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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4:23pm

Thu May 22, 2014
It's All Politics

Billionaire Environmentalist Targets 7 Statewide Races

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 6:59 pm

Businessman Tom Steyer listens during a meeting to announce the launch of a group called Virginians for Clean Government in September 2013.
Steve Helber AP

San Francisco billionaire Tom Steyer has already pledged at least $50 million to his superPAC, NextGen Climate, and now the superPAC's leaders are laying out a hardball strategy for the fall campaign.

The goal: tag seven Republican candidates as "science deniers" who are on the wrong side of the increasingly urgent climate change issue.

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4:57pm

Tue May 20, 2014
It's All Politics

Obamacare Buried By Avalanche Of Negative Ads, Study Finds

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 6:04 pm

A frame grab image from video provided by Americans for Prosperity shows a political ad against Rep. Ann McLane Kuster, D-N.H., stating the Affordable Care Act is not working.
AP

It's been obvious ever since 2010 that Republicans and conservatives were spending a lot more slamming the Affordable Care Act than the Obama administration and Democrats were spending to defend it.

But 15 to 1?

Yes. That's the ratio calculated by Kantar Media's campaign media analysis group — CMAG to political junkies. Kantar estimates that national advertising against the ACA cost $418 million, compared with $27 million for ads supporting the law. Kantar calls the anti-ACA spending "unprecedented [and] largely unanswered."

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4:07pm

Mon May 19, 2014
Politics

Tea Party Stumbles As GOP Establishment Flexes Fundraising Strength

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 7:54 pm

Tea Party candidates did well in GOP primary elections in 2010 and 2012; this year, not so much. Part of this lack of success is because establishment candidates have generally out-raised them, and establishment-aligned outside groups are no longer reluctant to get involved in primaries.

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4:36am

Wed May 14, 2014
Politics

With Midterm Elections In Mind, Democrats Micro-Target Voters

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 8:30 am

During the 2012 presidential race, Democrats used big data to much success. The big data approach to micro-targeting voters is getting increasingly powerful, and is being used for midterm campaigns.

4:17am

Fri May 9, 2014
Politics

Debate Endures Over Tax Exempt Status Of Crossroads GPS

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 2:26 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Tomorrow marks a year since the IRS admitted it have given excessive scrutiny to Tea Party and right-leaning patriot groups that wanted tax exempt status. Since then, the tax agency has been battered by firings, resignations, lawsuits and investigations. It's also been a tough year for the biggest group known to have been under that scrutiny by the IRS, the social welfare organization Crossroads GPS. NPR's Peter Overby reports.

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