Reporting from Washington — In a spoof within a spoof, Stephen Colbert’s "super PAC" is the target of a new campaign launched by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to get “special interest money” out of political campaigns.
Pelosi posted a satirical political ad Thursday on YouTube in which she explains that she and Colbert used to be friends – until he started a super PAC that he has used to attack her "friend," the GOP presidential contender Newt Gingrich. (That’s a reference to the 2008 ad she filmed with Gingrich, which has brought him grief on the presidential campaign trail.)
“Since the day he started the super PAC, taking secret money from special interests, he’s been out of control,” Pelosi deadpans into the camera. “Colbert must be stopped.”
Colbert, the late-night comedian, launched his super PAC last year as a way to highlight the new fundraising tool that allows corporations, unions and individuals to pool unlimited amounts of money to spend on political campaigns.
Critics argue that super PACs give donors the opportunity to influence elections secretly by laundering their contributions through nonprofit groups. Financial disclosure forms released last week show little evidence of that practice, however.
Colbert's super PAC announced last week that it had raised more than $1 million since it was formed, and the name of every donor who gave more than $250 last year was dutifully disclosed.
The super PACs – a special type of political action committee – are expected to play an oversized role this election season, heavily influencing the presidential race as well as the races for Congress. Colbert has largely targeted his PAC’s money on the GOP presidential race.
“If that wasn’t enough, I hear he doesn’t even like kittens,” Pelosi said.
Pelosi and fellow Democratic Rep. Chris VanHollen of Maryland are reintroducing the so-called DISCLOSE Act on Thursday – legislation that would require greater disclosure of contributions.