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Early Returns From PAC Filings: Colbert Booms, Perry Busts

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New year-end reports filed with the Federal Election Commission trickle out today, and the early word is that Stephen Colbert's Super PAC raised just under $1 million, while former candidates Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann floundered.

Here's what we know so far, based on campaign filings and independent expenditure filings.

The big winner so far is Stephen Colbert's Super PAC. Building a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow reported collecting over $800,000 in the fourth quarter, the first during which it solicited contributions. Not too shabby, considering it's a big joke. Of that total, only $81,470, or about 10 percent, came from individuals contributing $250 or more.

Newt Gingrich raised almost $9.8 million to close out 2012, but his campaign also spent about $8 million over the same period of time

Rick Perry raised only $2.9 million in the fourth quarter. Perry raised a whopping $17 million in the previous quarter after entering the race. Oops.

Michele Bachmann raised about $1.7 million in the last three months of 2011.

Our Destiny PAC, an independent expenditure organization (Super PAC) devoted to Jon Huntsman raised almost $2.7 million in the fourth quarter. Of that total, almost  $1.9 million came from Jon Huntsman, Sr., the candidate's father. Our Destiny listed 18 donors averaging almost $150,000 per person.

Gary Johnson, whom nobody talks about, raised $161,000.

→ Tim Pawlenty garnered $338,000 in contributions, despite not even running for president anymore.

More reports are due before tonight's midnight deadline, so stay tuned for information on the Romney, Paul, and Santorum campaigns.

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Comments [2]

Nick from Jersey

@Craig, Reader doesn't insiuate that Colbert is a joke, like Perry and Bachmann are. Colbert's Superpac is a joke, because well, it is. He created it to point out how ridiculous the idea of a SuperPac is. In fact, it started out as a PAC, and he turned it into a SuperPac on his show in 10 seconds. SuperPacs are just one of many ways that our democracy has been hijacked. What is most intriguing is that Colbert's donations are mostly under $250. Gingrich and Romney are getting donations at millions and hundreds of thousands per pop, which is ridiculous. All I know is that I would definately vote for him for President. I would vote for him to be King of America. Imagine him with Ahmedinijed, he would drive him crazy!! He would have to keep his show though...

Feb. 01 2012 10:57 PM
Craig Reynolds from San Francisco, CA

I find Stephen Reader's article hard to parse. He says Colbert's Super PAC is “booming” and “the big winner so far” yet it only raised 0.8 million dollars in the fourth quarter, while Perry “busts” raising “only 2.9 million” in the same quarter. Either Reader's arithmetic or vocabulary seem to be out of whack.

He describes Colbert's performance as “Not too shabby, considering it's a big joke.” Is that reporting or editorializing? Plenty of Republican insiders would claim that Rick Perry was a big joke. He was such a yuckster that $20 million couldn't buy him any votes. Certainly Michele Bachmann is a joke. Jon Huntsman seems like a perfectly reasonable guy, but his chances for the nomination never rose above “joke” status. Why is only Colbert described as a joke?

And how does the political impact of spending a $800,000 “joke” differ from the impact of the same amount of “serious” money? To dismiss Colbert's Super PAC as a joke is to completely underestimate the intelligence and political savvy that is driving that effort. I would suggest that The Atlantic Wire has a much better perspective on this issue than does WNYC: http://www.theatlanticwire.com/entertainment/2012/01/stephen-colberts-latest-lesson-campaign-finance-absurdity/47547/

Jan. 31 2012 06:36 PM

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