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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10:01pm

Thu February 16, 2012
Money & Politics

White House And SuperPAC: How Close Is Too Close?

Originally published on Fri February 17, 2012 7:34 am

Bill Burton, shown during a news briefing at the White House in January, is now with pro-Obama superPAC Priorities USA Action. He says the superPAC is "careful to make sure that we are in compliance with the rules."
J. Scott Applewhite AP

President Obama's decision to have White House officials and Cabinet secretaries help raise money for a pro-Obama superPAC is raising questions.

The superPAC, Priorities USA Action — which is supposed to be independent of the president's re-election campaign — is launching a new effort to bring in six- and seven-figure contributions.

By law, it cannot coordinate its messaging with Obama's re-election campaign committee. But coordinating other things? That's possible.

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10:01pm

Wed February 8, 2012
Presidential Race

Powerful GOP-Linked SuperPAC Has Clear Agenda

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 7:00 am

As some superPACS throw millions of dollars into the Republican primaries, others, such as American Crossroads, are quietly preparing for the day after the primaries end.

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4:26pm

Tue February 7, 2012
NPR Story

Obama Changes Tone On SuperPACS, Endorses Own

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 4:31 pm

As a candidate and as president, Barack Obama has disparaged the role of big money in politics. At his 2010 State of the Union address, he even called out the Supreme Court for a ruling that opened the door to unlimited personal and business contributions. But, faced with a Republican opposition that's raising millions from a handful of sources, President Obama let his fundraisers loose to play the game too.

10:01pm

Tue January 31, 2012
Presidential Race

Romney Leads Gingrich In Money; Obama Bests Both

Originally published on Wed February 1, 2012 8:10 pm

Millions of dollars have been spent on television ads during this campaign cycle.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

As the Republican candidates were rallying their supporters in Florida on Tuesday night, their campaigns were quietly sending disclosure reports to the Federal Election Commission in Washington. The big picture: Mitt Romney had more money than Newt Gingrich. President Obama had more than either of them. And a few of the new superPACs filed donor lists filled with high rollers.

Tuesday's disclosures run only through Dec. 31 but still reveal some essential truths.

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3:22pm

Tue January 31, 2012
It's All Politics

Campaign Finance Reports Show Ups And Downs For Candidates, SuperPACs

Originally published on Tue January 31, 2012 3:09 pm

A new disclosure report documents how Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry lost his fundraising base. Donors gave up long before Perry dropped out two weeks ago.

The Texas governor Perry launched his campaign back in August with a gusher of cash from conservative allies, especially in his home state.

He gathered up nearly $7 million in the first three weeks, which turned out to be more than double what he got over the past three months.

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