Stephen Colbert’s “super PAC” Americans For A Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow last week asked supporters to write the Federal Election Commission in “support” of American Crossroads’ request to, essentially, coordinate “non-coordinated” campaign advertisements with politicians.
Colbert was mocking a request for an advisory opinion sent to the FEC on behalf of Karl Rove’s American Crossroads which stated: “While these advertisements would be fully coordinated with incumbent Members of Congress facing re-election in 2012, they would presumably not qualify as ‘coordinated communications.”
One example Colbert gave in a letter to the FEC: “For example, an ad in which the Kool Aid man decries our nation-wide childhood thirst problem would not necessarily be an ad for Kool Aid brand juice drink. That being said, would a tall glass of Kool-Aid solve that thirst problem? To quote one expert: ‘Oh, yeaaahhhh!’”
Plenty of the letters from Colbert supporters struck a serious tone and warned of the perils of “non-coordinated” super PAC ads featuring politicians. Others took a less academic approach (“ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR EVER-LOVIN’ MINDS?” and “You gotta be sh*ttin me!). Still others resorted to calling Karl Rove names.
But our favorites were the ones that were written with a tongue firmly in cheek. Some selections:
- “I can think of no better use for my tax dollars than further aiding and abetting the general provision that while people are not assets, assets can be construed as people. Let’s keep our “Free and Fair Election” process free and fair… to multimillionaires and corporations.”
- “I would like to express my support for Karl Rove & America Crossroads in their effort to allow Super Pac’s to coordinate with Candidates. We all know every elected official in Washington is bought and paid for by some Corporate interest or other. Why keep the thin veil of a wall up not allowing Super Pac’s to coordinate with the Candidate they support? We know the Super Pac is buying the election for the candidate. The rule of not allowing the Super Pac to coordinate with the Candidate only clouds the issue. Eliminate the rule so we can all be clear about who is telling the candidate how to vote on legislation.”
- “I, along with Stephen Colbert, think that it’s just fine and dandy that you are satisfied that both political parties merely follow the letter of the law while skirting its intent. You are setting a fine example for the children and the future of America, and you should all be very proud.”
- “I am a middle-class, white male, that reads my news from various sources, and does not currently have cable television or access to broadcast television. I’m worried that the rest of Americans that do have cable or broadcast television aren’t getting enough good, reputable information about the candidates in the 24-hour news cycle. I fully support Mr. Rove’s desire to spend unlimited quantities of money, in coordination with a chosen candidate(s), to fill the airwaves with the message of American Crossroads and Crossroads G.P.S. My fellow Americans must learn about the issues through these issues ads. Where else would they possibly be able to learn about them?! There are no other sources of information available besides that square thing that glows and shouts at them, have a heart FEC!”
- “Please continue to allow Karl Rove and all other PACS and SUPERPACS to covertly buy elections and mold public opinion with antagonistic rhetoric designed to manipulate human emotions and psychology to continue to elect parties that siphon off the utility of the labor and decency utility of the labor and decency of the common man into the coffers of usurers, corporate whores, and the greedy American ‘elite.’”
- “As a non-disclosed supporter of the Colbert Super PAC and the canned ham known as [K]arl Rove, I would like to… [show] support for the policies that allow unrestricted donations by corporations to directly coordinate with candidates running for office as our founding fathers clearly wanted when they allowed corporation to vote and pursue happiness (aka buy happiness thought paying to elect candidates) in the lesser known appendix to the constitution.”
- “Buying our democracy for the win.”
- “I am in favor of uncoordinated coordination in allowing candidates to pretend that they are appearing in a non political ad. Who wouldn’t be. […] Look, if it looks like political advertising co-ordination and it tastes like political advertising coordination and it smells like political advertising coordination, why should we think it is political advertising coordination. Good thing we didn’t step in.”
- “Since the Supreme Court says money is free speech, and Karl Rove can raise a ton of money, then he definitely deserves to have way more free speech than I do.”
- “What fun is buying somebody an election if you have no elected official to share the moment with? Please allow our almighty corporations to anonymously fund elections with no limits at all so that our government will completely belong to corporations, as god intended.”
- “I would Just like to say that giving Karl Rove and American Crossroads the ability to work with election campaigns seems like a fantastic ideal! I believe that unjust regulations are impeding the progress of superpacs to create new jobs. Let the free market decide if these shady organization should be able to control elections and manipulate the electorate.”
In his letter, Colbert suggested that if the commission doesn’t grant the American Crossroads request, he’s got a compromise.
“To avoid the appearance of collusion, the F.E.C. could rule that candidates can appear in Super PAC ads only against their will,” he wrote. “They’d have to be kidnapped, blindfolded, and thrown in a van before being forced to read a statement supporting their goals and then returned to their fundraisers in time for dessert.”
Colbert discussed the issue on his show with lawyer Trevor Potter:
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