Comedian Stephen Colbert sat down with Rock Center Special Correspondent Ted Koppel to talk about the influence of Super PACs in this year's election. While joking with Koppel, Colbert also got serious, telling the backstory of how he formed his Super PAC.
Tuesday is the day for the so-called Super PACS to file an annual report of donors. NBC News and msnbc.com will be scouring the filings, and posting details. We'll have updates on msnbc.com, and could always use your help identifying the economic and political interests behind the names.
TV political satirist Stephen Colbert kicked off the reporting by filing a statement showing $1 million in contributions to his group, Americans for A Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow. You can see his announcement and filing here.
"'Yeah! How you like me now, F.E.C?" Colbert told the Federal Election Commission in a cover letter. "I'm rolling seven digits deep! I got 99 problems but a non-connected independent-expenditure only committee ain't one!''
"We raised it on my show," Colbert told his fans, "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."
Colbert had fun on his show Monday night with some of the bogus names of donors listed on his report: Pat Magroin, Ibin Yerkinoff, and Frumunda Mabalz.
The political action committees must disclose by midnight tonight who gave them money, and how much they spent to support or oppose candidates in the presidential race, including the Republican candidates and President Obama as well.
The official deadline for filing is midnight ET (12 a.m. Wednesday), so reports may trickle in. And it wouldn't surprise us if some campaigns file late tonight as attention is focused on voting results in the Florida Republican primary.
Super PACS are known to the Federal Election Commission as independent committees, because they are forbidden to coordinate their activities with campaigns. Outside the limits of campaign finance laws, Super PACs may raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, unions, associations and individuals. They can use that money to advocate for or against political candidates.
Read more about the reports filed Tuesday: