Bill Maher pledges $1 million to Obama campaign support group

The Associated Press, Friday, February 24, 2012, 2:43pm (PST)
  • WASHINGTON (AP) -- Faux news host Stephen Colbert isn't the only comedian with a super PAC connection. Political satirist Bill Maher got into the act Thursday night, pledging $1 million to a political committee supporting President Barack Obama.

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    Maher announced during a Yahoo-webcast special, "CrazyStupidPolitics," that he was giving $1 million to Priorities USA Action, a super political action committee backing the president. Even as he made his sizeable pledge, Maher mocked the committee's "tongue-twister name," joking that it was dreamed up by Borat, the English-addled Eastern European comic creation of Sacha Baron Cohen.

    A cynic on politics who often takes liberal stands on issues on his HBO talk show, "Real Time," Maher joins DreamWorks Animation executive Jeffrey Katzenberg and the Service Employees International Union as the committee's top funders. Katzenberg gave the group $2 million, and the union donated $1 million.

    Bill Burton, senior strategist with Priorities USA Action, said that Maher's donation was a start in taking on GOP-leaning committees funded by "billionaire oil executives." The committee took in only $58,000 last month, prompting an Obama campaign green light for a stronger emphasis on donations.

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    "We appreciate Mr. Maher and others have so generously stepped up to the plate to fight back," Burton said.

    Colbert created and funded his super PAC, Making a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow, to satirize the unfettered flow of corporate and union funds into political campaigns.

    More than half of the $60 million donated to groups supporting Obama and his GOP presidential rivals since early last year has come in million-dollar-plus donations. With Maher's donation, $4 million of Priorities USA Action's entire $5.5 million in contributions will have come from million-dollar-plus gifts.

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