U.S. comedian Colbert's Super PAC raises $1 million

WASHINGTON Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:09am EST

Stephen Colbert greets a crowd outside the Federal Election Commission (FEC) after his meeting with members of FEC to discuss his proposal to establish an Independent expenditure-only political committee and Draft Advisory Opinion 2011-12 in Washington June 30, 2011. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

Stephen Colbert greets a crowd outside the Federal Election Commission (FEC) after his meeting with members of FEC to discuss his proposal to establish an Independent expenditure-only political committee and Draft Advisory Opinion 2011-12 in Washington June 30, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Yuri Gripas

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Stephen Colbert's U.S. presidential aspirations may not be serious, but his fundraising is. The late-night television comedian's Super PAC announced on Tuesday that it has raised more than $1 million (634 thousand pounds).

Shauna Polk, treasurer of Colbert's Super Political Action Committee "Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow," said in a filing with the Federal Election Commission that, as of January 30, the group's donations totalled $1,023,121.24.

Colbert has used his comedy show, "The Colbert Report," to make a serious point about the massive growth of new Super PAC funding organizations, which are spending huge amounts of attack ads on candidates in the 2012 campaign.

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2010 allows corporations and unions to raise unlimited funds to buy advertisements that encourage or discourage the election of specific candidates.

But the PAC did not completely avoid satire in its FEC filing.

"Stephen Colbert, President of ABTT, has asked that I quote him as saying, '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,'" Polk said in the filing.

"I would like it noted for the record that I advised Mr. Colbert against including that quote," Polk wrote.

There were well-known contributors to the Super PAC listed in the FEC filing, including California's lieutenant governor, Gavin Newsom, who gave $500.

(Reporting By Patricia Zengerle and Alex Cohen, writing by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Paul Simao)

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