June 25, 2009
Contact:
Anna Christopher, NPR


   

NPR NEWS INVESTIGATES: “DOLLAR POLITICS”

SERIES EXAMINES HOW LOBBYING INTERESTS INFLUENCE MAJOR BILLS ON HEALTH CARE, BANKING REGULATION AND ENERGY

Who’s In the Hearing Room? NPR.org IDs Key Lobbyists and Their Interests


June 25, 2009; Washington, D.C. – Millions of dollars are pouring into Capitol Hill this summer, as lobbyists jockey to have their clients’ interests represented in three major pieces of legislation just beginning to take shape. The object of the lobbyists’ attention: massive bills on health care, banking regulation and energy.

In “Dollar Politics,” a multi-part, multimedia series beginning this week, NPR examines this extraordinary intersection between money and politics, and what it could mean for public policy. The series begins today on air and online, with pieces airing on both Morning Edition and All Things Considered, and continues occasionally through August. Part 1 is available now at: www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=105878862

As part of its effort to explain the lobbying effort, NPR will turn around to face the packed hearing rooms, to photograph and identify the men and women working to influence the legislation under review. The first interactive panoramic photo may be found at NPR.org. More photos will follow, along with profiles of key lobbyists, and explanations of the interests they represent and the objectives they hope to achieve. Audiences are asked to help identify the people in the photos by emailing dollarpolitics@npr.org and by following the series on Twitter @DollarPolitics.

“Dollar Politics” is being reported by congressional correspondent Andrea Seabrook and Peter Overby, power, money and influence correspondent, with contributions from NPR’s Washington, Business and Science desks. In addition to following the trail of political money and profiling key lobbyists, Seabrook and Overby will also show how members of Congress are affected by the system. One example: members who win seats on key committees suddenly become recipients of political contributions several times what they received before winning those seats.

“Dollar Politics” is part of NPR’s extensive political coverage, with original, news-breaking reporting on every branch of government. Continuing at NPR.org is “The Obama Tracker,” an online interactive timeline – updated daily – that gives audiences the ability to follow the progress and actions of the administration on domestic, foreign and economic fronts. For all political reporting, columns, podcasts and blogs, visit www.NPR.org/politics