To Bill Maher, Super PACs Are the Designated Hitters
Self-described pot-smoking atheist funny person Bill Maher just gave $1 million to President Obama's super PAC to inspire other rich liberals to do the same, and he has no regrets.
But he does have a lot less money now.
"It hurts my bank account," Maher told ABC News.
Maher announced his giant check of a contribution to Priorities USA Action at the end of a comedy show that was streamed on Yahoo! last night.
The super PAC started by Obama's former White House aides had a rough January. While the super PACs supporting Republican candidates reported raising millions of dollars, Priorities USA Action scraped in just $59,000.
Part of the reason for the pathetic showing is that Democrats are less interested in embracing the technically independent political groups that Obama once derided after the "Citizens United" Supreme Court decision birthed them. Obama recently reversed his position and is sending his cabinet secretaries to fundraising events for the super PAC, not breaking any laws but drawing a clear connection between PAC and candidate.
Maher said he can still sleep soundly because PACs are following the rules of the game - even if Obama might want the rules changed.
"My analogy is like, I'm against a designated hitter, but if I was the National League manager in the World Series, I wouldn't not use the designated hitter because I would wait until they changed the rule about the designated hitter," he said. "As long as we're playing the game as it's written."
Now Maher, an outspoken liberal who uses his HBO platform to spread laughs and Democratic talking points, has inducted himself into an elite club of rich people trying to influence the election. It includes Mitt Romney backers John Paulson, Edward Conard, Paul Singer and Bob Perry; Rick Santorum benefactor Foster Friess; Obama fan Jeffrey Katzenberg; and of course Newt Gingrich's bankroller, billionaire casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson.
"I've never met the man," Maher said of Adelson, following an off-color comment comparing the tycoon to a feminine hygiene device. "I've taken a gondola through the lobby of his hotel once."
Maher has donated to political campaigns before, including contributions to Al Franken and Obama, but never anything close to $1 million.
"Hey, rich liberals," he said. "If I can do this, there's a lot of people who can do it even easier."