Peter Overby http://wutc.org en Interpreting The IRS Emails, Washington-Style http://wutc.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 23:25:00 +0000 Peter Overby 40032 at http://wutc.org Interpreting The IRS Emails, Washington-Style IRS Chief Tangles With Lawmakers Over Missing Emails http://wutc.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 20:50:00 +0000 Peter Overby 39182 at http://wutc.org Lost IRS Emails Spark Republican Ire http://wutc.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 39012 at http://wutc.org Lost IRS Emails Spark Republican Ire Tract Issued By Theologians Takes On Money In Politics http://wutc.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 38854 at http://wutc.org Tract Issued By Theologians Takes On Money In Politics The Big Numbers Behind Eric Cantor's Failed Primary Bid http://wutc.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 23:02:00 +0000 Peter Overby 38816 at http://wutc.org The Big Numbers Behind Eric Cantor's Failed Primary Bid Lobbyists Loom Behind The Scenes Of School Nutrition Fight http://wutc.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 38706 at http://wutc.org Lobbyists Loom Behind The Scenes Of School Nutrition Fight Outside Groups To Spend Even More Ahead Of Miss. GOP Senate Runoff http://wutc.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 38523 at http://wutc.org Billionaire Environmentalist Targets 7 Statewide Races http://wutc.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 37879 at http://wutc.org Billionaire Environmentalist Targets 7 Statewide Races Obamacare Buried By Avalanche Of Negative Ads, Study Finds http://wutc.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 37776 at http://wutc.org Obamacare Buried By Avalanche Of Negative Ads, Study Finds Tea Party Stumbles As GOP Establishment Flexes Fundraising Strength http://wutc.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 37718 at http://wutc.org Against 'Dark Money,' A Star Witness Speaks In Congress http://wutc.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 36893 at http://wutc.org Pay-To-Play Laws Celebrate 20th Anniversary http://wutc.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 21:34:00 +0000 Peter Overby 36701 at http://wutc.org Pay-To-Play Laws Celebrate 20th Anniversary Gingrich 2012 Campaign Still Owes $4.7 Million http://wutc.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 36200 at http://wutc.org Gingrich 2012 Campaign Still Owes $4.7 Million Pursuing IRS Controversy, House GOP Pivots Toward Crossroads http://wutc.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 35945 at http://wutc.org Activists Push Public Financing Of N.Y. Political Campaigns http://wutc.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 11:55:00 +0000 Peter Overby 35458 at http://wutc.org