Colbert super-PAC spending slows

Comedian Stephen Colbert made headlines earlier this year when his super-PAC surpassed the $1 million mark in funds raised, but the television star is cutting down on its spending.

Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow, which has almost $794,000 in its treasury, spent a paltry $28,000 in March. In contrast, it spent roughly $130,000 in January of this year.

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The super-PAC has spent roughly $327,000 in total out of more than $1.1 million raised since its creation in August of last year, filings indicate. Approximately $80,000, or 24.5 percent of the disbursements, were on media buys and ad production costs in January supporting GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain after he dropped out of the race.

The ads also opposed presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney and former candidate Newt Gingrich.

Colbert’s February and March reports disclose payments for media and financial consulting, Web and legal services. He also paid under $100 per month for storage.

The super-PAC spent $152,000 in 2011 on similar services as well as advertising services in Iowa and New York, writing, email communications and T-shirt design and manufacturing, records indicate.

Donations have also dropped dramatically since the beginning of 2012. Colbert’s committee received more than $219,000 in January of this year compared to nearly $44,000 in March, filings show.

Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow did not respond to requests for comment.

While Colbert’s super-PAC has seen a decrease in activity since February, the comedian has not been resting. He announced the creation of mini-Colbert PACs on the college level in March.

The host of “The Colbert Report” created 1,000 “Colbert Super PAC Super Fun Packs” to spur the registrations. The packs include “Federal Election Commission paperwork, filing instructions, an Allen wrench and a small canned ham that resembles Karl Rove.” The kits sold out in less than a week, according to a letter from Colbert on his super-PAC website.

“Both presidential candidates have been making cheap attempts to pander to the youth, which merely comes off as fake, or ‘whack.’ They’re too little, too late, while Colbert Super PAC is neither little nor late — we’re large and now,” Colbert wrote in his newsletter.

“And with a thousand unaffiliated Super PAC tentacles stretching to colleges across this land, my power (like your student loan debts) will only grow.”

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has already accepted at least nine registrations in Colbert-spurred super-PACs. Not all of these registrations were recipients of his Super Fun Packs, though. 

Several other groups registered super-PACs “riding the wallet tails” of Colbert, the comedian said on his show in February. At least one of the super-PACs with a similar name was created prior to his announcement of spinoff super-PACs, The Hill reported previously.

  Super-PACs can raise unlimited funds but cannot make contributions to federal candidates or committees, nor are they allowed to coordinate with candidates.