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Utahn part of Stephen Colbert’s Super PAC team

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Potter leaned over to Sanderson and asked: "Who is Harold and Kumar?"

"I still haven’t answered him," said Sanderson, about the comic duo who get into marijuana-fueled adventures in their movies.

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In Colbert’s most recent segments, he has offered college students a kit to create their own super PACs for $99. They quickly sold out. The kit included a "Trevor-may-I button," with pre-recorded jokes from Colbert’s attorney, and an instruction manual, written by Potter and Sanderson, that would walk students through the legal process necessary to create a political group that can collect unlimited contributions as long as they don’t work in tandem with a candidate.

The manual is dead serious, but Colbert’s team mocked it up to look like an IKEA instruction manual, complete with an Allen wrench.

Jowers has also done some work for the Colbert super PAC and went with his protégé to a taping of the show in New York.

"They have been amazing partners to put up with attorneys ruining their best jokes at times," Jowers said.

Potter, Jowers and Sanderson credit the show with raising awareness of campaign finance issues, particularly in light of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling in 2010 that led to the growth in super PACs, which have spent millions on attack ads in the presidential race and even in some state races, including in Utah.

"In my opinion, his commentary has really highlighted the fact that Citizens United was based on a really faulty factual assumption," said Sanderson. "By that, I mean [the assumption] that super PACs and entities like them are legitimately independent from candidates. It is not the case. It is basically the campaign committee that has not been expressly authorized by the candidate."

"The Colbert Report" not only has the help of two Utahns in Jowers and Sanderson, but the program also is expected to take on a Hinckley intern this summer.

And don’t forget the canned ham with glasses, which Colbert has named "Ham Rove," a play on famed GOP strategist Karl Rove.

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The real Rove attended the University of Utah, though he never graduated, so it’s quite possible that Ham Rove may have some Utah ties that Colbert has not yet revealed.


Twitter: @mattcanham

Editor’s note • The Salt Lake Tribune is hosting a Hinckley intern this semester.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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