Colbert creates shell corporation to lampoon Karl Rove's groups

Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert created his own shell corporation Thursday to illustrate how former Bush adviser Karl Rove is able to hide donors to his American Crossroads Super-PAC.

Rove set up two corporations — American Crossroads Super-PAC, which under federal law is required to disclose contributions and donors monthly and can spend money on ads attacking or supporting candidates, and American Crossroads GPS, which as a 501(c)(4) does not have to disclose its donors but must spend money primarily on issue-driven advertisement and spending.


The catch is that 501(c)(4) organizations can donate to Super-PACs, effectively hiding the identity of individual or corporate donors giving to groups specifically aimed at promoting or criticizing certain candidates.

“Clearly, these (c)(4)s have created an unprecedented, unaccountable, untraceable cash tsunami that will infect every corner of the next election,” Colbert said. “And I feel like an idiot for not having one.”

Stephen Law, the head of both the Crossroads Super-PAC and Crossroads GPS, has denied that this was the intention in creating both groups, saying some donors simply preferred to focus on issue-oriented campaigns rather than target specific elections.

Colbert has already created his own "Colbert Super-PAC" to lampoon the recent Citizens United decision, in which the Supreme Court removed restrictions on corporations to spend on behalf of candidates. His organization has launched ads urging Republicans to vote for Rick "Parry" in the Iowa straw poll.

But furthering the ruse, Colbert had former campaign attorney to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) Trevor Potter create a Delaware shell corporation and 501(c)(4) organization — named "Anonymous Shell Corporation" — so he would be able to follow in Rove's footsteps and funnel donations anonymously into his Super-PAC.

“So I can get money for my (c)(4), use that for political purposes, and nobody know anything about it until six months after the election?” Colbert asked.

“Yes,” Potter said. “And even then they won’t know who your donors are.”

“That’s my kind of campaign finance restrictions,” Colbert said. 

The comedian also asked the finance lawyer how what he was doing was different from money laundering.

“It’s hard to say,” Potter said.

Watch below.