Peter Overby http://ktep.org en Interpreting The IRS Emails, Washington-Style http://ktep.org/post/interpreting-irs-emails-washington-style Here's the biggest recurring theme in the IRS controversy — the one about alleged targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.<p>Throughout the yearlong investigation, congressional Republicans and Democrats have not only highlighted their own evidence but also taken the same evidence and drawn diametrically opposed conclusions.<p>The latest example came Wednesday afternoon, at a subcommittee hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Officially, the subject was a separate IRS issue. Wed, 09 Jul 2014 23:01:00 +0000 Peter Overby 44351 at http://ktep.org Interpreting The IRS Emails, Washington-Style Interest Groups Come Down On Opposite Sides Of Export-Import Bank http://ktep.org/post/interest-groups-come-down-opposite-sides-export-import-bank Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>Let's follow up on a story we heard about yesterday with the Republican Party's primary season winding down, the party establishment and Tea Party conservatives are shifting the focus of their fight. This time it's over a federal agency that helps to finance American companies in foreign trade. The legal authority for the Export-Import Bank expires in September. Small government conservatives are going all out to abolish it. Thu, 26 Jun 2014 09:29:00 +0000 Peter Overby 43445 at http://ktep.org IRS Chief Tangles With Lawmakers Over Missing Emails http://ktep.org/post/irs-chief-tangles-lawmakers-over-missing-emails Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel. On Capitol Hill today, the House Ways & Means Committee drilled down on one question - what happened to Lois Lerner's e-mails? Lerner is the former official who was at the center of an IRS controversy last year. She oversaw agents who investigated advocacy groups and delayed the applications for tax except status. Conservatives say their groups were unfairly targeted. Fri, 20 Jun 2014 20:20:00 +0000 Peter Overby 43107 at http://ktep.org Lost IRS Emails Spark Republican Ire http://ktep.org/post/lost-irs-emails-spark-republican-ire With new technology came a new type of Washington scandal: missing emails.<p>In the latest instance, the vanished emails belonged to Lois Lerner, former head of the exempt organizations division at IRS. She's the official who oversaw the scrutiny of applicants for tax-exempt status as 501(c)(4) social welfare groups — a process that conservatives allege was meant to block Tea Party groups.<p>The controversy blew up just over a year ago. Tue, 17 Jun 2014 16:40:00 +0000 Peter Overby 42858 at http://ktep.org Lost IRS Emails Spark Republican Ire Tract Issued By Theologians Takes On Money In Politics http://ktep.org/post/tract-issued-theologians-takes-money-politics In a <a href="http://www.auburnseminary.org/mip">newly issued report</a>, a group of 11 theologians goes where the pols and lawyers dare not tread, with a faith-based analysis of money's role in politics. Fri, 13 Jun 2014 19:55:00 +0000 Peter Overby 42638 at http://ktep.org Tract Issued By Theologians Takes On Money In Politics The Big Numbers Behind Eric Cantor's Failed Primary Bid http://ktep.org/post/big-numbers-behind-eric-cantors-failed-primary-bid The big numbers are in from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's stunning primary loss to Tea Party candidate David Brat.<p>First of all, the vote totals: <a href="http://electionresults.virginia.gov/resultsSW.aspx?type=CON&map=CTY">36,120 votes for Brat; 28,902 for Cantor</a>.<p>Cash raised: Between the start of 2013 and May 21, 2014, Cantor raised <a href="http://docquery.fec.gov/pdf/464/14961230464/14961230464.pdf">$4.7 million</a>. Brat raised <a href="http://docquery.fec.gov/pdf/186/14961232186/14961232186.pdf">a bit less than $207,000. Thu, 12 Jun 2014 22:41:00 +0000 Peter Overby 42580 at http://ktep.org The Big Numbers Behind Eric Cantor's Failed Primary Bid Lobbyists Loom Behind The Scenes Of School Nutrition Fight http://ktep.org/post/behind-scenes-school-nutrition-fight-big-food-money-flows The <a href="http://www.schoolnutrition.org/">School Nutrition Association</a> — what you might call the national organization for lunch ladies (and gents) — says it was trying to improve the healthfulness of school lunches.<p>But it says the U.S. Agriculture Department didn't help when things got tough, so it went to Congress. House Republicans provided help, but they also put the group in the middle of a partisan battle over what to feed America's school students.<p>Alabama Republican Rep. Wed, 11 Jun 2014 09:25:00 +0000 Peter Overby 42435 at http://ktep.org Lobbyists Loom Behind The Scenes Of School Nutrition Fight Outside Groups To Spend Even More Ahead Of Miss. GOP Senate Runoff http://ktep.org/post/outside-groups-spend-even-more-ahead-miss-gop-senate-runoff Well-heeled outside groups easily outspent Sen. Thad Cochran and challenger Chris McDaniel before the GOP Senate primary in Mississippi. They're going all in on the runoff election later this month. Fri, 06 Jun 2014 09:08:00 +0000 Peter Overby 42150 at http://ktep.org Amendment Would Allow Congress To Set Political Spending Limits http://ktep.org/post/amendment-would-allow-congress-set-political-spending-limits Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>Now we're in the midst of an election year, here in the United States. Every seat in the house is up, along with enough seats in the Senate to give Republicans a good chance to take control. Senate Democrats are putting a spotlight on the Supreme Court's controversial Citizens United decision, which cleared the way for more outside political spending. Their latest effort is a proposed constitutional amendment. It's aimed at curbing the influence of money in politics. And yesterday, that plan got an airing at a committee hearing. Wed, 04 Jun 2014 09:34:00 +0000 Peter Overby 41994 at http://ktep.org Billionaire Environmentalist Targets 7 Statewide Races http://ktep.org/post/billionaire-environmentalist-targets-7-statewide-races San Francisco billionaire Tom Steyer has already pledged at least $50 million to his superPAC, NextGen Climate, and now the superPAC's leaders are laying out a hardball strategy for the fall campaign.<p>The goal: tag seven Republican candidates as "science deniers" who are on the wrong side of the increasingly urgent climate change issue.<p>Chris Lehane, Steyer's political adviser, says the superPAC will target four Senate candidates — Rep. Cory Gardner in Colorado; state Sen. Joni Ernst in Iowa; Terry Lynn Land in Michigan; and former Massachusetts Sen. Thu, 22 May 2014 21:23:00 +0000 Peter Overby 41212 at http://ktep.org Billionaire Environmentalist Targets 7 Statewide Races Obamacare Buried By Avalanche Of Negative Ads, Study Finds http://ktep.org/post/study-obamacare-buried-avalanche-negative-ads It's been obvious ever since 2010 that Republicans and conservatives were spending a lot more slamming the Affordable Care Act than the Obama administration and Democrats were spending to defend it.<p>But 15 to 1?<p>Yes. That's the ratio calculated by <a href="http://www.kantarmedia.com">Kantar Media's</a> campaign media analysis group — CMAG to political junkies. Kantar estimates that national advertising against the ACA cost $418 million, compared with $27 million for ads supporting the law. Tue, 20 May 2014 21:57:00 +0000 Peter Overby 41054 at http://ktep.org Obamacare Buried By Avalanche Of Negative Ads, Study Finds Tea Party Stumbles As GOP Establishment Flexes Fundraising Strength http://ktep.org/post/tea-party-stumbles-gop-establishment-flexes-fundraising-strength Tea Party candidates did well in GOP primary elections in 2010 and 2012; this year, not so much. Part of this lack of success is because establishment candidates have generally out-raised them, and establishment-aligned outside groups are no longer reluctant to get involved in primaries. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. Mon, 19 May 2014 21:07:00 +0000 Peter Overby 40969 at http://ktep.org With Midterm Elections In Mind, Democrats Micro-Target Voters http://ktep.org/post/midterm-elections-mind-democrats-micro-target-voters During the 2012 presidential race, Democrats used big data to much success. The big data approach to micro-targeting voters is getting increasingly powerful, and is being used for midterm campaigns. Wed, 14 May 2014 09:36:00 +0000 Peter Overby 40595 at http://ktep.org Debate Endures Over Tax Exempt Status Of Crossroads GPS http://ktep.org/post/debate-endures-over-tax-exempt-status-crossroads-gps Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>Tomorrow marks a year since the IRS admitted it have given excessive scrutiny to Tea Party and right-leaning patriot groups that wanted tax exempt status. Since then, the tax agency has been battered by firings, resignations, lawsuits and investigations. It's also been a tough year for the biggest group known to have been under that scrutiny by the IRS, the social welfare organization Crossroads GPS. NPR's Peter Overby reports.<p>PETER OVERBY, BYLINE: Crossroads GPS is known as a creation of Republican strategist Karl Rove. Fri, 09 May 2014 09:17:00 +0000 Peter Overby 40287 at http://ktep.org Against 'Dark Money,' A Star Witness Speaks In Congress http://ktep.org/post/against-dark-money-star-witness-speaks-congress Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.<p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>And I'm Robert Siegel. Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens testified in a Senate hearing today on the surge of secret money in politics. Stevens retired from the court a few months after the Citizens United ruling in 2010. Wed, 30 Apr 2014 20:00:00 +0000 Peter Overby 39738 at http://ktep.org Rep. Grimm Pleads Not Guilty To Fraud Charges http://ktep.org/post/rep-grimm-pleads-not-guilty-fraud-charges Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>New York City Congressman Michael Grimm is a former FBI agent. Yesterday he surrendered to the FBI after being indicted on 20 charges related to taxes, perjury and fraud. Mr. Grimm is fighting the charges but said he would step down from the powerful House Financial Services Committee. News of Grimm's indictment leaked last Friday, so that announcement yesterday was not a surprise.<p>But the charges were. Tue, 29 Apr 2014 09:17:00 +0000 Peter Overby 39613 at http://ktep.org Pay-To-Play Laws Celebrate 20th Anniversary http://ktep.org/post/pay-play-laws-celebrate-20th-anniversary While the Supreme Court this month took another step in freeing up big political donors, another set of federal restrictions on political money is celebrating its 20th anniversary. The so-called pay-to-play rules — enforced by the Securities and Exchange Commission — are a narrow but powerful way to control political cash.<p>Think "pay to play" and you might think of video games or high school sports. Fri, 25 Apr 2014 21:29:00 +0000 Peter Overby 39446 at http://ktep.org Pay-To-Play Laws Celebrate 20th Anniversary Gingrich 2012 Campaign Still Owes $4.7 Million http://ktep.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 38724 at http://ktep.org Gingrich 2012 Campaign Still Owes $4.7 Million Pursuing IRS Controversy, House GOP Pivots Toward Crossroads http://ktep.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 20:45:00 +0000 Peter Overby 38344 at http://ktep.org Did A Federal Safety Agency Help General Motors Avoid A Recall? http://ktep.org/post/did-federal-safety-agency-help-general-motors-avoid-recall As details emerge about GM's handling of an ignition switch recall, a question is raised again: What is the relationship between regulators and the regulated, and the revolving door between the two? Fri, 04 Apr 2014 09:10:00 +0000 Peter Overby 38001 at http://ktep.org Court's Decision Will Encourage Joint Fundraising Committees http://ktep.org/post/courts-decision-will-encourage-joint-fundraising-committees The U.S. Supreme Court has struck down limits on how much a single individual can give in total to candidates and parties. The ruling could give wealthy donors even more influence in elections. Thu, 03 Apr 2014 08:51:00 +0000 Peter Overby 37916 at http://ktep.org Activists Push Public Financing Of N.Y. Political Campaigns http://ktep.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 37618 at http://ktep.org Say Goodbye To The Taxpayer-Funded Political Convention http://ktep.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 37383 at http://ktep.org Even Amid Tensions, Russia's PR Team Is At Home In D.C. http://ktep.org/post/even-amid-tensions-russias-pr-team-home-dc Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>Even as the United States and Europe ratchet up pressure on Russia, the Russian Federation has a lobbying team here in Washington. That might seem odd but it's not unusual, as NPR's Peter Overby reports.<p>PETER OVERBY, BYLINE: There's no mistaking how the United States feels toward the Russian Federation. Wed, 19 Mar 2014 20:27:00 +0000 Peter Overby 36983 at http://ktep.org Is Organizing For Action Too Close To The White House? http://ktep.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 09:01:00 +0000 Peter Overby 36941 at http://ktep.org What's Holding Up Ukraine Aid Bill In Congress? Anger Over IRS http://ktep.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 36591 at http://ktep.org What's Holding Up Ukraine Aid Bill In Congress? Anger Over IRS Outside Groups Lay Millions On Florida Special Election http://ktep.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 36441 at http://ktep.org Outside Groups Lay Millions On Florida Special Election Running Against The Koch Brothers http://ktep.org/post/running-against-koch-brothers Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>Since the start of the year, the political ad war against vulnerable Democratic senators has not been run by the Republican Party. Instead, the attacks have been coming from a tax-exempt social welfare group called Americans for Prosperity. Now, Democrats are pushing back. Instead of going after the organization, they're attacking its most prominent benefactors, conservative billionaires David and Charles Koch. NPR's Peter Overby reports.<p>PETER OVERBY, BYLINE: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has been the most belligerent voice against the Kochs. Thu, 06 Mar 2014 21:16:00 +0000 Peter Overby 36128 at http://ktep.org Running Against The Koch Brothers FBI's Abscam Videos Are As Unbelievable As 'American Hustle' http://ktep.org/post/fbis-abscam-videos-are-unbelievable-american-hustle The Oscar contender is loosely based on the Abscam sting, which nailed a senator and six House members on corruption charges. The FBI videotaped some Hollywood-worthy scenes. Thu, 27 Feb 2014 10:12:00 +0000 Peter Overby 35602 at http://ktep.org Once Neglected, Secretaries Of State Step Into The Spotlight http://ktep.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 21:03:00 +0000 Peter Overby 35039 at http://ktep.org