Fun With Government Documents, Part One: The Colbert Edition

Stephen Colbert

Peabody Award Winning Journalist Stephen Colbert
Photo Credit: Anders Krusberg

Researching government documents doesn’t always have to be a dry, dull exercise – this three-part series should prove that point. We’ll start with the sublime, then work our way through some of the ridiculous.

Let’s begin with two contributions from Stephen Colbert. The first is his testimony on migrant farm labor before the House Immigration Subcommittee on September 24, 2010 [PDF].

The entire testimony is not too long and well worth reading; note that Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers was not too keen on Colbert’s appearance, and not so subtly asked him to leave behind his written statement and beat it.

Conyers relented after Colbert pointed out that his testimony was at the invitation of Subcommittee Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren.

Most of Colbert’s testimony was not the usual Capitol Hill stuff.

Now, I am not a fan of the government doing anything. But I have to ask, why isn’t the government doing anything? Maybe this AgJOBS bill would help. I don’t know. Like most Members of Congress, I haven’t read it . . .

Maybe the easier answer is just to have scientists develop vegetables that pick themselves. The genetic engineers over at Fruit of the Loom have made great strides in human-fruit hybrids.

C-SPAN has the video:


More recently, Colbert’s foray into political fundraising produced a ream of required reporting to the Federal Elections Commission, including this January 31, 2012 memo filed by his SuperPAC, Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow, Inc.

Dear Sirs and Sirettes,

Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow (ABTT) would like it entered into the record that as of January 30th, 2012, the sum total of our donations was $1,023,121.24.

Stephen Colbert, President of ABTT, has asked that I quote him 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!”

I would like it noted for the record that I advised Mr. Colbert against including that quote.

Sincerely, Shauna Polk, Treasurer, Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow, Inc.

Up Next:

Part Two of this series will highlight a couple of the most notable foot-in-digital-mouth episodes of the financial crisis, and then we’ll give the Minerals Management Service and their pal Petey the Petroleum Loving Whale center stage in Part Three. Stay tuned!


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