Eliza Newlin Carney

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

 

Recent Articles

Trump, Moore, and the Party of Men

AP Photo/Brynn Anderson
democracy_rules.jpg While the rest of the world has its #MeToo moment, the Republican Party appears to be crawling back into the dark ages, when men charged with sexual misdeeds responded by defaming their accusers as liars. The predatory Roy Moore, who may just win the Alabama special Senate election now that harasser-in-chief Donald Trump has rallied behind him, has won the Republican National Committee’s seal of approval . Having once said Moore should withdraw from the race , Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell now says he will “let the people of Alabama make the call.” The only Republican senator not prevaricating or staying silent is the retiring Arizonan Jeff Flake, who has written a check to Moore’s Democratic opponent, Doug Jones. It’s an awkward spot for a party that heads into the midterms led by a president with approval ratings as low as 36 percent . Republicans substantially trail Democrats in generic ballot polls that ask voters which...

Internet Ad Rules Bring Together Strange Bedfellows

AP Photo/Jon Elswick
democracy_rules.jpg The conservative backlash against proposals on Capitol Hill and at the Federal Election Commission to shed more light on internet political ads has been swift and predictable. When the FEC moved unanimously this month to clear the way for a rulemaking that would require small, online political ads to include disclaimers saying who paid for them, GOP election lawyer Dan Backer raised the alarm that such rules “will do nothing but keep law-abiding Americans away from political speech.” When lawmakers on Capitol Hill introduced a bipartisan bill to expand disclosure for online campaign ads, Institute for Free Speech President David Keating warned that it “would shut off an indispensable outlet for small grassroots groups to get their message out.” It’s the same line of attack that First Amendment champions on the right have deployed to tear down all but a few of the nation’s political money rules. But in the case of Russia’s...

Blowing Up Democracy and Charities in One Fell Swoop

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
democracy_rules.jpg There’s a great deal wrong with the House-passed tax overhaul bill, but its most heinous provision may be one that effectively blows up both the campaign-finance laws and the charitable sector at the same time. By essentially repealing the so-called Johnson Amendment, a tax provision that bars charities from engaging in partisan politics, the House legislation frees up big donors to funnel even more unlimited, undisclosed money into campaigns, and, for the first time, to deduct that money from their taxes. The bill also threatens the credibility and viability of charitable groups, and would drastically reduce charitable giving—even as it robs education, housing, and health-care assistance from working families who invariably will turn to charities for help. The Senate tax bill does not repeal the Johnson Amendment, enacted in 1954 at the urging of then–Senate Minority Leader Lyndon B. Johnson, and thousands of charitable and religious leaders are...

Go Ahead. Make Clinton’s Day

AP Photo/Alex Brandon
democracy_rules.jpg Attorney General Jeff Sessions has put the brakes on speculation that he will designate a special counsel to investigate Hillary Clinton—at least for now. Republican attacks on Clinton, however, will surely continue. Republicans are having great fun rehashing conspiracy theories about Clinton’s supposed role in a uranium deal with the Russians, and casting her campaign’s run-of-the-mill opposition research and joint fundraising activities as somehow illegal. Democrats and watchdogs warn that if Sessions caves to President Trump’s demands for an investigation, he will corrode the Justice Department’s political independence. But Republicans’ renewed anti-Clinton fervor will do more to hurt the GOP than Democrats in the long run. As veteran GOP political consultant Ed Rogers succinctly put it: “ Clinton is irrelevant .” The more time and money Republicans waste on Clinton investigations, the longer they put off the work...

Democracy Is in Shambles -- or Is It?

Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images
democracy_rules.jpg It would be easy to conclude one year after Donald Trump’s election that American democracy is in shambles. Trump’s assaults on press freedoms, judicial independence, and democratic norms are unprecedented in an American president. His administration has set the tone for self-dealing and ethics violations at the highest levels of government. And the U.S. has abandoned its traditional leadership role promoting accountability, transparency, and liberal governance internationally, just when democracy is on the wane around the world. Yet for all that, the one-year anniversary of Trump’s election has also shed light on the resilience of American democratic institutions and civic life, and on some silver linings. The nation’s democracy stress test has galvanized a wave of activists and candidates to enter the public square for the first time, and prompted a state-level push for new ethics, campaign finance and transparency laws, even as Washington...

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