Type of organization: Super PAC
Supports: Political satire
Founded: June 30, 2011
- Stephen Colbert (president and founder): Comedian and pundit who hosts The Colbert Report on Comedy Central.
- Trevor Potter (counsel): Former Federal Election Commission chairman, who served as counsel to Republican John McCain’s presidential campaigns in 2000 and 2008, and who founded of the nonparitsan Campaign Legal Center, which advocates for campaign finance reform.
- Shauna Polk (treasurer): Compliance coordinator at D.C. law firm Caplin & Drysdale, which also employs Potter.
Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow was one of Colbert’s high-profile attempts to combine comedy with politics. His previous endeavors included a 2008 run for president and the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear, which he and fellow comedian Jon Stewart hosted in Washington, D.C., in October 2010.
In a press release announcing that the super PAC had filed with the Federal Election Commission, Colbert noted, “We raised [the money] 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.”
In its initial filing with the FEC, the group reported raising more than $1 million.
In the cover letter, Colbert makes reference to the Jay-Z song “99 Problems,” stating, “Yeah! How you like me now, F.E.C? I’m rolling seven digits deep! I got 99 problems but a non-connected independent-expenditure only committee ain’t one!”
Since then, Colbert used the group to highlight and mock the campaign finance system.
After Republican Herman Cain exited the GOP presidential primaries, Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow endorsed Cain for president via Twitter and several advertising spots through mid-January, though Cain suspended his campaign on Nov. 30.
Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow spent some of funds to disperse 1,000 “super fun packs.” According to Colbert, the $99 kits were designed to help college students form their own super PACs and “get their political voices heard on a national stage, not just at Thanksgiving Dinner where they get in a shouting match with Uncle Jack that makes Aunt Noreen cry.”
On Nov. 13, Politico reported Colbert was shutting down the super PAC following an announcement — and the death of the super PAC’s mascot and fictional adviser “Ham Rove” — on his show, “The Colbert Report”.
Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow transferred nearly $774,000 of its remaining funds to the Colbert Super PAC SHH Institute, a nonprofit Colbert had started, according to the super PAC’s termination report. That entity proceeded to donate the funds to charity, including relief effots after super storm Sandy, a group that supports injured military members, the Campaign Legal Center and the Center for Responsive Politics.
- The group’s advertisements can be found here.
Last updated: Jan. 17, 2013
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