by InvestorPlace Staff | January 31, 2012 10:41 am
The news may be fake, and he may not actually be running for president, but there’s no denying that Stephen Colbert’s Super PAC has raised a lot of money.
As part of necessary filings with the Federal Election Commission, the Super PAC, which has gone by the names “Colbert Super PAC” and “The Definitely Not Coordinating With Stephen Colbert Super PAC”, announced that it had received just over $1 million in donations.
Officially known as “Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow,” Colbert created the Super PAC for his TV show The Colbert Report to highlight the absurdity of the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission Supreme Court decision. This decision paved the way for the creation of political action committees (commonly called Super PACs) who could spend unlimited funds supporting a candidate for office, as long as they didn’t coordinate with said candidate.
The Super PAC started by running ads poking fun at the GOP primary process, then lampooned the coordination rule by having Colbert run for “President of the United States of South Carolina” and cede control of the Super PAC to The Daily Show host Jon Stewart. The two danced around what was and wasn’t considered coordination with the help of a lawyer familiar with campaign law. Recently, after the South Carolina primary concluded, Stewart and Colbert sparred for control of the Super PAC, with Colbert chasing Stewart across the sets of both their shows to regain control.
So who gave money to the Colbert Super PAC? Notable names include California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom ($500), former Just Shoot Me and current Hot in Cleveland star Laura Sangiacomo ($250) and the actor who played Josh Lyman on The West Wing, Bradley Whitford ($250).
— Benjamin Nanamaker, InvestorPlace Money & Politics Editor
The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.
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