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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2:41am

Tue March 20, 2012
Election 2012

For A Personal Cause, Casino Owner Bets On Gingrich

Originally published on Sun March 25, 2012 8:05 am

Sheldon Adelson speaks at the 2008 "Facing Tomorrow" Presidential Conference in Jerusalem.
David Silverman Getty Images

One of the defining elements of the 2012 presidential campaign is money. Not that the candidates themselves have raised all that much; except for President Obama, they haven't. But two dozen wealthy Americans have put in at least $1 million each.

Mostly, they're a mix of Wall Street financiers and entrepreneurs. One of the biggest donors is Sheldon Adelson, a casino magnate who is worth about $25 billion.

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11:01pm

Mon March 12, 2012
Money & Politics

Low-Profile SuperPAC Targets Powerful Incumbents

The superPAC Campaign for Primary Accountability is taking aim at Alabama Republican Rep. Spencer Bachus and other congressional incumbents.
YouTube

5:05pm

Wed March 7, 2012
Money & Politics

Pro-Romney SuperPAC Spent Big On Super Tuesday

Originally published on Thu March 8, 2012 9:39 am

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney campaigns at a town hall meeting in Bexley, Ohio, last month. Romney won Ohio by less than 1 percent in Tuesday's primary.
Gerald Herbert AP

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's six primary wins on Super Tuesday didn't come cheap. An NPR analysis shows that last week alone, the Romney campaign and the pro-Romney superPAC combined spent nearly $7 million on TV ads.

Less than $1 million of that was spent by Romney's official campaign, while the pro-Romney superPAC Restore Our Future — which has almost exclusively engaged in negative advertising this year — spent $5.7 million.

That's compared to $220,000 spent on ads last week by the superPAC supporting former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.

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11:01pm

Mon March 5, 2012
Mitt Romney

Romney's Wins Have Come With Negative Messages

Originally published on Tue March 6, 2012 11:13 am

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney greets supporters at a town hall meeting at Taylor Winfield in Youngstown, Ohio, on Monday.
Gerald Herbert AP

It's Super Tuesday for the Republican presidential contenders, and 10 states are holding primaries and caucuses.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney hopes he can firm up his front-runner status — a status that, an NPR analysis shows, has so far involved his campaign and a pro-Romney superPAC burying the opposition with negative messages.

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11:01pm

Mon February 20, 2012
Election 2012

Romney Benefits From Campaign, SuperPAC Funds

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 5:15 pm

The financial battle for the Republican nomination is tightening. Candidates spent a lot of cash in January — what with contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida. Also spending a lot of money, as it turns out, were the richly financed superPACS that support the candidates.

Reports filed at the Federal Election Commission on Monday night show just how important a superPAC can be.

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