The South Carolina Republican Party rebuffed a $500,000 donation from Stephen Colbert Thursday because it came with a catch: naming rights to its presidential primary.
Colbert, the host of The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, and a native South Carolinan, writes in Columbia's State newspaper that he was serious - and they agreed.
After learning that the cash-strapped South Carolina GOP and local officials were at odds over who would pay for the January 21 Republican primary, Colbert offered a plan.
He would subsidize the cost, through his "Colbert Super PAC," to the tune of $500K. In return, it would become "The Colbert Super PAC South Carolina Republican Primary."
"I said, 'I can cover that. No strings attached,'" Colbert writes. "Of course, I can't offer that kind of no-strings-attached-money without getting something in return."
Colbert also wanted to add a non-binding referendum question on the ballot - referring to a controversial remark by Mitt Romney - asking whether "Corporations are people."
Apparently there was some confusion over how seriously this plan was taken, because "The GOP agreed to everything," according to Colbert ... but not the GOP.
Executive director Matt Moore says "Stephen Colbert, the private citizen, called out of the clear blue and made an unsolicited offer to help his home state."
"We were intrigued and met with him, but also wary ... ultimately we determined it was not in the state party's best interests to accept Mr. Colbert's offers."
"Everything was not 'agreed to.' We did not sign his contract. Despite our repeatedly saying 'no,' Stephen Colbert, the comedian, seems intent on being involved."
Thank goodness for that.