Stephen Colbert’s SuperPAC, Americans For a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow, Inc., filed a disclosure report with the FEC this morning. The PAC raised $219,000 in January alone, compared to $824,305 it raised in all of 2011.
Colbert’s PAC ended last month with $815,000 in the bank, a healthy position, and Politico notes that from the pattern of its spending activities the group appears to be readying a media spend on policial ads.
“Its Thursday report shows that it paid $34,000 in January for media consulting, as well as $14,000 for finance consulting to a well-known Alexandria, Va., GOP firm run by Becki Donatelli, a veteran of the GOP presidential campaigns of George W. Bush and John McCain,” writes Politico.
However if the point of Colbert’s PAC was to parody the political realities of campaign finance, it’s falling short. Why? Simply because too many average working Americans are donating in small amounts and not enough corporations are donating in huge amounts.
Colbert initially formed his PAC to satirize the 2010 Supreme Court decision Citizens United, which removed the $5,000 donation limit and allowed wealthy individuals and corporations to begin donating in unlimited, secret amounts to political races. As Colbert recently noted, half of the money raised for candidates’ SuperPACs for the 2012 race “came from just 22 donors,” each cutting huge checks and guaranteeing influence with their respective candidates should they go on to win the Presidency.
But Politico notes that Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow “did not receive a single contribution in January that exceeded the $5,000 limit” previously enforced by the FEC. Miami Herald notes that in 2011 the PAC received just one check above $5,000, and it was for $9,600. Almost all the million-plus dollars that Colbert’s PAC has raised since its inception has been in the form of small donations from many individuals.
In other words, Colbert’s SuperPAC is totally failing at being ironic. It’s not making a mockery of anonymous corporate donations—it’s receiving many donations Colbert’s grass-roots fanbase.
He may be failing at being ironic, however he is succeeding at raising money and drawing serious attention to the evils of SuperPACs in the process. And personally I am looking forward to the ads Americans For a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow releases more than anything else this election season.