Stephen Colbert Assists in Dedication of Ham Rove Memorial Conference Room at Campaign Legal Center
This evening, the Campaign Legal Center officially dedicated the Ham Rove Memorial Conference Room, with an assist from comedian Stephen Colbert, in order to meet the sole condition for accepting a generous check from the Ham Rove Memorial Fund. The popular host of Comedy Central’s Colbert Report provided videotaped remarks (link below) for the occasion and personally donated a life-sized portrait of himself, which now hangs at the Legal Center.
The Ham Rove Memorial Fund was created by Mr. Colbert with money he raised though his Colbert Super PAC. Legal Center President Trevor Potter, through his private law practice, was a frequent guest on the show serving as Mr. Colbert’s attorney and explaining the intricacies of campaign finance and tax law. Mr. Potter helped to create the Colbert Super PAC, the related 501(c)(4) Colbert Super PAC SHH and ultimately the Ham Rove Memorial Fund where the hundreds of thousands of dollars from Colbert Super PAC had vanished in November 2012 without a trace, courtesy of loopholes in the IRS regulations.
“You have to admire a man who gives you his untraceable 501(c)(4) money, knowing you’ll use it in an attempt to shut down untraceable 501(c)(4) money,” Legal Center Executive Director J. Gerald Hebert, remarked at the event beneath Colbert’s portrait. “We hope to use Mr. Colbert’s generous donation to bring about much needed reforms in the campaign finance arena.”
"Stephen Colbert did an amazing job of distilling the complexities of Super PACs and 501(c)(4)s into something that the general public could instantly grasp," Legal Center President Trevor Potter said before unveiling Colbert's portrait at the event. "That coverage did more to educate the American public on the fallout from the Citizens United decision, secret money in campaigns, and the problems with the FEC's and IRS's non-enforcement of the laws, than anything else in the last election cycle," said Potter.
Potter noted that the contribution was an unexpected bonus above and beyond the valuable public service Mr. Colbert provided in airing the segments on his show. The Colbert Report was awarded with a prestigious Peabody Award for the segments of the show related to the Super PAC and the nation’s completely dysfunctional campaign finance system in the wake of the Supreme Court’s controversial Citizens United decision and a series of failures by regulatory agencies, including the Federal Election Commission and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The contribution of $136, 852.41 was officially made by The Ham Rove Memorial Fund of Coastal Community Foundation on the recommendation of Stephen Colbert.
To watch the dedication speech taped for the occasion by Stephen Colbert, click here.