Peter Overby http://apr.org en A Year Into IRS Probe, Partisan Motives Still Prove Elusive http://apr.org/post/year-irs-probe-partisan-motives-still-prove-elusive Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>Now a fact check in the ongoing story about IRS treatment of conservative groups. For more than a year, two house committees have been investigating the IRS for stalling conservative groups that were seeking tax-exempt status. House Republicans have alleged the Obama administration orchestrated the delays. But as NPR's Peter Overby reports, the evidence collected over the past year fails to support that allegation.<p>PETER OVERBY, BYLINE: The chairman of House Oversight Committee is California Rep. Darrell Issa. Tue, 15 Jul 2014 20:58:00 +0000 Peter Overby 55823 at http://apr.org Interpreting The IRS Emails, Washington-Style http://apr.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 23:23:00 +0000 Peter Overby 55456 at http://apr.org Interpreting The IRS Emails, Washington-Style Interest Groups Come Down On Opposite Sides Of Export-Import Bank http://apr.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 54608 at http://apr.org IRS Chief Tangles With Lawmakers Over Missing Emails http://apr.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 20:43:00 +0000 Peter Overby 54290 at http://apr.org Lost IRS Emails Spark Republican Ire http://apr.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 54059 at http://apr.org Lost IRS Emails Spark Republican Ire Tract Issued By Theologians Takes On Money In Politics http://apr.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 53857 at http://apr.org Tract Issued By Theologians Takes On Money In Politics The Big Numbers Behind Eric Cantor's Failed Primary Bid http://apr.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 53803 at http://apr.org The Big Numbers Behind Eric Cantor's Failed Primary Bid Lobbyists Loom Behind The Scenes Of School Nutrition Fight http://apr.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 53655 at http://apr.org Lobbyists Loom Behind The Scenes Of School Nutrition Fight Outside Groups To Spend Even More Ahead Of Miss. GOP Senate Runoff http://apr.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 53367 at http://apr.org Amendment Would Allow Congress To Set Political Spending Limits http://apr.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 09:11:00 +0000 Peter Overby 53209 at http://apr.org Billionaire Environmentalist Targets 7 Statewide Races http://apr.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 52489 at http://apr.org Billionaire Environmentalist Targets 7 Statewide Races Obamacare Buried By Avalanche Of Negative Ads, Study Finds http://apr.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 52344 at http://apr.org Obamacare Buried By Avalanche Of Negative Ads, Study Finds Tea Party Stumbles As GOP Establishment Flexes Fundraising Strength http://apr.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 52257 at http://apr.org With Midterm Elections In Mind, Democrats Micro-Target Voters http://apr.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 51899 at http://apr.org Debate Endures Over Tax Exempt Status Of Crossroads GPS http://apr.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 09:36:00 +0000 Peter Overby 51606 at http://apr.org