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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6:04am

Sun October 7, 2012
Presidential Race

Taxes Are Certain, But What About Romney's Cuts?

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 1:24 pm

Supporters watch Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speak on Friday in Abingdon, Va. Romney started off his campaign calling for big tax cuts, but has backed off that somewhat.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Republican Mitt Romney started his campaign calling for big tax cuts, but now he has changed course. He's warning middle-class families not to raise their hopes too high.

Romney couldn't have been more emphatic than he was last November at a candidates' debate in Michigan.

"What I want to do is help the people who've been hurt the most, and that's the middle class," he said. "And so what I do is focus a substantial tax break on middle-income Americans."

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4:35pm

Tue October 2, 2012
Politics

Republican Firm Tied To Voter Fraud Allegations

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 6:14 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. Congressional Democrats are looking into allegations that a Republican consulting firm committed voter registration fraud. The head of the company is an Arizona operative with a reputation for aggressive tactics, as NPR's Peter Overby reports.

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4:46pm

Wed September 26, 2012
Politics

Citizen's United Ruling Benefits Union Campaigners

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 5:54 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are spending a lot of time in Ohio this week. The battleground state is being pounded with TV ads. Many of the pro-Romney spots come from the outside groups that sprang up after the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling. But that decision isn't just benefiting conservative causes.

NPR's Peter Overby reports from Ohio on what Citizens United has done for organized labor.

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9:14am

Fri September 21, 2012
It's All Politics

Latest Fundraising Picture Shows Strong Month For Obama

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 1:21 pm

Fundraising reports filed last night by the presidential campaigns show President Obama with a slight advantage in fundraising last month, while Republican Mitt Romney has the edge by some other measures.

Each candidate is raising money for his own campaign committee, plus his national party committee and a joint fundraising committee or two.

So what you see depends on what you look at.

In cash on hand, the overall Romney organization finished August with more than $168 million — that's $43 million more than the overall Obama organization.

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6:04am

Fri September 21, 2012
Election 2012

President Obama Outraises Mitt Romney In August

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 6:58 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renée Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning. Fundraising reports filed last night by the presidential campaigns look like recent public opinion polls - they show President Obama with a narrow advantage in monthly fundraising last month, although Republican Mitt Romney has the edge by some other measures.

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4:42pm

Wed September 19, 2012
Election 2012

Congress Is Busy, But Not With Legislative Business

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 8:09 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From the race for president, now to Congress. It's caught in a serious time crunch, not to finish its legislative business, though it hasn't done much of that this year. No, the real squeeze is in the campaign fundraising. As NPR's Peter Overby reports, lawmakers are trying to fill up lobbyists' schedules with events hoping to extract a few more dollars for their re-election bids.

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4:59pm

Tue September 18, 2012
Law

Court Reverses Ruling On Political Donor Disclosure

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 7:09 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. The news today wasn't all bad for Mitt Romney and his team. A panel of three federal appeals judges reversed a lower court decision, one that would have required more disclosure of big political donors. As NPR's Peter Overby reports, that threat of disclosure was troubling to pro-Romney outside groups which have far outspent the Romney campaign on television.

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6:44pm

Wed September 12, 2012
It's All Politics

Obama's Post-Charlotte Bounce May Owe More To TV Ads Than Convention

Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 11:24 am

President Obama gives his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention.
Alex Wong Getty Images

It's become conventional wisdom that President Obama's new lead in the polls is a bounce, coming out of the Democratic convention in Charlotte, N.C.

But an analysis from the Wesleyan Media Project suggests that the bounce might be due to TV ads as much as grand speeches. The Obama campaign and its allies laid out $21.1 million for TV during the two weeks of the party conventions. Over that same stretch, Republican Mitt Romney and his backers spent significantly less, $12.9 million.

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10:36am

Sat September 8, 2012
It's All Politics

Words Wealthy Democratic Donors Should Get Used To: 'It's Me, Rahm'

Originally published on Sat September 8, 2012 2:11 pm

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants you ... if you're a wealthy Democrat who can write a $10 million or $20 million check.
Lynne Sladky AP

Now that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is in charge of raising really big dollars for a superPAC that supports President Obama, wealthy Democrats all over the country may be eyeing their phones nervously.

Emanuel, the former Obama White House chief of staff, is known for not taking no for an answer and for aggressively going after what he wants.

Indeed, he's a ferocious fundraiser who gets to the point, often throwing in an epithet or two for emphasis, just the sort of rainmaker needed by Priorities USA Action, the pro-Obama superPAC that desperately needs cash.

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5:59am

Sat September 8, 2012
Politics

As Election Nears, Keeping Donors A Secret Is Trickier

Originally published on Sun September 9, 2012 5:32 pm

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