Eliza Newlin Carney

Eliza Newlin Carney is a weekly columnist at The American Prospect. Her email is ecarney@prospect.org.

 

Recent Articles

The Transition: From Democrat to Autocrat

AP Photo/Evan Vucci
AP Photo/Evan Vucci President-elect Donald Trump gestures while speaking during a news conference in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, Wednesday, January 11, 2017. rules-logo-109_2.jpg D onald Trump’s capacity to unravel President Obama’s legacy is typically cast in terms of the president-elect’s plans to reverse his predecessor’s actions on health care, immigration, environmental protections, and worker rights, among other areas. But Trump is also poised to shred another equally important if less tangible of achievement of the Obama era: the outgoing president’s role as a champion of democracy and a democratic culture. Where Obama advanced voting rights, government ethics, civil discourse and efforts at bipartisan cooperation, Trump is careening to the opposite extreme. He’s trashing democratic norms across the board, and his presidency will almost certainly corrode voters’ faith in public officials, elections, and government institutions. To be sure, Obama was no hero to good...

Anti-Anti-Ethics

AP Photo/Susan Walsh
AP Photo/Susan Walsh House Speaker Paul Ryan speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, December 1, 2016. rules-logo-109_2.jpg H ouse Republicans who wanted to take Washington back to the Jack Abramoff era learned this week that it’s not the mid-2000s anymore. GOP lawmakers’ closed-door bid to weaken House ethics oversight sparked such a torrent of angry phone calls that Republicans were forced to ditch the plan . Even Abramoff, the disgraced former lobbyist at the heart of the bribery and corruption scandal that ushered in the current ethics rules, objected . In a sense, it should come as no surprise that Republicans would set out to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics, an independent investigative body put in place in 2008 as part of a post-Abramoff ethics overhaul, just as they launch into unified GOP rule. It’s been feeling a lot like the Abramoff days lately, with special interests poised to pounce on pending tax, health care, and financial...

Jill Stein Pulls Back the Curtain on America’s Voting Chaos

AP Photo/Paul Sancya
AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File Officials count ballots during a statewide presidential election recount in Waterford Township, Michigan, Monday, December 5, 2016. rules-logo-109_2.jpg L et’s acknowledge that Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein’s now-halted bid to recount the vote in three Rust Belt states served principally to earn her a lot of free media and fatten her political fundraising email list. Stein failed to furnish any evidence of the “hacking” and “security breaches” that her many press releases and public comments alleged , but she did scoop up $7.3 million from more than 160,000 donors in less than three weeks. Nevertheless, Stein’s arguably self-serving drive to recount votes in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin performed an important public service. As Stein noted this week in a press call to mark the end of her recount effort, she did spotlight some troubling weaknesses in the nation’s election system. Voting in America continues to be plagued by...

Republicans Gear Up to Eviscerate the Campaign-Finance Rules

AP Photo/Molly Riley
AP Photo/Molly Riley President-elect Donald Trump, accompanied by his wife Melania, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky in Washington on November 10, 2016. rules-logo-109_2.jpg D onald Trump’s ethics conflicts and billionaire-heavy cabinet appointments are making news these days, but an even bigger special-interest bonanza is on the horizon, when Republicans make good on their plans to knock down what remains of the campaign-finance laws. A Supreme Court that includes a Trump appointee will likely uphold a constitutional challenge to the 14-year-old ban on soft (unregulated) money that is now wending its way to the high court. Contribution limits, long reviled by Republicans who now control Capitol Hill, are on the chopping block . Most alarmingly, Trump has pledged to end the ban on partisan political activity by charitable groups, raising the specter of what one tax expert has called “Charity PACs” that would operate in total secrecy while handing wealthy donors a...

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