Eliza Newlin Carney

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

 

Recent Articles

Political Money in 2015: More Secrecy, Deregulation, Voter Anger

AP Photo/Alan Diaz
AP Photo/Alan Diaz Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush smiles as he talks to supporters during a fundraiser on Monday, May 18, 2015, in Sweetwater, Florida. A swirl of contradictions defined political money trends in 2015, a year dominated by unfettered super PACs and secretive groups, but also by candidates like Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, who rejected big outside money and still managed to fire up voters. Congress set the tone even before the year began by quietly slipping a rider into omnibus spending legislation late in 2014 that blew the lid off the limits on contributions to the national political parties. The previous party contribution cap had been $64,800 per election cycle, but the new rules allow parties to pocket as much as $1.6 million from a single individual for special accounts that pay for conventions, recounts, and buildings. GOP leaders promptly set about scooping up six-figure contributions from CEOs, financiers, and lobbyists for those special party accounts...

Democracy Prospect: Omnibus Battles Spotlight Political Money Fault Lines

AP Photo/Susan Walsh
AP Photo/Susan Walsh House Speaker Paul Ryan calls on a reporter during an end-of-the-year news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, December 17, 2015, as the Congress moves toward passage of a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill. Welcome to The American Prospect ’s weekly roundup highlighting the latest news in money and politics . T he $1.1 trillion spending bill unveiled on Capitol Hill became ground zero this week for all the competing impulses now tearing apart the campaign-finance system. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell maneuvered, without success , to let the increasingly marginalized national political parties spend money more freely. Tea Party conservatives hated that idea , but said it might work if only outside groups, too, could get out from under spending restrictions. That idea, too, fell flat. Campaign-finance reform advocates lobbied without success to block Republicans from tying the hands of the Internal Revenue Service and the Securities and...

GOP Riders Fuel Secret Spending

Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call/AP Images
Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call/AP Images Maryland politicians and community leaders held a rally in front of the Maryland State House to "fight secret spending in our democracy" by supporting the "DISCLOSE Act." S ecret political spending is playing an ever-larger role in the 2016 election, and Republicans on Capitol Hill have just closed off two important avenues to force disclosure. Non-disclosing political groups have already spent close to $5 million in this election, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a tenfold increase over the same point in the 2012 presidential contest. These include a secretive nonprofit backing Florida Senator Marco Rubio that, according the Wesleyan Media Project , is now the second-largest ad spender in the GOP presidential primary. Disclosure advocates have tried multiple strategies in recent years to pull back the curtain on so-called dark money in elections. These include disclosure legislation, complaints to the Federal Election Commission...

Super PAC Debate Spotlights Illegal Coordination

Rex Features via AP Images
Rex Features via AP Images Jeb Bush speaks at a 'Right To Rise PAC' event in Las Vegas on March 2, 2015. I n the midst of their wrangling this week with GOP leaders over a controversial spending bill rider to lift campaign-finance restrictions on political parties, members of the House’s far-right Freedom Caucus had a bright idea. Why not compromise, Freedom Caucus members argued , by lifting the limits on outside groups as well as political parties? Conservatives had hated Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s first idea, which was to lift the cap on what parties may spend in coordination with candidates. That struck Tea Party lawmakers and activists as a power grab by the GOP establishment. Under the right-wingers’ plan, non-party super PACs and politically active nonprofits would also be free to coordinate directly with candidates. As Freedom Caucus Chairman Jim Jordan declared at a “Conversations With Conservatives” event on Capitol Hill this week, freeing up the parties is “...

Why Clinton's Fundraising Prowess Cuts Both Ways

AP Photo/Cheryl Senter
AP Photo/Cheryl Senter Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at the NHDP annual Jefferson Jackson dinner in Manchester, New Hampshire, Sunday, November 29, 2015. F or Democrats, Hillary Clinton’s talent for collecting super-sized campaign checks is reason both to celebrate and agonize. On the one hand, Clinton’s high-dollar fundraising for the Democratic National Committee and 32 state party committees helps blunt Republicans’ substantial big-money advantage. Republicans have exploited new political party fundraising loopholes much more aggressively than Democrats, and Clinton’s September joint fundraising agreement with Democratic Party committees helps even the scales. But Clinton’s Midas touch with big donors also poses substantial dangers, both to her campaign and to Democrats in 2016. As six-figure checks roll in to the Hillary Victory Fund—a so-called joint fundraising committee that will divvy up receipts among Clinton’s presidential campaign, the DNC, and state...

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