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Colbert's super PAC raises serious money from 'donors' with silly names

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Pat Magroin, Ibin Yerkinoff, and Frumunda Mabalz - these are among the supporters of comedian Stephen Colbert's super PAC, "Americas for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow," which reported raising $825,000 through January.

Say the names out loud, slowly -- maybe you better not -- and you get a pretty good sense of how serious the late-night television host is about the 2012 election.

It is in fact an impressive total for a group whose entire existence is to make fun of the political process.

Colbert attached a note to his filing that read in part, "Yeah! How you like me now, F.E.C? I'm rolling seven digits deep!" Colbert's group is supporting a candidate -- or ex-candidate -- Herman Cain, who has started his own super PAC, "Cain Connections."

Meanwhile, other outside spending groups have quietly raised impressive amounts on their own. And unlike Colbert's PAC, which has raised its money almost exclusively from small donors, albeit with some questionable names, the more serious groups are taking full advantage of the post-Citizens United campaign finance regime to draw from big donors and corporations.

Midnight tonight is the deadline for groups to file their year-end financial reports with the Federal Election Commission. Among the notable filers:

Our Destiny PAC, a super PAC supporting failed candidate Jon Huntsman, has also reported. The biggest donor was his father who gave $2 million of $2.7 million raised. Huntsman Sr. made a fortune in the chemical manufacturing business.

The Restoring Prosperity Fund, which changed its name from Americans for Rick Perry, after the Texas governor dropped out of the race, also relied on several heavy hitters.

Among the donors were James Pitcock Jr. ($50,000), a longtime supporter; Kenny A. Trout ($50,000), listed by Forbes at the 358th richest man in America; Nathan Crain ($25,000), who was named by the group as their national finance chairman in July; and the Anderson Columbia company ($25,000), a construction company based in Florida.

The League of Conservation Voters Victory Fund, part of the nationwide environmental group, raised over $140,000 over the fourth quarter of 2012.

Their top donors: Lawrence Linden ($25,000), a banker with Goldman Sachs; Scott Nathan ($70,000), a managing director with the Boston-based Baupost Group hedge fund; and Stephen Bing ($25,000), a movie producer in Los Angeles who is a long-time Democratic donor with ties to the Clintons.

The New Prosperity Foundation, a non-partisan interest group, raised more than $200,000, primarily from a handful of wealthy donors.

Sam Zell gave $50,000, which will no doubt annoy employees of Tribune Co., which owns the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times. Zell took the company private and led the venerable chain into bankruptcy.

Other donors include the Maclean Fogg Company ($50,000), a manufacturer; and Ron Gidwitz ($25,000), a businessman with ties to the outside spending group, Americans for Prosperity.

Continue this story and read more investigations at iWatch News