Peter Overby en Did A Federal Safety Agency Help General Motors Avoid A 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 46184 at Court's 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 46108 at Say Goodbye To The 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 45632 at FBI's Abscam Videos Are As Unbelievable As '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 44228 at Once Neglected, Secretaries Of State Step Into The 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 21:08:00 +0000 Peter Overby 43761 at IRS Wants To Tighten Its Rule On Social Welfare Groups Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>The Internal Revenue Service wants to tighten rules on social welfare groups and it has opened itself up for public comment, giving Americans a chance to sound off. It seems people have a lot to sound off about. The agency has received thousands of comments about the IRS scrutiny of Tea Party groups seeking tax exempt status and the hundreds of millions of dollars raised from unnamed donors and spent on the 2012 elections. Mon, 27 Jan 2014 09:55:00 +0000 Peter Overby 42480 at Political Groups Aim Early Attacks At 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 41784 at Political Groups Aim Early Attacks At New Hampshire Senator IRS Targets Money Transfers In Social-Welfare Politicking Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>The IRS is taking aim at the growing political role of tax-exempt social welfare groups. It's a category of American politics where spending has increased 80-fold in the last decade. Donors can give as much money as they want to these groups, and their names are not disclosed to the public. Thu, 05 Dec 2013 09:59:00 +0000 Peter Overby 39593 at FEC: Tea Party May Not 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 38951 at What A Bitcoin Political Debut Could Mean For 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. Wed, 20 Nov 2013 23:57:00 +0000 Peter Overby 38887 at What A Bitcoin Political Debut Could Mean For Transparency Contractors Lobby For Alternatives To 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 38502 at Outside Money Plays Big Role In Va. Race For 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 38183 at Secret Persuasion: How Big Campaign Donors Stay Anonymous <em>Part two of our "Secret Persuasion" story reported with the <a href="">Center for Responsive Politics</a>. Read the first part <a href="">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 38039 at Secret Persuasion: How Big Campaign Donors Stay Anonymous From Social Welfare Groups, A River Of 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 37968 at From Social Welfare Groups, A River Of Political Influence 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 20:17:00 +0000 Peter Overby 37353 at