Eliza Newlin Carney

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

 

Recent Articles

Republicans Would Rather Impeach Than Disclose

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
rules-logo-109.jpeg From the upside-down perspective of Republicans, the biggest threat to American democracy comes not from the millions in unregulated, undisclosed money sloshing through campaigns, but from the slightest attempt to shed light on the big donors funding secretive political groups. So alarmed are conservatives by the specter that non-disclosing groups will be politically harassed and intimidated that they have set out to impeach Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen. It's a move that worries GOP leaders, but that has fired up the right-leaning House Freedom Caucus. It all goes back to a federal Inspector General's finding in 2013 that the IRS had improperly targeted tax-exempt Tea Party groups for special scrutiny. At a hearing before his committee this week, House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia accused Koskinen of engaging in “a political plan to silence the voices of groups representing millions of Americans.” House...

Nonprofit Structure Backfires on 'Our Revolution'

The group set up to carry on Bernie Sanders's progressive movement has gotten off to a bumpy start, in part because Sanders backers set it up as a tax-exempt organization.

AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File
rules-logo-109.jpeg On August 24, Senator Bernie Sanders stood before a crowd of supporters gathered in a community arts space in Burlington, Vermont, to unveil the next phase of his progressive movement. “Tonight I want to introduce you to a new, independent nonprofit organization that is called Our Revolution, which is inspired by the historic Bernie 2016 presidential campaign,” said Sanders at the event, which was livestreamed to some 300,000 supporters. The group, Sanders declared, “will be fighting at the grassroots level for changes in their local school boards, in their city councils, in their state legislatures and in their representation in Washington.” But the enthusiastic applause that greeted Sanders in Burlington contrasted sharply with the messy controversies and bad press dogging Our Revolution even before its official launch. On the same day that Sanders introduced the group, The New York Times reported that Our Revolution had been “met by...

Controversy Versus Corruption

(Photo: AP/Carolyn Kaster)
rules-logo-109.jpeg This summer’s never-ending Democratic email disclosures have shed an increasingly unflattering light on the privileged relationship that big donors enjoy with Hillary Clinton and with party officials. Major Clinton Foundation contributors sought and in some cases received expedited meetings with Clinton when she served as secretary of state, according to the latest batch of emails released by the conservative group Judicial Watch. The July WikiLeaks release of Democratic National Committee emails also detailed the special rewards , such as VIP roundtables and receptions, that party officials showered on top-tier contributors. The disclosures have been jarring on several fronts. The DNC emails enraged backers of Bernie Sanders not only because they revealed how top party officials sought to sabotage his primary challenge to Clinton, but because of the ugly glimpse of the perks offered to wealthy donors. Clinton’s claim that she wants to fight inequality...

Trump to Political Pros: You’re Fired

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer
rules-logo-109.jpeg Of all the people taken aback by a Republican convention that has featured angry floor revolts, attacks on the the popular GOP home state governor, and a plagiarism scandal that drew a tardy and inconsistent response, the most traumatized may be the party’s political consultants. Much has been made of the many senators, erstwhile former GOP White House candidates, former presidents, and Republican Party elders, including the entire Bush family , who have stayed away from Cleveland this week. But news stories have largely overlooked the hundreds of political professionals who have been watching in horror as Donald Trump, now the party’s official nominee, broke every rule in the conventional political playbook. Trump’s impulsive, improvisational style, his reliance on Twitter and social media over TV ads, his limited fundraising , his failure to bring in many seasoned political pros to advise his campaign—other than the controversial Paul...

Convention Cash More Controversial Than Ever

For this year’s conventions, the political parties are collecting bigger checks under more relaxed rules, even as voter anger mounts over special-interest corporate money.

(Photo: AP/Carolyn Kaster)
Political conventions have long been notorious for being rules-free zones where corporate donors may funnel fat checks to little-regulated host committees in exchange for exclusive cocktail receptions, briefings, and special-access events with candidates, party officials, and lawmakers. rules-logo-109.jpeg But this year, the Republican and Democratic National Conventions have taken this wide-open fundraising to a whole new level. The checks are bigger. The disclosure is scantier. Both parties will inaugurate a number of dubious “firsts”—the first conventions with no public funding; the first conventions funneling six-figure checks into new, high-dollar party accounts; the first conventions in many years staged as early as July, to leave more time for general election fundraising. For Democrats, it will also be the first convention in eight years to permit lobbyist donations. At the same time, mounting public outrage over political money, coupled with the...

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