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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Politics
5:08 am
Fri July 31, 2015

Are Donald Trump's Pockets Deep Enough To Fund His Campaign?

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump in front of his campaign plane in Laredo, Texas, last week.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 11:18 am

In the weeks since Donald Trump launched his self-financed bid for president, the multibillionaire's hard-edged rhetoric has gotten far more attention than the potential impact of his massive wealth.

Trump has several times said his net worth is or exceeds $10 billion, providing all the money he needs to run.

"I don't need anybody's money," he said as he announced his candidacy in June. "I'm using my own money. I'm not using the lobbyists. I'm not using donors. I don't care. I'm really rich."

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It's All Politics
5:38 pm
Thu July 2, 2015

Small Donors Fueled Sanders' $15 Million Fundraising Haul

A supporter registers for a town hall meeting Thursday in Rochester, Minn.
Jim Mone AP

Originally published on Thu July 2, 2015 6:08 pm

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, running in the Democratic presidential primaries, has raised about $15 million, his campaign said Thursday.

His campaign emphasized the grass-roots strength of his fundraising: 250,000 donors making nearly 400,000 contributions of $250 or less.

The numbers come from a quarterly disclosure report being filed at the Federal Election Commission, and are measured from when Sanders launched his campaign April 30.

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Economy
4:15 pm
Tue June 30, 2015

Export-Import Bank Set To Expire At Midnight After Congress Fails To Act

Originally published on Tue June 30, 2015 9:09 pm

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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It's All Politics
12:37 pm
Fri June 12, 2015

Crossing The Line: Political Operative Gets 2 Years In Prison

Republican political operative Tyler Harber admitted in federal court to illegally coordinating between a campaign and superPAC. He was sentenced to two years in prison and two years' probation.
Neil Conway flickr Creative Common

Originally published on Fri June 12, 2015 11:05 pm

The first political operative to ever be found guilty of illegally coordinating between a superPAC and campaign was sentenced Friday to two years in prison and two additional years of probation.

"I did it, it was wrong when I did it, and I knew it was wrong when I did it," Tyler Harber admitted in federal court Friday.

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Politics
5:35 pm
Thu June 11, 2015

Political Consultant To Be Sentenced For Violating Campaign Finance Law

Originally published on Thu June 11, 2015 6:52 pm

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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It's All Politics
5:06 am
Mon June 8, 2015

Billionaire Or Bust: Who Are Rich Backers Lining Up With?

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush poses with supporters for photos during a fundraiser in May.
Alan Diaz AP

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 5:11 pm

Jeb Bush was pleading for money. Late last month a fundraising email, sent in his name, asked donors for "$100, $50, $25, or anything you can spare right now." Bush said his political action committee still needed $5,674 to meet a monthly goal.

The same day his organization hit "send" on that email, Bush was talking about the big-donor fundraising for his superPAC — $100 million so far, some of it solicited by Bush himself.

"We're going to completely adhere to the law for sure," the former Florida governor said on CBS's Face the Nation.

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It's All Politics
8:16 am
Wed June 3, 2015

Americans Think Money In Politics Is A Problem, But Just How Big?

Significant majorities of people say money in politics is a problem, but it doesn't register among their top concerns.
pictures of money Flickr Creative Commons

Originally published on Wed June 3, 2015 11:34 am

A New York Times-CBS News poll offers compelling new numbers measuring Americans' attitudes toward the rising tide of political money.

Just one question: Which numbers should you believe?

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It's All Politics
2:39 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Gyrocopter Pilot On His 'Incredible' Flight Onto Capitol Lawn

Doug Hughes said he sees his future as working for "the cause of getting a Congress — not more liberal, not more conservative — but a Congress that is working for the people."
Peter Overby NPR

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 8:39 am

Florida postman Doug Hughes made headlines last month for landing his gyrocopter on the lawn in front of the Capitol building.

In an interview with NPR, Hughes said he "made every effort to send word ahead" about the flight, but also knew he would be taken into custody. He made the flight anyway, he said, to "get a message to the American people — not that there's a problem with Congress but that there are solutions to the problem."

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It's All Politics
12:46 pm
Fri May 15, 2015

'Candidates' Driving Cash-Filled Trucks Through Campaign-Finance Loopholes

Candidates, and "un-candidates," for the presidency are slicing and dicing campaign-finance law, testing the boundaries of what's legal.
TaxCredits.net via Flickr

Originally published on Fri May 15, 2015 5:47 pm

If Congress is all about sausage-making, Washington's political-money industry has its own specialty: slicing the particular sausage that is campaign finance law, thinner and thinner.

The meat of the law is in its definitions. What is a "contribution"? An "expenditure"? What does "coordinate" really mean? "Public communication"? How about "candidate"?

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It's All Politics
4:37 am
Fri May 8, 2015

17 Months Before Election Day, One Campaign Aims For $100 Million

"Exploratory" Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush speaks April 17 at the First in the Nation Republican Leadership Conference in Nashua, N.H. His super PAC — Right to Rise — is aiming to raise $100 million dollars by June 1.
Brian Snyder Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri May 8, 2015 6:07 pm

The price tag for the most expensive penthouses in Manhattan is just edging past $100 million. That's also the size of contributions given by conservative businessman David Koch and Hollywood mogul David Geffen to Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, where each philanthropist got naming rights for a building.

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