Peter Overby http://publicradiodelmarva.net en Gingrich 2012 Campaign Still Owes $4.7 Million http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/gingrich-2012-campaign-still-owes-47-million <a href="https://newt.org/newt-2012">Newt 2012</a>, the presidential campaign vehicle for Newt Gingrich last time around, couldn't bag the Republican nomination for him.<p>And now, the former House speaker's committee still owes $4.7 million from the attempt.<p>The campaign tells the Federal Election Commission that its debt on April 1, 2014, was just $14,507 less than the amount owed on May 31, 2012 — the month Gingrich officially suspended his White House bid.<p>The most prominent Gingrich benefactor, casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, is gone without a trace. Tue, 15 Apr 2014 18:26:00 +0000 Peter Overby 52595 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Gingrich 2012 Campaign Still Owes $4.7 Million Pursuing IRS Controversy, House GOP Pivots Toward Crossroads http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/pursuing-irs-controversy-house-gop-pivots-toward-crossroads Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee have voted to seek the criminal prosecution of former IRS official Lois Lerner. They allege that she violated several laws as the tax agency grappled with conservative groups seeking tax exempt status. The vote also marked a sharp turn in Republican strategy in the year-long controversy.<p>NPR's Peter Overby reports.<p>PETER OVERBY, BYLINE: This is the first of two House committee meetings this week on the IRS controversy. Wed, 09 Apr 2014 20:08:00 +0000 Peter Overby 52289 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Activists Push Public Financing Of N.Y. Political Campaigns http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/activists-push-public-financing-ny-political-campaigns Transcript <p>SCOTT SIMON, HOST: <p>The U.S. Supreme Court could deliver a new ruling as early as next week that could undo existing limits on regulating political money. But on the other hand, a coalition of liberal groups has started pushing for the public finance of elections. They essentially want to give money to candidates so they don't have to chase big donors. And the current fight is going on in New York's state capitol, Albany. Sat, 29 Mar 2014 11:59:00 +0000 Peter Overby 51651 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Say Goodbye To The Taxpayer-Funded Political Convention http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/say-goodbye-taxpayer-funded-political-convention Ever since the Watergate era, taxpayers have been able to check a box on their federal tax returns and designate a little bit of their tax payment to help finance the presidential campaigns and wean politicians away from big donors.<p>The public financing program has had its ups and downs. Wed, 26 Mar 2014 07:15:00 +0000 Peter Overby 51439 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Is Organizing For Action Too Close To The White House? http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/organizing-action-too-close-white-house Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>Next we're going to unravel another potential political scandal. It involves a tax-exempt advocacy group with ties to President Obama. Organizing for Action is saying it broke its own rules against hooking up big donors with White House officials. Critics are unimpressed. NPR's Peter Overby breaks it down for us.<p>(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)<p>PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Hello, OFA. Hey.<p>PETER OVERBY, BYLINE: This was President Obama last month addressing the annual Organizing for Action Summit here in Washington. Wed, 19 Mar 2014 09:08:00 +0000 Peter Overby 51053 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net What's Holding Up Ukraine Aid Bill In Congress? Anger Over IRS http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/whats-holding-ukraine-aid-bill-congress-anger-over-irs With members of the House and Senate scrapping over a Ukraine aid bill, Republicans say a magic bullet could break the logjam.<p>It has nothing to do with the former Soviet republic, its ability to withstand Russia's military intervention in Crimea, or this weekend's referendum in the Ukrainian territory.<p>It has everything to do with conservatives' fury at the IRS, which they say has waged a partisan, and unconstitutional, war against President Obama's opponents.<p>First, there was the grindingly slow, intrusive scrutiny the agency gave to Tea Party and other groups seeking tax-exempt status Thu, 13 Mar 2014 17:18:00 +0000 Peter Overby 50759 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net What's Holding Up Ukraine Aid Bill In Congress? Anger Over IRS Outside Groups Lay Millions On Florida Special Election http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/outside-groups-lay-millions-florida-special-election The campaign for a congressional seat in St. Petersburg, Fla., will have seen some $10 million in spending by candidates and outside groups. Where did all of this money go? Tue, 11 Mar 2014 20:00:00 +0000 Peter Overby 50633 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Outside Groups Lay Millions On Florida Special Election Once Neglected, Secretaries Of State Step Into The Spotlight http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/once-neglected-secretaries-state-step-spotlight Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>Control of Congress won't be the only big question in this fall's elections. A quieter but critical battle is being waged over state-level races for secretary of state. In most states, that's the official in charge of running elections. Elections have become a political lightning rod. Many conservatives rail against voter fraud and lax rules, liberals say that's voter suppression. Tue, 18 Feb 2014 21:12:00 +0000 Peter Overby 49506 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net 'Citizens United' Critics Fight Money With Money http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/citizens-united-critics-fight-money-money It's been four years since the Supreme Court's controversial <em>Citizens United</em> ruling, the case that set the stage for unlimited and often undisclosed contribution money in federal elections. This year, the superPACs and social welfare organizations that use that money for attack ads are already at it, even as Republicans and Democrats are still choosing their candidates for the fall campaigns.<p>Advocates of stronger campaign finance laws are 0-for-6 at the Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts. And there's no consensus in Congress on what, if anything, should be done. Thu, 13 Feb 2014 08:02:00 +0000 Peter Overby 49234 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net 'Citizens United' Critics Fight Money With Money Political Groups Aim Early Attacks At New Hampshire Senator http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/political-groups-aim-early-attacks-new-hampshire-senator Even with 10 months to go before the midterm congressional elections, some political and ideological groups are already on the air, attacking incumbents they hope to take down in November.<p>One race that's attracting early advertisers is in New Hampshire, where Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is seeking a second term, and two tax-exempt social welfare organizations are buying ads against her.<p>The ads echo the Republican National Committee's strategy of tying Democrats to the Affordable Care Act. Tue, 14 Jan 2014 08:34:00 +0000 Peter Overby 47638 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Political Groups Aim Early Attacks At New Hampshire Senator Remembering The Texans Who Made Attack Ads Nastier http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/remembering-texans-who-made-attack-ads-nastier Texas Republican Harold Simmons, who died last weekend, was known for throwing millions of dollars into fiercely aggressive attack ads against Democrats. His death, along with that of Texas conservative Bob Perry earlier this year, signals the fading of the first wave of mega-donors in modern American politics. Thu, 02 Jan 2014 21:16:00 +0000 Peter Overby 47084 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net The Life Of A Lobbyist In A Do-Nothing Congress http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/how-lobby-do-nothing-congress The 113th Congress has finished its first session, and lawmakers enacted fewer than 60 laws. No Congress since 1947 has done so little legislating.<p>That's bad news for many of Washington's lobbyists. Howard Marlowe, for one, hasn't been feeling the joy of his job.<p>"One of the driest periods in the 35 years that I've been lobbying," he says.<p>An old Washington hand, Marlowe has a small, boutique lobbying firm specializing in local infrastructure projects. Sat, 21 Dec 2013 14:04:00 +0000 Peter Overby 46583 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net The Life Of A Lobbyist In A Do-Nothing Congress Court Upholds Public Broadcasting Political Ad Ban http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/court-upholds-public-broadcasting-political-ad-ban While lawyers dismantle many restrictions on political money, the rules affecting <em>Morning Edition</em> and <em>Downton Abbey</em> still stand tall. A federal court in San Francisco says public radio and TV stations cannot carry paid political ads.<p>The 8-3 decision Monday by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a ruling last April by a smaller panel of the court. NPR and PBS both joined the case as friends of the court.<p>The court upheld the decades-old bar against political ads on public broadcasting stations, even as other restrictions have vanished over the years. Mon, 02 Dec 2013 22:23:00 +0000 Peter Overby 45613 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Court Upholds Public Broadcasting Political Ad Ban FEC: Tea Party May Not Shield Donors http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/fec-tea-party-cant-shield-donors Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene. The Federal Election Commission has turned back a bid by conservatives to weaken the federal campaign-finance disclosure law. A Tea Party group had asked for a precedent-changing decision to keep its donor lists secret. It said Tea Party members are being targeted for harassment and intimidation. NPR's Peter Overby reports.<p>PETER OVERBY, BYLINE: The commission deadlocked yesterday: three votes to exempt the Tea Party Leadership Fund from disclosure. And three votes not to. Fri, 22 Nov 2013 09:33:00 +0000 Peter Overby 45109 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net What A Bitcoin Political Debut Could Mean For Transparency http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/what-bitcoin-political-debut-could-mean-transparency Bitcoin, the virtual currency that exists as alphanumeric strings online, is on the verge of getting into politics.<p>The Federal Election Commission is expected to vote Thursday on a proposal to allow bitcoin contributions to political action committees — even as skeptics say that bitcoins could undermine the disclosure standards of federal law.<p>The FEC is acting as other federal agencies are also exploring the uses, and dangers, of digital currency. Thu, 21 Nov 2013 00:28:00 +0000 Peter Overby 45041 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net What A Bitcoin Political Debut Could Mean For Transparency Contractors Lobby For Alternatives To Military Cuts http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/contractors-lobby-alternatives-military-cuts Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.<p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>And I'm Steve Inskeep.<p>Congress and the Pentagon are facing an important deadline. In just under two months, the second wave of congressionally mandated sequestration - budget cuts - will kicked in, and Pentagon spending is scheduled to be slashed by $20 billion. Thu, 14 Nov 2013 10:45:00 +0000 Peter Overby 44655 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Obama Donor Behind Third-Party Va. Candidate? Maybe Not http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/obama-donor-behind-third-party-va-candidate-maybe-not This week's hot rumor in Virginia: Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Robert Sarvis was a spoiler, bankrolled by an Obama bundler from Texas, to undercut Republican gubernatorial nominee Ken Cuccinelli.<p>On Election Day, Sarvis captured nearly 7 percent of the vote in a race Cuccinelli lost by less than 3 percentage points to Democrat Terry McAuliffe.<p>"Bought and paid for," as <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebGwXwSjupA" target="_blank">Rush Limbaugh</a> said, and as circulated by <a href="http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/11/05/revealed-obama-campaign-bundler-helping-fund-liber Fri, 08 Nov 2013 22:42:00 +0000 Peter Overby 44391 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Obama Donor Behind Third-Party Va. Candidate? Maybe Not Outside Money Plays Big Role In Va. Race For Governor http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/outside-money-plays-big-role-va-race-governor Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>Two of the big winners in Virginia's elections this week were not on the ballot. They actually aren't even Virginians. They are two men who spent more than $2 million each to help elect Democrat Terry McAuliffe as governor.<p>NPR's Peter Overby reports on the Election Day impact of San Francisco environmentalist Tom Steyer and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.<p>PETER OVERBY, BYLINE: Tom Steyer made his fortune as a hedge fund manager. Fri, 08 Nov 2013 09:47:00 +0000 Peter Overby 44330 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Secret Persuasion: How Big Campaign Donors Stay Anonymous http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/secret-persuasion-how-big-campaign-donors-stay-anonymous <em>Part two of our "Secret Persuasion" story reported with the <a href="http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2013/11/wellsprings-flow.html">Center for Responsive Politics</a>. Read the first part <a href="http://www.npr.org/2013/11/05/242354030/from-social-welfare-groups-a-river-of-political-influence">here</a>.</em><p>As tax-exempt organizations become a vehicle of choice for big political donors, one powerful appeal is the anonymity. Wed, 06 Nov 2013 10:26:00 +0000 Peter Overby 44207 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Secret Persuasion: How Big Campaign Donors Stay Anonymous From Social Welfare Groups, A River Of Political Influence http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/social-welfare-groups-river-political-influence <em>Part one of the two-part "Secret Persuasion" investigation, reported with the Center for Responsive Politics.</em><p>Bruce Pregler walks down the slope from his cabin, eases into the Au Sable River and casts his line; fishing takes his thoughts away from his downstate law practice.<p>He stands in the flowing water, holding his fishing rod, and gazes at the river around him. "You can't look at it from the bridge or a lodge," he says of the Au Sable, one of Michigan's prime spots for trout fishing. "You need to float it, walk it, wade it, fish it, enjoy it. Tue, 05 Nov 2013 10:20:00 +0000 Peter Overby 44139 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net From Social Welfare Groups, A River Of Political Influence Outside Political Money Floods Virginia Races http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/outside-political-money-floods-virginia-races Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>Virginia holds elections next month for state offices, including governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general. But what was historically a pretty sedate affair is, this year, drawing millions of dollars from all over the country.<p>NPR's Peter Overby reports.<p>PETER OVERBY, BYLINE: Time was when the candidates for governor campaigned across Virginia together, in the same car, even. But those days are long gone. The old dominion is an ideological battleground. Thu, 24 Oct 2013 20:23:00 +0000 Peter Overby 43513 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Money For Dam Project In Shutdown Deal Riles Conservatives http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/money-dam-project-shutdown-deal-riles-conservatives <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OA7aueKsFdA</p> Fri, 18 Oct 2013 21:39:00 +0000 Peter Overby 43191 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Money For Dam Project In Shutdown Deal Riles Conservatives Why A Medical Device Tax Became Part Of The Fiscal Fight http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/why-medical-device-tax-became-part-fiscal-fight Among the bargaining chips in the budget crisis on Capitol Hill, there's the small but persistent issue of taxing medical device manufacturers.<p>The 2.3 percent sales tax covers everything from MRI machines to replacement hips and maybe even surgical gloves. The tax was imposed to help pay for the Affordable Care Act. Tue, 15 Oct 2013 22:12:00 +0000 Peter Overby 42979 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net IRS Hearings Highlight Ambiguity Of Nonprofits In Politics http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/irs-hearings-highlight-ambiguity-nonprofits-politics Transcript <p>SCOTT SIMON, HOST: <p>This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News, I'm Scott Simon. In the two weeks since the Internal Revenue Service scandal erupted, the acting commissioner has been ousted, the head of the relevant section has been put on administrative leave. Sat, 25 May 2013 09:55:00 +0000 Peter Overby 34825 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net IRS Official's Silence Riles House Committee Members http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/irs-officials-silence-riles-house-committee-members Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>The IRS has admitted to targeting conservative groups seeking tax exempt status. And yesterday at a House hearing the IRS director of exempt organizations said, quote: "I have not done anything wrong." She then declined to testify. Thu, 23 May 2013 08:38:00 +0000 Peter Overby 34658 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Some Lawmakers Want Big-Budget Groups Included In IRS Debate http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/some-lawmakers-want-big-budget-groups-included-irs-debate <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1l2s_q_kfrU</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdYjp8-RMwA</p> Thu, 16 May 2013 22:01:00 +0000 Peter Overby 34312 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net After Targeting Conservative Groups, IRS Apologizes http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/after-targeting-conservative-groups-irs-apologizes Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>From NPR News this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.<p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>And I'm Robert Siegel. After more than a year of denials by the IRS, a director at the agency apologized today for its targeting of Tea Party and patriot groups. As NPR's Peter Overby reports, the apology has reignited a political controversy.<p>PETER OVERBY, BYLINE: Some Tea Party groups have long accused the IRS of going after them with unfair harshness. Fri, 10 May 2013 21:23:00 +0000 Peter Overby 33971 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Why Lobbying Is Now Increasingly In The Shadows http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/why-lobbying-now-increasingly-shadows While ideological gridlock continues to immobilize Capitol Hill, another of Washington's institutions is morphing behind the scenes.<p>The lobbying industry is becoming more secretive — reversing a trend that dates back to the 1990s. And campaign money now looms ever larger as a critical element in the persuasion business.<p>Ever since Congress strengthened the lobbying disclosure laws in 1995, most lobbyists have routinely registered and filed their quarterly disclosures of clients, issues and fees. Fri, 03 May 2013 07:24:00 +0000 Peter Overby 33519 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Why Lobbying Is Now Increasingly In The Shadows FEC: DOMA Limits Political Donations By Gay Married Couples http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/fec-doma-limits-political-donations-gay-married-couples Maybe it's not your first thought after saying "I do," but federal election law gives married couples some advantages in making political contributions. The Federal Election Commission tried Thursday to make those same breaks available to couples in same-sex marriages — but commissioners said they're thwarted by the federal Defense of Marriage Act.<p>True, President Obama's Justice Department no longer defends DOMA, and the Supreme Court is weighing whether to get rid of it. But the FEC didn't want to get too far out in front. Fri, 26 Apr 2013 15:36:00 +0000 Peter Overby 33145 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net FEC: DOMA Limits Political Donations By Gay Married Couples Bill Would Expand Disclosure Of Political Money http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/bill-would-expand-disclosure-political-money The partisan rift over disclosing political donors has widened since last year's election. But now, along come Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., with a bill that would radically expand the disclosure of political money trails.<p>Their bill is aimed at outing the wealthy donors, corporations and unions that financed some $300 million in secretly funded campaign ads last year. Tue, 23 Apr 2013 23:47:00 +0000 Peter Overby 32973 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Bill Would Expand Disclosure Of Political Money