Susan Grogan, who has been a political science professor at St. Mary’s College of Maryland for over two decades, formed the amusingly named “We Just Want Stephen Colbert To Come To Our College Super PAC” two days ago. We reached out to Professor Grogan to ask about her political action committee and she responded with a lengthy press release that referenced her “small turtle collection” and challenged Mr. Colbert to dance while maintaining her PAC would be “more serious” than his.
“I recently formed ‘We Just Want Stephen Colbert To Come To Our College SuperPac’ for several reasons. First and foremost, it is to advocate for the voter, to promote responsible voter behavior, and to enhance student engagement in voting and encouraging others to vote,” Ms. Grogan wrote. “It may seem that the name of my Super PAC has little to do with its purpose. In part, I intended this as a satirical remark on the lack of transparency that is the case with so many Super PACs. More so, it is advised to give your Super PAC a catchy name to improve your chances of success.”
Ms. Grogan says she doesn’t “have time to watch much TV,” but she “generally” watches Mr. Colbert’s Comedy Central show, The Colbert Report after watching The Daily Show. She decided to include Mr. Colbert’s name in her PAC after taking note of his “Americans For A Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow” Super PAC, which has raised over $1 million.
“Another Super PAC associated with the name ‘Stephen Colbert’ comically raised over one million dollars in short order. Being perhaps typical of college professors, I am somewhat short on creative ideas of my own. I tend to appropriate those of creative geniuses….Thus, I decided to follow Stephen Colbert’s lead. (To Stephen Colbert—Let’s dance.),” Ms. Grogan wrote (emphasis hers).
Though Mr. Colbert inspired Professor Grogan’s Super PAC, she has some criticisms of his work and vows her political action committee to be “more serious.” Specifically, Ms. Grogan takes issue with a treasure hunt Mr. Colbert’s Super PAC hosted where he encouraged college students to search for a “a 101-year-old sterling silver antique turtle” he planted somewhere in the country.
“My hope is to siphon off the donations that otherwise might be given to the court jester toward a more serious purpose than, say, sending students off on ‘Treasure Hunts’ in pursuit of folly or silver turtles,” wrote Professor Grogan. “While I do have a small turtle collection (about 6—I am not all that avid a collector of anything), and could appreciate Colbert’s so-called treasure of an old silver turtle trinket, what I would rather have students do than Colbert’s Treasure Hunt is to inscribe themselves with the motto of ‘We Just Want Stephen Colbert To Come To Our College Super Pac’ which is: ‘Treasure None But Your Vote.’“
Despite her differences with Mr. Colbert, Ms. Grogan says she admires him and she does indeed want him to come to her college because of the attention he has brought to campaign finance issues.
“Of course, I would love to have Stephen Colbert come to our college as a speaker, as would most any other small college. Citizens United and other court decisions have made 2012 the Election of the Independent Expenditure,” Ms. Grogan wrote. “Stephen Colbert has brought widespread attention to this problem in starting up Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow—in keeping with the finest traditions of political satire. This is an example as to why I admire him, why I’d like to have him speak at our college.”
Professor Grogan hopes her PAC will attract Mr. Colbert to her school, but she also made sure to point out “We Just Want Stephen Colbert To Come To Our College SuperPac is not affiliated with St. Mary’s College of Maryland.”
Currently the PAC does have a website, www.wejustwantstephencolberttocometoourcollegesuperpac.org, but there’s not much there beyond a note that “it’s summer break” on the contact page.
We included Professor Grogan’s full press release below so you can experience it in its full glory.