Colbert's super PAC says good night
November 13th, 2012
10:18 PM ET
6 years ago

Colbert's super PAC says good night

(CNN) - The super PAC started by comedian Stephen Colbert has officially closed its doors, according to filings posted late Tuesday night on the Federal Election Commission's website.

Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow Inc.– a super PAC created to mock the 2010 Supreme Court ruling that allowed such entities to form - raked in more than $1.2 million since its start-up in the summer of 2011, the reports showed.

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In a post on the super PAC's website, Colbert attributed the closing of the group to the "timely passing" of Ham Rove, the super PAC's adviser and chief strategist. The character is actually a large piece of meat that wears glasses and is meant to bear the likeness of Karl Rove, political strategist to former President George W. Bush.

"During this time of mourning, we ask that you respect our privacy, and more importantly, the privacy of our money. It wishes to stay out of the public eye, so please don't go trying to find it. Rest assured, you won't. We have a really good lawyer," the letter stated.

On his Comedy Central show, "The Colbert Report," the faux conservative's lawyer explained Monday how Colbert could shift the funds into a 501(c)4 organization, which is considered a private group that's not required to disclose donor information.

Tuesday's documents indicated that Colbert listened to the lawyer's advice, as a massive donation of $773,705 was given to the "Colbert Super PAC SHH Institute" on Monday, leaving the super PAC with zero dollars in the bank by the time of termination.

Colbert played up the role of his super PAC during the Republican primaries and mulled a fake presidential bid in South Carolina, his home state. When officials told him it was too late to campaign, he showed up in the state anyway ahead of its primary with former candidate Herman Cain, whose name was on the ballot even though he suspended his campaign a month earlier.

The group also purchased ads, including its inaugural ad last summer urging voters to back Rick P(a)rry, a parody on the law's stipulation that super PACs are not legally permitted to coordinate with a campaign or candidate.

Filed under: 2012 • Fundraising • Stephen Colbert
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Gerry

    I think that in his jest, Colbert has shined light on a subject many would otherwise know nothing about.

    November 13, 2012 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |

    The point is to show just how corrupt these superpacs are, when they are not supposed to have control over them they really do, they just have to act like its indirect control. Then when its all said and done they can hustle it away so they can keep the money personally, never have to claim a dime of it on taxes and ultimately laugh at all of us while counting their dirty money.

    November 13, 2012 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  3. djiperfection

    he deserves 100 million for all the laughter he causes. Colbert 4 president. at least he admits politics is a big lie. keep the mockery of the frauds up. R I P HAM ROVE @DJIPERFECTION PEACE

    November 13, 2012 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  4. Mike H

    I'm sure he'll soon let everyone know which charity the money has gone to.

    November 13, 2012 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  5. Dan, TX

    Next time, there will be lots of superpacs that will have leftover money at the end that will disappear into the pockets of those that are way smarter than their donors.

    November 13, 2012 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  6. Former Republican, now an Independent

    The only success of the Colbert Super PAC is, the fact that they made the Supreme Court the joke that they really are. The Citizens United ruling was clearly a move by the republican dominated court to put the republican candidate in the White House. If it wasn't for the fact that their blatant political leanings are so dangerous to the nation, This would be the most laughable mockery of a supreme court in the history of the world.

    November 13, 2012 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  7. Jhamilton918

    This was complete genius from start to finish. They showed the travesty of citizens united decision, by making a mockery of it.

    November 13, 2012 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  8. Workers Unite

    Just another in a long line of con artists!! WHen will people learn ?

    November 13, 2012 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  9. lizard6849

    Well, what happens to the other $770K???

    November 13, 2012 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  10. Tara

    I love how Colbert has been pointing out the absurdities of this PAC system. This is a good close to his lessons in loopholery.

    I hope he donates the money to a good organization. That would be lovely.

    November 13, 2012 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  11. GunnerGA

    I certainly hope Colbert find use of that money to continue to hammer away at the Citizen's United impact - even though the election will be out of the limelight for awhile and despite the fact that much of that SuperPAC money fell on deaf ears. What it did do, however, is possibly suppress turnout of voters from all political persuasions. What it did do was circumvent what Congress had intented to do back in the 70's after Watergate and shine a light ob such organizations and shadowy contributions and expenditures.

    What SHOULD be done is a requirement that money raised in a campaign year be spent prior to the election for which it was intended and ONLY during the election cycle for which it was raise. After which, all remaining monies must be taxed at 100%. This would at least force such organizations to not horde money creating a war chest that will permit ther use long after their support has dried up. Certainly many of those SuperPACs will be paying their staffs plenty of money AFTER the election. This should and CAN be stopped throuh Congresses taxing authority. Who in Congress has the balls to make such political organizations AND the recipients of their Contributions liable of losing their tax exempt status if they do not spend their money. ONLY a candidates own campaign should be permitted to bank their unspent money. PACs should abide by much the same rules with only minor allowances for those who push issues and not corporate or labor union related groups.

    November 13, 2012 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  12. davecu

    Parodies of our electoral process are distasteful in the extreme.

    Too close to the shameful truth.

    November 13, 2012 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  13. Mike

    The best part of all this, for those who missed the show, is that the money that disappears can be given to anybody – TAX FREE! Hopefully Colbert gave the money to the Red Cross but it appears he could have pocketed it all himself, legally.

    November 14, 2012 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  14. Jim Walker

    Colbert is conducting a public exposition of precisely how ridiculous all these PACs are. I'm certain all of that money will wind up being donated to some charity. Colbert has too much integrity to just use it for himself.

    November 14, 2012 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  15. wjmccartan

    Alas Horaito, I knew Ham Rove well

    November 14, 2012 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  16. Not Stephen Colbert

    The man was nothing but a ham, stealing your spotlight, with his informative insight into the greasy underworld of the repubacon party, he should have fried like the rest of them, eggs and all.

    November 14, 2012 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  17. fekt

    Proabably about the same thing Rove is doing with the left overs now as well.

    November 14, 2012 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  18. Senior Moment

    As with everything Corbert did around PAC's, it was to point out deficiencies in election law that need to be corrected. It may even have been to take a jab at Carl Rove to raise the basic question of how much are SuperPac and related founders paying themselves or routing as Corbert demonstrated and be done to even gain tax free income. My guess is at some point he will decide to publicly donate the money or spend it to buy specific emergency assistance for New York City residents harmed by Sandy storm surges, but nothing keeps him from any choice now. He might even use it to reimburse his own share of costs for the big 2008 elections Voting Rally in Washington, D.C. or a future such public party.

    November 14, 2012 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
  19. Lottsa Doh

    Wow, I need to do this next go round in 2016. I only need enough to paint my car and re-sod my back yard.

    November 14, 2012 03:19 am at 3:19 am |
  20. MathProf

    Touche'-in this case, parody drives the point home well that $$$ does indeed buy elective office.

    November 14, 2012 04:25 am at 4:25 am |
  21. Don

    Way to go Stephen. You earned every penny.

    November 14, 2012 06:09 am at 6:09 am |
  22. sc2pilot

    Wow, that's a pretty good deal! Can I start a Super PAC, get a bunch of people to give me a million dollars, use it to campaign in every corner of the United States (but focusing mainly on Hawaii, and doing foreign policy outreach in Bora Bora), and then keep the excess money when I am done?

    I think I could get used to that life.

    November 14, 2012 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
  23. TomInRochNY

    Ah, Colbert. You are the wind beneath our political wings!

    November 14, 2012 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  24. Fifi

    As usual thanks for the laughs Mr.Colbert. And Mr.Rove you did just by being the sore 4 year old loser in the sand box that you were, all on national tv for all to see. Politics are usually not funny or something to laugh at but these 2 gave me elect night giggles. Thanks guys.

    November 14, 2012 06:58 am at 6:58 am |
  25. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    As always, this is some funny stuff by Colbert. This is something also important that there needs to be less money not more in the political system. The only thing we need more in the political system is people. People need to vote and voice their opinions so that we can really have a government of, by and for the people.

    November 14, 2012 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
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