Peter Overby

As NPR's correspondent covering campaign finance and lobbying, Peter Overby totes around a business card that reads Power, Money & Influence Correspondent. Some of his lobbyist sources call it the best job title in Washington.

Overby was awarded an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia silver baton for his coverage of the 2000 campaign and the 2001 Senate vote to tighten the rules on campaign finance. The citation said his reporting "set the bar" for the beat.

In 2008, he teamed up with the Center for Investigative Reporting on the Secret Money Project, an extended multimedia investigation of outside-money groups in federal elections.

Joining with NPR congressional correspondent Andrea Seabrook in 2009, Overby helped to produce Dollar Politics, a multimedia examination of the ties between lawmakers and lobbyists, as Congress considered the health-care overhaul bill. The series went on to win the annual award for excellence in Washington-based reporting given by the Radio and Television Correspondents Association.

Because life is about more than politics, even in Washington, Overby has veered off his beat long enough to do a few other stories, including an appreciation of R&B star Jackie Wilson and a look back at an 1887 shooting in the Capitol, when an angry journalist fatally wounded a congressman-turned-lobbyist.

Before coming to NPR in 1994, Overby was senior editor at Common Cause Magazine, where he shared a 1992 Investigative Reporters and Editors Award for magazine writing. His work has appeared in publications ranging from the Congressional Quarterly Guide to Congress and Los Angeles Times to the Utne Reader and Reader's Digest (including the large-print edition).

Overby is a Washington-area native and lives in Northern Virginia with his family.

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4:36pm

Wed March 11, 2015
Politics

So Far The 2016 Campaign Is More Like The 2016 Un-campaign

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 10:40 pm

Then-U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sips tea on Turkish television program "Lets come to be with us" at the US Embassy in Ankara March 7, 2009.
AFP/Getty Images

There's a touch of Alice In Wonderland in the 2016 presidential campaign. What's weird isn't that it's started so early, and not that the hopefuls are raising so much money. It's that almost all of those running insist they're not really candidates.

They're acting like candidates – or almost – while struggling to avoid anything that might trigger the description in campaign finance law of a candidate "testing the waters." The law calls for prospective candidates to set up exploratory committees, which have strict contribution limits.

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6:53pm

Tue March 3, 2015
It's All Politics

Clinton Foundation Funding Woes Touch Hillary, Too

Originally published on Thu March 12, 2015 1:21 pm

The Clinton Foundation has taken contributions, of $1 million to $10 million, from the governments of Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. The Saudi Arabian government has given as much as $25 million.
Julie Jacobson AP

With assets approaching $226 million, the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation plays a prominent role in international development. It has battled HIV/AIDS, provided relief after tsunamis and earthquakes and helped farmers and entrepreneurs in developing countries.

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2:47pm

Wed February 18, 2015
It's All Politics

2014 Midterm Election Was The Most Expensive One Yet

Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 4:41 pm

Supporters cheer in Colorado Springs, Colo., as a television broadcast declares that Republicans have taken control of the Senate. Republican candidates, party committees and outside groups spent about $44 million more than Democrats, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Marc Piscotty Getty Images

As the presidential hopefuls chase after big donors, the Center for Responsive Politics brings us a quick look in the rearview mirror:

The 2014 congressional midterm elections cost $3.77 billion, the center says, making them — no surprise here — the most expensive midterms yet. CRP also reports that those dollars appeared to come from a smaller cadre of donors — 773,582, the center says. That's about 5 percent fewer than in the 2010 midterms.

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4:54pm

Tue February 10, 2015
Politics

FEC Invites Comment On Campaign Finance Laws At First Public Hearing

Originally published on Tue February 10, 2015 8:53 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

6:26am

Mon February 9, 2015
Politics

Why State Parties Are Losing Out On Political Cash

Originally published on Mon February 9, 2015 2:48 pm

Delegates at the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party's 2014 convention. The party says its budget has dropped sharply since 2002.
Jim Mone AP

State parties, once the cornerstone of American politics, don't get much attention anymore. And when they do, it's often negative.

One long-standing example: the classic film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, with Jimmy Stewart as a young and naive senator battling the evil political boss in his (unnamed) home state. As the climax approaches, Stewart launches a filibuster to expose the boss, "a man who controls a political machine, and controls everything else worth controlling in my state."

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6:28pm

Tue January 27, 2015
It's All Politics

Koch Brothers Put Price Tag On 2016: $889 Million

Originally published on Tue January 27, 2015 7:33 pm

Americans for Prosperity Foundation Chairman David Koch speaks in Orlando, Fla., in August 2013.
Phelan M. Ebenhack AP

The political network led by industrialists Charles and David Koch plans to spend $889 million for the 2016 elections. In modern politics, it's more than just a ton of money.

It's about as much as the entire national Republican Party spent in the last presidential election cycle, four years ago. And as Sheila Krumholz — director of the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks politicians and donors — pointed out in an interview, it's double what the Koch brothers and their network spent in 2012.

Krumholz summed it up: "It is staggering."

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4:10pm

Tue January 27, 2015
Politics

Koch Brothers Rival GOP With Plans To Spend $900 Million In 2016

Originally published on Tue February 3, 2015 4:04 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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4:07pm

Mon January 26, 2015
It's All Politics

At Koch Summit, A Freewheeling Debate Among GOP Hopefuls

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 7:52 pm

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., center, meets with members of the Londonderry Fish and Game Club in Litchfield, N.H., on Jan. 14. Paul was one of three GOP presidential hopefuls who attended Sunday's semiannual gathering of David and Charles Koch's donor network in California.
Jim Cole AP

Three Republican presidential hopefuls declined Sunday night to insult some of the party's biggest donors.

Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas, asked by debate moderator Jonathan Karl of ABC News if billionaires now have too much influence in both major parties, agreed that it wasn't a problem — if not exactly for the same reasons.

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9:33am

Sun January 25, 2015
It's All Politics

A GOP Weekend, Courtesy Of The Koch Network And Citizens United

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 2:59 pm

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, leaves the stage after speaking at the Iowa Freedom Summit on Saturday in Des Moines, Iowa.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Republican presidential hopefuls are turning out this weekend for two big events, but just one of them, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, plans to be at both.

Cruz is among seven possible contenders who spoke Saturday at the Iowa Freedom Summit, co-sponsored by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, and the group Citizens United. Sunday night, Cruz is scheduled to join two possible primary rivals, Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Rand Paul, R-Ky., at a semi-annual conference of the Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce.

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5:35am

Tue January 20, 2015
Politics

5 Years After Citizens United, Secret Money Floods Into U.S. Politics

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 3:42 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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