Eliza Newlin Carney

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

 

Recent Articles

It’s Time to Fix American Elections -- Again

democracy_rules.jpg In Georgia, untold numbers of voters who had registered and checked their voting locations well before Election Day were turned away , told they couldn’t be found on the rolls or had come to the wrong polling place. Many were denied provisional ballots, which were in short supply, and which some poll workers were handing out selectively . In Florida, Governor Rick Scott called from the porch of the governors’ mansion for a criminal investigation into supposed fraud in Senate vote counting—despite running as the GOP nominee in that very election. Scott ultimately recused himself from certifying his own election results, under pressure from a lawsuit, but not before leveling wild and damaging claims. He’s one of three politicians seeking statewide office this year who helped oversee their own races. In Michigan, North Carolina, New York, Texas, and elsewhere, dilapidated voting machines broke down . Some flipped votes from one candidate to...

Can the Progressive Coalition Beat Trump?

democracy_rules.jpg President Donald Trump has gotten extraordinary political mileage out of stoking the fears and prejudices of the predominantly white male voters who form the core of his supporters. Now the question is whether the progressive coalition at the heart of the Democratic base—including African Americans, immigrants, young voters, and women—can turn out in sufficient numbers on Election Day to reassert that most Americans value inclusion over hate, facts over lies, equity over greed, and government accountability over corruption. Too often, when talk turns to this “Rainbow Coalition,” a term first coined Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton and later taken up by civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, progressive strategists wring their hands over the supposed pitfalls of “identity politics,” which are said to divide the nation instead of bringing it together. But condemning racism, anti-Semitism, voter suppression, and chauvinism is...

Democracy Is on the Ballot

(AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Democracy itself is on the ballot this fall, as voters consider not just candidates, but an unprecedented number of ballot initiatives that seek to protect voting rights and rein in special interests, gerrymandering, and big money. Voters also face mounting challenges to direct democracy by state legislators who have chosen to ignore or overrule popularly approved ballot measures, and who have moved in some cases to weaken or block the initiative process altogether. At least 33 states mulled 190 different proposals to change the ballot measure rules this year, including bills that would boost the number of signatures needed to get an initiative on the ballot, for example, or increase the percentage of votes needed for enactment. This push-and-pull reflects something of a vicious cycle in states where voters see their legislators as out of touch and indifferent, either because of gerrymandering, corporate contributions, or both. Voters respond by bypassing the legislature entirely...

Will the Next Women’s March Be Taxed?

democracy_rules.jpg When protesters first turned up on Capitol Hill last month to heckle Judge Brett Kavanaugh and the senators considering his Supreme Court nomination, President Donald Trump voiced amazement “that people allow the interruptions to continue.” “I think it’s embarrassing for the country to allow protestors,” Trump told The Daily Caller , all but suggesting that such public demonstrations should be illegal . Trump may soon get his wish, or something like it, if the National Park Service follows through with plans to impose steep fees, waiting periods, and other new restrictions on protesters demonstrating on the National Mall and other public lands in the nation’s capital. The new rules would effectively ban protests in front of the White House, give government officials broad discretion to thwart permits, and force protesters to cover the costs of barricades, fencing, police monitoring, and even damaged grass. Such costs could run...

FARA Fiasco: Congress Swings at Manafort, Hits Environmentalists

democracy_rules.jpg Now that the full story of Paul Manafort’s foreign lobbying abuses has come out, one might expect lawmakers on Capitol Hill to finally follow through on their pledge to fix the nation’s broken lobbying disclosure laws. The dirty tricks made public as part of Manafort’s recent plea deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller capture foreign lobbying at its worst. Manafort hid millions in foreign payments from the IRS in offshore accounts, and reveled in his bare-knuckled campaign to “plant some stink” on former Ukranian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, as he put it. Manafort pled guilty to violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), which requires lobbyists representing foreign interests to register and report their activities. But instead of doubling down on regulating agents like Manafort, Republicans on Capitol Hill have largely abandoned their push for new foreign lobbying legislation, and are instead using FARA to go after...

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