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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3:02pm

Tue January 22, 2013
It's All Politics

Bloomberg Puts Millions Behind Gun-Control Push

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 6:48 pm

At a news conference last month, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg stands with people who have been affected by gun violence.
John Moore Getty Images

Congress faces a battle over gun laws that could be the biggest in a generation.

Leading the charge for gun rights is the National Rifle Association, with its huge budget and grass-roots operations. On the other side, a new leader has emerged in recent years: New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is not only outspoken on gun control, he has also opened his substantial wallet for the cause.

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1:24am

Mon January 14, 2013
It's All Politics

Critics Decry Looser Rules For Inauguration Fundraising

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 1:27 pm

Construction was under way on Capitol Hill in November for President Obama's Inauguration Day ceremonies.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

A week from Monday, President Obama is to take his public oath of office for a second term.

The inauguration will be marked by celebratory balls and other festivities, sponsored by the privately financed Presidential Inaugural Committee. The first Obama inauguration had strict fundraising rules. But this year, the rules have been loosened, and critics wonder what happened to the president's old pledge to change the way Washington works.

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1:32am

Wed January 9, 2013
It's All Politics

Lobbying Battle Over Hagel Under Way Before Obama's Nod

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 7:03 am

Former U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., speaks at the White House on Monday after President Obama nominated him to replace Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Weeks before President Obama officially nominated Chuck Hagel to be secretary of defense, the lobbying battle was well under way. The fight might be bigger than any other Cabinet nomination in history as the former Republican senator's friends and foes prepare for modern combat on TV and the Internet.

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3:10am

Sun December 30, 2012
It's All Politics

Conservatives Invoke NAACP Case In Fight For Secret Donors

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 7:27 pm

Republican strategist Karl Rove, shown at the Republican National Convention in August, is arguing for continued secrecy for the new class of million-dollar political donors.
David Goldman AP

Here's a question: What do Republican strategist Karl Rove and civil rights icon Rosa Parks have in common?

The answer: a landmark Supreme Court ruling from 1958 protecting the First Amendment rights of dissident groups.

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4:05pm

Thu December 20, 2012
It's All Politics

Financial Ties Bind NRA, Gun Industry

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 8:51 am

In this photo illustration, a Rock River Arms AR-15 rifle is seen with ammunition.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Leaders of the National Rifle Association plan to break their weeklong silence Friday and make their first public comments on the mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn.

They say they will be speaking for the NRA's 4 million members. But they will also be speaking for the gun industry, which has close financial ties to the association.

The NRA and the gun industry are reeling after last week's massacre. The primary weapon used — an AR-15-style rifle — is one of the most popular guns in America.

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