Stephen Colbert’s mockingly named super PAC, Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow, has reached a milestone.
According to paperwork the TV faux pundit filed with the Federal Election Commission at the end of this month, the super PAC has raised more than $1 million in cold, hard cash, from an extended network of fans and supporters—lovingly named the Colbert Nation.
Colbert’s reaction to the news?
“Yeah! How you like me now, FEC? I’m rolling seven digits deep! I got 99 problems but a non-connected independent-expenditure only committee ain’t one!” he said, according to super PAC treasurer Shauna Pol.
In recent months, Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow (ABTT) has so far spent $90,100, according to OpenSecrets: $39,500 in production costs and air time for an ad supporting Herman Cain and $50,600 attacking Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney.
That leaves $910,000 of unspent cash. So what to do with all that money?
We polled our readers on Facebook and followers on Twitter (using hashtag #colbertcash—see the thread—for suggestions as to how to spend it. The range of answers, of course, is expansive, but for the most part they stick to three common themes.
Some, like Facebook user Carol S., argued for giving the money to charities. “Use this real money for real issues, not just a gag,” she wrote. “Kids can be saved by getting the word out. And they will change the world.” Rebecca L. focused on people with disabilities. “Use it to help people with disabilities find and keep employment,” she wrote on our page. “That way they have meaningful work, pay taxes and are part of the community! Win-win!” There were others, pushing for recipients that ranged from Haiti, Doctors Without Borders, and St. Jude’s hospital, to underwater homeowners, the IAVA, charter schools, or simply, to feed the hungry.
Others, like Diane T., pushed for educational causes. “I’d like to see him put it towards education for young people encouraging their participation in the electoral process,” she wrote. “Give it to college students in scholarships!” Laura V. added. “But the have to apply for the scholarships in a stephen colbert kind of way. Twitter user @terrishea had a idea sure to set well with the kids of the 80's: “Buy ad time, pay licensing fees, and re-air Schoolhouse Rock. Especially the civics lessons.”
But the majority of users across both social sites advised Colbert stay the course—exposing Citizen’s United’s negative impact on the political process.
“What Colbert and Stewart are doing to expose the danger of Super PAC’s is exactly what they should continue to do with #colbertcash,” tweeted @toayc. Scott M. on Facebook was right there with him. “Keep making fun of the Citizens United ruling; that needs 365 24/7 attention until Congress passes a law that nullifies it.” Amanda S. too: “Keep exposing Citizens United for the farce that it is.”
Many others chimed in.
Shirlee J.: “He should put it into the Move to Amend organization to reverse the Citizens United decision that led to the ability to make SuperPACs.”
Rachel B.: Expose truthiness wherever it may be found in the statements of the candidates and the super-PACs.
Jeff E. “He should use it to do what they have done so far: Expose the hypocrisy of our broken political system.”
But our favorite, due to its relevance on the current campaign news cycle and, given Colbert’s penchant for larger-than-life stunts in the past (Colbert’s namesakes include a hockey team’s mascot, an ice cream flavor, and the COLBERT, a treadmill on the International Space Station. Our favorite was Dick B.’s suggestion: “Use it to launch and land a bright red neon solar-powered ‘Colbert Nation’ sign on the moon.”
That would truly be the winner for Americans of tomorrow, tomorrow.