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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Clinton Foundation is working now to "spin off" or "find partners" for many of its programs, including all international activities and programs funded by foreign and corporate donors, the head of the Clinton Foundation told NPR's Peter Overby. The "unraveling," which would be an attempt to prevent conflicts, would go into effect if Hillary Clinton is elected president.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both had a second month of strong fundraising in July, the month that they claimed their parties' nominations.

In monthly reports filed Saturday night with the Federal Election Commission, Trump reported raising $36.7 million, his best month of the campaign. The total includes $2 million he contributed in a matching contributions drive.

Four years after Charles and David Koch's political network opened its bank accounts to promote Republican nominee Mitt Romney, it's now spending millions to save the Republicans' Senate majority from their presidential candidate.

This year's Senate ads will focus on issues involving the candidates, not national issues, said James Davis, spokesman for Freedom Partners Action Fund, a superPAC that is doing most of the network's TV ads.

Bill and Hillary Clinton moved into the White House in 1993 as a first couple of modest means. If they return in January, it will be as millionaires.

Forbes estimates of their wealth range at $50 million; the Clintons got there through hard work, while also benefiting from their fame and their friendships.

What they seem not to have done, contrary to Internet theories, is break any laws.

This post was updated at 5:10 PM

Hillary and Bill Clinton paid $3.2 million in federal income tax last year, a rate of 34.2 percent. Their 2015 return was released today by the Clinton campaign, almost five months after they signed it for filing.

The Clintons overpaid the Treasury and got a refund of more than $1 million.

As President Obama settles in for his summer vacation on Martha's Vineyard, Donald Trump will be just 14 miles across the water at a Cape Cod mansion, raising money for his campaign.

Even before Hillary Clinton chose him as her vice presidential running mate, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine was on TV, explaining how he had been completely open about gifts and free travel he had accepted between 2006 and 2010 as the state's governor.

"The key was disclosure," he said on MSNBC, "and nobody's ever raised a concern that anybody who contributed, whether a campaign contributor or a gift giver, ever got anything for it."

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Donald Trump's presidential fundraising produced its first strong numbers for a big-budget fall campaign last month, but the financial powerhouse backing Hillary Clinton continued to hold a strong lead.

Team Clinton outraised Team Trump $146.3 million to $81.1 million. Cash-on-hand totals were also lopsided: $139.2 million to $61.4 million. These totals include activity by the candidate committees, national party committees, joint fundraising committees and supporting superPACs.

The mandatory monthly reports were filed last night at the Federal Election Commission.

Donald Trump predicted his June fundraising would look good – especially compared to an anemic May, which he finished with just $1.3 million on hand. And June is looking better, bolstered by the first disclosure filings Friday night from two new joint fundraising committees.

Trump Victory reported raising $25.7 million between late May and June 30, but it transferred just $2.2 million to Trump's campaign committee and about $10 million to the RNC.

Foreign money in American politics. The phrase suggests secret payments, maybe briefcases stuffed with cash, or dinners of fine food and oblique conversation.

Or spam.

"Mr. Speaker, members of Parliament are being bombarded with electronic communications from Team Trump, on behalf of somebody called Donald Trump."

Sir Roger Gale, MP, was among the hundreds of legislators, from the United Kingdom to Iceland to Australia, whose inboxes had received unwanted fundraising emails from the Trump campaign.

Presidential nominees choose vice presidential running mates for what they add to the ticket, whether it be experience or the capacity to draw votes. Here's what Mike Pence might subtract from this fall's Republican ticket with Donald Trump: an unknowable amount of campaign cash from the financial services industry.

Mike Pence, newly chosen as Donald Trump's running mate, has a strong following among social conservatives for his stands on Planned Parenthood, gay marriage and other hot-button issues.

Less noticed are his ties to low-taxes, small-government conservatives. Pence has well-established connections to the politically powerful armada of tax-exempt groups led by the billionaires David and Charles Koch.

Three-year-old allegations of political influence at the Internal Revenue Service are being revived as two House committees move toward punishing the IRS commissioner, John Koskinen.

The House Oversight Committee this week voted on party lines to censure Koskinen. The House Judiciary Committee holds its second hearing next week on whether to impeach him.

"This all started with the IRS using its authorities to target certain conservative groups for their beliefs," Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, said in prepared testimony to the Judiciary panel.

No other major party presidential candidate has ever made it through primary season financing a campaign the way Bernie Sanders has. The Vermont senator and self-described Democratic socialist did not throw swanky receptions to court donors who could write $2,700 checks, the limit allowed by law. Nor did Sanders encourage wealthy friends to launch a superPAC funded with unlimited contributions.

Instead, he relied on donors who gave small amounts online, over and over.

Presidents and leading presidential candidates often arrange their financial affairs to prevent the appearance of financial conflicts of interest. But there's never been a major party nominee quite like Donald Trump. If he's elected president, he would bring to the White House a unique potential for conflicts of interest. The typical tool in such situations is a blind trust, but given Trump's unique circumstances, a blind trust might not be up to the task of preventing him from profiting from decisions he would make as president.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

As Donald Trump prepares to accept the Republican nomination, just over eight weeks away, he's let it be known he thinks the nominating conventions are boring.

He's right. Every nominee since 1980 has been known before the opening gavel. Floor fights are nearly extinct. The TV audience is dwindling.

Trump wants a flashier GOP convention. But the event already has its own controversy, because of the nominee himself.

It's about money.

The Sanders campaign feels the burn rate.

Its cash-on-hand plummeted last month, from $17.5 million in March to just $5.8 million on April 30. The numbers were reported in the campaign's monthly filing at the Federal Election Commission.

The drop followed a sharp fall-off in fundraising. Although Sanders has led Hillary Clinton in fundraising every month this year, April receipts totaled only $26.9 million, versus $46 million in March.

After months of bashing the Republican National Committee and big fundraisers, Donald Trump is getting on board.

"These are highly sophisticated killers, and when they give $5 million, or $2 million or $1 million to Jeb [Bush], they have him just like a puppet," Trump said at the Iowa State Fair last year. "He'll do whatever they want. He is their puppet."

But now the de facto GOP nominee has inked two joint fundraising agreements with the RNC and 11 state parties on Tuesday to start taking in enormous checks from big donors.

Contested primaries in both political parties have led to another cycle of record political ad spending, according to a new analysis of campaign advertising by the Wesleyan Media Project.

The analysis, which covers ads from Jan. 1, 2015, through May 8, 2016, tallies $408 million in ad spending compared to $120 million in 2012 when President Obama sought re-election.

Updated at 3 p.m. ET with details:

Heavily funded progressive organizations are coordinating a sustained effort to define apparent Republican nominee Donald Trump. They've been field-testing messages for months. Now they're primed to start filling the screens of TVs, computers and smartphones with hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of anti-Trump messages.

At the hub of the effort is the main Democratic superPAC, Priorities USA Action. It expects to spend $125 million in TV and digital messaging from this month to election day. That's twice as much as it spent in 2012.

With Bernie Sanders lopping hundreds of staffers from his campaign this week, it's easy to forget he has outraised and outspent Hillary Clinton every month this year. And not by just a little.

Organizing for Action, the grass-roots network born from the Obama campaigns, is now deep in the battle over confirming the president's nominee to the Supreme Court. These days, OFA is a nonprofit that organizes on progressive issues and trains future grass-roots gurus.

"You know this is very much an organization that is led by people out in their communities who care about the issues of the day," said Buffy Wicks, a member of OFA's board of advisers and a veteran of Obama's two presidential campaigns and his White House.

Police needed most of Monday afternoon to arrest all of the sit-down protesters outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington at a demonstration in favor of changing the rules on political money, voting rights and redistricting.

The politicians who would be president have a lot to say about money, at least when they're soliciting it.

They and their sidekick superPACs have raised a combined total of around $1 billion, according to NPR calculations from data compiled by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

Greenpeace and Bernie Sanders' campaign continue to hammer at Hillary Clinton's ties to what the environmental group calls the "fossil fuel industry." NPR did a fact-check last week; this is a follow-up.

It was raining lightly when marchers of the Democracy Spring coalition set out Saturday, trudging past Independence Hall in Philadelphia on their way south toward Washington, D.C.

"I came on the train. Two days. Slept in the train station last night," Miram Kashia said, laughing. A self-proclaimed climate action warrior, she traveled from North Liberty, Iowa. She blamed political money's influence for blocking action on the climate, and added, "I'm retired but it's a full time job for me, being an activist."

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