Stephen Colbert aims comedic political ad at Iowa

LOS ANGELES Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:42pm EDT

Guests walk past a banner as they arrive for a Republican Presidential Debate in Ames, Iowa, August 11, 2011. REUTERS/Daniel Acker

Guests walk past a banner as they arrive for a Republican Presidential Debate in Ames, Iowa, August 11, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Daniel Acker

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Comedian Stephen Colbert is putting his political action committee cash to work with advertisements that mockingly endorse Texas Governor Rick Perry ahead of an Iowa straw poll this week on the other Republican presidential hopefuls.

The tongue-in-cheek advertising campaign is the first that Colbert has launched since the Comedy Central comedian won approval in June from the Federal Election Commission to form his "Super PAC."

In a pair of advertisements unveiled on his Super PAC website this week ahead of the Ames Straw Poll on Saturday, Colbert jokingly urges Iowans to write in the name of Texas Governor Rick Perry, who is not listed on the ballot, but to misspell it as "Parry."

"I called dibs on Rick Parry a long time ago," Colbert said in a comedic statement that lauds the staunchly conservative governor for his "tough talk" and "cowboy boots."

The comedian who masquerades as a conservative commentator on his late-night program "The Colbert Report" but has espoused liberal causes seems to have made a well-timed choice for his satirical endorsement.

On Thursday, a Perry spokesman confirmed he will seek the 2012 Republican nomination. Perry's official announcement is planned for Saturday.

Colbert joked that he wants Iowans to write in "'Parry with an 'A' for America, with an 'A' for Iowa."

It was unclear where the advertisements have appeared aside from Colbert's Super PAC website. But a statement from the organization said that at least one commercial has begun airing "across the greater Des Moines metroplex."

The advertisements say they are paid for by Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow, the official name of the Colbert Super PAC, or political action committee.

SuperPACs are amped-up PACs that have arisen following a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2010 that made it easier for entities like corporations and unions to pour money into political campaigns.

Colbert's creation of his PAC is aimed at mocking the Supreme Court decision in the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.

But some legal commentators have said that it could also make it easier for candidates who work for major media companies -- such as Colbert's employer Viacom Inc -- to use those corporations to further their political careers.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis. Editing by Cynthia Johnston)