote - their approval is also are one of the criteria used to decide if a candidate is allowed to run at all? WTF?

    Why does anyone bother to vote at all? It would be faster to just let the media companies nominate our public officials directly.

    • Using criteria such as whether the candidate was recognized in the national news media as a legitimate candidate

      I think what they mean here is whether his attempt to be added to the ballet was to seriously run for office. That is debatable in Colbert's case, he has more than once made the point that he wasn't seriously trying to get elected although had that been incorrect it is a real pity- I'm sure a lot of people at least would vote for him had he had the chance.

    • He's not being dis-allowed from running. He's just being dis-allowed from running as a Democrat.
    • He wasn't rejected by any kind of election commission -- he was rejected by the South Carolina Democratic Party, on whose ticket he was trying to run. I happen to love Stephen Colbert and watch almost every night, but if there's a tight race in South Carolina (which there might be given Clinton's general popularity and Edwards' southern appeal), they can't afford to water down the votes in South Carolina by allowing a TV personality to make a statement. If I understand what Colbert is going for, it's a vali
  • Democracy? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KC1P (907742) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @04:16PM (#21202761) Homepage
    Yeah that's democracy for you, a bunch of unelected political bosses deciding whether to even give someone a *chance* for people to vote for them. Hell I'm thinking of writing him in anyway (even though he's not even trying to run for president of Mass.).

    Well I hope at least they gave him back his $2500.
    • Re:Democracy? (Score:4, Informative)

      by bouchecl (1001775) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @04:19PM (#21202811)

      Well I hope at least they gave him back his $2500.
      They will, according to this story [google.com]
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by archen (447353)
      Yeah that's democracy for you, a bunch of unelected political bosses deciding whether to even give someone a *chance* for people to vote for them.

      Actually it is. Is anything stopping him for running for president? no. Is anyone prevented from voting for him? no. Honestly I don't see how we can blame the democrats for the fact that this country has painted itself into a corner with the "two party system". The fact that the democrats won't let him run is insignificant. The fact that we for some reason th
      • Although it didn't come up in this story with Stephen Colbert, I believe I can address why the Democrats and Republicans are part of the problem when it comes to American electoral politics: Ralph Nader is currently suing the Democrats for the stunts they pulled to keep him off the ballot when he ran in 2004 as an independent. It's worth your while to learn why Nader is suing and ask yourself if you are better served by having a few corporate candidates to choose from or more candidates spanning the politi

  • Fear (Score:5, Insightful)

    by king-manic (409855) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @04:17PM (#21202785)
    They were just afraid eh might win the whole things. Because dim democrats would vote for him for his recognizable face and dim republicans would vote for him because they can't detect satire. The rest of us would vote for him because it's funny.
    • by Borealis (84417)
      You took the words out of my mouth... or you were just faster to post. He so would have kicked their asses.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      They were just afraid eh might win the whole thing.

      Why would they be afraid of that? The worst that happens is that Steven Colbert wins South Carolina, a state that gave its 8 electoral votes to Bush in 2004 with a not-slim margin. Steve's got at least as good a chance as John Kerry, and about ten times the chance Clinton would have in South Carolina. No, the real Democrat presidential candidate wouldn't get the votes, but neither would the Republicans. Let the man play, see what happens.

      But then again
    • Re:Fear (Score:5, Informative)

      by Surt (22457) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @07:13PM (#21205253) Homepage Journal
      Heck, I would vote for him because I genuinely believe he'd be more competent than any other candidate.
  • well (Score:3, Funny)

    by SheepLauncher (1025544) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @04:21PM (#21202841)
    And thats The Word...
  • by digitaldc (879047) * on Thursday November 01, 2007 @04:21PM (#21202843)
    ...why can't Stephen Colbert?

    Is it because he is just too damn smart and over-qualified?

    Todays WØRD: SHAMOCRACY

    Man, I suddenly have a hankering for some Doritos.
  • by AdmNaismith (937672) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @04:22PM (#21202881)
    ... on the air, I knew he wouldn't make it on the ballot. For a small group of people to decide who end up on the ballot like that just shows how little we need political parties in this country. Getting on the ballot need to be a little more democratic.
  • Please take the hint (Score:5, Interesting)

    by G4from128k (686170) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @04:23PM (#21202883)
    I hope Colbert's candidacy and its high level of support serve a large clue-stick to the entrenched political parties. A large number of people are so sick and tired of politics as usual that they are willing to support anyone who is unusual.

    Somehow I doubt the Republicrats and Democans will listen to this warning, though. I remember in college when a local comic-strip character (Hank the Hallucination, no less) won the student government presidential election (beating Paul Begala who went on to serve Clinton). All the budding young politicos were incensed that their resume-padding ambitions were being damaged by the will of the student body. But it didn't really change anything then and a fear Colbert short-lived candidacy won't change much now (but I can hope!).
  • by Joe the Lesser (533425) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @04:23PM (#21202887) Homepage Journal
    I think this is fascinating, and I hope Colbert continues to see how far he can go. It's great that he is testing our democratic process, and bringing in his fans into how the system works.

    Perhaps he can get on a third-party primary? As an independent? How hard is it to start your own party? Is running as a write-in the best option?
  • This was funny... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Rombuu (22914) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @04:24PM (#21202893)
    ...40 years ago when Pat Paulson did it the first time.
  • Pat Paulson (Score:5, Informative)

    by bobdehnhardt (18286) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @04:27PM (#21202939)
    I'm reminded or comedian Pat Paulson, a regular fixture on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour back in the late 60's (yes, I'm showing my age). He was a perennial (fake) presidential candidate back then. He managed to get on the ballot a few times, and came in second to George H.W. Bush in the North Dakota Republican primary, and second to Bill Clinton in the 1996 New Hampshire primary.

    But what I remember best was his bid to get on the California primary in '96. He had twice the number of required signatures on his petition, paid the fees, filed well in advance of the deadline, but was still denied. March Fong Yu, California Secretary of State, explained the denial as "he's not serious about the campaign."

    Paulson's response: "You mean those other guys are?"

    310 of us wrote him in anyway....
  • So Sad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DrunkBastard (652218) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @04:27PM (#21202951) Homepage
    Man, the irony is that so many people would've voted for him. Regardless of the fact that he's a comedian and actor, he has an amazing sense of people and character, exactly what a good politician should have, as well as charisma aplenty. Add in the fact that he's quite brilliant at just about anything he does, and you have yourself a good candidate. They simply voted him off because of the stigma of being a "joke".
     
    I find it amazing that this board has the power to eliminate him from the primaries so arbitrarily.
     
    If I were Colbert, I'd be seeking justice from the courts on this one. Show them just how serious a candidate he is.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Hektor_Troy (262592)

      If I were Colbert, I'd be seeking justice from the courts on this one.

      Why? The Democratic (and any other)party is not run by the government. It's not the government's (nor the judicial branch IMHO) job to decide who can and can't run as a candidate for the parties. That's up to them. How do they decide? Check their bylaws. If their bylaws state that candidates must be approved by committee, then they're entitled to do so.

      Doesn't mean, however, that he can't run for president on his own.

    • Re:So Sad (Score:5, Insightful)

      by wonkavader (605434) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @04:54PM (#21203429)
      "Man, the irony is that so many people would've voted for him."

      That's not the irony, that's the REASON. The last thing the Democratic party (or any party) wants is someone like Colbert on any podium with their guys. This campaign was a serious threat to the status quo -- not earth shattering stuff, but it would have made people look stupid, shown people to be liars, made people think -- this is not desired by either of our two political parties.

      "If I were Colbert, I'd be seeking justice from the courts on this one. Show them just how serious a candidate he is."

      We vote for candidates from two parties to run our government, but the parties are NOT the government. He may have far less rights to get those parties to do anything they don't want to than you realize.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by roystgnr (4015) *
        This campaign was a serious threat to the status quo -- not earth shattering stuff, but it would have made people look stupid

        And we couldn't have that: the only people allowed to make Democrats look stupid are themselves!

        Aborted or not, Colbert's run has been a nice eye opener. Access to a state's Republican ballot costs 14 times more than the Democrats' registration fee? Access to that state's Democratic ballot can be thwarted by less than a dozen people? Colbert has probably done more than anyone to ma
  • Independent (Score:3, Interesting)

    by The Fanta Menace (607612) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @04:29PM (#21202967) Homepage
    Why can't he run as an independent?
  • Let Him Run! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rrkap (634128) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @04:30PM (#21202993) Homepage

    The Democrats should let Colbert run considering that he does better in polls than many Democrat candidates. From the Washington post:

    In the Democratic primary, Colbert takes 2.3 percent of the vote -- good for fifth place behind Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (40 percent), Sen. Barack Obama (19 percent), former Sen. John Edwards (12 percent) and Sen. Joe Biden (2.7 percent. Colbert finished ahead of Gov. Bill Richardson (2.1 percent), Rep. Dennis Kucinich (2.1 percent) and former Sen. Mike Gravel (less than 1 percent).

    If they're going to let Richardson be on the ballot, they should let Colbert be on it too!

  • by GoodbyeBlueSky1 (176887) <joeXbanks.hotmail@com> on Thursday November 01, 2007 @04:31PM (#21203011)
    I guess I don't know for *sure*, but I'm fairly convinced Colbert never had any real plans to begin with. He's just using this "presidential bid" to poke fun at the US electoral system, and shine a light on the shady practices that go along with a bid. The whole Doritos business is hilarious, and I can't wait to see what he does with this most recent development.

    Not to directly compare Stephen to greats like Pryor or Carlin, but how many comedians have had this much impact on political discourse, this quickly? Most subversive types get the soccer moms up in arms, but there's more mainstream media hand-wringing over Colbert than I ever remember seeing before.

    Also his persona is dead-on perfect for this sort of stunt. I mean, come on: "Democrats lead in all the polls by at least ten points, except one... Fox News. That is with a margin of error of plus-or-minus the facts." Beautiful.
    • In Canada (sorry, not Soviet Russia), we have the Rhinoceros Party [rhinoparty.com] for political humour. They have had some fun policies, like bulldozing the Rocky Mountains as a makework project to reduce unemployment, and paying off Canada's national debt by putting it on Visa.

      In one election some years back I was so disgusted with the mainstream candidates (I had 4 to choose from) that I voted Rhinoceros. Lots of other people did too, and they came very close to electing an MP.

      ...laura

  • Colbert bumped (Score:4, Interesting)

    by NetSettler (460623) <kent-slashdot@nhplace.com> on Thursday November 01, 2007 @04:33PM (#21203045) Homepage Journal

    Colbert has handled this poorly, and while I'm dismayed he won't be on the political stage, I think it's his own fault.

    I think he would have taken the place by storm if he'd gone out of character when off his show and dealt with people as a regular person, instead of making any attempt whatsoever to be funny. It would have put people off guard and left him the upper hand to control the political stage.

    Nothing would have shown modern politics for what it is better than to have people show up to debate with him, armed with one-liners so they could compete one what they imagined to be the called-for level only to find that he was armed with complete thoughts on issues that he surely knows about but does not normally speak of.

    That he has left people unsure about what he's doing is not the fault of the people he's confused. He's the one with the savvy to have overcome it, and his entire point is that people are not good about setting serious agendas. They're waiting for someone else to do it in lemming-like ways, and then instead of him doing it, he's leaving it to others to figure him out.

    I love his show, but I think he has botched this. He could still recover, I think, but the only way I see him doing is stepping out of character. And to be honest, I think he's afraid to do that, which bodes ill for him as a candidate.

    He wants to orchestrate things, but the US situation is not something that needs orchestration right now. It needs plain honesty. Honesty we know he's capable of. But it needs it straight up, not confusingly presented.

    I don't care what he says on his show--I'll still watch the show. I care a lot that off the show, if he's going to do this, he do it as a regular guy, not a persona.

    • Re:Colbert bumped (Score:5, Interesting)

      by pokerdad (1124121) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @06:55PM (#21205031)

      Colbert has handled this poorly....

      I love his show, but I think he has botched this.

      I think you are confusing what he was trying to do with what you wish he had been trying to do.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Fred Ferrigno (122319)
      Your entire post is based on the mistaken premise that Colbert actually wants to compete. He doesn't. In the rare out of character interviews he gives, he's always very clear that he is a comedian. Everything he does is for laughs. Playing a pundit gets him laughs, so he does it. It has nothing to do with his personal politics.

      In that vein, the bid was always a big stunt for ratings. He has handled this perfectly for that aim. All of the "flubs" about campaign finance just keep his name in the news and keep
  • by Peter Trepan (572016) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @04:39PM (#21203169)

    Otherwise no one would take the Democratic Party seriously. They'd be powerless. Impotent. Laughable. They could run a Nobel Peace prize winner against a guy who can't say "nuclear," and still lose. But by quashing Colbert's bid, they retain their power and dignity.

  • HORRIBLE PR move (Score:4, Insightful)

    by moosesocks (264553) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @04:48PM (#21203349) Homepage
    I really do hate our current crop of Republicans, but absolutely can't stand just how incompetent the Democrats are as a whole. A trained monkey should have been able to win the 2004 election, and they managed to pitch a candidate so bland and nondescript that they blew it.

    Blocking Colbert's nomination has the very serious potential to completely alienate their base. If he's only running for the SC primary, the amount of potential damage is extremely limited, and not likely to make much of a difference even if he wins the nod in that state. On the other hand, if Colbert runs as an independent in the general election, he has a very serious chance of fucking things up completely.

    (As a sidenote: I'm a strong proponent doing away with the 2-party system by allowing voters to cast a vote for as many candidates as they want. If you like both Nader and Gore, vote for both of them! If for some unholy reason, you want to vote for both the republican and democratic candidate (ie. you hate independents with a firey passion), there should be nothing stopping you from doing so. This means that there's no longer such thing as a 'wasted vote', and if the independent candidates are truly unviable, we'd be no worse off. This would be a huge boon to candidates like Mike Gravel or Ron Paul)
    • I would rather see the election run where, the most votes wins the presidency, the second most wins the vice presidency.

      This would allow for independants to have a more realistic chance of getting into office and demonstrating their abilities.

      I would much prefer this approach to the all or nothing election system we have now.
  • by Giro d'Italia (124843) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @05:13PM (#21203709)
    Shouldn't political parties have to pay their own way in nominating their candidates? Why should my tax dollars go to help them count the votes? In other countries, political parties hold their own conventions at their own expense.
  • by BearRanger (945122) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @06:04PM (#21204429)
    The primary season is unusually front loaded this time around, and the candidates that intend to contest all of the early states could be dealt a serious blow by a Colbert candidacy. The comments here speak volumes. Lots of people would vote for him either as a protest or because they think it's funny. Given Colbert's media exposure he'd likely do well. But what will that do to the other candidates?

    If you were another candidate, would you risk your limited funds in a primary you're likely to lose or have a poor showing in because of a "joke" candidate? If you're hoping to gain momentum from a South Carolina/southern victory, and the future of your campaign depends on it, is it worth taking the risk? I think the answer would be no for a few of the less recognizable candidates. This would have the potential to reduce the importance of South Carolina's primary as well as distort the succeeding primaries. A week after South Carolina there are primaries in 21 states. Colbert won't be competing in any of them. If the party allowed him onto the ballot they would effectively be saying their primary didn't matter in the big scheme of determining who the overall nominee will be.

    BTW, I don't live in South Carolina and I'm not a Democrat (or a Republican). But I think they've done the country a favor this time. I enjoy Colbert's routine on television but that's where he should stay. We should resist the urge to turn the process of selecting our leaders into entertainment.
  • genius (Score:5, Insightful)

    by drDugan (219551) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @06:55PM (#21205033) Homepage
    Colbert, in his own way is an absolute genius. (personally I believe everyone has a genius, but Colbert has both found his, and developed a way to profitably express it).

    The denial of his candidacy is a stark reminder of what is really going on with political parties in the USA. It is an old-boys power network, and frankly, Colbert was not playing by their rules. Those rules are (im my opinion) pretty close to these: be rich, be a career politician, suck up to companies, trade favors with those more powerful, be a political insider, lie cheat and steal your way into power -- and, depending on the party, when one meets most of these rules, the current party system will accept you as one of their own, and "allow" you to run.

    Why are there 2 private organizations that run how governement works in the USA? That's crap and very few people see it. No one elected the leaders in these groups to decide "the party line", to pressure senators to vote a certain way, to hide emails, and whatever else they do. Why on earth should 13 people in SC get to tell the people of that state if a legal citizen can or can't run for president? Show me where the Constitutional process for how the Rebuplic runs discusses that kind of political power. It is an abomination of the system the US had.

    While I don't think Colbert is a serious candidate, his running was deeply meaningful. His rejection highlights the absurdity of the process, and the entrenched position of political parties that control the US and governements.

  • by east coast (590680) on Friday November 02, 2007 @07:56AM (#21210339)
    Once again we have evidence that the two big political parties are nothing short of the same cliques that most of us hated and detested in high school.

    The Democrats (not to be confused with the democrats, small d) are thrilled to have someone like Steve on their side as long as he's not rocking the boat within their party. The second that he tries to cross the line from being the king's jester to trying to be a king he gets smacked down by the same people he supported for years and years. He's good enough to be their goof because he makes them laugh and be brings them free PR but he's not truely one of them. He's simply not a Democrat. He doesn't have the money nor does he do the same goosestep. He's the class clown that all the preps and jocks laughed at yet wasn't good enough to sit at their table during lunch. He has no chance within their exclusive socio-political structure to make any real headway. His role is defined and his attempt to leave that role is what really got him beat down. If he makes further attempts on this he'll find that those who use to laugh at him and praise him for being a stooge are going to be more than willing to feed him to the wolves. They're hoping that they've made their point and that Steve will go back to his old role. Otherwise he'll be doomed.

    You see, both of the big political parties have this going on. Either you're a Republican or Democrat or a republican or a democrat. If you're not among their power elite they'll humor you into thinking that you're part of their structure but if you try to advance in their structure without being the power elite you're going to get flogged for being a bad dog and getting out of line. Their affluence and exclusivity are not to be questioned or approached. Especially within the ranks. As outsiders we can scoff but if you're inside there is a consequence for this. Stevie is finding that out. I'd like to think he's smart enough to have already known it. It'll be a dark day for him if he decides to rock the boat more.

    The really sad thing is that the lemmings of the Republicans and Democrats are the ones who let this structure exist and regardless of how discontent these people are in their role they refuse to start supporting people who'd be willing to support them. This isn't to say that third parties could not fall into the same ruts but only having two choices makes it easy to stay in power when you're in the rut.

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