Stephen Colbert's "Americans for a Better Tomorrow" Super-PAC might be just another political element in his comedy routine, but the PAC itself has raised over $1.02 million in donations.
The Colbert Super PAC sent in its forms to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on Tuesday, and Colbert issued a statement saying that: "We raised it on my show and used it to materially influence the elections – in full accordance with the law. It's the way our founding fathers would have wanted it, if they had founded corporations instead of just a country."
The comedian has not revealed what he plans to do with all that money, but the PAC has released a number of ads which poke fun of current issues – such as an over-the-top negative ad campaign against Republican candidates by themselves, an anti-players ad during the NBA lockout, and the "Definitely Not Coordinating With Stephen Colbert Super Pac," which features actor Samuel L. Jackson as the narrator. To prove that he is not coordinating the ads, Colbert handed over control of his PAC to The Daily Show host Jon Stewart.
Colbert has been using the PAC to highlight what he considers the absurdity of campaign finance law and, in particular, the 2010 Supreme Court ruling that allows corporations and unions to raise limitless money to run campaign ads, the Associated Press wrote. Despite the satirical nature of the PAC, fans of his show have been very committed to donating for the cause, as the $1.02 million figure suggests.
That figure is certainly a respectable amount – but not even 10 percent of what Restore Our Future, a super PAC that supports Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, has accumulated. According to reports it has generated more than $12 million in this election cycle.
Some, like Utah Sen. Mike Lee, who in October asked the FEC to allow his Constitutional Conservatives Fund to act as a super political action committee and become the first politician to lead his own organization, even credited Colbert for putting a spotlight on the rights and regulations of PACs.
"We are trying to figure out whether we are entitled to the same treatment as other super PACs, like the now-famous PAC started by Stephen Colbert," Lee said, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
Colbert, who is from South Carolina, spoke to a crowd of about 3,000 people a day before the state's Republican primary on Jan. 21, where he encouraged people to vote for Herman Cain - the former GOP presidential candidate who dropped out of the race, but unlike Colbert, was still on the voting sheet, CBS News shared.