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Stephen Colbert wants his super PAC back. What if Jon Stewart won't give it to him?

Now that he is no longer running for president of the United States of South Carolina, Stephen Colbert wants his super PAC back. But John Stewart seems to have no plans to return the cash.

By Staff writer / January 25, 2012

In this photo, Stephen Colbert (c.) and Jon Stewart (r.) hold hands during The Colbert Report, as Trevor Potter looks on earlier in January. During the episode, Colbert legally transferred his super political action committee to Stewart, his friend and Comedy Central cohort. Dropping by from 'The Daily Show,' Stewart happily signed the documents and accepted the post, which was ceremonially observed by the two holding hands and bodily transferring the PAC powers.

Comedy Central, Kristopher Long/AP

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Stephen Colbert’s super PAC – or rather, the super PAC Stephen Colbert used to control – is being held hostage by Jon Stewart, in case you haven’t heard. It’s now day three of this national crisis. Will Mr. Colbert ever get his money back from its “evil stepfather”?

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“Don’t hurt my $ Jon!” Colbert tweeted on Wednesday morning. “It has sentimental value, and even more monetary value!”

Yes, yes, we think Colbert will regain his cash. But first, let’s back up and explain what’s happening for those of you who are just tuning in.

Last year the “Colbert Report” host formed his own super political-action committee in order to satirize how unlimited bucks now flow into the political system. In particular, he’s taken aim at the semi-fiction that candidates don’t coordinate with super PACs that support them. (All a candidate has to do is go on “Fox and Friends” and announce to the world what he wants his own friends to do. Super PAC officials can listen to that like everybody else.)

Then Colbert decided to explore running for president of South Carolina, after an actual poll showed him getting the support of 5 percent of Palmetto State GOP voters. He had to give up control of his super PAC to maintain the façade of non-coordination. He gave the keys to Mr. Stewart, in a handshake ceremony that had green light and spooky music. As we’ve said before, they looked like Severus Snape and Narcissa Malfoy doing the Unbreakable Vow in “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.”

But Colbert’s exploration cratered. He couldn’t get on the ballot in South Carolina, and there are no write-ins, so he urged South Carolinians to vote for Herman Cain, since Cain has dropped out but his name remained on the ballot. (OK, when we put it that way, it sounds like a steampunk version of a Dickens plot, doesn’t it? All it needs is a plucky orphan and a lame dog.)

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