Eliza Newlin Carney

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

 

Recent Articles

The Climate Counts

(Photo: AP/Evan Vucci)
rules-logo-109.jpeg Lost in the recent tit-for-tat between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders over the former secretary of state’s fossil fuel–industry contributions is the real reason the dispute matters: Environmental issues are gaining traction with voters, and could resonate powerfully in 2016. Sanders has sought to make hay out of Clinton’s supposed fossil-fuel ties—and she has reacted heatedly —precisely because both candidates know that fights over a wide range of hot-button environmental issues—from fracking to the Keystone XL pipeline, power plant rules, and dirty water in Flint, Michigan—have inflamed grassroots passions and are mobilizing voters. It’s not just Democrats who are agitated over the environment. Polls show that most Americans now support str icter limits on greenhouse gases and on power plants; regard alternative energy development as more important than fossil-fuel exploration; and say environmental policies...

Crashing the Party

AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee
This article appears in the Spring 2016 issue of The American Prospect magazine . Subscribe here . In an election defined by Donald Trump, the polarizing billionaire poses the ultimate political Rorschach test. Trump has thrust the GOP into pandemonium, a civil war, a realignment, an existential crisis—so we hear. To some, Trump is sui generis, a blank slate who offers no clue to where the Republican Party is going. To others, Trump is the GOP’s “Frankenstein monster,” the natural end point of the party’s long and self-destructive slide. Trump is a “wrecking ball” swinging through both political parties. Trump will prevail by winning over working-class whites; Trump will go down in flames and take his party with him. Whatever the Trump cards say to you, however, a few consensus points are coming into focus. Whether or not Trump wins the GOP nomination—or even the White House—the Republican Party will never look the same. He has...

Big GOP Senate Spending May Fall Short

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
rules-logo-109.jpeg “Money doesn’t matter” has emerged as a popular catchphrase in this turbulent and unpredictable presidential campaign, and the same refrain may soon take hold in the fight for control of the Senate. Money does matter , of course, in setting policy agendas, winning special access, and especially in swaying elections down the ballot. Still, this year’s Senate races pit Republicans flush with fresh cash against Democrats whose donors aren’t giving as much to super PACs—and Democrats still look favored to win. Democrats are hardly penniless, of course. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has outraised its GOP counterpart so far, and Democrats in some closely watched Senate races, including those in Colorado and Florida, have outraised their GOP opponents. The Senate Majority PAC, a pro-Democrat super PAC, had netted $5.8 million as of the latest public filings. And Democrats say the likelihood of a Republican ticket topped...

Will Trump Finally Join the Money Chase?

AP Photo/Gerald Herbert
rules-logo-109.jpeg One of the most extraordinary moments in Donald Trump’s characteristically hyperbolic primary victory speech in Florida this week was his riff on the “vicious” and “horrible” barrage of “mostly false” TV ads attacking him, which he said carried a price tag of “over $40 million.” The actual total spent by the half-dozen conservative groups assailing Trump was closer to $35.5 million , but Trump was right about one thing: Amidst the ad blitz, his poll numbers went up. Even as he described the “disaster” of presiding over a golf awards ceremony as anti-Trump ads blared in the background, Trump marveled at the ads’ reverse effect: “I don’t understand it.” Neither do many of the GOP leaders, operatives and donors now casting about for a Plan B in their thus-far futile and costly campaign to stop Trump. Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who came close to beating Trump in Missouri but fell...

The Campaign-Finance Reform Wish List

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/AP Images
Public cynicism about money in politics has become so reflexive and deeply ingrained that the stock refrain from voters, candidates, political experts, election lawyers, and even many reform advocates is “Nothing will ever change.” Public financing? It will never happen. Disclosure for secretive political nonprofits? Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will never allow it. A reversal of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling? Pie in the sky. And don’t even dream of expecting the Internal Revenue Service or the Federal Election Commission to actually enforce the rules. Both agencies have decisively demonstrated their utter impotence to police campaign violations. But what if the 2016 election created a surprise opening for democracy advocates? Sky-high voter outrage over campaign financing has already made attacks on Wall Street special interests a standard applause line for candidates on both sides of the aisle. For Donald...

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