Peter Overby http://wgcu.org en Gingrich 2012 Campaign Still Owes $4.7 Million http://wgcu.org/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 9340 at http://wgcu.org Gingrich 2012 Campaign Still Owes $4.7 Million Pursuing IRS Controversy, House GOP Pivots Toward Crossroads http://wgcu.org/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 9146 at http://wgcu.org Activists Push Public Financing Of N.Y. Political Campaigns http://wgcu.org/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 8776 at http://wgcu.org Say Goodbye To The Taxpayer-Funded Political Convention http://wgcu.org/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 8656 at http://wgcu.org Is Organizing For Action Too Close To The White House? http://wgcu.org/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 8408 at http://wgcu.org What's Holding Up Ukraine Aid Bill In Congress? Anger Over IRS http://wgcu.org/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 17:38:00 +0000 Peter Overby 8223 at http://wgcu.org What's Holding Up Ukraine Aid Bill In Congress? Anger Over IRS Outside Groups Lay Millions On Florida Special Election http://wgcu.org/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 8152 at http://wgcu.org Outside Groups Lay Millions On Florida Special Election Once Neglected, Secretaries Of State Step Into The Spotlight http://wgcu.org/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 7484 at http://wgcu.org 'Citizens United' Critics Fight Money With Money http://wgcu.org/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 7317 at http://wgcu.org 'Citizens United' Critics Fight Money With Money Political Groups Aim Early Attacks At New Hampshire Senator http://wgcu.org/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 6311 at http://wgcu.org Political Groups Aim Early Attacks At New Hampshire Senator The Life Of A Lobbyist In A Do-Nothing Congress http://wgcu.org/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 5692 at http://wgcu.org The Life Of A Lobbyist In A Do-Nothing Congress Court Upholds Public Broadcasting Political Ad Ban http://wgcu.org/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 22:08:00 +0000 Peter Overby 5073 at http://wgcu.org Court Upholds Public Broadcasting Political Ad Ban Obama Donor Behind Third-Party Va. Candidate? Maybe Not http://wgcu.org/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 4357 at http://wgcu.org Obama Donor Behind Third-Party Va. Candidate? Maybe Not Secret Persuasion: How Big Campaign Donors Stay Anonymous http://wgcu.org/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 4246 at http://wgcu.org Secret Persuasion: How Big Campaign Donors Stay Anonymous From Social Welfare Groups, A River Of Political Influence http://wgcu.org/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 4207 at http://wgcu.org From Social Welfare Groups, A River Of Political Influence Money For Dam Project In Shutdown Deal Riles Conservatives http://wgcu.org/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 3634 at http://wgcu.org Money For Dam Project In Shutdown Deal Riles Conservatives Why A Medical Device Tax Became Part Of The Fiscal Fight http://wgcu.org/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 21:57:00 +0000 Peter Overby 3522 at http://wgcu.org Koch Industries Pushes Back Against Harry Reid http://wgcu.org/post/koch-brothers-push-back-against-harry-reid Most business interests would do anything to avoid a public fight with the most powerful man in the Senate.<p>Not Koch Industries.<p>The privately owned conglomerate of conservative billionaires David and Charles Koch is busy trading volleys with Majority Leader Harry Reid in the battle over the Affordable Care Act and the government shutdown.<p>What's unusual here is the word <em>trading</em>. Thu, 10 Oct 2013 15:25:00 +0000 Peter Overby 3373 at http://wgcu.org Koch Industries Pushes Back Against Harry Reid