Wednesday, February 1, 2012

People & Entertainment Stephen Colbert's PAC takes in $1 million

“How you like me now, FEC?” Stephen Colbert asked in a letter.  
 NEW YORK — Stephen Colbert's sway in the presidential election might be a joke, but he's got some real financial muscle. The comedian disclosed Tuesday that his Americans for a Better Tomorrow "super" political action committee has raised a staggering $1.02 million. PACs were required to submit their financial reports to the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday. In a letter to the commission, Colbert was quoted as saying, "How you like me now, FEC?"
"I'm rolling seven digits deep!" Colbert said. "I got 99 problems but a non-connected independent-expenditure only committee ain't one!"
Paula Abdul
Colbert raised the money by asking for donations from viewers of "The Colbert Report." He has used the PAC to highlight what he considers the absurdity of campaign finance law and, in particular, the 2010 Supreme Court ruling that allows corporations and unions to raise limitless money to run campaign ads.
"We raised it on my show and used it to materially influence the elections – in full accordance with the law," Colbert said in a press release. "It's the way our Founding Fathers would have wanted it, if they had founded corporations instead of just a country."
When Colbert earlier flirted with running for president, he legally transferred control of his PAC to Jon Stewart of "The Daily Show." On Monday's "The Colbert Report," he elaborately hunted down Stewart to regain his PAC presidency.
Colbert said Tuesday that the PAC is considering yet another name change to: John Colbert Cougar Super MellenPAC.
On "The Report," Colbert has portrayed every turn of the screw in the life of a political action committee, going through the minutia of the law with his attorney, Trevor Potter, former Federal Election Commission chairman.
Thus far, his PAC has created a handful of television ads, including an over-the-top negative ad against Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and an anti-players ad during the NBA lockout.
Tuesday's FEC filing also revealed the donors who gave more than $200 to Colbert's PAC. Among them are Gavin Newsom, lieutenant governor of California (who gave $500), Bradley Whitford of the "The West Wing" ($250) and "Hot in Cleveland" star Laura Sangiacomo ($250).
Colbert is yet to say what he intends to do with his money.
Neil Young: Steve Jobs preferred vinyl tunes
DANA POINT, Calif. — Legendary rocker Neil Young has taken his campaign for higher-fidelity digital sound to the stage of a technology conference. He says a giant of technology was on his side: the late Steve Jobs.
Young says the Apple co-founder was such a fan of music that he didn't use his iPod and its digitally compressed files at home. Instead, Young says, Jobs listened to vinyl albums.
Young told the "D: Dive Into Media" conference Tuesday that he spoke with Jobs about creating a format that has 20 times the fidelity of files in the most current digital formats, including MP3.
He speculated that if Jobs had lived longer, he might have tried to create a system that used this higher-quality format.
Actress Cynthia Nixon clarifies gay 'choice'
SAN FRANCISCO — Actress Cynthia Nixon is trying to clarify her earlier remarks that got her in hot water with some gay rights activists.
The "Sex and the City" star's personal life became an exercise in the politics of sexual orientation last week when The New York Times Magazine quoted Nixon saying that for her, being gay was a conscious choice. Nixon has been in a relationship with a woman for eight years. Before that, she spent 15 years and had two children with a man.
After some gay rights activists complained that Nixon's remarks could be used to deny a biological basis for homosexuality, the actress on Monday released a statement to The Advocate magazine.
Nixon said: "What I have 'chosen' is to be in a gay relationship."
Abdul gone from 'X Factor'
Paula Abdul joined the exodus from Fox's disappointing "The X Factor," attributing her departure to business trumping all else. Abdul said Tuesday she won't return to "dear friend" Simon Cowell's singing contest when it begins its second season later this year. Her announcement followed Monday's exits of fellow judge Nicole Scherzinger and host Steve Jones.
"I've learned through my longevity in this industry that business decisions often times override personal considerations," Abdul said in a measured statement. She and others involved with the show understand the situation, she said, adding, "Simon is, and will remain a dear friend of mine and I've treasured" working on "X Factor."
In a separate statement, Cowell didn't address the reason for the changes but thanked the exiting trio "for everything they did last year."
Cowell and Antonio "L.A." Reid remained on the judging panel. There was no immediate word from producers on who might fill the open seats.
Cowell returned Abdul's good wishes and said he expected he and his former "American Idol" teammate would work on another project in the near future.
Despite respectable ratings, "X Factor" has failed to achieve popularity similar to Fox's "American Idol," which Cowell left to import "X Factor" from the U.K. to the U.S. He had predicted his new show would be a blockbuster.

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