Peter Overby http://www.kplu.org en Say Goodbye To The Taxpayer-Funded Political Convention http://www.kplu.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 13:21:07 +0000 Peter Overby 15323 at http://www.kplu.org What's Holding Up Ukraine Aid Bill In Congress? Anger Over IRS http://www.kplu.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 19:42:22 +0000 Peter Overby 14807 at http://www.kplu.org What's Holding Up Ukraine Aid Bill In Congress? Anger Over IRS Ethics Panel Hands Down Holiday Gift Rules — In Rhyme http://www.kplu.org/post/ethics-panel-hands-down-holiday-gift-rules-rhyme Time was when business-suited Santas would spend December roaming the corridors of Congress, bestowing all sorts of goodies upon their elected friends, prospective friends and staffers: baskets of food, bottles of booze, even high-priced tickets to sports events.<p>That last item is the kind of thing that sent uber-lobbyist Jack Abramoff to prison. Mon, 09 Dec 2013 23:49:11 +0000 Peter Overby 11532 at http://www.kplu.org Ethics Panel Hands Down Holiday Gift Rules — In Rhyme Court Upholds Public Broadcasting Political Ad Ban http://www.kplu.org/post/court-upholds-public-broadcasting-political-ad-ban While lawyers dismantle many restrictions on political money, the rules affecting <em>Morning Edition</em> and <em>Downton Abbey</em> still stand tall. A federal court in San Francisco says public radio and TV stations cannot carry paid political ads.<p>The 8-3 decision Monday by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a ruling last April by a smaller panel of the court. NPR and PBS both joined the case as friends of the court.<p>The court upheld the decades-old bar against political ads on public broadcasting stations, even as other restrictions have vanished over the years. Tue, 03 Dec 2013 01:01:50 +0000 Peter Overby 11373 at http://www.kplu.org Court Upholds Public Broadcasting Political Ad Ban What A Bitcoin Political Debut Could Mean For Transparency http://www.kplu.org/post/what-bitcoin-political-debut-could-mean-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 23:50:17 +0000 Peter Overby 11184 at http://www.kplu.org What A Bitcoin Political Debut Could Mean For Transparency FEC: DOMA Limits Political Donations By Gay Married Couples http://www.kplu.org/post/fec-doma-limits-political-donations-gay-married-couples Maybe it's not your first thought after saying "I do," but federal election law gives married couples some advantages in making political contributions. The Federal Election Commission tried Thursday to make those same breaks available to couples in same-sex marriages — but commissioners said they're thwarted by the federal Defense of Marriage Act.<p>True, President Obama's Justice Department no longer defends DOMA, and the Supreme Court is weighing whether to get rid of it. But the FEC didn't want to get too far out in front. Mon, 06 May 2013 22:09:39 +0000 Peter Overby 8591 at http://www.kplu.org FEC: DOMA Limits Political Donations By Gay Married Couples Any Way You Describe It, 2012 Campaign Spending Is Historic http://www.kplu.org/post/any-way-you-describe-it-2012-campaign-spending-historic As relentlessly as the candidates have courted voters, they've also shown their love to donors.<p>A <a href="http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2012/10/2012-election-spending-will-reach-6.html" target="_blank">report</a> by the Center for Responsive Politics places the total cost of the 2012 elections at an estimated $6 billion, which would make it the most expensive election in U.S. Mon, 05 Nov 2012 14:38:21 +0000 Peter Overby 6980 at http://www.kplu.org Any Way You Describe It, 2012 Campaign Spending Is Historic With Buses And Billboards, Small-Money Groups Try To Make A Mark http://www.kplu.org/post/buses-and-billboards-small-money-groups-try-make-mark <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYPW-yoI9Cg</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVDQTNv8H80</p> Sat, 03 Nov 2012 21:28:57 +0000 Peter Overby 6961 at http://www.kplu.org With Buses And Billboards, Small-Money Groups Try To Make A Mark Mysterious anti-Obama spam texts linked to GOP group http://www.kplu.org/post/mysterious-anti-obama-spam-texts-linked-gop-group If you're using social media to follow the presidential campaign or even if you're related to someone else who's doing that, there's a good chance your cellphone got spammed Tuesday night with an anti-Obama text message.<p>The messages went out between 7:30 and 10 p.m. They were anonymous but quickly traced to a Republican consulting firm in Northern Virginia.<p>The messages appeared to be targeted mostly at cellphones from the Washington, D.C., 202 area code. But some were also sent to area codes outside the Beltway, including one to a St. Wed, 31 Oct 2012 23:47:17 +0000 Peter Overby 6920 at http://www.kplu.org Mysterious anti-Obama spam texts linked to GOP group Words Wealthy Democratic Donors Should Get Used To: 'It's Me, Rahm' http://www.kplu.org/post/words-wealthy-democratic-donors-should-get-used-its-me-rahm Now that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is in charge of raising really big dollars for a superPAC that supports President Obama, wealthy Democrats all over the country may be eyeing their phones nervously.<p>Emanuel, the former Obama White House chief of staff, is known for not taking no for an answer and for aggressively going after what he wants.<p>Indeed, he's a ferocious fundraiser who gets to the point, often throwing in an epithet or two for emphasis, just the sort of rainmaker needed by Priorities USA Action, the pro-Obama superPAC that desperately needs cash.<p>The biggest Democratic donor Sat, 08 Sep 2012 15:00:59 +0000 Peter Overby 6254 at http://www.kplu.org Words Wealthy Democratic Donors Should Get Used To: 'It's Me, Rahm' FCC renews effort to put political broadcast ad disclosures online http://www.kplu.org/post/fcc-renews-effort-put-political-broadcast-ad-disclosures-online An antiquated requirement for disclosing the financial source behind political ads may be getting an overhaul.<p>The Federal Communications Commission wants TV and radio stations to post information about their political advertisers online.<p>It's an obscure fact that candidates, political parties and advocacy groups have to reveal how much they're paying for ads, when the ads are running and which candidates are being promoted or attacked.<p><p>This transparency standard has been in place for decades. But it's obscure because those disclosures are made on paper at the broadcast stations. Thu, 27 Oct 2011 23:49:33 +0000 Peter Overby 3021 at http://www.kplu.org