On Tuesday January 31, 2012, Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow (ABTT) fi led paperwork with the FEC indicating that the super PAC had raised more than $1 million. The day before, Stephen Colbert had regained the presidency of ABTT after having briefl y ceded control to John Stewart while Colbert formed an exploratory presidential campaign committee. As president of ABTT once again, Colbert requested that the group’s treasurer, Shauna Polk, submit a supplemental memo to the FEC with ABTT’s disclosure report. In that memo, Colbert is quoted as saying, “ ‘Yeah! How you like me now, F.E.C? I’m rolling seven digits deep! I got 99 problems but a non-connected independent-expenditure only committee ain’t one!’ ” 1

Colbert’s riff on popular recording artist Jay-Z’s hit song, “99 Problems,” highlighted the ease with which “non-connected independent-expenditure only committees” (i.e., super PACs) could be formed and raise money. Even President Obama, who stated his opposition to super PACs and corporate spending several times immediately after the Citizens United and SpeechNow rulings, eventually endorsed a super PAC in early 2012. These were just two of the over 1,000 super PACs that were created in the 2012 election cycle, 255 of which spent money totaling approximately $600 million.2 Clearly, creating a super PAC to operate in the 2012 election was not a problem, but do super PACs (and similar groups) pose a problem for democracy moving forward?