Eliza Newlin Carney

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

 

Recent Articles

Bannon’s Revolution Is About Power -- and Money

AP Photo/Craig Ruttle
AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin Former White House strategist Steve Bannon speaks with Fox News host Sean Hannity L ike sharks sensing blood in the water, conservative political operatives have set out to cash in on the mounting anger among both populist Republican voters and big GOP donors, sometimes pulling in big salaries for themselves while doing little to help candidates or elected officials. The Republican National Committee’s record $100 million haul so far this year, a take fueled by low-dollar donors loyal to President Trump, has raised GOP hopes of a windfall on the far right. In some cases, as with the RNC’s swelling coffers, this will assist Trump. But some GOP operatives raising money off Trump’s name are actually backing candidates whom he opposes, or simply lining their own pockets as they stoke GOP extremism and infighting. Take Citizens for Trump, which despite its name endorsed Christian rightist Roy Moore in the GOP Alabama Senate primary, even as Trump publicly backed...

Team Trump’s Travel Travails

(AP Photo/John Locher)
(AP Photo/John Locher) Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin speaks at a news conference in Las Vegas on August 28, 2017. democracy_rules.jpg T he White House is struggling to contain a potentially explosive ethics scandal, and it has nothing to do with Donald Trump’s business conflicts, the Russia inquiry or the many lobbyists writing policy in his administration. No, the real ethics nightmare that could finally rile Trump’s base voters involves the taxpayer money that super-rich cabinet officials have spent on private and military planes to questionable destinations. Unlike such obscure ethics questions as whether Trump violated the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause, the travel scandal is simple. When billionaire cabinet heads jet around on taxpayer-funded charter flights to ski resorts and sporting events, voters grasp instinctively that Beltway elites are following rules that don’t apply to average Americans. That helps explain why Trump moved so decisively to punish Tom Price , who...

Redistricting Fuels Big Money Arms Race

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta Activists rally for a fair elections outside the U.S. Supreme Court democracy_rules.jpg T he partisan gerrymandering case known as Gill v. Whitford that the Supreme Court heard Tuesday is just the beginning of a multimillion-dollar redistricting war between Republicans and Democrats over who gets to draw legislative and congressional district lines in 2021. The money is being raised through a hodge-podge of legal trusts, tax-exempt groups, and political action committees that in many cases operate outside the federal campaign-finance rules. That means that many donations are not subject to contribution limits or disclosure requirements, thanks in part to a little-noticed and arguably nonsensical Federal Election Commission ruling that in 2010 found that redistricting is not related to federal elections. “It’s an absurd fiction, but it gives the parties permission to raise unlimited money and to not disclose where that money is coming from,” says Paul Ryan...

The GOP’s Big Problem Is Big Money

AP Photo/Butch Dill
AP Photo/Butch Dill Senator Luther Strange speaks to supporters as he concedes the Republican primary runoff for U.S. Senate to Roy Moore in Homewood, Alabama. democracy_rules.jpg T here are lots of explanations for why Republicans have backed themselves into a corner both legislatively and politically, unable to either enact an agenda or to contain a populist uprising that now poses as great a threat to GOP incumbents as it does to Democrats. The most obvious issue is that the GOP’s intransigence, anti-government attacks, and culture wars have unleashed a monster that Republicans can no longer control. But another, less apparent, problem that helps explain the GOP’s vicious cycle of paralysis and unpopularity has to do with big money. As the champions of campaign-finance deregulation and unrestricted corporate spending, Republicans on Capitol Hill are now more in tune with their billionaire conservative donors than with the average GOP voters who rallied behind Trump. This shows up...

Facebook Fiasco

AP Photo/Noah Berger
AP Photo/Noah Berger Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks in San Jose, California democracy_rules.jpg F acebook’s disclosure that it sold up to $150,000 in ads to Russia-based social media trolls during the 2016 election has revived a potentially explosive debate over whether the government should regulate political ads on the internet. Lawmakers mulling new regulations are sure to get an earful from both free speech advocates and foes of secret spending. Just this week, House and Senate Democrats urged the Federal Election Commission to “promulgate new guidance” on how ad platforms can better prevent illegal foreign spending. But most everybody agrees on one thing: Facebook has been shirking its public responsibilities, even as its power and revenues mushroom. Facebook has partially mitigated the damage by announcing that it would release 3,000 ads to government investigators. “I don’t want anyone to use our tools to undermine democracy,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in remarks...

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