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

Tue August 16, 2011
Politics

Supercommittee At Risk With Campaign Donors

The 12 lawmakers on the new deficit-cutting supercommittee have their hands full. They're under orders to bring Congress a plan for cutting the deficit by more than a trillion dollars, and to do it before Thanksgiving.

At the same time, they're also raising funds for their next campaigns, and that could be a problem if the supercommittee is under pressure to bite the hand that feeds them money.

Last week, White House spokesman Jay Carney said that concerns about supercommittee members and their fundraising are silly.

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6:00am

Sat July 23, 2011
Politics

Different Approach To Hearings On U.S. Side Of Pond

When the U.S. Congress holds an investigative hearing, count on members of Congress to preen and talk and get to a question and then interrupt the answer. As we saw this week when Rupert Murdoch and his son were questioned in the Parliament, the Brits have a very different style.

3:59pm

Wed July 20, 2011
Politics

The Money Race: How The Candidates Stack Up

Originally published on Wed August 24, 2011 9:50 am

At first glance, the presidential candidates' quarterly financial reports reveal three winners.

President Obama's fundraising operation outperformed all of the Republican campaigns combined. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney raised four times as much as the next closest Republican, Rep. Ron Paul. And Rep. Michele Bachmann, despite not announcing officially until mid-June, swept in enough money to startle rivals who had been in the race much longer.

But look deeper, and the picture gets more complicated, especially among the Republicans.

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1:00pm

Wed July 20, 2011
Space

Congressional Support Impacts How NASA Spends

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, host: When the shuttle Atlantis makes its final orbits of the Earth tonight, it's carrying four astronauts, some trash from the space station, and a load of congressional politics.

As NPR's Peter Overby reports, Capitol Hill has always been deeply involved in NASA's activities, and sometimes seem to regard NASA as a jobs program, as well as a space program.

PETER OVERBY: Before Atlantis went up on this final flight, the Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing on the future of NASA. Among the witnesses...

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5:18pm

Thu June 30, 2011
Politics

There's Nothing Funny About Colbert's SuperPAC

On Thursday, the Federal Election Commission gave comedian Stephen Colbert the OK to form a superPAC.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Show-biz celebrities just gravitate toward someplace in Washington: Capitol Hill, the White House, certain restaurants. But on Thursday, Comedy Central star Stephen Colbert showed up at the Federal Election Commission, which was weighing his bid to launch a political action committee.

TV camera crews turned out, Colbert tweeted, and a crowd gathered. And along the way, the FEC made two significant decisions that could affect players in the 2012 elections.

'We Won! I Am A SuperPAC, And So Can You'

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