Update: An earlier version of this story used an outdated job description for Gavin Newsom. He is no longer the mayor of San Francisco.
Stephen Colbert’s ongoing, public performance routine around his Super PAC may be played for laughs on his nightly show, but the money he’s raising is no joke. According to documents Colbert filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), his Super PAC has raised $1,023,121.24 as of Jan. 30.
In a 147-page filing posted to his site, the Super PAC, named ”Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow, Inc.” raised money mostly in $250 increments from people as varied as technology company founders; a Rolling Stones cover band; Gavin Newsom, Lt. Governor of California; and a few $1 donations from what appear to be fake names likely concocted by comedy writers, or 12-year-old boy, the New York Times reports.
The money has been spent on media consulting companies, comedy troupes and television companies in advertising buys. The filings state that Colbert still has $673,954 to spend. Expect more ads with threatening thunder, waving American flags and absurd premises. Colbert’s latest attack ad, narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, attacked Stephen Colbert.
On his Monday night’s show, Colbert wrested control of the Super PAC money back from Jon Stewart, in an elaborate opening joke that saw Stewart hiding among the ladies of the “View” and Colbert sucking the money out of Stewart’s mouth in a Voldemort-like green fog.
The outlandish joke, as with most of Colbert’s Super PAC dealings, was meant to draw attention to a quirk in our campaign laws. Colbert points out Jan. 31 is an important day in the primary season: the day Super PACs disclose how they raised their money in 2011 to the FEC. As Colbert mentions on his show, the information may have come in handy for the voters of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida — but thanks to the compressed primary schedule, voters often did not know who was spending money to support which presidential candidates.